We moms have our hands full ALL of the time. From carpool lines to full-time jobs to bath time and bed time, our minds never stop running over that never-ending to do list, while also being present in the moment and taking care of our little ones. This mom gig is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it is by far the hardest, but most rewarding, job any of us will ever have. As a brand new mom, I have found that other moms have been a vital resource for me. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for my group of mom friends that freely give advice and encouragement whenever I need it. I love when I learn quicker, easier methods of getting through the day with my little one and have found a few “hacks” that help along the way. The Birmingham Moms Blog contributors have all teamed up to present our “tried and true” mom hacks that make this parenting job a little bit easier.
- Keep seasonal kits in your car based on your family’s needs and the season. Examples could be kits for after-school sports practices including: towels, plastic bags, sunscreen, bug spray, etc. Another necessity would be cold weather kits — just in case of Snowpocalypse 2.0 — including: blankets, flash lights, snacks, water, batteries, portable phone chargers, etc. For younger babies, diaper kits are a must-have including: diapers, wipes, zip lock bags for soiled clothes, and an extra outfit. Plastic bags of some sort are always a must and come in handy for containing messes, soiled clothes, stinky shoes, or any other items that need to be contained until you make it home.
- For potty training little ones, keep a portable potty in your car lined with a plastic grocery bag (or something similar) and then place paper towels or wipes inside the plastic bag. When your little one can’t make it to the next exit for a restroom break, they can use the portable potty, the towels will absorb the mess, and you can wrap it all up inside the plastic bag until you make it to a trash can!
- Don’t get rid of your diapers that are too small! Stash diapers in the car for wiping up spills and catching unexpected vomit (is it ever expected, though?) or cleaning up other messes.
- Always, always, always, park next to the cart return! Seriously, dragging your little ones in and out of the car and directly into a cart is so much easier. Not only does it eliminate their ability to dart away from you in a parking lot of moving vehicles, but if you have infant seats or buckles to do, you don’t have to carry that stuff all the way into the store to find a cart. Lastly, once you’ve survived your shopping trip, you can put your cart back into its spot easily after you’ve wrangled your kiddos back into the car.
Meal Time Hacks
- Ice, Ice, baby! For impatient little ones who want to dive right into their food before it cools, throw some ice cubes into their plate/bowl for quick cooling. When making soups, freeze a few cubes of broth so you can cool down food quickly without losing any of the flavor.
- If you have kiddos who are starving after school, grab a muffin pan and fill each compartment with grab-and-go snacks like cheese cubes, pretzels, grapes, and gold fish — anything to keep your kids going until dinner time that will also save your kitchen from being destroyed.
- For a healthier alternative to ice cream snacks, freeze yogurt tubes that your little ones can reach for when they want a sweet treat!
- Mesh laundry bags are a life saver. We mainly use them for baby socks or mittens. Anything that normally disappears into the depths of our dryer, we put into a mesh bag so we can throw the entire thing in the washer and dryer. This also works great for sanitizing baby toys in the dishwasher. The mesh bags usually have a hook with snaps, so I just loop it through the holes of a laundry basket so it is always attached and I’ll remember to put things in it.
- Use a dry erase marker to write notes on your washer/dryer. (disclaimer: please test this on a small area and make sure it doesn’t stain your machines — it works great on my set at home!) If there are certain items that can’t go in the dryer or need to be hung up immediately after washing, I write a note on the dryer in case my husband swaps out the laundry. Let’s be honest — by the time that laundry is done washing, I will probably have forgotten about the one pair of jeans that can’t go in the dryer.
- When packing for a trip, or laying out clothes for school, choose outfits that match interchangeably so kids can “choose” their outfits in the mornings. Interchangeable outfits will also save room in suitcases when packing.
- Some time around five or six months old, my precious infant turned into a thrashing cat during diaper changes. Keeping her hands busy during diaper changes is a MUST. She is currently obsessed with her hair brush, so I usually hand that to her while we’re changing diapers. Any toy that your little one has a special interest in should work. One BMB contributor uses the sound machine from her son’s white noise stuffed animal so he can stay occupied while Mom does the dirty work.
- For moms who are pumping: we all know how expensive pumping bras can be. You can make your own pumping bra by using a regular sports bra and cutting holes that fit your pump parts. Just make sure it isn’t too tight to avoid clogged ducts.
- When administering prescription medications, use a sharpie to make a checklist on the bottle to keep up with dosages and timing. Super helpful when you have multiple sick kids!
Hopefully some of these hacks will help make your daily routines a little bit easier! Please comment below and share some of your most loved mom hacks.