Whether you're a first time mom or a seasoned parent with multiple children, we can all benefit from a few parent-related hacks that can make our lives even a little bit easier with kids. I scrounged up the best tried-and-true tips I could find from parents who use these daily (they start from infancy and go toward toddlerhood). Add yours to the comments!
1. The onesies with a wide envelope neck are designed to be pulled down over your baby's shoulders and off their body in the case of a diaper blow out, so you don't need to pull soiled clothes over their head.
2. For newborns in a baby bathtub: put a towel behind them and roll both sides lengthwise to act as a buffer (looks like the baby is a hotdog and the towel is a hotdog bun). The towel prevents them from sliding and holds heat against them.
3. Change the nursery lights to work on a dimmer, or use an LED candle you can turn on and off for middle of the night feedings or diaper changes.
4. Use a mobile app like Total Baby or BabyConnect to keep track of feeding, sleeping, diapers, medication, and more. This is especially handy the first few months when the pediatrician asks about timing and how many wet diapers the baby has a day. If you’re nursing, it also tracks which side you last nursed from so you don’t forget. You can also track doctor’s appointments, milestones, and more.
5. Throw away poop diapers in grocery store produce bags or dog poop bags to keep the stink at bay in your trash can. You can even place a bunch of the bags in an empty wipes container for easy access.
6. Make a portable changing station with diapers, wipes, cream and a foldable changing pad in a basket so you don’t have to go to baby's room every time to change a diaper.
7. DIY crib protectors for teething babies are super easy and sew free--cut a piece of fleece and tie together between the slats. Instructions here.
8. If your kid loves keys, go to the hardware store and ask if they have any messed up keys they were cutting, or get a few uncut keys (to reduce the number of sharp edges). Get a ring to hold them together and you have another set for baby without worrying where your real keys are.
9. Attach a plastic hook to the back of the highchair to hang bibs for immediate access before meals.
10. Use lanolin as chapstick or on dry/chapped skin.
11. Instead of microwaving your coffee every hour (because who has the chance to drink it all in one sitting?), keep it in an insulated travel mug so it stays warm for hours.
12. Use a mesh laundry bag when washing baby socks to prevent losing them.
13. Keep 2 tupperware bins in your child’s closet, one labeled for outfits too big, and one for too small. When an outfit is outgrown, throw it in the “too small” bin and see if you can replace it with one from the “too big” bin. Items in the “too small” bin can then be given away or labeled by size for future use with another child!
14. Use an over the door shoe holder to organize hats, leg warmers, tiny shoes, and other accessories. You can also use a smaller holder in the car to hold wipes and toys.
15. Use a pizza cutter to quickly and easily cut your child’s food.
16. Use binder clips to keep bibs fastened to prevent kiddos from pulling them off.
17. To prevent your toddler from falling asleep in the car or stroller (so you can make it home and put them down for a real nap instead of a 20 min power nap and then them never sleeping again), give them a small Dum Dum lollipop to keep them awake.
18. Color in the white scuff marks on your kid's shoes with a crayon or sharpie.
19. Use coffee filters to hold dry finger foods/snacks at home. You can buy a ton for cheap and it's super easy clean up! Works especially well when you have multiple children.
20. Turn a used lotion bottle into a faucet extender. Directions here.
21. If your toddler is starting to pull off his diaper, put him in a onesie to prevent access to it. If you don’t have anymore onesies in his size, duct tape the tabs together to keep it closed.
22. Speaking of duct tape...before they play in the snow, use it to keep your toddler’s mittens and coat sleeves together to prevent them from falling off. It’s also waterproof!
23. For girls: 4T shirts function perfectly as 2T dresses. Get some extra wear out of those clothes!
24. Cover a play table in Glad’s Press-n-Seal to protect the table and for easy clean up after arts and crafts.
25. For parents of potty trained kids, leave post its in your bag and use one to cover the toilet sensor in public restrooms so it doesn’t flush suddenly and scare your child.
Have more you want to add to the list? Write them in the comments below!