12 DIY Child-Proofing Hacks to Keep Kids Safe

Sugru baby proofing
Image via Sugru

Unless folks are living in a padded room, odds are they'll have to baby-proof their home to keep their infants' bruises, bumps and boo-boos to a minimum. And while there are plenty of baby-proofing products on the market, many people might look at them and think, Hmmm, twenty bucks for little plastic cabinet latches: that's ridiculous! So what's a mom to do? Well, we've found some DIY child-proofing hacks that not only are cost-effective, but also really, really work. 

More from CafeMom:  Childproofing the Living Room: Everything Parents Need to Know

Looking for a fast and easy way to childproof the house right now? Well, it turns out many moms and safety experts agree that store-bought baby-proofing "products" aren't the only way to go. Some of these tips only require things folks can already find at home. And many moms have come up with some smart DIY alternatives to those pricey kits from Walmart. Consider these clever baby-proofing hacks to protect kids in the kitchen, bath, bedroom, and beyond. Not only are these good for the wallet, they're great for baby. So read on and take a peek at these great DIY baby-proofing hacks -- and remember, it's never too late to get started! 

More from CafeMom: 

Hack #3 is pure genius for bathtub slips and falls. And we can't get over #7 -- genius! 

Simpl baby-proofing hacks
iStock.com/Photolyric

  • Cushion Sharp Edges

    1

    Image via AlexBarmi/Instructables

    Got coffee tables and other furniture with sharp edges and corners? One self-professed "cheap-loving mama" at Instructables came up with an easy way to avert this danger: just buy some foam pipe insulation at your local hardware store. Since this insulation is cushiony on the outside and sticky on the inside, all you have to do is cut it open and press it on for instant soft edges.

  • Tennis Balls on Corners

    2

    If you've got some old tennis balls lying around your house you no longer use, they can be recycled into great baby-proofing: just cut a hold in the ball, then wedge it onto sharp corners of tables, chairs and other furniture, says Lisa Abdinoor, a consumer safety expert at Safety 1st.

  • Prevent Bathtime Bumps

    3

    Let's face it: baths are slippery, and all it takes is one false move for a baby to stand up, fall over, and bonk his head on the faucet. And that's why Sugru ($12 for 3-pack) is great: out of the packet, this play dough-style polymer can be shaped however you want and sticks to just about anything. Let it set overnight, and it dries into a rubbery bumper (which can be removed later). Great for faucets or any sharp or pointy edge in your house, honestly.

     

  • Keep Kids in Their Crib

    4

    Got a baby who's constantly clambering out of his crib, and getting hurt in the process? You can foil his attempts by simply hacking his pajamas: sew a two-inch-wide strip of fabric between the legs of his PJs -- that's wide enough that it won't make him uncomfortable, but it will keep him from swinging one leg over the crib railing to hoist himself out.

  • Pool Noodle Door Stoppers

    5

    Keep tiny fingers from getting smashed in doors with a pool noodle -- just cut off a piece, then slit through to the center, then wedge onto the edge of your door.

     

  • Keep Window Cords Out of Reach

    6

    Kids are bound to reach for cords on curtains and blinds, and these are strangulation hazards, says Lisa Abdinoor, a consumer safety expert at Safety 1st. To keep them out of reach, loop them up and tie with twisty ties. (Just be sure to not tie them so high you can't lower the shade all the way down.)

  • Homemade Teething Guard

    7

    For babies who just love chomping on their crib railing, you can cough up $50 for a store-bought teething guard, or just make your own fabric teething guard out of fleece for a few bucks.

  • Keep Kitchen Cabinets Closed

    8

    Kitchen cabinets are irresistible to babies, and if you have ones where the door knobs can be lassoed together, the solution could be as simple as a hair bands (or rubber bands -- whatever rebuffs your baby's prying fingers better).

  • Slip-proof Rugs

    9

    To keep babies from slipping on rugs, get some rubber matting used to line cupboard shelves. Place under your carpets to keep them in place.

  • Contain Your Surge Protectors in Tupperware

    10

    To keep your baby from prying around dangerous surge protectors, grab a Tupperware container large enough to contain it, cut out holes for the cords, then seal shut with Duct tape. Problem solved!

  • Duct Tape on Power Outlets

    11

    A quick fix to cover power outlets? Duct tape or painter's tape. Just make sure it's on there tight so prying hands can't easily rip it off.

  • Pet Gate to Baby Gate

    12

    Got pet gates? They could make decent baby gates. As Sherlyn Pang Luedtke, author of the Mommy Advantage Book, explains, "I learned that pet safety gates are pretty much the same product as baby safety gates but cost less."

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