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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are the questions:

1: Did you/will you babyproof your home, and how extensively?

B: How vigorously do you try to protect your baby from little hurts (not things like burns or cuts, more like bumping his/her head)?

III: Do you see anything wrong with letting a baby play in cabinets/drawers that are at floor level and free of dangerous objects?

Here is the background, what started me stewing over this:

DS is crawling and getting into things, and we haven't started babyproofing yet. One of us is with him at all times, so if he starts heading for something dangerous, we move him. Pretty soon we'll be putting latches on the drawers and cabinets that house sharp objects, cleaning supplies, and breakable items.

I've allowed DS to play in a couple of bottom drawers in the kitchen, one that's empty and one that has some plastic storage containers in it. DH says we shouldn't allow him to play in the cabinets or drawers because 1) he'll pull stuff out and play with it, and he'll think that it's okay to get into the cabinets and drawers and 2) he'll get his fingers caught when he closes the doors suddenly. That happened this morning, and DS cried a little, but there was no blood or even a red mark - I never could tell which fingers were hurt. Moments later, he was back to his normal, happy self. But the way DH carried on, you'd have thought the baby's whole hand had been mangled, and he said (rather accusingly I thought), "See, this is what I'm talking about." Of course, to my overreactive mind, it was as if he was saying, "You're a bad mama, you let our son hurt himself."

Now, I'm certainly not eager for my baby to get hurt, but my feeling is that we can't protect him from every single potential bump and we'd do well not to obsess over trying. Besides that, even with latches on the doors, they can be opened enough to still have the potential to catch little fingers.

And is it really such a bad thing for a baby to play in cabinets? As far as I can tell, DS is going to want to play in them whether I allow it or not; surely it's better to give him a few in which he can rummage freely, rather than trying to keep him away from them all.

I'm not sure if I'm venting here, or looking for validation, or what, but any input is welcome.
 

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We dont baby proof. Of course the dangerous chemical are up high but thats it.

And yes we have a couple of cupboards and drawers we let the little ones play in. And no we havent found that it makes them think they can play in all cabinets and drawers

Nor we dont protect from the harmless bumps and bruises, its part of life IMO

Actually from what we have seen not babyproofing makes it easy when we go to someones house that doesnt babyproof.

And yes I am an odd ball here on MDC for not babyproofing.

BTW we have 3 kids with #4 on the way the oldest being almost 7
 

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I didn't babyproof either, beyond moving the chemicals up to an upper shelf. I did put a latch on the toilet lid since we (in effort to conserve) didn't always flush and dd was VERY intrigued by splashy water. We let her instead play in the dog's water dish.


We also let her play in safe cupboards and drawers. Hours of interest and fun. And it sounds like you dh might be experiencing something around being a "good parent" and what that means.

Babies need to experience little bumps - not just b/c it's part of life, but also because it teaches them how to regulate their emotions, how to learn they are "okay" and to tell the difference between being okay and not. It also helps them learn that when they do need help/support/comfort, they can get it. They aren't alone.

I think you are right on, and am most intrigued with your dh's response. Can you interview him (no judgment, just asking questions) about what it means to him when ds gets hurt, how he feels about it etc..?
 

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We've done some babyproofing, like outlet covers and latches on cabinets that have glass or chemicals in them and gates in some doorways (although that's just as much to keep the dogs out of some rooms!). We do allow DS to get into some of the cabinets that don't have dangerous things in them, although I am a little jumpy about him closing his fingers in the door. Other than that, he is allowed to get minor bumps--there's no way to prevent them all with a crawler/cruiser/soon-to-be-walker. I think it hurts me more than it hurts DS when he falls!
 

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most of our babyproofing involves getting stuff that would actually hurt the baby away/keep it from hurting him/etc. We put safety outlets, put the bed on the floor, keep small objects and plastic bags and such off the floor in the rooms he's in. We keep a pack 'n play in the office with the computers and cords and such as we can't reasonably make it safe nor can we expect him to understand why he shouldn't play with them yet, so he plays in it when we're in there or one of us holds him. We're not putting things like books out of his reach, but working on redirection. He does play with the pulls on the dresser, and he pinched his fingers a few times but doesn't seem to do that anymore--I felt bad when it happened, but as you said, no marks and he was fine quickly. He's always pulling up to stand and tumbling over, no way to stop it. I pretty much try to pay it no mind unless he gets upset.

basically, we just try to eliminate actual *dangers* without impeeding his growth/learning, and are working on teaching him to be a house-proof baby.
 

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The only babyproofing we've done is move anything potentially harmful OUT of the cabinets & drawers she can get to, and put a fence around our fireplace.

I am totally ok with her pulling stuff out of drawers and whatnot. DH, not so much. Not because of the potential harm to the wee one, but because we end up with a kitchen floor littered with plastic containers.
 

