The 47 Best Parenting Hacks You Need to Learn

It's been a while since we first started researching parenting hacks, and we simply can't get enough. From the tiny little "Why didn't I think of that!?" moments to serious game changers (hello, marshmallows as sore-throat medicine!), we've gathered some of the most useful discoveries that parents will want to keep in the back of their noggins. From soothing pesky sunburns to making the holidays less stressful, these 47 tips are guaranteed to make life just a little bit easier — something that we could all use. Read through to get a peek at our favorite parenting hacks, many of which we never knew we needed!


Corral Your Kids (and Cats) in an indoor Kiddie Pool!

Extend the life of a kiddie pool well past Summer by using it as an indoor playpen. Toss a bunch of your baby's toys in there, and buy yourself 10 minutes to vacuum, fold laundry, or make a quick phone call. Your pets will love it too.


Use Shower Curtain Hooks as Closet Hangers

Keep handbags and accessories easily organized by putting shower curtain hooks on your closet rod. Source: Real Simple / Burcu Avsar

Milk Out a Canker Sore

Milk Out a Canker Sore

Rather than using a sting-inducing ointment, try dabbing some milk on your child's sore. It also doesn't hurt to add a little extra dairy to her diet, as it is known for curing ulcer-like issues.


Use a Lazy Susan in the Fridge or Cabinet

In my house, salad dressing and condiments always seem to get easily overlooked on the refrigerator door. Using a lazy Susan on one of the fridge's shelves keeps everything at eye level — so smart. Source: Martha Stewart


Use Baby Food Jars For Spice Storage

After painting the sides with chalkboard paint and filling the jars with spices, baby food jars easily become part of a great-looking spice rack or drawer.


Suck Down the Medicine

There are plenty of ways to get your child to take his medicine, but this is our favorite. Dip a small lollipop in the medicine and let the child lick/suck it each time you dip it. When the medicine's gone, they can finish the lollipop.


Freeze Out Teething Pain

If your child's mouth hurts, he may not have much of an appetite. Get him to eat and ease the pain with a frozen, nutritious treat. These easy popsicle recipes use baby-friendly foods, so you know your child will love them!


For Safety's Sake, Snap a Family Photo

If you're at a theme park, beach, or any other public place this Summer, buy yourself peace of mind by snapping a quick photo of your kids before the day begins. This way, in the (extremely unlikely) event that someone gets lost, you'll have an accurate and current visual of what they look like and what they're wearing.


Save Your Car's Cup Holders

Crumbs and stickiness will become a thing of the past (at least as far as your cup holders are concerned). Place cupcake wrappers in car cupholders and discard when they're dirty.


Use a Shower Caddy to Organize Stationary, Notebooks, and Pens

A shower caddy is just the right size for little books, and it can hold markers, crayons, and more.


Roll Your Clothes When You Pack a Bag

Maximize the storage space in your luggage by rolling clothes instead of folding and stacking them.


No Tape? No Problem.

Scour your office or junk drawer for other solutions, like mailing seals.


Cook Your Thanksgiving Turkey in a Crockpot

Really, try it! Since you won't be checking on the turkey every 20 minutes, you'll actually be able to enjoy time with your family.


Soothe Their Sunburn

For the ultimate Summer treatment, fill an ice tray with aloe. The cold temperature combined with the soothing plant extracts give sunburn the one-two punch.


Sweeten a Sore Throat

Many moms swear by this trick! If your child suffers from a sore throat, have them eat a few marshmallows. We think it has something to do with the gelatin, but whatever it is, the 'mallows soothe the soreness.

Make Your Kids' Coughs Disappear

Make Your Kids' Coughs Disappear

A child's cough can keep everyone up at night. So before you tuck her in, lather some VapoRub on her feet and cover them with thick socks. We don't know why this works, but we're glad it does!


Ease an Earache

If your kid keeps tugging at his ear, try this trick. Fill a clean sock with rock salt and a couple of drops of an essential oil. Heat the "pack" on medium-low heat for about five minutes, and place against your child's ear. The minerals plus the heat will lessen the pain.


Microwave Two Bowls at Once

To fit two bowls into the microwave at the same time, simply place one on top of a glass so that it sits higher than the other. How easy is that?


Keep Your Beautiful Mess to a Minimum

We love the idea of confining craft time to a foil-lined cookie sheet or tray for minimal cleanup. So smart!


Monster Spray

If your little ones are afraid of scary monsters lurking under the bed or in the closet, let them help you make monster spray. Have them decorate an old spray bottle, and then add in the "magic anti-monster potion". Spray it around the room before bBye-bye bad guys!


Make Sure Your Big Bows Keep Their Shape

When storing your wreaths and other bow-festooned decor, Martha Stewart recommends using cardboard tubes (from paper towel or toilet paper rolls) wrapped in paper towels to maintain the bow's shape.


