Toddlers can really keep us on our toes. Just when we think we have it down, they change things up, and we have to get creative! From food, to entertainment, to keeping them clean, there is a wide range of obstacles parents face each day. With a little ingenuity, and the right supplies, we can make our lives and theirs a little easier.
I’ve gathered some fantastic tricks of the trade from other smart moms who’ve been there, to help you with everyday toddler issues as you face them!
Entertainment & Distraction
If you’re planning to take your child out to a restaurant for a meal, it’s good to let your kid run around the park for a while to get the energy out.
The dreaded witching hour, typically around 5pm, can be challenging when you are trying to prepare dinner. I involve my toddler by asking him to place chopped vegetables in a container, to pour pre-measured ingredients into a bowl, sprinkle spices, etc. Sometimes, having his own bowl and spatula is all that is needed.
Eating New Foods
I was inspired by my mommy friend to try and make and can our own food, specifically applesauce. I was so excited! We bought 2 bushels of apples, and since this was my first time, I hand peeled them all. It was difficult, but I thought for sure the kids would love it! After canning about 28 quarts of applesauce, I couldn’t wait for the kids to try it! And guess what happened? They hated it! No one wanted to eat it- it didn’t look like the ‘normal’ applesauce we usually eat (store-bought). I was so bummed! I spent all of this time making and canning applesauce and now no one will eat it! Then I remembered what my friend sometimes did when we visited her house, she added some sprinkles to her applesauce- because sprinkles make everything better. It worked! Add a few sprinkles to the top of your child’s applesauce, and it will be eaten.
When Kellen was little and we would go to the park or to a play date I would pack snacks. One of his favorites was the YoKids Squeezers. But Kellen used to squeeze it so hard it would go everywhere! Total nightmare. I thought why not insert a straw into it and he could drink it? It worked so perfectly. Moms saw it and went out to buy the more expensive YoKids instead of the sugar loaded Gogurt. They all called me and asked me where I found the YoKids with the straws! Ha! Told them simply buy straws and pack with and bingo. This was a life saver. Still use this little trick to keep my boys clean and enjoying a healthy snack on the go.
My mom had recommended to diaper pin my daughter’s pajama top and bottom together to prevent her from
stripping and removing her diaper overnight. This worked perfectly for a while… until one morning when I found my daughter had somehow removed the diaper any way, pants still (or back?) on.
Ever since then, we put a duct tape “belt” across the front of her diaper so that she couldn’t get the tabs open. After instituting the “belt”, we’ve had no wet/messy crib accidents due to a removed diaper!
I don’t worry about my daughter doodling where she shouldn’t with her crayons since I learned Magic Erasers work like a charm removing crayon from the walls!
We just upgraded our “parent” vehicle and bought a minivan. Unfortunately, the bigger, more convenient car also meant I couldn’t reach the toys my daughter dropped out of her car seat and was now crying about. We bought a “grabber” for the car, and now I use it at stop lights (or anytime if I’m not the driver) to easily reach just about anything she drops and stop the crying!
So I was a mommy to three children, three and under, and my husband used to travel a lot. Sometimes, visiting family and other trips were taken by myself and the kiddos. With a recently potty trained toddler, how was this going to work? When a toddler needs to go, he needs to go NOW- how would I be able to find a place for him to go potty and get the other kids out of the car safely, fast enough? Plus, he didn’t like the noise when we used public restrooms… the flushing was so loud that having him go there wasn’t the most pleasant experience anyway!
I believe it was my mom who suggested this. We had toddler potties for the bathrooms in our house, but one wasn’t used that much. In our mini-van, having a little potty like that (where the seat closes) wouldn’t take up that much space, so she suggested we keep it in the van. We tried it, and it worked! I could pull over on the side of the road, or pull off an exit, and he would be able to use the potty as quickly as he needed to without having to wait for me to get the other kids out of their car seats. Mommy win!
Your turn: What’s the one thing you would recommend most to parents of toddlers? Have you tried any of the above tricks?