One could argue that there are two kinds of parents in this world: the ones that are obsessed with baby proofing and the ones who shout "it will be okay" from the other room; and for the former, those posts about basic childproofing somehow just don't cut it. Sure, it is a scary world out there, and there are a lot of potential dangers that a little baby who is learning to crawl or walk can face, but for those parents, when it comes to protecting their little ones from household dangers, there is no such thing as overboard. No, for those babyproofing obsessed parents, nothing short of creating a bubble for their precious little ones seems good enough.
Well, we sat down with some of those safety-centric Moms and Dads and asked them to disclose the secrets behind their most extreme baby proofing ventures and how they (and their kids) survived them. And let's just say, the stories were nothing short of creative. So looking for foolproof ways to protect that new bundle of joy? Or perhaps just looking for where to draw the line? Read on for 20 ways parents have taken baby proofing to the extreme.
20 Hot? Cover Up
Parents Jackson and Trish really went to extreme lengths to cover the radiators in their home because Trish was so worried about what would happen during the winter months. "When I was pregnant with my first, I was paranoid about our radiators and was determined to build covers for them. I had terrible visions of my little toddler crawling up the burning hot metal rungs and getting third-degree burns," wrote Cynthia Dermody of her friend's experience.
In those old style homes those radiators can be really scary for a parent of a toddler on the move, but so can a cover that is potentially flammable.
19 Just In Case
Lenore Skenazy of the mom's blog Free Range Kids, was poking fun at mothers who sometimes go to the extreme by walking around with shoelaces and outlet covers in their purses just in case something needs to be baby proofed when they get to their destination with their curious child. It was all fun and games until we met a mom who actually does this.
"Always be prepared, that is the first thing I learned after I became a mom, having things in my bag to baby proof on-the-go saves everyone a headache and prevents me from apologizing for my daughter," said mother of Amy, Rachel Thomas.
18 Don't Move
Duct taping lamps to the floor and tables is a really messy way to ensure safe space for the kids; unless of course your decor is a rustic tan or masking tape grey then taping down your household items will only add to the decor. For extreme baby proofing this one takes the cake, one can only tape down so many things and for so long. I guess one should just hope that the little ones don't get too strong too quickly or they will be ripping the tape up from the surfaces. Not to worry, though, there are other extreme alternatives on this list.
17 Standing Room Only
Getting rid of the kitchen chairs and putting any other remaining chairs on top of desks and just out of reach may seem like an extreme measure to prevent the kids from climbing and possibly falling, but for some parents (like the extreme baby proofing advocates on Pinterest), it's just another day in their family home. Pinterest postings show remotes put away and all of the chairs in the home placed on the tables, just like a restaurant at the end of the night. Having standing room only in the living room or kitchen may be a bit of an inconvenience for parents looking to follow this extreme baby proofing measure, but everyone will be safe.
16 No More Knobs
What is it about toddlers and swinging doors? For some reason, babies get a kick out of grabbing on the handles of doors and pulling as hard as they can. Even opening doors that they are not supposed to seems to be thrilling. The extreme baby proofers solution? Take all of the knobs off all of the doors. Not only does this extreme baby hack limit privacy, but it also can make it hard for adults to get from room to room. It may be best to just invest in higher knobs or do like this other extreme baby proofer did and saw every door in half.
"We try to teach our kids that at home there aren't any boundaries, it also prevents them from running into the doors, so we sawed them in half," said Army mom Brittney Laimley.
15 Hard To Open
For mom and blogger Cynthia Dermody, coming home to an open refrigerator became somewhat of a regular occurrence. "I felt like I was permanently defrosting the fridge. We got to the point when we could only buy food that we would eat for that day, finally, we just took the handles off, it stopped him from opening it for a while." For extreme baby proofing, taking the handles off of the fridge is just about as far out there as one can get.
The hilarious part is, Cynthia's little one eventually figured out how to open the fridge without handles too. So it was only a temporary fix.
14 The Kitchen Is Closed
Nothing gives the impression of a closed kitchen quite like having a lock on the oven. For parents Tara and Jim, closing up the oven in a real way was the only way they felt they could prevent their one-year-old from becoming a part of dinner. "We tried everything, those baby lock tabs, those ready tabs on the doors, the only solution was to padlock it down. We're not proud, but our daughter is safe."
Seriously padlocks may be a bit extreme when it comes to baby proofing but as they said, at least their little one is safe. Just be sure to set a timer.
13 Power Struggle
When it comes to extreme baby proofing, can you imagine not having any electrical appliances in your home? Some parents have reported hiding or taping down all of their power chords or just plugging things into high places to avoid their little ones tugging, biting, or probing at power chords. Sure power chords can be dangerous but hiding them from the home is a bit extreme.
For Anna, the mother of a 3-year-old boy, going without power chords means days with no phone charged before work, no computer and no internet at home. All of these things can make it pretty complicated to exist in normal society, especially if one has to work.
12 Clean Living
Nothing is scarier than walking in on your little one sitting down chugging the bottle of cleaning liquid that was stowed away underneath the kitchen sink. When standard baby proofing tricks like cabinet locks for babies don't seem to keep your little one out, extreme baby proofing parents go to a whole new level and throw out all of the products and decide to switch to an only vinegar solution to clean their homes. Vinegar and baking soda are really awesome, healthier cleaning products, that will surely have less serious side effects on your little ones but going without the real liquid plumber sounds extreme, even for me.
