Category : child proof

Imagine this. Food is being prepared. It is hot and is kept on the counter to simmer.  Little L is so impatient she goes into the kitchen trying to reach her hot breakfast. On other days, she fiddles with the water can spilling water. She opens the cabinets and starts pulling out the utensils. Once it fell on her feet resulting in loud, helpless wails.  The stove is on most times and that is our biggest concern.   And then there are other looming dangers in an otherwise seemingly safe kitchen of ours. Sometimes Preethi wants absolutely no disturbance when she is busy and that is when Little L decides to get clingy.

So you now know why blocking kitchen entry became our immediate child proofing requirement. And the need for a baby fence arose. We once built a baby gate for my niece. However, in my case, the strictest condition that I had to work under was there should be no drilling anywhere. The kitchen being open has cabinets on both the sides and putting a hole in the cabinets is forbidden. Hence started the NO DRILL baby fence project.  

Do it yourself project
No Drill DIY Baby Gate - Child proofing idea

The Video guide to the PVC gate

I had bought PVC pipes for a clothes hanger project and this one took precedence. Which meant I already had the material needed for making my fence. Just had to walk across to the nearby hardware store to get the required materials listed below :

Materials Required

  1. PVC pipes  (3/4th of an inch)
    • I used 7 x 2ft PVC pipes. The number of pipes required may vary depending on the width of the walls gap that you are trying to prevent entry to
    • I also had smaller pipes cut for horizontally joining the joints.
    • Total cost – Rs. 325 /-
  2. T-Joints 
    • You need twice the number of joints as the number of pipes. I bought 14 of them 
    • Cost – Rs. 80/-
  3. PVC cement solution- Rs.20/-
  4. PVC coupling joints – One side would be threaded and the other side smooth. 4 in numbers costing Rs. 10/- each
  5. Height adjustable furniture legs – 4 in numbers costing Rs.18/- each
  6. Total cost of the project – Rs.530/-
Materials required for the gate
Materials required

Fixing the pipes

Just pour the solution around the circumference of the pipe where is joint would be inserted. Immediately insert the pipe into the T-joint. Ensure you use proper protecting gloves as it got a little itchy for me. Also, it is recommended that this be done in a well ventilated space, which I came to know of later.

Continue to fix the pipes vertically to the T-joint. 

T-joints and Pipes
Pipes vertically joined using T-Joints
Once the pipes for the vertical section of the gate is ready, cut smaller pieces of PVC (the length will depend on how long you want the gate to be) and start joining the pipes through the T-joint horizontally. At the end of it, you would have the gate in place with an open T-joint on all four corners of the fence.

Using PVC cement solution
Pipes horizontally joined to the joints to form the gate
How the tightening screws are fixed to the corner T-joints using height adjustable furniture legs, PVC couplers and small pipes, while explained in detail in the video above, I will also brief it here. You can remove the base of the furniture legs and insert the female portion of the legs into the threaded side of the coupler. The legs exist for a different purpose and hence will not easily fit into the coupler. You will have to work hard at it. Join a piece of PVC pipe using the cement solution on the other end of the coupler. It would look like below.

Tightening mechanism
Adjustable legs inserted into the PVC coupler
Now fix the PVC end of the above arrangement into the open end of the T-Joints in the four corners of the gate. The circular head acts like a screw and can be turned around to move in or out. This head acts as the tightening screw. As you place the gate between two vertical wall surfaces and open up the screw head, it will go latch on to the wall surface tightly and hold the gate in place.

Finished gate
Gate after the tightening mechanism is fixed
Your gate is now ready. Install it between the two vertical surfaces and watch the fun.

After installation
DIY fence after installation
We have more child proofing projects in the pipeline. Some of it DIY and some of it using off the shelf products Either way, we shall keep you posted of the details. Meanwhile, your inputs on this gate would be much appreciated. What other ideas would you be able to give us in making the home a safer haven for our little one ? Do leave your thoughts in the comment.

Though we didn't build anything here, this DIY deserved a post merely for the functionality it offered and the ease with which baby proofing can be achieved. We thought some might even benefit from it.

We have seen this in couple of places in the neighborhood and so when we had to baby proof my bro's balcony, we knew exactly what to get and where to find it. Here are some pointers:
  • The mesh is made of fiber (So we were told) and is available in any local hardware store in large rolls
  • It is priced per square feet and so the balcony railing measurements are needed for the purchase
  • Though it comes with a reasonable price, you may want to check with couple of hardware stores to get the best pricing
  • The mesh can be secured to the balcony railings using plastic tags. No fancy tools required.
  • It can also be used to cover gaps between staircase railings inside your apartment or in the common area
  • And it takes less than one man hour to fix it
  • Baby, child proofing the balcony
    Balcony Baby Proofing
The fiber mesh is a good alternative to rusty iron / steel meshes or the clumsy nylon ropes tied between railings. It has a plastic feel to it, is flexible and quite strong, can be trimmed using a pair of scissors, and comes with very reasonable pricing. So, if you have wide railings, here's an easy cost-effective way to cover the gaps.

Also check out the picket fence project

- Somu

Child safe door barriers or safety gates / picket fences are a must in homes with little babies and toddlers. They are very effective in keeping kids away from areas within the home they are not intended to be in. At the same time, these baby proof doors also help create a safe boundary, within which kids are free to roam about and play.

Potential areas where the babies need to be kept away from are the kitchens, balcony areas (learn how to baby proof your balcony) and stairways. This DIY door barrier / picket fence was built to keep my niece away from the kitchen especially when the grinder is on. We built this fence using wooden sticks that are about 2 inches wide and half an inch thick.Considering it was supposed to be baby safe, the first thing I did was to ensure all the edges are made blunt and the surface is smoothed using sand paper.

child proof barrier supplies
Child safe barrier - Supplies
The wooden sticks were nailed together (7 vertical sticks nailed / screwed onto 3 horizontal sticks). We made two similar gates which we joined together using regular door hinges in order for the doors to half open. What you see below is work in progress for one of the gates. The gate was painted (learn how to paint wood) and varnished for protection.

Baby proof picket fence - Work in progress
Baby proof barrier doors - WIP
The two gates were joined together using hinges and one side of the gate was fixed  (again using regular door hinges) to a wooden panel installed on the side of the wall. You can see a break in the middle of the gate indicating the hinges (marked in the picture below).

Child proof picket fence-door barrier
Child safe picket fence
As you can see, we had to coordinate the color to ensure that it matches the kitchen cabinet colors. Fortunately for us, the kitchen entrance and the Grinder section were at 90 degrees to each other. The installation was made in such a way that the kitchen entry is blocked when the gate is closed... and the grinder area is closed when it is open. And because it was along the corner, it also became non-intrusive providing easy access to the kitchen when the grinder is not in use.

baby proofing the kitchen using child safe door barrier
Baby Proof / Child Proof fence / door

Over to you : Tell me how have you baby proofed your home ? Did you have an off the shelf product installed ? Did you make one yourself ? Share your thoughts and ideas.

P.S. Linking in : Colours Dekor, Lines Across My Face, Kreative Korner
- Somu

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