Let's hear your "why didn't I think of this before" parenting moments

(186 Posts)
geekymommy Tue 05-May-15 18:40:36

DD (will be 3 in August) was home sick yesterday. She kept asking us to give her medicine, as she does not yet understand why taking too much paracetamol is bad. We had been trying to explain to her that too much medicine is bad. Then yesterday evening, DH used the mouth syringe we were using to give her medicine to give her a little paracetamol mixed with water. (She can drink medicine from a cup, but didn't want to this time) After she finished that, she asked for more. He gave her plain water in the syringe, which she happily took. I thought "why didn't we think of this before?" It would have worked a lot better than trying to explain to a sick toddler at 2am why taking too much medicine is bad.

Let's hear some of your parenting moments like this.

NorahBone Tue 05-May-15 19:59:09

My friend and have babies around the same age. When they were about 8/9 months old, she mentioned that her baby usually didn't wear trousers indoors (during the summer). Genuinely never occurred to me to not bother putting clothes on when he didn't need or want them! blush he was born in the winter and I just got into the habit.

NotBanksy Tue 05-May-15 20:15:13

Mine was when we realised that you can take a vest off a baby by rolling it down off their shoulders, rather than pulling over their head. Useful when their has been a nappy leak.

Radish9 Tue 05-May-15 20:34:12

OMG I'm on my third baby and I never thought of that vest trick - genius! I'll remember you NotBanksy next time we have a poo explosion!

BigSmilesCheesyPie Tue 05-May-15 21:06:38

It took me until DC3 to realise that you don't have to take their shoes and trousers off to change a nappy, for some reason I used to take their whole bottom half off and then change. Now I just pull everything down to their ankles, much faster.

Roseybee10 Wed 06-May-15 01:52:00

A sling! Never really used one with dd1 but it's been a godsend with dd2 and I've been able to do so much more while wearing her!

StupidBloodyKindle Wed 06-May-15 03:26:10

Excellent thread OP. Mine after having had three kids...

1. Having the willpower to make the play area/bedroom/playpen/travel cot... a food and drink free zone. No more 'ah well a biscuit will shut him up/she can't do much with a sippy cup'. Nope. Separate the two and won't have the wash repeat snack destroy cycle ad infinitum.

2. Only buying the same style of socks every single time. No more 'ah but these match that outfit' bollocks. Same socks, more chance of finding pairs particularly when they like to take them off and throw them on the street when you are not looking.

3. Cut out the middle man and throw all dvd cases out, put the dvds into a multi dvd holder randomly Saves space and sanity. Better yet, don't buy any more dvds, buy them on a kindle instead then one of them gadgets that puts it through to your telly.

4. Have a flat plastic case like a demo case and put in it a magazine, a colouring book, a small packet of raisins or smarties and some crayons. Never let them have felt tips til they are 20(!) or if you really must <sigh> make sure they are the crayola washable off skin kind. Take this whever you go. Alternatively install kids painting on your kindle.
Magic painting books which only require brushes and water are the way to go inside if you want sanity, painting outside with just a jamjar of water and a brush but no paint will save your sanity outside. Painting with actual poster paint, potato prints and the like are for schools, playgroups, paint-a-pot and other mums' playdates wink

5. Save yourself the hassle of child wars and try and get siblings one of each whatever/treat them the same as far as you are able even on a trivial item like balloons. Yep sharing is caring and turn-taking is important but if we are looking at small budget items get three, tis the way to go for your sanity.

6. Do not give them a sentimental attachment toy and if you must, really really must, then for crying out loud buy a spare. See all lost beloved toy threads on here as to why.

7. Peanut m+ms* are marginally better than gummibears, fizzy crap and chocolate except raefaellos, I love them and try to pretend the lack of official choc in them is a healthy thing Unless they have a peanut allergy, in which case just ignore what I said.
*totally unfounded based on effect on my diabetic blood sugar levels only wink

8. They are not that likely to care about their school reports, baby books, artwork etc until they are parents themselves so if you are doing all that scrapbooking etc do it for you or be prepared to keep ad infinitum until covered in dust/
ruined/lost. In this day and age photos of artwork made into a digital book, like photos themselves made into a book or installed on an e frame or timelined on digital media may have more impact for Future Mini You. As for most objects of sentimental value including teeth, hair and presents over the years, as they keep telling me on various housekeeping threads... if it is neither pretty nor useful channel Elsa and Let It Go.

