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 tips for potty training and getting little one (LO) to tell you when they have to go, TIA!

  • Tiana

    I set an alarm every 20 min. If he goes before the alarm he gets a little treat. The alarm is still there if he forgets, but most of the time he goes in between, by himself. Been totally dry/ not poopy for 19 days in a row now.

  • Jessica

    My son is 27 months and I’m doing the three day thing. Just finished day one. I put him in big boy underwear and am being OVERLY enthusiastic about everything. (We are having a party in the bathroom YAY!) I set an alarm for every 10 minutes. When it goes off we run to the potty and he sits down and gets an M&M. If he goes potty he gets 2 M&Ms. It went really well. Poop and pee in the p... More

Jade posted in Clothes Feb 13

All the laundry tips, please!

I recently purchased a lovely antique wool blanket, but even after washing it with special wool-friendly soap, I cannot seem to rid it of a very strong perfume-y smell. I would normally hang it outside for a few days but we are buried under snow and ice here, so that’s not really an option at the moment. What are your tips and tricks for getting rid of stubborn smells trapped in fabrics? ... More

  • Haley

    The cold will actually help get rid of the scent. I once bought a vintage T-shirt off Etsy and is smelled of smoke. I put in the freezer for a few days and most of the scent was gone!

  • Jade

    Thank you both so much! I’ll be trying these out for sure.

Alex posted in Behavior Feb 13

I have a 1.5 year old who screeches - how can I stop this?

I know it’s a toddler thing to get upset about everything, but when my son doesn’t get his way, can’t do something (like open a marker) or doesn’t like something, he will screech/scream. I’m trying to teach him not to, but he doesn’t talk yet so it’s challenging. Any ideas on steps to take to help combat this? Thank you!

  • Alex
    Feb 13

    Oh good idea! He does some of them already (like hungry/eat, more) but I should learn some others. Thanks!

  • Kendall
    Feb 14

    Of course! Yes help, more and please can really help when frustrated 😁

Christa posted in Siblings Feb 12

Managing two kids under 2

So I am a mom or a one year old and another in the oven- due in October! Super excited! But for fellow moms out there, I have a question. How did you introduce baby to an already existing routine with your first child who is coming into toddler hood rapidly?! How does your schedule work with a newborn and toddler?! I’m sure I’ll get the grove pretty quick, but I’m a little anxious about it at ... More

  • Alexis
    Feb 14

    My boys are 13 months apart and I was so nervous about bringing a newborn home with a barely 1 year old! Before baby was born we focused on sleep training our oldest and getting him on a good sleep schedule. That's probably the biggest game changer. If your older babe is on a consistent schedule then you (and him) at least have that to count on. Since newborns are so unpredictable, you just... More

  • Haley

    The book Moms on Call is a great resource!

Anonymous posted in Breastfeeding Feb 12

Working moms: how often do you pump at work/how long does it take?

I am evaluating changing jobs after my leave, and I’d be starting a new job 5-6 months after my daughter is born. I’d like to try to breastfeed until she’s one, but I’m worried about how to make it work. At that point, how many times a day should I expect to be pumping, and how long does each session take? I’ll have a Spectra S1 (and possibly a Willow, a gift from a friend). The company I h... More

  • Anonymous

    Look at the law, and be sure that they aren’t trying to screw you. I’m a teacher that got offered a bathroom and I swiftly kicked up a shit storm, because that’s against the law. Also, you must have pump breaks as frequently as you need. I’ll repeat: As YOU need. Not as often as is convenient for the company. They do not have a say in it. They are in violation of the law if they attempt to tell... More

  • Tiana
    Sunday the law is on your side. Look up the specifics and ensure that you’re getting what you need.

I'm a recently separated single mom

I'm just hoping to find other people I can chat with to help me from going insane! My boyfriend and father of my son just left yesterday and it is so hard especially being a stay at home mom. Any advice or anything would really be helpful

  • Caitlin
    Feb 14

    Hi there- no advice, I just wanted to say that’s got to be really hard and I hope you’re able to give yourself extra love and self-care right now. Sending internet stranger bear hugs your way.

  • Shaley
    Feb 14

    Aww thank you! That really does help!

Marika posted in Behavior Feb 06

Night Time Fears - Fear of the Dark

My son is a sensitive little boy. We been co-sleeping for 3 years and recently started him on his own room. The start was not bad. Yes he would come into our room sometime in the night, but quietly and we do not discourage it. Lately however he stopped coming to our room quietly and is crying loud in his bed most of the time also wet with pee. When asking what is wrong that moment or during day... More

Potty training tips and advice

We recently found out we’re expecting baby #2. I want to start potty training my 22 month old son but have NO idea how to even start any suggestions??? We already have a potty for him out but that’s about it.

  • Kristen
    Feb 07

    Everything you need to know is in this book.

