I was in the middle of preparing this awesome post of mum hacks for a new mum because, let’s be honest, in those early weeks and months we can use all the help we can get! However, as I was preparing this post I came across another post HERE of ’31 incredibly helpful tips and hacks for a new baby’. I thought it was pretty great, so instead of reinventing the ENTIRE wheel, I’d just deck it out a bit with a few extra tips and mum hacks that I’ve found helpful, as well as some shared from other mums.
My 19 incredibly helpful mum hacks for a new baby:
- For the expressing mum – Cut some holes in an old or cheap sports bra to hold the expressing pump/bottle in. It keeps your hands free to do other things so you don’t lose that precious time (and you don’t waste money on buying a ‘special expressing bra’.
- TRIED AND TESTED – disposable nappies can become expensive, albeit convenient. Add to that SWIM nappies, and it can get a bit much. Here is a great hack that I read about and tried, and goodness gracious it works – brilliant! Our son does swimming lessons, so we use disposable swim nappies. However if the nappy is only wet (no poo), you can WASH the nappy in a delicates bag in the washing machine. Hang it out to dry and it’ll be good to use for another swimming lesson/outing at the beach or pool. Cool huh?
- If you want to save some money on things like toys, libraries often have toys you can borrow. By paying a small fee for a library membership, you can borrow toys to take home. This is great too because you can rotate between lots of different toys for variety at minimal cost.
- Instead of having a separate change table and chest of drawers, invest in a two-in-one chest of drawers/change table combination. We found this great because we could also store away all the bits and bobs for changing in the top drawer. Plus we got the set that you can add/remove the change table, so later on our boy has a chest of drawers ready to go.
- Also invest in a good quality ergonomic baby carrier. While prams/strollers are good, and capsules are great, a baby carrier will be GOLD for you. We found having a carrier super helpful when bubs would only sleep on us, because you can still get stuff done while holding/rocking/cuddling baby to sleep. We used a Baby Bjorn, but also started using a Peek-a-baby Baby wrap recently and loved it. However this is personal preference, so make sure you check it out before baby arrives if possible.
- Being a new mum means you have like ZERO time for yourself. Sometimes you just need 2 minutes to pee or have a shower, but bubs just WILL. NOT. SLEEP. Use a bouncer, play gym or highchair (if they’re slightly older) and bring them into the bathroom with you. That way you can keep an eye on them for the 2 minutes you need to do what you gotta do.
- Have a ‘Go Bag’ ready to literally get up and GO by the front door. Packed with everything you would need to just leave the house at a second’s notice. Adapt when your kids are older to include notebooks, pens, non-perishable snacks, water bottles and an extra layer of clothing. For more tips and tricks for the ‘Go Bag’, read HERE.
- Because there is literally a QUADRILLION more clothes to wash with a bub (it sounds like an exaggeration, but it really isn’t), Emily has a great laundry tip HERE to really help you out!
Food hacks for new mums…
- Speaking of time, it’s important to save as much of it as possible. Prepare meals during naptimes (when they DO sleep). This can limit the amount of work you need to do at dinner time or during your baby’s ‘witching hour’. My best tip, invest in a SLOW COOKER (yes we were slow to this party but oh so worth it!), and start dinner during the afternoon nap time, so it is ready to go for you later that evening.
- Use a heavy plastic mat (like the ones that are used under office/desk chairs) under your child’s high chair or seat. This will make it a billion times easier to clean or sweep up after eating time (and it is easier than replacing a splash mat after every meal time).
- Because new mums are time poor, EAT with your kids every meal time (as much as possible). This means you don’t miss out on eating and you can get into a good routine of family meal habits from day 1.
- When your child is moving to solids, invest in plates with sections shaped like cool things. There’s so many options, like these Koala and Wombat plates from Emondo World for Kids. It makes eating more enjoyable for the kids, plus they’re super fun to buy (who doesn’t love shopping for kids?!).
- Speaking of MESS – keep a plastic table cloth in your car for all things mess related – food, trips with wet, sandy children to/from the beach, or just the nature of children in general!
Some great tips for when your child gets older…
- This tip is pure GOLD! Allocate each of your children a colour so that their things all match (eg. bowl, cup, knife/fork, toothbrush, towel, mug, underpants!). Then they can grab their items when they like. It apparently makes mornings a thousand times easier and teaches kids to take responsibility for getting their belongings.
- Emily shares a great ‘Back to school’ clothes organisation tip on her blog HERE.
- Do you have sporty kids? Have bags packed for each child, ready to go by the door. These should be packed with all the items they need, and a checklist (e.g. mouthguard, runners, water bottle, etc). Make sure the bag is packed and CHECKED the night before. Make this part of the child’s responsibility as they get older.
- A great adaptation of Bron’s ‘Go Bag’ is an ‘Activity bag’. This is great for the older kids, packed with books, toys, other activities of interest (plus the water bottle, extra layer of clothing, etc) so it is also ready to go at a moment’s notice.
- Have a drawer full of plastic bottles and cups at your kids’ height plus a plastic bottle of cold water on the bottom shelf of the fridge so from an early age kids can always get themselves a glass of water whenever they please.
- A brilliant tip to avoid your children bickering! For kids who share a bedroom – keep a roster of who keeps the bedroom clean (alternate) to avoid fights
And lastly, some added extra bonus tips just to keep you SANE as a new mum!
- Be part of a good mother’s group/playgroup. The support of other mums is nothing short of vital in those early weeks/months! Being a part of a group is such a terrific help, so plug in to a great, connected group ASAP!
- Where possible, tag team EVERYTHING with your husband (or helpful other!) so each of you gets time to rest. This goes for home, travel, etc. Share the load of cooking, feeding, playing, nappy changing – it’ll mak a world of difference!
- Nothing beats the power of prayer! Pray that God will help you take one day at a time!
Are there any amazing tips or hacks that have helped you in your motherhood journey? I’d love to hear them in the comments below! Also if you have images you could contribute to some of the mum hack ideas above (as I’ve only got my 5 month old boy!), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include them along with the appropriate credit. Thank you!