As a parent, watching your baby start to crawl is an incredibly exciting experience — but also a nerve-racking one. Along with your little one’s mobility comes a flood of baby safety concerns you may not have even thought of before.
While nothing takes the place of a parent’s watchful eye, following these seven basic tips will help ensure that when your baby starts crawling, you and your home will be ready.
1. Go down to your baby’s level — literally
Once your baby’s crawling, get down on your hands and knees and crawl around your house, taking note of exactly which items are within your baby’s reach. This will allow you to better understand any dangers posed to your baby. For example, crawling under your desk may remind you of the rarely used outlet that’s beneath it that needs to be covered.
2. Block off the stairs
If you have stairs in the house, you’ll need to place baby safety gates both at the top of the stairs and at the bottom. Keep in mind that if you’re using pressure gates, a baby who weighs enough could potentially dislodge them. Wall-mounted gates are a safer choice.
3. Cut the cords
Make sure that anything with a cord is out of reach, including baby monitors and phones. It’s also a smart idea to invest in cordless blinds and window treatments.
4. Secure all large and heavy items
Once your baby’s crawling, she’s going to try to pull herself up on objects. Make sure that TVs, microwaves, fish tanks, bookcases, furniture, and large appliances — basically anything that could potentially tip forward or fall onto your baby if pulled hard enough — are mounted to the wall or floor.
5. Lock up any potential hazards
The garage, basement, bathroom, exercise room, and home office are all rooms whose contents can pose a danger to your baby. Any cabinet containing cleaning supplies, paints, heavy tools, weights, small pieces, or chemicals of any kind should have a padlock on them if they are within your baby’s reach.
6. Baby-proof all edges and outlets in your common areas
All sharp edges on furniture should be cushioned, and all electrical sockets need to be protected with outlet covers.
7. Teach safe walking
When your baby is ready to start walking, practice going up and down the stairs, showing him that he should always hold the railing. Also, remove any small rugs that could potentially cause your baby to slip and fall.
As your baby starts crawling, following these basic baby safety tips can give you peace of mind. Now your biggest challenge will be to keep up with him!