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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Safety first: Outwitting your suicidal baby or toddler

Safety first: Outwitting your suicidal baby or toddler - baby and toddler proofing your home

There are no two ways about it; babies are dumb. 


Before they can even move, as soon as they are able to grasp things, they enjoy putting themselves in mortal danger. They are not to be trusted for a second.

Our primary role as parents is to stop them from reaching a sticky demise so that they can live well into adulthood and realise for themselves what a pain in the arse babies and toddlers can be.

So, if you are the lucky owner parent of one or more small children, please read on for my guide to making your house baby- and toddler-safe.

Newborn - Crawling


For a small baby, baby-proofing is relatively easy: don't place them on top of things they could roll off of. It is a fact of life that babies learn to roll the instant they are placed on a bed and you've nipped out for a wee.

As they start to get a bit bigger, they'll go through the 'everything in the mouth' phase during which everyone like to tell you they're teething or ready to wean even though they blatantly aren't. Again, it's pretty straightforward: make sure suffocation and choking hazards (nappy bags, jewellery, small toys that your toddler might leave around...) are out of reach.

Crawling - Walking


The difficult bit starts when they become a bit more mobile. The earlier this happens, the less sense they have. If your baby is like my daughter, and entirely unadventurous, then it's possible that making sure furniture is fixed to the wall, installing a fugly fireguard and a baby gate or two, and hiding electrical outlets will see you through. We have all our plug sockets and wires hidden behind furniture, but on a serious note, plug socket covers aren't recommended (see this website and never sleep again).

If they are more like my son who started crawling dangerously early then you'll probably need to work a bit harder.

The first lesson is keep them contained. Stair gates, cages play pens, travel cots, taping them to the wall; whatever works. You might find your baby does not mind being confined to a smallish space (like child number one) or they might see this as a personal affront and throw an adult-sized tantrum whenever you approach it (like child number two) but even if you have to listen to them wailing while you put the shopping away, cook or pee, it's better than coming back and finding them on top of the fish tank. Or in it.
Yea, I climbed the stairs while you were
answering the door. What of it?

Walking 


Now, much to his delight, the small one is too old for the travel cot or play pen. He hated it before, but when he started to stack toys up against it and attempt escape (a bit like that scary dinosaur in the last Jurassic Park film; he can smell a weakness) we knew it had to go. Also at this point he really wants to be playing with his sister (she is not keen). It's been resigned to the garage.
Said fugly fireguard being strength tested.
He's always been a climber. It was cute to start with, now it's just bloody ridiculous. I have a whole folder of pictures dedicated to my son standing on stuff. And sometimes I actually rescue him first without even taking a photo (controversial I know).

Anyway, here are some tips for coping with this stage, from one long-suffering parent to another:


1) Lock that shit down.


Drawer and cupboard locks are essential unless you want to pick everything up and put it away a thousand times a day.
Every. Damn. Time.
Apparently if you leave one cupboard or drawer unlocked and filled with toys or things they can play with, this might sate their curiosity. I'm not convinced. Pot lids are almost certainly more exciting than toys.


2) Attach corner guards to sharp furniture.



They will be distracted for at least five minutes whilst they pick them off leaving sticky marks or tearing the veneer off of your furniture.


3) If something is light enough to be dragged and used to get a leg up then take it out of the room. 


The small one standing on an Elefun
So stools, chairs, cushions, toys big enough to stand on, dogs.

4) Maybe just get rid of your furniture and sit on cushions the floor.

The small one standing on a baby seat
Pretend that you saw it on Pinterest and are going 'Moroccan inspired'. It will essentially make your house like a huge soft play except with nicer tea and less germs.

5) Ensure that any toys small enough to be swallowed are stored in the bin.


This includes anything found in a kinder egg, on the front of a magazine or something your toddler might bring home in a party bag. Do this at night so you have the biggest chance of getting away with it.

6) Remember, there is no such thing as out of reach anymore.

