On average, babies start to crawl at 8 months, which means many get moving even earlier. A crawling baby will soon start pulling up, too, which means counters and other surfaces are no longer out of reach. Use this checklist to help you prepare for a kid who can go from here to there in the blink of an eye. Then crawl around on your hands and knees to see if you've missed anything.
Fill tub just enough to cover baby's legs (2 to 3 inches of water).
Use warm, not hot, water (do wrist test or use thermometer to make sure water is 96 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
Never, ever leave baby in tub unsupervised, not even for a few seconds.
Put nonslip mats in bathtub and on the floor next to the tub.
Nice to have:
Soft cover for bathtub spout.
Covers for bathtub knobs.
Bathtub ring for baby to sit in. (Not a substitute for supervision!)
Don't carry hot food or drink and your baby at the same time.
Keep hot food and drink away from edges of tables and counters.
Don't hold baby while cooking at stove.
Turn pot handles toward back of stove.
Secure oven door with an appliance latch.
Nice to have:
Plastic stove guard that blocks access to burners; knob covers.
Keep baby in rear-facing car seat until at least 1 year old and 20 pounds.
Install car seat properly, in rear-facing position in middle of back seat.
Use safety strap and don't leave baby unattended.
Keep toiletries out of baby's reach but within yours.
Don't use baby clothing with drawstrings.
Avoid using soft, fluffy bedding such as pillows, comforters, or sheepskins under sleeping or napping baby.
When baby gets up on hands and knees, remove mobiles and hanging toys.
When baby pulls up, remove bumper pads and put mattress in lowest position.
Don't leave toys in crib when baby is sleeping.
Keep drop side of crib up and locked when you're not in the room.
Use doorstops and door holders to protect baby's fingers.
Electrical outlets, cords, and appliances
Put safety plugs or outlet covers over unused outlets or block with furniture.
Hide electrical cords behind furniture or use hide-a-cord device.
Keep blow dryers, toasters, and other appliances unplugged and out of reach.
Never leave baby alone on beds or sofas, in bouncy chair or highchair, on changing table, or in any other spot from which he could fall
Use window guards, window stops, and safety netting on windows, decks, and landings.
Cut looped window-blind cords; use safety tassels and cord stops.
Install gates to block stairways at bottom and top.
If railings have openings wider than 4 inches, block with plastic garden fencing, Plexiglas, or other material.
At the store, use safety belt on shopping cart (or bring one of your own).
Install a fireplace grill and keep it in place when a fire is burning.
Move gas fireplace keys out of reach.
Stow logs, matches, and fireplace tools out of reach.
Check batteries in smoke detectors monthly.
Check batteries in carbon monoxide detector (if you have them) at least twice a year.
Review your fire escape route.
Take an infant CPR class in your home.
See our illustrated guide to choking and CPR.
Keep knives, breakables, heavy pots, and other dangerous items locked up or out of reach.
Control access to unsafe areas with safety gates, door locks, and knob covers.
Put locks or latches on accessible cabinets and drawers that contain unsafe items.
Keep trash cans in inaccessible cupboards or use cans with child-resistant covers.
Cover or block access to radiators and floor heaters.
Secure refrigerator with appliance latch.
Keep small fingers out of VCRs with a VCR lock.
Don't use tablecloths or placemats — baby will pull them and what's on them down.
Distract baby from forbidden places by keeping one cupboard unlocked and filled with lightweight, baby-safe items.
Attach corner and edge guards.
Secure furniture that can topple (bookcases, chests of drawers) to the walls.
Keep televisions and other heavy items on low, sturdy furniture, pushed back as far as possible.
Secure tall, unstable lamps behind furniture.
Highchairs and hook-on chairs
Use a sturdy, stable, wide-based highchair with a safety strap.
Clamp hook-on chair securely to a table that cannot tip over.
Use safety straps.
Don't leave baby unattended.
Survey your house and move cleaning agents, medicines, vitamins, toiletries, mothballs, and other potentially toxic items out of reach or lock them up.
Remember that your purse or a visitor's purse can hold medicines, toiletries, and other toxic substances — move handbags out of reach.
Get rid of toxic houseplants such as philodendron or move them out of reach.
Post the number for the American Association of Poison Control Centers' national emergency hotline, (800) 222-1222, near phones.
Sleep (SIDS and fire prevention measures)
Put baby to sleep on his back.
Don't let baby sleep or nap on pillows or fluffy bedding such as comforters or sheepskins.
Don't put baby to sleep on water beds or other soft surfaces.
Keep baby out of the sun as much as possible.
When baby is outside, protect skin with hats, light-colored clothing with long sleeves, and sunscreen.
Install a toilet-seat lock to prevent drowning.
The safest toys:
Are securely put together and in good condition.
Have no buttons, eyes, beads, ribbons, or other pieces baby could pull off and choke on.
Are not too heavy (if a toy would harm baby if it fell on him, it's too heavy).
Have no strings or cords longer than 12 inches.
Are appropriate for baby's age and physical skills.
Can't be hung (or anything else) around baby's neck.
Don't leave baby unattended even for a moment in or near a pool or other water.
If you have a pool, erect fencing at least 4 feet high with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
Empty wading pools and store upright after each use.
Don't leave even small amounts of water, cleaning solutions, or other liquids in buckets or other containers.
Cut off or tie up dangling cords on drapes and blinds.
Mark sliding doors and other expanses of glass with colorful stickers.
Keep baby away from open windows.
Your comments are welcome!