How Do You Shower, Take the Garbage Out, Etc with a Toddler??

Updated on August 31, 2011
L.K. asks from Fargo, ND
39 answers

Hi, looking especially to the single moms for help here...

My toddler is on the verge of being able to escape from her playpen and crib. Once she does that I have no idea how I am going to be able to take a shower, use the bathroom, or take something hot out of the oven...ever again! How do you keep your child safe while you do things that you cannot be holding them for?! (plus of course she is getting really heavy and very wiggly)

I'm also concerned that with winter coming, I'm going to have to go out to start the car to warm it up every morning. The only option I can see is to bundle her up and drag her out with me while I do this. Then undress and wait for the car to warm up, and dress her up all over again!

Right now I usually manage to get up extra early and get the shower part done, but that doesn't solve everything else. The bathroom is too small to think about just bringing her in to play in there while I get ready. SO how the heck does everyone else manage this and keep the kid safe while you do things that require two hands, or them not to be underfoot? Is there some secret tip that I am missing? haha

Thanks for any suggestions :)

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answers from Houston on

I had to put them in their room and lock the door, give them an activity or a small snack... otherwise the entire house would be destroyed in the time frame of my 15 minute shower. baby gates didn't work, they climbed them or would knock them down. Before I did that, I brought the kids in the shower with me. Yes, me showering with two toddlers! I loved night showers when my husband was home and could watch the kids.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

I'm not a single mom BUT my sitter uses a play yard (not a pack in play)when she needs to do those things. If you can afford a car starter you may want to invest on one of those ;-) When my girls were a bit older I used a see through shower liner and let them read while I took a shower and could still watch them...they would line un in their marshmello chairs and stack of books just reading away.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

When showering, have her sit right next to you and read books (my daughter loved to do this while sitting in a laundry basket). Do you have a bath? You could take a bath so you could keep a closer eye on her.

Enlist her help to take out the trash. Teach her about a hot oven and how she needs to stay back. If she doesn't listen, put her in her high chair and give her some toys, food, etc while you are taking something out of the oven, cooking, etc.

The TV is okay in small doses, too!

As far as the car, I second the automatic starter!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Williamsport on

I have spent lots of years and months home alone with toddlers. My youngest is now 2. you can enforce enough discipline to get quick breaks, like "Stay in your playpen" if you see her climbing out when you need to vacuum real quick, or run the trash out to the curb, or "stay out of the kitchen" when you're cooking hot, splattery food. I taught the command, "No, back" when I had a hot curling iron on the counter, or was about to open the oven. It's good for kids to learn impulse control at this age rather than just go wherever unless held back by bodily force. We didn't child proof and always taught the kids the rules with discipline from infancy, so they would follow verbal directions by toddlerhood and understand what they weren't allowed to get into or climb on-it made things much easier. You can strike a happy medium with a little discipline and a little restraint-as in closed doors etc.
You can run out for two seconds to start the car if you tell her to "stay in her playpen" so she doesn't run outside. For showers, I probably didn't take a shower for those years :) No, I just timed it with naps usually. Or had a little friend sticking their arm in the water from outside and peaking in the curtain saying, "hi mommy" the whole time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I just took mine everywhere with me (mine could never stay in a playpen), and changed the way I did certain things.

We had a small bathroom a few times. So I didn't get ready in the bathroom. After showering, I plugged my hairdryer in in the living room by a mirror I bought for that purpose, put on my make up out there or in the car in the driveway, etc. ((For shower time itself; strapped in a carseat in the bathroom, eating in a highchair in the bathroom, "loose" playing with a ________ -door stop, toilet paper, flushing, drawing, whatever-, in the shower with me, etc.))

Cooking... he started "helping" (actually helpting) at about 18mo. By age 5 he was my star prep cook. ((I've never understood the idea of play kitchens when you've got a real one, right there)).

Garbage, he helped me carry it out (my bag or his own little bag) or I took it out while he was sleeping.

