Henry has acquired several new skills over the past two months, including pulling himself up to a stand, crawling, and cruising along the edge of furniture. Last week, he figured out how to open the kitchen cupboards. After a few days of just opening and closing the doors, he finally started pulling items off of the shelves.
|Henry pulls strainers and towels out of the cupboards.|
Daddy and I have busy been preparing for house for Henry to safely explore. In the kitchen, this has largely meant reorganizing and rearranging. I want Henry to be able to access most areas freely so we have only installed a few barriers.
The main cupboard holds our pots and pans and our rolling kitchen cart is filled with towels, napkins and strainers, all items with which Henry is welcome to play. Lower drawers hold mixing bowls, Tupperware and Henry’s bibs.
|Henry opens a kitchen cupboard.|
The only area that is off-limits to Henry is the cabinet under our sink which holds the garbage can, soaps, and a fire extinguisher. We are using a tot-lok to secure this cabinet. It has a magnetic key to open the cupboards. As with all child-proofing equipment, it take some time for the adults to learn how to use it. We placed a small piece of electrical tape to mark the spot where the magnet is located on each door.
|The tot-lok keeps Henry out of our kitchen garbage can.|
Most of our food is kept up high. We have one mid-level drawer that Henry will likely to be able to reach in next year; it holds bread and snack foods like crackers, granola bars and dried fruit. Our refrigerator has a pullout freezer section on the lower level, so Henry won’t be able to reach into the main section until he grows several inches taller.
|Henry investigates the contents of our kitchen cart.|
The one area of our kitchen that is not ideal for Henry is our stove. It is a challenge to keep Henry away from this appliance since it is exposed on two sides, instead of being surrounded by cabinets. Henry also finds the shiny reflective surface appealing and the drawer under the stove is filled with lids. We’re trying to teach him that it is hot, but it’s a difficult concept to communicate with a 10 month old.
What steps have you taken to keep your little explorers safe in the kitchen?