I’m sure you’ve seen lists of baby or parenting hacks on other blogs & websites – all very informative and helpful. I wanted to share with you some “hacks” that have worked well for us since O was born. There have been many times we’ve had to improvise while traveling, out & about or simply at home without an item. These “hacks” have all worked very well for us and we continue to use most of these methods today.
- “What if I’m away from home & I need to warm my baby’s bottle?”
On a trip to the outlet mall, we didn’t have any way to heat up O’s bottle & feeding time was quickly approaching. Hubs thought of a great way to improvise while away: head to the nearest restaurant/coffee shop/etc. (we went to Starbucks) & ask for a cup of hot water. Place baby’s pre-mixed bottle in the hot water for several minutes to warm it. Repeat until bottle is at optimum temperature. Ta-da! A nice warm bottle for baby. If traveling by car, simply stop at the nearest gas station.
- “How do I dry baby after using a wipe to prevent diaper rash?”
The dreaded diaper rash. All babies have it at one time or another. This worked for us: To help soothe and prevent it, after wiping baby’s bottom use an old burp cloth to pat the bottom dry. It works like a charm & we’ve found it to really help get O’s bottom dry before putting diaper cream & a diaper on him. It’s really cut down on diaper rash and redness for us.
- “My daughter scratched her face, but baby mittens are so expensive & mostly unnecessary.”
No mittens to warm baby’s hands, combat hand-sucking or prevent scratching? No problem! Place a pair of baby socks on baby’s hands! We had to do this when O was a month old and we were traveling for the holidays. I had forgotten to pack mittens and O kept scratching his face. These worked great AND he couldn’t get them off! Win-win.
- “I don’t want to pre-mix my son’s bottle before we go out for the day [because I have to keep it chilled], but I don’t have anything airtight to store the dry formula in.”
Invest in Snappies. We received some free samples of these from our pediatrician. At first, we used them to store breast milk. After that disaster passed, we stored them in the cupboard until hubs had a magnificent idea (again!): use them to store powdered formula on-the-go! They close tightly, so no spills, and are super portable. We’ve used these for other things (baby-related & not) too!
- “How do I store pureed baby food?”
You’ve probably seen this on almost all blogs, but I thought it should be included in my top 10 list because we use it exclusively to store our purees. Use an ice-cube tray to store pureed baby food instead of buying special freezer storage (expensive!). We purchased some very inexpensive trays and they’re the perfect size.
- “I want a no-nonsense diaper bag.” or “(Dad) I want something less girly for me to use when I take my baby out.”
Hubs wanted his own diaper bag, so he picked out this great find. He absolutely loves it. It’s small, but holds a TON. It’s convenient for short trips or walks. It’s truly a fantastic find! A big helper for small jaunts to the grocery store or evening walks – or as a primary diaper bag for anyone. Really, this small backpack holds A LOT. Best part? Less than $25!
- “What do I do with all these leftover diapers that are now too small for my baby?”
A lot of times parents are unsure when their baby will outgrow those size 1 (or 2, 3, etc.) diapers and therefore purchase too many. When your little one transitions into another size, take what you have left to use for spills, accidents (child or pet), etc. Of course, if there’s a lot leftover you can always give to a local women’s shelter (make sure they have babies onsite!) or to a friend or family member who can use them.
- “My daughter hates teething rings & refuses a wet wash cloth, what can I use to help soothe her gums when she’s teething?”
No problem! Improvise by putting water in a normal pacifier (the sucky part) and freeze it! O loved the one we gave him. Be sure to have backups though – O went through them quickly (within 10 minutes or so), but they really seemed to help his tender gums without hurting them (too much frozen/ice or cold exposure can hurt baby’s little gums so be careful).
- “My baby’s feet are always cold but he continually kicks his socks off.”
If your baby is anything like O, keeping his socks on is a continuous battle. He’s always kicking them off! We’ve tried all types of socks and the only type that seems to stay on (no matter what!) are toddler socks. They go all the way up to his knees and he has yet to get them off.
- “I can’t afford a fancy toy box but need something to contain all of my baby’s toys!”
We found a very inexpensive hamper/mesh bin from IKEA (which we’ve affectionately named ‘The Zoo’) to store O’s beloved stuffed animals in. Very cheap, but still looks good! For $5, you can’t go wrong.
As we encounter more “baby hacks” I’ll post my ideas and let you know what worked (and what didn’t!). Until next time, friends! -themidwestmama