Advice about Childproofing

Parent Q&A

  • Looking for a service that will childproof (babyproof) our home

    (1 reply)

    Does anyone have a current recommendation for a baby/child proofing service? We have 6 month old that is working toward being mobile. We thought we had a good idea of how/what to childproof but a friend brought her toddler over the other day and we clearly underestimated the tenacity and ingenuity of a curious toddler. Any recommendations of a service that could come evaluate our apartment and install reasonable safety precautions would be appreciated. Thank you!

    I have to laugh because a toddler is really the best childproofing "service" available! The thing is, every child is different and some will be more curious/dangerous/accident-prone than others. Of course you would do the basics, like move chemicals out from under the sinks/lock kitchen cabinets, cover electrical outlets, and secure furniture/TV to the walls (you should do that anyway for earthquake safety). Turns out a lot of earthquake safety tips are relevant to toddlers, which I think illustrates the power about toddlers! But some things, like moving CDs up where the baby can't find them and throw around/scratch everywhere (yes, we're old), will be unique to your family. One family we hung out with a lot when my kids were little had a very large record collection in low, open cabinets. They strung strong cord across the records so that the pesky toddler couldn't pull them out, but was easily removable for easy listenin'.  Anyway, we found that after the rudimentary safety basics, toddler "childproofing" was a matter of matching your child's tenacity to your family lifestyle. We got tips from just being around other families, especially with older kids, and seeing what they did. 

  • Recommendations for child proofing?

    (1 reply)

    Can anyone recommend any child proofing services? We likely need someone to bolt a few bookcases to the wall and would generally like some advice given that we're first-time parents (and hosting a nanny share at our house).  

    You can childproof yourself.  Buy a simple stud-finder and cordless drill to bolt your furniture.  Bookcases and other tall items should already be bolted - this is earthquake country.  Bolting dressers is also important since toddlers will climb drawers making the furniture unstable. (Don't Google it or you will freak out like I did; just bolt the dressers.)

    Then crawl around on the ground and pretend you are a baby.  Imagine it is your job to stick your smallest, baby finger in everything humanly possible (particularly anything electrical). See what breakables are within reach, look for sharp corners or hard surfaces to bump heads on, knives, chemicals (move them to the highest shelf possible), medications (also move to the highest shelf), pointy things that could morph into ninja swords and stab an eye, stairs to climb up, stairs to fall down, stair railings to squeeze through or slip under (in fact, do whatever you can to block all stairs until they are at least 2.5), block access to cords that can be pulled or present a strangle (TV, computer, drapery controls.  Any cords.  All the cords!).  Ask what will fall if the hallway console is bumped, or if the tablecloth is yanked?  And remove everything smaller than a football or with parts/extensions smaller than a football to at least 3 feet above ground (as all of it will all go straight to the mouth).    

    In fact, just move everything you own about 3 feet up except toys, unbreakable kitchen supplies (the best toys!), and shoes.  Much easier to move bad things then to put those silly cabinet latches in your kitchen (and if you give them access to a few things, they will be much better helpers in the kitchen when they are older).  

    So invite the nanny share parents over, crack open some wine, and get to crawling (while your babies are safe in a pack n play).  Invite your friends too and make it a theme party - give out prizes for best baby proofing.  Single male friends love this game.  A nice bottle of Opus One is a much better use of the money you would have spent on the childproofing service and you'll still have money left over.

    Then, when you think you've got it all, let the kids loose to see what you've missed (under close supervision, of course, and after the wine has worn off).   

    A few other thoughts: electrical plugs with press tab were best (Safety 1st brand) but after a certain point the kids can pull those off too.  Don't waste money on doorknob shields, they will be baby-hacked in under 3 attempts if your kid can stand independently for 5 seconds.

    Of course none of this is applicable until the baby can actually move (8 months old at the earliest).  And all of this will need consistent revision as the stages change and they start to walk, climb, run, etc.

    Just keep a clean floor, remove your shoes and use common sense.  Oh, and make sure your least favorite books are on the bottom 3 shelves because they will all go in the mouth and be ripped to shreds.   ;)

    Good luck!  It's fun,

    Prepping for No. 2