Tricks of the Trade

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

Marta posted in Sleep Yesterday

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

Stacie posted in Behavior Sunday

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 🙈

  • Julie

    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

    @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 ?

  • Cathy

    We brush in the tub. We have a tubby every night. At the end he’s already laying down so I brush them for him. He doesn’t get to play until his teeth have been brushed.

  • Ashleigh

    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

Elvie posted in Behavior Jun 13

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.

  • Sanna
    Jun 13

    I don’t have anything to help just want to let you know that you’re not alone. My daughter does the same thing she’s 30 months old and doesn’t listen to anyone or follow instructions. She’s actually worse in public than home. It’s very upsetting but I hope she will grow and be better

  • Elena
    Jun 14

    Same here I really wish I could give you advice but my 2yd is the same way and so far nothing worked no praise no time out nothing he just get worse at time out like he dont understand the concept yet

Anonymous posted in Flying Jun 07

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

  • Anonymous
    Jun 09

    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

    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 🤷🏼‍♀️

Anonymous posted in Tricks of the Trade May 28

Stop using pacifier?

How did you guys get your little one to stop using a pacifier? She only uses it to go to bed. I tried going cold turkey but she just cries for it. When I let her fall asleep with it, I'll take it out of her mouth but she'll wake up a few hours later whining for it. Any suggestions?

  • Momof1
    Jun 05

    We started by making him fall asleep without it. If he woke up in the middle of the night we gave it to him. Eventually he slept through the night and didn’t need it anymore. The hardest part was getting him to sleep. For that we just patted his back and shushed him for the first week and after about an hour he would get tired and nod off. Then the second week we would step out of the room abou... More

  • Anonymous
    Jun 11

    We cut them up and threw them in the trash. In one night, she was over them.

Anonymous posted in Behavior May 14

Bad behavior! Terrible threes??

My 3 year old has been pinching, kicking and hitting and not listening at all. He throws things and hurts my husband and I. We tell him to stop he doesnt listen. He never listens. Maybe once in a blue hes a good boy! Help me please i don't know what to do anymore??? I've tried literally EVERYTHING

Transitioning to sippy cup.

Hi everyone. I just wanted to know how you transitioned your 8 month old to a sippy cup? Right now I’m trying the munchkin gentle transition sippy cup, but my little guy hates the texture. Help!

  • Sabrina
    Apr 22

    Thanks everyone! I think I’m going to try the munchkin 360 sippy cup 😄

  • Lauren
    Apr 29

    I just gave him no other option than his 360 cup. He does get a bottle for his PM feeding bit that's all. He was given his 360 cup at 6 months.

Laurie posted in Flying Apr 14

Family Trip Tips

My family is taking our Disney trip soon and this will be my first time flying with my 7 month old. Any tips you can give me for the plane ride? Also, any tips for our stay at Disney World or the parks?

  • TiMex
    Apr 14

    Try not to feed or let your little one snack too much before taking off. Give them some time to burp/poop etc... When my kids and their Mom flew for the first time our son had diarrhea from the formula and it bled through onto her shirt and our daughter threw up on her. It was hectic especially since the flight was packed.

  • Molly
    Apr 15

    Try to breastfeed or bottle feed on take off while your still flying up. To help babies ears not hurt. When we went to China with my 10 month old she did really good. Just have a couple of toys and something to drink on. Disney will be a lot of fun.

Beverly posted in Flying Apr 04

Pro-Tips for a cruise and flight

Going on a one week cruise that will also require a 4 hour flight. My 4yo has never flown or been on a boat, and I"m looking for pro-tips on packing and how to keep him entertained (that does NOT involve giving him a screen and then calling my job done). What do you wish you knew or brought with you? Can toddler take Dramamine?

