Baby Proofing Mistakes to Avoid by Guest Contributer Andrea Gibbs

You have finally brought home your new bundle of joy and are excited to start your new adventure as a parent. You spend hours caring for your little one and see her go to sleep before you take off for the night. But just as you’re about to submit to sleep for the night, one final concern pops up: What do I need to babyproof my home? For months from now, she will be able to move freely; you need to make sure that you have made your home a safe place for her. In order to be ready for these inevitable changes, you try to go to the internet for tips and advice.


You find that the answers you’re looking for are so abundant, not really leaving you with any questions at all. But then, you soon realize that while many articles generally talk about babyproofing your home, few talk about specific mistakes in the process. As a result, you feel lost and confused about how to move forward in this daunting task. Fortunately, this article aims to help such parents by pointing out the common mistakes made in babyproofing and how you can avoid them.

  1. Setting Hot Drinks Down Within Reach Of Your Little One
    It is tempting to put down your hot drink anywhere so you can take a break from her for a minute. But this is a huge mistake to encourage, as the first thing babies do when they learn how to roll over is search for things within reach. Being curious by nature, your child will probably grab it and accidentally spill it on herself in the process. The accident may cause a serious burn or injury requiring a hospital visit. This is a very common problem, which can be solved by simply keeping your hot drinks away from your baby’s reach. You can do this by placing them in a separate area and stored away in a way that they cannot be reached. You can also cover your hot drinks to discourage the little ones from nosing around them.
  2. Leaving Some Batteries Around
    It is much handier to have backup batteries in your house, as you may need them for anything from your remote control to your smoke detectors. While batteries are important, you need to make sure you store them out of your child’s reach. Children are naturally drawn to things like shiny objects, and batteries are no exception. They may think they are fun toys and, in the process, swallow a few of them by accident. This can cause serious injury or even death if they ingest the whole pack.
    The best way to prevent injury by batteries is to store them safely away from all of your children’s toys and electronics. Instead, keep them out of sight, and put them in a locked container your child cannot access. You can also use a battery cover over the batteries inside so they cannot be touched until needed. Also, instead of tossing used batteries into your household trash can, where your little one might fish them out, it is much more ideal for throwing them out directly into the outside garbage container.
  3. Letting Your Little One Play With Toys For An Older Kid
    Toys are fun for your baby to play with, and when you bring more toys home to entertain your little one, it is hard to stop yourself from letting her play with the new toys. However, you must ensure she doesn’t play with items intended for older kids. This is a huge mistake that moms often make, as they feel it is not a big deal to give their babies toys intended for their older siblings.
    Try to also keep in mind that there are certain toys that can be harmful to a baby. So if you see any toy with small parts or sharp objects, you should make sure that your baby cannot play with it. After all, your little one is too young to handle them at this stage of development, and they could cause major damage if he were to swallow them. It is also advisable that you know the toys that are appropriate for your baby and toddlers and that you discuss the items with other elder family members before bringing them home.
  4. Letting Your Babies Play with Balloons
    Balloons are a popular toy that is often given as a gift to babies on birthdays or other special occasions. They can be fun, especially when you fill them with air and let your child pop them. However, balloons are among the most common causes of choking in babies and toddlers.
    When you give your baby a balloon for the first time, make sure you supervise her every second that she is playing with it. As soon as she puts it in her mouth, try to remove it from her with caution and care. If she accidentally pops it, make sure you keep the pieces safe by placing them in a separate bag. This way, your child won’t be able to get into the pieces and swallow them, which could cause serious problems. Also, this habit can be fixed with time by keeping your balloons out of reach of your baby until he is older enough to play with them by himself.
    Mistakes are an unavoidable part of human nature. Just like mistakes in any other area of life, you need to recognize them as opportunities to make significant improvements. As we have seen, there are several common mistakes that parents tend to make in their babyproofing process, and there are ways in which you can avoid these common pitfalls. In your quest for babyproofing your home, remember that while it can be challenging, there are simple things you can do to make the process much easier.

Author bio
Andrea Gibbs is the Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, where she helps create content for their clients’ blogs and websites. She is currently a blog contributor at Montessori Academy, a blog dedicated to helping parents with the ins and outs of parenting children within the Montessori tradition. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog.

