By Colleen Lindstrom
When I was pregnant for the first time, I remember having a friend to visit before the baby was born. She took a look around our teeny tiny house and said very definitively, “you have a LOT of baby proofing to do.” I laughed out loud, because I felt like baby proofing was going to be the very last thing I was going to worry about. After all, when a baby is born, they don’t immediately start finding light sockets to mess with. Our baby proofing methods at the Lindstrom house have always been very much a “cross that bridge when we come to it” approach. With very mobile one-year-old twins, we joke that now we live with everything above shoulder level. It wasn’t always that way.
We moved into a new house just as our now four-year-old was learning to crawl. I was so excited to decorate a new home just the way I wanted it. Within a month of living in our home, our now four-year-old was walking, and breaking things, regularly. It occurred to me that my house is not going to be decorated just the way I want it for at least another 18 years.
Beyond the typical outlet covers, and the corner protectors, there were obvious things—we needed to secure the fireplace, we shouldn’t put the wine bottles IN the wine rack, etc. But there are just some things that whether you realize it or not, babies are just going to get into. With one child, it’s a little easier, when you start to add, it gets harder and harder. Those little ones are crafty.
We have rearranged furniture to cover doors, drawers, and cupboards and made awesome use of rubber bands and zip ties all in the name of keeping the babies safe. They are smart though, and they find a way to get where they want to go whether you like it or not. One day, I even had to make an emergency childproof item run. I have to be quite honest, even though there are plenty of companies that specialize in baby proofing, if you get a curious little one, you’re still going to have to modify and change as that child grows.
I have found a few websites that have impressive collections of all sorts of baby proofing accessories that are my very favorite. Going beyond the bare essential kits that you can get at just about any baby store, I like:
One Step Ahead: This appropriately named website also has a catalogue that I receive. They seem to specialize in some unique child proofing and baby safety products that are so innovative. They have tons of products that will help you address some difficult to fit spaces in your home.
Diapers.com: I generally LOVE diapers.com for many things, including their child proofing products. The best part is, they will deliver free for orders over $49. So, if you need to order diapers, wipes, and some child proofing items, you never have to load the kids in the car for a trip to the local (fill in the blank store), you can just have it delivered directly to you.
IKEA: You may not think to go to IKEA (the Swedish home furnishing store) for your baby proofing needs, however the have a new collection of inexpensive basics for baby proofing. Outlet covers, drawer locks, and even a baby monitor. I’ve shopped that section, and I use those products. They keep my little ones out of where they need to stay out of, so I call it a success.
Foresight Childproofing, Inc.: In addition to a range of innovative products to ensure safety in the home, Foresight provides home consultations to help you develop a childproofing plan specific to your home. They can also help you to obtain suggested products and install the pesky ones. See their site for a wealth of information on the latest in child safety.
It may seem obvious, but the place in your home where you need to make baby proofing the TOP priority is the nursery. Specifically your child’s sleeping area. Do NOT use bumper pads on your crib (I honestly don’t know why they are even sold anymore), and make sure baby’s sleep area is free of blankets, stuffed animals, or any other toys or items that could interfere with baby’s airway. Remember to keep cords, blinds, and anything else that could be a potential danger to baby out of reach of the crib. These may seem like obvious suggestions, but it never hurts to remind. Here are some more tips on making baby’s sleep environment safe.
Most importantly, repeat with me this mantra, “someday I will be able to display my precious items again without fear…”