View Full Version : How much baby proofing did you really do?
11-30-2004, 09:11 AM
I am a bad parent. All we have done for baby proofing is cover the electric outlets & pull all the rubber ends off the door stoppers (DS managed to pull one off & was going for his mouth when I caught him)
I know we'll need to get gates for the stairs & latch the cabinets that have cleaning products/medicines in them. (one in the kitchen & one in our bathroom + one in his bathroom) but aside from this what else should I do?
I don't mind him having full run of the house knowing that I'll have to watch him like a hawk & won't leave him alone. I don't want to have to put all my nice stuff away also knowing that something could get broken or ruined....I guess I kinda think if I let him explore things under my watchful eye eventually he'll know what he can & can't touch. Or am I completely delusional?
So I guess I'm wondering what baby proofing did you end up doing? I know people who have actually brought in one of those baby proofing companies & spent hundreds of dollars doing it - is that really necessary?
geez, I'm just full of questions today ;)
11-30-2004, 09:17 AM
Heh, heh, you're asking all those questions that I have! Yes, I'm a bad parent; I haven't even covered the electrical outlets yet! So you're way ahead of me. For the times when I need to leave the room, I usually have her in what DH calls the Kiddy Corral (using the playgates I got from Toys 'R Us). And yes, I guess I could follow her around the house (which I currently do), but somehow I don't think that's a permanent solution.
There are two rooms in which she plays the most, and I've sort of created large playing spaces for her, and tried to remove most of the no-no objects within her reach. But DH and I really haven't done much more than that--bad parents!
Mother of Beautiful Kaya, www.chemicalgraphics.com/kaya
http://www.gynosaur.com/assets/ribbons/ribbon_amber_9m.gif Breastfed 9 months and counting
11-30-2004, 09:20 AM
We did pretty minimal stuff. The outlet covers (since Sophie is very recently interested in pulling nightlights/plugs out of outlets and then trying to reinsert them) are in the obvious places, but not behind furniture, etc.
We did those c-shaped cabinet locks (that attach to the handles) under the kitchen sink, bathroom sinks and the cabinet where we keep toiletries.
We also put doorknob covers on because Sophie's starting to get tall enough that it won't be long before she can open doors (we keep them on the bathroom doors, basement doors and closets).
I haven't done much else, although I have a HUGE corral Sophie spends a lot of time in since I simply can't chase her at this point. She does get run of the house, but not all day long. I just don't have the energy to match hers.
I would see what Griffin is attracted to before going crazy.
Not enough. We latched off all of the cabinets with cleaning supplies, put handle covers on the bathroom doors, gated my DS's room + childproofed that space + gated off our family room. My DS only has the run of the house from time to time but our family room is large + connected to the kitchen so he doesn't feel confined.
If you have extra money, the babyproofing companies do an excellent job. We didn't use one but a few friends shelled out the big bucks and their homes are a lot more child friendly.
11-30-2004, 10:09 AM
We totally babyprooffed Jacob's playroom. Gates at doorways, cover on outlets etc......that is one room he can be left alone in and no worries! The rest of the house we kind of did what he led us to. Gate at top of stairs, but not bottom. No outlet covers anywhere else- he's never once even noticed them! We did put door handle covers on all the bathroom doors, and the front door because he will oopen a door in a heartbeat! That's about it, and the only thing I really worry about now is missing a crayon in the clean-up one day and finding my wall covered!!!
NEVE and TRISTAN
11-30-2004, 10:24 AM
I hosted bunco about 2 weeks ago and many of the moms couldn't bleive that I had out so many "don't touch items"...Tristan co exist with my porceline and I have tucked to date NOTHING away from him...
Mind you 2 minutes ago he did come up the steps with one of my pretty tree ornaments which kind of shocked me...
But we covered our outlets at places he hangs out, sadly when we remove them to use them we have caught him trying to put them back which I think is more dangerous...
We also have gates at bottom and top of stairs, glad we have them but he has been climbing steps and going down for a very long time and knows to "hold the rail".
We have two fireplaces with brick bases and have never covered them with commercial proofers, but I do throw a blanket over them if I worry...
But we have done very little and he just kind of adapted to his surroundings...
Neve and Tristan born Feb 25, 2003
* EDD 3/19/05 Baby girl BRONWYN
* Adopting siblings in Ukraine 12-10-04
Very little. Outlet covers, put cords out of the way. That's about it. I am going to get Tot Loks as soon as we get back home. Lorelei's favorite thing is opening the cabinets and we have a ton because we have so many built-ins. I did not get any gates for the stairs. My reasoning being that we hardly spend any time upstairs and Lorelei stopped liking to climb up after she scared herself with a slip off the bottom step even though I caught her.
