If you’re compiling your baby gift registry, add a couple safety gates to it. It’s never too soon to start thinking about safety. If you have any kind of stairs in your home, you’re going to need to gate them off as soon as baby starts moving around on his own.
Gates are inexpensive now and come with many ergonomic features. Gone are the days when you had to climb over a waist-high gate and risk falling down the stairs yourself. Now, safety gates are available with walk-through options. You lift a childproof handle and walk through the gate. Close it shut after you and the stairs are safe. Find gates at a home store. Opt for ones that do not have metal closures that can pinch little fingers. Secure them to the wall whenever possible and don’t rely on the kind that suction on. Babies get stronger and an ill-fitting gate can easily topple over giving baby access to dangerous territory. Even if it means putting a few holes in your banister or walls, it’s worth it to know that your gates are secure.
If you’re going to use a larger room for baby’s play area, you’ll also want to gate off any openings to other areas of the house. It’s not just the stairs that prove hazardous. Babies are naturally curious and will meander anywhere they can looking for adventure. You can never leave a baby or toddler alone to go answer the phone or throw in a load of laundry. You’ve got to secure the entire area in order to keep baby safe. Remove any dangling objects and cords from the gated area as well. Baby may attempt to grab onto anything he can to get up and over the gate.
If you have pets, you have another challenge before you. You want to keep your beloved dog or cat in the house, but you don’t want any accidents with baby around. Dogs can easily be discouraged from entering the room baby is in. Just make sure the gate you choose is sturdy and tall enough to prevent either your baby or your dog from jumping or climbing over. Most dogs will easily get the idea and not whine or scratch to be let into the area. If you’ve got a stubborn dog on your hands who refuses to stay in his own area, you might want to consult a veterinarian who can advise you on training tips. Make sure you give your pet enough room of his own so he won’t feel banished. And spend time alone with your pet so he doesn’t feel left out.
Cats are their own unique creatures. They refuse to acknowledge gates or barriers. If you have a very young child, assume that he will be interested in the cat. Anything that moves is going to catch baby’s attention. So what to do with your precious feline while baby’s up and playing? You’re going to have to choose one or two rooms for your cat to roam in. The rest of the rooms will have to remain closed off. This may seem harsh if your cat is used to free reign of the house, but it’s for baby’s safety. Even the most well-behaved cat will scratch when his tail is pulled.