We’re rapidly entering the holiday season, which means a ton of time spent in the kitchen. I hate to break it to you, but babies, blenders and hot stoves don’t mesh very well. My first Thanksgiving, I got so frustrated with the whole thing that I wound up toting the entire family to a nearby Chinese barbecue place. True story. I’ve learned a lot over the last couple years and now have an arsenal of baby entertainment options at my disposal come cooking time. Here are my favorite ways to keep baby busy in the kitchen while you prepare a feast fit for the in-laws.
- Food. Once little ones can sit up on their own, kitchen time is perfect for squeezing in some self-feeding practice. Set them up in a portable crib (or even on the floor, if you’re one of those people with immaculately clean tile) and let them feed themselves some Cheerios.
- Bouncers. Bounce, baby, bounce. We have a plethora of jumperoos and doorway swings that keep our little guy actively entertained.
- Portable Electronics. I scoot my baby’s high chair up to a counter, set up the tablet and let him marvel over Elmo for an episode. Thank you, Sesame Street, for 20 minutes of hands-free peace.
- Baby-wearing. Best suited to tasks that don’t involve hot oil, baby carriers make it a cinch to strap your baby on and go about your cookie constructing.
- Let them “help.” I keep a designated cabinet full of junk tupperware. My crawling baby loves to scoot up to that space and bang around with all the lids and bowls.
How do you keep baby busy in the kitchen?