It never ceases to amaze me how much I take cabinets, drawers and other storage areas for granted. Without them, my house would be a mess.
The unusual thing is that some babies couldn’t care less about cabinets. To them whatever is hidden away simply does not compete with their awesome toys. You are probably reading this guide because the last two sentences do not describe your baby at all.
Before we take a look at how to baby proof your drawers, let us take a look at why you need to.
The dangers of cabinets to your child
Let us take a look at the hazards to your child that cabinets can pose.
- Cabinets can hide dangerous objectors such as sharp knives and poisonous substances.
- Cabinet doors can be shut on your child’s fingers, resulting in serious injury.
- The entire contents of a cabinet can be thrown across a room in glee because your child finds it fun.
- Cabinet doors can be constantly slammed. Entertaining for a child but it will quickly wear on just about any parent’s nerves.
Now that we have Identified the dangers, let us take a look at the three best solutions available to prevent your child from opening cabinet doors. The beauty of the baby proofing products below is that you do not need to drill or screw to install them.
Magnetic cabinet locks
First up in the list of best products to baby proof cabinets is the magnetic cabinet lock.
Magnetic cabinet locks are by far my most favorite way to baby proof cabinets. Not only do they effectively baby proof your cabinets, but they are also dead simple to use.
Magnetic cabinet locks will generally come in a set consisting of a single key and multiple locks. This allows you to install the locks across a wide range of cabinets (and drawers) that you wish to keep locked. Just don’t lose the magnetic key.
Be mindful that magnetic cabinet locks do require hardware mounting. If your landlord has prohibited you from modifying permanent fixtures, such as cabinets, then this solution is not for you.
The locking mechanism is hardware mounted inside of your cabinet. The mechanism will not unlock until you open it with a magnetic key. When you want to open the locked drawer, simply hold the key in front of the lock with one hand and pull the cabinet door with the other
You can even deactivate the locks temporarily for those occasions when you need to constantly open and close cabinets, such as when you are cooking up a storm in the kitchen.
Below is the most popular and highly recommended magnetic lock kit containing one key and eight locks.
Magnetic Cabinet Lock
- Keep cabinets & drawers off limits: Peace of mind for parents while children are exploring in the home
- Toddler tested. Proven stronger; Locks outperform the competition both in home and mechanical pull force lab testing
- Invisible from the outside: Installs inside of your cabinets and drawers, concealed from children and guests
Colors: As pictured.
- Easy install.
- Fits most drawers.
- It can be disabled when needed.
Adhesive mount cabinet locks
Coming in second place on the list of best cabinet locks is the adhesive mounted cabinet lock.
Adhesive mounted locks are a less permanent solution to baby proofing your cabinets and can simply be removed when no longer needed.
Adhesive locks will generally require two anchor points to be stuck to the surface of your cabinets. A strap joins both anchors together, preventing your cabinets from being pulled open by a child.
Cheap, effective and easy to use, so many parents swear by them and with good reason, they just work. Just be sure to clean the point of attachment with alcohol first to ensure the adhesive can form the best possible grip on your cabinets.
Just be mindful to read reviews when purchasing adhesive cabinet locks. Unfortunately, not all of them are created equally. Some barely stick while others other just poorly designed.
The most popular adhesive cabinet lock used by parents is the Multi-purpose lock below. These locks can be installed just about anywhere that needs locking and are incredibly effective. As a Nanny, I always kept two on hand, just in case.
- Secures cabinets, drawers, appliances, toilet seats, and more
- Requires dual button operation to release, release and rotate when not in use
- Flexible strap allows latching around corners
Colors: As pictured.
- Push to release button.
- Flexible straps.
- Easy to install.
When it comes to removing adhesive Goo-gone is your best friend. Simply use string to get as much of the padding off as possible then use Goo-gone to remove the adhesive. You may need to let the adhesive sit for up to 10 minutes once the remover is applied.
If your cabinets are in a location where they get hit by direct sunlight then you may notice darker spots when you remove your adhesive baby proof locks. This is fairly unavoidable as the rest of your cabinet has faded while the locks have blocked sunlight from hitting where they stuck to your cabinet.
Cord Cabinet Locks
Wrapping up the list of recommended baby proof cabinet locks is the pull cord lock by Kiscords.
Cord locks are only suitable for cabinets with side by side round knobs. The lack of versatility is the only reason I have placed them further down the list as they are incredibly easy to use, even one-handed.
