Baby-proofing for the third child

A few days ago a good friend asked me for tips on how to baby proof a house. I told her, you have to prioritize. Stop what you’re doing right now and put your Cheetos out of reach.

After that it all sort of falls into place.

For us, baby proofing has happened naturally. They sort of show you what you need to change and put away as they become more mobile and curious. And all kids are different. Not one of my kids have ever touched an outlet, but your kid might be fascinated by them.

I also believe that the phrase “childproof” is nonsensical, because no home is child-proofed if it has anything at all in it. You think you’re prepared and then you find yourself saying, “DO NOT SIT IN YOUR APPLE SAUCE!” There’s no baby gate for that scenario.

Child-proofing for a third child is a different because you have two other children; two other children who move about the house freely and become very very frustrated with gates and locks. Two other children who want (and need!) to access art supplies, Legos, and Hot Wheels.

Then there’s David, who loves to collect. He gathers things like acorns and rocks and — don’t tell David I said this — trash. David loves bottle tops, gum wrappers, and broken glass if I’d let him. He keeps his trash treasures in a box under his bed, and he calls it his collection.

David’s collection is shoved under his bed as far as it can go to keep it from curious baby hands.

This wasn’t an issue until recently, when I kept finding the collection in the middle of the room. Or worse, I’d find Thomas sitting by David’s bed with his collection, rifling through pebbles and pinecones and buttons.

David, you have to keep your collection under your bed…You have to slide it all the way under…You have to you have to you have to….

He’d insist he didn’t leave it out, and I’d roll my eyes because I used to fib to my mother, too, and I never fooled her for a minute, either.

Then one morning I was in David’s room and Thomas crawled straight to David’s bed, flattened himself, reached under the bed, and pulled out the collection.

Right in front of me. Like he owned the place. Like he’d done it before. 

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What I’m saying is, make sure you put your Cheetos up high. Don’t just slide them under your bed like an amateur.


  1. Becky Mauck April 29, 2016

    So true! So funny too! I feel fortunate that all of my children made it to adulthood (especially the third one) with only a few trips to the ER!

  2. I’m dying at this. We’ve never “formally” went around on one day and said, “Today is baby-proofing day!” We just kind of did it naturally, as you say. A hair tie around a cabinet here, making sure we start closing the bathroom door fully, a locking garbage can there… but you’re right, unless you live in one giant padded room, your kid will find a way to get hurt.

  3. Amy @ Life to the Full June 20, 2017

    HA! What a smart boy! Baby-proofing for our third does seem like an impossibility… Our boys just got into Legos this Spring and now they are played with daily. And the baby-mouth-sized magnetic letters stuck on the kids’ whiteboard and the random toddler food items sprinkled randomly around the house. Huh. I sure hope this third child is resilient! Our #2 was a rock eater but he survived 🙂


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