Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In Search Of: Baby-proofing Products that Work

Baba G is really enjoying all of the benefits that come with being able to walk. The biggest perk (for him) is that he's stable enough to reeeeaaaacccch for just about anything, and he takes great joy and pride in opening cabinets, drawers, our piano cover, the trash can ... you name it.

Benches are for suckers!

SuperBaby will now attempt to fly a few inches off the ground to open the door

Why'd someone throw out this perfectly good box?

We moved all of the dangerous stuff to our top cupboards before he was even born, but since he hasn't quite grasped the whole concept of getting your fingers out of the way when you slam something shut, we added some baby-proofing locks around the condo.

The problem is, the vast majority of what we bought — which is all from Safety 1st because that's the only brand any place near us in the city seems to carry — is really poor quality and immediately breaks, or doesn't work for our particular type of cabinets and drawers.

These stove knob covers (in picture below) have done their job, but BG immediately figured out that the folding cabinet door next to the oven can be opened. We haven't been able to find anything that works here (or for some of our other cabinets) because you need a wooden "lip" to drill a latch-holder into, and our shelving wasn't made that way. (Meaning, these things won't work.)

What's more, we bought a latch (once again from Safety 1st) that was supposed to keep your oven locked shut, and that crappy thing fell off within a few hours (it was supposed to stick on the side and latch over the door).

Nice try, Mom.

Gold Mine: the food pantry!

For our double-wide cabinets like the ones below under our sink, we use this contraption, which does the job, even though I ram my thighs into its prongs and curse approximately 10 times per day. (I have it unlocked in the picture below, you can see it hanging on the left door.)

Doorknob covers and the standard electrical-outlet plugs and covers have also worked just fine. But NONE of our drawers will work with the Safety 1st products.

So here's what I'm In Search Of: Products or general advice related to baby-proofing cabinets and drawers when the widely available items don't work. Has anyone out there tried one of the magnetic lock systems? I'm not entirely sure that would work with our cabinets or drawers, either, but I'd be curious to see if anyone else has found success using those.

In the meantime, Baba G The Condo Explorer is going to keep having fun!


  1. We have used the Safety 1st magnetic locks for three kids and have never had a problem with them. Ours look somewhat like this:


    although we bought ours seven years ago so they are not exactly the same.

    If you do end up going with a magnetic lock, my main suggestion would be to make a little mark on the outside of your cabinet door (we used a transparent sticker that wasn't obvious unless you were looking for it) so you aren't constantly having to search for the right spot to put the key.

  2. CAUTION CAUTION CAUTION In the last picture of under the sink items there are several containers of plastic garbage bags. They should be a top shelf item. A curious little guy would have lots of fun opening a garbage bag and hiding his head in it...KEEP ALL PLASTIC BAGS OUT OF CHILD'S REACH !

  3. We got some latches from IKEA for our two big cabinet pantries, which look similar to yours. You open them partially, then stick your finger onto the latch to get the door the rest of the way open. They work really well and frustrate my boys to no end...and they work on cabinets that are deeper than standard, since IKEA cabinets are built that way. (I will add that we've barely baby proofed our new house at all, which I'm sure is a second child thing, and the pantries are only locked because Collin was stacking soda cans and busted one open all over the floor!)