Fast And Frugal Baby-Proofing

When you have little ones, you have to do some baby-proofing.  How much you should do it up for debate – I’m sure we do a lot more of it than past generations did, and there’s some room for arguing that we shouldn’t remove every single thing that could hurt our kids, because we’ll eliminate some valuable learning experiences along the way.  Fair enough, but I’d still rather keep trips to urgent care to a minimum.

We have a partial dividing wall between our living room, dining room and kitchen.  It’s only about six feet long, and has our fridge and some cabinets on one side, and a living room chair on the other side.  It creates a circular track through those three rooms, and our boys and dog love to chase each other around and around the circle.  It’s all well and good, except for the fact that the corner of the counter in the kitchen is right at the edge of the circle, and one little slip or miscalculation could end with a head connecting with the corner of a counter.  Not fun.

So last week I decided to pad that corner.  I looked online for pre-made solutions, but none of them had especially great user reviews.  The most common complaint was that the sticky pads included with the corners didn’t hold well and people had to tape or glue the pads in place.  I decided that if we were going to end up with tape wrapped around the corner anyway, I might as well not pay for the privilege.  I looked around in the garage and quickly found the perfect solution:  pipe insulation.  I just cut a chunk off the tube of insulation, opened it along the split seam, and stuck it on the corner.  it held really well without any tape at all, but I knew that wouldn’t last with a curious toddler, so I wrapped the whole thing with a couple layers of packing tape.


It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but it’s very functional, provides excellent padding between little heads and the corner of the counter, it was free, and it took all of about three minutes to do.  Works for me!  I assume I’ll have to re-do the tape every now and then, but that’s no big deal – we always have a roll of packing tape on hand.  It’s been in place now for over a week, and hasn’t budged.  So far, so good!


What’s your favorite DIY baby-proofing idea?

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  1. Lilypad says

    When my son was 4, he was racing around a circular floor plan like that in a friend’s house and ended up running into the counter corner—just like you have there—and cut his head, missing his eye by the tiniest bit. That was our first trip to the ER. It was terrifying for all of us! He’s 11-1/2 now and you can still see the scar. (And he still sleeps with the teddy bear he got at the ER that day.) So good job covering up that dangerous corner!

  2. Christine Bilger says

    When I was baby proofing our living room, I had to do something to fix the sharp edges and corners on our coffee table, that happens to be right at toddler height. After buying and returning a pre-made sticky foam strip from Babies R Us (it was about $25!) I decided to use pipe insulation. Works fabulously and is only a fraction of the cost of the pre-made solutions.

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