7 answers

Baby on the go....what Should Use to Baby Proof?

My baby is almost 9 months old and just mastered crawling and pulling up and now she is a force to be reckoned with. I need to do some baby proofing and was wondering if I could get some suggestions on what is necessary and what isnt. It seems like you can get scared into overdoing it and I dont want my living room to be a padded cell! Thanks!

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Hi J.,
Since you just moved, and probably everything is still in alot of boxes, It would keep everything tat you don't want broken in boxes or out of reach. Your room may not look as nice as you would have wanted or like but slowly you can put things out if your child doesn't seem interested or decorate and put out all your beautiful things higher. If you have other rooms that the baby can freely be in, gate off that room. I last year was in the same boat as you, new baby, new town and new house. Good luck and enjoy it all!

Hi J.,
I would start with all chemicals and medicines. Lock them up with a baby lock or put them up high in a cabinet where baby can't reach! I would also put all sharp objects as well as heavy ones out of your child's reach. All plugs need to filled with plug covers, babies love cords....make sure all of your cords from lamps, blinds, etc are up high or taped out of reach. I would make sure that you have gates at the bottom and top of stairs or keep doors to downstairs locked and closed. Some babies love toilets because of the water! It only takes one inch of water for them to drown. Keep the lid closed! I would keep a cabinet in the kitchen for baby...fill it with tupperware, measuring cups, etc...babies love to play and bang to make noise. If you have a pool or body of water make sure to have a fenced in area for your baby to keep the away from it. Good Luck!

R. Antkowiak
Discovery Family Child Care
Paxton, MA

Cindy is right. You also need to make sure there is nothing your baby can get that will fit through a toilet paper roll opening. You also need to put up high anything you don't want broken.

hi J.. i actually crawled on the floor to see eye sight as my child would be. That way you can see what the child sees. I read this in Parents magazine in 1997. It works. Always remember stairs, sharp corners on furniture, cabinets should always have locks, the toilet you get a safety mechanism, saftey door knobs because walking isn't that long from now. Well good luck.

J.,
Congrats on your little mover and shaker! When babyproofing, get down on your dd's level by getting on your hands and knees. Follow her and see where her curiosity leads her. And there you will find what you need to do- outlet covers are pretty standard. You can get covers for outlets that have plugs in them, and tuck all cords behind things. Shorten blind cords as well, and be sure they aren't a loop at the end. In the kitchen, lock cupboards that contain things your baby can't have safely. Or, move things around so if she gets into the cabinet or drawer, it's simply pots and pans, or measuring cups and spoons. The stove- they make knob covers, and I chose to get some bc I have a gas stove. In the bathroom- you could lock the cabinets, or just keep towels in there. The toilet is a drowning hazard, so you could lock it. Or, you could put a doorknob cover on the outside of the door and keep it shut. It all depends on how closely and quickly you will be following your child around, ready to help guide her hands away from things you'd rather she not touch, and to be quick if she's unsafe. I would soften hard edges with foam covers on low tables and furniture, and be sure to gate stairs going down (going up you can allow a couple of steps for her to explore, then gate or just be very watchful), and gate off woodstoves and fireplaces if in living areas. Only you can decide how much safety you need, based on how determined dd is, how quick she is and you are, and how much energy you have to put into keeping her out of unsafe situations! And the other moms are right- anchor shelves and furniture. You can get great safety stuff at www.onestepahead.com.

HI J., well, the best way to do it is to get on all fours and crawl around see what your child sees then get to the child proofing. Definitely get gates, especially if you have stairs. Plug covers and outlet covers for outlets with plugs in them. Cord organizer, for computer and stuff like that. Move anything you don't want chewed on, ripped, or ruined up high. We use chairs and heavy stuff to baracade stuff, like the computer and entertainment center. Padding for a fireplace bricks front and/or a gate to go in front. Door knob and stove burner dial covers. Cabinet and drawer locks. We tried the cushioning for around table and pointy furniture, my daughter pulled them off, the adhesive stinks. Hmmm. THey sell locks for the fridge and toiltet but the fridge door is heavy and we keep the bathroom door shut. Also, the baby needs to learn that some stuff isn't safe to do. At 9 mths redirecting is best, but when he/she gets a little older using a certain tone and telling that's not safe will help them learn. Doc's say using NO isn't good, sometimes in an emergency I use it. Good luck, You're gonna need it. My daughter started walking at 10 mths and hasn't stopped yet. : )

Right now you need drawer latches so fingers don't get caught in them, cabinet latches for chemical things under the sink perhaps, a TV button blocker (if your TV is not on the wall) to save your sanity, electric socket covers, and ball door covers so the doors can't be opened. A stove guard, toliet latch, and refrigerator latch will probably be needed in a couple of months if baby shows interest. Make sure your furniture is latched to the wall if it's something baby can climb. Some people will say to pad your coffee table and other sharp edges as well.

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