So the little one is starting to move around the house more quickly. Crawling or even walking along the furniture. You start thinking about all of the things that they could hurt themselves on and panic! Why don’t they make bubble wrap suites for little ones learning to walk, or padded suites or well everything soft cornered and bouncy?
RELAX! You survived your first attempts at movement, likely in or with toys that have since been deemed dangerous. We hear the horror stories about children falling down stairs, out of windows, off of furniture and well everything else and immediately fear for our own children. It won’t stop – the fearing for your children – so you might as well accept that it is a part of your life and figure out how you are going to do deal with it.
Baby-proofing is important, but I am more of an advocate of moving items of danger away rather than locking all the cabinet doors. Communicating danger to young ones who are interested in experimenting is also good. I know you are thinking – like they understand. Well you would be surprised how much a child understands this is hot and it will hurt without actually touching it.
Or maybe I am raising a genius.
We did not put locks on our cupboards, but moved the dangerous stuff out of reach.
Plugs did not get covered, but every time our son went to stick his fingers or toys in them we told him “No” and explained why. Okay, we had to do it a lot and there came a point where we just about put in the covers, but at that point he got it.
Most of the other things that could be considered hazardous were furniture that he started to use as a climbing tool and again we just made sure to watch and caution. Our son is a bit of a dare-devil and once he could walk hasn’t stopped freaking me out by jumping off things and running into other stuff.
For the first 6 months after he started to walk there wasn’t a week that went by where he didn’t have a bruise on his forehead. And he still thinks his head is a weapon.
I am not a proponent of the helicopter parent, but do believe that boundaries need to be set. Children need to be able to get bruises, scrapes, bumps and the occasional more serious injury or they will be afraid to try new things.
Certainly when I was growing up and learning new things I was not limited to elbow pads, helmets, and knee pads when learning to ride a bike, roller skate, or any other sport that is available for children to play. I am perfectly healthy and survived to have a child of my own.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t protect our kids and limit the possibility to severe injury, but know that it will happen regardless of how much “Proofing” you do. Children have a way of finding things to hurt themselves with and there is not a much that you are going to be able to do about it.
Pick what you can do and let the rest happen. Teach you little ones what the action is when you say stop/freeze (mine picked freeze). Make it a game and they will listen most of the time.
Enjoy this time of learning! It is so amazing to watch them learn how to do things we do everyday without thinking!