As a new dad I consider myself an expert on baby proofing, and here’s why: I didn’t know any of this the day before our new son came home.
Talk about your baptism by fire! The minute you walk through the door with your new child, you instantly see the battlefield that used to be your house. All the edges of furniture you never noticed; more electrical wires and cords than you’d find at a stereo shop; cleaning supplies that are now just cans full of poisons. Here’s a tip that will save you hours of agony and many sleepless nights: Don’t wait until they’re crawling before you start making your house baby safe.
It’s a sneaky trick by babies, but before you know it they’ve transitioned from immobile infant to pre-toddler, crawling everywhere that danger lurks. Trust me when I tell you they’ll find every cord, every cable, and every piece of spare change that might have fallen to the floor. Go wireless where you can, and then do what you feel best about the cords and cables you can’t remove. This would include running non-electrical cords—like speaker wires—under the carpet, installing cable pathway tubes that are designed to run unnoticed along the floorboards, or even taping the cords to the walls.
Whatever you can do to take them away from your new child when they begin to crawl, and later walk, without creating another potential safety hazard, is better than doing nothing. Don’t over-think this, but at the same time never under-estimate the potential harm that could result. Remember, never run electrical cords or extension cords underneath rugs or carpeting.
We gave our house a thorough cleaning before our son arrived. We timed it far enough in advance that any chemical or other unnatural smells would have long dissipated, yet not so far away as to render the cleaning ineffective. About two weeks. Such things as molds, mildew, dust, and various other bits of debris that inevitably reside in our houses—even in small quantities—can become an irritant to such new lungs and nasal passages. This was a recommendation by our midwife, and it’s sage advice. Don’t skimp.
Now that our little guy has a few months of walking under his belt, we’ve discovered that most things made of glass just aren’t worth it, at least for now. I’m talking about things like bowls, plates, cups, and other things they could possibly get their hands on. Little kids are lighting fast, and even if you only lost your focus for a fraction of a second, they’ve grabbed a plate and off the table it goes. Took us two plates before we said enough is enough.
Go plastic, it’s just easier and it’s safer in ways I hope you never experience. See, when your child is there at the dinner table, life comes to a crashing halt when something made of glass breaks. Nobody but mommy and daddy move, get the big pieces and then one of you goes for the vacuum. With plastic, none of this is a concern, which means the worst of your problems will be whether or not that spaghetti sauce washes out of your cotton Dockers.
[This post was written by guest author Edwin.]
photo by AndrewEick