I have to be honest – when it comes to baby proofing my house, I am months behind. I am less of a “lets bubble wrap everything” and more of a “oh, so now that’s a problem” kind of mom. I'm diligent with supervision, I have those plastic plug protector doodads, but otherwise, I'm flying by the seat of my pants, my lucky boy. I'm sure the internet is full of lists of products to buy and items to get rid of, but that’s not always realistic. You can very quickly drop a boat load of cash on a protective item, only to have your daughter injure herself with her own spill-proof sippy cup. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider (or not) when it comes to safeguarding your space.
Major falls are a major problem:
Whether you use baby gates or some other method, preventing large falls is essential. I’m not talking about the standard toddler misjudging the distance to the walker type falls. I mean stairs and other big drops. Making sure junior doesn’t tumble to the basement chasing the cat, or decide to climb the bookshelf while you make coffee. You can’t always secure them somewhere like a crib or playpen and expect them to be entertained. Playtime is a lot less stressful when access to other rooms and floors is limited.
If they can grab it, it goes in their mouths:
Common sense maybe, but it’s not that simple. I locked up my chemicals, and removed small objects (like batteries and nail files) from my coffee table. What I didn't anticipate he’d be interested in was; computer cables, couch fluff, cat food, my cell phone… the list goes on and on. I actually lay on my belly in the living room one day and imagined the number of items that he could (read: would) put in his face if he had the chance. It was a little frightening. Do your best to separate your room in two horizontally. If you need an item in that room, and you don’t want your baby to use as a teether, it should probably be locked up or on the upper half. It doesn't hurt to know a little infant CPR either. Any skill you can have to save your child's life, no matter where you are, is a good one.
Heat and water can kill in seconds:
No matter how relaxed I am about minor falls and other random baby klutziness, the two places I never mess around are the bathroom and the kitchen. If you are cooking, and also need to attend to your son or daughter, be sure to secure them in a high chair or playpen at a safe distance. Also, remember to prepare everything for bath time before your child is in the tub. Walking away for a towel or a ducky, even just for a moment is a serious, serious risk.
Small accidents are going to happen, and you can't protect you child from every knee scuffed at the park, or from playing with other children, frankly. Buy some fun bandages, take a deep breath, and move on. In your home, however, you want to be able to relax a little. That might mean a more practical coffee table, and putting away your shoes. It just shouldn't mean living in a bouncy castle until they go off to college.