No one wants to get their babies hurt or injured unintentionally anywhere, especially at home. This is why many of us practice baby proofing even way before our babies arrive. Usually, we opt to make our ways easier by buying baby proofing products from a wide variety of options. In fact, it is recorded how the general parent population spends a billion dollars annually in excess to buy these. However, we can actually spend lesser if only we know how to and try out baby proofing on a budget.
To baby proof on a budget does not mean that we buy the most inexpensive products sold in stores. It means that we can simply arrange our furniture and improvise our house tools to create safety devices. For example, we can use pool noodles as corner guards or elastic as a toilet paper roll saver. We can also utilize the pool noodles as door stoppers and the elastic as door and appliance locks. Besides those two, we can also utilize duct tapes or heavy-duty sealing tapes as outlet covers and toilet lid locks.
One thing that baby proofing on a budget requires is creativity. A limited budget should not hinder us from creating a safe space for our babies. Also, we might even have fun exploring our creativity while crafting our own baby proofing items.
Corner and Edge Guards
Our home may have a lot of corners that we want covering. This means that we will have to spend a good few dollars to accommodate the lot. However, we can actually skip the stores as we find alternatives from our own homes.
Tennis balls can actually do well as corner guards. We only need to cut slits in our tennis balls then slide them onto the corners we want to cover. And then voila, our babies are now safe from the threatening sharp corners.
Aside from tennis balls, we may utilize pipe insulation or pool noodles as corner and edge guards. Similarly, we will have to cut a slit all through their lengths. Then, we can place them on long edges as table or counter edges.
We do not have to cover all our furniture with our alternative bumpers, though. Aside from the probability that they may disturb our aesthetics, installing them may be so much work. In other words, we can reduce the number of furniture edges we want to cover. For example, we may skip using our coffee tables and hide them in the storage. We can use them back anyway when we are sure that our babies will not bump their heads on them.
Toilet Paper Roll Saver
Saving our toilet paper rolls is probably more for our convenience than of our babies’ safety. It is a common scenario when a baby holds a toilet paper party in the bathroom. As much as it may concern us that they may eat the stuff, our budget should concern us as well. After all, we are all here for baby proofing on a budget.
Where there are toilet paper roll saver devices on sale, we may save ourselves some dollars with simple elastics. Quick and easy. We only need to wrap an elastic around the roll. And that’s it; our toilet paper is saved.
Nonetheless, we can save our toilet paper better when they are off access from our babies. We can do this by constantly locking our bathroom door. Otherwise, we can temporarily move our toilet paper holder high up off our babies’ reach.
The fireplace is a very dangerous place that our babies may get close to. Apparently, it can get hot and filled with ashes. Also, the hearth might be good stuff to cause tip-overs to our babies. This is why a lot of baby proofing product brands have freestanding fences to surround fireplaces. And obviously, it may cost us a bit much, which is not very necessary.
We can actually improvise our fireplace guards from covers to hearth mats. For covers, we may use magnetic boards, black or whiteboards. Aside from baby proofing the fireplace, they can be fun for our babies. We can place pictures and colorful shape cutouts or writing materials so that our babies can scribble on them.
The hearth, on the other hand, we can baby proof it using crib bumpers. We can wrap the fireplace base in the fabric-covered cushion. So then, our entire fireplace is on for baby proofing on a budget.
Electrical Outlet Covers
Exposed electrical outlets around the house may seem enticing to our little ones. Seeing us insert plugs in its holes might interest them in doing the same. And who knows what happens after they get this idea? They might insert their toys or their bare little fingers. Because of this, protective covers and cases are sold in the market.
However, we can, in fact, protect our little ones from electrocution using items we already have at home. These items include as simple as band-aid tapes or duct tapes. The more they stick to the wall, the better. In case of aesthetics being in our worries, though, we can buy designer style duct tapes on Amazon.
In addition, we can cover electrical outlets better when they are completely off sight. We can do this by moving furniture over them so that they are hidden. There should be some outlets at home we can sacrifice, right?
Cabinet and Drawer Locks
How many cabinets and drawers we have in the house does not really matter. What matters is what we hide in them. Our babies may be driven by curiosity to explore all the items we try to hide. And they may come across the dangerous stuff! For example, they may come exploring our stash of toxic spices in the kitchen drawers. This is why we have to keep our drawers and cabinets locked. Also, when they are constantly closed, there will be no risks of tiny fingers getting accidentally pinched.
For this reason, a wide variety of styles and designs for locks and latches are sold in the market. However, for the many cabinets and drawers that we have in the house, purchasing locks might not be the most practical. We can instead utilize our hangers and cookie cutters to hold adjacent knobs together. We can choose from either depending on what works. We may even use elastic, yarn, string, or shoelace, so it accommodates whatever distance our adjacent knobs have.
Also, for drawers that have like a horizontal pole handles, we can lock a column of them using a single pole. We only need to insert it down across the handles. Then all the drawers cannot be opened by our babies unless they can open them all at the same time.
Skid-proof Baby Socks and Pajama Feet
This hack is for the babies who are just about at the toddling stage. Obviously, they will hone their newly learned skill by practicing it all over. And unless our entire house is carpeted, we should worry that they may slide on their butts and heads.
However, we have a baby proofing on a budget trick as an alternative to an expensive carpet. We can prevent skidding by adding dots of glue to their socks and pajama feet with a glue gun. Otherwise, we may use puffy fabric paint as another alternative. Both of them should work well in giving friction to the fabric our babies are walking with.
