Any woman who has ever been pregnant knows that everyone on the planet has parenting tips. They feel compelled to share those tips with you constantly and unsolicited. They tell you the “correct” way to feed your baby, hold your baby, whether or not you should co-sleep… if you can think of it, it has probably been said. What you don’t hear is, “If you let the toddler roam the car while buckling the baby, then check all of your dials before leaving.” Or that baby gates are challenges more than actual baby-proofing. With that in mind, I’m sharing the parenting tips no one tells you to help you prepare for where the baby books run out.
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Always Take Your Keys
Any time you step outside without kids, take your house key. Whether you are walking the oldest to the bus stop or grabbing the mail, always take your keys. Little hands love to explore and that little tab on the door knob is like a magnet for them. Don’t think you are safe if they are in the pack-n-play either. The second your back is turned they transform in acrobatic little ninjas who will escape.
Interior Door Keys
Speaking of locked doors, stock up keys for your interior doors too. Independent 3-year-olds will lock themselves in the bathroom. Teenagers will be naïve enough to think they “own” their room. We keep one of these above every door in the house and have used them so many times I have lost count.
If you are using the rubber ones to prevent head bashing, great! If you are using those crazy contraption ones to prevent little hands from opening doors, you are wasting your money. We had one on our front door. The irony was that the toddlers it was supposed to keep safe were the only ones who could work it. Save yourself the trouble and money; invest in a door chain. They can get the door open but not enough to get out of the house.
- Remember to unlatch it before your husband gets home. Turns out he gets cranky when he’s chained out of the house after work… especially if you’re downstairs and don’t hear him yelling.
Move the Baby Gate
These are fine on the floor when baby first starts moving. Once they become toddlers, though, the baby gate turns into an obstacle to overcome. It is their baby Everest and they are up to the challenge. That is why you should move the gate up a few inches during the toddler years. It will be harder for them to climb.
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Stickers are your new best friend. They are inexpensive and can be used to re-enforce everything from potty training to acts of kindness. Yes, you will find stickers everywhere but which would you rather clean: a sticker mosaic or a feces Van Gough?
- If you do find yourself forced to clean up that Van Gough, use a foaming bathtub cleaner like Scrubbing Bubbles. It will stay in place on walls to make cleaning easier.
Tie Up the Play Yard
At some point after the “throw all my toys out and watch you pick them up” phase of the pack-n-play your child will move on to a new game. This fun game is called “run and throw all of my weight against the side”. My son could move his clear across the living room in 2 runs at 2 years old. You can prevent this by tying the leg of the pack-n-play to a sturdy furniture leg like the couch or a sturdy coffee table.
Use a Pizza Cutter
Don’t use a pizza cutter only for pizza. This little miracle can cut up tons of foods quickly and easily. We have used it on salads, spaghetti, hot dogs, fruit, and cookies. It will save you a ton of time!
Set Up 2 Wi-fi Accounts
Did you know that you can set up 2 accounts on the same router that both pull from the same internet? You can even choose the speed of each one. Use one wi-fi to connect all of your household devices to like your Fire Stick and DVD players. Use the other one for all of your kids’ devices like phones, laptops, and Xboxes. If the kids are grounded you can easily disable their electronic with affecting your own.
You’ll be the smartest parent on the block with these parenting tips no one tells you. Hopefully you’ll be less stressed, too, because parenting is stressful enough on its own. Want more super-simple parenting ideas to save you sanity? Check out these DIY Busted Cards and these 5 Tips to Get Kids to Sleep. Do you have a parenting tip no one tells you? Share it with us in the comments!