Outbound link:
Keyword: toys that are appropriate for your baby and toddlers
Location: under 3. Letting Your Little One Play With Toys For An Older Kid – second paragraph – fourth sentence
Link: https://montessori-academy.com/blog/8-awesome-open-ended-toys-that-provide-hours-of-creati ve-and-innovative-play-for-your-kids/
Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/full-length-of-boy-sitting-on-floor-315265/

Getting ‘Up to Date’

Well, this diary was predominantly written way before covid hit us. The children were still quite young. So where are we now in their development?

Amritsar and Tara were 9 years old back in March. They are both happy, beautiful girls. And yes, they do fight often… Tara is a bit of a Tomboy, but we can still get Amritsar into a dress on occasion!

Thor (now 7) is a little charmer, and a bit of a dude! They like that word – dude! Then we have Aaliyah, who loves pink, rainbows and unicorns! And she happily gets into a dress at any opportune moment. Then there’s finally Caleb, a good looking chap as it happens, a little too prone to tantrums for my liking however.

Caleb has a few learning and socialising difficulties. We are working out a plan for his future needs with his school at present. The others all seem to be excelling at school, especially sports! Aaliyah would like to return to gymnastics. She gave it up before covid hit, falling out with the coach, who seemingly made a rude comment about her hair of all things!

Amritsar loves netball, Tara football (obviously) and Caleb is undecided on his chosen sport! It’ll come, though they all ran well on their sports day at school last week. I’m not sure about Thor’s chosen sport! He did start football club, like Tara, but doesn’t really know what to do with the ball!

The children’s summer fete was held last weekend and today’s photo is of Thor with his snakey looking face paint! Fun was had by all.

I will remind you that I am known as Dadda in the family, and my partner John is Daddy. Daddy’s work keeps him busy, and home life seems to keep me busy enough! Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner is still a thing! We do eat rather well for sure.

We are at present looking to move house. The children are all growing so fast. Their two rooms on the top floor just don’t seem to be big enough. Amritsar definitely wants her own room, as does Aaliyah. Tara would definitely be happy to kip in with the boys. Though that’s not going to happen. She does get a bit boisterous at times! And definitely leads the two boys astray.

That’s it for now. Oh! I didn’t mention Aaliyah and Caleb’s age. They will be 7 next week on 5th July. Though their party will be held the following weekend. More on that for sure.

A Happy Medium!

Before we found our ‘Family Life’

I was going to name this post ‘Instagram vs Blogging’, but I have settled on ‘A Happy Medium’!

Yesterday, quite randomly, I decided to ‘Google’ myself and was surprised at a little memory that I found… once upon a time my name, ‘Andi Webb’ would have uncovered someone else with this very same name! One lady working for the US department of Education, or maybe an artist who produced a style of art that wasn’t really me!

But yesterday I ‘Googled’ my name and I, yes me, I came up! Well, a couple of the others alongside, but predominantly me. And that made me smile.

Several mentions down, way past my Instagram, my Worldpress, my book, or rather books on Amazon, there is a mention on IMDb, the movie information site, with my name, and that brought back a happy memory! A time when I designed clothes and costume, and worked on wardrobe for a couple of productions. I even made clothing for a few major celebs…

As you know, I tend to go visual nowadays, using Instagram as my main interaction within social media. But today I thought that I would reminisce about my experience yesterday here, on my blog, at Worldpress.

I smiled as my Instagram account Instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife came up first on the search, but then my blog, showing me, that it is relevant, somehow it means something! Then thirdly came my books, as mentioned, on the Amazon platform.

My audiobook of Eighteen Moons came next, then the IMDb mention…

I did enjoy designing clothes. I actually talk about this period of my life in my third book released by ‘My Life Publishing’ in January of this year. The title being ‘Many Moons Before’, the prequel to parenting. You know, I even made clothing for ‘Slash’ of Guns and Roses fame, back in ‘The Day’!

So back to the title of this post, a ‘Happy Medium’? I could not really have relayed what I am saying right now on Instagram! I forget this… I am a writer, a man with a diary… haha, predictive text has just shown me the word diarrhoea! You gotta smile…

I have made many friends on Instagram, several have purchased and reviewed my first book ‘Eighteen Moons’. And for that, I am grateful. But then again, I have made several friends over the years on Worldpress too. I hope you know who you are?

So, I have realised that I truly do want to write, and to do this with any effect, Twitter and Instagram are just not the right medium!

