Time and Sanity Saving Hacks for Moms of Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers + Mabel's Labels Discount

I’ve been stockpiling mom hacks for years and you will find them sprinkled all over my site! Below are many of my best tips for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, and just general sanity saving tips for moms. Most of the tips are my own, but I also included contributions from my new moms group and deals group.

These tips range from time saving or sanity saving to repurposing and limiting waste, which includes avoiding losing things! I’m obsessed with labeling everything and I’ve lost count of how many times things have been returned to me thanks to a label!

This post contains affiliate links. Please see the Disclosure page for additional information. Additionally some of the featured items and services may have been provided for editorial consideration.

Camp starts tomorrow and we labeled EVERYTHING!! See  Travel, beach/pool hacks  below for the space saving, quick dry towel!

Camp starts tomorrow and we labeled EVERYTHING!! See Travel, beach/pool hacks below for the space saving, quick dry towel!

A note on our sponsor, Mabel’s Labels

Thank you to Mabel’s Labels for sponsoring this post. I’ve been using their labels for years and included lots of the ways that I use their labels in this post!

Mabel’s Labels makes personalized labels, tags, stamps and ID bracelets. They have so many practical and adorable design options! My favorite items are the waterproof labels for labeling kids’ clothing, lunch boxes, cups, school supplies and sports equipment. The labels come in all sizes and are very durable -- I’ve run them through the wash countless times. They even make tiny labels that can fit on the temples of your kids’ sunglasses or the thin plastic collar of a baby bottle. I’m excited to try out their ID bracelets for trips this summer. They also make personalized dog tags that work well on scooters, stroller and luggage. If your child has food allergies or a medical condition, definitely check out their lineup of medical alert tags and labels. Mabel’s Label now offers removable wall decals, which are perfect for rental or temporary housing!

Click here and use code BEST10 for 10% off your Mabel’s Labels order (excludes stamps).

Mom tips and hacks

You can jump ahead to any section:

Pumping, nursing, bottle and formula feeding hacks

Pumping hacks

  • Valve envy. If you use a Medela, Spectra or Avent pump, forget the original valves or duckbills. These aftermarket ones are so much easier to get on and off and some moms reported that they increased their output.

  • Skip the bottle transfer. You can probably pump straight into your bottles even if they are a different brand from your pump using an adapter. This saves you a transfer and from losing precious drops. Amazon sells adapters for most common brands (e.g. Medela pump into Avent bottles or into Dr. Browns bottles).

  • Use Medela parts with Spectra pump. You can hack your Spectra pump to use with Medela parts by using this longstem backflow protector (you can alternatively add a longstem to the Spectra backflow protector but it’s another piece to disassemble and dry each time you wash, plus mine would get stuck often)

  • Another use for the Medela shield / flange. If using Medela parts, the shield also makes a great funnel to pour pumped milk into a storage bag!

  • A mug helps avoid spills. If you are transferring, place your storage bag in a mug before pouring breastmilk into it catch any spills. It’s also advisable to put the full frozen storage bag in a mug or container before defrosting in case there is a hole in the bag.

  • Stash your parts. If you store pump parts in the fridge between sessions, store them in a half gallon silicone Stasher bag . I like aqua - easy to spot in fridge. Using these bags an alternative to disposable plastic bags is good for the environment. Plus, once you are done pumping you can repurpose these bags. I’ve been using smaller Stasher bags for years but bought this size fit this purpose. These other bags are also popular, may have larger capacity and are opaque — Lunchkins dishwasher safe bag, machine washable Sarah Wells bag, Bumkins machine washable wet/dry bag.

  • Go wireless with your Spectra S2. Hack your spectra S2 pump to be wireless and even charge your phone at the same time. . Do do this, you just need a power bank and a 12v to USB converter.

Photo courtesy of Stefanie T.

Photo courtesy of Stefanie T.

  • Keep pumped milk cold without a fridge. When I pumped at work, I used this small cooler bag and never needed to store my milk in the communal fridge. This also decreases your likelihood of forgetting to bring it home. See my post on pumping at work for more details. You will get years of use from this bag as it’s also great for keeping bottles and food cold on the go (we never travel without it).

  • Cut down your pumping time with the Baby Buddha pump. I switched from the Spectra S1 to this pump and it cut my pumping time by nearly half and also got rid of my clogged ducts. Read my full review (Including discount code).

