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A Comprehensive Guide To Baby Proofing All Doors In Your Home

Updated on 23 August 2022 • 15 minute read

 

Overview

During your babyproofing journey, there are two key things you need to consider when childproofing doors: 

 

  1. Preventing door-related accidents like pinched fingers and toes
  2. Preventing your child from accessing dangerous household products

 

In this article, we’ll talk about childproofing door locks for different doors in the house, both exterior and interior.

We’ll also discuss DIY techniques you can try, door lock alternatives, and childproofing tips to keep your little explorer safe.

 

When Can A Toddler Open Doors?

Most two-year-old toddlers can turn a doorknob. (1)

But remember that babyproofing should begin when your baby starts crawling, around six months old. (2)

 

How Do You Childproof A Door?

To effectively childproof all doors in the house, you have to familiarize yourself with the different types of door locks for different types of doors at home. 

There are exterior doors or doors that lead outside the house, like the main door, patio, yard, deck, balcony, garden, and pool doors.

And there are interior doors or doors that lead to different rooms in the house, like bedrooms, kitchen, laundry, home office, nursery or kids’ rooms, and bathrooms.

Within the interior doors, there are cabinets, closets, dressers, and pantries.

It’s a lot, and it can be overwhelming, especially for new parents. That’s why we’re breaking it down for you.

Here are the doors in the house that need child safety door locks:

 

Interior Door Locks

 

Round Door Knob Locks & Covers

A simple childproofing product like a doorknob cover can keep children from opening doors, especially to rooms they shouldn’t be in. 

As the name implies, it covers doorknobs completely and prevents your child from turning the doorknob open. Parents need to squeeze a little harder to bypass the cover and turn the doorknob.

 

Pros
  • Easy to install, use, and remove for parents
  • Easy to clean
  • Fits standard doorknobs
  • Not easy for little hands to bypass
  • Simple design can easily fit with home interior

 

Cons
  • May be difficult for adults with mobility issues
  • Only works with round doorknobs
  • May not fit larger doorknobs

 

Popular Choice For Round Doorknob Cover
Jool Baby Doorknob Covers

(Image source: joolbaby.com)

 

Features a two-part design that easily snaps together to cover any round doorknob. To remove, pinch the snap, then pull it apart. The two round holes on the sides give parents access to the doorknob to easily turn and open the door.

 

Lever Handle Door Locks

Lever locks can be easier for children to open than round doorknobs since all they need is to pull them down. Make sure your little explorer doesn’t get in trouble by installing baby-proof door lever locks.

 

Most lever locks use adhesive tape on the back for easy, no-drill installation. It typically comes with two sticks to lock the lever in the middle, which can be released by pressing buttons on the lock.

 

Pros
  • Easy to install and use
  • Easy to clean
  • Fits most door lever handles
  • Not easy for little hands to dislodge
  • Simple design can easily fit with home interior
  • Won’t damage the door when properly removed

 

Cons
  • Some brands require two-hand operation
  • Some brands may stick better than others

 

Popular Choice For Lever Handle Door Locks
Tuut Door Handle Lock

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

The Tuut door handle lock is easy to install and use–it can be locked and unlocked with one hand. It also uses strong 3M adhesive tape to securely stay in place once properly installed.

 

Door Top Lock

An effective childproofing door lock is the one your child can’t reach and dislodge. A door top lock can be an effective childproofing solution.

As the name suggests, this child safety lock is placed at the top of the door. It’s a two-part locking mechanism that includes a peg and a sliding latch.

Before installing a door top lock, check if a coin can easily slide between the top of the door and the door frame

 

Installation Instructions:
  1. Drill the peg on the top of the door frame, six inches from the door opening.
  2. Place the sliding latch on the top of the door. The sliding latch has a U-shaped indentation that will trap the peg you installed into the door frame, locking the door with the door frame.
  3. To unlock the door, slide the latch off the peg.

 

Pros
  • Works with all doorknob and handle types
  • Easy to install and use
  • Easy to remove
  • Out of children’s reach
  • Can be opened from either side

 

Cons
  • Only fits doors up to 1 ⅜ inch thick
  • Requires standard square door molding
  • Requires drilling a hole in the door frame
  • May be difficult to use for shorter adults

 

Popular Choice For Door Top Lock
Glidelok Top-Of-Door Childproofing System

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

If you’re looking for a reliable childproofing door lock for years to come, the Glidelok door top lock may be perfect for you.

