Child Locks for an Escape Artist

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For the last year or so, my son has been quite the active little guy. When people (only family so far), watch him, they ask me, “what do you do with him all day?” And I always say, “I follow him around the house…..and I watch him make a mess….” Lord help me, I try to clean up after him as he goes, but by the second or third time, I just give up.

I’ve gotten used to him going downstairs when my daughter and I are finishing something upstairs, but I can usually hear him. The other day, I was doing an initial fitting for my daughters Halloween costume. Then someone rang the doorbell. Pretty weird because it was about 9am.

It was my neighbor. He said, “Hey, I just thought you might want to know, your little guy is at our house. He was running around in our yard and when I opened the door, he came in.”

Sorry, what?! You thought I “might want to know”??? (Don’t misunderstand, I was extremely grateful for him!)

I went over to his house to retrieve my little escapee, all the while trying to figure out how he got out the front door without me noticing.

We got home, I set him down, and he ran back downstairs. I grabbed my coffee then proceeded to follow him, when it hit me. He got out through the sliding door downstairs. Shit!! Sure enough, he was gone. I ran next door and he was just about to start pounding on their door. Luckily I have a very understanding neighbor with a little one of his own.

I texted my parents to let them know he has a fun new game. My mom got back to me and reminded me to be glad he’s safe and to not dwell on what could have been. Because it will make me crazy. She was so right. I was still shaking and on the verge of a freak-out.

Then my dad got back to me and said he was going to stop and get some locks to put around the house.

So, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation where you worry your sweet little one may try to escape, here are a few safety measures you can take.deadbolt lock

  1. A Deadbolt that requires a key.

The deadbolt we had before was super easy for his little hands to unlock. With our new and incredibly mismatching one, we have to lock and unlock it with a key.

2. A Vinyl Window Lock for the sliding glass door.
.sliding glass door lockThis one screws on at the top of the door stopping any attempt to move it open. It has worked great!

3. A Plastic Baby Gate in the sliding door.Baby gateWe’ve had this baby gate forever, but I use it as a gate on our stairs so I had never even thought of using it for the door. It fits great, and does the job.

Each one of these methods are kind of a pain. You have to remove each lock manually, or unlock with a key, but it is so worth it. Whatever it takes to keep my kid from running outside unsupervised. And whatever helps me sleep better at night. I suppose its all part of living with an unstoppable curious little person.

My son has been testing them out a lot and he gets pretty frustrated, but I will take a few extra tantrums a day over the neighbor saying, “hey, just thought you might want to know…” ever again.

Do you have a little escape artist too? What types of safety measures have you had to take at your house?

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through a link, I will get a small percentage. It does not change the cost of the item.

October 23, 2015
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13 Comments

  • Reply Lindsey Smallwood

    Ohhhh good ideas, hadn’t thought of using a key before. Our toddler is all over the place, that might be worth thinking about 🙂

    October 23, 2015 at 7:58 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      It’s definitely nice for peace of mind!

      October 23, 2015 at 8:01 am
  • Reply Jill @ Maggie May's

    Ohh, I’ve been through this too. It’s scary!
    We have a chain link installed at the very top of our front door (that they can’t reach even with a chair). They also sell little ringers that sound whenever a door is opened. They are pretty cheap and they make a ding noise (that can sound through the house) if the door is opened.
    It can get annoying, but it helps for a while 🙂
    Good luck!

    October 23, 2015 at 9:23 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      That’s right! The ringers! My friend has one, I completely forgot about those! We considered a chain, but we’re renting and we didn’t want to put any unnecessary holes in the wall. It was definitely scary, but luckily we can laugh about it now…at least everyone else is laughing, I need a bit more time…

      October 24, 2015 at 10:28 pm
  • Reply Krystal

    I never thought about the sliding door being a problem at out house, but now you’ve got me thinking!

    October 23, 2015 at 11:12 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      I didn’t either until the other day!

      October 23, 2015 at 11:23 am
  • Reply Bev

    My almost 2-year-old recently learned how to turn some doorknobs. Thankfully she seems more interested in just opening the doors rather than going anywhere (knock on wood!), but I will keep these tips in mind should she decided to become more adventurous!

    October 23, 2015 at 11:53 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      That’s good! That’s how my daughter was. She just liked to play with them. My son is a different story.

      October 23, 2015 at 1:21 pm
  • Reply CourtneyLynne

    Omg my daughter opened the window once in our living room and tried to climb out it!!! Thank goodness I caught her right as she was about to jump out of it…. I could only imagine what my neighbors would of been thinking if they saw my then 2 year old sitting in the front yard by herself lol….

    October 26, 2015 at 6:33 am
  • Reply Melissa

    I just had the basic door locks, baby gates, and knob covers for my daughter. But since having my son, we put locks way up high on all of our exterior doors. People drive up our street really fast so I can’t have him getting out. So scary!.

    October 27, 2015 at 5:31 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Oh yes, that is scary!! We’re down a hill away from the street so that part is good. There are never any cars going fast by my house. And luckily he went straight to the neighbors house instead of the woods. But he won’t be getting out again, that’s for sure!

      October 27, 2015 at 10:24 pm
  • Reply Alana

    Already having heard this story on Periscope, my heart is racing reading this. I’m tempted to padlock my house after reading this, or maybe follow your lead on child proofing.

    October 29, 2015 at 5:12 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      LOL!! Not my favorite story either for sure! So far, so good! Everything is keeping him inside!

      October 29, 2015 at 5:24 pm

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