Life Hacks for New Moms
Becoming a mom is no easy feat. It takes courage and faith you didn’t even know you needed or had. But you do it and it makes you the person you are.
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That isn’t to say you shouldn’t find out how to make your job easier- keep reading for the best new mom hacks:
There are a million opinions, gadgets and pieces of well meaning advice that you’ll become aware of when you have a baby.
You don’t need to listen or use all of them. Trust your intuition.
It is not rude to say no to people coming over in the first week or two after baby is born. It’s not rude to say no to anyone, at any time if that’s what you need to say.
You’ll never get those first two weeks back. Soak up newborn snuggles and don’t worry about cleaning up so relatives can come and visit. They can wait 🙂
Make colds suck less
This is one life changing baby gadget I tell all new moms about- a nasal aspirator. When baby gets a cold and their nose is all stuffed up it’s hard for them to drink milk or just breathe.
A nasal aspirator removes all the snot from their nose. Best invention ever.
Use a vibrating chair
A vibrating chair is nice to have because then you don’t have to use your foot to jiggle baby to keep them happy.
A vibrating chair mimics the womb and makes for a happy baby.
Never buy diapers unless they’re on sale
There’s always a sale on diapers. Don’t be loyal to a certain brand if it means not getting a diaper sale. Diapers are expensive- save where you can! Kirkland diapers from Costco are awesome and not too expensive.
Hello Bello is also offering a promo right now- free shipping and $16 off their diaper bundle plus a free hand sanitizer. Get it here and use the code SAVE16.
Save your back at bath time
Baby bath tubs make sense… kind of. I used ours a couple times and thought “to heck with this!”
After that I just got into a shallow bath while holding my babies- they really liked that. Or if you don’t want to get in with them, use a Blooming Bath. They fit right in your sink and you won’t have to hurt your back bending over.
Use a “breastfeeding basket”
I absolutely loved doing this with my third baby and can’t believe I didn’t know about it sooner! Use a small basket, like this one, and pack with all the essentials you need for breastfeeding. It’s easy to carry around and then you won’t need to be trying to get up during a feed!
Things you can put in it:
- Burp cloths
- Water bottle
- A few diapers
- Nipple cream
- An extra onesie for baby
- Granola bars
Get a free breast pump
You can sign up through your insurance to get a free breast pump! Check out the details here.
Create a postpartum care kit before baby arrives
Read over a postpartum checklist and then stash it all in a handy basket in the bathroom for after baby is born.
You can also make your own DIY padsicles and have them ready in the freezer.
Take as much stuff home from the hospital before you leave
Seriously, that’s what it’s there for! Ask for extra disposable maternity underwear and those giant pads… you’ll need them and they are life savers! Take a peri bottle too 🙂
Co-sleep for better sleep
I’m not a doctor. I cannot recommend you do anything unsafe with baby. This is just my experience:
Co-sleeping was the only way I got sleep after my babies were born. They slept in bed with me and I breastfed them sidelying so we didn’t have to wake up.
I was so anxious about listening for their breathing I couldn’t have them anywhere but beside me. This allowed me peace of mind and the ability to breastfeed without getting up, waking us both up and praying I could go back to sleep.
Use a white noise machine
A white noise machine might just be the best purchase you make. We STILL use ours for the kids and have had it for 6 years.
A white noise machine will help your baby sleep longer and allow you to sneak out easier because it covers up other noises.
Use a red light for nighttime feeds and changes
Putting a red light bulb or low light bulb in the room where you’ll be changing/feeding baby will help keep you both asleep. Regular light bulbs are very bright and might wake you or baby up too much to go back to sleep.
Get a wipes warmer for middle of the night changes
You might think an invention that keeps wipes warm is luxurious. You wouldn’t be wrong! It’s also dang near genius when you have a sleepy baby with a full diaper at 4:00 am and you’re desperate for sleep 🙂
Wear baby for hands free time
Wrapping your baby in a snuggly wrap so that they’re cozy, warm and can listen to your heart beat will help you get some free-ish time.
They’ll be calm and quieted by being so close to you and you’ll have two free hands for whatever you choose.
Use Cheerios instead of expensive baby puffs
Cheerios are a lot cheaper and have less ingredients than baby puffs- save your money and stick with Cheerios.
Get sleep any way possible
Don’t worry about starting “bad habits” with your baby. They’re babies. They aren’t out to manipulate you at 6 months old. They just want to be warm, fed and close to you. So get sleep however you can, just make sure you’re being safe. (No having baby fall asleep on top of you on the couch, they can roll off.)
Stock up on free baby stuff
There are a lot of ways to get free baby stuff– some companies have freebie boxes and others offer whole free products and you pay shipping.
Free Amazon welcome box– worth of $35
Free Wal-Mart welcome box– worth $40
Free goody bag from Buy Buy Baby– must pick up in store
Don’t let baby sleep in complete silence during the day
It’s easy to think you should keep absolute silence to help your baby sleep but in reality you might just be training them to wake up at the smallest amount of noise.
Vacuum, listen to music, have the TV or whatever you want to do while baby naps!
Stick to comfy clothing
The first weeks and months after you have a baby are kind of blur. Don’t put added stress on yourself by trying on pre pregnancy clothes. Stick to comfy leggings, loose tops and try not to stress.
There is time to get back to yourself and it will happen <3
Do not buy onesies with buttons
Friends, we need to find the person who is still making onesies with buttons and have a stern talk with them.
They are not practical. They may cause aneurisms. It’s crazy town.
Breastfeeding is a marathon, not a sprint
You will probably not win right away at breastfeeding with your first baby and maybe not even with subsequent babies.
