With the arrival of my daughter Liz, my life took a sharp turn in a direction I never knew existed. I wouldn’t say it was a U-turn, ‘cuz life has never been the same before. I was a free, adventurous person but now every tiny thing looks scary – be it reading a magazine (she loves to tear away the pages and eat them) or cooking in the kitchen (she crawls from the play-mat or comes in her walker and pulls the drawers) or taking out the laundry (she enjoys picking up clothes, chewing them and scattering them) or drinking water from a bottle (she wants to open the bottle and pour water all around).
My adventures have changed dramatically from going out in the open and doing some crazy stuff to staying indoors and getting alarmed at every mewl and whimper.
My life revolves around the baby now and most of my time goes in keeping everything out of reach and avoid dangerous activities.
So, here’s a list I came up with from my own experiences –
1.Frequently wash the toys.
Toys have a lot of germs as they get exposed to the environment when played with, and eat dust when they sit in the toy box. So, it’s advisable to wash the toys with warm soapy water.
Especially after your baby recovers from a cold/fever, make sure you wash the toys that she played with.
2.Carry your own toys while going out.
Play-dates are fun and exciting, but sharing toys might be a cause for concern.
When we took Liz on a play-date, she excitedly mouthed the friendly toys. Oh! Babies taste and feel! The very next morning, she woke up with a high temperature which refused to come down for three long days and I don’t even want to talk about how I survived.
Well, for those of you who are wondering, I did carry my own toys but babies get excited when they see new toys. So, it takes some effort to engage babies with their own toys and I promised myself to make an effort next time.
3.Clean the sanitizer bottle on the outside.
I have one sanitizer at home and one in the car, and I use it generously every time. Very recently, I noticed dust accumulating on both the bottles and that’s when I realized it needed some cleaning too.
So, if you’re a sanitizer freak, you don’t want to miss out on this point.
4.Wipe your TV/AC remotes regularly.
Babies are interested in anything other than what is offered to them. And, remotes fall in that category. If they are placed in the living room which is accessible to guests too, you might want to keep a check.
5.Clean the door knobs.
Door knobs are touched by everyone, and you just can’t be sure of how many clean/dirty hands accessed it. So, while cleaning the house, make sure you wipe them too.
6.If you’ve got second hand baby products, make sure you wash them thoroughly before use.
It might sound gross, but babies not only put everything in their mouths but also spit up, pee and poop anywhere they want to.
To keep your baby safe from foreign germs, it’s a good habit to wash second hand products with a good baby detergent before your baby gets a hold of them.
7.Read the instruction manual before setting up any baby gear.
We got a ‘Pack and Play On the go’ from one of our friends who were relocating to another country. Only after opening and setting it up did I realize that it was only for babies under 7 kg and my baby already outgrew it. I had to pack it all again, and it wasn’t an easy job.
8.Keep a check on the electrical wires.
I once left our toaster on the kitchen slab and went into the bedroom to get something, without noticing the wire dangling down. Liz was fascinated and quickly sprinted in her walker and pulled it. I first heard a Thud and then a cry. I quickly rushed to check and found the toaster on her hand. Luckily, it was light in weight toaster she didn’t get hurt. And, I learnt my lesson (the hard way, though!).
9.Plug in the electrical sockets with socket covers.
Babies and toddlers are attracted to anything which has holes. They want to put their fingers to get a feel of it. Danger has no limits – not even innocence. Socket covers are available in all hardware stores, and serve this purpose well.
10.Carry the changing mat wherever you go and wash it regularly.
Changing mat is used multiple times a day and not just at home. It’s good to carry your changing mat wherever you go because the changing tables available in the malls or mother’s rooms are used by too many people and not cleaned everyday.
11.Wash the play-mat often.
Like toys, play-mat is also used often and baby spends a good amount of time on it. So, keeping the play area fresh and clean keeps your baby healthy and active.
12.Keep sharp objects out of reach.
Childproofing is a myth! You cannot keep all the cupboards locked all the time (especially, the kitchen). So, keep sharp objects like forks and knives out of reach to avoid accidents.
13.Buy machine-washable products.
When shopping for baby products (baby gym/play-mat/pram/stroller/bouncer,etc..), buy machine-washable products as far as possible. It saves a lot of time and energy.
14.When you go out to a restaurant, keep the menu out of your child’s reach.
Just like money, a menu is one of the items which goes from hand to hand but is never cleaned. You might want to engage your little one with other stuff while you take time to place your order.
15.Don’t leave your flip-flops on the floor while baby is on the floor/play-mat.
While all your shoes and sandals make their way to the shoe cabinet, your flip-flops might be lying around waiting to catch your baby’s attention. Like I already mentioned, babies are interested in anything which is not given to them.
No matter what you hear, listen to what your heart says (they are called mother’s instincts) and follow them. It’ll not only please you, but also keeps you strong and going.