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Hardwood floor - Do you use the playpen or do you let baby crawl all over the place?

  1. #1
    mamamau is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Babyproofing nightmare

    Our babyproofing nightmare...

    Our 8-month-old girl is starting to crawl and we're trying to decide what to do in our 1000-ft flat. For instance, do you watch your little ones (under 1) while they are crawling? I only have a part-time maid and I find it so hard to get ANYthing done if I let her run loose. (Baby has to nap with or even ON me...)

    We have hardwood floor and our living room is full of traps that are almost "unbabyproofable" OR "unbabyproofable according to daddy" (such as no sticking on nice wooden furniture, etc.) We also have a pair of speakers standing on a pair of dangerously wobbling stands (wobbling if pushed by curious little hands, that is). Daddy is not really willing to give up the stands and just let the speakers sit on the audio-visual cabinet.

    And, how do you babyproof around the back of an Osim massage chair??

    Also, how do you gate off a doorway (to the open kitchen) with sides that are at an angle to each other? Or do you simply just let baby into the kitchen and babyproof the cabinets instead?

    I don't want to confine her in a playpen! Or the highchair! (Actually, right now we're only using her crib. I feel really bad to see her all locked up in that 2'x5' crib!!)

    Should we let her loose in our piano room then? It has about 7'x10' free space. But that way she won't be able to see me while I'm doing things in the kitchen, etc.

    Does anyone else find it so dusty in the Mid Levels? I can never seem to be able to keep the floor clean.
    Last edited by mamamau; 07-05-2006 at 05:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Wee Kean is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong
    When my child was crawling, we babyproofed the lounge, her room and my room; closed the study room and toilet; and put safety gate at the kitchen.

    We let her crawled on the wooden floor and never used playpen to "confine" her. It won't work as she will scream!

    She loved crawling in and out the room following me. It was great as I didn' t have to pick her up. I just said: "come to the bedroom to change your nappy" and she will come...

    We also put away all the breakable stuff and our big nice wooden balinese style coffee table, and put our TV, stereo, DVD, etc higher and higher...

    I understand how you feel as I didn't have helper until my child was 18 months old. I can never get things done. So, I either do things when she was sleeping or when my husband is back. If I need to go to toilet or shower, I put DVD on and trained her to sit on her special chair (if not, I will turn the DVD off)

    Letting my child watching DVD is not the best solution but it is the most effective solution for us. So, we just have to choose really good and suitable DVDs for her to watch.

    Good luck! ..... wait until your child is walking... hahaha! But, don't worry, I survived and my daughter started to walk at 10 months old!

  3. #3
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    New Territories


    It's been years, but 'll try and remember.

    We let the baby crawl while we sort of kept an eye on things. We would put them in the play pen for those times when we really needed to go away for a few minutes (e.g. bathroom). They would scream and protest - but it's just a couple of minutes and you know that they are physically safe.

    We mainly let the babies crawl in the living room.

    We blocked off some of the shelves that baby enjoyed pulling books out of and chewing.

    We pushed wires up against walls and tried to block access to them.

    The wooden funriture? We left it alone and figured the babies would learn not to hit their heads on it. They didn't except for my second "baby" who jumped off the couch when he was 6 years old and hurt his head.

    One thing you can also try is getting one of those old-fashioned Chinese baby carriers and put her on your back while you do housework.

    I would definitely get Daddy to agree to put away the speakers for a couple of years or wall mount them.

    Gate off the kitchen? I have 2 different friends who used plywood - low enough for adults to step over (~ 2.5 feet) but tall enough to block child.

    The other option is to let them in the kitchen and either put locks on the cabinets or move the dangerous stuff high. Problem with that is worrying about spilling hot stuff on the baby while you cook.

    As for keeping the floor clean, if you rinse it down a couple of times a week, it's clean enough for the baby. A little dirt is healthy, teaches their immune systems to cope and can help prevent allergies later:

  4. #4
    Sumei is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Hong Kong
    hi there,

    given our space constrains in HK, I don't think you can effectively keep babies out of areas for long, plus I do believe, within reason, they should be allowed to explore so they give their senses a real workout. Unless you have your apt entirely babyproof OR want to keep baby in a playpen throughout, they have to be watched at all times, very time consuming but a necessary evil, my son is 18 months now and he's still watched at home and never left alone. Babyproofing is a balance between safety for the baby, peace of mind for the parents and practicality....personally I don't like the little ones in the kitchen, even if you can lock all cabinets accidents do happen (the other day my helper dropped a pot of hot stew on the kitchen floor, you can imagine the disaster if a baby was on the kitchen floor) and in the bathrooms either as floors are slippery and there is always risk of drowning even in 2 inches of water so we keep all bathroom doors closed at all times and no babies allowed in the kitchen (you may need to think of installing a half glass/half wood door so you can keep an eye on baby if you need to be in the kitchen).

    I also believe you can't completely babyproof your home and I do believe you need to houseproof your baby - we have alot of glass in the apt and some really unbaby friendly furniture (like you my husband is an audiophile and my son's favourite pasttime use to be sticking his finger into the speakers to get a reaction from daddy) but it also means that our son has learnt to dodge potentially danerous furniture and potentially dangerous situations and learn to co-live with adult necessities, they learn from a young age what they can do and can't, it's tiring but in the long run there are plenty of benefits!

    btw. if daddy proves too hard to persaude I suggest you leave him with baby one afternoon at home with no help, am sure he'll be more persuaded after that! : P

  5. #5
    mamamau is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Thanks for all the helpful advice. Oh, Sumei, that's exactly what I'm contemplating... ;) (But I believe Dadd is just gonna use the Baby Bjourn or put baby in her crib / highchair! I suspect I'm gonna have to leave for the weekend or something...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sumei
    btw. if daddy proves too hard to persaude I suggest you leave him with baby one afternoon at home with no help, am sure he'll be more persuaded after that! : P

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