Toddlers are climbing, running, mischievous little gymnasts who will try your patience every bit as much as they melt your heart.
Every milestone is infused with a little bit of magic, but part of keeping up — and keeping them safe — is paying extra attention to toddler-proofing your nursery.
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Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Founder & Head Sleeper of Moore Sleep
Adjust the crib and keep it clear
As your toddler eats you out of house and home and shoots up to grand new heights, the possibility that they can hop right out of their crib grows by leaps and bounds, too.
To minimize the chance of a slip and fall — and a heart attack when they appear at your bedside in the middle of the night — drop the toddler mattress to its lowest setting as soon as your baby can sit up. Once they’re about 35 inches tall, it’s time to consider transitioning to a toddler bed.
Although the risk of SIDS is no longer a concern beyond 12 months of age, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping crib bumpers, stuffed animals, and toys out of the crib. While they were a suffocation hazard for your newborn, they can now be used as a means to climb out of the crib by your little escape artist. A small lovey is okay once your baby is 12 months, and a wearable blanket like the Zen Sack is still the best alternative to loose blankets.
Secure furniture before your toddler starts imagining they’re about to summit Mount Everest
To parents, dresser drawers are convenient places to hide mountains of clothes and mismatched baby socks. To toddlers, they’re an invitation to climb up and pull down whatever’s handy.
Tip-over injuries send one child to the emergency room every 30 minutes. To avoid being a statistic, buy anchor kits to hold big pieces of furniture (no matter how light or heavy) in place and strap systems to keep electronics like televisions from being pulled onto exploring kiddos.
Safeguard against electrical shock and cord hazards
Few things are more fun for a toddler than mimicking how mom and dad plug in stuff and then pulling the cord free again. While you’re probably not keeping your vacuum in the nursery, there is probably a humidifier, lamp and other electronic goodies that present a major temptation.
Wrap up cords using a cable management kit that pulls double-duty as an organizer and hiding spot, so your growing baby doesn’t mistake the cord for a chew toy. Outlet covers are another must; in addition to the old-school plug inserts, there are now power-strip covers and safety plates you can install, too.
Don’t forget about your window cords, either. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission lists corded blinds as one of the top five hazards in your home. To prevent this serious risk, place cords on the middle ledge (where the lock is), out of your child’s reach—or replace with a cordless option.
Choose comfy, soothing, safe sleepwear
It’s time to retire the swaddles that got you through the first six months of baby’s life and try PJs that allow for more mobility. The Zen Sack Classic™ keeps baby’s arms and legs cozy (no blankets required), with sizes up to 36 pounds and 24 months, while the Zen Footie™ and Zen Bodysuit are ideal for active sleepers and work equally well in the crib, car seat and stroller.
Close the door
While it’s never safe to lock a child in a room (or use a latch or other device to keep the door propped), keeping the door closed at night can help keep smoke and heat from spreading to your baby’s room in the event of a fire.
According to the Close Before You Doze campaign, locking a door increases the amount of time it takes someone to escape from a fire, but simply closing the door can make a significant difference in how fast the fire spreads.