  • Quickly wash pump parts in a Ziplok. Put some water and soap or a cleaning tablet in the bag, shake shake shake... rinse.. (in a pinch) clean enough.

Nursing Tips

  • Makeshift nursing cover. According to one of my followers, a fitted crib sheet doubles as a nursing or pumping cover. The fitted corners go over your shoulders and there’s plenty of room within the sheet to pump/feed without revealing anything.

Formula feeding hacks

  • Pre-measure and label formula. I would pre-measure days’ worth of formula in advance and label the container with the number of scoops on erasable labels. I only recently learned that Mabel’s Labels makes erasable labels. More details on this system in my formula feeding blog post.

Bottle Feeding Hacks

  • Use washable bottle labels. When preparing bottles in advance, label them (with date) with these erasable labels. This is perfect for sending prepared bottles to daycare.

  • Hack for labeling silicone bottles. Labels don’t stick well to silicone, so if you are using Comotomo silicone baby bottles (one of the most popular bottles among NYC moms), label the plastic collar using Mabel’s Labels small rectangular labels.

  • Don’t forget to label bottle caps. Bottle caps have a way of disappearing. Label them (i use these round labels)!!

Label your bottles so they don’t get lost. Also pre-measure and label formula containers to indicate the number of scoops or corresponding number of ounces.

Label your bottles so they don’t get lost. Also pre-measure and label formula containers to indicate the number of scoops or corresponding number of ounces.

Starting solids + feeding even picky toddlers and preschoolers

Starting solids hacks

  • Freeze purees in one oz cubes. Make food ahead and freeze in ice cube trays to freeze solids. One oz portions are ideal as they defrost quickly and allow you to mix and match. I have a different one, but this tray looks good.

  • Stick to low sugar pouches. if feeding your baby store bought pouches, pay attention to sugar content. I like this brand, which makes tasty pouches with only 2-4 grams of sugar. I was skeptical, but my baby loves them. I have a 25% discount too.

  • Avoid pouch splatters. Kids have a knack for squeezing pouches too hard. This silicone valve topper helps limit the mess.

  • 4 oz Comotomo bottles make great feeding bowls. These bottles are the perfect size for early meals. They fit in your hand easy and it’s also easy to stir without spilling.

  • Store bibs on the back of the highchair. Use a Commando hook to store bibs on the back of the highchair. Another idea is magnetic bibs, which can stick to some refrigerators and fuse box covers.

  • Wash high chair straps in a padded mesh laundry bag and hang dry. I like this bag. The padding adds a little protection. Note that this may be contrary to manufacturer’s instructions and is at your own risk (if straps are really caked, I think it’s worth the risk).

  • Clean the high chair with a vinegar solution. Fill these bottles with half vinegar and half water and use to clean baby's high chair tray. I often need to clean the tray immediately before my daughter eats and I don’t need to worry about her ingesting some vinegar.

  • More tips on starting solids here.

Teaching baby to use a straw + sippy, straw cup tips

  • Use the bear cup to teach baby to use a straw. If your baby is having trouble grasping how to use a straw, the famous bear cup can help. Put the straw in baby’s mouth, give bear cup a little squeeze. Continue offering water that way until they start to suck on the straw themselves. Once they get it, continue for a few more days and switch to a regular straw.

  • Alternatives to the bear cup. The bear cup has been shown to be effective in studies. It’s basically a junky honey bottle with airplane tubing. Lots of moms report that these alternatives work just as well:

    • Juice box hack. Empty and rinse out a juice box (or use a flavored water box), reinsert straw and follow the above bear cup instructions.

    • Silicone alternative. I ran airplane tubing (aka breast pump tubing) through this silicone squeeze pouch to teach my daughter to use a straw. I’ve since reused it countless times for yogurt, smoothies and even soup.

Feeding toddlers and preschooler hacks

  • Sippy cups as snack cups. Some moms use sippy cups as snack cups to carry veggie straws, goldfish and Cheerios. A silicone or reusable bag works too, but they can get crushed)/ I still do like snack cups with webbing for babies toddlers as it prevents the contents from spilling out. We’ve been using this one for years (it’s clear so you can see the contents), but this newer stainless one and this plastic one are both popular.

