View Full Version : Temporary Toddler-Proofing
01-29-2004, 07:30 PM
We are going to the states in five weeks to visit family and my parents want to know what sort of "toddler-proofing" they can do. Problem is that they want stuff they can do that won't be permanent (i.e. screws). Other issue is that my mom is in a wheelchair and has limited hand strength, so we have to be careful not to "mom-proof" too.
I'm going to suggest that basically all reachable, breakable, cuttable, smashable, poisonable stuff be put into one room that we can close. The only room that is available for locking stuff away is the study which has a set of pocket doors (one door, two leaves that meet in the middle).
So here is the question - does anyone know how to keep a toddler from opening pocket doors?
Also, any other suggestions for temporary toddler-proofing?
Jen in Okinawa
Mom to Noelle (10/25/01)
01-30-2004, 02:48 AM
Sorry, I don't know what to do about the door.
Other stuff... lots of vigilance! LOL!! :P Perhaps pressure mounted gates. I know that would potentially be mom-proof, too, but it might be workable. I'll try to think more...
01-30-2004, 05:17 PM
I would suggest a pressure mounted gate outside the pocket door. However, some "handles" on pocket doors have little loops that do lift up (not just brass indentations). You might be able to get a cabinet lock hooked onto those two loops.
As far as chemicals - I would leave them in a cabinet and put a cabinet lock on them (one of those slide locks). You will be there and can help your mom, but in the meantime, just in case Noelle "broke" into the study you wouldn't have to worry about chemicals.
I'm assuming you aren't going for very long...you may find that your daughter stays near you and doesn't really go exploring. At my parents house (which Alia has been to many times) she doesn't go near the stairs. We have a gate we can put up, but she stays away from it. And leaves the dog's water and food dishes alone...which she would never do in our house! Maybe it's because there are always quite a few people around when we're there, so we're all "on alert" but she's better away than at home!!
Michelle - Mom to Alia born 5/16/02
01-31-2004, 04:29 PM
Rubber bands are great temporary "locks" for cabinets depending on the style of knob. I can't picture these pocket doors you're talking about though...
02-04-2004, 03:39 AM
We will be there for about two weeks, and, unfortunately, my daughter will NOT stick by my heels for that length of time. Both my parents seem to have forgotten how much trouble a toddler can get into. I've found that when ask them to "keep an eye on her" while I shower she can get into a LOT of trouble. We can't use a gate in the door, it wouldn't stop my daughter, but it would stop my Mom!
I've attached (I think) two attachments that show the door. One shows the doors from the top (two doors that meet in the middle) the other shows a single pocket door from the front you have to imagine the other door coming from the other side.
Thanks so much!
Jen in Okinawa
Mom to Noelle (10/25/01)
02-05-2004, 01:38 PM
First off, I feel your pain. My husband and I left our 18-month-old "into everything" son with my in-laws for a week and a half while we vacationed in Spain. I was so grateful to them for enabling my husband and me to take this vacation that I was reluctant to offer too many suggestions about baby-proofing. But I didn't want to get a call in Seville that my son had accidentally drunk bleach cleaner he found under the bathroom sink. My in-laws raised 5 kids, but I think they had forgotten how much trouble kids can be. In the end, I removed the cleaners from under the bathroom sink and left all other babyproofing to my in-laws. They installed a pressure-mounted gate at the bottom of the stairs and that was it! There was brick-a-brack everywhere in the rooms designed as baby-proofed, so someone had to watch my son every second. I think this was a hardship on my mother-in-law, but that was her choice.
Be grateful that your parents have shown an interest in baby-proofing. My in-laws were rather indifferent to it.
My suggestion for the door is to install a hook-and-eye system on the sliding door and frame at a height that your mother can reach in her wheelchair, but your toddler cannot. These are available at hardware stores for about $1. Yes, this is a permanent installation that will require drilling holes, but they will be small holes. The One Step Ahead catalogue www.onestepahead.com sells drawer/cabinet latches that install with a sticky back instead of drilling holes. We have used these, although they are quite expensive ($7 I think). Babies R Us also carries them, but their inventory is hit-or-miss on this item. If possible, try to get your parents to clear the babyproofed room(s) of brick-a-brack. This step will add to everyone's peace of mind.
My friend took her toddler with her to visit her parents in Oklahoma for a few weeks. At first the parents were totally clueless about what babyproofing needed to be done. (They hadn't even got a high chair and were going to just put phone books on a regular chair.) Within hours of my friend's arrival, her father had made several trips to Babies R Us and the hardware store buying babyproofing materials. I think that grandparents babyproof just like parents do: you don't know what you need until you see your toddler in action in the space.
Good luck! -Amy (mother of Adam born 5/25/02)
02-06-2004, 01:02 AM
Thaks so much for your help
I think I'm going to try and convince my dad to do the hook'n'eye thing. He's been reluctant to do anything that drastic (as he terms it). I think I'll remind him of everything she did the last time we were there - and she was only 21 months then, she'll be almost 30 months this time! She was fascinated with his CPU (we have a laptop) and she managed to restart it three times while he was online before he caught on to what she was doing.
Last time I was there we had to install cattle fencing (4" x 4" metal mesh) along the entire porch. My parents had only put in one horizontal bar between the railing and the floor so there were 14" gaps that she could literally fall through. Yikes! I warned them when they were building the house, but I wasn't even pregnant then so they were very blase about it. I think dad is wishing he listened a little closer...
Jen in Okinawa
Mom to Noelle (10/25/01)
02-06-2004, 10:30 AM
No suggestions, just sympathy as we *just* went through this. My own parents were great. They installed permanent gates at the top of both stairs, my mom went a little nuts with babyproofing research, put away all table cloths and brick brack, and removed the entire glass coffee table so Dante had a place to run.
My inlaws, on the other hand, borrowed a large "super gate" leaned it against furniture and remembered to remove *most* of the staples from the rug (MIL is a preschool art teacher so one never knows what you will find on the floor). They did lock the cabinets under the sink which is good. When we went to their vacation house I was panicked because it is a split level. The upstairs has open railing with a story-long drop onto stone floor below. When I asked them what they planned to do about that, they told me "DH survived." Not exactly reassuring.
In the end, however, they came through. They used the super gate in the upstairs living room to block the entry way so Dante couldn't even get close to the railing.
I think it's best to try and get a lot of the stuff--maybe make a family outing to BRU--once you get there and they can actually SEE what Noelle is doing.
Mama to Dante, 8/1/02
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