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  #1  
December 15th, 2012, 01:33 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
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Location: Atlanta, Ga
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Do you let your little ones (5 and under) have freedom to roam the house?

I don't. I think I could possibly do it if I only had 1-2 kids. But when I had my third, we put baby gates up EVERYWHERE. My kids pretty much never sit still and are constantly into something. So that means I would never sit still because I'd constantly be cleaning up after them non stop. Today, I let them play in the dining room area for about an hour and it resulted in my two year old running in circles through the dining room, kitchen, through the living room, and back to the dining room. Over and over. In the mean time my 8 yr old was trying to teach my 3yr old something on the computer(which pretty much means they are just arguing and wrestling). I'm nursing the baby and trying to fold laundry. Somehow the kids are also coloring and trying to make scrapbooks for themselves. Papers flying everywhere, living room filling up with toys, every 2 mins, someones sneaking into the pantry and rummaging the kitchen cabinets. I just don't know how people deal with kids without the baby gates! My brain would explode!

I generally keep a baby gate up at the door of the family room. There is a TV in there and two bedrooms. So they have three rooms to play in all day. They come into the dining room for school activities, eating, and crafts. Their free hour today just reinforced my baby gate rule. But I just hate it. I can't wait till they are old enough to take down these silly gates.
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  #2  
December 15th, 2012, 01:39 PM
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Our house is small, about the only time I use baby gates is for the dogs and that's to keep them out of the basement. Other then that they roam freely.
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  #3  
December 15th, 2012, 02:01 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
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Our house isn't exactly huge either. It's an old 1930's brick house in Atlanta. It was originally a 2 bedroom and they added 2 rooms onto the back, so you have to walk through each room to get to the next room. I think the fact that each room in the house is so small is what makes me a nervous wreck. Plus the fact that they can't be around each other and just get along. There's usually some sort of fighting, wrestling, running, and ultimate chaos happening. I feel like if they stay in "their" part of the house, then at least part of our house still keeps a bit of sanity and order.
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  #4  
December 15th, 2012, 02:23 PM
Farmers-wife's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Mine are free to roam. House, yard, woods. In fact I encourage the woods part. I notice that the younger the child, the closer to the house they stay.
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  #5  
December 15th, 2012, 03:14 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
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I bit jealous of that. That's how I grew up.


My kids can't go out into the yard without supervision. We live in the city and there is a homeless camp across the street from my neighborhood. Too much crime around here. I hope to get a fence around our house one day and I might feel a little bit better letting them out there. But there's so many gangs and shootings, it still freaks me out.
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  #6  
December 15th, 2012, 05:39 PM
HalfDozen's Avatar Formerly Number5OnTheWay
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We've never owned any baby gates or any baby-proofing items, in general. I know other people swear by them and use them all the time, but we just never have.
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  #7  
December 15th, 2012, 08:43 PM
~mommy~'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We have a baby gate to keep them from going upstairs when they are too little and a door on the basement stairs for the too littles. Other than that they are free to roam the house. It's the outside that scares me. The backyard is ok it's fairly sufficiently fenced, but the front yard (which of course they all always want to play in) terrifies me. It's really spacious, but there's no fence. The older dc are ok , but the littles......
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  #8  
December 15th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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I have used babygates before while living in UK cus our house was 3 floors. To scary for babies or young ones climbing on them. I also had one for kitchen. I was scared someone would grab a handle or something and get burned. My house here is fine with out, house in US is open plan and I dont have any gates. I do however use plug in safety outlet locks cus electricty scares me straight. and it just takes a split second for a childs curiousity to put something in it.

Outside thing, in the gated high fenced yard around the house ok..but further than that...i have to be in full view of them. Even when they are riding their scooters along the side walk. and we live in real nice nieghborhood on we are the house in middle of the cul de sac ! just me...
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  #9  
December 15th, 2012, 10:43 PM
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Mine roam the house, there's nothing for them to do upstairs during the day since there aren't toys in the bedrooms-but they have run of the house and basement and fenced yard. Right now I do have a babygate up for Joey so he won't go up the stairs since he can't come back down, but once he gets good at them he'll be free to wander three floors.
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  #10  
December 16th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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We had baby gates up to keep them from falling off the steps to the front door. When whatever little one was big enough for it not to be a danger I took it down. In my memory they always stuck around upstairs when they were little, I put their toys in the basement for a while but no one wanted to be down there. My youngest was always wherever anyone older was.

We had them in an enclosed area when they played outside, we live near a highway, dh drives around in a tractor, we have a lagoon. As they got older the perimeter got bigger (plus oldest was a little police woman when it came to younger siblings) now one of their favorite thing to do is go to the creek in the back of our field, which at first made me a little nervous, but I was playing around water by myself when I was much younger, so I let them.
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  #11  
December 16th, 2012, 08:30 AM
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They aren't allowed in my room or the basement, but other than that they are free to roam. I have never used gates or baby proofed anything either.
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  #12  
December 16th, 2012, 11:49 AM
sarahlorrain's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We use baby gates to keep little ones from getting into the part of the house with the bathroom. But once they figure out how to climb it, we take it down. We just now started letting David go outside with the older kids (and the dog has to be outside) to play in the yard, which is fenced, and he's almost three. I get up to check on the kids every few minutes, but he just plays with them or rides his tricycle around the yard.
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  #13  
December 16th, 2012, 02:03 PM
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Yes and No. We have a gate by the stairs so they can't go into the basement, plus we have a 15 month old that needs them. I also have one going into the living room, that we use to keep some of the littles in when the bigs are working on school. It's not like we lock them in, it's just nice to have for containment . Our kids are very curious and until they get to be 5 or so, we like to know where they are and what they are up to.

