Turns out there is no such thing as an official new parent manual. Like many new parents before you, you can frantically call your mom in the middle of the night to ask her what to do with your new baby, or you can rely on these handy baby hacks from the smartest parents on the internet. Up to you.
If you’ve ever had a baby, you’ll appreciate the brilliant simplicity of these new baby hacks. Don’t do parenting the hard way. Take shortcuts and save yourself hours of wasted time and effort:
1. Baby’s first poop is like tar hack
Ah, meconium — possibly the scariest word a new parent will hear. One Reddit parent shares a genius hack to prevent that goopy first poop from sticking to your brand-new bundle of joy: “Put a little olive/almond oil on your baby’s butt for the first couple days after birth. It will make cleaning up his first poop (a tar-like substance called meconium) much easier.”
2. I don’t have a portable bottle warmer hack
So you’re out and about in the world with your new baby and forgot (or never bought) a portable bottle warmer — what to do, what to do. Another Redditor shows how a deep soup mug makes the perfect portable bottle warmer in a pinch.
3. I’m covered in boogers hack
Oh, Reddit, will your brilliance ever cease? Yet another Reddit parent shares, “Lab coats save mornings! Buy one and slip it on to make breakfast, change the baby, assemble lunches, etc.” (Scrubs and Beyond, $17)
4. I’m sick of taking my kids to the emergency room hack
Image: Red Delicious Life
BRB, putting pool noodles on every door in the house now that my two toddlers have learned how to open, close and slam doors to crush little fingers.
5. No one can tell these babies apart hack
Parents of twins who are sick of everyone asking (or who quite possibly can’t tell your own kids apart), here’s the answer you’ve been looking for: adorable Twin A and Twin B matching onesies. (SnugAttack, $40)
6. My baby falls down all the time hack
Image: Maybe Matilda
No need to pay exorbitant prices for custom baby shoes with tread on the bottom. Save your toddler’s noggin from unnecessary bumps and bruises by making your own DIY slipper grippers with a hot glue gun.
7. My baby is a poop machine hack
Now that my two kids are past the baby stage, I’m ashamed to admit I never knew this elementary parenting onesie trick. Reddit to the rescue: “So, I just learned that these little folds on infants’ onesies are not to accommodate babies with giant heads. They are so you can slip the whole thing down over their shoulders and off their legs if they have a diaper blowout, and the onesie is covered in poop. That way you don’t have to pull the dirty shirt over the child’s head!”
8. My baby is so slippery hack
Slippery baby always falling down in the tub, what am I going to do with you? Why, trap you and all of your toys in a laundry basket in the bath. For your own safety, of course.
9. My car is disgusting hack
Image: Martha Stewart
If the great Martha Stewart can make a parent’s nasty car full of banana peels, Legos and coloring books look this good, there may be hope for the rest of us.
10. My child is the messiest eater hack
Besides love and companionship and cuddles, man’s best friend’s true purpose is to clean up after a rambunctious toddler who loves to throw food.
11. My crawling toddler is a maniac hack
Image: DIY Fun Ideas
Contrary to popular belief, an inflatable indoor pool is not just for a mom-and-dad after-party once the kids go to bed. It’s a cheap, safe and bouncy way to keep a roaming toddler contained.
12. My teething baby is a maniac hack
Image: The Johnson’s
Just when you think you have your new baby all figured out, they cut their first tooth and bring you into the ninth circle of hell right with them. If you’re still breastfeeding, soothe aching gums and give your babe a nutritious treat by freezing pacifiers in expressed breast milk in an ice cube tray.