6 to 8 Months Baby Proof Your Home

Your child becomes mobile by about 8 months of age. If you have not baby proofed your home by now you should do this right away. At about eight months, baby is crawling and will try to stand and will walk very soon! The more she can get around, the more dangerous everyday objects become.

The best way to see what your baby might get into is to get down on your hands and knees and see the world from her point of view. What do you see out there that might be dangerous to her? Some possibilities are:

Electrical plugs:

Safety plugs can be bought at hardware and drug stores. These safety plugs are very important. These small plastic plugs close off open outlets. The safety plugs keep your baby from sticking something into the outlet and getting an electric shock.

Electrical cords or extension cords:

These also are dangerous because a child can pull a lamp or appliances down on herself or bite through the cord and get an electric shock. Tape cords to the floor or hide them if possible. Wrap cords around furniture legs to get them out of the way.

Mini-blind cords:

Tie up the cords so that they are out of the reach of your child. Children can strangle themselves on cords they can reach. Cordless blinds also are available.

Stairs:

Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs to guard against falls.

Sharp edges:

Many coffee tables have sharp corners that can injure babies. When your child is learning to walk, she will fall a lot. Temporarily move tables that are in the way or buy table pads to soften the blow.

Burns:

Be sure to keep any hot items out of your baby’s reach. Hot drinks or soup can burn your baby badly if she pulls the cup down on herself.

Baby walkers:

Do not use a baby walker. Children in walkers can get seriously injured by tipping over and falling down stairs. And baby walkers don’t help babies learn to walk sooner – they can actually slow the baby’s development.

Houseplants:

Remove plants from baby’s reach. Many plants are poisonous. Remember that babies love to put everything in their mouths!

Doorknob covers:

Use doorknob covers to stop your child from opening a door.

Door locks:

Use door locks to keep your child out of areas like the bathroom or swimming pool.

Door stops and door holders:

Use door stops and door holders to protect your child’s fingers. Door hinges can pinch or crush fingers and hands.

Window guards and safety netting:

Use window guards and safety netting on decks and balconies. This will help stop your child from falling out.

Make sure at least one window in each room is easy to open in case of fire. Plan a fire escape route for your family.

Lead Poisoning

Make sure your home has been tested for lead dangers. Many houses and apartments built before 1978 have lead-based paint. Lead from paint, paint chips and dust can cause serious health risks if not taken care of properly. Do not try to remove the paint yourself. A licensed contractor must remove the lead. Improper removal can put more lead dust and fumes into the air and increase the risk of lead poisoning. Your doctor may check your baby’s blood for lead poisoning between one and two years of age. But try to keep your baby away from exposure to lead.

Teach Your Baby about Danger

Setting limits for your baby is important to keep him safe. But babies often do not fully understand these limits. Even though you try, you cannot watch them every minute. You can try saying “No.” But your child is not being naughty. He does not remember that he should not touch the object. He may just be exploring.

Babies are curious. This is how they learn. Sometimes it is easier to remove an object that can hurt them instead of saying “No” all the time. At this age, the memories of most babies have not developed enough to remember your warnings from one time to the next. That is why child proofing your house is such an important safety step.

Do not hit a child or punish him for not listening to your warnings. He simply does not understand. Some parents decide to have one completely child proof room where everyone can relax.

First Aid Supplies

As much as you try to keep your child safe, accidents will happen. Have a first aid kit where all your first aid supplies are together. Be sure you know exactly where to find them.

—- from First5 Advice for New Parents

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