1. Don’t have a baby.
Just like abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, not having a baby is the only way to 100 percent effectively baby proof your home. Because no matter what you do, they will figure out a way around it eventually. And if they can’t, they will find a new, even more creative way to kill themselves while simultaneously breaking all your vinyl records and shoving a graham cracker into your Xbox.
2. Buy junior a shock collar
Illegal? Yes, highly. Effective? Probably. Cruel? Depends on how many times the tiny demon spawn has pulled all your books down from the bookshelf that day.
3. Get a helmet (for you)
Sure, kids hit their head a lot at this stage. What with the drunken staggering and all. But actually it’s the parents that really need the helmet. Because despite what science says about young children’s soft skulls, their go-to defensive move when a parent tries to stop them from drinking the bleach they found under the sink is the head butt. And they have deceptively good aim. Which is why I now look like Owen Wilson and have had more minor concussions than an NFL player.
4. Forget a baby gate. Get a Baby Great Wall of China.
The Baby Great Wall of China works particularly well if you also have men sitting at the top of it to shoot tiny Nerf arrows at little precious should he or she attempt to scale the wall and make a break for it.
5. Invest in that toilet seat latch thingie
This little tool is amazing at keeping your baby from opening the toilet lid and playing with poop water. It’s also amazing at keeping out parents who really, really, really have to pee RIGHT NOW because they drank a gallon of coffee because SOMEONE kept them up all night last night. But if you are OK with explaining to junior why he saw Mommy peeing in the shower with all her clothes on, then this is the right product for you.
6. Surgically attach your baby directly to your back (or your chest…your choice) so they are never, ever unsupervised.
This one too is probably highly illegal. It will also make those college interviews extremely awkward. But desperate times call for desperate measures. And, added bonus, you can just teach your kid to call you Hodor and suddenly the whole thing seems culturally relevant.
7. Stop buying cleaning products, which are chockfull of dangerous chemicals.
And without cleaning products, oh no, you can’t clean anymore. Bummer. (That’s what we call a win-win, kids.)
8. Own only crappy stuff.
In theory, this seems like a great idea. But as someone who already only owns crappy stuff, I’m the first to admit that you can also become really attached to the laptop held together with duct tape and the couch covered in martini stains.
9. Don’t own anything at all.
If you decide to ignore my advice in Tip #1, then the second most effective way to keep your toddler with the perpetually sticky jam hands out of all your things is to simply not own anything. However, even then, they would still try to fall out of a window in your empty home. And even if you lived outside, no windows in sight, they would try their damnedest to walk into a river or try to alleviate teething pain by gnawing on a bear.
So, basically, to sum up, you’re screwed.