So this happened:
If you can’t see that because you’re, you know, “at work,” here it is in stop motion.
First she gets an evil “I’m gonna do something” face on her:
Then she basically lifts her foot as high as her shoulder and plants it on the couch:
Then she grunts and wiggles and gets up on the couch, where she wreaks havoc on anything we dared leave on the cushions:
When that bores her, she oh-so-casually ESCAPES THE GATED COMMUNITY:
If we dare take her off the couch, a full-on tantrum erupts. Sorry Annabel, Mommy just doesn’t feel like letting you crack your head open today. Maybe tomorrow.
Mike and I are expanding the gated community while we completely baby-proof our place. Except Annie isn’t a normal kid – we really need to ANNIE-PROOF our home.
This is where all of you come in. Mike and I know the basics – block electric outlets, get drawer hooks, lock cabinets and the toilets. But remember, we are talking about a kid that uses toys as step-stools, who can open a drawer of her dresser half an inch and scale the entire thing. What are we not thinking of?
I’d tie weights to her feet, but I’m pretty sure she’d figure out a way to use them as a weapon against me.
I can think of only one important thing; secure furniture(dressers,bookshelves, tvstand) to the walls. I had my aunt save me from a falling dresser when I was a child. She ended up having to get broken mirror bits cut out of her scalp.
This is just what I was going to say also. Anything that is big and climbable should be secured to the walls.
First thing that came to my mind, too – especially with a climber!
This was my first thought, anchor the furniture. I didn’t even think about it until I saw an episode of Modern Family when they had an earthquake and the hubby left Claire locked in the bathroom longer so he could anchor something.
If I didn’t have television, I’d still have wobbly furniture.
This is what I was going to post. Furniture that may seem heavy enough to stay upright could easily tip over whilst being scaled.
Pot handles on the stove (you know, for when you cook so much). Turn the handles toward the back of the stove so she can’t pull on them and tip the pot of boiling whatever onto her head and shoulders.
You can also buy a shield/small fence that fits in front of the burners. When she gets tall enough to reach she wont be able to touch hot elements.
That happened to a boy I grew up with. He had burns all over his face and was scared for life. 30 years later, I don’t have any children in my house, but I always think of him when I see a pot handle sticking over the edge and turn it around towards the back. It’s something most people don’t think of so an excellent suggestion.
Definitely keep the pot handles turned back. It’s so instinctual to me that last week I turned the handles back on a pot in a design room at Ikea!
I also second (or third, fourth or fifth!) the suggestions to anchor anything heavy to the walls. There was a story on the news a couple of years ago about a 6 year old killed by a TV falling on him. Our TV was anchored before sunset that day. Dressers, bookshelves, armoires…anything that could fall on top of the baby should be secured.
You could also declare the kitchen “off limits” while you’re cooking….if that’s possible. My kitchen is pretty small and has only 1 doorway that had to be blocked off. As long as I was cooking, that gate stayed closed.
Ok, a big one (I learned this the hard way). Furniture (dressers,bookcases, china closet, etc.) should be anchorred to the wall. A 2 year old CAN. Can climb a solid oak oak dresser like stairs. My son was lucky, the bed held part of the weight of the dresser off him.
There was a mommy blogger, not all that long ago that lost her son this way. Heartbreaking.
That look on her face makes you wonder just how long she’s been plotting that little escape! I can already hear the voiceover on the next Annie video, “Annabel: Escape from Babytraz!”
Yes, definately anchor heavy furniture to the wall, especially if she’s a climber! You can get anchor straps at Babies R Us. There are also acrylic covers you can get to block the controls or edge of your stovetop. We also used wedges for our doors so our daughter wouldn’t slam her fingers, but instead of the ones that go between the open edge of the door and the door frame we got the ones that went on the hinge side of the door to prevent fingers from getting pinched on that end, too.
Jen @ Mommy Instincts says:
These ladies already mentioned a lot of what I would mention:
Anchor furniture. (it’s a pain, but you know….worth it)
Stove knobs and pot/pan handles turned in
The wedges to keep from doors slamming (we don’t have these but if you have a habitual door slammer, I can see the benefit)
I also want to mention door knob covers. My kids would totally
open doors and take off down the street if I let them.
Also, making sure anything that could be remotely dangerous should be pushed back far from the edge of any counters. Like in the kitchen, coffee cups, knives, or anything else she shouldn’t have. Or in the bathroom, curling irons or razors (I also NEVER throw razors away in bathroom garbages, or garbages the kids can get too).
My kids also (both) pulled a vaccum down on top of them. Not that that is a huge danger, but they weren’t happy.
Hmmmm (I’m really brainstorming here because it is 5:30am and the whole house is still sleeping and I have time to THINK), dramers and cabinets need those locks if she is curious like that. Especially ones that have cleaning products or other things she shouldn’t have. I leave the “Tupperware” cabinet accessible to them. They love to pull all the containers out and play with them, and generally deters them from trying to open the other cabinets and drawers.
I’ll stop there, you know, before I aoundxall paranoid and stuff. Lol
Anchor your TVs along with furniture like others have mentioned. There are kits out there just for anchoring TVs. I work with a woman who lost a 2 year old granddaughter b/c a TV fell on her.
My daughter pulled our TV and stand down on her. By the Grace of God she was OK. Just some minor bruising.
My only other advice to you Heather would be Rigby’s food and water dishes.
Oh, and thanks for the play-by-play of the video. I always read your blog at work and videos are blocked.
Don’t forget to anchor the stove. It is not as stable as it looks. Also, make sure your tv’s can’t fall on her. I do not know if you have blinds but you need cord keepers (babies r us) and we used door knob covers, too, for our little Houdini. I do not remember how he did it but I found our munchkin in the bathroom sink several times. He liked to DJ the radio while I was in the shower. It scared me the first few times. Then I realized at least I knew where he was and I could “watch” him while I showered.
