Wednesday, February 20, 2008

“Baby Proofing”

Baby Proof is one of those terms like Fool Proof. For the properly motivated baby anything is possible. In any regard my daughter has recently started crawling and is pulling herself up on furniture. My wife and I were both thrilled until she fell near one of the speakers and nearly injured herself. We were then a little nervous when she crawled over to an outlet and started pulling on an electrical cord.

Proper supervision is all we had when I was little, but today there is a plethora of baby containment devices. Fortunately we had all of the latches on cabinets when we moved in to our house. This is less of a concern as the baby currently does not have the manual dexterity to manipulate lids.

She can however stand up in her crib and crawl around at will. The first things to get stored in the basement were furniture items that were not in the best interest of baby. The stereo equipment went first. With the little one, we rarely crank up the surround sound. Then the end tables went. They are just too flimsy and interesting for some reason.

Power cords are an interesting dilemma. Some are required and some are extraneous. First we elevated all of the chargers. Second we blocked the open ones with the little plastic things. Now is the tough part and we are probably going to resort to physical barriers for the remainder. We will use tricks like moving a bookshelf in front of some outlets, or hard mounting power strips above her reach. Of course with her 26 inches tall she is reaching to nearly 30 inches now.

Installing the baby gate was an interesting exercise as there are pressure mount and swing mount options in a various widths, heights and latching configurations. There is even a model with a remote open. We settled on a cheap one that we figured would only be in use when we were hanging out upstairs. Our daughter is not interested in climbing stairs yet and prefers to just whine until her transport (me or my wife) arrive.

Anyway to get this thing installed, I could actually justify the purchase of new tools as I had to fabricate a mounting strip which spanned the banister. I am now the proud owner of a new jigsaw. Of course with this responsibility I also had to cut, finish, drill and stain the mounting strips and hang the baby gate. All in all a 2-3 hour project that turned out reasonable well.

I am sure there will probably be a Part II on this topic, but for now I am hoping we are done.

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