“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.