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“Parenting is hard, especially trying to be patient with little versions of impatient you.”
No truer words have ever been spoken! Life with a toddler is ever changing and without much notice. One day your toddler likes things one way and the next day, that method no longer works. It’s no wonder moms are continuously searching for the perfect mom hacks for life with a toddler!
I have a toddler boy who is currently 20 months old. Life can be hectic some days trying to do all the things with a mini tornado running around the house. It is especially challenging (but manageable) being that I am a work-at-home-mom. I have found ways to continue being productive while caring for a toddler.
In addition, I have figured out ways to trick my toddler into being content when he thinks life is over. These mom hacks have taken me time to figure out, however, they are working for us! Here is to hoping these mom hacks last for me and my toddler. 😉
Mom Hacks: #1
Snack for Early Risers
My son did not sleep through the night for the first 14 months of his life! He was constantly waking no matter what I tried. It was frustrating to say the least. He didn’t find any comfort or contentment until he nursed. Only then could I lay him back down and cross my fingers for another two to three hours, if I was lucky.
I was desperate to find ways to get more sleep because of the sleep deprivation I had faced for all those months. I attributed his waking to be due to the fact that he was legitimately hungry in the middle of the night. Therefore, I started leaving a snack in my toddler’s crib!
I use one of his snack containers and fill it with a snack that he usually enjoys consuming during the day. Since he goes to bed well before I do, I wait until I go to bed to place the snack in there. I go into his room to do a last check before I go to sleep. Then I place a sippy cup of water and the snack container at the foot of his crib for him to find when he wakes up.
I get more sleep!
This mom hack has saved me from having to get up in the middle of the night when he wakes. I have seen my toddler on the monitor wake up in the middle of the night, grab the container, and start snacking away. Then, he falls back to sleep and we are good to go until we are ready to start the day.
If my toddler doesn’t wake during the night, the snack container is there for him to grab when he wakes in the morning. This usually gives me at least another hour of sleep before he starts going stir crazy in his crib.
***NOTE: Use discretion if you choose to provide a snack to your toddler as some snacks can become a choking hazard. Consider your toddler’s age, abilities, and health if deciding to use this hack. I am not responsible for any outcomes of those choosing to use this tip. The use of this hack is at your own risk.***
Mom Hacks: #2
Turn the Crib
My son was attempting to climb out of his crib around 15 to 16 months old. I was dreading the thought of having to put him in a toddler bed already. I took to Instagram and asked for opinions from other moms about when they transitioned their toddler to a toddler bed.
One mom recommended that if I had a crib that was lower in the front and taller in the back, then I should turn the crib around so that the taller part was at the front. This made the shorter part of the crib go against the wall of his bedroom. What an idea!
I took her advice and turned the crib around. My son is 20 months old and still in the crib, giving us some peace knowing that he can’t climb out now.
Although the sides of the crib are shorter, he cannot grab a hold of the taller part of of the crib to use as leverage to climb. Therefore, he cannot climb out. At least for now!
This hack is also giving us more sleep! I fear that the day we put my child into a toddler bed where he has access to get in and out as he pleases, we will no longer be getting such good sleep.
Mom Hacks: #3
Fold Laundry During Bath Time
Laundry is a constant battle. You do three loads one day only to turn around and see two more in the laundry basket already. It’s never-ending!
When the time comes to actually fold the laundry, forget about it! That is the most time consuming task and it is definitely not fun.
For my family, I have found that folding the laundry while my son takes a bath is the best time to get it done. I bring over the laundry basket to the side of the tub, sit in a bean bag chair, and fold the clothes. I can usually complete one full load of folding before having to wash up my son and get him ready for bed.
Mom Hacks: #4
Use a Boppy Pillow as a Toddler Pillow
Did you use a boppy pillow when your toddler was an infant? As a breastfeeding mom, I had two boppy pillows in our home to provide me the convenience of having one nearby when needing to nurse.
Now that I don’t breastfeed anymore, what was I to do with these boppy pillows that I no longer needed? I gave them to my toddler to sleep with!
Why waste additional funds on toddler pillows when you now have two spare pillows to use? While the boppy pillow isn’t shaped like a traditional pillow, it still provides comfort and support for my toddler to use while he sleeps. He snuggles up into it as soon as I lay him down.
Mom Hacks: #5
Books within Arms Reach of Your Toddler’s Crib
Another mom hack that I use to get extra sleep is putting my toddler’s books within reach of his crib.
I have a gliding rocking chair with an ottoman positioned in his bedroom. I use the ottoman as a shelf at night and place it right up against his crib. Then I put out a few books on the ottoman that my son can reach through the crib’s slats.
This mom hack keeps my son entertained in the mornings and gives me time to sleep and/or get ready for the day. He is content looking at his books and talking to his stuffed animals while showing them the pictures!
Mom Hacks: #6
Teach Your Toddler Chores Early On
This might be controversial and dependent on your toddler’s age. However, I elicit my son’s help when doing chores around the house!
My toddler is responsible for giving our dog her special treat in the morning and the in the evening. Sometimes this chore is a distraction from him having a meltdown or tantrum. #toddlerlife
Other chores that my toddler is responsible for is putting away his own toys and books as well as unloading the dishwasher with me. I am hopeful that being engaged in housework will be something he continues to be interested as he gets older. Wishful thinking!
Mom Hacks: #7
Toilet Learning Technique
Toilet learning, toilet training, potty training, or whatever other variation of the term you come up with is a hot discussion topic during the toddler stage. Some families seek fast ways to potty train because they have another baby on the way. Others might be looking to not have to deal with diapers anymore.
Whatever the reason, toilet learning can be a challenge and a frustrating stage. As a prior child care abuse/neglect investigator, I have seen cases of abuse associated to children having accidents and caregivers becoming frustrated with the child.
Keep in mind, learning how to use the toilet is a brand new concept for children and it can be scary. Make sure you are not forcing your toddler before they are ready for the toileting experiences.
That being said, I have implemented a small toilet learning technique early on for my son. Again, he is 20 months old so he is still young for the potty training thing. However, he has shown slight interest in the toilet.
Due to his interest, I purchased a child’s toilet seat that sits on top of a toilet. Before he takes his bath at night, I sit him on the toilet for a couple of minutes with his approval. I don’t force him to sit on the seat if he shows any kind of hesitation or resistance. I praise him afterwards for sitting on the “big boy potty.”
How is this a mom hack?
This technique is a mom hack because it helps my toddler not have any fear of the toilet as he gets older. In my experience working within early childhood education, many of the children have a fear of the toilet and the sound of flushing, which causes them to not want to go near the restroom.
It is my hope that my child does not develop this fear by the implementing this technique early on. In addition, I am allowing him to take the lead in his toileting experience by watching for his signs of interest and not forcing him to sit on the toilet if he does not want to.
When you have a negative experience during a shopping trip or at a restaurant, it is difficult to try that same store or restaurant again in the future because of this negative experience. The same applies when potty training. If you make the experience forced and scary, your toddler can potentially become apprehensive to try it again in the future. Baby steps is key!
Which Hacks Do You Use?
Every child, mom, parent, and family is different than the next. What works for your first born might not work for your second or third child. Hacks that work now for you family might change when life changes.
How are you able to make the parenting life easier for you? Which hacks have you used? Are the mom hacks listed here new to you or have you tried them already? Help other parents by sharing your favorite parenting/mom hacks in the comments below!