Caring for Baby

New Abilities Mean New Precautions

New Abilities Mean New Precautions

Right now your baby is learning and growing by leaps and bounds. His fingers and hands are more nimble, he may communicate with words and gestures, and most dramatically, he has an interest in becoming mobile, learning to scoot, crawl, and cruise. Intense curiosity coupled with growing mobility means increased dangers all around the home. In addition to the precautions you've taken when your baby was a newborn, make sure to take these steps to keep your little crawler safe:

All around the house:

  • Install plastic outlet covers or hide outlets behind heavy furniture.
  • Block stairs with gates, and use window guards, window stops, and safety netting on windows, decks, and landings.
  • Cover or block access to radiators and floor heaters.
  • Hide electrical cords behind furniture or use hide-a-cord device.
  • Tie up curtain and blind cords so they are out of reach.
  • Keep trash cans in inaccessible cupboards or use cans with child-resistant covers.

In the bathroom:

  • Do not leave baby in the bathtub unsupervised, period. Not even for a few seconds, even if they're in a bath ring or seat.
  • Fill tub just enough to cover your baby's legs (2 to 3 inches of water).
  • Now that baby might try to pull up inside or next to the tub, put nonslip mats in bathtub and on the floor nearby.
  • Empty water from the tub immediately, and keep the door to the bathroom closed.

In the kitchen:

  • In general, don't allow baby to crawl around the kitchen while you cook. Keep them nearby, but contained, in a high chair, play pen or baby-seat.
  • Don't hold your baby while cooking at stove.
  • Turn pot handles toward back of stove.
  • Put locks or latches on accessible cupboards and drawers that contain unsafe items like knives, breakables, and heavy pots and pans.
  • Don't leave the dishwasher open, or allow baby to pull up on the open door.
  • Put away your tablecloths and place mats for now: baby may pull them – and everything on top them – down.
  • Keep one cupboard unlocked and full of baby safe items. Baby's love lightweight pots and pans, plastic storage containers and spatulas.

In the living room and family room:

  • Attach corner and edge guards on sharp table-corners.
  • Secure heavy bookcases, chests of drawers and other tall furniture to the walls.
  • Anchor flat-screen TVs with safety straps so they can't fall on your baby.
  • Place floor lamps behind furniture.
  • Remove fragile and breakable items from shelves and tables that are within baby's reach.

In the bedroom:

  • When baby gets up on hands and knees, remove mobiles and hanging toys.
  • When baby pulls up, put mattress in lowest position.
  • Don't leave toys in crib when your baby is sleeping.
  • On the changing table, use safety strap and don't leave your baby unattended and keep toiletries out of your baby's reach but within yours.

Out and about:

  • At the store, use safety belt on shopping cart (or bring one of your own).
  • Don't allow baby to explore landings and railings with more than four inches of space between slats.
  • Don't leave your baby unattended, anywhere.