If you have a new baby joining your family, there are many ways to prepare your children for the arrival of their brother or sister, including teaching them about safety. Even toddlers can help keep baby safe by learning what needs to be done around the house. There are many ways to turn ordinary jobs into exciting games and with our Home Safety Check Tool kit, you have all the materials you need to get started. Childproofing can quickly turn into a fun activity with just a little imagination!
The Shape Sorter
Helping your child learn about safety starts with explaining to them about how the baby will act differently to their grown-up big brother or sister. Some of the toys that they love are not good for baby to play with. By explaining this in a calm and simple way, your toddler can begin to understand what they need to be aware of when playing with baby.
Making a Shape Sorter game is a fun way of finding out what is and isn’t safe for baby. Using Fred Safety’s choke tester, you can go around the house seeing which objects fit inside the small tube with your child. If something can be fitted or squashed into the tool, it is not safe for children under the age of two. By making this into a game of shapes, you are testing the objects that are a choke hazard to your baby, whilst teaching your toddler about safe games they can play with the newest member of the family.
As well as testing for choke hazards, your little one can also help you with a new kind of KerPlunk game – testing for finger traps! if you’ve never played this game before, it involves pushing sticks into a plastic ball with holes and then slowly pulling them out, trying not to let any marbles fall. With Fred Safety’s finger probe, it’s really easy to check for areas where little fingers are in danger of getting trapped between doors, especially on easy-to-reach cupboards, by pushing the probe into the gap. If the small end of the finger probe goes in further than the marked line and the large end doesn’t fit in the gap, it is a potential finger trap.
This is simple enough for your toddler to help and the two of you can explore the house, hunting out finger traps lying in wait. It’s also good activity for your toddler’s motor development. By turning this task into a game, you can make child-proofing easier and educational!
This one hardly needs much explanation – what toddler doesn’t love stickers?! Warning stickers can be a really useful tool for reminding family, friends and babysitters to ‘think safe’ around the home. By placing stickers on common hazards including the oven, bath and safety gate, you can give visitors a hint that will help them to stay safe when looking after baby.
Enlisting the help of your toddler is a great way to make the hazards clear in their mind too. If they have added the stickers themselves, they’re more likely to take notice of them and remember to keep baby safe and remind the adults to do the same. They’ll also love the novelty of being allowed to stick stickers around the house!
Make a special space
Sometimes toddlers and older children can find it hard to adjust to having a new baby around the house who takes up a lot of Mum’s time. Making time for them is really important, as well as giving them a space of their own where the baby can’t go. A great way to help keep your baby safe and your toddler happy is to put all the toys that may be a choke hazard in one room. If your toddler has their own room that would be the ideal space. This room then turns into your toddler’s special space that is full of their favourite toys.
Through the process of child-proofing your home with your toddler, you can help them to recognise the toys that are safe for baby and those that are just for older children. These toys they can keep in their own room and play with them away from the baby. Fitting a safety gate onto the room also means they can play in there on their own whilst you’re with baby, turning it into their secret den. Be sure to use our Furniture Anti-Tip Kit to make sure that they can access their toys easily and safely, even when you’re not there to supervise.
Taking time with your toddler
These activities are just some of the ways that you can keep your toddler involved when you have a baby in the house, making sure they feel a part of all the comings and goings of the new arrival. Taking time to give your toddler one-to-one attention is also really important and something that they will value enormously. Whether that means keeping a basket of books next to your chair so you can read to them whilst you’re nursing or playing a special game whilst baby is napping, even the simplest activities will add up to your toddler feeling more included. With our Safety Check Tools, they’ll quickly become the youngest safety officer in the house. Sounds like a great excuse for a game of dressing up!