We did not think about baby proofing the remote. My husband and I heard some sexy Bom-chick-bom music one Saturday morning… He had ordered a $12.95 pay per view movie. Let me tell you… You get a lot of porn for $12.95. We both went flying into the living roomto turn his little eyes away. My niece lived with us at the time. Thank God she was a late sleeper!!
Ordered porn?! Hysterical! Something I never would have thought could happen, guess I better watch out for my 11 month old
Ha. This made me laugh.
Speaking of baby proofing remotes, make sure you also secure batteries. A battery can cause massive internal damage if a baby swallows them.
Definately the cord keepers! Especially if her crib is in front of or near a window, where she’s up high enough to reach.
Oh, when you latch the cabinets get extras for your dresser drawers. Little ones love to get in those bottom drawers. It will keep her from using open drawers as step stools, and even if there are just socks in the drawer will keep her fingers from getting pinched.
There are also cushiony trims you can get for any sharp-edged furniture. When my daughter was around two and just the right height to walk into the kitchen table and other taller furniture I just taped them to the edge of everything!
catherine lucas says:
Dare I say it: A good old fashioned European pen… But then I know, sigh, modern parents don’t believe in pens anymore… And it looks as if rules and boundaries are going down the drain too. Is anybody out there still saying No to their kids – why? – because I am the parent and you are the child? Or am I now officially a dinosaur when it comes to raising children????? Hmmm, guess I am!
GOOD GRIEF! Lighten up will you? Nobody is letting their kids get away with anything they want. You can’t be there all of the time and save them from everything.. The idea is to make it safe for you to turn around for a second or go pee. May your little one always be safe, protected, and watched, but the rest of us will take precautionary measures. I have flood insurance by the way, even if I don’t expect it to flood.
catherine lucas says:
I do not have to lighten up… You guys should. It is worth reading every comment on here today because it shows how crazy it all is.
Put the kids in a bubble… Sure, make an effort to keep the kids safe, but you still can’t secure their whole life.
Accidents will and still do happen.
I am pleading for common sense… Just a little bit of common sense…
Do we need to chop all the trees because a kid falls out and is hurt?
Do we need to forbid swings because a kid could fall off?
How far does babyproofing have to go????
COMMON SENSE… people, common sense… Are babies now so much more difficult to raise then 30 years ago? Reading all the entries here it is a miracle that mine survived! We did not have outlet plugs 30 years ago, we did not have drawer locks, our cupboards were not secured against a wall with clamps…
I was a single mom with 3 small kids, if I would have been so paranoid as parents nowadays, I would never have gotten them to grow up… COMMON SENSE!!!!!
email@example.com if you want to take this off list… where it belongs really!
I hear your point, but…
The thing with today’s times is this: we can look back and see how kids have gotton hurt/killed in the past, and we can prevent that. No, we aren’t going to chop down trees (basically destroy the environment) so that no kid falls out of a tree, the same way we aren’t going back to driving by horse and buggy so that no kid ever gets hit by a car. But there are things we can do to prevent more injury/deaths to children, and when we CAN, we DO. Car seats, for example. I was born in 1969. My mom used to drive me around in some flimsy infant seat-thing that was designed to prop me up while sitting on the floor in the living room. When we had to go somewhere in the car, my mom would just scoop me up in that thing and place me on the floor of the front seat, or right there on the passenger seat. This was NOT a car seat (they didn’t have car seats back then) and there wasn’t even a way to strap a seatbelt around me. Thank God we never got into a car accident back when I was an infant because it’s almost a certainty that I would not be here today if we had. Unlike my apparent LUCK as an infant and small child, there were thousands like me back in 1969 who were not so lucky. Many children lost their lives in car accidents back then when there were no seatbelt laws and no means to secure babies and children by car seats. But now, in today’s times, we have excellent car seats for babies and children up to 80 pounds! This saves many lives. This saves many mother’s from the grief of losing a beloved child in a mere fender bender. So as far as securing furniture to the walls and using baby gates and cabinet locks… it might seem overboard to someone who has raised their children in a different era when these certain safety things weren’t “thought of” or invented yet, and their children made it out alive….but there are countless of other children from that era that DID NOT. So now that we know better, we do better. If securing heavy furniture to the wall *might prevent a death of a child, then why not do it? It’s easy to do, and it’s not hurting anything or anyone to do this. It’s just one less thing to worry about, one less possible way a child can get hurt. One less is good, right?
Couldn’t agree more Katrina! Well said.
Thank you Katrina for being for eloquent than I.
Ha! Did you just ask her to “step outside”?
Never thought I’d see that in comments.
I didn’t either. I didn’t mean to be harsh, but I just felt like there is so much guilt and criticism in Motherhood, that to question someone else for Baby proofing, OF ALL THINGS, was too much. Heather doesn’t deserve that. I didn’t think it would be a “thing.” So I’m sorry, if that’s how it turned out.
catherine lucas says:
Haha, the step outside thing is funny. Thanks to Katrina for picking this up. I am really trying usually to be supportive of young moms, but it drives me nuts when I see how young moms today are having to take so much immensely heaps of “possible” baby proofing…
Sure, my kids were raised in a different time, and no, we don’t have to go back to those times, I just wanted to point out that COMMON SENSE is of great value to both raised out moms and present day moms.
Proof toilets? take off stove nobs? My gosh, I would scream in anguish if I need to warm up a bowl of milk on the stove and the nobs are not there… Or if I need a wee and don’t find the lock to the toilet protector (whatever those things are called).
Yes, car seats do save lives… I did not want to start a discussion, I just wanted to point out that saying no to kids at times can replace locks and bolts. I should probably have sat on my hands… Anyway, I do hope that moms can stop fussing and stop feeling guilty for all they do or don’t do. All parents make mistakes (hell I made enough myself) and parental crimes should be forgiven in a reasonable amount of time.
(I am not talking serious abuse here…)
Lighten up everyone, life is too short to be thinking about doom and gloom…
Repeat after me: COMMON SENSE!
Secure all of your furniture to the walls asap. And if your TV is on a stand and not the wall, that needs to get the same treatment.