Lol and I can post photos on here too! that’s simply amazing. I’m sorry if they are mostly square…

So, ‘My Big Crazy Family Life’ continues, here at andiwebb.net / diaryofagaydad.net

Right, ‘A Happy Medium’ has indeed been struck! So, what about those photos I have been talking about!

Two Dads
And 5 beautiful children

I just realised!

Being back to blogging, albeit not daily, I just realised that I had reacquainted myself to you lovely people! But I have done very little by way of actually filling this diary with the day to day happenings within my family space!

Well, Aaliyah has only just hugged Remus, our Dalmatian and told him that she loves him. She is now skipping around the living room with Tara.

We are planning on going out shortly! To a local retail park to buy some ‘stuff’ at Pound Land! More, Chinese made, plastic tat, that will inevitably find its way to the bin. Especially if Caleb gets his hands on it!

A couple of Christmases ago he ripped the heads off of all 5 animal ‘squishies’ they had been given, over a 24hr period! He is still so very bad when it comes to breaking things. He makes it his mission to fidget with something until it gives / breaks.

He is presently watching ‘Siren Head’ on YouTube, on the television, with Thor! I’m not really sure if it is age appropriate! We will wait and see on that score.

Daddy has just gathered wood and kindling for a log fire that we shall light on our return home.

Tara and Amritsar are presently hugging daddy, or have they actually taken over playing daddy’s iPad? Hmmmh…

Aaliyah now doing art in the kitchen, and I? Well, I am resting on the sofa after having just served up a lunch of Sausage, mash and peas! I think that we are ordering ‘Chinese’ tonight! We only order takeaways about once a month! Last time it was Indian. Tandoori King Prawns… heaven, though a little too red looking I remember! Why do they do that?

I might give you an update on Thursday as it is my Birthday! Hoorah. I am not making a birthday cake this year, rather a pile of chocolate brownies with embedded Oreo cookies and roasted hazelnuts! Damn those hazelnuts took ages to blanch, peel and roast! Note to oneself! Buy pre done in the future! Like dressing a crab! I have learned that life is too short!

Happy Valentine’s all for tomorrow! If you celebrate it, that is! I think we are doing cards and a nice dinner of Alaskan Spider Crab and homemade triple cooked Chips / Fries… bliss!

Earlier in the day Daddy and Dadda are watching Tara play football for the school team. They are in the county quarter finals you know! Last week they won in all 4 matches they played to qualify! Fingers crossed that they are triumphant.

A very jubilant Tara last week!

More from the ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’ soon…

Amanda Henderson (Guest Post)

getoutwiththekids.co.uk

How to Survive Winter in the Age of COVID-19:

A Parent’s Guide.

As a parent, winters were long, cold, and painful well before the pandemic hit — but there were still plenty of opportunities to take the kids to museums, indoor theme parks, and movie theaters. But now that winter is on the horizon and we’re in the midst of a pandemic, many parents are wondering how they’ll survive the cold weather months ahead while being cooped up at home with nowhere to take their children. Andi Webb from Diary of a Gay Dad shares some survival tips for parents in the sections below. 

Prepare Mentally

Winter is fast approaching, and it’s important to begin your coronavirus preparations now if you haven’t already done so. The earlier you can begin to prepare for the difficult months ahead, the more mental control you’ll have once you and your kids are officially cooped up indoors for the winter. Parade recommends thinking about what worked and didn’t work for your family when COVID-19 orders were first issued last winter — and then beginning your preparations from there. 

A few things to cover in your winter preparations include:● How you’ll structure each day, even on the weekends. ● The types of activities you’ll plan for your kids in the morning, while you’re working, and in the evening. ● The items you’ll need to stock up on now, like board games, coloring books, crayons, and finger paints. ● How you’ll take time for yourself and your partner, even when it seems impossible. 

Get Out Your Screens

Your family’s digital screen time should be moderated during quarantine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let your little ones disconnect from the world for a while with online games and activities. From online multiplayer games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, to kid-friendly YouTube channels like Sesame Street and Ted-Ed, the digital world has been a godsend for parents and their children amidst COVID-19. 

To get the most out of your screens this winter, it’s important to eliminate any obstacles that may be present — such as old tablets or laptops and slow internet connections. If your kids will be learning or playing online while you’re trying to work, the last thing you’ll want is to hear your children complaining about a slow internet connection! However, the solution is as simple as upgrading your tech before winter officially arrives. 

