Baby-Proofing For Safety Comfort and Success
August 28, 2014, link added 2018-02-14
Baby proofing really means toddler proofing. Obviously a baby is not going to be about your home. As they get mobile, which can mean cruising before walking you will definitely want to baby-proof your home.
The reasons to baby-proof are three fold: First you want an environment that is safe for your child, your family and your possessions. Second you want places that are comfortable for your family; comfortable for your children to learn and play and comfortable for you to maintain and enjoy. Thirdly you want places for being successful. Remember play is a child’s work. The better play lab they have the easier it is for them to invent.
Baby-proof for safety: Especially if you haven’t baby-proofed in a while, start crawling around on the floor and examine all your rooms from that point of view. Try pulling up on things, from the floor. Pay attention to table edges and objects that you have trained yourself to avoid that will be obstacles for your toddler: sharp or pokey things, places that can pinch little exploring fingers. Table corners may be sharp. Old, four-legged, office chairs may fall over if you hang on the adjustment handle. Try grabbing the dangling cord from the TV and see how stable that is. Professional baby-proofers, BabySafeHomes.com, will want to secure your flat screen to the wall to assure its safety. Yummy – cat food looks like cereal. Look for choking hazards everywhere. Toddlers will be putting everything in their mouths. Cat litter looks like an indoor sandbox. (Litter boxes can harbor parasites, bacteria, and worms that can be transmitted to children.)
Get your friends with small children to bring the little explorers over and have all of them give you ideas on what you need to do. Some people put door latches on all the lower kitchen cabinets. That will work for a while. If that is what you choose to do, you still have to move the really dangerous stuff as well. A door latch is great. Don’t let that be the only thing that keeps your child away from the Mr. Clean. Remember, kids don’t think like you do and they don’t have your experiences. Mr. Clean looks yummy – like lemonade. What about drawer handles? They are perfect for grabbing on to. Hopefully it’s not a drawer of silverware that will come tumbling down on your unsuspecting child.
Safety gates on stairs, at least the tops of stairs are a no brainer. Although kids are amazingly sturdy, we watched our toddler daughter surf down a full flight of basement stairs to the concrete below with no apparent injuries, why risk it. Yes it’s a pain to have to open and close the gate with a full load of laundry. But it’s sensible and prudent.
Baby-proof for comfort: Normally we think about the safety of the child and rightly so. Baby-proofing needs to take into consideration the needs of the entire family.
When we baby-proofed, we changed the location and arrangement of our kitchen to baby-proof. We didn’t want to have baby-proof latches on everything; mainly because we couldn’t find any that we could easily open. So we moved all the under the kitchen sink stuff to the top cabinets and put Tupperware under the sink. We made sure the pots, pans and dishes were not dangerously stacked. Yes we had to rearrange but that made more sense to us.
You may have a craft room. Or maybe you have older children already. How easy is it going to be to baby-proof those rooms. Baby-proofing some rooms may mean keeping the doors closed; off-limits to your explorer without supervision. Off-limits is probably the way some of your children, teen-agers, will insist upon.
Baby-proof for success: Think of your home as a lab for learning. A successful scientist wants a great lab. If the lab is hard to move around and lacking equipment, then that’s going to provide one kind of learning environment. If the lab is orderly and well stocked with the equipment that the scientist needs then they are likely to be more productive. If the lab has the latest and greatest that is above and beyond the scientists’ needs then maybe just the right tool will be there to pique their learning or meet a need they didn’t know they were going to have.
Baby-proofing is really child-proofing and will be an on ongoing process for your family until your children understand more fully the value of possessions and privacy and have a better sense of self-preservation.
Baby-proof for safety, comfort and success. Safety First! Another short post and lots of links