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15 Must-Have Parenting Hacks to Live by - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

I’ve been a mother for only two and a half years (it feels longer), but I do have some killer parenting tips that helped me along the way. Not only do I want to share them with newbie parents out there, but I want to share some of the best tips that I’ve acquired through other parents or good reads.

When it comes to some of the hardest aspects of parenting, I’m astonished that no one around me enlightened me with pages from their secret parenting handbooks. I regretfully admit that I had to learn most of these tips or products in the trenches on my own. Whether they are organizational, cleaning, cooking or general parenting hacks, these can help you. My hope is that these 15 parenting pointers save you some time, money, grief or all three!

Rubber Band Safety

One of the best ways to keep kids from locking themselves in their bedroom or bathroom is by using a rubber band. Take a thick rubber band and stretch it over the doorknob, crisscross it over the latch and wrap it around the knob on the other side. Voila!

Easy Temp Reader

When my daughter was an infant, it was a struggle to take her temperature, but pacifier thermometers make that daunting task a little bit easier. These digital pacifiers beep when the reading is complete and feature a memory recall from the last temp reading.

Babyproof Your Home

I’ve tried about three different solutions to keep my kid out of kitchen and bathroom cabinets. To be honest, none have worked very well. Before you invest in pricy locks, consider slipping simple cookie cutters over both cabinet knobs.

Stability Ball Benefit

Having trouble trying to get your child to sit still while doing homework? Consider buying a stability ball. A stability ball helps engage muscles and other parts of your kinetic kid’s brain to help them concentrate on learning.

Maximize Your Dishwasher

According to HomeEverAfter.com, you can use your dishwasher to clean your kids’ shoes and plastic toys. Load their shoes in the bottom rack and remove the shoelaces. You can use dishwashing liquid and run the shoes or toys on a normal cycle without heat. Once the cycle is complete, let the items air dry!

Helpful Apple Controls

Did you know that Apple products allow parents to control devices with a “kid mode?” The iPhone, iPad and iPod touch can serve as great learning tools for kids, and the Guided Access feature allows you to lock the devices to a single application. This feature helps to disable the hardware buttons and other apps.

Restaurant Helper

Not that I’m a germophobe, but when we’re eating out, I’m not a fan of letting my daughter eat off the tabletop. I discovered an amazing product, the infant diner placemat, which provides a clean eating surface that suctions right to a restaurant table. Plus, I love its built-in catch compartment for my little messy eater.

Create a Communication Zone

I know this may seem unnecessary but my husband and I bought a sticky white board for the side of our refrigerator. It’s a major lifesaver when it comes to communicating to each other about our busy lifestyle. We leave notes for each other regarding my daughter’s medications and meals. It also helps us share information with the grandparents and babysitters.

Marker and Crayon Solutions

Did you know that WD-40 is the perfect solution to remove crayon stains in your home? And hair spray will help you get marker off walls. Milk (I’ve tried this) can even help remove marker from furniture upholstery.

Simplify Kiddie Travel

We travel about two hours to visit my in-laws and it’s always a challenge rounding up all of my kid’s toys and equipment for the long-distance trips. I discovered that inexpensive pop-up hampers work very well when transporting stuff back and forth. The best thing is, they take up very little space and fold nicely into a suitcase.

Cable Ties to the Rescue

My sister was renting a home in Dallas and struggled with a solution that wouldn’t damage the wall to keep my 2-year-old nephew, Gabriel, off the stairs. She discovered that installing a baby gate using heavy-duty cable ties to the banister of the stairwell worked like a charm.

Spray their Fears Away

Sometimes parents have to get creative on ways to manage their children’s fears. If you have a child who is scared of monsters (or some other imaginary fear), consider using a spray bottle to create a “monster spray.” You can use stickers to decorate the bottle and fill it with water to put your kids at ease. Genius.

Easy Pencil Lesson

Looking for a simple way to teach your child to hold a pencil the proper way? Here’s a valuable trick to try to teach the tripod grip. Use a small wad of tissue behind their last two fingers while holding a pencil with the thumb, index and middle fingers. Works like a charm.

Temporary Tattoos

If you want a simple solution to protect your child if they wander off in a public place, consider buying Tottoos. These temporary tattoos are perfect to put on your child before going on a school field trip or visiting an amusement park. These child-safe products can be customized to include your child’s medical or special needs, or even your contact information.

Pacifier Holders

Don’t throw away those sauce to-go cups so fast! These small plastic containers make the perfect on-the-go container for your baby’s pacifier. If your baby takes a pacifier, then you know it’s important to have multiple pacifiers and a way to keep them clean when traveling. Sauce containers offer a cheap and plentiful option.

Hopefully you’ve learned something new and feel a little more prepared to face the world of parenting. Whether its tools or tips, there’s always room to learn something new. There are tons of helpful parenting hacks, so share yours below.

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