  • Aje
    Feb 09

    I’m was in the same situation. I’m expecting twins. My son is 17 months old we started 3 weeks ago and he hasn’t had an accident in two weeks. First before we brought the potty out even I’d let him come to the bathroom with me and my husband. We’d tell him we’re doing pee pee or poo or whatever and let him see then we’d let him flush. Also when he’d poop in his diaper I’d ask him if he did poop... More

Potty training my 3 year old

I have a daughter who is 5 and potty training her was so easy but my son is a completely different story. My son just turned 3 in December but I started potty training him when he turned 2 and his daycare was doing it as well when he was there. I am having a lot of trouble with getting him completely used to not peeing or pooping on himself but nothing has worked 100% yet. He tells me sometimes... More

  • Tiana
    Feb 06

    Get the book, “ oh crap! Potty training” take away the diapers and other crutches. Let him feel uncomfortable and wet when he wets himself. It’ll resolve itself quickly.

  • Jessica
    Feb 14

    We used several different books. Had potties tall over the house and a little urinal that made it fun for him. Ultimately it was him who just decided he was ready. Pooping on the potty took forever.

Elise posted in Behavior Feb 05

My 15 month old boy cries like no tomorrow when I try to brush his 6 new front teeth. Any tricks?

FYI, he also hates it when I try to wipe his face and his hands 😖

  • PK
    Feb 05

    Oh and we started using training toothpaste and a bristle brush over a banana silicone brush and it helped. Also we would let him brush our teeth.

  • Toni
    Feb 05

    We had to hold the arms like when the child is getting a shot or the ears pierced. After a while they would want to brush on their own without the fighting.

Anonymous posted in Potty Training Feb 05

Potty training advice for boys

My son is 2 1/2.. he goes on the potty when I tell him to (only pee) He wears pull ups When I tell him no more poo/pee in his diaper he says ok and comprehends but he still does it! I tried putting him on the toilet with a potty seat but he doesn’t like it so we stick to the kids potty toilet where he sits and pees when told to When should he start standing to pee? How do I help him aim? H... More

  • K
    Feb 05

    Good luck!!

  • Tiana

    The reason kids poop in a diaper is because the diaper offers privacy. When you put him on the toilet, walk away. Don’t watch, don’t hover. Just go away. The poop will come out once the performance anxiety wears off. My son pooped first and we took a few weeks to get the peeing nailed down. Taking away all diaper and diaper products like pull-ups made it go super quick.

Calming ideas for my energetic 5yr old

From the time my daughter get up to the time she goes to bed, she is go go go. There are certain times when I feel she needs to calm down instead of being wild. I do not want to just sit her in front of the tv as I feels she watches enough. Does anyone know of any techniques or maybe even a calming drink/vitamins that’s safe for kids. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

  • Brynne
    Jan 31

    Thank you for the advice. She rarely gets juice but will look into cutting down on sugar. We very rarely watch tv.

  • Jazzbird
    Feb 07

    We have found artificial dyes are a real problem for our 5 yr old. On the rare occasion he gets them (at school or such), he is really hyper. When he needs calming for any reason, I just redirect toward mellow activities, such as sitting and reading books together, going for a walk, playing "I spy," etc.

Does anyone have good tips on removing stains from baby/toddlers clothes?

So many of my little ones beautiful clothes ruined by stains 😩 She got orange juice on one of her tops and stain remover and a hot wash won’t get rid of it! It’s happening to me with a lot of stains ☹️

  • Christa
    Jan 29

    Spray n wash Shout Both work amazingly. My kiddo is way hard on his clothes too, and I found that if I give the clothes a good spray of that on the stains, I throw it in the wash and when it comes out- perfectly clean! And stains are gone. I also double up on the stain fighting by using arm and hammer with oxiclean to help illuminate stains.

  • Crystal
    Jan 29

    Go to a bulk store and buy the 10 gallon containers of spray and wash and oxiclean. First I spray and wash and then inspect before i put in the dryer. If it's still stained then I soak in the oxi clean all day.

Suggestions for one car families?

Any other families getting by with one car? We've been down to one car for 5 months now. Just wondering how others are doing it, and if there are any ideas I haven't thought of for making this work. Thanks!

  • Olimpia
    Jan 31

    We are down to one car! I’ll drop my husband off at work, 30 minute drive. Or he will just leave. It’s difficult however, When I say to myself this is our life for know and come to self acceptance, it’s not too tough.

  • Lindsay
    Jan 31

    Glad to hear we're not alone. Sounds like many of you do the same things what we do. Can definitely be challenging dropping of husband. He works so far from home. Not sure how this will work with a newborn and toddler. Just do it as long as we can I guess. Thanks for the suggestions!

Megan posted in Bathing Jan 27

Looking for tips/products to control my little ones hair.

My little one has curls that are just unmanageable. The more we brush it to help get rid of the tangles the frizzier it gets. Poor little one looks like they just rolled out of bed every time.

