Toddler- and Baby-Proofing

A toddler playing with the toilet paper in the bathroom
┬ę; iStock; Mark Carper

If your children are like most, they are always on the go, but they don't yet have the wisdom to differentiate between something fun and something dangerous. Here are a couple of ideas to help you safely get your youngsters through this active stage of exploration:

A Burlap Solution

At about 9 months, my son was always on the move, determined to explore everything. Unfortunately, this included our large indoor floor plant. While I wanted to encourage this kind of inquisitive behavior, I did not want the resulting mounds of soil on the carpet and all over my son's hands and face.

So I purchased a roll of burlap and cut a piece that I could place the plant on and fold around the pot. Then I secured the burlap with twine so the fabric was snug around the stalk of the plant and allowed the excess burlap to fold over. Now my son can explore the plant without the mess. The beauty is that I can still water the plant through the burlap. It also looks rustic chic and can be dressed up at Christmas with a decorative fabric bow.

—Heather (Hepplewhite) Stuart

Toddler-Proof Door Knobs

Our 2-year-old son figured out how to separate the pieces of our "childproof" doorknob cover. We found that zip-tying the sections together kept the cover permanently in place.

—Leah Pittsinger

Baby-Proofing on the Go

When my daughter became mobile, I found simple fixes to keep her safe and allow me to enjoy visiting friends and family during the Christmas season.

To help her wind down when we were on the go, I purchased an inexpensive umbrella stroller, only used for indoor visits. I had a few special toys that my daughter could play with or snacks she could eat when she was in that stroller. We called them “stroller treats.” I also verbally built up “stroller time” to make it irresistible to her.

Two more items I always had on hand were stretchy hair ties and a roll of masking tape — used for on-the-fly toddler proofing when my daughter was no longer content to stay in her stroller. The ties worked great on cabinet knobs as temporary locks that were easy to remove. And a few ties could easily be strung together for bigger jobs. The masking tape was the easiest way to quickly cover an electrical socket in someone’s home or a hotel room.

With a few quick fixes, I had peace of mind that allowed us both to enjoy visits with family and friends.

—Lisa Fritz

"Toddler- and Baby-Proofing," the compiled article, first appeared on "A Burlap Solution" first appeared in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. "Toddler-Proof Door Knobs" first appeared in the October/November 2016 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. "Baby-Proofing on the Go" first appeared in the December 2011 issue of Thriving Family magazine. If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family's marriage and parenting magazine. Get it delivered to your home by subscribing for a gift of any amount.
"Toddler- and Baby-Proofing," the compiled article is copyright © 2016 by Focus on the Family. "A Burlap Solution" copyright © 2016 by Heather (Hepplewhite) Stuart. "Toddler-Proof Door Knobs" copyright © 2016 by Leah Pittsinger. "Baby-Proofing on the Go" copyright © 2011 by Lisa Fritz. Used by permission.

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