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Moving into a new home is rarely an easy or stress-free task (although it is exciting) It can be made even more stressful if one (or more) of a Waterloo Region home’s new occupants are toddlers.
Aside from the stress of trying to ensure that the younger members of your family are safe and at least semi-entertained on moving day there is the issue of toddler-proofing your new place to be considered. Yes, you will have 101 (at least) other things to do during the first hours, days and weeks in your new space, but ensuring that it’s as safe as possible for your toddler(s) is a must.
Here are just a few tips to keep in mind:
Get Down to Toddler Level
Once you are in your new home it’s time to get down to toddler level and re-explore your new space. 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 in reach of a small child could be a potential hazard, so keep any electrical outlets, phone jacks, and surge protectors safely covered. Install toddler guards in electric outlets and make sure there are no trails of wiring for an exploring child to get tangled in or tripped up by.
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 your new 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 quickly 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. 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 kid. Eating packaging peanuts and other moving fodder can cause injury in small children, a headache no new homeowner needs during this time!
Baby Gates are Your Friend
Love them or hate them, baby gates are a must with young kids in the house. 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.
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 toddler-safe for your tot to explore and enjoy. The process of unpacking and organizing may take days or weeks, but having a space for your little one to play without worrying about boxes will prove to be invaluable.
All in all, toddler-proofing can be a time-consuming step in the moving process, but completing the basics before he or she is allowed to ‘roam free’ will dramatically reduce the risk of an injury to your child.
And finally, try to remember that moving is a stressful and exciting time for your littlest family members too, so add extra cuddles to your moving-day to-do list as well!