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8 Parenting Hacks for First-Time Moms and Dads

Becoming a new parent is one of life’s greatest — and often most challenging — transitions.

There are so many exciting moments as you get to know this new little human of your very own, but there can also be a bit of a learning curve. It definitely takes time to figure out what works for you as a parent, and come up with your own tricks for making these new tasks easier.

You will get there eventually, but in the interim, here are a few simple hacks that can help ease your foray into new parenthood.

1. Learn how to remove a bodysuit properly.

You know those little flaps on the shoulders of one-piece bodysuits? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably noticed them, but haven’t thought much else about it. Those little flaps serve such an important purpose though! They allow you to pull your baby’s bodysuit down instead of taking it off over their head during a diaper change. Not only will those little flaps keep your baby from being grumpy during outfit changes (most babies do not like having clothes pulled over their face), but it will also save you from big messes during those diaper changes that are…shall we say “extra messy.” This hack will save you time and again!

2. For quick changes, put the new diaper underneath your baby before you take the old one off.

When it comes to diaper changes, avoid getting peed on by having all of your diapering supplies at the ready. Pull out those wipes, open up a new diaper, then slide it underneath your baby while he or she is still wearing the old diaper. Once everything is ready, very quickly (especially if you are the parent to a baby boy) open the old diaper, get everything wiped down and/or creamed up if necessary, pull the old diaper out, and quickly close the new one that has already been perfectly positioned beneath your baby. You just might set a new speed record for diaper changes!

3. Think zippers and gowns.

Baby outfits with zippers as well as little baby gowns are basically your new best friend — especially for middle-of-the-night diaper changes. Clothing with snaps are cute to be sure, but zippers are so much easier — and when you’re adjusting to this new role as a parent, any extra corners you can cut to save time makes a difference. When it’s 3 a.m., you probably aren’t going to want to fumble around to snap 12 buttons, so being able to quickly zip up those jammies, or better yet, just pull a baby gown up and down, will be much easier. Bonus: Most baby gowns also have those little shoulder flaps (like bodysuits) that I mentioned earlier.

4. Use baby wipes for ALL THE THINGS.

Baby wipes are basically an entire hack in and of themselves. There are endless ways to use them — aside from the obvious –­ but one of my favorite uses it to clean up baby spit-­up. When you get spit­-up on your (or Baby’s) clothing, changing the outfit sometimes isn’t an option, especially if you’re out and about. The problem is that spit­-up can stink (and also stain) once it dries. I’ve found that wiping it off with a baby wipe helps to neutralize the smell and avoid stains!

5. Get more sleep by using nighttime diapers.

Nighttime diapers are a great tool to help your baby start sleeping through the night once he or she is a little bit bigger. To avoid middle-of-the-night diaper changes, Huggies® Overnites Diapers offer 12 hours of protection. Both you and baby will have restful nights, when baby sleeps, everyone sleeps.

6. Always keep extra diapers and wipes in the car.

As diligent as you might be about packing your diaper bag, there will inevitably come a time when you are out and realize that those diapers and wipes you thought you packed didn’t actually make it into your bag. Always keep a stash of a few diapers and a travel wipes case in the car in case of such situations — and extra clothes are helpful too! Those wipes will probably come in handy for other times as well.

7. White noise… get some!

White noise is the parenting hack of all parenting hacks, because most babies love it and it helps them sleep, as it reminds them of the white noise they got used to in the womb. In addition to having a white noise machine for Baby’s nursery, there are a lot of great apps for taking your white noise on the go when you’re in the car or at other people’s houses. White noise saved my life as a new parent on more than one occasion. Create changing stations in other rooms.

8. Create changing stations in other rooms.

Keep a couple of extra baskets filled with diapering supplies scattered in the other rooms of your home. I always like to keep one in my room and the living room, because sometimes you won’t want to trek all the way to the nursery for a diaper change. This will be extra helpful during those early stages of healing postpartum. The less you have to move around, the better.

Image: Disney Baby

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