Before anything else — congratulations on your bundle of joy! Ah, the rewarding experience of early parenthood. There’s nothing quite like seeing a human you created come into her own… despite the agony from sleepless nights and figuring out what on earth you’re supposed to do, mostly on the fly.
But like many things in life, you just have to manage and prepare for what’s to come. And not for long, you’ll be dealing with a curious little inquisitor ready to absorb and learn from her surroundings. Like what the electrical sockets do. Or how toilet water tastes like.
Yes, it’s never too early to baby-proof the house. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a step-by-step guide!
It’s tummy time! At around 3 to 4 months old, your baby can crane her neck and support her head while on prone position. Soon enough, at 5 or 6 months, she’ll be rolling around the floor. Keep her surroundings safe with this checklist you can prepare from the newborn phase up to this point:
- Sturdy crib with a firm mattress without bulky toys, blanket, or pillows that can suffocate
- Bed railing
- Soft floor mat with bumpers or cushioned play yard
- Keep all small parts and choking hazards away from play zones, including toys with tiny parts
- Bathtub with padded seat or net attachment
- Wide-legged chair for baby booster or stable high chair with seat belt
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
From scooting with her tummy, rolling over, to sitting up, your baby at 6 to 10 months can now carry her weight with her chubby hands and knees. You‘ve got yourself a crawling machine you bet will exhaust this newfound way of getting around. Save yourself from the internal screams of no, stop, and don’ts with these:
- Door stoppers
- Electrical outlet covers
- Chemicals, medicines, breakables, sharp objects, and choking hazards stored in locked cabinets, high shelves, or no-child-zones (like the laundry room)
- Safety locks for drawers, cabinets, cupboards, and toilet seats
- Appliances properly stored or secured in place
- Cushion guards for table edges, chairs, and corners
- Strings from blinds and curtains, and other suffocation hazards like grocery bags, tied properly or stored safely
- Don’t leave buckets with water in the bathroom or anywhere around the house
- Inflatable bathtub (do not leave baby unattended!)
At 6.5 to 8 months (yes, it can be that soon!) your master crawler may also practice and experiment on standing aided by furniture around her. When she’s ready, she’ll grab on and take a few steps and will master pulling herself up to stand until 10 months. As she becomes more mobile through crawling and now cruising, baby proofing grows with her, taking into consideration what’s on her line of sight and reaching capacity, not forgetting her climbing prowess at this stage.
- Door, window, and refrigerator latches
- Safety gates
- Anchor down furniture
- Padded mats on stairs
- Anti-slip rubber add-ons for carpets, mats, chairs, and tables
- Glued or taped picture frames, ceramics, and small decor
- Window and glass door decals to avoid them running into clear glass
- Padded faucet covers
- Anti-slip and padded bath mats
- Boxes in play areas for packing away toys and clutter they can step on
- Locked no-child-zones
- Wi-Fi capable nanny cams placed on high areas away from their reach
With this checklist, you can let your child learn through sensory experiences (the best way they can master their milestones) without holding them back. So go and let your tiny human run wild and free… well, safely that is!
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