Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel holidays of the year. Traveling with children has its challenges of course, but so does keeping a baby away from breakables and other dangerous items when staying at a friend or family member's home.
Asking your loved ones to make a few small changes while you're visiting can make the difference between a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving and one filled with angst about hazards for the youngest members of the family.
Sometimes when people have been out of 'baby-land' for a long time, they forget how curious little ones are. Providing your host with a list of precautions to take before your arrival can be a great help to them, as well as you. After all, it's not just your child you need to worry about -- no one wants your host's priceless vase to end up shattered on the floor during your visit either!
Worried about offending your host or creating another job for them? Offer to bring your own baby proofing supplies or order them ahead of time online and have them shipped directly to your Thanksgiving destination.
After all, a baby gate and a few outlet covers are relatively inexpensive and can go a long way towards a relaxing and safe Thanksgiving for all!
If you're visiting: Kindly ask that small pieces and fragile items be moved to higher ground during your visit.
If you're the host: Put away all hard candies, coins, glass-framed photos, knick-knacks, candles and anything of sentimental value before your little guests arrive. Looking for tips on what to move? Nationwide Children's Hospital shares tips on what items are choking hazards. Some of them might surprise you!
If you're visiting: Ask that items stored in cabinets that could be dangerous to a child be moved out of reach. You can also offer to bring a few child safety locks to put on cabinets with breakables or cleaning supplies and medicines.
If you're the host: There is no harm in having an unlocked Tupperware cabinet, but if the cabinet contains anything dangerous (like cleaning supplies or medicine) move the items up to a higher spot that cannot be reached by children. Installing a few child safety locks on lower cabinets is also an option, but ideally, getting the hazardous products out of reach is best.
If you're visiting: If the house you will be staying in has a flight of stairs and your little is on the go, consider packing a baby gate. There are many travel-friendly baby gates available, but make sure to check to see if it will be wide enough to fit the area.
If you're the host: If the stairs have a door, a note on the door reminding people to keep the door closed is important while your small guest is visiting. If needed, ask your visitor to bring a baby gate or borrow one from a friend.
If you're visiting: If your little magician is able to open doors, bring along a few clip-on plastic door-knob covers.
If you're the host: Keep doors locked if you don't want a child to enter (or exit!)
If you're visiting: We all know that babies love anything at eye level, particularly electrical outlets. Bring a package of outlet covers along. Preferably ones that are easy for grown-ups to remove so nobody gets annoyed when trying to charge their phone.
If you're the host: Offer to provide covers for outlets within reach of curious fingers.
Communicating and taking a few simple precautions can go a long way towards ensuring a safe -- and relaxing! -- visit for both hosts and guests this holiday season.