In many ways, when it comes to baby proofing, less is more. You want to keep your children safe but you also want to teach them enough about the world that they won't be in danger the second they step outside your home. Here are some great initial ways to get your house ready for a little one's arrival.
Now, this doesn't mean that you have to place so many blockages around your home that you start to feel as though you're living in the Kingston Penitentiary. But having a gate around can certainly come in handy. Any time your baby is awake, you will of course want him/her to be in the same room as you while you're in the house. A gate makes this easy. You can let your little one roam around the kitchen while you get the cooking done without turning around to discover a little bum scuttling towards the stairs.
An easy way to keep your child constantly entertained is by giving the little one a drawer of his/her very own in each room. Thanks to the wonder of kids' imaginations, this doesn't mean you have to keep actual toys all over the house. Use a bottom drawer in the kitchen to store Tupperware that you don't mind being played with; move your hand towels from the hall closet to the cupboard under the sink in your bathroom; start keeping your old socks and T-shirts in the more easily accessible drawers of the bedrooms. Any time your baby starts meandering towards something you don't want played with, gently draw his/her attention back to the appropriate play space.
There are some items in your home that just aren't worth taking a risk with. Sure, our grandmothers can talk about the days when children were left to wander about the home freely — but they didn't have an abundance of electrical wiring and gallons of poisonous cleaning products to deal with. There's no getting around the fact that sockets do need to be covered and hazardous chemicals should be moved to the highest shelves you have available. These are fixes that take minutes but will make you feel a whole lot better about your child's safety.
And always remember — aim to divert rather than to say no. If your baby is trying to get into the sharp cutlery drawer, rather than yelling and shocking your wee one, quickly draw his/her attention to some magnets on the fridge or a noise-making pot and pan. The younger they are, the more effective this method will be as they are easily enthralled by that which enthralls others.
With the developments going on in the world of child safety, there are always going to be new products and research to consider. But if you stay knowledgeable and trust your instincts you are sure to create the perfect safe space for your child.
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