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How to Child Proof Your Home Before and After Baby Arrives

By Bethany Kandel for

Most parents begin to worry about how to safeguard their little one from all the dangers in the outside world even before baby arrives on the scene. For peace of mind, you can begin by making your home baby-safe and secure during your pregnancy and beyond with some simple childproofing steps; many of which are common sense.

Experts advise you to get down on your hands and knees to see how things look from a baby's perspective. Where would you go? What can you reach? What would you touch?

Remember that childproofing is not a one-shot deal. As baby reaches different levels of mobility - crawling, toddling, walking -- you will have to ramp up your protective tactics. Some of these suggestions can wait until baby becomes mobile and can roll, crawl or move toward danger, but it's never too soon to begin thinking about the potential hazards and how they can be fixed. You can even put some safety items like cabinet and toilet seat locks on your gift registry for use when the time comes.

Here is a room-by-room checklist to get you started:



  • Cover electrical outlets.
  • Use gates to keep stairways, exercise equipment and other potential dangers off limits.
  • Install window guards or window stops
  • Make sure heavy bookshelves, dressers and even appliances like television sets and lamps are bolted down and cords are hidden. Put heavier items on lower shelves so furniture is not top-heavy.
  • Cover sharp edges and corners.
  • Put non-slip pads under all rugs.
  • Replace any looped cords on blinds or curtains.
  • Move plants out of reach and get rid of any that are poisonous if ingested.
  • Get out of the habit of leaving coins, keys, matches, mints, paper clips and other small items in bowls or on counters around the house. Even purses should be hung out of reach because they often contain medicine and other safety hazards.
  • Program numbers for your local Poison Control Center into your mobile phone -- and post next to landlines -- as well as those for the pediatrician, grandparents and other nearby neighbors in case of emergency.



  • Do not use hand-me-down cribs from before 2011, when federal safety requirements were tightened. Vintage cribs from your own childhood should never be used even for a visit to grandma's house.
  • Be sure to position the crib and changing table away from windows, lamps, hanging wall decorations, electrical or blind cords, shelves and climbable furniture.
  • Keep the crib clutter-free without pillows, heavy quilts, fluffy blankets, bulky bumpers or large stuffed animals that could be a suffocation hazard or a larger child could use to climb out.
  • Place diapers and all changing supplies within reach of the changing table so you never have to leave baby unattended to retrieve something.



  • Set hot-water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Attach a toilet lock.
  • Store all toiletries and cleaning products on high shelves or in cabinets with baby locks. Remember, even perfume, nail polish remover, baby oil, mouthwash, rubbing alcohol and deodorizers can be hazardous.
  • Always unplug electrical appliances like curling irons after use and store them safely.



  • Put latches on dishwasher and all lower cabinets and drawers.
  • Affix a stove shield or stove-knob covers. Use back burners when possible, and always turn handles toward the back.
  • Keep pet food bowls and litter boxes out of reach.


Living/Dining Room

  • Store knick-knacks on high shelves.
  • Use a fireplace screen and store fire utensils and matches away from baby.

Baby pulling drawer that should be baby proofed

Baby-Proofing the House: A Guide to Keeping Your Child Safe

Whether you have a cuddly baby who’s content to stay wrapped like a burrito in your loving arms or a crawler or cruiser who’s eager to explore, one thing is certain: You have to childproof your home (and fast — especially if your baby’s already a crawler). But tackling the entire house may seem daunting — what do you do when you're preparing for your baby and what can you save for later? Here are some tips on baby-proofing the house to get you started now — and techniques for later, when your baby turns into a walker.


Build barriers

When baby-proofing your home, make it difficult for your little one to get to hazardous areas (such as stairways, fireplaces, and bathrooms) by sectioning them off with indoor safety gates — or locked doors in the case of hazardous rooms. When blocking off stairs, be sure to put a gate at the top and bottom of the stairway — a persistent baby may easily figure out how to crawl up the steps yet have no idea how to crawl back down (and possibly take a tumble). Consider putting the lower gate three steps from the bottom so that when your child eventually starts to crawl he’ll have a small area to practice stair-climbing skills (you’ll still need to stay within arm’s reach to be certain he doesn’t take a tumble and hurt himself).

