Life with a toddler isn’t always easy. Some days are better than others, sure, but in the end, we can all admit that we’re exhausted when bedtime comes along (or, what I call it, Mommy Happy Hour!)
I’m not going to deny that I count down to bedtime sometimes, and literally do my happy dance when I shut his bedroom door, knowing I am free for the next 12 hours. First mom hack? Start every day with a cup of coffee and end it with a glass of wine 😉
All jokes aside (not really, though), I’m always looking for ways to facilitate our lives with Liam, and hopefully these 8 tips will be helpful in your household, too. If you have any suggestions, please do share in the comments section below!
The key here is to have your toddler be self-sufficient. The snack catcher comes in handy in all situations, but especially when you can’t physically be there to assist him/her with snack time. This goes for car rides, especially. It’s saved us from many, many tantrums, believe me. Scoop bibs are great because of minimal cleanup and the fact that they also act as great snack holders. I’ve often taken my son out to lunch and sprinkled some Puffs in his bib as an easy distraction. Serious mom points right there!
I can’t emphasize how amazing crockpots are as a mom: what’s easier than a “dump meal”? Basically all you need to do is dump ingredients in the pot and let it simmer all day to work its magic! It doesn’t get easier than that. I also usually steam veggies in bulk (zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and green beans, mostly) to make sure I have a few meals worth. So much easier than worrying about it at every meal!
When my husband works a night shift and I have a relatively slow night at home, I try to prep a few of Liam’s meals ahead of time and throw a load of laundry in. It’s a lot more manageable when it’s a small load! No one likes hour-long folding sessions at 8am.
This is up for discussion, but to me, there is no better toddler cup out there. Let’s just say my son isn’t the most delicate human being on the planet… Our Munchkin 360 cup has been thrown from his high chair hundreds of times and, still, not a single scratch. It doesn’t spill, which is a major plus, considering that we had to give up all our straw cups for that exact reasons. Bonus? It teaches your little one how to drink like a big boy!
If you are a compulsive shopper like I am and don’t know about either Honey or Ebates, you owe me. Big time! Honey is a Google Chrome add-on that compiles all online coupons for the site you’re on. At checkout, it simply applies them for you to see if they work! I can’t do any shopping without it. Ebates is a cash back site that actually pays you a percentage based on your online purchases. You literally get paid to shop! Sites offer between 2 and 10% for the most part (the deals change often, too, so you might be pleasantly surprised!) and Ebates sends you a check every couple of months. All you need to do is go through Ebates instead of the site itself… So easy!
It is essential to get your child accustomed to independent play time when he/she is really little. Why? It’ll make your life so much easier later on! Our son knows that after breakfast, it’s independent play time. He reads books, plays with his toys, and practices his speaking skills (which is so cute!) while Mommy enjoys her breakfast and coffee. He does this for an hour, guys. Amazing.
Toy rotations are a great way to not only ensure that your child doesn’t get bored of his toys, but also prevents the mess and toy chaos in your living room. Every other day, Liam gets a new set of toys to play with and it’s the best distraction. I got a three drawer bin at Walmart and labeled it “Monday-Tuesday”. “Wednesday-Thursday”, and “Friday-Sunday”.
These two are must-haves for life with a toddler. There’s not much that they aren’t able to fix, from burns, dry skin, itching, inflammation, and restlessness. If you haven’t experienced it for yourself, give it a try – most of the so-called “natural” products we buy have these ingredients in tiny doses among others, so imagine what they can do on their own!
And last, but not least… best tip ever: to gel your toddler’s hair, just use sugar water. When it dries, it literally holds like hair spray! Best natural alternative ever.