11-30-2004, 11:24 AM
We have the outlet covers and latches on some cabinets (only the dangerous ones with chemicals or knives). We also have permanent gates at the top of the stairs and just bought a pressure-mounted gate for use at the bottom. The only other plan is to put covers on the knobs of the stove. We have two dogs/goats, so most stuff is out of reach anyway.
11-30-2004, 11:33 AM
Do you really have goats? Or do you mean dogs that eat everything?
I actually HAD a pet goat once upon a time ;)
11-30-2004, 11:37 AM
Quite a lot actually- electric covers, tot locks on all cabinets except tupperware, drawer locks, french door lock on office door, slide lock on linen closet- not that its dangerous but very messy when she decides to trash stuff when i'm sitting down w/ her brother.
One of the easiest ways is to bring an older baby/toddler in and see what they gravitate to and thats usually what will have to go or be blocked.
11-30-2004, 12:17 PM
to go nuts. We haven't done any yet, but will do the minimal obviously dangerous stuff, and a couple of gates. Otherwise, he will adapt to his surroundingas and, well, learn limits...
11-30-2004, 12:27 PM
We've done more baby-proofing with Ryden than with the other two kids combined! But still, we've done very little. Outlet covers, locks on a few cabinets, gated off the kitchen. I have put more of *my* stuff up b/c he's absolutely fascinated with breakables, but I refuse to not decorate! He is a climber so more than anything everyone needs to remember to push chairs all the way to the table and not leave anything around that can assist in his climbing.
11-30-2004, 01:26 PM
Ummm.... I'm BAD PARENT EXTRAORDINAIRE!! I have no outlet covers, no gates, no locks on cabinete.
Mind you, I had all these things for my 3 older children, but then Katherine came along and we just haven't needed them. She doesn't get into things (at 18 months) and knows how to go up the stairs carefully. She has NEVER tried to go down the stairs, just stands at the top and yells for mom/dad/sister/brothers to come get her. She sits on my bed and never tries to get down (which is good because it is tall) and I can take a shower or whatever. And, I let her watch tv while I do it (all except Big Comfy Couch, see earlier post.)
As far as the cabinets go, anything dangerous we move up higher or have put big heavy rubber bands around the handles, and if she tries to open the door and there is resistance she just goes away and finds somewhere else to play.
11-30-2004, 01:32 PM
We bought the Gerber cabinet door latches.... they are really easy to install!!!!! For a little while we put up baby gates on the doors to the kitchen.... to keep DS away from dog food, the stove and the fridge. Once he started pulling a chair over to get into the kitchen the gates came down! I never did put electrical sockets covers on.... DS never got shocked.... lucky him!
Oh and my DH got some earthquake proofing stuff and secured the tv to the entertainment center and the big bookcases to the wall..... in case DS tried to climb them. He saw a special on things falling on small children and it prompted him to do it!
I know a lot of people who never put ONE cabinet latch on and their children are fine! OH and we bought a toilet lock and it lasted for about a month... then we broke it and didn't bother replacing it!
Good luck.... I think a lot of baby proofing stuff is great to have but it is big business!!!!
Mommy to Mason 7/8/01
lil man #2 edd 5/5/05
11-30-2004, 03:15 PM
They are supposed to be dogs (terrier-mix and a Sheltie), but they have and will eat anything between the two of them....ribbons, tree bark, paper, cat litter box contents, etc
11-30-2004, 03:31 PM
that is kinda what I was thinking - the baby proofing gadgets is great to have but also big business so I'm trying to figure out what is a must have & what is just well...nice to have!!! I like Marisa's suggestion too of waiting a bit to see what DS will actually go for. I guess each kid is different. Right now he loves the door stoppers - the "boing" noise & so I had to pull all the plastic white tips off those. And he has gone for the dog bowls but aside from that, nothing else.
We've done it in spurts. If he gets into something that he shouldn't while we're watching him, we pretty much know what to babyproof. If he gets into it and it's dangerous (or VERY expensive, like the china) we know to do something about it. We used Burton White's suggestions for most everything. Like you, we just did some of the basics and we kept/keep a watchful eye on Nate.
I think in the book the Fields talk about how elec. outlet covers are a waste of money, and they are probably right. We do have them in some outlets, but we pretty much used the Burton White approach when it came to exploring the outlets.
We never got a gate for the stairs (the two downstairs stairwells are closed by doors), although we did use two laundry baskets wedged into the hallway on the 2nd floor when he was crawling. He was scared of going down the stairs for a long time, so I wasn't really worried. Now he can go up & down them quite easily.
