Babies and toddlers are very curious little creatures. They love learning, and they learn best about the world around them by touching. They will grab anything that they get their little hands on and examine it in many ways including touch, smell, and taste. Everything is a toy, and everything belongs to them. We as parents, therefore, need to make sure that we baby-proof our homes and keep the baby out of danger and danger away from the baby. We found it much easier than we expected. It just took some time and effort. I used my time off during the summer before our son was born to baby-proof our home.
We went to the local department store’s baby section and found some small but essential items to help keep our son (now twelve) from opening cabinets and drawers. Cabinet and drawer locks are easy to install just by screwing them into the inside corners of the cabinets and drawers. Our son loves to open things and see what is inside, and he began doing so as soon as he could crawl. A simple latch grabs the inside of the cabinet and keeps it from opening. It gave just enough room for us to push down on the latch to open it, but our little toddler could not see it. That kept him from opening cabinets and drawers, so our items were safe from him, and he was safe from them.
Toddlers love sticking things into holes, and outlets look like neat little puzzles. Paper clips fit perfectly into outlets, and my wife and I (teachers) use paper clips frequently. We did not want a fallen clip to end up in our son’s hands and then in the outlet. Paper clips are made of steel and conduct electricity very well. So does a baby’s body. Outlet covers are very inexpensive but can save a little one’s life. They plug right into the outlet. We used the white covers because we did not want our son to see the outlet through the transparent cover and spark his curiosity.
Keep out of reach of children
Labels have warnings for a reason. Even cabinet locks lose their effectiveness. As our son grew, he eventually figured out how to work the latch and open the cabinets. Therefore, we had to store things way up high out of his reach. We put all medicines in the bathroom cabinet high above the sink. We put all chemicals such as cleaning products on the top shelf above the washing machine and sharp objects such as steak knives on top of the refrigerator. We still had to watch him constantly because he learned how to climb at a young age, and pantry shelves make a nice ladder.
Clear enough space
Until our son started to crawl and then walk, we did not even consider clearing space in each room. When he started crawling, though, he learned to move very quickly. He bumped his head hard on the coffee table, and that made us reconsider our layout. We cleared space in every room. That was difficult because we have a small house. We cleaned out some unneeded junk and rearranged the living room, dining room, and all bedrooms to give him enough room to crawl. He then learned to walk and started running only a week after walking. He needed room to move around. We liked the new open area. He not only had more room, but our house felt much larger. We added a sunroom when he turned five and moved some furniture out there. The sunroom opened up even more space and added value to our home – financial and sentimental.
Easy, necessary, and responsible
Baby-proofing our home was easier than we expected. We simply used common sense. We protected all things low and moved other things up high. We kept constant watch on our son and still do when something new comes his way. Accidents happen quickly and often, but we can reduce or prevent many of them simply by making our homes more baby-friendly.
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Diaper Changing — Expect the Unexpected
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Learning the Potty: Train but Do Not Force It