Dealing with a newborn can be one of the greatest challenges anyone could ever deal with. This task becomes even more herculean for new parents without any experience with newborns whatsoever. Fortunately, centuries of parenting have generously passed down words of wisdom from generation to generation, making parenting a little bit easier for the next ones to come.
There are dozens of newborn hacks that parents can learn to make their lives a little bit easier. From storing baby wipes everywhere to staying hydrated, these hacks come from experienced parents who have learned these tidbits of wisdom on their own. Now, you can take this advice and use them for your life as well.
30 Newborn Hacks
Keep Baby Wipes Everywhere
Although they are primarily used to keep baby bottoms clean and fresh, it wouldn’t take you long to learn that baby wipes can be used for a whole lot more. Babies will eventually make a lot of mess and it is extremely convenient to have a stash of baby wipes everywhere within arm’s reach to quickly clean up any stain or spill. Some parents would have a stash in every room – even inside their cars. If there’s anything you should buy in bulk, it’s baby wipes.
Get as Much Sleep as You Can
It should go without saying that you should get as much sleep as you can. Human beings have a natural circadian rhythm that gets us up during the day and lets us sleep during the night. However, newborn babies don’t have that circadian rhythm internalized right away. It would actually take around 8-9 weeks before their wake-sleep hormones begin developing a rhythm.
Unfortunately for parents, this means that you would have to be taking care of your baby at odd hours throughout the entire day. This can be extremely exhausting therefore it is important for you to get as much sleep as you can. Take turns if you must, but a system has to be put in place where at least one parent is awake to see to the baby’s needs.
Choose Zippers Over Snaps
If you are shopping for baby clothes such as pajamas and onesies, you should always choose zippers over snaps. The parents who have sworn over this newborn hack are those who have struggled to coordinate snaps in the middle of the night. Comparatively, zipping clothes up and down takes no effort at all for the most part. It may seem like a tiny detail, but enough parents have experienced this to make a strong opinion regarding this matter. Choose zippers over snaps!
Learn How to Swaddle a Baby
One of the best ways to soothe a fussy baby is to simulate the environment of the womb by swaddling them in a blanket. Swaddling is the traditional method of wrapping a baby tightly in a blanket, softly restricting their movement. There are products specifically designed to be used for swaddling such as special blankets and wraps, but any blanket should work as well. A highly recommended newborn hack is that parents should be able to know how to swaddle their baby correctly. This will not only help deal with fussy moments but even help get them to sleep.
Get a Swaddle with Velcro
Another great newborn hack – once you’ve got the technique of swaddling your baby down, it may benefit you to look at some specialty swaddling blankets. One of the best products you can get for swaddling is a swaddle blanket that comes with Velcro (check on amazon).
Traditional swaddling depends on tucking the blanket in on itself to keep tight. However, this will eventually loosen up as the baby keeps moving around. Getting a blanket or a wrap that comes with Velcro will help keep the swaddle tight for a longer time, giving you more time for yourself.
Get a Baby Wrap
Even though taking care of the baby becomes the number one priority for the first few weeks, parents still need to do other things such as house chores. One of the best ways to be able to go about other activities while having the baby nearby is to get a baby wrap. Putting your newborn in a baby wrap allows you to do other activities with your baby right beside you. Not only does this allow you to be productive, but the baby wrap also promotes a bonding experience between you and your baby.
Pull Clothes Down
There are some articles of clothing that can be taken on and off a number of ways. However, experienced parents would advise that if you need to take off your baby’s pajamas or onesie, you should always choose to pull the clothes down if you have a choice. This is a much more effective way of taking off your baby’s clothes – especially if they’ve pooped or peed in them already. This simple decision helps you clean your baby more easily.
Warm Up Their Mattress with a Heating Pad
For the last nine months, your baby was enjoying a comfortably warm environment inside their mother’s womb. A newborn hack some parents have found is that babies can rest and sleep much more comfortably when they’re placed on a nice warm surface.
An easy way to achieve this is by laying a heating pad on top of the surface where you’d like to place your baby. It is important to note that this hack is only for warming up the surface prior to putting your baby down – the heating pad should be completely removed before laying your baby to rest.