Redecorate or remove

Breakables are best kept out of your baby’s reach, so stash that vase you love on a high shelf. If any of the houseplants you own are poisonous — say, that fabulous philodendron — gate them off (or give them to a family member to keep for you) until you are sure your child won’t nibble on the leaves. But what about that perfectly safe but huge plant your mother-in-law got you? Baby-proofing the house takes priority, so you can put it behind the sofa, where it’s difficult for your baby to get at.

Learn to love locks

When it comes to childproofing your home, locks are a parent’s best friends. To start (while your baby is still floor-bound), invest in enough cabinet locks for all your different rooms that contain potentially poisonous or dangerous products inside (these include cleaning products, medicines, power tools, and alcoholic beverages, among other things). Get ones that lock automatically when you shut the door; otherwise, you’ll have to remember to lock them every time you open and close a cabinet (and why overload your sleep-deprived brain with one more task?). When your child starts to stand and can reach higher, you can put locks on certain drawers too (like the one that holds the sharp knives). Also, if possible, try using hazardous cleaning supplies or tools only when your baby is napping, in a playpen (if he’s content to stay there for a while), or when another adult can watch him.

Be wary of wires and cords

Which are strangulation hazards. When baby-proofing the house, tie up electrical wires to keep them out of your baby’s grasp and cover outlets (don’t give your child the opportunity to realize that his tiny fingers may fit in those holes!). Better yet, when childproofing your outlets, replace the switchplates with ones that automatically slide to cover up outlets when they’re not in use. As for cords attached to window coverings, shorten them, attach plastic covers to the ends, and secure them to the wall with a tie-down device (or think about buying new window treatments that have kid-safe wands instead of cords). Also be sure your baby’s crib is nowhere near these cords — you never know when he’ll learn to pull himself up in his crib and start to expand his reach.


Fix furniture

With your tot cruising around and holding onto furniture, or even climbing on it like a monkey, he may be able to unsteady even the sturdiest-looking pieces. So secure bookshelves, dressers, standing lamps, and TV cabinets to the wall (you can get toddler safety products like brackets and fasteners at any baby or home-improvement store). Also, now that your child is pulling up to a stand, wobbling, and probably falling a lot more, you’ll want to pad the edges of sharp corners in your house. This will soften the blow if your little guy comes crashing down. Use childproofing bumpers to cover the edges of square or rectangular coffee tables, low benches, fireplace hearths (if they’re not already gated off), and low windowsills.

Wise up to window dangers

Your toddler’s increased mobility means that he is now more adept at reaching and (yikes!) opening windows. Childproof your home by installing metal window guards that screw into the sides of the window frame and have bars no more than four inches apart.

Heed high-hazard rooms

Sometimes the best way to childproof your home is to simply make some rooms off-limits. For instance, you may want to seal off the bathroom (which contains water dangers, cosmetics, and electrical appliances like hair dryers) and the office (which has computer wires and staplers) with a gate or a doorknob protector that little hands can’t open.

Beware of burns

Your child can reach new heights these days, which means you need to take your childproofing efforts to a whole new level. For example, in the kitchen, keep the oven latched and put knob covers on the stove to block your toddler from reaching up and turning on burners. Use back burners whenever possible; if you do have to use a front burner, turn the cookware handle away from the front of the stove, so your child can’t grab it. Also, keep appliances (like the toaster and food processor) away from the edge of counters where your determined toddler can get to them.

Deal with drowning risks

Keep your curious tot from having access to water when alone — no matter how much he loves water play. A child can drown in as little as an inch or two of water in just a few minutes’ time, so you don’t want to take any chances on this childproofing matter. With that in mind, keep the bathroom door closed and secured at all times or lock your toilets with safety latches for the lids (this will also save your plumbing by preventing your tot from dumping Bob the Builder into the porcelain pool to see if he can swim). And never leave your child alone in the tub.

Just remember, no matter how much you childproof your home, there’s no substitute for your eagle-eyed supervision — kids can be surprisingly creative when it comes to getting into mischief. So always keep your child in sight (except if he’s in a crib or play yard — and then only for a few minutes, unless he’s sleeping), and be extra alert in the kitchen and bathrooms. While you don’t need to hover at all times (after all, your child needs a little freedom to experiment and learn!), staying close by and observant gives you the chance to teach your tot that some items are off-limits. When you do see your child going for a dangerous item, use the opportunity to firmly say, “No, that’s not safe to touch. Here’s a toy you can touch instead.” And when you can, use warning words like “ouch!” or “hot!” to reinforce your safety lessons. Eventually, your child will start to catch on.