  • Dee
    Jan 29

    Cantu leave in hair lotion with towel dryer hair works well. Avoid knots at bedtime & to keep curls also, use a scrunchie. If she has long curly hair, and want to get wavy hair for a few days: same as above, put into low ponytail, twist braid. Leave style until dry, and voilà wavy hair! Brush every night and keep in a pony to maintain.

  • mary
    Jan 31

    Shea Moisture has a number of excellent hair products. Get them at Bed/Bath/Beyond with a 20% off coupon, and they are quite affordable.

Anonymous posted in Sleep Jan 25

Waking up

So my almost 2 year old daughter has been getting up around 2 am the past few nights. Only for around 30 minutes or so. She’s not fussy she just is awake. I check her diaper and give her some water then I put her back in her room and to bed. (We have a baby gate on her door) but after that she will get up and wander the room. Maybe play with a stuffed animal then pass out again. I told a friend... More

  • Activemommy
    Jan 30

    Traci, I tell her “it’s time to sleep” she is 20 months old and by now understands what Im saying. She whines a little; I have not been able to sleep train so I rock her to sleep, and within minutes she’s asleep again. She’ll only stay up if something is bothering her.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 30

    I check her diaper give her some water or maybe some milk and then tuck her back in bed

First Disney Trip for 18mo old

Hello!! My husband and I will take our son on his first Disneyland trip next month! We both haven’t been there in about 8 years so we do t know what to expect especially now that we have a toddler. Any suggestions, tips, tricks, or hacks to make this as fun and easy as possible? I’ve heard about apps and fast passes but have no clue what it’s all about. Any advice is appreciated!!! Thanks ... More

  • Lettie
    Jan 26

    Write down what rides your toddler can go on and where the baby centers are (changing tables, breastfeeding rooms, toddler toilets and a small kitchen). Carry snacks and other baby/toddler things with you (you have a backpack and your husband a backpack). If you want to take pictures, get the Maxpass (you get the downloads right away that you can download to your phone or CPU, it stays in that ... More

  • LillyMarie
    Jan 26

    Thanks for the pin reminder Lettie! And I like the suggestion about the toddler earmuffs!! Did you find it hard with each of you wearing a backpack? Or was is super helpful?

Anonymous posted in Sleep Jan 17

Bed time struggle

I have 11 months baby girl. First time, I followed every step including breakfast on time, 2 day time naps, snacks, dinner, bath and finally in bed at 7. But she woke up after 1 n half and I struggled to put her back to sleep. Is there something that I missed to do? What can I do if she refuse to sleep? Should I keep her awake, and then she will sleep at 11 or 12. Please suggest.

  • Ashlea
    Jan 18

    Maybe teething, my little one woke up about 15 minutes after sleeping last night and sounded like she was hurting. I just went in and rubbed her gums and I could tell that helped so I have her Tylenol and she went right back to sleep after some cuddles

  • Anonymous
    Jan 18

    That could be too. She already has four top and four bottom teeth. And now she is getting two incisor. I feel horrible that I couldn't put her back to sleep and feel bad that I got mad at the situation, with her.

Legoland or Disneyland?

We’re in the process of planning our vacation with our 7 mo old and 4 yo... she loves both legos and Disney.. which would you recommend would be most fun for her? She’s very energetic a little over 3 ft tall and loves rides

  • Elreith
    Jan 18

    They’re so close together... just do both 🙂

  • Yo
    Jan 21

    I would definitely NOT CHOOSE DISNEY. I have been to both with my kids and while Disney is nice its also too much to handle for a kid. Disney parks are immense with longggggggggggggg lines and over crowded everything. We had season passes to Legoland and it was ALWAYSSSS FUN. My kids cry every time I tell them we are going to Disney. Legoland is much smaller than Disney and has different rides... More

Anonymous posted in Behavior Jan 08

Nephew Sleeping During Day, Up All Night. Please Help!

My nephew is going to be 2 years old in a month. He has been sleeping during the day and is up all night which is taxing for my sister (his mom) and me. We have put him on a sleep schedule, but he got off them. Whether it was daylight savings time or he fought sleep. I have looked up how it can be sleep regression, but right now he is sleeping. He was up all night. He went to bed at 10:40am and... More

  • Anonymous
    Jan 09

    Thanks Kelly! When I wake him up, I turn on all the lights and create that stimulation for him. He went to bed at 10:50 last night and woke up at 3:00am. He’s still up. Active as ever. My hope is to put him down for a nap before 2pm and have him sleep for an hour? Or should it be less? Right now is his day time but starting at 3am in the morning!

  • Anonymous
    Jan 09

    Might be on the right track actually. He can be awake and hopefully won’t fight me for a nap before 2pm. Wake him up earlier than usual and then keep him up until bedtime. The only issue is it feels like there is not enough time between nap and bedtime for him to go to sleep and stay asleep. He has to be up for a number of hours. But then again, his schedule has completely flipped! Is that an i... More

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