Tricks of the Trade

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

Any suggestions on how clean plastic toys?dishwasher? Maybe washer? Maybe just throw them away? Lol

  • Michaela

    😂 I’m always tempted with that last option but most toys I soak in warm water and tiny bit of soap then rinse. But if they can get water inside of them and not come out (specifically the annoying squeaky Sophie giraffe) or they’re battery operated I just wipe them down

  • Andrea

    Dishwasher is good for hard plastic toys without many moving pieces and parts. Definitely do top rack so they don’t melt, though.

Any advice on a 3-4hr drive with a 2 yr old

I’m a single mom so it will be me, my son and my 8yr old daughter on the road any advice on keeping them comfortable and not fighting lol and some what entertained with minimal stops the drive is to Las Vegas btw

  • Shay

    Hi Kelly, I always take long trips with my baby girl, she's 2 and 4 months now, but we cross the United States driving when she was one. From this day till now the only thing that keep her ok and comfortable is music and snack (especially candy), it never fails. Is not the best thing in the world, but exclusively for the road trip, give them extra sugar and they'll be good to go!😂

  • Tyler

    I am a veteran road trip dad, station wagon and all. For the little- coloring books, gold fish, fruit leather, milk and water (no juice!). Pull-ups are a must, use the overnight ones. Favorite toys, sketch pad and crayons. For the 8yr old- sketch pad, pens, pencils, colored pencils, gold fish, lemonade, handheld games. If either is Netflix and iPad aged, charge em’ up and make sure you ha... More

Road trips

So we're going on a small road trip (3-4 hrs) to the in-laws over new years. What kind of toys do you bring for the ride. She'll be 14 months then. I give her my phone as a last resort but I don't want that to develop into a habit.

  • Becky

    We normally time it around her nap times but this time my bf has to work so we'll be leaving later. His 10 yr old sits in back with her and tries to play with her but she can only do it for so long and I get bad car sickness from sitting in the back for too long... Dramamine doesn't work. I'll normally pack snacks for her but any toy I bring, she tosses off to the side after a few mins.

  • Shay

    Hi Becky, how are you? When my baby was at this age, we drove from California to Rhode Island. It took 7 days, it was between 5 to 8 hours a day driving.😂 She only had a cell phone toy that play some music, that was all. And sometimes we had to stop so she could run about 10 minutes, and she was good to go. The important is always have snacks! Have a nice trip!!❤️

Stain treatment

What stain treatment do you suggest for carpet stains from dropped food pouches and general toddler type messes?

  • Kendall

    I always use the stuff for dogs 😂 resolve lol

  • Lindsay

    I finally bought a small spot steam cleaner and it was the best decision. Not super expensive at target

Road trip!

Hello, I’m taking my one year old baby girl on a 3 hour road trip and extremely nervous and her crying in her car seat for half the trip... any recommendations on what will keep her entertained ??? TIA !!

  • Kim
    Dec 10

    Almost forgot, check out busy books. You can find them on Etsy. They have zippers, clasps and all kinds of built-in sensory items. We made our own busy box with a plastic crayon container and filled it with pompoms, triangle shaped crayons, stickers, Velcro blocks, etc etc.

  • Kait
    Dec 10

    Try leaving at naptime or bedtime. We do 6 hr road trips pretty often and I have 3 under 3! My advice: let them cry if you know they’re not hungry or needing a diaper change. They’ll adjust. My kids love road trips!!!

Kimberly posted in Parties Dec 07

First birthday party tomorrow!

Trying to find activities and games for us adults but all I can find are baby shower related ones. Any ideas? Looking for stuff like this..

  • Andy
    Dec 07

    For the 2nd or 3rd birthday with just the adults we had a Daniel Tiger song contest with rules similar to Hollywood Squares. The lyrics to a Daniel tiger jingle were given to one of the teams and they had to sing the song with the right tune or confidently the wrong tune. The other team had to decide if they sang it right. It was ridiculous and very entertaining.

Sarah posted in Sleep Dec 07

Taking the Pacifier

Help! My husband is adamant that when our daughter turns two, all pacifiers are being thrown away. She turns two at the end of this month. She does not need it during the day, only at night. She can’t even sleep without it, I’ve tried.. What is the best technique to handle this with a toddler who can’t sleep without one?

