OK, we all struggle with various little challenges that may not make it into our baby books or social media newsfeeds—like how to wash the baby’s hair without getting water in their eyes, or where to put a 1-year-old to keep them happy but contained for a few minutes. You can become a serial poster in a Facebook group (and still only come up with a few ideas) or do trial-and-error for Every. Single. Thing. Or you can check out these handy infant hacks that you’ll hopefully end up loving. We hope these are helpful and fun for you and your little one!
1) Keep a sleeping baby (in the car) sleeping with white noise and motion. If you’re driving with a sleeping baby in your car and the car stops, does your baby wake up? Try turning the air (AC/heat) on high to create white noise. You can also try leaving some extra space between you and the car in front of you when you stop, so you can ever-so-slowly inch forward, to keep the car gently vibrating and rocking.
2) Rinse shampoo with precision, using a turkey baster. Try a turkey baster in the bath to get the water exactly where you want it. This also frees up one hand so you can support a child’s head, keeping it in just the right position to avoid any water in eyes or ears.
3) Give your little one medicine in the bath. Are you practically having to hold down your little one to get that medicine dropper unloaded into their mouth? Try giving them their meds in the bath instead. First of all, they’re distracted and having fun, so they’ll let you get away with it. Second, those drips that don’t make it into their mouth are super-easy to clean—they’re already in the bath.
4) Water-resistant picnic/play date blanket. When they’re little, water-resistant blankets are perfect for play dates with other moms and babies. When they get older, you can use them for backyard picnics and watching fireworks.
5) Loop a receiving blanket under your child’s arms and across their chest, to help them learn to walk. Once they get the feel for how to walk, it seems like they make that last leap to doing it independently super-quickly. Plus, they have so much fun with this one (get ready for your little one to want to run and jump like this too)!
6) Give a book instead of a birthday card. If you’re going to spend $5 for a card, why not buy a book instead that your friends can really enjoy for the next couple of years. You can still write a sweet message inside, and they’ll think of you whenever they read it.
7) If your baby hates riding in the car, try gently bouncing his car seat on a yoga ball, first. If your baby is one of the ones who fusses (re: screams bloody murder) whenever you put him into a car seat or car, try this. First, secure him in his infant car seat and soothe him by gently bouncing the car seat on a yoga ball, before putting the car seat into the car.
8) Write your phone number on your child’s arm for trips to crowded amusement parks. Of course, you’ll watch her like a hawk, but in the event you still somehow get separated, the person who finds her will know how to reach you. This would also help authorities to identify your child if someone tried to leave the park with her. It’s also a good idea to take a photo of your child the morning of a big adventure, showing exactly what he/she looked like and was wearing, just in case.
9) Turn your Pack n Play into a ball pit. You can buy inexpensive plastic balls online and turn your Pack n Play into a ball bit! This can be a fun toy at a party (e.g.: 1st birthday) or just a place you can put your older infant/toddler for a few minutes—they’re entertained and contained. FYI, it takes 200-300 balls to cover the bottom of a Pack n Play.
10) Wash bottle parts in the dishwasher. No sleep-deprived parent should have to endure the lost time that goes with hand-washing bottle parts for 5-piece bottles. There are special dishwasher baskets for bottle parts. The trick is to pull the bottle nipples up so that they’re jammed into the little holes, so you can open the lid and they stay stuck in there (so you don’t have to constantly reposition them to be in just the right spot).
11) Use a blanket as a magic carpet ride. You will get your exercise and your toddler will get unending entertainment. This can also be handy, when you want a happy (i.e.: quiet) kiddo in the background, for example if you want a few minutes of email or other time on your phone. Of course, consider appropriate safety precautions like avoiding magic carpet rides near open staircases. Otherwise, have fun!
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