I’ve been changing diapers and rocking babies to sleep for over three years now. With two kids under two, I’ve had to figure out some very specific life hacks to survive. Am I an old pro at parenting a teenager? No. But if my three years of parenting can help make your first go-round on this carousel a bit easier, I’m glad to do it. Parenting life hacks are all about shortcuts that work. Give yourself a little grace. Yes, this parenting babies and toddlers thing is hard - and these tips will save you time, energy, and maybe even a bit of money!
Clean Your Baby With Their Diaper
Let’s jump right in, shall we? Parenting a baby means you’re going to deal with poop. A lot of poop. Every day. This is not a glamorous job! My husband has developed a really awesome skill: he can clean pretty much any baby butt with, at absolute maximum, three baby wipes. I, on the other hand, use probably a dozen baby wipes for a truly gross poopy diaper. But then I figured out the parenting life hack that inspired this article. Use their diaper to clean them up! Take any part of the diaper that isn’t covered in poop and use it to scrape or wipe as much of the poop-goop off of their bits. Baby wipes can handle the rest - and you won’t need to use so many!
Sneak Vegetables Into Your Toddler’s Food
Does your toddler fight mealtime? Welcome to the club! It’s really important that little kids get the nutrition they need - even if they don’t want to eat healthy foods. Make sure they have a balanced diet by sneaking vegetables into their meals. My mom friend Maria taught me some excellent tricks to hide those greens. She uses shredded zucchini and carrots in any recipes with ground meat. Ground chicken, shredded veggies, seasoning, an egg, and bread crumbs make DIY chicken nuggets!
If you’d rather not make your own nuggets, try making soups with loads of vegetables. My kids seem to like the softer texture and intense flavors soaked up by the vegetables I add to soups: carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, peas, corn, and green beans. Maybe your toddler has a sweet tooth like mine! Add lots of leafy greens (spinach is a favorite) to some yogurt, milk, and frozen berries for healthy smoothies or frozen yogurt popsicles.
Cover Electrical Outlets With This Inexpensive Trick
It might be possible to babyproof your own house, but traveling can expose your toddler to unsafe conditions. While it’s certainly not practical to carry outlet covers in your diaper bag, you can keep your child safe from accidental electrocution. Simply grab a few band-aids from your first aid kit and cover the outlets yourself! This parenting hack works anywhere.
Make Feeding-Time Activity Bags
Having two kids under two meant my toddler got bored during the baby’s feeding time. I breastfed both of my babies, so nursing my little one kept me from paying attention to my toddler. My almost-two-year-old like storytime, so I read to him while I breastfed my daughter. When he got bored, I designed a special activity bag he could play with only while I nursed. The bag included special blocks, busy books, and Water Wow! coloring books from Melissa & Doug.
Raising two kids under two doesn’t make me the smartest parent on the planet - but it does give me a lot of hands-on experience! These parenting hacks from this pro will help save you time, money, and hopefully more than a few headaches.