11 months old
Childproofing for a Walker
You’ve probably already done some preliminary childproofing as your baby was learning to crawl, but the possibility (or reality) of your baby taking his or her first steps requires added precautions.
If you haven’t done so already:
- The best way to adequately childproof is to get down on your hands and knees and look at the room from your baby’s perspective. Are there any dangerous objects, like plastic bags, breakable objects, batteries, dropped food, etc.? (See a list of dangerous items here
- Anchor down any loose, heavy furniture that could be pulled down on your baby, like televisions, bookcases and end tables.
- Plug up your outlets with outlet covers, and make sure that there aren’t any electrical wires in your baby’s reach.
- Childproof your power strips with box covers.
- Tie up window blind cords or buy some blind winders.
- Remove rubber-tipped doorstops (which can be pulled off and choked on) with soft door jam stops.
- Make sure that your houseplants aren’t poisonous and move them out of your baby’s reach just in case. Examples of poisonous houseplants include lily of the valley, hydrangea and English ivy – but double check that all of your plants are safe.
- Test the paint in your apartment or house for lead.
- Make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in place and working.
It’s also important to:
- Put baby gates at the tops and bottoms of the stairs, as your baby will learn to climb up them faster than he or she can climb back down. (There are more stylish options on the market for those concerned.)
- Cushion sharp corners and edges, especially on low-level furniture that your baby can easily pull up on.
- Rethink carpets with long tassels or loose strings.
- Try to only open windows from the top, especially for windows near climbable furniture. If that’s not possible, don’t keep your windows open any more than 6 inches or buy window guards.
- Buy drawer latches for kitchen and bathroom cabinets that contain especially dangerous items. Although a smarter move is to put anything dangerous (like cleaning products) up in an out-of-reach cabinet. See our Poison Control tips here.
- Latch your toilet covers, or else you’ll find various toys and objects floating in the toilet’s water.
Top 10 Places Parents Forget to Childproof
- Mom’s purse, which can be filled with pepper spray, medications, sharp objects and spare change.
- Your home office, full of electrical cords and heavy furniture.
- The yard, such as exposed bolts or screws, poisonous plants, flimsy play equipment, etc.
- The diaper bag, which can contain dangerous items like diaper rash cream and infant medications.
- Hand-me-down baby gear, such as car seats, cribs and mattresses.
- Family pets, which should be trained to play nice with your baby. At the same time, babies should be taught not to pull on your pet’s tail or play with your dog during mealtime. The dog and cat food (as well as the cat litter) should be kept well out of your baby’s reach, as well.
- Trash cans. A small trashcan – such as in the bathroom or bedroom – can become dangerous when lined with a plastic bag, which is a suffocation risk.
- The stroller. Make sure your stroller’s breaks, latches and reclining features are all in proper order.
- Spare refrigerator. If you have an extra refrigerator or freezer in the basement, make sure your baby can’t climb in and hide.
- Laundry room. The kitchen and bathroom aren’t the only places that contain dangerous cleaning materials. Make sure all detergents are kept high and out of reach.
Find more childproofing tips in our Childproofing Guide, such as the “Top 10 Childproofing Secrets of the Pros,” “A Timeline for Childproofing” and “Top Danger Zones.”