Image : Thinkstock

Baby in diaper chewing on a teething ring

The Real Dirt On Baby Clean

When it comes to dropped pacifiers or food, forget the five-minute rule: Any transfer of germs, dirt or what-have-you happens on contact. But should you freak out if a pacifier or banana hits the floor? Depends on where it’s dropped.

The reality is that germs are everywhere. If someone with a cold sneezes or coughs, the germs can land on surfaces and be spread to baby’s nose, mouth or eyes by touch.

The good news is you can protect your baby from infection by:

  • Washing your own hands often
  • Keeping shared toys and surfaces clean with a ten percent water-and-bleach solution or other disinfectant
  • Using sanitizing wipes or changing pads on public surfaces – for instance, on shopping-cart handles and public changing tables

If you’re at home, a quick rinse of the food or binky to wash off lint and germs is probably all you need to do. But if the pacifier falls on the floor of a rest-stop bathroom, you might want to take it out of circulation until you can fully sanitize it by boiling it for 15 minutes.

But don’t sweat the dog slobber: Your baby can’t catch any parasites from dog toys or a quick lick on the cheek or high chair tray. If you let your pooch clean your high chair or dishes after a meal, it doesn’t hurt to rinse the baby’s tray and dishes thoroughly in warm, soapy water or in the dishwasher, though.


baby girl crawling

Top 5 Things That Change When Baby Starts to Move

My baby's first steps are the entrance to a world of new beginnings. What used to be so "far" is suddenly just a few wobbly steps away. As a dad, before my eyes, I get to watch my little guy start exploring, cause joyful mischief, and find a world of excitement all on his own.

In recent weeks, our house has been filled with "moving" moments that make a father proud-as well as make any parent realize they needed to prepare!

To help with that, here's a look at the top 5 things that change when baby starts to move.

  1. Your Home:
    Cupboards, ovens, drawers, laundry... it's all fair game now. If they hadn't been exploring before, with their newfound freedom, those baby latches better be on tight. Folded clean clothes will become a pile on the floor, placemats in the bottom drawer will be strewn across the kitchen floor, and everything becomes a destination. A place to celebrate the journey.

  2. Your Job Description:
    When those tiny toes start moving across the floor, I instantly turn into a cheerleader, motivator, and backseat driver. While we're still using a learning walker, I can't get enough watching him cruise the kitchen with me cheering him along! As I gently steer and direct from behind, he's ready to race into the outstretched arms of Mom, waiting for him. We try to keep him safe, while setting him free. Sounds of giggles and glee fill the house (and that's just from me).

  3. Your Memory:
    As a new parent, these first 11 months have been a whirlwind of exhaustion, excitement, and memories. We've filled phones, memory cards, and our minds with beautiful visual images of all his firsts. And his first steps will be like starting anew - a transition, a change, an exit from baby into toddler. Any parent can tell you when their kid started walking, it's a memory-making moment that stays with you forever.

  4. Your Baby:
    The feeling of freedom is something we as adults can often overlook. As babies take their first steps, it's a feeling they've never experienced. The look on their face, the excitement, and confidence they gain from those first steps forward may be forgotten by them, but will live on with you. Maybe even captured on camera? You'll never forget their look of experiencing freedom for the first time!

  5. You:
    Keeping up with a baby is hard when they're crawling. Now that they're walking, you're on the go with them at all times. Holding their hands to keep those unsteady feet sturdy and strong as they go. From this point on, you'll be chasing, wrangling, and loving every, nearly every moment of it. They're growing up, wanting to tackle new challenges, and ready to let you lead them (from behind) into the next steps of life.

As a parent, there's nothing quite like the feeling of those first few steps. They're conversation starters, office bragging material, and sentimental feelings that tug on your heartstrings as your baby grows up. With camera or phone in hand, you follow them around, waiting to document these first steps into a new stage.