  • Bib as snack holder. Put snacks (e.g., cheerios or dried fruit) in the pouch of baby’s bib for stroller rides or even when sitting on a park bench.

  • Keep foods hot in an insulated thermos. We use this insulated stainless steel thermos to keep school lunch warm or for dining al fresco. If you put boiled water in it for five minutes and dry it out before putting your food in, it will stay extra hot. We’ve used it for eggs, fish sticks, french toast, grilled cheese and rice and beans.

Dining al fresco at the playground! Thermos labeled with a  personalized round label .

Dining al fresco at the playground! Thermos labeled with a personalized round label.

What to feed your kids / encouraging good eating habits

  • Spinach banana pancakes. This recipe is a life saver. It’s nutritiously balanced, can be a complete meal or snack, freezes well, defrost quickly (if frozen in a single layer) and my kids will even eat them cold. When we travel, I bring them frozen and take them out of the cooler bag about 30 minutes before they will eat. My kids both started eating them around 7 months and my 4.5 year old still loves them.

  • Marketing is everything! My son calls milled flax a topping (or rather “toppling” and I’m not correcting it) and asks me to sprinkle it on his breakfast or a peanut butter sandwich.

  • Batch cook and freeze kid-friendly meals. We usually have spinach banana pancakes, high fiber waffles, meatballs and soups in the freezer.

  • Label your food storage and lunch containers. Before placing food in your fridge or freezer , label the container to indicate the contents and date using erasable labels. This also works well for preparing kids’ food for daycare.

  • 3:00 pm dinner. For school aged kids, try skipping the snacks and instead feeding them dinner right after school. Many kids are famished after school and most likely to eat well then (vs. filling up on snacks).

Travel, beach / pool hacks

I’ve written a few posts on travel, which have lots of tips (e.g., efficient packing, travel with a toddler or baby, Bahamar family travel guide, Chicago family travel guide, and look out for my upcoming Woodloch guide). Here are a few more travel and beach tips.

Travel and Day Trips

  • ID bracelets in case your kids wander off. This is many parents’ worst nightmare. Mabel’s Labels makes personalized reusable silicone bracelets and durable paper ones (similar to hospital bracelets). These are perfect for any travel, including Disney, water parks, beach days, other day trips, and class field trips). Even if your preschooler knows his and your name and your phone number, he may panic and forget or be hard to understand, so just instruct him to show people the bracelet.

  • Prevent carsickness. Unfortunately, both my kids get carsick. I did a lot of research and polled many moms and rounded up all my findings on preventing carsickness here. For my kids, here’s what has been most effective — limit food, especially dairy, before trips, try to time the drive during nap time, give them ginger to eat and smell frequently, and keep them cool (blast the AC and minimize clothing).

  • Limit the mess when carsickness is inevitable. Some kids will get carsick no matter what. I have a bunch of tips on preventing a mess in my carsickness article.

  • Pack efficiently. Traveling with kids can feel like relocating. So many people tell me that my post on packing efficiently has helped them immensely. Check it out here.

  • Bring a wet/dry back for the wet clothes. A wet/dry bag is a must for the camp bag too and the stroller all summer (along with spare swim and dry clothes)!

  • Tether kids toys, cups, pacifiers and bottles. You have enough things to keep track of when traveling. Use a tether to help keep track of whatever your baby or toddler holds. you can also attach a toy to each end to easily find in diaper bag or to keep from rolling down plane when traveling I included my favorite tethers in my post on efficient travel.

  • Overnight diaper or just pop in a Sposie pad for plane rides and long car trips. If baby’s diaper is full and the seatbelt light goes on, you buy yourself some extra time (you also may be able to get away with just pulling out the Sposie booster pad instead of changing the entire diaper).

  • Bring PJs and toothbrushes for excursions that will last til evening. If you are going somewhere for the late afternoon or evening, bring pajamas and toothbrushes for the kids. Get them ready for bed before getting into the car and you will only need to transfer them or put them to bed when you get home. FYI, this is our favorite kids’ toothbrush brand.

Food travel tips

  • Travel with coconut wraps and packets of nut butter. You won’t need to buy bread and you can whip up a decent snack at odd hours if your kids are jetlagged using these shelf stable coconut wraps and nut butter (this is my son’s favorite, but this resealable one looks promising). Note that a younger toddler may have a hard time chewing these wraps, we introduced them around 2.5 years.

