Baby Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

It’s still very hard for me to believe that I have been a mom for a year now! I will be the first to admit that I made the very common first-time mom mistake of reading all the books and all the forums. Although some were helpful, I discovered that I know my son and our family best, and we were able to figure out a few different tricks to help us ease into parenthood.

So, I thought I’d share my (as well as other friends’) tips, tricks, and hacks for babies and toddlers.

Sleeping

**Give them a bottle before you put them down for a nap. Now, I know many follow Babywise. I used to, but when Rhys hit a roadblock in sleeping (never sleeping more than 20 minutes), my mom suggested this and his naps immediately went to an hour and a half (if not longer)!

** If you don’t have enough money (or don’t want) to buy a crib liner, use rolled up blankets to line the walls of the crib. This will help your baby not get stuck between the bars, but also had another layer of comfort and cuddling. Most of the time, we see Rhys grabbing these blanket rolls, or laying half on them.

** Get a noise machine! Seriously! This has saved our lives! We bought this one from Buy Buy Baby. Soft lullabyes, white noise, naturistic noises, and soft lights really help calm babies down to sleep. Try to find one with a big button so babies can learn to turn it on and off themselves. If Rhys wakes up in the middle of the night, he turns on his music machine and falls back asleep.

** Don’t have a black out curtain? Put up two 3M hooks, tie a not in each side of a felt blanket with the strands, and hang it up.

** Make their crib as comforting as possible–make it a safe haven for them. Give them blankets, music machine, dolls, pacies, whatever you think will help them sleep and keep them occupied.

Eating

** Rhys started to not like baby oatmeal, but it was the best way to give him nutrients to start the day. However, he loved fruit, especially strawberries. But a tiny piece of fruit on each spoonful of oatmeal/rice cereal, and they’ll eat it!

** When your child becomes more independent and begins to practice their agency by refusing to eat, give them their own spoon or fork and a few pieces of their meal to practice picking up as you feed them.

** Kerry Griffin Smith said, “If moms don’t yet know about the pacifier-looking fruit pouch/nets that are sold at Walmart and anywhere baby products are sold, then they must buy one. My son loved his!!!! Also, cut food into little bits with kitchen scissors or a pizza cutter. It’s so much easier than using a knife.”

** Give your baby/toddler a toy they can keep at the table. Or let them play with (soft and safe) kitchen tools like measuring spoons, plastic spatulas, etc. This will distract them enough to feed them.

Childproofing and Safety

** If you haven’t purchased or have run out of safety locks for drawers and cabinets, use a rubber band or a hair tie to keep them shut!
** If you don’t have enough babygates or can’t afford them, use furniture. Ottomans really work well in hallways.

Illness and Teething

** Use all-natural, no-sugar fruit Popsicle to help ease a low-grade temperature or teething pain.
** Take a warm shower with the baby if they are stuffed up. Make sure it’s warm enough for steam. Hold them chest-to-chest and let the warm water hit their back. They will calm down, get sleepy, and cuddle. Rhys and I have both suffered many upper respiratory infections this year, and we’d do this all the time!
** Pamela Michelle said, “Teething – cold washcloth can give them something to chew on and ease the pain. (I don’t have kids but I’ve been around my nephew a lot from baby to 1.5 years.)”

Taking Pictures

** Give them a toy to play with, or a favorite treat to have.
** Have your spouse help you. One of you take the pictures, one of you distract your baby.
** Use the sport setting and hold the button down! You’ll have numerous pictures for each second and will be able to chose the best one!

Other Guides

What other baby or toddler tips, tricks, or hacks would you add to the list?

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • Wow, I love the transparency and honest. So much wisdom, yet very practical pointers. Thanks!

  • Thank you, Holly!

  • Great tips Taylor. I think I need to make my son's crib a little more of a safe haven for him- its a boring old pack and play and he always wants out the second he wakes up. I think he needs some soft toys or something. 😉