#6 In my home this is known as the mud bench. This is the place where the diaper bags and shoes go when children come to my home. Although it only has 3 cubbies for diaper bags, there is room on the actual bench for the remaining 2 when I have a full schedule. Toddler shoes fit nicely in the smaller cubbies and the padded bench makes for an easy location for moms to sit the child down while she removes or puts on the shoes.
When guests come in the evenings or on weekends, they can use those same cubbies for their shoes without feeling like they’re cluttering up our entry way.
The cover on the padded seat is washable, too!
#7 Why I hadn’t thought of this until about 8 months ago is beyond me: We keep a hamper in the dining room. I have a standard kitchen garbage pail lined with a cloth diaper pail liner. At the end of each meal, bibs and washcloths get tossed in without the need to run upstairs to our dirty laundry hampers. The same is true with our placemats after dinner each evening. With 9 different children, I go through a lot of bibs and washcloths and this keeps everything in one place. The older children have learned how to open the lid and can now toss in their bibs all by themselves in slam-dunk fashion.
#8 It isn’t unusual to hear mothers complaining about the stroller they’ve purchased. My philosophy has always been that if you are going to spend a lot of time using something, then it is worth it to spend extra money getting the one you like the most.
I purchased my stroller: The Beast.
Last year, this stroller was an absolute necessity. I watched 3 children who weren’t walking so anytime outside mandated the use of a triple stroller. My daughter was in kindergarten and I needed to be able to pick her up from the bus stop, rain or shine. The stroller came with a fabulous rain cover that also works well to keep the children warm in very cold or windy conditions. The 3rd seat, a jump seat, removes easily to use as a double stroller. There is also a rain cover for the double stroller format. I have jogged with this stroller in double formation and it is very easy to handle! In its triple set-up, jogging is doable but only on straighter paths.
The handlebar is height-adjustable and the double seats both recline fully. The tires are a very sturdy bike-tire design and it came with its own pump that stores in a specially designed pocket.
There is a sun shade for each seat, although in this photo the shade isn’t in place—it was put away.
In addition, The Beast is 29” wide. Do you know what that means?? It means it fits through every single “handicap accessible” door. The ADA currently states that doors must have a width of 32”. Even better, the standard single door to a home or apartment is often as little as 30” and the stroller will fit through it! In yucky weather, I can open the front door to my home and just push the stroller right through the door while all the children are still loaded up. It then turns on a dime into the kitchen where all the rain water can fall onto the linoleum with worry about water spotting on wood or carpet.
I’ve taken The Beast to the mall, the doctors’ office, and on 4 mile walks through our lovely town. It’s been “off-roading” in the mud, too.
When fully loaded, I’m pushing about 125 pounds of stroller + child but it barely feels like half the weight. It simply handles beautifully. And did I mention it folds up small enough to fit in the rear cargo space of my van with room left for groceries?!?!?!
If you have a daycare in your home or have 3 very young children, this stroller is worth every penny. There isn’t a place this stroller can’t go or can’t do.
#9 If you recall, the first item I listed on my list of ten was the Baby Bjorn potty seat. I keep one of these in the playroom and another stays in the bathroom. Urine is sterile, but when the children move their bowels, I need to know that the potty has been sanitized in the event one of the babies decides to crawl over and put her toys in it. These wipes are a quick and easy way to keep the potties nice and clean. They also come in handy on the rare occasion that someone pukes or poops on the floor.
I also use them to wipe down the toys when needed. This one of the only things I use that is disposable. I prefer the recycle/reuse lifestyle but I have yet to find an alternative to these wipes for sanitizing.
#10 When we removed the carpeting on the main level of our home and replaced it with the Pergo Extreme Performance flooring, I knew the children were going to need something soft to play on but the thought of putting down an expensive rug that would be difficult to clean didn’t appeal to me. After doing some extensive research on the safety of the foam flooring I went ahead and made the purchase.
There was a definite chemical odor as was promised by the safety research articles I’d read. However, I noticed that the smell dissipated just as fast as promised and the flooring has been wonderful. I use it as a teaching tool for colors, letter, and numbers. We play a toddler version of twister on it (who needs a slippery small white mat when they have this on the floor??) as well as assigning colors during singing time.
The mats pull apart and wipe down very easily when cleaning is needed. They also stack up well when I need to sweep or mop the floor underneath. After washing, I generally assemble the foam tiles into cubes. We stack these and knock them over repeatedly! It’s like gigantic building blocks only the crash is quieter and because the blocks are foam, they don’t hurt if someone happens to be standing on the wrong side of a tower that gets knocked over. We have even done air bowling with these: throw the ball and see how many pillars of blocks you can knock over.
The only catch to these is that they are more delicate than I thought. A low heal on a shoe leaves a permanent dent in the flooring, as do teeth marks if a teething baby happens to pull an edge off and start chewing on it. But still, for the price I paid and the use I get from them, they are wonderful.
Now, if I could find a truly effective method of toy storage . . .