The first few months of your baby’s life can be overwhelming. Hitting all the right milestones on time and having a happy, healthy baby is everybody’s wish, but babies are known for throwing curveballs at you every now and then.
Here are some of the best mom hacks I know — the little things that can make your daily life as a mom easier in your baby’s first year (and beyond).
1) Skip the mug and pour your coffee in a travel mug.
If you’re drinking coffee or tea in the morning, chances are that your cup gets cold before you finish it. Have you been microwaving your coffee over and over again? I got so tired of doing that (and finding day-old coffee in the microwave) that I just started using a travel coffee mug at home.
Trust me — it’s much easier than having to reheat your coffee 5x every morning. Just be careful around your baby because the coffee or tea will remain very hot if kept in a stainless steel travel mug.
2) Keep diapers and wipes on every floor of your house.
I know it sounds like a simple idea, but you probably don’t want to have to always go to the baby’s nursery to change a diaper. It’s really useful to keep a set of diapers and baby wipes on every floor of your home, or in every room where you spend a lot of time with your baby.
3) Bounce your baby to sleep and let them fall asleep nursing.
Take advantage of these natural gifts you’ve been given and let your baby fall asleep while nursing and feel free to bounce or rock your baby to sleep. Why make this harder than it has to be, for both of you? I like to use a yoga ball to bounce my babies to sleep and bonus — it doubles as an ab workout.
4) Use the arm check before transferring a sleeping baby.
Allowing your baby to fall asleep in your arms or while breastfeeding is totally normal and natural. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this great sleep hack?
But, you might struggle with transferring your baby to the crib or bassinet after they’ve fallen asleep in your arms. So, if your baby has fallen asleep in your arms, don’t transfer them to the crib/bassinet just yet. Try the arm test first….
First, give it a few minutes and then check to see that they are in a deep enough sleep to be gently transferred without waking up: lift up one of their arms and if it drops back without waking your baby, you are safe to transfer your little one. If it disrupts her sleep, she’s not ready to be transferred out of your arms and will wake up if you try.
Wait until your baby’s arm drops back effortlessly and without waking her. Then transfer her to the crib.
5) Try chamomile tea to soothe a fussy baby.
Giving a small amount of chamomile tea in a bottle or a medicine syringe can help soothe a fussy baby. In my own experience, I found that this worked really well for both of my kids. (Check with your pediatrician about how much to give and be sure to use only organic chamomile tea if possible.)
6) Babies love mirrors.
One of my favorite mom hacks is to put your baby in front of a mirror. A lot of the time when one of my kids was crying for reasons I couldn’t figure out, simply holding them facing out and standing in front of a mirror helped calm and soothe them.
7) Get an Instant Pot.
Cook meals in less time with an Instant Pot. (I personally prefer this to a slow cooker; not only because it is stainless steel, but I also don’t care for the longer cook times on a slow cooker.)
You can prepare meals so much faster with the Instant Pot, which is basically like a pressure cooker. I love making lentil soup, last-minute chicken dishes, and even a couple of pasta dishes. You can also dump freezer meals into the Instant Pot. This is really one of my favorite mom hacks because of how simple it is to use!
8) Do this one thing before leaving a room.
As a new mom, you probably have little time or energy to devote to tidying up your house. In addition to giving yourself some grace, try this mom hack: before you leave any room, simply put 5 things away. I started doing this after having my second baby and I still do it now, years later. It helps with cleaning up clutter SO much!
It’s so easy — just tidy up by putting 5 things away before you walk out of the room. Often times, I found myself putting away more than 5 items after getting started. And even if I didn’t get past 5 items, it still always helped that I put a few things away.
9) Use technology strategically.
If you’re working from home, or even if you just need to jot down a to do list, you may not always have time to sit in front of your computer. But, you can use technology in a strategic way. For example, when you’re cooking dinner you might be able to use an iPad to multitask (whereas using your laptop is probably out of the question).
Or if you have a lot of writing to do, you could try a dictation app instead of trying to find time to sit down in front of the computer.
10) Make self-care a priority.
By taking care of yourself physically and mentally , you will cope better with the demands of motherhood. I know it’s probably the last thing on your mind, but trust me, you can do it. I have listed some realistic ways you can practice self-care as a new mom.
11) Nursing on-the-go.
When you are out shopping and need to nurse the baby, you have a lot of options. My personal favorite ways are to either do it in the baby carrier OR I duck into a fitting room and nurse in there. No need to go to the family restroom if there’s a fitting room nearby! Nordstrom’s mother/baby lounges are the best.
