The Best of the Parenting Hacks
Gena Lee Nolin said, “My children are the reason I laugh, smile and want to get up every morning,” they are also the reason you’re exhausted, losing your hair, and yoga pants your favorite article of clothing. Parenting is the hardest, yet most rewarding job you will ever have. There are days you will hang your head and cry and other days you will laugh until your cheeks hurt. You will spend countless hours second-guessing yourself and times patting yourself on the back for beating the odds and making the right decisions. There will be times when you throw your hands up and give it all up to God and times when you proudly share your successes with other parents. Face it… all parents need help at some point and this is why I went searching for the best of the parenting hacks.
Word of warning… children are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike… that being said, some of these may work for you, some may not. But, you never know until you try! The age of your child will greatly impact the outcome of the best of the parenting hacks as well. Back to you parent… know your child and make the right decision!
- Bathe your child in a laundry basket – this keeps the toys from floating away and the child from wondering around the bathtub causing you more fear.
- A rubber band can keep your child from getting locked in the bathroom – this works only if you make sure the rubberband covers the locking mechanism.
- Use a barrette to hold together the straps of a loose tank top – pull the spaghetti straps on a top or sundress together in the back and clip the barrette on. Make sure the barrette matches the clothing for a nice accent.
- If your child isn’t a fan of trying on shoes, save yourself a headache and trace their feet so you can shop without them. I found an excellent site to provide instructions and determine the actual size shoe your child needs. Check it out… Baby Travel
- Use a disposable drink lid to keep popsicles from turning into a huge mess – the deeper coffee lids are the best option but how you actually get the child to leave it on… that’s a whole other problem to resolve.
- Instead of having to cut each piece of food into tiny bites with a knife, use a pizza cutter – now this is a great parenting hack!
- Cover a pack and play with a fitted sheet, and your child can stay cool outside without being eaten alive by bugs – sorry parents of toddlers… once the child can stand, this hack no longer works.
- Use a pool noodle under a fitted sheet to keep your child from falling out of bed – I love this idea, but it’s not much of a bump to roll over, so this too will only work for the smaller child.
- Put a sign below the toilet paper so they know how much to tear off – if you can get your child to abide by this rule, your savings on toilet paper will increase exponentially!
- Use a hot glue gun to seal bath toys – leaky bath toys are homes for mold. Check these often!
- Get your kids to love the food they’d usually ignore – I’m a firm believer in a child trying foods at least one time but know your child! Maybe they are a texture person… take broccoli and serve it to them prepared different ways. Serve it raw, steamed, fried, with and without some type of dip and with and without cheese. The truth is… children need food they may not like! So, when all else fails… hide it! Make spaghetti and grind up those vegetables in your sauce or add them to your meatballs. Make a hamburger… grind up those vegetables. If you find your hamburger patty not sticking together after adding the vegetables, use a binding agent like an egg. Remember, with the little ones, introduce new foods slowly and watch for food allergies.
- Help Mom, there’s a MONSTER under my bed! Make a bottle of Monster-be-Gone! Just like bug spray, but for monsters. Decorate a spray bottle with monster stickers and a label, fill it with water, and you’re good to go.
- Holding the flaps on the side of a juice box keeps them from squeezing too much. This is what I call an “iffy”. If you remember to pull the flaps up, if the child cooperates and uses them, if the child remembers to use them… etc.
- Need 10 minutes to run the vacuum or drink your coffee in peace? Place a small inflatable pool filled with balls and toys in the room where you need to be. Place the child in the dry pool and do your thing.
- Use Baby Food Jars for spice storage. Now, this only works if you are actually using the jars. Most people tend to use the baby food tubs now. However, there are tons of things to use those precious little jars for… check it out! Happy Hooligans , Buzzfeed , DIY & Crafts
- Declutter the car and keep the kids happy by using a shoe caddy to hold snacks and activities. Loop the shoe caddy over the front seat so the child is facing the organizer. Again, this only works if your child is out of the rear-facing stage and has arms long enough to reach the organizer. Otherwise, all you will hear driving down the road is, “I can’t reach it… I want the ____ … Daddy, stop the car and get my ____”
- Do you fear losing your child in a crowd? For safety’s sake, snap a photo of the child before entering the festivity. That way you will know exactly what the child was wearing, and God forbid, have a current pic for authorities if the unthinkable happens.
