Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Toys and Baby proofing

This post is not intended to be judgmental or degrading to anybody who lives differently than us. I wanted to share our choices around toys and baby proofing because I'm tired of feeling shamed and judged by so many people who come into our home. I'm tired of the statements "Oh, you guys don't believe in toys..." or "when will you baby proof?!"  Bottom line is: we prefer to give Eloise more experiences than toys. We will keep heirloom toys and sell/donate toys as she grows out of them to make room for the new ones. We are not depriving our child of fun or entertainment, we just choose to do it a little differently, and that's okay.

Eloise has a small box of toys downstairs, and a bigger box in her room. Her toys range from little plastic toys that I never thought she would play with, to educational music boxes, to old measuring cups that I don't use anymore. Also, empty water bottles are her favorite EVER. She has two big shelves full of books in her closet, and two small shelves of books hanging on her wall (I love books and we are reading to her multiple times a day).What she has keeps her entertained for a long time, and it works for us.

As a couple, Nick and I have always kept a neat, clean house, and we aren't going to change that just because we have a baby. Recently, we've become a little more serious with the minimalist life style and really hope to keep these principals in our family and through raising kids. People always say "oh just wait until she's older... you'll have toys everywhere." But we won't, because we have made it a priority to expose her to many different experiences, and we want to teach her that she doesn't need multiple rooms full of toys to be happy. I would love to have a separate room for crafts, books, toys and games, but we don't have the space for it. I know she will be jealous of other kid's playrooms, and we will cross that bridge when it comes. :)

When Eloise was born, we opened a 529 account for her, and our family has been putting the money they would have spent on things for her in that account, and we so greatly appreciate it. She still gets books, outfits, and small gifts (usually practical, like a pool floatie or a sun hat). But guess what? Kids don't know if you spent $5 or $50 and usually end up playing with the box anyway. So why not put that money towards something she will use? Eloise: when you're 18 and have a couple years of college already paid for, you wouldn't be complaining about that plastic key set that you didn't have when you were 2 ;).

On baby proofing, I'll be quick. We have spent a lot of time and money creating what goes inside of our home, and we love our furniture and decorations. We have baby proofed our house already. We covered our outlets, removed all safety hazards, secured furniture and locked unsafe cabinets. But we will not clear our coffee table, move our couch that is easily scratched, cover our white couch or move our decorations. We are already teaching Eloise what she can and cannot touch, and she understands. If you can train a dog... you can train a baby to not touch. I understand kids can move quickly and things happen fast, but this works for us for now and we will adjust if we need to.

I hope I was able to shred some light on how we are doing things. She has toys. We are not anti -toys. My wish is that we can stop judging different parenting styles and just all learn from each other instead.


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