When you become a parent, everything changes. Literally. Everything. You are now responsible (24/7) for sustaining another human life. Sure, you’ve babysat before and you hang out with your nieces and nephews. You think you’ve got it all figured out.
Nope. Not the same. Suddenly, someone is relying on you for absolutely everything, all the time, and you realize, you’ve never given other parents (including your own) nearly enough credit.
In addition to thanking your parents for keeping you alive and well, you now get to contend with a whole new purpose in life… Keeping your own tiny human safe.
When they are brand new babies you can plop them in a swing or a bassinet or your lap and they are content to lay, cry, eat, poop. The thought of childproofing doesn’t even cross your mind – why would it – your baby hardly moves. Aside from complete sleep deprivation and the usual new parent chaos – you know your baby is safe from harm around the house.
Then it happens. That immobile little bundle of joy suddenly becomes very mobile. He’s now into everything and you start realizing your home is a veritable house of horrors for someone with no concept of personal safety or self preservation. Time to call in the pros!
When our sweet boy started crawling around at the ripe old age of 6 months, we figured we better start locking things down around the house and finally got a certified childproofer in to help determine what needed to be done.
Here are the top 10 things we found to be the most beneficial safety additions to our lives, installed courtesy of the talented, certified professionals at A&H Childproofers. Many things you would never think of yourself, or when you do it’s because you’ve already seen the drama unfold and now (through blood, sweat, and tears) you know better.
Keep in mind these needs vary based on your child’s age, mobility, and determination to destroy the foundation of your home…
- The first item that really saved us was so simple I felt foolish for not having done it from start. Rubber Edging… Yup. Basic rubber covering that goes around the sharp edges of your coffee table, low hanging shelves, whatever might be in the path of your child’s face as they start exploring. This also comes in handy when you smash your knee or head into the corner of the table when reaching under it to find that missing toy.
- Anchors. Anchor everything to the walls. Everything! Kids will pull open drawers and try to climb in or on every and any thing. You may not think so now, but it will happen. Anchor everything so when they do start climbing up and pulling out drawers, you know the furniture they’re hanging on won’t fall over. You will, however, be constantly putting things back in drawers…
- Which is why we also recommend, Drawer & Cabinet Locks! I don’t know about you, but our little daredevil wants to know what’s behind every door or drawer in the house and does his best to find out – unsuccessfully now that we have all our drawers and cabinet doors locked up!
- In addition to the drawers and cabinets, a Stove Lock is crucial. This need came later, when our son was old enough to reach the handle, but it was a terrifying moment when the stove was preheating and we realized our little one could pull the door open on his own. Thankfully, A&H Childproofers made time to stop by that day and put in the stove lock.
- Gates. This one is obvious, but critical. Stairs are one of the scariest things for the parent of a small child. Block every staircase, top and bottom. We love the retractable gates as they match our staircase, are easy to use and nice and modern looking.
- Fireplace protection. This one was a bit trickier. We redid our fireplace and chose stacked stone tiles. Like brick, stacked stone is rough and when A&H came through, they recommended gating off the fireplace so our little one couldn’t scrape against the stone and scrape up his little body doing so. It was a great call as our tiny monster tries to butt his head against everything…
- Door Locks. Now that our son is walking / running / galloping through the house and able to reach almost everything (including door handles) we have many closet doors locked so that he can’t get into the furnace or the storage areas with heavy objects. This also keeps hide and seek limited to areas where we know he’s safe!
- Spout Cover. Our son loves baths and loves to play with water. You may not realize it, but when you have hot (ish) water coming down the faucet, the faucet itself gets very hot. You do not want little hands touching that hot metal faucet. With A&H you get a choice of an adorable duck or whale to cover that faucet up
- Toilet Locks. These were the last thing we added, only after I found the little maniac playing in the toilet water… Not a great moment for us. Once I learned (the hard way) that he can reach into the toilet, A&H came back out to secure that situation for us.
- Bathtub Cover – this little thing (looks like this) is a life saver when giving your little one a bath. Not only does it protect your forearms / elbows from the edges of the tub it also protects your little ones face as he starts learning about the joys (and slippery nature of) the tub.
Finally, keep in mind that your childproofing needs will change as your kids grow and change. Talk to your certified childproofer about what you need now and what you might consider later – or just do it all now to save yourself from having to learn the hard way!