Guest Author - Julixa Newman
As twins transition from stationary to walking, they will embark on a journey to explore everything in the house-and show each other every trick along the way. I believe that the desire to show each other what they learn propels them to investigate every corner of the house faster than they would otherwise. Couple this with the fact that there are two explorers instead of one, and you have a newfound respect for those that childproof the house well. Here are some of the best tips weíve heard for childproofing against child ďtwinvestigators.Ē
Lid locks-whether itís laundry, trash, or diapers, twins call it a party if there is a receptacle they can empty out by throwing it everywhere. If you canít find a lock for it, put it in the closet. I am going to mention the toilet here, so youíll know Iíve seen that too-there is a lock for the toilet that is easy to pop when the toilet is actually necessary. If you donít lock it, you will find them playing in it someday. All I can say is to pray that everyone flushes. You know youíre going to feel the need to bathe them right away anyway regardless.
Door stops-There are mechanisms that fit high up on the door to stop it from closing, but our experience had them cracking the wood doors more than stopping the closing. If you can find a really good one, go for it, but an old fashioned door stop will do the trick until they find the skills to find the problem. Either way, opening and closing doors (and hurting tiny fingers) has been providing hide and seek fun for twins since homes were invented. Some people make homemade stops, such as tying a blanket around the knobs, or even taking the doors off, but if you like keeping your home proofed without it looking too much like a nursery, there are better options.
Gates-As far as gates, they are a very personal decision-some prefer the easy on, easy off latch lever variety, but they hurt walls and paint over time. The plus is that they are the cheapest out there. There are also the swing gates which cost more money, but latch on to stair banisters and railings with their own hardware-they just seem more permanent in that they donít come down just for company. As long as they keep the kids corralled and away from the stairs, itís up to you how you use them. Just be aware that as they get older, they can kick those cheap models right out of the wayÖ
Sort the toys-As I write, I am starting to remember a time I found one of my twins was hysterical because her sister was fighting the dog to see who would get to chew the dogís squeaky toy. That wasnít what I meant, but keep those separate too. My greatest feat was separating the hard and soft toys until the twins were old enough to know that throwing things would hurt each other. When they were not at arms reach, they only had access to softer balls and toys. During time with Mommy and Daddy, we would let them try the heavier and more intricate toys.
Area Rugs-Need I say more? If you have a floor of your house that is wood, stone or marble, congratulations-that sounds nice! However, these babies grab each otherís toys and push each other non stop until they develop some social skills. If they are going to be playing there, cover it up. Someday it will save a butt, a head, or possibly even a crack in the floor from a hard toy!
Outlets-This one should be innate for parents, but many of us still leave things plugged in all over the house. There are so many innovations on outlet covers that itís just a crime not to get a good one. Especially when you can safely leave things plugged in without a chance the twins will be able to win at Tug-of-War with the wall outlet.
The Ottoman and the coffee table-We searched high and low for something without sharp edges the kids could play around, and that still looked like we donít live in a nursery. There are so many Ottomans covered in padded vinyl or leather, that there is a unit to fit every budget. Some even have storage in the middle, so you can keep their favorite toys close by, and your magazines in one piece for that elusive day when you finally get around to reading one. Anything with hidden storage is a plus when you have twin toddlers.