Suck Away Teething Aches

It is an old trick, but it works! Place a spoon in the freezer for a few minutes, then give it to your tot to suck on. The combination of the cold and pressure reduces swelling, giving your child some much-needed pain relief from her growing teeth.

The Safest Way to Clean Up Broken Glass Mishaps
Stocksnap | Richard Revel Photography

The Safest Way to Clean Up Broken Glass Mishaps

Every good party has a casualty of some sort (especially if there are kids involved), and if yours happens to come in the form of a broken glass, employ this safe method for cleaning up the wreckage. Source: Sarah Lipoff


Toss Dryer Sheets in Your Suitcase

Sweaty, stinky kid smells, be gone!


Use Command Hooks For Jewelry Organization

Pretty porcelain jewelry boxes look great displayed on your dresser, but chains often end up tangled or misplaced. Keep jewelry and bracelets neat and tidy with command hooks. It may not be pretty, but it works!


Organize Wrapping Paper

Cut a toilet roll through the middle, and wrap it around wrapping paper to keep things in place and prevent it from unrolling.


Use a Command Hook as a Bib Hanger

Place a command hook on the back of your baby's high chair and hang their bibs there. Until I discovered this trick, my baby's bibs were never in the right place when I needed them. Now I just get him situated in his high chair, reach back, and grab a bib — easy and out-of-sight!


Track Your Kids' Medicine Doses

Never miss a dose again or find yourself wondering "did I already do this?" Create a chart on the prescription bottle to track when you give your child his medicine.


Create a Spill-Free Sipper

Insert a crazy straw into a cup upside down to keep the drink where it belongs and off your car seats.


Painlessly Pull Out a Splinter

So long, tweezers! To remove splinters, combine baking soda with a touch of water and spread over the wound. Cover it with a bandage, and an hour later you'll be able to push the splinter out with ease.


Wash(cloth) Away Tooth Pains

Giving your baby something to gnaw on will take his mind off his teething pain in his mouth. For added comfort, soak the cloth in chamomile tea, a natural way to calm your tot and lull him to sleep.

Rub Away a Headache

Rub Away a Headache

Take a note from Eastern medicine to get rid of your child's headache. Simply massage the spot between her thumb and pointer finger until the pain disappears.


DIY Outlet Cover

Skip those funny little outlet covers from the baby-proofing brands, and instead seal off hazardous electrical outlets with Band-Aids.


Cool Down a Burn

Next time your tot burns herself, turn to this combination. Mix equal parts baking soda and vinegar, and rub the mixture over your child's burns. It eases the pain and prevents potential blistering.


Use a Shoe Organizer as a Stash For Car "Stuff"

Place an over-the-door shoe organizer on the passenger seat to store toys, books, emergency supplies, and more.


Prep Your Kids' Strawberries

Simple strawberry solution alert: get rid of those pesky stems without wasting too much of the fruit by inserting a straw into the bottom of the strawberry and pushing up. The leaves will come off, too!


Store Christmas Ornaments in Egg Crates

Skip a trip to Target or The Container Store for those fancy ornament storage bins, and instead rely on empty egg crates to ensure their safekeeping at the end of the season.


Before Heading to the Beach, Seal Your Cell Phone in a Ziploc Bag

Because the only thing worse than your phone being water-damaged is your phone being water-damaged on vacation.


Wrap Earbuds Around Old Gift or Credit Cards

Troublesome tangles, be gone!


Turn a Plastic Cereal Container Into a Car Trash Bin

Your car floor will thank you.


Make Kids' Slippers Slip-Proof

Call off your search for special nonslip slippers for your little ones, and instead upgrade the pairs they currently own with Prudent Baby's hot glue gun solution! Simply write your child's name in hot glue on the bottom of their shoe, and they'll never slip again.


Phone Number Bracelet

Make a bracelet for your child that has your phone number on it. That way, you can both feel better about doing things outside or being in a crowd.


Use a Curtain Rod For Easy Ribbon Access

You don't need an elaborate gift-wrap room to give yourself organized, easy access to your supplies. Install a small curtain rod or towel hanger above a desk or countertop, and slide ribbon holders or a wrapping paper roll onto it. It makes for a neat wrapping station.


Put Shoes in Shower Caps When You're Packing a Bag

It's the easiest way to keep your clothes clean!


Use a Pegboard For Storage

Pegboards are common in classrooms, so why not use them at home? Attach wire baskets, pegs, and hooks to the board to store anything from craft items to bathroom towels. The possibilities are truly endless. products, towels, (it will help them dry between baths, too), and even keep a toothbrush from falling in the sink.


Keep Bugs Out of Juice

Bug juice got its name for a reason. But your tot's juice doesn't have to be full of bugs during a picnic or dinner al fresco. Simply place a cupcake liner over the cup, and the bees and bugs will leave their drink alone!


Easy Peel Mandarin Oranges

Forget peeling and then pulling apart mandarin oranges — the process leaves your fingers smelling like oranges for days! JewelPie has an easy — adult-only — way to get the job done, and kids will love picking the slices off the peel!