Hi, Tabatha. Just to let you know, there are some liquid strippers that are fairly safe and some that are not. Personally, I am not comfortable using methyl chloride based strippers but have no problem at all with NMP or lye based strippers. You do have to handle them carefully but all this takes is a little common sense and following the direstions on the label. You might stop by your nearest home center and spend some time reading the labels of what is there. You will be paying a penalty in more time for the stripper to work but it should not take that much extra time either.
Sanding is not a "cure-all" either. You should wear a mask to protect yourself from sanding dust. Inevitabilly, you will remove som of the wood when you sand. This will be mostly on the molded details which is what you want to preserve the most to keep the crispness of the original molding.