Photo: Colin Reed

Seasoned parenting experts love to give advice to new parents. Every experienced parent is the best parent that has ever walked the face of the Earth. Taking advice from veteran parents is similar to being recommended to a doctor or medical specialist. Everyone’s guy is the best. “You have to see my doctor, he’s the best.” Well, they can’t all be the best. Someone out there is graduating at the bottom of these med school classes, and thus a plethora of doctors exist who obviously are not the best.

Parenting is no different. The parenting gurus like to use buzzwords to sound important. Baby proofing is a perfect example of a parenting buzzword gone berserk. All these self-proclaimed parenting experts will champion baby proofing as something all new parents must do. It is critically important. Baby proof your house to protect your infant.

Within the realm of baby proofing, lots of mainstays exist that don’t really change over time. Things like covering electrical outlets, padding the corners of tables, moving heavy objects to higher locations, and keeping sharp, pointy things like pencils, scissors, staples, and ninja sais off the floor where the baby cannot reach them. While taking these precautions seems to orbit the world of common sense, the parenting sages like to call it baby proofing. Even common sense has become so uncommon that we require a user manual and have to give it a cool name in order for it to be taken seriously.

The truth about baby proofing is that it isn’t real. It is a fictional idea conjured solely in the mind of the self-glossed parenting adroit. A baby will discover a thousand different ways to hurt themselves without ever sticking their finger in an electrical socket or pulling daddy’s katana swords off the table. A curious baby will do almost anything to thwart the pseudo-security system that the masterful baby proofing parent has in place. A baby will walk out onto a scorching hot, sun-baked patio and burn their feet. They will attempt to scale the couch at a vertical incline like Spiderman. They will crawl in between the washing machine and the wall simply because they can. They will pull anything within reach out of the pantry or refrigerator. They’ll put food in their eyes. They’ll scratch their face with their tiny claws. They’ll pee on the floor then stand up and slip on their own urine. The entire world is a hazard when you’re a baby.

Baby proofing is a myth until you as the parent are willing to swaddle your baby in packing peanuts and keep it in a plastic bubble. The reality is, your baby will injure itself. It is inevitable. The good news, however, is that babies are soft and flexible and can handle the rugged terrain of endless household threats and perils. Baby proof your house, by all means, but don’t be shocked when your tiny human crashes head first into the floor lamp simply because he or she feels like it.