5 Simple Tips For Child-Proofing Your Home
Parents find so much joy in watching their child learn to sit-up, then stand up, then cruise around the coffee table, to taking bold steps on his own! From rolling to crawling to cruising to walking, there is so much to celebrate – and simultaneously so much to child proof. No longer is your home safe from the hands of a curious child! Child-proofing your home is of utmost importance as he or she is capable of grabbing anything at a moment’s notice.
As parents, a natural response to your child entering into a forbidden territory in your home is to say “no” or “don’t touch,” which works to a certain degree. Your baby is just beginning to understand words and tones. The tone of your voice and your gestures as you say “no” and “don’t touch” indicate that his actions are not pleasing you; so he may, in fact, stop or pause when he hears your distinct tone.
While your child understands these few words and tones, what your child does not understand is DANGER. Due to a short memory, he cannot remember your warnings for more than a few minutes. You will recognize your child’s lack of memory when he returns to the “no-no” area and continues to pursue it anyways. He does not recall your warning or recognize the danger, which is why punishing your child at this age is not the most effective. Training in “touching” and “not touching” will be much more effective in a few more months. One of the easiest ways to make your life and your baby’s life simpler and more relaxed is by making your home child-proof.
5 Simple Tips for Child-Proofing Your Home:
· Cover unused electrical outlets with plastic inserts (can be purchased from a hardware store or baby-specific store/aisle)
· Keep medicines and vitamins on a very high shelf in child-proof containers.
· Place all dangerous objects and valued treasures out of baby’s reach. (Consider cabinet locks and baby gates as excellent tools.)
· Remove all household cleaning fluids from beneath the sink and put them well out of reach (i.e. furniture polish, ammonia and window cleaner)
· Use same caution outdoors, especially if yard is not fenced.
A good way to determine what looks enticing to a child is by crawling around your house to see what is at your eye-level. Remove any temptations your child may notice and place them higher than your child can reach. Regarding outdoor cautions, your baby is no longer a passive watcher. When curiosity is high, he will creep with the determination of an athlete towards the sight of traffic or any other exciting enticements.
Once the yard and house are “child-proof,” be sure you provide plenty of objects, even safe household objects like pots and pans, with which your baby can play. Leaving a low, accessible cupboard or shelf stocked with safe objects for your child, often satisfies a baby’s need to explore. For baby, playing is learning, and his curiosity is at an all-time high, which may result in your patience being tested at times. Remember, though, that there will be as much reward in seeing your child learn as there is for your child who is growing by leaps and bounds! Learning about and seeing new objects is raw material for his knowledge factory; his direct experience with these objects will provide the basis for his intellectual curiosity, creativity and language development in the future. Whether your child has yet to roll over or is already running at full speed, now is an excellent time to child-proof your home – a safe home is a great home for learning!