We did very little baby-proofing for our home – locks for the cabinets and drawers where chemicals/drugs are, socket plugs, and as everyone else mentioned – anchor the furniture to the wall. Good luck and happy chasing!
Oh, and way to go Annie!
Those gorgeous curls get me every time.
It’s all over now, you and Mike might as well just throw a big ‘come over and break everything we own that it breakable’ party this weekend.
I don’t have any amazing ideas myself, but I do get a lot from a site called Parenthacks.com. It’s chock full of great ideas from parents. I just put up the most amazing rain gutter bookshelves (I know sounds weird right, but so adorable) in my daughters room. An idea I got from a parenthacks. I’m sure that they have great unconventional ideas to baby (or Annie) proof a home. Good luck!
I’ll again echo the furniture to the walls – for Annie being such a climber, that should be the first thing you do, without a doubt.
Also be sure to lock up the oven and dishwasher. OH, and any dangling cords, like the pull down ones for curtain blinds – either always be sure they’re tied up / out of reach or just change them all together. Little kids can get them caught around their necks. ):
Door knob covers! And while this may be a bit more for the future, be sure to add to the front / back door(s) one of those long chain locks that can be put high up on the door – that way, in the event of the little stinker getting on a stool and trying to open the door, it won’t happen.
I’ll come back and add more should I think of any. Hope that helped!
Dee Deee says:
I’m late for work so I didn’t get a chance to read the responses. I would say anchor televisions and furniture. They can climb the dressers and they fall forward, sometimes with tragic endings Stove knob covers and the little plastic things you put on door handles. Thanks for a cute video! Have a great day!
My kids are grown now but one of them was a climber. I left him in the dining room for only a moment once and came back into the room and he was standing on top of the table with his arms up grabbing the victorian chandelier. So for the next two years our dining room looked like a furniture store on the move, with the chairs lined up along the wall far away from the table. We also caught him standing on a toy in front of the fireplace with the mantle clock in his arms. And we had to put locks or latches near the tops of the dangerous doors (to the basement, to outside) because he could scale the paneled doors in a couple seconds to reach the regular-height locks. You can do all that’s possible to make your home safe, but there’s really no substitute for watching a kid like that constantly. And since I had two of them, I had to have a playpen I could plop the climber in for the minute I spent alone in the bathroom or when I had to carry his younger brother upstairs to change his pants. He’d scream sometimes but he was safe. It’s a good place to keep a toy that you hate because it’s too noisy – that might cut down on the crying if you go the playpen route. Mine had a tool set in the playpen, and it was the only place he was allowed to play with it. To this day my sharp knives are still in an upper cabinet behind closed doors. And my neighbor came downstairs one morning and found her climber sitting on top the stove. Thank God he hadn’t turned on a burner! Being a mother is fabulous but not very restful! You’ve got a beauty! Love all the pics!
anchor, anchor, anchor!
then remove all fragile items for 12 months
My kids were both climbers. They have turned into adventurous energetic kids who have fantastic agility. I cant reallly complain about 12 months of hassle when thats what I got in return!
We have an ‘Annie’ at our house too. What we learned is to make sure all doors are closed (like our bedroom door, bathroom door, sliding door to the deck etc.) because our Chloe will barrel towards an open door full force like a bull to a red scarf.
Also, covers for your stereo tv components. Chloe LOVES to push the ‘reset’ button on the TiVo box and turn the TV input to fuzzy channel whenever she sees that we are not looking. Oh-the dishwasher-you’d think it was a huge plate of ice cream the way Chloe’s eyes light up when I’m emptying it. Good lord.
Your Annie is just like my Bean (only my Bean is almost 3). She’s climbed into the dishwasher, danced on our dining room table, stood on the back of our sofa and scaled just about everyone dresser in the house!
Like everyone else said, anchor everything! I also highly recommend the covers for stove knobs, a stove lock and, if your oven can accommodate it, the clear plastic shield that will prevent her from possibly reaching up and touching hot burners or pots.
We also have door knob covers- simply by keeping all the doors closed, I can contain the chaos.
May I also recommend some wine, a sense of humor and lots of prayers?
You’ve gotten a lot of great advice above, I’ve got nothing to add to it! The video was awesome, it reminds me of the time I found my 10-month old son standing on the dining room table, reaching for the hanging light fixture. Connor was walking and climbing very early, but that one gave me a heart attack. We learned very quickly to keep all the chairs pushed into the table or he would be on top of it in a flash!
My friend babysits a little boy just like Annie in that way. She had to secure all large furniture like bookshelves, tv stand, anything that could be pulled over to the wall. He also likes to open the oven and the dishwasher and climb in so she had to buy locks for those as well. They drive her nuts but it is better than finding him in the oven!
It’ll be fine, you’ll see. It may take a few days of watching her closely to figure out exactly what she is going to be prone to get into but it’ll work out.
Make sure any bookcases you have are anchored down so she doesn’t climb the shelves and pull the bookcase down onto her.
Before kids, I had my dishwasher detergent, cleaners, soap, etc in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. After kids, I moved them up to the cabinet over top of the stove and vent hood. That way they were totally out of reach and I didn’t have to worry that if they figured out the cabinet latches, they could get into chemicals.
Okay I know it sounds silly, but my daughter is a lot like Annabel so one day I just crawled around on the floor so I could see the world from her point of view and tried to figure out everything that looked interesting to climb, pull, push or touch. In addition to the doing the basics it helped me figure out what needed done that was specific to my house. Besides it is kinda fun to see the world as she does
I was going to come back and add this, so I second this! Definitely get down to Annie level and you might just be really surprised by a whole new world of calamitous possibilities that were never visible to you before.
Oh, and just thought of this – make sure sharp corners on things like coffee tables have those little rounded corner covers, like these: http://www.epinions.com/reviews/Corner_Guards
It won’t stop her from falling and bonking her head, but it would prevent her eye from getting poked by the corners of the table!
Yay for the escapee!! Good problem-solving skills.
