Hidden Dangers: Baby-proofing for the second child

Fill area with safe toys

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  (WOTV)- My little girl is almost 10 months old and crawling like crazy.  She is so fast and so interested in everything!  We are on our toes making sure she isn’t getting into trouble and more importantly isn’t getting hurt.  As I started to look around the house I realized that it’s been 3 years since we “baby-proofed” and it’s time for a refresher course.

Hidden Danger #1: The fireplace

What is more exciting for a baby than a fireplace?  The answer can only be trumped by a dangling cord or a huge ball of fur and dust.  Here is little Kinsley Kay ready to explore.  Don’t mind the pile of baby toys on the other side of the room that are lighting up and playing music and would be so much fun, just please head on over to the dangerously sharp chunk of stone and crawl around.  EEK!

Solution: The Fireplace

So the minute this little girl could crawl she kicked it into super speed and headed right for the fireplace.  Since it’s so incredibly hard to keep your eye on your baby every second (especially when your older child is vying for your attention) it’s important to minimize risks like these.  I thought about using pillows but I know that she’ll just toss those out-of-the-way.  I opted for a baby gate to completely close off the area.  While it may not look pretty, and I miss my “adult” living room, safety comes first.

Hidden Danger #2: Broken cabinet locks

After rummaging through my house and watching Kinsley fling open a cabinet door with a little grin on her face, I realized that many if not all of the cabinet locks had been broken and long forgotten about.  This included the kitchen cabinet with cleaning supplies, the door to the laundry shoot and a variety of others.

Solution: Cabinet locks

If you’re like me, you probably can’t find the “extra” bag of cabinet hooks and locks that you set aside a few years ago.  Wierd!  So go through the house and take a tally of all the doors, cabinets and spaces that need a new one.  Then head to the store, pick up a pack and start replacing them right away.  It only takes a second for baby to get into something she shouldn’t.

Hidden Danger #3: Outlets

If your first child is a few years old you probably find at this stage in the game those plug covers just get in the way and slow you down when you’re trying to quickly vacuum the floor.  But now that baby number two is on the move you’ll quickly remember how important those plug covers are for little curious hands.

Solution: Outlets

It may seem like a no-brainer but I’m telling you, you’ll be surprised at how many plugs I found that didn’t have covers!  Some plugs had one cover, others had none and some had both.  It’s important to go through the house and find the missing one and get them pushed back into place.  If you don’t find them your baby will.

Hidden Danger #4: Choking hazards

Yummy!  I don’t know why small toys are so delicious but baby’s love them.  For your first child this probably wasn’t much of an issue.  You had a mountain of baby toys laying around but not a million small characters, animals, puzzle pieces and random objects.   Now with an older child you’ll find that their stuff can create a lot of problems for baby.

Solution: Choking hazards

We have two areas for Easton’s toys, especially the small ones.   His little toys stay in his room (pictured above) and we also created a “Secret play area” for him behind the couch.  He loves it because it’s like a hideout and we love it because he stores his “stuff” back there and the baby can’t get to it.  Be sure to organize small toys into bins or tubs with lids and supervise your child while they play so nothing gets left out or in reach of the baby.

Hidden Danger #6: Dangling cords

It’s easy to forget about the basic things you walk past every day like a dangling cord. This seemingly obvious fix can present a big danger.  Your baby may want to chew on the cord or pull it down causing heavy objects to come crashing down.

Solution: Dangling cords

When you have a baby who is on the move, chances are it’s time to arrange the furniture or remove some of it.  Sharp coffee tables and dangling lamp cords are often a big problem.  To hide the cords you may have to find a new home for your lamps or choose a different table to place it on.  Check others rooms like your bedroom or basement for a temporary furniture swap.

Hidden Danger: Obvious ant traps

I am not proud to say that I turned my head for two seconds the other day and found my daughter waving around an ant trap in her little hand.  Yup that little strip of poison luckily didn’t make it to her mouth but it was a giant wake up call.

Solution: Hidden ant traps

Many people have ant traps or bug traps ect. laying around on the floor.  The solution is to purchase traps that are made for people with kids and pets or to simply put them in a place where curious little hands can’t find them.  I thought under the chair was good enough until the chair got moved and the trap was exposed.  Tuck them deeply under the bed and couch so that they can’t be found.

Best baby-proofing solution: Create a baby zone

The best advice I can give you is create a safe place for your baby to play.  Even though it’s an eye-sore and I hate my living room looking like a play room, this too is just a phase.  If you’re the parent of more than one child you know how fast each stage goes.  What’s important is your peace of mind and your baby’s safety.  We explained to our older child that only the baby and her toys are allowed in that area.  Though the baby doesn’t always like the idea of sitting in the play zone she gets used to it and is starting to enjoy it.  It’s a great place to put baby when you have a chore to complete, need to go to the bathroom or take a quick phone call.  Be smart and be safe and enjoy this time with your growing baby.  We all know it goes too fast.


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