There is no shortage of things to worry about when you become a new dad. The late nights and early mornings may keep you too busy to think of solutions for your everyday problems. That’s what we’re here for! Whether your changing messy diapers or trying to get through the teething months, here are the top 10 most helpful “MacGyver” style hacks to bail you out of even the toughest jams.
- Use make-up brushes to apply butt paste
Babies poop…a lot. It doesn’t take long for that reality to set in, and even shorter still is the time it takes to get a rash from all the moisture and friction. It is absolutely essential to have a good diaper rash ointment. Applying it can get messy to say the least. With this hack a new dad can show off their ingenuity by re-purposing an old make up brush to apply the paste, without getting it all over your hands and clothes!
- When getting fresh air outside, secure a crib sheet over a playpen to prevent mosquito bites or sunburn.
A great way for babies to get that much needed fresh air and still be safe and comfortable, is by taking their playpen out in the yard or on the porch. You may be shooting some hoops or relaxing in a hammock while they play and crawl around the playpen. Often times nice weather brings mosquitos and other pesky insects! They can be a nuisance and with all this talk about the Zika Virus it is best to be extra cautious! Thankfully, new dads can keep your baby safe with this super easy hack. Simply take a crib sheet and put it over the top of the playpen. It prevents bugs from being able to get inside and it helps add another barrier between your baby’s sensitive skin and the glaring sun.
- Use an old toolbox as an emergency diaper bag for the car
These days, it seems we are all on the go, all the time. Taking baby in the car comes with its own set of unique challenges, but thankfully, we have a hack for that too. I can’t tell you how many times I have been in the car and smelled that tell-tale odor. But when I reach to grab the diaper bag, I realize I forgot to bring it. It happens more often than even the best dads would like to admit. In order to avoid this issue, you can use the glove box, an old toolbox, or even a tackle box for the anglers reading, to serve as an emergency diaper kit on the road! It works great in a pinch, and you and your baby will both be glad you did!
- Rubber band empty tissue boxes to filled ones for an easier way to dispose of tissues
Most of your time spent with a new baby, is spent wiping gross stuff off of one place or another. Noses are no exception to this rule, and you will find yourself up to your ears in soiled Kleenex in no time. It seems like their little noses drip constantly for at least the first few years, so this hack will save you some much needed time running back and forth to the wastebasket. Simply put a rubber band around two boxes of tissues, and make sure one of them is empty. Every time you have to wipe babies nose, you will now have a convenient place to put all the snotty tissues without ever having to get up. Just don’t forget which side is which.
- Draw a dosing chart on medicine bottles to keep track of when you last gave them medicine
On top of all the other things to contend with when raising a new baby, sometimes, they get sick. It is heartbreaking to see them feeling so rough, but thankfully, with the proper medicine as directed by your doctor, they will be back to normal in no time. Medicine dosage for babies can be tricky and the added stress of a sick baby can make an already cluttered new dad’s headspace, even more difficult to manage. Thankfully, this hack will save the day! Take a permanent marker and make a dose chart on the bottle, so that you never run the risk of giving them too much or not enough. You and your baby will be back to your happy selves in no time.
- Secure a metal coat hanger to your high chair to keep track of your bibs
I think we can all agree at this point, babies are messy. Feeding time can get out of hand, and when you’re tired and frazzled, finding the right tools for the job can be frustrating. For this hack, we need a metal coat hanger. Bend the hanger around the back on your high chair and hang all of your bibs on the back to make sure you’re never without a clean one when you need it!
Bonus Hack – You really only need 1 bib. The Baby Manual™ will soon be releasing the “Forever Bib” which is a one-size fits all adjustable easy wash and dry bib that replaces all other bibs. Learn more at babymanual.com
- Keep cabinets closed with rubber bands or hair ties
When your child starts to crawl, it is definitely a proud moment. Their first step towards independence can be very rewarding for both of you, but as with all things, a few risks still lie ahead. Babies love opening up doors and pulling out whatever is in arms reach. The thing is, those doors usually end up being cabinet doors and more often than not, they contain things that may be harmful you your toddler. A quick and easy fix for this, is using rubber bands or hair ties to hold your cabinets closed. Simply wrap the rubber band or hair tie between each knob, and the tension will hold the doors closed. Voila! Nice job new dad! Cheap and easy cabinet locks!
- Frozen pacifier for teething
Of all the issues you will face with a new baby, teething is the most cringe worthy. No parent wants to see their child in pain, and the constant crying can be nerve-racking. Teething is probably the most talked about baby issue and with good reason, it can be exhausting to overcome. Thankfully, this hack will be sure to keep your beautiful bundle of joy smiling through this sometimes overwhelming ordeal. For this hack, all you have to do, is take an ice tray fill it up with water, juice or yogurt. Take your baby’s pacifiers and dip them in. Leave them inside the ice tray and put it in the freezer. Freeze overnight and you will have pacifier pops in the morning!
- Use Cheerio Necklaces to keep your baby happy while you’re shopping
When you have a baby, there are still lots of every day normal errands a new dad has to get done and sometimes, you will have to take them along with you. Those trips to the store can wear you out if you have a grumpy kiddo to contend with. For this hack, you will need some string and your favorite cereal. I use Cheerios because my kids loved those the best, but you can use any cereal that has a hole to place the string through. Slide the cereal onto the string, tie it through a pacifier or teething toy, and tie the ends together to make a “Cereal Necklace”. Your child can happily munch away on this tasty treat while you take care of business! Always double check to make sure the knots are secure and never leave child unattended.
- Pool Noodle Door Stopper
Toddlers love exploring, almost as much as they love pooping. As they make their way through your house, you will quickly start to realize how many dangers lie ahead of them. Thankfully we have found a cheap and easy way to help keep them safe when navigating the world around them. Just cut a pool noodle down the sides and placed on doors to prevent them from closing on their hands and fingers. The plus is, in the Summer you can find them at virtually any store you go to!
*For all these new dad hacks and any others, make sure your baby is always properly supervised and never leave your baby unattended.