With a baby or toddler in the house, things are guaranteed to get messy. Here are some parent/life-hacks that can help you keep those messes under control.
Mealtime is probably the messiest time of day for little ones, especially when they're first eating solids. And once they discover the joys of throwing food? Uh oh. Mess-free mealtimes are a thing of the past, but there are some tricks to at least make clean up easier.
Bibs with a wide scoop, or "pelican bibs" are a lifesaver for catching all those chunks of banana or spoonfuls of yoghurt that don't quite make it into baby's mouth. They're usually made of soft plastic, making them super easy to clean right in the sink.
A mat placed under your highchair can also save you from time spent scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees. Choose a reusable plastic mat that you can easily pick up and rinse.
It's just a fact of life with a baby - there are going to be some yucky diapers. Diapers that don't fit quite right, have been on too long, or just bad luck can leave you with a mess on your hands (and everywhere else).
When a diaper disaster occurs, the hardest thing can be getting your little one out of their clothes without making the situation worse. The last thing you want to do is have to wrestle a dirty onesie up over your little one's head and end up having to wash poop out of their hair.
Be prepared for these messes by opting for onesies and tops with wide, stretchy necks. These allow you to pull the top DOWN to remove, rather than having to go over baby's head.
When you're on the go, make sure you have a change of clothes, diapers and a good supply of wipes so you're not left in a public bathroom, struggling with 1/2 ply toilet paper and paper towels. Carrying hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes is always a good idea to make sure everyone and every surface is poop-free before you leave.
Making a mess could be an activity all on its own, and kids would love it. From fingerpainting to mudpies, making a mess is just part of the fun.
From paints to markers, you want to make sure that your little one's artistic masterpieces stay off the walls and floors, so the word "washable" will be your new best friend on product labels. Water-based is your best option for scrubbing off of little hands and every surface those hands have touched (plus they are non-toxic so you don't have to worry when some inevitably ends up in their mouths).
Reusable plastic table cloths and art smocks can also protect your furniture and their clothes from becoming technicoloured.
When all else fails, every parent should also have a supply of Magic Erasers handy for those tougher to clean spots.
For outdoor play, we love a machine-washable one-piece rain suit. Not only will it keep your child dry from the rain or snow, but also protects their clothes from coming home caked in mud, dirt, grass and whatever else they find. Knowing they're covered means you don't have to get in the way of their fun and can let them explore til their heart's content. Typically made from light material, these can actually be used year-round for protective gear. The one-piece suits give better coverage than two-piece sets too.
Sometimes getting messy is just part of learning and we don't want to stifle our little explorer's curiosity by worrying about the mess. Being prepared for whatever gets thrown at you - from mashed potatoes to muddy boots - means you can spend more time playing and less time cleaning, a win for everyone.