Us mamas are all doing our best, but sometimes we need a baby hack to help us save time, money and energy.
It’s frustrating to know now all of the things that I wish I had known when I had my first baby.
These are 40 hacks that will help you care for your newborn baby, your home and yourself in the early months, which are, let’s face it, a total whirlwind!
Got any to add? Share them in the comments!
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1. Avoid nappy change accidents
When changing your baby, getting an eyeful of wee or watching in horror as poo shoots across the room is not what you want.
Avoid this by speeding up the process. Have a clean nappy underneath the old one, so that you can whip it away and the new one is there. Never leave their bum uncovered!
2. Give medicine through a dummy
I love this hack, it’s a perfect way to encourage a baby who’s unsure about medical syringes to take their medicine.
Get a dummy (use a design that your child is used to and you know they will take) and cut the tip off. Then feed the medicine syringe through the dummy so that you can drip the medicine into your baby’s mouth as they suck on the dummy. It’s such a great idea!
3. Avoid expensive breastfeeding clothes
There are some beautiful nursing tops out there. However the trouble is they are so bloody pricey!
You can turn any top into a nursing top by getting a few simple tank tops and wearing these under your normal tops. When it’s time to feed, lift up your top, pull down the strap on the tank underneath and feed.
When it comes to dresses, look for ones with buttons or poppers at the front that are easy to pull apart.
4. Use a cot top changer to save space in the nursery
We put our first baby in the smallest room of the house, which just about had room for a cot and a chair. As a result, having a full changing unit was out of the question. But changing your baby on the floor can be hell on your back.
Instead of buying a unit, I got a cot top changer, which was amazing. It saved me so much space.
5. Store baby clothes the KonMari way
I am a huge KonMari fan. She has a fantastic folding method for putting away clothes neatly, and then the stores them horizontally, so that you can see all of the clothing.
I wish I had done this with my babies when they were younger!
6. Get rid of poop stains
Soda crystals are my go-to product for stained clothing. I pop half a cup into the sink, fill with water, then soak the clothes for around an hour. Then I wash as normal.
You could add a little vinegar to help with the stain removal for really heavy stains.
7. Wash tiny baby socks in a mesh bag
Sick of losing the baby socks? Stick them into a delicates laundry bag and you’ll never end up with odd socks again.
8. Store dummies in old takeaway sauce pots
When you’re going out and need somewhere clean to stash the dummy, use an old takeaway plastic pot. Sterilise and wash well before use.
9. Hook for bibs
When you’re weaning, a bib is one of the most essential items you will need, and you will go through a lot of them in a week. Keep them handy at all times by having a hook stuck to the back of your high chair where you can hang the bibs.
10. Keeping on top of medicine doses
If your baby is prescribed medication, it can be tough to keep on top of what you’ve given and when, especially as they may need small doses frequently through the day.
Solve this by using a black marker to draw a chart on the side of the bottle. Tick off the doses as you go.
11. Use a make-up brush for nappy cream
Keep your hands clean by using an old make up brush to apply nappy cream gently to your baby.
12. Freeze breast milk to soothe teething pain
You could use popsicle moulds or freeze breast milk around dummies for your baby to gnaw on.
13. Ease gas pains with the bicycle trick
If your baby has trapped wind, or constipation, hold their feet and move their legs in a bicycle movement. This can help get things moving.
14. Cut newborn nails during nap time
Cutting those tiny nails is nerve wracking. Wait until nap time when you know they will be still. Make sure they have been asleep for around 10 minutes to ensure they are in a deep sleep and you won’t wake them.
15. Have an emergency kit in the car
Always have a bag with a change of clothes for your baby, a change of clothes for you, nappies, wipes, a changing pad and muslin.
16. Treat cradle cap with coconut oil
The flaky scalp condition is totally normal, but it looks unsightly. Treat it by dabbing coconut oil onto your baby’s scalp with a cotton wool ball. Leave it for 10 minutes and then brush out the flakes with a cradle cap brush. Wash the hair afterwards. Do not pick at the flakes, as you can pull away the skin too, the coconut oil should loosen them so that the brush dislodges them with ease when you gently brush the head.
I’ve written an entire post about treating cradle cap.
17. Use vaseline to tackle drool rash
When your baby is teething, they will dribble a lot. This can lead to the face becoming red and raw. Protect the skin by putting a small amount of vaseline on their chin to create a barrier.
18. Stockpile plastic bags for nappy changes
I never had a nappy bin. I kept plastic bags on a shelf (safely away from the cot so none could fall in with the baby) and I also kept a couple in my changing bag at all times.
19. Stash a baby changing mat under the sofa
Save yourself the journey up and down the stairs 10 times a day by having a nappy change station in the living room. Buy a cheap changing mat and stash it under the sofa with wipes and nappies.
