17 17 Photos

17 Creative Baby & Toddler Hacks That Are Seriously Life-Changing for Moms


donnaromma/Instagram

Babies don't come with an official parenting manual (if only), but the Internet is a close second in terms of finding useful parenting advice. When having a baby or young kids means spending lots of time at home, going online is a great way to connect with other moms. Swapping tales of diaper changes gone horribly, awfully wrong always makes having to do an extra load of laundry easier. But the best part about going online as a mom is using it to find some super clever and super useful parenting hacks.

Mom are busy from sun up to sun down (and depending on how the baby is sleeping, sometimes in the middle of the night). Any hack that can make taking care of kids a little easier isn't cheating or slacking on parenting duties, it's being smart and resourceful -- like Lara Croft, but with a bottle. 

More from CafeMom: 15 Clever Tricks to Take Potty Training From Awful to Awesome

Luckily, parents are great at sharing their knowledge with each other. When the secret to giving babies medicine without tears or an awesome way to store bottles is discovered, we don't keep it to ourselves. Instead, we simply have to tell fellow moms about it so they too can wonder how they ever managed life any other way. We've rounded up 17 of the most amazingly simple, yet totally effective parenting hacks around to make raising kids just a little less stressful. Try one, or all of them, and know that thankfully, there's no going back to the old way of doing things. 

1The Right Shoe Every Time

This hack is awesome for littles who insist on dressing themselves. Cut a sticker in two, then stick one half in each shoe. Matching the sticker means the shoes will be on the right feet every time.

2Super Easy Snow Day Hack

For little ones who love the snow but hate getting bundled up in tons of layers, try using a sand toy or even a large tupperware bin to build an indoor snowman. It keeps the mess contained and there's no fear of frost bite!

4Mess-Free Snacking

Sick of crumbs all over the floor? Try having snack-and-TV time inside a giant box for good, clean fun that will make everyone happy.

5The "Busy Wallet"

Kids love wallets. Unfortunately, they also love losing things and tearing stuff apart. But an old wallet filled with kid-safe odds and ends will keep them happy and busy while in line at the grocery store.

6A simple seat saver

There's no question that having kids rear-facing is safe, but it can wreak havoc on the backs of the seats where they rest their legs. Old T-shirts can help spare upholstery from muddy sneakers, flung drinks, boogers, and anything else a kid can dish out.

8Road Trip Snack Box

When traveling with little ones, having lots of snack options is key. Instead of packing a ton of bags or having to play car Twister, a craft organizer can offer lots of salty and sweet options they can feed themselves. 

9No More Broken Crayons

Turn broken crayons into brand new art supplies by baking them in silicone cups at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. It's quick and easy, and it will keep those annoying crayon stumps out of the art box.

10The Best Way to Store Baby Clothes

Make changing time a breeze by bundling socks, a onesie, and pants together in a drawer. Just grab a roll and go! Proof that burritos make everything better.

Check out how to perfect this hack here!

12No-Slip Jammies for Everyone

Footed pajamas and baby booties are adorable, but they can be slippery on wood or tile floors. Before adding them to the donate pile, try using puffy paint or hot glue on the bottom to create shoe treads that will help prevent tumbles. 

13How to Give Medicine Without a Meltdown

Forget syringes and slippery little cups. Pour the medicine directly into a bottle nipple for super easy dosing and zero tears.

15DIY Comfy Car Seat Handle

Hauling a baby car seat around can be killer on the forearms. A small section of pool noodle can help cushion the pressure and make it easier to grip.

16No More Early Birds

For kids who can't wait to jump out of bed in the morning, two pieces of tape on their alarm clock may help them remember when it's okay to get up, and when they need to stay and snooze. They sell special clocks for that, but this is so much cheaper!

baby first year hacks toddlers

More Slideshows