Best Baby Tips- Works For Me Wednesday (Plus a GIVEAWAY!!)

baby tips

I haven’t really mentioned it yet on the blog, but I was on TV last week. It is long story how it came to be, but basically my hubby and I went on to talk about relationship issues in honor of Valentine’s Day. We had fun, the camera CLEARLY adds more than 10 pounds and I am sure we helped a whole one person. But the funniest thing was the bio line they ran underneath my face while I was talking. It said, Jill Anderson- Marriage Expert.

It seems to have inflated my ego quite a bit because today I am also going to try and pass myself off as some sort of parenting expert. I figure 7 years in and 3 kids later I know all there is to know about raising these kiddos. Of course the only TRUE parenting experts are those who have no children. They know exactly what to do and what not to do with everyone’s kids. But I am going to share a few tips that I have found to be true in my years of parenting. Keep in mind, I am an expert.

  1. Sleep begets more sleep: It seems counter intuitive. Surely the way to get your children to sleep longer at naps and sleep in later in the morning is to keep them up a bit later at night. That is a recipe for disaster people. Disaster. Try putting your baby to bed a bit earlier at night and after a few days of adjustment you might get the sleep you so long for.
  2. Schedules are good, very good: It kind of stinks you can’t just do whatever you want and this little person will just roll with the punches. While my kids have always been flexible, I think the key to making them so was to generally stick to a regular routine. I am a bit of a sleep nazi so all things in life revolve around them keeping their naps and bedtimes as regular as possible. My kids are champion sleepers and, outside of a strong gene pool of people who likey the sleepy, I think this is due to maintaining routines.
  3. Let your kids eat what you eat: Man did I mess this up with the first kid. She ate baby food for way too long, just like the jars told me to. When she transitioned to real food, she only was fed standard toddler fare. And to this day, she pretty much only like standard toddler fare- chicken nuggets, plain pasta, PB&J, pizza and hotdogs. She will eat other things but a lot of it is a battle. Silas ate jarred food for maybe a month or two and then started eating everything we ate that we mushed up a bit. He will eat the spiciest  and weirdest  foods around. As well as some completely non food entities, but that is another post entirely.
  4. Germs, schmerms: If you only knew how little I do to keep germs away from my kiddos you might be astounded to know they are rarely sick. Quit being such a freak about germs and let your kids get a little dirty. I could go into a bunch of science here, but just trust me. Loosen up.
  5. Love your baby daddy (or mommy in case any men are reading): Even though he/she would have you believe otherwise, that baby is NOT the center of the universe. None of your kids are. Your spouse comes first. So easy to type, so hard to do. But the best thing you can do for your kids is to provide a stable, loving household for them to be raised in. On this one at least you should pay attention. After all, I am Jill Anderson, Marriage Expert.
    I am really excited to be part of a discussion on The Motherhood this Thursday, February 24th about hints for baby care in day-to-day life. It will be hosted by, internationally syndicated columnist, Heloise. Who is better to give tips than the woman behind “Hints From Heloise? This Talk is sponsored by Dr. Smith’s Diaper Ointment and I will be a co-host.

I had not used Dr. Smith’s Diaper Ointment before receiving a wonderful gift basket from them and frankly Silas hasn’t had many diaper rashes thankfully. But he was nice enough to get a horrible one just in time for this post. Seriously, it was ugly. I was really impressed with Dr. Smith’s. His rash cleared up immediately.

They want you to experience their ointment as well. One of my lucky readers will receive a Dr. Smith’s Gift Basket filled with a bunch of Dr. Smith’s products, teddy bears, items signed by Heloise, and a number of baby-essential products. Two more winners will receive a product sample package filled with Dr. Smith’s products!

To enter, simply leave me a comment below letting me know one of your best tips or ideas for caring for babies. I will draw three winners at random on Mar. 1st from the comments below. Best of luck!

Also, The Motherhood will write up a list of the best hints from the talk as a great resource. So make sure to join me for the chat on Thurs. the 24th at 1pm ET. I would love to see some friendly “faces” and there will be more awesome prizes to win.

This post was sponsored by The Motherhood and Dr. Smith’s Diaper Ointment. As usual, all opinions are mine. This post is also linked up to Works For Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.


