- Keeping cats out of the crib: (learned this in our baby prep class) If you have cats and want them to stay out of your baby's crib... put large aluminum foil pieces flat across the mattress (WHEN THE BABY IS NOT IN THERE of course). Next time Felix jumps into the crib for a nap he'll land on the foil and probably jump right back out from fright. The loud noise and thought of sleeping on something crackly will hopefully dissuade them from wanting to sleep there. If you have the crib set up in the weeks before baby is born/adopted you can leave the foil in there for an extended period of time so that the cat(s) learn that is not a fun place to sleep.
- Bibs are not just for food: We had tons of bibs from our baby showers... and we had a baby that spit up a lot. Don't wait to use the bibs for first foods. You can use bibs to help save your baby's outfit from getting spit up on it. This one seems so simple and obvious but it took my mom pointing it out to us when our first daughter was an infant. Thanks Mom!
- "Different Day" - Little kids don't have any sense of time. In our house we made up the term "Different Day." Whenever we are referring to something that is not happening right now, instead of saying that it will be tomorrow or in three days or two months, we say "It will be on a different day." It puts my older daughter at ease and she accepts this answer easily understanding that whatever it is, she'll need to wait for a different day for it to happen.
- Temporary/Vacation Bed Rail: Just came across this cool idea! Use a pool noodle as a temporary bed rail - see how here.
- "Bibliotherapy": If you are ever in need of a book that covers a topic such as birth, adoption, death, divorce or any other topic that you are trying to explain to a child you can put the word and the term bibliotherapy into a search engine to get lots of lists of books that are designed to explain these sometimes difficult topics to kids. Examples "kids and divorce bibliotherapy" or "death of pet bibliotherapy."
- Also, just found this blog post on "No Time for Flash Cards" which has a list of books that cover difficult topics.
- "Best Thing": We insist on a sit down traditional dinner each night at our house. To give everyone a chance to talk and share we do "Best Thing." Each family member has a turn telling what their best thing was that happened that day. Even our little toddler shares each night. This is a good thing to do for all sorts of reasons. Some benefits include learning turn taking, listening to others, and family bonding. It also gives your children practice for when their teacher says "What would you like to write about in your journal today?" When our kids get to be "tweens" we'll start "Best Thing / Worst Thing" to give them a chance to share both the ups and downs of their day. A great way to stay tuned into your kids while showing that you care.