Baby proofing your home is a chore in itself, but unfortunately many baby safety products are either hard to use or don’t work as intended. We’ve rounded up the best and worst baby proofing safety products on the market.
I’ve personally tested each one to make sure they’re worth the money and will satisfy your peace of mind in keeping your baby safe and house intact! Check out the baby safety product reviews below before you go shopping.
Safety 1st rises to the top of the baby proofing who’s who, but don’t buy a product just because it has their name on it. Even Safety 1st makes some real duds for baby safety products from time to time (see the Don’t Buy section below).
Shopping Guide: Baby Proofing Safety Products
Review: The Lid-Lok is a great baby-proofer for the bathroom. It actually works as intended and is still hygienic, which is a major concern when choosing toilet safety products.
The fit is snug and you can adjust it as far to the front or back of the toilet as you need. Two small levers release the lock and it is quick and easy to open (but my toddler could not figure it out).
When we finally removed the toilet Lid-Lok, it was because it broke during construction in the bathroom remodel. A piece of paneling or trim hit is just right and snapped the top right off the base in an unfixable plastic break. Upon removal, we discovered that the underneath side was pretty grimy, but other than that, it lived a long, useful life baby proofing our toilet.
Review: The Summer Infant Sure and Secure Extra Tall walk-Thru baby gate works very well for unusual openings such as hallways, wide openings between rooms, etc. The adjustable bars allow you to add or subtract in order to fit your opening.
It is pressure mounted to the walls with adjustable round plates. We chose this so that we wouldn’t’ have to drill screw holes into the wall of our new house. After 18 months, we found out that the plastic pads had dug into the walls and made round damage spots, but perhaps we adjusted it too tightly to the walls.
The latch wore out with use over the 18 months of use, unfortunately, and it became easier to just pull the gate open. For most families, this wouldn’t be a problem if you are just planning to use this for one baby or toddler who will outgrow their need for the gate. However, with our 3 kids under 4 years old, we need a gate which is a more “permanent fixture” in our home, and 18 months isn’t a long enough life for the cost of this mid-price-range gate.
My toddler figured out how to open this gate sometime when he was 3 years old, but we never found out he knew until one day when we had company over and he opened the gate for them!
Review: Even better than the Summer Infant baby gate in #3 above, the Evenflo Summit Pressure Mounted Metal Gate is the best baby safety gate I’ve found to date.
This baby gate is also pressure mounted to your wall, saving you from screwing in hardware. However, the round adjustable pads on this gate which touch the walls are rubber and have no hard edges to damage the wall over time.
The latch is the best one I’ve used yet, and has a visual indicator of green or red to show if the gate is locked or not. The strength and combination of movements to open this latch is not something a toddler can complete, so even if they figure out how to open the baby gate, they physically won’t be strong enough to open it.
Review: I was skeptical about trying the Safety 1st lever handle lock (for handles that are lever instead of door knobs) because it attaches to the door with adhesive pads. It fits exactly to the size of the door handle and looks very much like something you’d find on the Starship Enterprise (for you trekkies out there).
My favorite feature is the SecureTech visual locking indicated which shows green and red based on whether or not is is locked. The push in and slide button will be a fine deterrent for a baby, but don’t count on it to pass muster with a curious toddler.
I also haven’t removed the lever handle lock yet, so I can’t say whether the adhesive will cause damage to the surface of the door upon removal.
Review: The finger pinch guard is pretty straight forward. The thick C-shaped foam piece fits snugly on your door high enough that you can reach it but your child can’t.
This guard is perfect for when you want the kids to have access to a room, but an older child has a hard time checking if the baby is near before slamming the door shut! The finger pinch guard is also good for babies who have just learned to open and close doors.
The gap is big enough that if they try to close it, the door will not make contact with their fingers.
Review: Designed for sliding closet doors, the KidCo Sliding Closet door lock is the perfect solution to keep kids out of dangerous closet spaces and to prevent finger slams.
This sliding closet door baby lock is held in place with an adhesive pad by Secure Stick which is designed to adhere to glass, mirrored, laminate and wood surfaces. This baby lock takes no tools to install.
