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My baby’s deadly favorite toys

My baby girl is like many other 8-month old babies. She scoots around on her belly, squeals at the cat, giggles when we play peek-a-boo, and loves to empty the Tupperware cabinet. Unfortunately, she also has some other favorite playthings.

Literally, the day she first started “crawling” (if that’s what it could be properly called), my daughter reached out to touch what she’d been looking at for months. What is at perfect eye level with every baby in a bouncer, or sitting on her own? The electrical outlets, of course. Before she was mobile, I never had them covered. Of course, I went out right away and bought some safety caps. I bought some that were almost clear so they wouldn’t look so garish in the living room. But since they are clear, the girl doesn’t necessarily realize they are there. So she scoots over, lifts herself up and tries to suck on them.

Next are the power cords. A friend of mine said her kids always liked them, too. Actually, my daughter’s very favorite power cord is the one on my laptop. I think that’s because it has a transformer box with a little green light on it. I wouldn’t think it would have a particular flavor, but that doesn’t stop the baby from tasting it every chance she gets. Her second favorite is the controller cord on my electric blanket. I really do try to keep things out of reach, but some things just need to stay plugged in.

Something I DO remember to keep put away are plastic bags. But sometimes when I’m cooking dinner, I have the waste basket out. Inevitably, the baby gravitates towards yet another deadly toy. She must just like the way it sounds. Or the way the garbage smells when the whole trash can tips over. Once I forgot to put up the waste basket in my office when she was with me. Aside from the bag lining it, there’s only paper in the can. But my baby likes the taste of paper, apparently. And it sticks really well to the roof of her mouth. So well, in fact, that I didn’t find it until the next morning.

Finally, I saved the best for last. If you really want to keep my daughter happy and quiet for a good half hour, give her a shoe. When we realized how much she adored footwear, my husband kind of rolled his eyes and said something about her being such a girl. But time proved that she doesn’t really want to wear shoes, she just wants to chew them. Now he rolls his eyes and says something about her being a puppy. OK, so maybe shoes aren’t deadly toys, but they are really gross. Come to think of it, the shoelaces could strangle her. And there could be some kind of nasty infectious substance on the soles. So, I guess she’s 4 for 4 on the suicidal playthings. We’re thinking (seriously) about buying her a pair of clean shoes as a toy for Christmas. I could pull out the laces and if they never go outside, they’ll stay as clean as any “real” toy.

Here are some tips for successfully baby-proofing your home.

So, am I the only one with a baby that has a death wish? What do your kids play with that really shouldn’t be a toy?

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