And if you're like me, conflicted feelings may just wash over you. I'm elated for those first few steps... only to realize as my mini-me is moving forward, I'm taken back to all those cuddly moments after his birth.

Image: HUGGIES® Brand


5 Not-So-Common Baby Proofing Tips You Should Know

baby booties on clothes line

Should You Buy New or Used? A Guide to Baby Gear



From strollers and cribs to clothes and bottles, the amount of stuff your little one requires can add up quickly — but shopping secondhand and welcoming hand-me-downs can save you money as you stock up on baby supplies. That said, while some baby gear is perfectly fine to reuse, for other necessities it’s safer to shell out a bit more money and buy first-hand. Here's when it's safe to buy secondhand and when you should buy new.

Baby Gear to Consider Reusing


Buying new baby clothes can be as fun as shopping the racks for yourself! But before you scoop up every adorable item you see, a tip: Your little one is set to gain one pound and lengthen by one inch each month, on average. So save money by re-using a sibling’s or a friend’s hand-me-downs or shopping resale (especially smart with dressy or holiday clothes and shoes that are usually only worn a couple of times). Just be sure your finds don’t have drawstrings, loose buttons or ties, which could be choking or entanglement hazards, and check labels to make sure sleepwear is flame-resistant.


As you may have learned already, it’s impossible to predict what your baby will enjoy. So go easy on your wallet and take a test drive with secondhand playthings and board books before you buy new. Just be on the lookout for loose hardware or chipping paint, and leave behind anything with small parts that could be choking hazards. Simple toys with few or no moving parts, like blocks, rattles and stacking cups, are consistently safe bets.


Baby bathtubs are fine to buy used as long as you check to be sure there’s no mold or mildew. Babies grow out of these faster than you can say rubber ducky, so you should be able to save money on one that was barely used. Just be sure to avoid bath seats, bath rings or inflatable tubs that fit in the bathtub, as they can be dangerous.

Changing Table

You can definitely save money by purchasing a gently used changing table. Just make sure the one you get it has side railings on all four sides and comes with a safety strap, and watch out for chipping paint and missing parts. If you’re short on space, you can also buy a changing pad that will turn any corner into a temporary changing station. Don’t forget to stock your changing table (and the hall closet and your diaper bag) with Huggies Diapers and Huggies Wipes. Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers provide outstanding skincare to protect your new baby’s perfect skin, available in preemie and newborn sizes only.

High Chair

Voluntary safety standards require a high chair to have a five-point harness to prevent a child from climbing out as well as a fixed crotch post so he can't slide out. If these two features are accounted for, a hand-me-down high chair is fine. Avoid high chairs with arms that lift the tray over the baby's head.

Baby Gear to Buy New

Breast Pump

Secondhand breast pumps are everywhere. And yes, new pumps are pricey. But a used consumer-grade pump (if it isn’t your own, of course) has the potential for cross-contamination. Risking exposing your newborn to bacteria or viruses just isn't worth it.

Car Seat

While a car seat can cost plenty, this is money well spent. Safety standards for car seats change frequently, and materials — even of the most expensive models — degrade over time. Also, a seat's past history can prevent it from fully protecting your child in an accident. So play it safe and buy new.


Federal regulations changed in 2011, prohibiting manufacturers from producing drop-side cribs, which can be dangerous for babies and even deadly. You may see them at yard sales, but pass them by. If you can't afford a new crib, a new portable crib — which is less expensive, but just as safe, as a full-size one — is preferable. Everyone will get a better night’s sleep.


For sanitary reasons, it’s best to avoid reusing crib mattresses too — it’s guaranteed another baby has peed, pooped and spit up in them, and they can be contaminated with bacteria and mold. Older mattresses sometimes contain chemicals that are best avoided (phthalates, BPA). Plus mattresses get softer with use, and it’s best to always use a firm mattress to help prevent SIDS.

Play Yards

Newer models more likely adhere to safety standards that went into effect on February 28, 2013, which rectify issues with earlier models (like a top-rail hinge that can collapse, putting children at risk of being trapped or strangled).


Strollers have evolved a lot through the years, making some considerably safer and more turnkey, according to Consumer Reports’ stroller tests. In fact, new standards went into effect for stroller manufacturers as of September 10, 2015. Considering this is usually the workhorse in your stable of baby gear, ante up for one of the latest models.

