Need your Parenting Tips!

by Cat on April 27, 2010

Chronicle Books needs your help! Designing Mom Aya passed this along from a fellow editor who is hoping we can all lend some of our very favorite tips on parenting. I know all of you have tons of great advice and juicy tips on parenting whether learned the hard way or gleaned from fellow moms. Please feel free to leave as many comments and tips below as you want! I’ll pull one and you’ll get the “French General Party Paperie Set” thanks to Designing Mom Aya.
I’m in need of some good tips myself so can’t wait to hear from all of you!


From Chronicle Books:

We need your help. Here at the Lifestyle Headquarters we’re developing a book on parenting time-savers, money-savers, and sanity-savers. It’s from Kerry Colburn and Rob Sorensen, authors of How to Have Your Second Child First and it’s aimed at parents of kids from birth to age two.
As a parent, it’s likely you have a whole lot of tricks up your sleeve to help you get through each day: small things that make a big difference. They may be new discoveries (if you put the Cheerios down low, your kid can now get them himself!) or things that have now become second nature in your house (naming each of her teeth helps keep her interested in brushing them). Either way, it’s time to pass them on to other parents. We’re asking you to submit your best tips. We can’t pay you for your genius shortcuts, but we can offer you buckets of gratitude and perhaps some baked treats. Do it today while it’s fresh in your sleep-deprived mind! Here are some examples to help you along:

    • Keep a pre-packed diaper bag near the door so you can get out of the house more quickly. The longer it takes you to get organized, the more likely you’ll just bail on the whole outing. (SANITY SAVER)
    • Bathe your baby and yourself at the same time. It’s a great solution when you realize no one has cleaned themselves in three days. (TIME SAVER)
    • Get all your kids’ videos and CDs at the library. It never fails that once you buy their favorite one, they lose interest in it almost immediately. (MONEY SAVER)

Above: French General Party Paperie.
**Please leave a comment on this post with any of your tips. Thank you!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin Sweeney April 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Cloth Diapers make great burp cloths. And when they get worn, you can create "lovey" blankets out of them with some stuffing, needle and and colorful threads.

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Renee April 27, 2010 at 12:40 pm

keep a basket of toys in each room so you don't have to haul toys to one room to save,put a basket by the door so when you are about to leave the room,just drop the in the basket…when kids are old enough teach them to save the toys themselves and make it look fun. :)

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Ruth Mecham April 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I buy the same bobbie socks for my 3 year old daughter and my 1 year old boy (they both almost wear the same size shoe now). I just fold them over when she is wearing them and leave them up when he is wearing them. It saves me tons of time when I have to match up socks and it's cheaper to buy one big package of the same socks. No more trying to find the other pink sock or blue striped sock for me!

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Complete Kitchens Colorado April 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Feed your children what you eat – makes mealtimes so much easier and pleasant.

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Complete Kitchens Colorado April 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Learn to love thrift stores – my daughters' cutest outfits came from thrift stores, saved a bundle, and a "greener" alternative to malls, boutiques and department stores.

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Angela April 27, 2010 at 4:03 pm

My first is due in August, but I already have a tip that's helped us out. Let your friends know what you need – if their kids have outgrown it, they're likely to loan or give it to you. This has saved us tons of money, and will give us a chance to try out some things (like baby carriers) without buying them first.

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Erin Owes April 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I have two:

1) Don't buy everything before you have the baby. Let people get you just the super basics at your baby shower-the stuff that you need the first couple weeks. Then return everything else for gift certificates. After you have the baby, then decide what you need based on what sort of child you have. You realize you need a lot less than you thought and everything you get you will actually use rather than let it sit in the corner.

2) I recently read this tip that I love. When deciding if you can afford to have a baby, look up the cost of the childcare you want for your baby in the area. For 4-6 months while you are trying to decide, put away that sum of money every month in a different account. This will let you know if you can afford a baby, and if you can, you will have a nice little sum that might allow you the extend your parent leave or help pay for something you wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise.

