There is so much information about becoming a new mom. From the moment you announce your pregnancy, you will be inundated with advice from family, friends, peers, and social media. Unfortunately, not all of it will be helpful, and the influx of information can make you feel more stressed than prepared.
If you are looking for advice that will make your life as a new mom easier, look no further. We asked our community of veteran moms about their top hacks to make life with kids just a bit easier.
Mom Hacks to Make Life Easier (From Veteran Moms)
1. Make diaper-changing kits.
Create individual bags for on-the-go that include a diaper and wipes so you can grab one and run to a changing room, rather than fumbling through a diaper bag to find what you need. The bag you pack everything in can work double-duty as a trash bag for the dirty diaper too!
2. Use your dishwasher.
Use your dishwasher instead of spending countless hours handwashing bottles and pump parts. Be sure to use free and clear dish detergent, and if you have it, always click the sterilizer function. You can buy dishwasher cages for the small bottle and pump parts to make it even easier to wash and unload.
3. Use a different diaper bag for child care.
If you plan to use a nanny or daycare service, consider using two separate diaper bags or a backpack to stay organized and avoid constant packing and repacking. One of our moms also suggested asking your nanny to be responsible for keeping her own bag stocked, so all bags are always ready to go.
4. Put a rubber band on your wipes.
You may not think that simply taking wipes out of the package will cause you so much stress as a new mom–but don’t be fooled. When you have one hand holding up squirmy baby legs, the last thing you need is the wipes to get stuck together and pull out several at once. A simple solution is putting a rubber band or elastic hair tie around the wipes container. It’s such a simple hack that will make a big difference when you have multiple poopy diapers to change in a day.
5. Use a wipe to protect yourself from changing your son’s diaper.
You might soon learn to be careful during diaper changes if you have a baby boy. You just might get sprayed! Some mom hacks to help you stay dry are:
1. Get a cold, wet wipe and rub it on your son’s belly, just under the top of the diaper below his belly button. That cold sensation can help him empty his bladder and urinate in the diaper before you open it. Often, when a caregiver opens their baby’s diaper, the cold air on their genitals can cause them to pee. This wipe trick can help!
2. If you have a boy, use that same wipe and place it over your son’s penis for extra precaution. Instead of him spraying you, he should only spray the wipe and diaper. It’s also helpful to place the clean diaper under the dirty one beforehand.
6. Create a diaper station.
So many of our hacks are centered around diaper changes and for a good reason. As a new mom, you’ll spend a lot of time changing diapers. If you are on the go often, consider creating a mini diaper station in your car. Put diapers, wipes, a changing pad, and an extra pair of clothes in your trunk. Similarly, you may also want to create these little stations throughout your home, especially if you live in a two-story house. Putting them all in a diaper caddy is a wonderful tool!
7. Put your pump parts in the fridge between pumping sessions.
If you are a pumping mom, this hack will be a game-changer! Instead of washing your pump parts after each pumping session, you can now safely store them in the fridge between uses! That’s right! In the morning after your first pumping session, take your pumping parts, put them in a gallon-sized resealable bag or container, and store them in your fridge. Next time you need to pump, take those parts out, attach them to new bottles, and begin pumping. You can continue this for the rest of the day! At the end of the day, take those pump parts out and thoroughly clean them.
The reason it’s okay to do this is that you’re storing your pump parts in the refrigerator after each pumping use, which means the breastmilk on your pump parts won’t spoil. Doing this allows you to safely reuse the pump parts on your breasts throughout the day without washing them between sessions. What a time saver! Just make sure that you wash your pump parts every 24 hours, store them in a clean container each time, and immediately place them back in the fridge after your pumping sessions. If you are concerned, consult your baby’s pediatrician and review the CDC guidelines.1
8. Use the stroller fan to cool off food.
This is one of the hacks I wish I had known sooner! When my daughter sees me making her dinner, she wants it immediately. Often, a meltdown can ensue when her food needs to cool off. One mom avoids this situation by cooling off food with her stroller fan, which is small, compact, and usually within reach. Another mom suggests spreading hot baby food thin on the plate to cool faster.
9. Use food scissors.
Besides diaper changes, cutting food will be another activity that will take over your life as a mom. Invest in a pair of food scissors early. You can use them to cut up any food, and not only does it make it easier to cut, but it also creates less mess.
10. Use baby powder at the beach.
As a Florida native, this is a hack I swear by. Baby powder will instantly take the sand off your little one’s feet and hands and avoid any sand-related meltdowns or a sandy car. Keep a container of it in your beach bag at all times, and always add it to your vacation packing list.
11. Make teeth brushing fun.
One mom used a baby toothbrush as a teething toy when their child was just six months old. Not only did this get their child used to a toothbrush, but it also helped them want to brush their teeth when they were old enough to do so. She also told her child the yummy training toothpaste was a special treat. Bonus hack: use a 360 toothbrush to make brushing even easier.
12. Use electric nail clippers.
This is one item I always buy for new moms. You’d be surprised how sharp baby nails can be and how fast they grow. Cutting your baby’s fingernails with a typical nail cutter can be daunting and dangerous. The electric clippers make it so easy, and my kids love getting their nails done now.
13. Use a diaper cream brush.
Another item that I can’t do without is a diaper cream brush. Instead of applying your baby’s diaper cream on your fingers to apply on your baby’s bum, use a diaper cream brush! This makes things less messy and easier to clean. This will be a tremendous help when you deal with your baby’s diaper rash and apply their cream.
14. Keep your baby warm while getting out of the bath.
View this post on Instagram
Everyone’s least favorite part of getting out of the bath or shower is getting out into the cold. Try this towel trick to help keep your baby warm when getting them out of the tub! (Watch the video above.) It will help keep your clothes dry while getting them out and keep them nice and warm. 🙂
Another great trick to keep them warm when they are a little older is to have the towels freshly dried in the dryer. This way, the towels are nice and warm. You can also warm up a Warmie (a microwaveable French lavender-scented plush toy) to give them to hold as you towel dry them off.
15. Command hooks!
You can use command hooks for a ton of things. One mom suggests putting one on the back of your high chair to store bibbs. As your kids get older, you can use them for playroom storage to hang baskets for art supplies and toys.
16. Ask for help.
While this may not technically be a “hack,” many moms (and dads) said the best parent hack they have is always asking for help. Whether that be a mom ensuring her husband is hands-on as soon as the baby is born or living close to a mother-in-law who can help a few hours a week, having people help out is the best way to make kid life a bit easier.
Whether you are a new mom seeking advice or a veteran mom looking for ways to make your life more seamless, these hacks, plus so many more, can make a difference in your day-to-day life. And if you have any mom hacks you swear by, please share them with us!