Baby Proofing Your Home the DIY Way

Baby proofing sounds like an expensive proposition to new parents, already faced with mounting medical bills and outfitting an infant nursery. But baby proofing your home the DIY way can reduce some of that stress, if done correctly.

Naturally, you won't be able to handle everything yourself. There are some baby proofing products that simply must be purchased and it's particularly important to buy safe furniture for infants and toddlers. Fortunately, Pottery Barn Kids free shipping codes help defray costs while ensuring your child will remain safe during those all-important early years. 

In other areas, however, you can be frugal without fear. Here are 11 ways to keep your child safe without spending a fortune.

1. Slip-Proof Your Rugs

Instead of replacing select rugs and door mats with expensive slip-proof versions, use rolls of rubber-matting used to line cupboard shelves. Cut and sew together the matting to the size needed then baste the rubber to the rug.

2. Rubber Baby Bumpers
Our homes are filled with sharp corners and buying foam protectors for every one can get expensive. Instead, cut up old tennis balls with a hacksaw and wedge them on to the surfaces. Make a single cut for large angles, like table corners, and solidly wedge the balls into place. Cut balls in half or quarters for smaller surfaces and attach with duct tape.

This may not be the best solution, however, for homes with tennis-ball-loving dogs.

3. Cabinet Locks
Rubber-coated hairbands serve as quick-fixes for cabinets with non-lethal contents, like games or pots and pans. (You'll want stronger locks for cabinets containing cleansers, alcohol or medications.) They're cheap and easy to remove, when older kids want to get into the cabinets without hassle.
The thick rubber bands that hold broccoli stalks together also do the trick. You can wind bungee cords through several cabinets, which works particularly well in garages.

4. Washcloths as Door Locks
Commercial door handle latches can be expensive and difficult to install when doorknobs and handles are impossible to remove. One frugal and simple solution is to place a washcloth in between any interior door and frame while closing the door. To open, pull on the washcloth while pulling open the door.

Remember to place the washcloth high enough to be out of your child's reach but not so high older children or petite adults can't remove it. If everyone in the house is tall enough, you can toss a towel over the top of the door, near the hinges.

This also works well on swinging doors and doors with automatic closers.

5. Use Velcro
Landlords can be mighty picky about every hole renters drill in their walls. That makes it fairly expensive to anchor bookshelves to the walls with plates and screws. Instead, try attaching Velcro strips to both the walls and shelves with putty.

You can also use Velcro to anchor some knick knacks to their shelves, but make sure it won't ruin your curios or the shelf first. This method isn't entirely baby proof, but it may allow you to keep your curios on display a little bit longer.

6. Don't Use Power Buttons
Some parents go to great lengths to baby proof their entertainment centers, perhaps moving entire systems off the floor or behind closed doors.. While it's important to make sure all power cords are out of a toddler's reach, there's a simple way to avoid teaching them the game "let's turn everything on and off until Mommy and Daddy go mad."

If you exclusively use your remotes, and keep them well out of reach, your toddler won't know the purpose of all those fascinating black buttons. This may not work with diligent toddlers, but it may buy you some time.

7. Baby Gates
Not everyone can whip up a wooden baby gate tailored for an unusual space. If you've grasped even the basics of a needle and thread, however, you can make a fabric gate that will provide enough protection until you're comfortable letting your toddler roam.

Stitch grommets into the four corners of a large piece of sturdy fabric or canvas; attach hooks and drill eyelets into the appropriate places in your wall. Remember to measure twice and drill once.

8. Inner-tube Book Protectors
Bicycle inner tubes hold books in, keep baby out and give little ones another fun toy. Depending on the width and depth of the bookcase, either stretch one inner tube around the entire bookcase horizontally or sew two bike tubes together and do likewise. The tubes won't be good for much after baby grows up, but your books will remain intact and accessible throughout.

9. Vertical Blind Cords
Attach an attractive wall fixture, like a fleur-de-lis, on the wall next to the pull cord and loop the cords over it repeatedly to keep them out of baby's reach. (You can often find very attractive used sets of fixtures at Habitat for Humanity stores.)

10. Vertical Blinds
To keep your toddler from pulling on the bottom of vertical blinds and pulling the entire assembly down on their heads, double the bottom panel up until it's out of baby's reach, and use a paper clip on each side to attach it in place.

11. Outlet Coverings
For a temporary fix when visiting or on vacation, cover electrical outlets with duct tape. It's much easier than carrying around those little plastic outlet-plug thingamabobbies and easier to install and remove.

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2 Comments

I have twins. This post just saved my life and my pockets. Thank you so much.


Posted by Tiff
great money saving ideas for these hard times and every little bit helps!
Posted by Gin