It was only a few months ago that your little one came home, then you realize, your tiny baby is no longer a passive little fella who would stay put in their little mat; instead, you now have a little being who lives on the move. All this mobility – rolling, bouncing, turning, and crawling – means they are seeing and realizing that the world around them is much bigger than they thought. It is now possible to reach people and places much more easily than before. And you will not always be around or aware of what they do – trust me, it only takes a second for accidents to happen. After a few months of their birth, they have their organs and bone structure strengthened, they can move around, hold and drop objects, explore everything around and within sight. Therefore, it is necessary for parents and caregivers to take some measures, creating a safer environment that is babyproof.
Some items in the house need to be removed or secured and protected, and others must be purchased for the safety of your baby. Let’s start by listing the ones that need to be put away:
Appliances: such as fans, heaters, or any object that breaks as well as cables and cords, must be out of reach from young children.
Furniture: bookshelves and dressers, for example, must be secured to the wall to avoid tipping over.
Changing diapers: be careful when changing your baby’s diaper on a high location, as your little one becomes more wiggly, the risk of them rolling and falling increases. Always keep your hand on them, and don’t be distracted for a moment. It only takes a second for them to roll over you.
Cribs: At 12 months, the risk of SIDs decreases, so your baby can start sleeping with their lovey or favorite stuffed animal. However, the mattress must be in the lowest rail configuration, and away from curtains, blinds, and shutters, outlets, and objects in general that the baby can reach. It is still recommended using a sleeping sac instead of a blanket – which also helps your baby not to succeed when trying to climb out of the crib on their own.
Sharp corners and tables: be careful with table corners and sharp edges, and overall corners to avoid accidents if the baby runs or work towards them. You can place a piece of silicone or rubber temporarily, or choose not to leave your baby alone near these pieces of furniture. Gradually, with your help, guide the baby to the surroundings to become familiar with the danger, and how to behave in certain parts of the house.
Electrical outlets: Cover electrical outlets, even if they seem harmless, as babies love to put things and even their fingers in holes that can cause electrical shock.
Cabinets: Remove any cleaning products, medicine, or chemical products from lower cabinets, drawers, and other storage places that are easily accessible by your curious little one. If you have china, porcelain, glass, and other breakables, make sure to place them in higher cabinets.
Stove: Pay attention to the oven and stove, especially with children nearby. Make it a habit to use the stove top on the rear, and never leave it on unattended if you have children at home. There are also many accidents that fall into this category.
And here are some items that can be easily purchased, to keep your baby safe and provide great peace of mind for parents and caregivers:
Baby car seat – it’s the law
This item is mandatory for babies to be able to ride in vehicles. Pay close attention to each user’s manual, as different brands may have different guidelines. You may think that your baby is ready to be forward facing once they start walking, or when they turn one, but the correct way to know if they are ready, isn’t related to their age, but the combination of the weight and height of each child, which also varies with each product. It is not uncommon to have three-year-olds still rear facing. It is the safest way for a child to ride on a car. You should also know that children must not be placed in the car seat with a winter jacket on!
Baby gates and protective screens
Baby gates are very functional for those who have small children and pets at home that can’t be constantly monitored, because, it prevents them from moving into environments that cause some risk or even falls from stairs, balconies, or windows.
Drawer, cabinet, and door latches
Many drawers, especially in the kitchen, obtain sharp objects, which is the fear of all parents. But there is also the risk of a child to run in open drawers, which also makes up for quite a number of toddler injuries each year.
Use locks on the cabinets, keep the little ones away from porcelain, glass, or anything that breaks. Medicines, cleaning products, and other type of chemicals should always be out of a child’s reach. You may also lock dangerous places around the house, like the bathroom, or office, or balcony for example.
As we said above, about sockets, babies love them, but they are a major risk. This is an expensive item that makes all the difference in giving you peace of mind.
Toilet latches and nonslip mats
The toilet is another object that must be secured, not only because of hygiene, but children can fall in,gets hurt and even drown. Therefore, you should also invest in toilet latches. It is a low-cost “item” that will protect your little one from possible accidents.
Another thing that is very important to be careful with young children is with the water. Never leave a child alone in a bath, and keep the water at just a few inches. Be cautious with little ones who get too excited in baths and make sure to have a nonslip mat.
As stated in this article, parents can purchase simple items for baby proofing their home, and you also know about items that need to be removed in order to keep your little ones safe. I know many parents aren’t thrilled about these changes in the house – yes, I know, sometimes those latches are even hard for grownups to open them! – but you will get used to them. Know that it is temporary and prevention is always the best way to g, especially when it comes to our most prized possessions. During these first few years, it can be quite an adaptation, but absolutely worth to keep your children safe and prevent accidents. Just like this first few years flew by, the next will too, and you will soon miss the time when you could actually keep them from opening and closing these locks.