Being a mummy is probably both the best and toughest job at the same time. So anything that makes the juggle of parenting, running a household and potentially also a job (not saying that being a mummy isn’t a full time job in itself already!) is very much appreciated, am I right? So these are my top 15 mum hacks to make life as a parent a bit easier, sorted from baby or toddler:
- A white noise machine to help your baby sleep. We are still using ours and it works absolute wonders for Vicky. Our sleep consultant at the time recommended this one from Homedics. You can even set a timer on it if you want or have it running the whole night, which is what we do. Alternatively there are also soft toy sleep aids in the market like the beautiful SnuzCloud Baby Sleep Aid which can play white/pink noise and other calming sounds.
- Black out curtains / blinds! I had completely underestimated the effect a completely dark room will have on how well Vicky will nap. When we started sleep training Vicky, I even taped off all the little corners where the sun would still creep in with tin foil – not very pretty but very effective indeed. The GroAnywhere blinds are another great and cost effective way to block out the sunlight. I swear, since we completely darkened Vicky’s room she slept so much better!
- To treat cradle cap you don’t need to buy a specific product. Just rub some coconut oil on the affected areas 20 minutes before bath time, then gently brush it through with a soft baby brush and remove the flaky skin and repeat for a few days.
- Poop explosion? Did you know you can pull your baby’s vest down when undressing them rather than over their head? This will help to prevent making an even bigger mess.
- Cut your baby’s nails when they are sleeping. Twenty minutes after they’ve fallen asleep is apparently the best time for that as they’ll be in a deep sleep cycle.
- Go for sleepsuits with zippers rather than poppers that never line up. It’s so much easier and faster! Great for changing them at night with little light or when they are older and getting those little wrigglers dressed becomes more and more of a challenge.
- Stains on clothes that you couldn’t get out in the wash properly will fade when you hang your washing up to dry outside in the sun. It’s amazing to see those nasty spag bol stains disappear!
- Layer the bed sheets in your child’s crib / cot to help with late night accidents or when they’re sick. I have layered Vicky’s cot like this: waterproof sheet / normal sheet / waterproof sheet / normal sheet. So when we need to change the bed sheets quickly at night I just need to take off the upper two layers and we are done.
- There is no need to buy any special weaning freezer pots. Use an ice cube tray instead to freeze homemade baby food into portion sizes and put the cubes into ziploc bags once they are frozen, then defrost 1-2 at a time.
- If you’ve got a picky eater like we do, you could think about sneaking veggies into their diet by blending them into a smoothie with some berries.
- Put a plastic mat under their high chair to make cleaning up easier and protect your floor / rug / carpet from food stains. Some people use shower curtains but I wanted something that could just stay put and would blend in so I am using a transparent floor protector that people normally use for office chairs.
- Have a little bag for snacks for when you go out that you can quickly transfer from the pram to nappy bag to car etc. I have a variety of toddler snacks in there and once a week I take it to the kitchen and restock it so we never run out.
- To prevent your toddler from reaching into your plant pots and throwing out the soil you can easily baby proof them by pulling some old tights over the pots. Cut off one leg of the tights roughly at knee height and pull it over the plant pot (the one where your plant is in, not the ceramic one) and up until the tights are covering the soil completely and wrapping nicely around the stem of your plant. You can still water them normally as the tights will let the water through.
- Toddler proof your loo roll by securing it with a hair tie or rubber band. This way your child can’t run wild with the paper and when you need to use it just move the band to the side. Seriously, I had to collect meters and meters of toilet paper from the floor previously, but this really seems to work.
- Embrace the chaos. That sounds a lot easier than it is, but if you manage to accept that things just won’t go to plan all the time you will immediately feel a lot more relaxed.
What are your favourite mum hacks? Let me know in the comments below.