Babies and HT gear and stuff

Kevin C Brown

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Aug 3, 2000
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I'll put this here, and see if the moderators want to move it.


I have 2 11 month old twins, and as any of you know who have kids, they are getting into the phase where they simply want to get into everything.

I have those common CD shelves with the two wood piece on either side, and the wood rods in between that the CDs sit on. I've had to take all the CDs off the bottom two rows because they would just dump them on the floor. Luckily, they hadn't yet figured out how to open the cases.


I have most of my gear hooked up to switched outlets, so when the gear is off, no big deal if they want to push a button here or there, but the other night for example, we watched a movie, and Kenny went straight for the DVD player with the display and all of its lights while it was running. That component is in a rack still above him, but when I opened up the drawer, he reached up and was going to try to hang on it before I got there. (Whew.)

So I'm just curious how others have dealt with this. CDs, DVDs, components, etc. I'm seriously getting ready to take all my CDs and DVDs that are in open racks, put them in boxes and put them in the garage.

Thanks!
 

DaveHo

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Dec 11, 2001
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605
As the father of a 2 year old I can relate. Before he was born, I used to kid my wife I was going to run a dog fence under the carpet to keep him away. Other than the obvious "no" when he would show interest in touching something, we did a couple other things which I think has helped tremendously.

Initially he was most interested in my MX-700 remote control. Solution, give him the one from the cable company, no batteries of course. When I would sit there flipping through the channels or whatever, he'd be right next to me using HIS remote. Worked like a charm.

If you have the space, set up a separate kids' system in a different room. I rounded up our old 32" 4:3 TV, DVD player, & VCR. We bought a nice closeable cabinet with storage space for his DVD's & VHS tapes to house it all and put it in the family room for him to use. Now he watches his Baby Einsteins, Sesame Street, etc on that. On this system we allow him to operate it as much as possible on his own. Nothing damaged yet, and if he does, ehh, no big deal.

Only other advice I can give is never ever let them see you take off the speaker grills, unplug cables, etc. So far, so good. Oh, and we did use gates at first to keep him out of the theater room, but those haven't been needed for a while now.

-Dave
 

DaveHo

Supporting Actor
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Dec 11, 2001
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605
Oh, forgot about the CD's & DVD's. I have couple of racks like that as well. He has rearranged them for me a couple times. Best advice I can give is to keep them packed tight enough such that they are difficult to pull out. Wedge some cardboard in there to make each row nice & snug & make sure the partially filled row(s) are out of reach. Depending on how top heavy they are, you might want to secure them to the wall some how. I didn't have any problems with him trying to climb it, but you never know.

-Dave
 

Sam H

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Mar 8, 2003
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Good thread! I have the same problem, only with a kitten. She gets bored and swats at my fairly expensive hanging interconnects and cables with her claws, which of course makes me nervous. I'm also afraid of keeping a low to the floor front projector with her roaming the room.
 

Jerome Grate

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May 23, 1999
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I have Irish twins (15 months apart)
when he was 2 and half she was a over a year. Keeping CDs and DVDs out of reach helps, but as to equipment unless it's inside a cabinet not much you can do except place it out of reach or place something obscure infront of it. I the ottoman that protected the power amp and kept them away from the equipment shelf. Short lived since my son is the daredevil of the family. His purpose was to get on the ottoman and jump off. Kept him busy enough so he wouldn't focus on the equipment. My daughter she's already ruin one vcr afte she was one by sticking a DVD into the slot of the vcr. Not knowing, I placed a tape in (ironically for them) and it never worked.
 

nolesrule

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As a soon-to-be father, I really appreciate this thread. We recently replaced our open-shelving units around our TV to closed cabinets and drawers, except for the shelves containing the speakers and components. I've found that drawers hold most of the DVDs, but not all, so we're probably going to switch move the extras into an "off-limits" room (read: my home office) that will be gated. There's no ay I can child-proof that room anyway.

