Tips & Hacks

No one is born knowing how to raise children. Get a few tips & techniques from experienced parents who have been there.

A place for parents to share their favorite DIY projects and discuss useful tips about time management, parenting hacks and more.

C posted in Behavior Jan 12

How to teach toddler to pick up after himself on his own?

My 16 month old will only put away his toys or pick up his mess/trash if I sit him there and make him watch me clean up. He’ll mimic, but only sometimes. I see kids who clean up after themselves without being made to do it. How do you instill that into a toddler?

  • Jennifer
    Thursday

    Consistency is definitely right. When my kids were 2, I remember stepping on their toy and actually broke by it cracking in half. I picked it up and showed my kids. I said, once your toys are broken it's going in the trash. So I grabbed the trash can, and threw the toy into the trash in front of them. I said, if you don't want your toys being broken and thrown away, then you need t... More

C posted in Money Jan 07

When to teach children about money, and how?

I want to teach my son financial literacy as soon as it’s best for him to grasp the concept. He’s 16 months old currently. I’ve got three questions: 1. What are some signs to look for that it’s the right time for him to start? I don’t want to start too young or too late. 2. What are your recommendations for techniques and reading materials? 3. Perhaps more pressingly: what are your recommen... More

  • Momof2
    Jan 08

    I am working on learning financial tips myself. There are lots of podcasts. I have been listening to choose FI podcast and like it.

  • Sarah
    Jan 11

    My son has had a bank account almost since birth and we take him to deposit his money after he gets it for birthdays & such. We’ve also let him help with sliding credit cards or giving cash when checking out and put a dollar in the basket at church. He’s obsessed with “money” as he says, which pretty much means he just wants to go to the store. Not quite understanding it at age 2 but he’ll ... More

Creative ways to eat nutritiously?

Hi All! Post-holidays, I know that there is a lot of talk about eating nutritiously. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for "stealthily healthy" and creative snacks? Ways to encourage kids to eat greens and other nutritious items? Previously, I've baked avocado and spinach/kale into brownies, and "hidden" greens in fruit smoothies. Then there's always the cl... More

  • Catherine
    Jan 08

    I tried a version of energy bites, they were a hit for 2 days. I also liked them as a snack. I just used what I had at home. Blended toasted coconut, Cheerios, oatmeal and some blueberries. Once ground into a bit of a flour consistency, I hand mixed some maple syrup and peanut butter - just enough to bind it without making it too sticky. I used a cookie scoop and rolled them into balls. Keep r... More

  • Amanda
    Jan 08

    Catherine - yes!!! I used to make these all the time & I’d throw in chia seeds/chocolate chips/dried oats. I’ll be bringing these back into a regular snack rotation ASAP! Thank you!!

Has anyone tried these cards?

I heard about these conscious communication cards the other day on a podcast and I really like the idea of having something to reference other than a parenting book. Plus I like they have been broken up into categories seems like they would be useful. Just wanted to get feedback from anybody who’s actually used them. Did you like them? What age/ages were your kiddos when you used them? https:/... More

Anonymous posted in Babywearing Dec 12

How do I leave the house?!

I have a 2yo still naps religiously and a 4mo who we are just starting to get on a regular nap schedule. I am just wondering how other parents in this situation found success in leaving the house for errands, appointments, etc. I feel a bit trapped in the house (it's also winter in New England) and don't know how to go about doing this. Maybe I just need to give it some time? I'm no... More

  • Kieli
    Dec 13

    I just go ... mornings are usually busy, my baby wakes up early and my toddler sleeps in. So after my baby goes down for her morning nap, I get my toddler ready and fed. Then after the baby wakes I get her dressed and then leave immediately. I try not to be out of the house for more than an hour or two tops, my baby gets cranky when she’s in the car seat for too long. My toddler has not been wa... More

  • Jennie
    Dec 16

    I have 5 kids under 9 so trust me when I say I've been working around nap schedules for years. Lol At 4 months, the nap schedule isn't totally consistent yet so don't kill yourself over it but in the next couple months this is what I usually do... errands/park/library etc. are done in the morning. Baby naps in stroller or in carrier. We get home by lunch time, or plan to eat out/pa... More

Anonymous posted in Behavior Dec 11

How do you get anything done?