  • Jessica
    1h ago

    I’d do cold turkey at night. Or cut the tip off and leave it in her crib. We did it cold turkey with my two year old and when I had my new baby he started stealing hers 😂 Now we offer a “trade”... (here is one of your cars can you give momma the binky?) and he happily hands it over. Good luck mama!

  • Jessica
    1h ago

    Also-We just went to our pediatric dentist and he said the same as Bailey

Any suggestions on breaking the pacifier without causing WWIII?

  • Kizzy
    Dec 07

    For my girl, there are books about no more paci, we started reading those, then limited the paci to nap and bedtime only, then none. But the books helped for sure, she didn’t even miss a beat and liked the book to real life thing (girls huh?) My son - we went on vacation with family and “forgot” his paci to kind of see how it would go, he was 100% fine, asked for it a couple times, but didn’t f... More

  • Elissa
    Dec 07

    A friend of mine couldn’t break her daughter for the longest time. Then they sent all her binks to the binky fairy and she was good without one after that

April posted in Behavior Dec 06

Terrible Twos

My 2 y/o is starting to push his boundaries. He knows that I can’t get to him to put him in time out if I’ve got the infant feeding on me so that’s when he tries the hardest. Is there something I can say or do specifically, to keep him from getting too out of control?

  • April
    Dec 06

    The crib is screened in at the highest setting so it’d be easy for a toddler to escape out of. But I might be able to put him in the pack and play since we don’t use it yet

  • Makaela
    Dec 06

    There you go!

At what age did you put a blanket on your baby at night?

  • Anonymous
    Dec 04

    Around 11 months

  • Makayla
    Dec 04

    I gave my son a blankie at about 9-10 months by then he was able to kick it off him if he didn't want it

Day care drop offs?

I’m just starting to take my son (20 months) to a daycare center twice a week to get him socialized. Any tips on when I drop him off? I’ve been having my husband do it... but my son will cry for 45 minutes before he settles down.

  • Anonymous
    Dec 05

    I find that the faster I leave the better. A hug and kiss and mommy will be back soon and I’m gone. Teachers are ready with a distraction. She usually stops crying as soon as I’m out of sight. And now that she’s used to it the crying has stopped.

  • Lindsay
    Dec 08

    Be quick but don’t just vanish. Give a hug and kiss and tell him you love him and you’ll see him soon. He may get upset but keep your smile so he knows everything is ok. And you may have to turn and leave while he’s sad but it’ll be ok, just stay strong in front of him. Or he may be like my son and forget to give you a kiss when you’re leaving hahaha.

Anonymous posted in Potty Training Dec 04

Potty training

I want to start potty training my son at 10 months. Does anybody have any helpful tips on elimination communication!?

  • Neysi
    Dec 04

    Buy a potty chair.. By now am pretty sure you may know how many times he gets potty on his diapers daily! I seat my baby in the mornings and night, I also seat in the toilet next to her to tell her is potty time.. Trust me he will stay until he finish I been doing so with mine since she is 8 months and she knows every time when she seats there is for that.. They won’t tell you mom bathroom yet,... More

  • Neysi
    Dec 04

    This is the one my baby has.. Hope it helps

Potty training?

My son will be 2 in April. I’ve noticed the last week or so that when he wants to be changed he will hand me a diaper and go lay down where we change him. I know that’s a sign of them being ready to start potty training soon, but being a first time mom I have no clue where to start! My mom can only help so much cause she raised 2 girls so any advice would be great.

  • Rachel
    Dec 04

    So with my older 3 they were all close to 3 before they really grasped what they needed to do to stay dry, and they did the same around 2 (and I did try at that time but the regressed quickly) but when we did start potty training I just put underwear on them and started taking them every 15 minutes and even if they couldn’t go it would get them in the habit. Be prepared for lots of accidents be... More

  • Lisa
    Dec 04

    My son was attempted to be potty trained at 18 months. But he could not hold it long enough (needed at least 1 hour). So we used pull ups for the next 6 months and let him go when he wanted to in the potty. He followed us to the potty and flushed for us since he was 14 months old. Then just before he turned 2 years old we potty trained for good, put him straight into big boy underwear and t... More

Weaning Pacifer!

Would love some advice on getting rid of paci! My son will be two next month and I am noticing it affecting his teeth so I think it’s time.

