Menu

Why I got rid of (almost) all of my child's toys

The problem was that even with all of these toys, she didn't seem to be actually playing with anything!

Why I got rid of (almost) all of my child's toys

There were a lot of unexpected things that came along with having our first child. But the one that surprised me most was the overwhelming amount of toys that seemed to magically appear in our home.

From the toys that I bought to the presents from grandparents, family, family friends, neighbors, to the kind grandma at the playground who told my baby she could keep the ball she was playing with (even though we already had five at home), I honestly cannot remember where all of these toys came from.

By the time my daughter was 8 months old she had so many toys that we had filled two huge chests with them. Plus the activity gym, bouncy seat, swing and walker that were sitting in our living room. Oh, and don't forget the bag of bath toys hanging to dry in our bathroom tub.

The problem was that even with all of these toys, she didn't seem to be actually playing with anything!

Cleanup time was not only frustrating for her but became frustrating for me too. I wanted to instill in her the habit of cleaning up her toys, but halfway through our cleanup, she would throw herself on the floor and scream, "No cleanup! NO!"

And guess who would end up cleaning all of those toys at night?

(Spoiler alert: me.)

When my daughter was about 18 months old, my husband and I got a job opportunity that would move us out of state, and that's when we decided we were not taking any toys with us.

When we settled into our new place I got our daughter a couple of stuffed animals, some puzzles, some books, art supplies, a box of toddler LEGOs and a tent.

And suddenly, like a miracle, we noticed our daughter started playing with her toys. She would play in her tent, throw her stuffies, and we would read those books until we learned every single word on every page.

And with minimal toys, clean-up time became notably easy. She would put her stuffies back in a cart, her books and legos back all by herself in just minutes.

With this change, our home also felt peaceful. The toys were put away every night in her room, and my husband and I would watch a movie and spend some time in our adult apartment once again.

During this time I had my second baby and we moved back to our home state. It was then that I decided I would again create a room for them with a minimal amount of toys. We have continued with this lifestyle for the past two years. And we've loved it so much we have implemented it in every other area of our lives. From the number of sippy cups and bottles we have, to our clothes.

Simplifying our lives with the number of things we own has definitely cut down the amount of time we spend cleaning and organizing, which is a gift in and of itself. But it has also given us more intentional, focused time to spend together as a family, and for our children to truly play and interact with what they have.

In this journey, I've learned that my kids are more interested in spending time with my husband and me than any toy they could ever own. And that's something that fuels my motherhood every single day.

You might also like:

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less
Life

What went viral this week: Pregnant Disney Princesses + an airline nightmare

Now, more than ever, we need to hear those good news stories.

Last week was a week.

We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world—we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .

And right now both kinds of stories are going viral.

Here are the viral stories you need to read right now:

Keep reading Show less
News