I’m a believer and practicer of gentle parenting (I’m not perfect, but it’s the method I use most often and believe is the best). My son is almost 2 and I have gotten virtually nothing done since he was born outside of his naps or if I stay up really late. I’m wondering how any of you moms get anything done? It seems like every time he sees me doing something that doesn’t revolve around him, he... More

  • HR
    Dec 13

    It doesn’t work *every* time, but I’ve found some success with trying to include my 2-year-old when I’m doing things: asking him to “help” me pick up, giving him his own paper/pen when paying bills & asking him for “help” by writing on his own paper, giving him a piece of laundry to “fold,” giving him a pot & a spoon so he can “cook” at the kitchen table while I cook at the stove... I m... More

  • Ayla Sutton
    Dec 18

    I have a box of toys that I take out when I need my 2yr old entertained so I can get something done and it's the only time this box comes out. It makes them seem really special even though it's just a box of inexpensive dollar store stuff. Then when we are done, the box gets put away again.

Weaning 19 mo old

Any tips on weaning an extreme boob loving 19 mo old? He crys and hits me if I tell him no more milkies. Help!

  • Mimi
    Dec 28

    I would start to set boundaries. For instance, I would say “Yep! We can boobie. Let’s count to 10!” Count slowly and with silly voices. Make it fun. Then when it’s time say “Other side! Let’s count backwards!” And do the same thing. Then? It’s time to play! Get up. Run around. Stop offering. Change things up, don’t sit in your normal bf area. And also? Distract! You want boobies? Cool! Let’s tr... More

  • Liz
    Dec 28

    Thank you so much for all the advice! He’s officially weaned!!! And he’s sooo much happier!

Tips on preventing sickness

What are tips, habits you use to help prevent your child catching sickness from daycare? Especially during this time of year it seems more and more kids are getting sick and passing it along to the other kids at daycare/preschool. Are there helpful preventatives for babies and toddlers?

  • Molly
    Dec 05

    Following. We have been pretty much constantly sick since school started. I try to have us wash our hands when we come inside, but it’s hard with a headstrong 4 year old, a forgetful mom and a baby to boot. They are not good about hand washing at my daughters school, which is frustrating. Also, my daughter likes to finish her snack outside school after pick up, so she’s eating with those dirty ... More

  • anonymous mom
    Dec 05

    Wash hands all the time, teach your children early to sneeze/cough into their arm (elbow area) and to turn their bodies from others when they sneeze. It takes tons of repetition but my 2.5 year old is getting there. Also start early with repeating not to put their hands in their eyes or mouth without washing first. Elderberry is the new açaí berry. Lol. It’s become all the rage in the last 10... More

Kate posted in Holidays Nov 26

Christmas Tree Fence?

Anyone have any experience with these? I have a curious and active 1yo and she gets into everything. How do I keep her from tipping over the Christmas tree?

Anonymous posted in Sleep Nov 22

Sleep training 18mo

Are there any parents out there who have any experience sleep training their 18mo? My LO still needs to be held and have bottle in order to go to bed/nap. She also gets up during the night usually only once for a bottle but sometimes she gets up for a cuddle session. Looking for some tips and tricks to sleep train an older infant. Don’t mean to be harsh but looking only for responses from ... More

  • Catherine
    Nov 25

    It took a good solid week but got better each night. It sounds like our son was a lot worse than your daughter though since he was waking frequently all night. The first couple of nights, he’d wake every hour or two and cry for up to 30-60 mins. Our neighbors weren’t pleased, and it was brutal on us as well. Our dr firmly encouraged it though. I cried a bit, had some wine before bed, and we’d w... More

  • Penelope
    Dec 02

    Throw the bottle out and let them learn to cope. It may drive you nuts but it’ll only get worse the longer it goes.

Anonymous posted in Potty Training Nov 20

Potty training

I am going to start trying to potty training my 21 month old over the holiday break. I always thought I would wait until 2 1/2 or 3 but he is showing a lot of the signs of readiness (occasionally asking to go on the potty, telling me before he goes, asking for his diaper to be changed, etc). What strategies worked best for you? I’m currently reading “oh crap” but would like some insight as well.

