Getting the Place Ready for My Curious Explorer

My baby turned 1 two days ago, and already life is changing. She’s a big girl now with big interests and abilities. And for that reason, we need to adjust – everything.

Our focus now turns to safety (and containment). She has gone from passive observer to curious explorer, almost overnight. This is great, but now it’s our (my husband and my) responsibility to rein her in, protect her, keep her safe, while still allowing her to explore and have fun.

It’s amazing how quickly she can move, and what a distance she can cover in that short time. When she initially started becoming mobile, she would roll to where she wanted to go. Over time, she started doing a roll, semi-crawl, roll. She finally figured out that the rolling was slowing her down (and it didn’t always get her directly to her target) so she dropped the roll and went with a straight-up crawl. She perfected the crawl and increased its speed and efficiency. So, now she can get from a safe place nowhere near anything risky to the cupboards on the other side of the room in 10 seconds flat.

She’s also starting to pull herself up to a standing position. So I believe she will be walking soon. That will make 10 seconds more like 5.

It also amazes me that no matter how many wonderful toys and books she has spread out around her (and there are always many), she is drawn to other things that she should not have. Some could harm her and some, she could harm. These include things like the coffee table and anything on it, the TV and any buttons or panels (she even found one I didn’t know existed) on it, the TV remote, cell phones, the other cordless phone, paper towels, paper anything, lint on the carpet (she can find the tiniest one, pick it up, and then bring it to her mouth for a taste), and so on.

So, we have begun to take action. Rubber bumpers that I had ordered arrived yesterday, and are going up around the coffee table today. We cleared the top of the coffee table of tempting no-no’s: a glass bowl filled with artificial pears, candles, and other items that land there (like eye glasses, pens, etc.).

Other safe measures are in progress: a safety gate between the family room and kitchen; the Little Playzone with Sounds and Lights, a fun containing device, has been ordered and is on its way; and two days ago, a fence went up around the koi pond in the backyard.

We are well on our way to a baby safe home. There’s more to do, but this is a start.

My little girl is never left unattended in the true sense (there’s always someone in the room with her, almost always interacting with her and monitoring her every move). But like I said she’s quick and she’s only getting quicker. And we’re human (and need to do things like go to the bathroom, get something to eat or drink, go get her a toy or bottle, sit down for a minute), so precautionary measures are a must.

So, explore she will. But she will do it with a safety net and parents who can rest a little easier.

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