Cord Cabinet Lock
- THIS 5-PACK OF CHILD SAFETY CABINET LOCKS ARE DESIGNED TO WORK ONLY ON CABINETS WITH SIDE-BY-SIDE KNOBS. Have handles?...
- KEEP YOUR BABY SAFE FROM ACCIDENTS: This baby cabinet latch offers the best protection to keep your kids safe without...
- NO DRILLING, NO ADHESIVE: Our cabinet straps are easy to install without drilling, screws, magnets or adhesives. They...
Colors:White or Black.
- Push to release button.
- Easy to use.
- Made in the USA.
If you are puzzled as to how the cords actually work then check out the short instructional video below.
The cabinet locks that just didn’t make the cut
So Now that I have covered the best products for childproofing cabinets, let us take a look at the other products and why they didn’t make the cut.
What is surprising is that even though a childproofing product manufacturer may make one amazing product, that does not mean that all their products meet the same degree of quality.
It goes to show that you really should do your homework before splurging on something that promises to be “the best child proof cabinet lock ever”.
Sliding Cabinet Locks
- No hardware to install
- Easy to use and move
- Suitable for D shaped handles and knobs
- Easily baby proofs cabinet doors.
- Can attach to both handles and knobs.
In Practice: While some parents report success, I could not get these to work effectively on cabinet knobs. The sliding piece does not fit behind the knobs and can easily be pulled off by a child. They also feel cheaply made, like they will not last long.
Push ‘n Snap Cabinet Lock
No products found.
- Easily childproof cabinet doors with handles and knobs. Remains hanging on the door when open.
In Practice:These get annoying. Really fast. While they will keep your child out of cabinets, they are incredibly difficult even for an adult to open. Don’t install them on frequently used cabinets.
Spring Release Latch
- Spring-loaded for easy use and feature a wide easy grip surface for quick parent access
- Spring 'n release latches come in a pack of 10
- They are simple to install and easy to use
- Simple to use and install cabinet lock with a wide easy grip for quick parent access.
In Practice:Where do I begin with how awful these cabinet locks are? Poorly designed, hard to install with terrible instructions and easily overcome by even the least determined of children. Avoid this baby proofing product at all costs.
DIY methods to baby proofing cabinets.
I have not forgotten about those of you who are put off by purchasing yet another baby proofing product or are just feeling frugal. You can also baby proof your cabinets using everyday materially found around your home.
Babyproof your cabinets with a rubber band
If your cabinets have knobs rather than handles then you may be able to keep your young child out with nothing more than a simple elastic band or rubber bracelet.
Simply find a rubber band or bracelet that will stretch over two cabinet doors and contract tight enough that it will not fly off when the doors are pulled. Be sure to use a thick rubber band as the thin variety snap too easily.
Move all dangerous products
Not all products inside cabinets will prove to be dangerous to your child. By simply moving all dangerous products to a single locked location or placing them out of reach you can ensure your child’s safety.
If this is your plan of action then you will have to be super focused and not miss a single item that could cause danger to your child. Also, be mindful that your child can still injure fingers on the cabinet doors themselves.
Extra tips to childproof your cabinets
Before I wrap up the article I will leave you with three pieces of advice to help you keep your baby safe around cabinets.
1. Don’t let your child watch you unlocking cabinet locks.
Kids learn by imitating, and surprisingly quickly too. If your little one watches you use a cabinet lock often enough, he will eventually be able to bypass the lock on his own.
If your child is in the same room as you when you go to unlock a baby proof cabinet lock then try to position your body between yourself and your child. This will obstruct your child’s views and help keep your cabinets childproof that little while longer.
2. No baby proof cabinet lock is foolproof.
Guests who have never had children may forget to put locks back on cabinets or it may simply slip your mind. In an instant, your child will be exposed to all the dangers you worked so hard to restrict access to.
As a backup plan, it is recommended you move all dangerous items such as cleaning products or ceramic plates to cabinet spaces which will be difficult to reach. Alternatively, you can lock certain products such as cleaning products up in Tupperware containers.
3. Cabinet locks are not a substitute for supervision.
Just because you have childproof locks does not mean you can simply stop supervising your child. If there is one thing children are good at it is coming up with creative ways to hurt themselves.
And that brings you to the end of my guide on cabinet safety. Do you have a method you use to baby proof your cabinets that I didn’t mention? Let me know below.
Featured Image Source: Reshot