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  1. #1
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    Default How do you manage an active toddler & open plan living??

    My dd turned 1 last week and although she's not walking yet she's VERY active. She had a big playpen to play in (2m x 2m) and she's been reasonably content in that, but in the last week she has been quite unhappy to go in there most of the time. She wants to be out & exploring. BUT, we have open plan L-shaped lounge/dining/kitchen with no easy way to block off any large portion of it (hence the mega playpen).

    In the blink of an eye this afternoon she followed my 5yo ds to the toilet - first I knew was when I heard 'I don't want you in here!' - I hadn't seen her for about 10 seconds! Then she was behind me (lounge chairs face away from kitchen & dining room) and I thought she was happily playing (she'd been in that spot for about 30 seconds) and then she cried and she had fallen and was lying down next to the leg of the table .. I'm not sure if she hit the table leg or not ... she wasn't that distressed, but I was!

    How on earth do I manage? She's been sick and she might be happier in the playpen when she's not sick, but I doubt it. I'm at home alone with her most days (school holidays at the moment) and at this rate I won't be able to sit down at all unless she's eating in the highchair or asleep. Please tell me it's not that bad.

    I went back to full time work when my ds was 12 months old and I remember this phase was difficult. We blocked off the lounge/dining area from the rest of the house for him, but we've since changed where the tv goes and there's also more bookshelves and all of ds's toys in the area so it's a lot more tricky. I'm at a loss.

  2. #2
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    This is what we've done... (with 9 month old and 3.5 year old)

    We keep only toys that are safe (no small parts etc) in the main living area and all small toys are kept in Miss 3's room. We put a gate across her door - she can open it herself. (is very good and keeping to the toy rule of what can be played where)

    We keep the toilet door closed and we have a gate across the bathroom door. I keep our bedroom door closed and the office door (soon to be bub's room) closed.

    We baby-proofed the living area with latches on cd cabinet etc. With the bookshelf we put books up higher and left lower shelves empty. I store some books in the office and quite a number of items under the house (temporarily) during this tricky time.

    I must admit that I do very regularly get up to check where bub is in case something is not ok. I did this for my first dd and I just got used to it. It wasn't too bad. And mostly she didn't get up to to much mischief mainly because she couldn't with all the gates etc!

    Pain in bum for us though - with all the gates and closed doors I feel like Maxwell Smart going down that hallway with door after door to open! Again, it's just something we are used to.

    Shall feel most liberated in 3 years time when it all returns to normal

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to onedayatatime For This Useful Post:

    mim1  (05-10-2012)

  4. #3
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    Honestly we never really found a way to manage it. We just blocked off what we couldn't move (coffee table in front of the stereo) and baby proofed the kitchen. We just had to keep pulling our son off things (he was a climber), shooing him out of anything dangerous, etc. It was exhausting for a long time until he started listening and was a bit older.

    Our would never play happily in a playpen so him being all over, under, on and into everything was something we just accepted and kept reinforcing boundaries. We also spent a lot of time outside.

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    mim1  (05-10-2012)

  6. #4
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    Thanks girls - your comments gave us some ideas - appreciate it!

    Anyone else?

  7. #5
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    Same as PPs - shut doors and childproof everything. I don't expect DS to be in my line of sight all day long, but I know wherever he is in the house he's safe because it's all childproof.

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    mim1  (06-10-2012)

  9. #6
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    We used the play pen in reverse. DS 3yo keeps his toys with small parts in the play pen. There is also a bookcase for his books and a couple of dvd stands in there.
    Otherwise we have pushed our ottoman infront of the tv so ds 1yo cant pull it on himself. We have a very wide gate with many extenders blocking off the kitchen area.
    We dont store much in the main living area. It is basically a childrens play centre. But as ds 1yo is getting older and understanding instruction more that is changing.

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    mim1  (06-10-2012)

  11. #7
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    We have the whole house baby proof, other than our bedroom which we keep closed.
    -Latches on all cupboards that dd
    -could get into something bad
    -all breakables out of reach
    -we have a strap on the back of our tv so dd can't pull it on herself
    -furniture set up so there is a nice flow and dd doesn't have to manouver around too much (not so much of an issue now that she is confidently walking), and we don't have a coffee table as it's pointless with toddlers around
    -lots of toys at dd's height so that she can choose what she wants to play with
    -power point covers in every power point within her reach

    Having an open plan house pretty much means that dd has free reogh and I have found it much easier babyproofing than just constantly telling her not to touch this or that because curiousity usually got the better of her

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    mim1  (06-10-2012)

  13. #8
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    We have open plan living and i have just made sure the place is safe for her. Anything dangerous or valuable is out of reach ior in a locked cupboard. Then we just taught her with lots of patience not to touch other things (computer, playstation etc)

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    mim1  (06-10-2012)

  15. #9
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    I have a 2yo and 4mth old. Since our dd1 started crawling we baby proofed a few things using a connectable piece playpen called jolly kids playpen as fences. We bought two boxes and have used it to fence off the kitchen, the bookshelves and entertainment unit.

    Now ive got a smaller closed off area where dd2 plays (keeping her safe from dd1) and dd2 runs rampant.

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    mim1  (06-10-2012)

  17. #10
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    I've always had open plan and babies and we just shut bedroom doors, baby proofed the main parts of the house as best as we could and kept an eye on them. I've never used a play pen for any of my three.

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    mim1  (06-10-2012)


 

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