Is your baby learning to take her first steps? Do you have a toddler in the making? Exciting times ahead! Now, let’s get the house safe and ready for your new little walker!
First, make sure you put bumper pads on any hard, sharp corners or edges...think coffee tables, end tables, fireplace hearth, piano bench, etc…
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Second, if you haven’t already, make sure you install a permanently-mounted baby gate at the top of any stairway in your home. Eliminate the risk of a nasty fall!
Third, partition off any rooms or areas that could present a hazard to a toddler. This could be the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, or the bottom of the stairs. Use appropriate baby gates depending on the area. Do you need a play yard, a retractable gate, or a basic pressure-mounted safety gate?
Fourth, install special locks on exterior doors that are designed to keep your child from escaping when you aren’t looking! If you have a regular Houdini on your hands, consider investing in a door alarm that will alert you if Johnny heads outdoors without your permission.
Fifth, attach door knob devices that will keep your little ‘walking wonder’ from entering or exiting interior spaces that you don’t want to lock. Since these are designed to make regular door knobs baffling to a toddler, it is an easy way to confine them to certain areas.
Sixth, if you haven’t done it previously, it is critical that you take the time to put cabinet door and drawer locks into place! Anything that is dangerous and not behind a locked door needs to go WAY up high, beyond reach. This includes all medications, chemicals, and sharp items, like scissors or knives.
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Seventh, remove anything that can topple over if your toddler might use it to grab onto to pull up or steady herself. This could be a lamp, a decorative statue or planter, coat tree, or other such items
Eighth, get cords off the floor! Little children who are unsteady on their feet can easily come entangled in or trip over these. Once you clear the area of these hazards, double check that you’ve plugged or covered the outlets with safety devices, so your kiddo doesn’t get zapped!
Ninth, even if you’ve already tied your window blind cords up high, double check them. A toddler can reach a lot higher than a baby, so make sure they can’t reach them, even when standing on their tippy toes.
Tenth, clean up the floor of clutter. Shoes, toys, brooms, vacuum hoses, etc… are other risk factors for tripping a toddler. If you must leave something on the floor, try something soft, such as pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals...at least they would cushion the fall!
Bonus Tip: Even if something can’t hurt your toddler, consider that they are very good at being destructive. With that consideration, remove anything from their reach that you don’t want ruined!
Many kiddos, once up on their toes, can reach onto tables, desks, and counters...so remove important papers, phones, laptop computers (personal experience!), pens & markers (imagine that mess!), purses, wallets, or paper money (not a lesson you want to have to personally learn!), CDs and DVDs, and anything else you don’t want falling into the hands of a curious little person who is all about discovery!