My son became fascinated with the electrical outlets. He also likes to suck on his fingers so he was trying to stick wet fingers into the outlets. Clearly a problem we needed to address. Most people use the round outlet plugs. These come in many different brands, but do have a couple of issues. After taking them in and out repeatedly they become loose and easier to remove - great for the adults, but kids can also pull these out. Once they are pulled out, or dropped while you are using the outlet, they become a choking hazard. All kids love putting things in their mouths and these are especially tempting. Instead, we chose to use the sliding outlet covers. This way everyone stays safe.
For my kids, slamming cabinet doors, especially when the other one had a hand in the way, became exciting. I started researching cabinet locks. If you have cabinet knobs then the sliding locks are a popular choice. My son spent every day at his mother's day out for a month playing with these. They locks they had used in the toddler room for 10 years without an issue my son took off. Good problem solving skills, but really makes our life more difficult. There are also spring action locks. With these you open the door an inch or so and then press down in order to open it the rest of the way. My issue with these is that kids can open it a bit, stick their fingers in and still manage to smash their hands. I knew if it was possible to use it to get hurt, my kids would. Instead, we went with the magnetic locks. These don't show from the outside and have a switch so you can turn them on or off rather than having to uninstall them when you no longer need them. So far we haven't even lost the magnetic key!
Firefighter and a basket head
Our next issue became door knob covers. First we went with the "easy" door knob covers. This worked for about a week. That's when my kids discovered if you push a tiny finger in just the right spot inside the cover the entire thing falls off the knob. Then they simply open the door and bring both pieces to us so proud of their accomplishment. Not what we had in mind.
Then we upgraded to this type. These are a pain in the... rear to open. (This is a public blog!) My kids broke off the piece that covers the lock and tried using the same pressure point. Luckily that didn't work! This was a huge help for a few weeks. It was around that time they discovered that if I'm distracted with one child and a door is open they could get it off. All the unattended child had to do was slam the door into the wall. When the knob cover hit the wall it would loosen up the snaps and they could then use tiny fingers to pry it off. While we tried never having an unattended child, this is not realistic if you have two. Once again the adults didn't give up and came up with another solution. I would love to take full credit since it was my discovery, but here's the real story.
Pirates love to plunder.
It was late and I was tired. Very, very tired. The knob cover came off again and I quickly snapped it back into place and got both kids into bed. A couple of days later my husband asked why I had put it on backwards. I had no clue that I had done that, but it seems to have solved the problem. The knob cover hasn't come off since. Score!
We also discovered that the rubber tips on the door jamb stoppers aren't that difficult to remove. These are also a choking hazard. Kids love playing with these, after all they make that cool "boing" sound. We debated what to do about this. We considered gluing the rubber piece on, which is what most child proofing experts recommend. Others say to buy the child safe ones. We went lazy and just removed them all together. As long as the door isn't being slammed against the wall, it's not a huge deal. The one door they do slam against the wall will just have to be repaired once we pass this stage.
Do I really have to wear this?
Our playroom doesn't have a door, it's great for an open floor plan, but not so great at keeping the kids safe. We went looking for a baby gate. Most weren't large enough for the opening and I had some very specific requirements. A lot of baby gates have square, triangle, or rhombus openings which make a great ladder. I'm not sure who came up with that design. The ones with vertical bars are more difficult to climb, but certainly not impossible. We went with this gate. The netting makes it difficult to climb and it fits most areas. My kids didn't learn how to open the gate until they were 2, which was after we no longer needed it.