Moving can be a breeze or a burden, depending on the energy you put into planning and coordinating the details that matter most. When we upgrade to a family home before or following the arrival of a new addition, the challenges of baby-proofing the new space can seem daunting, to say the least.
Get Down to Toddler Level
Start out on your knees, or seated on the floor, to shift your “eye-level” to a toddler’s perspective, then take a look around. Everything that can be reached will be a potential hazard, so keep any electrical outlets, phone jacks, and surge protectors safely covered or out of reach. Once your belongings have been placed inside the new home, you can go from room to room at “Toddler level” tucking away exposed electrical cords, removing debris from moving boxes, ensuring stacked boxes are secure or out of reach, and double-checking that cabinet locks are installed throughout the home.
Ensure that boxes are never stacked higher than one or two at a time, because a curious crawler could topple them, leading to injury. If possible, unpack boxes rapidly to get them out of the way, or keep them in one general area of the house until you can get to them – ensuring this room is off-limits to little ones.
Peanuts, Peanuts, Everywhere!
Packaging materials are a necessary annoyance that comes with moving our valuable and fragile possessions. When moving with small children, the cleanup of all moving-related debris and equipment must be meticulous to ensure a rogue Styrofoam noodle or two don’t end up on the dinner menu for your darling. Eating packaging peanuts and other moving fodder can cause injury in small children during the moving process, a headache no new homeowner needs during this time!
Baby Gates are Your Friend
Love them or hate them, baby gates have earned the respect of families everywhere, because creating “Baby-Free Zones” in your home is often essential. Protecting baby from harm, as well as keeping your home office, exercise equipment, kitchen, or bathroom off-limits to your toddler is vital to their safety in the new home. The many dangers in these rooms will be safe from curious kids with a securely closed baby gate blocking the door. These gates can also be used to block the base of a stairway, or the lip of a fireplace. Many stores offer expandable kits to allow larger areas of your home to be sectioned off with connected panels and gates.
Set Up a Safe Play Zone
When unpacking in a jiffy just isn’t possible, set up an area of the new home that’s completely baby-safe for your tot to explore and enjoy. The process of opening and organizing may take days or weeks, but having a space for your little one to play without worrying about boxes will prove to invaluable. No-one wants to play “Helicopter Mom” while trying to settle into a new home, so avoid the risk of a post-move mess and reserve a room for your rascal to roam!
Baby-Proof the Yard and Pool
More than 10 million homeowners in the US have a pool in their back yard. If you fancy moving to a house with a pool, install an automatic pool cover or a fence around it. In this way, you keep both the kids and the pets away. If you want your little kids to play safely, think about building a geodesic dome for them using hubs. Otherwise, remove poisonous plants and the ones with thorns, such as roses or cacti. Also, program your sprinklers to go off before 10 a.m. so that the lawn dries by the time your kids return from school and finish their homework.
All in all, baby-proofing can be a time consuming step in the moving process, but completing the basics before you move in will dramatically reduce the risk of an injury to your child. Remember to sweep thoroughly and remove any remaining tape and clutter from baby-accessible areas after you finish moving in your belongings. Try to remember that moving is a stressful and exciting time for your littlest family members, and add extra cuddles to your moving-day to-do list!