Nobody ever said that being a mom was easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest (albeit most rewarding) things you can do.
But just because it’s a tough job doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to make it easier on yourself and your kids. Over the years, moms have discovered and shared different methods and shortcuts to make parenting less difficult, and we’ve got some of the best ones right here.
These absolutely genius kid hacks are so good you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
1. Use Your Laundry Basket For Bathtime To Keep Toys From Floating Away
Laundry baskets are super cheap and easy to find at almost any home goods or department store, but did you know that they can be used for much more than just laundry? When your toddler outgrows the baby bathtub, sit him down in a big laundry basket in your tub.
The water will still get in, but your toddler’s toys won’t float away from his area. It will keep them seated safely without having to reach far to recover his bath toys.
2. Cut a Sticker in Half And Place Them In Your Child’s Shoes To Know Right From Left
Give your child a bit of independence and autonomy without having to worry about them putting their shoes on the wrong feet and having to fight to switch them. Take a big sticker with an a-symmetrical design (one where you can easily tell which half goes where) and cut it exactly in half.
Place each half on the inner side of each shoe. Your child will be able to line them up and see which shoe goes on which foot.
3. Administer Medicine Easily Via Pacifier
Most young children don’t like the taste of their medicine, but trying to administer it to them using a syringe makes life even more difficult If your child is still using a pacifier, cut a hole in the plastic side big enough to fit a syringe through it.
Then make a smaller hole on the mouthpiece big enough for the medicine to stream through. It will be much easier for your child’s mouth to take the medicine (unfortunately there’s nothing to do about the yucky taste).
4. Use Pads For Potty Training
When your child graduates from pull-ups to big-kid underwear, accidents are still likely to happen once in a while. While they are still in this in-between time, try sticking a menstrual pad in your child’s underwear.
It will soak up a good amount of mess, keeping their underwear clean, but will allow them to get used to the feeling of underwear as opposed to a pull-up diaper.
5. Fill Up a Rubber Glove With Sand To Rest On Your Sleeping Baby
Often times your baby cannot fall asleep without feeling your touch on their bodies. This is fine for a while, but eventually, you’re going to need your hand back! Instead of sitting there for hours while your baby sleeps, fill up a heavy-duty rubber glove (one that won’t leak or break) and rest it gently on your sleeping child while you switch out your own.
If you do it slowly enough, your baby won’t notice the hand has been replaced and will continue to sleep peacefully while you get full access to your own hands.
6. Use a Muffin Paper To Catch a Dripping Popsicle
Nothing is messier than a sticky, melting popsicle. Even though it’s a wonderful summer treat for your youngster, it can quickly become a nightmare to keep your child (and your furniture, rugs, and person) clean.
Instead, stick the popsicle stick through a muffin wrapper and slide it up to the base of the popsicle. It will catch all of the drips instead of your floor.
7. Double Up The Fitted Sheets In Your Child’s Crib or Bed
There’s no worse feeling than when your child has an accident in the middle of the night and having to clean them up as well as the entire bed. Of course, if it’s a huge blowout, you will have to spend the night cleaning.
But if it’s just a small accident, all you have to do is pull off the top sheet layer, change your child’s clothes and go back to sleep. With this method, you can deal with everything properly in the morning.
8. Attach a Piece of Fabric to the Door For Silent Opening and Closing
If you have a light-sleeper on your hands, you have to be extra stealthy when opening the door to check on them, or closing it when you try to leave without waking them.
Instead of risking it, tie a thick piece of fabric to the door to keep the knob from turning. It will be thick enough to keep the door closed, but you will avoid the clicking sound of turning the handle.
9. Roll Your Baby’s Onesie Up His Arms During Diaper Changes To Prevent Grabbing
Diaper changes can become even messier and more difficult when your child wants to grab the powder, pull your hair, or even pick up the dirty diaper.
While you’re changing him, roll up the onesie to gently restrain his arms. It’s kind of like a baby straight-jacket, but obviously way more comfortable (and only temporary of course).
10. Use a Kiddy Pool To Keep Your Crawling Baby Contained
Once your baby starts crawling around, it becomes very hard to keep them in one spot, meaning you can’t take your eyes off them for even a second.
Use an inflatable kiddie pool and add all of your toddler’s favorite toys inside. It’s a big enough space to where they don’t feel trapped, but you’ll know exactly where they are at all time.
11. Never Lose Your Pacifiers Again With This Clip
Most days it feels like your little one can’t go 5 seconds without dropping his pacifier onto the floor. If you’re at home, a quick rinse is no issue. But when you’re out and it drops in the dirt, there’s not much you can do.
Instead, get yourself a study pacifier clip and attach it to your baby’s clothes. Even if he opens his mouth, it won’t fall on the floor. In fact, he will eventually be able to stick it back in his mouth by himself.
12. Make 2-Ingredient Frozen Teething Drops
There are a few brands that sell these, but they are so easy and cheap to make at home. All you need is a plain greek yogurt and any fruit your baby loves.
