When the baby arrives, your space may look like a fulfillment warehouse filled with endless gifts, hand-me-downs, and what you believe are must-haves—a crib, changing table, high chair, boxes of diapers, etc. But when the baby learns to crawl and grab everything within his reach, you know it’s time to declutter and childproof every room.
Parenting gives you fears you’ve never felt before. You’ll be scared of seeing an exposed electric strip, a stove-top oven, an open door, and almost everything.
For starters aka new parents, here are inexpensive childproofing products or hacks you can try in your house.
Plug cover (P2 each!) & ventilated electric strip cover (P150 or less)
Basically, you can just type “childproof” in your favorite shopping site online and you’ll find things you never knew you needed until you had a toddler. There are lots of inexpensive outlet/plug covers to choose from, with the cheapest at P20 for 40 pieces. Or you can simply repurpose your wipes container, get the flip-top part and hot-glue it onto the outlet.
Most of the time, though, the problem comes when electric strip which holds several appliances throughout the day. You may want to get a safety box that fits your extension outlet or recycle a sturdy plastic box; just make sure it’s well ventilated. And, of course, avoid octopus wiring.
Mesh cover for fans (P20)
Almost all ‘90s kids experienced getting their fingers caught in the ubiquitous electric fan. Today, there are bladeless and aesthetically pleasing “fans” available, but don’t throw your classic fan yet. For only P20, you can get a mesh specifically made for that common mommy problem. Or better yet, get a piece of tulle and cover all the reachable fans in your house for a breezy babysitting day.
Safety rail net and gate (P190)
You can also use mesh—a stronger net—to guard your window, cover your stair rails, and spread as safety gates, just like the nets to keep the furbabies away from going up the stairs and into the kitchen.
For bigger kids, invest in a sturdier metal gate or release the handyman in you by DIY-ing one using wood pallets, which you can usually get for free.
Play mat cum storage (P75)
Tired of seeing your older child’s tiny toys lying around the house? Worse than the pain of stepping on random Lego bricks is the risk of having choking hazards (those that fit into a tissue roll tube) for kids three years old and below.
Round play mats with pull-up strings are an efficient way to transfer small toys from one room to another, or to store them after playtime. They’re available online in various sizes and those with water-resistant fabric can even be a nice alternative to regular picnic and beach mats—post-pandemic, of course.
Refrigerator and cabinet locks (P15)
With so many things going on in the busy kitchen, this part of the house is truly an accident-prone area for kids. Even the refrigerator can be a cause of unwanted visits to the ER because of accessible medicines, eyedrops, glass bottles, and more.
Funny, some parents place a scarily traumatic image of a monster inside, to the horror of kids who promise to not open the fridge anymore. But you can also get ref locks online for as low as P15. You can also use these aids for cabinets and drawers. For cupboards with knobs, you can simply lock them with hair ties, making them hard for curious little hands to open.
Anti-pinch door clamps (P20)
Unless necessary, doors should be kept a little open and you already know why. Keep the little fingers safe by putting a simple door clamp or stopper, and make sure the kids cannot reach or remove them. Or just cut out DIY clamps from thick foams in your bodega. Or hang a towel on top, whichever is more convenient.
To fully childproof a house is an endless task of tidying up—mount the TV, make sure (almost) everything is out of reach, seal the remote’s battery cover, use edge guards on the coffee table, use cordless window blinds, don’t use drop-side cribs and bumpers, keep the bathroom floor dry, and much more.
Perhaps, the easiest way to childproof a house is to try a minimalist lifestyle—because what else could spark joy than a baby at home?