Ohhhh toddlers- nature’s monsters. It’s amazing to me how quickly my house can turn from looking sparkling clean to appearing as though my house threw up on itself.
Every day is my own personal battle to keep toys up off the floor, and to remove mysterious sticky substances from tables, floors, and furniture.
I pretty much fail daily.
Sometimes I feel like Mad-Eye Moody, walking around the house, screaming “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!!” Oh, if only I could be a wizard and put a harmless charm on my toddler for one day. Just one.
Until then, I have to make sure I toddler proof my house.
Everyone is so hell-bent on baby proofing, but when kids hit 3, for some reason, we think we can slack. THINK AGAIN! Remember- CONSTANT VIGILANCE PEOPLE!!!
If anything, this is the PRIME time to proof your house. This is when your child gets super curious, like a mini detective or a mad scientist, and the only thing they are trying to determine is how much they can destroy in ten minutes before mommy loses her shit.
What You Should Toddler Proof in Your Home RIGHT NOW
So you think you have a good hold on safety in your home? Here are some major things you should double check or put on lock down (if you haven’t already) in your home.
1. Essential Oils.
Are you an essential oil buff? Then lock it up or keep it up high! If you are constantly using these wonderful oils, chances are, sooner or later your toddler will want to try out these natural remedies as well. Please take precautions, since some of these oils can be poisonous to children if ingested in large amounts. Learn from my mistake, when my son tried to drink cinnamon essential oil. I had to call poison control and his face turned bright red! You can read about that dilemma here.
2. Hair Dye & Cosmetics.
We’ve all seen the cute pictures of children drawing all over their faces with mommy’s eyeliner pencil (my son has done it too). However, some of these cosmetics can be poisonous, especially if your child eats a whole container. More importantly, keep your hair dye out of reach! I made the awful mistake of leaving my pink dye out on the counter after I got home from the store, and about had a heart attack when I saw my son hiding under the table, tipping up the opened bottle (can you believe there was no safety seal!?) into his mouth. THANK GOD I caught him before he was able to ingest any!!!
3. Laundry Room.
Most of us don’t think about proofing the laundry room, but PLEASE place a lock on the door or block off your washing machine from your little one. Many children have died from exploring the washing machine- they may even try to “help’ mommy by placing clothing in a running washer. They can fall in, and if your washer is one of those that continues its cycle once closed (mine does!), this can be fatal. Since my son is a super explorer, I installed a lock on my door so that he cannot open it. If the washer is on, that baby is LOCKED.
Seriously, a few months ago we thought that we may have to deal with major plumbing issues. My son decided to shove (what we think was) washcloths down the shitter. He also pretended to have his own wishing well and tossed a couple dollars worth in coins in there, plus some of his play tools, plus whole rolls of toilet paper. I can’t even begin to tell you the hell that happened in our house that week. We ended up having to block off that bathroom completely, until we got the mystery objects to pass though. Save yourself some time, and get a toilet lock!!! If we didn’t get this problem fixed, we could’ve had to pay in the upwards of a thousand dollars to get the plumbing repaired. Oie.
— Beautifully Bohemian (@TheBohemianMama) August 16, 2015″
5. Pet food.
If you’ve ever seen your toddler drink out of the dog dish, you’ll take this seriously. “STAY OUT OF THE PET FOOD” is a phrase I utter on almost a daily basis. I’m placing this on the list because it’s something we may not even think about, but can be very dangerous for wee ones. My son is old enough now to understand that he probably *shouldn’t* drink after the dog, but when he was smaller, I had to keep a safety gate up to block him from the water bowl. Children have drowned in 1-inch of water, so please, if you can, keep your pet dishes as far away from your littles as possible. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!!
6. Knife drawer.
Toddlers just want to mimic us. We are cool- we get to reach high items, talk on the phone, and hold sharp objects. So it’s no wonder your toddler would try to butter their own bread or cut their own food. Be aware of where your knives are and keep them far back. You can even get locks on your drawers. One way I have solved my sons attraction to knives is by giving him a plastic one during dinnertime. He feels like a big kid but he won’t hurt himself.
My son’s zodiac sign is a cancer, and one thing they love is the fridge. Comfort eaters at heart, cancers are always dipping into the food stash. And my son is no exception. When he was just learning to walk and open doors, his favorite spot was the kitchen. I am constantly having to remind him to stay OUT of the FRIDGE for goodness sakes!!!! “No, you can’t have that. No, dinner will be in a few minutes. NO, NO NO NO.” Do yourself a favor, and invest in a fridge lock. I couldn’t help but silently giggle to myself in triumph when my son couldn’t get into the refrigerator. And I felt defeated when he broke it open (they can’t last forever). If you have a toddler that wants to eat, arm yourself with busy activities and a lock. No matter how long it lasts, it’s worth it!
8. Litter box.
I am happy to say that this is the one thing on the list that my son has NOT explored. Thank goodness!!! However, my other kids did when they were small, which is why it made the cut. When your child comes to you, screaming because they ate a mysterious turd, it will scar you for life. That being said, place your litter AWAY from small children, preferably in the garage. We really don’t need more children eating turds. End of story.
So you may be thinking to yourself that my son is very naughty. And just to clarify, no he is not. He is actually very sweet, cuddly, and kind. These are all things that he has done over the past couple of years, and it seems like a lot when it’s put in list form lol.
It just so happens that he has a bad case of curiosity, and as his mama, I’m stuck with making sure he is safe at all times. It’s an exhausting job. Yet all toddlers will have times when they aren’t trying to ruffle your feathers, they just want to KNOW and EXPLORE. Which is why I made this list for you, so you can take preventative measures and save yourself a huge headache.
Just remember, don’t ever let your guard down around a toddler. They can smell lenience.
Did I miss something on this list? Share your toddler proofing tips with me below!
Featured image photo credit goes to David D.
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