Way back before D was even born (you know, eons ago) we started baby proofing. People called us crazy. We had a jail (“gated community center” as some politely referred to it as) and outlet covers. He couldn’t get to any cords. He couldn’t play with anything sharp. We even got rid of the coffee table in order to prevent any head injuries. We had the living room set up as a playroom. Everything inside the jail cell was 100% safe and secure for our little bump that wasn’t even born, let alone trying to stick forks into outlets, yet.
Then he started crawling around 5 months. And he liked to be where the action was. So we took off the gates and set him free throughout our 850sqft apartment. And he loved exploring. We had never bothered with baby proofing outside of his jail. And when we released him into the wild, we still never bothered. But it was fine. He never paid any attention to opening cupboards to amputate fingers, wrapping the computer cords around his neck or trying to go for a swim in the toilet.
We moved into our house in August. And we never bothered with gates or plug covers or anything else baby-proof related. The only thing we had, aside from common sense, was using IKEA’s Patrull to prevent fingers getting smushed in a door. Our kitchen cupboards don’t have doors. We took them off during renovations but haven’t gotten them on yet. We’ve stuck a cardboard box in front of the cupboard and called it safe. And even at (almost) 16 months, he doesn’t have any interest in moving it out of the way to play in there even though he knows he can.
Now that it’s getting closer to being time to move him to a big bed, we have decided to baby proof his room. While it’s safe enough for him to play in there, while we take the occasional peek in, it’s not to the point where we could leave him unattended for long periods of time.After a trip to Toys R Us, we came home armed with safety devices. Plug covers, drawer latches, furniture fasteners, cord clamps, a gate for his doorway, a toilet lid clamp and a box to cover the outlet when things are plugged in. Well, not all of it was suited for our house. The gate was a pressure mounted gate that didn’t quite fit tight enough as the size we need was right between two options and it wouldn’t stay put in the doorway. Our toilet lid is curved and the clamp is designed for a flat lid. The outlet box cover was for rounded plug things, whereas ours are more squared. The furniture fastener was a joke – the teeth part of the clip just slides down the tie, rather than staying put. We did use the outlet plugs and anchored the cords to the wall. And the drawer latches worked for the TV cabinet (we still need to put on his dresser drawers). We also set up the speaker wires for behind the couch to run along the ceiling so they are out of reach for little fingers. At least the trip to TRU (on the second to last weekend before Christmas – read : madhouse) wasn’t a complete bust. We have quite a few things to return and exchange now, but that will probably have to wait until in the New Year.The ironic thing about all this baby proofing is that in the end, the step ladder was left out and D found it. I walked out of the kitchen after washing breakfast dishes to see him standing on the top step (about 3.5ft from the ground) and dancing. Daddy got in trouble and will never live that one down.
How have you baby proofed your house? Have you ever had a baby proofing backfire (trying to unlock the toilet at 3am, sneaking into the baby’s room only to dislodge gate and have the noise wake him/her up)? Share your experience below!