With a new addition to our family, I have come to the realization that each of our kids requires different childproofing techniques. Kyle, now 6 years old, was more of a TV stand guy, Avery who has just started crawling is more of electrical outlets and kitchen explorer.
For Avery, we have had to move furniture around so that she has no access to the electrical outlets, which I realize is a main attraction because we have more gargets in the house and she is seeing her family frequent these spots and feels she is missing out on all the fun. We have had to remove all extension cords, and make sure the laptop and TV cables are neatly tucked away so that she doesn't pull on them.
The gates are up on all the staircases, you should see her trying to wrestle her way past the gate, as soon as she sees someone going to the gate the race is on. I feel bad especially for my mom who is visiting us from Zimbabwe and has a bad leg … I must tell you, Avery is quick on all fours, it's unbelievable. It's almost like a scene from a horror movie, my mom limping her way to get to the gate and my daughter, with this evil grin on her face, racing to catch her before she closes the gate and then wrestle it trying to open to catch her pray.
We have had to divide areas of concentration in this exercise and my wife is responsible for safe relocation of all the chemicals – all of a sudden things are in a different places it's like we are playing hide and seek. We have started using environmental and child-friendly chemicals on the floors and any surfaces that she will touch.
As part of childproofing, we have had to explain to big bro Kyle that no more Legos downstairs – keep them in your room. It's the end of the world for Kyle just by the look on his face. He made the mistake of leaving out one of his Hot Wheels toy cars and Avery got a hold of it and we all know where those small toys go – straight to the mouth. I lashed to take it away from Avery and poor bro sulking realize what could have happened, and in that moment the lifelong lesson from his school kicked in – safety first, no tiny objects are to be left lying around, baby can choke – and lesson learned.
With a wedding coming up for my cousin we have quite a bit of people visiting and our childproofing exercise has had to extend to the visitors as well. Not all our family will apply the same standards we have with our belongings where things like medication, make up kits and other small dangerous objects might be left lying around. It's a constant clean-up for me, my wife and Kyle – we are like the childproofing police in our house and I am glad it has become a family affair.
We have also realized that the playpen and a designated play spot in the house also is another safe extension to our childproofing exercise and it works best most of the time if you are alone and will not always keep an eye on Avery.
Once in a while, I have to go on my hands and knees to get a bird's eye view of what the world looks like from Avery's perspective, this has helped me in identifying other potential areas we might have missed.
There are lots of childproofing products that we can quickly put in place, however, I believe the best childproofing tip is constant supervision, and this is an ongoing process as Avery develops, we are already getting ready for the walking phase and its challenges! Here's an informative and fun look at childproofing individual rooms in your home.
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