It’s made of painted high-quality metal to fit most interior decor and features holes where you can attach hooks or rods on both sides. This is helpful for shorter adults or taller doors.

 

2-In-1 Door Lock & Pinch Guard

Some child safety door locks may pose a risk of pinching fingers. A 2-in-1 door lock and pinch guard system eliminates that for you.

A door lock that leaves a door slightly ajar keeps fingers and toes from getting pinched. It also lets in fresh air when installed on the patio or balcony door.

Additionally, it allows access from either side of the door, which eliminates the possibility of getting locked in.

 

Pros
  • Easy to install, use, and remove
  • Adjustable height installation
  • Can be installed from one door to another
  • Easy to carry with you on trips or visits to relatives and grandparents
  • Double-purpose: door lock and pinch guard in one

 

Cons
  • Only fits doors up to 1 ⅜ inch thick
  • Requires standard square door frame molding
  • Can be forced open by older children

 

Popular Choice
Door Monkey Child Proof Door Lock & Pinch Guard

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

The Door Monkey childproofing door lock solution is a no-drill, no-adhesive, no tools required option for parents looking for a quick door lock fix.

Installation takes seconds. All you have to do is pinch to clamp the Door Monkey at any height on the door (fits standard 1 ⅜ inch thick doors), and you’re done. 

The Door Monkey features a hook on the other end of the clamp. This automatically clamps on your door frame (requires standard square door frame molding). Pull the hook to unlock. 

What’s more, the clamp features soft rubber pads for a secure hold while protecting your door from damage. 

 

Pinch Guard

Save curious little fingers from trouble by installing a pinch guard on your doors. Pinch guards also prevent slamming doors and accidental lock-ins.

Most pinch guards are easy to install–attach them on the outer edge of the door out of your child’s reach, and you’re set.

 

Pros
  • Doubles as a door slam stopper
  • Easy to install, use, and remove
  • No drill, no adhesive, no tools required
  • Works on any hinged door
  • Adjustable height installation
  • Can be installed from one door to another
  • Easy to carry with you on trips or visits to relatives and grandparents
  • Allows air circulation

 

Cons
  • Easy for kids to figure out
  • May inspire climbing up to reach it
  • Not a childproof door lock

 

Popular Choice For Pinch Guard
Wittle Finger Pinch Guard

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

Features hassle-free installation, use, and removal. Once installed, this finger pinch guard allows a 1.5-inch gap between the door and the door frame. It comes in a pack of four.

 

Hinge Guard

Most pinch guards keep curious little fingers from pinching accidents from the door opening. But what about the other side of the door where it’s attached to the hinge?

A door jam shield will take care of this for you. The idea is to cover the space between the door frame and the door and keep fingers from getting stuck or pinched in it.

 

Pros
  • Easy, no tools required installation
  • No drill solution
  • Completely covers the “door pinch zone” 
  • Allows normal door operation

 

Cons
  • The adhesive may damage paint upon removal
  • Some brands may stick better than others

 

Popular Choice For Hinge Guards
PinchNot Home Shield For 90 Degree Doors

(Image source: pinchnot.com)

 

The PinchNot door shield is easy to install with no tools required. It also features a stretch-release adhesive strip for easy hinge guard removal.

 

Childproof Lock For Folding Doors

Folding doors may require a specifically designed lock to keep them closed and inaccessible for children.

Unlike a top door lock that requires drilling a hole in your door frame to install the lock peg, a double door lock simply rests on the top edge of your double doors

A bi-fold door lock uses a simple mechanism that locks both doors together by sliding the long rectangular door lock towards and away from the door opening.

 

Pros
  • Multipurpose
  • Fits most double doors from 1 ⅛ up to 1 ⅜ inch thick
  • Easy, no drill, no adhesive, no tools required installation
  • Easy to remove
  • Out of children’s reach
  • Can be placed from one double door to another
  • Portable

 

Cons
  • Works with bi-fold doors only
  • Not designed to work with older metal bi-fold doors
  • May be difficult to operate for shorter adults
  • May inspire climbing to reach it

 

Popular Choice For Bi-Fold Door Lock
Safety Innovations Complete Deluxe Bi-fold Door Lock

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

Made with clear polycarbonate material, this double door lock is relatively easy to use. After placing the lock on the top of your double doors, slide it where the two doors meet to keep them from opening. 

