How to Secure Your Home for Your Second Child
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband went through child protection checklists to make sure our home wasn’t a danger zone for a toddler who thinks the whole world is just waiting to be touched, climbed and licked. We crawled across the floor looking for potential dangers . We say goodbye to our sharp-edged glass coffee table . We bolted the chests of drawers to the wall , locked the detergent cabinet, and covered the electrical outlets with protective covers. My daughter is now five years old and still alive.
As we await the arrival of our second child, it occurred to me that perhaps we should check the safety of our home again at some point. I realize that this is usually not something that many parents think of when I asked a few friends what they have done to keep their children safe from children. No. 2, the answer was a loud “Huh?” But looking around the house, in a way, it seems like this place is even less child-friendly than it used to be. There are tiny toys and drawing supplies everywhere: legos, balls, beads, tiny eyes, Rainbow Loom ribbons, buttons, miniature cars, and rubber dolls with tiny shoes and sunglasses. Things my daughter plays every day. Things that seem delicious to a curious baby.
When Kid Two goes mobile, we may have to reorganize and set new rules. Here are some ways to re-protect your home from kids a second time, as shared by members of the Offspring Facebook group.
- Create a Big Kids Toy Zone. Many parents put their babies on playgrounds, but crawlers need space to move and explore. I love the idea of creating a small, enclosed space for big kids’ toys – Lego, Calico Critters, and everything else from easy-to-swallow pieces. Call it the Big Kids Toy Zone and older kids will proudly keep it exclusive. Mom named Louise did it and says that everything turned out great. “My elder not only had a place where he could safely play with his things, he also had a place that he could use when he felt overwhelmed by his little sister, who thought he was the most adorable creature on earth, and will be tied to his side every moment of the day if we let her, ”she writes.
- Distribute toys according to the degree of danger. On the shelves, use a basic low to high rule: put the safest toys on the lowest levels, and the toys with small details on the highest levels or in toilets. You may decide to put in large baby toys only when the baby is napping or otherwise not in the way.
- “Protect your child from children, not your home.” This is the main advice my mom named Amanda gave. “In addition to making sure the little things were out of reach, we taught our children to leave harmful things alone at an early age,” she writes. “This includes chemicals, outlets and ladders.” If your older children are at least 4 or 5 years old, they can learn to always put away their toys, especially those with small parts, and alert you to any potential dangers. And as a second parent, you know that no matter how careful you are, sometimes different things happen. For your reference, here’s how to safely remove a tiny object from your child’s nose .