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How to Safety Proof Your Bathroom

Make sure nothing goes in the toilet that’s not supposed to.

By
Cherylyn Feierabend
4-minute read
Episode #134

Hey there! You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting.

In this episode we are going to spend some time in the bathroom. Doesn’t that sound fun? Eww! Well, maybe not fun, but definitely important.

Isn’t it great when babies are still babies and haven’t started standing or climbing yet? All you have to do to keep them out of certain rooms is close the door. If they can’t reach the door knob, you are golden and they are safe. Eventually, however, babies grow into toddlers and toddlers into children and those pesky doorknobs and light switches are just a step stool, kitchen chair, or an arm’s reach away. Next thing you know, your shampoo is squirted everywhere, and the sink is clogged with toilet paper and toothpaste; or if your house is anything like mine, you’ll find your two-year-old standing in the toilet. Though I probably can’t cover every possible protective device you can install, or measure you can take in a five minute show, I’d like to at least touch on some of the big ones and some of the ones we may not think of immediately.

How to Baby Proof Your Bathroom

Babies don’t spend any time alone in the bathroom, but there are still some safety issues to consider. If you have a baby in the bathroom, it is most likely baby’s bath time. I covered tips for bathing your baby in a previous episode and one of the important safety measures I mentioned was keeping your water at a safe temperature for baby. If you set your water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees, this will help to keep your water from getting too hot. Remember, bathwater for babies should be around 90 to 100 degrees. It’s also a good idea to have a cushioned rug or towel on the floor so you have a soft and safe place to set baby down. Rugs can also prevent you from slipping on a wet floor. When you are planning to take your baby into the bathroom, be sure to take any items you’ll need into the bathroom before you take the baby in there. You should never leave a baby unattended in the bathroom so you’ll want to make sure you have everything already available in advance.

How to Toddler Proof Your Bathroom

When your baby starts entering toddler-hood, you’ll have a completely new bathroom routine along with new safety procedures. Since you’ll be starting potty training soon, you will most likely be leaving the bathroom door open. I put protective covers on the bathroom doorknobs until I started potty training. These work great to keep those tall enough from getting into the bathroom. Even when you are in the bathroom with your child, you’ll want to make sure dangerous items are put away and out of reach. Bathrooms often have medicine cabinets, but it’s better to keep your medicines elsewhere out of reach. If your child is a climber, he’ll find a way up to that cabinet. If you do keep your medicines in the bathroom, I recommend that you keep the medicine cabinet locked. It’s actually a good idea to keep any medicine cabinet in your house locked, but the higher up and more inaccessible for children, the safer it will be. If you have a step stool for your child, make sure it has a slip-proof surface and teach your child how to use it properly. Advise him that it’s OK to stand on it to wash hands and brush teeth, but not to climb on the sink. If you have a child that likes to play in the toilet, you may want to consider installing a latch on the toilet seat. If you are using the regular toilet to potty train, I don’t recommend the latch, but some parents absolutely rely on it. Just be sure you know how to open it quickly for those potty emergencies!

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