When I first started blogging, almost all of my posts were about my kids. I shared cute stories about them, little bits of advice and tips I had for other moms, and fun crafts and activities you could do with your kids. However, at some point I got caught up in more DIY and craft type posts, and haven’t taken the time to share as many posts about parenting and activities for kids. However, I’ve been wanting to share more and I’m happy that I’ve teamed up with Playskool and Socialstars over the next few months to bring you a series of sponsored posts for other moms. As always, all of the thoughts, pictures, and opinions are mine. #Playskoolcrew
So today I wanted to share with you all some of the best advice that I have that has taken me a while to learn. I’m not a perfect mom who does everything right all of the time (do those moms even exist?), but I certainly have a lot of experience! In fact, if I could send a message back in time to myself 6 years ago right before my oldest son Benjamin was born, this is the advice I would give.
Less is more.
Yup. That’s it. Less is more. It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the baby stuff. I mean, some people have come up with the coolest toys and inventions that are meant to make moms’ lives easier. And some of them are really great! However, it’s so easy to start thinking of some of these things as absolute needs and before you know it, it takes you an hour to pack the diaper bag before you can leave the house. I totally did this with my son the first time around, and at some point, all of those things that were supposed to be making my life easier were making my life harder!
When my son Oliver was born 16 months ago, my older two kids were 3 and 4, and I had stopped carrying any sort of diaper bag completely. I had gotten addicted to the freedom and I knew that I didn’t want to have to start dealing with and carrying all of that stuff again. Plus, I had a lot less time to spend packing and managing the diaper bag and I had a lot less space in the car. And you know what? I started taking trips to the store with all three kids and no diaper bag. I would just put a few diapers and wipes in my purse and an extra pacifier in a ziplock bag. In fact, for the first 8 months, I rarely even used the stroller and I would just carry Oliver in a baby carrier. It was so liberating and made running errands with three little kids so much easier (not that it was ever actually easy haha).
Now I’m not saying to get rid of everything or that you shouldn’t carry a diaper bag or use a stroller or that there is anything wrong with all of those cool baby products. All I’m saying is that less is more. This general principle will be different for every mom. But basically, if you think you won’t need it – leave it!
When you start living by the less is more philosophy, you will start to look at products and toys differently. It has made me a smarter shopper, and instead of picking out lots of different toys with lots of different parts, I’ve started looking for toys that are more open ended and that grow with your child. The Playskool Stack ‘n Stow Cups are exactly this kind of toy that I LOVE!
They are fun and colorful. They stack. They nest. They have shapes. And best of all, they store compactly inside a cute little lion. The lion’s tale even acts as a hook so you can bring it with you easily. So when you take a weekend family trip to a hotel, you don’t have to pack a ton of toys. You can just bring this one toy, and your baby or toddler will find a lot of different ways to have fun with it.
Oliver just loves lions and growls every time he sees the little lion face. He will play with these cups for a long time, and is working on figuring out the right order to put the cups in so that they will all fit inside of each other.
I even let him sit at the table with some Cheerios the other day and he was mesmerized with putting a few Cheerios inside one of the cups and letting them fall through the hole.
Playskool also sent us the Fold ‘n Go Busy Elephant to try out. It is such a cute soft toy that is great for babies.
Since Oliver is older now (16 months) I actually put this elephant at his feet in his crib, and he has lots of fun playing with it when he wakes up (and it buys me an extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning). Oliver especially loves putting the heart rattle in the elephant’s pocket. However, this is another one of those great open ended toys that is great for traveling or taking with you. There are 7 different unique activities all packed into one toy. So instead of having to keep track of, pack, and store 7 different toys, you have just one fun toy with a lot of different possibilities. It also folds up really nicely to make it even more portable.