One of the more frustrating elements of parenting little tykes is all that stuff.
And frankly – you just don’t need so much of it. We already know we buy too much and receive too much, right? Honestly – we need a place to sleep, a diaper bag (ahem), diapers and food. Right? The rest tends to get in the way.
Wet wipes warmers? Puh-lease. Those baby tushes need to be toughened up anyway.
Bottle sterilizers? Just takes up space on the counter.
But then comes more stuff, as time goes by and people want to visit the baby and bring gifts.
How about we return to buying government bonds, shall we? It’s a good time for that ROI!
First birthdays come and the child who’s barely sentient is showered in gifts.
At my first kid’s birthday, someone asked, “what are you playing with these days?” I responded, “Tupperware.”
She was incensed, but I was also kinda serious. Tupperware is a great plaything for a kid to organize, stack, play with the lids and containers, AND they’re for the parent’s use, too!
It’s all too much. Let’s try to tackle this together
So many cars and dresses and baby arms and trains and Magnatiles and Legos. This is just the time to have baskets for easy clean-up. Toss all that crap together. Make every day a discovery of the random items in the baskets. Moreover, have your kiddo organize and sort toys according to the baskets. Not that you want to foster OCD tendencies at a super early age. But might as well put them to work as basket cases. Pun intended.
- Follow developmental suggested levels.
You might think your kid is a genius (and obviously you’re right) but suggested ages for toys exist for a reason. If you get that marble run for your 3yo, you might think that’ll fast-track them to Harvard. But the fact is, they probably won’t get the full use out of the toy until they really are 5 or 6. Otherwise it’ll gather dust until they’re really ready.
- Hide toys and bring them out separately. It’ll be like Christmas every day.
These days, your kid is so inundated with toys, they might be paralyzed with indecision with so much choice. It’s like the Cheesecake Factory menu. Utterly overwhelming. Try to keep toys in a closet and take out one or two at a time. It’ll help limit the overwhelm felt by both you AND your toddler.
- One in, one out.
Each time you get something new, pass an old toy on – either through donation or gift-giving or, well…trash. Further, cultivate a spirit of donation for your child. Let them choose something they want to pass on. This cultivates gratitude for what they have, generosity toward kids in need, and hopefully a sense of organization and limits, as well.
- Marie Kondo that shit
Does your kid play with that toy? Nope? Get rid of it. Even if it has sentimental value to you and it’s a “valuable” antique from your well-meaning great aunt Suellen? It’s big? It was worth a lot? But it doesn’t spark any joy in your kiddo? It’s fine. Get rid of it. It just causes guilt.