Parenting tricks are designed to simplify your life a little. And when are you most in need of hacks? toddlerhood’s wild years! So what exactly is a parent hack? It’s any advice, solution, or trick that makes being a parent a little bit simpler.
If you want to minimize the mess, put the ketchup under your toddler’s hot dog. If you need to trim your baby’s fingernails, put her in a forward-facing carrier.
If you’re at the beach, hide your wallet and keys in a clean disposable diaper because no one would ever look through what appears to be a used diaper. And when are you most in need of hacks?
Toddlerhood’s wild years! Those tiny ones are balls of energy who are always on the go, so sometimes changing how you do this or how you handle that is the only way to keep up with them.
The following are some of my favorite toddler care suggestions that I have shared on my website Parent Hacks and that will be included in my upcoming book, “Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life With Kids.” I hope they’re useful!
Check out our favorite game-changing ones below.
Squash a Juice Box with Liquid Medication
Do you recall those times from when you were younger? It was all over for me once the Robitussin was taken out of the medical cabinet.
Anything to avoid that vile liquid medicine that tasted like cherry hell, including kicking and screaming. (And not only cough syrup either; it seems that kids dislike the taste of all drugs.)
The back of a juice box with scissors after emptying it (or reusing a clean one that has already been consumed). Face the juice box front, toward your recalcitrant sick child, and covertly insert the medicine carton in the cutout at the back.
Your child believes they are consuming juice. You, as the parent, are aware that they are receiving the necessary care.
But when they get that taste, have a real drink available to assist them to wash it down!
When at The Beach, Use a Fitted Sheet
Hear us out: although a fitted sheet on the beach initially sounds like a twisted nightmare, it’s actually a ground-breaking concept. Wrap the fitting portion of the sheet around a chair, large beach bag, or other common beach-day things.
All of the sand is now removed from the tiny temporary pack-and-play, which is now home to your infant or toddler.
Cover a toy’s speakers with tape
Parents will hear a given toy’s extremely specific sounds at all hours of the day and night. We can’t completely stop that—unless you’re completely against toys with sounds—but there is a great compromise that is also parent-friendly.
Toys make a lot of noise. Even if they don’t have one, you can essentially create one for yourself by taping a piece of tape over the toy’s speaker. It muffles the sound just enough for you to keep your head while yet allowing your child to enjoy their activities.
If feasible, open the toy up and insert the tape internally to lessen the risk of choking. Additionally, by using a heavier-weight tape, you can then regulate how muffled the sound is. Win!
Fill the toilet with Cheerios
Do you have a son? Because, well, it just became a game, potty training has just been a whole lot simpler. Five or six Cheerios in the restroom should be plenty to get them motivated to work on their aim.
To Temporarily Baby-Proof the Cabinets, Use Hair Ties
Baby-proofing supplies can be pricey, and if you only need a temporary fix while traveling, the cost can quickly add up. Use hair ties to create your own version if you want to go the traditional approach.
Simply twist it twice and loop it around each cabinet knob, creating an infinite form. It acts like a physical child forcefield and prevents babies from passing through.
Place baby bottles in a caddy in a line
Organizing and reusing a product? Please, yes! Do you have an outdated shower caddy stashed away in a closet? Bring it out once more since arranging infant bottles with them is a breeze.
Keep the rings and nipples together and arrange your bottles in a row. Even pacifiers and teethers can be kept organized and in one place using the extra hooks and space. Never again misplace baby bottles or other supplies in cabinet drawers or shelves!
To catch melting ice pops, place a cupcake liner upside-down
No baking is necessary. Invert a cupcake liner and insert the ice pop handle there. Now, the liner will collect any ice pop debris that falls or melts and even keep your child’s hands from being overly sticky.
A pool noodle should be placed on the door
No more doors slamming! And possibly more significantly, there won’t be any more accidents caused by those slammed doors. Cut a pool noodle in half down the middle to end this annoying but potentially dangerous youngster behavior.
You end up with a type of foam barrier. It becomes impossible to slam the door after you attach it to the top. In reality, it keeps the door open at all times, just slightly ajar to avoid catching any priceless young fingers.
Secure the bathroom door with rubber bands
On any door you don’t want to be locked, replicate the brilliant baby-proofing cabinet door hack.
The “X” formed by the rubber band holding the latch inside the door will prevent kids from “accidentally” locking themselves in—or locking you out—whether that door is the bathroom door or your child’s bedroom door.
In bath toys, hot glue the hole
Warning: They become rotten. Use a hot glue gun to close the hole so that bath toys can’t use it as drainage. Don’t split those bath toys in half to see what develops inside, we beg you. It’s sufficient to cause nausea.