Got some info on babies and kids? How does one get twins or more? How does one choose the gender of their baby? Got good tips on raising kids? How do you deal with the annoyance of the nanny? What's the best way to raise your rugrats?
Please post your info here! You may post new tips, links to old threads that contain lots of good information, etc.
To get twins without a hack, if you have OFB you can have the mother eat cheesecake. Otherwise you get lucky. Some sims are more likely to have them, but it is NOT dependant on sign, weekday, or anything else.
Smart milk while in gold or platinum aspiration is almost a necessity for training a toddler. They do not need to be fed normal bottles before giving smart milk. Smart milk will fill hunger just as readily as a regular bottle, so you can feed a hungry toddler smart milk and then get to teaching. They can usually master two skills with one bottle, especially if the teacher is using a thinking cap. (Smart milk also lets them build skills with the toddler toys faster. I had one toddler get his creativity maxed out completely before he became a child because he LOVED the xylophone, had a playfulness of 10, and was fed on smart milk. There is supposedly also a bug where a toddler who gets enough smart milk gets the token stuck and retains the skill building bonus throughout life, although I haven't been able to get that to happen.
Nothing bad happens if a toddler never learns to talk, walk, or use the potty.
Choosing gender: ADOPT
Or you can save the game just before the mother gives birth, then quit without saving and reload the lot if you don't get what you wanted. You may need to try more than once, but it is basically a 50/50 shot each time.
Have the adult who will be leaving the house FIRST be the one who calls the nanny to have the schedule tracked. Have the other adult work on making friends with the nanny, and give her a tip. (Ideally, you can have the nanny's first day be on a day when one of the parents is off work.) Once you have someone who is friends with the nanny, she will offer to hang around when she is finished with work, thus assuring that she doesn't decide to leave when nobody else is home. DO NOT let the relationship with the nanny fall too low. They are prone to let your children be taken by the social worker if they don't like anybody very much, although some are better than others. Callista Despret is usually a good nanny if she doesn't decide to argue with the parents, while Karen Gast usually works better in homes where Callista and the parents don't get along well. If you don't like the nanny who originally comes, you can dismiss her, end her services, and then call someone new.
When your schedule changes, re-call the nanny and make new arrangements. She sometimes remembers to change her schedule when yours changes, but not always.
And make sure to leave fresh gelatin out, or have a kid's stove available for children who may not always get fed otherwise. Jello and muffins will keep the social worker away until a parent can cook some real food.
The rabbit head is the only toddler toy I ever get. That's the best way to build Charisma. Even without Smart Milk, a toddler can easily accumulate four or five points, and have fun doing it. Unless you happen to have the Business or Politics career rewards, working on Charisma is a real chore for the other ages. Children can't do it at all, and teens and adults are stuck making speeches in front of the mirror. The other toddler toys aren't anywhere near the same value. Logic and creativity are easily gotten later.
Learning to walk and talk have no value other then the aspiration boost. Potty training, however, helps with managing toddlers. Once they have that, they can go for simhours at a time without needing any adult intervention.
Put the nursery on the ground floor, not too far from the kitchen. Or else put a second fridge in the nursery. The amount of time a sim needs to walk all the way across the house and up or down a flight of stairs to get a bottle is astounding. Anything you do to shorten that trek is a big advantage.
Sim children get tired very early in the evening. Then they are fully rested around 4:00AM. But if you let them wake up that early, they will be tired even earlier the next night. And if you don't wake them up, they are wasting valuable skilling time.
I find that an afternoon nap greatly extends the amount of productive awake time they have in the evening. The only catch is that napping on the sofa doesn't help much. It has to be in bed. As soon as they get home from school, I send them to bed, then watch the clock so I can wake them up about one simhour later.
Nannies do fairly well at taking care of infants. But with toddlers, they won't feed Smart Milk, they won't potty train, etc. So I have my sim moms call the nanny and go back to work as soon as the baby is born. Once the baby transitions to toddler, then the mom uses her maternity leave days and stays home.
I find it best to make sure my sims get out of the nanny's way when she's on a mission. Even if she has made the wrong choice, like trying to feed a baby when what it needs is a diaper change, interference just makes things worse. Once she's on task, there is no way to divert her. It's not worth even trying.
Bonuses with walk, talk, and potty trainings:
Walk: Faster movement time; baby can leave his/her crib using the command leave crib (found in the crib's commands)
Talk: Lesser chances of bad interactions
Potty: Uses potty without older supervision.
*Info above found in this forum, but I can't locate it anymore.