  • Monet Halton
    Dec 04

    I’ve worked with preschool age children for many years. What I’ve found is asking your toddler if he/she’s a big kids now and getting them to agree they are a “big kid” and referring to things like a baby bottle or a pacifier is for babies and “big kids” don’t need them. If you can get your child to agree they are a “big kid” I would say to them “want to throw away your baby pacifier now” and m... More

  • Julie
    Dec 07

    I have twins and I loved their pacifier days! So quiet, sleeping so long! Be mentally prepared for all that to change, and don't feel guilty if you delay it a bit for a reason or another (I was told by dentist to get rid for about 1 yr and they are both fine now). I think a lot of prep work helps to transition. I had every adult we know start commenting how they are beginning to be big boy... More

Breastmilk oversupply

So for the first couple months I pumped frequently and have a huge oversupply in my freezer. I stopped pumping and just directly feed and my baby is almost 4 months. What can I do with all this milk? I would cry if I had to toss it, but other than milk baths idk what to do.

  • Priscilla
    Dec 04

    I also had a crazy stash of frozen breast milk, and unfortunately my son started rejecting everything over a month old. I ended up donating to Mothers’ Milk Bank that provides breastmilk to babies in the NICU. It sucked not being able to feed my own baby with it but was comforting to know it was helping other little ones thrive. It was a bit of a tedious process, not gonna lie. Lots of paperwor... More

  • Christina
    Dec 04

    Thanks everyone I decided to donate, I found a family through a Facebook group that just adopted a two week old boy

What age did you give your son/daughter their first haircut & what should a 1st time parent expect?

  • Christa
    Dec 03

    We have decided not to cut our sons hair. It will get light trims to keep the ends healthy, but since he is part Native American we are going to keep his hair long and braided.

  • Brittany
    Dec 04

    My daughter is almost 16 months and she has had her bangs cut 4 times and hair trimmed once. I just set her on my lap and she does fine. She was born with lots of hair.

Laura posted in Bathing Dec 02

Tips for washing hair?

Any tips on how to wash the soap out of kids' hair without getting water all over their face? I can't get my two-year old to tilt her head back, so water gets in her eyes and she hates it. We end up not washing her hair that often because of it.

  • Michelle
    Dec 04

    I use the Burt’s bees shampoo so it’s really gentle. Also I put his bath toy bag up and have him look at his toys so I can rinse

  • Angela
    Dec 09

    My 3.5 yr old took a while to get her to tilt her head but leaning back against the shower wall helped and teaching her to close her eyes helped. My 2yr old I either lay him down in the tub before we fill it up and rinse it with a shower wand or if he refuses that I taught him to close his eyes and hold his breath and pour over his head and then quickly wipe his face with my hand (you could use... More

Jennifer posted in Clothes Dec 02

Stain Remover

Any tips on how to remove old stains from white clothes ? I washed them in clorox literally 3x already 😭

  • Cm
    Dec 03

    I use oxyclean. Mix together powder and water and let the clothes sit in there for a few hours before washing. Works almost every time.

  • Amy
    Dec 04

    Dawn and baking soda works amazingly well. Or soaking in Oxyclean... I saved an old set of sweat-yellowed sheets that way.

Formula on mattress!

Got some formula on my mattress. I cleaned it up the best I could. Now there’s a stain and a smell. Any suggestions?

  • Elle
    Dec 02

    Tide pen!

  • Caroline
    Dec 02

    In a spray bottle put water vinegar and a tiny bit of soap. Shake it up and spray surrounding area. Put a good amount and when you are down spraying the area put baking soda. The baking soda with soak up everything. My LO threw up in her bed the other day. Smelt and stained. My mom told me to do that. It literally took everything out!

Jade posted in DIY Nov 30

Eco-friendly gift wrap ideas?

I recently learned that any gift wrap that is shiny or has decorative foil on it isn’t recyclable! So I’m looking for some creative materials I can use to wrap gifts and reduce waste this year. Newspaper is always a classic, but can be a little dirty. Any ideas? 💡

  • Angel
    Dec 01

    I like to wrap in fat quarter chunks of fabric. Many of my friends sew, so I wrap their gifts this way... We also use kraft paper, or recycle newspaper and add bags we make.

  • Carla
    Dec 02

    We have actually used newspaper/ comics to gift wrap. We topped it off with a red bow and it looked pretty cool.

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