Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Day 324 - Safe Alternatives for Dangerous Things

Today's first time parenting tip - Rather than just saying no, give your baby a chance to play with a safe toy as an alternative.

We don't have a ton of baby toys, but we've got a good variety of ones our son likes to play with. Yet all he seems to want to do if play with the stuff he's not supposed to. Plugs, cell phones, sharp pointy objects. You name it, he's grabbing for it. And he howls when we don't let him have it.

Rather than just saying no, we try to give him something else to occupy his time. Here are some safe alternatives to dangerous things.

Plugs and cords - There's just something about them that draws my son's attention even when they've got the baby safe guards on them. To satisfy his need to pull on something, I find a toy with a 6-8 inch string (so he can't strangle himself).

Climbing on chairs - We've got a chair in our apartment that tips over easy, so of course, this is the one he loves to spend time in. So instead I pile up some pillows next to an air mattress and chase him all over this safe, soft obstacle course.

Hot stove - When we're in the kitchen, he's in the kitchen. The attraction of the stove is that it's got a door that can open. So we've got a cabinet that's just for him - all it has inside is tupperware. He can open and shut it to his heart's content.

Plastic bags - The seductive crinkle of plastic seems like fun, until it goes over his head. So I give him an old magazine with no staples. He loves crumpling and ripping it up.

Sharp objects - For some reason, our forks and knives look like excellent playthings to him. When he wants one, I give him a baby spoon or a toothbrush. He can put both in his mouth safely, he won't poke out an eye and one even cleans his teeth to boot!

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