Along the parenting journey, we parents will often find out some good tips and ideas, or just a better way of doing something in relation to our babies and toddlers. In no particular order, here are some of my favourite hints and tips I wanted to share with you. They’ve all been passed on to me by other Mums at one time or another. Hope you find them helpful. Enjoy – and pass them on!
- With the collected artworks of your budding toddler Picasso, share the love with family and friends by using your child’s paintings and drawings as gift wrapping paper for birthdays, Mothers Day, Fathers Day etc. This is a unique and special way to share your artist’s talents as well as eliminating the ongoing costs of bought gift wrap that generally ends up in a garbage bin mere moments after the gift is given.
- It’s never ever too early to start reading to your child. For newborns, you don’t even need to worry about pictures & buying expensive books – they just love to hear the sound of your voice. Consider multi-tasking whilst exposing your child to the exciting world of words – read them anything, from the latest gossip mag, articles from parenting magazines, superannuation statements, the local newspaper etc.
- Put different items (buttons) or ingredients (rice, coloured pasta) inside plastic bottles & containers of various sizes – and shake, roll and bash away. Make sure you secure very tightly with tape so that these can not be easily opened to create a choking hazard. When play-time is finished put them up out of reach, ready for next time.
- You can re-use disposable baby swim pants (such as the Huggies “Little Swimmers”). After your baby’s swim, (provided they have only had a Number 1 despatched into them), put the wet swim nappy into the washing machine with the rest of the washing. Then, hang them on the line to dry. They can be re-used at least 2 or 3 times (only if they are not soiled with Number 2’s of course. Then it’s game over!). This saves a lot of money in the long run as you will significantly extend the life of each packet you buy.
- Cook a big batch of food & freeze in ice cube trays and pop the cubes in a dated bag in the freezer. Then, just take one or two out as you need them.
- When you’re going out, re-use the glass baby jars for freezing (leave the lid loose until its frozen so glass doesn’t break).
- How hard (impossible?) is it to get clothes on a baby or toddler after they have been in a swimming pool. Even after we have towel dried them thoroughly, getting clothes on them becomes a major battle, it’s like there is some invisible resistance barrier that prevents any item of clothing going on easily. Solution? Baby powder. Put baby powder over their body after towel drying and the clothes will just glide on so easily.
- Stew your own fruit instead of buying manufactured versions at the supermarket. It’s far more nutritious, it’s cheaper and you can freeze it.
- Keep an “emergency” pack in the car. Nappies, wipes, change of clothing, wrap, toddler snack, sunblock – never be caught short again.
- To get face-paint off your toddler, copious amount of sorbolene cream on a sponge or paper towel gets the face-paint easily. Finish off the job with baby wipes.
- Sweet almond oil is a great natural remedy for cradle cap. Gently rub into problem areas after bathing.
And finally – an idea to consider, more so than an actual tip. This one is for any of you with young babies as we accelerate towards Christmas. This won’t be for everyone, and I understand that. But I absolutely do see the merit behind it – and you need to take the blinkers off to see the bigger picture…
- Consider not getting Christmas presents for your baby’s first Christmas.
I was reading an article recently from a U.S blogger who runs a parenting website/blog. She says “I didn’t get anything for my son for his first Christmas,” she said. “We had heaps of stuff for him from the grandparents. And as always – we were absolutely financially strapped.” She then went on to say that at 4 months of age, her son wouldn’t have known who the presents were from anyway, or even what they were and he certainly had no idea about Santa Claus.
Funds saved from not buying your baby a mountain of Christmas presents could go towards a family holiday. Or could go towards credit card debt to ease the end of year financial strain. Or what about putting it towards a rare date night out for you and your partner/husband.
If it makes you feel better, wrap some boxes for your bub with bright coloured paper and fill the boxes with brightly coloured cellophane or tissue paper. The crinkling noise when he/she pulls it out of the box will give your baby so much pleasure – especially when you play peek-a-boo with the wrapping paper. You will get some priceless photos of pure joy on your baby’s face. Smiles, laughter and fun. Beautiful, happy family time right there in a nutshell. And isn’t that what Christmas and other event celebrations are all about?