Babyproofing from Six Months and Beyond

girl-reaching-stoveThe best time to begin childproofing your home is before your child is born. Click here for the babyproofing steps you can take from pregnancy to five months of age.

Once Baby reaches six months old, it’s time to get down on the floor and crawl through it from your child’s point of view. Only then can you notice potential dangers you might otherwise miss.

Six to Twelve Months

Most babies learn to crawl during this period, and many pull themselves up, begin to cruise or even take those first steps. Look out! Now that Baby is really mobile, everything is a potential hazard. It’s time to step the childproofing up a notch and expand your range just as he expands his.

Main Living Areas

  • Install baby gates at the top and bottom of stairwells and at entrances into un-childproofed rooms.
  • Keep doors to bathrooms, laundry room and garage closed, and install doorknob safety covers on all doors to keep your child from opening them.
  • Install window guards on all windows. Move furniture away from windows so your child can’t use it for climbing.
  • Tie up cords (or use cord wind ups) from drapery or window blinds so that they’re well out of your baby’s reach.
  • Secure bookcases and other top-heavy furniture to the walls, especially ones that might topple over or inspire climbing. Keep heavy items on the floor or stowed away.
  • Clear tabletops of anything breakable, chokeable or potentially dangerous.
  • Use safety straps for flat-screen TVs or mount them to the wall. Keep remote controls out of reach (children can remove the door to the batteries).
  • To prevent new walkers from tripping, use duct cord covers to contain areas where several electrical cords may run across the floor.
  • Cordon off the fireplace and hearth with a screen or fence that mounts to the wall — free-standing screens can topple over and hurt your baby. Keep matches and other fireplace tools out of reach.

Kitchen and Dining Areas

  • Keep those childproof latches on all reachable cabinets. You can create a child-friendly lower cabinet in the kitchen or dining area filled with child-safe pots and pans, plastic containers or toys. This can keep him entertained while you’re cooking. (Choose a cabinet that is out from underfoot and far away from the stove.)
  • Install stovetop knob covers, a plastic stove guard to block burner access, and appliance latches for the oven door and refrigerator. Set the child safety lock option on your dishwasher or use multipurpose safety latches, which are handy for securing many household items.
  • Keep kitchen knives, scissors and other unsafe items out of reach.
  • Remove any tablecloths since your child can pull them (and whatever’s on them) down onto herself. Never leave anything hanging over the counter that can be pulled down by your child.
  • Make trashcans and recycle bins inaccessible, or use a trashcan with a child safety latch.

Other Areas

  • Remove crib bumpers, large toys or anything that your child could use to help him climb out of his crib. Keep the crib in the center of the bedroom or away from any windows or climbing surfaces.
  • Use a toilet seat lock in all bathrooms. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the toilet is an often overlooked drowning hazard.
  • Use a toilet paper guard to prevent little ones from rolling out the entire roll of paper. Store toilet brush and bathroom cleaners out of reach.

Toddlerhood 

  • Consider moving your child from a crib to a bed when he persists in trying to climb out of the crib. Most kids move to a bed between 18 months and three years. Use a bed safety rail to keep him from falling out of bed.
  • Put childproof latches on ALL cabinets, even if you think it’s high enough. Resourceful toddlers can move chairs to climb up and access higher cabinets.
  • If you have guns in the house, keep them unloaded, locked away and inaccessible. Lock bullets away in a separate space.

Image: pekekos.com

 


About
Donna DeForbes is a writer, designer and the force behind Eco-Mothering.com, a blog that explores ways to make going green fun and easy for the whole family. She is the author of the e-book, “The Guilt-Free Guide to Greening Your Holidays.” Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Toys for Learning: Six Months to Two Years | Life'n Stats - February 5, 2015

    […] baby is on the move now, whether he’s crawling, cruising or walking. (Be sure to babyproof your home if you haven’t already.) Your little one’s cognitive and problem-solving skills have improved, […]

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