The small one crouching on a desk
If it's dangerous it has to go. Scissors, knives, hot tea, semi-automatic weapons. Just don't bother.

7) As for anything breakable; priceless ornaments, iPads, fishtanks... 

One properly smashed up iPad
Move it or lose it.


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35 comments:

  1. No not the ipad!! Buy a new one with his future pocket money or are they still getting the child trust fund? We've been too lazy to take the locks off the kitchen cupboards and i'm always strangling myself with a necklace when it catches on them reaching down for a saucepan. Jo x

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  2. I'm trying to make the most of the baby still staying in one place as know it won't be long before she's falling into the corner of the coffee table and opening drawers and cupboards onto herself! #chucklemums

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  3. Love your moroccan inspired style suggestion; that horrific sound as they clip their little heads on the side of a table is horrendous! Think you're on to something there ;) #chucklemums

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  4. Ha ha - I cried (quite a lot) when my daughter dropped my iPhone on the kitchen tiles, there is no age cap on expensive items abuse. Great photos of climbing small person - think you may have a future candidate for 'Clip N Climb' or disclaimer - any other climbing wall emporium for kids. #chucklemums

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  5. My daughter is at exactly the same stage and is also far more adventurous than her older brother. I didn't even need cupboard locks last time. This time, I think I really do need a cage...#chucklemums

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  6. I remember it being so stressful going to other people's houses and having to do a quick recce like a spy, to check for hazards. Paddling pools always scared the shit out of me. My sister arrived at a friend's house and was saying her 'hellos', while her 2 year old wandered into the garen and climbed to the top steps of the posh paddling pool - she just caught him. Scary stuff! Great advice here. Alison x #chucklemums

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  7. The pictures of your son standing on 'stuff' are sooooo funny, I couldn't stop laughing. The one with the books and CD's all over the floor, is my house EVERY SINGLE DAY *sigh*. Thanks for hosting #chucklemums

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  8. There's something vaguely brain-itchy about standing on the travel high chair to access the actual high chair - a bit like feeding an egg sarnie to a chicken. Love it as usual! #chucklemums

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  9. Hilarious! I love this and I can so relate. I once found The Boy, aged about 18 months, stood in my cutlery drawer. You know the top one, in the kitchen etc etc. Stood in it. Happily bouncing away with a big grin on his face. To this day I still have no clue how, but I suspect a kitchen chair may have been involved. I'm fully embracing your furniture free cushion zone idea. Brilliant. #fridayfrolics x

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  10. Haha. I can relate to this. Youngest is like some sort of suicidal ninja threenager. She likes to leap from the top of the dining room table onto the settee (if we are sat on the settee even better). When she succeeds, it is very impressive, but most of the time she misses and face plants! Such fun. Thanks for linking up with #FridayFrolics

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  11. Your youngest sounds very much like Piglet. He is forever in and out of cupboards and generally climbing the walls. Basically if he goes quiet for a nanosecond he is either doing a poo or up to no good! #FridayFrolics

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  12. Your youngest sounds very much like Piglet. He is forever in and out of cupboards and generally climbing the walls. Basically if he goes quiet for a nanosecond he is either doing a poo or up to no good! #FridayFrolics

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  13. My youngest is a climber and shuns any toys in favour of household objects. I literally cannot turn my back for a second without him getting into some sort of mischief! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

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  14. This made me giggle, laughed out loud at the fish tank part. I better put my semi automatic weapons on ebay and put the proceeds towards a cage. #FridayFrolics

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  15. Argh this is coming at us like a brick in the face. My son was so destructive and climby we had to buy a play pen (to his disgust) but am hoping that maybe Puds will be more lady like... Otherwise I am going for your suggestion of sticking her to the wall #fridayfrolics

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  16. Toddlers get everywhere nothing is safe. I put a cup of coffee out of reach, or so I thought my daughter (2 at the time) moves her Fisher price musical chair across the room and pores the hot coffee over herself. At six months my son decided to crawl up the stairs and at one He decided to pull the gas fire off the wall #KCACOLS

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  17. I'm sorry to say I found this very amusing. We coralled the boy in a playpen and had stair gates on every aperture of the house but luckily girlchops seems to have a bit less of a death wish. Her favourite activity is sneaking off upstairs to empty all of the clothes out of the bottom two drawers of the unit - which is screwed to the wall, before you ask ;)
    x Alice
    #kcacols

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  18. This made me laugh. I'm pretty sure my 6 month old will be like your little boy!