It requires a one-hand operation. For shorter adults, it also comes with an extension wand to help you slide the lock easily. 

 

Childproofing French Doors

French doors are typically designed with glass panes. This makes childproofing French doors extra challenging, especially for new parents.

First, you can keep French doors closed and safe for your kids by using any childproofing door lock options listed above, such as a lever handle lock or a door top lock

Depending on the knob or handle type of your French doors, you may even be able to use baby-proofing cabinet locks on them. 

Second, if the glass panes on your French doors are not shatter-resistant, you can apply a laminate film on each pane to minimize the danger to your child.

 

Childproofing Cabinet & Appliance Doors

It’s important to babyproof cabinet doors to keep your little explorer from dangerous products like cleaning solutions, garden tools & chemicals, medications & toiletries, and knives & appliance blades. 

It’s also best to keep kids away from electric appliances, like refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and washing machines. And away from appliances that heat up like coffee makers and stoves.

Here’s a comprehensive list of effective babyproofing cabinet solutions.

 

Exterior Door Locks

 

Deadbolt Lock

Deadbolt locks are ideal for exterior doors because they’re not spring-operated. This means that they’re less likely to be forced open with a crowbar or similar tools. 

The strong locking mechanism of deadbolt locks provides an added layer of resistance and strength compared to other types of door locks.

Deadbolt locks are moved by turning a key or an access control system.

 

Pros
  • Can withstand ten hammer hits without breaking (3)
  • Won’t automatically close, minimizing the risks of leaving your front door unlocked

 

Cons
  • May be tedious to unlock in an emergency

 

Popular Choice
OrangeIOT Keyless Entry Deadbolt Lock

(Image source: amazon.com)

This keyless entry deadbolt lock features an illuminated and highly responsive keypad that comes with an optional mechanical key. This gives you a backup lock option for your door. 

For added user convenience, this deadbolt lock can be set to automatically lock after 10-99 seconds or set to a one-touch motorized locking system.

This keyless entry deadbolt lock comes with all hardware for easy installation. 

 

Security Door Chain Lock

A security door chain lock on your front door can keep people from entering your home and keep your toddler inside the house at the same time. 

 

Pros
  • Easy to install and use
  • Commonly installed on the upper part of the door, out of your child’s reach

 

Cons
  • May be difficult to use for people with hand tremors
  • Less effective if not properly installed
  • Not suitable for PVCu/uPVC doors

 

Popular Choice
AceMining Portable Security Door Chain Lock

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

This portable security door chain lock is a no-drill, no -adhesive childproofing door solution. To install, simply place the metal piece into the doorknob lock by the hinge, close the door, then wrap the chain around the metal piece. After that, insert the red metal lock into the heart-shaped hole to keep the door locked.

It’s a simple yet effective childproofing door solution you can use for inward opening doors.

 

Automatic Closing System

If you’re worried that you or your guests may leave the door open, you can install an automatic door closing system.

You can choose a hydraulic pressure closing system or a simple spring to automatically close the door behind you.

 

Pros
  • Convenient
  • Added security

 

Cons
  • Added cost

 

Popular Choice
Prime-Line Safety Spring Door Closer

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

Keep doors closed with this simple door lock solution. Easily and securely turn hinged doors to self-closing doors with its simple spring door closing mechanism.

It comes with all hardware for easy installation and works great for doors not exceeding 150 pounds.

 

What Is A Guardian Lock?

A guardian lock is a screw-in door safety lock installed on the side of the door frame, similar to a chain lock. 

The difference is a guardian lock keeps doors completely shut when in place. Flip the clamp toward the doorframe to unlock.

 

Pros
  • Easy to install, lock, and unlock
  • Versatile. Can be used for most doors–main door, back door, garage, patio, or balcony

 

Cons
  • Added cost

 

Popular Choice
Cardinal Gates The Door Guardian

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

This guardian lock blocks forced entry on inward-swinging doors. It’s relatively easy to install on the door frame and comes with the needed screws. To use, put the clamp on the door, then pull the clamp towards the door frame to unlock.

The Door Guardian is made with durable metal and is 12 times stronger than a deadbolt, as claimed by the company.