  • Kristen
    Nov 20

    I read ‘Oh Crap’ and I found it very useful. Capitalize on those signs of readiness you’ve seen in your son by starting the method when you have the most time to dedicate to it (holiday break is perfect). Read the whole book now and summarize it for your partner and/or other caregivers so you know it well when you start. Have your son practice pulling his pants down. My daughter was 22 months w... More

  • Anonymous
    Nov 20

    We used oh crap method as well, took 10 days for complete success! I also joined the oh crap page on fb and found the support and outreach to be really helpful if I had questions

Tips and tricks on breastfeeding and pumping??

I’m being induced this Saturday ( 23rd ) and plan on breast feeding. Was never able to breast feed or get enough through a pump for it to be useful. Any tips or tricks you fellow mommas have to share?

  • Christina
    Nov 19

    A pump will never be as good as your baby. Get baby to breast right away and as often as they want at at least every 3 hours. I’ve breastfed all of my kids including twins exclusively. See a lactation consultant. It might help to pump after each nursing session. Also, fenugreek worked well in boosting my supply along with plenty of good carbs like oatmeal. Keep hydrated! Congrats and good luck!

A posted in Flying Nov 09

I’ve read through quite a few posts but still need advice

We will be traveling from ca to Hawaii in April with a 2 yr old and 9 yr old that have never been on a plane. We will have family with us but I still want my kids to be as comfortable as I can make them any advice/tips?

  • A
    Dec 14

    Thank you both. Appreciate the advice on an umbrella stroller, we will be taking car seat with us which I know will be a pain. I’m hoping between snacks and toys I can keep him occupied for 6 hours luckily we are in front row for flight there. Are there any restrictions on bringing snacks? Do they have to be sealed? Or can I bring ziplock bags with stuff

  • PK
    Dec 14

    As long as the snacks aren’t liquid or of gel like substance, you can bring them with you however you like. Fruit or apple sauce pouches need to follow that rule of being less than 3.2 oz I think. Something like that.

Anonymous posted in Bathing Nov 04

Tips for toddler bath (hair)?

Our LO is about to be 18 months and adores bath time with one exception—washing hair. She likes having her scalp rubbed but hates the rinse step. As she’s gotten bigger it’s difficult to get her to sit, and helping her tilt her head back to keep from being (practically) water boarded is proving impossible. Any tips appreciated...unfortunately, the visor-type bath hats are not an option

  • Penelope
    Dec 02

    I tell my daughter to look for the stars or I let her rinse it with the shower that comes off. Or she gets in her eyes. Life’s not always easy or good. But you Learn by mistakes

  • anonymous mom
    Dec 06

    I tell her to hum a tune, it’s time to rinse. Humming automatically forces you to breathe out of your nose so it prevents her from inhaling the water. It’s actually not recommended to teach kids to hold their breath...when they do they instinctively inhale deeply and hold. Not a problem for a bath with water over your head but never a good idea in a pool. You don’t want kids learning to hold th... More

Sara posted in Behavior Oct 29

Getting toddler out the door

My son is almost 2.5yo and is very interested in dictating what he does, doing everything himself, and throwing tantrums if one little thing goes wrong. I can normally deal with the outbursts, whining and tantrums, but when we have to leave the house to go somewhere it gets ridiculous. We have a pretty consistent morning routine and I’ve lately taken the “Positive Discipline” advice of talkin... More

  • Anonymous
    Nov 01

    Ive always been curious about the “give to options and let them pick” idea because when I try that my son yells NO to both options 🙄

  • Nancy
    Nov 03

    I have the same problem with my 2.5yo. My approach is to make a list together with him in the morning of the tasks that need to get done on paper and let him hold the paper list while we do each of the things. Because he helps to make the list, he is then very excited to do all the tasks.

Anonymous posted in Marriage & Partnership Oct 28

Attempting to be Patient with my Husband

I’m a full time working mom of twins, my husband works full time too. Life is busy life is stressful. My husband is a great Dad. But he is not good with helping around the house. He works a 9-5 type job, he usually goes to the gym and doesn’t get home until 7:30ish pm. I do shift work, so I work 7-7 three days a week. The kids are with Grandma when we are both at work. The issue with my schedul... More

  • B
    Oct 29

    My husband and I sat down and made a list of all the things. Literally all the things. Then we each picked big jobs that are done regularly and took them. No nagging. Just ours to do. He chose dishes and I chose grocery shopping, for example. Then we swap other jobs depending who has time. But no nagging anymore, since we are both clear on what’s divided. It was a marriage saver.

