Though watching your baby learn to walk is very exciting, it can also be nerve wracking. If your little one has taken his or her first steps, or will soon, it is time to childproof your home. Go through the house room by room, identify any potential sources of injuries and address them.
Eliminate Tripping Hazards
Get rid of anything that might cause your baby to trip and fall, such as throw rugs. Remove other obstacles and clutter and create clear pathways so your baby can get around without tripping.
Secure Anything That Could Fall
Toddlers often use furniture to pull themselves up to a standing position. Make sure dressers and bookcases are anchored to the walls so they can’t come crashing down and injure your baby. Remove any objects from the tops of tables so your baby doesn’t accidentally pull them down. Place any breakable objects and plants out of their reach.
After your baby has learned how to walk, he or she may soon figure out how to climb. If your house has stairs, your toddler will want to climb them. Set up baby gates at the top and bottom, but still keep a close eye on your little one, since toddlers often try to climb gates.
Secure Windows and Doors
Window screens are not strong enough to prevent a fall. If your house has upstairs windows, install window guards and move any furniture away from windows so your baby can’t climb up on it.
Keep doors that lead to the yard or garage locked. You can also use childproof door knob covers to keep your toddler in the house and out of certain rooms.
Lock Down the Kitchen and Bathrooms
Install safety latches on the refrigerator and oven doors, cabinets and drawers, and use guards on the stove and oven knobs. Put small kitchen and bathroom appliances in cabinets or on shelves instead of leaving them on counters. Install a safety lock on the toilet. Make sure any hazardous substances, such as cleaning supplies, shampoo and medications, are stored in places where your baby cannot reach them.
Protect Your Toddler From Other Dangers
Remove furniture with sharp corners or put padding on the corners to protect your baby from injuries in the event of a fall. Block radiators, heaters and fireplaces with screens or baby gates, or block off the rooms where they are located all together. Use outlet covers or furniture to block electrical outlets. Scour your house for choking hazards and remove potentially dangerous objects.
Look at Your Home Through Your Baby’s Eyes
A toddler’s newfound mobility will bring the urge to explore. Get on your hands and knees and look at your home from the perspective of your baby. Never underestimate the curiosity and determination of a toddler. Look for all the ways that he or she could potentially get injured and eliminate risks as much as possible.