Instagram | @simplycleverdesigns

21 Parenting Hacks That Will Save Your Sanity And Bank Account


When I became a parent, I was surprised that fear was one of the biggest emotions I felt. Suddenly I was super aware that I was responsible for this tiny human.

I had to keep this baby alive and everything around me seemed threatening. I don't know about you, but it was like seeing the world through a new lens, one where danger lurked at every turn.

On top of keeping baby safe, there are hundreds of other new responsibilities that come with parenting. Responsibilities like making sure your kiddo sleeps enough, eats properly, and — of course — the impossible task of keeping yourself from going nuts while handling all of this!

The problem is, child-proofing an entire house and all of its contents can be super expensive!

Giphy | Giphy

Luckily, I'm a good bargain hunter and have searched to the ends of the internet to find the best parenting hacks!

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1. Keep baby contained with a fabric gate and Command hooks

Pinterest | Natalie Waples Ifbb Pro

This is only safe at the bottom of stairs or to close off rooms, but it's a great option if you don't want to drill into the wall. It's also easier for you to open with one hand than a traditional baby gate.

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2. Keep your little one in their big kid bed with a pool noodle

Pinterest | @Chambre237

Moving into a big kid bed is a big deal. Unfortunately, falling out of bed can make this change more scary than exciting. Put a pool noodle under their fitted sheet and it will let them know when they're near the edge.

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3. Keep small kids from falling between the rails of the banister

Pinterest | Baby Gizmo

Placing a gate at the top and bottom of the stairs is an important safety measure, but banisters are often overlooked. Zip ties and plastic fencing will get the job done. It looks absolutely terrible, but it will keep your tot safe and it's not permanent.

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4. Protect kids from the fireplace hearth with interlocking foam mats

Pinterest | Jennifer Scott

Some homes have large fireplaces which are super tricky — and expensive — to baby-proof. These foam mats will soften a fall and they're cheap enough that you won't feel bad if you have to cut them to make a perfect fit.

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5. Strangulation by blind cords is actually a really big risk for kids. Keep them safe by wrapping them up.

It's Baby Time | It's Baby Time

For a few dollars, you can buy blind cord wraps. Or if you prefer, you can make your own using 2 Command hooks.

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6. Keep little ones out of the fridge with this DIY lock that uses Command strips and a silicone bracelet

Pinterest | Aaron Spencer

You can get all these things from your local dollar store. Yay!

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7. Track medication doses with a chart right on the bottle

Imgur | 102316

This will put your mind at ease by knowing you haven't doubled up on a dose, which could definitely be dangerous!

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8. Quickly cool down hot seat belts with mist

Imgur | 102316

Since keeping your kid safe obviously includes the car, this is a great idea! It would be super easy to carry a mini spray bottle from the dollar store in your diaper bag or purse.

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9. Save your Band-Aids for when you actually need them and fix minor bumps with an "Owie Marker"

Instagram | @kellyngowen

Kids are obsessed with Band-Aids — until they have to be pulled off. But they never seem to remember that part. Instead, explain that your washable marker is magic and can fix owies. Then make a little "x" instead of wasting a bandage.

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10. Make "placebo cream" by putting hand cream in a special bottle

Instagram | @simplycleverdesigns

What the heck is a placebo effect, you ask? It basically means that someone can make themselves feel better because they think they're being treated, regardless of whether or not they are getting medication. So if junior takes a fall and there's no obvious injury, put some placebo cream on it. All better!

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11. Work on gross motor skills while instilling a good work ethic by turning sweeping into a game 

Imgur | spideygurl

Just use some painter's tape and mark off a spot for junior to sweep the dirt into.

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12. Keep your little one entertained while you do some yard work — or lie in the sun — by giving them an old paintbrush and a bucket of water to "paint" the fence

Imgur | youandmeandrainbows

It's all in the wrist, up...down...

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13. Make bath time fun by tossing a few glow sticks into the tub 

Pinterest | Rebecka Larsson A

This is a great incentive if your little one isn't the biggest fan of bath time. Tbh, I've used this as a way to kill half an hour with the kids in the middle of the day, too.

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14. Make your own compact travel coloring kit from a DVD case 

Twitter | @CuteCatPix

Just throw in some paper and your coloring tools of choice and voilà! The nice thing about these is that most DVD cases click tightly shut so you won't lose all the art supplies.

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15. Play with your kids without actually playing with your kids by giving them unplugged video game controllers

Imgur | youandmeandrainbows

Now you can have some fun with your favorite game while keeping your little hooligans content!

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16. Make potty training easier by placing a coffee filter in the bottom of the potty 

Pinterest | Chasity Hicks

It makes disposing of #2s so much easier since you won't have to scrub out the bowl each time.

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17. Make sharing info simple by making a dry-erase board from a dollarstore frame 

Pinterest | Amanda Bellemare

Just print out the info you want to track, pop it in the frame, and use a dry erase marker to write your notes. I've also seen this used to track baby's feedings and medication doses. The possibilities are endless!

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18. Scavenger hunts can be used to your advantage!

Pinterest | Chambre237

Since parenting and forgetfulness go hand in hand, enlist the help of your kids when you're losing your mind trying to find your stuff!

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19. Bring your little one comfort with matching hearts when you have to be away from them.

Instagram | @gavin.jennifer

Just draw a little heart on both of your hands and let them know that if they miss you or feel sad, they can rub their mark and you will send them love from wherever you are.

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20. Make a childproof razor protector with an empty pill bottle to keep little hands safe

Reddit | 3d1h1d3

Razors are one of those things that always seem to fall off the shelf in the shower, knocking the cover off and leaving the sharp edge exposed.

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21. Maintain your sanity by putting tape on a toy's speaker to reduce the volume by half!

Imgur | Tommy84

When I learned this, you'd better believe I ran around the house taping all the things! Use electrical tape for a really loud toy. Since it's so thick, it works even better.

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