How to Baby Proof Your Cabinets (2020 Guide)
Little fingers want to touch everything.
While it’s great to let your babies explore, as a parent, you have to keep them safe.
Cabinets (and its contents) can be very hazardous to a baby’s hands and you need to baby proof them as soon as your little one crawls.
Not sure where to start?
Read on to learn about 10 tips to kick start the safety process, as well as some highly recommended products that will give you peace and comfort in your home!
1. Use Cabinet Latches
Cabinet latches are the most popular plan of attack, and Baby Keeps Childproof Latches (click here to check the price on Amazon) are my favorite.
They are sold in a set of six and they stretch across the cabinets, tightly keeping them closed. I’ve even used one on my oven because my son started to show interest in opening and closing it when he got his own play kitchen.
They work on an adhesive system, so at first I was skeptical. But, they’ve proven to be super strong and even reusable.
I could move them from place to place whenever and wherever I wanted. They also come in a variety of colors so they blend in perfectly with your cabinet colors.
2. Move Cleaning Products
Even though cabinet proofing devices are highly reliable, as a mom I never leave anything to chance.
A great way to safety proof your cabinets is to remove anything harmful your baby could get their hands on.
Cleaning products, dishwasher tabs, knives, or other dangerous objects should be moved to a higher shelf your child will never be able to access.
3. Install Sliding Cabinet Locks
Sliding cabinet locks also have made an appearance in my home. I love the ones by Secure Home (click here to check the price on Amazon) because they require no screws or drilling, and they are portable, so I can always make sure I have some with me when we aren’t in our home.
They can be installed horizontally or vertically, depending on your cabinet placement and type of knobs. They work best on mushroom shaped knobs or d-shaped handles up to five inches apart, which is pretty standard in most kitchens and bathrooms.
4. Apply Magnet Locks
Magnet locks are also pretty easy to install and they work well too. I love these ones by Safety Baby (click here to check the price on Amazon).
Working off an adhesive system, the magnet locks keep cabinet doors closed by clinging together through force. In addition to installing them on my cabinets, I’ve also used them on my drawers.
Once my toddler got taller and could pull the drawers out, I wanted to make sure his hands didn’t get into our silverware!
These magnet locks kept the drawers and cabinets tightly closed.
5. Consider a Spring Release Latch
Spring release latches allow you to open a cabinet by applying strength and pressure to a release on the door, which will open it.
The spring system is a little more complex and time consuming to install, but it is effective. Spring release latches are also pretty affordable if you’re on a budget and are sold in a large quantity pack.
The only thing I did not love about them is that they left holes after drilling in my cabinetry, so I switched over to some of the other systems mentioned above.
On a more positive note, if you’re afraid your little one will crack the code and get a cabinet open on a baby-proofing device, you don’t have to worry so much with these.
Your toddlers won’t have the strength or dexterity to do so!
6. Use a Baby Gate
If you’re on a very tight budget, you can put up a gate to keep your child out of rooms that contain lots of cabinets like the kitchen and bathroom.
While this is a temporary safeguard, it’s better than nothing!
It’s also a no fail strategy if one of your cabinet locks breaks and you’re waiting on replacements.
You can find our detailed guide on gates here.
7. Use Rubber Bands
As long as you remove anything harmful in your cabinets, I think it’s fine to use good old rubber bands on cabinet knobs.
They will prevent pinching and will prohibit your baby from ripping cabinet doors open (unless they have Super Baby strength).
It’s also great for people on a major budget or who are waiting for replacement latches to arrive.
8. Rely on Cords
How easy is it to install a cord system? My favorite cord device is designed by Kiscord (click here to check the price on Amazon).
Specifically designed for cabinet knobs, the cord system fits virtually any kind of knob or cabinet door and can be adjusted with the tug of a string.
I specifically like this system because there’s no hardware required, so that means no drilling, no dealing with screws, no time consuming (frustrating) installment.
My son gave a few good tugs on it and left it alone when he realized he wasn’t getting the doors open.
9. Baby Proof When Your Kids Aren’t Looking
Kids are smart, and babies are always watching and internalizing what’s going on around them.
So, don’t take any chances by installing cabinet locks in front of them.
Not only will it spark their interest on the newly installed object, but they may be able to figure out how to hack it!
10. Always Watch Your Kids
Latches, locks, and cords aren’t substitutes for a babysitter.
The best way to keep your baby safe is to be with them as they crawl and toddle around your home, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, where most accidents happen.
If you’re going to be away from your baby (because you’re showering or tossing in a load of laundry), always keep your baby in a safe, confined space.
Play pens, enclosed gates, and even stationary bouncers will allow your child to remain contained, engaged, and secure when you need to step away from them for a few moment.
In addition to tips and products, here are some key characteristics you need to look for in some excellent cabinet devices before making an investment:
Fast to Install. Who wants to spend hours installing gadgets and gizmos? I know I don’t have time for that. It shouldn’t take you more than 3 minutes per cabinet or drawer!
Non-Damaging. You have to keep in mind that after you’re done with the products, they’ll be removed and what you’ll be left with are a bunch of unsightly holes. Yes, they’re small, but they can be noticeable. Opt for devices that don’t require drilling holes if possible.
Look for Multi-Use Devices. I always like to get the most bang for my buck and purchase items that can be used in many different ways, on many different items. Look for products that just don’t secure a cabinet. See if they will keep drawers shut, the refrigerator, china cabinet, doors, you name it! Multiple use devices just give you many more options.
Sturdy. Chances are if you’re installing something you feel like you could snap in half, it probably will not hold up, even to a toddler. Always install something strong that can hold up to 20 pounds of force or more.
Portable. I couldn’t always rely on my friends who don’t have kids to provide a safe space for my baby when I’d drop in and visit. I felt much more relaxed knowing that I could quickly baby proof their cabinets with my own devices from home because they were totally portable. Cord, sliding cabinet locks, and even rubber bands always did the trick. Buy them in bulk and store some in your car or diaper bag so you’re never without some.
Much like doors, cabinets and drawers (or even ovens) can cause a lot of harm to an exploring baby or daring toddler.
Consider the 10 tips above (as well as products) that will help make your home a safe and secure place for your baby as they grow!