Good luck mom.
Becky K says:
I am so not the person to ask. I put the knives on top of my refrigerator in order to keep them from my 3 year old and one day I found him standing on the counter top next to the refrigerator holding a large knife trying to cut an orange. You know that time that you just have to use the bathroom or you might wet yourself…that is the time the disasters happen in my house. Luckily he is just fine and we have not had any issues since. So no, I have nothing to add that will help you here.
Anchor the furniture, even if you think it’s too heavy to fall. Trust me. Read a horror story the other day that pretty much changed my life forever. AHHHH.
Pictures of her scaling the couch = awesomeness.
Her actually scaling the couch = not so much awesomeness for you.
Wooden chests/foot lockers need to be secured.
There have been cases where children have climbed inside a wooden chest during play or exploration, and they’ll die due to lack of oxygen.
The peanut butter!! It could be an awful mess!! :0 Maybe you’ve already found a new hiding place.
I was just thinking, “Isn’t that where Heather keeps her peanut butter?”
Most important: lock up all vitamins, medications, liquors & cleaning products. Next, I’d recommend coming up with a way to make sure all household doors remain open. Something placed over the top (like a thick bath towel) will keep them from closing completely. This way you can keep little fingers from getting pinched & prevent Mommy from having a heart attack when Annie decides to lock herself in a room. Nothing like the thrill of trying to find that damn little pin to get inside! I recall once almost considering ramming down a door when the door to the nursery locked behind me with my son on the other side. Good times.
Mind Rigby’s water & food, too!!!
Michelle M. says:
Someone else may have mentioned this already but…..my boys are BOTH monkeys and we got some little drawer locks for their dressers so they can’t open them. Something like these: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3502302
Secure the furniture to the wall. Saeryn has taken to trying to CLIMB UP the wall unit, which, thank God, we secured when we put it up. (Because she was already here when we bought it).
We moved anything she could hurt herself on out of the lower cabinets. We put some kid-proof pots under there because it was easier than locking them all, and we had the space to move anything she COULD hurt herself on to higher ground.
Doorknobs–she is starting to try to open them. Oy!
And don’t discount drawers that you THINK are out of reach. Because my kid? Totally stands on tiptoes to pilfer through my makeup and hair tie drawer.
Instead of fancy things to attach furniture to walls, we used big L brackets on several pieces. For ex, you can mount the bracket to the wall at the right height for the top of a tall bookshelf – then slide the bookshelf back in place under that L piece and screw the L bracket to the top of the shelf. We did it so that the L brackets are hidden behind the shelf uprights so that no one sees them.
Either block off the kitchen with a “climbproof” gate (only vertical bars, not things that toes can climb) or attach the stove to the wall. They can pull open the oven door and use it to climb onto the stove. And the stove can tip under their weight.
Take the knobs off your stove (and refrigerator temperature adjustment knob) if within reach. One day I couldn’t figure out why the things in the fridge were frozen – until I realized that my 3 yr old had turned the temperature knob in the fridge.
Keep the bathroom door closed always! Sadly, climbers can drown in toilets in a heartbeat. And, if not that, they can (and will) throw anything and everything into the toilet!!
Little outlet plugs drive me nuts – you take it out to plug something in and forget to put the plug cover back in. I found that sliding outlet covers work best. To use them, you put the plug tips in just a bit and then slide (or twist) until the plug can be pushed all the way into the outlet. They look nicer and automatically close up when you remove a cord from a plug. I found them on eBay (search “sliding outlet -switch”). We bought a case of them and used them on all of our outlets. Peace of mind = priceless.
For cabinet doors and drawers (even file cabinet drawers), I love “Tot Lok” locks. You use a magnet to open the lock, so the door stays absolutely tight until you open it. No pinched baby fingers and she tries to get her fingers into the partially opened doors that have the normal locks on them. Check eBay for new (or even used) Tot Loks.
Tot Locks are the best! You can also find them at Babies R Us or One Step Ahead.com
Our son is 3. He is dangerous. Here is what we use…sans stick.
Reverse the knobs to any room you don’t want Annabel to go in (or don’t feel like baby proofing.) My oldest was a child of a gated community when he was a baby, thankfully we bought our house before our second was born and our oldest was only 18 months at the time so baby proofing was incorporated into our routine by then. We have baby gates up to our bedroom and office, but otherwise they have pretty much free reign with the exception of the baby’s room. The door knob suggestion was courtesy of our pediatrician who suggested it for my son who was making the transition to his big bed and wouldn’t stay in his room to even try to go to sleep. I sound like an animal, locking my son in his room at night, but after the first couple of twists on the knob, he never cried and just went to sleep. Now we don’t have to lock it and he still knocks when he wakes up in the morning to let us know he’s awake.
Laptop power cables. My son pulled ours out and it was in his mouth before I could grab it. The fuse in the charger blew so he thankfully was not electrocuted.
I didn’t have time to read all the comments so someone may have already mentioned this but fasten your furniture to the wall! Ikea includes in it’s furniture a contraption to do this but I’m sure you could buy these things at any hardware store.
When my daughter was about 2.5 I heard a loud noise as she was playing upstairs and I was making dinner. I ran up the stairs and there she is holding her dresser drawers up with one hand as they had tipped over!
Bolt the furniture to the walls!!
Door knob covers work well and good for traditional doors, but if you have a sliding glass door, there’s nothing to do but Momma Patrol.
My daughter climbs into my son’s dresser. The drawers are large enough that she fits completely inside with the door closed. We’ve checked to make sure there’s no way it could get stuck–no, it’s a magnetic latch. And there are cracks of air too. So we let her climb on it, but not other furniture like bookshelves (though those are anchored).
Plants. Be careful of your houseplants. Make sure none of them are poisonous. My kids never tried to eat them, b ut they did like tearing the leaves off for fun!
Basically, if you have to take something away, like access to a bathroom shelf, let your toddler know she does have access to the pots and pan shelf, or the Tupperware shelf. If you don’t allow jumping on the bed (we’re okay with it), how about one of those mini trampolines?
