As my infant’s mobility increases, I feel strongly like I need to encourage her independence. The part of me that is a Montessori teacher is almost interchangeable with the part of me that is a mother. All of my kids go off and do their own thing, and then they come and cuddle me and look for support. Then they get all independent again. They all do it with different frequencies, and this is Bri’s first real venture into the unknown. I have been lax about baby-proofing up until now. I’m finding I need to step it up and make sure she can have some measure of freedom in which to go be independent. Here are some of my tips for the people who want to baby-proof their houses, but lack all of the baby-proofing items necessary to do so:
Keep the things the baby can play with low.
This may seem like common sense, but it really helps minimize the number of cabinets and drawers you need to put guards on so your baby can play in those rooms. For example, in the kitchen, put the pots and pans, tupperware and the plastic dishes you use for your kids in the bottom cabinets. Put glass and ceramic dishes, cleaning supplies and knives up high where your baby can’t reach. You may still need to latch a drawer or two and the cabinet where you keep the trash, but it beats latching every cabinet and drawer in your kitchen.
Put baby gates up to bar areas where you can’t baby-proof
More common sense, but this is one where you will save your sanity. If you baby-gate the stairs, you can worry less about your baby taking a tumble. If you baby-gate off the bathroom, you don’t have to latch all of those cabinets and drawers and you don’t have to put a safety latch on the toilet. If there is only one section of your home you feel comfortable having your baby roam freely, put up a baby gate across the hall there to allow your kid some autonomy. If your house has a set of stairs with no door at the top or bottom, you need at least one baby-gate.
If you don’t have baby gates, close doors.
Infants who don’t walk, cannot reach door handles. So long as your door latches shut and requires an action to open it, your baby can’t get in by themselves.
Move furniture and lamps that could tip over to rooms where your baby does not have access.
A good rule of thumb is if you can knock it down with a hip or one hand, your baby can pull it down.
Babies are in the business of learning. You want to give them the opportunity to explore in a safe environment. You don’t have to break the bank to provide it for them. What are your inexpensive baby-proofing tips?