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10 Clever Low-Cost DIYs to Baby Proof Your Home

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clever babyproofing tips supplies

Command hooks and hair ties are your new babyproofing best friends.

There are TONS of baby-proofing products on the market, yet you can easily DIY some basic (but clever!) alternatives in a pinch – from many of the household goods you probably already have on hand.

Please note that approved child safety products are ideal in any situation. Exercise caution and safe practices when child-proofing your living space.


1.) DIY non-skid socks with puffy paint or hot glue.

baby-proof with DIY non-skid socks

This is great for kids AND adults! Pick up some 3D Puffy Paint and let the creativity fly by crafting your own non-skid socks! Have your kids DIY their own and make some for yourself (they’re great as yoga or barre socks). You can also use a hot glue gun if you prefer an invisible grip bottom.


2.) Keep the fridge closed with command hooks and hair ties.

baby-proof your fridge with command hooks and hair ties

Simply attach a Command hook to your fridge door and another on the fridge itself with the hooks facing away from each other. Pop on a hair tie and you’re in business!


3.) Prevent toilet paper unraveling with a hair tie.

stop toilet paper from unraveling with hair ties

Use a hair tie to corral a roll of toilet paper. Simply slide the hair tie to the side when in use and stretch it back on when done.


4.) Cover outlets with Band-Aids.

cover outlets with band-aids

Band-Aids (or any type of adhesive bandages) work great in covering outlet covers! They’re easy enough to bring along with you when traveling too.


5.) Use socks to prevent doors from being opened.

cover doorknobs with socks to prevent them from being opened

Slip a sock over a doorknob and secure with a hair tie. Small hands won’t be able to get a grip on the sock, but adults won’t have an issue squeezing and twisting.

Or you can follow what Erica at Hip2Save does if there’s a room she doesn’t want her kids getting into…

“We put a scary horse mask in the cleaning product cabinet and the kids will NOT GO ANYWHERE NEAR IT. It works! πŸ˜‰”


6.) Keep cabinets shut with hair ties and yard sticks.

use wooden dowels to stop cabinets from opening

Slide a wooden dowel (yardsticks and tension rods work as well) through cabinet handles horizontally to prevent the doors from being opened (you can also use this method on French door refrigerators). You can also rotate the dowel vertically for drawers,. This connects all the drawers, making the combined weight tough to pull. Keep in mind that if your little one is strong enough, they may be able to pull all the drawers at once. #superstrength


7.) Use hair ties on cabinet knobs.

use hair ties on cabinet knobs to keep them closed

If your cabinets have knobs rather than pulls, use hair ties to keep cabinet contents inaccessible. Keep in mind the elastic allows for a little give, so you may want to wrap the elastic a couple times and twist in between knobs for added strength.


8.) Baby proof table/door edges with pipe insulator or pool noodles.

wrap pipe insulation around furniture edges

Pick up someΒ pipe insulator at your local hardware store for a couple bucks! To attach, peel off the plastic to reveal the adhesive and wrap around any edges you see fit. When wrapping corners, cut a small notch so the foam will conform to the angle. This is great for a coffee table, crib railing, and the edges of a fireplace hearth!


9.) Tie loose curtain strings up high.

clear command hooks keep cords up high

Attach some clear Command hooks to the wall and wrap hanging strings up high and out of little ones reach.Β Those dangling strings are unsightly to look at anyway.


10.) Follow the toilet paper tube rule to prevent choking.

Sure you could buy a choking tester tube,Β or you can head to your bathroom for a similar device at a fraction of the cost. As a rule of thumb, anything that can fit into a toilet paper roll is small enough for your little one to choke on. To locate choking hazards in a pinch, form a circle with your thumb and middle finger – anything that can fit through that opening should be kept out of reach.


Have any DIY baby-proofing tips of your own?

Share with us in the comments!

