Toddlers get into everything. They touch everything and climb everything. Toddlers have not one ounce of self preservation. That’s why we have to child proof. It can be a pain, but it can be fairly simple and budget friendly to child proof your house.
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Child Proof On A Budget – Bathroom
My daughter loves to hang out in the bathroom with me. I take most of my showers with her and the cat peeking in at me from around the shower curtain. So the bathroom needs to be safe while I grab a quick shower.
I started childproofing by taking the toilet paper off the roll. It sits on top of the vanity so Little Girl and her furry partner in crime don’t unroll it all over the place. The trash can sits on the back of the toilet so they don’t strew trash all over the floor.
I used magnetic cabinet locks on the vanity cabinets. They are supposed to come off clean and don’t require you to make holes anywhere. So far they have been great. The package came with just one magnet that opens the locks. A quick trip to the hardware store got us a second one.
I haven’t had to get a toilet lid lock yet. I have this one in my online shopping cart for that magical day when she decides she wants to start flushing things down the john.
Child proof on a budget – Kitchen
We tried oven knob covers. These are the ones. I would have kept using them, but our stove is 15 years old and the oven knobs pull off super easy. It turned out to be simpler to remove all the knobs and keep them on the counter. We put them back on as needed.
I did have to put this multi-use lock on the broiler. Little girl loves to open drawers. These locks work on just about any doors. I’ve even seen people put them on the refrigerator. The locks have a nifty little decoy button in case your kid loves pushing buttons as much as mine does.
All the rest of my kitchen child proofing in the kitchen cost me nothing. Read this post on how rearranging can save you a ton of money and stress when child proofing your house.
Child Proof On A Budget – Plugs and Cords
As soon as she could crawl, my daughter made a beeline for cords. We tried to rearrange furniture to hide them from her, but that wasn’t always possible. So we bought these outlet covers. They look decent and keep things plugged in. We also started saying “no, don’t touch” a lot.
We have quite a few power strips. I had no idea how many until I started to child proof. For some of the power strips I cut a hole in the top of a shoe box, stuck the power strip inside, ran the cords out of the hole and taped the whole thing shut.
There wasn’t enough room for a shoe box in some places. Behind the TV for instance. That’s where power strip covers work great.
I knew I did not want to mess around with those little plastic things that you stick in electrical sockets. Plus, I figured my kid would work at it until she got them out. That’s why I got these. They look great and slide over to let you use the socket.
For outlets you don’t need to plug the vacuum into on a daily basis, there are outlet covers. Unlike those little plastic buggers that go into each individual socket, these cover the whole outlet and stick in there pretty tight.
Child Proof On A Budget – Doors
Our hall closet has a bi-fold door. This little plastic doohickey called a bi-fold door lock pops right on top of the door and slides back and forth. No muss – no fuss.
The absolute best and greatest invention for doors is the door monkey. It takes seconds to install, prevents little fingers getting pinched, and is adjustable for any height. I just about cried when I realized our door frames didn’t fit the door monkey.
I had to use these door lever locks. I like them because you have to push a button to release and shift the lock which is more than my kiddo will be able to do for a while. They have damage free 3M adhesive to make them stick to the door.
Child Proof On A Budget – Miscellaneous
TVs – We did use TV straps to hold the TV onto the stand. You wan’t metal parts on the TV straps, not plastic. The TV is the one thing we strapped down. Unless my daughter morphs into a climber I’m not worried about any of the other furniture toppling. It’s mostly low with good solid bases and drawers that don’t slide super easy.
Blind Cords – We only have one window with a blind that has a cord. For that one I screwed a hook into the window frame about halfway up. We wind the cord around that to keep it out of reach. Otherwise we have cordless cellular shades.
Baby Gates – I have an 8 panel play yard that can be broken down into separate panels. I’ve broken it down into pairs to use to block a low TV stand in the playroom and to go across a door that the cat needs access to, but the kid does not. It’s really handy that it can be endlessly rearranged. We live in a one level house so I’m no help with which gates work best on stairs.
Furniture Corners- We did not protect any furniture corners. I’m not sure if I’ll change my mind about this decision as my daughter starts learning to run.
Sit Back and Relax
Once you’ve got your house child proofed you get to enjoy the relative freedom of letting the toddler run loose. I don’t worry if I’m in the living room and Little Girl wanders into the kitchen or her bedroom. So long as I can hear her laughing or babbling that is. Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a parent like the sound of toddler silence. Silence usually means mischief. I’ve yet to find a way to mischief proof a toddler.
Are their any child proofing tips or tricks that have worked well for you? I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with.