If you're expecting, or just brought your brand new baby home, you might be starting to pour through articles on how to baby proof your home.
In reality, you still have some time to get on top of this. On average, most babies are crawling by 9 months of age.
But once they do, it's a whole different game. So don't sit on this for too long.
It's Never Too Soon to Think About How to Baby Proof Your Home
Once babies can crawl and pull themselves up, you need to be on constant alert. They will get into things you might never have imagined.
Here are some things you'll need to address:
Babies are intensely curious. So when their fingers aren't rooting around in their mouths, they'll want to stick them in your electrical outlets. Wet fingers and electricity is a dangerous combination.
So unless outlets are way up high or behind heavy furniture, close them off with safety plugs or covers that snap shut when the outlet is not in use.
Just like cats and dogs, infants are also fascinated by cords and wires and like to pull on them. Unlike cats and dogs, an infant can't run when heavy objects come tumbling down.
The best thing to do is hide electrical cords behind furniture or use a hide-a-cord device. Also keep small unplugged appliances - such as toasters and hair dryers - out of reach.
Don't use soft, fluffy bedding such as pillows, comforters, or sheepskins under sleeping or napping babies. These are suffocation hazards.
Crib bumpers are also a risk since they can come loose.
And as sweet and soothing as those mobiles and hanging toys are, once your little one can get up on hands and knees, it's time to get rid of those decorations.
Finally, when your baby is able to pull all the way up in the crib, set the mattress in the lowest position to avoid his or her crawling out.
Babies love to explore, and cabinets are a special kind of magic.
However, cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms often contain potentially poisonous substances and/or sharp objects. So be sure to move all of these to locked cabinets.
Better yet, you can make all of your cabinets lockable by purchasing childproof safety latches. Because sometimes something that's seemingly safe may turn out to be dangerous in the hands of an infant.
Those little ones are going to climb whenever they get a chance. So you'll need to secure unstable wall units, dressers, tables or bookcases so they don't topple over when the baby tries to climb.
Also, any sharp-edged tables or other furniture should be covered with cushioned strips or padded guards to protect your crawler.
Babies are going to be drawn to your houseplants. They're so tantalizing.
But aside from their being a risk if your crawler tries to pull one down, they're also potentially poisonous. So keep them out of reach. Hanging those plants is a good idea.
Enjoy the Ride!
While it's a lot of work baby proofing everything, try to remember that these days will pass quickly. So enjoy them. Soon enough you'll be thinking about preschool!
And while this list isn't completely exhaustive when it comes to how to baby proof your home, it'll get you off to a solid start.
Don't forget to check back with our blog for more great tips!