Head to toe failures in babyproofing

One of our most urgent projects this summer has been to babyproof the house. Finn is SO amazingly mobile and fast these days that we have to follow him around everywhere like security guards in order to keep him free from potential catastrophe. We’ve done a pretty thorough job with his room, removing all objects his busy hands might use in harmful ways, putting up a fixed closet door in place of the “closet curtain” we had up before, getting a secure baby gate for the doorway, and even padding the low-level marble sill under the window that spans almost an entire wall of the nursery. Although we’re trying to make modifications in the rest of our house, as well, the truth is that we just have to make sure we’re within arm’s reach of Finn when we’re, well, everywhere else.

“Everywhere else” IS, of course, where our first two minor accidents happened — and within 15 hours of one another. First, yesterday evening Finn was playing on his Daddy’s legs on the couch and collided with Keith’s foot, acquiring an odd, toenail-shaped crescent and two-inch scrape on his perfect, little forehead:


I was so distraught that I actually called the pediatrician’s office. How should I clean it? Should I use neosporin afterward? His forehead was contaminated with a TOENAIL! Ugh!

But it gets worse. This morning in the kitchen, as I pleasantly prepared a quick breakfast and Keith watched Finn terrorize our cleaning robot, Finn somehow cut his baby toe on the foot pedal of the garbage can. Before we realized what had happened, we saw drops of blood on the floor and on his foot and for a moment thought he had lost a toe to the robot. I felt surges of panic, guilt, shame, helplessness. What kind of parents ARE we, anyway? How in such a short period of time could Finn get hurt literally from head to toe?

I realize that I can’t protect Finn from every harm. In nine short months, he’s experienced the agony of teething, the itchiness of a neck rash, the misery of a cold, the irritation of mosquito bites, and the pain of vaccinations (not to mention the startling discomfort of coming into a cold, bright, loud hospital room). Watching my son bleed, however, instilled in me a greater fear of danger. I can see now how easily, quickly, and unexpectedly it comes. I’ve had people chuckle at me and say, “wait until his first stitches,” or “wait until his first broken bone.” His FIRST? What?

It was easier to keep my baby safe when he was in my arms. What do I do now? I can’t babyproof the world, can I?


6 thoughts on “Head to toe failures in babyproofing

  1. It’s SO horrible, isn’t it?? It’s a good day when Elsie hasn’t bumped her head or fell flat on her face. She’s drawn blood twice in the mouth, and I think oh no, permanent dental damage!! Aargh. Yes just last night I was imagining first broken bones etc. She’s bound to be quite physical, unlike me, so I need to relax and be ready. 😦

  2. I know what you mean– we have also spent the last few months babyproofing and everyday I find something else that we need to put away or lock down, etc. and wonder, “why didn’t I think of that sooner???” It’s a horrible feeling! We have little baby bumps, too. Hadley will just fall down and even though I am right there, I can’t catch her quickly enough. I hate the feeling that I’m not able to prevent every boo boo.

  3. Accidents happen! Ben fell one evening while he was holding Cecilia…he got his foot caught in her bouncy chair! She couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 months old. I thought I was going to have a heart attack right there. Luckily he managed to grab hold of the sofa with his free arm landed on his backside.

    Sometimes their wounds are unintentionally self inflicted. When Molly was about 10 months old, she gave herself a black eye. She somehow managed to smack herself in the face with a toy when she bent down to pick it up.

    We have some sort of injury around here at least once a week. I just stock up on first aid items.

  4. Our friend Sofia just gave herself a black eye trying out that whole walking thing: guess it’s just par for the course. Not that knowing this makes the injuries any easier, I’m sure.

    He looks handsome, freakish toe injury and all!

  5. What is going on? I just left on vacation last week…..

    Poor Baby…..

    Don’t worry, Gram will be home next week. Hang in there!

  6. If there were baby bubbles I’d be the FIRST to buy one for Jasper! What about the hurts that you cause them yourself? I buckled Jasper into his highchair the other day and he had no shirt on and the buckle pinched his little tummy and left a big red mark!! He was crying hysterically and I felt SOOOOO bad. Bad mommy 😦

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