In my long 3 and ½ year career as a mom, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that have really helped out along the way. Some are ingenious ways of using items I hadn’t even considered to be helpful as a parent, others are things or ways of doing stuff that I didn’t even know existed. I want to share in my wealth of limited knowledge and hopefully prevent some of you from learning things “the hard way”, which in most cases leaves you elbow deep in baby crap.
1- Plastic bags. I cannot stress enough the life saving potential of having a few extra plastic bags tucked into your diaper bag and your car. For everything from a makeshift diaper changing station if you MUST use a gross counter or floor, to disposing of the offending diaper itself to avoid stinking up the place. To holding clothes that have suffered a blow out, as an emergency replacement for grocery bags that rip when they’re full of stuff. Your toddler jumped in a puddle right before you have to put them in the car? Toss those dirty shoes in a bag. Anyone feeling car sick? Plastic bag to the rescue! Your child ripped open a bag of snacks and is spilling everywhere while simultaneously losing their shit over the snacks they’re losing? Bag those remaining puffs up! I like to roll a few (clean) bags up and keep them in the glove compartment for such emergencies.
2- The best cleaning solution EVER for baby poop stains, and most stains a toddler can produce. Hydrogen peroxide and dawn soap. My older child had a penchant for blowouts up to her neck, ALWAYS in the car and ALWAYS in a new cute outfit. A lot of clothes were ruined before I came across this miracle fix. As soon as you can get it done, rinse out the stain in water, soak the spot in peroxide, let it sit for a minute or two, squirt on a few drops of Dawn dish soap and work it through with a small brush or your fingers. Rinse, and repeat once more and let it soak a few minutes if needed. That’s it. It is a miracle solution and hasn’t failed me yet.
3- Activity Bags for long car rides or flights. Throw in a few small toys, coloring books (Crayola Magic Wonder Paper- seriously look into it), and games your small child can choose from to make long trips/flights a little easier. I like to add new toys from the dollar store, so it’s not stuff she’s tired of already and very cheap to put together.
4 – Dollar store foam gardening mat for kneeling in front of the tub during bathtime. I love a bargain, and you can’t beat 99 cents. Plus it really helps prevent knee pain.
5- Packing the diaper bag or baby’s luggage for a trip? Lay out each complete outfit, down to the socks, and roll it up. Secure it either by gently tying the sleeves around it or use a hair tie. This has been one of my favorite diaper bag tricks. Instead of fumbling through a mess of things trying to find tiny baby socks or what shirt goes with what pants, everything is easy to find.
6- If you have a picky veggie eater, hide the veggies! There are a lot of recipes that you can get sneaky with. One of our favorites is Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. Also, shredded carrots and onion can be added to meatloaf and your child will be none the wiser.
7- Run out of hair detangler often? Mix regular hair conditioner with water in the empty bottle and shake it up. It’s what most detanglers are made of.
8- Poke the sticks of popsicles through a styrofoam cup to catch drips and keep little hands from getting too sticky.
9- After preparing a batch of Jello, put the liquid in dixie cups and refrigerate. You will have perfectly portioned and easy to self serve snacks for little ones. You can leave them uncovered if they will be eaten right away or you can cover them with a little square of press n seal or plastic wrap to keep them fresh in the fridge for a few days.
10- This is one I learned after many, many, incidents of making things worse. If your baby poops in their onesie, roll it from the shoulders down to remove. Don’t, under any circumstance, assume that you will be able to pull it over their head without getting dookie in the hair/ears.