To Babyproof or not to Babyproof…now there’s a complicated question!

I recenty ran into this blog post entitled, “5 Ways to Stylishly Baby-Proof Your Appliances“.

Cool, I thought…finally someone is addressing the inherent unattractiveness of baby safety items.  But then I was struck by some of the items themselves…a lock for your dryer?

Don’t get me wrong…I’m all for making your baby’s living environment as safe as possible, but how long does your baby have to be out of your sight for him to figure out how to open your front-loading dryer, crawl in and close the door?

I’m sure the answer is “faster than you think” and there are probably many of you out there who can tell me some pretty wild stories about your toddler and front-loading dryers, but I’d think keeping an eye on your child and closing the door to the less than safe areas in your home (i.e. laundry room, garage) would be just as easy as installing a lock.  Am I wrong?

When I had my babies, I installed electric outlet protectors, a bumper around our very pointy-cornered coffee table, and a baby gate at the stairs…all of which were pretty ugly at the time.

Not to mention that every time I wanted to vacuum I’d break a nail trying to wrestle the outlet protector out and the coffee table bumper made me feel like I was a permanent resident of a mental hospital. But they gave me piece of mind, and for that, I was grateful.

So maybe I’ve just been out of the babyproofing stage for too long.

I was curious what others thought so I did a little online research and found that there IS a school of thought that the whole babyproofing business is a conspiracy to get inexperienced (and nervous) new parents to buy products they don’t really need.

Well, I don’t know about a conspiracy, but it IS big business (there are aisles dedicated to babyproofing at your local Babies ‘r Us or local hardware store).

I found this very funny blog post entitled, “You Can’t Babyproof Stupid” which is a humorous look at the babyproofing industry with tongue-in-cheek references to Britney Spears and her attempt to babyproof her home.

And from Babble.com, I found “To Hell with Babyproofing“, an account of one new mom’s just-say-no-to-babyproofing approach with a more introspective look at allowing a young child to explore his environment (with supervision).

And of course older generations would tell us that the whole babyproofing phenomenom wasn’t around when we were growing up and we turned out just fine (maybe with a few more scars).  In fact, this picture is of my little brother in his handy playplen…my mom’s answer to babyproofing before babyproofing was a word.

When she couldn’t watch him, she’d just plunk him in there to keep him out of harm’s way.  He’s now very smart and successful so I don’t think it did any harm.

Regardless of where you fall on the issue, the most important thing is to do what you feel comfortable with.  And even though there are no right or wrong answers, trust me when I say that your confidence will grow as you grow into a more experienced parent.  And then when our kids have babies, we’ll be telling them that even with our well meaning (but less than stellar) parenting, they turned out just fine.

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