It will be difficult, painful and sometimes lonely. But, the difficult parts become less difficult and the pain goes away as your body adjusts. Be gentle with yourself.
Fed is best, ALWAYS.
Don’t let anyone tell you different. Having your baby fed trumps the misery and despair of a baby not getting enough milk or a momma who is hanging by a thread trying to breastfeed.
I DO still think it’s important to TRY breastfeeding if you CAN. But at the end of the day, fed is best <3
Use a command hook on baby’s highchair
Grab a command hook and stick it on the back of the high chair as a place to hang bibs. This makes it easy to keep track of them!
Have diaper stations throughout the house
If you have multiple floors you use or just have a really giant house- have a couple (or more) places to change diapers. It’ll save you time and energy.
Cut nails during nap time
If the thought of cutting your newborns nails terrifies you- you’re not alone sister! Use naptime to trim those nails 🙂
Use a baby seat to shower
A baby seat is a safe place to set baby while you shower, prepare food, do the dishes or whatever else it is you’re up to.
This was one of my most used baby items, hands down.
Get groceries delivered or at least packaged for you
If you can get groceries delivered, DO IT! If you can order online and go pick up without leaving your car, DO IT!
Going to a grocery store with a new-ish baby is so. incredibly. stressful. Highly recommend avoiding that if you can!
Only switch to cloth diapers if you understand what you’re in for
You might save a bit of money by using cloth diapers and you’ll certainly keep a lot of disposables of the landfill but go in with your eyes open- it’s a lot of work. And a lot of laundry!
I love doing cloth diapers with my first and second baby. By the time our third came around, it just wasn’t making sense anymore with how time consuming it was.
Fitted sheets over the car seats
Place fitted sheets over the seats in your car BEFORE you install the car seat. Ah, kids. They are joyous, amazing and so sweet. They are also crud hunting dirt gremlins that will somehow multiply any food you give them and get crumbs everywhere 😂
Save your car seats with fitted sheets!
Use a backpack instead of a diaper bag
A backpack is way easier to carry around and it’s gentler on your back and shoulders than the traditional should cross diaper bag. They’re also a lot cheaper 🙂
Check in between baby’s fingers and toes
When you have your baby in a onesie all the time, stuff can find its way in between toes. Babies also like to clench their hands a lot so stuff collects there too- make sure to check during bath time!
My sister-in-law couldn’t figure out why her baby was so upset until they took her to the doctor and the doctor found a piece of hair wrapped around one of her toes cutting off the circulation!
Baking soda absorb smells
Baking soda is your friend! Place a small container of baking soda in an old yogurt container and poke holes in the lid. Place it at the bottom of your diaper pail or garbage bin to absorb smells. Add some essential oils to take it to the next level!
No baby is sleeping through the night every night
We all have that ONE friend. Oh goodness, isn’t it amazing how she bounced back right away and her baby slept for TWELVE HOURS every night starting from 3 days old?
But seriously- if you have a friend that brags about their baby sleeping through the night… it probably isn’t every night and it probably isn’t a full 12 hour chunk. Don’t worry about what other people’s babies are doing- you got this!
If your little stinker is starting to get interested in the diaper tabs and wants to get them off, start putting the diaper on backwards so they can’t reach them 🙂
No contact thermometer
Taking a babies temperature…. sucks. Especially when you have to keep it jammed under their armpit for 60 seconds and they’re not happy. I think it’s $20 for a no contact thermometer. Definitely worth the $20 when you can get a temperature reading in 1 second with no contact!
Cold air helps croup
It’s not fun but your baby may get croup at some point. This is when they get a barky seal like cough- it’s scary.
Definitely take them to the hospital if they are having trouble breathing but know that cold air can help if you’re in a pinch.
Muslin blankets are magic
A muslin blanket is big enough to be a swaddling blanket or receiving blanket. They’re also super absorbent making them good for messes, burp cloths or change pads. They’re good for almost anything!
Tummy time on your chest
Instead of putting baby on the floor for tummy time (which they probably won’t like) have them lay on your chest where they can look at you! You might even get a first smile that way <3
Get a LifeVac
Honestly, these are amazing devices. You can even use it on yourself if you are choking and home alone.
But for a baby or toddler who is choking and CPR isn’t working- these are literal life savers. They have a one way suction valve ensuring whatever is caught in baby’s throat doesn’t get pushed further down. They only expire after being used to save a life so you can have it on hand for years.
Calm colic in seconds
Shower curtain liner under highchair
Have an old shower curtain liner kicking around? Place it under your baby’s highchair during meal times to make clean up less painful.
Get a hobby
Even though babies are super time consuming, you might find yourself becoming kind of bored. Get into something that’s just for you!
Spend time by YOURSELF
Not with friends, not with your mom, not with your husband or kids. By yourself! You need that time and space. Don’t feel guilty about it- you cannot pour from an empty cup. Think of time by yourself as a gift to your family because you’ll come back more rested and confident.
Nobody knows your baby like you do
You’ll have a plethora of well meaning tips and advice from friends and relatives. That’s nice of them but they don’t know your baby. Only you do! So what seems to have worked for your friends kids might not work for yours and that’s just fine.
Trust in yourself.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel
Having kids is not for the faint of heart. It’s mind bending how many emotions you’ll go through in a day. You might come face to face with a darker side of yourself that you didn’t even know existed. Kids push us to our limits… but they also cause exponential growth in so many ways <3 The years before age 5 are hard. That’s it. There is no magic button to make things easier but they WILL get easier as time goes on. Usually around age 3 is when things start feeling a little less intense.
I wish you all the best on your new momma journey. Please reach out in the comments and let us know where you’re at! Much love momma <3