Unwanted kitchen buddy

Nikole - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My 18-month-old is always in the kitchen when I am. I can't cook, clean, or do anything in the kitchen without him underfoot, or getting into all the drawers, or asking for a snack 10 minutes before dinner is ready. I have to resort to sticking him in his playpen while I do my thing and listening to him yell and cry because he doesn't want to be in there. I didn't have this problem with my older child because in our other house there was one entrance to the kitchen which I gated. This kitchen is open, with an island, and 3 possible entrances. What can I do with him while I'm in the kitchen so I can get something done?

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Carolee - posted on 01/14/2010

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We've made a rule that if we're cooking, we tell Corbin that the kitchen is "hot". He is not allowed to pass where the carpet ends (our kitchen has lenolium floors), and if he crosses that line, we pick him up and set him back on the carpet. It takes a while for them to get used to, but now (most of the time) when we say "it's hot, Corbin", he'll get out of the kitchen.

Lorraine - posted on 01/14/2010

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i know what that's like i had the same thing my son was a cling on he would be hanging of my leg when i was in the kitchen and everywere else i couldn't get anything done. he is now 2 1/2 year old but i use to put him in is big chair at the dining table which is next to the kitchen and i got him to draw, colour in, playdough, or give him a soft peace of fruit with his plastic knife and i would ask him to cut it up for mum in the end if you have any fruit left you might have a fruit salad for desert or in the end i would put his favourite dvd on or kids tv shows. at 2 1/2 they do get better now i can ask him to go get the milk from the fridge and he get's it for me or even putting things on the table they like to help and get involved just a little bit then they can go and play while we finish dinner it makes them feel good that's why there our little helpers good luck.

Ashleigh - posted on 01/14/2010

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My son does the same thing. The only thing I can do to keep him somewhat entertained is for him to be my "little helper" (he's 21 months). He stands up on a stool beside me, and i'll give him little pieces of food to play with or to snack on, and usually a spoon to play with it too. It works wonders with my little guy and makes him feel so important. I also let him empty the dishwasher with me, which he absolutely loves. Sometimes it's hard because he gets in the way, but remember, he just wants to help and to be just like mommy. I sometimes sit him at the table too with some playdough and he thinks he's cooking too ( he doesnt eat it...anymore lol.) Hopefully some of these ideas could help!

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I have the same problem except I'm about 8 months pregnant and can't see him when I'm working on getting dinner made, so he gets knocked over a lot. lol Possibly try sticking him in his highchair and giving him some paper and crayons. Or even try giving him a small healthy snack. My little guy loves it when I put him in his highchair and tell him exacly what I'm doing step by step.

Brittany - posted on 01/16/2010

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i usually dont let my little guy help too much with dinner...as i am usually in a hurry and everything is hot! but i will put him in his chair and give him an empty bowl and some spoons so he can "cook" too. : ) and i make sure that i still let him cook sometimes. we make desserts together a lot...his favorite is to help make jello and cookies! : )

Darleen - posted on 01/16/2010

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Awww...he just wants to help, Mommy. My grandson used to do this. He just wanted to watch...so I put a chair up by the counter and we cut up veggies together, washed dishes together, emptied the dishwasher and filled it again together. Cherish these times. He's at a learning stage you want to encourage. Yes, it's harder to get things done...but is food or cleanliness why you are on the earth...or to nurture and train your child? Relax, be fun, and enjoy his inquisitiveness. Last ditch, give him some cheerios on his tray and put him in his high chair so he can watch and snack...

Reiko - posted on 01/16/2010

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Sometimes nothing helps, ODS will hang on my leg regardless...but most of the time I can distract him with something. I've reorganized the cabinets so that he has two areas he can open, playing with the bowls, pots/pans/tupperware he finds inside. He also likes when I give him "jobs" - wiping things, dumping and putting away utensils, etc. He has also recently gotten into drawing - I got him a great little kid's drawing table from the craft store. It looks like a breakfast-in-bed knee table, with slots on the side for crayons, etc. He carries it everywhere and just picks a spot, sits down, and draws for a while. I also tried the toy kitchen...but he would rather play with the "real" kitchen, I guess you just have to try some things and hope they will keep LOs busy!

Vernette - posted on 01/14/2010

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Hey there! My sister was having the same issue with my niece. She bought her a her size kitchen and put it in the corner so she could cook too! It can be pricy but it fixed the problem!!!

Annie - posted on 01/14/2010

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My son is 2 1/2 now but he is a boy with a heart of gold. He just wants to help whenever you will let him. He has always been that way. It's tough when they are underfoot when you just want them to go find something else to do. When you do let them help it just slows you down which sometimes drives me nuts, but you are his world and he wants to be like you. I would get him a stool and give him simple jobs he can help with like putting the chopped veggies in a bowl. When setting the table use plastic dishes and cups and let him set the table. You can let him stir or add ingredients. If you just need to get dinner on the table give him a clean sponge and he can busy himself cleaning the floor, wall, and or cabinets. My son loves to clean also.Setting up an activity at the table were he can still be apart of what your doing but not be in the was works too. Sometimes I will also get some of the pretend food from his kitchen and bring them into my kitchen and get out a real pot w lid and a whisk or spatula. Then a strainer and he is set pretending with the pretend food in the real pots or a couple of fish crackers in place of the pretend food is fun too. Anyways hang in there and enjoy those bright beautiful smile he will give you while he's little...

Renee - posted on 01/14/2010

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Haa haa! "he doesn't eat it anymore" I am about to fall out of my chair! I forgot my kids used to eat it too. Ugh! I am going to have to watch for that in a few months!

[deleted account]

I've had my 7 month old in the kitchen with me since she was 2 months...of course, she is more active now so it can be difficult to do the dishes and what not but I entertain her by singing and dancing while I cook and do the dishes. I know that when she gets older and I can no longer put her in the walker it will be twice as difficult as it is now(she will actually be able to get into the cupboards and drawers)....when that time comes I'll be handing her the pots and pans to play with!!!

Renee - posted on 01/14/2010

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My youngest, almost eleven months, has a cupboard that he can get into. It has bowls, lids, spoons etc. Things he can bang on and make noise with while I cook. The cupboard is also big enough that he climbs inside and plays too.



With my oldest two (who are now in there helping me cook at 12 and 9!) I used to gate them out. These last two that hasn't been able to happen.



Good luck.

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