 

Childproofing Outdoor Space Doors

 

Patio Doors

Patio doors are more prone to being left unlocked, especially when you have guests. Eliminate this risk by installing a patio door lock

If you have a sliding glass door for the patio, here are ways you can childproof it:

 

  1. Install a childproof door lock.
  2. If the glass is not shatter-resistant, you can cover the glass with a laminate film to make it so.
  3. Put stickers on the glass to keep kids and adults from bumping on it.

 

Popular Choices For Sliding Door Locks
Safety 1st Sliding Door Lock

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

This sliding door lock goes into the track of the door frame. It should keep the door from opening more than three inches when properly installed. This is perfect for keeping your little one in the house while allowing air to come in.

Safety 1st sliding door lock also features a lock disengage mechanism, perfect for when you have friends over. This eliminates the need to unlock the door every time someone has to pass.

 

OKEFAn Sliding Glass Door Lock

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

This is an adhesive type of childproofing lock that can be installed at any height on the door or sliding glass window.

To install, remove the adhesive tape cover, then press the lock on the glass. Press the buttons on the top and bottom to lock and unlock. To remove, use a string of dental floss or similar product.

 

Basic Door Hook And Flip Latch

(Image source: amazon.com)

 

If your sliding door has a wooden door frame, a basic door hook and flip latch may be a good option. It comes in various styles and can be purchased on Amazon or any hardware store.

This locking mechanism requires drilling and is a good option for childproofing french doors and pocket doors with wood door frames.

 

Pool Doors

Next to vehicular accidents, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-14. (4)

That’s why it’s important to childproof the pool. Do this by installing a four-foot-tall fence all around the pool. 

As for the pool door, choose a self-closing pool safety gate and install an entry alarm on it. This will immediately alert you if your child has gone past the pool door.

Install the pool door lock on the inside of the fence or the side facing the pool to keep your little one from fidgeting with it. Make sure that little hands can’t reach through the fence.

 

10 Ways To Choose The Right Childproofing Door Solutions


  • Familiarize yourself with all types of childproofing door locks to determine the right one for your home
  • For renters, know that there are no-drill childproofing solutions to choose from.
  • Walk around the house, starting from the main door, and inspect every room. Write down all doors, including cabinets, closets, dressers, drawers, etc., that will require locks. Note the door handle type as well.
  • Thoroughly check the product descriptions, especially the size, to know if they’ll fit with what you have at home.
  • Look for childproofing door solutions that are easy for you to use and bypass, especially in an emergency.
  • Pick reusable when possible.
  • Choose value packs to be cost-effective.
  • Take note of childproofing solutions away from home.
  • Ask your daycare provider about babyproofing, and buy extra door handle covers and pinch guards for them.
  • Check for product recalls and the latest safety standards with CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) and JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.)

 

DIY Methods Child Safety Door Solutions

 

Washcloth As Door Lock

Leave an inch’s space between the door and the door frame as you close it. Place a washcloth between, then pull the door shut. The washcloth should stay in place. 

Test this DIY lock by trying to open the door as you normally would. If you could easily open the door without added effort, fold the washcloth back over itself and try again.

 

Towel As Door Top Lock & Pinch Guard

Hang a towel on the top of the door close to the hinge. The objective is to make the door difficult to open for kids and slightly ajar to save little fingers from getting pinched.

The towel should be long enough to hang on both sides of the door but short enough that your little one can’t reach it.

 

Cardboard As Doorknob Cover

Cover your round doorknob with cardboard and tape. The same with doorknob covers you can buy at a store, it should slide around when your child tries to turn the knob.

 

Socks As Doorknob Cover

Here’s another DIY doorknob cover idea: cover the doorknob with a sock (a kid’s sock would be ideal for the size.) Tie it tightly with a rubber band, so your toddler can’t pull it off.

When done properly, your child should not be able to turn the doorknob–not until they have enough grip.

 

Pool Noodle As Door Stopper & Pinch Guard

Make a DIY version of a foam stopper with a pool noodle. Cut a 3-inch piece from a pool noodle, then cut so that you can slide it on the side of the door.

 

 

Childproofing Door FAQs

 

How Do You Childproof An Oval Door Handle?

For door handles with unusual shapes, you can install a guardian lock, a door top lock, or a 2-in-1 door lock & pinch guard.