For quick seconds (like starting the car), I'd often just pop him in the crib (I kept him in a crib until he was 3) or give him a snack in front of the TV.

Was he underfoot? Yup. But having him there was pretty easy. I'm another 'non-childproofing' kind of parent. He learned quickly, he helped a lot. It takes longer with kids, but mine was never the type to "play quietly elsewhere". He's adhd, highly active, an extrovert. I just got used to it, and booked more time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

my sons were quite capable of climbing over all gates, releasing themselves from highchairs & carseats, & escaping cribs/playpens ....before 1 year. Drove me nuts!

To ensure their safety, we were consistent in teaching them safety ....& more importantly, listening skills. They had to obey when it came to safety.

In your examples, the stove - both the cooktop & oven - (forgive me!) all boiled down to simply teaching our sons to SIT still while I was dealing with the "hot stuff". I would place them in a safe zone, fully in my sight....& there were consequences if they moved out of the zone. Simple noisemakers, like pots/pans, do great for entertaining during hazardous cooking moments.

The shower was easy: I kept a bathroom drawer full of toys for shower time. If there's enough room for you to stand in your bathroom, then there's enough room for her to play! Get a toilet lock, put safety latches on the cabinet.....& she'll be fine. Do your drying off in the shower & it'll work.

The getting ready part.....move it to your bedroom. Let her play with your shoes or keep a stash of toys under the bed.

Warming up the car: put her in front of the window so she can watch you.

As you approach these changes/adjustments, please realize that's what this's a change, an adaptation to your child's growth.....& it wll change with each season. Peace.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Teach her right from wrong. If she knows what she can or cannot get into it is no big deal. Generally you have to leave a child in the state of bored for around ten minutes before they will even consider breaking rules. That is ten minutes of bored mind you, leave them playing with something you get to add the time it takes for them to get bored to the ten minutes.

If you cannot take a shower, start your car, pull something out of the oven, etc, in ten minutes you are having some serious troubles.

I am making this light but I am serious. That is how we all did it. You teach them right from wrong, make sure they are playing or occupied with something, and then you quickly do whatever it is that must be done without their help.

Otherwise we would have some really stinky moms out there. :)

Oh and for the car have two sets of keys so you can lock it when you go back inside. Nothing would suck more than coming back out with a bundled kid to find the car gone.

Oh and another, I would leave the bathroom door open, if things went quiet you knew they were up to something. :(

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Well my husband works on oil rigs so i pretty much am like a single mom 25 days out of the month. I shower WITH toddler when i have to, and all those other things are either childproofed or a good way to teach the word ."no".

This and all other things you just kind of figure out as you go along.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

A highchair and/or a bumbo seat. I used them for everything. When we lived in our tiny apartment we didn't have room for a highchair. So she sat in the bumbo seat next to the tub playing, or on the opposite side of the kitchen (so she wouldn't get burned). When she got too big for that stuff she just did things with me.
My aunt in Fargo also swears by her automatic car starter to warm up the car. It's all done by remote, but the car remains locked. I don't know how much they are but you might want to look into it.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

While showering, put her in the highchair with cheerios and let her watch PBS...some kind of educational show. That's what I had to do when my hubby traveled and I had the kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

When it was just me and my toddler I showered after he went to sleep at night. That's when I took out the trash and did little things like that where he'd be underfoot if I tried to do it with him awake.
I didn't get to use the bathroom alone until he was around 5 years old. Until that age he didn't really understand privacy.
When I was cooking I told him to stay out of the kitchen. I taught him that as soon as he could walk. If he wanted to talk to me or show me something he had to do it from the kitchen doorway. Otherwise he watched television or played in his room while I cooked.

I don't know about the warming up the car. I lived in south Texas then and didn't have to worry about that.