I think it also depends on the kids.
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  #14  
December 16th, 2012, 03:46 PM
Farmers-wife's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yeah, my kids have a severe lack of curiosity. We thought on he unschooled home school thing they would explore, ask, delve. No. The like to watch tv.
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  #15  
December 16th, 2012, 07:48 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
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I guess my kids are EXTREMELY curious! Ha. Just yesterday, my three year old (almost 4) went to the bathroom. I thought he was pooping. Nope. He used toothpaste as hair gel to spike his hair up. This type of stuff happens multiple times a day. Not to mention his obsession with changing clothes over and over all day. I had to take his entire wardrobe and move it to the guest room to save on laundry.
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  #16  
December 17th, 2012, 09:34 AM
2pinks&ablue's Avatar Chantelle
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We don't use (or own actually) a baby gate anymore.. The older two (almost 4 and 5) can to anywhere but the basement and our room (including the yard), and my 3rd (17 months) is allowed anywhere but those places and the bathroom (but obviously not in the yard unsupervised lol). My 3yo was my wild kid, always into something, but it seems like since we gav him more freedom, he got it all out of his system a bit more.. although I did find him trying to use toothpaste to wash his hands the other day lol.
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  #17  
December 17th, 2012, 10:35 AM
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The older 3 can go anywhere in the house they want. They have to ask to go outside because I'm still not comfortable letting them go outside alone.
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  #18  
December 17th, 2012, 12:32 PM
Farmers-wife's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~~Que~~ View Post
I guess my kids are EXTREMELY curious! Ha. Just yesterday, my three year old (almost 4) went to the bathroom. I thought he was pooping. Nope. He used toothpaste as hair gel to spike his hair up. This type of stuff happens multiple times a day. Not to mention his obsession with changing clothes over and over all day. I had to take his entire wardrobe and move it to the guest room to save on laundry.
Hahaha! Some of mine have done stuff like that. I guess I just count it as par for the course. We do have some strange conversations like "who peed on the Chapstick on the carpet?" And "who put this (thing) in (this completely inappropriate spot)?" We laugh a lot, too.
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  #19  
December 17th, 2012, 02:06 PM
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We use a gate for the top of the stairs until the youngest masters them. Ryder was an ace at the stairs by 14 months, but from 5 months until then we kept it up. We forgot a few times and he fell down them and being a boy he didn't learn my girls fell down the stairs once if at all and that was it they were very cautious after that but not my boys esp Ryder. My kiddos get into everything, Ryder is so curious and always has to be right in the mix of things, if I'm cooking he has to be right there "helping", if I'm doing laundry he has to be there, if I'm tending the woodstove he's right there. He scares the pee out of me at least once a day, just gettitng into things. I really think he is my most destructive child ever, jsut this week he has broken 2 cups a light bulb, and one of my kitchen drawers. My kiddos are horrible with clogging the toilets,(trucks toothbrushes soap), you name it we have found it in there. So I really have no sacred space. My 12 year old just yesterday made a soup concoction on the stove that I wanted to ask her what the heck she was thinking when she attempted it. She had thyme and cocoa in it. I should have made her eat it. I just made her clean the kitchen. My kiddos are free to roam the yard too. If they want to leave the yard they need permission.
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  #20  
December 18th, 2012, 05:30 AM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristina View Post
We use a gate for the top of the stairs until the youngest masters them. Ryder was an ace at the stairs by 14 months, but from 5 months until then we kept it up. We forgot a few times and he fell down them and being a boy he didn't learn my girls fell down the stairs once if at all and that was it they were very cautious after that but not my boys esp Ryder. My kiddos get into everything, Ryder is so curious and always has to be right in the mix of things, if I'm cooking he has to be right there "helping", if I'm doing laundry he has to be there, if I'm tending the woodstove he's right there. He scares the pee out of me at least once a day, just gettitng into things. I really think he is my most destructive child ever, jsut this week he has broken 2 cups a light bulb, and one of my kitchen drawers. My kiddos are horrible with clogging the toilets,(trucks toothbrushes soap), you name it we have found it in there. So I really have no sacred space. My 12 year old just yesterday made a soup concoction on the stove that I wanted to ask her what the heck she was thinking when she attempted it. She had thyme and cocoa in it. I should have made her eat it. I just made her clean the kitchen. My kiddos are free to roam the yard too. If they want to leave the yard they need permission.
This post makes me feel like I'm not alone. This is SO my life.
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