Baby proofing for electronic devices/outlets
January 5, 2019 6:43 AM   Subscribe

So, it turns out we have the most awesome grand-baby ever (science fact). But she's hitting that six-month stage where she'll be crawling soon and we need to start baby proofing real fast. Gates for rooms, plastic plugs for outlets, etc. But the big question is what to do about all the outlets on the floor that have multiple electric devices plugged in (dvd/tv/cable box/fire tv/xbox, etc). How do we handle those? Also any awesome baby proofing secrets you have would be appreciated by the most awesome baby ever!
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Technology (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You run extension cords from outlets that are hidden behind heavy objects (desks, cabinets, etc) so that any outlets the baby can reach just have cover plugs in them. Extension cords should be routed where the baby can't reach them or stapled down so they can't be moved.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:54 AM on January 5, 2019

Note it's not just electrical cords you need to police. Any kind of cord, cable or string must be either nailed down or completely out of reach. This includes thread, blind pulls, anything that can tangle or choke. (I have two friends who had babies who died due to lack of diligence about cords/string. It's very sad.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:57 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

Might this style of outlet cover work for you?
posted by teremala at 7:44 AM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

My best baby-proofing trick, in any case, is substitution. Not distraction where you try to lure them away with shinies, but a true trade. "Oh! I can't let you climb on the oven door, but here's your play structure where you may climb!" "Oops, those markers aren't for you; here are your crayons!" etc. If baby is really into cords/strings, offering a safe form of interaction with them, like a busy-board where everything is secure and nothing is long enough to be hurt by, works great in conjunction with securing all the real ones.
posted by teremala at 7:53 AM on January 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

Don't forget to anchor to the wall bookshelves, dressers, and other things that will tip if climbed on.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:08 AM on January 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

I do not have a baby. But I do have untenable cables. I've found that the outlet covers described by teremala can help with untenable cables plus make things a lot more under-desk stable for feet and for babies.
posted by jessamyn at 8:09 AM on January 5, 2019

If you already have tamper resistant sockets (which have been mandatory in the US for years now IIRC) then outlet covers that plug in are likely to make things worse, not better. (This doesn't apply to the kind of cover that teremala links to.)
posted by pharm at 8:14 AM on January 5, 2019

I have no good suggestions beyond those already mentioned (fwiw hiding plugins behind furniture and redirection worked for for me), but just wanted to say the pic of your adorable grandbaby made my morning! =)
posted by DTMFA at 9:45 AM on January 5, 2019 [5 favorites]

So, it turns out we have the most awesome grand-baby ever (science fact).

Quoted for truth.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:20 AM on January 5, 2019 [3 favorites]

Don't just focus on the floor level stuff - just after walking comes climbing. You will be surprised how quickly they can do the impossible.

So as suggested above, tie down anything that might tip, check for sharp corners of tables at baby eye level, look for anything that might become a see-saw when climbed on, and check for pinch hazards.
posted by NoDef at 11:08 AM on January 5, 2019

Not sure if this applies for your situation but our solution, in the living room at least, was to move everything electrical to one wall and then put a baby gate around that stuff.
posted by vignettist at 11:53 AM on January 5, 2019

I have no tips but yikes, that's a cute baby!
posted by freya_lamb at 4:20 PM on January 5, 2019

My kids loved loose cords so I tried to keep them all tucked away whenever possible. Search for “cord covers” which can run along the floor or wall and can come in brown or much lighter to match your floors. I also used strong tape to keep cords basically strapped to desk legs / shelves etc.
posted by sestaaak at 6:44 PM on January 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Less common viewpoint - ignore them*. My kid has played with an occasional laptop or phone power cable, but I've otherwise moved zero cables in my house ever. The only baby proofing in our house was to latch the battery drawer, trash drawer, booze cabinet and under sink cabinets (though I will happily caveat with "if things are too tempting for them, do be prepared to do more"). *This is just as a baseline. If the parents have specific requests, I would cheerfully accede. But my only request of my own parents was to move anything that they would be actively distraught to have destroyed.
posted by annabear at 7:35 PM on January 5, 2019

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