Child-proofing 101 For First Time Parents | The Full Frontal

Child-proofing 101 For First Time Parents

Alright, so you just had a baby.

You’ve thought it through and you don’t mind what comes afterwards — the sleepless nights, the many, many diaper changes, the endless crying.

None of those are that big a deal to you; your baby’s safe in your arms. 

But what happens when your baby starts crawling and then eventually walking? Suddenly, everything around them is far too dangerous.

The table’s too sharp, the floor’s too slippery, the sofas and chairs seem like traps from the Saw movies just waiting to be activated. 

A study on home injuries among young children done in 2014 found that 11.4% of children aged below seven years old were reported to have experienced a home injury of some kind.

Having a toddler really does feel like watching an episode of Fear Factor sometimes, doesn’t it? You have to constantly be on your toes and on high alert. What an awfully big adventure, truly.

We don’t mean to scare you or anything, we just thought you should tire out all possibilities to minimise injuries.

With that said, we can help ease that paranoia a little bit by offering some tips to make sure your house is baby/child-proofed for the sake of their safety — and your sanity, of course.

POV: You’re Baby

man pretending to be a child
They say the best way to see for yourself is to pretend to be that person. Source from NY Daily News

My cousin has a two-year-old son. Not only can her kid hold interesting conversations, he can also stumble around on his tiny legs all over the house, catching you by surprise by standing an inch behind you when you’re making food for yourself in the kitchen. 

It’s things like these that make you extra worried because on top of child-proofing your house, you have to also be aware of your kid’s whereabouts so as to not catch each other by surprise.

To ensure your child is safe from harm, it’s best to see things from their perspective. You could do this by crawling around and pretending to be a child to see what interests them from that point of view. 

It might seem ridiculous at first, but if it lessens the chances of your kid getting hurt, then why not try it out? 

A 5-Part Obstacle Course

From crawling and waddling around my house for almost an hour as well as a few years of experience in helping raise my nephew, here are some obstacles and solutions I’ve found along the way that could help you out:

1. Lock Your Doors/Windows

Kids are curious beings by nature. They’re always looking for new places to explore. Everything is a distraction to them. That’s why opened doors aren’t always the safest. This may seem kind of strange to you because why can’t I let my child roam free and experience their own house? 

While that may be true, you might overlook the fact that there are things in certain rooms that might be dangerous for toddlers. Like hair straighteners, small hijab pins and skincare that they could ingest without knowing.

And worse, wet bathrooms with the doors wide open! Children could also slide open doors and windows and venture outside into the balcony or roadside on their own. So, the best option is to keep the doors locked whenever you’re not nearby.

2. Cover Your Electricity Plugs and Wires 
baby playing with plug
Don’t let your kids play with places that have electricity. Source from Thumbtack

Kids love to stick their fingers in things where they don’t belong. This includes plug sockets and random holes they find around the house. My cousin’s kid loves to play with the switches, turning them on and off again and laughing as if it’s the funniest thing in the world. 

You might think it’s harmless; after all, they’re laughing aren’t they? Let them have some fun.

If you want fun, buy them more interesting toys to play with. You forget that babies love putting their fingers in their mouths too. And what happens when they jam their wet fingers in an open socket?

Cover up the sockets by using a socket cover. It lowers the chances of your child playing with it if they can’t figure out how to open it.

3. Watch Out For Sharp Edges 

Kids love to push themselves. When they could barely crawl, they drag themselves across the floor to reach their favourite toy. When they just got the hang of walking, they want to sprint off somewhere, hobbling and stumbling around.

And what happens when they do that? They often run into things. 

I cannot tell you the number of times my nephew had to go to the hospital to get stitches on his forehead because he somehow managed to ram into the edge of the table when standing up, or run headfirst into a door handle.

My cousin has now become a brand ambassador for those sponges that you put around sharp edges. Her house now looks like one of those foam pits at Jumpstreet. But as long as it minimises injuries, all is good.

I strongly recommend you also invest in edge guards to help lessen the accidents around your house.

4. Avoid Tablecloths or Anything Dangling

A child’s curiosity extends to them going “how much damage can I do while looking innocent?”

Most of the time, they do a lot of damage. It’s not because they’re purposely deceitful, oh no. These are children. They learn through seeing and touching. And oftentimes, their curiosity gets the better of them. 

Dangling tablecloths and lamp posts with hanging switches are actually a problem in some households. Since toddlers are very small and short, they can’t see anything above their heads. So they often grab onto things that are hanging above them to see what they could bring down and play with.

You might want to substitute a table cloth for bare placements, at least for the time being?

Object permanence doesn’t really stop them from finding out what treasures are present on the table, after all, isn’t that why the adults sit there so much?

5. Put Up A Grill 
baby behind bars
Lock ‘em up, Officer. Source from Yahoo News Malaysia

No, not the barbecue kind. The grills I’m talking about, or fences as some call them, are the ones that are for your doors and stairs.

You know how your child loves to explore every crevice your house has to offer? That obviously isn’t limited to just one floor. Regardless of whether or not they can walk or crawl, you would still find them halfway up the stairs if you so much as look away for half a second. 

The best way to minimise any injuries caused by falling off the stairs or going into the kitchen and potentially harming themselves from what’s in it is to put up some gates that only you yourself can open.

Until your child is old enough and responsible enough to recognise the dangers of playing at certain parts of the house, the fence should remain in place.

There are some fence options on Shopee‘s website that could help you get started.

You’re Doing Great, Sweetie!

happy family
As long as your kid’s happy and healthy, you’re doing great! Source from theasianparent

Raising a kid is hard. Making sure the kid makes it to adulthood is harder, so kudos to parents that have managed or currently are managing that task. Y’all are the real MVPs here. It’s really not as easy as all the milk advertisements played it out to be. 

These toddlers are constantly on their feet and looking for new ways to either give you heart attacks or make you learn something new. So if you’re looking for ways to attract and distract your short attention spanned kid, might we suggest: 

5 Ways You Can Keep Your Lockdown Toddler Entertained

a woman reading to her baby
Trying to entertain a baby stuck at home is hard. | Source