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We Tested 9 Mom Hacks So You Wouldn't Have To

You're a new mom. Life is chaos. Raised Real is here to help.

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There are more internet parenting hacks than there are stars in the sky, and it can be impossible to tell the lifesavers from the time-wasters. BuzzFeed asked LA-based comedians Betsy Stover and Ari Voukydis to test a handful of popular hacks on their three sons (ages 6, 5, and 1).

1. HACK: Place tape over the speaker on loud toys to cut down the noise.

BuzzFeed

RATING: Life changing!

We can all agree that loud electronic toys are one of the worst things about being a parent. This trick solves it. A little piece of tape over the speakers, and you just took that toy from ear-splittingly annoying to subtly annoying. Best part: the 1-year-old either didn't notice or didn't care.

2. HACK: Place a command hook on the back of a high chair so you won't have to run around in a panic looking for bibs.

BuzzFeed

RATING: Not for us!

This is pretty much the #1 mom hack on the internet, and having tested it, we cannot figure out why. I mean, sure, storing bibs on the back of a high chair is better than storing them...on the floor? Behind the toilet? In a hollow tree outside?

We don't want to blow anyone's mind, but we store our bibs in a nearby cabinet, which has the added benefit of not putting an alluring array of colorful bibs directly at our 1-year-old's eye level. (When we tried this, he just used the bibs as a leash and dragged the high chair all around the house.)

3. HACK: Stash wipes and a few extra diapers in the back of your car so you can always change your baby in a pinch.

V_eg / Getty Images

RATING: Yes, yes, yes...but don't stop there.

Keep a whole low-key wardrobe in there: wipes, diapers, a change of clothes, a bottle, a tube of powdered formula, another change of clothes, a toy, a pacifier, sunscreen, and burp cloths. You will use all of these things within the first year. Oh, and pack a change of shirts for yourself: If you think you’re getting out of this without getting barfed on in public, you are wrong.

Take it from someone who has had to leave all three kids with his wife at the restaurant and sprint across the parking lot to a department store to buy new clothes for pretty much the entire family when the then-2-year-old went full Exorcist in the middle of dinner.

4. HACK: Trace your tiny human's feet before going shoe shopping to save time and sanity at the shoe store.

BuzzFeed

RATING: YES!

Sometimes the best hacks are the simplest. We cannot believe we spent four years dragging kids to shoe stores AKA chaos factories before a mom friend hipped us to this trick. Just trace your kids' feet on a piece of paper (you don't even have to do a good job), fold the paper up, put it in your pocket, take it to the shoe store, and enjoy the schadenfreude of watching other parents try to screw their squirming, energetic children into tiny, tiny shoes.

5. HACK: Keep track of your kids' dosages by making a chart on the side of the medicine bottle.

BuzzFeed

RATING: No thanks.

Like its famous cousin, the Bibs-On-a-Hook Hack, this feels like a hack for hack's sake. This idea works fine for a one-and-done prescription, like antibiotics, but the second you need, say, ibuprofen, you're back to square one. Since it's 2017 and all, there are endless great, free apps for your phone and tablet that can not only keep track of all this information and more, they also can sync across various devices so multiple parents and caregivers have the same info.

We use BabyConnect, but there are so many that are easy to find. Pro tip: It takes less time to google "kids medicine app iPhone" than it does to draw a little calendar chart.

6. HACK: Steal air-sickness bags from airplanes and stash them in your glove compartment for those inevitable carsick catastrophes.

Cathy Crawford / Getty Images

RATING: Life saving.

We have three kids, so we don't fly much. But when we do, we make it a point to rob the airlines blind of their precious, precious barf bags. Make peace with the fact that your child(ren) will throw up in the car at some point. At many points. Sometimes it feels like all the points.

Pro tip #1: If you don't have barf bags lying around, keep an empty coffee can (with a lid, obvs) handy for just such occasions.

Pro tip #2: You don't have to actually steal them. Just ask the flight attendant, and they'll give you several.

7. HACK: Give apple slices a quick salt rinse, and they won't turn all brown and nasty.

Petra Matjasic / Getty Images

RATING: Holy smokes, this works!

This was another one of those, "Wait a second, we could have been doing this for SIX YEARS, and nobody told us?" situations.

Here's how it works: Slice an apple. Put the slices in a ziplock bag. Sprinkle a little salt, shake the bag around, then fill it with water and rinse it all out. We did this at 4 p.m., and by the next day at lunch time, the apples looked like they'd only just been sliced — and the kids couldn't tell the difference.

Note: This allegedly also works with lemon water and ginger ale, but we ran out of apples. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

8. HACK: Save time and treat your family to a fun breakfast by making "overnight oats" in the fridge before you go to bed.

Getty / BuzzFeed

REVIEW: Overnight Nope.

This is something we'd been meaning to try for a while, so we were optimistic. There are many recipes you can use, but here's the basic idea:

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup low-fat yogurt

1/2 cup plain uncooked oatmeal

1 banana, sliced

...and everyone recommends 1 teaspoon of chia seeds, but we figured there was no chance the kids would touch it if it had chia seeds in it.

Well, we needn't have worried, because the kids wouldn't touch it regardless. The 1-year-old tasted it and threw the spoon across the room. The 6-year-old refused to try it. And the 5-year-old took pity on us, tasted it, grimaced, pretended to like it, and then asked for regular oatmeal.

Now look: Maybe we chose a bad recipe. Maybe we screwed up the execution. But here's the thing: You know what takes no time to make in the morning? Oatmeal. Or yogurt. Or fruit.

Basically, we stayed up late so we could invent granola-yogurt that our kids wouldn't eat.

9. HACK: Use gelatin to make magic, non-melting popsicles.

BuzzFeed

RATING: This works, you guys! (But...)

It's this simple: Mix gelatin per the instructions, but instead of using water, use juice (or Kool-Aid, or whatever). Pour them into popsicle molds, freeze them, and then watch the magic happen.

They were a hit! The popsicles melt very slowly, the kids loved them, and they're great for teething.

Here's the only thing: It doesn't really scale. We don't know which kind of industrial popsicle press you have in your freezer, but we have six little popsicle molds, so it ends up being extra work for a limited payoff. Here's how we're going to use this hack: Next time we're making gelatin anyway, we'll set some powder aside and make special gelatin popsicles.

(Astute readers will note the hack-within-the-hack: Want to get your popsicle sticks to stand at attention? Use masking tape!)

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