A while back I shared one of my “mom hacks” on the blog and began slowly accumulating a list in my head of other “mom hacks” I implement regularly in my life. I’ve seen plenty of people on Instagram and around the internet share their mom hacks and I always find it so interesting to see the way other mothers approach simplifying life as we all do our best to care for our little ones. In today’s post I’m sharing some of my go-to “mom hacks” and I’d absolutely LOVE to read about some of your motherhood-related tips and tricks, too!
If enough of you chime in, I’d love to roundup your mom hacks in a followup post if it’s of interest so we can all learn from each other. I am always coming away from conversations with other mothers with new ideas for ways to be a better (and more efficient!) mom, so I’d love to hear what’s working well for you guys out there!
My Go-To Mom Hacks
Place Kid Toys in a Dust Bag and String Handles around Passenger Seat to Keep Toys Easily Accessible and Organized in the Car
This idea came to me when I tackled a long solo road trip to Florida with Chase. I wanted his toys organized and easily accessible and having them all stored in a bag that was hooked onto the armrest of the passenger’s seat was so handy! I now always have a handful of random kid toys stored in an old dust bag or eco-bag in my car and it not only keeps them organized but it also helps prevent my car floorboards from looking like a playroom.
Put Baby Bath Tub in Stand-Up Shower for a More Comfortable Bath Time
I have a three and a half year old and an 8 month old and yet it took Ryder turning 6 months old for me to get the idea to give him his baths in his baby bath tub in our stand-up shower. Up until then, we were either putting his baby bath tub in the sink (which inevitably resulted in swamp floor all around us) or in our bath tub which was really uncomfortable as we leaned over the tub’s high edge to bathe him. I then had a glaringly obvious “ah-ha!” moment when I moved Ryder’s bath tub into our stand-up shower. At last I can sit comfortably on the floor on a bath mat to bathe Ryder and he can kick and splash his little heart out and get everything around him soaked. Bath time is lovely once again!
Utilize a Diaper Bag Wristlet
When I was a first-time mom, I was the queen of an overly-stuffed diaper bag. I still try to have my car packed with the essentials but when it comes to carting stuff around with me, I’ve found that, for the most part, I can fit everything I might immediately need (diapers, wipes, a spare onesie, baby food pouch) in a diaper bag wristlet. This thing is the BEST and easily one of my most-used baby items to date. I keep Ryder’s diapering needs in it but it’s also big enough to hold lip balm, my phone, a pacifier, car keys, a pouch, a bar, etc. It makes it really easy to morph practically any bag into a diaper bag, as long as I have this wristlet fully stocked at all times! It’s also great for leaving with Ryder when I drop him off at our gym’s childcare so I’m not leaving my full bag behind and anyone who is caring for him can easily find his must-have items.
Repurpose Leftover Larabars into “Yummy Bites”
I’m convinced we buy more chocolate chip Larabars than anyone else in the country (thank goodness for Thrive Market deals and buying them in bulk!) and while Chase absolutely loves Larabars, he’ll often only eat about 3/4 of a bar before he’s done. I hate wasting food and since the bars aren’t exactly cheap, I’ll often toss the leftover bar pieces in a zip-top bag and then roll the leftover bar chunks into “bites” to include in his school lunches. He loves eating his “chocolate chip bites” and it’s a great way to ensure we’re not throwing away good food.
Let Them Choose Their Snacks from a Healthy Snack Bag
I always have a bag of healthy snacks in my purse for Chase to choose from when we’re out and about and he gets hungry. I keep it stocked with healthy snacks like an apple, almond butter packets, raisins, turkey sticks, fruit and veggie pouches and more. Chase seems to enjoy having some say over his snack and it feels like a win to me as well because I know that no matter what he selects, it will be something healthy.
Make Lunch Leftovers New Again
Chase’s preschool packs up whatever he doesn’t eat for lunch and as the parent of a very light eater, I LOVE that they do this because I can then re-purpose whatever he didn’t touch onto a fresh plate for his after-school snack. (It’s also helpful to see what he does and doesn’t eat at school in general.) I will usually just add one or two extra things to his snack plate to make it seem new again and he rarely seems to notice or care that he’s seeing the same foods he just passed up at lunchtime again a couple of hours later.
Hide Things Where You Want Them To Go
Chase loooves trying to find little treasures so if we’re in a hurry or I need him to go to the car quickly or head upstairs into his room to get dressed, I’ll put on my best enthusiastic mom voice and tell him I hid x, y, z in there and ask if he can find it. Often it doesn’t even matter what I’ve hidden but the sheer act of hiding something is enough excitement to get Chase moving in the right direction.
Always Make a Double Batch of Favorites and Freeze One
Whether it’s muffins, pancakes or breakfast bars, whenever I whip up a batch of one of the boys’ favorite go-to foods, I almost always make a double batch and freeze one. So many of Chase’s favorite foods are freezer-friendly and since doubling a recipe doesn’t take much extra effort, it’s something I try to do all the time and my future self is always grateful!
Box Up Old Toys and Books to Bring Out Again in the Future
I remember reading about the idea of a toy rotation on Caitlin’s blog when I was pregnant with Chase and I thought it was genius… and that was before I knew first-hand how easily toys can take over a home! I implemented the idea of a toy rotation but on a smaller scale where I just box up Chase’s toys and put them away for a few months before bringing them back out again and replacing the toys from the box with new toys to store away for a while. There’s nothing like taking the toys Chase isn’t playing with as much away for a few months to make him think they’re a novelty again when they come back out of hibernation!
Swap Toys with Friends
I started unintentionally doing this with a friend after our kids always seemed to want to play with each other’s toys for much longer than a play date would last. We started letting our kids borrow toys from each other and they thought it was the coolest! It’s also a wonderful way to learn about sharing while trying new fun toys.
Use Leftover Coffee in Smoothies
Okay I’m beginning to see a trend here with re-using old food/drinks in these hacks, but never in my life did I have trouble finishing a hot cup of coffee before I had kids. Now that I have two boys to look after, my coffee gets cold all the time and I can only reheat it so many times before I just don’t want it anymore. Now I’ve taken to putting the mug in the fridge and then I’ll reuse the cold coffee in my smoothies for a little mocha flavor.
Question of the Day
What are some “mom hacks” you swear by to make motherhood and caring for little ones a little easier?