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Babies can be magical when they start to move on their own and explore the world around. But it also means that they are in danger, and you need to make it safe for them.
We parents tend to be anxious about the newly acquired skills of our kids. When they are born we are waiting for that magic moment when the baby starts recognizing us. When they recognize us we wait for the moment the baby is able to sit, and when the baby is finally able to dominate his body and remains seated, we can’t wait for the moment he starts crawling.
It is at this stage of the baby’s development that we need to start thinking about limits. Our baby is growing and more autonomous. If you are at this stage in life the following tips will prepare the whole family for a vey important time in your life.
One of the key elements in order to become a conscious mother is to be able to establish a balance between freedom and the limits we want to impose on in our children’s lives. If we do it right we will be helping them to develop better.
The first time we realise about this is when our baby starts crawling or moving in any way independent from his parents. For the first time, the baby discovers he is not totally dependent any more. He finds out that if he wants to grab a toy or caress the dog, he just has to move that tiny body and do it!
As parents, we discover that now we have to measure the consequences on either letting them be, or place some physical limitations so that the baby does not have access to certain places in the house. Mainly, what we need to do is to limit the baby’s movement in those places where it can be dangerous, all the rest he should be able to experiment and touch and climb while we do not lose sight of him. This way, he will develop his motor skills fully. This system requires our time and our total attention, so that he can investigate on his own but with our eyes on his back. Everything will be attractive to him, thus we need to be aware.
Firstly, we need to establish which are the rooms in the house that could be more dangerous. Generally the kitchen, the garden and the toilets. If there are stairs anywhere in the house we should add those areas to what I call ‘precaution areas’. It doesn’t mean the baby should never access them, because with this concept we would have our baby most of the time inside the cradle or sitting on his trolley. This is exactly what we want to avoid. In a two-storey house, we should accompany our baby in his trial and error when climbing. If he loses the balance we can catch him, but we are giving him the chance to experiment and develop his motor skills.
Ideally, the baby should have a full danger-free room or space to move around freely. This way he can choose where and how to crawl and start trying to stand up holding to the walls or a piece of furniture.
Babies should not have any access to plugs and electric sockets. Buy safety guards, they are unexpensive and eliminate the risks.
Sometimes babies access to them all the same, step by step try to teach him the meaning of ¨NO¨- They will understand the implications, though they will not always act accordingly. They are curious explorers and they want to touch everything that is at their hands.
Be careful with the use of the word ¨NO¨. If you overuse it, it will lose sense. As always, we should keep a balance.
Loose wires should also be kept in a safe place. Our babies will grab and pull, throwing to the floor any breakable electronical equipment. Maybe, it is a good idea to do some redecoration throughout this process in order to prevent accidents. For instance, that beautiful light TV you have on the living room should be removed from there if the baby has easy access to it.
The same piece of advice goes for ornaments or tablecloths. Babies may hang on them and throw everything that is on the table. Consequences could be disastrous if there are glass or sharp objects.
In the kitchen, elements should be redistributed. For example, the wine bottles we bought for our next dinner with friends should be on a high shelf. The same with sharp and glass objects, cleaning products, candles, small objects that the baby could swallow, etc. Our little creature will try to open every drawer and door so we should pay attention to what he may find on the other side.
When the baby is already able to stand he will also try his climbing skills. We should take this into account if the baby has any access to a balcony, since there are some objects that are actually potential stairs in the eyes of a baby.
It seems impossible to have all this in mind, but it is not actually. It surely demands time to reorganise spaces and rooms in our house and to be watching our baby the whole time. The relationship that will arise at this moment of the baby´s development is crucial, it is the time when we need to balance betweem freedom and limits. This balance will be the safe base from where the baby grows in an autonomous way. It is an amazing journey to do hand in hand with your baby!
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