Mum hacks, anyone?
Life with babies and young children can be incredibly exhausting. Yes, it's a beautiful time in parenthood, but it’s also one of the busiest!
To help you out, we’ve put together this list of mum hacks for toddlers with some of the best pieces of advice parents need to know. With tips on everything from bath time to dinners out - we’ve got you covered.
1. Plan major cleaning tasks for when your toddler is asleep
While we absolutely love them, taking care of a toddler can be a chore in itself! Add intensive cleaning on top of that and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Many parents find being strategic with housework can make those responsibilities and child care much easier.
Try to plan ahead and organise your daily routine based on your toddler’s sleep schedule. While many parents know there’s no conclusive predictability when it comes to this ‘schedule’, gauging when little ones are likely to be the most tired is generally effective. With them tucked away, you’ll have a better opportunity to get those bigger, attention-demanding tasks done without getting sidetracked every two minutes!
2. Use toothpaste to remove permanent marker from walls and furniture
So - it’s a lovely afternoon and you’ve had a rare moment of quiet time to yourself - winning! The kids are off doing something in the house, keeping themselves occupied... then it dawns on you that things are way too quiet…. and they must be up to mischief.
Enter the bedroom, and there waiting for you, is a lovely new mural on the walls and door, created in Sharpie so as to preserve its artistic beauty. We've all been there - permanent marker graffiti seems to be a rite of passage for all toddlers. But before you lose your head when it happens, try this mum hack. Take some toothpaste (regular, not gel) and apply it directly to the area in question. Don’t rub too hard, and make sure to use a wet cloth to dab at the area. This should take the marker off in no time! If that doesn’t work, nail polish remover can be another option.
3. Use a pool noodle to protect fingers from door cracks
Toddlers have tiny, explorative hands. Hands that like to go everywhere, and touch everything at the worst of times. Door cracks are one of the biggest evils their fingers face - one accidental close and you’re in for a world of tears. Pool noodles are the perfect solution for this. Cut one noodle in half and wedge it into the space between the door and frame to create a little barrier. Not only will this act as a stopper, but it’s also soft enough to cushion their hands if an accident does occur.
4. Use a mesh bag when washing socks
Like their hands, toddlers also have tiny feet. Those feet need socks, which are also incredibly small and easy to lose. Buying another package of socks every week can really start to add up - try using a mesh bag with each wash. That way, when it comes to drying, all the socks will stay together in one place. If possible, opt for brightly coloured mesh bags so they are easily distinguishable in the wash. This will also help when it comes to finding pairs of matching socks.
5. Use a bath caddy to quash bath time boredom
If your child is like any other toddler to ever exist, chances are they don't deal with bath time well! There's often too much time to get bored and start making scenes, and they’re usually overtired at the end of a busy day. To combat this, invest in a bath caddy - the perfect solution for quashing boredom while you scrub them down. Fill it with bath toys and they’ll (hopefully) at least be distracted while you’re washing their hair.
6. Pack to distract when going out
Whether it’s a restaurant, social gathering, or long bus ride, thinking ahead to pack toys for your toddler can make all the difference between a good and bad time. Look through their favourite items and choose those that are most likely to get their attention. You’ll then be able to break them out of your bag when they become restless and let the power of distraction work its magic. This is also the perfect working mum hack for when you’re on a busy phone call or need to focus.
7. Crinkle-cut your toddler’s vegetables
The toddler stage can be a challenge with respect to food. It’s an important phase of development, to slowly train your child on feeding themselves, but is never not messy. Slippery foods, oddly shaped pieces, and hard-to-grasp surfaces can make moving food from plate to mouth a wild ride. The best solution for this? Crinkle-cut potato cutters. These handy little apparatuses extend in value far beyond potatoes and can be used for almost any vegetable. Not only are they easier to eat, but they’re also fun for small hands to handle and further boosts the eating experience for your little one.
8. Tie cabinets shut with safety latches
It’s not a question of if your toddler will get into cabinets and cupboards, but when. There’s a multitude of safety latches and locks that can be bought and fastened to the kitchen cupboards and drawers so your best plates don’t end up smashed and the cleaning products stay out of reach. Or you could even try tying string around the handles, or use a piece of tape to make sure they stay shut. This is one of the best mum hacks for those with kids who love to explore places they shouldn’t!
9. Create an easy DIY busy board
Are you looking for ways to keep your toddler occupied? Look no further than a busy board! It’s a great way to keep your child occupied while they’re stuck indoors. It can also serve as an art project between you and your toddler. All you need are a few pieces of wood and some knobs, buttons, locks, etc. that can be screwed into the board. Once your busy board is complete, your toddler can enjoy hours of fun while getting some much-needed sensory stimulation.
10. Simplify your to-do list with Eggy
Stressed out with all the responsibilities that come with taking care of your toddler? Well, like everything in in our technology-enriched world, there’s an app to help with that! The ultimate mum hack, Eggy is an app specifically designed for busy parents who need help managing their to-do lists.
It allows you to break up your tasks into manageable chunks, set reminders, and track your progress over time. You can even sync responsibilities with other members of your household and support network to ensure no chore is left undone. While it's designed for families with kids of all ages, Eggy can be an especially beneficial mum hack for mothers of babies and toddlers who need around-the-clock attention.
So, if you’re keen to implement any of these mum hacks into your life, to make life with your toddler that little bit easier, simply download Eggy (it’s free!), start a shopping list and schedule some time into your Eggy calendar to get this done.