Parent Hacks

Parent Hacks

Whether it is your first baby or your last, adjusting to life with your new bundle of joy can feel overwhelming for any parent. While teamwork is the best recipe for success, sometimes you need a few tricks up your sleeve to make things a little easier. Here are five parenting hacks that can give you peace of mind even on the most hectic of days:

Hack #1
Pacifiers can be lifesavers, but while on the go, they seem to disappear right when you need one most. Here is an idea to keep them clean and in one place. Use small plastic cups with lids, similar to the kind you would receive condiments in at a restaurant. These will keep a pacifier clean and prevent it from rolling away.

There is more to selecting a pacifier than one would think. Store display racks carry a bewildering selection of pacifiers. There are basically two types: orthodontic and nonorthodontic. An orthodontic design is meant to simulate a mother's nipple and to accommodate the baby's "tongue thrust" — the motion that strips milk from the mother's breast. The nipple tip is typically flatter and square-shaped. Nonorthodontic pacifiers are the older style, with the uniform bulb tip.

The vast majority of pacifiers are made with either latex, silicon rubber, or soft plastic. Silicon is a good choice because this material is smoother and harbors fewer germs.

Simple rules for pacifiers:

  • Make sure the pacifier is a 1-piece pacifier when possible.
  • Avoid pacifiers with built-in gadgets, moving parts, or liquid interiors.
  • Use pacifiers that have sealed rather than open bases.
  • Never hang the pacifier on a string around the baby's neck.
  • Do not dip the pacifier in sugar, honey, corn syrup, or other sugary materials.
  • Clean the pacifier regularly. Boiling is recommended for pacifiers if the child is younger than 6 months. An automatic dishwasher will do an adequate job of cleaning for all ages.

Hack #2
Does your little one’s bath toy have a whole in the bottom? There is a chance that over time mold can occur within the toy. Bath time toys are prone to get moldy and can turn disgusting. One way to prevent this from happening is to put the hot glue gun to use and seal up the hole on the bottom to keep the inside mold-free.

Tip: It is important to keep baby bath toys mold-free. There are molds that can cause respiratory infections.


Hack #3

Kiddos love nothing more than having a popsicle on a hot summer day. However, the sticky aftermath is not fun to clean up. This hack solves the sticky, drippy hand problem and everyone is happy. Take a cupcake wrapper, the sturdier the better, and poke the popsicle stick through it. Be sure the cupcake wrapper is facing up, as if the popsicle is the cupcake.

Tip: Be creative with the snacks you offer your children: try dried fruit, unsweetened apple sauce, frozen fruit, or fruit popsicles.  Check out this fresh fruit popsicle recipe.

Hack #4
Crib railings can take a beating during teething. Children love to nibble on the end of the crib when they are teething, but it makes a mess out of the wood and paint. It seems as it would be damaging to their teeth too. Here is a simple fix: take a little fleece and tie it to the railing to keep the finish in tip-top shape. Be sure to make sure the fleece is tied tight, doesn’t have buttons, and does not pose a choking hazard.

Tip: If you are in the market for a crib railing cover, don’t purchase used and make sure the cover is secure.

Hack #5
Cabinet locks can be tough to install and use, sometime for adults too. While these are the preferred method for keeping children out of cupboards and cabinets, there is another option you can try. Place a cookie cutter over the doorknobs to keep them closed and create a fun look.

Tip: This does not work for all cabinets and be sure cabinets containing hazardous materials are properly fastened. When it is time to baby proof the house, here is a handy checklist to guide you through baby proofing a home.

If you do have questions or would like more tips, feel free to stop by the Intermountain Moms Facebook page and Ask Nurse Dani.