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I don't plan to babyproof beyond one latch on the cleaning supply cabinet & a top of stairs gate. Dh may have a different opinion. babies need to explore - IMO overprotective parents produce obnoxious children who don't know boundries. I keep saying this to dh when he gets on my case he'd be happy raising dd in a plastic bubble.
 

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I baby proof to some extend, I put covers over the outlets, a gate around our woodstove, a cabinet lock where chemicals are at, a gate on the stairs, and a lock on the toilet, I really don't enjoy fishing toys out when there are other things in there as well.
I don't protect my dc every every little bump and bruise, life is one big lesson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the input! Y'all have pretty well expressed what I feel about not being overprotective and bumps & bruises being part of life. As I mentioned, we'll be latching up the cabinets with the dangerous items, and we'll put a gate at the top of the stairs, but I'm hoping to avoid excessive babyproofing and instead focus on teaching him to respect boundaries and learn what is and is not for playing. He's still too young to really understand, but I think it's never too early to start teaching.

Next time it comes up I'll ask DH about why he feels the way he does. He was an only child, and before becoming a daddy he didn't have a lot of day-to-day baby experience; sometimes he gets notions that seem to come out of left field
 

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Sounds like you will do what we've done. There are baby proof latches on our garbage/chems under the sink, on the bathroom cabinets, and that's it. Otherwise, DS can get into any of the cabinets in the kitchen. He often spreads oatmeal everywhere, or stacks up the tupperware, or "cooks" with the pans. It doesn't bother me or DH. Well, sometimes I get bothered when it's rEALLY messy...

The one thing that I am a stickler about is putting the cords from our shades up. Those can be dangerous.

I have a friend that seriously babyproofed EVERYTHING in her house. Latches on all the kitchen cupboards, I mean everything. It was funny because her DS didn't crawl until over a year and didn't walk until close to two. Then he wasn't even curious about any of the stuff she proofed. Silly.
 

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I plan on proofing 1 room--the room they spend the most time in and where they would be left while I run to pee or answer the door or other short times. The rest of the place will be just dangerous things out of reach. I don't have any issues with lower cabinets for them. I would have one in the kitchen, but ours is too small that they would be too close to the stove or oven for my comfort. I'm not a big worrier about small bumps. That is how they learn! We have wood floors and a rug in the living room. They used to use the edge of the rug as a natural barrier for rolling because they would bump their heads. Now they can roll while keeping their heads up or scooch accross the wood floor.
 

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ktarsha...ask your hubby how he feels about this. We decided that our old kitchen was just too difficult to latch closed to him, and we had so much stuff and too few drawers/cabinets to leave one just for DS. So we put a babygate in the entry to the kitchen, to just take it out of the picture altogether.

Since we were in an apartment we couldn't get a "permanent" one, and we got one that sort of suctioned itself to the walls, you pull up on a handle and it retracted one side a bit so you could move it, then you pushed down hard on the handle and it put the side out so it was firmly in the doorway.

Sounds good, right? Everything's safe, no problem.

Except for the day that DH was going through and didn't want to climb over the gate, so he undid it and walked through. As he was closing it back up, DS went up fast to the gate, put his hands in the way. DH thought that he'd cleared Eamon's hands out of the way and clunked the handle down...then the screams started...

DS slid his finger in the way JUST as DH pushed the handle "home", and it almost took off the tip of DS's finger. Nasty, disgusting accident, and it would have been far LESS problematic if we'd just let him play in cabinets...

All that said, the house we're renting now has an open kitchen, impossible to close off. DS is older now, so it's easier to show him "his" cabinet, and keep the breakables a bit more out of his reach.

For people with adequate storage and a hard to close off kitchen, I know they have found it VERY nice to make one drawer or cabinet property of the kid's...makes it less "forbidden fruit"ish, and gives them some autonomy.

Also, latching things off doesn't really help... all of our apartment cabinets and drawers had latches that we'd installed, but DS figured out rather quickly how to get in anyway.

The only thing we wished we had tried was this lock with a magnet "key". We couldn't because we'd already messed up the drawers and such where such a thing would be installed, and they are really expensive... (Tot Lock? I think is what it's called?)
 

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We had a toilet lock on the "guest" bathroom, but then he figured out how to just pull really really hard. His brute strength pulled it off, when sometimes I had troubles getting it open in a hurry using the correct method...

After that we just kept the bathroom door closed (which worked in the old place b/c the knobs were too high for him, but in this new place the knobs are lower...).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ktarsha View Post
1: Did you/will you babyproof your home, and how extensively?

B: How vigorously do you try to protect your baby from little hurts (not things like burns or cuts, more like bumping his/her head)?

III: Do you see anything wrong with letting a baby play in cabinets/drawers that are at floor level and free of dangerous objects?


I babyproof a little. I block the floor lamps (well, I did when he was younger--I just moved one out so we'll see if the still wants to try and pull it down), I don't protect him from little hurts at all, and I don't see ANYTHING wrong witih letting a baby play in the cabinets. I only forbid things that there is a real reason to forbid. I do have locks on the kitchen cabinets to prevent ds from playing in them whenever he wants, but I frequently leave them open and let him have at it. He plays in the fridge, he plays in the bathroom cabinets, he pulls the videos down and plays with the basket of shoes, etc.

