Sunday, March 21, 2010

Random Tips

Lately I have been doing a lot of research for ideas for toddler activities on the Internet. It occurred to me that without the help, ideas, and support of other parents I would have no idea what I'm doing. With that in mind, I have decided to share some ideas that have helped me in the last two years, since my Gracie was born. Some are things I've discovered on my own, but most of them have come from friends, family, and even parenting magazines. Thanks to everyone that has provided advice, or just a listening ear as I have began my adventures into parenthood.

~Chamomile tablets are priceless. In addition to being holistic, they simply make baby (or toddler) calm down. Because they aren't medicine, they can be combined with Tylenol and Oragel to make complete teething relief. I also used it with my baby just to calm her at times prior to teething. The best ones I've found are Hyland's Teething Tablets, which can be found at Walgreens, Babies 'R' Us, and Wal-Mart.
~White noise. It will make a baby sleep like nothing else that I've found!
~When baby is learning to crawl and walk, and starts to climb on things teach him/her "feet first." Whenever Gracie was getting off of anything we'd remind her "feet first," and she really understood it and still responds by adjusting her position so she'll land on her feet.
~When baby is really little, and the whole family is adjusting to a newly developing routine let the housework go! Sleep when baby sleeps. Who cares if all the dishes are done if you can't see straight because you haven't slept for 48 hours?! Anyone that visits will understand!

~For a great healthy-ish frozen treat, freeze the yogurt that comes in a tube. Simply run some warm water on it prior to opening it to loosen it from the plastic. My daughter loves them!
~Two ways to contain the mess of a new painter: either use the bathtub by stripping him/her to their diaper and letting them go crazy, or use a cookie sheet with a rim and tape the paper into the cookie sheet.
~Toys don't have to be fancy or expensive to be educational and hold a toddler's interest. In addition to the links I have on the right, which have many homemade toy/activity ideas, think small. I got a bag of pompoms from a local store, and Gracie and I have endless games with that one small bag! We sort by color or size, find colors, name colors, practice counting and putting them in the bag and taking them out. All for less than two dollars!
~Teach your kid the word "HELP." Gracie learned this a while ago, and whenever she threw a tantrum I'd simply say "Gracie, do you need HELP?" She's caught on to the word and although she still shows her frustration, the tantrums have gotten smaller. I think we avoid a lot of tantrums too, because she knows if she just says HELP, momma or daddy will try to help her. Of course, there are times she goes straight to help without trying by herself, which is an important part of learning. We try to address those moments as they come, encouraging her to keep trying as we slowly come to her aid.
~When tantrums DO happen, we tell her "Use your words." We've explained to her that momma and daddy don't understand if she doesn't use words. Then we wait for the tears to stop and words to start. She gets immediate reactions as soon as she starts using her words, so she knows that it's a better choice.
~Don't be afraid to get down and messy with your toddler! Messes are temporary, the things your child will learn from you and the memories that will come from a childhood shared with his/her parents will be with him/her forever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome ideas! I really like the Help word. We used jars of buttons for the counting, sorting thing. But I love the soft colorful pom pom idea. (Somethign else for Grandma M to buy and keep here!) Mike's grand parents played hide the thimble with him. We did variations of that - with big items when the kids were little (teddy bear, etc.), and then working our way up to the thimble. I still have the old-time clothes pins and the milk jar. Having them kneel on the chair and try to drop them in the jar was always fun!
Oh, and pick up Easter egg dye after Easter - when it's cheap. You can dye eggs any time of the year, and they don't even have to be cooked. This one is fun on those really cold winter days. Just something to do for a change.
Hugs and keep up the great work!