By Amanda Roland
We can all agree that the most important aspect of parenting is safety, and as your baby ages, baby proofing should be at the top of your list. According to kidshealth.org, accidental injury is the leading cause of death in kids up to the age of 14. Getting a head start on baby proofing is ideal and you should begin doing so before your baby grows. It’s important to remember that the baby proofing in your house will change as your baby begins to learn. Here are some ways to modify things around the house to make sure your baby or toddler is safe and sound as they grow and explore.
Baby-proofing for infants:
When infants are brought home, we know that they won’t be able to crawl around just yet, and their strength isn’t enough to grab and pull things o counters, but there is still baby-proofing to be done. Especially in the nursery, it can be tempting to hang up pictures, bookshelves or wall decorations, but these could be dangerous in areas like Florida, that experience heavy thunderstorms or hurricanes every year. These weather conditions could cause things on the walls to shift and potentially fall. It is important to avoid putting decorations above the baby’s crib and changing station to keep them out of the way of any falling decorations. A helpful tip from the DIY Network is to remove the glass from picture frames so that if they were to fall, the glass wouldn’t shatter and create a hazard. Local mom of three, Jesse Flemming, said, “My only advice for moms that are prepping your house for the arrival of a new baby is, DO IT. Take all the precautions you can because it’s not worth risking an accident.”
Baby-proofing for crawlers:
Now that your little one is on the move, the list of things that they can get ahold of grows. As they scoot around the floor and learn to pull themselves up on furniture, the possibility of
them bumping their heads on hard corners increases.
When you notice that your child is starting to crawl, get some corner cushions to put on table corners and edges to prevent bumps and bruises. Power outlets are also in their reach at this stage, so it is important to use outlet covers or outlet plugs. These precautions will make sure they stay safe as they become more curious.
As your baby also begins to stand, it is important to remember to lower their crib. When your baby begins standing in his or her crib, the risk of falling out of their crib greatly increases. Lowering the crib already gets your baby close to the floor in the case of an accident.
“The most important precaution I took when baby-proofing my house was to cover the outlets, pick up small toys that are possible choking hazards, and lock any cabinets with cleaning or poisonous products,” Flemming said. She remembers the outlet covers and cabinet locks to be two products she used the most to make mom- life a little easier.
Baby-proofing for walkers:
Your little ones could start taking their first steps anywhere between nine and 14 months, according to Baby Center. When they are learning to walk, there is a lot of fumbling and falling involved, so you need to make way for your little cruiser. is is Florida, and many of us have pools. A pool gate is an important thing to have for your walking baby. You should never run the risk of an accident. Having long curtains that they could accidentally pull on for stability could be a hazard because at this point they are stronger and could pull down the curtains. Having shorter curtains or retractable, cordless blinds could be a better option. Cabinet locks can also be used to stop them from rummaging through bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Also, things like candles or small table decorations could be easily reached as your child walks around and explores. Make sure these items are put away and out of reach.
Mom of two, Victoria Hodge, notes that taking those extra steps to make sure everything on the table is put away, hot pans are moved away from the edge of counters and nothing breakable is in the bottom of the pantry are a must. “I think the day-to-day precautions are the most important.”
“Keeping your child safe is the most important job as a parent that can never be taken too lightly,” Flemming said. Taking these precautions will ease your mind as your baby grows and explores his or her home. Baby-proof your house so that all the memories that you make in the first years are sweet and safe!