4 Reasons Why We Didn’t Baby Proof our House
We didn’t baby proof our house. We didn’t pack up our breakable things or shift things and put them out of reach.
Some prior reading and research had advised me not to shout at baby, but rather redirect his attention when he reached for something that he was not allowed to play with or touch in the house. What that meant was, I had to be on the constant alert until he got it.
We combined that with calling things as they were; cooker – hot, socket – bad, then there was stop, no, and ‘chapa’. Did I ‘chapa’? Yes. A crawling baby? Yes. I didn’t take out a big stick and beat him senseless, but I did turn an old shoehorn into a spanker and gave him a mild tap on his hand with it every time he reached for sockets, the cooker, or anything he should not touch. I realised that children understand what we tell them, but they sometimes cannot help themselves. There came a point where he would catch himself reaching for something and then tell himself ‘chapa’ and stop, then look at me. That was my cue to clap and reinforce this good behaviour.
For us, it was easier to teach baby to adapt to the way had arranged our house rather than rearrange the whole place. That being the case, there were some things that were put away and some activities that were never done with the baby around. Cleaning liquids, soaps, disinfectants were all put out of reach. So were knives and all sharp or small objects that he could easily put in his mouth.
Ironing was done when he was asleep or otherwise occupied as it would be too easy for him to pull on the cable.
We later taught him that the iron too was hot, although that was not necessary as the bursts of steam coming out of the vents scared him. The doors to the bathroom, toilet and kitchen, balcony were always kept closed.
I also learned that for every one thing that your child cannot play with give them an alternative that they can play with. For example, you don’t want your special pots and pans banged on the kitchen floor then in exchange, give baby your battered sufurias to play with, and keep them within easy reach.
The baby proofing things on the market are really pretty and affordable and are a viable option if you are not available, or have time to train your child early on what is out of bounds and what they can play with.
More information on Ory’s Blog