20 Newborn Hacks for Brand New Moms
20 Awesome Newborn Tips that make Mom Life Easier
When it comes to mom life, I’m always looking for ways to make my job easier. I recently wrote a couple posts about breastfeeding hacks and diaper changing hacks, and they’ve both gotten a great response. It inspired me to think about some of my favorite newborn hacks that I probably had to learn the hard way. I’m hoping there are a few in here that you haven’t heard before! Here are 20 newborn hacks that will help you tackle mom like you’ve been doing it for years.
Ditch the Buttons
When your baby is brand new, it’s likely that they’ll wear pajamas A LOT. Go straight for the pajamas that have zippers, especially at bedtime. There’s nothing worse than changing a diaper at 2am and trying to figure out which button goes where.
Set up the Pack n’ Play in your Main Living Space
I’ve included this newborn hack in another post about preparing your home for baby, but it’s one of my favorites so I’m going to share it again. If you’re the proud owner of a Pack n’ Play, don’t just use it for traveling. Set it up in the corner of your main living space as a home base for baby. Most of the new Pack n’ Plays come with attachments like a bassinet and a changing table. This is the perfect place to let your newborn nap, change their diaper, and store all your baby essentials (like diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and so on).
Get the Velcro Swaddles
Skip the origami lesson and invest in some Velcro swaddles. I think I tried to swaddle Weston once or twice with a regular blanket, but it never seemed to hold. I loved the Velcro swaddles because they were easy to use and if he managed to break out of them (which he always did), there wasn’t a lose blanket around his face while he was sleeping (I was a safe sleep lunatic… can you tell?)
Qeepsake is the best way to keep up on your baby’s memories and milestones. All you have to do is download the app, and they’ll send you text messages asking questions about your baby. All you have to do is respond and Qeepsake stores all of your answers for you. You can upload photos and journal entries as well. When you’re ready, Qeepsake will create a book packed with tidbits about your little one. No more forgetting to jot down milestones in a baby book.
Clean Up Blowouts the Right Way
This newborn hack has gone viral a few times, but it blew my mind the first time I saw it! Did you know that the little flaps on the shoulders of onesies are so that you can pull the onesie down instead of up over baby’s head in the event of a blowout (which happens frequently). Total game changer.
Bonus Hack: Pull the bottom half of the onesie over your baby’s arms when changing dirty diapers so that they don’t put their hands in the mess!
If you’re breastfeeding, I highly recommend you take the online breastfeeding course, Milkology. It’s great to take the course before your baby is born, but I’ve found that its even more useful after your baby is born. There’s something about having a question and going back and watching the lessons that is so extremely helpful. Sometimes you don’t want the pressure of going to a lactation meeting or talking to a consultant. Milkology is amazing and gives you information about all stages of breastfeeding. You get lifetime access, so it’s beyond valuable in my opinion!
Invest in the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock
Grocery shopping with a newborn is hard enough. You never know if they’re going to get hungry or have a meltdown in the middle of your shopping trip. Throw in the fact that their car seat takes up the entire cart and grocery shopping is almost impossible! Say hello to the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock. It clicks on to the sides of the cart and baby can rest easily in the hammock while your groceries pile up underneath. This thing is especially useful for anyone who has a newborn and a toddler.
Download the Wonder Weeks App
If you haven’t heard of the Wonder Weeks, it’s an infant development book that gives insight into the 10 developmental leaps babies experience in their first 18 months. I’ll be honest, I’m not about to sit down and read chapter after chapter about this stuff, but the Wonder Weeks app was a total lifesaver when it came to understanding what was going in Weston’s little brain. The app gives you this amazing chart that shows you exactly when your child is going through a leap. It warns you when to expect fussy periods and when you can expect your child to be reasonably pleasant. Now, I was born in the 80’s and this stuff is a load of crap to people like my mom, but I can’t tell you how accurate this app was for Weston. If he was unusually clingy, fussy, or was having sleep issues, I’d pop open the app, and sure enough, he’d be in the middle of a leap. EVERY SINGLE TIME. For moms that like to have a reason for everything (guilty), this app is great. It also lets you read about the changes occurring during each leap. Sure enough, you’ll be able to see your child utilize new skills and understandings shortly after each leap. I found it extremely interesting and reassuring.
Create Positive Sleep Associations
Creating positive sleep associations from an early age can be extremely helpful when it comes to getting your newborn to sleep for longer periods of time. Some positive sleep associations are sound machines, a lullaby before bed, or a solid bedtime routine. These are things that your newborn doesn’t need to be weaned off of (like a binkey or nursing).
