How toddler proofed is your house?We didn’t go overboard with protection, just a bit of foam around the fire place, a few cupboard locks and moving lots of things to high shelves. It seems to be enough that we can let our toddler roam and not need to intently study every movement.I hadn’t realised how relaxed we had gotten until we visited my parents recently. They hadn’t seen our little girl for a few months, and in that time she has gone from tentative walker to full on explorer. They had done a bit of toddler proofing but underestimated the ingenuity and no of a little curious adventurer.Within hours of arriving she had worked out how to get into the fridge, opened the front door and a few other things that gave me a moments panic.She discovered some little painted pebbles in the garden and immediately started taking them everywhere with her. They were just the perfect size for swallowing and choking, but she wouldn’t be parted from them. She spent ages stacking them and just generally fiddling with them. In the end she fell asleep with all three tightly grasped in her hands. Only then could I sneak them out and hide them.
She also found an old set of bank weighing scales full of old coins. My parents had thought it would be out of reach, but not only could she reach the table she could climb up on top of it. This instantly became her favourite thing in the whole house. She loved taking all the coins out and moving them across the room to a bowl. Then she would move them methodically back a few at a time. Sometimes mid way she would forget which direction she was moving them in, but she’d continue with a look of determination. It was fascinating to watch, and a great exercise for her to practise her fine motor skills, and experience new shapes.
Luckily I did manage to hide the glass sweets before she got to them.For the few days she was there I missed the relaxation of being at home, but then I realised that sometimes maybe we go to far with toddler proofing. She had a great time and a real adventure, and experienced things that I would probably have made not available.I was also much more attentive watching her play with these things, because I was watching for her putting them in her mouth. I got to see all her little explorations and reactions, rather than having one eye half on the TV or my phone.I don’t think I’d be an advocate of ditching all toddler proofing, my nerves couldn’t take that, but for a few days it’s good to have a house to visit that still offers some surprises.