How to Toddler-Proof your Home

Written By

Reenu Bahl

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Diapers, clothes, feeder bottles, sterilization tools, cans of formula… I ticked all these items off my to-do list before bringing my infant son home. But, in retrospect, I don’t think I was prepared at all.

From a bundle of joy, he quickly became a whirl of activity. And while he looked adorable rolling around on the bed or holding the side-table to prop himself up, my fears of him falling off the bed (since I wasn’t using a cot) or banging his head against the table corners quickly grew.

 Buffer Zone

At two months, my mesh-covered mini-bed was a great find as it was the best protection from mosquitos. But when he started turning and pushing the mesh with his tiny hands, I decided the pillows I stacked around him weren’t buffer enough – I needed bolsters to protect him. The sturdy guards were a good investment, as they came in handy when I was training him to sit.

He’s on a roll

When he began rolling over, I was horrified to find how quickly he could make it to the edge of the bed. I had to install bed barriers on the bed we shared with him, which was an inconvenience, as I had to pull them down every time I wanted to sit on the bed, but it kept my son safe. He made a game out of rolling up to and aligning himself with the bedrail. When he starts sleeping alone on his own bed, these rails can also be of great use. If you’re looking for something similar you could try Chicco barrier for bed.

Crawling capers

On all fours, the baby gained speed, making a play for doors, cabinets stocked with delicate glassware, his toys and even our footwear! There was no stopping him, so I had to seal everything that could open. We fixed latches on the lower shelves of our TV cabinet and kitchen cupboards and secured all doors with foam doorstoppers. I also used foam tape to cushion all sharp corners.

For the baby, electric sockets were a big draw. He would crawl up to the wall to try and put his finger in the empty circuits or play with the switches. We sealed them with socket covers and invested in a cord shorter, which kept the baby from pulling on dangling wires. This list should have you sorted in this department.

Though I never left my toddler unattended in the bathroom, I had watched him try to grab the toilet seat in an attempt to stand with support. It reminded me of this story of a little girl who served her father ‘tea’ which he gulped with a smile until one day, his wife told him the only water the baby had access to was in the toilet!

To ensure my story had a happier end, I sealed my toilet seat with a toilet lock.

Eyes on my prize

Leaving the baby at home to step out to run errands is a difficult task for me since I don’t have full-time help. I’ve been researching video surveillance software and have recently downloaded a Windows-only programme called Yawcam on my laptop. It’s free – all you need is an Internet connection and webcam. Point the laptop in the direction you want to record, and keep the laptop setting off to monitor discreetly. Yawcam gives you a password protected private link where you can go to check the live stream, and I’ve found the picture quality good and consistent. Before investing in a wireless camera or other expensive gadgets, I’d recommend you give this a shot.

I realise that protecting my baby is going to be a lifelong endeavour. I’m just happy that I’ve made a good start!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Reenu Bahl, an ex journalist, who once was busy chasing the stars,is now busy raising a star - brat 'R'. A full time mother, she is enjoying a long break seeing her child grow each day and in the process, gathering all the details required to write a book on children. However, going by her speed, the book may take years to come.

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