A guardian lock is a screw-in child safety door lock, similar to a chain lock but keeps doors completely closed when in place. It can be unlocked by pulling the clamp over to the door frame side.

A door top lock is a simple sliding lock that goes on the top of the door. You’ll need to drill the lock peg in the door frame while the sliding latch is placed on top of the door. When you close the door, slide the latch to entrap the lock peg to keep the door shut.

A 2-in-1 door lock & pinch guard like the Door Monkey is a clamp-on childproofing door solution that works with any type of door handle

Clamp it on the door where your child can’t reach it, and it will automatically hook on the door frame when you close the door. It leaves space to save fingers from getting pinched and unlocks by pulling the clamp away from the door frame.

Read more about these childproofing door solutions above.

 

How Can You Stop Toddlers From Opening Doors?

Installing childproof door locks can stop your toddler from opening doors to rooms they shouldn’t be in.

 

How Can You Block A Door Without A Lock?

There are DIY methods you can try to close doors in your house without a lock. You can place a washcloth between the door frame and the door to make it more difficult to open. You can also hang a towel on the top of the door to serve as a door lock and pinch guard in one.

 

Can You Lock Your Child In Their Room?

You shouldn’t lock your child in the room for these reasons:

 

  1. Getting locked alone in a room can be traumatizing for children. (5)
  2. It can be dangerous in a fire or any emergency.
  3. They may not be able to get help if something happens to you.

 

Consider installing a baby gate instead of locking your child in a room.

 

Is A Key Lock Safe For Childproofing?

No. Keys can be easily misplaced, which is dangerous in an emergency. Reserve the key locks for the main entry doors, and keep interior doors closed with key-less, easy-to-open locks.

 

Is A Button Lock Handle Safe For Childproofing?

No. If you have button locks on your door handles, you may want to consider changing those. 

Kids can easily lock themselves in with this type of lock. Yes, it can be easily unlocked with a key, but keys are easy to misplace. Plus, unlocking doors with keys can be tedious and potentially dangerous in an emergency. 

 

Childproof Door Lock Alternatives

If you don’t want to install childproofing door locks on every door in the house, here are some alternatives you can consider:

 

Baby Gate

Install baby safety gates on the top and bottom of the stairs and doorways.

 

How To Choose The Best Safety Gate

  • Look for baby gates that are easy for you to use but difficult for your child to figure out.
  • Choose wall-mounted gates, especially for the stairs.
  • Look for the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) seal.

 

Smart Baby Monitor

Some smart baby monitors alert you when your baby crosses the virtual fence you set. If you set the door frame or the bed to be the virtual fence, the smart baby monitor will immediately alert you once your child crosses over it. 

 

Door And Window Alarms

Door and window alarms can immediately alert you if any of your doors or windows have been opened. These alarms may not keep your child from opening doors and windows, but they should still give you enough time to stop your little explorer from getting into trouble.

 

Dutch Door

A Dutch door refers to a door divided into two parts: the top and bottom. This is a good alternative for keeping your child inside the house while letting light and air in. 

You can choose to install Dutch doors in your home or turn existing doors into Dutch doors. 

 

Childproofing Car Doors

Aside from securing your little one in a car seat, you should also engage the child lock on the car door at all times. This will give you peace of mind that the car door will stay locked while you’re driving. 

 

Car Window Lock

Another child safety option readily available in your car is a car window lock. Young children may play with the window button, which can be dangerous. 

Make sure that both the car door child lock and the window lock are engaged before driving off.

 

Final Notes

  1. The best childproofing solution is keeping your little explorer attended at all times.
  2. Don’t let your child see how you unlock doors and cabinets. Cover your hands or obstruct your child’s vision when doing so.
  3. Reinforce safety lessons to your child. Establish boundaries and use simple warning words like “no” or “ouch.”
  4. Use positive reinforcement. Examples: “You can go there, play here instead,” “Don’t touch that, play with this instead.”

 

 

 

References:

(1) https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002012.htm

(2) https://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/HelpfulRes/Articles/BabyMilestones/index.html

(3) https://www.fortcroghan.org/pros-and-cons-of-using-deadboltlocking-mechanism/

(4) https://www.cdc.gov/drowning/facts/index.html

(5) https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/specialties/sleep-disorder-center/bedtime-problems

 

 

 

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