I don't worry about the little hurts because ds is going to go through lots of bangs and knocks. If he gets his fingers caught in something and can't get them out then I will go and help him. I do not let him play with things that have the potential for BIG hurts, like being burned, cut, choking, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh, Molly, your poor baby! I trust he didn't end up losing the fingertip.

Our kitchen is fairly large and doesn't open into the living room (where the toys are), so we won't be doing baby gates there - only at the stairs.

We've borrowed my niece's Pack 'N' Play so DH can keep Sam in the "office," which is a huge and impenetrable mess, but my little explorer doesn't like being kept cooped up for long. I'm in the (very slow) process of tidying my craft room and making sure there's nothing dangerous lying about, and pretty soon we'll have to start closing the doors to rooms we don't want him entering unsupervised, like the pantry and laundry room and bathrooms.

Erin!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ktarsha View Post
Here are the questions:

1: Did you/will you babyproof your home, and how extensively?
Yes we did, based on the dangerous stuff they were getting themselves into, like if they could reach the knife drawer it was time to put a latch on the knife drawer, for example.

Quote:
B: How vigorously do you try to protect your baby from little hurts (not things like burns or cuts, more like bumping his/her head)?
We did move some of our wooden furniture out the way while they were learning to crawl and walk so they wouldn't bump their heads. It was just a phase though, not permanently.

Quote:
III: Do you see anything wrong with letting a baby play in cabinets/drawers that are at floor level and free of dangerous objects?
No

Quote:
Here is the background, what started me stewing over this:

DS is crawling and getting into things, and we haven't started babyproofing yet. One of us is with him at all times, so if he starts heading for something dangerous, we move him. Pretty soon we'll be putting latches on the drawers and cabinets that house sharp objects, cleaning supplies, and breakable items.

I've allowed DS to play in a couple of bottom drawers in the kitchen, one that's empty and one that has some plastic storage containers in it. DH says we shouldn't allow him to play in the cabinets or drawers because 1) he'll pull stuff out and play with it, and he'll think that it's okay to get into the cabinets and drawers and 2) he'll get his fingers caught when he closes the doors suddenly. That happened this morning, and DS cried a little, but there was no blood or even a red mark - I never could tell which fingers were hurt. Moments later, he was back to his normal, happy self. But the way DH carried on, you'd have thought the baby's whole hand had been mangled, and he said (rather accusingly I thought), "See, this is what I'm talking about." Of course, to my overreactive mind, it was as if he was saying, "You're a bad mama, you let our son hurt himself."

Now, I'm certainly not eager for my baby to get hurt, but my feeling is that we can't protect him from every single potential bump and we'd do well not to obsess over trying. Besides that, even with latches on the doors, they can be opened enough to still have the potential to catch little fingers.

And is it really such a bad thing for a baby to play in cabinets? As far as I can tell, DS is going to want to play in them whether I allow it or not; surely it's better to give him a few in which he can rummage freely, rather than trying to keep him away from them all.

I'm not sure if I'm venting here, or looking for validation, or what, but any input is welcome.
We have latches on our kitchen cabinets but they do still try to get in them, you're right about that. But there are some cabinets in our living room that we actually keep books and stuff in, and the toddler is always opening them, it hasn't seemed to teach him any bad lessons. He actually never tries to open other people's kitchen cabinets or anything like that, just ours.
 

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yes,
gates on stairs,
bed not on frame,
locks on several cupboards...breakable pots or chemicals, one cupbaord is especially open for him, it has tupperware stuff. He does close his fingers in the cupboard sometimes but I don't worry about it.
and covers on sockets.
We have things put up higher like the dvd player...but he can still reach it and we don't mind.
I keep the blinds cord up too
I tell him 'hot' when the heater is on or the oven, and I let him touch it and repeat 'hot'
He LOVES opening and closing my dresser drawers and taking all my clothes out
I think its hilarious, I've had wrinkly clothes for the last 2 months
He constantly closes the drawer on his fingers but it doesn't seem to bother him (he keeps doing it without affect) so obviously he's ok, it just LOOKS painful.

The reason I chose to babyproof is so I don't have to be right behind him stressing about him hurting himself. I'm a very relaxed person, so this has kept me relaxed. Distraction works well too...when he gets a hold of something he shouldn't have.

Dawn
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Erin M View Post
IMO overprotective parents produce obnoxious children who don't know boundries.
Could you elaborate on this? I'm intrigued by your statement but can't quite fully understand the connection.

ETA: our baby is just 5 months so babyproofing is in our future.
 

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Quote:
- IMO overprotective parents produce obnoxious children who don't know boundries. I keep saying this to dh when he gets on my case he'd be happy raising dd in a plastic bubble.
Yeah I have to say i'm interested in what you mean by this as well....
 
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