Blend them up and drop onto wax paper. Stick them in the freezer for 30 minutes and you have yummy, healthy frozen treats that are fun to eat and help relieve teeth pain.
13. Keep Socks Together In a Mesh Laundry Bag
Those teeny tiny socks are super cute but so easy to lose. The next time you do a load of laundry, stick all of your baby’s socks into a mesh laundry bag, and throw them in.
They’ll still come out perfectly clean, but you will never lose individual socks because you’ll know right where to find them once they come out.
14. Use Aluminum Foil To Block Out Light For Midday Naps
If your child has a hard time going down for a nap in the middle of the day, the most likely culprit is the sunshine coming through the window.
Aluminum foil is a cheap and easy way to temporarily black out the windows so no light gets through and your child can get some much-needed rest (and so can you).
15. Use a Pool Noodle To Prevent Falling Out Of Bed
Graduating from the crib to a big kid bed is an exciting step for your little one. But they will face the new challenge of no bars keeping them safely in bed.
To keep them from falling, tape a pool noodle to the mattress, and put the fitted sheet on top. It will make for a soft yet sturdy barrier if your child were to roll over a little too far during the night.
16. Make Healthy Edible Playdough With Only 3 Ingredients
Playdough is a lot of fun, but too many young toddlers find it too tempting not to taste (yuck). Using peanut butter, dried milk powder, and a little honey (substitute maple syrup for children under 1 year), you can make this edible Playdough.
It’s the same consistency and just as much fun as the real thing, but it won’t hurt if it becomes a snack.
17. Make a Marshmallow Ice Pack For Boo Boos
Sometimes trips and falls happen, and an ice pack is just the thing to make it better. But ice packs and bags of frozen peas can be hard and hurt to hold onto the boo boo. Instead, freeze a bag of marshmallows.
They will be very cold but stay nice and soft so they’re easy to hold and press onto the wound.
18. Create A Mini Beach With A Shower Curtain Liner
It can be scary to take your young child into the ocean, but that doesn’t mean they should miss out on the fun of the water. Bring a shower curtain liner (the clear part, not the material that goes on the outside) and dig a “kiddie pool” into the sand.
Line it with a curtain and bury the sides under the sand to stay put. Grab some buckets of ocean water and fill ‘er up!
19. Freeze Breastmilk Into Popsicles For Teething
Did you know that freezing your breast milk doesn’t change or hurt any of the healthy enzymes and vitamins it has in it? If your baby is having a hard time with teething, you don’t need to go for a sugary frozen treat.
Instead, you can freeze your breast milk into popsicles for something healthy and soothing for your little one’s hurting gums.
20. Practice Hand Washing By Giving A Rubber Duck A Bath
If your child is having a hard time with hand washing (specifically, if he or she just doesn’t want to), here’s a pretty cool trick.
Instead of having them wash their hands, instead, rub soap all over their favorite bath toy and have them “give it a bath”. 20 seconds of scrubbing the soapy toy will get those hands sparkly clean.
21. Take A Few Extra To-Go Cups To Keep Pacifiers Clean
The next time you find yourself at a fast food joint (no judgement, we all do it sometimes), grab a few extra to-go condiment cups. You can use these to store pacifiers when you’re out.
Not only will it keep them clean, but it will also make sure they stay easily accessible, so you won’t have to rummage around the bottom of the diaper bag to find them.
22. Plug Up The Holes In Bath Toys With a Hot Glue Gun To Keep Them Clean
If you’ve been on the internet lately, you’ve probably seen the horror stories of moms cutting open bath toys to expose the black mold that has been growing inside of them for months.
To avoid this dangerous problem, use a hot glue gun to plug up any holes in rubber bath toys before they ever get water inside. They will still float, but there won’t be a chance for any wetness to get in.
23. Use Puffy Paint On The Bottom Of Socks For A Non-Slip Grip
When your little one is up and running, it’s important to make sure they are as safe as possible. Especially on colder days, they will be in socks which can be slippery on a hardwood floor.
To avoid sliding around and potentially falling, use puffy paint on the bottom of their socks. They will create a nice grip (and it’s machine washable too).
24. Use This Tupperware Door Knob Hack To Keep Doors Unlocked
If you have door knobs with locks in your child’s room, you’ll want to use this hack to avoid them accidentally locking themselves in (or potentially escaping their rooms during the night).
Cut a hole in the lid of a Tupperware container and push the door knob through. You can easily attach and detach the container from its lid anytime, covering access to the lock.
25. Line The Potty With A Diaper During The Beginnings Of Potty Training
When starting out with potty training, it can be difficult for children to go from diapers to sitting on the potty. Make the transition much smoother for them by lining the hole of the potty with a diaper.
This way, they will be able to get used to the idea of sitting on the potty and going, but still have the feel and the smell of a diaper.
26. Stick A Straw Into An Applesauce Container For A No-Mess Snack
Applesauce is a yummy and healthy snack for small children, but once they start wanting to feed themselves, it can get super messy.
Instead of letting them have at it with a spoon, leave the lid on and poke only a tiny hole for a straw. They can drink the applesauce, and your kitchen will stay clean (for now at least).
