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Time Saving Tips When You Have a Toddler

Looking after a toddler, or being a mum to a toddler, can be a hectic time. As a nanny with experience of looking after toddlers, I thought I would share with you a few time saving tips



Tips from the Professional Nanny of the Year

Always prepare for the next day the night before: pack the nursery bag or day bag, make the picnic etc.  This will save time in the mornings and often means less stress for you!

Let older toddlers help choose their clothes for the next day: this helps them build up their independence, plus you potentially avoid a tantrum  if you've chosen the wrong thing for them to wear.

Keep all their plates, bowls, cups and cutlery in a cupboard or drawer that is easy for them to access. Get them to lay out the breakfast for the next day, for example, or whilst you are cooking lunch, get them to choose their plate and cup.

Make and freeze batches of home cooked food: individual shepherd's pie, fish pie, spaghetti bolognese can all be cooked in advance and frozen. This also helps you plan the meals for the week, and means you are not scrabbling around for something to cook.  Toddlers are probably at their most crotchety when they are hungry – so just before meal times is a time when they may need more of your attention, which is hard if you are rushing to get tea on the table.

Talk with your toddler about the activities planned for the following day. During the day, remind them always about what you are doing next. Give them time frames - for example we are going to the park after you have finished your drink. This helps to motivate them to finish, plus they know what is coming next.

Try to only get one box of toys, or one game, out at a time. This gives them one thing to focus on, plus you will save time when needing to tidy up later. Always get your toddler involved in tidying away one box before getting out another.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to raising or caring for a toddler, but often good organisation can reduce the stress and the tantrums!

Katy Hayden, Professional Nanny of the Year 2009-2010

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