How to Baby-Proof a Bookshelf

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Introduction: How to Baby-Proof a Bookshelf

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to learn …

In the kitchen, we have a series of low bookshelves full of cookbooks.  Our baby finds anything organized irresistible, and loves to pull the books out of the shelf.  Beyond creating unnecessary entropy as she unpacks the books, some of them are quite large, and might smash a finger.  So, I child-proofed the books in place with old bicycle innertubes.       

See how I built the bookshelves!

Step 1: The Problem - Child Grabs and Pulls Books

Here's the problem in action.  She's going to try cooking something from the French Laundry!

Step 2: Innertubes Hold the Books in Place

With bicycle innertubes tied around each shelf, we can still access the books, but baby cannot.  This solution has now endured two months of attacks, and she hasn't managed to get a single book out.  In fact, she likes pulling on the innertubes so much that she now usually ignores the books in favor of twanging the giant rubber bands.



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    32 Comments

    0
    coba7953
    coba7953

    1 year ago

    Take it from experience: the very best solution (perfect, if I may say!) is plastic mesh. It is most simple to apply, it does not damage your bookshelves, it is cheap, it is childproof and safe for children. The only extra things that you will need is a scissor and a thin rope to tie it here and there on your bookshelves, or something else that allows the mesh to stay on your specific type of bookshelves. Also, for when you 'll be needing that book on that low shelf behing the plastic mesh, then you may reach it either by untying the mesh or by not tighten it up too much on your bookshelves, rather have it a bit loose, so that your hand may have enough room to reach the book.

    Enjoy your books and your babies!

    Cheers from Greece!

    0
    ErinC117
    ErinC117

    3 years ago

    I don't think there's enough information in this instructable. Looks like a great concept but how do you measure this out for different size bookshelves? How is the tube affixed to the shelf? Is it around the entire bookshelf?

    0
    JulesB1
    JulesB1

    5 years ago on Step 2

    Do you use nails, screws or tacks to secure the inner tubes to bookshelf?
    P.S Thanks so much for this great tip.

    0
    catkinson54
    catkinson54

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Also, chest of drawers need to be bolted to walls. Years ago, when I was pregnant, a child in the city suffocated from a chest tipping over from him climbing. Ours were attached before my child was born, even though my husband thought I was being over protective.

    0
    jannumahesh
    jannumahesh

    5 years ago on Step 2

    this is such a wonderful idea! I had a quesion - what size of bicycle inner tube would you use for a smaller bookshelf? i have one that is about 24"x10X? i purchased one just to try it out but unfortunately the carrier misplaced my package and i just want to confirm this before I purchase again.

    Would a 24 x 1.90 -2.35 /32 mm valve be enough or overkill or do i need to get something bigger?

    0
    wle1
    wle1

    6 years ago on Introduction

    clever

    looks toddler unproof though...

    comments?

    cute baby

    wle

    0
    babybayrs
    babybayrs

    7 years ago on Introduction

    What is this instructables about? I can't take my eyes away from the beautiful baby.

    0
    fmarie3
    fmarie3

    7 years ago on Step 2

    Thank you thank you thank you! I have been searching all day for something like this. We've secured the bookcases so they don't fall, but I couldn't find anything on protecting the books from the baby!

    0
    35Timmy
    35Timmy

    9 years ago on Introduction

    do not forget the book self falling on the infant and the books falling on the infant you need to protect it from

    0
    arpoky
    arpoky

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    As I obviously am not sure...
    Whose is he/she (which one)?

    0
    mg0930mg
    mg0930mg

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    She is eric, and canida's(i believe that's how you spell it) baby.

    0
    babyproofpro
    babyproofpro

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hate to be the party pooper but as a profesional childproofer I would suggest wedging the books in tight and reprimand for enforcement. The innertubes, if streached far enough or if it becomes loose, could become an entrappment/strangulation.
    http://www.babyprooferlongisland.com

    0
    matt09
    matt09

    10 years ago on Introduction

    i would put conductive mesh on it and hook up 2 a telephone pole transformer thatll teach not to touch it infact it would be imppossible

    0
    beckyrep
    beckyrep

    10 years ago on Step 2

    A number of toddlers die each year from pulling bookshelves down on themselves. I found your delightful post thinking it offers a solution for this hurtful, sometimes tragic occurrence. Bolt the bookcase itself to a couple of studs in the wall to avert a tragedy!

    0
    superMacaroni
    superMacaroni

    10 years ago on Introduction

    When I was a baby, I would always take out all the CDS from my dad's bookshelf and find the shiniest ones.

    n___n