The toddler stage is nonstop fun—literally. Your walking, running, climbing, spinning toddler is constantly exploring and testing the limits, which will result in the occasional “ouch”. These accidents happen but it’s also easy to make your home a little more toddler-friendly with these simple steps from Lisa Trofe, Managing Director of Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
Act Like a Toddler
Get down on your hands and knees and see what your toddler sees. “One of the best ways to figure out the areas your toddler can get into is to get down on their level,” says Trophe. “You’ll see things that are impossible to see from your own vantage point.”
Store The “Nice Stuff” (At Least for Now)
You may love your nice dining room tablecloth with the vase you got as a wedding present. But that cloth is just begging to be yanked on. Although you don’t need to put everything nice you own in storage, you do need to be more mindful of how accessible it is to your tot. Pay attention to what’s within grabbing range for your curious kid.
Teach Stair Safety
For homes that once relied on the safety of stair and doorway gates, your toddler may start learning how to scale them. Once your toddler starts to climb over the gate, it’s time to take them away and teach stairway safety. “Help them to use the railing and go slowly,” says Trophe.
Assess The Toy Pile
For toddlers with older siblings, the more grown-up toys they once ignored will become increasingly appealing. Be mindful of what toys are kept out and what they are still too young for by stashing them out of the rooms they play in most.
Keep Cabinets Locked
Toddlers love doing what adults do and involving them in helping to clean up and make dinner is a lot of fun. But it also entices them to want to check out kitchen drawers or cabinets with or without Mom or Dad. Keep those cabinets and drawers locked and inquiring hands out.
Create Teachable Moments
While your toddler is helping out in the kitchen, take the time to remind them of safety precautions by pointing out how hot the stove is and never to touch. Or to help them wash their hands at the sink, but let them know Mom or Dad always need to help.
Upgrade Their Bed
When the inevitable night comes that your toddler has managed to manuever his way out of the crib, it’s time to transition to a toddler bed. Or if you’ve witnessed attempts at the great crib escape, consider making the transition before your toddler breaks out on his own.
Make Favorite Items More Accessible
If your toddler loves pulling books off the bookcase, stash some favorites in a floor bin to make them easier to grab. Move and rotate toys so that they are within reach and not somewhere Mom or Dad need to get them (since they likely won't ask for help!) The better you can adapt how your toddler is living, the easier it will be to make sure that what they’re looking for is more safely within reach.September is National Baby Safety Month! Thanks to Lisa Trophe and JPMA for the wonderful tips. Click here for more checklists on safety measures for your home.