And…playgrounds. I have a climber and her need to climb would not be satiated without frequent trips to the playground. Or the baby gym in winter. Sure, your kids will get cuts and scrapes and bruises. But you have to allow them enough freedom so that they learn to be careful on their own. You won’t always be around to watch and there’s no such thing a kid-proof world!
Michelle S says:
Maybe we just lucked out but all 3 of my kids didn’t climb or even get into much so we just did the standard baby proofing ie. electrical plugs, a gate at the stairs bottom and top, locks a few cabinets.
I have two cupboards in the kitchen that they are allowed to get into and pull everything out so when they were young I would direct them to those. As well, they can pull anything out in their toy room and not get hurt so they spend a lot of time in there.
My biggest problem right now is my toddler is potty training so needs the toilet but my 13 month old loves to play in the toilet.
Good luck with “Annie” proofing !
Sounds like you got a lot of good advice. I would also say let her fall. Not from the back of the couch onto a tile floor but if she falls climbing on the couch or on a chair, and she’s ok, let her cry it out. She’ll learn that climbing is a little scary, she’ll be more careful and she’ll stop doing it for attention. Oh and make sure that beds and couches are either smashed up against the wall or have a big chunk of space between them and the wall. My bro used to get stuck head first places because he would climb and crawl and fall. Kinda funny, but also dangerous.
Melanie Johnson says:
I have a 20 month climber. This was our plan of attack:
Everything bolted to walls. Couch cushions completely taken off and vacuumed. All outlet covers replaced with ones that you not only have to twist but also are specially designed for toddlers that if they put something in one side, it’s harmless. Water temp turned down. Cords stapled in place. All knives on top shelf, same as cleaners. We just recently removed bar stools completely as they were great aids to counter attacks (HAHA). Gates gorilla glued (i kid you not) to the wall so she can’t get them down. Drawer things are not enough, you must make sure that anything in drawer is safe because she will think of ways to fish them out. Same with cupboard latched. It leaves an inch of space, she will consider this a challenge.
Some things she had to learn on her own. If you fall, it hurts. The heater is hot, etc. In time, alot of this stuff won’t even interest her anymore.
This is by no means a helpful suggestion, I’m sure lol, but when she’s older, you may want to consider enrolling Annie in rock climbing classes/clubs. I just started climbing and it’s the most fun I’ve had being active in years, and I’m only 23! She clearly shows a propensity for climbing and I’m telling you, those little kids I see running around the gym on club nights, they’re so strong and so confident it’s remarkable.
Kristin (MamaKK922) says:
I’m afraid I can offer no help. I baby proofed my house I did it all. I got the guards the outlet covers I did the whole 9 years. And my oldest daughter, the one we call Monkey. Scaled the refrigerator and sat there I don’t know why. I went in the kitchen and in a blind panic when I couldn’t find her started freaking out and she laughed I looked up she was ON TOP of my Fridge she scaled it like a freaking monkey. No clue how secretly I think she is either part monkey or Spider man. But you can’t baby proof that child. And the cabinet locks we had to put two on cause one she laughed at you know one at the top and one at the bottom cause I thought her little hands and brain can’t figure that out 25 minutes I had to start hiding things that were dangerous in the GARAGE. So I wish you good luck and I hope you do not have a child like mine.
Oh my goodness is Annie clever!
Years ago I had a climber- make sure toys-as-stepstools aren’t near those. My 18 month old son got out of the crib, moved a rocking horse to his bedroom window, opened it and I received a frantic phone call from the neighbors across the street saying he was playing on the roof over our garage.
We also had to baby proof doors as he would leave the house in the wee hours- we put a chain at the top of the door. Some climbers can wedge their feet between the bars of the crib (and by stepping on a pile of stuffed animal friends to get a head start) and escape their bed.
Take the knobs off the stove when not in use if they are within Annie’s reach.
Oops. Disregarded my own rule of “coffee first, internet second”. I meant to say keep big toys/toy tables away from windows where little ones can get out. Mine found it easy to punch out window screens and scramble out.
Annie Y says:
Definitely secure any furniture she can scale to the wall. Also, what I recommend since we have a very active little man who is into everything and also uses toys as a step stool is turning one room, we use our main living space, into a completely childproof room. We have removed any of our knick knacks that are dangerous and furniture too, placed a get at the entry way, door know covers on everything and as many times as I have tried to cover the outlets, he removes them. We have actually found that he has less interest in outlets if they don’t have anything in them vs. a plug. We have also filled the room with his favorite toys.
Ashley S says:
Watch out for bookshelves. You’d be amazed at how these little monkeys can scale anything, bolt it to the wall if you can. We know of more than one little one who’s pulled a huge and heavy shelving unit down on themselves. Also your brushes, my oldest tangled a non-round brush in her hair which wasn’t much longer than Annies, in such a way that I spent 45 minutes trying not to shave her head to save my brush
Wow! Annabel is so incredible!! I can’t believe she’s climbing on the couches and figured out so much already! What a smart and able cookie she is! Dangerous combination! I didn’t have this problem due to the type of TV stand we have, but my hidden safety suggestion would be to secure your TV stands and bookshelfs to the wall so they don’t topple over if Annabel climbs on them. They have straps that you can screw into your wall and shelf/TV stand at Babies R Us and online. You’re doing such a great job!
Make sure that your TVs are anchored down!! My friends son had a television fall off of it’s stand, and he ended up having a broken leg. I also know of someone whose son was playing around the tv stand and he bumped it, and the television fell on him, and he had a fractured skull, and was in ICU for 3 days.
Sarah R says:
How cute! I can so see Elise doing that. We don’t have stairs, so we don’t gate anything off (well, we do have stairs, but they go to the basement, which has a door with a child-proof cover over the handle).
At my mom’s house, she has stairs but no gate, so I spend the whole time chasing her to keep her from falling down the steps. I then put a couch to block her from going down, and she quickly discovered she was no match for that (after quickly looking around both sides to make sure she couldn’t some how escape).
