Parenting Hacks For Babies & Toddlers - 16 Easy Tips Every Mom Needs
Updated: Sep 3
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Sometimes I walk around my house momming thinking, "gosh I wish someone had told me some of the parenting hacks" I'm going to share with you all today. With two kids I like to think that I've had some time to solve a lot of my parenting needs with some of these. I hope you enjoy and share some of your own!
1. Locate your toddler's favorite stuffed animal or lovey in seconds! Does your toddler have a favorite stuffed animal or lovey they can't sleep without or just brings them a lot of comfort? Do they constantly throw it, bring it on car rides, or hide it? Has it become a constant worry that the stuffed animal will go missing? Well...Meet Gray Dog. He is my son's favorite lovey. We have missed naps because he has been misplaced. We hear cries of "WHERE'S MY GRAY DOG?!" endlessly around our house. After both my husband and I spent an hour one afternoon during my son's nap, I had enough. I had been thinking about it a long time and finally decided to purchase a key finder. 🙌🏽 I cannot tell you how many hours I have saved since. I tied a black ribbon around Gray Dog's neck with the Tile and then put a few stitches in it so it won't come loose. The tile is water resistant but I plan to just cut the few stitches when I wash him.
2. Stop worrying about your baby slamming their fingers in the doors with these! I originally bought these finger pinch guards when my son was starting to crawl around, but then as he grew, he started slamming doors too. Now that he's older we don't have to worry about it, but my daughter is now starting to do the same things. We use these every day for our two dogs who love to lounge in our bedroom all day, but hate getting stuck in the room. If you look closely enough you might see where Charles scratched the door when he got stuck in the room and wanted out! These provide just enough space for them to be able to nose their way out.
3. Keep your baby from rolling over during diaper changes by entertaining them. My daughter loves to roll over while I'm changing her or dressing her. One of the little books from Lovevery has made life so much easier! I start handing her a book, or her hair brush, or a little toy and she will lay still for at least 10 seconds 😄. The dragon from Dragons Love Tacos is also pretty interesting to her right now at 11 months old. If you're not familiar with the book, it's really cute, you should check it out! I love this diaper wipe warmer and these diapers. Knock on wood, I haven't had a single blow out and they are so soft!
4. Wipe little hands and faces before they get up from mealtimes to avoid messes on walls and couches. I keep this wipe dispenser at the kitchen table so my kids don't go all over the house with messy hands and faces after meals. I love the weighted plate it has to keep the wipes dispensing perfectly! No more running to get wet paper towels or napkins that fall apart. Nothing against napkins, I love the napkin holder shown.
The dispenser is also great if you're not into having a wipe warmer.
5. Keep your dining room chairs clean, at the right height, and your toddler in his chair for mealtimes. When my son was starting to outgrow his booster chair, I decided I needed something to protect our dining room chairs from spills and messes and that he'd still need to be a little higher at the table to comfortably eat. While I was shopping I also came across this handy belt to boot. I put it around him loosely since the chairs are counter height and he can get out of it if he wants but it certainly slows him down enough to wipe his hands and face (see last tip!) Bonus: we talk about our meal's origins with this educational placemat too. I.e. Italian food we point out Italy 😁
6. Light up your potty! I don't know about your toddler, but my son loves to wait until right before nap or bedtime, after the lights are out, to go potty. It's exhausting. If I let him leave the room to go, it's like we have to start all over with books and songs and the lights come on. Originally, my in-laws bought one of these for the big toilet because he loved that it changed colors at their house. But I bought another one and put it in his room for these last minute occasions. It's motion activated and it helps me see if he actually had to go or was just telling a little fib to keep me in the room a little longer! I also like to keep a potty in his room in case he gets up in the morning or middle of the night and wants to go easily.
I put my son's potty between his dresser and armoire to create a stall like vibe 😆. We have two of these little potties and have moved them all around our house as needed.
7. Pick up all 13,849,593,453 toys on your floors in a flash without even bending over or breaking a sweat. When I was pregnant, I had a really hard time bending over and was just generally tired. Picking up toys all over the house became exhausting and my house looked like a tornado blew through it. I came across this blessing and have since purchased one for every floor of my house! My house has never been so clean and I no longer dread picking up! I'm thinking that I will be adding one more for my daughters room because the ball pit has exploded all over the room.
8. Keep kids and pets separated during snack times or safe from stairs. We own seven of these retractable gates 😬because...well...they're amazing. They can be used at the top or bottom of stairs and I have one in both of the kids rooms. I also love the way they look when they retract. So much better than the bulky ones that you trip over in the doorway! In the picture below you can see them both safely having a snack on the floor right in front of the dog. No worrying about the dog stealing their snacks! I can be in the laundry room right around the corner and still keep an eye on them or let them roam free knowing the top (or bottom) of the stairs is secure. I have two gates separating the formal living room from the front door. During naps and after bedtime I close it off so the dogs don't go to the front door and bark. It also keeps the formal living and dining rooms clean and toy free!
