Baby proofing tips please!!

(80 Posts)
CanadaCalls Mon 23-Jan-12 23:23:44

Ok, so DS has just started crawling ( not with his knees, just soldier crawling through trench type of crawling) and i'm in a tizz!!

I've been looking forward to this moment for so long, nothing cuter than a baby that has just realised he can move without help! BUT, I'm not prepared!

I know the usual, get on their level, crawl around the house (if my old, rickety knees will allow it) and look for dangers that they would see (and of course, make it their mission to touch) plug socket things in plugs, door locks, sponges on the doors to stop slamming etc.....

Just wondered if anybody has had any bad experiences where they have been caught unaware and DC has surprised them with a hidden danger that you missed?

Ta very mooch grin

tinkerbelleworkshop Tue 24-Jan-12 09:48:29

Before DD could crawl she tried army crawling up the stairs :-). Stairgate and clean floors and clean under tables. Remove tables with V sharp corners as she used these to climb too. TBH besides that and locks on the kitchen cupboards we didn't bother as she is never in a room alone. The plug socket things are more exciting to DD than a socket without one so dont know how much help they really are, though each child is different x

startail Tue 24-Jan-12 09:55:34

Cables, if they can be pulled they will be. We ended up with carefully placed heavy boxes of paper work and magazines so DD couldn't see where they crossed between units.

I read a v in depth article about plug socket covers. They took an empty plug socket (no wires or electrics etc) and tried to put a 9mo little finger in one of the holes. The finger couldn't get more than about 2 cm into the hole so nowhere near the length required to touch live wiring.
Also the top hole needs to be opened with something before the two lower holes will connect to anything so even if they stuck a finger in and managed to connect nothing would happen because there wouldn't be a full circuit iyswim.
Plug socket covers can easily be taken off by a baby/toddler making it easier for the baby to stick a finger in one hole whilst the others were being held open with the socket cover.

So basically socket covers are not needed! I've never had any and agree ds is not interested in them because he can't do anything with them whereas if they had a cover on he'd be more likely to play with them/ socket cover.

Socket things are no longer recommended, but if you can block off plugged-in things with furniture it's probably a good idea.

Make sure furniture (chests of drawers, bookcases, wardrobes) is fixed to walls if there's any chance it could topple if climbed on. Also TVs that could fall.

Stairgates yes, and we put one across the kitchen entrance too for when we have the oven on.

A lot of it is changing habits too, remembering to keep knives, hot drinks etc away from edges of surfaces where they can reach, watch out for knives or breakable things in open dishwashers.

Mspontipine Tue 24-Jan-12 10:13:33

My ds managed to get hold of a permenant marker pen - twice sad in newly rented house. Scribbles EVERYWHERE cooker, walls, curtains, chest of drawers, my bed, fridge. Bloody nightmare.

Hide them!!!!

Psammead Tue 24-Jan-12 10:22:57

We have one cupboard in the kitchen full of plastic cups, plates, mixing bowls, funnels, cutlery - basically everything that we could find in our kitchen that was plastic and robust and biggish. That is DD's cupboard. Whenever she went to open a different cupboard, we redirected her to that cupboard, which she regularly 'sorts out'. She's two now and never had an accident with the glass stuff in the other cupboards, although obviously she needs keeping an eye on.

She loves having her own cupboard, likes keeping it tidy and playing with everything in there - it's nice.

OneLittleBabyGirl Tue 24-Jan-12 10:24:53

Btw, don't buy socket covers. They are not approved by IET to be electrically safe. In comparison, the british standard sockets are designed to be child proof. This website explains it.

If you want a more layperson explanation. Basically have a look at your sockets. The top one is earth. Unless the earth socket is engaged, the bottom two live pins are closed. You can see it yourself by trying to push a screwdriver into a socket. By using a cover, you basically make the live pins to be always on. If the baby manage to slide the cover open, they can then poke their fingers into live current. Without the cover, they'll have to first push the safety catch in the earth socket first.

This only applies to UK style sockets. US/Oz ones do not have a safety lock on the earth pin.

PS. I did an electrical engineering degree, and this socket cover thing drives me mad!

mapletrees Tue 24-Jan-12 10:26:09

Tie up any dangling cords eg on blinds - there are a few toddler deaths from these every year and they are easily overlooked. He'll most likely be climbing/pulling himself up soon too, so make sure you look for what he might be able to reach when standing in his cot/on the arm of the sofa etc. Also, keep an eye that no infuriating helpful guests don't untangle them for you. Took me about 48 hours to notice when a friend had untied mine angry

Psammead Tue 24-Jan-12 10:26:50

OneLittleBabyGirl - does that apply to European plug sockets too? They have just two pins.

