7 Tips for Letting 1-Year-Old’s Help with Chores

Baby helping take out dishes from dishwasher

When babies turn one, they get so helpful!  

You know what I mean, they love to take clothes out of dresser drawers as you put them in and then if you are lucky, they will put them back in again.

They love to unfold laundry and scatter it around the living room. They love to help take dishes out while you are putting them in.

They love to put toys in boxes and then take them out again unless you are fast enough to put it away.

They love to watch what we are doing and copy us. They love to explore and try new things.

And you know what? I love watching them learn and grow and do new things.

They love doing anything and everything with us, their parents, and I say to let them as long as they won’t get hurt and it is safe. It is so fun and developmentally they are learning so much.

However, I also know that as a mom you need to get things done, and sometimes you don’t want to fold the clothes twice or pick up all the plastic baby spoons off the floor and back into the dishwasher.

I totally get that!

Sometimes we are in a hurry to get things cleaned. Perhaps because someone is coming over in 15 minutes or you have to leave soon. If that is the case, you can always keep them distracted by them playing with their toys or putting them in a high chair with a snack while getting those dishes done.

However, if you are not too much in a hurry, I would recommend letting your kids help you and spend time with you. Make it into a fun, positive experience. These babies are so sweet and grow up so fast!

So, here are 7 tips for letting 1-year-old’s help with chores.

  1. Realize they love helping so let them learn and have fun. Seriously, it is so good developmentally to go through the process of putting things in and out of places and doing things that interest them.  They love it!
  2. Limit the amount of access they have. Give them a few safe plastic dishes or clothes to play with while you fold the rest while the basket is higher up so they can’t reach. Let them play with some clean, safe plastic dishes and spoons that go in the bottom rack of the dishwasher while you put the dishes in the top rack. This is what I do. I know that I have to clean up a little after but my 1-year-old is learning, having fun, and sometimes even putting the dishes she has in the dishwasher. Honestly, it doesn’t take to long to clean the tiny mess they make and it doesn’t bother me to clean it up. After all, they only have access to a few items so it is pretty fast to clean it up.
  3. Buy Cleaning Toys. Babies and toddlers will love to help you sweep and clean with their toy cleaning set. Melissa and Doug have one kit that I have heard good things about. I haven’t bought one yet, but I want to.
  4. Give compliments and make it a positive experience. Tell them “Good Job” and “You are such a good helper”. “Thank You so much”. They love getting compliments, it helps them to grow up feeling confident. Plus, you never know, they might continue to love helping as they get older. Especially with all the positive attention they receive.
  5. Enjoy the time with them and how sweet your baby is. If you feel positive about the experience, it makes the little bit of clean up you have to do a lot better. Just think, your baby loves you so much that she/he just wants to be around you. Plus, what you’re doing looks like fun to them! So, enjoy the time together and how cute and sweet your baby is.
  6. Wait until they are asleep or distracted to finish a chore. If all else fails, take a break and finish the chore, like putting in the bottom rack of dishes for when they are distracted by a toy or asleep.
  7. Expect to have to clean up a small mess. If you expect a small mess is likely to happen, you are less likely to be annoyed and can think more positively. Think of how worth it is to spend time with your baby.

My 14-month-old loves helping me take out dishes. Every time the dishwasher opens, she runs over as fast as she can to help me. It is so sweet. She makes a big mess but that is okay. We just enjoy her and love her so much! We call her our little helper.

 Just so you know, a lot of these tips work for toddlers to!

 My 3-year-old loves to drag a step stool next to me while washing dishes and helps me. She loves it and I always make sure to tell her thank you and how good of a job she is doing.

I love it and I think it is so sweet that both my baby and toddler want to hang out with me and help me!

If you have any thoughts about letting your baby/toddler help with cleaning, please comment!    

1-year-old helping take out dishes from dishwasher

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.