The Complete Guide: How To Baby-Proof Drawers

Drawers are a danger in every kitchen.

From pinched fingers to sharp knives and other dangerous things inside, it’s important to keep them secured shut to avoid injury. Some drawers can even be pulled out all the way and fall down on top of them.

It’s also not unheard of for the agile toddler to use an open drawer as a tool to climb onto the counter, and then the real fun begins. That’s not even mentioning the annoying aspect of your child throwing the contents of the drawer all over the place, or slamming them repeatedly.

Trust me, it’s no fun.

Different Ways To Baby-Proof Drawers

There are a few different methods of baby-proofing your drawers. They include:

Magnetic Latches

Safety 1st Magnetic Drawer LatchesOne of the most popular solutions and the one I’d suggest is magnetic latches. My favorite are the Safety 1st ones (click here to see them). While not the easiest or most convenient to install, they do work very well. You have to drill inside the cabinet with a single screw, but none need to be on the outside.

It comes with a magnetic key that you use to open the latch, which is easy to use. The key system works easy; you just hold the key in one hand in front of the lock with one hand and pull with the other. You can also disable the system for when you don’t need the drawers to lock.

You get 8 locks and one key in the pack, which should work with most setups. If you need more, you can always get a second package.

These latches don’t let you open the drawer at all, so there’s no chance of getting tiny fingers getting pinched at all. Some types of latches have this problem, but not these ones.

This comes with self-tapping wood screws, but I’d recommend pre-drilling holes with a drill bit to make sure you don’t split the wood of the drawers. Other than that, it’s very easy to install them.

Best of all, there is nothing in view when you have these installed! It’s completely invisible from the outside.

This is a video showing how the system works; they’re installed on cabinets and not drawers, but you get the idea.

Baby-Proofing Drawers Without Screws: A Tension Rod

Baby Proof With a Tension ROdIf your drawers are in a cabinet and all lined up in a row, you might be able to secure them with a shower or curtain tension rod. Now, there is a limitation to this: the top of the drawer has to overhang far enough to be able to put the end of the rod against it.

If your drawers will work with this, it’s a quick solution. You just put the rod in place and expand it far enough to solidly push against the overhang of the drawers and the floor.

If your drawers have handles instead of knobs, you can put the rod through the handles for even more security. This way your child probably won’t be able to open the drawer at all, so there’s no risk of little pinched fingers.

If you can pull it off, this is a cheap, easy and non-permanent solution. Unlike the magnets, you won’t have to put any screws in anywhere.

If you decide to go this route, make sure to measure your drawers and then choose a rod that will fit. This one will fit drawers 18-28″ and is very cheap. Works well!

DIY Solutions

Baby-Proof Drawers With a StickFor a quick DIY solution, you could try sticking a long object through the handles of the drawers. Of course, this is only going to work if your drawers actually have handles you can put something through, but it does work in a pinch.

This method will work in places where the tension rod method won’t, but you do have to be careful that your son or daughter isn’t going to be able to pull open all of the drawers at once.

  1. I just had to stop by and tell you THANK YOU for the tension rod idea! I have had my drawers on the counters for months because my toddler kept pulling them out and the babyproofing systems on the market either didn’t fit our drawers or my son could break right through them. I finally broke down, changed the handles on our drawers to have “hollow” handles so the tension rod could fit through, and he can’t figure it out! It cost my $15 to get the rod and 4 new handles. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner!

    1. Maria, I’m glad you liked the idea! It’s crazy how toddlers can get around so many of the baby-proofing products out there. The tension rod method is pretty much fool (and baby) proof. :)

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