OneLittleBabyGirl Tue 24-Jan-12 10:30:01

Psammead I don't know european sockets enough to comment. Sorry.

YBR Tue 24-Jan-12 10:40:40

I agree that Socket Covers are not necessary. My view (as an engineer) is that the standards we have here make our sockets some of the safest there are. As the Top (earth) pin needs to go in first, there is really good protection, but a socket cover could be used to defeat this protection. I won't be using them.

Look for cables, sharp corners, glass (patio doors or long mirrors), poisons (i.e. cleaning stuff mainly), hot heating pipes; make sure furniture won't topple, think about the spaces under and between things too - like under beds.
The one I'm not sure how to solve is pet food!

YBR Tue 24-Jan-12 10:49:04

Cross-post with Onelittlebabygirl! Sorry. It winds me up also.
Psammead with European Sockets there's no earth pin presumably so I don't think it applies, but I don't know this.

Further thoughts: My parents had us opening "child proof" medicine bottles from an early age. Rather than prohibiting stuff and making it a challenge, we learnt that it was to be used under supervision. Also I don't think they had cupboard locks, but everything dangerous moved out of reach and they'd managed to teach us by the time we could climb on things. It worked for us but each child is an individual...

hackmum Tue 24-Jan-12 10:53:51

Put cupboard locks on all the kitchen cupboards (probably all cupboards, but especially the kitchen ones). Put everything like books, CDs, ornaments up high, well out of reach. Ditto pens. Never put a hot drink down on a table the baby can reach (ie any table!) Put stairgates at top and bottom of stairs if you haven't already. Obviously keep sharp knives etc out of reach and saucepans on the back hob rings, with handles pointing in.

MoJangled Tue 24-Jan-12 10:58:03

Love the DC's cupboard idea. We have a big drawer with loads of silicone bakeware for DS (14 mo), but haven't made it 'his', think I'll borrow that technique!

Socket covers - wil be removing forthwith. DS does love a good poke in a socket with anything he can get his hands on, and is a demon socket-spotter in shops, cafes etc, so I can see these theories will be thoroughly tested.

Pet food: I've used it as an opportunity to train him to understand 'no'! He gets to help me feed the cats, but if he tries to eat/play with the cat food it's 'No' and distract him onto something else. It took about 3 months but he has got it and now he only raids the bowls when he wants to be naughty!

DH took a router to the coffee table edges after a couple of nasty head bangs.

Safety film over non-toughened glass in cabinet doors.

door stoppers work on drawers that you want them to be able to open and rummage in.

cooking on the back two rings of the cooker as a metter of course now.

notcitrus Tue 24-Jan-12 11:03:06

There's two types of babyproofing - making the place reasonably safe for a baby, and protecting your stuff from the baby...

We didn't use cupboard locks but did swap cooking utensils and cleaning materials so all the chemicals are in high cupboards and the low ones contain only pans and cans etc. Ditto bathroom - all non-toxic stuff under the basin, razors and meds all in the mirror cabinet or on top of it. And bedside tables - meds now in boxes in the top of the wardrobe.

Pens etc all on high shelves, also vases and all. And ds and dn learnt very rapidly (ie by 14mo) that this is Mummy's laptop. Do not touch Mummy's laptop. This is your laptop (Sainsbury's toy one - wonderful!). And if you touch any part of the TV stand or anything on it, the TV breaks and doesn't work for a few hours (partly true...)

And keep doing it - though once the kids learn to climb, there are not enough high shelves in the universe. Ds age 3 has just learnt to put a chair on a footstool to reach the 6-foot cupboard with our precious honeymoon vase on... and dn can open the stairgate. We kept the gates for zoning purposes even when they were fine on the stairs.

OneLittleBabyGirl Tue 24-Jan-12 11:09:04

I've got a fireplace with a stone hearth, but it's only about the height of a thick broadsheet. What should I do to baby proof it? Currently I've got cushions all over it. (Because DD likes to play with those fake coal). I'm not going to use it for the time being so I don't think I need a fire guard. Should I be worry about the hearth? Do you think a stash of cushions on it is enough?

redridingwolf Tue 24-Jan-12 11:22:57

OneLittleBaby - the thing I would worry about in your case is your DD getting the idea that fireplaces/coal are safe to play with. Because that's true in your house, but not in others, and might lead to a very nasty accident somewhere else. We have (unused) fireplaces and don't have a fireguard but taught the DCs not to go in there. Apart from anything it makes a horrible mess if they touch the fake coal - black streaks eve.

ABigGirlDoneItAndRanAway Tue 24-Jan-12 11:29:22

Get into good habits now like always taking the keys out of the door and putting them out of reach, same with your handbag if you don't want your bank cards taken out and hidden all over the house, a crawler will soon be a walker and these are the things I learned the hard way grin. If you want to get thing like table corner protectors and cupboard locks then home bargains has them very cheap.

