Roland is now getting around to various rooms of the house. At the same time as he got the hang of crawling, he found his balance sitting up. He’s overwhelmed with the possibilities as he contemplates whether to investigate a new corner or crevice of the house or whether to sit and observe from his new upright vantage point. While he is celebrating his accomplishments, I am taking a deep breath and chugging an extra cup of coffee. I know this is when it gets hard. There is no substitution for constant vigilance at this phase, especially with two other young children around, and it is exhausting.
While supervision is a requirement, there are ways to prepare the environment for less policing and more pleasing. Here is my plan to make our house as safe as possible for Roland’s new ways of exploring.
Everything needs to be off the floor always. Leaves, acorns, toys, dirty socks, shoes, and papers are some of the things that somehow always wind up on the floor that Roland quickly finds.
- Vacuum as often as possible. I have a cordless vacuum, and I use it often. I’m a little embarrassed to say that getting a cordless vacuum was life changing for me. Even my 5 year old likes to use it, and it’s light enough that she can help keep the floor clean. I don’t want to be so disgusted seeing all the dog hair and dirt on Roland’s clothes.
- No toys or games with choking hazards in the living room ever. I want that to be Roland’s safe yes space. I think it’s important to have one shared area where we can both relax a little.
- Cover any outlets that have lost their safety plugs. Roland is loving exploring the walls while sitting up.
- Check that secured furniture is still safely secured. He is already pulling himself up in the crib, I know pulling himself up on furniture is in the near future.
- The girls can play with small toys like Shopkins, Legos, and Playmobil in the playroom with the door shut or on the dining room table as long as they pay attention to when pieces drop on the ground and pick them up immediately.
- Put up any small toys that could be accessible on bottom shelves or cabinets. The girls and I went through their play kitchen to make sure that any small pieces to their food sets were put up. They will be fine not having toppings for their play pizza, and I won’t have to worry about Roland opening the doors and potentially getting pieces that are too small.
- Small toys that are left out on the floor will be thrown away. It’s that important to me. I did this with my oldest when my middle was born, and I think I only had to throw away one Shopkin. She quickly understood the importance of the situation and made sure to keep her small things out of reach. It worked really well to include her in on the process of preparing the environment. Since she understood why we were doing it, she easily cooperated with the new rules.
- Get into the habit of closing doors to the playroom, the bathroom, the stairs, the girls’ bedroom, etc. Enjoy that at least he can’t open doors yet.
- Appreciate a house that seems clean with nothing on the floors … vow that you will keep it up even after it’s no longer a safety concern.