My dd is on the move, well backwards anyway, and I know she'll be going forward soon. I've started to think about baby proofing the house and realized there is sooooo much that can be done. Asking all you experienced ones, what did you baby proof and what did you let go by the wayside? Which things worked best for you?
Clearly I'll get a gate or two for the stairs... what else is essential?
I'm guessing the outlet plugs or "safeplates"?
i've only ever done outlet covers in my house and that's only because my house has so many outlets all at baby eye level. wait, i lied, i also put a cabinet lock on the kitchen cabinet and the bathroom cabinet where the cleaning supplies are kept in both rooms (i knew a boy who drank liquid drano and it ate up his esphagus and he had to eat from a tube and carried around drool towel because he couldn't swallow). other than that, i just aways told my babies "no touch" and then if they touched again, i smacked their hand. it sounds harsh, but my theory is that i'd rather my baby crying from a smacked hand then to have her get electrocuted from a power cord or cut from the fireplace or something else equally as dangerous. it's a lovely thought to have your home completely baby proof, but what happens when your baby is at someone else's house that isn't baby proof?
that being said, we don't have stairs, but if i did, i'd definitely use a gate (if you can, get the kind that actually attatches to the wall for the top of the stairs)! i grew up with stairs at my house and my parents never used a gate with us, and i don't know HOW they managed it! my older brother was 5, i was 3, my sister was 18 months and we had a brand new baby brother in the house when we moved in and none of us ever fell down the stairs -- but when we're visiting there now, there is a baby gate attatched to the wall, and it stays shut and locked when the babies are upstairs!
other things to watch out for is when she pulls up on things, like a bookshelf or a cabinet, is there anything heavy that might fall on her head (knick knacks, picture frames, the actual cabinet or shelves...)? last year, my oldest jumped off the bed in an upstairs room at my parents house, and it shook the floor and a heavy pewter picture frame fell from a bookshelf right and hit her right on the head just above her eye! the corner of the frame made a nice gash in her head -- i was just grateful it didn't get her eye! after that, i went around my parents house and removed all the heavy things or moved them way back where they couldn't fall so easily. then after i got home, i did the same thing in my own house!
anyway, that's about all the baby proofing i've ever done. i kind of believe that it doesn't matter how babyproof your home is, your baby will inevitably find a way to get herself into trouble! that's why they're built to be so resilient! good luck!
We've done about what mcr has done with only adding in a fireplace gaurd. I don't know about anyone else's fireplace, but ours is psudo brick and the foam things wouldn't stick so i made dh build a 3 sided plywood cover about 3 1/2 feet tall (we don't use the fireplace except in a heating emergency). It's kinda nice so we can hide things behind it! And don't forget a gate at the top and bottom of the stairs (eventually they want to climb up too).
we too have 2 sets of stairs, luckily the one to the den has a door and a lock but we have gates for the top and bottom of the other set that leads to the bedroom. the one at the top is hardware mounted. we also have outlet plates and plugs. other than that like others have said, just make sure that there is nothing heavy she can pull off shelves and teach her that certain areas are off limits. we learned quickly too that having doilies or decorative placemats under lamps was not good, our DD started to pull one off and the lamp with it but we saw that and got rid of the mat. also something that we found that we never would have thought of, in our house we have the spring door stops and on the ends are little plastic covers. when DD was crawling, we had her gated off nice and safe in the hallway, all doors closed and we couldn't imagine anything she could get into. Well we found her with that little plastic thing in her mouth! there are just some things that are easy to miss but be very careful, you just never know what they will show interest in, they can get in to just about anything. Good luck!
As far as removing heavy stuff from bookshelves, we went another step and actually attached the shelves to the wall. We did this with dressers too where they could pull the drawers out and try to climb up. Some we just screwed right in the back to the wall and others we bought those straps that they make just for that purpose.
Another good thing is a toilet lock that you attach to the side of the toilet. Some kids like to play in the water or throw toys and stuff in. We have some of the doorknob covers too, but my 2-year old can take them off easier than I can! I never had a gate at the bottom of the stairs, but definitely one at the top is good. Outlet covers are a must! I also put those cupboard safety clip things on my kitchen cupboard under the sink and in the bathrooms because of cleaning supplies. Hope this info helps!
Some more to add...... make sure you don't have any tablecloths or runners with items on top. They way that kids try to pull themselves up they can pull even the tv down on top of them. I would get rid of your house plants. Most of them are posion if ingested. My daughter figured out the cabinet locks about 30 seconds after we installed them (her older brothers still can't open them ) I would make sure you move all the cleaning products if you can. It's better to be safe than sorry. My middle child got out of the house when he was 20 months old and started heading down the street, so we actually have alarms and chimes on all the doors. This is the fun time.....the song we sing in our house is "don't fence me in." good luck
One more hint- when my DS started crawling I was overwhelmed with how much baby proofing there was to do! We have a large family room and that is where we spend most of our time. I chose to do that room first so that I would have one "safe" room and gated it off. I did the kitchen next since it is the room gated off from the family room and went from there. We still have places in our home that are not completely baby proofed, but DS does not go in these rooms. Good luck!!