I discovered that babyproofing houses in India for toddlers can be easily done with compatible products off Amazon or First Cry. The downside? There is no guarantee on what material the products are made of from sellers, and depending on the area and furniture to be baby proofed, it definitely needs a starting budget of ₹2-3k.
I am the aunt of a 2-year-old toddler, who lives in the US. When my sister decided to visit India with the little tyke in tow a few months ago, I was tasked with baby-proofing her grandparents’ house for the 2 weeks long stay. I was told the little one was in a ‘ripping’ phase, liked to run fast and free and had a penchant for squeezing into corners.
The first thing I discovered was that there is no central accreditation body for children’s products in India – unlike the US which has the JPMA. So I was going to have to babyproof the house through trial and error.
I then scanned the house and made a checklist of all the problem areas – corners, edges, windows, doors, electrical sockets, drawers and shelves that open and close – in all rooms, bathrooms, kitchen and common areas. Basically, anything that came within reach of a 70-100 cm tall being. Get out a tape measure, seriously. There were going to be no owwwies on my watch. Armed with that list of issues, I set out on a search for baby proofing products.
How I tested
I primarily looked at two marketplaces – Amazon and First Cry. With their vast baby proofing catalogs, I found all I needed on either of these two sites. I went through the top reviewed products in each category for even if they were not helpful reviews as is often the case, they told me a lot about popularity and movement of the products. I then picked 2-3 different types of each product type in order to compare.
One detail I found lacking across marketplaces in the product details section was the material composition of any of the foam, plastics used in the products below. So if you are looking for a guarantee of non-toxic materials in your baby proofing, there is no good way to find those products.
On that note, here are a few helpful things I learned along the way.
Child safety strip & Corner / Edge Guards
Corner and Edge guards are the most useful of the baby proofing products that exist on this planet. You could probably use a pool noodle and make do, but if you are not very DIY – I would recommend the Amazara Baby Proofing Edge & Corner Guards or the Store2508 Child Safety Strip cushion and Corner Guards seen below.
- Start with a 5 m roll and depending on how much and what kind of furniture you have, you may need 1-2 rolls. The pre-cut corner guards are especially handy for table edges and bed corners.
- WHERE TO USE:
- Beds and headboards
- Shelves and Drawers
- Kitchen and Bathroom Counters and appliances like refrigerators
- Large decorative objects with Corners
- Any protruding objects
- PRO-TIP: Make sure you get 3M adhesive. Amazara comes with 3M tape, Store2508 comes with fiberglass tape. You can purchase the 3M tape separately as well, for I found it to be superior in adhesive quality to the fiberglass tape and gentler on your furniture during removal.
- The best part of getting a big roll of Child safety strip is that they can be repurposed around the house for multiple uses – not just corners.
- The brown variant is predominantly available, though FirstCry and Store 2508, in particular have other colors available in their catalog to match with your furniture.
- A note on corner guards: You will see other types available like the transparent PVC / Silicone edge guard – I find these do not adhere to surfaces as well even using 3M tape. Also, the material while not rock solid is much harder than foam. They are advantageous in areas such as drawer edges or non-corner table edges where the foam material may get in the way of operating the furniture as intended.
Safety Locks & Latches
- Here we have two types of fastening – The locks and the latches.
- The latch has its advantages in being bendy and being aesthetically more pleasing.
- Useful for: Windows, sliding doors and drawers
- While they can be easily unlatched, I have found that the quickness required to do so makes them at times adult-proof as well.
- PRO-TIP: Always place them higher than toddler height ~100 cm.
- For the latch recommended below, always ensure you do a mock test against the wall to adjust the length before fastening the two pieces together. Once fitted, the two parts are nearly impossible to unfasten and you are restricted to using that piece only in places with that length to cover.
- The locks are useful for cupboards with handles but I find them to be less durable and with their pointy ends, also a tad unsafe.
Door Hinges Protectors and Pinch Guards
- Pinch guards are what you put on top of the door so that it comes in between the door and the jamb/frame when kids close the door to prevent their fingers from getting caught.
- Hinge protectors are on the other side – near the hinge so when toddlers hide behind the door or go around poking their fingers where they should not (which seems to be a recurring theme), the protectors prevent any accidents and pinching there.
- I’m not so keen on door hinge protectors. so here’s what may work:
- One option is to use the corner guards themselves. Just cut a small piece and wedge it behind the door in the gap as door hinge protector. This way the door cannot swing fully in that direction.
- Another option is to buy these hinge protectors for lengthier protection and still have your door’s full range of motion.
- As far as pinch guards go, the animal shaped pinch guards on the market are attractive but keep falling off doors of standard thickness so I would not recommend them. Try a silicone option or something sturdier.
Electrical Socket Covers
- I cannot emphasize electrical socket covers enough. I have heard enough buzzing noises and seen plenty of sparks fly from sockets in India to know that these are dangerous places to have little ones around. And toddlers tend to be particularly curious about sockets.
- You may also see the smaller rounder variety in electrical socket covers available on the online marketplaces. While they are mildly nicer in terms of aesthetics, they do not do a good enough job covering the whole socket.
- The Blossom triangular socket covers work better in terms of coverage – and come in socket sizes of 5 amperes and 15 amperes. At first glance, they look pretty flimsy but they require a fair amount of gouging to take out which usually dissuades any toddlers from a successful mission.
Here’s a rough breakdown of what babyproofing a 2 BHK / < 2000 sq ft is going to cost you. Keep in mind, it really comes down to how much furniture you have and the extent of coverage.
*all prices are approximations to help with budgeting. Prices on marketplaces can differ from what is listed below.
|Safety Strips + Corner Guards x 2||₹1200|
|Electrical Socket Covers x 2||₹400|
|Door/Window Latches & Lock x 2||₹800|
|Hinge Protectors & Pinch Guards||₹900|
|Child Safety Gates (optional)||₹3000|
Keep calm and babyproof everything else.