For more tips, read how to breastfeed in public with total confidence.
12) Snacks for the win.
If I am going somewhere with my kids and I need them to be patient, I always bring ALL THE SNACKS! And for the baby, they go in one of those munchkin snack tins so it takes him forever to eat. #heyitworks
13) Have your groceries delivered.
As a new mom, you may not always be able to get to the grocery store. Some days, it’s just a huge help to have grocery delivery available to you.
And I love how convenient it is nowadays to have groceries and other items delivered. I use Instacart and Whole Foods and my items are almost always delivered within just a couple of hours. This is a huge time-saver when you have a newborn or young baby and just don’t want to head out to the store. It also saves me time and energy because I can view my previous orders and reorder things without having to think too hard about what I need.
14) Simplify your laundry routine.
As a new mom, I learned quickly just how overwhelming laundry can be. It’s so helpful to create a laundry routine where you don’t have to really think about when you’re going to do your laundry. For example, you run a load every morning before breakfast and transfer the load after you load the dishwasher. Simple and it gets done every day.
But, the best mom hack I’ve probably ever come up with is using a smaller laundry basket in each bedroom. Since I’ve cut the size of our laundry baskets in half, my laundry mountain is almost nonexistent. Seriously! So if you find that you are facing a lot of laundry and it just feels so overwhelming, try this little hack! Buy a smaller laundry basket and it will get you to do your laundry long before it piles up.
15) Learn how to do baby massage.
This is a real thing – and it is wonderful for your baby! If your baby seems to be in any sort of discomfort, baby massage may help. You don’t have to get too fancy, either. Massaging their feet and tummy (move in a gentle downward motion toward the pelvis) can really help to relieve discomfort.
Check out our complete guide to baby massage for step-by-step instructions.
16) Cut your baby’s food with a pizza cutter.
Once your baby has started solid foods, cut their food with a pizza cutter or herb scissors. It’s so easy to cut up food with a pizza cutter that I swear it’s life-changing. I use it to cut chicken, quesadillas, veggies, and so much more.
17) Make any cup a straw cup.
Sometimes you may leave the house without your baby’s straw bottle or sippy cup for your baby. For example, you may be traveling with your baby and trying to pack lightly or your baby may have thrown it out of the stroller. Or you may be at a restaurant and simply want your baby to drink out of a regular cup.
You can turn any cup into a straw cup with these stretchy silicone straw lids.
18) Use a silicone breast pump.
If you are breastfeeding, use a Haakaa pump to make pumping easier and to catch milk from the other breast when you are nursing.
19) Keep your baby’s nails short.
Babies never seem to keep their little gloves on their hands, so it’s really important to trim their nails so they don’t end up scratching themselves. But, if the thought of clipping your baby’s nails worries you, try these awesome mom hacks: either clip your baby’s nails while they are sleeping in your lap (wait a couple of minutes after they fall asleep) or simply use a baby nail file instead.
20) Narrate what you’re doing for your baby.
Narrating what’s happening in your baby’s environment can help them get a better grasp on learning language. And letting your baby know what you are doing before you do it (even something as simple as “I’m going to pick you up now”) can help comfort your baby. I know it can sound crazy, but it is recommended by RIE parenting and I really found this helpful!
21) Learn basic baby sign-language.
Another great way of communicating with your baby is to use baby sign language. It is so wonderful (and helpful) when your baby starts signing back to you. Some of the popular baby signs include “mom/dad”, “sleep”, “water”, and “eat”.
22) Keep an extra set of essentials in the car.
If there’s something you need when you’re out of the house, don’t risk it — keep an extra stash in the trunk of your car. I like to keep diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, a long-sleeved shirt, and some socks in the car. By keeping extras in the car, this also helps keep my diaper bag a little lighter.
(Need more ideas? Check out my diaper bag checklist article.)
23) Pack a restaurant or travel bag with toys.
24) Use curbside pickup.
Have you ever had to wait for your baby to wake up from a nap before you could take them out of the car seat? Or have you ever had to run so many errands you just didn’t want to deal with the car seat again? These are both great reasons to use curbside pickup and services like Target’s Drive-Up.
And it’s a good time to rely on online shopping more, too. I mean, don’t get me wrong — I love to stroll around the mall or walk the aisles at Target, too. But sometimes it’s just inefficient to shop in person, and that really goes double when you have little kids.
Mom Hacks to Help Simplify New Motherhood
These are just a few quick tips to help make your day easier. You are already a great mom and I just hope you’ll try some of these tips. May we all rock motherhood like the mom in the picture above!