How to organize your home

A good tip for organizing your home is to never stop finding new ways to keep clutter from over running you. Even if you just take ten minutes a day and throw out what you know you wont use it will make a difference.

Selecting toddler books

Select books that appeal to infants and toddlers. Look for bright colors, sharp contrasts between the picture and the page, rhythmic writing, and plots that are simple but engaging.

Responsibility for your son’s own messes.

Hold your child accountable for her own messes. Do it kindly, do it supportively, but do it, even when it’s easier to do it yourself.

Toys for the car only.

Pick out a few interesting toys and books just for the car: I found that I could defuse the tantrum that inevitably occurred when my toddler realized that he was about to be strapped into a car seat by strategically offering him a toy or book he didn’t get to see all that often.

Let your toddler try to do it themselves.

Rein in your own impatience. That doesn’t mean abandoning him to it. Stand by, smiling, ready to be helpful in whatever way actually helps your toddler.

Toy tip.

Plastic Rubbermaid bins with the sealing lid are very spacious and better than toy chests, and hampers because they have a top that closes tightly and goes over the bin, making it hard for the toddler to access the toys and preventing them from throwing toys all over the room.

Thumb and finger sucking.

The sucking reflex is normal and healthy in babies. However, a thumb or finger sucking habit can cause problems with the growth of the mouth and jaw, and position of teeth, if it continues after permanent teeth have erupted, between four and seven years of age.

Safety Tip.

Secure standing fans, bookcases, lamps and any other appliance that is within the reach of the toddler. Secure anything that will fall if your toddler holds it for support.

Do cultural things.

Each month visit an art gallery, museum, or educational exhibit.

Sippy cup tip.

If your child is unable or unwilling to tip up a sip cup try a reusable straw drink container. Small children tend to suck more readily than tip up a cup and this will encourage less bottle use!

Kitchen safety tip.

When cooking, use the back burners on the stove and turn all pot handles towards the back of the stove.

Child beds

Involve your child in selection of her new bed. It’s best to allow her to choose new bedding with some of her favorite characters.

Making sure baby is comfortable.

How can you tell if your sleeping baby is getting overheated? She may feel very warm behind her neck, her hair may be damp from sweat or her cheeks may become quite red.

A tremendous amount of heat is lost when we sweat and your baby is no exception. Monitor your baby’s temperature closely, unzip their bunting and remove their hat when you put them in the car or go into a warm shop, and bring an extra set of cloths just in case they get sweaty.

Acclimating to school

Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun. She’ll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.

Waiting for the bus

When waiting for the bus teach him to wait in a line when the bus is arriving, and not to run directly into the path of the bus in his hurry to catch it. At times the drivers too are helpless and there is only so much they can do to prevent an accident.

Get to know your school bus driver

Become familiar with the school bus driver and the transportation company that is contracted by the school to transport your child. Provide all of these individuals your telephone number and walk with your child to the bus.

Deals on school supplies

One strategy when you find a great deal on basic supplies such as paper, pencils, crayons, binders, etc, is to stock up with at least three of each item. The kids are well-stocked for the first day of school, and you can restock at least twice later in the school year.

Bus safety tip

When your toddler waits for the bus, teach him to avoid roughhousing behavior. Teach him to be wary of the traffic on the busy roads, and on how to stay away from the traffic and how to stand quietly and safely while waiting.

Establish a homework routine

Establish a homework routine. Decide with your child on a time each night to do homework and stick to it. Kids like knowing when things will happen, rather than being caught off guard.

Assessing back-to-school clothes needs

Take an afternoon and assess each child’s clothing needs. Empty drawers and closets of outgrown or worn-out clothing, and either store or donate the discards. Working with your child, clean and organize clothing storage before new garments are added–and cut down on school morning calls of "Mom! I don’t have any clean…"