PARENTING TIPS

Help!

Gosh… we are famous already! 🙂 In Italy, a very GLAMOROUS magazine is going to write an article about us (can you imagine)!?!

The thing is… we might need some help!  They not only seem to think that we are glamorous (guess they haven’t seen us in the morning, or even worse– at the kiddies’ dinner time!), they are also convinced that we know how to be cool and hip while keeping our kids entertained at the same time! Truth is- what do WE know?  (We thought only our own kids considered us cool)…

So, if you have any suggestions, tips or tricks that you’re willing to share for keeping your kids entertained, we would LOVE to hear from you.  With your help, we might actually look like real experts…

Leave us a comment, or send us an e-mail!


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Comments (31)

Annemarieke
January 15, 2008

Maybe an entry on sleeping bags? p.e. http://www.littlecompany.nl (also in English); http://www.slaapje.nl (just in Dutch); grobag.nl
I believe that any mother should be told about baby sleeping bags: they are safe and your baby/toddler will never wake up in the middle of the night because of the cold any more. I had half an idea to start a business importing sleeping bags into Italy (an unexplored market in this regard), but, having a busy job and 2 young children, never got round to it. Still think it is a good idea though…….


Jane
January 15, 2008

Become a member of the coolest museum in town!

I always loved to spend Sunday afternoons in the AGO (Toronto), two hours in the latest exhibit, a quick wine and then another hour browsing the collection.
Now it is different, my kids only last 30 minutes…

Instead of giving up on these experiences I became a member; no guilt feelings when we have to leave after 20 minutes. Also, plenty of space in the Membership Lounge to hang out.


Meaghan
January 15, 2008

I always find it handy to have a bag of M&Ms (bribery) in my handbag for times that I am trying to be a cool grown-up, but still have my children with me… it works like a charm!


Courtney
January 15, 2008

A tip for travelling… we always try to do at least ONE kid-friendly thing a day while we are on holiday (like taking them to a kid’s museum, or the park, or the zoo, etc.) so that they don’t get too annoyed with us for wanting to go shopping, or for sitting too long in a cafe, etc.


Michela
January 15, 2008

Some cafes and patisserie have a toy corner, kids get amused and let you enjoy your coffee and your magazine!


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Alessandra
January 15, 2008

When we travel by car we always take a dvd player that hangs on the headrest to entertain our son. It keeps him quiet and the trips seem shorter.


Esther
January 16, 2008

Jane, good thinking about the museum membership. When I was still living in London, we became a member of Tate Modern, with the same benefits!
Speaking about cafĂ©s with toy corners – I’ve heard about a restaurant in Antwerp, Sensunik http://www.sensunik.be where there is an entire floor dedicated to children – no parents allowed. They can eat, play and are supervised by professionals so the parents can have their dinner in total calm. Might you still get worried about your offspring – you can keep an eye on them by means of videoscreens in the main restaurant.
I haven’t been to the restaurant so I can’t tell you how it really is, but I think the concept is fantastic. Next time I’m in Antwerp we’ll see for ourselves and I’ll write a post about it to let you know!
xxx


Marianne
January 16, 2008

Can’t tell you enough about the benefits of online shopping… Browse the new collections while the kids are in bed!


Esther
January 16, 2008

Yes! Or online grocery shopping! See my post http://babyccinoblog.com/?p=18


Michela
January 16, 2008

As soon as the obstetrician allows you to start exercising again join a gym with a creche and burn that baby fat!


Esther
January 16, 2008

And make sure you continue to go (Michela and I joined a gym with crèche in London after the birth of our first babies but we ended up sitting in the garden of our local pub more often!).
Speaking of which:
Find a great neighbourhood friend like Michela, Courtney or Emilie and be convinced about the benefites of White Beer while breastfeeding! (and make sure they don’t move away to other countries!)


Olia
January 16, 2008

What a great idea for a children’s section in a restaurant, but unfortunately knowing my daughter makes me certain that she will NEVER stay in a place that she is not familiar with out me! Or places with a creche are out of the question for us. Even though she never really gave me trouble going to the nursery – short term solutions are not for us!!

There are pilates and swimming classes here in London that a mother can follow with their baby, I wish I knew about them when Arianna was a baby.

But now that she is a toddler there are plenty of things to do on a weekend. We went skating by the History Museum the other day, it is great fun but Arianna got scared and started crying so we had to cut the session sort. Maybe next time it will be better.


Esther
January 16, 2008

Oof, Olia – I know a little bit about what you’re talking about – my 2 1/2 year old is going through this phase where she has trouble being seperated from her mum. But I think that when there are other kids, toys and even professional animators, she might be convinced to leave her parents alone for a bit!
BTW, the skating sounds like fun. Most cities in Europe have something similar these days. In Paris you can go sledding in front of the Hotel de Ville (see Emilie’s post http://babyccinoblog.com/?p=156 ), and when we were visiting Michela in Milan last weekend, I saw people w/ kids skiing down a snowy slope built behind the Castello!!!
(In Amsterdam you can go skating on the ‘Museumplein’, close to the Rijks and Van Gogh musea!)


Michela
January 16, 2008

Keep going to museums by participating in some family programs: the Moma, the Tate and the Met all have some!


Esther
January 16, 2008

No need to sacrifice being an intellectual – on rainy days, just bring your child to the local library – they all have a kids’ section!