  • Spinach pancakes travel well and defrost easily. Details above.

  • Milk on the go. Shelf stable milk boxes in a My Drinky are great for milk on the go. No need for a fridge and the My Drinky limits mess by preventing them from squeezing. This is perfect for day trips or travel! I’ve shipped a case of this milk to hotels and even packed a case when we went to Grenada for a medical mission because the hotel wouldn’t guarantee access to milk other than at breakfast.

Beach and pool tips

  • Mesh and net bags are key.

  • Use a mesh beach bag bag with lots of pockets so things are visible and anything wet dries quickly. I just replaced mine. I ordered four and this one was really a standout.

  • I like to keep beach and sand toys in a net bag and shake them out before we get in the car or house — this short handled one hangs nicely from the stroller or over your arm. It’s surprisingly chic!

  • Label all the beach toys. I forgot to do this on a recent trip and lost toys within minutes. FYI, this is our most recent beach toy set — I like that it comes with fun lightweight pieces.

  • Sun protection tips.

    • Rashguards offer peace of mind. We’re all human and don’t apply sunblock properly or don’t reapply often enough. Opt for full coverage rashguards. I linked a bunch of my favorite girl ones at the end of this article. I linked my favorite baby to little kid hooded rashguard top (I’ve been buying it every summer) here.

    • Similarly, a great hat is key. I linked some favorites baby to preschooler sun hats here.

    • Protect baby’s exposed limbs with an SPF blanket. Whether in the carrier or stroller, baby’s limbs tend to be exposed. I throw this SPF blanket over my baby (but don’t “tent” it over the canopy as that can create a dangerously hot environment).

  • Microfiber towels are space efficient and dry quickly. My son started camp last summer when my daughter was an infant. I was overwhelmed by laundry and bought him four of these. They weigh very little and take up minimal space in his bag, the washer and my closet. I have these, but there are less expensive options on Amazon.

  • “Baby powder” removes sand. Sprinkle some talc free baby powder on your kids to easily wipe away sand. Make sure they turn away first as it’s not healthful for them to inhale it (I typically do this only on feet and lower legs).

  • Bathe littles in the beach / pool foot shower and skip the bath. I bring a cup, shampoo / body wash and pajamas or clothes to the pool or beach to wash the littles using the foot showers. Then we can go straight to dinner and skip bathtime. Babo makes a great post-swim shampoo / wash. See my list of exclusive promos for a discount.

  • Beach hack for the moms. One friend took out the waistband elastic from a bikini bottom. She says it left her “muffin-top free and it stayed up fine. On a related note, I linked my most flattering bathing suit here.

Bath time hacks

  • Repurpose the hospital peri bottle. Lots of moms use the peri bottle to rinse shampoo. baby’s head. I prefer the largest silicone pinch bowl from this set. It’s somehow perfect for rinsing shampoo as it offers great control We use the entire set as bath toys (you could poke holes in the other sizes to make them more fun and they are dishwasher safe).

  • Use dishwasher safe bath toys and toy storage containers. Because moldy bath toys are disgusting. I linked my favorites here.

  • Easy rinse shampoo. If your kid has no patience for shampooing get it over quickly with this shampoo, which rinses out in one pass.

  • Make bath time exciting with these novelties. Every so often my son gets in a phase of refusing bath time. He has literally lept into the bath with his shorts on when I dropped color tabs in the bath. He also went through a major animal capsule stage (I stored the expanded animals in these bags between baths). Other novelty ideas include bubble baths, bubbles, colored foam, bath bombs, bath finger paint soap and bath crayons.

  • Messy play in an empty tub before bathtime. My son knows that slime is allowed only in the tub and also enjoys writing in shaving cream before the bath. More tips for no mess sensory play here.

Diapering and potty training hacks and tips

Diapering

  • Wriggly baby? A potty training diaper (pull up style) is the solution. My daughter hates to be on her back, which makes diaper changing a challenge. I’ve been using these pull-up style diapers since before she turned one (not all the time, just when she is extra wriggly). We change pee diapers standing up and get her off her back faster following messy diapers. I also find that they stay in place better, which makes for fewer blowouts.

