When I had my son, Levi, my daughter was just turning two and had lots of little toys. As Levi got older, it seemed her toys got smaller. Keeping Levi safe around her smaller toys became a part of my daily routine.
Barbie shoes were the worst. Luckily, Levi was not into sticking things into his mouth. But how do you keep your little baby safe around all of the tiny toys your older kids love and play with every day?
Inform Your Older Kids
Make it fun. Tell your older child they are a big brother or sister now and you need their help to keep the baby safe. My daughter is like a police woman. She tells me when little brother has her tiny toys and knows they aren’t safe for him. Be smart and make sure to buy age-appropriate toys as well. If it says ages three and up, it is probably not safe for your infant to be around. Just remember kids are kids. Don’t be surprised if you see your toddler pushing the line.
Stock Up on Safety
Outlet covers, baby gates, and more can help keep your little one safe. If your older child wants to play with smaller toys like legos or Shopkins, put up a baby gate and block off your infant while the older child is playing. Have plenty of toys on hand for your infant so he or she doesn’t want to take the other child’s toys. Infants are entertained pretty easily, so having some donut stackers, musical toys, and teething toys around could be an easy fix.
Remind your older child that not all toys and things are for babies and just be open. They may be confused or upset about not getting to show their little brother or sister a new toy, but reassure them someday the baby can play with them with these toys.
Think Outside the Toy Box
Remember there are other dangerous things in your home that older children need that babies do not. Keep bathrooms safe by putting child locks on cabinets. Shampoos, lotions, and other bath items can be a hazard for a curious baby or even your toddler. When you’re outside, remind your toddler that the baby can’t play with some of their toys there, either. Swing sets, outside toys, and ride-ons are just a little too big for baby still. In the kitchen, secure cabinets and keep a toddler’s utensils safe and at bay.
There are so many things we use and need for our children. Just remembering what is age appropriate can help keep you, your toddler, and your curious baby safe and out of harm’s way.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she dreads keeping Shopkins out of her mobile baby’s reach someday.