hintsandthings.co.uk »Nursery

Baby and children related hints and tips, keeping children amused, parenting skills, adapting maternity clothes, babies clothes etc.

Child Related Tips

useful tips for busy Mums and

  • Some children these days seem to have a lot of toys,
    some of which never see the light of day.  To keep children interested and to get the
    best out of their toys divide them into two different toy boxes and rotate them every two
    or three weeks.

  • Hand painting is a great way to amuse children as
    they love to get messy.  The finished articles can be used as pictures, borders etc,.

  • To encourage finicky eaters put a variety of food in
    a dish to make it interesting for them.  For instance you could use an ice cube tray
    and put things such as nuts, raisins, currents, cheese etc. into each compartment.

  • Pieces of bread soaked in milk and baked in the oven
    until crisp, make ideal rusks especially for babies that are teething.  As well as
    being cheap they have the added bonus of no added sugar.

  • Use role play with children, this encourages their
    imagination and can help with difficult situations such as pending hospital visits etc.
  • Place an old washing liquid “ball” over the
    bath taps to prevent children burning themselves.

  • For babies suffering with acute nappy rash put a
    teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a bowl of warm water and sit baby in until the water
    cools.  This is both soothing and healing.

  • Use a visor to prevent soap in childrens’ eyes when
    washing hair.

child dressed up as nurse tending her doll

  • On the beach
    don’t try and rub sand away from between toes and fingers, but shake
    baby talcum powder on hands and feet and the sand comes away easily,

    Catherine Smith

  • To make tidying up toys etc. fun use a kitchen timer
    and make it into a game to see if they can “beat the clock”.  A small
    reward at the end makes is extra fun.

  • The noise made by domestic appliances (washing
    machines etc.) can be very soothing to babies. 

  • To make home made baby wipes put some hot water into
    a bow, add a squirt of baby oil and then lay in some cotton wool squares.  Hey
    presto, home made wipes.

  • To bring up babies’ wind, walk upstairs with baby
    resting over your shoulder as this movement encourages “burping”.

  • Muslin squares are very useful as they can be used
    for mopping chins, changing mats, burping and much, much more.

  • If you use a dummy for your baby wrap in cling film
    after sterilising and it is always ready for use.

  • Record an audio tape for your children to hear when
    they are going to sleep.  Nursery rhymes, favourite stories etc. together with a
    familiar voice can work wonders.  These are also useful when travelling.

  • If you’re a busy mum and
    find an item of clothing you forgot was damp (i.e. baby’s bib in the
    glove compartment in the car) and it now has black mould spots on it,
    soak it in a solution of bottle sterilizer and water – just enough to
    cover the garment. Rinse and launder as usual. 

    As long as it is
    colour fast
    , the spots will disappear and leave it clean as



Sandwich bags – easy opening
for children

I have been sent this very useful tip for sealing
childrens’ plastic lunch bags.

After plastic bagging the daily sandwiches, make it
easy for the children to open them by tying the bag shut with a tie that is sheer
simplicity to remove, even for the youngest child.  Easy to reseal too, it they want

Take another of the bags and make it into a tie by
pulling lightly on diagonal corners.  Exclude the air from the bag with the food and
then tie the neck closed with the strip made by the second bag.  A single knot is

To open the food bag just pull on the knot with your
fingers and it will easily slide off the neck of the food bag.

You can re-use the “tie” bag four to six
times by ignoring the knots and tying again.

Our thanks to Mae Loat for this very
original and useful idea.

  • When pregnant an old skirt can be utilised by cutting
    out section from the front from waist to just below the “bump” line. From a
    similar piece of material cut a fan shape i.e. so the bottom edge fits the new cut edge of
    the skirt with the top edge much wider.  Hem the top edge and thread through ribbon
    or a piece of elastic.  Attach to skirt and the sides and cut edge (below
    bump).  Waist line can then be adjusted using the ribbon tie of will expand with

  • Always make childrens’ dresses and skirts with at
    least a 6″ hem, they can then be lowered as the child grows.  It is important to
    remember when washing these garments either undo the hem each time or open out to prevent
    a wear mark line forming.

  • Babies’ dresses can be made into rompers by threading
    elastic through the hem and stitching a flap between the legs.  Obviously rompers can
    be made into dresses by removing the flap and elastic and hemming.

My sister sent me these tips which she
can remember our Mum using