Thankfully, babyproofing doors is one of the easiest and cheapest babyproofing tasks. There are really two issues to tackle when it comes to doors: keeping your child out of spaces they shouldn’t be in and minimizing the risk of a pinch injury from a door or hinge.
You’ll want to be sure to babyproof any doors that access the outside or garage. Even if your door has a lock, you should still add an additional layer of safety to these doors. The stakes are high, and everyone forgets to lock the door every once in awhile, so be sure your child can’t get out.
You should also babyproof doors that lead to off-limits areas of the house, which might include the laundry room, pantry, bathrooms, office or storage areas. Be sure to babyproof any doors that lead to areas with chemicals or medicine as an additional layer of safety.
Babyproofing Doors: No Drill Required
The easiest solution to keep kids from opening doors is the Munchkin Door Knob Cover (~$7 for 2). Snap these over your door knob and you’re all set. A word of warning: if a child pulls hard enough on these, they might pop open. Some kids will figure this out right away, and some will never even try. So it might take some trial and error to see if these work for your family.
For internal doors, I love the Door Monkey Lock & Pinch Guard (~$11), which both protects little hands from injury and keeps doors locked. These slide onto the door frame and can be used at any height. They are a breeze for adults to operate.
If you’re wanting to protect your child from pinches but don’t need to lock the door, the Safety 1st Finger Pinch Guard (~$5 for 2) is a simple solution. You can stick these foam bumpers on the top or side of the door frame to keep the door from being slammed shut on tiny fingers. If you’re the handy type, you could probably make something similar on your own, or use household object such as a towel or washcloth to accomplish the same thing.
Babyproofing Doors: Bring on the Drills
Sometimes, babyproofing doors requires a more permanent solution. If your child is ripping off the door knob covers the minute you install them, you’ll need to resort to a different solution. I also like to use sturdier door locks on rooms that have dangerous items in them, such as the laundry room where we store chemicals or the bathroom closet where we keep medicine.
If you are installing one of these door locks, you need to carefully consider whether or not a person will be entering/exiting the door (such as to a pantry or laundry room). If there is any chance someone will be physically in the room you are babyproofing, be sure to install a two-way lock that works on both sides of the door. Otherwise, you run the risk of someone accidentally locking themselves inside.
A great two-way lock that works for most any internal door is the Child Proof Deluxe Door Lock (~$15 for 2). The thing I like about these is that they drill into the top of the door frame, which minimizes damage and keeps them pretty much out of sight.
For one-way locks, the Flip Action Steel Door Lock (~$3) is a cheap and easy solution. I can’t emphasize this enough – only use this lock on doors where there is no chance someone will enter, such as the door to a small (non-walk-in) closet or a cabinet.
If you need extra help with doors that lead outside, the Cardinal Gates Door Guardian (~$20) is amazing. It allows you to securely lock your door from the inside, so even an unlocked door can’t be pried open by a devious toddler.