For me it was getting as much done as I could after he went to bed and before my own bedtime.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

get a good babygate and put it across her bedroom door. babyproof her room totally so that all that is in there is stuff she can play with. then when you have to do stuff you can't take her out for them put her in the room with the gate across. I always had gates and hook and eye locks. always take your keys out with you when you run out to put garbage away etc. in case she shuts the door on you. as far as the showers go do that before she gets up or after she goes to bed.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I used a bumbo seat in the shower when my daughter was really little. Now she takes a bath while I shower overhead. As for the garbage, etc., I use a movie that catches her attention, but I don't know how old your child is. My daughter was really into elmo and now kipper and shawn of the sheep seem to work for this purpose. You'll manage but it does take some creativity!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Im not sure how old your child is, but it sounds like its time for you to teach her about safety. She should know that the oven is hot and that she has to stay sitting a certain distance away when you have to open it. If your house is really child proofed she should be safe in another room while you run to the bathroom, though my daughter would never let me leave the room... haha, so i took her with me. I have always showered with my daughter, since she could sit on her own, then I got us dry, then her dressed, then me. she has always played with my makeup or the tp or whatever in the bathroom while i do hair/make up. About the car in the am, I would bundle her up to start the car, but why undress her when you come back in? Just leave her bundled... Take the garbage out after she is asleep, and thats a good time to start the laundry too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

A highchair is more likely to tip and injure a child, then setting up a gate system or your playyards (if they will stay in) for these in-the house purposes.Also, choking on things as simple as dry cereal while you are not right there... please be careful if you employ these ideas.

When my daughter was very young (under maybe 14 mos) we used the saucer in the bathroom (just big enough for that in there), then I had a gate at the one end of the hallway, the doors all closed, and a gate in the doorway to the bathroom. This made a "playpen" of the hallway in our house for her. Soft toys and books, a seethru shower door I could peek out of (leaving the bathroom door open)....and I would peek out and make silly faces at her with a shampoo head, etc to get her attention. Worked for us.

My hubby worked 2 jobs...I was a nanny and worked 10-12 hours a day (with dd in tow), so we were a tired and raggedy crew for many years. When she was 3 I started home daycare and was glad I had alot of perm gates already in place at stairways, etc, as I now needed them all!

Also..the auto start for cars ROCKS! I will never go without one again (ours are both aftermarket)

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I used to use the booster seat with buckles at the table for quick outside trips. Something totally not hazardous (like a toy or book, Cheerios when they were old enough that it was REALLY unlikely they would choke). A really baby-proof room helps with a gate, either pressure or mounted. I sometimes "shower" with my kids awake by having on in their room (the middle one), the baby napping, and my oldest playing on the computer--I just run enough water to get wet, soap up with it off so I can hear everything, then rinse quickly. No fun, and I hope I never have to come tearing out of the bathroom naked and soapy to the rescue, but it works. My husband and I work opposite shifts, so we function at home almost like single parents.

REALLY make sure the room is safe, though. He made the mistake of letting the older two boys "play" in their room while he took a quick shower. They managed to shatter a piggy bank and splatter their blood all over the room (bedding, walls, toys, floor, etc.). It looked worse than it was, but it was one of his more upsetting alone-with-kids experiences. We no longer have piggy banks in their room. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

With my kids, they were always able to sit down on my bed and watch a tv show (at around 1 1/2 or 2). Prior to that, they could sit in the exersaucer or a highchair or their cribs..mine never climbed out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I do quick things like take the garbage out or start the car with my guy in his highchair. Of course, it may be a different story if you live in an apartment or something if your car or dumpster is far away. I wake early to shower before my son is up, or if he is up early, my husband is still home then to watch him. Other little things, I guess I just have him "help" even though it slows everything down :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I agree with TV at times that are especially helpful to mom. Also, you child needs to be able to entertain themself. My can spend about 30 minutes alone in their rooms playing and reading books or listening to music. We had to work up to this. Start with 5 the gradually add more. We shut the door and their rooms are child proof.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

