So balancing and navigating life with a toddler and a baby takes a lot of strategy to make things work. And I’m all about figuring out how to make life go more smoothly for all of us. I’ve come upon two really helpful hacks:
- The Okay to Wake Clock + Chore Chart. We got Mae (3 years old) the Okay to Wake Clock before her brother was born because I really needed to know a predictable time she’d get out of bed in the morning. This clock glows/lights up at whatever time you want to signal that it is okay for your child to get out of bed. Mae’s time is 7:30 AM. However, Mae would not cooperate at first. Once James was born, I randomly picked up a cute chore chart at Target. You move over ice cream scoops for each chore completed, and after she gets three scoops, she gets a sticker. And she really just likes moving over the scoops and all the praise she gets. So we made “waiting for the light” a chore. Bingo! She became much more interested in cooperating. It doesn’t always work, but it helps a lot, and I can try to time things accordingly with when she gets up. For instance, I need to drink my coffee and eat breakfast before then! (Other chores on the chart are feeding the cat, tidying toys, setting the table, etc.) You can get really cool stickers for a $1 at WalMart. For Mae, it’s important to switch up the stickers to keep her interested.
2. I turned a lower cabinet in our kitchen into Mae’s Cabinet. There are snacks and cups that she can get to. Now when I am breastfeeding James or busy with him and she asks for a snack or drink, she can do it herself! She was SOOOOO excited about this independence. She has learned to use the water function on the refrigerator too. (Yes, sometimes she makes a little mess). I realized that having to make her wait for snacks and drinks was a real issue for her. She’d get so impatient about it, so this is an awesome fix. Now she asks for a snack, and I say “Sure! You can get it yourself,” and she is so proud to do so. Major parenting win!
What are your favorite parenting hacks?