baby and toddler safety 101 (for the realist)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Having an almost 17 month old pretty much means I am required to have eyes in the back of my head. Mini-me is wild, energetic, curious and somewhat mischievous. It's hard to get much done when she's running around.

As a thoughtful shower gift I received a couple 'safety kits'. I remember thinking "these will come in handy". I'm quickly learning that it sometimes seems like no matter how many precautions you have in place, your little one can ALWAYS find something to get in trouble with.

Another tricky factor: toddlers are uber clumsy. They really are like little mini drunkards teetering and tumbling all over the place. The whole 'learning to walk' thing takes some time and there are many falls. MANY falls along the way. Then there's the whole "I want to climb on, up, over and down every and ANY thing". Their curious minds and new mobility skills can be a recipe for disaster.

blackeye care of our coffee table

Oh boy.

The majority of the 'safety supplies' haven't been used in our house. I rely primarily on heavy supervision and trying to teach her right from wrong. I don't leave mini-me unsupervised for any length of time. That's not to say I don't cook, BBQ, go to the bathroom etc. But I usually know where she is and what she is doing and she's close enough that I can see her or hear what she's doing. NOTE: I have ONE child, so supervision isn't too much of a challenge. I highly suspect that if there's a baby # 2, I'll never know what he or she is doing (just kidding... kind of).

While I think supervision is so important, there are also a few tips that are helpful (and necessary) so that you can rest a little easier while your little one is roaming the house and you do things like cook dinner, use the washroom, surf facebook  and other important house-stuff:
  • if it's heavy, climbable and could fall, it needs to be bolted to the wall. I'm not even being funny. If you think that bookshelf has a chance of falling over on your little one, just bolt it to the wall. You and/or your partner will have fun using the drill anyways.
  • if it's poisonous and you wouldn't eat it, they will so put it away. I'm talking dishwasher tablets, laundry detergent, pool/hot tub chemicals etc. Little people are extraordinarily fast and sneaky, if it shouldn't be in their mouth they will find a way to put it there. Better safe than sorry.
  • baby gates. If you can't have your eyes on your baby/toddler (spoiler alert: you CAN'T) than you better have some properly installed baby gates. I have no idea why, but little people, particularly the ones unable to use the stairs, are drawn to the stairs. As soon as that gate is left open, she's on her way up.
  • plug covers. Seriously, if you have little people you NEED these. Since a very young age, mini-me has been intent on sticking anything she can into outlets. Mainly her fingers but anything will do. She recently got her hands on a pair of headphones (which Mr. B thought would make a good toy - go dad!) and I totally busted her trying to plug the metal part into the outlet. Thank the sweet lord there was covers on the outlet or mini-me might have got quite the shock. Literally.
  • teach your children how to treat pets. Mini-me was taught very early on to be gentle with our dog. He is a sweet, loving and kind dog, but she also knows not to hit him, pull his hair or climb all over him. Animals are animals, they have instincts, so we need to teach our little ones how to treat them, just like we treat them how to treat other people, with kindness. Also, as kind and sweet as our dog is, I always make sure to watch extra careful when mini-me is around him because it only takes a second.

I'm also quickly learning that some things, while gross, aren't necessarily a safety concern.

Things I'm less concerned about these days:
dog food - it's going to happen, as long as she doesn't eat the whole bowl, we're good.
dog hair - we have a Golden Retriever, it's pretty much a given but holy heck it's everywhere. EVERY. WHERE. She's covered in it most of the time regardless of how much I vacuum and it's inevitable that she's consumed a ton of it. 
dirt - she walks in sand all day and sucks on her toes on our drive home. Really?! I can't control that nor do I have the energy. She actually finds it rather humorous when I express my distaste with an "ewwww don't eat your dirty toes".

Things that you don't even consider will happen. Like the time mini-me dropped one of my weights on her foot (ouch). Or the time I zipped her neck up in a vest (ya, that happened). Stuff will happen, hopefully minor, and you'll feel bad (or like the zipper example, like the worst mom ever) but it happens. It happens to everyone.

Here's the deal: accidents happen. Be prepared as possible, use common sense but keep in mind sh!t is going to happen. Heads are going to run into the coffee table, knees and elbows will get scraped and fingers will get shut in cupboards.

I refuse to be a 'hover'er'. There's being preventative, safe and using common-sense and then there's being overprotective. You can't put padding around your entire house and to some extent these little people need the freedom to explore and learn about the world. 

September is National Baby Safety Month so this linkup is a timely one! Check out other safety posts below (and linkup your own). Make sure you visit TrueAgape for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and some other safety stuff!


  1. I remember those days! Our daughter got into everything! The thing that stands out to me the most reading this post is bolting the furniture to the wall, even if you think it would never tip over. My nephew climbed up his dresser once when he was about 3 and it fell over on him. Luckily he was not hurt!


    1. I know, even though I wrote that and we still haven't done it. Thankfully, she's not quite climbing things yet but I'll be on Mr. B VERY soon to bolt certain things to the wall. It terrifies me thinking what could happen if something fell on her. I'd never forgive myself.

  2. oh so true! Great post Shaunacey! Been there done that and the dog food and dog!

  3. Thank you for sharing your tips with us today! I never thought about bolting shelves until I read a story about a dresser falling on a toddler and her passing away. I can imagine toddlers are a handful! We are still in the baby stage.

    1. Thanks for inviting me Cassie!!!
      I know, it's such a terrifying thought!
      Toddler-hood is a disaster waiting ALL the time!

  4. Great post! I remember those days well. My theory is that until about 5 years old, our kids are trying to kill themselves - and it's our job to save them from themselves. Of course, then they start driving...

    1. oh my gosh it's so true Lana... they really are on a self-destruct mission some (most) days!


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