OneLittleBabyGirl Tue 24-Jan-12 11:37:15

redridingwolf I think I didn't explain myself well enough. I used the cushions to hide the fake coal grin. She got so obsessed with them, and she really doesn't understand no yet. (She's 10mo). So I put two gigantic cushions in front of the fireplace, and she's lost interest since.

So in your opinion, I don't need to do anything about the hearth, in case she fell on it?

The only thing I'm constantly saying no to is the cat bowls. She can't pull up or open cupboards, yet.

glamourmama Tue 24-Jan-12 11:37:37

Hi might be worth getting in touch with your local childrens centre as the one I work at has a home safety scheme where they sell families home safety equipment at a lower cost. Not sure if everyone is eligible migh depend on income but worth a try maybe. From personal experience from own kids plus working in a baby room don't go too mad completely childproofing. Obviously keeping your child safe is v important, but a little bit of risk is good and children need to learn that some things are not to touch. Your child is very young at moment but as they get older I found gently telling them no and moving them away helped them realise not to do certain things. This was helpful when visiting peoples houses who weren't childproof. The time comes when they cheekily keep trying to touch things of course but that's all normal too. Think safety gates are essential but everyone in house MUST remember to close them (I know of a few children who have broken bones by tripping over the bottom of open gates!) Children change so quick at this age so dangers might be short lived you might find yourself changing and rearranging things every few weeks. Sometimes they seem to find dangers u would never dream existed so its a bit of watch and wait too. Good luck!

Diamondback Tue 24-Jan-12 12:19:29

I would agree about UK plug sockets being super-safe - when I was a toddler, I jammed my fingers into all three holes at once and got stuck! Howled the house down until Mum came and freed me, but totally unharmed grin

However, I've moved into a house that was previously owned by an American couple and they've had some US-style sockets installed in the living room - how safe are these? Is it possible to get socket covers anywhere?

Flossie69 Tue 24-Jan-12 12:24:24

Hi there

I agree with all that has been said up-thread about socket covers, but can I recommend these?

These cover the whole socket, plug and switch, so preventing little fingers from switching the outlet on, or as in my case, off! We have one on the socket where the fridge/freezer is plugged in.

My DD, now 20 months, would make a bee-line for that particular switch every time, and sometimes turned it off without us noticing straight away. This cover has saved us from a defrosted freezer disaster.

HappyJoyful Tue 24-Jan-12 12:26:46

I think the best tip is to relax !! I had a friend that went so ott with 'baby proofing' her house it was ridiculous (special foam round a 2 inch firehearth)she's now got a risk adverse, nervous 3 year old and I'm sure it's from too much fussying about risks.
Clearly stairs are a danger but other than that I wouldn't stress - our 12 month DD roams freely - yes a few bumps on the head from a coffee table corner and dirty clothes from clabbering around the fireplace (obviously not on!) but as long as we're watching her and things don't go in the mouth (I do have slight phobia about choking on small objects she tends to pick up normally) I'm not adverse to letting her explore everywhere. As my childminder also says, the more you draw attention to all the 'risks' the more the baby gets curious and wants to do something they feel they can't..
Think someone else says it use it as an opportunity to teach them 'careful' and 'danger' not to panic..

MerryMarigold Tue 24-Jan-12 12:38:01

I never had a stairgate with 3 kids. And they only came down on their own when they were good and ready. There was no 'thrill' of "ooooh, Mummy left the stairgate open, here's my chance to try." I had no accidents when they were little. Ds1 fell downstairs when he was about 3.

I'm a VERY laidback mother, but the 2 closest shaves I've had involved other people. Dd nearly got run over when I thought my Mum had her and I was putting her twin brother in the car on the other side of the road. Mum was just pulling the door closed and dd ran into the road (she was about 18months) because she could see me on the other side of the road. Luckily the car was close and loud enough to frighten her so she stopped. My twins also wandered off at 2.5, when they were being looked after by someone else who had a front door that had a reachable handle to open it. Our friend had a similar aged child who never opens the front door, so they didn't think about it. Luckily I had taught them never, EVER to cross the road without a grownup (after dd incident) so they just kept turning corners and were found eventually - but very scary.

So I suppose what I am saying is: you really can't predict everything, and you can't stop stuff happening. I think the safest thing is to teach them to avoid danger themselves, rather than trying to constantly prevent it happening.

wahwahwah Tue 24-Jan-12 12:40:02

Door hinges. Anything above their head height, but within arms reach can and will be pulled down (usually on your foot), and a small child put on a bed will try to dive off head first.

