By Nohad Mouawad
Your life is a battlefield, you are ready for anything, and every day is a bootcamp. You are on 24/7 with very little sleep. You have echoes of chants in your head. Sometimes you sleep in uniform and jump up at a moment’s notice, ready for duty. Your commander is tiny but demanding. You are the parent of a baby or toddler and nothing phases you. Here is your survival guide to get you through the baby and toddler years:
Always Have 2 of Everything: The golden rule of parenting little ones is: the “rule of doubles.” Whenever you leave the house, you must have 2 of everything with you, whether it’s 2 snacks when one falls to the floor, 2 sets of clothes (for baby and for you), or a double of your baby’s beloved stuffed toy that they need to sleep to avoid the world ending when Mr Bunny gets lost.
Accept Your Messy Surroundings: These are the years to let it all go, as frustrating as it sounds. Clean or tidy once a day for your own sanity, but in between let things be a bit messy, as every time you go to put their toys away, they will be guaranteed to pull them all out again. To whoever comments on it say: “the kids are making memories.” A few crumbs and a few scattered toys don’t make you a bad parent. They will grow and learn to help you put their toys away.
Get to Know Your City’s Best Play Areas: So, your baby and toddler can’t organize their own social life yet? They might even need to be carried around from one place to another. Well, that’s why it’s so important to know the best play areas around town, and make sure that they know your coffee order. You are going to be spending quite a bit of time at these locations, especially in the hotter months when it’s harder to go to the park. Also, because it’s easier to keep little ones entertained in a tailor-made environment, play areas are wonderful for the little ones. At Tr88house they’ve got a special play area for little ones: the munchkin monster play area. At Little Champions you can enjoy Mommy & Tot swimming or Mommy & Tot gymnastics.
One of parents’ favorite play areas is Funky Monkeys, where they have a huge soft play area, classes and activities for little ones, arts and crafts and a jungle café. At Velocity in Al Quoz, they’re also offering access for babies and toddlers to their soft play and trampoline area. If you have older kids, they can bounce on the trampolines in the main area, while you entertain your little one. If you have a toddler aged 2 to 3 years old, you can also try something different at Flip and Kick. At Flip and Kick they can have their first go at learning to kick and train for football in a toddler-friendly way. If you need a go-to place to take your baby or toddler where they can develop their motor skills, then Kids Unlimited has monthly and yearly subscriptions. That way you don’t have to think twice about where to take them, you have a regular hang out for your baby and you.
Wipes can Solve Anything: Wipes are your magic formula. Got some food pouch splattered across your sweatshirt? Is your car get dirtied with snacks? Need to remove your makeup? Wipes are the answer to all of these, and you thank your baby for introducing you to the magic that is wipes. For an easy and economical way to get your diapers and wipes each month, check out Kim & Kimmy. Their diapers are comfortable and rash and leak-free. Order regular deliveries through the QiDZ app and get a discount. Kim and Kimmy delivers diapers on the same day for orders made by 12 pm.
Embrace the Cocomelon: In a few short years you will be trying to get your little one not to repeat racy rap lyrics. For now, embrace the Cocomelon on repeat, and make sure you have the station cued up in your car. There’s nothing a little itsy bitsy spider can’t cure.
Get Comfy on the Floor: Right now your view of life is from a very low angle, namely from your toddler’s height. It’s best to invest in a bean bag, floor mats and some comfy cushions, as you are going to be spending a lot of time at floor level, playing with and entertaining your little one. One day your kid will grow and your back will thank you if you’ve made it comfortable during this phase. It’s also easier to catch those flying toys and snacks from down here!