Get up close with a tight crop when you are composing your picture. Remember you are photographing your child, not the contents of your living room or garden!
The human eye / brain combination is very clever at disregarding any irrelevant background clutter and zooming in on the main subject. Your camera is not so good at this unless you tell it to, resulting in what you thought was going to be a great picture ending up as a small child disappearing into a cluttered background.
The main reason for this is that usually you will place the face of the subject in the middle of the viewfinder / screen, focus on it and forget about everything else that is happening in the rest of the frame.
The cure? Use the zoom lens on your camera or getting in close to the subject. The later can have the disadvantage of your prized camera being on the receiving end of a frenzied assault by sticky fingers, snotty noses and endless amount of drool. There is no cure for this other than perseverance, your child will eventually get bored and go back to what they were doing, but have a cloth to hand in order to clean the lens.
Using the zoom lens on your camera enables you to keep a safer less obtrusive distance from your subject. Your child however will still insist on coming over to see what you are doing, so you will have to sit and wait until they get bored or photograph them when they are deeply engrossed in what the are doing.
This weeks photo competition theme is ‘Close ups’, read more about the competition here.