Astronaut79 Tue 24-Jan-12 12:52:31

Keep an eye on how tall Dc is getting. Thought we were pretty baby proof until a fortnight ago when Ds pulled a cup of tea onto his arm from the kitchen unit. I thought it was out of reach/too far back, but had not banked on tiptoe and determination. Cue panic, trip to a and e and two weeks of bandaged arm.

Oh, and be paranoid about the safety gate upstairs. Ds took a tumble at 11 months cos Dh was in the shower, i w as straightening my hair blush and neither of usnoticed him making for the unlocked gate.

I'll stop now, in case SS are watching!

Ps we've got a marble hearth and I've put a fireguard round it as I have visions of Ds or dd cracking their heads open during a fall.

Screw heavy bookcases to the wall- we did after we caught the toddler climbing one of our floor to ceiling bookcases.

You can also get socket box covers from B&Q. The toddler thought it was funny to sit there repeatedly flicking the switches on the sockets.

Lock the inner door if you've got a porch on the front/back of the house. Having the neighbour come knocking because the contents of my handbag had been posted OUT of the front door wasn't funny

Oh, and don't make a huge thing of childproofing infront of the health visitors. I managed to get the HV in a huge flap and trigger a 'home safety' visit, because I admitted to not having a lock on the cutlery drawer or on the cupboard under the sink.

Only because all the cutlery is kept on top of the 5 foot tall fridge freezer, washing up liquid and table spray are kept on the windowsill behind the sink, and anything cleaning product wise is kept in the back porch cupboard behind TWO locked doors. But she still got in a huge flap

shrinkingnora Tue 24-Jan-12 13:04:54

Make sure you have one totally safe space you can pen them into in case the doorbell rings, you suddenly realise you haven't weed all day or there is an emergency.

phyllisdiller Tue 24-Jan-12 13:09:48

Sudocrem!!!! Keep it out of reach, it is a bugger to get out of carpet, hair, teddy bears and toys. Particularly annoying on wallpaper. Generally when they do get hold of it they will get it on all of the things listed and more.

For above also substitute sudocrem any substance that feels nice between the hands and would smear well.

SuperSesame Tue 24-Jan-12 13:46:09

My toddler has just discovered the oven and has a nasty mark on his head when opening the door and the corner cutting his forehead.
Luckily it wasn't on at the time. But is there any special oven safely tool to keep it closed? I presume the regular cupboard locks won't work as they are plastic and would melt.

we have a stairgate on kitchen leftover from DD1. DD2 is with CM during the week so we only have 2 days to 'worry' about. DP makes a huge cushion ringed area for DD2 in weekends smile - I don't grin

My main concern are small bits from DD1's toys - they seem to be getting smaller & smaller as DD2 is getting more mobile. We are all vigilant about those.

toddlerama Tue 24-Jan-12 14:32:04

Have one area that is totally, totally safe so that you can shower/wee/answer door and relax about the rest, because you will be there!

Hot drinks only go at the back of kitchen work surfaces and pens are contraband.

The best tip would be declutter. If you don't have 'stuff' everywhere, the things that are a risk become very obvious.

Clear the dining table completely, straight after the meal, every time, because yanking the table cloth off and taking everything with it is a specialty angry

kitcatcandy Tue 24-Jan-12 16:36:06

We did all the normall stuff, but just wanted to add that we installed sash-jammers on the doors and any windows that you didn't have to be a genius to open.

They are little upvc swivel locks, that you fit really high up, and just twizel to lock.

They mean that your front door for example, is dead easy to lock from the inside, without using the key, and the lock is out of reach from little hands. But you don't have to go fumbling around for your well hidden key if the postman calls.

When they get to door opening age, and key twiddling age, it's good to know thy can't open the front door while you pop for a wee!

Great advice here but I would add -

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS empty the bath immediately. Standing water is a toddler magnet and (I don't need to tell you) extremely dangerous.

I got in the habit of pulling the plug before taking DC's out of the bath early on. I'm still paranoid about it and they are now 8 and 5!

elephantsteaparty Tue 24-Jan-12 18:04:55

Check for switches within reach, esp of freezers. A friend's son found a switch he could turn on and off at will (there was even a light that came on and off - such fun!). Friend didn't notice for a few days and then discovered everything had defrosted. Not fun!

glamourmama Tue 24-Jan-12 18:05:49

Oh and make sure blinds don't have dangly string cords, read too many horrible stories bout that and always cut grapes in half!

