When you are making dinner, the half hour before bedtime, noon, 9 am, when you are trying to leave the house, you always know its coming. That specific time of day when your infant or toddler just…can’t…keep…it…together. And you are about to lose it too.
As newborns, sorry but it’s inevitable and there’s not much you can do. Hang in there. They grow up so fast.
For older babies and toddlers there are some ways to help keep the sanity in your house. Whenever that special time of the day is, have a tool kit handy.
Supply your mini monster with a lunch box of healthy snacks. Carrot sticks, hummus, fruit, milk. As long as it’s healthy, don’t worry about them filling up before dinner. If your child isn’t at solids yet, give them the same lunch box with some empty containers and fun utensils (think spaghetti spoon, tongs, wooden spoon).
Before Bed Breakdown?
Chances are, everyone is tired. Try a game that involves the whole family. Through your newborn in a sling or take turns cradling while you follow a youtube video to learn a new dance, and laugh with each other through the process. Snowball toss into a laundry basket using crumpled up junk mail (let the kids crumple the paper!), or make a ramp with an old cardbox (we all know you have an Amazon Prime box somewhere) for matchbox car races.
Out the door and out of your mind?
Outline a steering wheel on a paper plate and write your child’s name on the plate. Keep it by the door with a set of toy keys so he can take his steering wheel and “drive” it around the house while you look for YOUR keys.
The “key” to all of these is to keep specific activities sacred to certain times of the day. This way, your child will look forward to playing at this time or it will seem like a brand new toy. When children have the same toys out all the time, they get boring. Old news. Another reason to rotate toys. More on that coming soon.
Hang in there! Bedtime will happen. Then have a glass of wine, a cup of tea, or just go to bed. You deserve it!