Saturday, August 27, 2011

I Baby Proofed the House, But They Keep Getting In

Have you seen the price of baby-proofing products? Yeah, so have we. Since Baby Girl is starting to really get around pretty well, it's time to pad the furniture. But again – those prices...

We decided to get creative and do something sorta Kool and Kustom. And of course, cheap. Definitely about the cheap.

The first thing to baby-proof is the coffee table. Not only does it have hard surfaces, but it also has sharp corners and edges. We talked about getting rid of it, but it's one of those cool tables with a glass top that you can put stuff under, and the Other Half's brother was a roadie for years, so she has all his backstage laminates under the glass. Neither of us really wanted to give that up; it's just too cool.

So, enter cheap creativity. Those foam pool “noodles” that the kids at the public pool use to beat each other over the head? They were $1.98 at Lowe's! We picked up three of them in orange, and got some nylon rope in black and orange to tie the noodles and the table together, both visually and literally.

The Boy Child was spending his weekend with us, so he pitched in both when I needed more than two hands, and also as a photographer. First, I cut the noodles to length. 

Then, using my sharpest pocket knife and a metal ruler, I (attempted to) cut a straight line through the foam lengthwise. You can see from the photos that it's almost impossible to do, but I think it came out okay anyway.

Unfortunately, time was not our friend and Boy Child had to be taken to his mom's house early to get ready for his first day back at school. When we got back, the Other Half provided me with an extra pair of hands. Back from the ex's house and back on the job, we held the cut pieces of foam with the concave side toward the table corners, both top and bottom, wrapped the rope around table and foam pieces and tied it. We started with the long pieces, and followed with the end pieces. I suppose you could do it either way.

I think it came out looking even better than expected. A lot better than a strip of Band-Aid colored rubber held in place with double stick tape like we would've gotten from Wal Mart, anyway. We did realize that the vertical edges are still exposed, but we have some noodle scraps left that we can use to fix that.

I know kids are going to get their bumps and bruises. I know it's both inevitable and even good for them so they can learn to deal with minor setbacks. This foam contraption is to keep Baby Girl from splitting her noggin open on the sharp edges. Bruises are one thing; trips to the ER are another thing entirely.

And before anyone comments about all the exposed brick in the hearth in the background – that's the next project.

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