Warm and Cold Compress
Feeding the baby will take a lot of the mother’s time if they’re breastfeeding. However, many new mothers complain that their breasts get engorged and get blocked up. A hack that many mothers recommend is to use a warm compress. A heating pad would do, but even a wet washcloth thrown in the microwave for a bit can work wonders as well.
On the other hand, sore breasts after nursing can also be treated with a cold compress instead. If you don’t have a cold compress ready at all times, simply take anything from the freezer that you can wrap with a towel, such as a bag of frozen peas.
Many parents decline to accept help at first for a number of reasons. These reasons could range from pride to being overly protective in the beginning. However, every parent should accept help whenever offered. It could be anything simple: watch the baby for an hour, pick up food, clean the house. Any amount of help parents accept from other people will give parents extra time to take care of themselves. Someone looking after the baby for half an hour is enough time for a parent to take a good shower and take a break.
If you think your baby is the only one in the house who needs a bottle, think again. Nursing mothers should always have a bottle of water nearby because nursing can quickly dehydrate mothers throughout the day. Having a water bottle nearby allows you to get enough hydration to remain healthy and active while feeding your baby. It could be a good habit to have a water bottle nearby at all times. At the very least, mothers should get a water bottle before heading over to nurse.
Lay Down When You Breastfeed
Breastfeeding sessions can take around 20 to 45 minutes. That’s 20 to 45 minutes mothers have nothing else to do. It’s important to find ways to maximize efficiency during these times. Many mothers can opt to watch TV and try to relax during breastfeeding. However, some mothers would advise laying down while breastfeeding. This is a great way to use the time to feed the baby while resting effectively at the same time. If there’s anything parents cannot get enough of – it’s rest.
Always Support the Baby’s Head
Another great newborn hack – it is always important to note that the baby’s head should be supported at all times. During the first few months of their lives, their neck muscles are not yet strong enough to safely support their heads. Thus, parents should always have a hand supporting the head whenever picking up and carrying the baby.
Make Your Baby Wear Mittens
Not only are mittens adorable on babies, but they are important to keep your baby from scratching themselves. When babies are born, they begin growing their little, sharp fingernails that can potentially scratch their face during their sleep. Since it’s extremely difficult to trim baby fingernails, an easy fix is to simply get them to wear soft mittens on their hands.
Have a Portable Changing Station
Babies can have accidents anywhere and anytime. While some parents have to go to the nursery to change diapers, others have managed to create portable changing stations that can be wheeled to different areas of the house for ease. These portable changing stations should contain everything that a parent would ever need when changing diapers such as baby wipes, diapers, creams, and more.
If you live in a house with more than one floor, you might also want to consider preparing a portable changing station for each floor.
Prepare a Wet Wipe Before a Diaper Change
Experienced parents know that it is quite common for babies to pee when they’re having their diapers changed. Pediatricians would cite that this reaction can be caused by the sudden change in temperature or from exposure to the air. Parents who are unaware of this phenomenon would often fall victims and get themselves in a messy situation. An easy newborn hack would be to simply get a wet wipe prepared before changing a diaper. A great place to put the wet wipe in preparation for this is simply below the baby’s belly button.
Bring a Change of Clothes for Yourself
When going out, foresight would dictate that you should always bring an extra set of clothes for your little one. However, did you ever consider putting an extra set of clothes in there for yourself as well? Babies can get pretty messy, and it can be quite difficult to stay spotless when cleaning them up. Do yourself a favor and follow this pro tip so that you don’t have to be caught off guard without a set of clothes to change into when you really need to.
Use Gripe Water
Having a baby means that you should have an extensive arsenal of formulas and supplements on hand for every situation. One product that many parents highly recommend is gripe water. It is an herbal supplement with varying ingredients.
However, gripe water typically contains an assortment of herbs such as fennel, ginger, chamomile, licorice, lemon, cinnamon, and more. Although gripe water is a supplement that hasn’t really been clinically tested, mothers from all over would swear that gripe water can easily soothe babies with gas and other colic symptoms.
Use a Brush for Diaper Cream
Since the baby’s skin is extremely sensitive, rashes can develop when diapers chafe against your baby’s bottom. Hence, most parents would apply diaper cream when changing diapers. Applying and administering diaper cream can be easy enough, but many parents recommend using a brush to apply diaper cream.
A makeup brush or even a little spatula can be used to apply the cream and avoid parents having to clean their hands from the diaper cream after every single diaper change. This can mean a tiny difference, but the time saved can amount to something significant at the end of the day.