  • This bottom soothing spray makes poop cleanup easier. I’ve been using this spray since my now 4.5 year old was an infant. It makes changing diapers easier and reduces the number of wipes needed.

  • Wipes refill hack. This hack is from other moms — take the plastic dispenser piece off baby wipes and re use on the refill packs (that are cheaper).

  • Keep some easy to wash toys at the changing table. My daughter hates to be on her back. We can’t get through a diaper change unless she has something interesting to hold (so it needs to be a different toy each time). I prefer hard toys, which are easy to clean, for this purpose.

  • My pediatrician recommended this diaper cream. Following a stomach bug, my daughter had a terrible rash. This diaper cream cleared it up almost instantly.

  • Stinky diaper pail? My friends at Ubbi recommend keeping one of these odor absorbing packets in the diaper pail . If it still smells, try leaving it out in the sun for a bit

  • Can’t stomach the idea of a diaper pail? Me neither. We keep this little open pail on the changing table and tie up the bags after a few pee diapers or a poo diaper.

  • This changing pad is a game changer. This changing pad can sit on top of a dresser (I have this one) and wipes down easily. No need for liners that add to your intimidating laundry pile.

  • A felt garland is an easy and safe decoration for above the changing table. Seeing heavy items like mirrors above a changing table makes me cringe. I hung a felt garland with commando hooks. It weighs almost nothing and I’m always right there so strangulation hazard isn’t an issue. Etsy and Amazon both have adorable ones.

Potty Training

  • Make public restrooms less frightening. Cover the automatic sensor with a post-it (or even a piece of paper towel). This will stop the toilet from automatically flushing and scaring the 💩 out of your LO while they are still on the toilet, standing to wipe, or getting ready to leave. When they are done they remove it, and the toilet will flush for them!

  • Potty on the go. You can set this portable potty up in seconds at the playground or on the side of the road. Seconds count, people!!

  • Get past the floor potty. Once your child uses a toilet seat topper you will not miss the days of cleaning out a floor potty. I don’t have any specific tips for getting there, just make it a goal.

  • Hook the toilet topper from the toilet. These little doodads will help your bathroom look organized!

  • Don’t overestimate the power of a character. My son was so excited to get into character pull ups followed by character underwear.

Play, toys and sports

Infant, tummy time

  • Encouraging tummy time. I’m a big fan of the Lovevery playmat. But a yoga mat works for tummy time on a hard floor until baby starts rolling.

More Play

  • Everyday objects as toys. Fill empty tissue boxes with small handkerchiefs, cloth napkins or cheap silk scarves off Amazon! Use kitchen utensils as toys — my babies both played with our silicone spatulas! There are endless ideas for fun with a salad spinner. More ideas in my sensory play post.

  • Teaching the alphabet. These magnetic letters are great for teaching the alphabet and colors. My son knew uppercase already when we got them at close to age two but quickly learned lowercase because the colors of the upper and lowercase letters of this set coordinate.

  • Your apartment door, and control box cover double as a play surface. Speaking of magnets, for the past 3.5 years my apartment door has been covered in magnetic toys. #citylife

  • Dishwasher safe toys for playdates . Let all the babies mouth the toys and then throw them in the dishwasher. Check out my favorite dishwasher safe and mold resistant toys.

  • Preserve loveys, wabbunubs and stuffed animals. Wash small and delicate baby items in a padded mesh bag (they deteriorate in the dryer, this may make them last longer).

  • Wooden spoon as a teether. Baby loves hanging onto it and the wood is a great texture and toughness for the gums.

Sprinkler time

  • These water shoes double as sneakers. There is no need to change shoes for the sprinklers. These Native water shoes and these Plae water shoes are comfortable enough to wear all day.

Scooter tips

  • Hang the scooter from your stroller when not in use. I drop my son at school and then need to bring his scooter home. When he had the Micro Mini, I managed to hang it from the stroller handlebar. When we upgraded to the Micro Maxi, I opted for the foldable one and hang it from a stroller hook.

  • Label your scooter and helmet! There are a few popular scooters and it’s easy to accidentally scoot off with someone else’s. We use both a label and “bag tag” to label ours.

Using a “ bag tag ” makes it easy to identify Sam’s scooter.

Using a “bag tag” makes it easy to identify Sam’s scooter.