Join The Discussion

Comments 40

  1. gary

    I dont have kids yet but although it might seem like a “duh” hint for some, i never knew the hack of fitting a toy in a tp roll for choking hazards. Thats so helpful to know. BTW, some of these hints are going to be quite useful for my new overly nosey and rambunctious puppy !! Hacks for baby proofing and PUPPY proofing !! Lol thanks

    • Gege1804

      Me too, i dont yet have kids. Some of these seemed very helpful. It took me a second to realize why would they need to protect the table. Im assuming so the kids dont get hit by the sharp corners.

      • Txmama

        Those sharp corners will get ya! My poor son got stiches from hitting one πŸ™ i did pool noodle the corners after we got back from the doctors

  2. visitor3

    My kid figured out to unscrew lower cupboard knobs to get in.

  3. Diana

    Instead of those baby door handle locks/ door knob cover, we bought a flip lock and install it to stop the door from getting open. It’s only a few bucks, super easy to install (only 2 screws) and very effective.

    • Amy

      That’s what we did! Our 2 year old son has no problem getting by the baby door locks!

  4. visitor3

    For a high open stair railing, we used chicken wire (the soft plastic-rubber kind, not metal) and zip ties to keep littles (kids, kittens, toys) from slipping through to certain death. Remember, if the baby’s body can fit through, but the head gets stuck, that’s a snapped neck. We didn’t see a better solution, and the project was dirt cheap. Did not cause any damage (no holes or adhesives) and when the youngest outgrows the need, we snip the zip ties and reuse the chicken wire for the garden.

  5. Tara

    I need toddler proofing for the front door. She figured out the kid proof lock😩

  6. Amy @_@

    Hair ties did not work for my toddler. He quickly learned how to undo them and put them back. Band aids and plastic plugs did not work for the outlets for us. We have a crazy toddler who is always curious~ he is always watching. O.O
    last year they had a post on hip2save for a safety set. It had over 20piece. I think it was from Amazon. We got that and it works!

  7. 50ShadesofLipstick

    These tips are great and thanks for posting- but please consider getting actual baby-proof covers for outlets, doorknobs, and cabinets/drawers. My kids can very easily remove hair ties, dowels, socks and bandaids lol…so I wouldn’t count on these except in a pinch. Also some of these things can easily fail- as a hair tie isn’t designed to hold knobs in place and may come apart & bandaids lose their adhesive quality quickly.

    Another absolute must- please anchor your furniture into the wall STUDS. Way too many children are killed by furniture that topples over onto them. IKEA gives out free kits for anchoring your furniture, to anyone that asks for them.

    • πŸ‘

      πŸ‘
      Not trying to be negative but a dowel stick has no place near toddlers. It can impale them. (Emergency department x20 years. )
      Baby proofing a house correctly literally will save a life and if someone is too poor to buy proper drawer/door latches and outlet covers, ask a neighbor or go to fire station. People will help you because no one likes to see children get hurt and unfortunately, it happens a lot.

      • 50ShadesofLipstick

        Gotcha. Thanks for sharing your experience as a medical professional in the ER…sorry that you’ve had to see such traumatic things!

        One other baby safety tip: never use pressure-mounted baby gates at the top of stairs…use the hardware-mounted ones instead. It’s not very hard for a pressure-mounted gate to topple over, with just the force of a toddler running into it or shoving it hard enough.

    • πŸ‘

      The thumbs up was for your comment 50. The rest was a response to the post. πŸ‘

    • april

      I wouldn’t trust bandaids on an outlet cover. My daughter is only 17 months and I know she could easily pull them off.

      • Amy

        And my son would immediately put the bandaid in his mouth!

  8. Ginger

    My kid would take the stick and start hitting his brother .

    • Lori

      Ha…same here

      • Amy

        Yes! It would quickly turn into a weapon at my house

  9. HaveAgreatDay

    Anyone have advice for the banisters at the bottom of stairs? Ours have terrible edges and I tried using different adhesives and foam to cover but my infant kept pulling them off. I am almost to the point of wrapping them in duct tape since he has almost fallen into them trying to learn to walk multiple times

    • Raea

      Google diy fabric stair cover or diy canvas stair cover or diy fabric baby gate. You will need to check a bunch of sites but that’s what I did for stairs. With the material you can cover as much or as little as you want.

