Thursday, December 18, 2008

Baby Bins Work!

Beginning in Baby's room BINS are your friends! There are so many cute options now for storage bins. In our son’s room we have several baskets with cute gingham liners that totally match the “theme” of the room. I put these on the shelf in his changing table to keep diapers, lotion, anti-bac gel, diaper rash cream, etc. in. It keeps things organized without having to be overly picky AND it looks good too. You can find these at Target or Wal-Mart for much cheaper than a baby stuff store. Think small rather than large when going for toy storage. This is a lesson I learned as a nanny. Just because you have a MILLION toys you will NOT play with half of them if they are buried in BIG toy boxes. This is a mistake most people fall into. Get a big toy box and just toss all the toys in there. It does not look organized, and your child honestly will be completely overwhelmed by the mass and come whining to you that they are bored. Again, use small bins or baskets with a few toys in them that can be easily organized (even labeled) and make clean up easy. I also keep the bottom drawers of my son’s dresser reserved for toys now that he can get into them at will. One of the best things you can do for organizing the toys that WILL pile up despite our best intentions, is to rotate toys. Get some medium sized storage tubs and pack away MOST of the toys, every 3 months or so you can get those tubs out and it's just like Christmas again as you swap the toys. It gives your child a chance to see something "new" and exciting even if it's not. :-)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Conquering the Cup

I have read in different articles that one of the problems with the modern "sippy" cup is that it doesn't really teach your child to sip from a cup. Instead, the leak proof features on most of them simply cause the little ones to drink the same as if it was a bottle. I'm all for teaching the wee ones to become independent from "baby stuff" early on. It bothers me to see 3 or 4 year olds walking around with a passi or a bottle tightly clinched in their teeth. But I can also understand the frustration of parents when they don't want to fight that particular battle. Still the earlier the better, and I've got a great idea for teaching the babies to drink from a regular cup without the big mess. Of course you'll always have the occasional "oops" along the way, but who doesn't spill their drink now and then? My son, now 15 months, gets his daily drinks in spill proof sippy cups because I'm NOT willing to mop the floor after every meal. He has started learning that there's a perfect "spot" for his cup on the side of his high chair tray, but he's not always 100% accurate when it comes to setting it up. SO my solution to teach him to sip AND to keep a less sticky floor is to let him sip from a cup in the tub! He thinks this is great fun, and for him it is! I love to watch him experiment with the cup too. Most of it does NOT end up in his mouth at this point, but he is getting it. Right now our lad is only drinking water in the tub, but once he kind of gets the hang of it better I'll add actual beverages to make it more exciting. That way if he dumps juice or milk all down his face and tummy, it'll be supper easy to rinse him off and have a good time. It's working for us, maybe it'll work for you too!