  1. all great advice! Esp the last one. my hubby always lays down our son Aiden – he is Silas’s age. i always kiss Aiden and then kiss ‘daddy’. sometimes aiden is upset that i kiss hubby too long, but other times Aiden will ask me to kiss daddy again – apparently b/c i didn’t do it well enough the first time ;)

    side note – a baby food grinder is a great tool! our kiddo only ate jar food when i was in a hurry and/or there was nothing to mash, or when we were gone somewhere, in which case a jar that doesn’t need refrigerating is sooooo easy to take along! Otherwise we ground food in the baby food grinder :) makes it easy for him to eat our food. and there’s really nothing that he won’t eat, that we’ve tried :) unless it’s too bland for him ;)
    lana recently posted…some updates and some praiseMy Profile

  2. Amen to all your baby tips! The only one I would add is to keep nighttime for sleeping. Co-sleep with you baby in the early weeks if you can or at least keep the lights off and noise to a minimum during nighttime feedings. Only change his/her diaper when absolutely necessary (i.e. poopy or leaky diaper) and do your best to keep baby sleeping through feedings. (I know BabyWise disagrees with this, but I don’t understand the theory behind that at all…waking the baby up helps them sleep? What??)
    Emily Kay recently posted…Lists and SchedulesMy Profile

  3. Great tips, especially about sleep and germs! I’d add that unless you want your little one sleeping in your bed until the teenage years, do not start this habit. It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when both parents work. It seems harmless enough, but it’s a tough habit to break, trust me.

    • I so agree. Unless you truly want to co-sleep, keep them out of that bed. My kids don’t even try to come in cause they know it isn’t happening.

  4. I love Dr. Smith’s! Our daughter had a horrible rash when she was a newborn and our pediatrician gave us samples of Dr. Smith’s. We had been using all sorts of other ointments, some were even prescriptions, and nothing was working. We used the Dr. Smith’s samples and her rash cleared up immediately! When our son was born, we didn’t even bother buying anything else.
    As for a baby tip, the best thing I can think of is to just not be too uptight if things don’t go according to plan. For example, I was trying to get my laundry done today but my son wasn’t interested in my plans. He wanted to be rocked. So, I rocked him and my laundry didn’t get put away until this evening. I didn’t get everything accomplished that I was planning on getting done today, but I did get in some precious snuggle time with my sweet boy.

  5. I agree with all of your above tips except for #1. I’ve always been a SAHM, so I had no need to be up ‘early’ in the mornings,(I’m NOT a morning person!) and therefore wanted my babies to sleep in, if at all possible. So, we put them to bed about 9p.m., and they would both sleep until 9-10a.m., routinely. (now ages 6 & 3.) Now granted -very early on, they might have needed a 6a.m. feeding – which my hubby would do since he needed to get up and around for work anyway, and let me sleep. But the key was always putting them back to bed – in a still-completely dark room – and they’d go back to sleep until 9-10a.m. We didn’t assume that because they woke up that early to eat that they were up for the day, which a lot of people do. You really can train your babies to adjust to your schedule if you do it right and routinely, as you said!
    The jury is also still out on the eating thing too. I think that is a kid-to-kid thing. My oldest is pretty open to at least trying new, funky things. But my youngest will eat very little. Even things I am completely confident she’ll like, based on other things she likes, she whole-heartedly refuses to try. (3yo) Freaky, over-active taste buds/pallettes seem to run rampant in my family, though my hubby & his family will eat anything put in fornt of them, weird!
    As for the germs – right on. I too am no germ-a-phobe, (except maybe for sticky, grimey restaurant highchairs that are never cleaned – grody!) and my kids also are rarely sick!
    Partner priority – right on! Babies/young kids often have more ‘immediate’/urgent needs, but that doesn’t mean they always come ‘first’. It’s all about harmony – versus balance. You can’t really ‘balance’ your life…it will rarely ever balance out, because something/someone will always have to give. It/they just will. Out of balance. But finding harmony allows for equal ‘notes’ of importance, but for varying placement in the ‘piece’, depending on the immediate need. ;-)
    Kristi recently posted…Multitude MondayMy Profile

    • well your kids are still getting 12 hours of sleep which is what is important. My kids have to be up at 6:45 for school so we put them to bed very early so they get the 10-12 hours they need.

      Great tips!!

      • Oh – of course, makes sense. My son is now in Kingergarten and has to be up around 7:00a.m. so he goes to bed by about 8:00. But your tip was talking about babies, wasn’t it? And “getting them to take longer naps and sleep longer in the morning”? That’s what I was referencing! And it was simply my experience that putting mine to bed later meant they did sleep longer in the morning, according to the schedule I mentioned, and found that they could be trained do so if you work on it from the get-go. That was a tip from my mom, who said she did the same thing with my sister and me and it worked! (Kind of like training them to sleep thru the night – which mine both learned at barely 4 months in less than a week, at the direction of our doctor.)
        Kristi recently posted…Multitude MondayMy Profile

        • Well my poor baby doesn’t get his own schedule. He is the unfortunate third kid who has to roll with everyone else’s. But we spoil him so it all works out ;)

  6. nicolerenae says:

    I’ve learned that listening to your own intuition is the biggest thing! Yes, it’s good to get your mom’s, doctor’s, friends, etc. advice, but when it comes down to it, you are the one that knows what’s best for your child! I remind myself of that often, because it’s easy to compare your child to others, but all kids are different and what works for one might not work for another.

