Welcome to a whole new phase of babyhood. Now that your infant has mastered movement on all fours, she/he is able to explore the world and engage in some skill-boosting activities like scooting toward the ball instead of crying for you to bring it to him/her. But along with your baby’s newfound mobility comes the potential for mischief. As he/she crawls toward trouble spots (ex: electrical outlets, stairs, and doors). This is the time to start thinking about crawling safety. These tips will help ensure that your little crawler is safe.
1. Move electrical and window cords out of the way. Plug up electrical outlets, lock cabinets that contain dangerous items (ex: poisons, medicines, sharp objects, or breakables), and get rid of items on the floor that are small enough to fit into your baby’s mouth and possibly choke him/her.
2. Section off any danger zones (ex: bathroom/kitchen) by installing a safety gate at the entrance of the room or area, or keeping the door closed.
3. If your house has multiple levels, you’ll need to install a gate at the top and bottom of the stairs so that your baby won’t be able to crawl up from the bottom and tumble back down.
Crawl as a couple
A great way to help you understand the view your child has of the world and see what potential dangers she/he may encounter even if you have baby proofed your home, is to get down on the ground and crawl with her. You may notice a long-forgotten possible choking hazard under the chair or discover that the edge of your coffee table is sharper than you thought. Crawling around with your baby will also give you the chance to teach him/her some crawling safety tips (Ex: what’s okay for her to grab and what’s not).
Level the floor
If you have wood flooring, make sure that wood floors are free from splinters, nails, or any other sharp objects. Your baby must have a smooth surface on which to roam. If you don’t have any carpeted areas in your home, you may want to consider getting one with added padding to give your baby the chance to crawl on some soft surface and reduce any bruising to his/her tender knees.