  • B
    Oct 29

    We did it after I read a few articles about mom mental load, and shared that idea with him

Anonymous posted in Money Oct 26

Couponing

Does anyone use coupons for grocery shopping? I feel like this is a dumb question, but I’ve tried websites and looking in the mail for flyers before and think I may be missing something because I rarely find coupons or they don’t seem to offer significant savings (usually I see promos for sales, but not a true “coupon.) I’m not trying to be an extreme couponer, but if it’s easy enough I’m inte... More

  • Jessica
    Oct 31

    I had the best luck couponing when I was part of a group that did a coupon swap. We would bring coupons that we didn’t use and it helped the rest of us get ones we actually needed. I saved 10% regularly! That being said, you can’t be very brand loyal if you want to maximize savings. It’s work but can save you.

  • Tina
    Nov 21

    I use rakuten. I get money back for shopping online and I like my credit card to my account so when I use the card in any store I get cash back. It’s great.

Brushing Teeth Nightmare

My LO is 15 months old and absolutely hates having her teeth brushed, and always has. It had not gotten any better, even with letting her hold the brush, pretending to brush my own, singing a song or just bearing through the crying. There has got to be something else i can try. Any suggestions???

  • Yanis
    Oct 27

    I play this song for my daughter and it gets her so excited to brush her teeth 😂 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wxMrtK-kYnE

  • C
    Nov 29

    If it’s any consolation, our pediatric dentist who has her own kids age 3+ told us there’s really no way to get them to like it. With her own kids she brushes their teeth through their crying - even easier when they cry, she said, because they keep their mouths open - until one day, around age 3, they’re capable enough to stop you, and then the fight to make them brush their own teeth begins. ... More

Anonymous posted in Marriage & Partnership Oct 22, 2019

Vacationing with a 3 year old

I am a stay at home mom and in need of a break as I am the primary caregiver for my child. When we last went on vacation over a year ago, I suggested to my husband that we share some tasks such as taking turns to feed dinner, going to the beach with our kid etc so that We both could get some Me time on vacation. My husband is super nice but clueless about taking the initiative to do baby-chores... More

  • Katie
    Oct 23

    So, just because you stay at home to be a caregiver to your child and do the majority of the domestic stuff, doesn't mean he gets to skip out on doing his fair share. Otherwise you will never, ever, ever get a break (and start to resent your family) because childcare never ends. Realistically, your "work at home job" obligation is equivalent to whatever hours he is working at his... More

  • Anonymous
    Oct 25

    I’m on the same boat. But even when my husband tries to take care of my 2 yr old daughter, my daughter cries for me. So I accepted it already that I don’t get me time on vacations/ even at home (as much as the husband ). At the end of the day even if it’s late at night I try to have my me time when I finish my chores and when everybody’s asleep. We run out of patience sometimes it’s ok. It’s ... More

HELP Potty training TIPS

Any & all tips on potty training. We are currently on day 2 today, We are doing the 3 day method potty training Basically he’s naked all day. I am Aware 3days May vary, but we’re shooting for consistency. Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far He sits on potty willingly ✔️ Pee in the potty 4 time, but only when I Initiated potty time✔️ He likes to celebrate when he pees in potty ✔️ N... More

  • K.A.M.
    Oct 17, 2019

    Make sure to keep fiber intake HIGH. My son started to withhold his poo’s when we started potty training and it has created a world of problems. We’re 3 months into this and cannot get him to commit to pooping on the potty. He will make himself sick holding it in, so then we cave and give him a pull up to poop. And round and round we go. We even have him on steady miralax, not helping. Hopefull... More

  • PK
    Oct 17, 2019

    Let him watch you poop. Exaggerate the pushing sound and expression on your face and then once you get it out show relief. Let him see the poop in the toilet and YOU flush it down. My son loves to flush the toilet, especially poop since it’s solid and much cooler to watch go down than just liquid. So because it was my poop, I got to flush it. I told him if he pooped, he could flush it. We did s... More

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