A tiny baby doesn’t move much. You can put them down and be pretty sure they’ll stay in one place, or at most wriggle about reasonably slowly. Then comes the day they learn to crawl and nothing is ever the same! A newly crawling baby can move faster than you might think, reach higher than you’d expect and get into all sorts of trouble. Here is our checklist for keeping them safe.
Lower the cot
If your cot has different mattress heights you may still have it on the highest setting. As soon as your baby starts to crawl, or pull themselves to sitting, you’ll need to lower it so they can’t tumble over the edge.
Fix the furniture
Furniture straps can be bought quite cheaply and are used to fix the furniture to the walls, to stop it tipping over. Ideally you need to fix all the furniture, you’d be surprised that small children have managed to tip over things so sturdy you would never think they would move, and have been badly injured by things so light you wouldn’t think they would do much damage. At the very least attach book cases and chests of drawers, since small children can try to climb them.
Kitchens are full of dangers, from sharp knives to hot stoves, and the precautions you need to take will depend partly on the layout of your home. If you have a small kitchen it might be easiest to keep your baby out of the room all together, in a very large or open plan kitchen/diner you might decide to use a playpen or gate off a safe area for them to play. Otherwise you might need to consider fridge locks, covers to stop a toddler turning on the hob and cupboard locks (or moving everything breakable higher up). If you aremoving about with hot pans it’s best to pop your little one in a high chair, so they can’t get under your feet and cause an accident.
You might store cleaning chemicals, plant foods and so on in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, the bathroom, utility room and outside in a shed or garage. Make sure they are all locked away or put on high shelves well out of reach, it’s all too easy for a toddler to get hold of the bleach when you pop out of the bathroom to fetch a clean towel.
It’s a good idea to teach your baby how to go up and down stairs safely but you might also want to use a stair gate, especially if you have a busy home, extra steep stairs or if the stairs are in a particularly dangerous location, like just outside the bedroom door. Make sure you have a gate at the bottom as well as the top, accidents can happen when a baby crawls all the way up the stairs but can’t get any further due a gate and doesn’t know how to turn around or come down safely.
If you have blinds or curtains that are operated with cords make sure these are fixed to the wall at the bottom, or always tied up safety and well out of reach.
You would be surprised at what a newly crawling baby can reach, especially if they pull themselves up to stand. Have a look round and consider where you usually put things like hot drinks and where you have ornaments, plants or anything else that could get damaged or cause an injury. You may need to move everything out of reach for a while.
Consider your baby’s temperament
Some babies are happy to sit and play with their toys, engaged for hours in a handful of objects. Some always want what they can’t have. Some babies are natural climbers and liable to be found sitting on top of the furniture, while others wouldn’t dream of leaving the ground. Some learn very quickly not to touch certain things and others just can’t resist their curiosity. While some safety measures are essential, you know your own baby best and can judge where something just isn’t necessary, or where you need to take extra precautions!
I hope you have found this blog useful. If you have any further suggestions please feel free to comment below.
Until next time,