As a frugal mom, I am always looking for ways to save money and still get the job done. This is especially important now that I have kid #5 and need to stretch our funds, even more, to make ends meet. So today’s topic is baby proofing on a budget.
There are so many handy gadgets on the market today that make baby proofing way simpler than it was in yesteryear! But if I were to attempt to buy every fancy do-dad I would quickly find myself with pockets full of nothing.
So what is the best way to streamline your baby proofing project so that your little one is totally safe and your bank account is still intact?
Step One: The first thing you need to do is get on your knees and start crawling around. Literally. (Kneepads definitely make this a lot easier!) As you slink along close to the floor, you will quickly be able to see everything that could be hazardous to your tot. As you identify the trouble areas, write them down for reference.
Step Two: Look at your list and begin the process of removing anything from the environment that is unnecessary and harmful. This might include moving items up higher or packing them away temporarily. Think about anything that made of glass or ceramic, anything electronic or with cords, and anything poisonous.
Step Three: Purchase a few packages of basic drawer/door locks. These are inexpensive and do a great job of keeping babies from being able to access stuff that you want to keep handy, but that you don’t want your baby to touch. Install these in your kitchen, bathroom, and utility rooms.
Step Four: Secure tall, top-heavy furniture to the wall. If you don’t have any brackets or nylon straps hanging around, there are handy kits that don’t cost much which are also fail-safe and easy to install to make sure that dressers and bookshelves won’t fall over even if climbed on.
Step Five: If you have traditional window blinds with cords and can’t afford to have them replaced, a safe and thrifty baby proofing option is to simply cut the cords off at a point high enough that even if your child climbs on a chair that they still won’t be able to reach them. Granted, that tends to make them rather unusable, so some parents opt to tie them up in a knot at the top of the window, which still leaves a potential hazard, but is certainly better than letting them dangle.
Step Six: Invest in little plastic outlet covers. They won’t set you back too much and are worth every penny you’ll spend to make sure that baby doesn’t stick tweezers in a socket.
Step Seven: Vacuum and sweep daily to help eliminate choke hazards that inadvertently might have been dropped on the floor. And pick up anything off the floor that could cause your toddler to stumble and fall.
Step Eight: Wrap sharp corners of tables and hearths with padding. Try using sections of pool noodles which you can slit open and slide around glass table tops. Another idea is to use a crib bumper (since they aren’t recommended for a crib anyway!).
Step Nine: Keep doors closed. So simple, but so easy and effective! Most babies/toddlers can’t reach or turn doorknobs for quite a while. If yours finally get big enough to do so before they are big enough to be trusted to enter forbidden areas, you might want to consider knob protectors. They are inexpensive AND a pain-in-the-butt for everyone but might be an option for you.
Step Ten: Last, but certainly not least, find the best baby gates you can afford without breaking your budget so that you can keep your little one confined to the safest area of your house. Perhaps you have a playroom or a living room that is fairly easy to baby proof otherwise so that all you need to do is keep the tyke safely inside that one room. A baby gate could alternatively be used to just keep baby out of the hardest/most expensive area to baby proof. (For me, that was my kitchen!)
Bonus: If nothing else, please invest in a permanently mounted baby gate at the top of your stairs. It doesn’t have to be fancy or have any bells or whistles, but this one item should never be neglected.
Being thrifty doesn’t mean that you have to go without or have an unsafe environment for baby. It’s smart to look for the best prices available for the items you do need to buy and keep any purchases within your budget! And of course, there is no substitute for keeping a watchful eye on your little one as she learns to explore.
Helpful inventions are handy, but simple solutions are sometimes just as effective!
Happy Baby Proofing!
Melanie is mom to five energetic kids, including a sweet new baby. She enjoys homeschooling her children from a peaceful parenting perspective and traveling with her family whenever she can. Her hobbies include playing the guitar, gardening, and relaxing with a hot cup of coffee. She freelances in her spare time and loves to write about this crazy journey called parenthood.