We all learn a few things along the road of motherhood. Sometimes we remember to pass them on and sometimes we don't. I think our daughters could really benefit if we remembered the little tricks we learned to make things easier and passed them on to the next generation. :) Here are a few things I've learned to do that make things easier with babies and toddlers.
If baby explodes their diaper every time they go #2, It's time for a bigger diaper! Now your baby might fit perfectly in a size 1 but you have to get size 3 to hold the poo. I don't want my 9 week old in size 3 diapers but I have to unless I'd rather have poo stains in all her clothes. I have to swallow my pride and expectations and put her in a diaper that's a bit too big so I don't have to changer her clothes every time she poos.
Worried about the fit? Got poo coming out the leg holes now? In order to get away with using a too-big diaper to contain the mess, you need to have the waist up at the bottom of baby's ribcage. That's right, put it on as high up as you can get it so that between the legs the legholes are snug as can be. The poo will either go out the legholes or up the back and both of these are remedied by a larger diaper pulled way up and cinched snugly.
Huggies are a bit bigger than Pampers, as a general rule. For instance a 3 in Huggies is halfway between a 3 and a 4 in Pampers.
Always have something easily washable under the baby when you change them in case they have an accident while you're in the process of cleaning them up.
When going out, keep a reuseable changing pad in the diaper bag. When you use it, remember which side is which!! Fold it in half DOWN-SIDE IN to keep the germs from the side that touched the changing table only touching themselves. The clean (baby's) side should be on the outside. The reason is that your own little baby's bottom germs won't hurt anything you've got in the diaper bag as much as the random germs on the changing table will, so if you're folding it table side out, you've just essentially rubbed everything in your bag on the changing table for a nice coating of strangers' germs.
But what if you're not worried about germs on the changing table and don't want the hassle of bringing a changing pad everywhere? I mean they're just baby germs, right? It's not like babies are running around spreading STD's or anything. Okay, but think about this... Some communicable diseases can be passed to the infant from the mother during birth. Those babies might have been changed on that changing table before your baby and their mom might have not used a pad. Or how about parasites in the feces? How about just poo like when the person before you is a lowlife and leaves excrement smeared all over the table? If you're not afraid of germs from that how about the smell and do you want your baby wearing some other kid's poo? No, I didn't think so. Or worse, what about the people who put their purse or diaper bag on the BATHROOM FLOOR when they're in a stall with no hook, and then when they are in a stall with a changing table or while they're washing their hands or changing their own baby, they set that same purse or diaper bag on the changing table, essentially culturing it with everything that lives on the floor, including accidents that didn't make it into the toilet and every single thing on the shoes of every occupant of that stall since the last time the floor was disinfected. And speaking of disinfected, I've gone into stores weeks apart and seen the exact same poo smudges on the changing table both times, indicating that they NEVER WASH THE CHANGING TABLE. At least the FLOOR gets washed every night! And my last point, vaccinations. You either do or you don't vaccinate your kid and you do whatever you do for a reason. Chances are that some previous baby changed on that table was the opposite of what your baby is vaccination wise. Many things can be caught by contact with fecal matter.
You know those 5 packs of plain white fruit-of-the-loom t-shirts you can get in the little boy's section for like $5 per pack? They totally solve the problem of my messy eaters eating out and ruining their clothes. A tshirt is full coverage. Just pull any long sleeves up as far as you can and throw a tshirt on them. My kids call them our "bib shirts."
Do note though that you want them to be very big so they will comfortably fit over top of the kids' outfit, plus take into account that these puppies shink something awful. My son wears a 2T/3T in clothes right now but his "bib shirts" are size 6/8. Yes size 6/8! And my daughter wears a 5T in clothes but a 10/12 in bib shirts. Because of how much they shrink and how much bigger they need to be to go over the clothing. I keep a couple in the diaper bag at all times for this purpose.
I also keep a ziplock baggie with a couple baby wipes in it in my purse. You never know when you'll wind up in the restaurant with all the dirty tables or the restroom with something yellow or brown on every toilet seat. That way if I don't happen to have the diaper bag with me (which is rare indeed) I still have a few wipes. It's also handy for that occasion when you find yourself in the stall without any toilet paper! ;)
While waiting for the food is a great time to practice memorization with the kids. Sing the ABC's or count your fingers or the condiments, recite multiplication tables, ask what color this or that thing is, tell them a new rule of good manners or remind them of one they tend to forget. Practice sitting up straight.
If you have toddlers, always carry a little notebook and a couple crayons in your purse or diaper bag. Play pictionary or have them draw or write while waiting.
Bring in the sippy cups. In the restaurant is not the place to practice drinking out of a big kid cup. You can order them a drink and then pour it into the sippy. Better that than to have your kid wearing red juice on their white dress. Those bib shirts are great but a hefty liquid spill will soak through them and into your kid's clothes. The back yard or bathtub are the best places to practice drinking out of a cup.
So what are some of your tips and tricks for daily life with kids?
Until next time, hope you've enjoyed these things I've learned along the way! Have a great week!
This post is linked up to the http://raisinghomemakers.com/2010/homemaking-link-up-11/