OMG OMG I am freaking out!:) My husband will start travelling for work mid september and we thought it would be ok since my son is little older now(16 months). He hasn't tried climbing out of his crib yet. I don't know what age they start doing that but your question has started M. thinkng how I will manage alone! I will look forward for the answers. I think I like the high chair idea :)
We have this indoor playyard for my son (I think it's called superyard - I can't find the link but mine is quite huge and very nice looking with yellow, blue gates all around and an activity wall, not the metal cage type we see in babies R US etc) I leave my son in there when I got to open the hot oven etc , he can roam around in there , I have lot of toys in there for him. I don't know if he can actually climb over that anytime soon. He is my first, so I don't know. But I haven't left him unsupervised for a long time in this, it is mainly used so that he can stay in one place instead of wandering all over the house while I get some housework done. You can try this since you have to manage everything alone.



answers from Pocatello on

Buy some baby gates and gate her in a baby proofed room. Try to baby proof a lot, but know that babies are pretty dang smart so she will get hurt now and then (minor stuff for the most part) and that's OK! Take a shower at night before bed, this is my favorite thing, I can take a long, hot shower without worries as long as my little ones are asleep for the night! In the morning you can re-wet your hair if you need to do that for styling. When you put make-up on, have your toddler do it with you! Give her an empty compact and a spare poof or brush to do her own "make-up," she will love it! When you are cleaning house give her a damp rag to "help" you, and when taking the garbage out try having her watch and wave from the window if possible, my kids liked to do this and I could still see/hear them at the window. I would also run the garbage out and run to the mailbox and they thought that was hilarious to watch! They never left the window, but I can make no guarantees about your toddler of course. When baking I have put my toddlers in theri high chair with a bowla dn spoons to bang or stir when I need to open the oven. It is hard, and it is frustrating, but it will get easier!



answers from Seattle on

How old is your child? When my daughter was about 18 mo and too big to hang out in her jumper we started just leaving her by herself with some toys and for the shower I would put the TV on for her (not for short things like using the bathroom or running out to turn the car on). Our house was reasonably childproof so I had no worries. She was fine at keeping herself occupied for 5 minutes or watch a 20 minute Elmo episode.
I know some moms will put their kids in the kids room with a baby gate or the door closed (if their house isn't childproof).



answers from Houston on

I did alot after my kid went to bed and I always got up early, as in, 5am. That gave me 2-3 hrs of free time at the start of each day. That's my secret and it was a lifesaver for my sanity during the toddle years.

Let baby gates be your best friends. If she is starting to climb out, then A) its time to transition her to a big bed 2) put a baby gate across her doorway if you have to jump in the shower or go outside to get the mail.



answers from San Francisco on

hello dear, when i was rasingmy twin sons i had the same challenge - i literally had to have both boys with me as i did everything. so this meant we showered together, etc.

after a bit i was able to place them at the door of the bathroom with some toys and i could shower and talk and sing to them as they played. this was done so they could have their need to feel close to me met.

when they were about three, i could place them in their room, which was completley child proofed, and locked with a child safety gate (so they didnt feel jailed) andi could take a shower, get dressed etc. but then i had the bathroom door open so i could hear them .

i hope that helps some - hang in there. this intense time of mothering doesn't last long..



answers from Des Moines on

Put the kid in the shower WITH you, run the trash out at nap time/ after bedtime if it's close or take it out with you when you go. Put her in her high chair with a few toys where she can "supervise" your kitchen efforts. You do NOT need to warm the car up. Bundle up the kid and strap her in her seat while you scrape windows and then go. Warming the car up is a waste of gas.

