How to Keep a Toddler out of the Refrigerator

by Kay Ireland

Your curious toddler is intent on exploring the world around her, touching and exploring everything from the cat to your cabinets. Your toddler has also probably seen you opening and closing the refrigerator and wants to see what's inside. If your toddler keeps getting into your refrigerator, it can mean a major mess and even potential danger. By keeping your toddler occupied with other exploration tasks, she might just leave the fridge alone -- and go back to pestering the cat.

Fridge Locks

One safety item that should be on your toddler prep shopping list is a fridge lock. Different types of fridge locks work in different ways, but the goal is the same -- making the fridge door almost impossible for your toddler to access, while still allowing you to get what you need from the fridge. Your toddler's fascination with the fridge isn't just messy -- it can also be dangerous. Climbing fridge shelves could result in falls or toppling, so a fridge lock is a small investment to help stop a potentially big problem.

Kitchen Gate

The kitchen can be one of the most dangerous rooms in your entire home. Think about it -- it's often packed with sharp objects in the drawers and hazardous materials under the sink. While you can put locks on all of your drawers and cabinets, if your toddler continues to try and get into the kitchen, the fridge and other places that she shouldn't access, try placing a gate across the kitchen entryway when you're not in the kitchen. That way, you keep your little one in safer areas of the home and away from the fascination with the fridge.

Fridge Distractions

Your toddler might get into the fridge because she's interested in what's inside, so distracting her with toys, colors and noises outside the fridge might stop her in her tracks. Place colorful magnetic letters, scenes and other toys that are meant to stick to the fridge on the door. That way, when your little one makes a beeline for the refrigerator, there's something to distract her from her mission of exploration.

Offer Snacks

Toddlers love being in charge, which is why yours might throw a fit when you try and pry her away from the fridge. But it's important to give your little one some independence, according to Aha! Parenting. Instead of simply removing your fridge-dweller and listening to her cry, fill sandwich bags or small plastic containers with easily-accessible, toddler-appropriate snacks in an unlocked drawer or bin designated specifically for your toddler. That way, if she wants a snack or simply wants to assert her independence, she can look in the drawer and choose something without fighting to get into the fridge.


About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

Photo Credits

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