Zaida and the kidsCredit: Rayda Jacobs

Is your toddler a year old and discovering the pleasures of the floor? The floor is a playground of delights. There are kitchen cupboards to open and close or crawl into, pots and pans to take out, packages with spices and other condiments to investigate, coming into contact with knives and forks, picking up a button and swallowing it and many other dangers. Leaving a toddler unattended even for a minute is asking for trouble; the kitchen for all its sparkling appliances is the hub of danger. So what does a mother do? Keep the child strapped into a high chair while she cooks or cleans the house? The child needs attention when he is up. He wants to climb on things and see what is there.


Keeping your toddler happy and safe at the same time

  • Have a plan for the day and make use of the time when the toddler is having a nap. This should allow you at least two hours in the day when you can do the laundry and prepare your meat and vegetables for the night’s supper. If your child drinks formula prepare ten bottles at a time. This does not mean that you can go shopping while the child is asleep; anything can happen.
  • Invest in an enclosure with a safety mat where all the toys are and your child can play with his or her toys. Do not leave your toddler by himself as he might be protected from swallowing things but might still fall or try to climb over things. It does give you a chance though to keep an eye and make yourself something to eat or drink.
  • Do not have the enclosure near to the electrical socket or any wiring the child can pull on. Tell your toddler ‘no’. He might not talk yet but he will understand that he should not touch. “This is your toddler’s ‘no-touch’ period when you have him all the time.
  • Keep all your utensils in the top drawer where he cannot reach. Tell him, ‘no touch’, and look serious. Do not under-estimate your toddler’s intelligence; he knows what you are saying. He cannot, however, explain himself, so let him or her communicate in this way for the time being.
  • Always be on the look-out for small items he can put in his mouth. Make sure that when he is up from his nap that he eats, has on a clean diaper, as this will allow him to feel more comfortable and play longer.
  • Do NOT leave the house under any circumstances to go to the shop; you never know what can happen. Raising a toddler is tiring but it is worth it to know that your child is safe.