I'm trying to baby-proof my staircase, but the stairs have no risers. (See image below.)

I am in a rental, so I don't want to spend the money on cutting, staining, and nailing up plywood. I am thinking maybe corkboard, or using my staple gun to run a long cloth material down the underside. I usually go over the top on things like this, but we will only be in the house for two more years probably, so I am looking to go the cheap and fast route.

image of a staircase with no risers

  • 5
    Depending on the local law, you may be able to force the landlord to do the work to make the stairs safe - get advice on this. Likewise you may have a right to move out without waiting until the end of your contect due to them.
    – Walker
    Aug 19, 2011 at 15:23

5 Answers 5


How about using baby gates to keep your baby off the stairs entirely?

  • I'm surprised this wasn't the first answer. Just put the gate several steps up so that there isn't a chance of climbing through the stairs to get behind the gate.
    – BMitch
    Aug 19, 2011 at 15:44
  • 2
    @BMitch, Agree! with "baby gate". If the US is like the UK, the gap in the risers (by Code) shouldn't be large enough for a baby/toddler to get stuck (or squeeze through) ie 100mm (4inch) or less. If the gap is larger than 100mm (4inch), I believe "Walker's" comment below the question is spot-on.
    – Mike Perry
    Aug 19, 2011 at 16:41
  • 1
    There's also a freestanding product called a SuperYard that you can enclose the stair area in. They're not cheap, but they're versatile if you want to take the baby out in the yard or on vacation. We call it "The Baby Jail". Aug 19, 2011 at 21:46

You cut strips of thin plexiglass and install them where the risers would be. Since they would be transparent, they would not have to fill the entire void of the open space, they would just need to be large enough so any opening are smaller than than a hole a kid could get though (i think code is like 4".)

You could use small screws that would simply hold it in place and cause little damage to the wood. You can find larger sheets of plexiglass at the big box home improvement stores.


You could also install a carpet runner on the stairs.


I would buy the vinyl lattice that comes in 4 foot sheets and attach it with zip ties.

Something like this

enter image description here


I would recommend using wire mesh and cable ties. It may look a bit ugly, but it'll work and it would also keep toys from falling through and making your kid try to push through to get them. (He probably couldn't push through but could hurt himself trying)

  • Wire mesh has many sharp points that baby can get caught on and lacks any asthetic appeal for interior applications.
    – Stephen
    Aug 20, 2011 at 12:34
  • 3
    I can tell that you do not have children.
    – lazoDev
    Aug 20, 2011 at 14:56

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