Welcome to my 20 Best Parenting Hacks Series!
Mummying 24/7 is HARD! We all need a little help to survive it! Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there are 1000’s of parenting hacks out there.
Like those videos you see all over Facebook of the cheery mums with full make-up and hair done immaculately, showing how simple life can really be with just a little parenting hack or 2! Well, if they not only have the energy to do their hair and make-up but they have the free time to actually make these videos in the first place, then they are either robots in disguise or the hacks they are demonstrating really have made their mumming lives a breeze!
I have learned along my 2-and- a- half-year mummy journey so far, that there are actually some brilliantly simple hacks and ideas out there that really do work. And some that, quite frankly, are so bloody obvious once you see them they leave you questioning, why the heck didn’t I think of that before!?
4 Week Series
Every Wednesday for the next 4 weeks I’m going to be giving my 20 best parenting hacks (that work!) for 4 different categories;
20 Best Baby Hacks, 20 Best Toddler Hacks, 20 Best Teething Hacks and 20 Best Travelling Hacks.
This 20 parenting hacks series will include lists of the ones I have found to be the most effective. 20 tried and true hacks used by either myself or my mum friends that are genius. Call it a little weekly parenting cheat sheet to help make life a little easier and help you step up your mummying game!
So, whether the kids are having trouble sleeping because of monsters in their bedroom, teething is being a bitch or learning to get out and about stress free is proving a ‘challenge’ for mummy, this series will have you covered!
This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase anything I may make a small commission to support my blog at no additional cost to you. Please see my disclosure page if you have any questions.
Lets start with my 20 Best Baby Hacks
So, it turns out that the perfect parenting manual doesn’t exist. I learned this one sleepless night at 4am after hours upon hours of searching for it on Amazon while desperate to find a way to get back the sanity I had before life with a newborn.
I, like most new mums, had my very own crash course learning how to mum and learning to go with my instincts when looking after this brand new mini me. When that failed, I turned to frantically phoning my mum, messaging my mum friends on Facebook and begging google to give me the answers. Along the way, I found that the internet is full of fantastically brilliant tricks on how to look after a real life baby. Seriously simple yet genius hacks and shortcuts to make this mum malarkey that little bit easier!
1. The Onesie ‘Envelope Fold’ Hack
Despite what you might think, the little flaps at the shoulders of a onesie are not to accommodate babies with giant heads! The ‘envelope folds’ at the shoulders of vests are there for a much more vital reason – to help pull the vest down off your baby’s body instead of over their head, thus avoiding any poo going on baby’s face / head– particularly important when there’s been a poo explosion incident.
2. The ‘Keep it Clean’ Dummy Hack
This clever little dummy / pacifier by Raz-baby has built-in shields that instantly close when the dummy falls. Meaning no more need to constantly wash and sterilise it. As a bonus, the orthodontic nipple adapts easily to baby’s natural sucking action and will not damage their developing mouth. Try the boy one here and the girl one here.
3. The Multi-Purpose Travel Cot Hack
Use a travel cot as a make shift play pen to keep the roaming baby contained in a safe place. Bonus hack – use the travel cot playpen outside and cover the top with a cot bed sheet on a sunny day to protect from sun and flies
4. The Spill Proof Training Cup Hack
This genius Munchkin Miracle 360 Degrees Trainer Cup is an easy to hold, spill proof training cup that is the perfect transition from bottle to big boy/girl cup! How it works – drink from anywhere on the rim; the spoutless design mimics a real cup and automatically re-seals after each sip = no more crying over spilled milk! It comes with or without handles. And after Aiden launching one across the kitchen when mummy used the blue cup when he clearly wanted the green one, I can confirm that it is in fact spill proof! Try it yourself in various vibrant colours here.
5. The ‘Has Baby Got a Stinky Bum’ Hack
Find out if your baby is wet or stinky — without opening their nappy and getting a waft of freshly squeezed poo — by checking their nappy’s colour line – yellow line means a dry pamper, blue line means it’s time to change! No more sniffing around the baby’s butt! Possibly one of the best parenting hacks ever, I’m distraught I didn’t learn this sooner!
6. The ‘Gro Anywhere Black Out Blind’ Hack
Staying away from home with babies or young children can be a real challenge when it comes to bed-time. In fact, convincing baby / child that it’s bedtime in the summer months when the sun is still shining through the window at nights is a challenge in itself! This handy blind called The Gro Company Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind is easy to adjust and to fit any window using suction cups, at home or on the move. Light gets blocked from every nook and cranny in moments giving the perfect signal for bedtime.
I’m not going to lie, I may have pretended it was bedtime a hour early when I was losing the will to live and this blind helped me in my mission to get an early bedtime! It’s currently on sale at Amazon (13/08/17) and you can find it here.
