I remember going to the pediatrician when our daughter was just three or four months old and being told that we needed to begin baby-proofing our house. As a first-time parent, I remember thinking that our doctor was crazy. J wasn’t crawling yet, much less walking. What was the rush? Our pediatrician then went on to explain that adequately baby-proofing a house took time, and that J would be moving around before we knew it and that we wouldn’t be ready unless we started today.
Even with this explanation, we still thought our doctor was crazy. How hard could baby-proofing a house be? So my husband and I ignored his advice. And well, to make a long story short, let’s just say that he was right, and we were wrong:) Your baby will be on the move before you know it!
So repeat these pillars of truth with me:
- Babies grow in the blink of an eye
- Baby-proofing takes time
Or, at least, I should say good baby-proofing takes time. There is a significant difference between baby-proofing your house only to find out weeks later that your work was insufficient and you have to do it all over again vs. finding a permanent solution. The former is easy. The latter is much harder. So after much trial and error, my husband and I finally discovered the best way to child-proof kitchen cabinets. (But please note, this also works on any cabinetry in your house.)
First things first, though, 90% of baby-proofing products for cabinets are terrible. Or at least I think they are terrible. For example, there is the spring loaded kind that mounts inside your cabinets and drawers like the one below:
This type forces you to squeeze your fingers between the door and frame in order to release it. When I was in college, I babysat for a family that used this kind of latch, and I can’t tell you the number of times that the skin of my hand got pinched inside one of these things. When Erik and I began considering baby-proofing solutions, I automatically vetoed these. No thanks!
Then, there is the magnetic kind like this. Seriously? These work great, but require a lot of drilling to install. And there is one major problem… you have to keep up with the magnet. Our daughter is going through a major kleptomania phase right now, and we are constantly finding things in the most random places (like the other day when I found all of my foundation sponges on a completely different level of the house AND inside a plastic bin inside of her toy chest). A magnet like this would only last two seconds at our house.
And finally, there is this kind which we also discovered were a fail. Mainly because they were not only baby-proof but mama-proof as well. Ha! I couldn’t open the latch to save the life of me.
At the end of the day, we weren’t exctied about any of these. We wanted something that was discreet, effective, and would maintain the beauty of our modern cabinets. And that is when we decided to make our baby-proofing product using… Command strips!
We bought a whole bunch of these from Amazon and mounted them inside of our cabinets and drawers. You can see the underside of one of our drawers here:
As you can tell, one side of the velcro fastener is on the drawer frame, and the other side is on the actual cabinet itself.
And here is a photo of one of our cabinets:
Please note that we made sure to place the fasteners in multiple areas around each cabinet or drawer. Not just in one place. This increases the strength of the hold, thereby making the drawer or cabinet more baby-proof. So, for example, with each drawer, we have a velcro fastener on the underside as well as to the left and right of the drawer frame. For each cabinet, we have a velcro fastener on the top and the bottom of each door.
Here are the four benefits we have discovered to using velcro fasteners:
- This way of baby-proofing is really easy. Now, I can open a drawer or a cabinet simply by tugging on it. Once I am ready to close it again, I simply shut it and then push until I can hear the sound of the velcro latching.
- This way of baby-proofing will be incredibly easy to update. If the current amount of fasteners ever do become insufficient, instead of having to re-invent the baby-proofing wheel, we can simply add more velcro tabs to make the hold stronger.
- When we are done with the baby-proofing stage of our life, we can simply remove the fasteners with a little bit of Goo Gone. No permanent damage to any of our cabinetry.
- But best of all? From the outside, all of our cabinets and drawers look completely normal. You couldn’t even tell that we have a baby by walking through the kitchen! Our living room on the other hand, well, the board books strewn everywhere tell a different story…
And now I want to hear from you! How have you baby-proofed your home? Did you do anything a little outside the box?
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