11 Going Up?
We've all seen the baby gates, the metal, plastic, heavy duty, seemingly impenetrable baby gates that prevent the kids from falling down the stairs when upstairs or tripping up the stairs when downstairs. But if you have a little one who is particularly driven to take on the challenge of unlocking the gates and venturing into the unknown, some extreme baby proofing parents have taken it to the next level by actually moving their family to a one story home.
Selling the house to avoid falls is quite possibly the most extreme level of baby proofing parents can take in order to ensure the safety of their little ones.
10 Home Transformation
Extreme baby proofing took on a whole new level when father of two Tim Mathews, turned his living room into a huge baby cage. "We still have the couch in the middle but we have barricaded the entryway to the living room and removed everything else. There are pillows, cushions and soft toys everywhere so the boys can play and I can get a break."
For Tim, life as a single dad means constantly being on guard and watching everything that the toddlers do. Keeping little ones safe can be a pretty tiring job, but turning one's entire living room into a toddler fun zone may be a bit on the extreme side.
9 Less Is More
Those beautiful family photos and that wonderful side table that you got on vacation before the baby was born are the centerpieces that make your home unique. For extreme baby proofers, those items are serious hazards that put the baby in danger and need to go immediately!
Extreme baby proofers prefer to hide all decorative objects from the home. Having bare walls and bare spaces on the floors can make things feel a little unfinished but it's only temporary. Parents Leo and Denise say removing items from their home was the only way to go. "Jacob pulled everything out of the walls and off of tables it was seriously the worst knowing that nothing was safe. We had to get rid of everything."
8 The Softer The Better
When your little one is learning to crawl and walk, he or she is bound to fall a few times. Having carpet at home can help, but if you are hardwood floor advocates, a small rug may not be enough. For extreme baby proofers though, covering the entire floor and at least two feet above the ground in that foam padding for children is the obvious option to prevent serious pain. For other, less extreme parents though, coating one's entire home in foam, resulting in multi-color floors and baseboards may be a bit too much of a home makeover to get used to.
7 Craft Time
Ready for an art project that will give your thousand dollar antique table a facelift? Extreme baby proofers Michael and Tammy sanded down the corners of all of the furniture in their home as to avoid bumps and bruises. All square coffee tables have now been transformed into round edge center pieces. Sanding down wood furniture is surely a more permanent solution to baby proofing, which is not bad if you are expecting to have more than one child in the near future, and it sure beats getting those plastic table clips, but it is still a pretty extreme solution.
6 Less Nice Things
Time to say goodbye to the wedding china and grandma's crystal when it comes to extreme baby proofing. Some parents have decided to get rid of all glassware and only use plastic. Plastic plates, forks, spoons, cups, you name it they've switched over. Even the mugs are plastic at Jewel's home, mother of three boys under five. "It gives me peace of mind knowing if he ever gets a hand on the glassware it will never break, our boys even like the sound the cups make when they fall on the ground." I suppose they do make some pretty nice plasticware at the home goods stores.
5 By Hand
Have you ever seen the videos on social media of kids who somehow find their way into the dishwasher? For some parents walking into the kitchen and seeing their toddler with a chef's knife in one hand and a glass in the other is quite possibly the scariest thing they can imagine. But vowing to never use the dishwasher ever again is a bit extreme. For parents John and Ashley, they took that vow one step further and removed the dishwasher from their home completely.
"We just decided it would be better to do things by hand. Our son was getting too curious about opening the handle and prying his little fingers around the edges. I didn't want that on my conscience," said John.
4 Tie Down Everything
Have any loose rope on hand? You may want to use it to tie down all of the television sets and all of the furniture. Tying down everything is one of the easiest, yet least time effective ways to baby proof. At least parents get to keep all of their home decor and things that make their home, home. Sure, for several months you may have bits of rope sticking out here and there, but it is a small price to pay for peace of mind and a safe little one, boy or girl, who is learning to explore the world.
3 Storage Issues
Most parents have looked into space saving alternatives after they have a baby (I mean really, who knew someone so little could have so much stuff!). And one of the most popular places to stow away winter storage is under the bed, but once that cute little baby learns how to flex his or her muscles and navigate the room a little bit, under the bed becomes a serious toddler trap. Some parents have gone to the extreme by removing everything from under the bed or even more extreme by buying a platform bed to avoid any spaces at all.
2 Closed Mouthed
Does your little one constantly put everything in his or her mouth? Looking for a way to let him or her play freely without fearing that your Christmas ornaments, small figurines, or low lying collectibles will end up becoming a choking hazard? Extreme baby proofers have invented the baby muzzle, and it's just as far out as it sounds. It is a muzzle for babies. The apparatus goes over your little one's face and prevents him or her from putting things in their mouths. That way you can rest assured that nothing will choke him or her. Talk about extreme preventative measures.
1 Hold On Tight
Okay, this one will make you laugh. Parents from Japan have invented the baby straight jacket. The baby straight jacket is actually just a wearable swaddle that basically forces your little one not to touch anything. Good luck on your little one developing ample motor skills with this one though, but at least your home will still be intact. When it comes to extreme baby proofing countries in the far east have the right idea, don't baby proof your home, just baby proof your baby. Sure you are bound to get a few weird looks when your little one shows up to his or her playdate wearing a straight jacket, but that's okay.
References: Cafe Mom, Pinterest, Moms Blogs, Interviews