Baby-proofing (like most kinds of home maintenance) is always a work in progress.Â My daughter has always been a particularly active baby, so when she was about six months old, I figured I should start doing some serious baby proofing because I knew it wouldnâ€™t be long before she started crawling.
Like any nervous first-time mommy would, I went to Babies R Us and purchased pretty much every safety device they had. I wasnâ€™t even exactly sure what they were all for, but I figured I should have them, right?
But the funny thing about baby-proofing is you really canâ€™t know exactly what you need to do until your baby gets into the Danger-Is-My-Middle-Name phase. You can read all you want about baby proofing, but like most challenges of parenting, it just doesnâ€™t make sense until youâ€™re in it.
During my baby-proofing frenzy, I enthusiastically covered every plug with outlet covers, moved all cleaning supplies to upper cabinets, and put safety latches on the cupboards. Voila! Baby-proofed!
If only it were that simple.
Once my daughter became mobile, I realized that I had no idea what I was getting into (or what she would be getting into). It turns out that practically everything presents some kind of danger, and itâ€™s just not possible to buy a safety device for every potential hazard.
The baby proofing I had done, while prudent, did not guard against the many household dangers that my daughter is fascinated with.Â How could I have known that she would have an affinity for trying to eat clumps of dog fur that fall on the floor? Or that baseboard heaters could be so intriguing? Or that the teeniest tiniest pieces of anything on the floor (that were missed by the vacuum that I could barely see with my own eyes) would be a great source of interest, and potentially sampled as hors dâ€™oeuvres?
Nope. Didnâ€™t see any of that coming.
And weâ€™re now getting into the next phase- climbing. Oy. I canâ€™t even begin to imagine the new baby-proofing challenges that this will bring.
It really is true what they say- that the most important part of baby proofing is supervision. Because in most cases, that is the 99% percent of whatâ€™s keeping a baby safe.
It seems that with every new phase, there are new dangers and challenges which present themselves. And while we can prepare for this to some extent, every child, home, and furniture configuration is different, so we are constantly kept us on our toes as we try to come up with creative baby proofing ideas that work for our unique situations.
As parents, we supervise constantly, and we do what we can, but babies and toddlers are crafty little buggers. So, it makes me wonder, can anything ever truly be baby-proof?