When your baby gets mobile, nothing is safe (including your mobile) - as Caroline Davies has learned the hard way...
When I first became a mum I didn’t really think about baby proofing. To be honest I didn’t really consider much except lovely squidgy cuddles and long, leisurely coffees huddled up in Costa with an adorable sleeping cherub cocooned in my arms. I can almost hear your laughter and I truly wish I hadn't been quite so blissfully unaware of what was really in store.
In my defence, there really isn’t much need to think about door stoppers and cabinet locks when you are the bearer of a lovely, stationary newborn. You just plonk them down in a danger-free spot and when you come back they're still there. Yes, they may have dribbled puke onto your nice cream carpet but they will undoubtedly be exactly where you left them; Mummy - 1, Baby - 0.
Something I have come to realise over the past couple of years is that baby-proofing mainly occurs just after the s*** has hit the proverbial fan. The following lessons have been learned the hard way...
Babies that have mastered the art of crawling really enjoy hiding things; don’t let them touch your stuff
They will lull you into a false sense of security playing beautifully with their own toys; the moment you think its ok to let them play with your purse for 5 minutes you will almost certainly find your bank cards in the freezer just seconds after you’ve cancelled them.
Always put a secure lock on the oven
To reiterate, BABIES REALLY LIKE HIDING THINGS and they will put their teddies in the oven. This leads nicely to...
Always check the oven for teddies before turning it on
It’s really difficult to explain to a non-verbal infant that they can’t have their favourite comforter back because you’ve accidentally cooked it.
This also applies to pretty much anything sharp enough to cut hair or your darling daughter may be left looking like Edward Scissorhands. Note – hair grows painfully slowly when you really want a bald spot to disappear.
Regularly check the height of your toddler
One day they can’t reach work surfaces, the next they have grown half a centimetre and can grasp the edge of a knife from a chopping board. They will think it’s funny to wield it at you whilst you flap madly and try desperately to grab it back without being stabbed.
When your child starts to climb it’s ok to cry...
... and drink wine, lots of delicious wine.
I realise at this point I have probably shared too much. But I maintain that it is impossible to predict every eventuality; common sense and attention to detail are a new mum's best defence. Get down on your hands and knees and ask yourself the following questions… What can my toddler see? What is my most prized possession? And the one that probably should have come first... what might lead to injury?
Alternatively, I recently spotted an amazing picture of a child secured to a wall with duct tape; do that.