Tips for Babyproofing Your Home
Baby on the Move: 4 Tips for Babyproofing Your Home
Phew! I’m already exhausted from chasing a crawling baby around the house and my daughter hasn’t even started walking yet. I was definitely caught off guard by just how fast her mobility became a reality. It’s been an absolute blur watching her reach baby milestones, from being so anxious about when she would learn to roll over to now watching her do laps crawling and walking (assisted) around the house.
Like many new parents, I made the mistake of thinking we could babyproof our home gradually, but the reality is that the second my daughter learned to crawl, she was just as soon able to get to and open the kitchen cabinets (and get into all kinds of trouble!). Here are some tips to help you babyproof your home as your little one becomes mobile and goes from crawling to walking in the blink of an eye:
How to Babyproof Your Home: 4 Things to Keep in Mind
Take a look from your baby or toddler’s perspective. Yes, get on the floor and crawl around your home! From the perspective of a baby crawling, what do you see at eye level that could be of interest to a child? From feeling the texture of the carpet to seeing the difference between banging a stacking cup against the carpet versus the hardwood floor (yes, I’m speaking from experience!), there are so many things we don’t even realize are new and absolutely fascinating to our kiddos.
Be aware of your habits. Try to be mindful about your routines from before your little one came into your world and babyproof your habits. I used to come home from work, or anywhere, and toss my keys and purse carelessly on the table or the bench in our entryway. Now, I have to be careful about where I leave my keys – are they too close to the edge of the table where Kayla can stand up and reach for them (because boy does she LOVE those!)? Is my purse just hanging out on the floor or at the edge of the table where Kayla can tug on the strap and pull the whole thing down on her or get inside and into the tons of random small items within? My husband would empty out his pockets on the nearest table. The result: old receipts, gum wrappers, and loose change in a random pile in a random spot in the house. Now he has to (please, please, please?) actually sort through this pile to toss the trash and make sure all loose change goes into our change jar (or my “spa fund” as it is cleverly labeled).
Try to approach it all at once, but don’t just assume that you’re done. Given just how fast my daughter has learned to get around and get into EVERYTHING, I wish we’d tackled ALL the babyproofing at once. But even if we did, it’s dangerous to think that you’ve covered it all and to let your guard down. It’s amazing how quickly kids learn new things. Just by watching us go about our day, Kayla has figured out all the spaces that hide more interesting things she could be exploring. And she never forgets, either. She’s constantly watching us undo the cabinet locks and, from time to time, she’ll even get to the babyproof cabinets herself to pick it at and try to figure out how she can get to the goodies behind the door.
Always be watchful and attentive. You may think there’s no need for a stair gate yet since your child is rolling over and not yet crawling, but before you know it, and maybe even when your back is turned, they’ll be on the go. We installed the baby gate leading downstairs long before we installed the one leading upstairs, and this worked, for a little while. My daughter was using her walking toy to go back and forth through the living room and kitchen while I sat on the second or third step to watch her. After a couple of laps, she stopped to look at me and got down on the floor to crawl towards me. To my surprise, her next move was to lift her leg right up onto that first step! I quickly debated for a second between letting her continue up the steps since I was right there to see how far she could go and stopping her in her tracks so she knew this was NOT okay. I stopped her, and up went the baby gate for the bottom of the stairs!
What other babyproofing tips do you have?
I’m Laura, a first-time mom, employee of Bright Horizons and a foodie who loves to cook, travel and laugh. In my free time, I like to pretend I know how to use my DSLR like a pro and do basically all things creative (major DIY-er here). I’m excited to share some of the ups-and-downs of parenthood as my husband, two dogs and our newest addition explore life as a family of five!
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