Parenting Perspective: Baby proofing the house

Friday, April 09, 2010

Eight-month-old Sienna is on the move!

Not only is she crawling like crazy, she has learned to pull herself up to standing on almost any stable (and unstable) thing you put in front of her. It's extremely exciting but also extremely nerve-wracking!

A couple of weeks ago I made a stop at Target to get some plugs for all the empty outlets in the house. I also grabbed some latches for the cabinets (yes, she's learned to pull those open too). But I realized there is more to baby-proofing the house. All of a sudden, Sienna seems just too big for a lot of different things around our home.

One of the most obvious adjustments was the crib. Since she is standing now, we lowered it as low as it can go. That cute little mobile that she used to watch go round and round? Gone, because she's standing so well she could, in theory, reach up, grab it and easily get tangled in the strings.

The changing table is a tough one to get rid of. It's extremely convenient and all the necessities are lined up in a neat little row at the end of the table. Unfortunately, Sienna finds lying there very boring. When I put her down on the table, she can't wait to try to squirm her way off it. I've decided it's just too dangerous to have her up there. It only takes a second for her to move the wrong way and fall. Wow I'm so glad I spent money on all these accessories!

Another thing I noticed. Sienna has a stationary excer-saucer and a stationary jumper. I looked down the other day while she was jumping away and realized her feet were flat on the ground. The instructions say the baby's toes should just touch the ground. So we adjusted all of those toys.

There are some other things I'm more conscious of now. I don't put water or juice glasses on the floor when I'm playing with her - she's just too quick and can easily take a swipe at the glass. That cell phone? That's a favorite of hers to put in her mouth. That stays WAY out of reach. I know there are other dangers around the house that I have to be aware of. That's why I thought this was such a great tip. Get on all fours and crawl around your house. That way, you are on the baby's level and will probably encounter things that you never would have seen or thought about from an adult standing perspective. Here's a few sites parents of new crawlers may find helpful:

One more thought: My husband and I both talked about the inevitable moment when Sienna will take a stumble. It will happen, regardless of how well you baby proof your house or how closely you watch your child. The first will certainly not be the last...not by a long shot. There will likely be years and years of unfortunate falls. It's going to happen and sometime you have to act against your instinct. She's got to lose her balance every once and a while in order to learn how to move around. It's difficult to watch but absolutely necessary.

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