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Dutchess_III's avatar

When you had babies and toddlers, what rules did you have regarding the household?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42452points) October 8th, 2014

My theory was “It’s their house too. They should have as much freedom as I do.” I only had 2 rules:
1) Stay away from the outlets, and
2) Don’t mess with the plants.

One time, when Corrie was a crawling baby, I caught her pulling on the leaves of one of my plants. I scolded her. She rolled over to a sitting position, then, while watching me carefully, slowly reached her hand behind her to take a hold of the leaf again. It was hard not to laugh. Obviously she figured if she couldn’t see herself doing it, then I couldn’t either!

All my pots and pans and Tupperware were in the bottom cabinets. Spent a lot of hours putting that stuff away! I didn’t have anything on the coffee table or any other table that they could reach. For 7 years my house looked kind of barren, but it was safe.

My MIL completely disagreed with what I did. She was a hard ass who said, “Babies need to learn the rules!” She refused to put certain things up when we were there, so I was constantly running after the kids, stopping them from breaking Great Aunt Flo’s urn,or whatever.
Needless to say, we didn’t go there much.

So, did you completely revamp your decor completely when you had little ones?

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24 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Yes, I did completely.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(Edit. Edited the question so that the response originally here became part of the question.)

gailcalled's avatar

(^^ Still lots of completely’s.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Lots and lots!

Coloma's avatar

I had baby proof locks on the cupboards and my biggest “rule” was only allowing my daughter to eat or snack either on a blanket on the floor in the living room or at the table. I was also very fastidious about washing her face and hands after meals and snacks.
One of my biggest pet peeves are parents that let their little kids wander around with food, dropping stuff everywhere, nothing more disgusting than some crusty faced toddler with sticky fingers, and floors, and doorknobs and cupboards. I had friends like that, just disgusted me.

Every surface in their house had peanut butter and jelly grime and your feet stuck to the floors. Disgusting!!!!

fluthernutter's avatar

You mean rules for the adults?
I don’t think babies and (young) toddlers care much about rules!

Dutchess_III's avatar

For their protection @fluthernutter, there have to be some rules, like don’t mess with the outlets. I had all my outlets covered, of course, but the things weren’t that hard for a curious kid to get out, so they just had to stay away from them.

snowberry's avatar

Yep, baby proofing was always good, but my kids grew up in a house full of antiques. Some ended up being sacrificed for the common good.

canidmajor's avatar

@Dutchess_III: “My MIL completely disagreed with what I did. She was a hard ass who said, “Babies need to learn the rules!” She refused to put certain things up when we were there, so I was constantly running after the kids, stopping them from breaking Great Aunt Flo’s urn,or whatever.
Needless to say, we didn’t go there much.”
Your characterization of your MIL who disagreed and is therefore a hard ass really gives the sense of a tone of censure to any poster who does not share your methods.

I never minded running after my kids when we visited their grandparents as I didn’t feel that their grandparents should have to alter their lives to suit me. They already did that when they raised me.

I wasn’t in any way careless with the environment in which I raised my kids, but I didn’t assume that every where they went would be as “barren” as your place, so my kids learned very early about not going after everything.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I never suggested the grand parents should alter their lives to suit me. I don’t think asking them to put her 4 or 5 expensive and breakable items up, where the babies couldn’t reach them, was out of line. She did, though. She wouldn’t even let ME put the things up. If she had, I would have put them back before we left. But she said, “No. Babies need to learn to OBEY.” She was a hard ass.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was barren in that I didn’t have knick knacks out on the tables and stuff. It’s not like I took pictures off the wall, or didn’t have ceramic pieces on display in areas the kids couldn’t reach. It just looked barren to me compared to what I was used to.

Just now ran after Zoey, who came upon a CD book of family pictures, and put the book up high. If I was raising her, they would always be put up.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Dutchess_III I will use your question to ask one that the Mod Gods kept pulling because they didn’t like the way I worded it, so here goes.
Is it the home owners responsibility , who do not have children, to make the home safe for a couple with children who want to visit, or is it the visiting parents responsibility to keep their children safe during the visit?
(the childrens age are under 5 ,if that matters)

fluthernutter's avatar

Oh! You mean baby-proofing? We did that. Covered accessible outlets. Corner guards on metal tables. And a baby gate to keep them out of the kitchen. We taught them how to navigate the stairs as soon as they started to crawl. Up and down. Down and up. It was like our kid gym.

Breakable non-precious things were left out as teaching opportunities. (We let them use IKEA dinnerware as toddlers.) Precious breakable things were put out of harm’s way. (Wedding china.)

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Oh and my answer/question sorta does tie into yours about rules, so hope that keeps the Mod Gods off my back.

snowberry's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 It all depends on the kid(s) and how many breakables are available to be broken! Some kids are hyperactive and it’s impossible to keep them under control. My granddaughter was like that. I totally agree you shouldn’t have to alter your home for a visiting toddler, but there are exceptions.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thanks but the Mods kept pulling it saying the wording was confusing I tried a couple of times to fix it but then just abandoned it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t see it….I’m pretty sure that “legally” it’s the parent’s responsibility. In reality, though, it should be everyone’s responsibility. I would hope the childless couple would allow the visiting parents to make a few modifications (unlike my MIL) that are easily reversed when they leave.

Try, “When a childless couple invites friends with children over, whose responsibility is it to see that the kids stay safe during the visit?”
And flesh it out in the details. I think it’s a very good question.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, I just don’t see how getting into power struggles with a one year old over a bunch of breakable item does anyone any good.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@fluthernutter No, I’m not talking about simple baby proofing. I did all that too. I’m referring to adjusting your home decor to accommodate crawling babies and toddlers.

Blondesjon's avatar

1. Never expose them to bright light (especially sunlight, which will kill them).

2. Never get them wet.

3. Most importantly: No matter how much they cry or beg, never, ever feed them after midnight.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s the goonies!

Blondesjon's avatar

I beg to differ.

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