This is what it really looks like to work from home. He climbs on the table, I yell at him to get down, he starts crying and I'm trying to listen in on a conference call and hold him so he doesn't fall down.
Baby proofing is no joke. Since I work from home, it is super important that my house be insanely baby proofed for a few reasons - we are in the house often, I'm busy juggling a lot at once and sometimes I can't pay as close attention as I would like to. Don't get me wrong, Richie is under constant supervision but for the times I jump on a conference call or have to type an email, my eyes are not glued on him. Its important that I can have a little bit of ease knowing he isn't going to get hurt if I look away for a few seconds.
I always laugh at the moms who say they are going to watch their child and not go crazy with baby proofing. Even if you have help, we all get interrupted from time to time to answer the door or run to grab your phone that's ringing in the other room. It's important and less stressful to know your home is safe. Plus, the constant vigilance of baby-death-and-injury-watch is utterly exhausting.
See below for some tips on how to baby proof and for a list of essentials, check out our 8 Universal Baby Proofing Must-Haves.
Richie getting ahold of the fruit in the kitchen. I allowed him to play with this bowl of fruit but whats important is to pay attention to what they can reach for. He is growing so quickly that he is now able to grab things of the counter.
When to start
You should make your home safe the moment your baby starts sitting up for long periods of time or even before that if you can.
Richie was sitting then started crawled out of nowhere. Just boom. Off to the races. We couldn't believe it. We didn't see it coming and of course, we were rookies so we had to rush to baby proof the entire house which was a little stressful. I'll be honest too. I was procrastinating because I knew I would have to put away a lot of cute decorations and furniture. SO, my advice is don't do what we did and get it done as soon as possible so you don't have to worry or rush.
Lower the crib
We lowered the crib once just before Richie was about to sit on his own then again when he was sitting. As soon as we caught him standing up, we lowered it all the way. Don't wait. Lower it. Better safe than sorry.
Rugs or mats
It takes babies some time to become expert crawlers. I remember Richie getting tired and putting his head down a lot when he first started. We were afraid of him hitting his head on the tile and hardwood floors so we gated the non-carpeted areas until he was crawling for a solid 3 weeks. Then, we let him explore a bit more because we knew he wouldn't hit his head on the harder surfaces. We also put out a colorful play mat for him to crawl on which was cushioned for his protection. If you decide to put down carpets, don't forget non-slip pads.
Store your bag safely
From mints and makeup to loose change and Advil, there are so many hazardous things in my bag so I always store it on top of my dresser in my bedroom. We lock the bedroom door too because its the one room that is completely off limits for Richie. I make it a habit to put it in the same exact spot every day.
For the times I do allow Richie in our bedroom (which is rare), he is into everything including the closets. Even for a room that you mostly keep off limits, it is important to baby proof them anyway.
The dishwasher is so extremely dangerous and corrosive for children - the sharp knives, glass plates and poisonous detergent. In order to keep Richie safe from it, I only load the dishes when he has zero access to it so that means nap time, when he is in his high chair, or when my husband is playing with him in the other room. Its just not worth it for me to turn my back for a second to grab a dish out of the sink and boom, he grabs a knife.
Plastic bags from the grocery store
Throw those bad boys out as soon as you unload your groceries or use cloth or paper bags instead. Reason number 2948846 that I love Traders Joe's - paper bags. I never have to worry about Richie get ahold of a plastic bag and it ending up over his head.
Get down on their level
This seems like a no brainer but its actually a smart thing to do. Get down on their level and look at all the things they can see, touch and grab. This is important to do this at each stage when they are crawling, walking and have the ability to climb. There may be hazards that you don't even know about. For example, Richie is now tall enough to grab things off of the counter so we have to be even more cautious of what we put down and how close we leave it to the edge where he can easily reach it.
I know, just the thought of it is exhausting but it is so necessary. Richie is 15 months old and still sometimes puts random things in his mouth. You'd be surprised how easily something hazardous could fall onto your floor. Loose change from your husband's jeans, a screw from a piece of furniture, the plastic ties from tags on clothing...the list is really endless. I vacuum every single day, sometimes even twice a day. I bought a cordless light weight vaccuum which has been super helpful.
My boy is a climber. I think most boys are so we put safety bars on the windows we tend to keep open to prevent him from falling out - God forbid. Something important to note: safety bars should only be installed in main rooms where you keep windows open. They are not to be put in bedrooms in case of a fire. If you would like to install bars in your child's room, make sure they are the kind that can easily be taken out. If your child's room has more than one window, then I would recommend only putting them in one window so you can free up the other. Its also important to wrap up all the dangling cords to our blinds so that they don't pull the blinds on top of themselves. Long cords can also get caught around their necks so its a good idea to wrap them up so they are out of reach.
Make sure the toilet has a lid lock on it. If your baby pulls themselves up onto the toilet, they can fall in and not know how to get out. There are some scary statistics out there of babies drowning this way. Lock the toilet and if you can, keep the door shut at all times.
He is able to climb now so its important to keep the bathroom door shut but also put a lock on the cabinets that I thought were too high for him to reach.
Cabinets & Drawers
Lock all cabinets and drawers, not just the ones in the kitchen. We locked the cabinets and tried to keep the drawers above them free from lock but as soon as Richie was tall enough, he was also able to open those.
Dresser drawers are important to lock because children not only can open them but pull them hard enough that the dresser falls on top of them. Very scary and it happens way more often then you could imagine. It could also be deadly. Another solution for this is to use a brace that secures the dresser to the wall. There are many companies that sell the hardware for this and some new furniture companies provide the hardware with the dresser. We recently purchased a new dresser from Wayfair that came with the hardware to secure the piece to the wall.
Store away furniture that can be dangerous
For us it was our coffee table because it had sharp edges, it was in the middle of the room he spends the most time in and was easy. It's important to discipline your child and educate them on what is hazardous but its a lot of work to keep out piece of furniture that can put them in harms way.
For a list of essentials, check out our 8 Universal Baby Proofing Must-Haves.
natalie ferro aurigema
Sharing all the things that make me happy through this blog.
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