Leyton’s Mumma Says…
We went to a Baby-Proofing class when Leyton was teeny and I remember thinking it was pointless as he couldn’t even roll yet, what danger could he be in?! But actually you are better off being prepared and baby-proof before they reach these milestones as even the simplest floor lamp you’ve had in your lounge for years could now prove dangerous to your baby.
The best advice I got was to get onto the floor and see what your baby sees, as it’s the easiest way to spot potential dangers. Imagine You Are Your Child (she says in her best hypnotising magician voice) and see what looks the most fun and mischievous to a baby. At each milestone you need to re-evaluate your living space… is each room safe for your little one and their new capabilities?
BABY PROOFING – ROLLING
If they are learning to roll, imagine what would happen if they rolled from one side of the lounge to the other….
- Are there any pens or coins under the sofa their little hands could reach and put in their mouth / eye?
- Are there any tiny screws or sharp objects sticking out of skirting board or connecting carpet?
- Are there wires dangling a little from behind the tv that look fun to pull at (a potential strangling / falling object danger)?
- No more putting drinks or plates of food on the floor whilst you do things either!
You get the idea.
I found Leyton went from taking ages to barely master rolling onto his stomach, to then being a fast rolling ninja in a matter of days covering a long distance! No longer was it safe to just lay him on his soft play mat surrounded by his favourite toys whilst I nipped to the kitchen to turn the kettle on, he would have moved by the time I returned! It also means if you ever chanced putting your baby in the middle of your kingsized bed whilst you got changed, don’t attempt it now as rolling off the bed can really hurt! I always kept it simple and kept him on floor level where possible so there was no chance of falling off anything. We either anchored floor items like lamps behind other bits of furniture, or removed them from the floor completely. I also put up stairgates at this point as rolling = rolling down the stairs too!
BABY-PROOFING – CRAWLING
This has similar dangers to the Rolling stage so if you got savvy when your baby rolled you should still be ok. But as a self-proclaimed germ-o-phobe I did start hovering and Dettol-Floor-wiping every morning as the crawling means they are on their tummies with their hands free to pick things up and try out anything regardless if it’s dirty.
When his neck got tired he would also faceplant the floor giving it a nice kiss, and crawling often means their hands are all over your flooring so considering we have 2 dogs and dog hairballs often mysteriously appear out of nowhere, I felt it important to blitz the floors each morning to at least give Leyton a clean slate each day! Obviously a bit of dirt is helpful to their immune system so I wasn’t trying to create a completely sterile environment, just as clean as can be considering I was still sterilising his bottles etc. Again, it’s just worth going round each room and being aware they could crawl under your tables/ chairs, into the dog bed or cat litter or just generally right behind you so you almost step backwards onto them!!
BABY-PROOFING – CRUISING / STANDING
When babies learn to stand and then cruise along furniture it often become something they fixate on, practicing this new talent over and over again. On anything.
So keep an eye on things that are not that sturdy for when your baby grabs hold to pull themselves up and actually it starts to mis-balance and topple towards them. Generally when your baby is mastering a new skill is a good time to grow eyes on the back of your head and watch every move as they could get into predicaments you might not even imagine. Leyton did go through a phase of trying to stand up using our spaniel as a stool, and although he was obliging and Leyton wasn’t using much force I had to keep removing him, repeating to Leyton not to follow Dexter and climb up on him, the doggy doesn’t like it.
Generally the cruising / standing phase is where you need to take note your baby is about to start falling over a lot more. We have laminate in our lounge and within a couple of days I’d had enough of the panicking and gone out to buy a giant soft rug to fill the majority of floor space, along with a foam jigsaw mat which could act as a some cushioning too.
Corners are also a hazard – that’s why there are a few types of Corner Guards out there, plastic covers to put over your table corners which are seem to bizarrely be just the same height as your child’s temples. You’ll find these will come off when your baby makes a bee-line for them and gives them a tug, but it’s always worth putting these back on and moving the baby to another area. If you find some that really stick on well, please comment below and share your findings!! If like me you found them non-so-sticky after a while, then I recommend buying some thin double sided tape as I found this good to reapply.
This is the time to get all baby-proofing stuff completely done. Clippasafe Cupboard Locks are another thing that are vital, before you know it they could have used their new skills to crawl into the kitchen, pull themselves up to standing and realise they can pull and open cupboards… so start by making sure cupboards with dangerous things such as chemicals / washing products etc have Child Locks on, and then move round your room securing anything below waist height that you don’t want your baby getting into.
The pack we bought as a good start was the Lindam Home Safety Kit for a fiver from www.asda.com, description below which summarises what you need as a minimum I think:
“The Lindam Home Safety Kit contains a selection of 21 locks and guards to minimise the hazards in your home.
Its an essential pack for all family homes which contains the following items:
- 1 x Door Stopper – a great fitting device to prevent doors slamming shut and trapping little fingers
- 1 x Multi-purpose latch – ideal for restricting access to appliances or cupboards
- 4 x Corner Cushions – ideal for cushioning the top and bottom of sharp corners on tables, desks, book shelves etc
- 4 x UK Socket Covers – a simple but essential safety product designed to present children poking fingers or objects in the plug sockets
- 4 x EU Socket Covers
- 1 x appliance latch – specially designed to restrict a child’s access to potentially dangerous appliances or cupboards with hazardous contents
- 6 x Cupboard and drawer catches – which help prevent accidents by keeping children out of cabinets and drawers which contain hazardous items.”
And then you can just build on it… I have since got some more Baby safety Door Stoppers and my dad has given me a bag of over 20 socket covers he kept from my baby days 🙂 Plenty to distribute around the house and Grandparents houses when we stay.
This also means your toys change too so when they are approaching the standing stage you may find yourself getting more and more toys to offer standing /walking support along with the floor rugs so your lounge may resemble mine…look out for our future blog on walking and standing toys!
BABY-PROOFING – WALKING
This is full blown toddler territory – walking and moving around everywhere. Note: nowhere is safe now. Leyton was very unsteady at first and often tried to literally run before he could walk (toddling faster and faster until falling over, with Mumma telling him he hadn’t practised enough to try and go that fast!)
It’s not all doom and gloom though as you will soon get used to this minimalist view, and before long your little candles and pretty floor lamps that you had to remove will be replaced with toys and toy storage boxes if they haven’t already and you’ll soon forget you even had them out! And also, this stage is incredibly fun, when your little cute rolling baby has transformed into a walking babbling mini-human, it is pretty adorable.
Although Leyton is getting more mischievous by the day, it’ so wonderful to see his personality develop and see his mind work things out and clever little ways to push the boundaries. I keep reminding myself when he does something that borders on naughty, that actually I prefer him having a personality and ways of learning right from wrong, than a boring insipid child with no interest in the world. The child safety aspect I feel was so crucial for a few weeks after each stage then you and the child get used to their new state-of-play and it becomes less of an issue. At 18 months I no longer have corner covers on and have stopped following him around ready to catch him if he falls over (Ok, I admit I still do this outside on hard floors, sorry can’t help myself.) SO embrace your little Walker, invest in some reins (we got Red Kite Harness & Reins ones which are really good) and good luck!
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