Personally I am lazy and would rather be able to turn my (future) kids loose and not have to supervise everything. Currently I have two cats and two dogs in a two-room apartment.. it's pretty well 'proofed' for anything at this point! At least infants can't leap to the top of the refrigerator (and the bookshelves.. and on top of the curtains..)!
Here's an analogy: Does everyone remember the argument against cosleeping due to cosleeping and SIDS statistic? And how our (i.e. typical MDCer) can blow that argument out of the water by saying those cosleeping stats include the "drunk uncle on a couch" scenario for cosleeping? Thats how I feel about a lot of these "unchildproofed homes cause deaths" stats. I grew up knowing about A LOT of childhood accidents from unchildproofed homes, but then, I also grew up knowing a lot of childhoods that involved their mom sitting on the porch having a beer with the neighbours while the kids and their friends were running through the house and only being checked in on every 20 mins or do.
And we have security-thingys on the windows because the kids will actually die if they fall out.
Works nicely for all of us.
here's an analogy: Does everyone remember the argument against cosleeping due to cosleeping and sids statistic? And how our (i.e. Typical mdcer) can blow that argument out of the water by saying those cosleeping stats include the "drunk uncle on a couch" scenario for cosleeping? Thats how i feel about a lot of these "unchildproofed homes cause deaths" stats. I grew up knowing about a lot of childhood accidents from unchildproofed homes, but then, i also grew up knowing a lot of childhoods that involved their mom sitting on the porch having a beer with the neighbours while the kids and their friends were running through the house and only being checked in on every 20 mins or do.
I think we probably all provide about the same amount of supervision (well, relative to age, I bet I supervise more than a mom of a 4 year old ), it's just what we need to do in order to only supervise that much that's the difference. Likewise, we probably all say "no" and redirect about the same amount, but we have different ways of arranging our homes to achieve that result for our own kids.
I'll never forget visiting my brother and waking up early in the morning, needing a glass of water and being totally unable to figure out how to open the cabinets! I didn't want to wake my brother or sil, so I ended up drinking out of the faucet! (Turns out that the cabinets had some sort of magnet lock and you had to put another magnet on top of the door to open it).
Anyway, maybe my kids were just profundly uncurious or I was lucky or whatever. The worst thing my oldest did was dump out a box of cereal. It did not bother me if she took all my Tupperware or pots out of the cabinet and as a SAHM of one, it was pretty easy to keep an eye on her all the time.
When my second was born my oldest was five and in school, so again, I didn't have a lot of distractions while spending time with the baby.
As for showering - I did that in the morning before they woke up. And I did cleaning and other messy jobs while they napped or while their father was there to watch them.
My youngest is a little more of a "troublemaker". The other two never used their crayons for anything but paper, but my youngest drew all over our books and furniture, stuff like that. She is obsessed with cleaning supplies, but because she wants to use them not because she wants to eat them.
I still haven't locked anything up though. Messy things like glue or Moon Sand get put out of reach when they are not being used; that's about it.
They do get into everything, so it's not that I have super mellow kids. But common sense like knives up on the counter so the 2 yo (the only one who wouldn't quite yet understand their danger) can't get to them easily. Alcohol is out of reach. There are not toxic cleaners inside my home, so it's not a concern, we don't have medications besides advil/tylenol which are up high and of course have hard to open lids.
I know I'm repeating many others but I just haven't had a need to baby/child proof to any extreme -- just the normal stuff. Oh, our security system happens to be programmed that a chime dings anytime a door or window is opened, so that is nice to be more aware when one of the kids is trying to get out. But really, we live in a pretty rural area and the (non busy) dirt road is a long ways down the driveway. I think it just depends on the set-up of your home, your children's personalities, what kind of dangers lurk inside, and your overall comfort level.
For stuff like the buttons on our TV/ XBox/ stereo, whenever DS would toddle over and start to mess with it, we'd just say, "Not for Ivan" and give him something that was. We spent about three months saying this constantly-- nothing harsh or punitive, just the statement and the rediction-- and he stopped touching it. Never had a problem since. We use "not for Ivan" judiciously, so when we say it, he tends to listen. It's saved us a lot of babyproofing in other areas.
Having said that, we only let him play unsupervised in certain areas of our house (like his room), so we'd see him if he were to suddenly become interested in taking the stereo apart, or something.
Wife of 20 years to my superhero firefighting DH. SAHM to 2 boys and 2 girls (3 babies in Heaven- Baby # 5 5/2010 & Baby #6 8/2011 & Baby # 7 2/1013). Cancer Survivor 2011 ( Persistent Malignant Gestational Trophoblastic Disease)
I would say I selectively baby-proof things. The main living area has a nice baby gate there and we keep that keep very baby friendly. As for the rest of the house, we have some outlet covers in places where the kid *might* be able to get to without us noticing (behind the dining room table, behind the dog's crate) and those are the outlets we don't use anyway. We also have a gate at the top of the steps and bottom - although the bottom one doesn't do a whole lot for the kid (he climbs under it) - it does keep the dog down stairs
I don't know anyone made it out of infancy. Put a kid in a room with 1000 appropriate toys and they will find the ONE thing they shouldn't play with! A screwdriver, a nail, a battery, a fork... you name it!
Every family has to risk assess their space and decide what needs to be protected and to what extent.
Mommy to Kai 2/03, Caden 1/08, Kara 10/09, 3/21/13, &
Cole 2/3/14 ♡ Happily unmarried to Papa since 2002 ♡
~We may not have it all together ♥ but together we have it all~
I had no idea how much there was to baby-proofing until I worked in the hardware department of Hechinger's! OMG! They have pads, locks, and covers in every shape and form - and for everything! Lock the VCR, tie the TV to the wall, lock the fridge, lock the toilet, cover the outlets not it use, cover the outlets that ARE in use, on and on it goes.
And you're made to feel like a "bad mom" if you don't own a vast majority of them. And then it perpetuates into "well, we must NEED them because they're for sale". Really, the companies are brilliant. Supply and demand.
But 10,000 different safety devices today? How did ANY of us make it to be old enough to have our own children???
My DS is a major adventurer/explorer, he'll get into anything and everything and bring things to you you've forgotten you ever owned. I don't want to be following him around and redirecting him every five minutes, I want him to feel this is his space too to do in as he wishes, so I've made it as kid-friendly as possible. He does know what "no" means so if we go somewhere else he'll listen mostly when I tell him to stay away from something, but at home I want everyone to be relaxed and mom and dad not to have to worry about what he might be getting into. Works great for us!
i however have outlet covers, locked my sink cabinet, and did have a gate or 2 in my children's young years. i don't think its worth the chance.
Mother of 3, welcomed a new baby girl July 2011