Using the Smart Milk while wearing a thinking cap increases skill learning effectively
*Tested by me. cuts about 1/4 of learning time
Nuke (I mean give it a lot) a toddler with smart milk before aging to a child; The skill boosting effects will stay for some time. Then there will be a small chance that the boosting effect will stay forever, because of a bug.
For those with vampire Sims who want them to have kids: Call the nanny at 7AM (put the phone near the vampire's coffin if you don't want to risk roasting them) and she'll stay until 5/6PM. The one hour till 7PM the baby's unattented wouldn't cause the social worker to take them away.
Crying babies will wake up other babies and make them cry, so if you are raising multiple babies and/or toddlers, either give each their own room or use the new floor dividers to surround each crib (leave 1 tile of space so the parents can get them out later) to kill the noise. However, if you are only raising one baby, putting a cot in their room for whatever parent is on duty will ensure that they won't sleep through the baby crying.
i think it is possible to teach a child something without smart milk if you steadily work on the skill. just lock in a skill and work on it for the whole three days, the child can be platinum right before reaching childhood.
If you are in gold or platinum, use the thinking cap while training a toddler under the effects of smart milk. You can train all three skills up under the effects of one bottle.
(Providing you start as soon as the toddler finishes drinking the smart milk.)
Watch out for the tendency to decide to wander off and do something else while waiting for the kid to finish the smart milk, though. (And the tendency of other adults to decide the kid needs to be played with now instead of trained.)
Smart Milk : I dont use smart milk. I used to use it and have all the skills (potty, walk and talk) done in one day but i found it made me have to work harder on the transition day for my sprog to change at platinum. I get my sims to teach walk on the first day, talk on the second, i build up potty training over all the days so by the time im on transition day my sprog has the potty skill.
If you watch the toddler's wants, it has been fairly easy for me to keep a toddler in platinum all the time except for an hour or so while they drop to gold in their sleep. After they have been trained their wants seem to be pretty much confined to beign played with, tickled, (which also qualifies as being played with so you often get a double boost from that one.) snuggled, talked to, and read to by one of the parents, followed by gaining a skill point in their favorite skill or skills. The wants involving parents will roll over to just wanting the interaction from someone if the parents aren't in the house. If you wander over to the nanny and ask for attention when your needs aren't too low, she will usually do one of those for you. Then the wants usually roll over to include a skill that you can go work on. (But be careful if any of your needs are getting near the yellow zone or she may put you to bed. Even if you aren't tired.)
I'm wondering, will the sims still advance through pregnancy if the Aging off cheat is in use? Because one of my sims is supposedly pregnant (the try for baby option is missing, etc...), but that's about it. I think it's been like 1 or 2 days. Oh, and if they can't progress through the pregnancy with Aging off on, is there a solution (other than turning the cheat off)? I don't want my adult sims to get any older.
I often find that nannies are expensive, unpractical and once or twice have had my toddlers sent to the social services. But there is a way to stop this from happening - create a sim to do it for you. You can just move the sim out as soon as you get back and then back in when you want to go out. It really works. The only time it faults is when you want a group of sims to go out. But it's cheaper and you don't have to worry about your precious toddlers being taken away.
A pregnancy doesn't seem to progress while aging is off. If you have the OLD version of the heirloom cake from the Simlogical archives it added days to your life at midnight to replace the ones you lost at 6 that evening when you aged. It didn't prevent aging or grade improvement, and you could use it to age people up whenever you wanted them to. But when OFB came out it got a little squirrely, so you need to remember to replace the cake every time you age somebody with it if you have OFB or later. Inge's update simply comes with or without a global "no aging" patch, but needs Pets. She says she isn't going to make another version which added days, because now she only makes things she wants in her own game and she got tired of discovering the hard way that she forgot to buy a cake or turn aging off. I don't know if anybody else has something like that or not.
The insiminator has a function to accelerate a pregnancy so your sim can have the baby that day.
Or you can use Elixir of Life to restore the days you lost before the baby was born, and turn aging back off when you are ready to.
Have parents or teen siblings feed and socialize toddlers and babies before the nanny arrives. This can help stave off incompetent-nanny related starvation when the rest of the family is off lot. Direct toddlers to play with skilling toys just before resident adults leave for work. Toddlers that are already skilling will not stop skilling just so nanny can harass them with unnecessary feedings and baths.
If you have only children, leave gelatin out for kids and nanny and turn the fridge to face the wall until nanny leaves the lot. This prevents nanny the chance to set your house on fire.
I'm not 100% sure about this one, but if your mother stays in a very high mood throughout pregnancy (preferably platinum), it seems to increase the chances of the child having more than 25 personality points. I've gotten as many as 31 personality points from very happy mothers.
I never noticed this before I got the Seasons EP, so it might be only with that expansion pack.