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I let my 6-month-old roll around on the living room floor. She almost always heads for a cord of some kind (laptop cord, xbox controller cord, etc.) I hide the power strip, so she doesn't have access to the outlets, but what can I do about the cords? She doesn't have teeth yet, so I have a little time to figure this one out before it gets really dangerous.

Also, how bad of an idea would it be to get her a toy of some sort that looks like wires? I can't tell if that sort of toy would be a good distraction from the real wires, or an encouragement to play with wires in general.

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Rather than physically blocking access, we tried teaching it:

What worked for us was to teach our toddler that cables are simply not to be touched. Of course he didn't learn that right away, but over time he's understood it. He's now nearly 2yo.

We taught him this the same way we taught him not to touch or do other dangerous things -- use whatever method you've found to be effective. For us, it was a stern "No!" and moving him away when he started doing something wrong, or even just before then if we could tell what he was going to do.

Also consider why your daughter is attracted to cables -- is it perhaps because they're very pleasant teething toys? Even if she's not actually teething at the moment, oral stimuli are very important to infants, and the cables certainly provide interesting input for the fingers as well. Consider providing some actual infant toys that have some of the same aspects like this one:
enter image description here
http://www.thinkgeek.com/geek-kids/newborn-infant/b0a3/

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As an engineer, my first thought would be conduit. If you get some 3/4" FMC and leave it near where you use your portable electronics, you could slip the cord in when using it docked, then slide it out when you go.

Here is a pretty cheap source for a short length and best of all, this has a non-metalic outer finish.

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http://www.kidsafeinc.com/product/308/Electric-Cord-Shortener-for-Child-Safety.html

I'm personally planning on trying to have cords behind furniture like the couch. I like the cord shortener, but I'll probably do the same thing by bundling the cord and securing it with a rubber band.

Another thing you can do is to have the cord run along the bottom of the wall and tape down the whole thing so it can't be picked up.

I had a friend tape all of hers up on the ceiling to keep them out of reach.

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This is a good looking product, but it wouldn't work so well with our laptop chargers. I also wouldn't like to tape them down, so we can easily take the chargers with us when we travel. –  Sarato Sep 7 '11 at 18:52
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