Babyproofing your home on a Budget

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Babyproofing Your Home on a Budget
 

Babyproofing your home is a constantly evolving process. As the wee ones gain experience, they learn to find the weakest link in your strategy. This stage can lead to a "How did they do that?" question on a daily basis.
 
Our nine tips for babyproofing your home on a budget will help you stay ahead of the curve. You can also take these suggestions on the road because you'll eventually visit a hotel or relative's house that does not have the standard safety applications in place.
 
1. Before bath time, put a laundry basket in the bathtub, insert the baby and then turn on the water. The basket will keep your tadpole safe from potential slipping injuries. Laundry baskets also make marvelous toy transporters while traveling.
 
2. Use a chalkboard as a fireplace cover. Toddlers instinctively gravitate to the most dangerous areas of the house, so cut them off at the pass with constructive use of their curiosity. If you have a hearth, make sure to cover the sharp edges with a guard.
 
3. Cover a doorknob with a sock and secure the foot-warmer with a rubber band. This is an instant safety mechanism as well as a use for that one rogue sock that has lost its mate.
 
4. Adhesive hangers are your friend. Install one on your wall by the curtain or blind pulls. Save your toddler from the temptation to pull on window treatment cords.
 
5. Hang dish towels on a wall or the underside of cabinets, not over the door. Youngsters can open oven doors with the help of a towel or two.
 
6. Plastic cookie cutters work as cabinet locks if you have two cabinet door pulls close together. Another solution is a magnetized lock and key system for cabinets. The magnetic locking part goes on the inside of the door, and a key turns the lock from the outside. No unsightly zip ties with this solution.
 
7. While we're on the topic of magnets, replace small refrigerator magnets with big magnetized clips or remove them altogether as they can slide down to grabbing height.
 
8. Outlet covers can be tricky, but they are a necessary safety feature for your home. We did find one by Guardian Angel that is more expensive but claims to be shockproof and allows access to sockets without hassle.
 
9. Drawers on dressers are fun to pull and push if you're a curious child, not to mention the sheer joy of slinging all the contents on the floor, right after you match, fold and put away all the socks. Adjustable lock straps that you can use in your kitchen to keep the knife drawer secure will also work on a dresser drawer.
 
What are some of your favorite childproofing tips? We love to hear creative solutions to child safety concerns.