My older brother will soon cross over and join me
to the dark side into the wonderful world of parenthood. His wife is becoming more and more beautiful as each day goes by. Their little peanut is nearing the end of his (or her!) time tucked snugly in his mama’s womb and will soon show his…or her! precious face to the world. Naturally, as first-time parents, a bizzillion questions have been buzzing through their minds these past months. Amongst all those are the ones about baby safety around the house.
He asked me for some suggestions for practical baby proofing options and I had to chuckle a little–not because of the question or at the questioner but because of moi, the questionee (is that a word?). I’m really not sure I’m the best person to ask. After 3 kids, it’s fair to say that I’ve become a little more ‘relaxed’ in my approach to baby proofing. It’s not because I don’t care about my children’s safety. I do–their health and safety are right up there with their sanctity on my top 10 most important duties as a mother. I think it’s a combination of me realizing that I don’t need to freak out over every single little thing and also me realizing that no matter how hard I try, babies are smarter than anyone can ever know and will always find some way somehow to outsmart all the fancy babyproofing devices.
Another reason I tend to shy away from babyproofing is because of the ridiculous selection of baby safety products there are out now. I mean what happened to the old basics. For instance, A Simple Baby Monitor would suffice if you are blessed enough to get the baby to sleep in a room you are not in long enough to need the monitor. This happens every now and then for us in the evenings so we put the monitor on and head to the movie theatre in the dungeon where we wouldn’t be able to hear anyone crying over the movie (especially when my husband likes to have it as loud as possible). Just make sure the monitor’s frequency will not interfere with your cordless phones unless you are a secret spy and want to hear your neighbors conversations or you want them to hear yours. If you plan on leaving your baby alone for a while and really aren’t into the whole parent-baby bonding thing then you might like this Digital Color Video Monitor better. (you might have to break open the piggy bank for that one)
Aside from the basic monitor, Outlet Plugs and Cabinet Door Latches are usually important, though again most babies will figure out how to break those just about as fast as you can get them on so you still have to watch out. Instead of rushing out to buy more when they break I’ve been resorting to other more ‘creative’ solutions for cabinets. (twist ties, hair ties, rubber bands, etc)
When it comes to keeping your home safe, I think the best advice I could give is to use commonsense. In other words, don’t rely on the cool marketing gimmicks or on all the newfangled baby safety products to protect your baby from danger. Use your own judgement and never assume the baby will not get into something — he will. For example, keep electrical cords out of reach from children. Especially if they are attached to a hot curling iron. I’ll always remember the time my poor little brother learned this lesson the hard way and pulled the whole thing down on himself–ouch!
I’d like to get a better system for these cords under the computer desk. Maybe some twist ties?
It’s too easy for little dudes to get under. (don’t worry I removed him very quickly after I put him there as a model of what not to let your baby do)
If you have blinds with cords that hang down…
Keep them up high….
Or your baby (and older babies) might try to swing from it or worse.
Never leave tools out. Put them away or up high after your done with them.
Babies (and even 4 and 7 year olds) do not know the difference between a real screwdriver and a pretend plastic or wooden one.
Give him a book instead.
And make sure to pay attention to the spacing between his bed and baskets so he doesn’t get stuck in any crevices.
Baby gates are great but always be ready to leap if he figures out how to climb over them or push them down (he will).
Don’t let him sit on kitchen countertops, especially next to skillets spitting hot sauce everywhere. But, if that’s the only way to get dinner done, make sure to let him help…
Parenting can be scary and all parents worry about their children getting hurt. It’s our job to be mindful and aware and take a proactive approach to safety. But in the end, we can’t get too paranoid or keep them in a box forever—they’d figure out how to get out anyway. Keep a box of bandaids handy and remember that a kiss from mama or daddy is the best medicine for little and even big boo-boos.
Pray everday that God will send His angels to watch over your children and steer them away from danger. And if they do find themselves in it, pray that your angel will alert you!
And afterall that, the most imporant thing to remember: TRUST GOD.
Please help me share some commonsense and practical baby proofing solutions. How do you keep your home safe?