I love Annie’s curls!
cindy w says:
When you figure it out, can you do a tutorial post on Annie-proofing? Because I never really had to baby-proof anything for Catie – if we told her, “no, don’t touch that,” that was enough. So you KNOW I am going to be totally screwed when Baby 2.0 gets here, because… well, that’s just how life works, isn’t it?
So, yeah. Imma gonna need some major baby-proofing tips in about, oh, 10-12 months, I’m guessing.
Disable the locks so the stinker can’t lock you OUT of the bathroom. Add an additional lock REALLY HIGH on the front and back doors. My son was opening the dead bolt and out the front door at 18 months. Found him toddling down the street. Scary!
I’m sure we’d have an uprising if we put Annie and my 15 month old son together in the same room. My son also takes babyproofing to a whole new level. I’m not totally joking when I say that I’m a little afraid of how much quickly he outsmarts us. He already can get out of his car seat, shopping cart, high chair straps no matter how horribly tight we put them.
We have an open floorplan, which originally I wanted. Now? I really just wish we had chosen the house where I could put ANYTHING between the kitchen and the living room. We’ve had to get a dishwasher lock because he was opening it and climbing in. Our chairs on on top of our dining room table because he’ll push them where he wants and climb up. I used the potty for one minute and came out to find him standing on top of our kitchen table. Do anchor heavy furniture to walls…and we just take away toys that are too tempting to climb.
Toilet Locks are a pain, but worth it. Keep the gated community until she is at least 12, and get down on your hands and knees and crawl around the house looking for dangers that she will see, but as an adult, you may not.
Lots of great ideas already…I read some and skimmed most others.
I have an additional suggestion…think about knives & scissors, blades to an electic knife if you have one etc. Where do you keep your knives? If they’re in a block on the counter put that away. Best to put knives in a locked drawer (with a real lock, not just a “baby proof” lock) or a locked box. The locked boxes (think cash box with a key that you can buy for your yard sale) are great for medications too, including OTC medication, even kid meds. Even children’s vitamins with fluoride and/or iron can be toxic to little ones in mass doses. And I’ve know a few kids who’ve thought their gummy vitamins were candy. Even had a very smart, well behaved 10 year old boy think a few extra of those delicious vitamins can’t possibly hurt!
Along those lines, any meds you take out of their locked place you need to immediately consume. From your hand to your mouth…they should never be put down on a counter, even if your child is 5 rooms away. They also shouldn’t be put in a pocket to “take” later. It is way too easy for parents to get distracted and forget the meds are on the counter or in a pocket. Once had a dad who would put his meds in his shirt pocket to take later. He forgot they were there and bent down to fiddle with shoes or socks. Meds fell out and he didn’t know it…child consumed one and ended in ER…it was a harrowing few hours but the story ultimately had a happy ending. Remember from your hand to your mouth…just sayin….
Also, keep an eye on your child-proof type locks. My own son figured those out pretty quickly.
And, as inconvenient as all this stuff sounds, this stage too shall pass quickly.
My brother’s twin sons climbed up the dresser and then it fell on top of them! He had to screw that dresser right to the wall to avoid that in the future.
As for me? I had to turn off the buttons on the tv so that they were inoperable when my daughter was a toddler.
I don’t know anything about baby-proofing…if anything, my husband needs to Rachel-proof our house. But can I just say her impressive use of her toes definitely shows a talent destined for rock-climbing???
My niece can open doorknobs even with the baby-proofing things on them, and she learned this right after she began walking. I know y’all are in a building and it’s not like Annie could break free and run into a street, but those chain hooks? You might want to invest in those just in case. Make sure they’re up high enough that Little Miss Climber couldn’t possibly reach, and always remember to lock them!
I think mine have already been said, but no time to read all of the comments.
We never used a gate, just had an entirely babyproofed house. This involved:
– What you already thought of.
– Securing heavy furniture to the wall
– Getting rid of all end tables, coffee tables, and nick nacks. Soft ottomans only, when you have kids there is no place for end tables!
My 1.5-yr-old son has similar proclivities (climbing, exploring whatever seems most dangerous), and I have to say that apart from getting rid of our old super-heavy TV and adding a flat-screen up on a high shelf out of his reach (oh yeah, and rubber-banding the doors to the liquor cabinet), we’ve done very little in the way of babyproofing. Partly laziness, and partly because it seems pointless. We just have to watch him all the freaking time and there’s no way around it.
I have never been one to keep my babies restricted in playpens or Pak’nPlays, but I always had one set up so that I could quickly scoop up the baby and place him/her in there if I need to answer the door, or use the bathroom, or any other time that I could not have my eyes on the baby for a minute or two. I would keep toys in there that the baby doesn’t use often so that it would hold his/her attention for a few minutes.
You have a lot of good advice already, so I won’t add much more. But having a safe playpen set up will give you peace of mind when showering or using the bathroom
The garbage. She will put all her toys small enough in it and take everything out of it. It will be gross.
When my climber was at his worst, we bought window guards for his bedroom and the playroom where he spent most of his day. We found him hanging out of the (1st floor) window twice and realized we needed to do something. The guards are like this but I am sure you can find them cheaper…I think we got ours at Lowe’s.
I would also suggest window locks or window stoppers to keep the windows from opening all the way.
Finally, we ended up using sheets of plywood, hinges and outdoor gate locks to create half-doors (think horse stalls) on the rooms we wanted to keep him in because he showed us that the store bought gates are for amateurs. Not to mention homemade gates are much cheaper..not as pretty but much more effective for the serious climber. I guess you could paint them if you wanted to..we just sanded them down so when he was hanging on them and trying to scale a 5 foot gate, he didn’t get splinters.
Looking back, I might have been better off to put an outdoor six foot tall – open top galvanized dog pen with a gate in our great room for the times when I needed to use the bathroom, etc. I used to be somewhat judgemental about a friend whose daughter was always getting hurt, eating poisonous stuff, etc…thinking that she just wasn’t watching her. My first son was so easy, and I didn’t understand how this could happen until my second son came along and gave me a run for my money..
