I'm wondering how you mamas feel about using a baby gate to keep a toddler from getting into trouble? I've always been anti baby gate for my kids, I feel like they should have access to the house and it discourages hands on parenting. BUT with my 2 year old I'm rethinking my stance. I have 4 kids, 7,5,2 and 4 months. I can't be watching my 2 year old constantly. When I'm busying nursing or putting away laundry etc, she goes into the kitchen and opens the fridge or freezer, or the sliding pantry(that I can't tie closed). She takes out food, eats it or just smears it all over the floor. I also usually put my 4 month old in the kitchen to nap with the stove fan on, and she regularly goes in to wake him up. I am at my wits end! I try to get her involved in helping me but I can't keep her with me constantly, she goes off to get into stuff regularly.
So..what would you do? How do you feel about using a gate to shut off the kitchen when I can't be in there with her? Obviously when I'm in the kitchen she can be too.