New parents can easily go overboard in trying to protect and control everything around their new baby, and that is understandable. This still applies to those who have other children but maybe to slightly lesser extent. It is hard to know when it is enough or slightly overboard when it comes to protecting or childproofing your home, especially for new walkers and maybe even earlier as they begin to crawl. Walking is more challenging because as they stand upright, you can no longer put things on top of tables and hope they won’t be targeted.
It is always good to err in the side of caution and to go slightly overboard than less for safety purposes – but here are essential baby-proofing things to consider as you create that protected environment for your little one:
- If you have stairs a fence is a must, the bolted fences are great, but the adjustable pressure fences (that do not require a screw in the wall) are equally safe if placed correctly and may save you a patch work in the future. Get the adjustable plastic fences rather than the metal as they are gentler on their bodies if they are pressed against them for some reason. Also fence you your kitchens, one of the most baby unfriendly rooms in the house if not the most.
- Walk around at the same height as your kid (which may mean on your knees) and explore the house as much as you can noting any edges or sharp objects)
- Get electric socket plugs and edge foam covers. Also invest in drawer and toilet locks as well as oven and fridge door lock systems. If your fridge handle is high (freezer at the bottom) you may get away with just locking the freezer drawer (many of these items are available online such as amazon and nomamoma.com).
- If you have tables that have an opening which kids can walk under, cover them up with thick pillow or block them out with chairs.
- You won’t be able to child proof completely, especially if you are visiting someone. But kindly tell them that your kid may be quick to hurt themselves or break something so move out vases and other knick knacks (don’t forget to put them back later) and always be by your kids side, in a split second they may stick their fingers in a socket.
- It may sound strange, but for quieter babies putting a small bell around their ankles is a good way to keep tabs, of their movements or if they get close to sockets or stair edges.
- Try to teach your kids early on not to touch certain things by verbal reinforcement and just block or remove them completely from the situation. This way if they are very quick and can do something dangerous in a split second, they will be slightly reluctant and may give you the extra second you need to carry them away before they touch anything dangerous. Psychologically they will associate your “NO” with the power socket for example, so when they are near they will hold back and wait for the “NO” before they touch it – which may give you an extra second or two to avoid disaster.
Just remember this is a temporary phase, and although it can be overwhelming and sometimes frustrating, it is worth the effort and eventually you will miss these easy to manage problems when they get older and present some new complicated problems (think teenage angst!).