I have a confession. The only childproofing my husband and I did when my daughter started crawling was to install baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. Aside from one incident when I found her at the top of the staircase when she was about nine months old (which had me at Target purchasing baby gates later that day), she just wasn’t all that adventurous or mischievous. She was perfectly content to sit in her nursery and look at books or play with toys, especially once she realized that the stairs were off limits.
Life with my son is another story. Not only does he not have my undivided attention the way his older sister did—I also have a three-year-old to attend to, after all—but ever since he learned to crawl, he has been on a mission to get into as much trouble as possible in that split second before I can stop him. The list is long, and it includes gems like splashing in our dogs’ water bowl, unraveling rolls of toilet paper, climbing on top of the play kitchen and repeatedly opening and slamming our kitchen cabinets.
A few of those problems have been solved with nothing more than an extra watchful eye, but the kitchen cabinets had me stumped. I knew if we didn’t do something to childproof them, it would only be a matter of time before the garbage would be thrown across the kitchen, or even worse, he’d get into the cleaning supplies. I had heard about magnetic locking systems and although I thought it sounded too good to be true, I purchased a set, my husband installed them that night and we hoped for the best.
Here’s how it works. The locking hardware is installed inside the cabinet (or drawer), and you can’t open it without a powerful magnetic key. Simply place the key on the outside of the cabinet when you want to open the door, and just like magic, the magnet opens the lock. Plus, the hardware is totally out of sight when the cabinet is closed, and you can keep the key on the fridge out of reach of your little ones when not in use.
We started using our magnetic locking system about a month ago, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t heard the sound of a cabinet door slamming ever since. I actually think my son has forgotten that the doors are even there! Our kitchen is blissfully quiet (other than the occasional pots and pans jam session while I’m trying to cook dinner), and more importantly, it’s safe for our mischievous and curious little man. What are your best tips and tricks for childproofing around your house?