Get ready for the first in a series of Mom Hacks! These are tips and tricks that I’ve picked up from living day-to-day mom life that can help you, too.
I’ll call these “mom hacks” because I mostly write to moms, but anybody can use these, be it dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles, you name it!
These 5 tips can make your life easier, save you money and stress, and help you get the most out of your resources!
Mom Hack #1: Lap tummy time
This one comes from Can Do Kiddo (click here to check out Rachel’s site).
The concept is so simple, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to work into your daily life. Do this often, and your tummy time minutes tally will skyrocket!
Simply lay your baby across your lap, on their tummy, looking down at something, with their arms either propped up under their chest, or hanging down over your legs.
Instant. Tummy. Time.
You can do this while waiting for checkups at the pediatrician’s office, while watching TV, chatting with a friend, or as part of dedicated tummy time. The options are endless. You don’t need a mat, or a blanket, or even a floor. You can take do this in your home or take it on the go!
Plus, it’s super easy for recovering C-section mamas to play with baby without having to grovel on the floor fresh out of surgery. And it’s amazing for anyone trying to get things done with an infant; in the photo above, I put Lydia on my lap and maintained her with one hand while I ate a bowl of cereal!
My daughter liked this method of tummy time way better than the floor. She could rest her head when she needed a break without feeling like she was suffocating, and my warm, squishy thighs were more comfortable to lay on.
You can use many different objects for keeping your baby’s attention while you do this. Just place something on your seat beside you, right in baby’s line of sight. Use a high-contrast toy, a stuffed animal with gigantic eyes, or a photo of a loved one. Place a magazine page down and gently crinkle it in your hand to add the sense of sound.
You don’t even have to use your lap. Try placing your baby on a chair or a table. Get creative. No matter how you do it, though, be sure to keep a hand on your baby in case they roll!
This basic template for tummy time opens the door wide open to a world of tummy time, only limited by your imagination! Try this trick as often as baby will tolerate it (and stop as soon as your baby grows unhappy; you’ll get way more out of tummy time by doing this frequently even if it only lasts for 30 seconds at a time).
Mom Hack #2: Return things to Target for store credit
Have a bunch of stuff from your baby shower that you don’t want, but don’t have gift receipts? Take it to Target!
Even without a receipt, even if it wasn’t bought from Target, you can return it.
As long as Target carries your item in their inventory, you can take it to customer service and they’ll accept it and give you a Target gift card for the amount the product costs.
There are some limitations. There’s a yearly cap on the amount of money they’ll let you return for, but it’s relatively high depending on how much you want to return. You’ll have to present your ID so they can keep track of how much store credit they’ve given you.
But being able to return stuff you don’t want and get the stuff you do, without paying out of pocket? So useful!
Mom Hack #3: Formula manufacturer’s checks
If you use formula, visit the website for the brand you use, and they probably have a way to sign up for their offers.
Then, most likely, they will randomly mail offers to you.
These aren’t coupons like “50 cents off when you buy two”—these are $5-$10 manufacturer’s checks!
Account for a couple extra minutes in the checkout lane as the cashiers process these, but that’s dollars you’re knocking off your total bill. With formula, every little bit helps!
Mom Hack #4: How to grocery shop with your baby
Have you been to the grocery store yet with your newborn? Did you arrive and only then realize you had no idea how to do it? Did you put the car seat in the shopping cart and try to squeeze your groceries around the sides?
There’s a better way.
Carriers, wraps, whatever you prefer. You probably got one from a baby shower or bought it later off your registry. Bring it with you to the store, and take your baby out of the car seat in the parking lot, even if he or she is sleeping. Chances are, especially if they’re younger, your baby will fall asleep snuggled up against you, while you go around doing your shopping with both hands free and all the available space of your shopping cart.
Plus, it’s safer than bringing in your car seat, which can leave your baby at unsafe angles for breathing.
Mom Hack #5: Getting the most out of baby’s clothing sizes
This is a great one to do before your baby comes, if you can.
If you sort your clothing by the supposed size, you’ll probably end up with some outfits already outgrown by the time your baby is “in” that size, and some that are way too big for weeks or even months.
This tip will help ensure the best fit on a regular basis.
Take all the clothes you’ve purchased and been given, and wash and dry them to get a true fit, because some may shrink. Grab a measuring tape, and sit down to do some work.
First, sort the clothing by the size on the tag so they’re generally in order. Then, measure each garment from shoulder to crotch, and put the clothes in order based on your measurements.
When you’re done, you’ll have your baby’s clothes sorted by their actual size, and you can gradually progress from the smallest clothes to the biggest, getting the maximum use out of those adorable outfits!
Did you try any of these tricks? Comment and tell us how it went, or contact Breeching Baby on the contact page and send me some feedback!
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