First-time moms and dads can spend hundreds or even thousands on the latest safety gear and the “installation experts” that come with it. But you don’t have to dig in your couch cushions for every spare penny. Babyproofing is simple if you follow a few basic guidelines, have some simple items on hand, and use common sense.
In our home, we started with a simple childproofing kit that we keep handy to address any new problems that arise with our child or a foster child. This kit has electrical outlet covers, door knob covers, and safety latches. In addition, we bought a baby gate. We also consider our smoke alarm, window screens, and our brains to be part of this “kit” that really helps keep the whole family safe.
When expecting our first foster child, we were required to move all chemicals and sharp objects to upper cabinets in the kitchen. That’s just smart, not to mention easy. The more difficult task was placing required safety latches on the lower kitchen and bathroom cabinets. They were easy to install, but it took some time to get accustomed to them. However, they did prove useful when splitting attention between two toddlers who were exploring in different directions!
As time went on, we added a few latches here and there. One of the most helpful was on our curio cabinet which contains a lot of colorful glass and small objects, to which one toddler was especially fascinated. While nursing my bio daughter, it was difficult to chase the other kid, and this one particular latch proved to be a lifesaver time and again.
Door knob covers were helpful for keeping an adventurous new walker in the bedroom at night, instead of roaming the house while mom and dad were sleeping. We still keep one on our utility closet door, due to extremely hot water pipes and a very curious child. That goes along with electrical sockets- Hence the need for covers here and there where they catch the attention of little eyes and insertion of whatever object is in her hand.
The kit contained some double zip-tie devices that were handy for closing up cabinets, but not so easy access for us adults! We only used these on objects that would not easily work with a more permanent latch, which require tools and screws.
In the end, I don’t know if the required babyproofing or all the required safety devices made much of a difference. Of course, smoke alarms and a baby gate at the top of the stairs, as well as minimizing access to chemicals is a no-brainer. However, the most valuable fixes were made after discovering a previously unsuspected hazard, like that curio cabinet. This required my husband and I, as parents, to constantly supervise and observe the girls playing and moving around our home, and use basic reasoning to address any problems that arose.
Some people do no babyproofing at all, when it comes to buying a special kit or installing gear made just for little ones. This is OK, too, as long as parents are good observers and use common sense. Every parent out there needs to remember that part of safety involves modeling safe living skills and patiently teaching the little ones in our care those habits. The world beyond your door isn’t baby proofed, and one day your child will be venturing out into it.
Rose Hollo lives in the Midwest where she is a freelance writer, has a degree in Holistic Health and her Masters in Digital and Social Media Marketing. She runs her business Everything’s Rosy Digital Marketing,http://www.everythingrosy.com and cares for her family including a husband, toddler daughter, and Thai exchange student.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Rose Hollo and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Rose Hollo. Consult with your own medical provider regarding your individual health questions or concerns.