The Good, The Bad, and The Baby

5 Parenting Hacks To Get You Through The Week

Letting your toddler lead the way.

Everybody likes to find the tips and tricks that make life easier. Here are our parenting hacks. These have been a lifesaver.

1. Baby babble

Also know as Baby Sign Language. We started BSL with Victoria around 5 months. The first time we saw more than just her repeating the signs we doing was at 8 months. We had been feeding her and as we kept asking if she wanted more she’d sign more then finally we got an ‘all done’. Our minds were blown. From there she started to be able to tell us when she wanted more, milk, food, all done, sleep, books, diaper change, etc. This has stopped many tantrums because she can just tell us what she wants. She’ll get our attention then sign what she wants. Best hack ever!

2. Toddler trailblazing

What is toddler trailblazing? Well, we let Victoria lead. What does this entail? Well, she wants to read a book, we read a book. She wants to play outside, we take her out. She needs a snack, we give her one. She asks for a nap (BSL), we let her nap. Yup, that’s it, it’s that easy. Victoria gets what she asks for, within reason of course!


3. Pearly whites

For us it’s better known as ‘monkey see, monkey do’. Many parents seem to have trouble with brushing their babies teeth, in fact it becomes almost unbearable for some. Here’s our trick, we brush our teeth at the same time as her. We let her play with her toothbrush, check it out, experiment with it. She’s even brushed both our teeth. She actually does a pretty good job brushing her teeth and let’s us brush them too. It may be slow going at the beginning but well worth it to let them experiment and figure it out on their own. Try not to force it. Teamwork!


4. Child labour

This ties into a lot of my other ‘hacks’ with the monkey see, monkey do concept. If Victoria is happily playing on her own I’ll try and get some housework done. This includes sweeping, unloading the dishwasher, feeding the cats and other such things. More often than not she will come and help out. Now she always helps with the dishwasher, cleans up her own spills (with help) and will even sweep the floors with her broom when I am. Because she’s always seen us doing these things she thinks it’s fun (I know right?). We’ve even given her a cloth while we dust and she will help out.


5. Interesting eats for little humans

We started Victoria on ‘interesting’ food fairly early in the Victoria feeding process. When we started Victoria on food we started with purées, homemade rice cereal to be exact. That didn’t last long, Victoria got over purées very quickly. She wanted to eat like the real people. So we let her. Everything we ate she got. At the beginning it would just be one aspect of our meal so we could still monitor for allergic reactions. We gave her roasted garlic, asparagus, and BBQ’d brussel sprouts. We quickly moved into Indian curry, spicy chili and Moroccan stew. She eats everything, or at least tries it. The secret? Just give it to them. We always make a point of having some at the same time. Monkey see, monkey do.


You may have noticed that my hacks aren’t really ‘quick’ fixes or cheap tricks. Here’s the thing: parenting isn’t easy, so there are no quick fixes or easy solutions. It all takes time and effort. Having said that, these are the things that have made our lives easier. Each one of these hacks have taken time to implement but in the long run have saved us time and stress. It may seem that sometimes you hit an insurmountable wall but you can get through it. Ask for help, try and stay constant and most importantly remember you love your child and they love you.



Jennifer • 27 February 2016

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