Baby kitchen safety is important for every parent to consider. Learn 5 crucial ways to keep your baby or toddler safe in the kitchen.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Regalo. All opinions are 100% mine.
Long gone were the days of laying him in one place and knowing he’d stay put. Now he was more mobile—and more curious—than ever.
One of my biggest concerns was our kitchen. Many parents, myself included, spend a ton of time in the kitchen. We’re also often focused on something, from reading a recipe, washing dishes, or putting food away.
We don’t always have the luxury (or the desire) to hover over our babies every second.
Baby kitchen safety tips
That’s why I’m a fan of making the home environment conducive to a baby. This doesn’t mean turning your home into one large padded room with seven monitors galore. Instead, it’s about allowing your baby to explore without your constant hovering.
It’s about giving him the autonomy and space to explore safely.
When it comes to the kitchen, I have a few tricks to do just that. After having three boys who wanted to get into just about everything, these tips are a must to both keep babies safe and honor their curiosity.
See the kitchen from your child’s point of view
Take a look through your kitchen and you might think it’s safe: You’ve got the plugs covered and the knives out of reach. But dig deeper to really see what the kitchen looks like from your baby’s point of view.
Maybe you have your kitchen knife resting on a chopping board… the same chopping board that happens to be sticking out over the edge of the counter. One little bat of the hand, and not only will that board come flying down, but the knife, too, and anything else on top of it.
Just because your baby can’t access it the way you or I do, doesn’t mean he won’t find other ways to get a hold of it.
Be mindful of your counters and what your baby or toddler can reach. Can he pull on the coffee machine cord? Reach the stove burners? Out of sight may not always mean out of reach.
Sweep and mop kitchen floors often
Is your baby often tempted to put things in his mouth? From coins to old food bits to forgotten grains and beans, your floor may have items he could potentially put in his mouth. A bean can remain hidden to you, tucked under a corner, but not always to your baby.
Not only that, but kitchen floors aren’t always the cleanest when neglected. Think about all the things that fell on the floor before making its way to the trash, or the juices from raw meat as you transferred it from sink to counter.
And since babies love to crawl, the kitchen floor can be just that much ickier when you don’t regularly sweep and mop.
Block the kitchen off with a safety gate
One of the easiest ways to make sure your baby stays safe in the kitchen is to simply block it off in the first place. In both my current home and my previous one, I used safety gates to keep my babies and eventually toddlers from entering the kitchen.
Maybe you need to concentrate on cooking and can’t keep an eye on your baby, or you plan to keep the oven on for several hours. If you don’t need your baby with you in the kitchen, you might be better off using a safety gate to keep him out.
I used this particular safety gate from Regalo in both apartments I’ve lived in:
I especially liked this model because I didn’t need to drill any holes into the walls. The pressure-mounting gates withstood three boisterous toddlers and not once did it come down. Plus, the gate comes with a walk-through lock you can open and close—no need to hop or climb over anything.
Safety gates also work in other ways, like if you need to block a set of stairs or want to keep the front door open without worrying that your baby will walk out.
Regalo also has safety gates you can use to section off an area in your home. These gates can serve as a play yard—place your baby in here with a few safe toys to keep him entertained. Or vice versa: section off an area you’d rather he not touch, such as the media center or tall bookcases.
Lock bottom cabinets and drawers
If you’re like me, the bottom of your kitchen sink houses your cleaning supplies and who knows what else. Your child may be able to now open these doors and access items you’d rather he not.
The first step is to move dangerous items away from the bottom cabinets and drawers. Sharp tools should remain high and out of reach, or locked shut. Swap heavy glass bowls with kitchen rags (in fact, you can designate a drawer just for your baby to fiddle with that includes baby-safe items).
Then, lock any cabinets and drawers that are still within reach, especially those that contain items you don’t want your baby to touch.
All our breakables are stored high in the top cabinets, while simple utensils and tools remain on the bottom. And when we had no choice but to keep items where they are (for instance, utensils in a drawer), we attached locks to keep them inaccessible to children.
Cook when the kids aren’t around
I’ll be honest: It’s only these recent times when I felt okay enough to cook while the kids are around, especially if I’m alone. My boys have grown a bit older and can now entertain themselves in the living room while I get dinner started for the night.
But before that, I would often cook when they weren’t around, like after they’ve gone to bed or if my husband were home and could keep them away from the kitchen. I never liked the feeling of trying to follow recipe instructions while also keeping an eye on three curious kids.
If you can, set aside time to cook when the baby isn’t nearby. Or do the heavy prep work when he’s asleep or out of the room, then do the actual cooking closer to dinner time. We can save a ton of headache by reserving deep work for when they’re not around.
Baby kitchen safety is a top priority, not only because it keeps kids safe, but it also respects their desire to explore in a safe environment.
Be aware of what your baby can access: a knife may be out of reach, but not when it’s on top of a chopping board with a corner sticking out. Sweep and mop kitchen floors often to avoid your baby accidentally swallowing bits.
Lock bottom cabinets and drawers. Those containing cleaning supplies or heavy items can, when pulled too far, topple over (like a drawer of utensils). Try to cook or at least meal prep when the baby is asleep or elsewhere at home.
And finally, use safety gates to block the kitchen off completely. This was by far the best way I was able to get in and out of the kitchen and get things done knowing my kids were safely out of the way.
The “baby” days may be over and you just might find your once stationary child crawling and clamoring. But with the right baby kitchen safety tactics in place, your baby now has the space and safety to explore.
Interested in Regalo safety gates? Check them out below: