Swapping out toys

Toddlers get bored of seeing the same old toys every morning. Stash a group of toys in a closet, attic, or basement so that every eight weeks or so, you can replace the been-there-done-that toys with some “new” toys, toys from your very own store.

Games for outside

Toddlers love to play outside, so look for games that can be played outdoors. A kids-style croquet set is a fun, easy-to-learn game that you can play with your child.


Is your child being bullied? Reassure your child there is no weakness in leaving the situation, to keep away from the bully.

Child seat tip

Many companies offer thick car seat covers that act like a bunting for babies in the winter.

Parents should avoid buying any car seat cover or infant bunting that threads through the harness straps of their child’s car seat. Often the packaging of these covers states that the product meets all federal car seat safety guidelines. However, there are no federal guidelines governing after-market car seat accessories.

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.

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.

Tooth tip

When brushing a toddler’s teeth, brush his tongue as well (if he’ll let you) to dislodge the bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Bullying bullies

When bullies are scolded, labeled, and punished, it proves to them that they really are mean people and deserve to suffer. Discouraged and angry, they get revenge on their favorite victim for getting them in trouble. Nonviolent alternatives give them a way out.

Check outdoor playground equipment.

Check outdoor playground equipment. Make sure there are no loose parts or sharp edges.

Start laughing and be silly.

It’s okay to be silly with your child. Just because you are the adult doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun too! After you start the sillies, you won’t have to think of what to do next, the fun will follow.

Table safety tip

Do not place hot fluids on tablecloths in case the child pulls on the tablecloth.

Improving hand-eye coordination

The best thing you can do when trying to improve hand-eye coordination with your child is to let your child play with the toys on her own.

You may feel the urge to show your child how it works. But part of the fun with hand-eye toys is figuring out how they fit together and work.