Bryan Paul Sullo

Better Baby Bath-time Baskets (With Suction!)

In DIY, Family on 25 May 2014 at 6:54 pm
When you have twins, you’re always on the lookout for helpful tips to make everyday tasks a little easier. A while back, we saw a tip about using laundry baskets in the bath tub. It’s a great idea. It keeps wiggly kids from hitting their heads on the sides of the tub, it keeps their toys from floating away, and it lets one person handle two babies much more easily.
The problem comes when the babies learn to stand. Laundry baskets weren’t made to handle shifting, top-heavy loads, and the weight of a baby climbing up the side can cause them to flip over, which, of course, is dangerous.
Rather than give up on the idea, I decided to improve upon it. Enter, the suction cup.
Here’s how to make your very own no-tip bath-time baby basket for under $8.00.

What you need:
  • Suction cups. You’ll have a hard time finding suction cups by themselves. I got mine in an 8-pack of utility hooks from Target, for $2.59. Whatever you get, make sure they have a mushroom-head-looking attachment. (You’ll see what I mean in the photos below.)
  • Laundry baskets. You probably won’t want to use your every-day laundry baskets for this, though there’s no reason you can’t. They’ll still function perfectly fine as laundry baskets after the modifications. If you want to get new ones, you can pick them up from Target for $4.79.
  • A drill. You can use a regular spiral drill bit, but I prefer a Forstner bit because it makes a cleaner hole. You can pick up a Forstner bit for under $6.00 at Home Depot.
Utility Hooks
Begin by removing the hooks (or whatever is attached) from your suction cups. You should be able to see what I mean by a “mushroom head” in the photo below. This is what will keep the suction cup from pulling out of the hole.
Suction Cup
Once you’ve removed the hooks (or whatever) from the cups, measure the diameter of the narrowest part of the cup (the part where the hook was attached). This can be tricky, but it’s important. You want to drill the smallest hole possible. Too small, and you’ll never get the suction cup to attach to the basket. Too big, and the cup will pull right out, making it unsafe. I used calipers, but you can just stick drill bits through the hole of whatever was attached to the suction cup before.
If you’re unsure you can find something else plastic and drill a couple of different sized holes in it. (That’s what I did.)
When you’ve selected your bit, grab your basket, turn it upside down and start drilling. Make a hole in each of the four corners for maximum stability. If the bottom of the basket isn’t completely flat, try to make the hole in a “raised” area, where the basket would normally touch the floor.
Drilling the Holes
Don’t push too hard, you could crack the plastic. Just let the drill do the work. No need to rush; you’re only drilling four holes.
If you don’t have a Forstner bit, or your holes are too small, you may need to use a rasp or utility knife to clean the edges of the hole.
Now comes the tricky bit: You’re going to have to force the head of the suction cup through the hole. It should be difficult. In fact, if the hole is the right size, it may seem impossible at first. Start by inserting the head at an angle, and then keep pushing. It may help to have a sturdy, blunt tool. (I found a bottle of my wife’s nail polish to be quite useful for this.)
When you’ve done it right, it should look something like the pictures below.
Attached, DetailCompleted
Now, when you set the basket in the tub, it should stick to the bottom and be a little safer. Before using it for real, test to make sure the suction cups hold and that they don’t pull out of the holes.
Now you’re ready for bath time!
Bath Time
Remember, the suction cups make these bath-time baskets safer, but a tub of water is always dangerous for a baby. Never, ever leave your baby unattended in the bath, even for a minute.
If you try this tip, let me know how it works for you.

 

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