10 ways to have more fun raising your baby

When you’ve got a baby everyone starts telling you what to do.  A wonderful midwife – appropriately called Joy – told me to only take the good advice. So now my biggest is 15 here are the best tips to make raising a baby, simple. If you fancy adding any, please do… For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children see http://homemadekids.wordpress.com, or my book Homemade Kids, www.nicolabaird.com

Some of the families in our babysitting circle back at a 2009 get-together.

Some of the families in our babysitting circle, back at a 2009 get-together, are smiling
  1. Love socks – they can be used as gloves for warmth or to help stop eczema-kids scratching themselves raw. For about a year you baby won’t need shoes, but they might need double socks to keep their toes warm. No one minds if your baby is wearing odd socks. Sock removal is the best entertainment for a tot in a high chair or a buggy. And when they are outgrown, pass them on or turn them into sock puppet monsters.
  2. Aim to say yes far more than no (as in yes you can have an ice cream another day). It’s heartbreaking if your child’s first word is ‘NO’. Then it becomes really irritating. In the parenting manuals they say ‘reward good behavior, ignore bad’.
  3. Breast feeding gives you a desert thirst, so always carry a water bottle around so you can refill it. Keep up the habit and you’ll save a fortune!
  4. If you want people to come around, then just ask them – even if your home is a state. A tidy house is a luxury.

    Raising kids is all about great planning and being able to muddle along, just like they do in Alice in Wonderland.

    Raising kids is a piece of cake. Now, where’s the cake?

  5. Kids have more fun in super simple clothes so babies/toddlers can crawl anywhere without being stung by nettles or bruised. Make sure all kids’ clothing is easy to wash and doesn’t need ironing. For crawlers up give away all those baby-shower gifts of cute but impractical skirts, shorts and dungarees. But for babies at night the all-in-ones make nappy changing hard, so use a nightie (or T shirt) and tights (yes, even for boys).
  6. If you’ve got any type of paid work and small children, then you are going to have to find childcare. High five to anyone who managers without this.
  7. On those very rare nights you go out, it is not kind to expect a teenager to babysit too late. Babysitting circles or swaps with other parent friends may be a better option.
  8. When it comes to primary schools all you need to know is does the school have a breakfast and after school club that your child can go to?
  9. It is possible to do anything when you have a little children, except get a haircut, or laugh/trampoline (unless you keep up those pelvic floor exercises).
  10. Childcare is a long, long slog of a job, but you’ll miss it – the last time you pack away the Lego you’ll be in tears.

Over to you
What are your top tips for new parents?

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6 Comments on “10 ways to have more fun raising your baby”


  1. My tip is similar to your second one: If you ask them not to do something, say it in a positive way e.g. ‘Hold on tight!’ rather than ‘Don’t fall off!’

    • nicola Says:

      Hi Mums do Travel, sorry for my slow reply (technology-grrrr) – totally agree, and a very nice habit to develop. Enjoy your summer travels. Nicola


  2. Ok, my tip is for those who have more than one child, and it sounds a bit strange, but my tip is to NOT treat them equally at all times. Obviously overall you want to make sure that you are not favouring one child over another, but not on every occasion.

    I made a rod for my back with my two because from when they were tiny I always had to make sure I treated them equally at all times – I couldn’t get something for one of them without getting something for the other. If one of them went to a party, then I made sure to do something fun with the other one while they were there. If I played a game with one of them, then I would have to play a game with the other straight after. Any treat that one had, I made sure the other had something similar. So of course they grew to expect this always. And even now that they are older I can’t seem to break them of it. Even my 14 year old will say things like “You got him an ice-cream yesterday, so you owe me an ice-cream now!” It’s ridiculous! So I would say, right from the start, make a point to regularly ensure that one child gets something and not the other (obviously not the same child each time, hehe!), not only will it make things easier for you as a parent, but you are actually teaching them a bit more realistically what it’s like in the real world; we don’t all get treated equally at all times!

    Sorry, that was a bit of an essay, but it’s probably the one thing about parenting that I regularly curse myself for!

    Oh, and hi Nicola by the way! Hope you are well :)

    • homemadekids Says:

      Hi Vanessa-Jane, completely agree with you. Don’t treat your children equally at the same time. This goes for godparents and friends too – if it’s one child’s birthday, the other doesn’t need a compensation present. It must have been hard to stop the habit you’d got into, but must have also made life a million times easier. And far better for kids to have real special time/gift when it’s deserved rather than because someone else in the family deserves it! V good tip.

      Thanks for your looking out for me. I realise I’m giving this blog a little less attention as I have spent the past year writing one interview a week with people who live or work in Islington. It’s a copy of the amazing Spitalfieldslife.com blog but I call mine http://islingtonfacesblog.com (also wordpress!). Have now done 45 interviews with locals and absolutely loving it. Only 200,000 more people to go… However I’ve booked to go to the mumsnet blog fest in November (will you be there???) so need to keep an eye on my http://homemadekids.wordpress.com content – and besides it’s interesting too. Have a good summer. Nicola x


      • Any plans to turn the Islington faces into a book? It would be great. I haven’t booked on the mumsnet blog fest, I don’t really follow mumsnet – I did sign up ages ago and I get the emails, but I never read them! I guess it’s just one thing too many at the moment! Hope your children have a fun summer holiday :) x

      • nicola Says:

        Vanessa-Jane – I turned the first 35 interviews into an ebook on amazon (just working on the smashwords edition). In the long term plan to take the best and do something a bit more creative with them… Wish I could convince you to go to the mumsnet do, I don’t know anyone there. Bizarrely it’s the one thing I always take the time to read: I wonder if it is because it seems very Londoncentric?


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