Ten little fingers. Ten little toes. Tiny baby bundled in a blanket. They just cuddle with you and lay in their little bed.
And then something called “mobility” comes. All of a sudden you see danger signs and caution tape everywhere!
As a mama of a rambunctious 2 year old and a crawling, pulling-up 6 month old, I know a little bit about what household dangers are and how to make your home safe without feeling like you live in padded cells. Whether you are a mama, grandparent, baby sitter, or you just occasionally host friends with young children, here are some helpful baby-proofing tips….
- Cover the plugs. You can get dozens of little plug covers for just a couple of dollars and it takes just a few minutes to install these in your entire house.
- Cleaners. This is a two-part tip:
- Use “green” cleaning products. My favorite is the Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living because it’s incredibly versatile, effective, and affordable. You can also find some natural cleaning products at your grocery store (Target has a growing selection), health food store (such as Sprouts), or online (Soap.com is a good resource).
- Keep your cleaners out of reach. Either use a cabinet latch on your cleaning cupboard or move your cleaners to a high shelf. Even crawling babies can get into cleaners.
- Corners. Take a quick walk through your house and look for corners that may find little heads. Kitchen tables, coffee tables, and fireplace hearths are common boo-boo culprits. You can find foam corner and edge protectors (that even match the surface of your furniture!) to ease the impact.
- Baby gate. Whether you use it to keep the baby in or keep the baby out, this one is a must-have. You can use a gate to keep younger mobile babies in their room playing while you get dressed for the day, to keep babies out of an area that is set up for a project or job (like ironing… that’s so tricky with a little person around!), or to keep pets and children separated. When not in use, store it in a linen closet or utility room.
- Crib height. One day you will walk into your baby’s room and be shocked to find that he is not on the same side of the crib that you left him in. Equally shocking is the morning you walk in to find him standing up in his crib. Make sure you lower the crib mattress when this shocker occurs so Baby doesn’t fall – or climb – out!
- Tilting hazards. Bookcases, dressers, TVs, lightweight buffet tables, and more can all look so attractive to little people who are just starting to pull up and walk. Again, take a quick walk through your home to find the furniture pieces that look precarious and anchor them to the wall to eliminate tipping hazards. (These days many pieces of furniture come with anchoring hardware, but if not you can easily find what you need at Lowe’s or Home Depot.)
- Doors. A set of knob covers is going to come in handy! Three of the doors in my home have knob covers: the pantry (because I have a curious toddler), our closet (because otherwise our shoes end up all over the house – thank you, favorite toddler!), and our home office (because Daddy needs quiet when he works from home).
- Bath safety. As your little ones become bigger, outgrowing their infant tubs and moving to the “big tub”, there are a couple things you’ll find helpful. A tub spout cover will help give some cushion so little noggins aren’t bumped too hard. Sticking a non-slip tub mat will help give little limbs some traction. Finally, if you child is sharing a bathroom with you, make sure items like razors (self-explanatory) or glass accents/candles (you do NOT want glass shards and slippery feet in the same room) are moved far from their reach.
These are not baby-proofing as much as safety tips, but hopefully they are still helpful for new parents.
- When cooking, make sure that pot and pan handles are pointed toward the counter or the interior of the stove. For exploring toddlers, handles hanging over the edge are pretty tempting. It is NOT worth serious burns to learn this tip.
- Keep plastic sacks off the floor and out of reach.
- Keys look like such fun toys! However, they have all kinds of jagged edges, which are particularly dangerous for teething babies who stick EVERYTHING in their mouths. (These are a super fun alternative!)
- The pull strings on window blinds pose a big strangling hazard. Take a glance at your windows. If any of the windows are lower to the ground – or if the cord comes to toddler level after raising the blinds, you can install a small Command brand hook right next to the window so the cord will be out of the child’s reach.
- Store medications out of reach in a medicine cabinet or upper kitchen cabinet. (Go one better and find natural wellness options, like essential oils and homeopathics!)
What is your favorite home safety tip? Leave a comment and tell us!