I remember the fun of registering for baby gear--*pew pew pew* went the barcode scanner as if I were in an intergalactic gun fight--and I also remember silence of my stupor when we turned down the safety aisle and were confronted with product after product after product advertising the many ways in which my baby would try to injur himself. Padded edging for furniture! Toilet locks! Moby, the blue whale faucet cover, so my kid doesn't brain himself during Tubby Time! It all felt like way too much, but it also felt...necessary? Maybe? At the very least, it felt irresponsible to not buy safety gear, for surely to deny that the safety asile existed altogether would be like asking for my baby to get bonked on the head/electrocuted/carried off by large birds of prey, right? So goes the mother's brain...
What ended up happening was that I was so overwhelmed by the number and variety and cost of safety products that my husband and I agreed to just skip the category entirely, figuring we'd have plenty of time to baby-proof before we actually needed it. Then, as it turned out, we didn't actually need any baby-proofing with my first son, who, even as an infant, was surprisingly respectful of boundaries and only needed to be told "no-no" once. Eventually we bought some outlet covers and installed exactly one drawer lock that promptly broke, but we passed on everything else and were fine, just fine. We laughed at all the suckers who waste the time, effort, and money on baby-proofing.
And then my second son was born.
At fifteen months old, his hobbies include belly-flopping off the coffee table, running toward electrical outlets with a fork (I do not know where he got the fork, so don't ask), and dreaming up cocktail recipes using ingredients found in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. So this is why the oven has a Lock setting. So this is why people bolt furniture to the walls. So this is why baby gates. Here's a kid who would benefit from being confined in a toddler-sized gerbil ball. At last I understand why the safety aisle makes sense.
What's your approach to household safety gear? Is your home baby-proofed or do you manage without it (or did you find a toddler-sized gerbil ball, in which case leave the link in the comments)?
Photo © iStock.com/janthonymartinez