15 useful hacks that’ll ease life with a toddler

Your mini-me can be such a handful sometimes. So, put some order back into your life with these angst-saving tips!

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As a parent, you tend to seize anything that can make your life that much easier, whether it’s a time-saving tip, short cut or insight.

Junior’s crazy toddler years is also the time you’ll need all the help you can get. Since these mini-dynamos are bundles of energy, the only way to keep pace with them is to adjust how you do or manage something.

Get a load of neat advice that should make your parenting journey a little smoother…

1) Turn after playtime clean-up into a game Set a kitchen timer on the table and challenge your mini-me to put away his playthings before the timer goes off. Sweeten the deal by giving small rewards for clearing up their toys and putting them back in the correct places.

2) Place peas in shell-shaped pasta Stuff green peas into shell-shaped pasta to get your picky eater to try this veg during a meal. You can also try dipping pasta into different types of natural food colouring to make the dish more visually appealing.

3) Start junior’s favourite programmes in the middle Your kewpie likely won’t even know the difference when you limit their screen time. Excessive screen time won’t just harm your mini-me’s eyesight, it’ll affect their attention span as well.

4) Use your hairdryer to remove stickers from your wall or tiles Apply just enough heat, so that the adhesive on the stickers can come off, then carefully peel them off. Finally, wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove any remaining marks.

5) Let your mini-Picasso paint or draw on cardboard boxes Save the environment by switching out paper for recycled cupboard boxes. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your toddler goes through a stack of paper as soon as they’re able to hold a colour pencil. These cardboard boxes can also double up as their fortress or castle during playtime.

6) Put baby’s pacifiers in small disposable containers to keep them clean The next time you order takeaway, retain the small sauce containers. You can use these to store your kewpie’s pacifiers when not in use to keep them clean. It’ll also be easier to locate these containers with the pacifier in your diaper bag.

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7) Add a removable hook to the back of your mini-me’s high chair to hold his bibs You’ll no longer have to scurry around looking for his bib at mealtimes.

8) Dip your teething tot’s pacifiers into an ice tray filled with their favourite drink, then freeze Frozen pacifiers are a great way to soothe sore gums when bubba is teething. Be sure to supervise your child while he’s sucking or licking them to prevent choking.

9) Use leftover coffee filters to hold your child’s snacks You won’t have to deal with washing cutlery after they are done eating ― you’ll also prevent overeating as you’re limiting their snack size.

10) Add inspirational posters to the naughty spot to help them calm down Turn this into a bonding activity by picking out inspirational quotes from the web together. Get your mini-me to write them down and design a poster. The next time he acts out and you send him to his “calm-down area”, the copy will remind him of the negative effects of anger.

11) Turn daddy’s oversized old T-shirt into an “I Love You” or “Get Along” shirt Some mothers swears by the effectiveness of the “T-shirt punishment”. American mum, Alexis Tillman, posted a viral video of her two bickering children slow-dancing to a song, both sharing space in an oversized T-shirt. It was how she got her kids ― Tyler, 8, and Dominique, 10 ― to settle their differences after fighting over the iPad.

12) Use a lint roller to pick up all that glitter Cleaning up after using glitter can be a pain — it sticks to your hands, clothes and every other surface it’s in contact with. The trusty lint roller is a fuss-free way to remove all that craft glitter.

13) Reuse an empty egg carton to hold your child’s paint Your painting sessions will become a lot less messy and you no longer have to clean the paint palette.

14) Use kitchen towel tubes to organise sheets of broad craft paper Keeping your craft drawers neat makes clean-up less of a hassle. The next time, instead of tossing an empty roll into the garbage bin, cut the roll down the middle and wrap it around rolls of vanguard sheets, mahjong paper or even wrapping paper. This will keep the papers in place, nor will it cause unsightly creases or folds in the paper, unlike rubber bands.

15) Tape over the speakers of your kid’s toys to lower the volume The sound from your child’s playthings can drive anyone insane, not to mention waking if you have a baby sleeping in the next room. With this hack, your child will still be able to enjoy the music from his toys, yet it won’t rouse bubba. A win-win situation!

Photos: iStock

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