Friday, August 9, 2013

Cheapskate But Effective Child Proofing

 photo locks_zps87f809df.pngWhen I first became a mom, I did what every responsible mom did- I baby proofed my house. And when my baby started crawling and becoming more adventurous, though they were hard to find, I hunted down and bought expensive child safety devices, including drawer and cabinet locks, refrigerator locks, etc...
At the time, I had a playgroup in my home, and the first morning after I installed everything, a smart kid showed every single kid there how to open those things.
That was a waste.
The expensive child proofing stuff didn't work for even an hour. Oh well.

We just needed to move all the dangerous things out of the drawers and cabinets that were in reach of the kids, and needed to put up with the frustrations of my kids repeatedly making games of emptying out my kitchen drawers and strewing the stuff all over the floor. And eventually the kids outgrew that game and learned that there are more fun things to play with than Mommy's kitchen tools...

Except that right now Anneliese is big into that game, and has intensified it to the extent that she is causing destruction and mess. (She likes to take things out of my spice drawer, open the cover, and dumping it all over the floor. For example.) And she opens the refrigerator and either leaves it open, or takes out food and leaves it lying around the house. It's getting pretty frustrating...

And then Lee, my big boy, thought up a way to keep Anneliese out of these stuff, without needing to buy more expensive babyproofing stuff, that, from experience, doesn't work with a bright kid... It just uses stuff we have in the house. Bungee cords!

We just threaded the bungee cord though the row of drawers, hooked one end onto the bottom, wrapped it on the handle of the door next to it, and to make it more taut, looped it back on itself and hooked it on to the top drawer.

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It is super effective- the drawers and cabinet doors can't open, and my spices are safe once again!

And it worked so well, that my husband, Mike, figured out a way to use bungee cords to keep the fridge safe from Anneliese's hands...
And it's not very obvious when looking at the fridge either.

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We just hooked a bungee cord onto the grates/coil at the back of the fridge, and then stretched it and hooked it on to the fridge handle.

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It is very effective and stops Anneliese from being able to open the fridge, so no more worries about spoiled food from left open fridges and bits of food wasted and lying around the house.

Sometimes the simple solutions are both cheapest and most effective.

Do your kids like to open your kitchen drawers and/or fridge? How do you keep them out of trouble?


  1. Genius! My little girl is 7 months and showing signs that she'll be crawling soon, so babyproofing has been on my mind. We're renting so there is a limit to what we can affix to cupboards etc. I think bungee cords may be the way to go for us!

  2. thats a really good idea!!! my son has broken the lock off the fridge & it was expensive..thanks for posting this :)

  3. Those bungee cords are awesome, but our cabinets and drawers have no handles! When my kids were at that stage, I had to move all dangerous/messy things to higher places, and just deal with the lower cupboards being opened. Luckily the fridge is difficult to open for kids under 2. :) I filled one cabinet with some toys and kitchen items I din't mind the babies playing with, and then whenever they went to the other drawers/cabinets I would remind them that. "This is Mommy's stuff, and baby's stuff is in this cupboard over here."

  4. Depending on your cabinet handles (if they're knobs), rubber bands can also be great baby proofing devices!

  5. Another good one is to put socks over the doorknobs instead of those crazy plastic covers.

  6. Very creative but what about when you need to get a spoon really fast or just add a dash of spice to a dish? Isnt it frustrating to take the bungee cord off and on each time? Especially the fridge...

  7. My kids want to get into everything. I bought a roll of laundry line and used it to tie my children's dressers shut, because they like to take everything out of them. I tied the middle of a length of rope to the bottom drawer handle and having two equal sides, loop one or both of them through the rest of the handles and tied it at the top handle. I used it to tie open their bedroom doors during the day because blocking them open didn't work, doorstops didn't work and fingers were getting pinched because they would plays the let's shut and open the door a million times in a row game. One door is tied to a bedpost and the other to a dresser. I also used it to tie around my kitchen table, I push the chairs in and then tie it around the chairs and the table. I also used some small extra pieces of the rope to tie shut cabinets when possible. I have long handled door knobs and had bought a child proof lock for my pantry. My daughter figured out how to open it in about a second, so I turned it upside down and it works for now I just have to pull up on the handle instead of push down. Also, I have child proof locks on my kitchen drawers, but the kids would pull them open as far as they could and then squeeze their little hands in and pull out what ever they could find. I remembered my grandmother had a problem with mice many years ago and put pieces of wood the same size as the drawers on the top inside of the drawers. I didn't have any wood, but I did have an old poster in a frame, so I took the clear thin plastic from the front of the frame and cut it into pieces the size of my drawers, and put tape on the edges and set them in my drawers. YES its a pain to untie the dressers twice a day, but its easier to do that then put clothes away 5 times a day every day. And the plastic in the drawers sucks too, but it keeps them from having lids, utensils, etc all over the house and I'm so used to it now I don't even think about it. I would rather do all of this and have a pleasant day with my children than spend all day scolding them.


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