Babyproofing for a Toddler

When my son first learned to walk, the first thing he did was toddle over to a big window in our living room, grab the window ledge, and did a pull-up to see outside. Apparently this window was a great source of mystery to him, as it was always above his eye-level as a crawler. This action reminded me that any babyproofing I still had left on my to-do list needed to be done pronto, because my son’s curiosity was finally matching up to his motor skill set.

By the time your child is tentatively taking her first steps, you probably have tackled quite a bit of the babyproofing your home needs. A walking toddler requires a few extra steps though.

First, strap down any heavy furniture! Any room that your child has access to should have all of the heavy stuff strapped to the wall. The hardware is inexpensive and available at baby stores, home improvement stores, and even Ikea. Ikea is even offering free kits in response to the deaths of two children from furniture falling on them.

Window falls are a scarily common (5,000 falls per year according to the AAP ). Lock those things up! If your windows can open more than four inches, you need to babyproof it. This is a great guide for ways to make various types of windows safe for your child.

If you haven’t tucked away any blind cords, now is a great time. These are choking hazards and are even more accessible once your child is walking.

Your child is effectively taller now, so there may be new dangers in your home that weren’t an issue before, like stove controls (if they’re on the front of your range) or any chemicals or tools in now-reachable cabinets.

Finally, don’t forget about your child’s bed. If they sleep in a crib, it’s time to drop the mattress to the lowest level (if you haven’t already done so). Some children are naturally very industrious and will worm their way out of their crib no matter what you do at this stage; make doubly sure their room is completely baby proofed (and for the super agile, some moms I know transitioned their children to a toddler bed sooner rather than later to minimize fall danger).

Meaghan Howard is a mom to two little boys, ages 3 and 6. She’s currently enjoying the expat life in Japan.

Tags: babyproofing, blind cord, crib mattress, toddler, walking

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