You have to childproof your home; especially, if the child is already crawling. Of course, tackling the entire house may seem daunting. Here are some tips on baby-proofing the house to get you started now.
For the crawling baby parents
Build barriers. When baby-proofing your home, make it difficult for your little one to get to hazardous areas (such as stairways, fireplaces, and bathrooms) by sectioning them off with indoor safety gates or locked doors in the case of hazardous rooms. When blocking off stairs, be sure to put a gate at the top and bottom of the stairway. A persistent baby may easily figure out how to crawl up the steps yet have no idea how to crawl back down (and possibly take a tumble).
Learn to love locks. When it comes to childproofing your home, locks are a parent’s best friends. To start, invest in enough cabinet locks for all your different rooms that contain potentially poisonous or dangerous products inside (these include cleaning products, medicines, power tools, and alcoholic beverages, among other things). Get ones that lock automatically when you shut the door; otherwise, you’ll have to remember to lock them every time you open and close a cabinet.
Be wary of wires and cords. These are strangulation hazards. When baby-proofing the house, tie up electrical wires to keep them out of your baby’s grasp and cover outlets. Better yet, when childproofing your outlets, replace the switchplates with ones that automatically slide to cover up outlets when they’re not in use.
For the walking baby parents
Fix furniture. With your tot cruising around and holding onto furniture, or even climbing on it like a monkey, he may be able to unsteady even the sturdiest-looking pieces. So secure bookshelves, dressers, standing lamps, and TV cabinets to the wall (you can get toddler safety products like brackets and fasteners at any baby or home-improvement store).
Wise up to window dangers. Your toddler’s increased mobility means that he is now more adept at reaching and opening windows. Childproof your home by installing metal window guards that screw into the sides of the window frame and have bars no more than four inches apart.
Heed high-hazard rooms. Sometimes the best way to childproof your home is to simply make some rooms off-limits. For instance, you may want to seal off the bathroom (which contains water dangers, cosmetics, and electrical appliances like hair dryers) and the office (which has computer wires and staplers) with a gate or a doorknob protector that little hands can’t open.
Beware of burns. Your child can reach new heights these days, which means you need to take your childproofing efforts to a whole new level. For example, in the kitchen, keep the oven latched and put knob covers on the stove to block your toddler from reaching up and turning on burners.
Deal with drowning risks. Keep your curious tot from having access to water when alone — no matter how much he loves water play. A child can drown in as little as an inch or two of water in just a few minutes’ time, so you don’t want to take any chances on this childproofing matter.