As a new mom, "babyproofing" is a word I've mostly seen accompanied by glances of horror. "Be glad she isn't mobile yet," people keep telling me and, indeed, I am. However, I'm looking ahead to crawling and walking, and making arrangements already.
Some things are no-brainers, like putting locks on the doors to the cupboard where we keep the cleaners and the ant traps. Other things require a little more thought, like our DVD collection, curio shelves, and several wide doorways we don't want her to be able to get through. Here are some tactics we plan to utilize when The Day comes.
1. Replace curious with baby-friendly objects.
If you like to display knick-knacks, photos, or other not-so-baby-friendly items on low shelves, move them to higher shelves and replace them with items you don't mind the baby getting into. Toys, stuffed animals, board books and more can still effectively decorate your home (particularly if you're into whimsical decor) while baby can grab whatever his little hands desire.
2. Use velcro.
We live in an apartment where we try to put as few holes in the wall as possible, but I wouldn't be big on anchoring bookshelves with screws even if I owned my own home. Instead, try velcro. You can attach it to both the walls and the shelves with finishing nails or one of several different kinds of putty, and it will provide enough support that your shelves won't topple on toddling toes.
In addition, you can use velcro to anchor some items to their shelves. Make sure that it won't ruin the decor piece or the shelf before you attach it. While this isn't foolproof (let alone babyproof!), it should give you some time before your precious items are tossed across the room on a baby whim.
3. Make your own baby gates.
We have a couple of doorways that, for whatever reason, won't work with traditional baby gates, so we're making our own. One of these will be as simple as a large piece of sturdy fabric with grommets in the corners to attach to hooks on either side. As a bonus, it's more friendly to the soft little head of my almost-crawler than a hard plastic gate. Again, the solution isn't perfect but it provides enough protection that we'll feel comfortable letting her roam.
Babies are notoriously hard to distract when it comes to things they want to get a hold of, and they have a crazy radar that helps them hone in on exactly the objects you don't want them to have. That said, knowing your baby can be a big help. Does he go for bright colors? Will she always grab for something that sparkles, or maybe that moves? Put things with these characteristics at baby-eye level near the things you don't want the baby to get into. Perfect? No. But it may give you time to rescue your valuables from little hands.
5. When in doubt, keep an eye on the baby.
There are some things that it doesn't seem worthwhile to babyproof. For the most part, these are things where it won't hurt her to get into them and the items themselves don't risk serious damage if she does. All the same, we don't really want her gnawing on the DVD cases or rearranging the pots and pans, so we plan to watch her when she's near them.
How did you babyproof? I'd love to hear (and use!) some of your suggestions!