Today I have a guest post from the lovely Janine at Unhinged Mummy – Tears & Tantrums. She has written a great post telling us her top tips when it comes to toddlers. I need all the tips I can get! Here is Janine with her top ten.
I’m going to share with you my top ten toddler survival tips but please bear in my mind that I’m no expert when it comes to kids. Not in the least. However, as the mum of a seventeen, three and one year old, I do have a little bit of first hand experience and this is just a little bit of knowledge that I’ve picked up along the way.
1) Do not buy black furniture. You’d think you’d be safe with black right? Wrong! Black is even worse than white. Black shows up every fleck of dust and every tiny greasy finger print. I learnt this the hard way after trading in all our white and wooden furniture for black. Trust me. Don’t do it.
2) If you have a baby and a toddler buy a sling. At the very least it will get you through those early days when your newborn naturally wants to be attached to you 24/7 and you’re going out of your mind because life goes on and you still have a million and one other things to do. There’s nothing wrong with your tiny newborn wanting to be in your arms all day, but its not always feasible, especially when you also have a toddler to look after. When you have a crying newborn, a screaming toddler a pile of dirty washing, a whole house to clean and your husband is no where to be seen, you’ll be very glad you bought one.
3) Always always have kitchen towel to hand. There will be lots of spills that you will want to absorb quickly. From cups of milk and bowls of cereal to projectile vomit and wee, you will want rid of it as soon as possible and in my experience kitchen towel is the most efficient way.
4) Get a good carpet cleaner. – To use after you’re done with the kitchen towel. You won’t want to be going backwards and forwards all day with a bucket of hot soapy water, and you won’t want your toddler soaking themselves with said soapy water while your back is turned cleaning up the last lot of mess they made. If you have carpet and kids, believe me when I tell you that a carper cleaner is kind of an investment.
5) Don’t buy a ball pool. Yes, your toddler will undoubtedly have hours of fun playing in it but they also like to throw the balls everywhere. Picking them up? Not so much. The balls roll underneath the T.V, underneath the sofa and end up in places you just wouldn’t imagine. The other day I found one in one of my husbands boots, in a completely different room to the ball pool. Also, it’s very stressful to say the least when each time you throw a ball in come ‘tidy up time’ your toddler and pre-schooler throw one back out. One in, two out and it’s really not funny, although my kids seem to think otherwise, and just as you think you’ve got the last one in and can breathe a sigh of relief, you spot another one over by the sofa out of the corner of your eye. I’ve usually had enough by this point and just kick it underneath but a word to the wise…. buy an indoor trampolene or something instead.
6) Understand that there is no such thing as a non leak toddler cup. Over the years I must have tried them all and they’re fine for about a week or so and then randomly and unexpectedly they start to leak. You end up with very wet belongings and a mission to find another non leak cup. Take my advice and give up now. Stop wasting your time. You won’t find one.
7) Don’t blame yourself if your baby (or in my case, three year old) is still not sleeping through the night or sleeping in their own bed. It’s not anything you did wrong. You just have a shit sleeper. Just go with what you think is best for you and your child (in my case it’s co-sleeping) and throw away all those stupid books you may have lying around. Those books don’t know your child and this not sleeping thing won’t last forever (I hope).
9) Pick your battles. This is probably the best piece of advice I have ever been given regarding toddlers. If you’re toddler is doing something that may result in them hurting themselves or someone else then sure, go ahead and yell at them, but if they want ketchup with their roast dinner or want to take their toothbrush to bed with them then where’s the harm? Toddlers are hard enough to cope with as it is sometimes so why make things even harder?
9) Always have a bottle of wine in the fridge. If you dont like wine, vodka will do. Now I’m not vsaying that you should drink a bottle of wine or vodka every night but there’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a really trying day, the kids have gone to bed, your husband is on the late shift or you’re a single parent, and you could really really do with a glass of wine or two. Only, when you open the fridge door you realise that you polished it off just a couple of days ago on what was also a particularly trying day. (This happens to me more times than I should admit to).
And last but not least the most important survival tip of all:
10) Remember that these days won’t last forever. One day our toddlers will fly the nest and we’ll be wishing we had sleepless nights and dirty nappies back again. At least that’s what they tell me!