There’s a newish website called “Parent Hacks”, which is dedicated to ways to make parenting easier. The nice thing about that site is that most of the ideas aren’t “big” ideas or changes you need to make to your life – they are small changes (or “hacks”) that can make all the difference.
In that vein, here are a few of our own “hacks”, based on over 800 days of experience:
- The Night Feeding/Beating: If you read a powdered formula canister, it’s easier to assemble stereo equipment than to make a bottle of formula. It requires boiling water twice, letting it cool, mixing, and feeding. We moved pretty quickly to the bottle warmer, which meant less boiling and mixing, but the warmer was incredibly sensitive. If you added 1 ml too much water, it turned a tepid bottle into a molten lava of formula, sending you back to the beginning. In addition, it usually takes about 30 seconds to a minute to heat up. In nighttime feeding baby screaming time, that’s about 25 years. The next answer was to use hot water from the tap (I’m sure that will cause some evil consequence), which reduced the risk of 3rd degree burns, but still took too much time. Finally, we hit upon the solution: A thermos, right next to the formula container, filled with water at just the right temperature. We would put that in the thermos right before bedtime, and when the call of duty came in the middle of the night, the water was nice and warm.
- Two hands for kids, none for lights: Betsy loves timers. Everything is on a timer. I think she would put me on one if she could. The benefit (which I have slowly realized) is that when you’re running around after two kids, the last thing that is watched is your electric bill.
- Diaper Chump: We have the Diaper Champ, which is the lowbrow version of the Diaper Genie. No need to buy sausage casing to wrap the diapers, but the stink level can get pretty high. Once Sophie started eating solids, the stink increased by a factor of 10. We now add an extra step when changing the diaper after #2: we shake the diaper a little into the toilet to get rid of any “solids” which can be removed. It has the additional benefit of teaching Sophie of where the “poo” ultimately goes – in the toilet. That has reduced the stink level by about 90%. Of course, if it’s a heinous/wet poo, the diaper goes into a HazMat bag and disposed of immediately.
Now it’s off to the Parent Hacks site, to see if there are any new ideas to make my life easier.
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