A friend of mine with kids also recommended creating a "cartoon channel". He purchased a bunch of cartoon DVDs and ripped them to an old computer that has video output to a TV. The computer constantly plays the cartoons randomly and is attached to one of the inputs on his RPTV. So, rather than the kids messing with, and potentially destroying, the original DVDs, they just switch the TV input to the "cartoon channel".
 

Doug Otte

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Jun 20, 2003
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We never had problems with our daughter playing with the equipment. I don't know why; just lucky, I guess. She tried to feed Quark some milk one time, but that only left a few smudges on the screen.

Before she could walk, when she was cruising around in her bounce walker thingy (new parents - what do you call that thing they sit in?), she'd love to pick a selection of CDs, put them in her tray, then deposit them later in different parts of the room. I'd find CDs in the weirdest places...

Doug
 

Glen B

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Apr 9, 2002
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I never had a problem with my daughters and touching, but my grandson is a different story. He just turned 5 last week and has just about grown out of the touching phase. He has left a trail of several DVD players and VCRs with ripped off trays and various objects stuck inside. My solution was to install doors with locks on my equipment racks to keep his little fingers away. I have Salamander Synergy furniture for which optional doors and locks are available. They also have "easy add drop in nuts" available, which allow you to add accessories like doors, shelves and back panels to already assembled furniture.

Glen
 

Kevin C Brown

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Hmm... I have Salamander racks too, oh drats, the archetype kind.

I was over a buddy's house over the weekend, where all his stuff was behind cabinet doors. Now I know why.


I also have used the "pack CDs and DVDs so tightly they can't get them out" method. For those that I have taken out of the racks, I have them on the floor now in boxes, in there pretty tight and they try to mess with them but they can't get them out. I like the cardboard idea to make it even tighter. Maybe I'll try to put them back in the racks and see what happens. Good suggestion.

Remote: we do have an extra TV remote that we let them play with, but it's in the other room. But one thing I've found too, is that they tend to not want to play with what they're supposed to, but with whatever *I'm* playing with.
I have tried the "sacrificial" approach too with a little bit of success. I kept all those AOL, Earthlink, PeoplePC, etc CD-roms and boxes and stuff for dial up internet connections. (I must have like 50 of these in various forms, different plastic and metal cases, etc.) I used to have some CDs and DVDs on the coffee table. (Stuff I was watching or listening to at the moment.) I'd put the sacrificial discs so they could get to those ones first. But you know what they did? They'd dump all the fake ones on the floor, then go after the real ones.


I am a little nervous about my speakers, but I figure if they don't know what's behind the grills, I'll never show them so that then they'd get curious about the driver cones and what a finger would do to them.


Good stuff. I was really beginning to lose it over this, because for the longest time at the beginning, I'd just clean the CDs or DVDs up, or try to say "no", and I finally just gave up and started changing things. But it's nice to know that most people with kids go through this. The funny thing is, that right now, I can tell they are starting to understand what "no" means, just that they smile at you and ignore it!
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I think it's a lot tougher when you have twins: "Irish" or otherwise.
They just feed off each other a lot of the times. Our 2 older kids are also 15 months apart, and we had to use gates/fences to surround the main HT gear when they were still little and rascally -- we don't have a separate HT room and have open equipment shelves. We kept our CDs/DVDs in a closed cabinet and boxes for the most part.

Now, we're expecting a new baby, and I'm not sure what we'll do this time around. I don't think we can do the gates/fences thing again due to the much smaller living room space. I guess our 2 older kids might become helpful in keeping the baby away from the HT gear though. And I guess we can also keep our good size coffee table in front of the RPTV as an obstacle -- and maybe do similar things for the front speakers and the equipment rack. I have things arranged so that it's not too easy to get behind the HT gear to mess w/ cables, etc.

_Man_
 

Kevin C Brown

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Aug 3, 2000
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You are right.
If one learns how to do something, then they both "learn" it. 2 heads are better than one kind of thing. So they learn faster in terms of how to ... get into more stuff. I have boxes of CDs in front of my eqp rack now. "Protecting" it. But I've caught them both now trying to climb the boxes!

But sometimes they keep each other occupied too.


How long does this phase last? I'm hearing up to about 4 years old?
 

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