When I was a first-time mom with Em, all I knew then were baby cots, playpens, cribs… I wanted Em to sleep on a floor bed & the idea of a playpen just doesn’t sound right. When he started to walk, oh boy did he walk! He walked everywhere, all around the house.
Safety became a primary concern.
How do I keep to the Montessori approach without compromising on safety, ensure Em can explore safely & without me worrying & keeping an eye on him every second?
Now that Evan is also in the exploring phase, it’s time to revisit safety in a child-friendly Montessori home. 🙂
First, I told myself I cannot baby-proof the entire house. But I can baby-proof a room. Instead of confining my babies in a small playpen, I decided to install a baby gate at their Montessori nursery. That way, they have an entire room to play & explore safely. It’s a life-saver when I just had to leave them alone for a few minutes to make a dash to the kitchen or the toilet.
Maria Montessori taught that a young child should be given the freedom to explore and move in a safe, prepared environment. One important principle in a Montessori environment is the freedom to explore, as aptly written in one of my favourite Montessori blogs, quote:
Montessori believed that a child must be free to explore and follow his own natural impulses, thus developing his potential and increasing his knowledge of the world around him. Within the prepared environment, the child must experience freedom of movement, freedom of exploration, freedom to interact socially, and freedom from interference from others. This freedom ultimately leads to a greater freedom: freedom of choice.
Here are 10 tips to keep your home safe for a happy adventurous toddler:
- Install safety gates & secure potentially dangerous areas like staircases, kitchens & rooms to either keep your child in or out.
- Window grills to prevent them from falling off the ledge. Majority of us city dwellers live in high rise buildings. Keep window grills locked or if you can’t get grills, get a window guard that prevents a child from opening the window beyond a certain extent.
- Door stoppers! I have one for each door of my house to prevent the doors from slamming into those tiny fragile fingers. Those have indeed saved those fingers many times!
- Keep those long dangling window blind cords away. I cannot stress this enough. Those dangling cords can accidentally strangle young kids if no one’s supervising.
- Use safety locks on cabinets with potentially dangerous items.
- Cover all electrical sockets in the house.
- Keep potentially small & hazardous items free from the toddler’s reach, even plants. An inquisitive child is quick to pick up small items, pluck out leaves & put them into their mouth.
- Store & secure any loose electrical wires.
- Keep bathroom doors closed. The floors are often slippery and a toddler can easily slip and fall on his or her head. Trust me, it has happened a few times to Em. 😦
- Surprisingly, one safety concern that did not affect me as much as I thought were corner guards. I bought my fair share of corner guards for every sharp corner around the house. Both my boys kept pulling every one of them out! It’s like a never-ending game of hide-n-seek where I keep looking for missing corner guards & buying new ones to replace it and to have them pulled out again. No amount of 3M sticky tape can hold it down! Guess what? They have never once knocked their heads against the corner. Wierd… But do not let this stop you from buying corner guards.
With a little meticulous planning, implementing the Montessori approach in a safe environment is possible.
Lesser worries, more happy memories exploring with your child!
Other amazing blogs on baby proofing your home:
More readings on Montessori & freedom of movement in a prepared environment:
I’m excited to announce that we are giving away a $50 gift card. A wonderful first step in baby proofing your home!
This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal.
Giveaway promotion deadline is 31 October 2016.
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