I feel like I live in Fort Knox.

Ever since my baby could crawl, he's been able to find trouble. We solved the problem by gating off our entire family room, eliminating his access to the kitchen (which is the adjoining room) and the hallway to the stairs. The family room is entirely babyproofed and is a safe place I am comfortable leaving him in if I had to run to the washroom or answer the door. When I sit on the couch I can see him anywhere in the room.

He is 15 months old now and is still obsessed with the opening and closing of cabinets and drawers, as well as climbing stairs. So I know it's not time to take the gates down yet, but I'm wondering, in your experience, when does the "un-babyproofing" (in particular, taking the gates down and allowing access to places like the kitchen) happen? When can I feel safe having him walk around the whole floor like we do?

asked 18 Nov '10, 12:51

DazedandConfused's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%


Interesting - we have not thought about that yet. Our son is now nearly 18 months, and (apart from the first try) he always waits for us to watch over him before climbing the stairs. We only have gates protecting the "falling-down-side" of the stairs and try to teach him that he can climb the stairs only when someone is behind him and prepared to catch him if he slips.

(18 Nov '10, 14:47) brandstaetter

My son is 2 and I am starting to un-proof our house but I'm doing it a little at a time. We stopped using gates a few months ago, when he learned he was strong enough to pull them down. And just two days ago I pulled the foam corners off a chest in the living room. I still have to watch him to keep him from getting into things he shouldn't, but he is also getting big enough to understand that if he does certain things (ie climb on the back of the couch), then unpleasant, and sometimes painful, consequences will follow.


answered 18 Nov '10, 17:09

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

+1 For "a little at a time" I can only recall that it was a very gradual process.

(19 Nov '10, 14:58) Emi

Depends on the type of baby proofing. We have some child locks on the TV/video cabinet which we could remove, one is broken, but haven't bothered.
We only removed the gate from the kitchen last christmas, this was when my youngest was about 4. Up until then none of the kids where allowed in the kitchen unless they had a good reason and had asked.
We still have a gate at the top of the stairs that is closed at night. All the kids can open it, it isn't so much to prevent them from going downstairs, it is to prevent the kids from falling down the stairs when they get up to go to the toilet at night; our bathroom door is off the landing opposite the top of the stairs.
When our daughter was about 16 months we moved the gate from the living room to the bottom of the stairs. This meant she had the run of the downstairs instead of being confined to the front room. This was done because she was starting to get frustrated with being confined to the living room.
To start with we would let her out while we were about, or when her brothers were in the dining room. Once she had learnt what she could and couldn't do in the dining room and we were happy that the dining room was child safe then we started letting her roam even when we were upstairs. Finally the gate got taken down completely.
We only removed the gate from the bottom of the stairs once she was able to get up and down the stairs on her own. Can't remember how old she was but it was quite a while.


answered 19 Nov '10, 18:39

pipthegeek's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 19 Nov '10, 23:53

Thanks for sharing your experience! At 16 months, were you required to follow your daughter around the downstairs floor once you moved the gate, or were you ok with letting her roam the hallway and perhaps another room on her own? I like the confinement aspect because I picture myself having to follow him everywhere if he was not! :)

(19 Nov '10, 19:34) DazedandConfused

updated my answer. Basically to start with we were just opening the gate and it was only while someone was in the dining room, then it was while we weregoing to be nearby and finally she was allowed the run of downstairs all the time, even if we were still upstairs.

(19 Nov '10, 23:54) pipthegeek
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Asked: 18 Nov '10, 12:51

Seen: 4,642 times

Last updated: 19 Nov '10, 23:53