- Go one step beyond the picture… use a permanent marker to write, “If lost, call xxx-xxx-xxxx” on the back of your child’s hand. Worried about removing that permanent marker, don’t be. I searched for that too! Check it out! WikiHow
- Packing for vacation? Roll your clothes when you pack your bags instead of folding them. This saves time and space in your luggage.
- Keep your travel snacks organized and ready to eat.
- Keep messes to a minimum – use an aluminum foil covered tray, cover the area with a trash bag, or for larger crafting areas cover the area with an old sheet. When you are done you can just fold up the mess and dispose of properly.
- Use an ice cube tray for sorting and organizing your crafting materials such as beads, string, hooks, etc.
- Sore throat? Try using marshmallows. Have the child eat a few marshmallows. It’s believed the coating left from the marshmallow eases the pain.
- Do you have trouble keeping track of all those doses of antibiotics? I love this parenting hack! With a permanent marker, draw a 10-day chart on the bottle. Include the date and columns for the number of times per day to be given. As you give the medicine, place an X in the column.
- Clean toys! Toys are perfect places for germs to hide. Toys need to be washed just like your child’s clothing and bedding. Soft toys such as stuffed animals can be washed in the washing machine weekly. Be sure and check the stuffed toy for rips and tears or otherwise you end up plucking your washer free of stuffing and finding it weeks later in other clothing that cycles through! Hard toys such as Hotwheels, plastic blocks, rattles… etc, can be washed in the kitchen sink with dish liquid, rinsed thoroughly, then soaked in a mild bleach solution for 2 minutes, and air dried. (Bleach solution: 2 caps full of bleach to one gallon of water) I did find this parenting hack for Lego’s. Now, I’m not sure what it sounds like in the spin cycle! They suggest placing the Lego’s in a netted laundry bag and putting them in the washer once a month. That sounds awesome, but if it doesn’t work, you can wash them in the bleach solution like the hard toys. Keep those toys clean though! You can create a spray bottle of the bleach solution and give the toys a spray a couple times a day. This will help cut down on the spread of the germs giving you a happier, healthier child.
- Is your little one, one of those children that need to feel your hand on them in order to go to sleep? As much as we love them, we can’t waste that precious sleep time when we can be so productive, keeping a hand on them. Put A bean filled glove on your baby’s back. Take a knit winter glove, fill it with beans, sew it shut, hot glue it shut as protection, pat the child to sleep and when asleep, slip the bean-filled glove in place under your hand thereby leaving you free to rest (I mean clean 😊)
- Have you ever walked into a childcare center at nap time? Or a school cafeteria at lunchtime? Does it blow your mind how they are able to get all the children doing the same thing at the same time? Here’s the secret… ROUTINES AND SCHEDULES! Children need and love them! If you walk into the classroom you are apt to see visual schedules hanging in the room. These allow the children to know the flow of their day. They learn what comes next and how long for each activity. You can do this at home as well! It takes an average of 30 days to form a habit. Give it a try! For one month, try the visual schedule in your home.
- Earning Screen Time. There is nothing wrong with teaching your children responsibility at an early age. Encourage your children to earn their time by cashing in completed chores around the house. Determine what chores your child has the ability to complete. Toddlers are fully capable of picking up their toys and putting them in the toybox. Assign an appropriate length of screen time to each chore. Make a list and post it on the refrigerator. For each chore completed the child gains time. Please remember that too much time is harmful to their development! Check it out! Baby Center
- Teaching right from left is never more important than when it comes to putting on shoes. Some children have this innate desire to always put their shoes on the wrong feet. Try getting stickers of their favorite characters, splitting them down the middle and placing them inside the shoe so when the shoes are put together correctly, the whole sticker forms a perfect picture.
- DIY learning blocks. It’s so important to feed into your child’s education. Make learning fun by creating spelling blocks with Mega Blocks! Another genius idea to jumpstart your child’s education.
GOING WITH THE FLOW
It’s always important to understand that each family has its own way of doing things… its own set of daily problems. Take one day at a time. Take one problem at a time. Don’t stress the small stuff. Think outside the box and come up with your own genius parenting hacks. This guy, below, did just that and he won’t have to hear, “Daddy, she’s touching me!” until those sweet babies figure out cardboard is easily destroyed! 😊
Facebook | Jack White
Author: Belinda Davis ©2018