If you live in the US, for instance, Verizon’s fiber-optic connections are worth looking into — especially if your kids will be playing online multiplayer games this winter. With a fiber optic internet connection, you’ll experience smoother gameplay, faster download speeds, and minimal lag and buffering. In the UK, however, gamers can enjoy fast speeds with the Full Fibre 100 from BT Broadband or Big Oomph Broadband from Virgin Media. 

Make the Most of Your Family Time

Until the world returns to normal and you’re back to meeting the demands of modern life, the best thing you can do is make the most of your family time at home. There are so many fun waysto enjoy your time together this winter, like playing indoor and outdoor games as a family, starting a new hobby, and making arts and crafts. 

If you’re looking to brave the cold this winter, some family-friendly outdoor activities include:● Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowshoeing. ● Making a backyard snow maze for your kids to enjoy. ● Shoveling snow together for the neighbors.● Stargazing, camping, and winter hiking. ● Visiting a winter farmers market (depending on local COVID-19 restrictions).

While movie theaters, science museums, and other indoor attractions may be out of the question this winter, this doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun as a family as the pandemic continues on. With a bit of planning and strategizing, you’ll reduce some coronavirus-related stress and anxiety, maintain your sanity, and keep your family happy and engaged as the snow falls and temperatures continue to drop. 

Looking for more parenting advice and personal experiences from Andi Webb? Visit his blog, Diary of a Gay Dad, or send him a message at contact@andiwebb.net!

My Final Diary Entry, At Least For Now!

It is with some regret that on the 2nd anniversary of my diary blog diaryofagaydad.net, I have to explain, that after these past 24 months of sharing the ups and downs of parenthood, my musings on this forum have (for now) come to an end. I will of course leave the archive online and intact if you ever chose to relive the ups and the downs of 2 years of parenting five small children?

A message from a fellow blogger tonight that ‘I am bored’, has lead me to the conclusion that it is now time to step away!

No pictures, no finale, no fanfare, just goodbye for now my friends…

On other social media such as Facebook, I do not post often. But if you found any part of my blog something positive to muse over (btw predictive text just flashed up ‘pissup’ lol) just search ‘Andi Webb London’ and I will surely follow you back!

The other option is Instagram of course! http://www.instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife

I am certainly considering ‘Diary of a a gay Dad, the teenage years’ though 4+ years away at this point! Another time altogether, maybe it will be a great time for us both to catchup once again.

Thank you for listening these last 2 years, thank you for being there and ultimately thank you for caring. I am very happy to know you.

And for those that I am not connected to on other social media platforms, good bye and take care.

Feeling Settled Now

The holiday over and a couple of days relaxing at home! Summer Bank holiday Monday here, not much going on! All playing with their screens or watching ‘Mr Magoo’! Daddy mowing his lawn, the dogs chilling beside me.

Another 10kg of Damsons brought in from our tree! I might just make some Damson jam later, perhaps tomorrow morning! Just the thought of de-stoning 1000 Damsons, not appealing!

A mountain of washing sat in the kitchen and lunch to prepare! How does homemade pea soup and a toasted cheese sandwich sound?

Still spending way too much time on Instagram! But still happy with my blog! ‘Another day in the life of’ still brings a smile to me as I hope it does to you.

On the subject of Instagram, a few more pictures to share from our Cornish holiday, hope you like them.

As ever thanks for reading…

Day 6, The Final Day!

Well, we just met local friends, David, Jo, Tara and hubby! The wetsuits are whirring away in the washing machine. Daddy has left, now 30 minutes, to buy the obligatory ‘fish and chips’, something a holiday is not fulfilled without!

Not a lot to say really, only that I appreciate your being there! You, the best people ever, the lovely ones that follow my blog! You are pretty wonderful people xx

Some random images to follow, including the fish and chips!

Caleb seems to be a little aloof!!!

Day 5, Luncheon with Friends

Good friends Bridget and Des called in for lunch with their children Malky and River. They were visiting from their holiday home in Looe, south Cornwall. We enjoyed their company at Golithia Falls on Bodmin moor on Tuesday.

Their golden Labrador Luna stayed at home with Bridget’s parents Malcolm and Jenifer! I like Bridget’s father Malcolm a lot! He is a Methodist Minister and used to be the Chaplin to the UK’s Houses of Parliament!