Even though I chased him all day, he was (and is) always a step ahead of me. His climbing days were exhausting and overwhelming for me..I wish you good luck and lots of stamina.
You have such a beautiful family. Love Rigby too!
I wish I could offer advice, but Peyton figured out how to get around child-proofing when he was about 18 months old. We’ve actually had bungee cords keeping our pantry cabinets closed for the last year or so because child locks no longer keep that kid out.
My son is like Annie, and we decided to go the low-restriction route with him, still allowing him to go everywhere, but making everything safe:
Appliances are pushed back to the wall and ALWAYS unplugged (do you keep your coffee pot or toaster plugged in all the time? Eventually, this will lead to toy parts being toasted or burned fingers).
Pan handles are angled back and a teapot full of water is immediately put on a burner after I take food off.
The oven and oven drawers have locks on them (latches, really).
We have magnet locks for all our cabinets, including the bathroom and garbage, as you would never believe how attractive garbage is to a toddler (you can get them at Lowe’s, they are the Safety First brand). We prefer these locks because they have a latch that allows you to “unlock” a cabinet semi-permanently (like we recently did with the cereal cabinet because I don’t mind if my two-year-0ld eats cereal at all hours) and there is no chance of sticking little fingers into the cabinets and getting them pinched.
My son is allowed to take books off of our shelves – the important books I don’t want him rifling through are on the top shelf.
Every piece of furniture is anchored to the wall, including the tv stand and the tv (how awful would that accident be?).
The most important thing, in my eyes, however, is that I reserve “no” and “danger” for the truly dangerous things, so he knows I am serious. If he gets into my makeup (because I don’t have it out of his reach), I let him play. Same with my jewelry (the stuff he can choke on is well out of his reach). He has always had access to the tupperware cabinet and it is a nice distraction at his height. If I am cooking, I give him a bowl and a spoon with some rice to mix (easy to vacuum) so he feels involved. I don’t make a bid deal out of spills.
You’ll find your own rhythm, but I think it depends on what kind of parents you want to be. Give her access and teach her what is okay and what is not, or do like some friends of mine and scare her into not touching anything. I think you can tell which side of the line I fall on…
Make sure all cords for your window blinds are up and out of reach. My step-sons teacher lost his toddler son to this tragedy. They make things you can put the cords in so they can’t reach or get to them, at least make sure they are cut so they don’t make a loop.
And yes make sure furniture is secured. My niece had a tv fall on her when she climbed her dresser. Very scary and thankfully she wasn’t hurt too bad.
I had to bolt the shelves or anything climbable to the wall! If they can scale it they will. A fridge lock was a necessity and I use the handle locks to keep them out of other rooms.
And I get to do this alllll over again because we move next week ack!
Put away any paper-shredder you may have, and disengage your garbage disposal if you have one.
My son used to try and put small bits of paper in our shredder and once I saw that, I freaked. I can only imagine what could have happened if his clothing had gotten caught. I also recently saw a dog who had his tongue caught in one, and it was ugly.
I have no advice to offer, as I’m currently pregnant with my first, but she is awesome. I love her “no fear” approach to life as a toddler.
Also, THOSE CURLS. Gorgeous & so reminiscent of her sister.
With what everyone else has said: L brackets and loooong screws. We bolted everything to the wall. Just be sure you’re happy with where things are before you do the anchoring. Lesson learned the hard way here. We didn’t bother with cabinet locks, I just moved all the chemicals to the laundry room and that door has a knob cover. Also, toilets can serve as a stepstool to vanities, so don’t assume stuff in a bathroom medicine cabinet is out of reach.
Annie is one determined Miss Love the pictures and loving the curls. Definitely reminds me of Maddie.
not sure if this one has been mentioned:
a lock of some sort for the refrigerator. you do not want annie getting into the ‘fridge! she could eat everything or, worse, get trapped inside!
Secure furniture to the wall if you haven’t. Entertainment centers, book shelves. You may have already done it for earthquakes…but just in case.
Keep chairs away from the dining room table, unless you want to find her on the table. You can do locks on all kitchen/bathroom cabinets…but some kids can get into them anyway. I’d take all cleaning stuff/bathroom chemicals and stick it in a huge Tupperware container and maybe store it, on your dryer or something? Somewhere high.
The only other thing I can think of is the toilet. Anything and everything goes into the toilet if she can get too it.
Also…uh, good luck.
Our daughters are IDENTICAL – we get tantrums just being in the gated community which is ie. The living room
I dint want to know what these two would get up to on a playdate haha
I think California law has made it illegal for apartments to have blind cords as too many children have died from these (and I think Heather and crew live in an apartment). This is not to say all CA apartment complexes follow the rules (for example, where I live now), but it is enforceable. So to anyone in CA who lives in an apartment, make the landlord/leasing manager change those out!
bolt heavy furniture to the walls. sounds silly but i’ve heard of two kiddos losing lives that way.
also, mini blind cords…make sure they are UP and out of reach…
I think that Annie has a few “Get out of Jail Free” cards stashed around there…
Sorry…I don’t have time to read all the other comments (so I might be repeating someone else). Fridge and freezer door locks, and beware of long, loose power cords she might pull them out of the outlet!
Secure everything that she thinks she can climb to a wall so it won’t fall on her. Also, door knob locks are great for keeping her out of rooms that you don’t want her in- like the bathroom. If you have a sliding glass door, put stickers on them at her level so she doesn’t run into the glass. The dog food and water dishes are fun toys- put them out of reach so she doesn’t give herself a bath with dog water or eat dog food for dinner.
Outta sight and outta mind. I don’t know what to say but keep your eyes on her at all times.
She is so gorgeous. Love those curls around the back of her head.
Kristin Greenwood says:
Lots of wonderful suggestions, that I will also use when Claire gets to the mobility stage (she’s only 4.5 months. We have a little while yet as her mobility is contained to rolling over).
