Not Babyproofing Takes Work

So I’m at home with Gianna today.

It’s been fun, and aside from doing some behind-the-scenes stuff with the blog and making a ham and bean soup, I have mostly played with her. While I sit at the laptop, she has been roaming the living room and the kitchen, playing with toys and exploring. And as usual, she has spent some time looking longingly at the tv remote and the laptop keyboard (some of her most-wanted-things in the world).

Usually, she looks at these things, glances at me, then wanders off without touching them. She knows she isn’t supposed to grab them, so she doesn’t. Of course yesterday she came walking into the kitchen carrying the remote and smiling at me, but I hadn’t been in the room when she went for it, so she did.

That’s part of our non-babyproofing approach. Since we leave non-harmful things within her reach, it gives her an opportunity to learn her boundaries. Sometimes she still gets things we don’t want her to have, but in general she’s learning.

Today was no exception, since she decided it was time to play with her diapers.

The Diaper Holder

While I was on the laptop and not watching her, she grabbed every diaper from the holder on the side of the playpen and crawled away as fast as possible toward the door in the picture. Of course her knees thumping against he floor caught my attention, so I got up, took them away, and returned the diapers to the holder.

She did the same thing a few more times, but on the third attempt, she looked at me before she reached for them.

By having the object of her desire down at her level, and accessible, she learned that I don’t want her to get them. So far so good!

This approach only works if you’re paying attention at the right time (same thing works with dogs, which I learned from Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer). You have to pay attention to what your baby is doing, be willing to allow them to break the rules, catch them at the right time, then correct them.

It takes more effort than just plunking them in the playpen (or babyproofing everything), but it’s worth it.

Do you babyproof your place? Do you have a “problem” child? Do you let your kid get into everything? Most parents have more experience than I do, so if you want to weigh in, please do!

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