Thursday, 1 September 2011

Kiddiproofing the house....or not really

As most 'new' parents do, we began to think about child-proofing our house once our, now toddler, began to move around. I had purchased one of those 'safety kits' where you have socket covers, cupboard stoppers, etc. In fact, it seemed to have more stuff than the average Swiss Army knife! According to this kit, nothing in my home was safe. I was unsure how my toilet could be such a problem but the kit implied it was.

I decided to crawl around at baby height seeing what the problems could be. It was a horror story! Plug sockets, stairs, kitchen cupboards, CD cases....the dangers were everywhere. What could we do other than cover everything in cotton wool and then cover that in plastic to stop her eating the cotton wool? Of course then we'd have to make holes in the plastic to stop her suffocating if she got to close. Arrggghhhh.....

I then reflected back on the time when tween was a baby and what we did to babyproof the house. Pretty much nothing. Well, that made life easy then.

Sensible heads on, what did we *really* need to do. Easy!
  • Stairgate at kitchen door. Easy access for us. No annoying cupboard locks. No access for baby/toddler. It's one of those tough gates that keeps toddlers and elderly family members out ;-)
  • Stairgate at...well...stairs.
  • A few socket covers just in case but none of my girls have ever shown any interest in poking things into those. They have far too many toys!
  • Attaching all shelves/CD cases, etc to the wall. Whilst they are heavy and pretty much unmoveable, no chances being taken. All of them had wall attachments as part of their design so it was easy just to drill a few holes.
That's it then! :)

The girls are allowed to move around the house. We don't have door slam prevention - toddler knows how to close a door carefully and has always been told to keep her fingers out of them. She is also very aware of her little sister crawling around and will call me if she's too close to the door for her to shut it.

We have never left medicines out of the bathroom cabinets so no need to panic about those.

Hot drinks are put up high out of the reach of small hands and away from edges. This does mean the coffee table is for everything *but* coffee now though (or tea if you're me).

Part of the reason for not going overboard with table corners, oven covers, etc is that I take my children to see other people in their homes too would you believe!? So, unless I can have a portable version of every cover/clip/gate with me, they will have to learn won't they and I think that is a far better way :)

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