Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Baby Proofing

We've taken on a lot of pretty major projects in the last couple of weeks here at the Belly Babbles house, but one of the main ones at the top of the list was getting the house baby-proofed. Banana Bean got very mobile VERY quickly so we were scrambling to get at least some of the rooms safe for her.

In terms of products, I finally sat down one night and read reviews and product information until my brain was mush and my eyes were crossed. Oy! But it was time well spent, because I was able to get all the basic equipment, and also some products that worked really well for some of the more "problem" areas of our home. Here's a run-down of the products that we purchased- hopefully it will help give some of the other mobile-kid mommas out there a jump-start on their shopping research!

1. Fireplace - we have a raised brick gas fireplace. I wanted something that would help protect her little noggin from the brick edges, and also keep her from eating the fake ashes and stuff in there. After reading very mixed reviews on the foam edging that you can buy, I opted to spend a little more and get the North States Superyard 3 in 1 Metal Gate. This gate fit perfectly around our fireplace, is very very sturdy even without screwing it into the wall, and we can easily take it down if we have people over and want to de-kid the living room.

2. Gates - we've got a gate at the top of the stairs, and also blocking off the front part of the house. I wanted gates that would automatically close behind us, and that were strong, and easy for an adult to open. We opted for the Dreambaby Swing Gates. I love the added bonus of keeping Captain K contained too - I should have bought these years ago, haha.

3. Gate Stairway Installation Kit- as most babyproofing parents come to realize, you're not supposed to rely on a pressure mount for the top of staircases. Although our gates came with installation hardware, we discovered that with the curved spindles of our staircase, we couldn't get a sturdy installation, even with the screws. We ended up going back and purchasing this Kidco stairway installation kit...I just wish we had figured this out before we drilled holes in the stairs! Oh well.

4. Furniture Anchor Straps - We have a couple of tall bookcases and dressers that Anna has already expressed interest in pulling on, so we bought some sturdy straps to help anchor them to the walls.

 5. Bed Rails - While Banana sleeps in her crib 99% of the time, there are the occasional naps, thunderstorms, and traveling where she ends up in our bed. She usually sleeps snuggled up in the crook of my arm, but I did want at least a little extra reassurance that she wouldn't fall off the bed. This was especially the case at the in-laws' house and our master bedroom where we have fairly high beds. I bought Dex Products bed rails, that were a cinch to install and will be easy to travel with us when we go out of town. From casual conversations with other mommas, it seems like it's really really rare to find a baby that doesn't spend ANY time in the parents' bed, so I think everyone should take a look at these.

6. Cabinet locks - We installed Kidco magnetic locks on any of the "dangerous" cabinets, and then also in our pantry cabinets (because of the pull-out shelves). Basically, once the locks are installed, you slide a magnet key over the front of the cabinet and then the lock disables, and you can open it. Steve had no problem at all installing these, you can't see them from the outside, and if you've got the key, it's a cinch to open them. SO much better than those awful 80's clip locks that we had when we were kids!!!

7. Outlet plugs - this was one of the first babyproofing steps that we took. All of these seemed pretty similar so I just randomly picked some off Amazon that had good reviews. I got a ton of the Mommy's Helper outlet plugs and then also some of the Kidco Outlet covers for outlets that always have something plugged into them.

Beyond these basic things, I've learned that babyproofing is a gradual process and I'm sure that we'll add and change things in the future. For now though, I think our bases are pretty well covered!!


Robin said...

Thanks for this!!! We are about to do some babyproofing around our house as well, since Eva is constantly on the move. This is some great info!

Nicole said...

Those swing gates are awesome - Marc's cousin had those in their house and we were both obsessed with them...once we figured out how to open them (when we first got there, we notice Marc was "missing" turns out he was stuck upstairs and couldn't get the gate open...hehe!).