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!
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Let’s move on to the oh so adorable Toddlers
Call it terrible twos, toddlerhood, threenagers or whatever you like, the reality is life with a toddler can be hard! I’m slap bang in the middle of it and quite frankly, I need all the tips, tricks and cheats I can get! Here are the ones I consider to be the most useful and the most likely to help mummy cope with My Terrible Two Year Old Threenager in the Throws of Toddlerhood!
1.The Ice Cube Tray Lunch Hack
For those days when they just don’t seem to want to eat anything, try making their meal more exciting by using an ice cube tray! I call this a ‘buffet lunch’ and I fill the tray with different foods – blueberries, strawberries, cheese cubes, sweetcorn, pieces of bread, crackers etc. It’s colourful and it’s fun and you can even sneak in small amounts of new foods to encourage them to try new things.
2. The Green Smoothie Ice Lolly Hack
This doesn’t only apply to green smoothies, but any smoothie or healthy juice combination you like! Encourage your tots to eat their fruits and veggies (which we know can be an uphill battle) by making them think they’re getting a really cool treat by blitzing up a delicious smoothie (see these indulgent recipes for an extra treat). Pour the mix into ice lolly moulds and freeze for a few hours. More green slime (broccoli and spinach) lollies kids!? I love these star shaped lolly moulds.
3. The Glue on the Soles of Slippers Hack
Hardwood and tile floors look great in the home but can be slippy and a hazard for hyper, slightly clumsy little ones on the move. Make slippers (or any indoor shoes) slip proof by putting glue on the bottom, let it dry then let them wander slip free.
4. The ‘Learn to Put Shoes on the Right Feet’ Hack
Having trouble with stubbornly independent little ones determined to put their shoes on themselves but struggling to figure out which shoe goes on which foot? Put a sticker that’s been cut in half on their shoes’ inner soles to show your child the correct foot for their shoes. Brilliant
5. The Buying The Same Colour Socks Hack
Save the time and infuriating search for the lonely socks that disappear into thin air by buying socks in one colour. For e.g. all white. Not only will they match every outfit but more importantly, you don’t have to worry about losing them. There will always be one to match the odd one with!
6. The Teeth Brushing Hack
Struggling to get them to brush their teeth? Sick of having to pin them down to get the tooth paste even close to their teeth or having to bribe them with sweeties to do it!? Try these cute toothbrush holders and timers to make teeth brushing fun! Or try these fun toothpaste dispensers. If it’s fun surely they’re more likely to want to do it! Right!? (I’m still working on this one!)
7. The Tooth Paste Stain Removal Hack
Tooth paste to get rid of stains – it sounds crazy, but then again so does using lemon juice to clean your microwave and white wine to get rid of red wine stains (and those tricks work wonders). According to many mummy bloggers on Pinterest, markers and crayons are no match for a little toothpaste. If you run out of cleaning wipes, don’t panic—simply dab some on the stained surface, scrub with a washcloth, and watch the mark disappear like magic.
8. The Pretend to Let Them Play Hack
When Dads playing games on the computer and getting interrupted by the kids, tell him to give them a ‘fake controller’ that’s not plugged in and let them ‘join in’! And in the meantime mummy can put her feet up.
9. The Let Kids Help Clean and Keep Them Out From Under Your Feet Hack
Let kids ‘help’ with the cleaning by marking a square out of tape on the kitchen floor and ask them to sweep the crumbs on the floor into the square. Are they doing a great job? Add multiple squares and get the whole floor done!
10. The Santa Hack
To minimise your child’s repeated requests to buy a toy while shopping in Tesco (and save you giving in to stop the tantrums by buying one!), take a picture of it and tell them you’ll “Email it to Santa.” Not only will it satisfy their request but your phone will be full of gift ideas! I LOVE this Letter to Santa Pack because it includes a Letter to Santa, a Thank You Letter, 2 Envelopes, Pencil and Eraser, a Sticker Sheet and a Santa Stop Here Door Hanger. And no, it’s never too early to get excited about Christmas!
11. The Cardboard Box Hack
Find a big cardboard box, throw some crayons in there, add the child then let them get creative! Afterwards, flatten it out and make a slide on the stairs – add cushions at the bottom for a soft landing!
12. The Painting Hack 1
Lay an old sheet out in the garden o hang it on the washing line and and let the budding artists paint! Try this Sponge, Brush and Stamp set or add some paint and water to a spray bottle and let them spray paint!
13. The Painting Hack 2
Keep it ‘mess free’ painting and on a sunny day give them a bucket of water, a clean paint brush and let them paint the fence with water!
14. The Magic Stickers Hack
Anything ‘magic’ makes it all better. I used to call Aiden’s nappy rash cream ‘magic cream’ and his Calpol ‘magic juice’ and he’d let me give them to him. Go a step further and decorate them with ‘magic stickers’. I’m now moving onto ‘magic’ spray bottles thanks to me letting him watch Monsters Inc and him now believing there are monsters in his room! (My bad!) Decorate a spray bottle of water to spray when ‘monsters’ are in their room – the monster spray gets rid of them! I picked up these Monster Stickers and I’m hoping they’ll do the trick!
15. The Dolls Hair Hack
If your toddler’s play has left her doll’s hair looking frizzy and messy, simply wet it, work in a small amount of regular hair conditioner, gently comb through it to de-tangle, rinse, and let it air dry. “Like she just stepped out of the salo-o-o-on!” Is it just me who remembers that advert!?
16. The Facecloth Hack
Keep a red face cloth in the house – it stops children panicking if they fall and cut themselves because they can’t see how much they’ve been bleeding therefor they don’t panic. Keep ice poles in freezer as well as they come in handy if children fall and hurt their lip – takes down swelling and masks the taste of blood. So simple!
17. The Chicken Pox Hack
When Chicken Pox strike, fill a pair of old tights with porridge oats to use in bath as a natural exfoliator to help the itch without damaging their tender spotty skin.
18. The Alarm Clock Hack
The Gro Clock Sleep Trainer helps to promote a healthy sleep routine. It helps to train toddlers to stay in bed until the time the parents desire. How it works: the parent reads the specially written ‘Sleepy Farm’ book (included) and explains that the child should look at the clock to see all the stars in the sky around the moon. If the child wakes in the night, they simply glance at the clock to know what to do: if there are stars showing, they should lie down and relax as it’s not time to get up yet. As the stars count down, they know it is almost time, and then with a big smile the sun arrives on the screen to signal that it is time to get up!
With Aiden now transitioning to his’big boy bed’ from his cot, he is no longer contained and can get up whenever he wants! I’m really hoping this will help to encourage him to be a ‘big boy’ and stay in bed until a reasonable hour! Try it here for yourself and let me know how you get on!
19. The Blackout Blind Hack
I’m all about sleep!
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.
20. The Splinter Hack
Put a paste of baking soda and water on a splinter and leave for a few minutes, the baking soda will push the splinter out saving your child an unnecessarily painful splinter removal.
And that concludes the second of my Parenting Hacks Guide. Did you catch part 1?
Be sure to check in next week for the solutions everyone is desperate to find for teething!
If you have any genius toddler hacks not mentioned here, leave a comment below!
Speak to you soon, Donna x
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