Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there was a baby who became a toddler and then grew into a child who never touched anything that could bring him harm. He never attempted to climb what he could easily fall from and knew just how to safely dismount even the highest object. He never required correction from a parent, sent a parent running across the room to catch him just in time, or made parents wonder how long they had before the first set of stitches would be needed. And they all lived Happily Ever After.
Any parent of a toddler can tell you how far from reality that fairy tale is! We are hitting toddlerhood for the 2nd time in my house with self-injury risk in full swing. So, time to up the babyproofing! Not all toddlers are the same; some are much bigger adventurers and risk-takers than others. My first took it easy on us. The little one is more daring… (And yes, we are wondering how long it is until she will need stitches.)
So, here is a little Babyproofing 101:
When your baby starts to become mobile:
- get down on floor level to identify what is unsafe for your baby to get to, and move it!
- plug covers go in
- cords hide behind furniture (you don’t want whatever is attached to the cord being pulled down on your child’s head)
- dangerous things like medicines and cleaners should move out of lower cabinets
- other cabinets get locked up (hint: it is nice to leave a baby-safe cabinet with “plasticware” for your little one to play with while you cook)
- keep small or breakable objects out of reach (or temporarily put them away- think small toys that belong to older children)
- baby gates get fastened at both ends of the staircase
Creating baby safe spaces goes a long way. Using baby gates and doors to limit access to certain rooms helps a lot.
As your baby starts pulling up and cruising, you will learn that they can reach and explore a whole new level within your house. So, table tops and doorknobs are next. I do not envy those with tall children–they get to more things at a much younger age.
Next up: climbing! If you haven’t already, it is time to secure furniture like dressers and bookcases to the walls. Dining chairs are the ultimate for moving and climbing on all sorts of things. Limiting access to easily movable chairs may be necessary in this stage.
A few objects of particular danger to make sure are safely secured:
- hot hair implements (curling iron or straightener)
- laundry detergent pods (they look like candy, dissolve quickly, and are oh, so dangerous)
- cleaning solutions
Here’s to healthy, safe toddlers as they learn to move and grow!
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