Pack a Change of Clothes (for you and baby)
In the early days of parenthood, you’ll want to make sure you always have a change of clothes for you and for baby. Between leaky boobs, diaper blowouts, and projectile vomiting, you never know when you’ll need a wardrobe change when you’re away from home. Pack a full outfit (or two) for baby, and an extra shirt for yourself.
Do a Double Layer of Sheets in the Crib
Once your baby is sleeping in their crib, do a double layer of sheets and mattress pads in case of a middle of the night mess. I can almost guarantee that at some point in time, your baby will have a blowout, soak through their diaper, or puke in the crib. If you do double layers of bedding, all you have to do is rip off the first layer, and you’re still left with a fully made bed for baby. So you’ll do a mattress pad, then fitted sheet, then another mattress pad, and another fitted sheet. Just make sure all the bedding is pulled tight and fits the mattress properly! Trust me, the last thing you want to do at 2AM is change the sheets on a crib mattress.
Get Baby to Latch
If your baby is refusing to latch on one side (or at all), try squeezing out a little colostrum or milk and rub their lips on it. It will let them know that your boob is a food source and encourage them to latch.
Wake a Sleeping Baby
In the early days of parenthood, you’ll likely have to do the unthinkable every now and then. That’s right, you’ll have to wake a sleeping baby. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to make sure that your baby is getting enough milk by nursing them every two to three hours. If your newborn is particularly sleepy, try these newborn hacks to wake them up; lightly blow in their face, tickle their cheeks, or open up the pajamas to let some cold air in. These tricks should wake your baby just enough to get them to latch.
Get a Backpack Diaper Bag
If you haven’t gotten your diaper bag yet, I strongly suggest getting a backpack diaper bag. They’re easy to carry and look good on dad. We have this one. It’s got plenty of space, came with a portable changing pad, and has an insulated side pocket for milk or food. There are so many fashion forward diaper bags out there, but when it comes to managing life with a newborn, it’s all about functionality.
Clip Baby’s Nails while Nursing
You might have to call in backups for this newborn hack, but the best time to clip your baby’s nails is while they’re nursing. They’re relaxed and likely on their way to dreamland. You, or your partner, can probably get their nails clipped without them even noticing.
I utilized the dream feed so much that I devoted an entire post to it. In short, a dream feed is a nursing session right before you get ready to go to bed. Gently latch your baby on to your breast and let the feed. Many babies, including Weston, would feed without ever fully waking up. I could nurse him and lay him right back down with no issue at all. It allows you to fill up their bellies right before you go to sleep in the hopes that it might gain you a few extra hours of rest before your baby is hungry again. In my opinion, this newborn hack is definitely worth a try.
Get Rechargeable Batteries
There is nothing worse than your newborn’s favorite bouncer or swing running out of batteries. Weston loved this bouncer and its vibrating capabilities when he was a newborn. When it would run out of batteries, it would mean a trip to the store. Having rechargeable batteries also comes in handy the older your baby gets. If your child has a favorite toy that runs on AA’s, you can always be sure you have a set of batteries on hand.
Try Let There Be Milk
The most common concern for breastfeeding mama’s is their milk supply. If you start to notice that your supply is dipping, try a few drops of Let There Be Milk. This herbal lactation supplement has amazing reviews and will have you making more milk within days.
Get More Than One Boppy
When we had Weston, I had registered for a boppy and my sister gave me her old one. We kept one upstairs for night time feedings and one downstairs for daytime feedings. I’ve seen people keep an extra in their car as well. It might sound like overkill, but not having to remember to take it upstairs every night was so helpful. I always had a boppy within reach, no matter where I was breastfeeding.
Keep a Clear Storage Bin in Baby’s Closet
18 months later, I’m still shocked at how quickly Weston outgrew all of his adorable baby clothes. I don’t even think he wore half of them. One thing I learned to do over the last year is to keep a clear storage bin in his room for any clothes that no longer fit. When it gets full, I slide in a piece of paper that has the sizes and season on it. That way, it’s easy to figure out what I’m looking at in our mess of a storage closet in the basement.
I hope these newborn hacks help you simplify motherhood in at least one little way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thanked Google for the opportunity to learn from other moms and not have to do this all on my own. Any way that I can cut down on the chaos and make things just a tad bit easier is a win in my book.
Related Baby Articles:
- 7 Lessons I Learned from my Baby Sleep Consultant
- 5 Ways to Survive the Witching Hour
- Tear Free Tips for Transitioning your Baby to the Crib
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