Do you remember the excitement you felt when your kids became mobile? There is a sense of accomplishment for both the child and parents! We both remember being so proud of our kids when they began to crawl and then walk. You share the news like you just won the lottery! Rightfully so as it is a big milestone to hit. 🙂
So when baby is on the move you figure you go around your home, baby proof this and that and then you’re done. Well…guess again! Baby proofing is constant! There is always something that needs to be baby proofed! Baby proofing turns into toddler proofing, it just never ends.
We both started with the ordinary things you’d expect- outlet covers, cabinet locks, baby gates, but we quickly realized it is so much more than that! Here are just a few of our tips, tricks and products that worked for us!
If you have cabinets that have knobs, these are the best! They’re relatively inexpensive and they’re easy to work and open for the adults (seriously, that’s a major plus) and they slip right on, so no drilling into cabinets! They also make locks if your cabinets don’t have knobs or if you’d rather have the locks be out of sight.
It might be hard to see in our pictures, but all of our babies are tall! The kitchen counters, that we never thought they’d be reaching as toddlers are an easy target. This can be dangerous when using small appliances, so something as simple as putting the crockpot all the way back on the stove makes a huge difference. We always have to be sure everything is pushed to the back or they’ll come by and swipe it. Don’t leave any sharp kitchen tools where they could reach up and grab it – it just takes one second!
We both have end tables with some serious sharp corners. It poses a huge risk if the baby were to hit that corner. If you’ve ever tried one of those baby proofing corner products, you will know there aren’t that many good ones that stick and stay stuck. What does that mean for baby proofing? Remove the table! Emily used to have a bookcase as you walked in the door. Her biggest concern was making sure it was anchored to the wall. As it turned out- Madeline didn’t like to climb it so much as she liked to empty every single thing in it! Guess what’s no longer in the living room?
If removing the furniture isn’t an option than we strongly suggest you anchor it to the wall. You can purchase anchor kits at any baby store or any of your local retail stores like Target, Walmart, etc. Recently there was a video captured on a baby monitor of two toddlers who climbed out of their cribs when they woke up from a nap. In the video you see them playing and then begin to climb on the dresser. The dresser ends up falling on top of the boys leaving one completely trapped. The video is hard to watch but the mom’s decision to share it was smart. Parents anchor down your furniture! Sherrie had Matt immediately install an anchor for the dresser in Logan’s room in case he climbed out of his crib when he wakes up.
When it comes to baby gates, there are a lot of options. Emily loves the latching baby gate. Because Bruce Wayne has some crate issues, they actually had it installed way before they even knew Madeline would be arriving. It’s a great way to section off the house without worrying about it being knocked down.
If you don’t want to screw your baby gate into the wall we swear by the good old spring loaded, pressure gates. Quick to install, sturdy (that’s a must our baby’s are also ridiculously strong) and not that much of an eyesore! And don’t forget to gate the stairs! All of our kids are climbers. Seriously they’re like little monkeys. Stairs are probably the scariest part of our house, it’s a big part of our baby proofing.
Be sure you place outlet plugs in all the unused outlets in your house. If your outlet has something plugged into it, they make special covers that will cover the outlet and cord so your child can’t pull the cord out.
Dog Bowls & Toys
Madeline is fascinated by Bruce, and he’s always been allowed to eat whenever he wanted, so there’s always dog food on the floor. We learned pretty quickly that’s a hot spot for Madeline. It’s been a fight to baby proof that piece, one we’re still working on that one – any suggestions?! You will also want to find a new place for your dogs’ toys as well. Logan quickly became interested in Zelda’s toy basket and to prevent him from playing and chewing them, we had to move the basket to a room he does not go in. Dog toys could be a major choking hazard for babies and toddlers!
Other Things to Consider:
Depending on how your home is set up, there may be other things you will need to think about. For example, if you have a pool or if you have doors that may be easy for baby to open. Be sure you have proper, working fencing and gates around your pool and doors that are properly secured!
Another thing you may have not thought of is after you give your kid a bath, always remember to drain your tub completely. Why? Toddlers are like magical monkeys. Before you know it, they are climbing out of their cribs, opening doors and grabbing something they shouldn’t. What if one night they climbed out of their crib and ventured into the bathroom and climbed into the tub. If they slipped and fell and their was still tub water from last nights bath, they could drown. You may say the chances of that happening are slim, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
The last thing we want to share is locking away things cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, medications, cigarettes, etc. Put them in a place your child can never reach or lock them in cabinet. It also wouldn’t hurt to have the Poison Control Center phone number handy in case of an emergency – hang it on your fridge! They are open 24/7 and can be reached at 1-800-222-1222.
These are just a FEW suggestions, be sure you really watch your child as they play and think about your home and what they might try to get into. Babies and toddlers have very curious minds so one thing we’ve learned is that child proofing isn’t just about installing safety measures in your home, it’s also about installing safety practices. Making sure that you change how you do things so that you’re operating in the safest way possible! Stay safe!