And do NOT be afraid to use the DVD player. Just remember that the rarer the treat is, the more it fascinates and holds there attention!



answers from Panama City on

I have a 3 year old and 1 year old (in Nov. my oldest will be 4 and Dec. my youngest will be 2)...both girls. So I understand exactly what you are going through! I sometimes shower with my girls, but only if I am in a hurry. Otherwise I bathe them in the bathtub. Something that helped me (when they were at the nosy, plundering, get into everything stage & didn't know what "NO" & "STOP" meant), was to put them in a small portable baby swing and buckle them in. I had a big swing too, but it was too high for them to be able to reach the floor around them. So, I found a small, low to the floor, "take-along-swing", and gave them books, toys, snacks, etc. That way you know they will not get into something in that famous "split second" when something could happen. And if they dropped something, they could reach down and get it themselves, instead of pitching a fit and me having to jump out of the shower with shampoo in my eyes! LOL! Hope this helps!



answers from Sioux Falls on

Simple planning

When does she sleep...take a shower
When do you have a friend over....take out the trash
When she is in down are in go mode.
Your shower time may not be in the daylight hours:(
If you have someone to babysit from time to time, plan to have 15 minutes home with sitter so you can use your time wisely.

work around
squeeze in several things at once

you are not the only single mom, ask questions at the clinic of other moms.
They may have mo9re than one child to watch and have learned some true tricks of the trade


eletrronic start for your bvehicle would be benificial
they are not as expsneive as they used to be


answers from Chicago on

For the trash, I almost always put it out the night before. If I forget and have to do it the morning of garbage day, I have my kids help me. My 4 yr old is VERY helpful. My 2 yr old gets the light duty--he carries the laundry room garbage, so pretty much all that it is in it is dryer sheets and lint. But he feels so helpful and proud. He also helps carry out the recycling.

I usually do this while my son is in his high chair, watching the morning PBS kids programs. I don't really feel comfortable leaving him there with hard foods, like cereal, but I will leave him there with oatmeal or eggs. I try not to take too long out there. I just throw on my boots and coat, grab a shovel, clear a path to the driver door and rear door, turn the car and heater on, and then go back inside the house to finish getting my kid ready. By the time I am ready to leave, the car is nice and toasty, and I usually just throw a blanket over him to put him into the car and put his coat/boots on the floor of the car. We have a dvd player in the car, so if I need to clear a lot of snow I let him watch it, with a window cracked so I can hear him if he cries.

Getting ready? mmmm....still trying to figure that one out (I'm the one who confessed to not showering in 6 days at one point,) but I've got 3 kids to worry about. With 1 it is not so bad, because you don't have to break up fights. When I just had 1, I would lock my bedroom door (my bathroom is attached to my bedroom), grab a bunch of toys or books and let him play on the floor while I showered (with the shower door partially open so I could hear/see if needed.)

Everything else-- I agree with Riley--get them involved and helping. My kids love to help wash veggies. I usually give them a shallow tub of water and a vegetable brush, and they sit at the table and scrub them (or just splash around).

They also like to help with the laundry. They help throw the clothes into the washer, and when I transfer clothes into the dryer, I put a few pieces of clothes on the door of the dryer, and then they stuff them into the machine. When the clothes are dry we play "perfect pair" and they help me match up the socks.

Cleaning? I have switched to using vinegar and water for most of the daily cleaning, so I don't have to worry as much about keeping them away from chemicals. They HATE the smell of vinegar, so they never touch the bottle, and even if they did, it is pretty safe. If I have to use a harsh chemical, I do it while they are asleep.



answers from La Crosse on

I have a 12 year old, a four year old and a 2 year old...everyday is a challenge but you have to remember they don't stay small what you feel comfortable doing and be safe about it...I have all boys so they always find a way to get into some kind of trouble...never a dull moment..take it as it comes...what works for some doesn't always work for others...sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find your 'groove'...



answers from Davenport on

BTW, us Stay at home moms don't have any help throughout the day either doing those things - our hubbies are gone to work, and even when they are home, it is mostly on us to keep the kids under controls/entertained/ least in my experience!

Shower with her in there with you, two birds with one stone. Going potty - forget having privacy on that one - just let her come in and watch - it is good for her to learn about going to the toilet, and part of that is watching you. Shoot - put a little potty in there and have her "go" on it while you do, every little bit helps her learn.

