Baby proofing the home is something all parents start to think about as their little ones grow and become mobile. Some parents start to think about this before baby even arrives!!
The first stage that most parents will notice an active need to start to create a more safe environment for their kids is the crawling stage. On average, a baby will start crawling around 7-8 months of age. This is the first time that your baby will be mobile and eager to explore all the areas of the house outside of the safe little blanket we laid them on for so many months for tummy time.
As you look around your home you may think 'where do I even start?' Here are some tips to get your home ready for a crawler just around your home… but don't forget to think about the car, outside and when out and about as well!
Probably the first and most obvious area that you will think to make safe. Make sure your stairs are safe at both the top and the bottom. As we get busy as parents and baby gets the taste to explore, naturally they will want to check out the stairs to see where they got. A gate at the bottom of the stairs will prevent baby from going up obviously, but the danger here is their lack of balance and being easily distracted and falling.
Another safety tip regarding stairs that one of our moms pointed out recently, is cat doors. You may have a door to your basement and think it is safe as long as its closed, but that mysterious little door where the kitty crawls through will become a target of a curious baby
Installing child safety plugs in all electirical outlets is important. Just as important is keeping the cords hidden either behind furniture or with cord hiding devices you can get where you woudl find saftey supplies.
Also keep things like hair dryers, toasters and other small random use items unplugged when not needed. This just creates more cords for baby to pull on, unplug or get tangled in.
Some furniture can have sharp edges that baby will undoubtedly bump or fall into. Get corner guards for table or other sharp edged furniture.
Remove any tall, freestanding pieces like lamps or vases that baby may pull on to try to stand (the next step is walking!) If necesary, secure a tall lamp behind a sofa or chair where it can't easily be reached.
Be sure that any heavy furniture is secured to the wall where possible. Many heavy book cases and TV's come with safety anchors now.
Keep all heavy and breakable items either low to the groud to avoid them toppling or far back where baby won't be able to reach.
Be sure to keep bathroom doors closed when running a bath and getting baby ready for the bath. Never leave your baby unattended even for a second, while they are in the bath. Install toilet seat locks to keep baby from splashing around in the toilet and possibly tumbling in.
Move all house hold cleaners up and out of reach from baby.
Keep your purse up and out of reach as many of us tend to carry things like hand sanitizer, pain medication or other toiletries or items that could be dangerous.
Remove any plants that could be toxic, babies will put anything in their mouth!
Miscellaneous Saftey Precautions
Keep babies clothing safe for them to crawl, either remove drawstrings from clothes or keep them secured for their adventures.
Keep cords for blinds up and out of babies reach. If a cord has a loop in it, cut the loop just in case. Tie cords well above any reach of the child.
Mark large windows, sliding doors, or any other large pieces of glass with stickers so that a crawlign baby will recognize that it is not an open space to crawl through. Babies may not be able to discern between a big clear window and an open space.
Do a safety check on all toys. Check for breaks, sharp parts, loose pieces or small pieces. Babies will try to travel with their toys in hand. A fall on a sharp or broken toy will cause more damage than necessary
Keep any adult items out of reach. CD/DVD cases can easily crack and cause injury. Vent covers should be installed for curious fingers, the underside of many of the vents can be sharp.
Secrure cupboards and doors. Pinched fingers or bumped heads can happen when doors and drawers are swung open and shut
This is just an example of many of the areas that you can watch for and make safe for your baby. Keep in mind that curious babies will get into anything and everything. Teaching your baby what is ok and what is out of bounds will help too.