fluffylegs Tue 24-Jan-12 18:21:27

Someone wise once told me up respond to baby exploration as it happens, rather than pre empt it. I was all ready to spend ££ on baby proofing kits but my DD is totally uninterested in many (potentially) dangerous or unsuitable things. Never bothered with plugs ( I have a feeling if there were covers she'd be interested in pulling them off), the oven, heavy kitchen downward dropping cupboards etc. I have a decoy drawer in the kitchen and fill it with crap that she likes pulling out. She does like posting iphones down the loo though so that has been an expensive lesson for me.

fluffylegs Tue 24-Jan-12 18:22:39

But I did move a bit of furniture including easily climbing stuff away from windows, and horrid corners.

wonkylegs Tue 24-Jan-12 18:44:25

I didn't really do much baby proofing mostly because many of the baby proof gadgets are also arthritis proof so would have kept me out too grin
Did remove (& still do ) all pens for kid height.
We have a catch on the knife drawer but that's it really.
Make sure furniture is sturdy and not pull overable if not I'd fix it to the wall.
Don't leave sharp / hot / dangerous things at kid height and make sure guests & relatives are reminded of this.
Everybody criticised me for not having a stair gate but actually DS learnt to use the stairs properly very very rapidly and confidently. We have had 1 fall in 3.5 yrs and that's because he was messing around.

woopsidaisy Tue 24-Jan-12 18:53:21

Wow! We have been so lucky. I had a stair gate-we have a very big first flight of stairs,old Victorian house,and a fireguard in TV room. And that was it. Mine never opened a cupboard or press door without me. DS1 didn't even work out how to climb onto a table via a chair until he saw a friend from school do it! He was so impressed! grin

MistressFrankly Tue 24-Jan-12 19:28:49

Make a habit of closing the bathroom door.

I learnt this the hard way when i found DD had got hold of a my purse and emptied the contents down the loo.

My friend learnt this after DD decided to brush her dogs teeth and covered the long suffering but doting beast with toothpaste. He then bounded round the living room, on the sofa, rolled on the rug...Do you have any idea how far a new tube of toothpaste be spread? My friend does. Not good when your living room rug/fabric sofa/curtains are black. Oopsy.

CharlieBoo Tue 24-Jan-12 20:25:22

Yes agree with above poster, accidents are just that and you can't pre-empt them all, my dd tripped over my foot at 16 months old and lost her front tooth, no baby proofing can stop all accidents. However, all the obvious stuff...anything they can pull onto themselves need to be moved/made secure, any cleaning products and medicines need to be locked away, I didn't have a coffee table when my two were babies as they always banged their heads on my mums... any drawers they can access need to be investigated by you for anything dangerous, hot water pipes below radiators are hazardous when hot. Any cords (straighteners/hairdryers, kettle, toaster etc) need to be out of reach. Good luck

cairnterrier Tue 24-Jan-12 20:26:33

Teach 'NO!' and 'STOP!' as soon as you can do in a voice That Must Be Obeyed. Can be applied in all sorts of situations that you previously hadn't thought of.

Oh and a toddler death stare is also useful.

Donner Tue 24-Jan-12 20:31:33

Watch out for those bar extension cord things with the multiple sockets on them. Our sockets are safe because to open the bottom live hole you have to put a prong in the earth hole at the top. If a plug is put in upside down in one of the extension bars then the bottom holes will be opened and the live exposed, vv dangerous (couldn't happen on normal wall sockets cause the wall is in the way)

Lock external doors! Even if you think they don't know how or can't reach yet, once they summon the motivation I rekcon they can will themselves to grow! I was feeding newborn dd and commenting inside my head about how peaceful it was then realised it was too peaceful. On inspection the front door had been unlocked and opened and DS (1.5) was 10 doors down in someones drive petting a cat, cue me tearing down the street, no shoes, jammy bottoms, nursing bra unclipped!

itspeanutbutterjellytime Tue 24-Jan-12 20:55:21

I taught 'can I have that please, ds?' from a very early age. He is now 15mo and hands anything over without complaint. That's a useful one. I also have a good death stare and a lot of stuff can be dealt with by a firm 'no!'

We live in a townhouse and would need about 7 stairgates... So we just don't bother. He climbs the stairs only under supervision and if he wanders out there on his own he looks at the stairs, shakes his head and says 'nawtee' and wanders back in. I find stairgates and other baby proofing items actually lend themselves to fascination about what's forbidden.

JollySergeantJackrum Tue 24-Jan-12 21:53:14

I have discovered that my house is not childproof. Every time I think it is, the little sod clever thing learns to do something else. Remember to re-evaluate when he learns to pull up onto his feet, grows taller, learns to climb...

As I can't watch DS for all his waking hours, we have stair gates top and bottom. It is very important not to have small (toddler mouth size) things at floor level. Like coins. Or batteries. And our HV pointed out that dishwasher tablets look like sweets but are terribly caustic.

