Sanity Hacks for Parents of Littles

As a mom of four kids, age 5 and under, these sanity hacks have kept me from pulling my hair out more times than I can count. Sure, there’s lots of parenting advice out there, but with the special kind of crazy that comes from a house full of littles, sometimes we need some extra ways to cheat the system. (Some affiliate links included.)

Sanity Hacks for Parents of Littles

Sanity Hacks for Parents of Littles

Toys

We have a “one box out at a time” rule. We also rotate toys “some things go into hiding for a week or so, and then they get switched out. Keeps things interesting, and makes them feel like they’re getting to play with something new all the time. You don’t need a ton of toys on hand to be able to do this, though. In fact, we’ve found less is more “and creativity-sparking toys will help playtime last even longer.

Chores

From a very young age, children want to help out. Give them little jobs that they CAN do based on their age (without making more of a mess than they’re cleaning up), and increase responsibility as they get older. For examples of age-appropriate chores you can start with your kids, click HERE.

Clothes

Ideally, buy used. But buy smart used. We buy all of our kids’ clothing at Goodwill, but I don’t just pick anything that looks cute. I hunt for the good brands, like Children’s Place and Baby Gap, that I know hold up to a lot of abuse, and will stay nice far longer. Also, Goodwill has half-off days every so often that can further shave off clothing costs.

Shoes

One word: Crocs. We have a solid, neutral color in each size we’ve been through, and we let the kids each pick a couple jibbitz (the fun “charm” attachments) that they switch out depending on which shoes are “theirs” at that point. There are no color or style battles, we hand-wash or throw them in the dishwasher to clean when needed, and they last FOREVER.

Sanity Hacks for Parents of Littles

{  Photo credit Toward Fatherhood  }

Food

Buy snacks in bulk, and get reusable snack containers. We love these reusable snack cups, and reusable snack bags are great too. Best pick for sippy cups that are durable and grow with your child? Nalgene. And for some awesome meal hacks for thrifty moms, click HERE.

Health

Three things that I couldn’t live without, during the baby stages especially: the Total Baby app and  the Portable Pediatrician book.

Sleep

If you have a waker, try to prep for their usual needs during the night before you go to bed. It’s a lot easier to deal with unpleasant parts of the day or night when you’re prepared, at least to some degree. Try to go to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour every night, too. A nap for mama can be rare ”but sometimes you can grab a quick one with sneaky strategies like THESE. And when all else fails… Turkish tea is awesome.

Technology

We use iPad Minis for everything. We actually just did away with our computer completely, and have been without mobile phones since January 2014 (read how). But we have one iPad mini with only kid-friendly apps and music on it, and locked third-party app with videos (so we can limit the amount of screen time). It has parental controls set up so the kids can only access age-appropriate things, and is safely secured in a Lifeproof case.

Do you have a favorite parental sanity tip? Share it on our Facebook page! Or just hop over to the next great post on Kids Activities Blog… How to keep your sanity when your kids stop napping.

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