When you become a mom, time is at a premium. You have all of your regular responsibilities, plus you have to, you know, keep a tiny being alive (and hopefully happy and healthy, at least, most of the time). Therefore, it can be overwhelming, thinking about how much you have to get done and how little time with which you have to accomplish everything. Moms are creative, though, so, luckily, there are many weird, but awesome life hacks every mom should know that are circulating around that just might save you a little bit of that oh-so-precious time of which you never seem to have enough.
These days, it seems like there are life hacks for just about everything, from shopping to cleaning to organizing to simply making it through your day, all designed to save you a few minutes here and there and help you get more done in less time without stressing yourself out too much. They can help make your life simpler no matter the circumstances: whether you're single, with a partner, working in a high-powered job, going to school, a parent, or just about anything else. Let's face it, though, moms, in particular, need and deserve these hacks; not only the ones that'll help with their own responsibilities, but also the ones that make the tough job of parenting a little bit easier.
1. Disposable Doggie Pads For Emergency Changing Pads
Every mom who's been out and about without any kind of diaper changing pad knows that it can be a less-than-ideal situation. Redditor that-frakkin-toaster posted that she keeps spare disposable doggie pads in her car for changing emergencies, despite not having a dog. That way, there'll be no mess, since you can just toss it away, and you don't have to worry about your baby having an accident on your coat or any other substitute changing pad.
2. Remove Crayon From Walls With Ease
Have a tiny Matisse on your hands? Then chances are you'll have to clean crayon off your walls at least once. Luckily, the moms of Reddit are here to help. According to Redditor Truth_hungry, a combination of coconut oil and lemon essential oil can remove the crayon, while another poster, Luca_overthemoon, wrote that they used PAM cooking spray to remove crayon. Cooking spray is an affordable way to get rid of those wall murals, but if you have lemon essential oil lying around, your house will end up smelling nice and citrusy.
3. You Don't Have To Do Laundry As Often If You Stick To Basics
Wish you didn't have to spend time thinking about what you're going to wear? Redditor LimpsMcGee posted that solid basics can be mixed and matched with greater ease, meaning you don't have to stand in front of your closet wracking your brain, trying to put an outfit together, nor do you have to pick something only to realize the one top you have to go with that skirt is dirty.
4. DIY Your Own Mini Art Room
It's practically a universal truth: kids love cardboard boxes. Take advantage of that and DIY your very own mini art "room." According to Instagram account toddle.group, transforming a cardboard box into an art room is easy: grab a cardboard box, place your toddler inside, give them some crayons or markers, and let them go to town. It's a great way to keep them busy, which means you might be able to get something else done.
5. Get Gifts Gift-Wrapped At The Store
OK, so this might not feel like much of a true life hack, but it can save moms time and stress by taking care of that one little pesky chore for you. According to Estelle Erasmus's post for Scary Mommy, if you sign up for a Barnes & Noble card, you can get gift-wrapping for free. Bottom line, if a store offers to gift wrap, especially if it's free, take advantage. It might take a few more minutes right then, but that's one less thing you have to get done later.
6. Eat Messy Snacks Right Before A Bath
In a post for Coupons.com, mom Lisa Thompson wrote that when her kids were little, she'd have them eat their messy snacks in the tub and then give them a bath. Pudding, ice cream, jam, peanut butter, all of these ingredients can be cleaned up more effectively with a bath.
7. Coconut Oil Helps With Meconium Clean-up
Meconium is, well, a bit difficult to clean up. According to PopSugar, if you rub a bit of coconut oil or almond oil on your baby's bum, the meconium will clean up in a snap. It minimizes the effort — and the mess — which means more baby snuggles, less baby poop.
8. Make Healthy Frozen Treats For Teething
Teething can be hard on both parents and baby. Put some fruit, maybe a little yogurt, and some other healthy treats in the blender, whir it all up, and freeze. Krystal Polonia, writing for Babygaga, suggested these teething-friendly frozen treats that you can feel good about giving your baby.
9. Clean-up With A Lint Roller
Glitter is fun and all, but it can be a major pain to clean up. Make it easy. According to Life Hack, all you need is a lint roller to easily clean up glitter — or tiny scraps of paper that seem to get everywhere when you're doing craft projects.
10. Create A Toy Library
Redditor MumMumMum posted that creating a toy library for your kid can help buy you some time for cleaning, laundry, getting some work done, making dinner, or whatever else you need to do. Simply stash some toys away for your kid, and bring something new out when you need to provide a distraction. They'll be happy to play with something new and you'll be able to get done whatever it is that you need to get done.
11. Use A Bottle Brush For Washing Wine Glasses
Bottle brushes work for more than just bottles. According to Redditor jhonotan1, a bottle brush will clean wine glasses. You'll breeze through those delicate glasses before you even know it.
