Friday, May 16, 2014

A Happy Home + Baby Proofing Tips

Baby proofing.
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Just the sound of it makes me wanna steer clear and proceed with caution. I mean that's also kind of how we as parents feel when our kids decide to become rebels with no cause.
When Lola hit 6 months I was pretty sure she would just be one of those babies that all of sudden started sprinting marathons around my living room. So I did a lot of research on styles of baby proofing and whatnot and got absolutely no where. But it was okay because Lola wasn't "getting anywhere," either. I had LOTS of time to figure it out in my head...and more clicking away at the keyboard for more worthless parenting tips.
I decided about two months ago to give my own swing of things a whirl. I also got this unrealistic fantasy in my head that Lola was going to stay stationary until she was punishable. I got crowned one of "lucky ones," when Lola celebrated 10 months of life with crawling around and around our living room. I now hope that all the future kids I bear decide to wait as long as possible to become mobile. I can't imagine attempting to discipline a 6 month old. Dear goodness.
Anyways, with all that aside...I'm going to share with you my little perspective of baby proofing. I almost want to alter the name of the damn word because I think it's rather intimidating to new parents. Especially when you're staring at a whole aisle of thingamobs and thingamajigs to pretty much turn your home into a giant safe...and then soon enough you're locked out of your own bathroom potentially wetting yourself in humiliation.
SO let's not even go down that road.

1. Minimize

I don't mean to completely dump out all your favorite fragile goods, but if there are certain things that are just not doing it for you anymore then just get rid of it. I took this new transformation for our home as a way of clearing out all the junk in our lives. If you're not in love with it, just say goodbye to it.

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2. Re-organize

Your baby is little. We are not so little. So just work accordingly. I have two bookcases in my living room. One that holds an infinite (I swear) amount of books and the other ones is a trinket collector. In the actual book case I left the last shelf for all of Lola's books. The trinket collector has four stages (shelves) 
The first (top) stage: blu-ray and cable box home, tall and top heavy items, extreme breakables
The second stage: little trinkets, slightly heavy items and more breakables
The third stage: Picture frames and more decor that is light and unbreakable
The fourth stage: four box cubbies filled with Lola's toys
My old set up would have been a destroyed in seconds. And the funny thing is, I enjoy this set up so much's cleaner and more functional. I also had to eliminate a bunch of breakables and heavy items from my coffee table as well, so just don't forget every surface. Crawl around like a baby if you have to and you will begin to see the lovely world through your baby's eyes.
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3. The Baby Proofing aisle

This really is different for every household. All I know is that back in the day they didn't have an exorbitant amount of gadgets to prevent your child from every little thing. I think it was actually called discipline. I just hope the next thing they come out with isn't a lifesize bubble because I think that's what the expectations are nowadays. I bought the plug in shields, not sure if that's the correct terminology, but it'll do. I also bought this oven lock thingie because I have a major fear of the oven myself. I think I've just been burned too much for my own good. I have NOT opened it not sure how it does it's duties. And that brings me to the kitchen....
I went through a mental list of all the places in my home that are on the "not so baby friendly" list. The number one for me is the kitchen. 
1. My laundry room is connected to the kitchen. 
2. Cleaning supplies are a no no.
3. The oven...period.
So I definitely say YES to baby gates, especially the ones that you can latch and have a little walkthrough. I actually plan on building our own baby gate out of wood..well talking Ryan into building it. But they have many many different baby gates all over the internet and in stores. 

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4. Playpens

They work for some people, especially the ones that have a lot of space for that kind of stuff. My apartment isn't suitable so I've went to extreme measures to get Lola's room as baby friendly as possible. So her bedroom walls act as a "playpen" of sorts. So if I'm choppin' up carrots or vaccuming or doing the dishes and whatnot she can freely play in her giant sized, built in "play pen." I actually have grown to like it this way because I don't have a big obstruction in my living room and it brings me back to the word minimize. Just keep it as simple as possible. Lola's bedroom has a toy chest, a cubby book shelf with more cubby blocks filled with toys and more of her book collection. Her room is totally accessible to her and gives her full range to play and explore. 

5. Disicipline

I think a lot of people forget that the origin of baby proofing comes from discipline. Although your baby may be young they can sense a change in your voice. A stern "no" a few times can go along way. I have this small owl votive holder on the third stage of my trinket bookshelf. Lola will go to grab it and I say "Lola, that's not a toy," and her hands instantly go back to her sides. Sometimes it's not the case and it takes a few no's and me pulling her away to get her to understand, but she's slowly understanding. I show her where her toys are and the difference. It may sound crazy people, but it really works. Lola doesn't have much interest any more for the other stuff on the shelves and when she does find interest in it she looks to me before she reaches for it and I always follow with a slight no and she knows not to. That applies for everything. I know discipline can be tricky sometimes, but if you want something to stick with your kids just be consistent and it will click with them. 

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6. A Place for Everything

This is a little off topic, but I think it also slightly falls under the baby proofing thing to me. Not only is baby proofing a way of making your home safe it also is making your home a home for your little one. I am an organization everything that I own has a place. I know this so why can't Lola know this? She has a wicker basket filled with toys, a metal bin filled with her favorite stuffed animals and a whole corner for her in the living room. If you start at a young age to keep her stuff organized within your stuff then I think it makes for a happy home. 

These are all the things that I searched the internet for and couldn't seem to find. These are all the things that saved my house from becoming a baby jail. I hope some of these things help you save your house and save your sanity!

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