What We Think of Baby Proofing
We’ve never really understood this neurotic obsession with baby proofing. It always seemed to us like the Valentine’s Day of parenthood: something big companies invented and perpetuated to get you to spend money on ugly things you don’t really need. But after hearing a few reasonable parents admit that they baby proofed (albeit minimally), we decided to delve into some of the popular online tips for making sure your child doesn’t run headlong into a glass dining table. But what we found was list after list of Crazy Talk. So, we decided to create some baby proofing tips of our own.
Your baby’s mouth isn’t a mouth. It’s an abyss.
Apparently, your kid will and can eat everything. He will not discriminate between veg and non-veg, reptilian and Loch Nessian, plastic and metal. Which means not only must you rid your house of everything edible (eating is for weak parents), you must first redefine what you think is edible. Yes, traditional food is on the list. But also roaches and bugs, plants, pets (fur is tastier than we think), and cotton balls than can masquerade as cotton candy to toddlers who have never actually seen cotton candy (somehow they just know?). Basically, just live in a cardboard box. But make sure it’s a vitamin-fortified, 100% organic box, because even its walls are fair game for Junior to gnaw on with his insatiable maw.
Similarly, you have given birth to a wild animal, not a baby.
Babies will not spare anything that comes in their path. And physically taking something that they shouldn’t be touching from them is apparently out of the question. (How could you even SUGGEST?!) Vases, photo frames, sneakers — these will be destroyed without compunction. Smartphones? He will go ape wild on those, probably because he knows they are competition for parental affection. In case you were tempted to keep even one object of sentimental value in the cardboard box — no.
Your baby will erupt like a volcano from orifices you didn’t know existed.
Everything in the line of fire has a new sole purpose of being a spit-up cloth. Or a diaper. This includes your carpets, walls, furniture, curtains, pets, that one painting you love, that one painting you hate but Mahima Aunty gave it to you so you have to hang it up. All of it will be killed under a Mount Vesuvius-like flow of infant emanations. Our advice? Invest in full-body condoms for anything remotely valuable. Better still, go bare bones with your furnishings and au naturel with yourself; easier to clean, but watch out for splinters.
Your baby is a moth/70’s teen virgin to sharp objects’ flame/cult leader.
Apparently, babies only exist to seek out sharp objects and ram against them. Table edges, corners of mirrors, knives, decorative tribal spears. It doesn’t matter if you think they’re out of reach; they’re not and they’re all a threat to your child’s existence. So swathe her in foam and bubble wrap. Extra points for including at all times a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads with that adorable ensemble.
Your baby has the fine motor skills of a miniature furniture enthusiast.
If you think there’s no way your toddler can crack open any alcohol bottles, drugs, or cleaning solutions, you’re wrong. No, don’t argue. You’re wrong. You’ve moved the bottles out of reach? Still not good enough! Because babies apparently develop fine motor skills in the womb that — just given one chance — could allow them to reach the level of alcoholism appropriate to living in a cardboard box.
Every other human being is a walking threat to your child.
Just because a lot of people have had babies of their own doesn’t mean they still remember all the precautions they must take when visiting one. Chances are they’ve blocked out the whole event, and now roam around carrying Weapons of Child Destruction in their purse. Pat down all visitors for pain meds, make-up, hand sanitizer, socks, zippers, and notebooks. Or better yet, just keep the cardboard box visitor-free.
Or maybe just too busy doing other things. This is why you cook on the front burners of the stove and leave the kitchen while your toddler is in it. Or kindle a fire in the fireplace and leave your baby there to savour the rustic flames alone. Or leave your baby alone in the bathroom with the toilet seat up. You need to be told to only cook on front burners, to buy a fireplace gate or a toilet seat lock. But do you, really? Since babies can be custom-made, now, why not get one of the flame-retardant, fingerless models to begin with?
So in conclusion…
While there are no doubt some recommendations that are useful and save parents time and anxiety — like putting covers on electrical sockets, or getting a car seat (a must!) — the rest are designed to turn your house into a fortified bouncy castle, make you throw out anything you ever valued, and ensure even a PhD can’t get into your kitchen cabinets. That’s neither practical nor particularly helpful. Supervision where necessary is far more effective than childproofing your house. So, there’s one baby proofing tip this site will offer: Just keep an eye on your kid. Unlike those other sites, we know you can do it.