Growing up, I thought that being an adult looked pretty simple. Playing with baby dolls led me to believe that motherhood would be easy peezy lemon squeezy.
I came to my senses long before I had a baby, but that doesn’t change the fact that parenting can be a bit of a challenge at times.
As a mom who tries her best but sometimes comes up short, I’m always looking for ways to simplify things. Enter: baby hacks.
These tips and tricks are just a few ways to make your life as a mom easier so that you can spend more time playing with your baby and less time doing, well, anything else.
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TRIMMING TINY NAILS
Cutting tiny baby fingernails is scary business. I was too scared to do it myself for awhile, so I would wait until my mom came to visit and make her do it. But that’s not the hack!
The trick to cutting baby’s fingernails is to wait until they are asleep. Give it a few minutes for them to get into a deep sleep, and then just trim their nails carefully.
I’ve also heard that using nail scissors instead of clippers makes cutting them a ton easier, so that could be worth a try!
THE DIAPER TRICK
When my daughter was a newborn, it seemed like her favorite thing to do was pee all over the place during diaper changes. We didn’t have a changing table, so most the time that meant she got pee all over my couch! My sister, who doesn’t even have children, told me about this hack.
You simply slide a clean diaper under your baby’s bottom before opening the used diaper. After a quick wipe, you can quickly snatch the dirty diaper out of the way and your baby’s bottom lands in a new clean diaper! This simple hack saved my couch.
SAY NO TO BUTTONS
When shopping for baby clothes, it’s tempting to grab any cute outfit you find. During the newborn phase, easy-to-change outfits will be all the rage, and button-up outfits simply don’t make the cut!
We were gifted several adorable button-up outfits for my daughter (mostly sleepers), that she only wore a handful of times. The last thing I wanted to do at 2 AM before feedings was wrestle with a million buttons. Zipper outfits are the way to go, my friend.
CHANGING BABY BEFORE NIGHT FEEDINGS
When you are still at the stage where your newborn needs to eat every few hours, you may have a time or two when you need to wake your baby to do so.
I woke my baby up every few hours to eat for the first few weeks because I was scared she would get too hungry. She probably would have been fine sleeping longer but I was a new mom, so ya know how that goes.
Anyways, I had a hard time waking my baby up to feed her. I realized changing her diaper woke her up really well and started doing that before each night feeding.
It also worked out because most of the time she would fall asleep while eating and her diaper change was already taken care of.
Despite being shown a dozen times in the hospital, and several more times by family members, I still can’t swaddle worth a flip. My baby could easily escape the swaddles I tried with receiving blankets.
Finally, I tried Velcro swaddle blankets and I was in awe. We loved the Halo Sleep Sack, it made it easy to get a nice tight swaddle in seconds. If you’re looking for something a little thinner, these swaddle blankets are also a great option!
SQUIRMY BABY HACK
My baby has been hard to dress since the day she was born. The nurses at the hospital commented on how strong she was and how difficult she was to bathe. Things haven’t changed much.
I recently saw a hack where a mom rolled her baby’s arms up into their shirt during a diaper change to prevent them from interfering. Absolutely genius idea!
Now that my daughter is old enough to crawl around and play, getting her to be still for a diaper change is almost impossible and this baby hack is a lifesaver!
PROPER WAY TO CHANGE A BLOWOUT
Ever wonder what those little flaps are for on the shoulders of your little ones onesies? To make cleaning up a poopy disaster just a tad easier!
Without having to pull the onesie off over the head, you avoid getting a mess all in your baby’s hair or on their head. My baby hates clothes going over her face, so I always take her onesies off like this!
If you hate getting diaper cream all over your hands (and under your nails) when applying it, I’ve got a hack for you!
Instead of using your hands, you can use a clean make up brush to “paint” on a thick layer of the cream, leaving your hands clean.. or as clean as a hand can be while changing a diaper.
You could also purchase a Baby Bum Brush, which is made specifically for this task and has great reviews!
DOUBLE UP ON BEDDING
This simple baby hack could save you a lot of trouble in the middle of the night if your baby has a leaky diaper or a messy blowout!
All you have to do is put two layers of sheets and mattress pads down. You’ll layer it with the mattress pad first, then the crib sheet. You will then repeat that layer with another mattress pad and another crib sheet.
So when the sheets need a change, you simply peel off the first layer and then you’re good to go!
KEEP THE DIAPER BAG PACKED
This bad boy can save you so much time in the long run! I can’t tell you how many times I have been rushing around trying to get myself and my baby ready, only to realize I still have to pack the diaper bag.
But, if I had to give you rough estimate, I would say, umm.. probably every single time I try to leave the house with my baby. (I’m bad with time management, what more can I say?)
This hack also helps prevent you forgetting to pack the essentials because you won’t be running around like a chicken with your head cut off around trying to stuff things into a bag!
A good way to do this is: after every outing with your baby, unpack and then repack the diaper bag with all the essentials that can be left in there, such as a change of clothes, baby wipes, spare diapers, etc. When it’s time to go all you have to do is throw in a few things like bottles or snacks!
PACK A CHANGE OF CLOTHES FOR YOURSELF
Speaking of diapers bags, it’s also good idea to pack a change of clothes for yourself. Accidents happen, and not just on your baby. Babies spit up and poop all over the place sometimes, and more often than not, moms get caught in the crossfire.
Which is why, at the very least, you should pack an extra shirt for yourself in the baby’s diaper bag. If the diaper bag is already too full of baby stuff, keep your extra clothes stashed somewhere in car!
Gas pains can give your baby some serious trouble, which is why I wrote a whole post about it. This trick is so easy and works so well, that I felt it needed to be included here also.
When gas pains start giving your baby a hard time, just take their little legs and move them like they are riding a bicycle! The relief is almost instant!
SET UP THE PACK ‘N PLAY IN YOUR LIVING AREA
A pack ‘n play is such a versatile little thing. Most pack ‘n plays come with attachments, like a bassinet or a changing table, making it a worthwhile addition to your living area.
It’s also a great place to store all of your baby’s essentials. This can be especially useful if you have a two story home and don’t want to walk upstairs every time you need to change diaper!
GET A BABY CARRIER OR BINXY BABY FOR SHOPPING
I’m not a big fan of grocery shopping anyways, throw in a fussy baby and it’s down right miserable.
I always have to go to several stores and lugging around my daughters car seat from store to store is exhausting. Now that she can sit up, she sometimes likes to sit in the seat part of the shopping cart, other times, not so much.
You’ll have more room in your cart and more patience to get you through your shopping trip.
I’ve been doing the “dream feed” long before I even knew it was a thing. It was just something I did to help my baby sleep longer throughout the night.
This baby hack pertains specifically to newborns who are still waking at night to feed. A dream feed is when you gently pick up your baby who is already asleep and feed them just a little more before you go to sleep. The baby wakes just enough to eat and you can gently lay your baby back down to sleep.
This will hopefully buy you a few more hours before your baby needs to eat again, resulting in extra sleep time!
How did you make parenting easier? What are some of your favorite baby hacks?