We tested the Sliding Closet Door Lock on sliding mirrored closet doors which are quite heavy. They had already pinched a few fingers (including mine) because the weight of the door causes them to pick up substantial speed when being closed.
The 2 plastic pieces are spring-loaded in the up position and look like butterfly wings. Use the adhesive to apply the lock high enough up on the closet door that the kids can’t reach it, even with a stepstool. To open the closet, simply hold down both of the wings and slide the door. I was expecting to have to push much harder, but the pressure required is light but effective.
If you want to turn the lock off, you just hold down the wings and slide the middle piece to the side (an arrow shows which way to move it), and the wings will be held flat. Disengaging the lock was also a lot easier than I expected. The KidCo Sliding Closet door lock is a definite baby proofing safety product must-have.
Review: the Safety 1st Secure Tech Cabinet Lock is my number 1 favorite baby safety product for all types of door handles! It fits door knobs up to 4.75” apart and has had all of its features perfected from safety 1st’s previous “old busted” cabinet lock, the Secure Slide Cabinet Lock.
The visual indicator shows green or red for locked or unlocked. The catch slides easily when the ergonomically designed buttons are held in, something the old one could not do. The buttons got a big upgrade, as did the notching system.
The previously sharp, pointed ends have been upgraded to round, bulb-shaped ends to be safe for eyes at the cabinet level.
This latch is easy enough to unlock with one hand while holding a baby. Buy this cabinet lock, and make sure you get enough to secure all the low cabinets in your bathrooms and kitchen.
8. Safety 1st Grip ‘n Twist Door Knob Cover (with rubber pad finger grips).
Review: The old style (clear with rubber pad finger grips) of the Safety 1st Grip ‘n Twist door knob covers worked well and did the job of keeping toddlers from opening doors. However, it worked a little too well, since many adults also could not open the door when these baby safety door knob covers were on. Fear not, safety 1st has redesigned them to be easier for adults to open! These are the new updated Safety 1st Grip N Twist Door Knob Covers.
Review: Cheap, basic, and bare bones, this gate will block off a doorway temporarily and not much more. The good news is that it pressure mounts to the walls. The bad news is that it is very hard to adjust. The package does not explain how to make the gate adjust to a smaller size, only a larger one. It took me a little while (and almost breaking the gate) to figure out that the black button must be lifted up to release the gate so that it can be made smaller.
The plastic holes on this baby gate overlap in the middle, creating a double-layered finger trap for babies with curious hands. The plastic is also pretty flimsy and the finger holes make perfect climbing grips for an older toddler. Don’t try using this baby gate with a pet that has any kind of jumping, pouncing, or leaning problem!
It’s not fancy, for the money (about $30), the Munchkin Quick-Install baby gate will do the job to create a barrier between your baby and an unsafe space.
Baby Products Not to Buy
Review: This cabinet lock is too hard to open and takes too many fingers to use when you are holding a baby. The lassos hook over the knobs and each one tightens or loosens independently of the other. Plus, you’ll need to push in the middle yellow button as well as depress both of the other skinny yellow buttons upward at the same time, which is nearly impossible.
There are many better choices for the same type of cabinet handles now, so choose a different one for your baby proofing. Your pocketbook will thank you.
Review: The adhesive pads on this latch do not stick to the surface, period. We tried this on plastic (trash can to hold the lid closed), glass (shower door) and wall. The adhesive pads did not stay attached to any of them, not even for a few days. Until they upgrade their adhesive to 3M Command Strips, don’t bother with this baby proofing fail.
Review: Thumbs Down. Hard to open, hard to close, and very dangerous pointed ends sticking out right at eye-level of a toddler make the Safety 1st Secure Slide Cabinet Lock a terrible baby safety product.
The jagged notches are so difficult to slide the catch across that your problem may be getting the product on your cabinet handles in the first place, not getting it off. However, you’ll have just as much of a struggle trying to remove this lemon to get the doors open.
Safety 1st has already improved upon this type of cabinet lock with #7 above, the Secure Tech Cabinet Lock. Definitely don’t buy the Safety 1st Secure Slide Cabinet for baby proofing.
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