What is it? I want it! I need it! – Toddler Proofing

Dear Home Ec 101:

I am at my wits’ end. I have a toddler who will not stop yanking everything off the counter.  Every time my hands are full with the baby he’s eating, coloring on, or shredding something.

What do I do?

~Frazzled in Frampton

Heather says:

I could have written that letter myself.  My two year old is into everything and yes, my hands are often full of baby.

Chances are this suggestion won’t thrill you as a brilliant discipline tactic.  Nevertheless, find another home for the things he’s pulling down.  If drawers and cupboards are the problem (ask me about my child’s fascination with boxes of sanitary products) lock them.  My favorite is Tot Lok, they keep the cupboards completely closed so no little fingers can wiggle in and get pinched.  When I only had one child keeping him out of the cupboards was merely a minor annoyance, once we upped the ante to two and finally three kids it became a source of major aggravation.  However, the solution was far simpler than I wanted to believe.  If there is nothing in reach, this battle won’t be fought.  Save your sanity for the truly important battles like banister climbing and pestering the family pet.

You see, your toddler’s job is much less demanding than yours.  All he is required to do is explore, which includes reaching up and yanking down every item within reach. Freaked out mommy is just a bonus.  Meanwhile you have your hands full, not only with a baby, but with taking care of that toddler and making sure they don’t off themselves in the course of a day.

Good luck.

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.


  1. Crystal on September 22, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    I went with the standard child locks that you press down. Should have gone with Tot Lok! My 2 year old can and will open the doors of all the cabinets in the kitchen and get into things while Daddy is watching him. Loved the green Comet floor- Thanks hubby for watching your child @@ (I now employ two locks- the bendy kind and the ones that hold the handles together)

  2. Margo on September 20, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Heather, thanks for the clear warning about one child versus two or three. I think it’s no big deal to keep my 2 year old out of things, but I’m pregnant with #2, so this is a good heads up!

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