      • HaveAgreatDay

        Thank you so much!

  10. amanda

    Terrible advice! 😳

    Please use safety tested baby proofing products. Or clear dangerous items from bottom cabinets and let your toddler have free rein.

  11. Olivia

    This seems very unsafe to me. And tacky πŸ™Š

    • S

      Agreed! I’m shocked this post was approved. A bandaid over an outlet… really?

  12. Corey

    I leave a towel or small blanket over the middle of the car seat, learned that the hard way when the metal buckle heated in the sun and burned my daughter’s leg when she sat on it. I picked her up quickly when she yelled, so it wasn’t bad, just a bit pink. It also helps with dark colored seats to keep from getting too hot.

    • Grace

      GREAT advice!!!!!

  13. MermaidMommy

    Not a fan of this post. If you are unable to purchase tested safety products, there are a lot of places that will help. The toilet paper trick is the only one that I agree with.

  14. Amy

    I see many of these as great ideas if you are travelling. Hotel rooms or someone’s house for a day comes to mind, where you need something temporary and not damaging. I wouldn’t use them in place of adult supervision, but if my kid keeps trying to put things in an outlet and a bandaid buys me 30 seconds, I’ll take it!

  15. Helen in Meridian

    Thanks, as someone who has no grand chilluns, if I know a tiny is coming, these would work for a quick visit from a toddler in a pinch.

  16. Clippy

    Good grief everyone! I think the post is helpful in a limited way…

    Obviously the suggestions are not meant to be for permanent, but for a very young baby just beginning to explore, these suggestions are helpful when you’re caught unprepared. Like maybe visiting family or to tide you over till you have a chance to go full child proof.

    I’m a mom of three 20 something’s. Hard to believe they all survived πŸ™‚ I would have welcomed a few baby proofing hacks.

  17. Kerry Kent

    Some of these are very creative. Ugh, my daughter used to climb on anything and everything! We used all kinds of gates, even double gates to stop her from getting up stairs and she still climbed those too! She was our little Houdini! She got out of crib on her own even with the lowest mattress setting in her crib. One day I caught her in the act of crime, LOL! The funny thing is she could climb on and over everything, but refused to walk till 18 months! She scooted everwhere……. She is now 10, and my baby proofing is done! I wish I would have come up with some of these myself to help deter her…..

  18. Alexandra

    My kids would take all of these off in five minutes easily. Even when they were very young. Just buy proper baby proof items.

  19. Shannon

    Many of these are totally unsafe! Please consider buying the actual baby proof locks. They don’t cost a lot and it might save your kids life! My kids figured out how to pop off door locks and open gates I’m pretty sure a hair tie wouldn’t have stopped them. πŸ˜‚

  20. RiRe

    As both a mother of toddlers and a lawyer, this post made me cringe. I love Hip, and I’m all about DIY/being thrifty, but promoting some of these ideas as alternatives for SAFE baby proofing … yikes. 😳

    • Alexandra

      Right!

  21. Maleeta

    Oh wow, this post is a total liability…

  22. visitor3

    To keep littles from closing doors or pinching their fingers in the door, drape a folded towel over the door, towards the hinge side.

  23. Christy Bagasao

    Hey naysayers,

    Mom of 8 and reader of complete articles here.

    The article said, “in a pinch.” You know, like your girlfriend from college comes over for a chat and brings her little guy who just started crawling or something–that’s a pinch. You aren’t going to spend money babyproofing your entire house for a 45-minute visit. Other pinches are when you’re at someone else’s house, staying in a hotel, at a home for Bible study, staying somewhere unexpectedly for an emergency, etc. You likely won’t have all your babyproofing supplies on hand.

    In a pinch, these are some great ideas which will work for some children. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Crystal

    This is super unsafe, I mean a band~aid over a outlet. Kids could pull that off easily. When caring for your baby, you should buy high-quality items, not be cheap and do it yourself

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