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Archive for the ‘Ultimate House Rules’ category

UltimateMama is a strong believer of democracy in the home.  Moreover, UltimateMama tries to give her toddler choices whenever possible…albeit limited choices at times.  The toddler who is given choices feels a sense of pride when his voice is heard.  Building self-confidence in our children is critical and it doesn't cost a thing! 

For example, ask your toddler the following:

– Cereal:  Do you want Cheerios or Raisin Bran?

– Sweater:  Do you want to wear white or red?

– Books:  Do you want to read "Green Eggs and Ham" or "Kitten's First Full Moon" tonight?

One of UltimateMama's mommy friends who happens to have an older child as well as one the same age as UltimateMama's oldest recently told her something to the effect of "I am not one to give unsolicited advice, however, if a parent wants to change a behavior or implement something new it is up to the parent, not the child, to make that happen".  UltimateMama thought it was brilliant.  Keep this delicious quote in mind when thinking about potty training, implementing a bedtime routine, eating meals at the same time each day, etc.  As long as you, the parent, acts in a consistent manner your child will follow suit! You can make change happen.

UltimateMama feels that you should be straightforward when you provide a list (verbal or written) of the rules of your house.  But, try not to be self-righteous. 


You may never give your one year old ice-cream but of course you may eat it from time to time.  Evaluate what is important to you and communicate it with any visitors or childcare providers.


One mother does not drink soda but has no problem buying it for her nanny who really enjoys it.  Of course it is off-limit to her child but she wants her nanny to feel comfortable in her home. 


Some house rules may include:



– read to the child and try to keep her engaged in all activities

– interact with the child

– sing songs to the child or play the music we provide (such as classical, holiday, or children’s music)

– talk to the child even if it is as simple as describing what you are doing (it helps to build her vocabulary)

– play with the child in a gentle manner (age-appropriate play may include tummy time on an activity mat, tea parties with dolls, working on puzzles, playing dress-up, or creating buildings with blocks)

– engage the child in art projects with the supplies we provide (crayons, finger painting, play dough, etc.)

– use proper manners (please, thank you) and teach our child to do so as well

– do not wear shoes inside the home (slippers are fine)

– always wash your hands before handling the child



– do not shake our child

– do not watch television when the child is awake

– do not use foul language

– do not shout or yell

– do not spank or hit our child (time outs or another agreed upon method can be used to reprimand the child for wrongdoings)

– do not talk constantly on the phone; please limit your phone usage for emergencies or calling us to check in

– do not wear super-strong perfume in our home (if your baby has allergies or sensitive skin)

– do not take the child swimming or near pools

– do not use blankets in our child’s crib (we prefer wearable options such as the Halo SleepSack or Blankeaze in a gender neutral color like yellow or green so you can use them for the next child or hand them down to a friend's child)



Also, if you do not use pacifiers for your child make this clear.