Only Throw Poop Diapers in the Diaper Genie
New parents will soon learn how crucial the Diaper Genie is to have in the nursery. However, parents will also soon find how quickly the Diaper Genie gets filled up. The sooner the Diaper Genie gets filled up, the more frequent you have to go and replace the bag inside.
One thing parents can do to have a better system is to only use the Diaper Genie for diapers with poop in them. Pee diapers can be thrown directly into the garbage. With this little change, parents will then have more time in their hands because they’re not going out and replacing the Diaper Genie every single time.
Have Two Sets of Mattress Protectors and Sheets On
Parenting is a full-time job that gets parents up even in the middle of the night. When your baby gets their crib mattress wet, parents would typically have to change the sheet. However, there is a cool little trick you can do for those times when you’re already too tired.
When preparing the crib, put on a mattress protector, then a sheet, then another mattress protector, then another sheet. With this system in place, you can simply take off the topmost sheet and mattress protector, and then you’re good to go. This is extremely helpful for times when parents just need a little help.
Keep Plastic Bags in the Diaper Bag
Sometimes overlooked newborn hack that may seem like a no-brainer, but it is imperative that you should always have a couple of plastic bags in your diaper bag. Some diaper bags can be purchased with wet/dry compartments. However, it is significantly simpler to keep plastic bags on hand as a way to store messy clothes.
While many parents play music to their babies for various reasons, you should look into playing music to actually soothe a fussy baby. There are some parents who have found that certain types of music have helped calm their babies down. You’ll never have too many options for calming down a crying baby, so be sure to experiment with different types of music to find which one works best for your little one.
Get Your Baby on a Routine
It’s never too early to start a routine with your baby. The sooner you can get your baby used to a routine, the less trouble you’ll have getting them to do certain activities such as meals and bath times. It’s especially beneficial to get them on a bedtime routine as this will help get their bodies calm and comfortable, giving them a better sleep. New parents know the trouble it takes to get a baby to bed – getting them on a bedtime schedule will help immensely.
Prepare Everything Before Bath Time
A newborn hack new parents should know is that they need to prepare all the bath essentials before they even think of putting the baby in the tub. This means getting everything you’ll ever need for the bath such as a washcloth, baby shampoo, baby soap, cotton, towel, and everything else. This is imperative because once you put the baby in the tub, you cannot leave them alone for their safety. Thus, you’d need everything you’d ever need within arm’s reach for bath time.
Warm Things Up
There are a lot of things you can preemptively warm up for your baby to make them more comfortable. For example, there are some mothers who would put towels in the dryer before using them so that they could dry their little ones with warm towels.
Other parents even warm diapers up before using them to make the change a bit more comfortable. Some would also warm up wet wipes as well to prevent using cold ones on their baby’s sensitive skin. Warming items up can be as easy as putting them on a heating pad. However, placing them near a warm thermos should do the trick as well.
Let Fathers Be
There are many stories saying how fathers can be quite hesitant to get involved in the baby caring process because of fear of doing something wrong or worse – getting criticized by the mother. One of the best things wives can do to get their husbands involved is to let them be. Allow them to take care of the baby without judgment or scrutiny so that they can become comfortable becoming a parent figure for their child.
Decide What’s Best
When people learn you’re becoming new parents, be prepared for the barrage of advice and instructions. While all of this is goodheartedly meant, it can become very confusing when some advice contradicts one another. At the end of the day, you are your child’s parent, and you should be able to decide what’s best for them.
Get a White Noise Machine
A great newborn hack is getting a white noise machine. It’s a little device that emits peaceful and unobtrusive sounds that can help soothe a baby. Even though it may sound counterintuitive, these devices can also help improve the quality of your baby’s sleep. The silence of a completely silent room can be easily interrupted by the tiniest sound like a barking dog across the street.
Having a white noise machine inside the baby’s nursery drowns out potential noise from outside the nursery, resulting in better sleep for the baby.
Cut or File Nails When They’re Asleep
Cutting their baby’s fingernails can be a scary thought for many mothers as they are scared that they might hurt their precious ones. An easy way to go about this is to simply cut or file their nails when they’re asleep. This makes it easier for the parent as the baby wouldn’t be distracted and moving about.