Baby Proofing

Posted on | May 7, 2010 | 10 Comments

Please tell me how to effectively babyproof my house. Please. I’m begging you. Because I am sitting here, surveying the rooms around me and I haven’t the slightest idea how to protect my son from hidden dangers. Hell, I don’t really know how to protect him from completely out in the open dangers!

I’ve done the obvious. I caught him staring longingly at the outlet over his play mat… so I plugged that up with some safety plugs. And we bought the playmat just so he’d have a softer place to land when he fell over while playing. But now? He doesn’t exactly stay on the playmat. Yesterday when Husband came home from work I was frantically trying to signal to him to open the door carefully because there was a baby in front of it. How did that happen??? One minute he’s a lump of adorable that needs me to turn his head from side to side and the next I put him down in the middle of a playmat some twenty or thirty feet from the back door only to turn around twice, reach the back door, and then have him gurgling a hello up at me through his pacifier while he paws at my feet.

Baby mobility is the devil’s work.

Okay that might not be fair. But really? How am I supposed to deal with this? I haven’t nearly gotten the hang of just being a mom, much less a working mom. My house isn’t nearly neat enough even without a baby who is better than a vacuum cleaner at spotting dirt, making a beeline for it, and oh yeah… shoving it in his mouth. I seriously caught him trying to shove a piece of pollen in his mouth one minute and the next he was squealing happily while trying to eat Husband’s muddy tennis shoe.

*sigh*

It’s not that I don’t want my kid to move. I just would like him to move in areas that are pre-approved. You know, areas where I’m sure there aren’t spiders or dog hair or, well apparently pollen. I don’t really know when I’m going to find the time to get this house spotless every day. How do people do that?? I’m embarrassed to have my kid on my floors… that’s got to say something about me as a person, right? Like that I’m a terrible housekeeper at best and a terrible mom at worst? I know that I could stay up and vacuum or mop or whatever, but damn… I have to sleep sometime. And J isn’t exactly sleeping through the night. So when am I supposed to find the time to get this house in “mobile baby” shape??

Why does it seem like Motherhood is just one job after another. Just when you think you have one thing down pat, it goes and throws something else at you. It’s sorta like Frogger… just when you start to get the hang of the whole crossing the street thing, the cars speed up and SPLAT… you’re dead meat. I feel like dead frog meat over this whole moving child thing.

So that takes me back to the original question… how do I babyproof this place? Everywhere I look I see something J can conceivably shove in his mouth, use to gouge out his eye, or turn into a weapon against our dog.  Like right now? We have a CD rack that is unsteady at best. So is our DVD rack. I can actually visualize the day that J discovers one or the other and ends up screaming at the bottom of a stack of movies that used to be alphabetized. (yeah. It’s true. Don’t judge me.)

When we were in North Carolina, J suffered his first “boo boo” when he fell on the deck and cut the inside of his lip on his pacifier. He bled and I cried… maybe more than he did. I joked that I was going to have to wrap him in bubble wrap for the rest of his life. Maybe I wasn’t joking. Maybe sometimes in the middle of the night I think “So what’s wrong with bubble wrap?” Because at least if he were wrapped in bubble wrap my only fear would be, well… suffocation for one. And mockery. And then there’s the fact that he could have a secret plastic allergy I don’t know about. And I’d have to un-wrap him for bath time which involves a lot of other hazards like drowning and germy bath toys and….

Oh eff it. I’m just gonna get a crate and train him to crawl in it like I do our dog.

Comments

10 Responses to “Baby Proofing”

  1. amy
    May 7th, 2010 @ 11:28 am

    playpen (or whatever they call it these days) until he gets really pissed that he is in there and also baby gates. Just confine him to a room…….
    Mobile babies are a whole new ballgame 🙂
    And also? ARNICA. Everytime he hurts himself (which he will, a lot, and he will almost always be totally fine) just give him a squirt of it, or a pellet, whichever you can find.
    I have learned the art of saying "you're OK" in a sing-songy voice while cringing inside everytime one of them splats on something.

  2. Elis Momma
    May 7th, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    There are gates that make sort of a playpen type area. We used ours for a long time. They have like six pieces that hook together, and form a large area of floor space for him to play, AFTER you make sure there is no dog hair and dust!

  3. Rachel B.
    May 7th, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

    I'm still trying to figure it out myself. We bought one of those humongous baby jails last night to block off the staircases and the kitchen. My kid is all over the place. I cannot control him. I can only hope to contain him.

  4. Ms. Diva
    May 7th, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    I agree with Amy, baby gates and confine him to one room. And don't worry about being "perfectly" clean because nothing is ever "perfectly" clean!!! Babies are dirty creatures, that is why there is bath time!! 🙂

  5. CDG
    May 7th, 2010 @ 1:31 pm

    here's my wicked sage advice: cover the biggies (outlets, stairs), then watch his tendencies and proof them as you go. that way you're not investing in baby-proofing swag you'll never use, nor are you driving yourself crazy.

    Example: my boy, while very mobile, never got into my cabinets, so I didn't ever proof them, but he LOVED drawers, so I proofed the ones that were a danger. He never tried to open the oven or the toilet, so I didn't proof them. We kept doors closed to rooms he shouldn't be in alone, ie: the bathroom, Daddy's office.

    Every kid being different, my nephew uses furniture to scale verticle baby-proofing efforts, and has since he was a crawler, so my SIL has her house babyproofed like a max. security prison.

    We learn by doing.

    One Step Ahead has a great selection of stuff, but you won't need all of it. Just some.

  6. Kim
    May 7th, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

    yeah, when you figure this out, let me know,k? I have 3 and I honestly only did the biggies, too. Outlets and stairs, knife drawer. And eventually learned to relax about the dog hair,old cheerio's etc. Which was hard. It doesn't reflect on your parenting or time –I'm farking home all farking day and my floor is not clean at this moment (although I am on the computer, hmm) so unless you get a cleaning lady and get OCD over it (I was for a while, and yeah, they still find crap to naw on) it's never going to be clean enough for you. But they're happy! Maybe just move those things you really worry about hurting him so you're not constantly running interference and then you can rest and he can play independently. 🙂 And enjoy!

  7. carrie
    May 7th, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

    i agree with everyone. do only what you have to for j. for me, kid #1 never opened a cabinet or drawer and basically stayed put. i only did plug covers. #2 opened and climbed on everything. so kept i locked every cabinet and drawer , strapped dressers to the walls and put up gates. #3 same as #2, but i had to get better locks bc #2 decided to teach #3 how to unlock things. #4, still have plug covers, gates on stairs and locks on important cabinets, but otherwise she's so distracted by the other kids she doesn't care about getting into things.
    don't stress about it.

  8. disastersindomesticity
    May 7th, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

    Yea, we're still trying to work this one out. We're going to have a big baby-proofing weekend!

    I'm over worrying about dirt and hair. We're just worrying about the big stuff (outlets, bookshelves, appliances like TVs).

    I found this website last night:
    http://www.kidsafeinc.com

  9. Eliza
    May 7th, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    oh hello….did I write this??? Get outta my brain!!!!

    We need to child proof badly! Thank goodness due to Teva's tummy time aversion she is not yet crawling yet, but our house is like a fun house of danger.

    Scary!

  10. liz
    May 7th, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

    Ha, ha, ha! Crate training for kids – oh, how I wish it were that easy!

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