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"I don't babyproof my house . . ." - Page 3

post #41 of 108
We don't baby proof either. We own locks for our under-sink cabinet, but never remember to actually lock it. The only thing I really try to keep an eye on is the baby and my stairs. They're very steep and there's a wall about 2ft away from the bottom step. She could really get hurt falling down them, so I try not to let her climb them. But, just today she made it all the way to the top before I heard her. All in all though, I just like to let them explore. My middle one is the one who gets into things, but he knows the things that are absolutely off-limits, and those few things, he doesn't really push me on.
post #42 of 108
I am in the middle with baby proofing. Anything that would be a big deal if dc DID get into it is put up high or otherwise babyproofed. That would be any cleaners, knives and scissors etc, and anything valuable that could break, etc.
Everything else, we redirect and teach how to handle items properly. If a particular item becomes a big deal (like wanting to pull out all the cd's all the time), that's dealt with as necessary.
post #43 of 108
We don't babyproof, and if a friend of mine criticized me for not babyproofing it would hurt my feelings.

It'd be different if she didn't babyproof AND you noticed she wasn't watching her children or that they had injuries or something. But every family does things differently. It'd be the same if you called her out on not breastfeeding or something similar. My son is 7 years old and the only two major accidents he had were at his preschool! Just let her be.
post #44 of 108
I'd be cautious about saying anything to her. Making any assumptions that she is unfit as a parent, or even let her think for a split second that you may be suggesting it could ruin your friendship. Parenting is very personal. Unless she is letting her infant play with sharps, I'd let it be and be thankful for all the times someone did not critique you for parenting in a way they don't approve of.

The only baby proofing we've done around here is making sure the door that lead to stairs are closed, knives out of reach and sockets covered...that's really it. I would be offended if someone challenged me about the safety of my child.
post #45 of 108
I didn't babyproof either. I blocked off the stairs at our old house, but that's it. Oh, and I think dh put a latch thingie on the under the sink cabinet at that house too. But I don't have a thing babyproofed at this house and dd was just under 2 when we moved here. : Not all kids like to get into stuff. My kids didn't. I also never left them alone in the house when they were little. :
post #46 of 108
I didn't babyproof. I wish I'd heard the term house-proofing the kids!

Cleaning chemicals are still where they were before kids. It never occurred to to try and eat them. She wanted to skirt and use them like I did. We talked about not eating them and washing hands after handling them. She handled ant poison at 5. I taught her to use knives safely when she was very young and helped her to choose one to fit her hand. This is a big thing for me. I'm small, with small hands, and I like the right-sized tool for the job. So she would see me choosing the smaller knife, not the big chef knife and talking about why it was the right one and then I gave her the sharp pairing knife and let her cut.

She fell down the 3 stair landing a few times, but we taught her to turn around backwards to go down the stairs. She handled stairs just fine well before she walked - under 1 year. In the toddler years she kept the habit of going down the stairs backwards on hands and knees - all kinds of stairs. It was truly never a worry of mine. Used to freak some other people out, though.
post #47 of 108
Another non-baby-proofer. I do have a lock on my pot cupboard because I get so tired of my kids playing cymbals.
post #48 of 108
the extent of our baby proofing is one baby gate at the bottom of the stairs for when we're downstairs, one at the top for when we're upstairs, and one lock on the pantry door. these 3 things are more for annoyance sake than safety tho. the kids are both proficient at using the stairs with the rail, but i just don't want them running up and down all day cos then i have to run up and down all day. the pantry lock is because ds2 likes campbell's soup bowling. which my mil actually taught him. as far as cleaning products... unless drinking vinegar or eating baking soda constitutes as dangerous chemicals.... lol. we don't use chemicals in our house, so there's not a huge risk of unsafety. but i have explained to the boys you don't play in them either.

i think you need to be on your kids. even with 4. (we're about to have #3.) i think, imho, baby-proofing gives you a false sense of security and can force your instictual guards down. (when i say "you" i mean people, not anyone in particular.) like baby leashes. or like anything that is supposed to keep your baby safer than your watchful eye!! if you saw her letting her kids stick forks in the outlets, then i'd say, "hey, you need to keep your kids a little safer." other than that, probably not an issue for her. as a pp said, a kid who has only ever seen plugged up outlets will go into a classroom or airport or another person's house and will instantly be drawn to the hole and what can be put in it. or to other people's pretty blue liquid in the cabinet. etc.

our baby-proofing is, "son, we don't play with this... not when we can play with THIS." and it works pretty good. for us.
post #49 of 108
i think baby proofing is an unfortunate term that gives a false sense of security. i consider "baby proofing" to be more like "buying yourself an extra 30 seconds until baby thwarts your lock"
post #50 of 108
Thread Starter 
OP here,

thanks everyone for your great comments and discussion!! You've given me a lot to think about. My LO is only 8 months and just on the verge of being mobile so I'm definitely taking notes and I am seeing from your comments that it kind of needs to be adapted to what a child's personality/tendencies are.

Someone asked if I've read the Continuum Concept - I haven't but having now googled it I can see that I want to! I'll get my hands on a copy soon. Thanks for the recommendation.

Just to clarify, I didn't say anything to my friend at the time, but mentally wondered about her approach. I think she's a great parent. She often parents differently than me, and that can be enlightening and constructive for me as I observe her. I'm glad I chose to ask you MDC mamas about it rather than vocalize any reservations I had. I can see now that I had nothing to worry about. Thanks again for all your advice.
post #51 of 108
My house is baby proofed in that I tidy more often, have outlet covers (to keep her from licking them), and stuff she can break gets put up out of reach. : It's not like she understands when I tell her to play with this other thing or to be gentle with what she's playing with.

