Accidents Happen: How Baby Proofing Helps Control ThemDiana Stone
When Bella was under a year old, I realized the massive amount of baby proofing that we thought we had to do was actually pretty minimal. We needed to keep the floor clear of things she could choke on, put some rubber covers on the edges of sharp things, and the most importantly…
At first I didn’t really think we needed these. She was with me all the time, she was still crawling and walking on and off, and she couldn’t reach anything in most of the rooms.
However, my husband installed a baby gate at the entrance of our apartment’s kitchen. He figured when he left to go to training for a few months, it would be a good idea to have her still in sight but not able to get into the kitchen area.
One night as I went to cook, I realized there was no way I could do it and watch her at the same time, all by myself. So I hooked up the attached gate, and there she sat. Wailing. Screaming. Holding onto it like I had put her in baby jail. I cooked and thought about whether the gate was really necessary.
Then the hot pan dropped as I turned and bumped the handle. It clattered onto the floor and my mind raced to all the times she’d been underfoot or crawling around. What if she’d been underfoot that night and it had hit her?
There are times we get so casual with our kid’s behavior and lack of activities gone wrong, we get so comfortable in our own parenting skills, that we forget an accident is called just that for a reason – it’s unplanned and unforeseen. There isn’t any way to prevent all of them, but looking back, dropped hot pans was something I should have thought through beforehand. Luckily, the gate was up.
We still use them, and Bella is 3 now. They come in handy for blocking rooms she doesn’t need to be in (like the one with the cat food she’s obsessed with playing in), and to keep her in areas when we’re working on things that might hurt her if she came out (like replacing a fan or vent). It allows us to still see and interact with her, and still know that she’s at a safe distance in a safe area.
We try to think through big “what if’s” now, because we can’t catch it all. And sometimes accidents and bumps are a part of life. She has to have the freedom to live and be without lots of rules or safety items all over the place, but when it comes to things that could serious damage, we can prevent it and we take those measures.
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