“Save your kitchen,” wrote mom Brooke McDaniel in a social media post that’s gone ultra-viral. McDaniel shared a simple idea that solves a frustrating problem that every parent has dealt with.
When you feed your baby with bottles, you inevitably end up with bottles everywhere. They spill out of your cabinets. They roll underfoot. There’s just no good way to store the items that keep your baby fed.
McDaniel described her project: “All my bottles in one place on my wall, space I wasn’t utilizing, instead of having a cabinet with bottles overflowing from it.”
Her secret? A simple, $12 shower caddy. She accompanies her description with pictures of a shower caddy hanging on her kitchen wall. Neat rows of baby bottles fit snugly in the shower caddy, with a row of pacifiers hanging from the hooks at the caddy’s base.
“Best ‘bottle holder’ I could ever have,” she wrote.
If you’re like us, you’re probably kicking yourself for not having thought of this sooner. Don’t be so hard on yourself, though. Allow us to echo McDaniel, who closes her post with something every mom needs to hear.
“And to each one of y’all reading this, if no one told you today—YOU ARE [AN] AWESOME MOM!”
Here are a few more life hacks that will help you be even awesomer.
1. Apply diaper cream with a makeup brush.
Why spend precious minutes washing thick, gloppy diaper cream off your hands when you can paint it on with a makeup brush? You’ll get better coverage and you’ll save time on cleanup.
2. Soothe your teething baby’s gums with breast milk popsicles.
Freeze breast milk in popsicle molds.
The cold will ease the pain of teething, and the milk will keep your baby full and happy.
3. Sneak in your naps when your baby is asleep.
Every new parent ends up terribly sleep deprived.
Take the edge off with power naps. Infants need lots and lots of sleep, so why not steal a few winks alongside your sleeping little one?
4. Place a stick-on hook on the back of the high chair and hang bibs from it.
There never seems to be a bib around when you need one. Ensure that you’ll never have to delay your hungry baby’s meal while you hunt around for a bib: Just stick a hook on the back of the high chair and there’ll always be one on hand.
When bibs are stored right there on the chair, you’ll always have one within reach at meal time.
5. Keep pacifiers clean by storing them in disposable condiment cups.
You know those little plastic condiment cups they give you at restaurants? Those things make terrific pacifier holders.
Throw in a binkie, put the top on, and carry a pacifier around in your purse without it getting all covered in crumbs and germs.
6. Get a white noise machine for the nursery.
Soft, consistent background noise can help your baby sleep.
That leads to more sleep for Mom and Dad, which makes everyone happier.
7. Opaque dark curtains also help keep baby asleep.
The darker the room, the better your infant will sleep. It can be hard to get a room totally dark for daytime naps—unless you hang thick, light-blocking curtains on the windows. While you’re at it, get an extra set for your own bedroom. You’ll need all the sleep you can get.
8. Use your vacuum sealer to make diapers super portable.
Vacuum sealers make great baby shower gifts. Why? Because in their natural state, diapers are pretty bulky. Vacuum seal them in plastic to flatten them out for better portability.
9. Wait until your baby’s in a deep sleep to cut their fingernails.
It’s not easy to trim an infant’s nails. They tend to squirm and wiggle and generally present a very difficult target.
The solution is to wait until your baby has been asleep for at least 20 minutes, then go in with the clippers.
10. Get a small mesh laundry bag for your baby’s socks.
Baby socks are way too easy to lose in the wash. They’re tiny. Plus, they’re socks—they’re predisposed to going missing.
If you throw them in a little mesh bag before tossing them into the washing machine, you’re way more likely to keep the pairs intact.
11. Transform a playpen into a sun-proof outdoor enclosure with an extra fitted crib sheet.
Fitted sheets for cribs usually fit perfectly over the top of a playpen. Throw one on top to create a safe zone for the baby while you finish the yard work.
The sheet will keep insects out and shield your infant’s sensitive skin from the sun. When it’s time to go back inside, you can whip it off in an instant.
12. Help your newborn drift off to slumberland by gently stroking their face with a paper tissue.
We’re not sure why this works, but it does. Take a tissue and pull it softly down your baby’s face. The sensation makes them uncontrollably tired. This might not work for every infant, but it has a pretty good track record, so it’s worth a try.