Safe exploring: Tips for your new crawler

Most babies start to crawl at about 8 months and some will get moving even sooner. A crawling baby can move fast and will soon begin pulling themselves up which means that many home surfaces are no longer out of reach!

Make your home safe for your crawling baby
Crawling baby

Once baby starts crawling, it’s full speed ahead so take precautions to rid your home of safety hazards.

Safety first

There are many things to consider in making your home safe for a crawling baby and you should look for potential hazards in every room. Use doorstops and door holders to protect little fingers and install safety plugs and outlet covers throughout the home. You can also block outlets you’re using with furniture placement and hide cords the same way, or with a hide-a-cord device. Keep electrical appliances unplugged and out of reach,

In the kitchen, keep hot food and drinks away from the edges of tables and counters and turn pot handles away toward the back of the stove. Secure your oven and refrigerator doors with an appliance latch and install baby-proof latches on all reachable cabinet doors. They’re easy to install and keep curious crawlers protected from access to cleaning products and household solvents. Knives, breakables and heavy pots should be kept out of reach. Don’t use a tablecloth or table runner that baby can pull down, bringing the items on it down too. Keep trash containers inaccessible or buy one with a child-resistant lid.

Around the house

Cover or block access to radiators and floor heaters, and secure any furniture that could topple if a child grabs hold to boost himself up. Be sure that your flat-screen television is anchored securely. Tall, unstable lamps should be out of reach behind heavier furniture. Attach corner and edge guards to low tables so there are no sharp edges to fall on. A baby can drown in just a few inches of water, so install a toilet seat lock. Check your bathrooms for potentially toxic items. Cleaning products, hand sanitizers, vitamins and medicines should be locked up or stored too high to reach.

Cut off or tie up any dangling cords on blinds and window treatments, and keep your baby away from open windows. You can mark sliding glass doors with colorful stickers at a baby’s eye level. Make a room to room inspection to look for heavy items that can topple, and move them back well out of reach. Consider a sturdy baby-gate to block off areas, and window guards to prevent falls. Safety netting is another option for windows, decks and landings.

When you’ve run through your checklist of safety precautions, crawl around on your hands and knees to see if you’ve missed anything.

Quick tip

Ask other moms for their safety tips — they may have ideas that will help streamline your childproofing efforts.

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