1. Bathe your child in a laundry basket so that their toys don’t float away.
2. Avoid committing a gender faux pas with other parents.
Lean down and ask the baby his or her name. The parent will answer for them (if they can’t talk yet).
3. Save your old cell phones and let your kids use them as play cameras.
Maybe you’ve got the next Juergen Teller on your hands.
6. If your kids have bad handwriting, make them spend some time on the monkey bars.
Read more about why certain activities can help strengthen the upper body and the fine motor skills that can lead to better handwriting.
7. Invest in a good pair of cargo pants.
Since you stopped caring about fashion the second that baby popped out of you, it’s time to start wearing cargo pants every day, preferably a pair with many pockets. Keep wipes, diapers, plastic bags, and bottles in there.
8. Put sprinkles on everything.
They’ll turn any healthy smoothie or juice into a fun-filled endeavor.
Here’s a recipe for homemade rainbow sprinkles that are free of food coloring and corn syrup.
9. Need a place to put your kid?
Make a hammock with a blanket tied around a table.
10. Make an incredibly easy play fort with a box fan.
Get the directions here.
11. Trace your kids’ feet so you can go shoe shopping without having to drag them along.
It’ll also let you take advantage of any shoe sales you happen to stumble upon. Get more information about how a mom uses this method.
13. Put your kids to work by turning chores into a fun game.
They’ll never know the difference!
15. To stop nighttime coughing, rub vapor rub on their feet and put socks over them.
Read more about this strangely non-scientific phenomenon here.
16. If your kids are scared of monsters, make monster spray.
Squirt under the bed, in the closet. Everybody can go back to sleep now.
17. Stick a Command hook on the back of a high chair to hold bibs.
18. Teach your child to hold a pencil the right way with a wad of Kleenex.
Get the full details here.
19. Use maxi pads to extend diapers for a potty-training child.
Does your kid wake up with soaked jammies? Stick a heavy absorbent overnight maxi pad into their diaper.
Alternatively, moms can actually tear off the sides, front, and back of a diaper to create an emergency maxi pad.
20. Get a portable high chair.
Have you seen the high chairs that are out on the market these days? They’re like 4-foot-wide, ugly plastic monstrosities. Why didn’t Charles Eames design a high chair? Anyway, here is a hook-on high chair that turns basically any chair into a high chair (which is awesome for restaurants and friends’ houses), and it folds up so you can put that thing away.
(The high chair shown is available for $68 from Tinkle Tinkle Toot.)
22. Have your child sit on a stability ball while doing homework — it’ll help with their concentration.
This works for adults, too, yaknow!
23. Freeze a pacifier in an ice cube tray with juice, milk, formula, or water to sooth a teething baby’s gums.
24. Cut a hole in the tip of a pacifier and stick a dropper through it to administer medicine.
Your kid will be less likely to give you trouble.
25. Put the iPad in “Kid Mode.”
This feature (only available is iOS6) locks the application and disables any hardware controls that could lead your toddler on a wayward path. Learn how to turn it on here.
26. Install a baby-gate using heavy-duty cable ties instead of nailing into the banister.
30. Fill a glove with pearled barley or beans, give a few pats with it, and then slip away stealthily into the night.
Just make sure you sew the glove shut so the filling doesn’t slip out and turn into a choking hazard.
31. Turn an old lotion bottle into a faucet extender so the little ones can reach.
32. Push your kid on a swing from afar using a string or rope.
*We don’t actually condone this one, unless you happen to be wheelchair bound.