Reddit | UncoolDad31

11+ Expert-Level Parenting Hacks

I don't think anything can truly prepare you for being a parent.

It's like, how do you prepare for the most important job you'll ever have, but at the same time, be expected to perform it on minimal sleep and barely enough time to go to the bathroom?

Well, the good news is that these hacks will help a little. They might even trick people into thinking you've got this parenting thing all figured out.

I won't let on that you haven't showered in three days. We can keep that between us.

Make a pool for the beach

Reddit | thenextlvl

Using a shower curtain, you can make a pool for your little ones at the beach.

Dig a hole in the sand and then line it with your shower curtain. Fill the hole with water and you have your own baby oasis!

I bought a baby beach pool that is very similar to this hack. I wish I had known about this sooner because I would have saved $40!

My little guy was too young to go in the water, but he loved splashing in his pool. I'm sure your kids would love it, too!

Stop ice cream meltdowns

Reddit | RIPJ4WZ

Everyone loves ice cream, but most parents dread the sticky mess that comes with this tasty treat.

Pop a marshmallow in an ice cream cone before giving it to your child. The marshmallow will stop any drips and spills from the bottom of the cone.

Then, when your kid gets to the end of the cone, they'll have an extra little treat. Yum!

Just make sure your child is old enough to eat marshmallows. They can be choking hazards for young children.

Make a DIY ball pit

Reddit | ChronicallyChilll

Ball pits are amazing. They keep kids entertained for hours and provide lots of sensory play and stimulation.

However, most ball pits tend to be in public playlands and let's just say they aren't always the most sanitary...

Thankfully, you can easily build your own for hours of play at home. With a few materials from the hardware and dollar store, you'll have a DIY ball pit in no time.

Your kid will think you're the coolest parent ever if you make this for them.

Easy spelling game

The Printable Princess

Pick up a cheap bag of blocks from the dollar store and a permanent marker.

Write short, simple words on a long block and single letters on small blocks.

Have your child try to match and spell out the letters on the long block for a fun and easy spelling game.

As your child gets older, you can give them blank blocks for the base and have them practice spelling words without a guide. You'd be surprised at how well this works.

The proper way to travel with a baby

Reddit | why-odd-numbers

Everyone makes a big fuss over babies when they fly on planes. I mean, are people really surprised that babies cry? It's totally normal.

One mom tried to put passengers at ease with this gesture. She gave everyone on her flight earplugs and a little treat to win them over.

Even if you don't want to shell out money for a treat, it could be worthwhile to at least write a note explaining your situation to passengers.

They might be more sympathetic if your little one gets upset during the flight.

A smart way to teach multiplication tables

Reddit | 1ItalianLurker

Multiplication drills are something I don't miss from my childhood, although maybe if I had been taught with this I wouldn't have minded so much.

Kids are drawn to activities that are visual and tactile. That's why this hack is so smart.

Instead of sitting and writing out multiplication tables, they can see and explore this life-size version.

Installing something like this would be easy to do in your home. You just need cardstock and some tape. Math has never been so fun!

Prevent booboos with pool noodles

Reddit | MoJeffreys

Now that my son is climbing and exploring everything, we really have to keep our eyes on him.

He's already trapped his finger in a door a few times, and it is the worst feeling as a parent.

If you want to child-proof your doors, pick up a few pool noodles from the dollar store. Cut a slit down the middle and place them on the edge of a door.

The noodle will stop the door from completely closing, so no fingers will get stuck!

Toddler-proof your shower

Reddit | B_Geisler

I'm at the phase right now where there is basically a child-proof lock on everything in our home.

Sometimes, I can't even open them.

Still, there are still those things that are impossible to child-proof.

If you have one of these glass shower doors, I'm sure you know that toddlers love to play with them. And by play with them, I mean, slam them shut.

Grab a clamp and place it on the top of the door. Finally! It's toddler-proof!

Get your kid to take their medicine

Reddit | tht1d00d

Okay, I know this one is kind of mean, but it's for their own good, right?

I was a kid who loved the taste of medicine, but maybe that isn't as common as I thought. If your kid will never take their medicine, you have to get a little creative sometimes.

That's where this hack comes in.

After trying this, it only seems fair that you actually let your kid have a sip of soda to wash the taste out of their mouth.

Distraction at the doctor's office

Reddit | anastasiabeverhousen

Most kids are already on edge when you're at the doctor's office.

They know there's a good chance they are going to get an immunization, and if you're waiting for the doc to show up, they can get real fussy real fast.

Stash some crayons in your diaper bag and color on that protective paper covering the examination table.

Your child will be distracted until the doctor shows up and it will help calm them. Thank you, crayons.

Help your kids learn left from right

Reddit | justinmisaacs

This is as much a hack for parents as it is for kids.

I will admit that I have put my son's shoe on the wrong foot. You do a lot of things like that when you're running on three hours of sleep.

To avoid a mishap like that, draw a design in the shoe so you know which one is which.

If you aren't much of an artist, you can also cut a sticker in half instead.

When your child starts dressing themselves, they'll easily be able to tell left from right.

Shrink-wrap your remotes

Reddit | wiltony

If you aren't a parent, this one might seem odd. If you are a parent, you'll totally get why you need to do this.

Babies looooove putting things in their mouths. Especially remotes. I don't know why. They just do. We even bought our son a toy remote and he still goes after the real one.

The reason you'll want to shrink-wrap your remote is to prevent your remote from getting ruined by a wave of baby drool or sticky toddler hands.

Only do this hack if the shrink-wrap is secure and can't be removed by your child!

Picasso's pizza boxes


What do I love more than a good parenting hack? A parenting hack that is essentially free.

Like most parents, I don't have an unlimited budget, but we have to entertain our kids somehow, right?

Try recycling pizza boxes for a kid's canvas. They are cheap, they have a lot of surface area, and your kids can go nuts painting them.

You'll save money and your kids get to express their creativity. That's a win-win if I ever heard one.

Cookie cutter stencils

Instagram | @authorcarmela

Here's another easy arts and craft project that will keep the little ones entertained with minimal strain on your wallet.

Pick up some plastic cookie cutters in different shapes and add them to your craft supplies. Your kids can use them for stencils when they're drawing.

To take this activity to the next level, you can turn it into a memory game.

Have your child try to match up the outline with the correct cookie cutter. What a fun activity for a rainy day!

DIY your own diaper genie refills

Reddit | UncoolDad31

One of the most disappointing realizations as a parent is finding out that a one-year supply of diaper genie refills will actually only last you three months.

Those things are expensive. And really, they're just plastic bags in a ring — what gives?

Thankfully, someone figured out how to DIY these refills. That means more money in your wallet (to spend on your kid probably, but that's beside the point).

Hold onto one of those empty blue rings, and refill it with regular garbage bags. Genius!

Keep kids' dishes in place

Reddit | robertsnotes

Most kids' dishes are made from plastic. Even though they are usually dishwasher safe, they have a tendency to move around during a cycle because they are lighter compared to regular dishes.

To keep them in place, grab a bungee cord and lock strap the dishes to the rack. They'll stay put during the cycle and get cleaned properly.

Sometimes as a parent you need to call in the heavy-duty backup. Pick up bungee cord or two the next time you're at the dollar store.