Updated: Nov 6, 2019
So she has done it, taken the first tentative steps to being a toddler, she's crawling. I know you thought it was walking and some do at 8 months trust me. And thats kinda what this blog is about how fast they can move literally through the stepping stones and how we as parents have to move faster ! Once they are crawling, they get a taste for it and everything is an adventure, I can get there , oh whats over there, follow Mummy to the kitchen , washing line and loo! This is wonderful but all these wee paths are full of dangers that we don't see, they are not on our level , but we need to because they are on theirs ! And we need to think a couple of levels up as well. Once crawling, it's no time to pulling up and then walking away. All wonderful steps to watch, but as a nanny previously it is hard wired in to my brain to see the trip hazards literally.
Here are a few must do's
It gets cold here so if you have a fire, open or gas, it needs to be covered, not only for safety but it saves a lot of cleaning when they get in to the soot.
Find them a home, elsewhere, if you think they can't reach, they can! Everything goes up ( rule of thumb is their height plus arm reach plus higher as they climb )
Cupboard doors, on everything
Wee ones are stronger then you think and determined, they will see you open and close a cupboard and they want in. There are some great locks out there that can go inside, out of sight and or simple ones that bar the handles. Something to suit every decor.
This is a no brainer when they are wee and just starting out, stairs are the ultimate goal, they want up. So get a gate, pref at top and bottom. ( I put one on the top once they are walking ) You can get screw in or tension ones. I also make a huge effort every day to get them to go up and down ( backwards always down backwards) the stairs , so you are not carrying them up and down. It is great for their confidence and muscles, think climbing a mountain for them.
This is a relatively new one, but I was a nanny when the little one hung herself in London by one, so its just better to be safe that sorry. There are a few options of clip in the blinds that any weight they snap ( can be put back together easily ) and I have a plastic clip that screws to wall and cords go under it.
Again this is new -ish , and a personal preference depending on how hot you have them and if you wish to just educate them about hot and not ( as in don't touch ) but you can get covers to fit all the shapes and sizes for not too much cash.
This is a big one, wee ones climb and will scale anything and everything they can. There are clips that you can fix to the wall to secure your chest of drawers and bookcases. I have had chest of drawers go over on a bubs early in my career so I am very aware of the dangers.
Same as the cabinets , usually tv is on one and it can go over too. So fix to wall or pop up high on wall . There are great brackets now that fix to the wall and pivot so you can move the tv to suit the audience and or put it flush when not in use.
Cords / Cables
This one too is a no brainier as they are on the floor. And this is their domain ! So hide them , move them if possible as in charge your phone out of reach. Or invest in some cord covers, large tubes that you can put in all the cables etc and bubs can play with and chew safely.
All this is great for the first couple of months of movement but in the end you do what your house back and not everywhere you go is baby proofed. If you only went places that were safe you might never leave the house. So once language has started to improve you can start reintroducing items in. Eventually babies turn in to toddlers turn in to teenies and need to be educated and safe in their world. They need to learn boundaries and rules as such. So knick knacks can come back with instructions not to touch or they are not a toy etc. If it very dear to you , revert to above and find new home permanently. Fires can be uncovered and with supervision enjoyed safely. Stairs can be ungated etc Cabinets unlocked, except medicine and cleaning products. Ever.
Which brings me nicely to my next suggestion , all this putting away and no and don't touch can seem very negative so make sure that your wee one has a space that is theirs. A big toy box that they can tip out and tidy up on their own , a free space in which to spread out. In all the rooms that they occupy. I have a cupboard in the kitchen that is unlocked and is full of things they can play with , their own silicone spatula and mixing bowls, old Tupperware that has lost a lid, few toys, saucepan and wooden spoon and boxes, kids and cat love boxes ! While we are occupying the kitchen and they want to be with you , this is their cupboard to empty out, stack stuff up, knock stuff over, make a mess andThey put it away. When I say put away , they will want to do it, Im not a you pull it out , you tidy it for a baby. They love to get it out and put it away and open and close that drawer or cupboard repeatedly for hours. It's wonderful and I encourage it whole heartily.
Baby proofing or knowing where to start can be daunting. I am a one to err of side of caution , guess it's the nanny in me. I will be safe than sorry till I can communicate with my wee one and we can navigate around our house so we are both happy.