Having a baby is both the best and scariest thing that can happen to a person, especially if it's their first one. Fortunately there are plenty of books and online lists (like this one!) that can help you on your new and exciting journey into parenthood.
Even if your new baby is fussy, or your toddler has a short attention span, there are ways to make your life a lot less stressful while still giving your child all of the attention they need. Here are some simple, easy and fun life hacks for new parents. Stick with us mama, and you'll become a great parent.
Keep a Mesh Bag for Tiny Socks
Socks in general are prone to disappear in the laundry, so tiny baby socks are practically done for. Instead of just crossing your fingers and hoping they don't get lost, keep all of your baby socks in a mesh bag and wash them in it, too.
Invest in Amazon Prime
We know what you're thinking, "Amazon Prime, but why?" Well, ordering items online can sometimes save you more time and money than going to the store or ordering something online and paying for shipping. If you have an Amazon Prime subscription you can save up to 20% on diapers alone. And, you'll get access to Amazon's library of children's shows and music!
Protect Rubber Duckies from Mold
We have a fun trick to protect rubber duckies and bath toys from getting gross from mold and mildew. All you have to do is plug up the holes underneath the toys with a hot glue gun so that no water gets stuck in the toys.
Overpack Your Diaper Bag
When you're traveling with your baby and need to pack a diaper bag, maybe pack an extra shirt for yourself, too. Sometimes when feeding your baby they'll spit up on you and when you're out in public that can be hard to clean, and sometimes it's nice just having a spare to swap out.
Makeshift Tap Dancing Shoes
Why should any reasonable parent glue pennies to a perfectly good pair of your child’s shoes? As an easy makeshift replacement for tap shoes, of course! Most young toddlers won’t have enough of an interest in tap dancing to make buying an expensive pair of specialty shoes a viable option, but this easy life hack can result in hours of fun for your little one.
Use Background Noise to Put Babies to Sleep
Putting babies to sleep can be a little tricky, because some of them are light sleepers. Using a white noise maker or just leaving a fan on can lull your baby to sleep easier. Newborns are used to a lot of noise from being in the womb because it typically sounds like a vacuum in there.
Do Bicycle Exercises with Gassy Babies
If your baby has gas and the little one is a bit uncomfortable, lie them down on their back and do the bicycle with them. Rotate their legs back and forth in a bicycle motion to get the gas going internally. It'll help relieve the baby and exert the gas more quickly and comfortably.
Use All of the Coconut Oil
Coconut oil provides many benefits for newborns. Use coconut oil on your baby's bottom to moisturize it and make cleaning up meconium (those first few nasty, dark baby poops) easier. Also, put some coconut oil on the cradle cap of the baby's head then brush it with a baby comb to remove flaking skin on their head.
Put a New Diaper Underneath the Old One
When changing a baby's diaper, be sure to put the new diaper underneath the baby before you start changing the old diaper. It will prevent you from getting any messes on your changing table and save you an extra step from lifting the baby up again to put the new diaper down.
Use Pacifiers for Medicine
Some babies are a little fussy when taking medicine and that is where the pacifier comes in handy! You can use the pacifier the hospital gives you with a little hole in it or make a hole in your own. Stick the medicine dropper in the pacifier and have them suck away. It might take a little longer but at least there will be less fuss and more of a happy, content baby!
Feed Your Baby When They Wake Up
Many people think of feeding their baby to help them fall asleep but that is not the right way. Food is a source of energy so feeding your baby when they first wake up will kick their day off on the right foot. Also, you won't have to rely on feeding them milk to go to sleep, either.
Use the Kitchen Sink
The kitchen sink is the perfect size and shape to bathe your newborn in. It's also the perfect height and easy for your if you are still recovering from childbirth so you don't have to bend down into a big tub to wash your tiny, newborn baby.
Use Wet Wipes Before Changing
To prevent your baby boy from peeing on you, use a wet wipe to wipe under his belly before a diaper change. This is said to make him pee before you take off the diaper to change him.
Give Your Baby Sugar Water Before a Shot
To prevent the baby from being fussy and in pain when getting shots, give your baby some sugar water before going to the doctor. It releases pain-reducing chemicals in the brain. You can make your own by mixing two teaspoons of boiled water with one teaspoon of sugar and letting it cool.
Easy Way to Make Burps
If your baby is fussy or needs to burp, sit them on your lap and slowly move their upper body in a circle while holding their head. It helps those burps slip out much, much easier and makes them feel better.
Instead of button up sleepers, try getting sleepers with zippers instead. It is just easier to change your baby and is a huge time saver for changing your baby especially when you're on the third diaper change of the day.
Use a Pool Noodle for Your Baby Seat
If you carry your baby's car seat under the crook of your arm it could be a little irritating and uncomfortable. If you pad that area of the handle with a cut-up piece of pool noodle, it will fit perfectly in your arm and you don't even have to glue it on or do any major renovation.
Give Your Newborn a Lot of Sleep
Make sure to not keep your newborn baby up for very long. Although it might be tempting and you might think keeping your baby awake during the day will make them go to sleep easier at night, that's not the case. Studies have shown that newborns need a lot of sleep and it is beneficial if you don't keep them up for longer than 90 minutes at a time.
Don't Rush in Immediately After a Cry
When your baby is napping don't rush in immediately after their first cry. Sometimes babies cry in their sleep and they're not actually awake yet and not finished napping. Running in to take care of the baby might accidentally wake them up instead.
Clean Spit Up Stains with Baking Soda
When babies spit up sometimes the stains can be tricky to clean, especially when they get on furniture. Instead of giving up, wipe off what liquid you can, then apply a paste of baking soda and water. Let the stains sit overnight and then vacuum that couch stain the next day.
Use Applesauce to Help with Teething Pain
If your little one is teething and is having pain, instead of using a regular old teething ring there is a special trick: spread applesauce on a clean cloth, then roll it up and freeze it. Once it's frozen, have the little one suck on it and it will be a delicious distraction from their mouth pain.
Add Some Plastic Bags to Your Diaper Bag
While packing your diaper bag with that extra shirt be sure to add a few plastic bags to it, too. Many times you may remember to pack changing shirts, but you don't think about where you are going to put the poo-covered old t-shirt. Keep some plastic bags around to keep your accident-ridden clothes in.
Try Swaddle Bathing for Fussy Babies
If you have a fussy baby that doesn't like to take baths, try swaddle bathing. Wrap them in a swaddle cloth and carefully unwrap one little limb at a time. Each limb you wash, rinse, rewrap and repeat.
Have a Dimmer/Red Light Bulb for Late Night Feedings
There are going to be many nights when your baby wakes up and needs to be fed. Instead of waking the baby and yourself up completely, invest in a dimmer or switch one of your nursery lights out with a red light bulb. It'll keep you and your baby sleepy enough to get back to bed when you're done feeding.
Keep Bibs on the Back of a High Chair
Instead of constantly searching for bibs, keep them all in one place: behind the high chair! Simply use one of those command hooks to stick on the back of it and keep them all hooked on there. Then you won't have to worry about losing track of them all!
Easy Way to Clean Baby Bottles
Cleaning baby bottles can be quite the pain, though we have found a simple way to clean them all. Simply pour baking soda, natural soap and hot water into the bottle, close and shake for several minutes. It is a natural way to clean your bottles safely.