Sports

Organizing toys

  • Photo labels for the non-readers. Label toy bins with pictures or the logo cut from the package the toy came in. Even if your child can’t read, they will recognize the LEGO, Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig logo!

  • More organizational tips here and below.

Sleep

  • Trying to teach your kid not to get out of bed before dawn? Forget the original OK to wake clock. This is so much easier to program and can be set from an app on your phone. You can even set the OK to wake as any color in the spectrum!

  • Keep your kids in the crib as long as possible. As long as you’re not trying to night potty train, keeping the kid contained has major benefits. If your toddler is climbing out of the Stokke Sleepi crib, remove the casters and move the mattress to the floor. It bought us 6 more months (this may not work with other cribs).

  • Choose your pacifier wisely. Other animals are cuter but the giraffe Wabbunub is easiest for baby to hold and insert (which will help them self-soothe). Also try tucking it into the sleep sack / pajamas so baby can find it easily (hasn’t worked for us yet but I read it somewhere).

Baby and kid clothing and shoe hacks

  • Outgrown onesies double as burp cloths.

  • Make footsies last longer. Just cut off the feet.

  • One piece outfits are generally easier. For infants, these are the best (we had a couple and if they were clean, my baby was wearing them)!!!

  • Save socks from the dryer monster. One mom says that she was constantly losing baby socks until she started using a small mesh bag to wash them! When dirty throw them right in the bag (attach it to the side of the hamper with a laundry or binder clip) and when you have enough, put bag right into machine with baby’s other laundry. You can buy a distinct bag so you know to still put in dryer. This works for nursing pads too.

  • Keep baby from pulling off socks. If your baby pulls off socks, try sizing up. It makes them harder to pull off and keeps them warmer in the winter!

  • Short rompers can be used all year long. Just tuck them into pants!

  • An outgrown dress can be worn as a shirt or tunic.

  • Socks double as infant mittens. Though I prefer these baby mittens as they allow the fingers to move and aren’t bulky.

  • Label all clothing!! Especially if baby is in day care. It’s like a homing pigeon device.

  • Help your preschooler match up their right and left shoes. Mabel’s makes great preschool shoe labels that remind me of the old BFF necklaces (cut down the middle). We have the ones that look like a rainbow and like a fire truck.

Organizational tips

  • Keep a handle on outgrown clothes. Keep a canvas bag or a bin in the closet for outgrown clothes. Once it gets full, get donations out of the house ASAP using Amazon’s give back box.

  • Keep the next size and season clothing handy. Keep a box at the top of the closet or otherwise easily accessible for next size / season.

  • Prepare as much as possible at night when the house is quiet. Lay out kids’ clothes, prepare lunches, empty and prepare school bags, set up the breakfast table, set up the coffee machine, etc.

  • Deal with Monday’s school backpacks on Friday night as opposed to Sunday night. This will help ease your own transition into the workweek!

  • Lay out kids’ outfits at the start of the week. On Sunday eve lay out 5 (or even six to prepare for unexpected weather) to save you time each day.

  • Turn your child’s artwork into a book. I’m doing this for Sam’s baby to preschool art. I’m using Artkive (discount code here).

  • Assess toys frequently. If something hasn’t been used in a couple of months and holds no sentimental value, pass it on.

  • More organizing tips here.

Birthday party hacks (whether you are throwing the party or attending)

  • Order the gift as soon as you get the party invite (or keep age appropriate gender neutral gifts on hand). Avoid the need to scramble at the last minute.

  • Forgo wrapping paper. Wrap gifts in plain butcher paper or white craft paper and have your child decorate them with markers or stickers. It buys you an extra activity for your child and adds a personal touch. I’ve also used leftover theme tablecloths to wrap gifts (we had a lot of leftover emoji tablecloths).

  • Put your money toward gifts, not cards. I’ve bought this adorable box of cards twice already and they are appropriate for both kids and adults (plus I never need to run out for a card)!

  • Win other parents’ favor with thoughtful favors. When you throw a party, try to give useful goodies / favors. . At Sam’s 4th birthday in December, we gave personalized labels and dog tags to all the kids and I loved seeing them on their lunchboxes, cups and backpacks til the end of the school year.

  • Stash purse goodies. Stash little favors to whip out and keep your kids quiet at restaurants, doctor’s offices, etc.

