24 responses to “Why I Didn’t Childproof”

  1. Honeysmoke

    that’s hilarious, the person crawling at child level. i put stuff up high, put covers on outlets and took things out of the bathroom cabinet. That was pretty much it.

  2. Karen Maezen Miller

    still waiting for my childproofing to kick in.

  3. Sally Cannon

    It’s a whole industry and if there is money to made, someone or One Step Ahead is there to make it. I once ordered this plastic teddy bear thing you put on their sneaker that had some remote beeper or finder if your child got lost. Once I had it in hand I thought I am never going to lose track of this child … I mean how far could he go before I would notice him gone? I returned it for a full refund (less shipping of course!) Lol. He did choke once on a hard peppermint candy in a dark car on a country road with no street lights strapped into his car seat and we got it out of him … he got it from the restaurant where we had just eaten. Most accidents are just that, accidents and couldn’t have been prevented anyway.

  4. Melody

    Okay, so I actually bought that mesh feeding thing, because my baby was kind of a big choker and the gagging episodes were a little freaky. But said mesh feeding thing didn’t actually work anyway. Who wants to gnaw on a mesh bag? Not a big hit with the picky eater.

  5. Meredith Resnick

    I love your down-to-earth realness and the voice and…confessions! You don’t sound mean, you just sound real human. Nice post.

  6. TC

    Awww…You HAD me, especially on the toilet lock stupidity (one of my two kids did like to try to play in the toilet…SO WE KEPT THE DOOR CLOSED). But then you lost me by picking on one of the very few baby ‘safety’ gadgets that I actually loved, the Safe Feeder. I didn’t use it for safety as much as I used it to allow me to feed my daughter (who just turned 12! Sob!) REAL FOOD at a young age, instead of jars of whatever Gerber claims is real food. Instead of Gerber strained pears, I could give her AN ACTUAL SLICE OF PEAR from the farmer’s market, and it would strain itself through the mesh. I could freeze cubes of pureed sweet potato, and put it in there, and she would teeth on it for ages, until it started to melt, and then she’d gobble up the sweet potato. The one I made. From an actual SWEET POTATO. I could go on, but you get my point. By the time she was old enough to eat ‘real’ solids, we retired the thing (though she was a choker, so it probably took until she was close to nine months old). Until then, though? I loved it.

    Oh, and for the record? That thing made a HUGE mess. She ALWAYS used it sitting in her highchair, at the table, like a human.

  7. molly

    Sing it Sister! Seriously. It’s so good to not feel so alone in refusing to buy into all this stuff kids “need.”
    Like you we used physical intervention and instruction, and a gate at the top of the stairs right outside his bedroom (which, honestly, was more about me being able to corral him than his own safety :)). I figured he should figure out how to live in the world as it was instead expect the world to conform to his needs.
    Food and drink should definitely be consumed at the table, like a human. A phrase that I use constantly. Visiting kids are often shocked at this house rule. Their parents are often shocked at how they can do it. And also how they can drink out of a cup. Like a human.

  8. Meagan Francis

    Heh, Denise, I am also a total non-babyproofer who bought the childsafe mesh thing. Like TC, i liked that it allowed me to feed my babies real food–better yet, that it allowed them to feed THEMSELVES real food–when they were too little to pick up pieces of pear and smash it in their mouths.

    Now the Thudguard? I could totally get behind a common-sense ban on those. http://www.thudguard.com

  9. Meagan Francis

    Denise, have you seen the fake hair you can buy in order to save your baby from the humiliation of not having enough: http://www.babybangshairband.com/index2.php

  10. Alida

    I actually bought one of those mesh bag fruit things!!! It got sooo gross in a matter of minutes, we just threw it out. Other than that little foray into insanity, we had outlet covers. My kids never dumped the books from our bookshelves either. The bottom shelf was filled with their books and they would take them out an look at them whenever they wanted.

    Have you seen the stove gaurds at IKEA? Geez!

