Why This Mom Refuses to Babyproof

Abby Plested with child

Childproofing, or the art of making your home as safe as possible for your kids in order to prevent trips to the ER and dirty looks from people, has been a parenting must for quite some time. Moms and dads are notorious for stocking up on preventive products, though there are some, like Abby Plested, who take a "thanks, but no thanks" approach. In fact, this New Zealand mom recently said she doesn't believe in babyproofing, which has me staring at my computer screen like come again??


As a mom of 3- and almost 2-year-old boys -- who are prone to running into any and everything on the regular -- I find it hard to imagine why Plested, a 23-year-old Instagram influencer with 13,000 plus followers and the mother of a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old, believes "there's no need to babyproof," as Stuff.co.nz notes.

More from CafeMom: Are You Too Stubborn to Baby-Proof?

In fact, Abby seems to be so gung-ho about skipping this common parenting must-do that, when asked about her "best babyproofing hack" during her Stuff.co.nz interview, she simply responded, "Don't babyproof. Let them learn, and they won't do it again."

Say what?

Since her interview, Abby has reiterated her anti-babyproofing sentiments, but she admits there are circumstances that require a few safeguards.

"Sure, there is a place and a need to babyproof some parts of your home; however, I think you can get over the top with it," Plested told Daily Mail Australia. ".... For example, I have cactus in my house and [my son] Houston touched it once and he will never go near them again. Trust me."

Abby Plested's son near cactus

This mom, however, notes she does ensure items like shelving units, cupboards, and mirrors are properly secured to the wall.

More from CafeMom: After Toddler Is Crushed to Death by Dresser, Ikea Once Again Urges Parents to Secure Furniture

As much as I can agree with Abby that parents can be on #TeamTooMuch when it comes to being overly cautious about safety, she totally lost me when she revealed she opts out of one common babyproofing must.

"I have never put baby gates up in my home or stairs because I think it's important for the baby to learn boundaries without these," Plested admitted to the Mail. "Yes, it means you have to watch your baby more, but you are most likely doing that anyway."

Abby Plested with son

Oof. The idea of not putting a gate on stairs in homes where tiny people reside makes me nervous about their falling down the steps!

More from CafeMom: 12 DIY Child-Proofing Hacks to Keep Kids Safe

Since Abby shared her babyproofing revelation, many took to the Daily Mail's Facebook page to sound off, and their responses have been mixed.

Some people are in agreement with this mom.

Babyproofing Facebook response
Coralee Tamarapa/Facebook

... Others, however, thought Abby -- and those who support non-babyproofing efforts -- are missing the point and purpose of taking precautions.

Babyproofing Facebook response
Bill Perry/Facebook

More from CafeMom: 4 Childproofing Mistakes You're Probably Making

One of the things I love about being a mother is the community of other mommies who challenge my perspective and ability to see things from a different point of view. Obviously, Abby is not the only parent who feels babyproofing isn't needed to keep a child safe. But, as much as I believe moms and dads have a right to do what they think is best for their child, I honestly can't imagine not taking certain preventive measures, just to be safe instead of sorry.

An estimated 18,000 Americans die every year from household-related injuries -- many of which, some would argue, are preventable. Children, in particular, have the highest risk of accidents, as roughly 3.4 million kids experience an unintentional injury in the home every year. And accidental injuries are the leading cause of death in children up to age 14.

These numbers alone make the thought of removing the baby gates on any of the stairs in my house an uncomfortable notion. Because, no matter how present my husband and I are when it comes to our children and their safety -- and how much I might agree that some babyproofing simply doesn't work or is a little extra (looking at you, refrigerator locks) -- we realize we can't be everywhere at every moment. Thus, we rely on certain childproofing items to be a saving grace on standby. 

Parents have the right to do as little or as much babyproofing as they want to, and I can only hope that every kid, regardless of how babyproofed his or her home is, remains as safe as possible.

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