What a year it’s been. We’ve seen the first all-woman spacewalk, an actual image of a black hole, and even kidneys delivered by drone! As our scientific knowledge evolves, so does our parenting knowledge. Now, getting your child to sleep in for a bit longer in the mornings might not feel the same as walking on the moon, but it’s one small step towards a more peaceful parenting journey.
Photo by anna.yanish on Reshot
1. The one-handed wipe
We know you’ve pretty much always got your hands full, so this hack is super useful for new parents. It means you can always pull out one baby wipe from the pack each time, and you only need one hand to do it!
A mum from Hull has discovered that all you need to do is cut slits either side of the hole, right to the edge of the plastic. Click here to see an example. So simple yet oh so helpful!
2. Enjoy that lie in
Something helpful for older children who enjoy waking mum and dad up at the crack of dawn: draw on a clock. A mum of three bought a cheap clock and coloured in specific sections for when her daughter should stay in bed (before 6:30am), when she can get up and play quietly in her room (6:30-7am) and when she can wake her parents up (after 7am).
The trick has taught her three-year-old when to get up, and could come in very handy for parents who want to catch a few extra Zs.
3. Keep your carpets clean
Ever brought baby home from a walk in the park to find the buggy’s wheels are caked in mud and leaves? One mum shared her trick for keeping all this dirt off your carpets when you take the buggy in. Shower caps! That’s right – she just puts cheap shower caps over the wheels, meaning the mud can dry and fall off into them, and your carpets are kept mud free (and don’t forget to take your wellies off at the door!)
Photo by олег реутов on Pixabay
4. Get baby to take their medicine
Sometimes we have to pull little tricks on them – it’s for their own good! If baby’s used to drinking from a bottle, you can stick the syringe that comes with Calpol into a bottle teat. Baby will suck on it thinking it’s milk and, before you know it, they’ll have taken their medicine in a wonderful mess-free, fuss-free manner.
5. Keep baby comfy while shopping
If you ever get worried about putting baby in a shopping trolley seat, a mum from Australia has shared her parenting hack of using a flight pillow to keep them safe and comfortable while going around the supermarket. Simply stick the pillow around them under their arms to keep them steady in the seat. She also attaches a toy to the pillow to keep baby entertained while you buy your eggs!
6. Stop tantrums over toys
Ever been wandering round a shop and something bright catches your little one’s eye that they just won’t forget about? Kids will get super excited about new toys all year round, but it can be even more intense around Christmas when toys are out on the shelves in full force.
A mum from Washington shared her parenting hack to stop kids from throwing tantrums over toys in the lead up to Christmas. She simply takes a photo of her child with the toy and tells them she’s sending it to Santa so he knows what they want. This simple thing can help diffuse mini-supermarket meltdowns and make your shopping trips a little bit less stressful.
Photo by anna.yanish on Reshot
7. Get creative
And what do you do with the packaging from the toys they do get (or any packaging for that matter)? Charley Webb from Emerdale uses them for arts and crafts. She lets her kids paint and decorate them into new toys. Not only can this provide hours of cheap entertainment, it’s also great for their creative development – win win!
8. Nail baby’s passport photo
If you’ve ever tried to sit your little one in a photo booth and get a reasonable shot for their passport photo, you’ll know how tricky it can be. Rules for babies aren’t quite as strict as for us, but it can still be difficult to keep them in one spot. That’s where one dad’s parenting hack comes in. He covered himself in a fitted sheet to create the white background, and held his son in his lap, meaning baby was supported and calm with his head up – genius!
9. Soothe baby’s gums
Another totally simple but super effective hack. All you need is a baking tray, some greaseproof paper and a baby food pouch. You just squeeze the baby food onto the paper in various shapes and then pop it in the freezer. You’ll then have a little collection of yummy, nutritious gum soothers, which can also work as just a snack on those warm summer days.
Photo by Tijana on Unsplash
10. One for pumping mums
The wellbeing of parents is so, so important. As parents, we know how it feels to wonder if you’re doing things right, and sometimes we can be pretty hard on ourselves. One thing that might make new mums a bit worried is how much milk they’re producing.
So, if you’re guilty of watching the bottle while you pump, keeping your eye on every droplet and feeling bad if you can’t get much out, a Switzerland-based lactation consultant has a simple tip for you. Just put a sock on it. Yup, she advises you put a baby sock on your pumping bottle. It can remove your focus from your milk output, reducing pressure and stress.
Some mums have even said it’s helped increase their milk output as they can pump more when they’re distracted – winner!
Parents are basically superheroes. They’re constantly coming up with quirky and creative ideas to keep their kids safe and happy, and to make their parenting journey just a tad easier. This is just a collection of our faves from this year, but we’d love to hear if you’ve got any more that we can share with readers – let us know!