Baby on a Budget is a series of posts that I’m doing to share all the ways we’ve managed to save money while bringing up our baby. When I read the stats about how much money new parents supposedly spend getting ready for a baby and caring for a baby in its first years, I cringe! I can certainly see how it happens though…. These posts are meant to help you stay away from that awfully high number!!
Ahh. Life is so much better with baby gates! Our son has been crawling for a bit less than a month now and it was a gradual thing. When he first figured it out, he really didn’t bother to do much of it. After a week or two of that though, he was using his new talent. It’s funny how when things happen gradually, you don’t notice their effects on you as much; a bit like the frog that is in the pot while the water is heated up instead of dumped in while it boils.
I didn’t realize how much less I was able to get done since I was running after him wherever he went to make sure he didn’t fall down the stairs! I knew I hadn’t been as productive more recently but didn’t realize how much of it had to do with the mobility of the baby! Our gates went in this weekend and I am enjoying my freedom once again!
A few months ago I began looking into what we would need to baby-proof our home. I purchased the outlet covers and a few other little things but couldn’t find baby-gates that I liked. I find most of the baby-gates on the market to be ugly, expensive and/or hard to operate. I found a few wooden ones that looked OK but they were at least $50 a pop and ideally, we needed three. I took to pinterest and found a few ideas which I showed my husband and asked if he thought he could come up with something decent. He said it should be easy and was much more enthusiastic to take on the project than I had expected.
With his next free day off (this past weekend), he got right to it and built us three of these:
The total cost of all three gates (only two are shown here because my husband still needs to put the third gate up) came out to about $39.92 plus tax.
We used inexpensive pieces of 1x2x8 spruce that cost 99 cents a piece. The total for the wood was $17.82.
The hinges were $1.59 a piece and we used 6 of them.
The locks were $2.59 a piece and we used 3 of them.
We purchased some miscellaneous screws that I estimated to cost about $2.79 (probably an overestimation since we didn’t use many).
I estimated that we used about $1 of 1″ brad nails though I’m sure this too is an overestimation as I don’t think he even went through an entire strip of nails.
I estimated that we used about $1 of wood glue.
To stain the baby gate in the kitchen (I left the other two natural), I used leftover stain from our counter tops and barely even used any. I don’t recall how much the tiny little bucket of stain cost but they too are very inexpensive – definitely less than $10.
We are very happy with how the gates turned out. My son likes to sit on one side and laugh at the dog or cat trapped on the other side. They are very sturdy and look decent. The least I’ve seen gates sell for has been about $25 (and those were very ugly) so I’m very happy to have gotten customized, nice looking baby gates for less than I would have paid for even the ugliest, cheapest ones.