When Babyproofing Is Not Enough

18 May 2012

10 things to do after babyproofing

Guess it's the week to talk babyproofing around here. Gates are installed, sockets are blocked off and cabinets are latched shut. What do you do when the kids still get hurt around the house and how can you make it happen less often?
  1. Recognize that babies are rapidly-changing human beings. When Spice was around 6 months old, she fell off the bed with me beside her. Up until then, she had not shown any real ability to rollover much less roll all the way across a king-sized bed but she chose to do that the one afternoon I had her in bed with me and dozed off for all of 4 seconds. The pediatrician has actually said that after 4 months, don't assume that your baby is immobile again
  2. Recognize that walking toddlers move really, really fast. The toddler walking to your right is suddenly on your left with her fingers in the jamb of the door you're closing. They're fast! That happened yesterday morning
  3. Work with personalities. Sugar is the fast, always on the move, won't-stay-when-asked-to baby. To compensate for this, I always pick her up first when using the stairs and unstrap her last from strollers and car seats. When I mix that order up, ugly things can happen. Like yesterday morning - because Spice just had her fingers caught in the door, I was carrying her and getting ready to go downstairs. Sugar (ignoring my calls to stop and wait for me) lunges for the stairs, loses her balance and is falling headlong down the stairs. I manage to dive and grab her by the leg but in the process also bumped Spice's head on the banister. Can you tell yet that it was not a good morning?
  4. Don't be afraid to discipline. Regardless of discipline style, when a child's action puts them or someone else in danger, they need to be firmly corrected. That's what the babyproofing professional told me and I agree with him 100%. After our morning adventure, Sugar got a stern talking to from me. For the rest of the day, in situations where she'll normally ignore my calls and walk away, she's stayed close when I asked her to. I think she got it. I hope she got it.
  5. Practice safety until it becomes a habit. I've had a few episodes of the twins running away in public places lately but left it alone because I didn't want to crush their curiosity and sense of adventure. Yesterday morning showed me that may not be the best approach.We're going to start practicing walking beside mommy and holding her hands when requested until it becomes second nature.
  6. Talk to BTDT moms. Those are mom's who've been there, done that and are honest enough to share. After Spice fell off the bed, I was so eaten up with guilt. What helped the most was talking to a colleague with older kids about the incident and she pooh-poohed me with her own baby falling from bed story. It helps to know we're all human. In the same vein, don't go talking to some super-mom in tight blue panties who's going to give you a list of what you did wrong and pour gasoline on the flame of your guilt.
  7. What kind of an ordinary mother are you?!
  8. Forgive. If an incident does happen, forgive yourself and if the incident did not happen on your watch, forgive whoever was in charge at the time. It could happen to anyone and unless your child was injured out of malice, forgiveness is the key to moving on. 
  9. Call the medical professionals. Sometimes an injury is not ER worthy but it's still reassuring to talk to a medical professional. Quite a few states, provinces, doctors' offices and insurance companies have 24 hour nursing helplines just for this purpose. They'll detail treatments to apply at home and also give a list of signs to watch out for that will necessitate seeing the doctor. I've called the Alberta helpline before and the nurse on the other end was awesome.
  10. There's an app for that. WebMD has a free app that can be used as reference for a lot of first aid situations. There's a listing of all their mobile apps here
  11. Stock up on bandages, alcohol wipes, cotton balls, gauze, pain medication, hugs and tons of kisses. Unless the toddler is wrapped in cotton wool for 24 hours in a room with foam walls, you're gonna need them.
Have a great weekend y'all!

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