Oh and another thing to remember is that if you're lucky enough to have one of the ones that doesn't climb much/is fairly good at learning what they mustn't touch, you will need to be EXTRA vigilant if you have other children visiting, as you might not be set up for what they might do.

DS and DD were both fairly predictable and not big climbers, but one of DS's friends was like spiderman and could be guaranteed to climb up to the knives you didn't think he could reach or whatever! Apparently at home he would climb up to kitchen worktops and try to put the kettle on shock

notcitrus Tue 24-Jan-12 23:09:55

Another warning about Other Children, and locking external doors very high up.
Ds, being short, couldn't reach the handle to open the front door even at 2.6. Even standing on a stool, which he thought of pretty rapidly.

However when tall dn, 3 months older, was staying one weekend, I overheard [clunk] "Stand there. Pull dat. Pull the shiny bit." followed by huge giggling that got fainter - and legged it out to find both boys at the other end of the path turning onto the pavement...

And of course ds looking angelic saying "I didn't open the door!" as I hauled them back inside.

Ds just needs a white cat to be an excellent supervillain - he's recently (age 3) been trying to get dn to help open a stairgate - it's a two-handed job for an adult so they need to cooperate. It's only luck they haven't managed it, actually, but now all it protects is MrNC's chance of a lie-in!

Honeydragon Tue 24-Jan-12 23:14:13

Gather everything you treasure at present and place it in a card board box. Give ds a rolling pin and bag of flour. Leave room for exactly 5 minutes.

Clean up ds, throw box and contents away wincing it the tinkly smashy sound. Replace items when ds is 23.

HTH grin

Oh yes that reminded me we had another small visitor recently who opened the stairgate and headed upstairs! He was old enough to be quite safe on the stairs, but it was lucky DD didn't notice and follow him up before we spotted it.

Saying that, the (adult) ILs were also terrible at keeping the gates shut when they came for Christmas, and they all have children (and have or used to have stairgates), so no idea why that was!

isitmidnightalready Tue 24-Jan-12 23:39:01

One thing to watch out for, and i don't know how to avoid it, is DC pulling open drawers and then climbing up them. My DD did this and brought the whole case down on herself, fortunately it stopped on a piece of furniture but she was still under it behind a door and it was hard to shift from outside the door. Very scary and has been fatal elsewhere. Maybe a good hook screwed into the wall and secured to the back of the chest of drawers. I have one of these on my cooker to stop it falling if a heavy load is placed on the open oven door.

I've also got circuit breaker plugs on all wall sockets that have an extension lead fitted. Didn't fancy spilling a cup of anything into the 4 plug extension socket. In this way, if it is damaged like this, it will trip out the circuit breaker and stopany current getting through. 12 quid in B&Q - but it does look attractive if visible to a child as it is orange and black with a lovely button on the front.

blondieminx Wed 25-Jan-12 00:12:05

heh ^ what cairnterrier said. I agree and have done the same with DD who's now 2. It means that your little adventurer can then also be taken out and about easily to unchildproofed places!

HSMM Wed 25-Jan-12 09:09:49

Remember they have telescopic arms and can collect things that seem way out of reach.

The info on socket covers is really interesting, thanks!

What about electric cables/phone lines? My son is drawn to them like a bee to honey. Even with his razor sharp teeth, could he realistically chew through the insulation?

marshmallowpies Wed 25-Jan-12 10:17:05

The house I grew up in had a York stone fireplace in the sitting room (70's tastic) with lots of sharp edges - I can't remember an age when I didn't know that the fireplace was out of bounds; in fact the sitting room door was mostly always closed so it was kept strictly as a room for 'sitting' in to watch TV or read, not a playroom. I seem to remember I played mostly in the very dark narrow hall sad

We are preparing for PFB's arrival so will be some way off the crawling stage but I'm already paranoid - downstairs is all open plan so I think we'll have to have a baby gate permanently in the archway leading to the sitting room to keep that out of bounds. Most plug sockets in there are obscured by bits of furniture but the extension socket we use for plugging in phones, iPad etc is easily accessible.

Our coffee tables are very small and lightweight (sort of like folding picnic tables) so they'll have to be put out of use temporarily. There are also some bits of furniture upstairs that are quite top heavy - a chest of drawers and shelf unit - so those will have to go into storage to stop them being pulled over. Also worried about the TV as the TV stand lends itself very nicely to being climbed on - we don't have enough wall space for a wall mounted TV.

Am hoping we might have managed to move house by the time PFB is at crawling stage!

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 25-Jan-12 11:05:19

[snort] at honey dragon,s theory of child proofing grin

Bumpsadaisie Wed 25-Jan-12 11:20:39

Depends on the child. My DD must have been very safety conscious as all we did with her was stairgates. The only injuries she has suffered ever (apart from the usual bumped knees etc) were related to her learning to walk - fell head first and scraped her nose.