  • Marika
    Apr 05

    A small portable night light for sleeping in a unfamiliar place is essential for my LO. We always been travelling via plane, ship etc. since he is a baby now he is almost 4. It is easier than first imagined. But the most useful for us was pack light so I always have 1 hand free (1backpack, 1 suitcase) to hold his hands and also easier managing potty breaks etc. There is plenty of entertainment ... More

  • Anonymous
    Apr 12

    Does he go to school? If so, you can ask his teacher for any suggestions on activities for him to do. My kids teacher made her a travel packet..and its wonderful! If not my kid's favorite has been no mess coloring book. Play Doh. And bring lots of snacks and if you see him touching his ears during the flight at anytime..have him eat the snacks to help with his ears

Anonymous posted in Tricks of the Trade Apr 04

Wife is nervous about potential cruise with one year old

I want to take my wife on a cruise with our one year old, and she is hesitant to do so due to being a light sleeper and not sure how our daughter will handle a vacation like that. She is nervous we won’t actually enjoy the vacation. Does anyone have suggestions on how to cope with nervousness, and how to prep the family for a cruise?

  • Jennifer
    Apr 04

    We took our son across the us to CA for vacation and I was really nervous too. It was a lot of work but as long as you share the workload and be a bit lenient on things your normally not such as juice and screen time you will make it just fine. My son slept in the same room at the hotels and didn’t sleep well so we let him sleep with us for that week. Didn’t ruin anything she slept fine in his ... More

  • Megan
    Apr 11

    I get her hesitation. It’s a lot of money to spend on something potentially not very fun. Also, you’re on a boat. If it sucks, there’s no escape. Maybe ask her what her specific worries are and come up with a plan on how you would handle it.

Looking to hire a live in Nanny...

Hey everyone, my husband and I are looking to hire a permanent live in Nanny, but don’t really know where to start for the hiring process. Any suggestions would be amazingly helpful!!!!! Thank you in advance!

What’s a good response for the incessant requests/demands of“mommy look at me!”

My 3yr old demands me to “watch this” or “ look at me!” Several x a day. Often it’s several x in a row too of doing the same thing. He is not starved for attention -only child. So what’s a clever or cute or effective way to respond after 5x in a row of “look mommy!” ???? Help wanted

  • Stephanie
    Mar 30

    I use the following method. After I finish seeing (insert whatever they are doing) I am going to do (insert what you need/want to do) when I am finished I will see again what you have to show me okay. Usually my kids (5-7) interrupt me of course but I remind them when I am finished (insert your need/want) I will be so happy to see (insert there request) and if they have come to you give a qu... More

  • Mrs. HHH
    Mar 30

    Thank you Stephanie. Sounds methodical and more importantly, feasible!

Reading books

my 17 mo refuses to let me read to him. Once he sees a book he will look at it and try to tear at it or eat it and will not stay still for me to read. He will also take the book away and throw it! How can I get him to sit still so I can read to him

  • Kristen
    Apr 01

    Some babies just aren’t into it. There other come a time they will be ready. My son is just now starting to like us reading to him and he turned 2 in January.

  • Stacey
    Apr 12

    If we are reading a story that is not interactive (lifting flaps or doing actions) we give our son a "distraction book". Usually a feel the things book that has things he can touch and play with while we read the actual book we picked to read.

Niashya posted in Behavior Mar 26

Terrible Two’s!

Hi parents! Hope you’re having an awesome week with your loved ones! I need a few pointers. My son has definitely gotten into the tantrum phase. The usual stuff. Throwing himself on the floor, whining for every little thing, crying for every little thing. It’s overwhelming to say the least. I’m pretty sure he’s just working out how to communicate his feelings / emotions. But any pointers? I’m h... More

  • Diana
    Mar 27

    For mine, I immediately offer a hug but tell her that it’s ok if she needs a minute to herself first, she can have the hug when she’s done. When mine is in full meltdown, she hates to be touched, and if we’re at home, I’ll let her have a few minutes without interacting with her. If we’re in public I’ll immediately pick her up and bring her outside or somewhere quiet and explain that while it’... More

  • Joe
    Mar 28

    Stay strict about your rules, and consequences if broken. I do not allow my daughter to be disrespectful, she’s 2, but my strict parenting is always followed by an overwhelming amount of love and concern ifffffff she calms down and apologizes and explains why she melted down. I explain what she could have done, what will get a positive response from me, and That I understand why she feels how... More

Weaning off a pacifier

I have a 21 month old who always has to have a pacifier in her mouth. Even when she is happy and does not need to be comforted. I would love to wean her off of them. Does anyone have suggestions?

