Wouldn't it be lovely if newborns came with a how-to manual, full of baby hacks? If only! But as any new parent knows, unfortunately that's just not the case. The good news is that you'll learn as you go along and friends and family who have been there before will have plenty of baby hacks of their own that they can share. But for all those times when you don't feel like calling mum up in the middle of the night, these clever tricks may be just what you need.
From a little-known tip to help teething tots to how to ease a gassy tummy, these savvy baby hacks are real life-savers. Because when a baby comes along, chances are you'll be feeling sleep-deprived and daunted at the idea of being responsible for your new born. But rest assured, that you can do this and that you are brilliant! Parenting has a steep learning curve and you'll be bottle-feeding and bathing like a pro in no time. Especially when armed with a little handy parenting advice from mums who have been there before and learned the time (and mess) saving baby hacks to make life so much easier. Want to trim those fingernails without the fuss? Or learn the simplest way to buy shoes for your baby?
12 GENIUS BABY HACKS
1. NAPPY MESS TRICK
You know those folds on the top of your baby's onesie? No, they're not to accommodate newborns with extra wide shoulders. They're actually there so that if your baby has a giant nappy mishap (which they inevitably will), you can pull the onesie down off your baby and not over their head. Genius!
2. TEETHING TOTS
Is your little one teething? If you're still breastfeeding, try this brilliant hack. Freeze expressed breast milk in ice cube trays with your baby's dummy in there. Once frozen, remove the dummy and give to your crying baby. The cool milk will soothe their aching gums and provide a nutritious treat.
3. INVEST IN A LAB COAT
It sounds strange but investing in a lab coat is actually pretty smart. Pop it on over clothes (or pyjamas) every morning for the baby's first feed, to change diapers and anything else that is likely to stain your clothes. Then when you're ready to go to work or head out, simply take off the coat. Your morning outfit is saved!
4. MEDICINE MANAGEMENT
Keep track of your little one's medicine schedule by drawing a chart on the side of the bottle. Then check off each time you give your baby his or her dose and there you have it: a way to manage your baby's meds even when you're feeling sleep deprived and dotty!
5. TECH SMART
Obviously getting your baby his or her social media profile is not a huge priority, but if you have some spare time and care about your tot's future email address and twitter handle, reserve it now! That way your little one can have email@example.com rather than theirname2459.
6. TRY OLIVE OIL
Nothing quite prepares you for your baby's first poop. Thick and tar-like, this sticky, green substance is known as meconium and can be tough to get off your baby's bottom. Unless you know this clever trick that is! Try rubbing a few drops of olive or coconut oil on your baby's bottom. The meconium will be much easier to wipe right off!
7. NAIL CUTTING HACK
Trimming your tiny tot's fingernails can lead to a lot of squirming and tears. Try cutting their nails about 20 minutes after they've nodded off instead. They'll be in a deep sleep and you can trim without any wiggling. Phew!
8. DUST-FREE DUMMIES
Keep your little one's dummy clean when you're on the move with to-go plastic food containers. Simply put them in the container, snap on the lid, and pop the dummy into your bag and you're ready to go!
9. SOOTHE GASSY TUMMIES
When your little one has a gassy tummy, try lying them down on the floor and gently pedalling their legs in a cycling motion. This rotation motion should help to relieve the gas.
10. BATH TIME TRICK
Once your baby is able to sit up and grab toys, make bath time a cinch by placing a laundry basket in the tub. Water can flow freely but the basket will keep them from slipping in the tub, which also has the added bonus of keeping all their toys floating nearby.
11. SHOE SHOPPING SMARTS
If taking your baby around shoe shopping isn't exactly your idea of fun, then try this clever hack. Trace your little one's feet on a piece of paper and use this to buy shoes. Easy!
12. BIBS AT THE READY
Never be at a loss for a bib again by sticking a self-adhesive hook on the back of your baby's high chair. Hang a couple of bibs there and you're ready to go! No more mess (well, almost).