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 |  Parenting

I’ve been thinking about baby-proofing recently, as Oliver is showing signs of trying to crawl. @dark_eyed_white‘s tweet on a similar vein got me pondering on the subject again and inspired me to waffle a bit about ‘baby-proofing’.

Thinking back, I remember not being too fussed about baby-proofing with Isabel. That’s not to say we deliberately left sharp or hot things within reach — that would be stupid — but we didn’t go out of our way to remove things from her environment or wrap them in bubble-wrap.

I like to think that if you expose kids to things early enough, they lose their appeal and so don’t become “something to play with” because of the novelty factor. Case in point: my laptop has been within reach of Izz every day since she was born. She’s never damaged it or mashed the buttons. She did accidentally drop a toy on it once, but that was my fault for juggling both of them (‘them’ .. like the Vostro is a person, ha) at once.

However, given that Oliver has managed to disprove all of my genius parenting theories thus far by being the complete opposite of his sister, I’m a wee bit concerned that if we take this lazy, laissez faire approach to baby-proofing a second time round there could have disastrous consequences. I already spot things dotted about (small coins, Lego) and see choking disasters waiting to happen; dangly cables too low to be any risk to a walking preschooler but at head height for a crawling babe; etc.

The boy isn’t daft… I mean, it only took a couple of times of rolling too swiftly on our hard floor for him too figure out how to tuck his head in so it doesn’t go thud. I just have this sneaky feeling he’s going to keep me on my toes.

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

10 comments so far

  1. Claudia said:

    I feel like I could have written this post! With our first we didn’t really bother with a bunch of things. I put one lock on a drawer where we kept documents for our appliances and batteries, but the others were open because all they had were kitchen towels and utensils – things babies like to play with anyway.

    I absolutely get the feeling our girl will be getting into things simply because of her will to be on the move from an early age, and that she feels she must touch EVERYTHING.

  2. Mumblies said:

    I remember the day you happily shoved a Farleys Rusk into the slot on our video played with fond memories. Ok it meant having to go and buy another one but we learnt to cover it while you little ones were about just to avoid another mishap and you soon learned not to poke things into the slot. Obviously keeping tiny lego pieces and easily swallowed pieces away from Ollie is very important, pen tops, Iz’s magnetic letters etc etc but I think common sense will prevail. Stairgate will have to go back up once he starts wandering off and if your house were mine I’d consider taking the kitchen door off completely-not only would it give you more room to move in the kitchen but it will also prevent tiny fingers being trapped in door frames. I would also recommend getting something to fit under the gas fire, there are wires under there and should he yank on them it would be costly to repair and possibly dangerous with regards to safety/carbon monoxide etc. It’s really just a case of using common sense and keeping your eyes peeled for possible dangers.

  3. Carrie said:

    I don’t have any children but I have worked in plenty of daycare’s with the youngsters. I’d highly encourage all parents to baby proof their house. You just never know what children are looking to get into! I’d be most concerned about buying outlet plug ins and locking up any chemicals that you have in child reaching distance.

    Have fun! :D

  4. Jessica said:

    Oh, goodness! This reminds me of when my youngest brother was a baby. :P Boys tend to be more rambunctious, more likely to stick a knife in a plug – my brothers did this several times. I think that whoever originally came up with the idea of child-proofing was a mother of little boys. :) Best of luck!

  5. Stephanie said:

    I believe in baby-proofing to a certain extent — it’s necessary to make sure your home is a safe environment for a toddler. But I also believe in teaching children boundaries. They need to learn that not everything in reach is theirs. By simply removing everything from the house that they could potentially ruin, you’re creating an artificial world in which they can put their hands on everything, which is simply not how the real world works, you know? Of course wires should be tied so there’s no tripping, and small things shouldn’t be left around on the floor. But things like removing books from the first three bookshelves doesn’t teach children at all about proper boundaries of what is and isn’t theirs to play with.

  6. Melissa said:

    I had a comment written, but apparently my Internet decided to quit when I hit submit. Anyway, what I was trying to say was that I feel your pain! I felt I had my house pretty well baby-proofed because of my 18 month old and 3 year old, but William seems to have found things that I never would have expected to be a problem! He’s only 7 months and has been crawling for nearly two months already. He keeps me on my toes for sure!

  7. Stephanie said:

    I’ve got a younger brother who is seven years younger than I was, so I can remember some of the things my parents did when he was a baby. One of the things they did was mention that he and I were opposites and that I did not try to eat all of my toys, like he did. (Maybe eating toys is something that a lot of boys, but not a lot of girls do…)

    But all babies grow older, and I’m sure that little Oliver will learn not to be so reckless in a few years. Hang in there, and good luck!

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