27. Create A Makeshift Bathtub With a Blow Up Kiddie Pool
If you find yourself staying at a hotel, in an RV, or simply in a place that doesn’t have a full-sized bathtub, finding a place to bth your small children can be tough.
Bring along a small blow-up kiddie pool and place it in the bottom of the shower. You can fill it up with water and use it as a tub. It’s easy to store, as it deflates completely, and dries relatively quickly too.
28. Use Shower Caps Over Your Stroller Wheels To Protect Your Floors
There’s nothing worse than coming in from a rainy, muddy day with your stroller and having the wheels drag in all the dirt and mud from the outside onto your carpets.
Instead, stick 4 bathing caps into the back of the stroller, and once you reach your door, wrap them easily around the wheels. You’ll still be able to push the stroller inside, but your floors will stay nice and clean.
29. Hang A Hook On The Back Of The Highchair For Bibs
We all know that when your baby is in the highchair, there is potential for a big enough mess to need at least one extra bib.
Hang a hook on the back of the highchair with a few clean bibs (as well as towels and anything else you might need on hand), so you know exactly where they are and can access them easily.
30. Use Pool Noodles As Bumpers For The Walker
A Walker is a great way for a young child to start exploring his environment while being “on the move”. Although they are a safe way for your child to be mobile, there is still potential for crashes.
Line the bottom of the walker with pool noodles to soften any bump and absorb any loud noise that might spook your child.
31. Put This DIY Teething Guard Around The Rim Of The Crib
Once babies start teething, everything they get their hands on becomes fair game to bite and chew to relieve them of their sore gums. This, of course, includes their cribs once they’re able to pull themselves up to standing.
Grab a thick fleece blanket and cut a thick enough strip to go all the way around the rim. Cut notches all along the sides and tie them together. You’ll have a nice soft surface for your teething child, instead of a hard wooden bar.
32. Use Long Socks As Baby Leg Warmers When Putting On Pants Is Too Much
Any parent of a young toddler knows how fierce a battle it is to try and wrestle pants onto a pair of kicking and screaming legs. But it’s too cold to run around without something to warm their legs!
Get a pair of adult long socks, and cut off the bottom tips. These make great leg warmers that are super easy to slip on and off.
33. Layer Up With Two Shirts For Nursing
Nursing outside of the home is challenging enough as it is, without having to worry about exposing your entire stomach to feed your little one.
While you’re nursing, wear two shirts at a time. This way, the outer one can be pulled all the way up, and the lower shirt will still cover your entire belly and the rest of your chest.
34. Put A Plastic Tarp Underneath The High Chair For Instant Clean Up
Despite how much you try to get the food into your baby’s mouth, a good portion of it always ends up on the floor. This makes cleanup even harder, as it adds yet another area that needs attention.
Before mealtime, get a plastic tarp and put it underneath the highchair. When your baby is done, just lift up the chair and take the whole mess in the gathered up tarp to the trash.
35. Get Yourself Some Heavy-Duty Monster Spray
If your toddler is afraid that there are monsters under the bed, it’s pretty hard to convince them otherwise. Even checking under the bed won’t take care of the problem later on during the night.
Instead, take care of the problem before it starts. Fill an empty spray bottle with water and decorate the outside of it, complete with a label “Monster Spray”. You can even add some nice essential oils for a sweet smell. A quick spritz each night before bed will keep the monsters far, far away.
36. Clip Toys To The High Chair To Avoid Constant Retrieval
We’ve all played the game where you repeatedly pick up toys from the floor just to give back to your toddler and watch as he laughs and throws it yet again for you to pick back up.
Instead of continuing this game of fetch, use a lanyard and carabiner to clip a few toys onto the highchair. Even if they fall, they’ll stay within reach.
37. Bulk-Clean Plastic Toys In The Dishwasher
Baby toys are some of the dirtiest items you have in your house, between the chewing and throwing onto the floor and collecting dust. But cleaning them one by one can take forever.
Instead, load up a dishwasher full of toys (make sure they are safe to put in there), and run a wash. Instant clean toys with almost no effort.
38. Don’t Throw Away The Rest Of Your Baby Food
Oftentimes, your baby doesn’t eat the whole can of food in time for it to stay fresh. But throwing it away is a waste of food and money.
Instead, save it in ice cube trays and freeze the cubes for later use. They will stay fresh for months, so you don’t have to feel bad about trashing the rest of it.
39. Use Baby Powder To Painlessly Clean Sandy Feet
After a fun day at the beach, your toddler will almost definitely have a whole body full of sand. Unfortunately, whichever parts got a bit wet (typically the feet) will tend to have the sand stick, making it scratchy and painful to remove.
Bring along some baby powder and pour some onto their feet, and watch the sand easily fall off without any pain.
40. Take Pictures Of Your Children Upon Entering Public Events
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare that they should lose their kids in a public park or a carnival. Take full-body pictures on your phone of your kids right before walking in.
This way, if you need to show pictures to any authorities, they will be wearing the same outfit and looking exactly as they do in the photo, making them easier to find.