Monday, September 10, 2012

Baby Proofing vs. House Proofing

“Now a bit wiser in the ways of parenthood, I realize now that there’s only really one true way to baby proof a house: use lots of duct tape”.


**Picture and quote come from here.**

How hilarious is that?!?!?! 

Baby Proofing vs. House Proofing.  By first glance, they sound the same right?  Actually, no.   Baby Proofing is protecting your baby from your home.  House Proofing is protecting your house (and other houses) from your baby.  Still sound the same?  Let me dive in…

Baby proofing is going through your house and putting outlet covers on every single plug.  Putting soft material over every single corner of every table or piece of furniture.  Gates in every doorway of the house.  All breakable items removed within reach of the child.  Basically taking away any and everything a child may have to be told “no” to touch.  House proofing is “baby proofing” the important things that could cause injury and that’s it.  I’m a house proofer.  I will not baby proof absolutely everything in my house, but I will get the important things.  I definitely don’t want Carter to be in a dangerous situation that could risk his life or cause serious injury.  But at some point, kids WILL fall.  They WILL get bruised.  They WILL cry and scream bloody murder as if their world is ending.  But they WILL learn from it.  And if you baby proof everything, you’ll never give them that opportunity.  I plan to get a gate for the steps.  I already have soft lining around my fireplace (because God forbid if he did fall he could crack open his skull on a brick fireplace).  Our outlets in our new house came baby proofed already.  This is all I honestly see myself doing.  There’s several reasons for this, but let me quote a fellow blogger Chronicles of a Babywise Mom for why:

“I realized that homes that were child-proofed rather than house-proofed were producing children who didn't have knowledge and control to not touch the property of others. I am not talking other kid's toys; I am talking things in your garage or even cars. Whatever they can reach is fair game.  And doesn't that just make sense? Doesn't it make sense that a child who is given no physical restrictions in the home will carry that over around the neighborhood? Doesn't it make sense that the child who is allowed to be overly physically active in the home with balls and other toys because there is nothing breakable around will translate that into the homes of others? Of course they will!  House-proofing your child helps your child to learn boundaries. It helps your child to learn respect for others and for the possessions of others. You can't touch whatever you want whenever you want in the real world.”

She says it perfectly.  If Carter is surrounded by nothing but things that he can touch and play with, he’ll never learn that there are things that are off limits, like vases, picture frames and televisions.  I do not plan to install a stopper on every single cabinet in my kitchen.  There are tons of them and that would take forever.  But mainly, I want Carter to know that he can’t just go through cabinets and pull stuff out.  Every house we go to is not baby proofed.  The stoppers may keep him from getting into our cabinets, but they won’t keep him from getting into our friends cabinets that don’t have kids or whose kids are well past the baby proof stage.  It will take training on our part to teach him these things.  I will constantly have to pull him away from things, say “no Carter” to him and have time-outs when he doesn’t listen (no time-outs now though - he’s too young to understand).  But I still think it’s worth it.  This is my theory and how my household will approach this issue.  I want to raise a well behaved child and that training starts in our own home.


Melissa said...

You go girl! I love it! I had a party at my house once, and there were a couple of kids running around like crazy people (clearly their parents didn't have the same mentality as you and I). Anywho, at one point during the evening, someone unplugged a lamp and MOVED it off my coffee table and into another room (all without asking me) because the kids kept messing with it and reaching for it. I'm sorry, but I think instead you should discipline your child for touching said lamp...not remove it from their grasp.

Anywho, I totally agree with you!

Brenna Langham said...

I totally agree! That is how my mom says she raised us, and it apparently worked. As a teacher, I get to see the results of baby proofing everything. It makes for a tough transition for kids who comes from homes like that...especially in my classroom. Kids have to understand that there are rules and consequences for actions that are not permissible. I applaud you for doing that. That starts them off at an early age of understanding.

Fiona aka DRMama said...

I was just thinking about this today and am definitely feeling the same. My parents didn't do tons of special baby proofing when I was a kid and I turned out okay, with a few bumps and bruises along the way!! :)

Cady said...

We had the exact same mindset. We covered the outlets and put pillows around our fireplace, but that was about it. Since we have a one-story house, we didn't need a gate, and we didn't lock up our cabinets. Lucy does open them from time-to-time, but she also knows what she is not to touch.

Luv2read said...

Love this blog totally makes sense. This is what I have been telling the hubby but he doesn't listen to me. This is nice because it's coming from someone else.

Helene Raymond said...

Baby Proofing vs. House Proofing – the latter is the opposite of the other. Your sense of humor is amazing. Btw, it should go without saying that baby proofing should be prioritized over the other, as safety should always be the priority. Anyway, I hope your baby proofing stage with Carter went without any major predicament. Have a good day!

Helene Raymond @ Trade Squad