As she gets more understanding, I'll let more stuff be out and about and continue to talk to her about safety. But until she stops going straight for the cat food bowl for a snack'n'scatter, the baby gate goes up when she's playing in the living room. And until she stops eating paper, our decks of cards go on the shelf out of her reach.

For me, it's all about keeping my stress down while not saying "no" all the time. Lots of stuff that won't hurt her will cause me more work and trouble.

(As for CC, it's a lovely idea, but the things Liedoff saw don't hold even for all traditional societies: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detcross.html So since Lina has already nearly crawled off the bed twice (I caught her leg as she literally went over the edge) I'm not going to assume she'll avoid sharp knives.)
post #52 of 108
: i agree with sapphire 100%
post #53 of 108
I gotta say - my son found outlet covers absolutely fascinating. If the outlet had no cover he had no interest whatsoever in it. With the covers he was busy trying to remove the covers, replace the covers, stick other things in the outlet, whatever. He ignored the outlet if it had no cover.
post #54 of 108
ds unplugs and then replugs everything... it drives me nuts. esp. when its the vacuum
post #55 of 108

i don't trust myself enough. dd will obey me if i tell her not to touch something, but if i slip up, if i'm not 100% perfect, if i'm not there for her to obey...then what?

thus, i'm babyproofing the cleaner cabinet and keeping the bathroom door closed.
post #56 of 108
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
I gotta say - my son found outlet covers absolutely fascinating. If the outlet had no cover he had no interest whatsoever in it. With the covers he was busy trying to remove the covers, replace the covers, stick other things in the outlet, whatever. He ignored the outlet if it had no cover.
I had the opposite experience. Lina stopped caring about outlets as soon as I put in the covers.

Which just goes to show what we all already knew--babies are different.:
post #57 of 108
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
When my kids were little, it was the same with us. We were living in a large house where the living room, dining room, playroom and kitchen all sort of flowed together in a continuum, and the bathrooms and bedrooms were at the end of a hallway. I just gated off the hallway and kept an eye on my kids. I never locked my cabinets; if something was particularly toxic, I would keep it in the laundry room on a shelf, or in the garage.

I used outlet covers and padded an old coffee table that we once had. That was pretty much the extent of our baby-proofing the living area. My son still split his forehead on that table when he was 18 months old. Tripped and fell into it.

We had a walk-through gate in our hallway, so my older boy could access his bedroom and the bathroom while the baby stayed with us in the other part of the house.

While in his room, he decided he needed to reach something on top of a tall, lightweight chest of drawers. Since there was nothing to climb on, he thought it would be wise to pull out the bottom drawer and step into it, using it as a stool. The chest fell over on him. Luckily, he was nearly 4.5 and big for his age, the chest wasn't too heavy, and he was able to hold it up and yell until we got there.

They can always get into something.
Yes, I'm aware there is always something. But I make sure those somethings are minimal in my home where at all possible.
post #58 of 108
Originally Posted by Parker'smommy View Post
Not all kids like to get into stuff. My kids didn't. I also never left them alone in the house when they were little. :
For the record, I don't think ANY baby-proofer does it so their kids can "be left alone". Just like the non-baby-proofers don't have knives laying around on the floor.

My kids are always close with me and I never left them unattended when they were into-everything stage.

I think PP was right when she said that some kids get into things more than others. Mine did. They were endlessly curious and always poking into everything and getting things out of every drawer and investigating every cupboard and pouring the contents of what they found on the floor and puut it in their mouths. It wasn't that they were naughty, just curious.

Rather than follow them around redirecting and scolding I chose to make the house (it was tiny) a safe place for them and then to let them explore as they wanted. It wasn't that I neglected them or left them alone, I just knew that if I didn't happen to be watching for two seconds they wouldn't discover something lethal like 110 volts combined with car keys or some Drano.
post #59 of 108
We moved when ds turn 1 from an apartment to a house. I like to think of our house as "kid friendly" as opposed to "baby proof"
Yes we have outlet covers
and these that cover plugs (I love them) because ds was unplugging everything!
we have our tv in a cabinet that has a latch (mostly so ds doesn't want to "watch" as he says ALL DAY, out of sight out of mind kinda deal)
we don't have toxic chemicals in the house only some things in the basement, and that door has latches that ds can't reach
no cabinets have latches on them in the kitchen, but there is also nothing really breakable, we don't have "fancy" things like crystal or china
We do have those door knob covers on the inside of the bedroom so if ds wakes from a nap or in the evening and doesn't cry he can't leave the room and roam the house that the only on that is really "proofing" anything

most of the stuff is just organizing the house in a way that is safe and effective for having little people around.
post #60 of 108
The only babyproofing we did was the outlet covers/electrical cords, because that is something a baby doesn't understand. We don't use any "chemicals" so that not a worry. You could safely drink my shampoo and conditioner too. Its 99% aloe, with a bit of oil. We don't have baby gates on our stairs, because we explore heights together and have faith in the natural survival instincts that animals are born with. Baby monkeys don't fall off cliffs just because they are there. We like the Continuum Concept philosophies. We also let ds explore small objects, with supervision. He is allowed to put small rocks in his mouth, etc, because once he's done it a few times, he loses interest in it, its already been explored. If i constantly take it away from him, he becomes focused on exploring small things with his mouth. Etc etc.

Supervision and learning is a million times more effective thant the best "babyproofing."
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