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10 Ways to Childproof When Baby Starts Walking

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You plugged the outlets, emptied the low shelves, and banished the siblings' tiny toy pieces when your baby started crawling. Now that tiny crawler is walking, and he can open cabinets, clear the coffee table with one swipe, and get into things you didn't even remember you had! It's time for babyproofing 2.0, mama. Of course, no matter how safe you make your house, keep your eagle eyes on your baby at all times.

1. Move Everything Up

baby trying to open a cupboard

Remove anything fragile, heavy, or otherwise off-limits (so basically everything) from your desk, kitchen table, and side tables and relocate it to a very high shelf. Better yet, allocate space for the stuff in drawers that lock; you never know when your walker will demonstrate a remarkable ability to scale furniture! And don't forget to clear the bookshelves below chest level, or your baby will do it for you.

2. Control the Cords

electrical cords hanging from the wall

The cords from window blinds are a major hazard for little ones, who can get wrapped up in them and quickly choke. Wind them up and cleat or tape them securely to the wall, very high and well out of the reach of your curious tot. Address all other cords in your house as well: Mobiles should be removed from your baby's crib as soon as he can stand up, and computer, TV, cable, and video game cords can be contained with a cord organizer.

3. Lock the Oven

a baby reaching into an oven

The risk of a burn increases with your child's mobility, so take care in your kitchen to diminish the danger by installing a lock on your oven. Try to cook on the back burners of the range as much as possible, and always turn the handles of all pots inward so little hands can't grab them.

4. Guard the Windows

a baby leaning against a window

Your little walker can now make his way to the windows and possibly open them. Keeping the windows locked is one solution, installing metal or plastic guards that screw into the sides of the window and have bars less than four inches apart is another.

5. Close and Lock Risky Rooms

a baby reaching for a door handle

Some rooms, like the bathroom and office, are so rife with hazards that they're best blocked off from your toddler entirely. Do childproof these rooms by relocating hazardous products, placing a lock on the toilet, and removing any dangerous cords. Then install a lock on the door, or try a childproof doorknob cover.

6. Fix Furniture

a baby leaning up against some furniture

Secure furniture to the walls to prevent your baby from pulling it down on himself. TVs, floor lamps, bookshelves, dressers, and sideboards should be attached to the wall with brackets. It's likely your little one will also start pushing around any furniture he can, so consider relocating dining table chairs, wheeled carts, and other potentially mobile pieces for the time being.

7. Move Counter Hazards

a clean kitchen

Toddlers consider anything they can reach on the counter top fair game to pull down and play with. Stop injuries and accidents before they happen by storing small appliances such as toasters, coffee makers, and blenders, in locked cabinets.

8. Pad the Corners

a baby leaning up against a table

When you have a little one teetering around like a drunken sailor, those sharp corners on your furniture are a major safety hazard. Apply corner guards to coffee tables, TV stands, windowsills, and anything else with pointy parts.

9. Remove Dangerous Products

a large range of cleaning chemicals

You probably relocated toxic household products like cleaners and paint, alcohol, medications, and any other dangerous materials from your cabinets when your baby started crawling. If not, now is the time to do so. Place everything in a high, locked cabinet or on a shelf in the garage.

10. Install Baby Gates

a baby standing behind baby gates

Prevent your tot from tumbling down the stairs by installing baby gates at the top and bottom of staircases. Baby gates can also be useful for blocking small off-limits areas such as the dog's food dish or the entrance to the mudroom.

 
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