Every parent looks forward to the big milestone when their little one takes her first steps. But, this also means you’ll need eyes at the back of your head so you can stay one step ahead.
In the meantime, here are a few things to consider…
Childproof your home and garden
- A hallway security gate will serve as a temporary partition within the home and give you peace of mind – especially now that there are no limits to where your child can go. If you need to prepare dinner while your little one is playing in the lounge, it will keep her away from potentially hazardous areas as she may now be able to reach the stove area. Talk to her about not touching anything that could be potentially hot – even if the stove and kettle are off.
- Now that your little one is standing upright, she may be able to reach into drawers so make sure there are no sharp knives or objects she can get her hands on.
- Your curious tot is bound to peer into the toilet for a look and might find herself inside the toilet bowl so it’s a good idea to get a toilet lock.
- Now that your little one will want to explore her newly found freedom, there’s no reason the garden should be off limits. So study your plants and remove any poisonous ones. Talk to her about not putting anything from the garden in her mouth as she is now old enough to understand.
- Make sure sharp gardening tools are out of sight when your tot is near.
- Even if your toddler can swim, keep the pool covered at all the times. New by-laws in South Africa will require all swimming pools to be fenced in with a boundary that children can’t climb over. All pools will also need a cover or floating alarm system.
- It’s called an accident because you don’t see it coming, so cushion sharp table edges with corner guards so an accident doesn’t turn into an emergency.
While your baby may have been able to get all over the house when she started crawling, you need to pay even more attention now that she is walking and can reach places she wasn’t able to access before, especially when she’s been too quiet. Silence is only golden when you can confirm that she’s safely tucked in.
Stock up on plasters
Your toddler’s unstable steps will mean she will be bumping into things and falling a lot. It’s hard to see your little one take a knock, but sometimes all you can do is offer her a plaster, cuddle her and kiss it better if it’s not too serious.
Invest in comfortable shoes
Your little one’s growing feet need all the support they can get so invest in a comfortable pair of shoes. Her feet were made for walking, running and playing and her shoes should support her active lifestyle.
Use pull-up nappies
The last thing your busy tot wants to do is lie down for a nappy change, so pull-up nappy pants will spare you both the drama and tears. You can simply tear the sides, wipe away, apply bum cream and slip on a fresh nappy – all while she’s still firmly on her feet.
One day, you’ll look back on this phase with nostalgia and when your child leaves the nest, you’ll have a house full of memories and pictures to remind you of days gone by. So take lots of pictures!
Thobeka Phanyeko is mom to Oratile, 4. She is a journalist with a BA in Media studies from the University of Cape Town and has extensive experience as a journalist and content producer which she gained from Reuters, eNCA and Caxton Magazines. She is also a life coach and NLP Practitioner and is passionate about motherhood and women empowerment.