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How to Make a Baby Safe Room Divider

by Rosenya Faith

While a room divider can help to distinguish separate spaces within a single room, it can also tempt a baby on the go to try to climb it or knock it over. Fortunately, you can still create the distinct spaces you were hoping for by making just a few minor modifications to your room divider plans to make the room accessory baby safe and far too boring for her curious explorations.

Storage Cube Room Divider

Pick out your favorite storage cubes for the job -- wood cubes can enhance a room's decor -- and determine the number of cubes you'll need to make an adequate size room divider. Use cubes large enough to make it impossible for your baby to climb from one to another. Arrange the cubes in your living space to make sure they equal adequate width and height when assembled together. Think of it as an adult building blocks project.

Join the storage cubes together using the included connectors. Every single storage cube in the new divider should be joined together securely. If no connectors are included with the cubes, drill holes through adjacent cubes and insert bolts to secure all sections of the room divider.

Bolt the divider to the floor or the wall. While it probably doesn't look like a play climber to you, a freestanding room divider might look like the most exciting toy in the house to a young child. It must be anchored to the wall to prevent tipping hazards.

Bi-fold Screen

Find a sturdy bi-fold or tri-fold screen and check to make sure the structure itself is safe; check for protruding points on any decals or metalwork on the screen and try to avoid a screen with glass panes. If the screen contains thin glass, it can cause harm if your child accidentally -- or during a temper tantrum -- bangs on the glass with her hands or feet. It's also possible for her to trip and fall into the glass.

Place the screen perpendicular against one wall.

Screw the room divider to the wall through holes at the end of the screen. If there are no holes, drill holes near the top, middle and bottom of the end and insert screws into the wall. If the screen is wide, insert additional screws through the bottom and into the floor.

Items you will need
  • Storage cubes
  • Drill
  • Bolts
  • Bi-fold or tri-fold screen
  • Screws

Tips

  • You can use cloth-covered cubes to build the room divider. However, make sure the cubes have sturdy sides that can be secured together to make them safe for your child.
  • Instead of building the room divider from individual storage cubes, you can transform a bookshelf into an instant room divider. Just arrange it perpendicular against one wall and anchor it in place with bolts.

References

  • The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety; Debra Smiley Holtzman

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images