9. If it's not washable don't bother buying it.

10. Tried the talc on removing the sand today...got a few weird looks but lo and behold, it did in fact work.

11. Carry in your handbag a pencil case of crayons (for the one time you forget the little suitcase), a packet of plasters, some polos, a hairbrush, nail scissors, money off coupons and coins for the electric horse/car/bullshit distraction device. Do not take these out your bag. Ever. Replace when used up. Repeat, never take out of handbag. You will never
find them again otherwise when you are desperate, in a hurry or already out the house.
Big tub of summer stuff- balls, swimcrap, sandcrap,sunscreen, hats etc
Big tub of winter stuff- hats, scarves, gloves, it's mainly the hats.
Have next to your exit door...throw stuff back in on return (unless wet)

12. Throw all your playmobil/lego/weapon of choice into a designated box but put the kit instructions into a separate zip lock bag. Or kraggle the fuck out of everything. I was so on Will Ferrell's side. Bet he never trod on a lego piece

StupidBloodyKindle Wed 06-May-15 03:30:41

Looking at that list it reads more like Things I wished I had known/done sooner rather than a Eureka! moment. Sorry, I don't get many of them blush

agapimou Wed 06-May-15 10:11:29

Yep the vest over the shoulders trick changed my life, also putting the nappy on backwards after they figure out how to take it off in the night.

WowOoo Wed 06-May-15 10:24:00

Relevant for older children but only having a few toys out at one time. They have to tidy up the first lot before getting more stuff out.

If they don't tidy up a threat and bin bag in my hand works for us. I've yet to put toys in a bin bag - it works so well. That was a Mumsnet tip!

Also as they get older storing some toys away and bringing them out in rotation. Less clutter and my youngest says it's like Christmas when I get his 'old' toys out again.

Having healthy snacks or a salad on the table - celery, cucumber, carrots, peppers or whatever - whilst I'm making dinner has been another great Mumsnet tip. It keeps them quiet and increases their veg intake. Even though they moaned about it for months and begged for toast.

Elllimam Wed 06-May-15 10:24:47

That instead of vest/mittens/baby socks just put on a baby grow then top and trousers over it. Voila mittens that can't be lost, socks that won't fall off smile

Delilahfandango Wed 06-May-15 10:29:16

Mine was to have 2 identical Christmas stockings - only requires one fraught trip to a bedroom - was about 16 years into parenting before I twiggedblush

OutsSelf Wed 06-May-15 10:37:26

Vitamin c for "medicine". It comes in lots of different forms - tablet, drink, sweet - take your pick

A large bag of lightweight balls, like the kind you get in ball pools. Anyone who wants to do a bit of chucking about (both mine used to get to a moment in the day where they CBA with stuff and went into chucking mode) sent into the bedroom with a bag of balls. They are a bit older now so sometimes take kitchen implements as 'bats' etc. This was a godsend to me as it turns out I fucking loathe seeing stuff getting chucked about by a maniacally laughing destruction artist.

lexyloub Wed 06-May-15 10:43:10

If they're ill and won't take medicine stir it in to a yoghurt they never know.
Vicks on feet then socks over the top stops coughing during the night.
Talc gets sand of their feet.

Gingermum Wed 06-May-15 10:49:10

When my DD was 3 months, she was feeding at 10pm, 2am and 5am. I started to wake her up just before I went to bed at 11pm and feeding her again. She would sleep through till 4 or 5 so I only had to get up once at night.

With first babies, I had all the books and listened to all the advice (much of which contradicted other advice). For my second baby, I just kept one medical dictionary and did it my own way.