Kim
January 16, 2008

Or for rainy days in London (and we have had unfortunately quite some lately….): in NorthWest London you have at Swiss Cottage this great Pool/indoorplaycentre/restaurant/library. My son loves going to the indoor playcentre there and on Sundays he goes swimming at the same place (with his not-so-much-wanting-to-go-father), while I have a delicious cup of coffee and generous served portion of cake overlooking the swimming pool in the restaurant Del Aziz;-) (my excuse, if you think I need any: 8 months pregnant). Also the library is in the same building, so if your child has a sudden change of mind (to mine that happens quite often) you can easily change plans. Even has in the summer a great child friendly water feature and a little playground! In one word fantastic place!


Michela
January 16, 2008

Some Airports have small children play area after security control, it’s a great way to let them use some of the energy before boarding your flight.


Esther
January 16, 2008

Well… we shouldn’t forget about ordering your child a couple of BABYCCINOS to keep them entertained during lunch (so you can chat with your girlfriends!).
See my post http://babyccinoblog.com/?p=118


Courtney
January 16, 2008

Rent an apartment (or do an apartment swap) when you go on holidays. It makes your holiday so much more relaxed when you have a kitchen to cook in and extra bedrooms for your kids! (Being in a tiny hotel room means bed-time routines are chaotic)! Cook your kids their dinner, put them to bed, and stay up late with your man, drinking wine! (Just like a true holiday)…


Courtney
January 16, 2008

Have a weekly date night with your husband! Get a babysitter to come once a week. Then go out to a new restaurant every week. Drink wine and get tipsy! Act like you used to BC (before children)!


Christianne
January 16, 2008

Every couple of weeks I have an aesthetician come to my house in the evenings. She’ll do all the waxing required and a manicure and pedicure if needed. Of course my children are sound asleep!
It saves me the trip to a spa (I can relax on my own sofa with a glass of wine while she does her job – so much more relaxing!) and having to arrange for childcare!


Esther
January 17, 2008

I am in the process of finding such a person here in Amsterdam! (I’d better find somebody sooner than later – thankfully it’s wintertime)!
Sitting here in my pyjamas still, I realize:
You should buy really good-looking pyjamas in case you and your children never make it into day wear (and always take off your -6.25 glasses, brush your hair and put on some light make-up – never know who might ring the bell!!!!).
Also: in case of untameable curls (it seems to be a problem for some people – I wish I had untameable curls), a much needed root tint, uncontrollable dandruff or the like: a headband does wonders!!


January 17, 2008

Our two new favorite games [for a toddler]:
-helping mama– this takes a bit of patience, but it is helpful! my daughter will help me sort laundry, put things away, etc., if it is made into a ‘game’ format. she loves cooking as well, which is fun [if a bit messy…]
-dress up!– for 3 weeks straight, lucie put on her tutu and ballet slippers when she woke up in the a.m. and again after nap time [i usually got her to wear ‘normal’ clothes for a while in between.] then you can say things like ‘well, ballerinas LOVE to eat all their veg’ or ‘a ballerina wouldn’t whine like that!’ and practicing ballet takes a while too!


Esther
January 17, 2008

Organize a summer picnic in the park. Bring dolls with (foldable) doll’s pushchair, bikes, balls. Invite all your friends. Make sure there’s plenty of cold rosé as well. Let your husband carry everything.


Esther
January 17, 2008

Rebecca – my daughter is just like yours! Although frustrating at times, I decided that letting her help me is the easiest way out!


Annemarieke
January 17, 2008

Oops, it seems I didn’t read the question I was commenting on well enough. Anyway: well rested kids (using sleeping bags) entertain themselves (at least in theory………) 🙂


Courtney
January 18, 2008

Another tip…
Get to know the shops and boutiques in your city that have a kid’s corner in the back. There are several shops in Primrose Hill that have a big basket of toys in the back. See my post about Elias and Grace: http://babyccinoblog.com/?p=105
My kids love it, and they stay entertained and busy for at least 20 minutes! (They are always fascinated by toys that aren’t their own)! This way you can shop (and even try things on, if you need to) while your kids stay happy and entertained…


Esther
January 18, 2008

Travelling with newborns is so much easier! They seem to sleep through the entire flight – snug in their bassinette!
I say: Take your husband and newborn baby a long weekend to an exciting place (we went to Hong Kong). Enjoy great shopping, exciting food and amazing landscapes while your baby still sleeps most of the time. Leave your older children with their grandparents.


Esther
January 18, 2008

Don’t worry Annemarieke, all suggestions are VERY welcome. And we do agree with you – a well rested kid is so much easier to entertain! (If only they would understand this themselves!!!)


Courtney
January 18, 2008

Join an international/expat women’s club in your city. Here in London, I am a member of two: the KCWC (Kensington Chelsea Women’s Club), and the AWC (American Women’s Club). These clubs facilitate playgroups for babies, expectant mother’s coffees, activites and parties for children, etc. It is also a really good way to meet other mums in your city. These clubs also have non-kid related activities like book club, wine tastings, and movie nights. I have met many of my closest friends from these clubs. We still have playgroup get-togethers every week that have been going on for 2 years now!
Emilie wrote about “Message”, which is an international club in Paris. See her post: http://babyccinoblog.com/?p=33.


Esther
January 20, 2008

Another thought:
I know this is not easy to arrange for all mothers, but I feel it’s for your sanity:
Try to have at least one afternoon a week for yourself. Go to a hairdresser, to a museum, or have lunch with a friend. Courtney and I used to have our ‘holy’ Tuesday lunches together, and afterwards we would go shopping. I miss those Tuesdays!!


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