Parenting Tips & Tricks

“There are no perfect parents, and there are no perfect children, but there are plenty of perfect moments along the way…”

Henry Ford





Let your children fill their own bags of unused toys to give to charity before birthdays and holidays. Then witness them feel good about themselves.

3 (and a half) Laundry *TIPS* for Parents

1. Enlist your kids.
It gives them a sense of pride and once they learn you’ll forever have a laundry partner in crime.  IMG_2248

2. Use the same detergent for every load. Our 2 year old has very sensitive skin but with Seventh Generation Liquid Detergent everyone in the family is protected with natural ingredients (97% come from renewable plant based sources) that actually work.

3. The Quinn Household is typically where socks come to get divorced. But we put a bin up on our laundry room wall to collect socks while they wait for their spouses to come crawling back and it helps with the separation process. Create sock puppets out of the ones that never find their mates.


Pack a headband in your maternity bagKids are natural yogis. Instill a love of yoga (or any mindful movement of the body) in them at an early age. It will help develop body awareness, build concentration, and the focus on breath can be very calming. (We use “deep yoga breaths” after a boo-boo and it really works.) Put a mat or blanket down and let them follow instruction from a DVD or use our personal favorite: On Demand Activity TV Yoga with Jodi Komitor. 10 minute mini classes teach children a variety of stretches thru fun and engaging exercises like “building a rainbow,” “going to the beach” or “cooking dinner.”12079060_881834158553038_2250957784616912745_n

UNPLAN. According to Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., co-author of Einstein Never Used Flashcards, “Doing nothing is actually extremely productive and essential…kids explore the world at their own pace, develop their own unique set of interests and indulge in fantasy play that will help them figure out how to create their own happiness and sensibly manage their own time.” Critical life skills!


Give them a task…


There aren’t many good options for kids when eating out. Ask to add avocado to a grilled cheese sandwhich to make it heartier and healthier!


Try a “tasting bowl.” Put new food in a small dish next to your kid’s dinner plate. They need to taste the food at some point. If they don’t like it they keep the bowl on the table. This teaches it’s okay to not like something but not ok to meltdown if there is something on the plate they don’t like. (Plus you’re more inclined to take another bite if it’s in front of you..as we all probably know to well!)


You know that mineral-based sunscreen is the best but you hate having your child look like Casper the Ghost.  Check out Think Baby – it actually blends in easily! (Thank me later.) http://gothinkbaby.com


Does your child have a splinter but won’t let you touch it? Create a paste of baking soda and water (“Fairy Dust” – show them that you have it on you, first), then pat it over the area and cover it with a band-aid. Repeat everyday until the splinter comes out


You know what happens when you get up an hour earlier than your small children? You get to enjoy the ENTIRE CUP of HOT coffee.


Cut hot dogs length-wise before cutting into pieces for your toddler.  This will make them less of a choke hazard (More “Piece” of Mind for you!)


Put a dirty disposable diaper in the washing machine? Curse. Then re-wash the load with salt instead of soap. It should destroy the thousands of gel beads you are still cursing at.


Try reminding yourself babies aren’t robots when a nap is skipped or they stop eating avocados altogether.  It may just help for the two seconds it takes to say it.


It’s easy to become judgmental in Mommyhood.  Let’s all remember there is not one way to raise a happy and healthy baby.


Put the older child in the carseat first. You don’t want them to run off while you’re half in the car putting the baby in!


Swim diapers only hold poop (not pee!)

Missing your baby at work? Finish off your morning shower with the same soap you use on them. Their scent will be with you all day.

Pre-fill your newborn’s diapers with ointment before bed to save time during middle-of-the-night changes

Are your wipes drying out? Pour a little water in the package (or a 1/2 cup to your wipes warmer) to avoid this from happening.

It’s hard to feel like yourself again after having a baby. A little lip gloss and a fun piece of jewelry can go a long way in making you feel human again.

We pooled a bunch of Moms and they all agreed – Puddle Jumpers – are the best for toddler swimming. (Pun, intended.) Check them out at Amazon.com or Target.

Do not keep your child’s hard books in the car.  In the event of a roll-over accident they can become projectiles and cause serious injury.

It’s usually better not to bring playthings from home to the park that are bound to be kid magnets. Even the most easy-going turn-takers are bound to freak-out if other children are grabbing their treasured toys. (Courtesy – Parents Magazine)

Uncomfortable from weaning? Grow a garden in your bra. No really, try using well washed cooled cabbage leaves to relieve swelling.


If you give birth in a hospital take everything you can with you before you leave: extra diapers, underwear, pads, socks, hats, binkys, swaddle blankets, Vasoline, you name it. They won’t mind and you’ll be glad you did!

I’ve been using Hydrolatum on my baby and toddler’s dry skin. It works like a charm. The whipped Vasoline consistency rubs in well and is less sticky than Aquaphor. {It’s not prescription but I did have to ask for it behind the pharmacy counter at CVS.}

Newborns get a lot of crud in their skin folds. These are THE BEST washcloths for getting it out in the bath. Cheap, too.

Try putting straight Vasoline (petroleum jelly) on your babies bottom before bed. The pee will just roll right off it causing less diaper rash

Introduce a soft, breathable lovey to your 3 month old.  Sleep with it first to get your smell on it.  Always have it around during naps and bedtime.  It will soon signal “sleep” to your baby.  (Psst: Buy extra!)

Wash baby bibs with velcro closures separately or in a bag to avoid snagging other clothes.  (I learned this the hard way!)

If your infant is fussy, try holding them while sitting and bouncing on an exercise ball. Let their head hang ever so slightly over your arm so it sways very gently.

Don’t ever tell a new mother that you’re tired. No one is as tired as that new mother.

Starting a registry can be daunting. Check out my must-have list on Mamajamas and remember, you don’t know if you’ll have a baby that loves to rock, bounce, or swing until they come. Amazon Prime & Diapers can delivery everything else next day! (Please Note: car seat & stroller intentionally left off due to contracts.) Click here.

Is your skin going bananas during pregnancy? Try the rebalancing facial cleanser by Basq. I used (and loved} it during both pregnancies. Find it here.

Try this schedule with your infant: Eat, “Activity”, Sleep. Avoid letting them fall asleep on the boob or the bottle after 3 weeks old. Put them down for a parent-directed nap while awake. After the last feeding before “bedtime” put them directly to sleep. This helps them learn to fall asleep on their own as well the difference between day and night.

Store your breast pump shields/valves/bottles in the fridge for the day so you don’t have to wash them after every session.

Never give a new mom anything she has to hand wash. Hand-washing her newborn is stressful enough.




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