Soft Infant Carrier

Strap-on carriers and slings are notorious for recalls, so buy new to ensure that you’re carrying your baby safely — and even then, check that straps, snaps and other closures work as intended.

Tips for Online Shopping

Websites such as Craigslist and eBay are replete with used baby goods. But before you buy, be sure to ask these questions:
• What's the model number? Checking for recalls is job one. For the latest recall information, visit
• How much is shipping? Sometimes shipping costs makes a used item cost as much as a new one.
• Does it come with the instruction manual? You need it, to see when the item was made and to ensure proper usage.

dad and baby playing

The Daddy Way

Up in the air?

Dad’s lifting baby up toward the ceiling again. Your heart grips, but the baby’s gurgling happily away. You know it’s safe, but you still want to jump in. You’re not alone.

For lots of new moms, the feelings of love and protectiveness that you have for your baby can be truly overwhelming. Sometimes, when you see dad playing with the baby in a different way than you would, it can be hard to know the line between being overprotective and being just protective enough.

Fun sure. But safety first.

You do want to make sure anyone handling a baby under 4 months always keeps baby’s neck and head supported: no tossing in the air, shaking the baby’s shoulders, or putting her in a jumping gym or backpack carrier just yet. But baby can benefit from being exposed to lots of different styles. Different voices helps her learn language. Being held and carried by others will give her new perspectives on the world (and give mom’s arms a little rest, too).

Carrying the baby in a cradle hold, having tummy time on Dad’s chest or holding her draped over a forearm in a “football hold” with her head and neck supported are all safe and wonderful experiences dads and babies can share. Giving Dad his full share of baby-handling experience can help to strengthen his bond with the baby while boosting his fatherly confidence, too.

Go dad, go.

Letting baby have lots of dad time will enrich your baby’s repertoire of experiences, and who knows, Dad may even discover new soothing techniques or baby games that all three of you can enjoy.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Best Baby Gear. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble

Image: Huggies


Stroller Safety: Tips for Parents

If you're like most parents, you'll want to get at least one stroller for your baby. With so many designs and types of strollers, however, how do you choose?

Understand how to pick the best stroller for your baby and important stroller safety tips.

What should I consider when looking for a stroller?

When looking at strollers for your baby, consider:

  • Your location.
  • If you live in or near a city, you'll likely need to be able to maneuver your stroller along crowded sidewalks and down narrow store aisles. You might also need to be able to collapse your stroller in a pinch to get on a bus or down stairs to the subway. Suburban parents, on the other hand, might want to look for a stroller that's easy to fold and fits into the trunk of a vehicle.

  • Your family.
  • If you have twins or an older child, you might consider getting a double stroller or a stroller with an attachment that allows your older child to stand or sit in the rear. If you're planning to use an attachment for your older child, be sure to read the manufacturer's weight guidelines.

  • Your lifestyle.
  • Frequent travelers might want a collapsible umbrella stroller - either in addition to a sturdier stroller or as the primary stroller. An umbrella stroller can also be useful during errands. Plan to take your baby along on your runs? You might look for a jogging stroller, too.

  • Accessories.
  • Do you want your baby's stroller to have certain features or accessories, such as a storage basket, rain cover, blanket, sun shade or cup holder? Often, accessories are sold separately. Some strollers aren't compatible with certain accessories.

What type of stroller is safe for a newborn?

If you plan to use a stroller while your baby is a newborn, you'll need to make sure that the stroller reclines - since newborns can't sit up or hold up their heads.

Some strollers fully recline or can be used with a bassinet attachment or an infant-only car seat. However, most umbrella strollers typically don't provide adequate head and back support for young babies.

Also, most jogging strollers aren't designed to recline. As a result, they aren't appropriate for babies until about age 6 months.

What are the benefits of a travel system?

If you have a car, you might look for a stroller that can hold your baby's car seat. Some car seats and strollers come in matching sets, while others require separate attachments that allow the strollers to be used with certain car seats. Once you strap your baby into his or her car seat, these kinds of strollers will allow you to easily move your baby between the stroller and car.

These types of strollers can also be helpful in an airport, if you plan to take your baby's car seat on the plane.

