Hooray, your little one is rolling, crawling, and maybe even taking first steps! Watching your munchkin become mobile is a huge thrill. Yet after the initial excitement, alarm may rapidly set in. Are the outlets covered? Lamp cords, cleaning products, and kitty litter safely out of reach? Set your mind at ease with these 6 basic baby-proofing tips from Circle of Moms members.
1. Outlet and Cord Coverings
Covering electrical outlets and cords is a critical baby-proofing step. As Ashley H. advises: “The safety outlet covers are useful — especially for VERY curious young ones.” Many moms recommend covers that plug straight into the outlet and require long fingernails to remove; others suggest sturdy box covers for toddlers who enjoy yanking cords.
2. Baby Gates
Baby gates are ideal for blocking off rooms or dangerous stairs. As Sara D. explains: “I do plan on putting a gate up at her door because it’s right at the top of the stairs and I don’t want to find out that she can climb out of her crib by her falling down the stairs.” Marie C. agrees: “I have a longer gate installed at the entrance to the kitchen and then a shorter, more portable one for bedroom doors."
3. Cabinet Latches and Locks
“A cabinet latch is not really neat looking, but essential for keeping cleaners, detergents, etc. out of kids' reach” shares Ande L. “There's only so much you can move up and out of the way.” Circle of Moms members like Natasha F. tout the U-shaped slider lock models: “I second the recommendation on the U-shaped slider locks for double cabinets, they're easy for me and hard for him." Magnetic locks also earn high praise. As Laura B. shares: "They're awesome. The only way you can open them is if you use the magnetic key that comes with the kit.”
4. Anchor Furniture and Pad Sharp Edges
Sharp edges and falling objects also pose dangers for babies on the move. As Christine R. shares: “My son has started climbing on low furniture like the coffee table and end tables, so make sure that any furniture like this is steady, doesn't have anything in reach for your child, and also doesn't have pointy edges for your child to hit her head on when she's either passing by or losing her balance." Amanda S. agrees: “We make sure that any furniture that can be tipped over (i.e. bookshelves, dressers, TV stands) are anchored to the wall.”
5. Move Pet Items Out of Reach
To prevent your little explorer from crawling around in the kitty litter, many moms advise moving pet items clearly out of reach. As Angel S. suggests: “Try moving it somewhere that you'll be able to block off. Laundry rooms are good, bathrooms (too) depending on the layout."
6. Pack up Heirlooms
“If you're going to cry if it gets broken, put it out of reach,” advises Tanya R., a mom of two and one of many moms who say that accidents are inevitable. Her advice also reinforces a basic lesson of baby-proofing: Your common sense is just as important as any tricked-out baby-proofing gadget!