Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To Baby Gate, Or NOT To Baby Gate

I've come to find that the second child isn't so much as neglected as your elders would have us younger generation of mothers to believe. At least, not in the early stages of parenting I'm currently residing.

I have just as many pictures of Lydia as I did with Kyra. However, ALL of Lydia's pictures are stored on the computer, and not a single one has ever been printed for show around our house. Kyra's pictures were all taken on a 35mm camera, and thus, to see the pics I had to develop the film.

With Kyra I used organic baby food. It wasn't until she was closer to a year that I started to experiment with non-organic foods. Even still, if there is a product that I can find affordable in an "organic" form, I shell out the extra pennies for my baby's well being. Now that Lydia is starting to eat solids, she, too, is on all organic baby foods. The way I see it, they have MANY more years to fill their bodies with crap, why do I want to start them out that way.

With Kyra, I went through several baby gates before I found the combination that worked best for us. It's safe to say she fell down the stairs at least 4 separate occasions, all of which I was standing right there to catch her and couldn't manage it. Now that Lydia is starting to explore in more then a 5 foot radius around my feet, I find myself contemplating the baby gate issue again.

Our problem is that our upstairs has two slightly decorative and uneven banisters. Banisters that a "renter" probably shouldn't be drilling holes in to install a gate unless we'd like to buy our landlord new ones when we move out. And banisters that don't accommodate a pressurized gate.

We could go buy this stairway gate instillation kit for roughly $33, per side. That's $66 for no more then 12 months of "safe guarding" the stairs. Something I could also accomplish for free by just.... wait for it.... keeping an eye on my kid and teaching her NOT to play on the stairs.

Now I'm aware it only takes one millisecond for a kid to run to the stairs of death and hurl themselves to their doom, but I'm a positive thinker. I'd like to think that, even though Lydia is the EXACT opposite of Krya in EVERYTHING she does, I can still manage to make Lydia behave in a cooperative manner that I seemed to teach Kyra with. If I told Kyra not to do something, she'd walk away, come back to it later and try it again. This would go on for 3-4 more times (unless we're talking about jumping on the bed, then that's a whole 'nuther can of worms) but she'd quickly get the idea and leave well enough alone. I'm fairly confident that if I never put baby gates up for Kyra, I still wouldn't have had much of an issue with her wanting to play on the stairs.

So, going with that thought, I think Jer and I have decided that we will not be paying $66 for customized do-hickies to baby proof our house. Instead we're going to use the "Lydia, we DO NOT play on the stairs. If you want to walk up or down, ask for Mommy or Daddy to help you." I'm well aware that at the tender age of 7 or so months, when this is sure to start coming into play, Lydia will have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. But I'm also confident that she's a quick learner and will soon figure out what the words "No, Ma'am" mean when she starts inching towards all our no-no areas in the house, the "chemical" cabinet under the sink that's not latched and wasn't latched with Kyra either, the DVD case that is not dangerous yet is still not to be touched.

While I made certain I had the absolute perfect gate for Kyra's well being, it's not that I'm skimping out on Lydia because she's my second child. I'm skimping out on her because I'm more confident with my mothering and teaching abilities. I think it's the confidence level a mother has with her second child that makes the biggest difference in going from one child to two, not so much the lack of time or concern.

I'll concern myself with more pressing matters, like making sure I have enough outlet covers since the builder of this house went a little crazy and placed them every 2.35 feet apart.

We'll see how many times it takes Lydia to fall down the stairs before we change our minds...**

**that's right, haters, I said that.


  1. You make me look like a lazy mom, lol. Or Kenzie is just the most stubborn baby ever- because we still utilize our baby gates- and she's now learned to climb them- and short of cutting off her legs I am out of ideas!

    But, you're right, if you can "train" her not to do it- go for it- if she happens to mimic Kenzie's personality- I'll pray for you!! LOL!

    You have good kids, though. I think Kenzie marches to her own drum!

  2. i'm sure your excellent mothering is up to the task of no baby gates! you're one of the best moms i know!! (tho i'm still going to gate the stairs in our hopefully-new-house-to-be since the bottom ends in a cement floor basement!)