If you use a travel system that allows you to move your baby's car seat from your vehicle to a stroller base, you might be tempted to let your baby finish car naps in his or her car seat. Keep in mind, though, a car seat is designed to protect your child during travel - not to serve as a replacement crib in your home. Although it's essential to buckle your child into a car seat during travel, don't let your child sleep or relax in the car seat for long periods of time out of the car.

Research suggests that sitting upright in a car seat might compress a newborn's chest and lead to lower levels of oxygen in a baby's blood. Even mild airway obstruction can impair a child's development.

Sitting in a car seat for lengthy periods can also contribute to the development of a flat spot on the back of your baby's head, as well as worsen any gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - a chronic digestive disease.

What if my baby has special needs?

If your baby was born prematurely or has health concerns, look for a stroller with storage that will help you carry any necessary equipment, such as a cardiac monitor or oxygen. Parents of babies who have similar health concerns might be a good source of advice.

What other stroller safety features should I look for?

When looking for a stroller you might consider checking for certain safety features, including:

  • Practical brakes.
  • Look for a stroller that has brakes that are easy to operate. Some strollers have brakes that lock two wheels - a special safety feature. Make sure your baby can't reach the brake release lever.

  • A wide base.
  • Strollers that have wide bases are less likely to tip over.

  • A single footrest.
  • If you're looking for a side-by-side double stroller, choose one with a single footrest that extends across both sitting areas. Small feet can get trapped between separate footrests.

How can I keep my baby safe in his or her stroller?

You can take steps to prevent stroller accidents. For example:

  • Stay close.
  • Don't leave your baby unattended in his or her stroller.

  • Be careful with toys.
  • If you hang toys from a stroller bumper bar to entertain your baby, make sure that the toys are securely fastened.

  • Buckle up.
  • Always buckle your baby's harness and seat belt when taking him or her for a stroller ride.

  • Use your brakes.
  • Engage your stroller brakes whenever you stop the stroller.

  • Properly store belongings.
  • Don't hang a bag from the stroller's handle bar, which can make a stroller tip over. If possible, place items in the stroller basket.

  • Take caution when folding.
  • Keep your baby away from the stroller as you open and fold it, since small fingers can get caught in stroller hinges. Always make sure the stroller is locked open before you put your child in it.

  • Keep it out of the sun.
  • During hot weather, don't let your baby's stroller sit in the sun for long periods of time. This can cause plastic and metal pieces to become hot enough to burn your baby. If you do leave the stroller in the sun, check the stroller's surface temperature before placing your baby in the stroller.

  • Check for recalls.
  • Be sure to return the stroller warranty card so that you'll be notified in case of a recall. If you're considering a used stroller for your baby, make sure the stroller hasn't been recalled.

Whether you're using it on a daily basis, for occasional errands or weekly jogs, a stroller can be a parenting must have. By consistently following safety rules, you can help ensure an enjoyable ride.

1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use.

Image: Getty Images


Baby Development: The Steps to Baby’s First Steps

It’s baby’s first big move to becoming an independent little person: her first steps! Here are the five gross motor milestones that precede baby’s ability to walk.

It’s what every parent waits for with impatience: Those first camera-worthy steps. Despite all of the many concerns accompany raising a child (Am I feeding baby enough? Is her development on track? Will I ever sleep again?), you’ll be delighted to watch as your baby hits each big gross motor developmental milestone on the path to walking, from lifting her head to standing. Keep in mind that the pace and order of these milestones can vary a lot from baby to baby — and for the vast majority of infants, differences in developmental timelines are normal and healthy. So if you’re already a mom, don’t be surprised if your second (or third) child seems to be developing some skills slower (or faster!). Here are the five exciting gross motor milestones you can expect your baby to achieve within the first 12 to 18 months of life that lead to your baby’s first momentous steps.

Lifting her head and rolling over

Lifting her head and rolling over After nine months scrunched up in your womb, your baby’s first big job will be gaining the muscle control required to control and lift her head (to 90 degrees by 4 months) and then roll over from tummy to back and back to tummy (usually by about 6 months). Both skills are helped by plenty of “tummy time,” or practice mini-pushups to develop necessary muscles. Once your baby does start rolling over, try encouraging rolling in both directions to help build up balanced muscles on both sides that your baby will rely on when it’s time to start sitting up and crawling.