  • Pre-feed the kids. Feed your kids a healthy meal before heading to a birthday party. Hopefully they will indulge less or at least the high sugar foods won’t spike their blood sugar as much.

Miscellaneous

  • Pre-fold cloth diapers as burp rags. Great for reflux babies.

  • Layer crib sheet for middle of the night incidents. To make middle of the night linen changes easier, layer two sets of sheets (ideally with a mattress pad in between) and just strip off the dirty top set if there is a pee, spit up or vomit incident.

  • Command hooks to hang everything! I mentioned this above for bibs. But Command hooks have tons of purposes. I used them to hang the felt garland over the changing table. One mom uses them to hang her kid’s ukelele!

Tips to stay sane as a mom

This is probably the most important section!

Make Time for you!

  • Make time for yourself daily to stay sane. This should have nothing to do with the kids and can be accomplished through exercise, connecting with friends, listening to a humorous podcast, or even applying a facemask. What matters is that it makes you feel good!

  • If you can’t find time to read, listen to books instead. Audible has a huge catalog of books. You can listen on your commute, while getting ready or when baby falls asleep in the stroller. Click here for a free audible trial.

  • Shower at night, as you own that time. Mornings can be crazy, I find it most relaxing to shower at night once my kids are down.

  • How to manage a shower with a little person around.

    • Baby — Keep an infant in the Baby Bjorn bouncer in the bathroom while you shower (I did this from 3 weeks til about 8 months). Once he outgrows the Bjorn you can try a high chair or activity center. Turn on some music, make sure you and baby are in each other’s line of vision and leave a toy in baby’s grasp and everyone should be happy!

    • Toddler — Lets your toddler color with washable crayons on the outside of the bathtub while you shower.

  • How to get ready with a little person around. Sit baby in the bathroom sink while you do your makeup (definitely has a prime period of stable sitting til they either want to crawl out, don’t fit or constantly try to turn on the water). Some moms also do this in the kitchen when cooking. Baby is happy , in line of sight, away from the stove, and contained.

  • Eat meals out without breaking the bank. I book restaurant reservations (in advance or as a walk in) using the Seated app and earn rewards to spend at Amazon or Lululemon. Download through my link (or enter code BESTNEW) to earn a $10 credit after your first meal.

  • Avoid the mom wardrobe rut. I found myself in leggings or jeans 90% of the time. Lately I borrow two bags and two dresses a week from Rent the Runway to refresh my look. I have a promo here.

Time saving tips

  • Avoid the grocery store! Prime Now, Google Express, Fresh Direct, and Amazon Prime can be your best friends! I have a Fresh Direct discount code here.

  • Find help that does what makes your life easier. When hiring a nanny or babysitter, look for one who will help around the house, with food, laundry, or whatever is helpful to you.

Other tips for staying sane

  • Try to get your spouse to understand “The Motherhood Load.” Hopefully he will take more off your plate. Even if he won’t (or you won’t let go), his empathy or at least a better understanding of why you seem stressed may help. I linked a bunch of articles on the subject in my my Instagram story highlights a while back.

  • Use my hack for first / last day of school photos.



  • Run the Roomba vacuum at night. Who has time to sweep?

  • Use the Google Keep app for list sharing. You, your partner and sitter can all add to or edit a list.

  • Use Evernote to keep important info accessible. This includes eyeglass prescriptions, health forms, receipts, etc. You can scan and toss to limit clutter and be able to access from anywhere.

  • Drink your coffee from an insulated cup. This way you can enjoy it at the temperature that you like whenever you finally get to it. We’ve all seen the memes on mom’s microwaving their coffee 15 times a day before getting to drink it. I drink iced coffee and like these cups (my husband finds them just as effective for hot drinks).

  • The kitchen timer can be a distracted mom’s savior. When getting ready for feeding time at the zoo, I won’t turn my back on the stove without setting a timer, sometimes for as little as 1-2 minutes. I’ve forgotten to do this and nearly scalded a pot.

  • Keep tabs on your own belongings. Blame it on mom brain or toddler interception, but if you are always misplacing your water bottle or anything else, get personalized labels for yourself!

  • Make peace with good enough.

  • Try to go with the flow.

Thanks again to our sponsor, Mabel’s Labels. Be sure to use code BEST10 for 10% off on the Mabel’s Labels site.

Please comment below with any hacks that I missed!

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