“Hacks” are tricks that are used to solve problems in a simple way – not always according to the textbook, but effectively. Here are parenting hacks that will make your parenting life just a little easier.
John Steinbeck once stated: “Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.”
Parents learn quickly – from their own small mistakes, but also from things that you tried and that worked well for your own children.
PARENTING HACKS FOR DEALING WITH BABIES
Many small babies are initially reluctant to lie down. They miss the body heat and cannot do anything with the large area of their baby bed.
They simply feel lost in them – are they still used to the narrow limits of their mother’s belly?
1. Build a nest for your baby.
I recommend a large nursing pillow, over which you stretch a towel and stow it at the ends under the nursing pillow (so that the baby does not sink and always gets enough air).
The whole thing also works with pillows. It is important that the baby does not sink and cannot get anything over his head!
Likewise, the nest must of course not tip over! In my experience, most babies love their little nest and fall asleep faster and deeper.
When babies are turned up and not rest, then often helps some fresh air.
This reassures many children – whether in a stroller or just briefly on their parents’ arms.
Every now and then little babies are so fidgety that they bang their arms and the mother can’t take them to their chest, which only makes the baby even more frustrated.
Briefly swaddling the baby (wrapping the body including arms tightly in a towel) and then placing the baby on the chest.
This way, most babies immediately become less fidgety and take on the breast. Then the towel can be removed again.
So that dressing is not a pain, baby bodysuits for small babies. These do not have to be pulled over the baby’s head.
Because we are already on the topic here are a few tips for buying clothes for babies:
– Don’t buy too much before giving birth.
You get some free gifts, on the other hand, you only know the exact size of your baby when you are born and thirdly you need less than you think (you will wash much more often for that).
– Better buy less clothing but in good quality.
– Better buy the clothes a little bigger.
This is often hardly noticeable and it is more comfortable for the baby and you to put on.
– Used baby clothes are often still as good as new and pollutants have already been “washed out”. So don’t be shy about this.
– Wash new baby clothes before use (because of the pollutants). Ideally more than once.
– You can save a lot of money by buying baby clothes.
Here are the different options from expensive to cheap (in my experience): retail, online trading, Facebook marketplace, bazaar or flea market, relatives or friends.
You can also “pre-purchase” clothing for the next season in the final sale – this is where the growth charts for children help.
– From the start, think of a good storage system for clothes that no longer fit.
Perhaps you need this again for children two or three. We recommend transparent boxes from the hardware store or furniture store – stackable and airtight closable (mothproof).
Sort the clothes according to size and season (summer or winter) and label the boxes well.
HOW CHILDREN LEARN THINGS BETTER
1. Gripping toys
Everyone knows that babies when they can touch and put things in their mouths, have fun with gripping toys. Much does not have to be bought.
Babies also enjoy a whisk, a wooden spoon or the lid of a screw jar.
It is important that the objects are not sharp and cannot be swallowed.
It is better for you as a parent to stay with your child when playing with such objects.
2. Baby chair
By the way, many parents have had a very positive experience with a newborn attachment for the baby chair.
The baby has the feeling that he is always there and is usually satisfied. Not cheap, but in my opinion it makes sense.
3. Small bribes
When parents want to teach their children something and they want to keep their attention high, small bribes have often proven to be an incentive.
Gummy bears, raisins, smarties or something similar that your child likes very much.
The letter recognized correctly? Then the child earned a mini gummy bear.
Why shouldn’t children learn to count with raisins? Then you can eat them.
Tip: We always have mini packs for gummy bears, raisins or smarties. Why?
Then at some point they are “all” and the discussion with the child is omitted, while you have to lock a large package away (and yes, packaging waste arises).
4. Punch and Judy doll
A Punch and Judy doll has often proven itself as an educational assistant.
The Kasper is quickly considered a friend by the child. He is always positive and encourages the child.
Above all, he is curious and the child should show him things – how it can be done on the potty, how to brush your teeth or eat with a fork, etc.
The Kasper is also a great way to get children in the pediatrician’s anteroom busy – and your child will be very proud that Kasper is his friend.
WHEN NOTHING WORKS – WHEN TODDLERS ARE STUBBORN
From time to time children are just too tired or over the top and everything is too much for them.
In such a case, children are often against everything and hardly accessible. Here are a few tips:
1. Two alternatives.
Always give your child only two alternatives (with which you can live) – either this book or that for example. This is the maximum that it can handle in this state.
2. Always have a favorite meal in stock.
Something that is easy to prepare and that your child still eats dead tired and then goes to bed (with our three-year-old daughter, this is still a certain ready meal for 12-month-old children).
3. Ask your child
Ask your child if they don’t want to go to the bathtub. Many children enjoy it and are then accessible again.
4. If possible, go to the front door with your child so that your child can let off steam.
5. If nothing helps
Then if necessary, place your child in front of the television or tablet until it is accessible again.
This is still better than building aggression against your child. But be careful not to consciously use your bad mood to get TV time.
If a child is generally accessible but does not want to do anything under any circumstances – even after many attempts to convince them – then bribery can help if necessary.
We know a child who hates getting their toenails cut. Now it gets a mini smartie for every cut toenail. Fortunately, the promotion is not necessary too often.
The best deal to keep children busy and cheap is to have their own library card for a child.
As a rule, children do not have to pay an annual fee for a public library (however, the overdrafts cost money – here it has to be adjusted).
Libraries now have not only books but also mostly audiobooks, DVDs and games.
Many places that are attractive for children offer annual passes – and they are often quickly worthwhile.
To set up a small play oasis for a child at home, we recommend a “play shell ” for the balcony – a double one (there is practically every hardware store in summer).
Sand is filled in one half (sandpit), the other can serve as a small paddling pool in summer (without the worry of air loss as with conventional paddling pools).
At night, one half is placed over the other so that the cats in the neighborhood do not use the sandpit as a litter box.
TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN
Our collapsible handcart is a purchase that many other parents have.
Very practical for trips to the zoo or swimming lake where you have a lot of luggage and also good for lazy children.
It takes up less space in the car than a normal stroller and can replace a double stroller for short distances for children who can already sit (however, such a stroller is not suitable for small babies).
A few more tips for long car journeys :
– Pay attention to the sleeping times of your children when driving (so there is less grumbling).
– Every “dry” child must go to the toilet before departure and at every stop.
– The front passenger should have drinks (ideally in bottles that cannot leak) and food (something that the kids like and don’t mess too much – so no chocolate). Also always take at least one rubbish bag for waste with you.
– Provide a good entertainment program for your children (audiobooks or films via tablet or DVD player – ideally with headphones, as well as books or comics).
- How to Talk so Kids Will Listen…And Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber
- Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham
PS: Families are busier than ever. Feeling overwhelmed doesn’t have to be your new normal. This Family Routines Course will help you simplify the many daily tasks confronting you — creating a happier family and a much happier you.