In the kitchen and bathroom, we followed Burton White's advice and just put the dangerous things up high and let him explore the kitchen cabinets/drawers. We have one cabinet under the sink that is locked; everything else was available for him to explore. We did put toilet locks on the toilet because I am paranoid about him falling in and drowning -- although now it's more to keep him from playing in them...yuck!
We did put our coffee table into the basement for now, because it has a glass top and very sharp corners. Our living room is really small so it actually opens up the space nicely. In our living room and dining room, we have 2 cabinets w/ doors and those have child locks on them, although they are usually left unlocked. It's not so much my child I am worried about but my friend's curious kids! Both cabinets are way too heavy for *me* to move, so they are not bolted to the wall. Anything else that is climbable is bolted to the wall. We put the TiVO and DVD on the highest shelf above the TV, so the only thing he can reach when he opens the bottom 2 doors is a bunch of boxes (board games...hmmm, maybe I should tape them shut) and DVD cases.
We did just get 2 doorknob covers for two of the doors, because I watched him open the front door and the backstairs door (my husband works from home in the basement) and the thought that he could open the front door is scary to me (we live near a busy corner where people don't think they actually have to STOP at the stop sign!).
I've heard about people hiring professionals to come in and do a search for stuff. I don't mean this is a slam on people who have hired one of those companies, but I think that the findings would just make me paranoid. I don't want to be that neurotic, since I already lean that way naturally. I also think the findings would probably make this house uninhabitable/unsafe for ME. It's 100 years old for goodness' sake; it wasn't necessarily designed for toddlers' comfort.
11-30-2004, 04:23 PM
1. Covered the electrical outlets
2. Gated the stairs and put plexiglass on the stair landing (after an ER visit - eek!)
3. Put latches on some of the cabinets (with things that could get broken - we moved cleaning products out of his reach - and a few bathroom cabinets with medications) but he had access to many other kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets, plus all of the other drawers in bedrooms, etc.
4. Replaced the door stoppers with the one piece thingies
5. Put breakable items up and out of his reach (not every single one, but the ones that were expensive or not easily replaced)
6. Put door latches on the glass doors on our stereo and VCR/DVD player cabinets
Except for the limits of the baby gates (which we don't use any longer, except for the dogs), Colin was allowed anywhere in the house. He now has the run of the whole house. He still gets into trouble occasionally (like when he tore into the pantry to impress his "girlfriend") but generally is very good around the house and at other people's houses. I wasn't saying "no" all the time, either, but did a lot of redirecting through some time periods.
I feel like it is important to keep your baby out of the ER/hospital - thus the baby gates and latches on cabinets with medications and such - but that bumped heads and pinched fingers are part of learning your world around you. And it is important to have reasonable expectations (it is a long time - we're not completely there yet - before they learn "no touch" with complete reliability, and it only takes a moment for something to drop and break, so I think that you might want to revisit your expectations there) of a baby and toddler. But IMO it is also important to give them freedom to explore and discover how things work.
11-30-2004, 04:47 PM
Like most others, we just kept an eye on Lane and did things progressively.
- Lock on the kitchen cabinet that's under the sink, but no others
- Lock on cabinets under bathroom sinks
- Cleaning supplies moved above the washer and dryer
- Toilet locks (like Caroline, mostly to keep him from playing in them); one is the half bath because we need to leave that door open for air circulation purposes and one is the master bath because I didn't want him trying to play in the toilet when I'm getting ready
- Gates at top and bottom of stairs - He is very careful with the stairs and can go up and down, but I got tired of running to get him if we didn't need to go upstairs.
- Plexiglass on banister upstairs. Our washer and dryer are right there and Lane did stick his head through one time when I was folding clothes. Scared the bejeezus out of me that I feel much better with it there!
- Locking mechanism on fireplace doors
What we haven't done -
- No outlet covers
- No covers on oven knobs
- No covers on door knobs (although I think will be needed soon)
- Not all plants removed from his level
I think there a lot of things you can do to make your home more baby-friendly that I wouldn't necessarily consider baby-proofing. For example, the bottom two door shelves of our refrigerator only contain plastic bottles. Lane makes a beeline to the refrigerator when we open it and we didn't want him pulling glass things out.
Lane - April 2003
Little sister on the way!!! March 2!
11-30-2004, 04:57 PM
We rearranged our kitchen cupboards to get all sharp items out of reach, and put latches on the ones with cleaning supplies (which he has since outsmarted). We also moved all medicines out of reach in the bathroom. We covered the outlets in most rooms. We tried the doorknob covers but he quickly outsmarted them. That was really the extent of our efforts, and half of them didn't work anyways!
