Let’s face it — almost anything that’s worth doing is hard. Writing a novel, climbing a mountain, applying for a job, and yes, raising kids. Children are some of the most amazing little people on the planet but they are also a lot of work. Luckily, in the age of the internet, parents around the world come together to offer parenting hacks. These hacks range from keeping your kids occupied to getting them to just take their medicine already! And of course, we can always use more tips to encourage kids to sleep.
If you have kids, you’ve probably heard the saying that the days are long but the years are short. It might be a cliché, but it’s absolutely true. Think about that the next time you feel like pulling your hair while cleaning Play-Doh out of the carpet.
They also say it takes a village to raise a child. The internet is a pretty big village. Parents definitely have one another’s backs. Raising kids is fun, hard, and super, super messy (seriously, you’ll never stop finding crumbs). So, let’s find out the best way to keep ourselves sane while doing it.
1. Get baby to sleep with a running faucet.
Every parent knows that once a baby has been up all night, they’ll do just about anything to get them to sleep. Lots of babies sleep better with white noise. But what do you do if you don’t have a handy machine or phone? Use an old-fashioned method of turning on the faucet.
2. Hang onesies upside down.
Parents often get stumped when it comes to putting their children’s clothes away. One easy solution is to hang onesies upside down by the snaps. They’re easy to organize and see. This also takes up minimal closet space.
3. Tape over your kids’ noisy toys.
Every parent eventually reaches a point when they can’t stand to listen to a singing toy for another second. You can always “lose” a noisy toy or just slap a piece of tape over the speaker to muffle the sound.
4. Protect from popsicle messes with a cupcake liner.
There’s nothing better than a popsicle on a hot summer day. But kids can make a huge mess with them. Protect their hands (and your laundry!) by popping the sticks through a paper cupcake liner.
5. Put ketchup under the hot dog, not on top of it.
Here’s another hack to help with messy eaters: the next time your child is enjoying a hot dog, put the condiments between the meat and the bun, not on top. It will save you some grief.
6. Hide candy in this super sneaky way.
Want to take advantage of that sweet post-Easter discounted candy without your kids knowing? Hide it in a bag of a healthy snack. Your kids won’t ever find it — plus, they’ll think that you’re setting a good example with your snack choices.
7. Use a spy window to check on the kids.
If you have a downstairs or upstairs playroom, you may find yourself taking the stairs often to investigate the latest thump or squabble. This ingenious idea puts a mirror on the stairs so that you cut back on your time climbing up and down.
8. Use those onesie folds to avoid poop messes.
You might think it’s obvious but plenty of people don’t know the secret behind those weird shoulder flaps on onesies. They’re there so you can pull them down over the legs when they’re soiled, instead of risking pulling them up over the baby’s head.
9. Use a sticker to help kids get their shoes on the right feet.
This one is really cute. Cut a fun sticker in half and stick it on the inside of the shoe, right up against the side. It’s a great way to teach kids their right and left while cutting back on the amount of time it takes to get dressed.
10. Use a mesh bag for baby socks.
If you’re tired of losing those teeny-tiny little baby socks, throw them in a mesh bag before you put them in the wash. Matching them will be a breeze.
11. Spray the kids’ bedroom with monster spray before bed.
If you have kiddos who are afraid of monsters, tell them that you have a special “monster spray.” You can put this in a regular spray bottle and fill it with whatever you want: lavender scent, citrus, or just plain old water. A spritz around the room before bedtime will chase the monsters away.
12. Include a change of clothes for yourself in the diaper bag.
It’s hard to remember all the things that you need to put in a diaper bag. From diapers to wipes to a change of clothes, there’s a long, long list. Don’t forget to pack a change of clothes for yourself, in case you get spit up on you or worse.
13. Put toilet paper over the motion sensor on public toilets.
Using a toilet can be nerve-wracking for young children and public toilets are even more so. If you have a child who gets spooked by the explosive flush of public toilets, just place a piece of toilet paper over the motion sensor.
14. Freeze sponges for cheap DIY ice packs.
Packing lunches is a chore, especially since children are notorious for losing things at school. If you want to keep your kids’ lunch cold but don’t want to lose a pricey ice pack, DIY it with a frozen sponge in a plastic bag.
15. Store crayons in an Altoids’ tin in your purse.
Need a quick way to keep your child occupied while you’re in public? Always be ready to color! Just store a few crayons in an Altoids’ tin and keep it in your purse.
16. Sort bath toys with a shower rod and baskets.
Kids love their bath toys but they can make a mess in the tub — one that can get dangerous. Store the toys easily with an extra shower rod and some mounted plastic baskets.
17. Fix tangled doll hair with fabric softener.
Dolls go through a lot of rough play and often, their hair looks worse for the wear. Keep the doll’s hair clean and looking great with a spray-down of fabric softener and water. Comb through and enjoy.
18. Cut back on soap messes with a rubber band.
Children are notorious for using too much liquid soap, which makes a mess on your bathroom sink. Stop the pump limit with a plain old rubber band to prevent spills.
19. Make a kid-friendly faucet with an old plastic bottle.
Even with a stepstool, kids often have a hard time reaching the sink. You can make a DIY handy faucet extender out of an old shampoo or conditioner bottle. Now, hand-washing is a breeze.
20. Use tape to clean up messy crafts.
If your kids love to use glitter or sequins, you probably groan whenever they bring them out. Cleaning up can be easy if you just wrap some tape around your hand, sticky side out. Then scoop for easy cleaning.
21. Provide a handy-dandy measuring line for toilet paper.
If you have a child who is notorious for using too much toilet paper, teach them with this convenient measuring chart. With any luck, it will cut back on cost AND the number of times you have to use the plunger.
22. Use Press N’ Seal on kid clothes before craft time.
Crafts occupy kids for hours on end but they can make a huge mess. If you inwardly groan every time your kids break out paint or other craft materials, just use a sheet of Press N’ Seal to protect their clothing from spills.
23. Make waiting in the doctors’ office fun.
If it will be awhile before the pediatrician comes in to see your child, kill the wait with some crayons. Your child can color on the paper that is used on the exam table. Make sure to ask permission first, of course.
24. Clean up glitter with a lint roller.
Glitter is dreaded by parents far and wide for being extremely difficult to clean up. However, a regular lint roller eliminates messes in no time
25. Bring cling toys on long airplane flights.
Flights with children are nerve-wracking, making the stress of travel even worse. Fight the boredom (and the tantrums) with some fun cling on toys for windows.
26. Use coffee filters as snack bowls.
Your children probably snack all day but there’s no need to dirty bowls. Use coffee filters for dry snacks like pretzels and trail mix.
27. Make taking medicine easy with a lollipop.
When you have a sick child, making them take medicine can be torture. To make it easier on both of you, dip a lollipop in the medicine dose and let them suck it off. Re-dip and repeat.
28. Schedule your baby’s next nail trim for 20 minutes after they fall asleep.
If you have a baby that hates getting his nails trimmed, wait until he’s been asleep about 20 minutes. While he’s in a deep sleep, you can trim without fear.
29. Scrub crayon-covered surfaces with toothpaste.
If your child has crayons, you probably have at least one wall covered with marks. Clean it off easily with a dab of toothpaste on a washcloth or brush.
30. Tie your child’s sippy cup to their car seat.
Does your child drop their sippy cup in the car? Make sure it doesn’t roll onto the floor by tying or clipping it to the car seat.
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