12. Don't Have A Bottle Brush? Use A Butter Knife
And if you don't have a bottle brush, don't worry, you don't need one. Redditor Thelandofmiguela posted that if you wrap a rag around a butter knife, you can clean bottles with it. It'll let you get down into the edges of the bottle where milk or formula might get stuck. How's that for smart?
13. Ditch The Bassinet Cover And Use A Pillow Case
Bassinet covers can get a little dirty at night, especially if your baby spits up. Redditor Ijustwanlurk posted that they use a king-sized pillow case instead of a bassinet cover, so if it gets dirty in the middle of the night, you can flip it over instead of struggling to try to strip the mattress and put a new sheet on it. Worry about clean-up in the morning.
14. Stop Lifting Your Kids Into Shopping Carts
If you're pregnant and your older kid is too heavy for you to lift or it's just a lot to lift them, you need to know about this handy life hack. Redditor scaryswordy posted that a fellow mom at Walmart saw her struggling to lift her toddler into the cart and showed her that, instead of lifting them, if you push the back of the cart out of the way, your kid can climb right in. Brilliant.
15. Make Day Or Nighttime Playlists
Redditor MagicUnicorn123 posted that they noticed their son liked to be sung to before bed. They made a playlist of his favorite pre-sleep songs to play as a part of the bedtime routine. You could do the same with daytime activities, as well. Experiment a bit to see what your kid likes and then make your list. Simple as that.
16. DIY Nursing Pads
Out of nursing pads and in a pinch? No problem. Redditor NotSoSelfSmarted posted that you can cut pantiliners in half to replace nursing pads. They're thin, so they won't be too lumpy, and absorbent, so won't have to worry too much about leaks.
17. Use Stickers To Learn Right And Left
Instagram account curiouslittleteapot posted that you can teach your kid how to put their shoes on correctly by using a sticker cut in half. If they can see the sticker as it should go together, they have the shoes set up to go on the right feet. If the sticker is backwards, it's the wrong foot. It's a simple and smart hack that won't frustrate your little ones.
18. Use Pacifiers For Administering Medicine
If your baby won't take medicine willingly, you can use a pacifier to administer it. According to the previously-mentioned article from PopSugar, the hospital-issued pacifiers with the hollow end are best for giving medicine because you can just slip the medicine dropper into the pacifier. It'll be a much more peaceful process.
19. Keep Toys And Books In The Bathroom
In a post for HuffPost, Jennifer S. White wrote that moms should keep toys and books in the bathroom so that your kids will have something to do when they follow you in — other than just bother you. They'll leave you alone if they have something else to occupy their attention.
20. Make 'Pacifier Pops'
In the aforementioned article from Babygaga, Polonia wrote that pacifier pops are another good hack for teething babies. To make them, all you have to do is fill an ice cube tray with juice, water, yogurt, and the like and then stick a pacifier in each cube. Freeze them until solid, then pop them out and let your angry, teething baby gnaw on it to soothe the pain in their little mouth.
21. Keep A Clean Outfit For Yourself By The Shower
Redditor FringFrang posted a helpful tip for any new moms with a baby that still sleeps in their room. Always keep a change of clothes in the bathroom so when you go to shower, you'll for sure have something to change into without going back into your room and potentially waking up the baby. You never know when an extra outfit might come in handy.
22. Use Cupcake Liners In The Car
Car cupholders tend to get more than a little gross, but there's a way to keep them cleaner. Instagram account ihelpmoms posted that sticking cupcake liners in the cupholders will keep them clean. They're the perfect size for the cupholders. If you use paper ones you can throw them away and if you use silicone ones they'll be easy to clean. Win-win.
23. Wash Baby Socks In Lingerie Bags
Baby socks are tiny and are so easy to lose. When you already lose socks in the wash, why risk it? In the aforementioned article from Coupons.com, Thompson advised washing baby socks in lingerie bags to easily keep them in one place. Easy-peasy.
24. Shop For Shoes With Tracings Of Their Feet
There's an easier way to shop for shoes for your kiddos. Rather than bringing them with and having them try on pair after pair, simply trace their feet and bring that to the store. Make sure you know what size they're currently wearing, too, so you have a frame of reference.
25. Use Diaper Rash Cream On Irritated Neck Skin
In the same thread as before, Redditor FringFrang also posted that you can use diaper cream on irritated "fat folds" on your baby to soothe their skin. If they get milk or spit up on them and it irritates their skin, this should help provide relief.
26. Use A Drying Rack To Organize Art Supplies
In the previously-mentioned post from Coupons.com, Thompson suggested that if you have a kid who's big into arts and crafts, you can use a dish drying rack to keep all of the supplies neat and organized. No more searching through big tubs or messy desk drawers for you.
