Having a baby can require a lot of thought. Luckily for us moms, doctors and super savvy moms have created a few hacks to take some of the guessing out of this whole parenting thing. After all, raising tiny humans is somewhat of a guessing game that we can really only try to do our best at.
But when something works, it is important to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure it sticks. These mom hacks are all doctor approved and some even have surprising health advantages for the kids. And yes some of them may seem a bit far off or out of the ordinary, but one must try them for themselves to see just how well a lot of these really work. From activities to making boo-boos less hurtful, these hacks are a real pain saver for everyone. Looking for ways to help the little ones while also helping mom? Check out these doctor approved 20 weird and unexpected mom hacks toward parenting.
20 Move To The Left
Carrying a baby on the left side may just feel like one of those very natural things that you do without even noticing, but as it turns out, a study in the journal Brain and Cognition says that Moms actually prefer the left side because of how our brains function. "The right side of the human brain receives signals from the left side of our bodies, and the right side of the brain is the part that handles our focus, our ability to translate social cues and to build relationships," the study says.
So by keeping our little ones on our left, we are able to build a more intimate bond with our little ones, not to mention that they are closer to our hearts that way.
19 Laugh When They Fall
No parent wants to see their little one take a tumble, but as children are learning to walk, run, crawl, or climb, they are bound to take a few falls here or there. The thing is, when Mom freaks out at the sight of the baby boy or girl slip-sliding across the floor, the little ones are bound to freak out too. According to doctors, child specialists, and a few seasoned parents too, laughing or smiling at your little one when he or she takes a growing tumble can actually help your little one grow and explore more readily. When kids don't fear free falling they feel more secure in exploring.
18 Settling In
A weird mom hack that happens during pregnancy and seems to continue long after your little one makes his or her first appearance is nesting. Believe it or not, Moms are actually scientifically programmed to start setting things up before baby comes and maintaining that ready home environment once baby arrives. Nesting is a weird thing almost every mom does, that really needs to be limited, if not, it is possible to go a bit overboard.
Organizing and setting things up can make everyone around Mom (or even Mom herself) to be a bit stir crazy, especially if you keep asking guests to move their feet so you can sweep. So be careful, Mom.
17 Smooth It Out And Eat Well
One of the most distressing things that can happen to new parents is discovering that your baby may be colicky. The best thing to do, according to doctors and other moms, to ease colic and try to get your happy baby back is to try out a baby massage and if mom is breastfeeding, consider altering one's diet. Baby massage in general and belly massage, in particular, are both great for babies with colic, the soothing massaging motion can help ease a fussy, uncomfortable baby. Dr. Alan Greene says that a warm bean bag can be a nice tool for this. "Some babies are helped with the addition of one of the infant vibrating products during massage," he adds.
16 Healthy First
All parents want the very best for their children, and like most things, the best thing for a child's health is solid nutrition, and nutrition starts at the source, which is food. Doctors say that really good food and good nutrition can help prevent various issues in children. It's best to provide children with balanced meals and lots of fruits and vegetables so that they can grow big and strong.
Providing healthy meals and healthy snacks can help encourage good eating habits even later in life. According to Dr. Alan Greene, helping children to cultivate a healthy idea of what makes food good early on is important to establish what he calls, "nutrition intelligence."
15 Musical Mornings
Like to have a sing-songy child who loves life? According to Children's Urgent Care, playing motivational music in the morning for children can be helpful to really get them up and moving before their morning activities. Music can also provide inspiration to start the day. If you find that your little one is dragging after school or maybe a bit wore out after a long day of play, consider putting on music after school to inspire them at home. After all, home should be a fun environment for kids to feel safe and happy. Music can also be very therapeutic for children.
14 Easy Doses
It can be so unsettling to have a sick little one on your hands, and making them comfortable can seem like an impossible task. Luckily, in most cases, a quick trip to the doctors can help get your little one back to normal in no time. The only thing is, after the doctor's visit chances are, if your little one is sick you may need to administer some medication. For babies under one year old, giving medicine can be a really tricky ordeal, some doctors and nurses suggest using pacifiers to administer liquid medications to make the process go over much smoother; the best part is, pacifier dosages can also ensure mothers that they provide the proper dose of medication to their little ones.
13 Clean Coconuts
There are so many baby skin care products on the market that it can be difficult to choose one that works effectively and is safe to use for your little one, but did you know that one of the best mom hacks for skin care is to use coconut oil to help clean baby's skin instead of chemical products? In addition to a soothing, moisturizing agent, coconut oil is also great as a cleanser for babies, the gentle oil can help cleanse dirt under baby's nails and in those little hard to reach crevasses while also providing a gentle touch to your little one without any chemical agents or harsh additives, the best part is that you can cook with it later.
12 Cold Teeth
Teething is almost every parent's worst dream unless you are gifted with one of those unicorn babies who just wake up with teeth with no sign that those beautiful pearly whites were piercing through their sensitive gums, but for those of us with normal babies, a really amazing hack approved by doctors is to use healthy frozen pops for teething pain. Healthy frozen pops come in many varieties but the best ones are made from scratch with love.
Berries and yogurt, mother's milk and vegetables, any sort of ice pop can provide a snack and teething relief all in one, it's as simple as mix pour and freeze.
