Seriously. Five. Years.
My kid is capable of spy like tactics when it comes to getting what he wants. Something tells me, I'll be babyproofing for many more years to come. Basically, as long as it's needed to keep my son (and me!) safe, I'll be doing it. The knives are still on top of the refrigerator.
Without further ado, CHILDPROOF! Below are my best tips for keeping your family safe.
- Plug up the outlets-Plug 'em up with child-safety plug covers before your baby tries to do it for you. Make sure you plug up EVERY outlet in your house, even the ones above the kitchen counter/bench tops.
- Cut the hangman's noose- all drapery cords with loops must be cut open to prevent strangulation. And the little plastic pulls at the bottom should be removed to prevent a choking hazard.
- Cover the cords- EVERYTHING finds it's way in your child's mouth, it's a fact of life, so make sure to secure all electrical cords with electrical tape or those fancy wire tube jobs. We ran a bunch of cords under the rug, or used clear duct tape along the bottom of the baseboards.
- Alert the glasses-Put bright colorful stickers on glass doors so your crazy runner will know to stop! Seriously, do this, or face daily forehead goose eggs. Also, some screen doors can pop out super easy, so if you leave yours open often, look into a safety gate or restraint system for your sliding glass/ screen doors.
- Doors- Keep the front door locked at all times. And NEVER leave the key in the lock. Even if your little one cannot reach the door knob or deadbolt today, a toy or growth spurt can change that overnight. NOTE: There are door knob covers available, but all three of my nephews outsmarted them and so did Ollie, so you may just want to add a latch to the top of the door or
- a gate.
- Remove the rubber tips from the door stoppers- They are a HUGE choking hazard. It all starts when your baby realizes he can pull them and they will make a funny noise. Eventually, the rubber cap comes off and makes it into your child's mouth. That sucks, so be proactive on this one. Trust me.
- Windows- There are all kinds of child proof locks and bars and such for childproofing the windows and screens. Most of all, make sure all chairs, or things your child can use to as a step, are far from the windows, ESPECIALLY when open! Windows are often an overlooked point of danger, make sure you secure them one way or another.
- Know your house plants- House plants are a huge poison danger. Make sure you know what kinds you have and if they pose a threat to children and pets.
- Soften up the edges-Cover the corners of the coffee and end tables with specially made corner and rail covers. (Or, go ghetto like we did and use the crib bumpers. I mean, since you are not allowed to use them in the crib, might as well use the somewhere else! We just tied them around the table.) The rubber table edges below are easy to connect and don't damage the furniture
- Cover those Cords, Outlets & Power Strips- Enough said.
- Secure the TVs, Bookshelves, and Hanging Frames to the wall. Anchor those suckers down like you expect an earthquake at anytime... because really, an earthquake is the same thing as a toddler.
- Lock up the Oven-Ollie actually pulled the door down on his head. Needless to say, the latch is ALWAYS in the lock position now.
- Cook on the BACK burners first- Cook on the back burners first, with the handles facing away from you. If you have to cook on the front burners, of course set the pot handles away from you, but you might want to be on the safe side and use a gate to keep the little bugger out if you can. NEVER hold your baby while you are cooking, one kick of the foot and it's o.v.e.r.
- Latch everything that opens- Latch all of the cupboards, doors and drawers. Luckily the latches are not that difficult to install, and become second nature to use after a few days.
- Hide your knob-Cover the oven knobs with specially made knob covers so bub doesn't decide to start cooking before you do!
- If it's hot, hide it- Don't leave anything hot on the edge or even a few inches from the edge of the counter tops. Also, I have to say this... don't carry your baby while holding anything scalding hot.
- Slippery when wet- Best to limit walking in bathrooms for new walkers, and use slip proof rugs. Also, install a slip proof surface in your bathtub. There are really cool slip proof stickers available for tubs and showers.
- Put the toilet lid on lock down-Unless you are particularly fond of fishing, get a toilet lock.
- Soften the spout-Get covers for both the tub spout and knobs. Get good ones, you will need them for many years.
- Hide the soap- Get a shower head hanging basket or something that keeps the soaps high and out of reach.
- Keep the door closed- While doing the above is important, make it a point to keep the door closed whenever possible to avoid, slips, bangs, toys in the toilet and soap chugging. It only takes 5 seconds for a toddler to achieve all of those things!
- Keep the door open-Slip a cloth diaper over the top of the door to keep your child from shutting the door. This will also help to prevent both slamming fingers in the door and pinching them in the hinges.
- Clear the decks-Keep all surfaces including end tables and dressers free of clutter. Small items (Dads that means coins!) and heavy items should be pushed to the back, and don't forget to secure those bedside lamps!
- Crop the curtains-Be mindful of the curtains becoming a climbing rope, or worse pulling the blinds and window treatments down. Remember: Cut the cord loops on blinds and remove the plastic pulls.
- Stoop to their level-Get down on all fours so you are at toddler eye level, then crawl around on the floor from room to room, looking for things to choke on, pull down, or cause havoc with.
- Lean it back-Use furniture shims or door stoppers to tilt furniture back at a slight angle so your little 007 cannot pull it forward.
- There is no such thing as common sense-It's important to note that babies and toddlers have no common sense, so never let your guard down.
- You can never be too safe- Full Stop.
- Childproofing is a process, not an event-According to a good friend and mother of four adult children, she insists that babyproofing becomes toddler-proofing, which becomes childproofing and then ultimately teen-proofing. She warned that you will not be finished kid proofing until the last one moves out... but not to let your guard down for too long because they will have kids, and you will be back at square one, babyproofing...
- Look for complete Childproofing kits, you can save a bundle in the long run.
MIRAS Wall Protector for Pressure Safety Gates with 6 pieces Plug Covers with key and 4 pieces Edge Guards