20. Warm up your baby’s bed before putting them down
Try using a hot water bottle to heat up your baby’s bed before you put them down, this way they won’t be as startled by the loss of your body heat.
21. Distract your baby during nappy change time
Do you have a wriggly baby who refuses to stay still while you change their nappy? Once your little one starts rolling over it can be tricky to wrestle them into a new nappy.
Try having toys that your baby only plays with on the changing mat. As they don’t see them too often, they will hopefully be fascinated enough to stay put for two minutes.
22. Soothe dry skin
Get some porridge oats (about a handful) and put them into the foot of an old pair of tights. Tie a tight knot close to where the oats are in the toe of the tights.
Pop it in the bath under running water, and gently squeeze the tights every now and then. The water will turn a lovely milky colour and this will soften the water, helping to prevent your baby’s skin drying out. This is fab for babies who are prone to eczema.
23. Double up the bedding
If your baby is prone to vomiting up their feeds when it bed (which is common for babies with reflux) then double up the bedding in their cot or crib. Simply make the bed with a waterproof mattress cover, and a fitted sheet. Then put another waterproof mattress cover and fitted sheet on top. That way, if your baby is sick, you simply remove the wet layer and you have a clean layer underneath. This is amazing in the middle of the night when you’re exhausted.
24. Get a bottle rack for your dishwasher
Bottles tend to fall over in dishwashers when you put them upside down. Save the hassle and get yourself a bottle rack to go inside the washer. This way your bottles will stay neatly upright.
25. Buy lunches you can eat with one hand
During the early months, you may find yourself having to hold your baby pretty constantly. Choose meals that you can eat easily with one hand, such as sandwiches. Soup and spaghetti are not your friend right now!
26. Buy three of your baby’s favourite comforter
If your baby is getting attached to a particular comforter, buy two more of the same one. Rotate them once a week so that the baby cannot tell the difference. This way if one goes missing, you have back-ups!
27. Make lists
If you have a baby brain like I did, it’s useful to make lists for absolutely everything, right down to birthdays that are coming up this month.
If you have jobs and errands to run, keep a daily list and roll tasks over to the next day if you don’t manage to get them all done.
28. Use YouTube at bedtime
You can save money on expensive white noise and lullaby playing toys by using YouTube to access free lullaby, bedtime music and white noise tracks.
29. Shower in the evenings
Showering in the morning can be a struggle, and stressful, as your baby is up and wanting attention. Shower right after they have gone to sleep in the evenings instead.
30. Watch the line on your baby’s nappy
Pampers feature a line running down the middle that indicate when the nappy is wet. It saves you having to peak and feel around the nappy to figure out if it needs changing.
31. Easy swaddling
Buy swaddles that do up with poppers or a zip instead of trying to figure out how to fold up a blanket yourself.
32. Avoid the mess during weaning
Put a shower curtain or a waterproof table cloth onto the floor underneath the high chair to catch all of the mess.
33. Stop sippy cups from crashing to the ground
Keep the sippy cup from being thrown onto the floor with this handy product.
34. Organise baby clothes
Put your baby clothes away by size if you are hanging them up in a wardrobe by using handy dividers. You could make them yourself with card and bright wrapping paper.
When your baby has grown out of clothes, have different boxes labelled with the sizes to store them in. This will make it way easier to access the clothes if you have another baby, or pass them on to a friend.
This is a fab way of hanging up baby vests:
35. Avoid onesies with poppers
In the middle of the night, when it’s dark, trying to do poppers up is not an easy challenge.
Opt for outfits with a zipper, or choose two-piece sets of clothes to make nappy changes easier, especially late at night.
36. Eradicate smells
If your baby has been sick, or had a nappy leak, in their bed, the smell can be pretty intense and take ages to go.
Get some Zoflora, diluted with water into a spray bottle, and spray directly onto the mattress and allow to dry.
Alternatively, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda onto the mattress. Leave for around two hours, then vacuum it off. This will absorb the bad smell.
37. Organise clothes by category
When putting clothes away, keep them separated in smaller drawers or containers. This will make it so much easier to get baby dressed in the morning.
Use drawer dividers to keep baby socks neat.
38. Store pump parts in the fridge
If you are pumping multiple times a day, save yourself time by popping the pump parts into a bag or clean box in the fridge. You can then just wash them up once at the end of the day.
39. Baby vests can be removed in both directions
The neckline of baby vests is designed to open up enough for your to roll it down their body rather than over their head.
This is brilliant if your baby has had a nappy explosion.
40. Do something for you every day
This is the thing that will save your sanity during the first year. Find something, however small, and do it every single day.
Think of yourself, and be a little selfish, and you will be a way happier mummy. Happy mum, happy baby.