When my son was a few weeks old, I was struggling to look after him. Some of my relatives who came to see the new baby empathized with my current situation. They also warned me, in advance of the stage when the baby will start crawling & then finally, walking & how hard it will be to keep a tab on him then. Being a first time mother, I thought to myself ‘could it possibly get harder than it already is?’ was I in for a big surprise!
Then came the time when my son turned around seven months old & reached a new milestone, crawling. It was really wonderful to see him enjoy his independence, not having to rely on mommy & daddy to be picked up & moved from one place to another. But, it also meant round the clock attention to the crawler. He would find any opportunity he would get to crawl into the bathroom or climb up the tiny tools & reach for phones or crockery kept on the table. He would look like he’s preparing to climb the Mount Everest with his strong determination & never give up attitude.
We had to clear out all the breakable or sharp items like show pieces, remotes, phones, cleaning detergents, even the brooms & dusters away from the little devils reach. As children in this age group are very inquisitive, they quickly learn how to open cabinets & drawers which are like a treasure box to find things to play with. Even after being very careful my son dropped one of the phones & broke the screen, he also managed to break the T.V. remote & purposely dropped my phone in a bucket of water. I would get so tired & exhausted from following him around when he was crawling & later walking that I would impatiently wait when my husband would take him to the park in the evening so, I could just sit & relax for an hour or so.
When I narrated my story to a friend who was also a mother, she told me that it’s okay if few things break in the house & this is normal with kids. However, one must not compromise on the safety of their children & with changing times so many new baby proofing products are available in the stores, which ensure the safety of young children & give piece of mind to the parents. Soon, my husband & I bought various different baby safety gear to baby proof our home too. Here are the products that I used & we all benefitted from.
Baby-proofing/ Child Safety Gadgets
Electrical socket covers:
All babies are inquisitive by nature & love to explore the world around them when they start crawling or walking. They often end up discovering electrical sockets within their reach & find them quite amusing too. Plastic Electrical socket covers are a solution to this problem. I am a fan of this product & bought a few extra to install at my in-laws as well as my parents house to keep my baby safe from any mishap.
I remember the time when my son learnt how to open a drawer; we were thrilled to see him grow. But soon, it may difficult to keep him away from all the lower storages in the house & that’s when angle latches came in super handy. They are easy to operate & you can unlatch them using one-hand only which is so important when you are holding your little one with one hand and trying to manage things with the other.
Multi- purpose latch:
These are a must have when you are baby proofing your house. You can use them to keep your baby from opening drawers, single or double cabinet shutters. These are very handy for your bed side tables, dressers, kitchen cabinets, toilet cabinets, study tables or T.V. consoles.
You can use these to protect you little one from bumping her head into table tops, kitchen counters, coffee tables or side tables. These are available in the form of a roll to cover more area or in sets of fours to cover the corners of your tables.
Door slam protectors:
These can be clipped on the edge & prevent doors from slamming on little fingers. Some really cute ones are available on Amazon.
If you have a stair case in your house these are a Must have! You will need to buy two of these to install them at the beginning & at the end of your staircase. A variety of safety gates are available in the market with different designs to suit your need. You can also use these to prevent your baby from entering your home office or any other such area.
Avoiding accidents & fears
One year is a dangerous age. Parents cannot prevent all accidents. However, if you are careful or worrisome enough to try, you may end up making your child timid & dependent. On the other hand, a great majority of serious accidents can be easily prevented if you know where the common dangers lie & are sensible in avoiding them. Here’s a list:
Remove all glass, porcelain, ceramic or any easily breakable items which are within the reach of your child.
If your baby still puts things in her mouth make sure she does not play with buttons, coins, beads, nuts or try & eat them because they are easily breathed into the windpipe & cause choking.
Electrical cords should be in good condition. Train your child not to chew on them or hide them by placing solid furniture in front of them. Use socket covers or tape to cover the electrical sockets.
Time to put poisons out of reach: A fifth of all accidental poisonings occur in the second year of life. Children in this exploring & tasting age will, when the spirit moves them, eat almost anything no matter how it tastes. They especially love pills, good tasting medicines, cigarettes & matches.
Stop using rat poison, insect pastes & powders. Get rid of them & be careful in disposing the bottles & cans that have contained poisons.
Keep all the cleaning detergents, soaps, shampoos & others in high storages or lockable cabinets. It is a good idea to keep the bathroom door locked at all times so that the W.C. is also out of reach.
It is a good idea to move all indoor plants out of plain sight as children love to play with mud & can also digest it.
You can also avoid tablecloths that hang over the edge & so can be pulled off.
Don’t leave boiled milk or water on the table where you child can reach by using the chair or a stool.
You can consider keeping the dustbins, shoe racks, ironing table, candles & books in a store or a separate room to avoid any harm to your baby.
Babies are innocent & don’t understand how they can easily hurt themselves & leaving them unattended can be very risky. Therefore, it is our job to be proactive & alert to try & keep our children out of harm’s way. At the same time, give your child some independence to explore new things and don’t be too hard on yourself if she gets hurt every once in a while!
This article has been contributed by Aanchal Goel. She comes from a family of doctors and is interior designer by profession.
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