Your Baby’s on the Move: Baby-Proofing Your House
Once your little one starts crawling, it's a whole new ballgame. My daughter went from just starting to try to move, to crawling like a champ, within just days. My husband even said that he felt like a new parent all over again! So did I. And we got a crash course in the importance of baby proofing.
The first thing we learned was that if there is anything you don't want your baby to touch or chew on lying around, that's the first thing they'll make a beeline for. Make sure your floors and low shelves are free from any little items that could be choking hazards. Tie up extra lengths of electrical cords with twist ties. Put breakable items far from your baby's reach.
Next, use those plastic plug protectors for outlets. For some reason, outlets are pretty interesting to babies. You never know when they'll have the urge to lick one or shove a toy in one.
Use baby gates for any room that's off-limits or for stairwells. You may be excellent at keeping a watchful eye on your baby, but it just takes seconds for them to take a nasty tumble. Better safe than sorry.
Either use childproofing locks on your kitchen cabinets or be sure to place household cleaners and chemicals in a top cupboard. Even if your baby can't figure out how to open a bottle of cleaner, there are usually some chemicals on the outside of the nozzle or opening that they can easily suck on.
If you have furniture with sharp edges and corners, like coffee tables or end tables, then you can either constantly be watching your baby to ensure they don't ram into it, or you can put something protective over the corners or edges. You'd think they'd veer away from obstacles, but sometimes they just put their little heads down and go full force. You can use bubble wrap or foam that you can purchase from a hardware store or be inventive. Hey, I wouldn't judge someone if I saw duct tape and a receiving blanket wrapped around the corners of a coffee table!
Keep indoor plants out of reach. Plants are also very intriguing to little ones, and intriguing things usually end up in the mouth. Many plants are poisonous to babies and pets; take some time to learn about your plants, if you don't know much about them already. Google is your friend.
Lastly, keep mini-blind and curtain cords up or shorten them. There's a reason all window accessories now come with warnings.
Good luck to all of you whose babies are about to venture into the new world of mobility. It's a little exhausting at first, but you'll love watching them motor all around your home. Just be sure to create a safe environment for them to explore.