Stairs shout out: ‘come play with me!’ Teach your baby and toddler to climb up and come down stairs safely, under supervision; it is excellent for gross motor development. For those times when you cannot watch your baby play on the stairs, fit safety gates, that have narrow flanges, at the top and the bottom of the stairs to danger-proof them.
Babies and toddlers love water; maybe they remember being in ‘water’ for nine months? Never leave a baby alone in the bath, not even in shallow water – accidents happen in the blink of an eye. Shield the taps, too, and fit a toilet lock.
Beds are soft and floors are hard. Never leave your baby unattended on a bed – from the moment that she starts to roll, a bed is no longer a safe place without you there.
Secure electrical wiring and fit safety plugs in empty sockets.
Once your toddler can walk, use the back burners/plates of the stove, where possible, and make sure that pot handles are turned towards the wall. Place knives and other utensils at the back of the work surface.
Poisons and cleaning materials have a habit of finding their way to a shelf or cupboard under the kitchen sink. Fit the cupboard with a lock and keep it locked. Remember that what you touch, he also wants to touch … so keep poisons, cleaning materials and firelighters under lock and key. Lock alcohol and cigarettes away too.
Fit a fireguard to a fireplace and invest in ‘stay cool’ surface heaters to danger-proof these areas.
Just like water and staircases, cupboard doors say, ‘Come play with me!’ so fit safety locks to protect those little fingers from getting caught. Keep one low cupboard for baby and toddler use, where your toddler can empty the shelves and see the items fall, then pack them back. Store nothing of value there but include things that are real so he feels he has what you have, and he can touch what you touch. This does wonders for his emotional and social development. Toy pots and spoons do not rate the same as real pots and spoons.
Pack away long tablecloths once your baby can crawl; it’s such fun to play peek-a-boo with a tablecloth, but the family’s crystal punchbowl or a cup of coffee could come crashing down in the process.
Make sure the furniture and bookshelves are sturdy.
Did you know? We have a blog about the road to motherhood – from preconceptual care, healthy pregnancy and birth, to raising a happy baby! Click here to start reading The Art of Co-Creating.
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