Baby Knee Pads
Obviously, this hack will particularly be for crawler babies. Actually, the same as the previous, there is not much worry for them if our entire house is carpeted. If not, then we should think of the possibility that our babies are to scuff and bruise their knees. And while expensive knee pads are sold in stores, we can make our own for a lesser price.
We can cut some of our old socks into tubes then slide them through our babies’ legs to their knees. Dad socks might be the most ideal as they are typically fluffier. Our babies should look super cute with their cheap knee pads on.
Baby gates are usually installed on staircases so that babies do not risk themselves falling. We buy them from the store for a good couple of dollars. If possible, we want our staircases in our baby proofing on a budget.
As an alternative to expensive baby gates, we can create our own using our old fabrics. We can stretch a length of fabric across a few tension rods. Then, we have our baby gate. If this seems too much, however, we can buy pet gates to serve as baby gates. Apparently, they are almost the same material as baby gates but for a lower price.
It will not be too long when our babies can maneuver doors. Our fear here is that they may lock themselves in, alone in a room. Worse, they may even pinch their fingers while playing with doors.
We can prevent both scenarios by installing door stoppers. And while door stoppers can be bought, we can actually improvise our own alternatives. We can utilize a pool noodle or pipe insulation by placing a short length at the side of the door. Also, we can attach elastic to the knobs of both sides of the door. Then our interior doors are now always unlocked and safe for our babies.
Also, we can protect the knobs themselves from our babies’ curious grasp. We can do this by using a plastic food container with a twist cover. We will have to cut a hole on the cover and place it around the knob. Then we can place the container over and twist to close.
Appliance Door Locks
The fridge, the dishwasher, and the oven all have heavy doors that should inflict pain on tiny pinched fingers. Aside from that, they may contain toxic materials that we do not want our babies to ingest. Therefore, there is a need for us to keep them closed most of the time.
On our baby proofing on a budget list, we have sticky hooks and elastic as appliance door locks. We only need two sticky hooks attached to the appliance and the door, both adjacent to each other. Then we can alternate the elastic on the two hooks to secure.
Electrical Cords Holder
Our electrical cords lying around the house can tempt our babies to play with them. This may risk a strangulation hazard purely out of innocence. Therefore, we should keep our cords tucked away when not in use. We can hide them behind or on top of furniture. For more security, we can roll our cords and secure them with a twist tie or electrical tapes. But we should have some twist ties from pastry goods or trash bags, right?
First of all, the toilet is a good place for germs. Also, our babies might climb on them or throw their toys in. That is why we should keep bathroom doors closed constantly. To secure the toilet, we can install purchasable toilet locks, but they can be expensive. As an alternative, though, we can seal our toilet lids with a heavy-duty sealing tape piece. Then we have an inexpensive toilet lid lock.
The sight of the outside world can be a good attraction that our babies may climb on furniture to reach it. Then, they might stick their heavy heads out of the window, risking a great fall. This scenario called for the creation of window guards.
However, we can actually make our own window guards from nets or mesh as long as it holds our babies’ weights. Otherwise, the best way to baby proof is to keep the window area bare. We should never place furniture near it that the babies can climb.
The bathtub is but a single small object in relation to our house size. But in these small objects are a variety of hazards. For example, are accidental slips and head bumps. This is why the majority of households with babies use traditional anti-slip mats. Also, there are tub dividers, so there is a limit to the space our babies take during bath time.
We can make our bathtub safer with an item we already have at home – the laundry basket. We can place it inside the tub, then the baby in it. Now, we have an alternative tub divider. Also, it prevents slips and falls, which are what we all are here for.
Stove Knob Security
Our babies might inflict fire and burn hazards by playing with the stove knobs. Because of this, there is a need for us to install stove knob covers. We can either buy from the store or improvise our own. For example, we can do a similar hack as for our doorknobs using plastic food containers. We will have to cut a hole over the container cover and place it so that the knob is in the hole. Then we place the container over and twist to close and lock.
Otherwise, we can remove the knobs from the stove, so they are not there for the babies to play with. Some stove actually has removable knobs. We can just then hide them in drawers and reattach if we need to use them.
How long do we need to baby proof our homes?
Baby proofing is a process and on-going at that. As our babies grow, we need to assess and reassess the precautions we have already taken. We will have to decide whether they are still adequate or not. For example, the precautions we took for when our babies were immobile are not enough when they start crawling. Then again, the precautions we took when they were crawling will not be enough as they start toddling.
Therefore, there is not a definite timeline when we can stop baby proofing. For as long as our babies are vulnerable to potential unintentional accidents, we should keep our homes baby safe. The tip is to continually assess and reassess and get at the eye level of the baby. But for a more definite answer, we can at least keep baby proofing devices until our babies are three.
How much does it typically cost to baby proof a home?
The cost to baby proof a home depends actually on a case-by-case basis. If we do it on our own and use the most inexpensive products, starting out anywhere between $200 and $300 should be good. We might be able to spend less if we DIY some baby proofing devices.
If planning to hire professional baby proofers, prepare to spend over a thousand dollars. They might even ask for an amount of roughly around $50 for an initial assessment. The advantage of hiring a professional is that it will save us some time as they do the taxing job for us. Besides, they already know what to look for and how to baby proof a certain area.