Baby-proofing the house begins when baby starts to walk

My little diva has finally taken her first steps. Whoopee! Break out the video camera. Now, I really need to complete all the baby-proofing projects I’ve been putting off for months.

My little diva has finally taken her first steps. Whoopee! Break out the video camera. Now, I really need to complete all the baby-proofing projects I’ve been putting off for months.

Of course, I want to be savvy and spend money on only the projects that must be done. And I am fairly sure that my husband and I can do it rather than enlist the aid of a service.

Months ago, I grabbed the low-hanging fruit and installed outlet covers.

But if marketers such as One Step Ahead are to be believed, I am woefully behind. They have a product for every possible scrape and fall.

Don’t believe me? There are kneepads designed to help prevent scraped knees during crawling. Or perhaps you might want the Bumper Bonnet, a soft, padded helmet that aims to prevent sore noggins during the inevitable tumbles that come as babies learn to walk.

Part of me is ready to place my order. A more reasonable part of me surmises that minor scrapes and bruises are a part of childhood.

Now to my baby-proofing to-do list. Following are my top five priorities since my girl is becoming increasingly mobile.

• Find a gate that will work between the banisters at the top of my stairs. So far, I’ve bought two and returned them both because I need a banister-to-banister gate. Most of the gates in retail stores are designed to connect to at least one wall. Right now, I’ve got a loveseat blocking the stairs.

• Install cabinet locks. I have some clear, stretchy latches that are aesthetically pleasing and usable on multiple surfaces. But there are also some plastic latches with magnetic locks that might make for easier entry provided I can keep up with the key.

• Move all of my books and magazines and other assorted tchotchkes to higher ground. This costs nothing. But what to do about my side tables with the low glass shelves? And what about the bookshelf in my bedroom with its tantalizing, heavy tomes?

• I’m wondering whether to get a stove shield. My daughter is totally into pulling everything down to her level. She’s not tall enough to reach the stove yet, but maybe I should get this just in case.

• Toilet-bowl latches might be a good idea. I’m figuring it’ll be a while before we need these as we keep bathroom doors closed at all times. But I’m in stock-up mode, so maybe these should go in my basket, too.

Sherri Day is a new mother and a veteran newspaper journalist.

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