Look Out, Here She Comes
When your baby starts walking it is a fascinating time for both you and her. There is so much for her to do and discover. Mom and dad soon realize she can be everywhere at one time. Parents wonder how in the world they are going to get anything done and be everywhere all at the same time. Some simple safety precautions and tips can make it easier on you and baby.
You will want to keep things with tiny pieces, like marbles and Legos out of reach. Use bins with lids to store these things, especially if your baby is a very young walker. Some babies start walking at eight or nine months of age. They will and do put everything in their mouths. This may also be a good time to remove valuable glass objects and knick-knacks from your coffee tables and stands. There are two mindsets on this. Some people never move anything and teach baby “no” from the start. Others baby proof their homes by removing things that could be easily broken or cause harm. There are good points to both. You might try to have a middle ground. Set some items out that baby can't touch and use these as training tools. Use objects that are plastic or non-breakable and it won't really hurt them or the baby.
Stairs Can Be Dangerous
Make sure stairwells are well guarded. Steps going up and especially down are dangerous. You can buy baby gates made for this purpose. A walking or crawling baby can move faster than you would ever imagine they could. Baby gates are also good for keeping baby out of a room where there are things that might hurt her. Or, if you are doing something she cannot be around. She can see you and you can watch her but she can’t get to what is on the other side.
Use Safety Latches
Safety latches are a good idea at this time. You can put them on cupboard doors that hold cleaning supplies, shampoos or anything that baby should stay away from. Be especially careful of poisons. These should not only be latched but up high, far beyond baby's reach. This includes make-up. Do not leave your cosmetics around where your baby can get them. You may also want to put latches on cupboards that hold glass dishes that she could pull out and break. Having one drawer of a cupboard that the baby can freely explore helps keep her content. This is especially nice when she wants to explore in the kitchen.
Safety plugs for electrical outlets are a wonderful invention. They "plug" right into the outlet, preventing baby from sticking her fingers or anything else into the socket. Often health departments and similar places will give them away.
Be especially careful of hot things around a walking baby. They can now reach places that they could not when they were crawling, including your computer keyboard. Set hot drinks and bowls of food away from the edges of tables. Turn pot handles towards the middle of the stove. Make sure these things cannot be grabbed and pulled over by you little one.
Bath Time for Walkers
A baby who can walk or stand is a danger in the tub. They can slip very easily on a porcelain tub bottom. This could mean a cracked skull or going under long enough to drown. Use bath mats or little sticky grips on the bottom of your tub. They also make a wonderful device, kind of like a little chair, that goes in the tub. You set the baby down in it so they can't climb around as freely but can still play in the tub. It rotates and moves around but has a bar that goes between her legs so she cannot slip out. No more breaking your back bending over the tub to keep her from constantly standing up.
Playpens Can Help
Use a playpen when necessary. Playpens are nice when you need to work someplace that is not safe for her to wonder around. Moat playpens are portable so they are great for outdoors also. If you’re working in the garden or at the beach, you know baby is safe and Mom has peace of mind and can relax.
The best thing you can do for your walking little one is keep her busy. Make sure there are plenty of things that your baby can do and explore. Keeping bins and buckets filled with things she can discover will keep her entertained in one spot. If she is kept busy and active this will keep her out of trouble, at least for a few minutes. Do these few simple things and this time of learning and exploring will be a wonderful time for both you and your baby.