Ugh...childproof Latches That Actually Work!??

Updated on August 13, 2012
D.M. asks from Wheeling, IL
14 answers

My adorable yet mischievous
9 month old loves exploring my cabinets,of course there are some that need to be off limits. Problem is I have bought three diff types of locks and none of them work. One was a slider that he got off with ease, another had the zip ties with tiny buttons that frustrated me and my husband so much we took them off the first day, and the last had two open hooks that slide was too narrow for my knob's spacing. Recommendations please!!!

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answers from Norfolk on

Child locks are only meant to slow them down enough for a parent to intervene before they get into something dangerous.
A playpen will slow them down too - but they will escape sooner or later.
You have to watch them like a hawk - they are lightning fast once they are mobile.
My Mom kept cleaning supplies in the high cupboards for years to keep them out of reach.
Giving him his own cabinet is not a bad idea.
Pots, small cans and tupperware are fun to play with.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Columbia on

not a single one. gave him his own cabinet - rest we taught were off limits

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answers from Chicago on

My sister uses hair ties on hers. She spent $1.99 and it took care of all of her cabinets. I, on the other hand, spent at least $30 and still hadn't had as much success as she did with the hair bands.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I have had my own 3 children, as well as many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews run through their baby and toddler years in this house and never once put child locks on anything. I won't. My rule is simple...follow the rule or pay the consequences. And yes, even as pre-walking babies, all of my mine walked early (too early, as far as I was concerned), and that is a proven challenge.
I'm trying to keep it short, so let me know if I can help you (or anyone else, for that matter) further. You CAN live a child-lock free life. I've done it for over thirty years, so please don't tell me it can't be done.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Never used them. When DS was that age - DH or I watched him. If he tried to open a cabinet, we picked him up and gave him something else to play with. That was the whole thing. As he got older and verbal, he learned which cabinet he could open and which were off limits. A simple 'no' and a distraction. We kept anything dangerous in a top cabinet or in the garage (locked - no 9 month old can open a normal height door deadbolt). The only child proofing we did was attaching the heavy bookshelves to the wall (that is the safest option even without children in a house).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Yep.... hair bands or rubber bands around the knobs work really well......

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Can you teach him that he can have/open/play with the contents of ONE CERTAIN cabinet, and that the others are off limits? I never one bought a cabinet latch to keep my adventurous son out of the cabinets. Instead, I let him play with the plastic bowls in one particular cabinet.

But if you gotta get a latch, those magnetic ones sound good - so long as they attach securely. Last thing you want is for your kiddo to swallow a magnet or two.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

We had good luck with the tot lock. It uses a set of strong magnets to hold the door shut. You open it with a "key" which is a third magnet.

The pros:
it's inside the cabinet so your child can't get it off
there's no gap where your child can get their hand in anyway
there's a switch you can flip to disable it temporarily.

The con: it's difficult to install and requires a specialty size of drill bit.



answers from Chicago on

Get the magnetic locks, which require a little more work to install. Be sure to buy an extra opener!!



answers from Minneapolis on

The magnetic locks are hands down the best. You can store the 'key' right on the front of the 'frig - out of the reach of little hands. We learned the hard way how strong those magnetics were when my son was 2. DH left the key on the counter and we found DS deglazing our brand new television set a minute later. Not sure if that can happen with the new flat screens though.



answers from Kansas City on

We used some wonderful magnet ones that I loved! You installed the lock on the inside of the door and only by placing the magnet "key" on the outside in the right place would it disengage. He is four and a half and we have removed all but the ones on the household cleaner and bathroom cabinets. Even now that he knows how to use them, he doesn't know where the key is (easy for us in the cabinets above) and they are locked tight. I loved seeing people's faces when they tried to open a door and couldn't but also couldn't see a lock anywhere to trigger.

This is it. We got ours at Babies 'R Us and I think more at Amazon.


answers from Jacksonville on

Here's my recommendation:
Only count on the "childproof" latches as a method to SLOW THEM DOWN. I never found any that my son couldn't get into. He even just plain broke some that he couldn't figure out. Yanked hard until the plastic just snapped.
There were some that WE got frustrated with too, and he eventually stripped the "teeth" on those so that they opened enough he could break them or reach inside the opening even without fully opening them.

Don't rely on them. Just use them as a "deterrent" and a method to give you that extra 2 seconds to catch him before he succeeds getting in.
That's what I had to do.
Good luck.
At 14, he still is "attracted" to anything with knots, locks, wires, rubber bands and such. Must be a boy thing.



answers from Washington DC on

We use one that you have to push down to get into the drawer. It seems to work well, even now that DD is older. When we had a different entertainment center, we used a knob + clear strap thing we got at Babies R Us.



answers from Topeka on

Look @ a hardware supply store there maybe more options for different styles of cabinetry

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