11-30-2004, 06:33 PM
Haven't read other replies, but here's my thoughts.
I felt locks on the toilets were very important so I did that. Yes, I can block off the bathrooms, but I wanted to try to guard against those times when someone might forget. I moved all cleaning supplies to high shelves. I don't think keping them down low with cabinet locks is safe enough, because child may eventually figure out the latch. Or someone might forget to latch.
Tried to hide electrical cords as much as possible, have outlet covers on some outlets he can access. i got those sliding ones for outlets that I use occasionally (for vacuum cleaner, etc.) but those are a pain because the cord doesn't stay in well.
Have strapped most bookcases and chests of drawers to the walls.
Those are all the things I remember right now. Oh, and one of those spout covers in the bathtub.
11-30-2004, 07:52 PM
We have three spunky cats and two young dogs, so even before baby we were "pet proofed": no plants (cats will eat them), very few breakables within reach (cats or dogs will knock them off).
We gated off the living room and dining room - this is her dafe zone. Not totally baby proof, but safe enough. Outlet covers and sharp things out of reach.
We currently have no cabinet locks that work. Tired the stupid adhesive ones - they fall off. :( Just haven't gotten around to installing ordinary ones. I moved the cleaning supplies to a high cabinet, but our basic approach is supervision. If I can't watch her for a moment, she's locked in the living room/dining room.
We have no gates at the top of the stairs, because its a funky staircase. She is never allowed to wander upstairs without a shadow. She would happily go head first down the stairs if you let her. She's a danger baby.
11-30-2004, 08:54 PM
"I guess I kinda think if I let him explore things under my watchful eye eventually he'll know what he can & can't touch. Or am I completely delusional?"
Well, that works until they become faster than you. And that day WILL come, LOL! Think about it this way. The more babyproofing you do, the easier YOUR life is. Thats less time you spend saying no and having to shadow them. Personally I *like* the fact that I can work in the kitchen and know that she is completely safe even when I can't see her. It gives me greater freedom and flexibility.
But that being said, we mainly just watched her and childproofed gradually. Some children are very easy going and are not real explorers. Others are daredevils. We have some things that are breakable but that she has never touched and shows no interest in. Some things she easily learned were "no touch" and never bothered. If there was something breakable that she seemed to be drawn to, I moved it. Again, it just made my life easier, and I'm all about life being easy for me.
12-01-2004, 01:47 AM
Hmmm, well, we have gates at the top of each staircase, a gate at the bottom of one of the staircases because Taran LOVES climbing stairs and I can't always constantly be right there with him if I'm in the kitchen. (He hasn't figured out how to go down them yet, so far he spends his time at the top rocking back and forth on his hands and knees and tried to go down headfirst last week when my mother was coming through the gate. She caught him.) We have outlet covers on some of the outlets, but just the ones left by the previous owners. We haven't really bothered with any of our own, partially because our home inspector said that they're worthless.
We did buy padding for the edges of the brick fireplace hearth, but after I put on the corner pieces and discovered he just pulls it off and plays with it, I decided not to bother with the rest of it. We just keep an eye on him when he's walking near it since he's still not totally steady on his feet. And we superglued the loose rubber ends on the door stoppers back onto the doorstoppers after he pulled one off. ;) He hasn't been able to get it off since. Of course, interestingly enough, the newer doorstoppers we had to buy to replace some that were missing have ends that won't come off.
Oh, and we installed tot-locks on the cabinet doors under the sink. That's the only cabinet we didn't want him to get into in the kitchen. The rest of it, I don't currently care if he plays with it or not. Most of it is pots, pans, and plastic things. Plus, he's not in the kitchen unless one of us is anyway.
I dunno, I guess I figure with everything else we'll just teach him what he can and can't touch. I might be crazy for thinking we can do this, but I figure it's worth a try. :)
Taran, November 20, 2003
http://www.gynosaur.com/assets/ribbons/ribbon_gold_12m.gif - Twelve months and counting!
12-01-2004, 12:10 PM
We've not done any, since he's still immobile. But, we've been thinking of it. I know I want to guard against obvious dangers, like outlets and stairs. We have a quad-level house, so there are stairs everywhere. I also know I don't want to go crazy. My brother and SIL have 3 and 6 year old boys and they still don't have any tables in their living room. It drives us nuts when we're there for birthday parties and are trying to balance a paper plate and a drink on our laps. I don't want to give up my entire house to the baby, you know? There has to be a happy, safe, medium somewhere.
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