While there’s no doubt that being a parent is amazing, it does have a habit of leaving you short of two things – time and money. Which is where having some parenting hacks up your sleeve can come in useful. From cleverly encouraging your tot to help out with the housework to installing a stair gate without drilling through your banister, here’s how to make your life that little bit easier… Images from Pinterest.
Make some monster spray
Toddler convinced there are monsters lurking in her wardrobe or under her bed? Make a monster spray (aka water) for her to spritz around before she goes to sleep to help banish anything scary.
Make a game out of mealtimes
If you’ve got a fussy eater on your hands, use a dice to encourage your toddler to eat up. Whichever number she rolls dictates how many more spoonfuls of food she has to eat. She has fun and you get some goodness into her tum!
Use egg cartons for paint
Save yourself money on buying paint pots and brushes and arm your tot with empty egg carton boxes and cotton buds for her crafting needs.
Mark your medicine
Let’s face it – us parents have a lot to remember. So when the GP throws a twice-daily dose of medicine into the mix, it’s easy to forget to administer it. Grab a marker pen and draw a simple chart on the back so you remember when your little one needs her next spoonful.
Make potty training easier
A reward chart like this can be a brilliant potty training tool. Every time your toddler goes in the potty, you can give him a train car for his track.
Make housework fun (yes, really!)
Get your toddler to help clean up by marking an area on the floor for her to sweep crumbs and mess into. Makes it much easier for you to zap up with the Hoover quickly!
Make your own paint
Mix one cup of salt, one cup of flour, one cup of water and food colouring to make a paint paste for your little one to get all arty with. Then fill empty condiment bottles with the mix. Think of all the money you’ll save on buying paint.
Catch ice lolly drips
Sticky droplets from fast-melting ice lollies are no parent’s idea of fun – particularly when they end up all over the kitchen floor. The solution? Make a hole in the bottom of a cupcake case and stick the ice lolly stick through it to catch every drop. Genius.
Make a hanging toy basket (free)
Upcycle a tiered fruit basket into a hanging bathroom storage unit. Fill it with all of your baby’s bath toys to save you tripping over them on the floor.
Save on loo roll
While your child may think unraveling yards of toilet roll is great fun, us adults know that it’s a pricey business. Get her to make a fun sign, saying, ‘That’s enough!’, or something similar to fix to the wall below the loo roll holder. The sign will mark when your tot’s pulled enough toilet paper.
Give the high chair another purpose
Fix a hook to the back of your baby’s high chair where you can hang all of her bibs. It will make routing around for one at mealtimes a lot less time consuming!
Save your bannisters
Rather than drill into your bannisters when it’s time to install a stair gate, use heavy-duty cable ties instead. It will save you being left with big holes to polyfill and marks when the day comes that the stair gate is no longer needed.
Put stickers in your tot’s shoes
Help your child figure out which shoe should go on which foot by cutting a sticker in two and placing one half in the left shoe, and the other half in the right.
Stocking up on everything you need for your baby can be an expensive business – and leave you with lots of unused items once your little one gets older. But before you start putting everything on eBay or planning a car boot to get rid of it all, check out these incredible uses for everything from your baby’s cot to your breast pads…