We wipe dirty surfaces, snotty noses and our own weary eyes more times than we Whatsapp our friends. We regularly introduce potty training games in desperate bid to stop ourselves going er, POTTY and are forever carrying enough muslin clothes in our rucksack to start up a side business - if we ever had time to sit down!
With that in mind, we always welcome a parenting hack or two that will make our life a whole lot easier.
Here are 27 parenting hacks that might just save you some time...(you'll wish you'd known these years ago!)
1) Always carry baby wipes
Even when your kids are no longer babies, always throw a small pack of wipes in your bag. They’re great for wiping messy faces, giving hands a quick clean and cooling overheated kids down.
If you’re off on a family picnic, freeze squeezy yoghurts and soft pouch drinks and use them as ice blocks. They weigh a lot less and by the time you eat will be defrosted enough to enjoy. Perfect for using in school pack lunches during the summer too.
3) Use a dish drainer to store notebooks and colouring books
Ever wondered what to use that redundant dish drainer for? The plate section will keep colouring and note books in perfect order and the cutlery holder is ideal for felt tips, pens and pencils.
4) Microwave two bowls at a time
If you need to microwave two bowls at a time, put one on a glass jar or mug. That means you have one low and one high and two bowls of food ready at the same time.
5) Cover plug sockets with plasters
If you need to childproof your sockets, trying putting a plaster over the pin holes. Little fingers won’t be able to get in.
6) Use an outdoor paddling pool as an indoor ball pit
Make use of your paddling pool all year round and bring it indoors over the winter. You can use it as a fun ball pit, or a playpen filled with stacks of toys.
7) Add a sticky hook to the back of your high chair to store bibs
You can never find a bib when you need one, so attach a sticky hook to the back of your high chair and hang them on there.
If you’re fed up of having your cupboards emptied by your children, put cookie cutters over the handles to stop them getting in.
9) Use an over the door shoe holder to store baby must haves
If you have stacks of stuff in your nursery and not enough room to store it, try using an over the door shoe holder. You can pop in nappies, wipes, nappy sacks and ointments – in fact, anything you use frequently and need close to hand.
10) Make slippers slip proof
If your tot slips over every time they put their slippers on, try putting glue on the bottom. Let it dry first and then let your little one have a wander. The bumpy glue makes them non-slip.
11) Recycle your cot into a kiddie-sized table
When your children have outgrown their cot, turn it into a kiddie-sized table. Remove the moveable side, take out the mattress, add a couple or chairs and you have a table.
12) Turn a DVD case into a pencil case
An empty DVD case is great for storing pencils and pencil crayons – you may even be able to get in a notebook too. Perfect for long car journeys.
13) Cut up food with a pizza cutter
If you need to cut food up into bite-sized pieces use a pizza cutter rather than a knife.
14) Use a swimming noodle to stop your little one rolling out of bed
Try putting a noodle under a fitted sheet – it acts as a barrier to stop your little one rolling out of bed.
15) Make-up wipes will clean anything
Toothpaste stains, grass stains, face paint will all come clean courtesy of a make-up wipe. They’re also great for cleaning shoes if you don’t have time to polish them.
16) Your freezer is your best friend
Keep pre-chopped onions in the freezer, ready to chuck into recipes at a moment's notice. The same goes for frozen spinach. If you’ve got the time, make baby meals in bulk and freeze them in easy to grab portions.
17) Keep an on-the go list
Download your preferred supermarket's app on to your phone to keep an on-the-go shopping list. You can advance purchase ‘anytime’ delivery slots too so your groceries arrive when you want them. No more tantrums on isle four!
18) Get your gadgets on mum-time
The delay setting on your washing machine and dish washer is your best friend. Get laundry and dishes on the go before you even get out of bed in the morning!
19) Get practical
Brush your little ones’ teeth in the bath, it save time and a foamy mess over their clean pyjamas.
20) Invest in the one subscription you couldn’t live without
Invest in a subscription to Amazon Prime for all those last minute forgotten birthday presents and for the days when you really can’t face venturing out. With next day delivery and free returns, what more could you ask for?
21) Get prepared
Pre-pack a bag of nappies, wipes, spare clothes, a drink and a snack and leave it by the front door so the essentials are always ready when you are.
22) Get practical with your cleaning time
When your kids are big enough to sit unaided in the bath, use their splash time to quickly clean the sink and loo. The same goes for the kitchen, as soon as they can feed themselves (and when everyone eating has finished weaning), use dinnertime to quickly load the dishwasher or hoover the floor.
23) Be armed with on the go distractions
Keep a couple of bottles of kids’ bubble mix handy at home and in the car: chasing bubbles can ease boredom and wear children out! The same goes for balloons – light and easy to fit in your handbag, but endless hours of fun for a three year old.
24) Make chores into games
Turn chores into a race to cut time down when you are in a hurry: ‘Quick! Who can find their shoes first?’
25) Avoid traffic-tantrums
Whilst we're talking about travelling, have a stash of books and toys hidden in the car to save traffic-related tantrums. The same goes for snacks, keep a couple of boxes of raisins in the glove box to avoid a hungry toddler in traffic.
26) Save those tea towels
Old tea towels get a second life when your toddler goes through the ‘no! I won’t wear a bib!’ phase. It’ll help reduce your laundry load too.
27) Channel your inner Scrooge
When the children are inundated with piles of Christmas or birthday gifts, squirrel a few away then bring them out on rainy afternoons to buy yourself some peace.
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