Sitting Up

Once your baby’s got the hang of lifting her head, she’ll likely be ready for a change of scenery — at which point, she’ll start sitting up. Your baby will likely be ready to sit up with support by about 3 to 4 months old, and by 6 to 9 months your baby will have developed the muscle support to do so without support. Encourage your baby to explore sitting by propping her up in her stroller or your lap.

Life changes for everyone once your little one learns to move on her own! Get ready for some exercise, because baby has exploring to do. You may be amazed by just how fast a baby can crawl — and how quickly time passes, because soon your little one will be standing and then walking. This time of life calls for a diaper that can keep up. Huggies Little Movers give your baby a more comfortable fit as they set off to explore the world.
Little Movers Diapers have double grip strips and a unique contoured shape so baby can explore more with a comfy fit that lasts.


While you might have imagined your crawling baby traveling on her hands and feet, babies have a variety of crawling styles: Some move around on their bellies, some crawl backwards or sideways, some scoot. Most don’t begin until close to 9 months or later — although some skip crawling altogether and move straight to standing up. If your baby doesn’t crawl, in fact, she may end up walking even earlier.


Though babies don’t start standing until about 7 months at the earliest, most begin building the muscles they need to stand by extending their legs and bouncing on your lap. Your baby will start to pull herself up by holding onto your leg or a piece of furniture. In the early months, she may get stuck in the standing position — a situation which can quickly become frustrating, especially if it results in a lot of falling down. You can help by gently lowering your baby into a sitting position until sitting becomes more natural. Most babies get the hang of standing (and sitting back down) by 14 months.


Break out your phone — the moment has finally arrived: Baby’s first steps! Learning to walk takes strength, coordination and plenty of practice. Standing, bouncing and eventually “cruising” around by holding onto one piece of furniture to the next helps your baby hone the skills she needs. Some babies start walking around 9 months, but many don't start walking well until 14 months or later; up to 18 months is rarely a cause for concern. When your baby walks often has to do with genetics, as early and late walking tends to run in families, as well as her weight, build and personality. So relax, mom, your baby’s time to walk will come.

baby in a car seat

What You Need To Know About Infant Car Seats

A car seat is the most important piece of baby gear—the hospital won’t let you drive your baby home without one. Before you get behind the wheel, read this.

  1. Pricier does not mean safer.

    All car seat manufacturers are required to meet the same strict safety standards, notes Alisa Baer, M.D., a New York City-based pediatrician and certified child passenger safety instructor. "When I first shopped for a seat, I realized the difference in price is often due to a designer name or fancier fabric," says Jill Hunt, a mom of three in Atlanta, Georgia. What’s most important: making sure a model fits your car. 
  2. Go for new over used.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) caution against buying a second-hand car seat if you don’t know the seat’s history(to make sure it hasn’t been in an accident); it’s older than six years; it has visible cracks; it’s missing parts or the instructions; or the seat was recalled (check or call the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236). Says Dr. Baer, who runs the website The Car Seat Lady, "When in doubt, it is best to buy a new car seat—it’s the only baby product parents purchase that has the potential to save a child's life." 
  3. Make sure properly installed.

    A certified child passenger safety technician can teach you how to install the seat correctly. To find one near you, visit or call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK. Breanna Gunn, a mom of one in Friendswood, Texas, got help from a trained technician at her local police station: "As a new mom, I was relieved to find someone who could make sure my car seat was installed the right way."
  4. Keep the straps snug.

    In the winter, bulky snowsuits or coats can prevent straps from fitting right. Dr. Baer recommends dressing the baby in three thin layers instead, such as a bodysuit, a footed sleeper, and a button-down cardigan, and then adding a blanket (over the straps, which should be snug against baby’s body).
  5. Keep baby rear-facing as long as possible.

    You might be eager to switch your convertible car seat to the forward-facing position, but the AAP recommends that children ride rear-facing as long as possible—until they reach the height and weight limits set by the car seat manufacturer. (At a minimum, babies should stay rear-facing until they turn 1 and weigh at least 20 lbs.) Says Dr. Baer, "Studies show that even 3- and 4-year-olds are five times safer riding rear-facing than forward." Drive safely!

Image: Getty

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