In the early days of parenthood your baby’s needs are pretty straightforward: feeding (constantly), diaper changing (endlessly), sleeping (never when you are) and lots of snuggling. Gradually your little one starts working on making moves to freedom and exploring. It starts with practicing the holding up of the head, then working relentlessly to master the tricky business of rolling over; from there it’s time to put on your safety hat.
Rolling over is just the start of it because in the blink of an eye your baby is crawling, then walking, and finally running with you trailing behind in the wake of his energy. So, let’s talk safety.
- The “chokables:” Anything small enough to fit in a toilet paper tube needs to be kept out of baby’s reach. Get down to baby-level and really take a look around for anything those curious little fingers and eyes will find and promptly put into her little mouth.
- Outlet covers: Buy and put them in every reachable outlet.
- Crib safety: Around the eighth month when baby starts showing an interest in pulling up, lower the crib mattress as low as it can go. You might also want to take the bumper pads out too – no sense in giving your little one what amounts to a ladder.
- Stair safety: Put gates at the top and bottom of your stairs.
- Breakables: While I absolutely think kids need to be taught about “specials” and how to treat (and not touch) them, it’s a long and diligent process of teaching. So, if you want to keep them in pristine condition, it might be best to keep the irreplaceables up and out of reach until your baby is a little older.
- Secure the heavies: Take it from a girl who found herself underneath her dresser as a kid, keep those drawers pushed in on dressers and secure bookshelves to the wall. While you’re securing things, don’t forget about that flat screen TV.
- Houseplants: There are two things to consider with houseplants. 1. You want to place them out of baby’s reach where he can’t pull them down on himself and 2. Certain plants are poisonous when eaten, and I think we know that just about anything and everything – including plants and dirt – falls on the list of things babies will put into their mouths.
- Poison Control: There’s so much to cover regarding poison control, so bottom line, lock up and keep out of sight and reach any potentially poisonous substances (don’t forget about medicines). But for the total lowdown on poison control check out KidsHealth’s tips for preventing poisoning.
This is just a list to get you started; the most important component of keeping your baby safe is being present and vigilant. Happy babyproofing!