When you have your first child, you want to do everything “right.” So you spend hours researching every parenting trick available – discipline, getting them to sleep through the night…and baby proofing. When I had my first child, I was shocked at how expensive baby proofing my house turned out to be.
Let’s face it: parents on a budget can’t necessarily afford the prices, and baby proofing isn’t high on the list of baby shower gifts. Thankfully, several children and years of parenting later, I’ve found several ways to (affordably) baby proof the house.
Cabinets can hide a host of potentially dangerous things for babies and toddlers on the go: cleaning supplies, heavy pots, and pans, insecticides. Traditional locks work, but can often be more of a hassle for parents than a help, not to mention the expense. Why buy a lock you need to drill holes into your cabinets for when you can simply grab a hair tie or rubber band out and wrap it around the handles of your cabinets?
Given the rather absurd amount of outlets in my home (seven just in my living room!), I was always afraid one of my children’s little fingers would find their way into one. Some people will place duct tape over the outlets not being used; I’m a little more paranoid here (and my kids are drawn to shiny things, so silver duct tape is probably not a good idea). Everyday Family points out that it may be cheaper, and safer, to go the store-bought route for your outlets and buy plastic outlet plugs, like these ones.
Coffee Table Corners
As a new mother, I never gave my coffee table a thought. Then one day, my oldest was learning to walk and walked face first into the corner of the table. One ER trip and three stitches later, I very quickly figured out how to baby proof that table. Although many store options do exist, I personally found pool noodles (or pipe foam) worked perfectly.
The kitchen can be a place of magic and wonder to children; it can also be the source of ER visits and Mom’s worst nightmares. A few quick, easy (and DIY) tips to keep your little ones safe when they’re in the kitchen:
There are two major safety issues when it comes to doors: baby getting his fingers pinched, and baby learning to turn knobs and thus open doors he wasn’t meant to open.
To keep baby from getting his fingers pinched in a door he’s decided now needs to be closed, use an old towel as a door stop.
Although door knob covers are available at most children’s stores, you can easily make them from supplies you have at home. Personally, I used cardboard, since I buy diapers in bulk in gigantic cardboard boxes.
Children seem to be drawn to anything they can rummage through, or use as stairs to get to something else they can rummage through. My youngest is a huge fan of using dresser drawers as stairs. Using a yardstick, you can quickly put a stop to your little climber’s adventures, too.
If your drawers have knobs instead of handles, refer back to our cabinet doors trick and break out the rubber bands again!
Every single one of my kids has managed to attempt to stand in the tub, only to slip right back down and bump themselves. A few times, my youngest has even managed to turn the water back on when my back was turned. What’s a mom to do?
To keep him from slipping back down in the tub, you could buy a potentially expensive bathmat (which will likely mold later on). Alternatively, you could take an empty laundry basket and place it in the tub. Baby can safely play with his toys in easy reach this way.
As for baby turning on the water again, faucet covers are your friend. You can very easily make your own from something like an empty yogurt container. Baby can still turn the water on, but he won’t get hurt if it’s too hot.
Keeping our children safe is the main priority for parents. From the moment they’re born, our lives revolve around keeping them safe, happy, and healthy. Baby proofing the house, especially those areas we know present the most hazards, is the first thing we do in that endeavor, but there’s no reason it has to cost a fortune. What things did you do to baby proof your home? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this list.