Have a DS too now (12 weeks). Watching him swat his parrot in his baby gym at the moment, I am sure he might well require more babyproofing!

marshmallowpies Wed 25-Jan-12 11:46:52

Shutting the bathroom door will be a real annoyance for me as our bathroom is not well ventilated, so we keep the door open after showering as a matter of course to let the room air.

We also have a clothes dryer on the landing which a child could very easily pull over when it's loaded with clothes - think we might have to shut off upstairs completely. Luckily we have a downstairs loo with a handle that's quite difficult to open so I can nip for a wee without going upstairs.

fishcakefoxtrot Wed 25-Jan-12 12:15:14

DD is pretty small for her age. I find having her slightly taller, more mobile friends round to play was an excellent way of finding out the hazards we would soon encounter wink

howlongwilltheynap Wed 25-Jan-12 13:11:48

My downstairs was already baby proof because I had house rabbits grin - so furniture was arranged so plug sockets and wires were covered, nothing breakable within rabbit jumping height etc. My friend found her DD with the little rubbery bit from the end of the door stop (you know, those boingy ones, all crawlers discover them), ours had long since been nibbled off by the bunnies.

We have a gate over the kitchen door, became essential once we had toddler + newborn - even if you lock the cupboards there is still the oven and once they are high enough the knobs to turn the hob on etc.

I second fishcake - get a moving baby round and see what they find!

I've got 2 stair-gates and a rubber band round the chemical cupboard in the kitchen. Thought I would teach DS No and STOP but he seems to have selective hearing.....

A second request for any info on oven door catchers if anyone has found some?

VMumToBe Wed 25-Jan-12 15:50:13

We live in an old cottage (steep stairs, wood burning stove, low sockets etc etc) and got to the point where it was impossible to baby proof everything.

Why not proof the child rather than the house?

After ages looking we discovered the mothercare hexagonal playpens can be combined to make a large area. We created a "play den" for DS from two of them (around 8ft by 10ft I guess) with a few choice toys, treasure boxes, different textures, mobile, lights etc. After a few days of us going into play with him he sees it as his place. We keep revolving the toys so he finds new stuff in there too which helps interest levels. He will generally play in there for at least 5 mins at a time (enough time to go to loo, put on another load of washing, prep a bit of food etc) before wanting to tear the house up again, but will then return to the place if I go back in there, or if something else catches his eye...but I know he's "safe" in there...

DonkeyTeapot Wed 25-Jan-12 16:31:22

Really useful thread, I'm reading with interest as DD is not far off crawling. I had no idea about the socket covers, had been planning to get some - thanks to whoever linked that thing that covers the whole socket & switches, I think we will get some of those.

I suspect I will have to temporarily retire the coffee table - which is no bad thing really, I only dump junk on it. It'll be one less thing to tidy up!

howlongwilltheynap Wed 25-Jan-12 17:15:54

My friend visitng the other day commented that my house was looking a lot more 'minmalist' (I suspect she meant 'tidy') - it is because DS1 can reach every surface now so they are all clear of anything important/dangerous.

all4u Wed 25-Jan-12 17:25:36

No one is ever prepared! The only way is to watch them like a hawk and you soon see the dangers. But you can only leave a crawler unattended in a playpen - they are great but not for long periods obviously. No shortcuts I'm afraid as they can do things you would not even imagine were possible!

howcruelcanpeoplebe Wed 25-Jan-12 20:09:22

For those suggesting proof the child not the house it depends how much you have friends round and if they have more than one child and can supervise well or if their childs have SN.

I have stairgates etc just for when friends regularly come round as most of theirs are used to them but dont use them myself. There can be 6 mums with a couple of kids each so I would prefer to be relaxed that I have done everything to prevent any possible harm such as wardrobes/shelves fixed to walls.

I would feel dreadful if something happened to a toddler whilst the mum was feeding or changing a new born baby for example and I was making teas. I like the kids to be able to move freely from playroom, lounge, kitchen, garden and not have my friends feeling concerned and I can feel relaxed.

BlackSwan Wed 25-Jan-12 20:12:18

These finger savers for doors are excellent as they prevent a toddler from slamming their fingers in a door or from getting their fingers stuck near the hinges (as the door can't slam shut). They're also portable - you only really need a couple & can shift them around the house depending on where you need them. Take them with you on visits to family or on holiday. We didn't & ended up in the emergency room...

PastGrace Wed 25-Jan-12 22:09:58

Not sure if it helps anyone, but I had a rented flat last year where the oven had a special child proofing function. I posted on here about it (no baby child in the flat) because I had accidentally pressed the right combination of buttons and had blocked it. It basically disabled the oven so you could twizzle all the dials and push the buttons but the oven didn't turn on.

