1 Year Old Unplugging Everything in His Room

Updated on January 27, 2009
J.S. asks from Castle Rock, CO
11 answers

Hi all. I have a 14 month old who just recently started unplugging everything in his room. In the morning he will go in his room and unplus his nightlight and proudly bring it to me. He also brings me his baby monitor and unplugs his lamp. Each time he does this I give him a tap on the hand and tell him no. He even knows this is wrong because he looks at it and shakes his finger. Any advice on how to stop him from doing this? I am worried that one day he is going to try plugging them back in or putting something else in the socket in its place. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for the advice. I went to Babies R Us today and found those special outlet plates that slide open when something is plugged in and when it is unplugged it slides shut. I had thought about moving furniture in front of the outlets but with the night light I couldn't do that. Anyway thanks again!

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answers from Miami on

Is there a way to plug these devices into outlets that he can't get access to? There are special outlet plates I've seen in catalogs. They replace the typical plate but when the device is unplugged, a plastic piece slides over the outlet to prevent little fingers playing with the outlet.

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answers from Jacksonville on

i've seen things that go on the outlets that make it hardd for children to unplug them.

But, he is saving on your electric bill!! Maybe he's trying to get you to go green!! hehehe



answers from Miami on

This is a game he enjoys playing. It's an activity that occupies his curiosity.
I don't agree that hitting/tapping is correct behavior on your part, either. It must be frustrating for you.

Direct your son to another activity that you approve of: a child's construction set (wooden tools) a new sandbox in the yard; have him arrange the pots and pans in the kitchen while you prepare meals; and put those plug-ins into the wall sockets that are unused. He won't be able to remove them manually.
He's young and curious. It's an opportunity to teach.



answers from Boca Raton on

Be proactive. As soon as he wakes up, remind him that he shouldnt touch the plugs, etc. Then keep an eye on him and make sure to quietly follow him to his room and watch, if he goes to touch it, tell him no. If he does it again remove him from the room and continue to do that until he loses interest. Do that for 1-2 weeks and he will likely get it. Make sure there at safety plugs in all outlets that dont have something in them. Also, to everyone who reads this, make sure not to ever use a standard night light with a bulb. My son took the cover off and popped the bulb in his hand at 2 years old. He sliced his finger open from tip to base and we had to take him to the hospital. They strapped him down to a T board to fix it. It was, without a doubt, the most awful experience of my life.



answers from Mayaguez on

The only thing I can think of is to remove everything he unplugs and cover those outlets with safety covers, so he doesn't try to stick anything in them. I guess you could plug the monitor after he's asleep and put a piece of furniture in front of plugs in his bedroom, so he can't reach them. Also, put safety cover on all outlets around the house. Good luck with your little electrician.



answers from Jacksonville on

Hi J.,

At that age I arranged the furniture so it was blocking the outlets, and outlets I couldn't cover with furniture I childproofed with covers that screw on because my kids knew how to unplug those little platic pieces. It seems like a bit of a hassle, but in comparison to loosing your little one to an accident, it's well worth it.

My mother loves to tell the story of how lucky I was to survive as a toddler. I plugged a pair of tweezers into an outlet, shorted out the apartment building we lived in, she saw what looked like a lightning bolt streak across the room, the walls were scorched. Lucky for me she liked expensive tweezers that had rubber grip handles and I survived with just a fear of outlets and electricity my whole life!



answers from Pensacola on

There are nightlights you can buy that screw onto the switchplate and can't be removed. They work by sensor, so if it's light enough, they won't come on. The plug underneath has a safety device that makes it to where you have to insert plug, twist, then finish inserting to get anything plugged in. Move the other things plugged in to behind a dresser or crib or just block it off with something. He's curious and he's exploring. It's totally normal, but you do want to be cautious and childproof what you can. If he doesn't see the plugs available to pull out, he'll move on and find something else to get into.



answers from Jacksonville on

Hi Jamie, i have the following products in my daughters room to prevent just that. Outlet Cover & Cord Shortener from One Step Ahead (Set of 2)Item #: 12034. I also have a night light that cannot be pulled out but am still looking for it on line. when i find it i will send the information to you! Good Luck


answers from Jacksonville on

Simplest way is to remove them. Obviously you can't remove them ALL.

What we did (after minimizing what needed to be plugged in in his room) was to put a piece of furniture in front of the outlet/cord. The dresser blocked the lamp and the monitor cords. The other outlets, we just put outlet covers on. We never used night lights.

As far as you tapping his hand when he brings it to you... that's not helpful. He isn't going to connect the "correction" to messing with the outlets. He's going to connect it to BRINGING the items to you. Besides.. just telling him "no" isn't going to count for much at his age. Start pointing out to him that outlets can be dangerous, and he can get hurt messing with them. Then make it more difficult for him to do so (by blocking with furniture or covering them). He will eventually get tired of it. But you will still need to be vigilant about watching him. (My son -- long after being past this stage -- took my car keys and stuck a car key in a telephone jack. Thankfully the outlet covers blocked the sockets or THAT is where he would have stuck it, and the phone jack couldn't hurt him. But he DID mess up the wires inside it so that the phone line didn't work!)



answers from Jacksonville on

Babies R Us sells an outlet cover that goes over the cords. You take off the original plate, and screw this one in. Then plug in whatever you need, and it has a cover that snaps on top. The child can't get to it. We used them for both of our boys, and I know they work. Plus, they're not too expensive. Walmart might sell them also, but I'm not sure.

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