7. The ‘Stop Baby Rolling Over in Bed’ Hack
Speaking of bedtime, roll up sheets or towels and put underneath baby’s cot bed sheet at either side of baby to stop them rolling over. Also use this hack to stop the bigger kids rolling out of bed when its time to transition from cot to bed
8. The ‘Temperature Taking Dummy’ Hack
How often have you tried to take babies temperature but can’t get them to stop wriggling or hold the thermometer in their mouth long enough? This hack is genius. The Summer Infant Pacifier Thermometer will take your baby’s temperature while soothing her at the same time giving mummy peace of mind.
9. The Medicine Giving Hack 1
Talking of poorly babies, if taking their temperature wasn’t enough of a challenge, giving them medicine to make them feel better can be a battle in itself. This handy little trick will go a long way to making life easier for mummy and baby – cut a small hole at the end of a dummy / pacifier and stick a dropper through it then administer the ‘magic juice’ (that’s what I call it which also seems to help). This will make giving medicine to babies and even young toddlers that little bit easier.
10. The Medicine Giving Hack 2
When babies are ill that usually means mummy is tired thanks to a few sleepless nights comforting the little one. Keep track of your baby’s doses while in your zombie like state by writing a chart on the side of the medicine bottle – e.g. days of the week (m,t,w,t,f,s,s) and m (morning) e (evening).
11. Teething Hack anyone?
Soothe sore gums during teething by freezing a dummy in an ice try with their favourite drink. How? Squeeze all the air out of the nipple, submerse it in their favourite drink, water or even baby milk and release nipple to fill it. Freeze it and give it to baby. Sometimes Aiden found this method a bit too cold so I’d keep a dummy in the fridge as well so it wasn’t quite as icy cold.
If you want to buy proper moulds to make these, try the Nuby Garden Fresh Fruitsicles Frozen Purees Moulds here. Suitable from 6 months.
12. The Vacuum Bags Nappy Storage Hack
If you’re like I was when I first became a mum, I was guilty of over-packing. The phrase, “everything but the kitchen sink” comes to mind. In my head, I thought I was just being super prepared. You need to take a lot with you when you’re leaving the house with a baby, especially in the early days. Save room in your bag by storing a handful of nappies in a small vacuum seal bag – takes up less room and keeps them sealed and all together.
13. The At Home Soft Play Hack
Create a makeshift playpen using a blown-up paddling pool in the house (minus the water!) throw in toys, balls, cushions and create an at home entertaining soft play area.
14. The Messy Eaters Hack
Got a messy eater on your hands? Catch them purposely dropping food to feed the cat? The Tidy Diner is a handy, portable infant placemat with an outer rim that helps contain wet spills and a built-in scoop that catches food, keeping your floor and your child’s lap cleaner! No need to worry that more baby items means more storage either – the Tiny Diner can be rolled into itself for convenient storage oh and is dishwasher safe! Whats not to love!? Although this doesn’t solve the problem of them feeding the cat but hey, you’ll have a clean floor and happy cat so good start! Try it for yourself here.
15. Another Messy Eater Hack!
You get the dinner lifted, you get baby in their high chair, you get sat down ready to eat and….. you realise you forgot a bib! Save yourself having to get up and search for a clean one by sticking a self-adhesive plastic coat hook on the back of the high chair and hang the clean bibs on it so you’re never stuck frantically searching for one!
16. The ‘No-one Can Tell The Babies Apart’ Hack
So no one wants to be offensive, but sometimes babies really do just look the same, especially if they’re twins! If you’re struggling to tell your friends twins apart (or even your own twins!), here’s the answer you might just have been looking for – adorable Twin A and Twin B matching vests.
17. The Organisation Hack
Get a basket and fill it with nappies, wipes, nappy rash cream, bibs, and a clean onesie and keep one in the living room and baby room so it’s close to hand which ever room you are in. I even sneaked in a bar of galaxy or two in mine…. It was medicinal for mummy!
18. Sleeping Hack
Struggling to convince baby to sleep? Try gently running your finger along baby’s nose from between the eyes down to the tip to help soothe them to sleep. FYI, the hidden bar of galaxy in the basket that will be in the room next to the chair you’re sitting on will come in handy here to soothe mummy!
19. Baby Food Hack
Make a batch of baby food to last for a week – puree veggies and fruits and freeze baby sized portions in a lidded ice cube tray. See my How to Make Your Own Baby Food When Weaning Guide here.
20. Baby Sleeping Hack
Without a doubt one of my (and Aiden’s) most loved baby items was his Poddle Pod which was the ultimate hack I needed for naps!
What I loved about this, is when I put Aiden in it for nap time (from the day I got him home) the sides would gently pull in to snuggle him making him feel like he was still being cradled and hugged by me! The rounded design of the sides also helped to prevent him from rolling or turning. It provide somewhere convenient I could quickly and safely put him down, it was easy to move around the home and visiting granny, was ideal for baby sponge baths, tummy time and lounging. Genius! Give it a try for yourself here.
And that concludes the first of my parent hacks guide. Be sure to catch Part 2, The Toddler Edition next Wednesday!
If you have any genius baby hacks not mentioned here, leave a comment below!
Speak to you soon, Donna x
Stay Up To Date
Subscribe for FREE and get new blog posts, inspiration, recipes and more straight to your inbox