Adventures in Foreign Baby Proofing

As baby girl nears her first birthday, it’s becoming abundantly clear I need to start some baby proofing up in here. Unlike her brother as an infant, Violet is an avid explorer. We call her “monkey arms” because no matter where we put things, she seems to find a way to reeeeeach them. And now that she’s mobile, she seems to have one task in mind:

Let’s break some shit!

This morning I left her in her room for five minutes, and I came back to a broken baby video monitor camera. Thankfully it still functions…and with a little scotch tape and a lot of patience, I might be able to adjust it again. In my attempts to rearrange her room to keep the camera out of monkey-arm reach, I managed to break her lamp. Sigh. It was turning into one of Those Days.

You’d think only having one outlet in her room would put as at an advantage on the baby-proofing front. Except she has a baby monitor, a sound machine, a lamp and a night light, and they all have to live in one spot in her room. Plus, we have an air conditioner in the wall that we can’t put the crib underneath, and it’s conveniently located near said outlet. But we need the monitor close to the crib. One extension cord and a power strip later, I think I found a solution. I’m hiding the mess of wires untidily behind the glider and table, and I’ve got an unsightly stack of boxes on which I’ve propped our mostly functioning monitor camera. You can tell this is our second child.

So now I’m on to baby gates. We live in a four-story townhouse, and the stairs are all unforgiving hard wood. I scored a few baby gates from a family on their way out of Athens, but they aren’t exactly fitting in the spaces we need them. For peace of mind, I’d at the very least like to gate the top of the stairs in the two places we spend the most time. But our entry way has a short, wide staircase that is going to be impossible to gate, so I feel like the whole thing is kind of hopeless. Some moms I’ve talked to say they never used gates. They just taught their children from a very early age to carefully descend stairs on their tummies. In just a few short months I’ve managed to nip the whole standing in the tub thing in the bud. Violet seems to catch on pretty quickly. So maybe just the two gates will do. Plus, I have an older child who is, shall we say, rather impatient, and I can just imagine the tantrums that will ensue the first time he can’t get the gates open. Thankfully, at least on the stairs, the elevator is an excellent workaround. Liam has finally gotten brave enough to ride in it himself…provided he has a step stool to aid in reaching the alarm button. You know, for SAFETY, mom.

Violet has yet to master the stairs, much less walking, so I’ve got a little time before my inevitable trip to the Jumbo for more provisions. I’m thinking that “baby fencing” might do in some of my larger spaces. Thankfully this is a fairly temporary phase, and before too long we can be rid of all this baby proofing stuff for good.

One thought on “Adventures in Foreign Baby Proofing

  1. Julie Weddle

    Don’t forget that your baby fencing can be a big piece of furniture in the way of a staircase, especially your big one by the entryway. Or you can turn tables around that have drawers that she opens all the time. Mostly , you just have to realize when she might not be watched as carefully and the dangers around her. I didn’t have baby gates but I would find a piece of cardboard that I could put in front of the doorways with some heavy stuff to hold it in place. And yes, the baby gates will frustrate Liam. They did me! Although your elevator could help! Looks like you may have a whole new experience with the curiosity gene that Violet seems to have! Didn’t I tell you that 2 kids can be so different?


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