11 From The Neck To The Bottom
If you were graced with a rather plump baby you may notice that those creases in his or her neck are not only a nuisance to clean but also hard to keep from getting irritated. One great mom hack is to use diaper rash cream on irritated neck skin. It may sound crazy to slather your baby's neck in diaper cream, but trust us, it works. Just like with coconut oil, the agents in diaper cream care for your little one's sensitive skin and help provide some added protection against the friction that happens with that extra skin.
10 Recycle Brown Boxes
Once the little ones get mobile there is no telling where he or she may end up, the best thing to do is to use a cardboard box as a baby fun zone, the best part about repurposing, aside from the obvious recycling, is that there are no sharp edges when using cardboard boxes. Keeping your little one safe is mostly every parent's priority. So using something green and toxin free like cardboard to create a fun space for the kids is an amazing way to keep them occupied.
A world of adventure can be uncovered from within cardboard boxes, and it really helps boost children's imagination to play in something plain.
9 Germ-Free Meals
If you are going the whole 'make my own baby food route', ice trays can really come in handy for the first few months you are introducing your little one to food. Using small containers or an ice cube tray for baby food storage is great to help spread fewer germs. The thing is, when kids first start eating, food is mainly for texture and for helping them understand what different flavors are, not necessarily for nutrients, so creating large batches of food really isn't the best option since dipping the same spoon after it's in your little one's mouth will most likely only lead to contamination of the food.
8 Sleeping Motion
If you missed the magical 6-month mark for sleep training (as most sites, doctors, and baby sleep manuals advise parents to start allowing their child to sleep independently), consider using a baby swing for sleep training. The best way to go according to the baby sleep site is to put the swing on high, allowing our baby to swing and rock in a steady motion, then over the course of a week, gradually decrease the speed to zero. Once your little one can get to sleep in a still motion position it will make the transition to the crib that much easier, advises the site.
Keep in mind that keeping your baby sleeping in an upright position can be potentially dangerous so sleep should be monitored.
7 Wear Your Little Ones
Growth spurts, or just having a really fussy baby; if your little one seems to be crying uncontrollably every time you put him or her down, try not to fret, a really great mom hack that doctors approve of is to try out baby wearing. Wearing your baby on your front or back in a sling or baby carrier is not only great for mom and allows her to keep baby close and feeling snuggled, but it also allows for some hands-free time when mom can multitask.
Consider baby wearing a win-win. Mom can do what she needs to do and baby can be happy and feeling close to mom when he or she needs it most.
6 Frequent Boredom
If your house is anything like my house, your little one probably has an entire toy room. Toys that range from cognitive to imagination building are so important for children's development. The only downside from having a lot of toys and constantly letting your little one play with the same ones over and over again is the idea that the same toys will induce boredom. Consider introducing toys one at a time so they don't get bored. Even if you have a lot of them, try not to worry, mom, they won't go to waste, he or she will eventually pick up something new to play and use while they are discovering the world around them.
5 Washing Laundry
The baby gadget industry is a multimillion dollar industry and with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to determine what's essential and what is just another really fun looking toy for kids that they don't totally need. When it comes to bath time, an infant bathtub is not totally necessary, believe it or not. Surely we don't want our little ones drifting from one end of the tub to the other, but a really great Mom hack is to use a laundry basket inside of the regular large tub, to make an infant tub. Talk about innovation!
Slitted laundry baskets are small enough for your little ones and provide enough water to get in so they still feel they are getting that bath time feel.
4 Clean Air, Clean Sleep
If your little one has had trouble sleeping, as so many little ones do, consider using an air purifier to double as a white noise machine. Not only will the air be cleaner and easier to breathe, but the slight hum from the machine will also help your little one drift off to sleep in a more constant sound environment. Constant white noise can be really calming and also block out any sudden sounds that your little one may hear throughout the night, like mom and dad talking or neighborhood dogs barking. Doctors like the idea because air purifiers limit the occurrence of asthma and other respiratory issues in children.
3 Candy Medicine
Earlier we spoke about pacifiers for babies to help Moms administer medication, but did we mention that there is even a way to use fun to help dose out medication for toddlers?
Parents can use Pez dispensers to get toddlers to take medicine. Those weird chewable tablets and vitamins doctors may prescribe for your little one can look like fun candies, but giving your little one access to them in a Pez dispenser can really make it all the more fun to do something that is actually good for them.
2 French Fries For Health
When you are teaching your little ones how to eat almost every kind of food becomes finger food. So why not turn eating into a really fun treat by making everything look like the finger food classic: fries.
Get kids to eat their veggies by cutting them into the shape of fries and make a healthy “ketchup” to go on the side. Think zucchini fries and a side of hummus, or baby carrots with cottage cheese and tomato. These healthy snack options will allow your little one to dip and feel like they are in charge of eating, plus mom's hands will be free. It's a win-win.
1 Plants Are Best
If you want to smooth out some rough patches on your little one's skin, think about using plant based products like tree sap, chamomile, or aloe vera to heal and soothe your little one's dry patches. Skin problems like eczema are quite common before children turn 2 years old according to Children's Urgent Care, consider using a trusted natural product to tend to your little ones woes. This will give you, as a mother, and your little one peace of mind in knowing that your child is letting nature do all the hard work, you just sit back and relax.
References: NY Metro Parents, Childrens' urgent care, Baby Sleep Site