…is that you don’t need to worry about this before baby arrives, but when baby is beginning to show signs of rolling over and crawling, definitely get on it! Of course, there are the obvious drawer locks and door locks for all lower cabinets and drawers in the kitchen and bathroom. And we’ve all heard the tried-and-true tactic of getting down on hands and knees and crawling around to see what a baby might see. This works, no doubt! Here’s a smattering of other ideas you'll want to consider to protect your little one:
In the Nursery, move the crib away from anything that could be used for climbing. For example, chairs, bookshelves, etc. Also, be sure to attach bookshelves and dressers to the wall—another way to prevent a climbing disaster! ALWAYS buckle your baby in when they are on the changing table. You many say, “well, my baby isn’t rolling over yet.” Fact of the matter is, they might surprise you and while they’re on the changing table is not a good time for this surprise.
In the Kitchen, if you plan to use a portable high chair that attaches to the kitchen table, be sure the table is sturdy and strong enough to support it. Install a latch for the oven and stove guard to block access to the burners. Get into the habit of turning the pot handles inward. Use the back burners too, when possible, to avoid little hands reaching up.
In the Bathroom, place non-slip mats in and beside the bathtub. If bathing with your baby, always use a washcloth or small towel in between you so baby doesn’t slip.
Baby gates are especially important to keep baby in or out of a specific area. Best if you can keep an eye on him or her, so if you have a family room and kitchen that are connected, consider a gate at the doorways that lead to other areas of the home.
Place at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of the house and definitely one in the kitchen. And, if you don’t already have one in each room, install smoke detectors throughout the house.
Always have a first aid kit on hand and the telephone number for your local poison control center. The likelihood of needing either one is small, but it will give you peace of mind. When my daughter was about 11 months old, she got into my makeup remover. To this day, I don’t know if she actually drank it, but I called poison control and they informed me of what signs to look for and “if” there was a problem to go the doctor’s office. She was fine and it never happened again because I immediately installed a drawer lock. Lesson learned!
Overall, attempt to unnecessary eliminate clutter that baby could access. Place valuables up high or consider packing away for the time being. Do, however, teach your little one that certain things are off limits to avoid having to make your spaces sterile.
For more good ideas on What You Need and Where to Put It when it comes to baby proofing, read The Organized Mom: Simplify Life for You and Baby One Step at a Time. You can also visit the National Safety Commission for more information on baby proofing and Safety & Health Facts.