It no doubt feels like you spend half your life in the kitchen, which means your little one is probably spending half of their life - getting under your feet - in there too! Before you know it, your once serene, immobile little baby is a potential knife wielding maniac, so here are some tips to help you baby proof the potentially most dangerous room in your home.
Two is company – there are so many potential hazards for a baby in the kitchen so the first tip is, never leave them alone in there in the first place. A safety gate at the entrance is a great idea, you can pick them up from most baby or hardware stores.
Beware of pan handles – as you will soon discover, babies adore climbing and will reach for anything to pull themselves up on and nosy parker around. You probably don't even want to imagine it, but pan handles are easy for baby's to reach and pull the contents down on themselves. It is a good idea to get into the habit of turning all pan handles inwards and even better, try using the back elements wherever possible in case curious hands find their way to your stove top.
Hot stuff - with their lively whistles, kettles can be objects of great fascination for a little one so be sure to always keep them – and their cords – well out of reach. Same obviously goes with tea pots and hot drinks too (one of the most common injuries for little ones is scalds from hot drinks).
Tablecloths – how could a tablecloth or table runner be dangerous you may ask? It's not so much that they are dangerous, but more so that babies are sure to pull on them, consequently dragging whatever was on the table on top of them (hot tea included). During the baby raising era, it is probably a good idea to pop your tablecloths away with all of your other valuables!
Free hands – parents become incredible jugglers, able to manage a myriad of tasks at once. However, this is not a good idea in the kitchen. Even if your baby is screaming blue murder, place them in a safe place, such as a high chair, whilst you prepare their feeds, make a cuppa etc. and give them a cuddle when you are finished and nothing potentially dangerous is within their grasp.
Locks galore – kitchens are filled with hazardous implements such as knives, food processors, matches, plastic bags, cleaning products - the list goes on. A relatively new danger is dishwasher tablets which can look like lollies to a little one. It is a good idea to invest in some child proof locks for your kitchen to keep curious folk out of harm's way. You might also want to think about putting your rubbish bin behind a locked cupboard too!
A fun idea is to create a ‘safe’ cupboard just for your baby to play with, including things such as plastic containers, wooden spoon, saucepans and plastic cups. Your little one will love emptying out the contents of their cupboard again and again, but at least you know it is all safe.
Breakages – we all know how easy it is to break something in the kitchen, glasses or plates being the main culprits. With babies crawling around the floor, it is extra important that you clean far and wide as stray shards of glass can end up far away and cause nasty injuries to your little one. Giving the entire room a vacuum after a breakage helps give you peace of mind.