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S/O MIL Thread . . . Do YOU Childproof? How much?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Reading the MIL letter thread got me wondering . . . a lot of what was described are things that are normal for my house . . . no baby gates, doors leading to stairs left open (with a two year old, the basement door was closed until he showed me he could open it and go up and down the stairs unassisted), no outlet covers, no locks on kitchen drawers or cabinets, chemicals under the sink, etc. We don't have a lot of breakables around, but my mom and partner's mom do (and their houses are no more child-proofed than mine). I don't trail my kids around the house, either.

Are we the odd ones here? How much child proofing do you all do?
post #2 of 39
I've always thought it made more sense to do minimal childproofing and instead teach your kids to stay out of things that could be dangerous. DD is only 5 mos. old though, so I haven't had a chance to test out the theory yet. I think I will probably do outlet covers and keep the door to the basement closed, but that's about it.
post #3 of 39
I focus on chemicals/products that are unsafe to have in one's mouth even for a moment. I see no reason to keep such items around a child who may not have proper impulse control or who is curious. The potential ramifications just don't seem worth it when the only negative is the minimal trouble of moving potentially harmful substances to a higher shelf and out of reach of a newly mobile child.

We do some childproofing but we don't put our kids in a bubble either.
post #4 of 39
OP from the other thread here....
IMO chemicals should never be kept under the sink even if there is a cabinet latch those can fail the safest place for chemicals is over possibly your washer/dryer or your fridge, I think that once a child shows proficiency at opening doors all of the doors leading to the outside of the house should be secured and I think the bathroom should probably be secured, any drawer that has sharp/heavy/pointy things should probably have a latch and windows especially 2nd story should be locked not be easily climbed up to.....
post #5 of 39
I put the outlet covers on when my first was a baby. Same with the cupboard locks and stove locks. We didn't use anything for our next two and prob won't for the future ones.

We too believe in teaching the child, not baby proofing. We keep our cleaners and such on the top shelf of the pantry, but mostly because we use under the sink for the dish rack and recyclable drink containers.
I *might* get a baby gate but I doubt it, since the only stairs we have that a baby could fall down has a door.
post #6 of 39
All we really did when dd was tiny was lock up all the chemicals and medications. No outlet covers, toilet locks, etc. Dd was just 'easy' in that respect I guess; I never felt the need for any of it. This may change if the next baby is different.
post #7 of 39
We did outlet covers and put the heavy things that he could pull down away until he was older.

We didn't baby proof anything else. I never saw the point in it, redirection and careful watching worked very well for us.
post #8 of 39
In our case, DS1 has never been interested in outlets and we showed him early on how to use them properly, so they were never much of a "forbidden fruit". We let him exhaust his curiosity under close supervision and he seemed to quickly move on to the next thing. He also never put much in his mouth. We keep any chemicals and knives out of reach or out of the house, and only put things we are okay with him playing with in the cupboards. We removed all floor plants and lamps so he wouldn't pull them onto himself. We also moved our cats outside cause the litter was becoming an issue.
But to just walk in our house it would not look childproofed...no gates, cabinet locks, or corner pads. We also don't have stairs, which makes it all easier.

Now, DS2 seems to be much more into mouthing everything, and having 2 mobile babies makes supervision more difficult, so our house may look different in a few months depending on what we feel DS2 needs irt baby-proofing.
post #9 of 39
What has not been mentioned yet is that there is a huge difference from one child to another. DS is so cautious and careful that if I cross the street he says "No mommy, you MUST ALWAYS walk on the sidewalk or a car will run you over." I let him wander outside our yard and down the street because of his personality. DD - no way! She would run directly in the middle of the road, laughing the whole time and ignore me while I shout "STOP." I really think after the basics have been covered, different children require different levels of safety measures.

I consider myself middle of the road. Though I suppose everyone else does too? I do not put my dishwasher detergent in an open cabinet at childs level, but I allow 3yo DS to put the detergent into the washer when I am there.

No gate upstairs.
Downstairs is an open, wooden, spiral staircase to a cement floor - that is gated.
Some outlet covers, not always used.
Four locks to child level doors that has all the fine china and crystal, and one with junk food, candy....
Chemicals are kept on a high shelf.
"Not safe for children under 3" labels - totally ignored. Common sense is used instead.
post #10 of 39
We dont do much at all. I have a few cabinet locks left over from when I had my home daycare, but thats it. We dont have stairs, so that's not an issue. We did install a high lock on the front door, because dd1 likes to open it when she hears someone knock, and at 2 ,doesn't realize the danger in that. We dont use chemicals (we use vinegar/essential oils to clean) in the house, so that's not an issue either. The garage is the only place I would somewhat worry, but the chemicals/dangerous things are up very high, everything within her reach is somewhat safe. I guess I don't think many things are innately dangerous, like my sewing machine (this was mentioned in the other thread) I just show her the needle and how it moves and tell her honestly what could happen, same with the plugs. We have a few random plug covers, but more are exposed than not. She was not all that interested in them, so we never really bothered. We have a smallish house, and it's pretty open, so I can see her from wherever I am. I also am pretty vigilant about making sure I can see and hear her, because she is quick and curious (as any healthy toddler is!)

When it comes to others' houses, I don't expect them to baby-proof or be as mindful to dangers as I am. MIL's house is a disaster for a toddler. Open stairs, a pool (without a safety gate) tons of breakables, ect. I don't let dd run around there unless *I* or dh is with her. MIL just doesn't always have the common sense to stay with her on the patio near the pool. And I'm not a freak about it either, I don't hover. If she is near the pool, I simply tell her to walk slowly because the deck is slippery. I don't even go stand next to her, so long as I am within her sight range, so IF she fell in, I could go get her. I'd rather her fall in while I'm there and experience what it is to fall in a pool than to shelter her from it so much that she has no idea what a pool/body of water is like, you know? FTR, she does know how to swim, but still, I'm not comfortable with her out there by herself.

And as for the other things, I think it's just respectful to monitor your children at someone elses house. I certainly dont expect my MIL or my dad to know all the latest about chemicals, toys, dangers. And since they don't live with dd everyday, they have NO idea what she is capable of doing in half a second! So if we are there, I assign either myself or dh to watch her.
post #11 of 39
A lot of our babyproofing was for our convenience - cabinet locks so he couldn't pull out ALL the mixing bowls, but sometimes we'd open them so he could play. He knows what's in them and doesn't care for the most part. Chemicals are kept in the laundry room, but there are messy things like bulk spices, baking soda, etc. under so it's easiest for us to keep them locked.

We do outlet covers. We don't have breakables around, because we prefer to allow throwing in the house. We removed books from the lowest bookshelves until he could handle seeing them without ripping them open. Small stuff. The main one I guess that relates to the other thread is that we have a 2nd deadbolt on the front door, way high up.
post #12 of 39
I put the platic covers on electricity sockets, and a guard in the VCR. If I needed to baby proof more I would. But the house is naturally safe. I don'thave chemicals, the kids aren't left unsupervised for long periods of time. There isn't much to get into really.
post #13 of 39
Just enough to keep her safe while I pee or shower. Dd is ~ahem~ spunky and very curious, the complete opposite of her older brother. I have doorknob locks on the bathroom (after a toilet paper incident), ds's room (deathtrap for toddlers) and the front door because it technically has no lock. We had a gate at the stairs when she learned how to crawl, but started teaching her how to do the stairs once she was ready, about 10 months. There's also a cabinet lock under the kitchen sink. Other than that, she is pretty free to go where she wants.

My sister's husband had a fit when she first moved in his house because she left the fish food down where the kids could get it. The kids were 5 and 8 at the time. He was dead serious that it was dangerous for it to be down low, they could eat it. Um, yea, fish food isn't deadly, just gross and if your 8 and 5 year old don't know not to eat fish food, you have much bigger problems. There is a happy medium to safety and living a normal life.
post #14 of 39
I am a babyproofer. I have three kids that are three and under, and two toddlers, and it's just not possible for me to watch everybody all the time. The level of supervision I was able to provide when I had just DD1 meant that I didn't need much babyproofing, beyond putting away the most dangerous things, but with toddler twins it would be foolhardy not to make the house as safe as possible.

I like having everything babyproofed, because then I can sit and chill and hang out with them, and they're free to explore to the limits of their curiosity, and we don't have to spend time on no-no before they're ready to learn it anyway. I'm busy most of the day, and I don't have as much time as I used to to follow them around and guide their explorations.

I start teaching about things that are off limits when they're two, and bring back a few of my less precious breakables and a few other off-limits stuff that's minimally dangerous, and start teaching then. But before two, it's just more hassle than it's worth for me.

We are not fanatically babyproofed. No bump guards on tables or anything like that. But my stairs are closed off, and all my cords are concealed, and all the heavy furniture is bolted to the walls. I have latches on drawers or cupboards that contain dangerous things or breakables, and I keep dangerous items like medications well out of reach.
post #15 of 39
We childproofed when dd started to crawl. We put up a gate at the hallway to the basement stairs which are wood stairs leading to cement floor. We put all chemicals that were kept under the kitchen sink and put them in the laundry room. We removed all the breakables, candle holders and dust collectors to higher shelves because we got really tired of redirecting Dd every 2 minutes. It wasn't a big deal to change those things. It just made it easier on us and Dd.
post #16 of 39
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
Reading the MIL letter thread got me wondering . . . a lot of what was described are things that are normal for my house . . . no baby gates, doors leading to stairs left open (with a two year old, the basement door was closed until he showed me he could open it and go up and down the stairs unassisted), no outlet covers, no locks on kitchen drawers or cabinets, chemicals under the sink, etc. We don't have a lot of breakables around, but my mom and partner's mom do (and their houses are no more child-proofed than mine). I don't trail my kids around the house, either.

Are we the odd ones here? How much child proofing do you all do?
Your house sounds a lot like our house. It was hard when dd was a toddler, but since I was pretty much always with her she wasn't in any danger. My only concessions to childproofing were that I put medicines up where she couldn't reach them and I secured her 8 foot tall bookshelf to the wall. I also replaced the removable, tension baby gate at the top of the stairs with a permanent one. (The removable one had been for confining the dogs.)

Oh, and I also had a lock on the refrigerator, but that was for the cat. Don't ask.
post #17 of 39
We have a gate at the top of the stairs because they are really narrow and steep and a latch on the food cupboard because DD is forever getting food out and making a mess but other than that, nothing. She never once showed an interest in opening the cabinet underneath the sink where we keep our cleaning suppllies and chemicals so we've never locked it. Never did outlet covers or corner guards or toilet locks either.
post #18 of 39
We have a gate at the top of the stairs, one leading to the kitchen, outlet covers, and no breakables. Our kitchen is not proofed, mostly b/c thats where the dogs stay and the kids arent allowed around the dogs unsupervised so the only time they are in the kitchen is with an adult.
post #19 of 39
We have two cabinet locks in our entire house, one on the chemical cabinet, and the other on a cabinet that I don't want my 2-year-old getting into because there's so much junk in there. Other than making sure our big kids don't leave pennies or whatever on the floor, that's the extent of our babyproofing.
post #20 of 39
We have one baby gate we put at the bottom of the stairs when we are busy and can't pay attention though our 19 month old doesn't need it any more. We have a cupboard lock on the cupboard with our garbage, green, and blue bins, but that is because we don't want green bin waste all over, not for safety reasons. 1
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