Miss A Columnist

Molly Shalz is a working mama to two beautiful and sweet boys born 21 months apart. Yes, she survived a stint of two under two! A three-year-old and an 18-month-old, they certainly keep her on her toes! Molly began blogging in December 2006 when she realized how much she missed writing. An online journal seemed like a convenient space to do just that. Over the span of five years, Molly's blog has gained a loyal following. She was a nominee in The Bump's Best Working Mom Blogs of 2009. Her writing also earned her a coveted 2011 BlogHer Voice of the Year award. She continues to build her presence by writing passionately about her journey through motherhood as well as her ongoing battle with depression. She is also working on her first novel.

Molly lives in friendly Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated in 2001 with a degree in journalism and in 2005 with a masters in literature. She puts her heels on to work full-time in public relations and marketing. Then kicks them off to receive tiny kisses and hugs and wipe food off smiling faces when she gets home. If she ever actually realized her dream of walking down the red carpet she is sure there would be dirt on her dress, courtesy of her boys. Molly is also a social media enthusiast and a freelance writer . . . trying not to trip over Tonka trucks.

Smart Ways To Baby-Proof Your Home

As a parent to two young boys, there is nothing more important than protecting my children from the dangers around them. My husband and I recently bought a new house. With a new house comes the job of baby-proofing all over again. But this time I was more strategic about it. Before we moved in I went into each room and took note of what needed to be baby-proofed. There were new potential dangers that we didn’t have to think about at our first house. So I made a note of each problem area and was off to the baby store to find some safety solutions.

Photo Credit: Babies R Us

Door Locks
The first potential danger I saw was with our sliding glass door. Our three-year-old is smart. He quickly figured out how to unlock this door and slide it. Of course we don’t want him leaving the house without our knowledge. So we bought a sliding door child lock that prevents the door from sliding even if he were to get the lock open. It is at the top of the door so there is no way he could disarm it.

Window Locks
Our new house has a second story, whereas the first one didn’t. After hearing a story of a boy opening a window and falling out I knew I wanted locks on all the windows. These window locks were easy to install and give me so much peace of mind. I know my boys are safe when they are in their rooms upstairs.

Cabinet Locks
We keep all cleaning products in a safety-proofed cabinet. I like these Grip and Go Cabinet Locks because my preschooler can’t outsmart them.

Photo Credit: Babies R' Us

Stove Guard
The first floor is one big open space. That means that while I’m cooking dinner they may be trying to play at my feet. Since my 20-month-old is all about reaching up these days I didn’t like that he is tall enough to touch the stove. So I purchased this stove guard. Now I know his little fingers won’t get burned while I’m trying to make a meal.

Outlet Covers
Obviously outlet covers are a must in any home. Babies and kids seem to be drawn to outlets like a magnet to a refrigerator. We protect little fingers with these easy to use outlet covers.

Photo Credit: Babies R Us

Baby Gates
The staircase was probably the biggest worry for me. We never needed baby gates at our last house so this was new territory for us. But we definitely wanted to get one for both the top and bottom because at the time our youngest couldn’t climb stairs yet. We chose to get two gates that wrap around banisters. Adults can swing them open and shut easily and protect kids from falling down the stairs.

These are only a sampling of the ways you can baby proof your home. There are so many options for any hazard you might find.

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