  7. Tamara Sz says:

    I have two. One is to use cloth diapers–saves so much $, smells better (believe it or not), and is fun, and better for the world we live in.
    The second is to make your own baby food. I love knowing what is going in my baby’s food, plus, of course the savings aspect!

    • Love making homemade baby food. And I wish I had the patience and energy to do cloth diapers. I hate that I am clogging up the earth with my disposables. Ugh.

  8. Hmmmm….I think my tip would be to PUT YOUR BABY DOWN. Yes, your child needs love and cuddles, no doubt, but the only way your child will learn to play by himself is if he is given the chance. I started leaving my son to play by himself from a very early age…I’d lay him on the floor under a play gym with dangly toys, when he could sit up I’d leave him on the floor with a pile of toys in front of him, and now most of the time he’s happy to crawl around and explore and entertain himself. When we have family visit and he gets held a lot, I can always tell afterwards. He is more demanding and doesn’t want his feet (or bottom) to touch the floor. Consistency and firmness is key. If you’re just starting now, be prepared for some whining and fights. My son still whines sometimes when I put him down, but 30 seconds later he’s happy as can be and crawling off to do something on his own. Then I can actually cook dinner or do the laundry and we’re both happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cuddle and play time with him…but there’s a time and place for everything. :)
    Kara @ Just1Step recently posted…CradleJoycom ReviewMy Profile

    • I love how independently my kids play. If you entertain them all day long they will expect to be entertained all day long. Back off and let them entertain themselves. Perfect advice.

  9. You took all my best tips! :)

    I guess I could add: DON’T KEEP UP WITH THE JONESES.

    There are hundreds of thousands of parenting books on the market because there are literally hundreds of thousands of ways to parent. God has designed all of us to be individuals and unique. Celebrate that by being yourselves and raising your children like no others. Trust your gut. God gave you that gut after all. And parent based on you and your spouses comfort level. And for goodness sake enjoy it. Let it be joyful. It all happens in a blink of an eye.

    (thanks for the chance to win your giveaway!)

  10. Unfortunately I don’t have any tips, but I love reading yours!
    Jen recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Red Velvet CupcakesMy Profile

  11. “Sleep begets more sleep.”

    It amazes me just how literally this is true. If my kids go to bed late, not only are they horrible to try to get to settle down, but they actually wake up *earlier* in the morning. If they go to bed earlier, they sleep later.

  12. Christie says:

    I’m not a mom yet, but I’m an aunt to 4. The biggest tip I have is that while babies do need a lot of stuff, they don’t need nearly as much stuff as Babies R Us would have you to believe. Beyond a safe place to sleep, some clothes to wear, and diapers, there’s not a whole lot that’s absolutely necessary.

  13. I get so very tired of 2 things:

    1) The people who say kids only like “Kid food.” Yes, that is because that’s what you fed them and expected them to eat. They are not born that way. My kids eat almost anything and celebrate fish, broccoli, and so on. I once served my daughter mac’n’cheese for lunch and she frowned at me and said “Where’s my broccoli?” Yeah — because I’ve always fed them everything that we eat, so that’s what they eat too!

    2) Parents who say “If others didn’t bring their kids to school/playgroup/church with a runny nose, my kid would never get sick.” NEWS FLASH: Kids are most contagious BEFORE they show symptoms. And do we really care if they catch a couple little colds in the winter? Get over it. Obviously if your kid is puking or has a fever you don’t take them out. Duh. But, um, a little runny nose? Life goes on, seriously. And the more they get colds in the first couple years, the more they’ll build up their immune systems and NOT get sick later. It’s the germaphobe freaks whose kids keep getting sick over and over and over again and it makes them even freakier about it. Sigh.

  14. Cathy V says:

    I’ve only been doing this mom thing for 8 months but my biggest tip is to trust yourself and not compare your child to other children. What works for one does not always work for another.

    And, your child not sleeping through the night doesn’t make you a bad mom. I have to tell myself that one a lot.

  15. Baby Tip: For very dry baby skin (like eczema), use Noxema. Its original purpose was treating eczema.
    (Noxema = “No Eczema”)

  16. I’m five years in and have 2 kids, but I don’t feel like I have any tips. My kids are constantly sick (going to the doctor again today); my 5-y-o only eats chicken nuggets and pizza; and they live in front of the tv. Clearly I deserve some sort of award. ;-)
    Eos Mom recently posted…I Once Was a Movie BuffMy Profile

    • Well if you would have come to my house today I would have given you a run for your money for “mother of the year”. I just play an expert on TV ;)

  17. The best advice that I can think of right now is if you are still trying figure out how to cut your precious little babies finger nails. I finally figured out a trick when my first born was 6 months old and now I have used it for all three of my kids.
    Have them sit between your legs facing the same way as you. So it is almost like you are cutting your own nails. Push back on the skin so it is away from the nail and trim slowly and patiently. It works great!

