How to Stop Your Toddler from Leaving the House

I’m not sure what compels my children to bolt from the house, but it seems to happen all too frequently. My front door lock is easily manipulated by even the two year old.

I was completely shocked when my Ring Doorbell went off on my phone sending me a picture of my naked two year old headed down the driveway. He is fast! I wanted to give them freedom to play in the house and back yard, but also needed to make sure I knew where they were headed.

The Littles had a lot of freedom in the Netherlands to roam. Here, with cars everywhere we can’t safely give them the same long leash.

A note on the door reminding the boys to make sure I knew where they were headed worked well with my Big and Middle Littles. The Little Little though just unlocks the door and goes.

I looked at a number of different options and finally decided on the Door Guardian. This handy lock can be installed high enough to be out of the reach of kids. It installs onto the door frame and rotates to block the door from being opened. As the lock is quite tight it works well on all three of The Littles (6, 4, and 2).

Our door has glass on either side so I was worried about installing something, but the Door Guardian was easy to install. It does make the door tight, so it now has to be pushed closed and pushed open. (This annoys my husband slightly.) I like that I can lock it and know the kids will need to come ask me to open the door.

Most of the time we keep it open so everyone can use the door, but it provides me a bit of peace of mind that I’m not going to lose anyone. It’s particularly handy when the Little Little throws a tantrum when daddy leaves in the morning. Instead of having a battle over the front door I can bring him inside with me and lock the door. Then I can try to distract him but know he can’t run outside after Jeff who is backing the car out of the driveway.

The lock is easily used by any adult who knows it is there. It blends in with the door frame so we’ve found many adults don’t even see it when they try to open the door.

I love that having the Guardian lock on the door means that I can give the kids more freedom in the house while protecting them from the road.

This post contains affiliate links. The Guardian Lock was provided for free for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.


Elizabeth is a Type A, Attorney turned Stay-at-Home Mom, who moved her family across the Atlantic for an adventure. She can often be found out and about finding fun things for her littles to do. Elizabeth loves to read, craft and chat with friends. She will try just about anything and loves to share her experiences.

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