9. Surveil your kids for a few moments. I have this baby monitor for both my son and daughter and I use the travel stand to watch them while I'm in the next room doing laundry usually. I move the head of the camera from above their bed or crib to a shelf so I can see the whole room. Even though I'm right around the corner, it gives me a lot of peace of mind to be able to see and hear them. I also love to use the one below in my son's room while I am putting my daughter down for morning naps. I can watch him from her quiet room while I nurse her in peace. I like to keep the stuffed animals tidy in this corner too. If you don't have a baby monitor that can move around this easily, I also use these stick up cams in my living room, basement, and backyard to keep an eye on the kiddos! They use a rechargeable battery and can be moved wherever you like! We love the security system with video doorbell too.
I can even talk to him through the camera if I need to.
10. Sleep like a baby on the go...and at home. We are a bit obsessed with white noise in our house. We have this in all of our rooms because my husband snores and I am a really light sleeper. I am a huge fan of the 5s' and The Happiest Baby on the Block. One of the 5 s' is shooshing. As babies, I attached these portable white noise makers to their car seats and now we use them when we travel. It really smooths out any sounds outside their rooms during naps or if you have pesky loud hotel neighbors. Recently, I used the portable ones during a power outage for naps and bedtime - LIFESAVERS.
11. Keep your nursery and house smelling fresh. After a while, I noticed that no matter what I did, I could not get my diaper pails to not...stink. You can see in the photo below, I attached some contraption that was supposed to soak up the stank, with no avail. If you see a diaper pail for sale, it's usually $5 because they can't get the stench out. Well my friends, I'm here to tell you, I've found the solution! It's DISINFECTION. Maybe you already knew that. But it took me far too long to figure it out. Now after each bag change, I spray disinfectant into the bin. NO MORE STANK. I have the two pails I linked to above. I keep the steel one in her room because I think it controls the smell better. I put poopy diapers in these scented bags, then put them in the second diaper pail in the garage so there is zero smell. I like to keep a separate trash can for diaper packaging and tags from new clothes.
12. SNACKS ARE LIFE. When whining begins, the snacks roll out at our house. If that means milk for my daughter or all the things pictured below for a 30 minute car ride, then so be it! So we are mostly dairy free keto but (my son isn't really) I like to get the variety packs of chips (yes I need 30) and veggie chips or straws because you can just walk out the door with them! We're also into fruit pouches and kid's protein shakes that we call "chocolate milk". Snacks prevent meltdowns. We don't leave the house without them.
13. Prevent chew marks on your crib. While teething both of my kids try to chew on their crib or bed. Even at three, my son unexpectedly chewed on the toddler railing. Luckily, I had these handy! Since we converted his crib to a full bed, I need and want to keep the railings in pristine condition. If you purchased a 4-in-1 Crib you can basically make it last til the kids are off to college haha!
14. Cut your kids food in a flash with scissors. Forks and knives are so overrated. Cutting food with scissors is so hot right now. I don't know what this person is cutting below...but you get the point! I have four pairs. I like to cut bananas off the hanger and split the tops for easier peeling too. #randommomtip
15. Sitting in silence is boring. Add music to every room! My kids moods change immediately when I put on their favorite songs. Our latest favorites are - Daniel Tiger and Chipmunks Chipwrecked (DANCE PARTY Y'ALL)! I think listening to Disney movie music and things they usually watch on TV is a good way to enjoy those characters without actually watching TV. I made this playlist of our favorites. AND if you don't know about Rockabye Baby! you are seriously missing out on the best nursery versions of your favorite songs. At bath time we play music on the bathroom speaker and in both the kids' rooms, it makes bath time a lot of fun. I love saying "ALEXA PLAY THE BATH PLAYLIST UPSTAIRS!"
16. Talk to your kids, help them stay in bed or get out at a certain time, or just have beautiful nature sounds in their rooms. When we were transitioning my son from his crib to toddler bed with rails, he was amazed that he could get out of bed himself and run to the door. I had read that telling him "don't get out of bed until the green light comes on" would work. And it did! Now that he's moved to a full size bed, the problem is that he won't get out in the morning! We have to go get him. Sometimes when he wakes up it's too early for me, so I am waiting for the day when he gets up and uses the potty and plays quietly in his room. #wishfulthinking
What are your favorite parenting hacks?!