There comes a time in the life of every parent when the relatively easy period of the newborn time makes way for the harder work as the baby becomes mobile. At this stage, it will no longer be possible to lay your child down on a blanket on the floor surrounded by her toys and be assured that she will remain safe. Her advanced abilities ensure that she is now well able to get into situations unforeseen a few short months before, and the consequence is that it is time to childproof your house.
Childproofing can occur in several stages, depending on the mobility of your little one. Most babies will start out their movement phase by rolling from location to location. This offers more reaction time for the parent, but do not be deceived into thinking that the next move on your baby’s part will be easily anticipated. Even this limited form of mobility can be deceptive in its range and speed. You will want to make sure that any stairways are closed through the use of some kind of barrier. Gates that lock into place, attached to the wall by hinges, are the safest route to go. Do not rely on gate brands that lock into place by a lever and push themselves into the wall; an active child will have no trouble in pushing it over eventually, and the period when they are developing the strength to do this will inevitably lull the parent into a state of false security.
During the initial stages of movement, you will also want to make sure that you frequently vacuum and check your floor for small objects that could present a choking hazard. Babies in this stage rely on taste as perhaps their main sense, so any object they find is liable to go straight into the mouth.
As your baby starts to crawl, you will want to take further measures in childproofing your home. Your baby will now be able to cover the ground with increased speed, so it is best not to take any items that you usually would just leave on the floor for granted, even if it is just for the second it takes to grab the phone. The added height your child receives from this point will also mean that it is time to raise any houseplants to a higher level. You can also count on the baby to figure out a way to open lower cupboard doors, so make sure to buy child locks that prevent her from swinging them open.
Remember that with the crawling phase near, it will not be long until your baby is hauling herself up onto other objects. Make sure that hard surfaces such as fireplace mantle edges are well covered to avoid head injuries. Corners on coffee tables and other furniture should also be padded in order to prevent a bad bump.
Childproofing your house is essential in protecting both your baby and your belongings from harm. Remember, if your baby can get into it, the odds are pretty good that she will get into it. Curiosity is a natural part of development, and it is your responsibility to make sure your child develops in the safest environment possible.