Are you taking a trip, but want to keep your travel accommodations as safe for your baby as your home is?
No matter where you go, keeping baby safe is always a priority, but it can be a challenge to replicate the babyproofing in temporary spaces.
Let’s talk about some of the things you can do when you are on vacation to give your child a safe “home away from home” environment. Ready, set, go….
1. Bring along a portable baby gate.
One of the best things you can do is to invest in a baby gate that is easy to transport and easy to set up. These are usually lightweight mesh pressure gates that can fit a variety of openings, but also can be folded or rolled and put away in a handy pouch.
They take a few minutes to assemble but are perfect for babyproofing any temporary space on the go. Use one or two of these to create a safe space to block baby’s movement when in a new and unfamiliar house or hotel.
Also, don’t forget to partition off any pool, deck, patio, or balcony space which would otherwise be a danger. Remember that kids are fast and need physical barriers any time they are in the vicinity of hazardous areas.
2. Clear horizontal surfaces.
When you first arrive at your destination, think minimalistic. Look around at all the stuff sitting within reach of your child and start cleaning the surfaces. Tablecloths and doilies are easily tugged on and can result in a cascade of whatever sits upon them.
Move lamps, knickknacks, phones, and anything else that you don’t want your child destroying. The idea here is to simply remove any temptations and stick these items up high, if possible. This could be more difficult if you are visiting a relative, but remind them that you don’t want their stuff to get messed up during your visit!
3. Bring portable babyproofing supplies.
For this, you will need to have a stash of outlet covers, corner guards, bathtub spout cover, doorknob covers, and cabinet handle locks. In just a few minutes, you can drastically reduce the number of times that your child will attempt to mess with something that they shouldn’t or protect them from bumping their head.
Though these will require some forethought and investment, you can easily move them with you when changing locations. Plus, your child will get used to recognizing that these elements mean that those are no-touch areas, just like at home.
4. Use unconventional objects as babyproof hacks.
For this tip, the idea is to use whatever you have handy (or can find nearby) to make it harder for your toddler to get into places you want them to avoid. Granted, when traveling you might not have some of these things, but the idea is to be creative.
For cabinet knobs that are near each other, twist a hair tie into a figure 8 and put each knob through a circle. For cabinet handles, use dog collars or zip ties to bind together two that are opposing each other.
For drawers, slide a yardstick or wooden spoon downward through the handles. Or if your child is not too savvy, just use painter’s tape to tape shut any drawer or door. You can also use tape over electrical outlets or to tape washcloths over sharp corners.
5. Create a safe sleeping surface.
To do this, either make a pallet on the floor out of blankets or by putting a mattress on the floor. Or place pillows or pool noodles under the bottom sheet along the edges of the bed so that your child cannot roll off.
6. Double-check all windows and window coverings.
Make sure window locks are engaged and pull away any furniture that is near the windows. You want to reduce any temptation for them to climb up and get near the windows, in case they are capable of figuring out how to unlock them.
Be sure that there are no drapery or shade pulls or cords hanging down where your child can reach them. You can either tie them up high, drape them over the curtain rod, or tape them out of reach with painter’s tape. The point is, get them up, up, up.
7. Get down on your hands and knees.
Yep, just like when you are babyproofing at home, you need to do the same thing when you arrive at your vacation spot or your family member’s home. While down there, you are going to be observing any potential problem areas and looking from your child’s vantage point.
Look under beds, couches, tables, and chairs. Do you see cords, trash, small objects such as buttons, coins, or marbles, or anything else that your child might find fascinating? A quick pick-up of the area may be all that is needed. If there are any dangling wires, either restrict your child from the area or move them and their sources, if possible.
8. Think about climbing hazards.
Does your travel location have bookshelves, an entertainment center with a TV, or dressers? Chances are good that none of these are anchored to the wall like yours at home are. For this reason, you may need to simply block your child from these areas or if possible, turn them around so that your child can’t get a foothold.
So there you have my quick list for baby-proofing while you are on a trip or are going on vacation! Can you think of any other travel hacks for keeping your baby safe? Let us know in the comments!
Happy Baby-Proofing on the go!