10 new mom hacks that I wish I had known when I first became a parent.
Becoming a new parent is quite the adventure. But don’t worry, I’m on this adventure alongside you and have collected 10 hacks that have helped me navigate mom life – I know you’ll love them. Whether you have a newborn or growing toddler, these tips have been life saving day to day!
Something that I’ve learned throughout parenting Sage is that diaper changes become increasingly more challenging. As she has gotten older, Sage has definitely become less patient when it comes to diaper changes. A tip I’ve picked up is to keep a random bag of goodies around. Fill it with things your baby doesn’t usually play with so that he/she can use change time to explore and stay distracted. It doesn’t have to be toys. Random household objects work great (as long as they’re safe and you’re supervising). A cheap pair of sunglasses, baby monitor, lip balm or even a remote with the batteries removed can all buy you a few extra precious moments at change time.
Having your diaper bag always packed and ready to go is essential. You never know when you’ll need to leave the house. Even if you’re venturing out on a planned trip, having everything pre-packed is one less thing to think about. I did an entire blog post on what I keep in my diaper bag, but aside from the basics like diapers and creams I like to make sure I’ve got pyjamas and an outfit packed at all times. Usually I’ll throw in an outfit that’s too big for her so that we’re not wasting it if it never gets worn, but I have it on hand just in case. I also make sure to have backup food, snacks, and utensils – basically anything you might need while you’re out and about. A pre-packed diaper bag allows you to have peace of mind as you’re walking out the door, knowing that you haven’t forgotten anything and that you’re prepared for any potential situation.
I know it sounds strange, but doggy poop bags serve multiple purposes. Not only can they be used for dogs, but I keep them around for Sage-related situations as well. Whether there’s a blowout or a poopy diaper, do not fear, if there isn’t a garbage nearby, you can pop your trash or soiled clothing into a doggy poop bag until you can dispose of it. Even for things like wet clothes or just on the go trash, they come in handy. Tuck some doggy poop bags into the corner of your diaper bag in case you need them. This hack has saved me so many times!
We go for stroller walks every single day. It’s just a nice way to break up the day and get outside. Nature and fresh air are so good for both you and baby. We’ve been doing this since Sage was a newborn. We’d take her out in a carrier and do forest walks. The change of scenery can really help to soothe a cranky baby. It’s a nice break for parents too. Walks offer a relaxing way to relax with your little ones beyond screens. Getting moving and keeping active obviously has health benefits as well. Walks are an awesome healthy habit to integrate into to your routine with your little ones as early as possible.
We usually have a Disney playlist on hand with songs from Encanto, Moana, Frozen etc. I use this when we’re at the end of our walk or when we’re in the car and we’re almost at our destination. That’s when Sage starts to get a little fussy and impatient. Busting out the music helps tide us over until we get to where we’re going. Not only handy for the car, but this hack is also great if Sage gets upset while I’m distracted or trying to get things done such as prepping her dinner. She’ll instantly cheer up, get excited and start singing and dancing along.
You know I love meal prepping, but I’m not talking about just any meal prep. Portion out your food into these little silicone molds. I’ve used these since Sage started eating solids at six months. I create little pucks of food that are frozen and ready to go any time I need them. These help you to ensure that you have the right portion each time so when you are ready, you don’t overheat too much food and you can lessen your waste. This is also a great hack to help minimize big feelings which can happen at meal time when your little one is ready to eat – these pucks are a quick solution to fuss and hunger.
If you’re looking for some great recipes for your little ones, definitely check out the Baby HealthNut Cookbook. Inside you’ll find over 30 recipes that are all recipe tested and Sage approved – some can even be modified to feed the whole family.
When I first started breastfeeding Sage I would usually have a snack or drink next to me. A smoothie or my trail mix granola bars were a must. I just felt like that was the only time I had to actually sit down and get a meal in. Now that Sage has gotten a bit older and I am not breastfeeding her as frequently, we have had the opportunity to start eating our meals together as a family. A tip of mine is that when you’re preparing meals, try to make something both you and your little ones can enjoy together like oatmeal or smoothies. Eating together also helps to ensure that you don’t skip a meal – I realized that if I didn’t eat at the same time as Sage, I would often end up getting distracted and lose my opportunity to enjoy my meal. My meals consisted of snacks or Sage’s leftovers, which isn’t ideal. Eating together means no one gets hangry, and you actually get to sit down and enjoy a meal as a family.
Another thing I swear by is teaching your little ones to use baby sign language. We started at six months so that she would learn to communicate regarding food. Having said that, sign language is not just for communicating about food. She can now communicate with us about anything she wants and needs even though she is still learning the actual words to describe them. Being able to sign words like ‘more’, ‘all done’ and ‘I’m thirsty’ can be so helpful before little ones learn to speak. A lot of ‘big feelings’ come about because little ones can’t communicate properly, but this helps. For example, sometimes Sage gets upset because she wants more milk and I am able to sign to her that she is all done – she can then understand, process, and we move on to something else.
If Sage is in a fussy mood, for example when she knows it’s bedtime, I will usually distract her with a little task. Sometimes I’ll bring her over to light switches and let her turn off the lights, or I’ll get her to help close the door. It distracts her long enough to reset the mood so that we can actually get her calm and ready for bed or bath time.
A huge tip is having designated toys for travel. That way, when we’re on the go, Sage is distracted with new toys to explore. Fidget toys, mirrors, and new books are all great distractors during travel. We also have a tablet but we use it as a last resort.
There you have it. Those are some of my favourite new mom hacks. Hopefully these tips help you out with your little ones. What are your top tips? I’m always looking for new ideas, so let me know in the comments below!