*I was provided with sippy cups from The First Years. All opinions are my own.
My sister has a work schedule that is always changing her days and hours. My mom works every other day, so her schedule flip-flops every week. My mom watches my sisters children if my sister is working while my mom is off, but when they both work at the same time, I often pick up the slack by having the kids. With their changing schedules, the amount of time that I have the kids varies but it usually works out to about once a week. Drew is 3 and Kelsie is 11 months so they keep me busy when they are here. Here are my top 5 babysitting must haves.
1) Toys. This is pretty much a given, but they’d go crazy with boredom if they didn’t have toys to play with while here. They often carry in a toy or two with them from home but that won’t keep them busy for long. I pick up toys to add to our stash all the time but a few favorites are small cars, books, building blocks, teething toys, and animal figures.
2) Craft supplies. At 3, Drew loves anything that is messy or that he can create with so painting is a huge hit. I save all kinds of odds and ends for him to craft with including paper towel rolls, tissue paper, cardboard boxes and scrap paper. Last week he drew this picture of me and Kelsie (his baby sister).
3) Pacifiers. Kelsie has gotten to the age where she resists sleeping, as if she is afraid to miss out on something. She gets really tired and cranky but doesn’t want to give in and nap. While she isn’t really one to use a pacifier much during the day anymore, they are really nice to have around to help her drift off once she’s tired.
4) Receiving blankets or other small blankets. This one is related to #3. Kelsie resists sleep, but she can’t resist a blanket. If she has a pacifier and a blanket, she’s almost always asleep within 10 minutes. She is a warm sleeper so even if it’s not particularly warm inside, regular blankets make her sweat so receiving blankets are a great solution for giving her a blanket to hold and snuggle with, without making her overheat.
5) Sippy cups. Seems how Kelsie is almost 1, she’s using bottles less and less. Drew is 3 so he can use regular cups at the table during meals fine but when he’s running around and playing it’s nice to have sippy cups for him to use without worrying about them making a mess. The First Years has sippy cups that are great for both of the kids.
Kelsie likes the The First Years Soft Spout Sippy Cups (For ages 6+ months) because the spout is softer than other sippy cups (but not really soft like a bottle – it’s about half way in between). When I give her a sippy of cold water she will sit and chew on the cold, soft spout so I think it feels good on her gums. She’s able to drink from it without a problem which I love. I also like how the lids are just a single piece, so there aren’t any strange little pieces to keep track of or worry about cleaning. These are available at Kmart for $6.99 per 2 pack.
Drew really likes the movie Cars and the show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so he was excited to see The First Years Disney Baby Cars Insulated Sippy Cups (available at Walmart) and Mickey Mouse cups (available at Kmart). These are single piece lids that are easy to clean and care for. The insulated cups keep drinks cold longer and prevent the outside from “sweating”. All of the lids are interchangeable so I don’t have to worry about grabbing the right one. They can even be interchanged with the soft spout cups, so if Kelsie were to want to drink out of the mickey mouse sippy, I can put her soft spout lid on it for her like in the photo above.