Hacks are like treasures wrapped in small packages. They're very simple to do, but they can make parenting life so much easier (how many of us had the “Why didn't I think of this!?” reaction?). Here are the ones that made SmartParenting.com.ph moms go “This is genius!” in 2017.
We're on board with any piece of advice that can help us be calmer, more patient parents. Mom Shauna Harvey's shared Kelly Holmes of Idealist Mom's simple idea how to do just that. It's called the "5 Hair Ties" technique.
As your kids wake up in the morning, consciously put on five hair ties on your wrist. Every time you catch yourself snapping at your child, transfer one hair tie to your other wrist. If you slip up, you need to do five simple things each time you snap or lose your cool to reconnect with your little one. The goal is to end the day where all your hair ties stay in place. Genius, right?
Mom Tasia Blackwell had an incredible idea to deal with a teething baby that also makes a great snack. She gives her son a “milksicle,” which is basically a popsicle made with breast milk! “He loves it! Helps with his teething pain and helps fill up his tummy,” she wrote on Facebook. All you need is a regular popsicle mold, fill it with breast milk, place it inside a breast plastic bag container, and then freeze.
Having a hard time giving your little one his medicine? Helena Lee from the U.K. shared a clever hack when her 8-week-old son, Alfie, had a fever. She nestled a syringe filled with her baby's paracetamol inside the nipple of a baby bottle. Then, she slowly pushed the syringe as Alfie sucked on the nipple. “Not [one] bit got wasted and no tears,” she wrote. Problem solved!
Spacious play yards don't come cheap. So, for their then 6-month-old son Ravee, Davao-based Carren Castillo and her husband decided to hack their way into building one themselves. “I thought of making a do-it-yourself playpen because I always complain how hard it is for a breastfeeding momma like me to feed my child in a small crib,” Carren told Smart Parenting. It only cost them P1,000! See the step-by-step details here.
The bigger the diaper bag, the more cumbersome it is to carry. Bring a smaller bag by optimizing space. Mom Elizabeth Rasco Burchiel attached a pack of wipes to the inside top of an empty baby wipe box with rubber bands and then filled the box with onesies, diapers, doggie bags for dirty diapers, and a disposable changing table. So when you have a diaper emergency, all you have to bring is one box!
The next time your child cries to you because of a clogged nose, try a sinus massage. On Instagram, Sia Cooper, a certified personal trainer and also a mom-of-two, shared that the technique works on her kids. “Simply apply direct pressure with your fingertips and gently rub to get that drainage flowing. Also helps to temporarily relieve a little pressure so your little ones can feel better!”
Kitchen cabinet being taken over by baby bottles? Mom Brooke McDaniel has the solution. On Facebook, she shared a nifty way to store baby bottles by using a cheap shower caddy with the hooks at the bottom holding pacifiers and teethers. “Best 'bottle holder' I could ever have. All my bottles in one place on my wall, space I wasn't utilizing, instead of having a cabinet with bottles overflowing from it.”
To stop his little one's crying when mom was away, dad Eli Spector took one of her shirts from the laundry basket and gave it to his son. Lo and behold, he calmed down! “I had no idea it would work so well!” he said.
“Mommy scent is soothing because the emotions associated to Mama become attached to her scent such that her scent acts as an emotional proxy for Mama herself,” writes Rachel Herz, the author of The Scent of Desire, according to Mom.me. Teach dad this trick, too, when you're away.