Parenthood is hard but these baby hacks can make life that little bit more manageable
Some parents just look like they have it all figured out. They are organised, they appear on time to everything. They have the time to brush both their hair and their teeth every single day. What’s their secret? I have looked into it and I can confirm, they’re every bit as human as you and me — no supernatural powers at play. They are just savvy to one or two baby hacks.
Since having my baby (now a very loud, hyperactive toddler) I’ve become obsessed with these little tips and tricks. In the early days, when I was so exhausted I couldn’t think clearly, these hacks would have come in really useful, so for all the new parents out there, I thought I’d share my top baby hacks to make your life easier and more manageable.
Just a quick note — every single baby, and parent, is different. There’s no one right way to do anything. Some of these tips might work perfectly for you, some might not work at all. As with all parenting advice — take on board what fits in with your lifestyle and happily disregard the rest.
While you’re here, check out this post on what parenting books you should check out this year!
Turn a Chest of Drawers into a Changing Table
There are some unnecessary baby items out there that are so brilliantly marketed, you almost can’t resist. For me, and for many other parents out there, the changing table is one such item. You can understand why they are so popular. You’re pregnant, you’re excited, you want to fully prepare and get your baby the best of everything. You want to kit out the nursery and make it idyllic. The traditional changing table is something you’ve likely considered — but when you really think about it, a changing table is not strictly necessary.
While I have met some mums who swear by them, the majority admit to changing the baby on the floor for the majority of the time. It’s convenient and safe. You know the little wriggler isn’t going to unexpectedly fling itself to the side and fall a metre to the floor. And newborns can need changing up to twelve times a day. Is it worth the trek back to the changing table every single time? And what do you do with the changing table when you’re finally done with it? It’s not really a piece of furniture that lends itself to other uses.
If you really do want a changing table station in your nursery, a great idea is to simply place a changing mat on top of a chest of drawers. This way you can stand up and change your baby as you would at a changing table, but you have the added convenience of being able to store nappies, wet wipes and clothes.
Have a Baby Changing Station Around Your Home
While we’re on the topic of nappies, I have another simple baby hack that saved me a lot of time. To save yourself darting back and forth whenever your little one wets their nappy (and this will happen a lot in the early days), do yourself a favour and have little changing stations around the house. Keep a few nappies, wet wipes and nappy cream in convenient little packs and store them wherever you spend the most amount of time.
Use a White Noise at Night
This is one of those baby hacks that works for most babies — just not mine. Still, most parents swear by white noise, so I had to give it a mention.
The logic is that white noise helps to create a womb-like environment for your baby. This helps to calm your baby, while encouraging them to fall to sleep faster. Other people suggest that the white noise helps to mask other sudden, loud noises in the environment that might otherwise wake up your baby.
When Sleep Training — Put Husband in Charge
When my son was just shy of one year old, we wanted to try some form of sleep training. Well, ‘wanted’ is the wrong word. ‘Needed’ is more fitting. I hadn’t slept in eleven months and I was close to losing my mind.
We knew we couldn’t stomach the Cry it Out Method, so we created a sleep training method that worked for us. It was sweet and simple, and it involved my husband putting our son to bed by himself. I wasn’t allowed in the room. The moment our son saw me or smelled me, he’d want milk, so I had to be cut out of the equation. My husband just held my son and cradled him until he stopped fussing. It took a few days but then, somehow, magically, Charlie slept through the night. And I was able to regain some of my sanity.
Hooks on the Back of High Chairs
This is another simple baby hack that will save you significant time and frustration. Rather than hunting around for a clean bib every time you settle your baby into their high chair, just keep a hook on the back of the chair and hang a few bibs right there. Next time your baby has a meal, you’ll be all set.
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Mesh Laundry Bag for Baby Socks
One of life’s greatest mysteries is what happens to socks once they enter a washing machine. Sometimes they just disappear without a trace, never to be seen again.
Think of how much worse it is with tiny little baby socks. You’ll never have a matching pair. You can either make your peace with that (as I have) or you can do what a lot of sensible parents out there do — you can buy a small mesh laundry bag and place your baby’s dirty socks in there, zip it up and then launder the bag, safe in the knowledge that your baby’s socks won’t go walkabout.
Some babies are content to be put down. Some are happy to kick around in a baby chair while you get along with cooking, cleaning or working. Others absolutely hate being put down and will let it be known.
For babies like this, baby wearing works like a charm. Just strap your baby to your chest and you carry on with your day, with two hands (luxury), and your baby will either happily observe or be soothed to sleep.
Pull the Onesie Down After A Poosplosion
So you’ve just had your first poopslosion. Congratulations. They’re disgusting. But you love the little critter anyway, despite the absolute foulness they produce.
Before you begin pulling their onesies over their head — stop. Most onesies have little envelope-type flaps around the shoulders. These flaps can open up so you have enough room to wriggle the clothing downwards, rather than up over their heads — which means you won’t get all that grossness in your lovely baby’s hair.
Massage Snuffle Babe Onto Their Feet Before Bed
It can be heartbreaking when your baby is struggling with a cough. Unfortunately, colds are really common for babies, as they have not built immunity to cold viruses. In their first year, they might have up to seven colds.
To give your baby a bit of relief, massage some Snuffle Babe onto their feet before bed and put some socks over them. It might sound like an old wives’ tale, but somehow, it helps the coughing. Even some doctors admit that it works — they just don’t know why.
Keep a Changing Bag in the Car
Leaving the house will never be the same once you have a baby. But you can make life easier, and make leaving the house less of a hassle, with this baby hack.
Simply keep a pre-packed changing bag in the car, fully equipped with nappies, wet wipes, toys, medicine, books and a change of clothes. You’ll be fully-armed and prepared wherever you go.
Sneak Veggies Into Smoothies and Pasta Sauces
If your baby hates vegetables, don’t worry. It’s normal. Babies and young children are more sensitive to the bitter compounds found in vegetables, which puts them off.
But, they gotta eat them. So we’ve got to sneak veggies into their food. One really convenient way is to mix them into smoothies (the fruits will mask the veggie taste), or into pasta sauces.
King of Baby Hacks: Stop Baby Boys From Peeing on You Mid-Change
If you’ve got a boy, rest assured — they’re looking for the prime opportunity, mid-change, to pee on you. Don’t let them win. This baby hack will protect you. Simply swipe a wet wipe under his belly button just before you change his nappy. The sudden change in temperature will make them pee before you take their nappy off, meaning you will stay lovely and dry.
What do you think of these baby hacks? Have I left out your favourite? Share yours below or send over a message — I’d love to hear them.