New blogger here! My name is Chelsea Seresin and I am a sales associate at the Magic Beans location in Fairfield, CT. I am married to my wonderful husband, Patrick, and together we have our son, Charlie (2), and our two fur babies. I have a passion for car seat safety and baby wearing. I am currently finishing my BA in Creative Writing during nap times at Southern New Hampshire University’s online campus. In the summer, you can find me in the yard gardening and chasing Charlie and Luke (our dog) around. Otherwise, I am balancing work, school, and playdates (and a bit of crafting, too!)
When given the opportunity to blog for Spilling the Beans, I jumped at the chance! My son has taught me a lot in these past two years, but my mom friends have taught me even more. I wanted to share with you guys some of my favorite parenting hacks to hopefully make life a little easier with your little one(s) in tow.
Layer crib sheets.
If you’ve never heard of layering your crib sheets, I promise you will thank me at some point! This is a serious nighttime lifesaver.
To form your layers, first you put a waterproof mattress pad in the crib, then a crib sheet, then another mattress pad, and another crib sheet. I usually end up with 3 sets of sheets on my son’s bed at any given time.
The result: when Charlie would have a blowout in the middle of the night, I could just change the baby, rip off the top layer of a sheet and mattress pad, and voila! A clean crib! No need to find sheets and wrestle them onto the crib mattress at 3AM.
Buy a wet bag!
If you use cloth diapers, you most definitely know what a wet bag is, but I think all parents should have one! A wet bag, simply, is a waterproof, washable bag. If you get a wet/dry bag (an outer pocket that can hold clean items plus the waterproof pocket) you can store everything all in one place.
Why am I telling you to buy a wet bag? Simple. Kids are really messy. Whether you’re coping with a poopy blowout that reaches your kid’s shoulders, or a nasty spit up, you need a place to put the grossness. Keep a change of clothes (or two!) on the outside of the wet bag, and use the waterproof portion for icky, damp clothing or burp cloths. Now that my son is getting past the poopy blowout stage, we use our wet bag every weekend for swim lessons. It’s a great place to keep your wet bathing suit until you get home!
Keep painter’s tape in your diaper bag.
You know how duct tape can be used to fix absolutely everything? Classic blue painter’s tape is the same way, if you’re a parent!
Going to a friend’s house that isn’t so baby friendly? Use the tape as makeshift outlet covers. Or, if you need to entertain kids in a pinch? You can use the tape to make a race track for your toy cars no matter where you are. Or, use a bunch of the tape to make a ball. Kids LOVE balls. For older kids, you can use the tape for start/finish lines for races. Best of all, you probably already have a roll of blue tape lying around from when you painted the nursery!
Bendy straws permanently reside in my diaper bag. Whenever I am out to eat at a restaurant, Charlie loses all interest in a sippy cup and wants a cup from the restaurant. Not many restaurants carry bendy straws, and they really make a difference because Charlie doesn’t need to tip the cup to get to the top of the straw. Bendy straws are my favorite. We actually use stainless steel ones at home, and they even come in a “bent” shape. Perfect!
Put your bath toys in the washing machine.
Not all bath toys can go in your washing machine, but foam shapes and letters most definitely can! Throw those bad boys in with your whites and bleach them. I’ve found that just a bleach soak doesn’t get the gross off, but washing them with bleach along with my socks in the washing machine is the answer!
Speaking of bath toys, get out your glue gun!
Yes, squirting toys are fun, especially when you’re the one squirting them into your child’s face, but they are GROSS: they’re little mildew farms on the inside! I personally don’t have the time or brain power to remember to squeeze out every ounce of water from bath toys when bath time is over. My solution? Use my glue gun to cover up the squirting holes. Now the toys don’t get water in them, and my son doesn’t miss me squirting water in his face, although I do.
Lastly, this might be a no brainer, but,
Keep 24 hours worth of diapers and wipes in the car.
It happens to everyone, even the experts here at Magic Beans: in my case, I ran out of diapers on a hike on top of Sleeping Giant State Park. Whoops! Thankfully I wasn’t doing the hike alone, and someone else had extras. Although having diapers in my car wouldn’t have helped me at the top of the mountain, I had none in my car because I didn’t bring my diaper bag. Lesson learned: one diaper is never enough.
These are just a few tips and tricks I have gathered in the past two years. Got any favorite tricks to share? Tell us about them in the comments!