    • I hate doing this. Hate it. It is so hard so i pretty much just let the hubby do it. I will try this and see if I can pull it off :)

  18. So I’m still new to this mommy thing (my baby boy is about to be 5 months old!) but I have found a few things that we do NOT live without.
    First- swaddle swaddle swaddle those little arms and legs (if he likes it of course). We continued doing this when we were discharged from the hospital and believe it or not we are still doing it! We wrap his arms a little looser now but those legs are wrapped tight even at four months old…another related tip…roll up a baby blanket and fold in into a tall U shape at the bottom of his crib. When you lay him down in it all rolled up like a little fat-cheeked burrito…he still feels something wrapped around him in place of your arms! Not quite as good as mommy or daddy arms but with our boy it is apparantly much better than plain old mattress!

    Second- Forget the specialized baby lotions…we use plain old Vaseline Intensive Care lotion…no scent…huge bottle and works great!

    Third- It took us a few months to figure out bedtime…then we started noticing the little booger get extremely grumpy sometime from 6:30 to 7:30. We always tried to keep him awake until we went to bed…bad idea! He picked his own bedtime…7 to 7:30ish every night! (since he was around 2 1/2 months old) And guess what…he started sleeping from 7ish at night until 5 am! Occasionally he’ll wake up for a midnight feeding but hey…I’ll take that!

    Fourth- Babies need LOTS and LOTS of kisseys!!!

    • If you want to keep that swaddle going a little longer, this SAVED MY LIFE


  19. My biggest thing has been doing what is best for me and my family. Let other families do what is best for them. Don’t judge them. Don’t let their judgments bother you.
    Your tips are right-on!

  20. visiting from wfmw. great tips … tucked away in my tip file for when we finally have a little one!

  21. My best advice is keep lots of baby wipes on hand ;)!
    Miranda recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – Valentines FlowersMy Profile

  22. Molly says:

    LOVE those tips. I am a firm believer in sleeping and schedules and loving Daddy! Oddly, my first was a textbook sleeper and easy to “train” while my second has own ideas about how it should be. A good sleeper he is not. But, he knows his bedtime and heaven help us if we mess with that.

    So here are my tidbits:
    – Every kiddo is different. What worked perfectly for kid #1 may or may not work perfectly for kid #2.
    – Do what’s best for you and your family. Whether that’s breast-feeding or bottle-feeding, cloth or disposable diapers, etc. You know what works and what’s best for your family, not the strangers who so kindly offer their advice in the store! =)
    – And, I agree with Miranda, lots and lots of baby wipes. I’ll probably keep ’em with me after diaper changes are long gone!

  23. If you do not do anything else on the schedule, always do your bedtime routine. The concept really works. It honestly saved us from a lot of stress once our second arrived. Everything was crazy for my first, but he still had his safe, constant bedtime routine. We started him as an infant, it certainly was modified as he transitioned to a toddler/preschooler. We have our daughter on the routine as well.

    A bonus: my husband and I sit down every night by 8 and relax!

    P.S. I am so with you on the baby food. I already introduced my 9 month old to our meals and praying she becomes a better eater than my son! He is getting better though :-)
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    • That is why we do an early bedtime too. I need my time without kids around to decompress and hang with the hubby.

    • I get a lot of comments about having my 2-yr old in bed by 7 every night. People think it’s too early. But that means that I get quiet time with my husband. That’s so important to us! Besides, by 7, Baby Girl wants to be in bed.

  24. Mmmm, well I am no parenting expert with just one crazy toddler running around but if I have learned anything it would be to let daddy, yes, let him, do stuff. Our hubbies are quite capable of dressing the child(ren) (you might have to choose the clothes although it is fun to what they pick out!), bathing (I’ve caught my husband numerous times in the tub with our kid), changing even the poopy ones, disciplining, playing, putting to bed for naps or nighttime and feeding. They don’t always do things like you ‘like’ them to be done, but who cares?! It is getting done and the more they do it, the better they get. Plus, daddies play a huge role in our childrens’ lives — and not just for the fun stuff. Encourage the bond by having them do some of the regular stuff. Even if they won’t admit it, they love the freedom and responsibility (especially if you simply stay out of the way!). Who knows, you might even get a night out or off … yay!
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  25. On itunes you can find recordings of a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, and a beating heart. That was the best $3 I ever spent, because when our daughter was a newborn, those soothed her like nothing else!
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  26. Lisa L says:

    My best tip is to not give baby a pacifier. It took me 2 yrs to get my son off that addiction!