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- When going to a busy playground or play area tell your child to shout you by your first name if they get stuck/lose you/need you for something as hundreds of children will be shouting 'mummy'.
- The mantra It's only for another 18 years, it's only for another 18 years, it's only for another 18 years helps me cope with a fussy baby.
- Beware of highly patterned change mats. When sleep-deprived, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the poo from the Pooh.
- To avoid the very real risk of nicking your baby or toddler's skin when using nail clippers/scissors, simply use your teeth to bite them,preferably after a bath when their nails are soft...
- Always have drink / small snack / fav toy with you when collecting children from minder / nursery. This will distract them while you get the daily details from carer / get them home without too much exitement!
- Use the 'naughty step' when your children are naughty, but only as an opportunity for you to calm down. Don't ever let them see you loose your temper, and your children will be less inclined too!!
- When I am cooking and my toddler wants my attention I give him a saucepan, wooden spoon and dried pasta. He gets to play cooking with Mummy and I can get on.
- Baby-proof the house sooner rather than later. Once they start crawling they go from tentatively exploring the living room rug to full-on zoom around the whole house in what seems like ten seconds!
- Wriggly babies are much easier to dress on a double bed rather than a changing table.
- To keep toddlers from getting into the cabinet doors near the floor, put big fat rubber bands from one knob to the other and so they can't open it.
- To make cleaning your babys ears easy get them to turn their head by holding a toy out to one side. This leaves you with one hand free and an ear facing you!
- Make sure that sunblock goes on all areas- that means tops of ears and backs of knees- as kids' skin is much more sensitive here than ours.
- Set aside some time each day for totally focused, child-led play (if you've got more than one kid then set time for each individual). Sometimes it may seem like an effort, or that there's not enough time, but it's always totally worth doing: keeps you connected and keeps your kids feeling listened to.
- Join a toy library. You can 'road test' toys before you buy them, and your house doesn't fill up with used toys quite so quickly.
- I wish someone had told me that if you shout at your children all you teach them is to shout at you and eachother - it doesn't make them listen to you more!
- Expecting your 2nd child and have a toddler? Get a doll so that your toddler can pretend he/she's the parent...also great for them venting their frustration and jealousy, rather than on the baby.....
- When you are going to a sandy beach take a pot of baby talc with you,sprinkle onto sandy feet which will help to remove the sand softly & gently for little feet!hands & bottoms!
- Whenever you put a plastic wrapper or bag in the bin, tie a knot it in so if the little ones find it they can't stick it over their head.
- When you take your children out to busy public places, dress them in bright coloured clothing so you won't have trouble keeping an eye on them. Especially helpful when you have several children with you.
- If you have a toddler who sucks their thumb and (like mine!) dribbles all down their sleeve, sweat bands make superb dribble guards.
- Make a tape recording of yourself singing lullabies to play to your baby whenever she needs to be soothed back to sleep. It will comfort her to hear your voice and give you a break too.
- If you are having 'I don't wanna wear THAAAAT' dressing battles with your toddler, lay out two outfits for them to choose from - that way they feel they have been given a 'choice' and you don't have to spend half an hour chasing them around the living room to get a top on they are refusing to wear!