Anyone looking to replace their oven and worrying about this might find it useful, otherwise it's an expensive bit of child-proofing. And I can't remember the make of oven. But they do exist <unhelpful>

SootySweepandSue Wed 25-Jan-12 22:17:43

I'm really surprised about people not bothering with plug sockets. They cost a few pounds. I believe the danger is not with fingers but with children trying to stick other items in them.

AlfalfaMum Wed 25-Jan-12 22:47:41

Make sure bookshelves etc are attached to walls, a coasting baby can easily pull them down onto them <shiver>
Also, make sure anything on shelves that a baby can reach is soft and light and harmless.

JellicleCat Thu 26-Jan-12 00:59:25

Beware low level house plants. Excellent for digging in and eating soil and plant! I put circles of cardboard over the soil which stopped the digging, eating the plant seemed to be easier to stop. DD survived anyway.
You can't make any house completely safe and even if you can other people's houses won't be, especially if they don't have crawlers/toddlers - grandparents' houses can be a particular nightmare.

BlackSwan Thu 26-Jan-12 06:51:15

Agree sootysweep - my plugs are covered. Think some of the comments further up about them being useless really depend on the variety of plug you have. Our plug covers are so secure I nearly break a nail getting them off. There's no way my DS could get the cover off.

byhec Thu 26-Jan-12 07:13:12

I don't have socket covers...and my DD is not atall interested in sockets, I do wonder if they are less attractive to a small child without the covers in?
Also, we don't have cupboard locks in the kitchen (although we've made sure the contents of the cupboards are ok should she get in) and she's not really interested.
We have got stairgates, but that is laziness from my point of view as I can't always be bothered to go and get her from halfway up the stairs! And a playpen is handy if you need to put them somewhere safe for a few mins.
Personally, I think it's better to teach the child (and not stop the child) so they know how to behave in other houses, it's worked ok so far with us but maybe we are lucky!

bbface Thu 26-Jan-12 07:19:04

Keep laundry liquid tabs out of sight and reach. In fact, do not buy them!

When ds was 11 months he loved having a nose in the washing machine. I had stupidly stupidly stupidly forgotten that I had thrown a load in there, put the tab in there, but had not turned it on. He bit in to the tab and it exploded over his face. I shall never forget the noise he made and the sight of him turning to me.

Cut a long story short, it turns out they are VERY bad for eyes. If it had happened to an adult, they would have incurred permanent damage. Because a baby has so many rejuvanating stem cells on the surface of their eyes, my ds experienced excruciating pain, an eye wash out at a and e, and 48 hours of nost being able to open his eyes BUT no permanent damage. All ok now but utterly terrifying at the time.

The tabs look very and feel very interesting to a baby / toddler (sometimes the boxes are even emblazened with Disney characters fgs!), so pls be alert.

LouisefromGOSH Tue 31-Jan-12 10:23:38

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

naturalbaby Tue 31-Jan-12 10:35:05

My main thing was to move everything up or to the edges of the room. Our house did become very minimal but has slowly filled up with more and more and more enormous toys.

I did read a horror story on another forum about a baby that managed to climb up and out of it's cot and onto the chest of drawers next to the cot. It then slipped down the back of the chest of drawers.
A friend of mine's baby climbed out the cot and landed on a very hard toy on the floor and got a nasty cut on it's head. We have foam mats, like the ones you get with letters and numbers in but much bigger and cheaper off ebay. We have them near the bed/cot in case they fall out and a set for the patio in the garden.

Rusulka Tue 31-Jan-12 13:03:53

I've been following this with interest (9wks pg) and have been taking notes, but just realised with horror that my victorian terrace's garden has a drop off from the concrete stand to the patio which is approx. 2 feet. Eep!

Any tips on garden-proofing to add in?

Guess I could line up a series of epic heavy plant pots, lol.

Not that I'm going to let our baby crawl outside and around the garden unsupervised (they'd eat my plants) but I like to be well-armed and prepared!

ChocoChip Thu 02-Feb-12 21:02:15

My son's just become mobile and is simply fascinated by the switches on our sockets. He's already managed to turn our fridge freezer and satellite receiver off a few times.
I've found a great product on amazon - it's called Universal Socket Switch Protector. It's so simply to use and certainly stops his little fingers from playing with the socket switches.

strippybear Sun 05-Feb-12 20:25:54

My daughter is forever turning off my alarm clock at the socket switch. A friend recommended socket covers but i didn't fancy unscrewing the wall socket to fit it. The Universal Socket switch protector you mentioned seems easy to fit and if it means not getting up late for work again I'll give it ago.

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