I asked you guys, my lovely readers, for your little parenting tips. Here are your very thoughtful (and sometimes very funny) responses. To see the complete list click here for Mamatoga Magazine’s Spring Issue 2015.
James: Never pass up a request to read a book.
Andrea: The days are long, but the years are short…
Bridgette: Never say no to cuddles, even if it’s so they can get out of bed!
Toni: Never pass up hand me downs…don’t be afraid to ask for help….and above all stick to a routine as much as possible. No matter the age, kids need a routine to monitor their bodies and help them grow both physically and mentally. It’s okay to have special days and long nights every now and then, but in general it should be the same every day/night. I tell every new mom this whenever I’m asked for advice.
Sam: Play first! Laundry, dishes, dinner even, can wait. Don’t pass up that opportunity to play, laugh and bond with your babes!
Jennifer: The more you have the better you get! I’m a mom of four and I often think back to my first baby and how far I’ve come! I’ve grown so much and I am more confident in my parenting decisions and just as a person in general.
Pepe: Keep baby wipes in every room and every car! We’re potty trained but still use them for everything, faces, hands, spills, toys, and a quick wipe-down of just about anything!
Mary: As a parent of teenagers, you have taught them right and wrong and they heard you and know. Your job then is not one of making choices for them but of helping them face and deal with the consequences – good or bad – of the choices THEY make. Be there for them, not to DO for them.
Robin: Schedule their sleep & be vigilant about it – they need a ton of rest & you need alone time. It’s so hard making good parenting decisions when my instinct is to avoid tears , arguments , etc. But being their friend is not going to do them any good- sigh!
Robin: Oh & in retrospect I’d buy all the same exact pair of socks for them. Like identical, plain white socks. Same goes for burp clothes & sippy cups.
Bridgette: Write all the things down in a notebook you can share with them later in life. Things they say, things you think about them, their favorite songs and books. Already, even at 3 and 5, my kids love hearing about stories when they were babies. Sometimes I read back through what I’ve written and realize I’d completely forgotten that Celia said “piggy bank ride” or Parker called Buzz from Toy Story Buzz “Right Here.” This sage advice came from a mother of 5
Kim: Don’t judge….yourself or other moms. It will make your life so much happier. As long as you’re trying your best that’s good enough and you never know what another mom is going through so don’t judge her either…
Leah: When kids are babies, DO NOT encourage attachment to large puppies and/or any large, cumbersome stuffed animals and 2 blankets, etc. Think ahead. Instead, give them something like a “lovie” and avoid being an anxious pack mule for approx 4 years (speaking from experience).
Abby: That the saying “sleep when your baby sleeps” is not practical. It just doesn’t work.
Kathleen: For baby girls, I used tights instead of socks until they were 1. They couldn’t pull them off so their feet stayed warm! Worked like a charm
Nancy: Cheerios… Accepting help from kind friends and family when you need it… Outfits that zip or button so you avoid putting clothes over wobbly baby heads… Patience
Susan: Take time to enjoy your kids. They grow up really fast.
Sabrina: Baby sleeping…I gave both of our kids a lovey when they were first born. Whenever they went to bed, lovey was always in their hand. It was a lifesaver. Within weeks, both of our kids were great sleepers and when they needed comfort, or woke up, they would search for their lovey and snuggle back in. They are 5 and 2 and still reach for their lovies in their sleep. It’s the best thing we did.
Meghan: When traveling with kids, pack pipecleaners. They are cheap, light, quiet and can be used to create a variety of fun things.
Mamatoga: My first piece of advice, that I have already shared here but will share again because they are that good is TARGET DIAPERS! The best (and cheap)! xoxo