IndridCold Wed 06-May-15 10:58:15

Getting a watch with an alarm on it definitely made life easier! It basically put an end to all the arguments when it was time to stop something.

I set the timer for 5 minutes, and whether we were at the playground, or at someone's house, or it was bedtime, I would say to DS 'when my watch pings it's time to go'. That gave him 5 minutes to adjust to the idea, and he used to enjoy running over to press the button to turn off the alarm too.

neepsandtatties Wed 06-May-15 11:10:21

Your child won't learn to entertain themselves unless they get to practice it often. NEVER interrupt or join in with a child who is happily amusing themselves, instead quietly slip away.

MrsNextDoor Wed 06-May-15 11:15:07

When DD was about 2 and hating nappy changes, I once did it while she was standing up playing with something that was on the coffee table...it was so easy! From then on I always changed her as she stood. No need to lay them down.

AndHarry Wed 06-May-15 11:16:01

Instead of buying a cot bed-sized duvet an bedding, get a single-bed size duvet and wrap it around the mattress horizontally. That way it's the right length and the tucked-in ends stop the child kicking off the covers or falling out of bed as they get used to not having bars. There's also a much better choice and it's not so expensive!

Mmmicecream Wed 06-May-15 11:24:09

That the more intensive time/attention I give my DCs earlier in the day, the more likely they are to then go off and play by themselves. I think it's called bubble time? Either way, it works for me.

clairewitchproject Wed 06-May-15 11:26:47

Bit morbid but I used to keep a spare empty duvet cover in my baby / toddler kids' wardrobes so that in a fire I could lower them out of the window by putting them in the cover and using it like a huge bag. Luckily never had to use it. This triggered by a family 3 doors down dying in a fire.

More cheerfully I instigated a 'going to sleep competition' with my boys which used to work a dream on camping trips and the like, when they were overexcited- between ages of 4 and 7. They are wise to it now, more's thr pity.

Also, baby boys can wear woolly tights in cold weather. It took years of pulled off socks and cold toes to cotton on to that one.

NoMoreParades Wed 06-May-15 11:29:48

Only buy clothes that don't need ironing grin

unlucky83 Wed 06-May-15 11:43:49

With Neeps - let them get used to entertaining themselves...you don't have to 'stimulate them' every second. I think at some point we all have to learn how to entertain ourselves/put up with being bored...a lot easier if they learn to do it when they are toddlers.
Also PJ/lazy days in are fine ...they don't need to constantly out doing something. I used to battle to get them out the door at the weekends/holidays, finding exciting things for them to do/experience every day ...when they would have been happier having some down time.
I also used to insist on going out at some point during the day - even just a short walk/trip to the play park - worried they needed to get (at least some) of their '60 mins exercise a day'...they were on a four hour bike ride the day before ...they can skip a day!
(Now DD1 is a teen - she almost never voluntarily leaves the house during the day ...she spent 2.5hrs out the house in 9 days in the holidays. Maybe a back lash against the we must go out mentality I had...)

00100001 Wed 06-May-15 12:00:40

getting them to cut up mushrooms etc with the butter knife keeps them busy and happy at dinner times smile and it doesn't matter really if they're all different sizes

Take a photo of them before going to places like theme parks/zoos etc, that way if they get lost, you can show them exactly what your child looks like and what they're wearing etc smile

don't get too precious about things, e.g. my kids loved it when I used food dye for their mashed potatoes etc - they loved the idea of blue mash! grin

develop your child's attention span by not distracting it all the time with the new shiny toy etc! If they're happy at 8 months crinkling up a sheet of newspaper - let them get on with it! My BIL seems to think "that's not a toy" and giving my nephew about three 'real' (shiny/noisy) toys all at once then after about two minutes giving them a different toy :/ My kids played with the living room curtains for about 45 minutes once! bad mother

00100001 Wed 06-May-15 12:02:43

My little one was desperate to have coffee at about two for some reason, We used to give her "clear coffee" (not lemon water) heheheheh

She loved having her cup of 'coffee' with us in the morning smile

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