27. Cool Down Mac And Cheese By Adding A Frozen Veggie
Kids are picky about temperature, but, to be fair, you don't want them to burn their mouths anymore than they do. Rather than having to sit around and wait for their food to cool, you can add frozen vegetables to macaroni and cheese to cool it down faster, as Redditor Mathochistic posted.
28. Cut Food Quickly With Kitchen Scissors
You can cut almost any food with kitchen scissors and you can do so quickly and easily, which is perfect for an impatient toddler. As multiple Redditors attested to on Mathochistic's previously-mentioned thread, kitchen scissors can cut all manner of things from meat to pizza to quesadillas, pancakes and waffles, and more. It doesn't get much easier than that.
29. Keep Baby And Toddler Shoes In The Car
It's a struggle to get shoes on kids when you need to get out the door quickly and can result in tears and stress all around. It doesn't have to, though. According to a post for Scary Mommy by Panda Elder, if you keep some baby and toddler shoes in the car, you won't have to worry about trying to convince them to put them on quickly. Just get them out to the car and then worry about the shoes.
30. A Laundry Basket Doubles As A Baby Tub
Baby tubs can be expensive, and once they grow out of them you really don't have much of a use for them. Instead, as Mother noted, you can use a laundry basket set in the big bathtub as a replacement baby tub. It's also a good trick for when you're traveling and your parents don't have a baby tub.
31. Wear Your Bathrobe In The Morning
Morning routines can mean messes, which you definitely don't want to get all over your outfit for the day. According to Lifehacker, you can wear your bathrobe over your clothes to prevent spills and stains. You can always simply throw your robe in the washing machine, plus, since you likely only wear it around the house, it doesn't really matter what it looks like.
32. Freeze Leftover Halloween Chocolate For Baking
Jordan Page, of Fun, Cheap, or Free, told SheKnows that you can freeze your kid's leftover Halloween chocolate for use in baking. Rather than letting them eat it all themselves, eating the rest yourself, or just letting it go bad, put it to good use in baked goods over the next few months. That way, you're always ready for cookies, no trip to the store required.
33. Painter's Tape Will Keep Them Busy Without Ruining Anything
As Elder wrote in her previously-mentioned post for Scary Mommy, painter's tape can entertain kids for a long time. And since it's painter's tape and easily peels off of walls and furniture, you won't have to worry about them actually destroying anything.
34. Entertain Them On Flights With Mini Sticky Notes
Taking a plane trip with your toddler? Better pack the sticky notes. Mom Brittany Hayward told SheKnows in the aforementioned article that your baby can plaster sticky notes all over the back of the seat in front of them, meaning they're occupied — and hopefully quiet — for at least part of the flight. Just make sure to grab them all off the seat before you get off the plane — you don't want to leave all that work for the flight attendants.
35. Rubber Band The Door Locks
According to the aforementioned article from Mother, you can make sure that your little one never locks themselves inside a room by using rubber bands in a criss-cross pattern over the lock, making sure that the door will never be able to catch. Safety first.
36. Use Ankle Weights To Keep Your Stroller From Tipping Over
If you're taking an umbrella stroller while on an outing or traveling, you might be looking for a way to keep it from tipping. According to Parent Hacks reader, Noelle, if you put ankle weights on the front wheels of the stroller, you'll keep it from tipping because the weight will be balanced. That's a useful tip.
37. Use Your Lock Screen To Keep Up With Your Kids' Schedules
When your kids start to get older and they're involved in more and more after-school activities, it can become a bit difficult to remember who needs to be where, when. Mom and blogger Amanda Mushro told the website for the Today show that changing your phone background to a schedule can help. That way, one glance at your phone tells you everything you need to know.
38. Use A Fitted Crib Sheet To Ward Off Mosquitoes
According to the blog, Little Baby Watson, you can cover an outdoor playpen with a fitted crib sheet to prevent the baby from getting bug bites while outside with you. Maybe you're working on the yard or the whole family is having a picnic, either way, you don't want your little one to get eaten alive by mosquitoes. All you need to remember is that fitted sheet.
39. Use Hot Glue To Make Slippers Non-Stick
Kids' slippers can cause your kid to slip and slide all over the floor. According to Pretty Prudent, however, you can make slippers non-stick by adding hot glue to the bottom. Brilliant. No more accidents.
40. Attach An Empty Tissue Box To A Full One For A Trash Can
When people get sick and are going through more tissues than normal, you can end up with dirty, used tissues all over the place. Not good. To fix that, all you need is an empty tissue box and a couple of rubber bands. According to Mommy Shorts, just rubber band two tissue boxes together and use the empty one for trash to help keep track of all the used tissues.
41. Use Cookie Cutters If You Don't Have Baby Locks Yet
According to the Bump Boxes website, you can use cookie cutters in place of baby locks on cabinets in a pinch. Of course they probably won't work forever, but if you haven't been able to babyproof yet or you're somewhere else that's not babyproofed, this can at least keep them safe for awhile.
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