Back in the days before I was a parent and thought I knew all about parenting, I would boldly declare how people shouldn’t baby-proof everything in their home. I would emphasize how kids needed to understand there are things they can’t touch and how when visiting other people’s homes they would need to understand they couldn’t touch and thus break, everything in the world. Which, by the way, I picked up from my own mother and her methods that apparently worked with us. All the motherly wisdom I eagerly spewed onto actual parents, pre-motherhood, has gone to hell in a handbag!
Some of my pre-parenting declarations sounded completely rational:
plans to pump from day-one in order to share nighttime duties with baby-daddy,
plans to not use pacifiers,
plans to employe the cry it out method,
plans to just bring the kids along and put them to sleep wherever, “let them adjust to our lifestyle instead of us to theirs”,
And plans to be all Montessori and not baby-proof my home….
Those turned into co-sleeping, pacifiers everywhere, again CO-SLEEPING, and me adjusting my whole world and anyone that wants to be in it…around toddler nap and bed-time. And last but not least LOCKING MY WHOLE FUCKING HOUSE DOWN!
The daily routine was to tell my toddler “NO” to “my drawers” and re-directing him to “his drawer” or his tupperware cabinet in the kitchen a couple hundred times a day. All the while, up and down, toting my latched and nursing newborn in arms off the couch, in effort to respond immediately to his blatant disregard of my counsel. After the millionth time…I told Tomas to “LOCK IT DOWN!!! EVERYTHING!! LOCK IT ALL DOWN.”
My son has since hacked 3 different kinds of baby-proof locks. Two kinds of locks he breaks and the third he opens and then breaks. We have now
become the baby-proofer guru’s and even adults can’t figure out how to get into anything in our home. We have 4 tall baby gates, and everything from doors, pantry, garbage cans, cabinets, dishwasher, fridge, freezer, oven, bureaus and wall units LOCKED DOWN.
I realize not every parent is lucky enough to have a little hacker child like mine. Some children don’t require extra tall baby gates and can’t open bolt-locks at 1.5 yrs old. Some don’t pry out the electrical socket protectors before 1 yrs old. Some children don’t spot the tiny “unlocked” light on the water-ice dispenser on the fridge, EVERY-TIME you forget to hold it down forever to activate it. Or stretch on their tippy toes to hold down the dispenser and flood the kitchen fifty times a day. Some children haven’t hacked their seat belts on highchairs and strollers before they’re 2. Some children listen to the word “NO”. This is not for those parents!
This is for the lucky parents of the wild ones… who absolutely give no Effff’s about the rules; or your “crazy eyes” look, tyrannical “nooooo” screams, redirecting, time-outs/time-ins, positive praise up the whazuuu, or the last-resort spanking you said you would never do. Here are my sanity savers and toddler un-hackables.
Onward!! Towards the two’s. I can barely wait to see what those have in store!
Sanity Savers thus far:
and the following
What we affectionately refer to as “THE STRAIGHT JACKET”- A must have!
The Ergobaby Original 3 Position Baby Carrier Marinehas been and remains a life saver for us.
For small babies we use it on our chest, I could comfortably breastfeed with it on, and it has a flap to support their heads while sleeping. Its comfortable because their weight is distributed on both shoulders. And you can get it off with them in it if they fall asleep.
For larger babies and toddlers you can wear them on your back comfortably and contain them happily. Its way more compact than a stroller and my kids are instantly calmed and content in “the straight jacket”.
The -thus far un-hackable baby proofer.
Munchkin Xtraguard Dual Action Multi Use Latches, 2 Count
Strong and the only latch my hacker hasn’t hacked. We use them on everything including doors to the outside. I also like that they can be opened with one hand.
The Door Monkey Door Lock and Pinch Guardfor interior doors worked for a while, he eventually hacked them by force, but I still recommend them. They are easy to take on and off and prevent fingers getting slammed but also prevent them from opening the door, like to the bathroom. They can also be opened with one hand. He hacked them by repeatedly butt bumping the door until the door monkey gives way by breaking it.
My favorite baby gate of the four different kinds we have. Is the Dreambaby Chelsea Extra Tall Auto Close Security Gate in White. This gate is tall, the door is wide enough, and my favorite part is that the door opens in or out and automatically shuts itself behind you. The latch is a pull back and lift and can also easily be opened with one hand.