All moms have their own set of favorite kid-calming, time-saving, sanity-boosting tricks. Here are some of our favorites along with some of our must-have (or at least must-try) products.
Our Favorite Things
- HDN Studio (creators of the Mamas Against Drama logo)
- Do you have a young child who is dying to get a dog? To tide our five year old over until we can handle one, we bought a toy dog that she pulls behind her. She talks about it being “her dog” and puts it to bed, walks it, feeds it, etc. It’s perfect.
- Keep a Shamwow! towel in your car or stroller. They’re great for drying off wet playground equipment, picnic tables, etc.
- Trying to get your kids to eat more veggies? Try feeding only vegetables first for a meal before putting anything else in front of them. Offer veggies for snacks. Sometimes I offer chilled peas or lima beans (I know, blech!) as a snack when my kids are really hungry. It doesn’t always work (and I am shouted down with cries for goldfish crackers), but I am surprised at how often it does if they are hungry enough!
- Trouble with a wiggly baby on the changing table? We keep a pack of stickers up there and stick one on his hand when we change him. He is always somewhat startled and then intrigued enough to let us change him with minimal fuss. You can alternate where you put the sticker to keep your child guessing. Clearly, you need to make sure they don’t try and eat it, and take it away once they are ready to play again!
- I read in an article somewhere that if you are about to yell at your child, take a second and say to yourself silently, “What are you, X years old?” It stops and makes you really think about your level of frustration and whether it is in line with your child’s age.
- If you are having trouble getting your child to trace letters (we get this for homework, and my child is in preschool!), make an alphabet train, or snake, or other shape. All you do is draw dot outlines of each letter for your child to trace. Draw squares around them for boxcars and have your child draw wheels on the cars after tracing each letter. For some reason, this is much more exciting than just tracing regular letters (whatever works, right?).
- Desitin mixed with A&D Ointment is great for diaper rash.
- If your baby’s diaper is leaking at night, buy a nighttime diaper in the next size up from what your baby normally wears.
- If your child is afraid of the dark or has trouble going to sleep, try “sweet dream spray.” You can buy any scented room spray (Bath and Body Works, etc.) for this purpose. If you’re feeling really creative (or your kids are word savvy), it helps to make your own paper label on the computer and attach it to the bottle. Just spray a little on the sheets to ensure sweet dreams (or to improve your odds of getting them to sleep more easily).
- If you are in the process of potty training your child (or you have little ones who wait until the very last second to announce that they have to go potty NOW), buy a travel potty to keep in the car. They have ones that are discreet (think briefcase or travel bag) and that use regular garbage bags for waste storage, so cleanup is as simple as snapping off the seat cover, tying the bag, and disposing of it.
- Start a journal for your child/children. I (Shannon) know someone who updates theirs every week. I am lucky if I get to it once a month, but it is so worth it to keep a record of what they are doing, the funny things they say, etc. You won’t regret it.