A very wise man and fun to boot! Not being particularly religious, I’m a bit more of a tree hugging pagan I guess. This does not mean that I do not regard and respect other people’s religion or beliefs.

So, I know I did ‘Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner’ yesterday, but I would like to add today’s lunch as picture of the day! Salmon, Shrimp, langostine, new potatoes, zucchini and samfire was enjoyed by us grownups and the children enjoyed spaghetti with 3 hour simmered bolognese with a snowstorm of parmesan.

After lunch an hour was enjoyed in the surf with the bodyboards. I remained at the holiday house and enjoyed an hours respite. Daddy then went off to do a lengthy zoom call with a client and we all said our goodbyes at 4pm.

Tomorrow being our last full day, I imagine one final frolic on the beach whatever the weather!

Pretty grey out there today, but an enjoyable day none the less. This picture taken in a fleeting moment of blue sky.

Aaliyah presently screaming as they debate where each of them are sleeping tonight…

Spaghetti Puttanesca for Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner. A break from fish! Lol

Hope you are having a good time wherever you are and my thanks as ever for taking the time to read my blog, diaryofagaydad.net

Oh Amritsar and Thor have adopted a rather large snail called ‘Biggy’ that they found in the garden this afternoon. Don’t worry, I made them all wash their hands before they ate this evening!

Even a little snail garden was created! Hehe…

Day 3, Friends Visiting For The Day

I sit here, early evening! The children running wild. That is 3 of them at least. Amritsar sleeping on the sofa in daddy’s arms, Aaliyah snoozing on the other sofa.

Friends Thea and a John left a little time ago with their four children after a day of mayhem and frolics, here in North Cornwall on the beach. Lunch was had, a walk on the windswept beach with almost cyclonic winds and drizzle to boot. Further grazing of the large left over buffet lunch and finally this period of exhaustion and the hope the children settle soon!

Now all wandering around like the drones from the matrix movie, just awaiting their pre programmed commands for finally settling!

All just heading to their rooms – kiss and hug later! Let’s look at an image or two of the day!

Thank you for reading!

Day 2, Golithia Falls

Just back from a day out to Golithia Falls near Bolventor. The home of the ancient travellers resting stop in Daphne du Maurier‘s famous novel of the same name, Jamaica Inn. Of course a hideous tourist trap serving miserable food and offering a dismal service to the unsuspecting fools that happen to stumble upon the windswept moors of Bodmin!

On our way back to the car, Thor hung back a little. He found a packet of something. A few rustling’s later caught up with something he was clutching tightly! Look dadda he whispers, look, a mouse, I found a mouse! I look down to find Thor coveting a tampon (new). The 4 women passing us noticed our conversation! Much laughing was had to be sure.

All now in their bedrooms shouting from the rafters! I’m sure, give it an hour or two, some peace and quiet for daddy and dadda.

Day 1, Wind and Rain

Our first morning and the Atlantic coast looks true to form! The grey, windswept coastline is looking beautiful, though a little inhospitable!

We arrived yesterday afternoon and all of the children erupted into mayhem and screams to the highest order. I personally blame the large volume of gummy bears that were had to stave the final hour of hunger in the car! The packed lunches were clearly not enough. Though to be honest, there has not been a holiday as yet without vast amounts of screaming and disorder! The worst, I remember was going to Wexford in Ireland on the ferry. We had a cabin and I think all 5 were still in nappies at that point. Oh dear, trying to calm them all at auntie Sara’s house, took us well into the early hours. Thor’s screaming ended up with four of them huddled into one room and Thor alone in a travel cot in a room on his own. It took 3 days for them all to settle down. 2 days of bliss and then the inevitable journey home. I swore then ‘Never Again’. But here we are. They are much older now, though they can still be just as screamy! Only, they vocalise their angst between their crazy episodes.

Their dinner and supposed bedtime, followed by daddy and dadda’s dinner, they finally passed out last night at around 10pm and daddy and dadda enjoyed cheese and crackers and a movie on Netflix.

So back to this morning! The wind is howling, the rain bucketing down, all the children are shouting to go down to the beach. Oh dear… happy holidays.

I am going to try to find the video I took on that ill-feted journey over the Irish Sea, 3 babies and 2 toddlers

There will be updates!