A Safety Checklist for Parents of Pre-Crawlers

Before you know it, your little one will be mobile, and you'll be starting what feels like a safety race. As soon as you think everything is secure and out of reach, your little one will grow taller, develop climbing skills, or figure out how to get to previously inaccessible items. 

Here's a checklist for the pre-crawling stage, to get you started in the right direction.

1) Secure large furniture items like bookshelves, dressers, and televisions to the wall. Sure, these items are large and heavy, but it doesn't take a lot of force to tip them over. Use furniture wall straps to secure large items. It usually only requires a drill and screwdriver, and maybe an hour of your time. But the safety payoff is monumental. (See Consumer Reports for advice on installation.)

2) Invest in covers for electrical outlets - and while you're at it, consider cabinet locks, squishy bumpers for hard surfaces (think coffee table edges), and doorknob covers. There are a variety of options for cabinet locks and doorknob covers. Take the layout and use of your cabinets into consideration when purchasing locks, and make sure the doorknob covers you select are compatible with your doorknob style.

3) Get baby gates for stairs or other areas you'd like to keep "off-limits" - laundry room, mudroom, bathroom, etc. Think your stair opening is too unconventional for a gate? Think again. Check out our Pinterest page for gate ideas. Be careful of DIY options. Baby gates have to withstand a fair amount of pushing and pulling. Unless you're super confident in your carpentry skills (and kudos to those of you who are!), stick with tested, commercially available choices.

4) Move or tie back strangulation hazards like window blind and electrical cords. Make sure window blind cords are up and out of reach - in living spaces and in bedrooms. Make sure charging cords for electronics are up high or tucked back out of reach.

5) Get into a good habit of not leaving small or sharp items on or near the floor. If you routinely take small things out of your pockets and leave them on the coffee table, maybe invest in a basket or other "catch-all" for the countertop. Keep coins, keys, and other small items out of the way. 

And finally, get down to floor level and take a tour of your living spaces. You'll notice the things that will be of interest for a crawling baby (um, that would be *anything and everything*), and move unsafe items up out of reach.

Above all else, don't only rely on baby-proofing to keep your baby safe. Use common sense.

Links for products from Amazon are not affiliate links and are for education purposes only. Soutiens does not endorse or recommend any brand of safety gear, nor do we receive compensation of any sort from any purchases made through Amazon.

{Originally written by Sarah Douglas for First Days Postpartum Care. Edited and reposted for Soutiens with permission.}