There comes a moment in every child’s life when they finally figure out how to move around. Gone are the days when you could place your child in the middle of the living room with a few toys and go to the bathroom knowing that when you returned they would still be right in the middle of the room. Now if you turn your head for a second they are army crawling toward the exits. It is at this moment a decision must be made.
Are you going to baby-proof your house or are you going to house-train your baby?
We have fallen more on the house-train side of the fence. Of course there are a few basic safety precautions we have taken like locking any cleaning chemicals up and keeping the steak knives out of reach, but by and large our home of 4 kids is not overtly child-proof. We have breakables out, we have electronics within reach and we have coffee tables with corners. Instead of eliminating all these things we chose to teach our kids to leave them alone.
It wasn’t easy, it took constant monitoring at first and plenty of redirection, but now the payoff is well worth it. As a bonus, it isn’t that big of a deal if we go visit someone else’s house that isn’t child-proofed as our kids know how to behave in such an environment. The downside of course is occasionally things do get broken and if anyone visits with their child who isn’t house-trained then it makes for a very stressful visit.
I don’t really have anything against child-proofing your house and for anything truly dangerous you would be silly not protect your children. On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve seen houses that had pool noodles taped all over the place for protection and I thought that was a bit over board.
How about you. What side of this debate do you come down on?