What’s your best parenting hack that has made life much easier?
Plan for everything! Whenever leaving the house, don’t be fooled. The moment you think, “oh I won’t need … ,” will soon be followed by the exact moment you’ll wish you had it! – Sarah Caracciolo
Send them to the bathroom or a corner of my room when they’re fighting/misbehaving instead of their rooms, which are full of books and toys. They can come out when they’re ready to behave like civilized humans again. – Karen Bell
When wrapping Christmas gifts, have different wrapping paper for each kid, so when it is crazy you can just look at the gift and know whose it is without worrying about missing gift tags. – Deb Mogavero Dwinell
Potty talk is OK, but you have to go to the bathroom to do it. Works like a charm. – Leah S. Klein
Sparkling water. Plain or flavored, doesn’t matter. I have them convinced it’s “kids’ soda.” Saves me from SO many meltdowns at parties, in restaurants, etc. Get the little portable bottles and keep one or two in your bag when you’re going out. – Meri Martin
Keep extra towels in the car! These come in handy in the park if a slide is wet or if someone gets carsick and you need a quick clean up. If potty training, pack post-its in your bag to place over the flush sensor in public restrooms. No more automatic flushes that terrify kids when they are still using the restroom. – Melissa Goldstein
When my son was teething I placed his soothe pacifier (the round rubbery one they give you in the hospital) in the freezer for a while. Gave it back to him nice and cold to suck on, and he loved it! It truly helped him during such an uncomfortable stage. – Kendra Jenkins
The “thousands” of receiving blankets you receive are fantastic to use in restaurants as your infant becomes a toddler. Place under the highchair to collect all the items they drop. No more bending over 20 times during your meal to pick up their mess!
The waiter/waitress will love you for it! – Diane Gallagher
We recorded ourselves reading stories to our kids then would play them in the car. We would record them while the kids were there so they could hear themselves asking questions or just giggling in the background. Nothing fancy, just recorded on an MP3 and played it back through the car speakers. They could be in the middle of a screaming fit in the car but would go silent to listen to these. They were worth more than gold on long car trips! Now that they are older the kids still love audiobooks in the car, but we leave it to the professionals to read them now. – Eileen McSherry Manning
Always keep extra outfits in the car! You never know when you’ll need it! – Cara Lombardi
I told them if the cleaning fairy had to come pick up their toys, she didn’t give them back. They only lost a few toys! – Michelle Westling
Use a shower caddy to store food when traveling in a car. It keeps it organized! – Jennifer Doe
If buying workbooks for your kids, cover the page they are working on with a plastic sheet protector and have them use a dry erase marker to complete the page. That way they can practice over and over again without marking up the workbook. – Sandy Alvarez
Even more parenting hacks on the next page!!!
Help your kids learn organization skills. If you store their toys in bins or drawers, take photos of what goes into each, then tape that photo to its spot. Kids will have an easier time cleaning up as they’ll see what should go in each bin or drawer when putting their toys away. Parenting hack No. 2 … If your toddler keeps slamming doors, take a pool noodle, cut a small piece and then wrap it around the top of a door. It acts as a door stopper that they can’t reach. Another parenting hack … I always keep a bag of recyclable objects like empty toilet and paper towel rolls, and washed out containers and cans, for them to do projects with on rainy days. Check out this fun craft you can make with toilet and paper towel rolls here. And perhaps my favorite parenting hack – store stuffed animals and blankets in bean bag covers. It’s a great and comfy way to rid a room of clutter! When taking a road trip, use an empty shoe box and fill it with notepads, crayons, books, adhesive notepads and other fun objects that will keep your kids busy on the ride. – Cheryl Crosby