As I approach my third time around at this baby thing, I realized there’s a few things we do around here that would have SHOCKED my first-time mom self. I thought I’d share the wealth of knowledge I’ve acquired. While they may not be actually life saving, these tips may very well save your sanity, your nose… or at least make you feel better about how you do things!
- Dog Poop Bags: We said goodbye to the diaper pail. Two stinky boys in, and no amount of fancy metal pails, sausage casing bags, or baking soda can hide it. What can? Dog poop bags. We have found a stink-solution, and it involves NO special equipment. We use our regular kitchen trash since it’s taken out mostly every day, and we wrap diapers in dog poop bags. It hides the stench and it saves the space and effort!
- The Clean Laundry Basket: I’ve either lost my patience, or it’s a fact that baby clothes are ridiculously small and tiny. They cannot effectively be folded unless rolled neatly and stored in handy drawer organizers, which I’ve also done (with my first). Add in multiple outfit changes each day thanks to blowouts and spit-up, and you’re drowning in laundry. The hack? Don’t fold them. Keep a laundry basket in each nursery or bedroom for CLEAN clothes. Then they’re available for you to rummage through and quickly grab that fourth onesie you need for the day. This method also seems to work for toddlers who are bent on being independent and finding their own clothes, and can be easily transitioned into a first chore: “Want to help mommy with the wash? Put your clean clothes in your basket!”
- Toy Tubs: I’m alternatively motivated with this hack because it benefits our son’s speech development delay, but fellow moms have seen my method and incorporated it for their non-delayed kids with sanity-saving pleasure. We keep toy groups, categories, and sets in clear tubs (mostly out of reach) in our toy closet. Your toddler can see the toys clearly, but they toys are organized, and it’s a sure-fire way to teach, “When you’re done with a toy, you put it away before you grab another”. The out of reach addition is what encourages speech, because then your toddler has to ASK for which toy they want. It avoids a giant toy mess (for the most part), and became a habit pretty quickly for our boys.
- Baby-Proof Closets: Branching off of the third hack, for the younger toddlers who don’t get it yet, and for the tricky times when it’s a little too quiet while they play in their bedroom, baby proofing closets solves all. It avoids toddlers getting into a toy closet and avoids a bedroom with a mountain of clothes, so while it might not warrant the life saving idea behind baby proofing, I promise it saves something. Like three hours of picking up blankets and blocks.
- Do What Works: Last and most importantly, just do what works for you without shame. Every baby, kid, and situation is different, and responds differently to every method, hack or trick in the book. While these hacks have significantly impacted my day-to-day life, they might not work for or interest you, and that’s okay! The most valuable lesson I’ve learned as a “multigravada” is that we’re all doing our best with each of our kids. Supporting one another in this sleep-deprived journey is the best hack there is.
Want to connect? You can find me at my blog, Homemade Hometown, for more on motherhood, DIY, and all sorts of fun things!