There’s nothing more valuable than tips and tricks to make mamahood a little easier! Here are a few of my personal tried and true mom hacks for the baby years!
Get Dressed Last
Getting pooped on or spit up just as you’re heading out the door is the worst. Always prep your little one before getting dressed.
Keep Workout Clothes Handy
This is particularly helpful during the newborn stage when your baby is still sleeping in your room. Don’t risk waking them by sneaking in to grab your clothes.
Keep a pair of workout shoes/clothes somewhere you can access them easily for a quick at-home workout when the baby goes down.
Just say yes! New clothes and toys are great, but hand-me-down items are just as useful, especially with your first child. Your baby will grow out of things so fast you’ll find yourself spending a fortune trying to keep up.
Write Names on Tags
Writing names on clothing tags or gifts is a great way to remember who gave you an item even months down the road.
Snap a pic and send it to the gifter once the baby uses it as a personalized follow-up “thank you.”
Regular baths or even sponge baths can be traumatizing for newborns. It’s cold, they’re fragile. It’s just not fun. This method keeps the baby from getting too cold.
You basically wrap them in a thin swaddle, blanket or towel, lower them into the water, then gently unwrap and wash each limb, one at a time before rewrapping them. Here’s a YouTube video demonstration.
Sleep with Baby’s Sheet
A few days prior to putting my son in his crib for the first time I started sleeping with his bedsheet. Transferring your smell to the fabric often helps babies sleep better.
Your baby associates your smell with comfort and security, thus is less upset when they wake up in the middle of the night.
Keep an exercise ball handy. It’s great for daytime play and babies who hate tummy time. It’s also especially helpful when your baby is fussy or refusing sleep.
Just hold your baby, sit on the ball and bounce a few minutes – most babies will fall right to sleep.
Meal Time Hacks
Instant Pot Meals
Takes the stress out of cooking. Period. With fewer dishes to clean, less time spent in the kitchen, and zero mess, this device is my absolute favorite. Need some inspiration? This book has 125 recipes for babies, toddlers, and families.
Crinkle Cuts for the Win
A crinkle cutter is a handy little kitchen tool that adds texture to your baby’s food. It’ll also provide a little bit of a grip making the food easier to pick up and hold.
Grapple to the Rescue
Tired of your baby throwing things off their high chair? This grapple will save your sanity. It tethers your baby’s toys or teethers using a suction cup.
Pumping and Breastfeeding Hacks
Freeze milk laying down
Freeze your breast milk laying down! Then you can store however you need, once frozen. Awesome way to save space. My sister-in-law showed me this, and for a first-time mom with zero experience pumping – it was very helpful!
Refrigerate Your Pump Parts
Put your pump parts in a gallon-size ziplock bag in the fridge and wash them every night instead of between each session. This will save you a ton of time. The temperature in the fridge keeps bacteria from growing.
My husband came up with this trick. Seems obvious, but clutch nonetheless. Use a coffee cup to set the Haakaa in to make it more stable and prevent spills.
I leave one in the nursery and another by my nightstand.
Diaper Changing Hacks
Get Diaper Time Only Toys
They’re a great distraction when you need to get the job done. Fasten a toy to your changing table, or use stickers on the wall. Whatever will keep their attention.
Dog Poop Bags
Pack a few doggie poop bags in your diaper bag in case you don’t have access to a trash can. They mask the odor of dirty diapers and are easy to toss once you get home. Plus they are cheaper than the ones made for baby diapers!
Wet Wipes to Pee
Rub a wet wipe over their belly seconds before taking off the diaper. It’ll naturally make your baby pee in the diaper, instead of on you!! I don’t know the science behind this trick — but I know it works!
Prevent Poop Stains
Blowouts can ruin an outfit real fast. Prevent stains by scrubbing with dish soap – then wash like normal, and lay it out in the sun to dry! Like magic, the UV rays will completely remove the stains.
Roll Down Onesies
Most moms know this one, but if you don’t, it’ll blow your mind. Those little flaps on the shoulders of onesies are designed to roll down during diaper changes. Totally beats trying to get a messy outfit over your baby’s head. GREAT for blowouts.
It’s easy to clean and doesn’t absorb any liquid – which means, no extra laundry for you! Worth every penny.
Sleep and Play Hacks
Limit and Rotate Toys
Just like adults, children have a hard time focusing when there’s too much going on.
Limit the number of toys you give your child during playtime. It’s recommended, 2-4 toys at a time for a baby, 4-8 toys for a crawling child, and no more than 12 toys for a toddler.
Also, consider switching toys out and introducing new ones to build new skills every few weeks versus a giant cluttered playroom with everything readily available to your child.
Tape on Toys
Some toys are just really loud. Either take the batteries out altogether or lower the volume by placing tape over the speaker.
Keep a Baby Holder in Each Room
Much easier than carrying your baby bouncer, rocker, or bobby room to room. This is especially helpful for the bathroom when mom needs to shower. Just leave it in the bathroom so it’s there when you need it.
Trust Your Instincts
Enough said you got this!
Shannon Bonetti is a former TV news anchor turned PR consultant expecting her first child in July 2020. She’s originally from the Bay Area but has lived in Nevada for the last 10 years. When she’s not managing clients, Shannon is usually hanging with her hubby Brett and their two pups Timber and Bentley. Her hobbies are cooking, reading and volunteering with local nonprofits. Her favorite weekend activities include day-tripping to Tahoe or scouring the internet for good deals!