Tricks of the Trade

Get answers to all your parenting head scratchers and read parenting hacks, tips, and ideas from wise moms and dads.

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?

  • Anonymous
    Feb 07

    I tell my son “first clean up then _____”

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

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 Sleep Nov 22, 2019

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, 2019

    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.

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, 2019

    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!

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

Pam posted in Sleep Sep 30, 2019

Toddler sleeping in their own room

Any advice on how to get a 4 year old to sleep back in their room. Made the biggest mistake of our lives letting her come to our room because she was scared.....now we can’t get her back. She screams and cries and says she scared and doesn’t want to be in her room by herself. I feel bad because the look in her eyes is like she’s terrified....we tried night lights...flash lights...leaving the do... More

Anonymous posted in Behavior Sep 23, 2019

2 year toddler starts screaming if denied anything.

My son is 2 year old. I am having problems in telling him " NO". He would just start screaming and throw tantrums, sometimes he would bang his head on floor and tries to hurt himself. I am not sure how do we handle these situations as it becomes really embrassing in front of others and most importantly i feel that as a parent its my duty to inculcate good habits but he doesnt listen.... More

  • Yanis
    Sep 26, 2019

    My daughter didn’t do the wall but she’d throw herself back wherever she was. Usually on the floor.

  • Brie
    Nov 22, 2019

    My son would throw himself on the floor and I was always terrified he would hurt himself. If redirecting doesn’t work - which, let’s be honest, sometimes it just doesn’t - I have found myself offering other things like a hug, or a little cuddle. If you’re in front of other people, take him around the corner or a few feet away where you can get on his level and have a one on one. Just keep talki... More

Loved this advice on how to deal with whining and other challenging behaviors!

I listened to this episode recently and found it really helpful! The title of the episode is how to deal with whining in a different way but she definitely talks about how her strategy applies to all behavior that can be challenging. I have been starting with the “ say what you see” portion of the strategy and I found it helpful not only for my kids, but it definitely also gives me space to mak... More

Suggestion on finding a baby-sitter?

Hi Parents, any suggestions on reliable ways to find a baby-sitter? We have a two-year old and will occasionally need a babysitter beyond the regular day-care time. What is a good way to do this? Any suggestions appreciated!

  • PK
    Sep 26, 2019

    @aurora, sorry I just saw your question. We never tried care.com. When we first started looking into babysitting sites, for some reason I kept seeing negative reviews about it. My husbands coworker told us that he used sittercity before and found a sitter there that worked with their family for years before moving on. I also heard good things about urbansitter. I remember read a blog post com... More

Anonymous posted in Safety Jul 18, 2019

Hello, our baby hates the car seat! He’s 5 mo. What solutions do you have?

Also, any recommendations about how to keep him cool during the ride. AC can take awhile to reach the back.

Taking 15 month old on a plane ride

Hey everyone, I have flown a few times with my daughter. However this will be the longest plane ride. We have two flights and it will be a long time with her on my lap. Any toy recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

  • B
    Jul 18, 2019

    Oh 3 hours is nothing for lap. You’ll be fine. Save new toys and books for the second flight, though.

  • Lindsey
    Oct 17, 2019

    The 5 senses! Keep your LO "guessing" and being stimulated by having toys in a bag, pull one new one out every so often that stimulated a different sense. - Going to the dollar store to make a little toy bag is what we've done on the cheap (or grabbing old toys LO has forgotten about). - I got a tablet for my LO. It's great to draw and erase see played on it for hours.

C posted in Safety Jul 16, 2019

How do you trim a baby's nails if he wakes easily and won't let you do it while awake?

I used to be able to trim them in his sleep, but he wakes easily now. I could use some good tips and hacks!

  • Kristine
    Jul 18, 2019

    I trim my son’s nails when he’s drinking his bottle. He holds it with one hand so I usually trim the free hand and switch.

  • Natasha
    Aug 29, 2019

    I use a file

Hi first time mom!!

Hi everyone I’m a mom with 10 month old baby girl!! We’ve been having issues with her sleep ... anyone experience this with their 10 year old !? Tips welcome !!

  • PK
    Jul 17, 2019

    ^^^ yes! The 8-10 month sleep regression was the absolute worst for us. My son wasn’t the best sleeper but he did sleep through the night up until 8 months where he was awake every hour or so. We bedshared up until 9 months (I was so sleep deprived) then we finally transitioned him into the crib and did CIO at the final stages of the transition.

How can I wean off my 18 month old from the pacifier ?