As for starting the car, it depends on how far you have to go to the car -our garage is at the back of our yard....I would put on the TV to a kids show (mine don't watch much TV, so when I do turn it on , they are glued to it) and run out and start it and run back in. Mind you , our lower level is pretty much childproofed, and had gates, so she couldn't get upstairs on her own. If you saved up, maybe you could get an after-market remote-start installed on the car?

Taking stuff out of the oven, my girl learned very early that HOT hurts, she touched our fireplace insert, and got her fingertips burnt at 18 months, (even though there was a gate around it, she literally "broke into the gate" and we had warned her multiple times, she had to learn the hard way). But with hot, it usually only takes once. After that I would tell her HOT HOT - stay back, mommy is going to open the oven, and She would. With my second, he still hasn't learned that by experience, so I would repeat, and repeat it, and kind of block him with my butt, too, if he was getting too close/curious. Now we have a high up oven, over the stove, so they can't reach it - but they can still reach the burners, now that they are taller, so I still have to be very mindful in the kitchen - they know the kitchen is not for running or playing, and routinely get hollered at for coming in there while I cook - they are supposed to stay in the other room and play, as I cook.

You have to get creative, and you have to baby-proof your house, I put the child safety locks on all the lower kitchen cabinets and drawers,covers onthe doorknobs to the basement and stairs,and childproof locks on the entertainment center. We have gates at the bottom and top of both stairways, gate around the cornburner( fireplace insert - even when not using it), gate before the pantry that leads to the backdoor , lock on the front and back door that they can't unlock, all breakables and such are up high where they can't get them.

Good Luck!




answers from Wausau on

what about a gate for her door or something so she is in her room, can hear and see you moving around? if she cries for 2 minutes while you're starting the car or putting out the garbage, oh well! :)
I am trying to remember what I did - my daughter will be 9 and for all but the first year it was just the two of us. I think I did more later at night - garbage out in cans after she's asleep, etc. running out fast to start the car on cold winter mornings, etc ...
you'll figure things out, I'm sure!
good luck



answers from Los Angeles on

I didn't have a chance to read everyone's responses so maybe this has already been suggested. I have 2 sets of twins, all boys, all 4 and I feel your pain with not being able to get anything done! :) I have to say that I bought crib tents and most recently one for my pack n play from . They are amazing and have been a huge lifesaver for me. I didn't know about them when I had my oldest boys and they started climbing out of their cribs around 15 or 18 months! It made taking naps and traveling hard because they knew they could escape the crib and pack n play.

When I had my second set of twins I discovered them early and bought them and used them right away....not because I was afraid of two newborns going anywhere :) but because I was afraid that their 2 year old brothers would try to climb into their cribs with them or throw toys or who knows what in there with them! They worked beautifully for that!

Now my 2nd set of twins are just shy of 2 years old and one has discovered that he can escape the crib and pack n play. I immediately put the crib tent on his bed and ordered one for the pack n play that he sleeps in for his nap (I am not about to give up that precious 2-3 hours a day!!) and since then he has been sleeping safely and I don't have to worry about him falling out of the crib or pack n play or getting out and getting into stuff!

I would definitely recommend the crib tents, they are wonderful!

One other thing that I have that was nice was the Summer Infant Secure Surround Playsafe Playard. It is a 6 panel gate that you can make into a circle with a walk thru gate and it's portable so you can use it wherever you want. I often put my older two in it in the living room or kitchen with toys while I was cooking or trying to get something done and it kept them contained to one area. I still have them (I have 2 and they can be connected together) and use them to cordon off areas that I don't want little ones in!

