Childproofing Garbage Cans

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9 month old knocks over rubbish bins and diaper pails

Nov 2005

Our nine month old son knocks over everything. He loves getting into anything on the floor, especially rubbish bins and diaper pails. How do we store garbage without leaving it on the counter? Not a Neat Freak

we had the problem of our daughther putting things in the gargage that don't belong there... toys, shoes, dishes. i ended up finding a trashcan at the container store in walnut creek that has a lid with a foot petal that you have to step on to open. this worked very well. our daughter, who is almost 2, can open it herself now but fortunately has figured out not to put her shoes and other items in the trash! you can order from the container store online, otherwise i'm sure you could find a similar style elsewhere. tami [at]
There are plastic storage bins in the shape of a trash can (tall rectangle) that have a lockable lid (hinge on one side and latch on the other, so you can latch and unlatch when you need to toss somehting in). We got one to dog-proof - try Bed, Bath and Beyond....maybe Target or Kmart.... jessica
you could 1. put the garbage under the kitchen sink and then put a baby proof latch on the door.
2. get a tall can with a lid attached that is opened by a foot pedal. our baby (1 year old) has not been able to get into that.
3. get a can with a lid with a flap that you have to push in to deposit garbage. a big one could work for the kitchen and a small one for the changing table. our baby cannot push the flap in to get the diapers out, thank goodness! anon garbage mom
Get one of those super heavy step cans and/or put your garbage can behind a childproof gate. Ask your friends with dogs what they recommend - dogs are much worse on garbage cans than babies, I assure you! anon
A sturdy, low metal trash can with a lid that only opens when you step on the lever keeps our dog out of the kitchen garbage; for diapers we use the Diaper Dekor. N.
My third son was obsessed with throwing things away in the garbage can- remote, keys, etc... I finally got him his own garbage can which he could throw whatever he wanted into. It seemed to help him get it out of his system. There are diaper pails that latch (diaper genie or others like that) but that would mean buying another thing. cb

Toddler-Proof Trash Cans?

Feb 2004

My 16-month old loves to play with our kitchen trash can. I have a Rubbermaid with a lid that slides open, and he loves to open it and pull out trash. I have considered getting it smaller can and placing it under out kitchen sink, but I think it would be a pain to always undo the child-proof latch every time I throw something away. I've also thought about purchasing one of those metal cans with a foot petal. However the lids are just as easy for my toddler to open. I'm tired of saying ''no'' every time he plays with it. So any suggestions would be appreciated! Karen

This won't work forever, but for now you could keep the garbage can up on the counter (or other out-of-reach spot). For a long time, we kept our bathroom trash can on top of the toilet! You may also find that you get used to doing the child-latch pretty quickly if you have to. Another possibility - a child gate across the kitchen door. Put the garbage can on whatever side of the gate your crawling child isn't on. R.K.
My son has been doing the same thing since he was about 10 months- I know that we have lost toys and a remote control because he is constantly playing with the trashcan. I finally decided that I would get him his own trashcan and he loves it. It has a flip top lid just like the one in our kitchen. He actually drags it around the house with him putting his toys in it and he really doesn't bother with the real one anymore. It seems to have worked rather than to have encouraged him to throw things away even more. I guess it was so irresistible because it was forbidden. Now it's not. CB
When we had a dog we started putting our kitchen trash can on top of a kitchen chair/stepstool, and now, 5 years after the dog passed away, and after the birth of 2 daughters, that's still the best place for the trashcan. It's at a height that's perfect for us, the kids can't get into it, and we just move the trashcan down if we need to use the stool. For waste baskets in the other rooms, we just try to put them where the kids can't easily reach them; back behind the toilets, in corners where they're less noticeable. For the kids' room we have one with a lid that flips up when you push a tab, but that one is also back in a corner, behind the changing table. We just tried to say, ''Don't touch; that's dirty'', while making a ''yuck!'' face...that's worked well with our now 2 and 4 year olds. Hope this helps, Heidi
Try taping it shut for a while, after a few trys opening it with no joy, he may lose interest. (my son did.)