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This is a question about childproofing. Okay, I’ve been to the websites. I’ve seen the products. I’ve read the warnings. But I’m pregnant and I just don’t know how far to go now. What needs to be done ASAP? Like, should I bolt things to the walls? Put up the stair guard? I feel kind of weird doing this before the baby is even born. – Safety When?

Dear Safety When?

Childproofing is often an evolving process. The baby learns to pick things up, so you vacuum incessantly, scan for dropped coins and put a temporary ban on pistachios. Your baby learns to crawl, so you stick the bleach on top of the fridge and put up guard rails. Your baby learns to walk, so you pad the corners of the coffee table and push your fancy knives and open bottles of wine to the back of the kitchen counters. But if you have bigger jobs you know you would like to have done, like bolting bookshelves to the walls or fencing the pool, you might want to look into it while you have more time on your hands. Also, if a flock of life-sized, sharp-edged, welded steel peacocks is at the centerpiece of your fabulous outsider art collection, you may want to rethink their placement now, even if you only act on your plan once the baby can grab onto those bladed edges. If you’re seized by an overwhelming desire to tidy up (as some parents-to-be are), there’s certainly no harm in re-arranging cupboards. If you have many years’ worth of toxic cleaning agents bubbling and leaking under your kitchen sink, you (or preferably a loved one) may want to don some serious rubber gloves and get that sorted out (and locked up) sooner rather than later. A large toxic cleaning project is never fun, but it’s especially unpleasant with a four-month-old dangling from the Baby Bjorn strapped to your chest. 

Have a question? Email parentaladvisory@babble.com

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