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10 Tips for Baby-Proofing for Your Toddler

>> Oct 15, 2017

So your baby is growing up and beginning to walk! Hurray! New milestones are always such fun! But beware, along with learning to walk, your baby-turned-toddler is also going to be getting into quite a bit of mischief! And that, of course, means that you are going to need to “one-up” your baby proofing game!

But that’s okay because we’ve got you covered! Here are 10 Tips to help you make that important transition so that you can keep your new walker safe and sound at this critical point in his/her development.

Tip #1: Use Stairway Safety
If you haven’t already, it is an absolute MUST that you install permanently mounted baby gates at the top of every set of stairs in your home. You cannot skimp on this area because steps are one of the biggest hazards in a home. A shocking amount of Emergency Room visits are the result of little ones falling down stairwells. Don’t let that happen to your kiddo! Because a pressure-mounted safety gate can technically fail if pushed hard enough (or is fallen against), DO NOT trust one of these types at the top of your stairs. When you screw a gate into the wall, then you can be assured that you have a securely-mounted barrier!

Tip #2: Block off No-No Areas
Sometimes it is just easier and faster to simply restrict your toddler from dangerous areas by installing baby gates in certain sections of your home. These could be hard-to-babyproof rooms, such as the kitchen, office, or laundry. In this case, a simple pressure-mounted gate or three might be the perfect answer. Or maybe you just want to contain your toddler to one main area. One solution that works great for this is a large play yard. By taking this approach, you will have less to mess with in other parts of the house, but keep in mind that toddlers HATE to be restricted! And will do anything in their power to gain a little more freedom. If that seems to be the case with your little lady, you may need to go to the next step.

Related article:Baby Gate Buying Guide

Tip #3: Install Locks
This tip is in reference to your exterior doors. If you can’t keep your walker inside the house, you are going to have bigger problems than just babyproofing. The locks that will keep toddlers contained indoors are installed up high and have nothing to do with the door handles. You may also want to consider a door alarm, in case your toddler also learns to climb.

Tip #4: Attach Devices on Doorknobs
Now we’re talking about all those enticing interior doors that toddlers seem to learn how to open way too soon! These handy items are something you slip over round knobs, which then require you to apply a certain amount of pressure in order to turn the knob underneath. Honestly, they can be so tricky to use that even some adults struggle to use them, especially those of us with small hands! But it sure doesn’t hurt to give ‘em a shot and see if they do the trick for you, at least on your bathroom and bedroom doors!

Tip #5: Put on Protection Pads
No, I don’t mean that you should wear padding...although let’s face it, sometimes being a parent means taking a beating from little fists and feet that can go flying around! Instead, I’m talking about putting bumper pads on all those hard or sharp corners and edges that are such hazards to little ones that are trying so hard to learn how to walk. It is heartbreaking to watch little children wobble and crash against furniture and objects that just aren’t baby-friendly. Soften those spots so that they just bounce off of them instead of getting bruises and cuts!

Tip #6: Secure Cupboards, Cabinets, and Drawers
Once your kiddos begin to walk, there is no stopping them! They will be into EVERYTHING they can. Guaranteed! And for some reason (curiosity to be exact) any area that contains grown-up stuff will become a magnet. So even though you’ve put your items neatly away, don’t think for a moment that Johnny won’t find them! The only thing you can do is to get all the dangerous items (or items you don’t want to be destroyed) way up high or behind locks. These include cleaning chemicals, medications, knives, scissors, batteries, and the like. Don’t hesitate to find a drawer/door locking system that fits your budget and liking, as you will need to make this a top priority.

Tip #7: Remove Window Blind Cords
Too many little ones have become entangled in these death traps not to mention this issue! If you are renting and cannot remove them completely, at the very least, tie them very high up. You might think they are already out of reach, but a toddler with out-stretched arms can reach (or climb) higher than you think. Best idea is just to replace your window coverings with something that does not include the word ‘cord.’ Better safe than sorry.

Tip #8: Look for Topple Hazards
New walkers are often unsteady on their feet and won’t hesitate to grab and hang onto the nearest object. If you have a lamp or a coat tree that isn’t bolted down...time to move it out! Toddlers are also notorious for climbing up shelves and drawers, so that makes tall furniture and the items on top of them dangerous hazards! Use straps to secure TVs, bookshelves, dressers, hutches, and other heavy objects to the wall behind them. Don’t assume that your little tyke will keep his newfound feet on the floor, and even if he did, even the strength in his arms could be enough to cause something to come crashing down.

Tip #9: Deal with Electrical/Fire Dangers
Plug your outlets. Get cords out of reach. Push laptops further back on the desk. Remove curling irons and hairdryers. Unplug and carefully store your clothes iron. Get stove knob covers. Hide matches and lighters. Well, you get the drift. Shocks and fires are just two risks you just don’t want to take. In our modern homes, these are real threats that have to be mitigated. And our curious kids will make this as challenging as possible, as they will be drawn like a moth to a flame. Stay one step ahead of them!

Tip #10: Remove Trip Hazards
Not THAT kind of trip...that’s for another article about baby safety “on the go!” Stumble, trip, fall...that kind. This means that you are probably going to have to bend over way more than is reasonably comfortable. But keeping those toys and pillows, brooms and hoses, rugs and blankets, and other general clutter picked up and out of the way of wobbly legs is just part of regular baby-proofing. It might get old to keep up with, but soon your toddler will be big enough to “help” you keep the floor clear of stuff. Granted, they’ll probably throw more down than they’ll pick up, but hey, that’s just par for the course!

Well, there you go...10 handy tips to help you get all ready for keeping your newly-minted toddlers safe and sound as they get their “sea legs.” It won’t be long before they will be running around and outgrowing the toddler stage. So enjoy it while you can, and…

Happy Baby Proofing!

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