    #kcacols

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  19. Oh dear - you certainly have your hands full! My youngest is a monkey and knows no fear too. You really have to have your eyes peeled when he is around. Thankfully he seems to have a calmed down a little now he's a bit older! #KCACOLS

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  20. It's amazing just how far a little one can reach, way further than you expect when you think the bowl of porridge is far enough away! I had to empty the lower drawers in our house as she just does this anyway and keeps doing it over and over again no matter how many times things are picked up! Had a good laugh at this post, thanks! #KCACOLS

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  21. What is it with boys and climbing!? And girls and makeup bags for that matter! It was no wonder my sons first words were 'hot tea!" seeing as he was like a magnet to them! #KCACOLS

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  22. Oh this is brilliant - you're little one really is inventive. Some very wise words here, I fear they are spoken from experience, especially judging by the fate of your iPad! My baby 1 sounds like your baby 1 baby 2 however, hmm he's just started to bum shuffle everywhere (bypassing the crawling for being too much effort) and he is in to everything! Argh. Here comes the fun. Thanks so much for linking at #KCACOLS. Hope you can come back again next Sunday xx - iv forgotten my Google id to sign in (useless) so iv had to be anonymous, doh. Tammymum

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  23. This post proves it's not just me encountering this. #KCACOLS

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  24. This is both hilarious and terrifying - an insight into what is still to come! #KCACOLS

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  25. Taping them to the wall seems like a perfectly reasonable suggestion to me. I've got similar problem with my youngest - we like to say he's into baby parkour #KCACOLS

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  26. Er yep agree with it all. The answer - have a third and you worry far less, or perhaps it is more a case of I'm so frazzled I just don't notice anymore! #KCACOLS

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  27. LOL, I pretty much laughed the whole way through this post, you do have a way with words (and pictures!). And then I realised I may be making trouble for myself trying to encourage my 5 month old boy to crawl. My house needs serious baby-proofing! #KCACOLS

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  28. Yes, cages & taping them down! I concluded that most of the baby proofing measures are as ridiculous & hazardous as the behaviour of babies & toddlers. I therefore think someone should be designing some kind of wearable padding for the kids, instead of proofing the house! #chucklemums

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  29. Admittedly it's a touch stressful but would be so boring if little ones just sat there and did nothing I guess! Everyone likes a challenge eh? #KCACOLS

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  30. Admittedly it's a touch stressful but would be so boring if little ones just sat there and did nothing I guess! Everyone likes a challenge eh? #KCACOLS

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  31. Back from #FridayFrolics - thank you so much for joining us! Hope to see you again next time!

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  32. Nothing like a baby/toddler to shake things up a little! :) #KCACOLS

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  33. Oh I caught my daughter yesterday on the kitchen counter top! She had moved a dining table chair to the counter to climb up and get her soother on a shelf! I swear I had to praise the ingenuity and didn't take the soother off her #KCACOLS

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  34. This is absolutely hilarious!!! My son likes to climb, but is nowhere near as adventurous as your little heart-stopper. When you say nothing is out of reach, you mean it-my kid is getting into everything, it makes me want to scream!! Thanks for the laugh <3 #KCACOLS

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  35. We've reached that point now and I don't like it. The youngest has the uncanny toddler sixth sense for anything plastic or choking hazardy and moves towards it at a terrifying rate.

    #KCACOLS

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