“Childproof” kitchen cabinets by hiding the knobs behind towels

Amazon: Microfiber Wonder Cloths (Set of 4) Meghan's got a stopgap solution for making kitchen cabinets less attractive to curious crawlers and toddlers:

After a long evening installing childproof latches on the cabinets beneath the kitchen sink (where the trash can is kept), I didn't have the energy or interest to install them on any other cabinets.  We had removed all of the chemicals  to the locked back hall anyway, so latching the other cabinets would just prevent our little one from pulling pots, pans, and other cooking supplies out to the floor.

I hung kitchen towels over the cabinet doors so the knobs are hidden and this has prevented him from opening the cabinets.  The cabinets are totally openable, but without the tempting knobs they're just not that interesting.

Meghan's hack reminds us that childproofing doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Different kids are attracted to different things. Some are climbers, some are bookshelf-destroyers, some are cabinet openers, some are button-pushers and knob-turners. It's good for all involved to focus your energy on the dangerous stuff (chemicals, sharp and heavy objects, breakables, electricity, heat, etc.), but then pick and choose about the inconveniences.

Agree? Disagree? Did your childproofing standards change when you had more than one child?

Related: Low-tech babyproofing: keeping doors shut


  1. says

    HAHAHAHA my kid would have noticed the difference and assumed something interesting was afoot. A bright towel alone would have attracted her attention more than a knob.

    Glad it’s working for them but boy oh boy that would have failed big time at our house. My kid tried to pick the front door lock with an FPLP at two years old. A towel would have just made her more prepared to face Vogons.

  2. Wil says

    Same here…towel would have = something new to play with, and wouldn’t have lasted more than five minutes on the knobs.

  3. says

    Hahahahaha!!! Yeah, me too. My first had me seriously contemplating a system of pulleys like in the first scenes of An American in Paris–she could get into and climb anything, and was incredibly determined.

    Glad this works for them, but if you’d put this in front of #1, it would have been like locking Harry Houdini in a broom closet by scotch taping the door shut. :)

  4. says

    With my 2nd child, we installed latches inside all cabinets and then after two days, he figured out how to get his little hands in there and work the latches.

    With my 3rd, we had just moved to a new house and didn’t really feel like drilling into our brand new cabinets. So we used hair rubber bands, wrapped around knobs that were close together so he could move the doors but not really get in there. And then we just made sure that anything in cabinets he could reach was play friendly. I have pictures of hi stacking all the cans in my lazy Susan into a giant tower. And he learned that it hurts when cans fall your toes. How do you childproof a lazy Susan anyway. Of course, once he ate dried onion soup….

  5. says

    I agree. My first would every once in awhile pull out a few pots and pans and we’d say- oh isn’t that cute- and hand her a wooden spoon. My second would systematically empty every single cabinet onto the dirty kitchen floor nightly. We installed locks posthaste. Every kid is different. Get the truly dangerous stuff locked down (chemicals, wobbly shelves, very heavy and breakable) and then play the rest by ear and childproof as you go.

  6. Jen H says

    Yeah, the towel would have just been one more thing to throw on the floor (and for me to pick up later…) on my kids race to empty every blessed thing in the cabinets on to the floor. Since hubby got exasperated with store bought cabinet childproofers, I improvised zip ties and caribiner clips on our knobs and handles. Easier to open for adults, no hardware to install, and my kids (bright and inquisitive, though they may be…) don’t open them. Again, may not work for everyone but worked for us!

  7. says

    We haven’t baby-proofed our house quite yet but have been using couch pillows much the same way to keep our 7-month old from our entertainment center in the living room. Of course, the downside is the couch isn’t quite as comfortable. Guess I should get to baby-proofing for real.

  8. Karen says

    We baby-proofed all of the lower cabinets in the kitchen for my first son. My second son (now 2) has discovered that the levered compartment by the sink for the sponge is the only one he can open, and snap shut, and open, and snap shut, and…you get the point. I hung a towel over it for hand drying purposes, and he thinks it’s a great new toy. So this trick wouldn’t work for us. On the up-side, my boys both ignore most knobs now, because they’re so used to being foiled by the child-proof locks.

  9. says

    I never bothered much with baby proofing cupboards other than the kitchen chemicals cupboard, preferring to place breakables higher and letting him lose interest gradually. That was until the day I “lost” DS (then 18months). 15 minutes of mad frantic dashing around the house and yard, calling his name, getting weird looks from the dog, until I sat down for 5 seconds, preparing to call the police, and be that neglectful mother who loses their child …… until I hear this wicked giggle from the walk in pantry. That one got a door lock the same day.

  10. Kaitlyn says

    My kid would die laughing at towels on knobs. I couldn’t even childproof the wall outlets Bc she would take them out!

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