He got really attached to it since he was born and he always likes it for comfort or when he’s ready to go to bed he wants his pacifier cause he got so used to it when he was a newborn . But now I need help ! He’s 18 months old and still asks for it , he cries for it and won’t go to sleep without it . I’ve tried reading him a bedtime story to see if he’ll forget it and go to sleep without it bu... More

  • Aften
    Jul 15, 2019

    I slowly trimmed the tip off of my daughters pacifiers and we told her they were just wearing out since she was a big girl and had them for so long. Once they were too short, she asked if we could just recycle them!

  • Mom
    Jul 22, 2019

    We were looking out of the window with my baby son and there was a dog outside. I told him that that dog ate his pacifier and that’s ok because the dog needs it more. He just agreed with me and never cried or looked for it after.

Bedtime trouble 🙄

My daughter is 5 about to be 6 in September and she still has to have us sleep with her until she falls asleep or sometimes sleeps in our bed. I don’t know what to do and I want her to learn to sleep on her own. Is it to soon or did I wait to long? HELP

  • Jackie
    Jun 22, 2019

    Good luck!!

  • Anonymous
    Jul 15, 2019

    Not sure how big your bedroom area is or if she’s in a larger bed...but maybe you could try putting a mattress, cot, her bed right next to yours? Then she’s ‘with’ you but not in bed with you?

Toddler screaming

Any advice on random screaming!? My 21 month old has also been randomly screaming. She’s not screaming at anyone but will just randomly scream in the house or sometimes will do it to get our attention if we don’t immediately answer her 🙈

  • anonymous mom
    Jun 16, 2019

    I’m so interested to see the answers. My daughter does this and then she says, “mommy?” As in, she wants me to scream back. Lolol. I do it sometimes if it’s not totally inappropriate (like when it’s 5am or when we are eating dinner). After I make the noise back she then asks my husband to do it too. Im guessing this isn’t the “right” way to handle it. I’m glad we don’t have neighbors who live c... More

  • Holly Garnett-Pedreira
    Jun 17, 2019

    @Julie you arent wrong for what you're doing.. she is making a game out of it as a way to have a special bond with you and your husband. My advice is try asking her why she is making that noise? Make sure you tell her that noise is called screaming. If you dont want her to do it all try then maybe try making up a story.. Tell her oh no... look outside you scared the birds! The animals have ... More

Brushing teeth

We struggle to brush my 2 year olds teeth. He doesn’t want to let us brush and can’t do it yet on his own. Any suggestions for getting a good brushing ?

  • Ashleigh
    Jun 19, 2019

    We started with the Elmo song ‘Brush teeth song’ cause it shows all these kids brushing their teeth and I also think she was just distracted enough to let me brush them. But, as the wonderment disappeared I always just enthusiastically talk about brushing teeth. I let her chew on floss when I am flossing. too cause she things that’s fun. I just try to be happy about it and we also made a spitti... More

  • Jennifer
    Jun 23, 2019

    Where did you get the lights up toothbrush. Is 2 to young for the electric toothbrush?

Tips on getting your toddler to listen?

My son barely listens to me or his dad. When we tell him something it’s like he is ignoring us on purpose. When I tell him something he wants his dad. I’m so frustrated.

  • anonymous mom
    Jun 22, 2019

    I hope this is normal because my daughter never listens 😅

  • HR
    Aug 01, 2019

    It’s b/c they’re kids and are selective in what they hear, for the most part. If it’s *really* bad though (like, banging-pots-&-screaming-their-name-&-they-don’t-even-look-up bad), definitely talk to their pediatrician; we were having trouble w/ our kid (29 mo) even responding to us, & it turned out he was partially deaf! And it’s common for seemingly-unhearing to be a symptom for ... More

Anonymous posted in Flying Jun 07, 2019

Any tips for a 6 hour flight with an almost 2 year old?

  • Anonymous
    Jun 09, 2019

    We never ever give our phones/iPad but the plane is the only exception lol get an isle seat bc you’ll be walking up and down a lot. I’d get toddler their own seat. I did lap ticket for my 18 month old last weekend and it was such a mistake, it’s just way too tight. Lotssss of snack, hide a few toys for a few weeks so they’re new.

  • Jennifer
    Jun 09, 2019

    Snacks, drinks, tablet a new toy all things your wouldn’t usually give into. We also flew early right after he woke for the day so he would be more tolerant which worked well until our flight was super delayed 🤷🏼‍♀️

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