  • Danielle
    Mar 26

    We had 2 very attached paci monsters that we wanted to wean. With both girls, we snipped the tips and they both lost their interest within a few days. It was quick and ultimately they made the decision for themselves that they didn’t want it. With our oldest, we had to cut it again but she physically took it to the garbage and said, ‘no like, it trash’ and threw it away!

  • Melissa
    Mar 27

    Danielle... I would like to try this! Thank you for the advice!

Maranda posted in Sleep Mar 20

Transition to Crib

I need to transition my daughter into her crib. She started in a bassinet next to my bed.. and then we moved into a rock and play after about 2.5 months because she just slept better feeling more “secure” if you will. We tried to transition back to bassinet but she wakes up numerous times through the night, and still has a Moro reflex so she will jolt herself awake if she’s flat. We have tried ... More

  • Brittany
    Mar 20

    We recently moved our 4 month old to her crib because she outgrew her bassinet- what made it a smooth transition for us was having naps in the crib during the day for at least a few weeks. I do agree with the transition swaddle though. We use the halo transition sleep sack but our little girl isn’t rolling over yet so we keep her arms swaddled most of the time much to her dismay. I would get ap... More

  • Stacey
    Mar 28

    We transitioned with using a swaddle sleepsack and we used a pack and play that was in the same place as the bassinet by our bed. When he got used to the space we moved him to the crib. I think the swaddling sleep sack helped the most because he still felt secure but had space to move around. We usually found him 90-180 degrees from the direction we put him to bed in.

Potty Training ?!

My son is almost 15 months old. I don’t think he’s ready to start potty training quite yet but he might be interested. He always follows me to the bathroom when “mommy has to peepee”. Honestly I might just be nervous because he’s my first and I am clueless. I have no idea where to start! 1. how do I introduce the idea of potty training to him? 2. is it too early to start training boys at this... More

  • Anna
    Mar 20

    I just want to offer a bit of different wisdom...I tried the “Oh Crap” book/method with my 20 month old (at the time), motivated by the idea that it is a socially learned behavior, as she states in the book. In retrospect, I do wish I would’ve waited for signs of ‘readiness’. Everyone told me that my kid was smart, so she would get it in no time. I became frustrated when she went a few times he... More


Hey guys! First time mom here! My son is 20 months & I’m trying to potty train him but honestly I don’t know where to start! I put him on the potty & he’s gone a few times but I need a system.. any tips.. literally anything will help! Thank you!

  • Taylor
    Mar 19

    Okay thank you! I’ll try the naked thing && see if that helps!

  • Christa
    Mar 19

    You might consider checking out Elimination Communication with Andrea Olson- she’s got a fantastic channel on YouTube, which is what I used to train my now 13 month old. It worked amazing for us! Maybe give it a try!!!

J posted in Sleep Mar 13

Ferber method for naps?

I am considering trying the Ferber method on my 8 month old. For those that have had success do you apply the method during nap time as well? Let’s say I put her down for her first nap 2/3 hours after she wakes up from night sleep, how long go I give her using the method if she doesn’t fall asleep? I would eventually like her to take 1/1.5 hr for her first nap and then 1.5/2.5 hr for her second... More

  • J
    Mar 14

    Thanks for all the suggestions. She’s never really been a bad sleeper (usually only up once for about 20-30 mins just for change and feed). Lately she’s been getting up an hour after bedtime and it’ll take 1.5hrs to put her back to sleep. Also during naps she’s been wanting to be held or will only take 30min nap. We’re on night 2. Yesterday was a success! Bedtime she fussed about 30mins aft... More

  • Vonda
    Mar 19

    We do the method for nighttime. But not naps. I nap with him. If you’re going to do it. Be consistent and make sure you and your SO, partner in crime are on the same page before you start. It’ll help a lot in the long run.

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