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hen and barley press April 27, 2010 at 5:38 pm

My three boys are 11, 10 and 4 and my tips are more generic:

– With your first, you think many good things are attributable to superior parenting on your part. A second child quickly shows you otherwise, so cut other people and yourself some slack. A great child is not made solely by making all the right choices all the time, just do the best you can!

– Keep socks in a big basket next to whichever door you use most. It keeps the morning scramble to a minimum and the kids always know where to find them.

– In the same vein as the above tip, if your child is old enough to be involved in activities like team sports or have homework, have a box (anything will do) for that activity's gear or schoolwork & always keep it in the same place. This cuts down on the "Mom! Where is/are my {insert item here}?".

– If I had a first floor or larger laundry room, I'd totally put the kids' dressers in there (or put the clothes on shelves) to cut down on laundry put away time & keep it all in one place.

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jackie April 27, 2010 at 7:54 pm

a few random thoughts:

look around your house for things to play with vs. buying tons of toys. tupperware, spoons, rocks, pasta noodles, shoe boxes – they all make for great development games for little kids.

i also try to minimize the number of toys the kids play with. less is more, too much clutter makes it hard for the kids to focus and makes for a huge mess to clean up day in and day out. i do this my cleaning out their toy bins every few months and rotating things, taking some away and replacing them with others that they haven't played with in a long time.

let kids help you with every day tasks. again, no need for tons of fancy toys to fill your afternoons. as soon as simon was able to stand on his own, we would prop him up on a chair against the kitchen counter and give him his own little bowl and spoon to pretend cook along side us. we give him a wet cloth to wipe the table, a broom to sweep, and let him "fold" the laundry. these make for fun, simple games to play with the kids.

lasty, organization is key. have little stations around the house for books, toys, diaper/wipes, don't just relegate everything to one room in the house.

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wsxwhx727 April 28, 2010 at 7:05 am
Priya April 28, 2010 at 2:15 pm

In case of midnight diaper leaks, layer your crib bedding with two sheets with waterproof pads between. If you have a leak, just take off the first layer and your baby is good to go right back down.

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Renee April 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I was just remembering this that I used to do…at one time I had 2 toddlers that both drank from sippy cups so I got them their own different colored cups to avoid spreading any sick germs by not knowing who drank out of which cup.

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Renee April 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Save all the clothes and baby items you can store for the next baby…I have 3 kids, each 2 years apart & I will tell you that it has saved us a lot of money!You won't believe this,but I still have the cloth diapers & coverups from my last daughter who wore them 10 years ago….yes,we plan to have more kids so I know I will use them.I just couldn't bare to throw them out since I didn't know anybody who used cloth diapers.

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Renee April 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm

another tip I have- don't listen to the people who tell you that you hold your baby too much….this is when they need you the most & not only that,when they get older,they don't like hugs & tickles as much…I know. :(

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Renee April 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

sign up at all the baby sites for samples.I remember a time when I ran out of diapers and was on my last & waiting for my husband to come home & in the mail I received free samples of diapers…those samples come in handy & you can get so many things,along with coupons.

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Audrey April 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm

These are really great tips! One thing I did is instill reading in my daughter from birth. She's an avid reader now at age 10. Recently I've been enjoying a really helpful parenting book called, "Break Free of Parenting Pressures," which has some other great tips on why we parent the way we do and areas we can get stronger in. You should check it out!

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shinmin April 29, 2010 at 4:35 am

Read to your baby while he/she is in the womb. Your baby can hear the cadence in your voice and will learn to recognize and love the rhythm of reading after birth. I'm not sure if I can give all the credit to this tip, but I did it and my one year old LOVES reading.

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Renee April 29, 2010 at 1:12 pm

When my girls were much smaller,I used to take them a bath together…of course we had a bigger tub but it made life so much easier not having to do 3 separate baths & they had fun together. :) I think my husband would like them to do the same now as teenagers since they consume so much water taking long bath & showers….ok,so I am exaggerating (or am I?) :)

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nicole May 1, 2010 at 7:46 am

let them get dirty, let them be free to explore (as long as its safe) and its ok to get off the schedule once in a while! love all the moments with them good and bad- they grow up so quickly.

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