• If you are thinking of starting a family soon, or if you have a baby now, consider leaving space in your kitchen for a bassinet or playpen, making sure it is away from stoves where hot food might be spilled. You may also want to include a large counter space for a bouncy seat, where baby can watch you in action.
  • Young toddlers are crawling, walking, and exploring their world. There are many safety issues to think about for this age. Avoid low display areas, unless you fill them with baby-safe items; avoid glass inserts on base cabinet doors, use plexiglass instead; have plenty of counter space around microwaves and stove tops to avoid spills; keep appliances and cords neatly hidden; and keep knives and cleaning products out of reach.
  • To make your life a little easier, store all of baby’s foods and serving utensils in one cupboard close to the microwave for quick meal prep. And have snacks ready so baby can munch in his highchair while you work in the kitchen.
  • There are also many ways for this age to have fun in the kitchen. Give them something to do by placing plastics, measuring cups, pots with lids, or toys in a base kitchen cabinet basket or drawer. Plastic spice containers make great shakers - whole bay leaves and kosher salt are fun ones to try. Popcorn, colorful noodles, and rice in child safe containers make interesting noises, too. Try removing the label from a small, clear, plastic container then fill it with water and add a drop of yellow vegetable oil. Your little one will love watching the oil “bubble” float as she tips it up and down.
  • Use roll out trays in base kitchen cabinets to store everyday, non-breakable dishes and cups, cereal boxes, and snack items. You will want to have a 36-inch high counter on your island or peninsula for budding artists to color or sculpt clay while you prepare dinner or for serving snacks. Be sure your counter stools have high backs and arm rests to keep kids from slipping off.
  • Toddlers love to help. Let them! Keep your recycling center accessible so they can help clean up.
  • Even toddlers are using the computer, so consider locating a computer desk away from kitchen traffic, but where you can easily monitor its use.