When your baby starts crawling, your first thought is probably, “Yay! What an incredible milestone! My baby is growing up!” Then, as they go straight for that outlet or stairs, it hits you: Uh-oh.
With an active, mobile baby in the house, potential hazards can suddenly feel like they are lurking everywhere. But, don’t fear! Taking a few simple steps to baby proof can give your baby the freedom to explore safely and you the freedom to sit down every once in a while.
When: Rather than placing a desperate overnight order for a baby proofing kit the day your baby starts crawling, aim to get ahead by developing and instituting your baby proofing strategy when your little one is about five months old.
Not only will this give you some time to think about what and how to baby proof, but it will also give you a chance to get used to opening the pesky latch that’s now locking your sink cabinets. Then, once baby is really on the move, do another sweep for anything you may have overlooked. (Babies have an uncanny tendency for seeking out hidden outlets!)
Where: Get on your baby’s level (literally or not, the choice is up to you) to determine what’s the biggest priority for baby proofing. Good bets are covering the outlets, putting a baby gate in front of the stairs, locking low cabinets, anchoring shelves to the walls and putting padding on sharp edges or corners of tables. Not so urgent? Putting baby proof latches on the door handles or cabinet shelves that are out of reach anyway—at least for another few months.
Falling into the same category, but perhaps not top-of-mind: This is a good time to check you have working fire and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of the home. Also look for any flaking or peeling paint—especially if your home was built pre-1978.
How: Many baby proofing kits will include everything you need to start, but houses are unique and babies are unique—so you’ll likely need to expand your set of tools. (Even think about putting non-skid rugs under mats and putting hooks on the wall so you can put bags out of reach.)
If the idea is still daunting, there are baby proofing specialists available in many areas who can either advise you on what to do or even do the work themselves.
Regardless of whether you DIY or call in a pro, baby proofing is a gift to your baby as they have the chance to explore and to you as you can feel confident your baby is protected.
Kids2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.