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I've actually been curious about this myself. Seen a lot of threads on it here, but didn't pay much attention at the time.

Moving this to the Toddler Forum...
 

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I am getting DD one for Christmas this year. She will be 20 months. She loves to help me in the kitchen now, and I have to hold her while I am trying to cook, so I think this will make us all happy!
 

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We have a 'knock off'----I showed it to Dh in a catalog and said I think dd would LOVE this and he built one for her. It's not as elaborate as the catalog---it doesnt convert into anything else--its basically a safe way for her to help at the counter and sink. She loves it----we've had it since she was 18mths or so--she could climb up and in right away---it took her awhile how to figure how to get out.
If you are going to order it shop around because some catalogs have free shippingon it---I remember from shopping for one.
 

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18 mos.

I really suggest getting a strong, good quality, one. We got ours from Organic Bebe. My son, now 2.5, uses it as a jungle gym so it's crucial that it's sturdy.

My 11 mos. old has been using it also for about a month but only if I'm there to keep a leg against the back. He loves it and already crawls over and tries to get in when he sees his brother cooking.
 

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another thumbs up for the learnign tower at 18 months. grandparents got it as an early xmas present. we have a climber, so dd uses it as an indoor jungle gym as well as watching us cook. we always leave a snack for her up on the counter where the tower is parked-she's eating a lot more now!!! she's helped dh make pizza, pasta salad, and pb&j's so far.
 

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The last time there was a thread on this topic someone suggested a two-step stool from Target for around $12 so I bought one. I don't have room in my kitchen for a learning tower, much less have room for it on our budget. The stool is great, wide rubber-topped steps with a bar on top to support her. Dd can push it around as she wants, but it's very sturdy too. She can reach the kitchen sink and countertops. I also use it to have her help me throw clothes in the washer and add detergent. When it's not in use it folds well and is easy to set agains the wall.

Darshani
 
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