Hope this helps you out some! Good luck! :)

D. K :)


answers from La Crosse on

I don't really have a suggestion outside of what has already been said, but one way to get more ideas is to ask your mother (or another older woman) how they managed. If your grandmother is still alive, ask her what they did before TV! :)

Seriously though, if you know an older woman, grandmother type - through church or neighbors - ask if she might like to come play with your little one for an hour every day. My mother is 81 and lives alone, but is in great health and still babysits her great-grandchildren. If someone made her an offer like that, she'd do it for free.



answers from Duluth on

Not really relevant to question, but wanted to're not supposed to bundle your child up in snow-duds and strap them in the carseat. The straps are supposed to be snug against the CHILD, not her clothes (obviously, some clothing is expected)--meaning a big puffy winter coat and snowpants are not how children are meant to travel in their seats. Toddlers are especially difficult this way, but I would definitely advocate warming up your car. You live in Fargo, for pete's sake. :)


answers from Houston on

Yeah, for the shower, just do it at night after she is asleep or in the morning when she wakes up. For actually going to the restroom, you can just leave the door open since she is young and she can hang out with you, my toddler hangs with me sometimes and if I have to go when we are out both my kids come in with me in those really small stalls sometimes, it's a squeeze, but when you gotta go.... For getting ready, you can do several things, you can sit the highchair right outside with some dry cereal and her sippy cup and get morning breakfast started, you can put her in a really fun exersaucer to play while you do your thing, you can put a baby gate on the bathroom door and leave the door open of course, shut all other doors in the house and that way she can hang out by you and play, on the other side of the baby gate, or run around in the living room etc. She won't get hurt if she is out of eyesight a little, she will still be in ear shot ;) My toddler is now 19 months, I personally just shut the door and go the restroom ;) He sits outside the door 'talking' to me usually or runs and plays with his brother. When he was a little younger often times I would take my make up and hairdryer and set it on the kitchen bar and use this mirror I have on the wall to get ready ;) As far as warming the car, can you stick a hat on her, throw a thick blanket over her and just run out and turn the car on? You aren't going anywhere right, just turning on the car? I think I'd just wrap her and run out for a sec, crank it, and run back in. Or you can just shut all the doors to rooms and bathrooms and run out or you can stick a little baby gate on the front door and leave it open and she can hang out and watch you. You probably have all this resolved by now, but just get creative and you will come up with many ways to do things ;) All of us mamas have to do so many things with little ones right underfoot, just goes with the territory :D



answers from Los Angeles on

shower her at the same time you shower yourself. Get it all over and done with at once. When you need to go out clip her into a high chair. You'll get through it. We did, you can. You don't really have a choice do you?



answers from Seattle on

I shower or bathe with my kids, tv and floor toys are good for these times too, tall gates, etc. I usually would have them doing something in the same room as me so I can see and hear them, or use a monitor. I'd take the trash out on the way to the car or after bedtime, or have them "help". At least in our state, it's illegal to leave a car running with no one in it (attracts thieves), so unless it's in a garage, I would bring her down to the car ready to go with a blanket and read a few books or play while waiting for it to warm up. Or like Riley said use that time to do your makeup. My girls like to do a little makeup too while I'm doing mine. This means Lipgloss, and a few brushes they can pretend to use on their cheeks, eyes, etc. Another trick i've used is that both of my daughters will sit very still for at least five minutes if their nails are wet ;)



answers from Cleveland on

I think alot of us moms feel like single moms lol!! I know there are plenty of times I do. I have a 3 yr old and 1 yr old right now, and I eat, shower,clean sleep etc all around their schedules!
My 3 yr old is good enough that I can set up a movie and get a shower but only if the baby is asleep. If I need to do something where he can't be around (the baby) I stick him in the pack n play, or put him on the other side of a baby gate. It's really hard, but you have to kind of teach them that mommy may need to be out of the room a few minutes and they can't be with you. Just make sure she's left in a safe, childproofed room. It's really all you can do. Sometimes the baby screams his head off, but he's fine LOL


answers from Dallas on

You can baby gate a kid-safe room or put up one of those little baby pens like they had on Rugrats. I know everyone gasps about using the tv as a babysitter, but, you do what you gotta do sometimes. Kids get mesmerized by Barney or Wiggles or Dora or whatever. That's a nice 30 minute time frame to get dinner together and start a load of laundry. I would baby gate a safe zone for starting the car, as well. Yes, in a perfect world we would never need to do these things, but in the real world, you just have to find ways to make it work.

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