Your kitchen gets turned upside down when you have a baby, and once that bundle of joy starts to really move and eat real food, your kitchen will go through its next transformation. Gone are the days of (relatively) calmly making food while baby watches — your toddler wants to see, touch, and experience everything himself, especially in the kitchen.
Here’s what changes in your kitchen when you have a toddler.
1. Your kitchen will be fully stocked with snacks.
Move over, milk! These days your pantry is probably filled with pouches, and you have more fresh fruits and veggies in your fridge than ever before. Consciously filling your kitchen with healthy snacks can make us rethink our own habits, too — benefits for all!
More on Snacks for Toddlers
2. Your Tupperware will be on the floor.
Now’s the time to reconfigure your cabinets so the indestructible stuff is in your base cabinets and the dangerous items are out of reach. Give your child access to your pots and pans and move all your plastic storage stuff into lower cabinets and drawers. Then, just accept that your toddler will be playing with all that stuff. It’s so much more fun than any of her toys!
3. Your kitchen will be way more colorful.
Whether it’s bibs, plastic dishware, special utensils, or even your high chair, your kitchen will be filled with bright colors, animal-shaped dinnerware, sippy cups, and, well, toys. You’re going to need/get a whole bunch of new dishes. And you’ll have to find a place to store all that stuff.
4. You’ll spend a lot of time cooking with one hand.
“Uppie!” says my 3-year-old, still, at least 10 times a day. You will become skilled at cooking with a clingy toddler on your hip. I baked a pie once while holding my older daughter when she was around two. While some steps aren’t safe, many can be managed. For the rest, there’s the always-enticing Tupperware.
5. You’ll make room for stools.
An alternative to constantly carrying your child? A learning tower or stool to give them a bird’s-eye view of what’s going on. Give them something safe to taste or play with while you do your food prep.
Go shopping: 10 Platforms for Little Kitchen Helpers
6. Your countertop clutter will get pushed to the perimeters.
Toddlers have surprisingly long arms! They can reach for all sorts of (dangerous) stuff when you’re holding them or they’re standing in a learning tower. Because you’ll never be able to eliminate countertop clutter at this stage, you’ll learn that it’s best to just push it all to the perimeter where little hands can’t reach.
7. Your floors will be cleaner than ever.
Remember that Tupperware play I was talking about? Dirty floors will result in dirty Tupperware. Plus, your kid is gonna be crawling around. You’ll notice every crumb and dust bunny and feel the need to get to it before your toddler does.
Got a toddler? What else changed in your kitchen?