Cheap Babyproofing

Babyproofing solutions don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Here are some inexpensive alternatives

If you’ve got infants and toddlers at home, then babyproofing is very much a concern. It’s imperative that you take steps to make sure the kiddos can’t get their hands on dangerous things, or otherwise damage themselves against hard or sharp objects.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to pay outrageous prices for special childproof padding, locks, and barriers. If you don’t mind expedient solutions, you can babyproof your house quite cheaply.

Rubber Baby Bumpers

Hard furniture edges and legs can be very hurtful indeed to a little one’s tender body. Short of replacing everything with beanbag chairs, which isn’t exactly practical, you’ve got to do something to pad those surfaces.

Instead of buying foam padding for ten bucks a yard from child safety manufacturers, head to the hardware store for some foam rubber pipe insulation. It’s the same thing, and a lot cheaper.

How’s That Work?

Pipe insulation is circular in cross-section, with a slit down the side. Often, it has adhesive strips along both edges to help secure it around the pipe. Even if it doesn’t, you can buy those separately and add them later. Insulation for ½- to one-inch pipes works best.

Just slip it over that hard edge or leg you’re worried about and tape it down. This solution works best for tables. If you need it to wrap around a square corner, just cut a V-notch into the insulation at the proper spot.

By the way, hollow swimming noodles work pretty well too. Plus they come in bright colors, which can add a festive touch to the whole situation.

Bungee Cords

Another expedient childproofing standby is the bungee cord. With a little thought and some strategically placed eye-hooks (or even without them, if you’ve got handy handles already in place), you can stretch a cord in such a way as to block a door or hold one or more drawers shut.

Just be sure that baby’s little fingers can’t reach the ends of the bungee cord, or she may very well un-babyproof whatever it’s protecting.

The Gate

If all else fails, fall back on the old fashioned adjustable baby gate, the kind you can buy for $10-20. If you’d rather not purchase one, you can create your own from pegboard or plywood if you’re savvy enough. Make sure you tie it down tightly, which is where bungee cords can come in handy again.

And There You Are

While we happen to think that the child safety industry goes a little far in inducing paranoia in new parents, it’s still a good idea to childproof your home when little ones are around. But that doesn’t mean you have to go broke with your babyproofing efforts!