Sunday, January 8, 2012

2Y50D: 10 parenting tips I can't emphasize enough (plus reader amendments)

10 parenting tips I believe every (new) parent needs to know:

1.  Take Pictures and Print them.
     - You'll take hundreds and hundreds of pictures.  Print them and make albums.  Make albums for yourself and make a few the kids can look at anytime they want to.  Snapfish, My Publisher, and others have great deals on photo books.  My son loves to look at them.  It also brings friends and family into everyday conversation especially if you live far away from them.

2. Mind your manners
     -Always say please, thank you, and excuse me. Knock on closed doors, and teach a "clean-up" song of your choosing. Once they are old enough to talk, it'll be hard to start the process.  If you mind your manners always, they will, too. (hopefully)

3.  Keep a New Born diaper/ or size 1 around for comparison.
     -Though neither of my kids wore newborn diapers (even in the hospital when they were born) we had some from a baby shower.  Keep one around for comparison.  It's amazing how fast they grow, and before you know it, they'll be in size 4's learning to potty train.  Currently I have both my kids in size 4 diapers ( yes, at 5 months...I know, crazy, right?) and I can't believe just a few short months ago she wasn't even here.  PLUS, the NB diapers are perfect for baby dolls when the kids are old enough to play with them (should they so choose)

4.  Keep one outfit from a time that makes you smile -
     - Do you have a memory box?  I do.  I toss a couple of things in it here and there.  The tags from when they first came home, some cards, a lock of hair, the feet I cut out of PJ's, and one outfit that makes me smile.  Before you know it you'll have bags and bags of clothes that don't fit.  Save one.

5.  Practice makes permanent -
    -Don't do anything you don't want to keep doing over and over again.  For example, getting my son to fall asleep is the worst thing in our house.  We've read all the books, tried all the methods, got yelled at by our friends for not being hard enough/strong enough parents, and you know how my son still have to fall asleep nearly every night?  We drive him.  It's ridiculous.  My daughter can be put down sleepy and fall asleep on her own in her crib (unless she is uncomfortable) and most of the time it works, she falls asleep.  I can't go back and do it differently, I wish I could.

6.  Make an emergency kit and keep it in the bag you carry with you everyday separate from your diaper bag-
    -There will be a time that you are so tired you forget the diaper bag and that will be the day your kid will have a huge poop blow-out in the car seat while you going to the grocery store.  I make an emergency kit in a gallon zip-lock baggie.  My kit contains 3 diapers, some wipes, a bib, a pacifier, a burp cloth, and an outfit for each of my kids.  I also keep a bottle of pediasure in my bag (just in case), tylenol, and gas drops.

Here is what mine looks like:

 (the cat is not included)

7. You'll need more bibs with water resistant liners than you think.
     -Once teething starts ( in my case, it started at 2 months) We go through 5-7 bibs a day, more on some days. If we had a washer/dryer that we didn't have to pay for, we'd have a wash going twice a day.

8.  Have books...lots and lots of kid books.
     -Instill a love of real books, not e-books, with your children.  Have a little library area where, as many times a day you have to clean them up, they can look at, read, play with them.  Also, if you have special books, don't leave those out unless taping the pages back together is something you'd be OK with.  Our son's favorite book is an airplane book.  There is packaging tape on just about every page inside as well as on the spine keeping this book together.  He loves it.

9.  It's within reach, even if you don't think it is.
    -Nothing seems to be high enough, out of reach enough, or behind an impenetrable baby gate.  Toddler proofing seems like something I strive to do everyday, yet never fully succeed at.  If we had less stuff, it might be easier.  Get child locks.  Make sure he can't get out before he really can open the door.

10.  When things get really rough - odds are they'll just get rougher.
     -I wish it were easier.  I wish it were as fun having babies as was making babies, but it isn't.  Times get tough, times get rough, times get down right pull your hair out, cry your eyes out, throw the towel in hard.  And then they get harder.  I've found the best way to get through those times is to write about it.  Sometimes it's so tough it's just funny.  Laugh out loud.  Shake your head, even throw that towel, but find humor in the rough times.  Whether you find yourself covered in puke, poop, AND milk all at the same time, and one of the kids decides to dump your bottle of tums all over the floor then tries to eat one, and your cleaning, calling poison control, changing, and putting the other kid in time out ALL at the same time  - stop (after your realize TUMS isn't poisonous) and laugh as you finish cleaning.  It'll make it easier, I promise.

The following are reader amendments:

11. As posted before in the last time I called poison control, memorize the number for poison control.
     -You never know what your kids are going to get into - we didn't.  So far we've had to call about:  butt cream, fish food, cat litter, windex, TUMS, and white acrylic paint.  All of those is small amounts require giving baby lots of water and flushing out their mouths - nothing too serious.  One time, my son got into the fish food and aquaphor at the same time: he made a lovely colorful paste that stained the couches, walls, his outfit and was a lovely schmear all over his face.

12.  Choose to find the joy in your children
     -No need to explain this one, but remember it (refer to #10 above)

13.  Choose to find joy in your marriage.
     -So true.  Remember you married the person of your dreams, not just the parent of your children.  If you're not married/in a relationship, refer to #12.

14.  Play a game that only you and your child shares - eg "tickle fight"
     -There are few things as joyous as the sound of a child's' laughter.  My husband has games he plays with the kids, and I have "kiss attacks,"  My son doesn't like if I do "tickle fights" with him just like he doesn't like when my husband does "kiss attacks"  Find your niche.


  1. 11. Put poison control's number on your phone.

    12. Choose to find the joy in your children.

    13. Choose to find the joy in your marriage.

    14. Tickle fight.

  2. hahahaha 1. - the poison control number is both on the phone AND on the refrigerator. 2. - I agree with the amendments 3. - 14 can include "kiss attacks"