I have to ask though – did Annie get into the Peanut Butter while on the couch? Is it bad that that’s the first thing I thoughts of? You see, I also have a love of the PB, and could imagine the mess that would ensue if she did.
Alarms on all the windows and doors. Shortly after this stage, we moved into the ‘if Mom’s in the shower it must be time to sneak out of the house’ stage. That included moving chairs over and undoing bolts on windows and doors, hence the alarms.
Alright, so I think this makes like the fifth comment I’ve left on here, but this one is really, really important, and I didn’t see it mentioned yet!
Covers for the faucets in the bathtub! I can’t stress how important these are – I read a blog a few months back about a mom who was letting her boys play in the bathtub together unsupervised, ( there was no water in it so she thought it was alright ) and they managed to turn the water on and one of the boys got third degree burns on something like thirty percent of his entire body. ):
So bathtub faucet covers are a must!
I’m in a terrible hurry and haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if this is a duplicate. But if you have blinds, make sure all the cords are secure, especially with a climber around.
Something else…this sounds weird, but I have first-hand info. Make sure your yummy smelling chemicals are locked up: dishwasher packets, clothes soap and fab softener, and air fresheners. My kid drank some vanilla scented stuff that was meant to go on a cotton ball in the vacuum. Poison control was involved and it was not awesome. My cousin lost partial sight after dumping clothing detergent all over his face. That was a hospital stay too because he aspirated it as well. Ugh!
I have no advice. Mine used to climb a bookcase TOGETHER and then jump off into the beanbags chairs they had placed below. My son climbed from the couch to the chair to the counter to the sink and turned on the water, my daughter ate dinner ON the table, not sitting at it. I just held my breath A LOT. Thank God nothing too bad happened, but we had our share of blood and crying and they cried, too
I love your term ‘gated community’
Annie is thinking, FREEDOM!! WHOOT!!
You have my sympathy. My twin girls sat like little chubby lumps until 14 months. It was great!!
Another thing I forgot to mention – it’s helpful to have a lower kitchen cabinet or two with things Annie can play with that won’t hurt her. Plastic strainers, wooden spoons, plastic cups, pan lids, etc. can provide entertainment while you are doing things in the kitchen. But keep heavy canned goods out of reach – they can really hurt a little foot if they’re dropped!
Ha Ha! Good Luck. My second? He climbed on the dining room table and then stacked stuff so he could put his toys on the ceiling fan. Then he climbed down, flipped the switch and clapped as things flew off. he was just over a year. The one thing we did was put a chain on the door. Both my kids would try to leave the house. The thing with childproofing – you don’t really childproof. you are just putting alarms on stuff – hopefully you hear the plastic as they figure out how to open the toilet lid in time to get in there and stop them from sticking their heads or hands in the water. LOL. Good Luck! this is the worst phase….
Add me to the list of those who say “anchor the furniture.” My sister-in-law’s little cousin had a dresser fall over on him when he opened a drawer and was climbing on it. Thank God he wasn’t seriously injured but you can imagine the horror his mother must have felt when she was in the next room and heard that dresser fall.
By the way, we had a “gated community” at our house as well, except we called it “baby jail!” My goddaughter used to just put her little monkey toes in the “mesh” and climb it. She was the professional escape artist. Her name is Nour, but I re-named her “Nourdini.”
oh my, you’ve got it all! I’ll just echo what came to my mind.
-the toilet lock, or you’ll be fishing stuff out left and right
-reversing the locks on rooms you want to keep her out of; Smart/strong kids can finagle the plastic door knob covers off
-cabinet locks, I got the kind that are hidden, you need a magnet to open the lock
Love those chunky thighs! She is a doll personified!
Alot of this has been said already:
Furniture (dressers, bookcases) secure to wall .. make sure you drill into a wall stud.
TV’s or heavy electronics.. ditto..
toilet bowls lid covers ( really.. lost a watch that way)
get the door handle things so she cannot open doors you don’t want. I had to put them on all the doors that led outside.. I have that kind a kid…..
In addition to securing the furniture, and the door covers, I would suggest a lock for your oven door and refridgerator door.
My 13 year old nephew when he was younger would get up in the middle of the night, climb out of his crib and would be found sleeping in odd places. The scariest was when he was found asleep in the oven. Also,I can’t tell you how many times my sister in law had to throw out the milk because it was spoiled by him leaving the door to the fridge open.
Once Annie has escaped from the gated community, you might want to change the little door stoppers that you find near the bottom of your walls so the door knob doesn’t put a hole through the wall, if you have the one’s with the little white caps. My son would take the little white caps off and put them in his mouth. Then I bought a one piece door stopper that didn’t have any removeable pieces, but now that I have a 1 year old daughter she has done the same thing at my parents house. I never thought of that initally when I was baby proofing.
it all starts with the climbing. i am the mother of a 2 year old who removes cupboard doors with daddy’s screwdriver. he is also quite proficient in clogging the toilet with anything he can get his hands on. he has defeated the doorknob cover thingies. my knives are in a safe because he figured out the lock on the lockbox. my suggestion, ditch the babyproofing gear and buy some duct tape. it’s the only thing the boy hasn’t made it through. good luck.
Lindsey in the STL says:
Don’t forget to turn down the temp on your water heater! I believe they suggest setting it at 120 degrees.
okay, so not to make you TOO paranoid but my kids both had vacuum incidents. one decided to wrap the cord around his neck when i left it out after vacuuming and didn’t wrap up the cord. the other grabbed the cord and smacked herself hard pulling the vacuum over.
they will find ways to give you grey hairs–but you have all of us to help you out! (and annie will have other ways to “help” you out! )
i didn’t read all the comments but I know someone mentioned something about razors and i second that one, I never thought about it til my daughter was playing in my bathtub and stood up and grabbed my razor off the shelf and had it before I knew what she was doing, she sliced her thumb pretty good and scared me to death. So keep those up high and don’t throw them in your bathroom can.