  11. Christina Baglivi Tinglof

    Before kids, we were into antiques. So when we moved into an old home, we purchased an antique stove and since it didn’t have insulation, boy, did that thing get hot! When my twins were born, I didn’t get rid of the stove. Instead I’d touch it and pull my hand away quickly as I said, “Hot!” I did this about a dozen times a day. My boys never burned themselves. And guess what their first word was? “Hot!” Gosh, I miss those days…

  12. Jennifer Fink

    That Thudguard thing is hilarious. If you ask me, though, the YouTube video missed its mark. I wanted to see some kids banging their heads!

    I did have kids that dumped books and pulled all the DVDS and movies off the shelves. The refrigerator was another favorite. For better or for worse, at least two of my boys are incredibly persistent, which translates into toddlers who are not easily distracted or redirected. So we moved books we cared about to higher shelves and left the others. We picked up movies almost every night (for a while there). And for awhile, we even duct-taped the fridge shut.

    What can I say? It’s a lot cheaper than the One Step Ahead thingy http://www.leapsandbounds.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=364760&parentCategoryId=85183&categoryId=85216&subCategoryId=86200

  13. Elizabeth

    I didn’t childproof beyond what the social worker & the adoption agency required. Amazing what the gov’t says you have to have to adopt but if you give birth, no one comes to inspect your house for violations! Whatever happened to actually WATCHING your child and keeping an eye on them? My dad bought an old fashioned walker for our son at 6mths. He loved it! We have a 1story house so there wasn’t any worry about stairs (common sense – close door or use gate) and prefered to move around versus one of those saucer things.

  14. Carey Rossi

    Bravo! We haven’t childproofed either and my friends are appalled. To us, the expense and the time isn’t worth it. We would rather watch and interact with our son and spend the money on other things. Thank you for the great post (as usual), Denise.

  15. Winnie

    Ha! I bought the mesh feeder thingie which turned into a major health hazard with all the little bits of left over food you can never remove. Enjoyed your post – thanks for the perspective.

  16. Sabrina

    Theoutlet covers ended been more dangerous at my home than protective. My toddler girl ( 2years) took them mfrom the wall ( really easily ant I have 2 different types non of them gave her any resistance) and put one on her mouth. But as I normally pay attention to her took it out.. if not.. she would have chew it for a while.. I’m sure…. then she tried to give one to her brother ( 3mo) ..I wonder if she was trying to share.. Will have to try one to see the flavor.. he he he.

  17. Sarah G

    I’m childless, but I did use one childproofing item useful: the locks to keep cabinet doors closed. I had a cat that kept getting into the towels and taking naps on them. After wiping off water – and wiping ON fur – one too many times, I went out and got some.

    Next day, from the bathroom, I heard:

    Ka-thunk! Kathunk! RRR-yeow! Ka-thunk! Rowr!

    Hilarious.

  18. Beth

    LOVE IT!!! I especially love the “at the table, like a human”! Our girls do use sippy cups (sorry I get tired of cleaning up spills – even at the table)! But they don’t take drinks away from our table very often (sometimes we let them have a drink on the couch for movie night)!!!

    I don’t think it is mean at all – just civilized!

  19. Gen

    Thanks for this post; it’s great! My daughter is kindergarten-aged. When she goes to play at a friend’s, I can’t believe how many of her playmates’ parents ask me if she is “okay drinking from a regular cup.” What’s going to happen to these kids? I can imagine their helicopter moms 10-years from now, demanding to know who will take responsibility for cutting the kids’ steak dinner into safe-sized bites at the high school prom…

  20. Andrea

    Ya know, it must be nice to be such perfect parents. All of you buying “real” food and being able to keep an eye on your chdten 24/7. I am a single mother.. a nurse. My daughter had outlet covers. That was as far as I went for child- proofing. I couldn’t afford all that crap. My baby ( now6) does wear a helmet while on her bike or rollerblades. But nobodies perfect. Why make people feel bad for trying to keep their kids safe. This group sounds like a bunch of elitist Mummies. A little snobby don’t ya think.

  21. Andrea

    Oh yes and my daughter is not ” like a human” she really is one.