I’m always on the hunt for great parenting tips to make my working-mom life easier. I ask family and friends for advice, scour magazines, read all the online articles and baby whisperer books, and even consider what well-meaning women in the grocery store lines tell me. Then I test out their parenting tips, like this babyproofing hack, at home.
I was thrilled when this tip from my mother-in-law about how to childproof cabinets in a heartbeat – with something you already have at home – actually worked! Because curious, persistent little ones who like to look, touch and taste every single item they find is A) dangerous and B) can drive you crazy all day.
I also love that this problem solver is free. And it’s an easy solution for childproofing cabinets when you’re staying over at someone’s house that isn’t childproofed. Or, when you haven’t gotten around to childproofing your own home yet because you’re barely keeping up with feeding your family and staying employed (it happens).
Fast Babyproofing Hack
You know how you’re buying all those nutritious veggies now like broccoli and asparagus because you want your kids to eat healthier than you ever have? Take those thick rubber bands that come on the veggies and put one over both of the knobs on your cabinet doors, roping them together (sorry this trick only works if you have knobs, not handles!).
Those rubber bands are super thick and small in diameter, which makes them strong. They keep cabinet doors tightly shut together and are more powerful than the little fingers trying to pry them apart. And eventually, after your crawling baby or active toddler has attempted to unsuccessfully force the cabinets open, she’ll stop trying.
Childproof Your Home
Of course, you’re going to want to do real-deal childproofing of your home too, if you haven’t already. Because, I hate to break it to you, but your child isn’t going to stop getting into things. Kids are born explorers – it’s their job.
For that, the best resource I can point you to are Babylist’s childproofing product guides. There you’ll find info on the best baby gates, outlet covers, cabinet locks and even childproofing kits. (And, I wrote most of those product guides!) Here’s what I used in my home:
- Cabinet locks for lower cabinets in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room
- Doorknob covers on the doors to the laundry room/garage and office
- Outlet covers in every single room
- Corner guards on my coffee table
- Baby gates on the staircase and a huge one that created a circle (for a confined play space)
You may need more or less childproofing products, depending on your home and the items in it. To figure out exactly what you need:
- Take stock of your home (look at it from your child’s level)
- Write down everything you need
- Check out the Babylist childproofing guides (linked above) to see what products you like best
- Order the items online
- Set aside an hour to install everything over the weekend
In a pinch, you can use the rubber-band trick to keep your little one out of cabinets until you can get around to babyproofing your home. And while childproofing is kind of a hassle and just one more thing on your to-do list, once it’s done you’ll have so much more peace of mind.
P.S. Besides your little one getting into everything these days, what else are you dealing with? It’s probably something lots of moms struggle with and I might be able to offer some advice. Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.