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There were moments when I first became a mom that I felt totally lost. I learned the hard way some practical parenting skills. There are so many parenting hacks out there that can really give a mom or dad a “leg up” in this life of parenting small people. Parenting is the hardest, and most rewarding job!
Here are some of my favorite Parenting Hacks that have made life a whole lot easier!
1. Buy the cheap diapers or name brand with coupons. Don’t be afraid of the less expensive diapers. They al do the same job. Once you know which diapers work best for your baby look for coupons or sales and stock up.
2. Discount stores are the place to buy clothes and shoes your kids will wear once or if they are tough on them. Cheaply made clothing will not last! Children are rough on clothes and shoes. If your kids go through pants (tears in knees) like mine it’s a good idea to go for the less expensive ones. I also buy cheaper shoes for special occasions. They wear them once and then grow out of them before they need them again… so I don’t buy expensive ones no matter how high quality they are.
3. Take hand-me-down baby stuff… but not the car seat. Car seats expire every 5-8 years and should be thrown away if in an accident. The safety of your child is so important, don’t risk using a faulty car seat. I always buy the best car seat I can afford.
4. Buy big bins for toys. You will get so many toys. Keep them semi organized with big bins.
5. Keep plastic grocery bags in your diaper bag for soiled diapers, dirty clothes, or any other kind of emergency.
6. Vapor Rub on a baby’s feet or young child will do wonders to help them sleep when congested.
7. Empty cardboard boxes and cheap flashlights provide hours of fun. Kids enjoy simple gifts. No need to be extravagant.
8. Sanitize your children’s plastic toys by putting them in the top shelf of the dishwasher. Clean, sanitize and dry in one cycle. (don’t put any toys with batteries in the dishwasher)
9. A pizza cutter is a tool every mommy must have! Not just for pizza. Quickly cut bite size sandwiches, pancakes, chicken, and more with just a few quick rolls of the pizza cutter.
10. Put fruit and veggies and other healthy snacks at your child’s eye level on the shelf or in the fridge. Allow them to help themselves to healthy snacks and watch them start a pattern of healthy choices.
11. Rotate your child’s toys. Sort your child’s toys into bins and rotate those bins every few weeks. It will feel like Christmas when you bring back that old set of blocks! This is also huge in cutting down the clutter.
12. Take baby powder to the beach. Baby powder will help get the sticky sand off of feet. Sprinkle on the baby powder and brush off with a towel.
13. Be prepared in the car. A shoe organizer hung over the back of a seat or a shower caddy suction cupped to the window are great tools to keep your car stocked and within reach with toys, snacks, drinks, and supplies for your kids.
14. Old electronics (with the batteries removed) make awesome toys. Don’t throw those old phones away. Let your kids use them as pretend toys.
15. Make a Family Binder. Make a binder with important information all in one place. Mom and Dad’s cell number, Doctor’s numbers and addresses, nearest emergency room, close relatives contact information, etc… This is helpful to babysitters and your older children and even yourself when looking for information in a pinch.
16. Use the kitchen sink. Right after birth and until baby is sitting up leaning over the bathtub to give a bath can be hard on the back. Buy a cheap basin from the dollar store and give baby a bath in the kitchen sink. Save your back and save money on water.
17. Use a rubber band around a door knob and latch to keep noise down when shutting the door.
18. Make a bracelet with your phone number on it. Make a fitted bracelet for your children to wear when you are out. Use small number beads and add your number to the bracelet for cases of emergency or if the child is lost. You can also order temporary tattoos or even a marker to write your name and number on your child’s arm for those too young for beads (choking hazard).
19. The envelope fold on the shoulder of babies shirts is not just for easy fit over their head. It actually enables you to pull the shirt down over their rear end in cases of blowout diapers. No more risk of poop on their head!
20. Keep a trash bin or bag in your car. You will be surprised how much trash babies generate. Having a bin or a bag can corral that trash from piling up all over the car.
21. Use a glue gun to add tread to the bottoms of baby shoes. A lot of baby shoes are quite slippery with no tread for little ones learning to walk. Add a design or babies name on the bottom of the shoe using a glue gun.
22. Help your child know which shoe goes on which foot with a sticker. Cut a sticker in half and put the left side in the left shoe and the right side in the right shoe. Your child will know they have their shoes right when the sticker fits together.
23. Q-tips are not just for cleaning ears. Use a q-tip to get clean small parts of sippy cups and toys.
24. Creamy baby oil can repel bugs. Stay away from stinky bug spray for the babies. Creamy baby oil keep bugs away and is nice smelling too.
25. Simple is totally fine! Children and babies don’t have to have every toy and accessory. Simple and easy is totally okay. They best parenting hack is your love and time!