20 Life Hacks For Parents

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The internet is awash with lists of life hacks. These are a few of mine to make parenting that little bit easier.

Foodie Life Hacks

  1. Store your kid’s plastic plates in the fridge. Then, when you put hot food on them, the plate will start to cool it down straight away
  2. When you want to breastfeed in public, tie a muslin cloth to your bra strap and drape it over your baby to keep her suitably covered without overheating her
  3. Do your food shopping online. It means you don’t have to drag the kids around with you, you won’t be as easily tempted by things on offer because you’re not browsing the aisles, and you can keep a tighter grip on your budget because you’ll know the running total of your purchases
  4. If you haven’t got a butter knife, use the back of a spoon to spread butter on your bread
  5. Serve the kids’ food out first so it has time to cool before eating
  6. Dried cereal makes for a yummy, nutritious snack: we take small tubs of Cheerios or Weetabix Crispy Minis with us when we go out

Entertainment Life Hacks

  1. If you have to take your kids shopping, draw them a pictoral shopping list so they can ‘help’life hacks shopping list
  2. Have a little back pack that is always filled with toys: if you have to dash out unexpectedly, you’ll be able to grab it on your way out and have something to entertain your little ones
  3. Fill a Clipboard with scrap paper – instant refillable notepad for kids to colour in, with a built-in surface to lean on (great for long car journeys)
  4. A pillowcase tucked into the back of a kids (or adults!) collar makes for an excellent superhero cape
  5. Keep a packet of those free restaurant crayons in your handbag, along with a small notepad: you never know when your little one might need distracting!
  6. Rotate toys. Instead of having all their toys accessible all the time, hide a few away. Then swap them around every couple of months. This will keep interest up. If you’d rather not completely take the toys away, just try swapping around where the different toys are kept so that different toys are on display or most easily accessed each month
  7. Divide the school holidays up into themed weeks and plan activities accordingly (more details here)

Financial Life Hacks

  1. Always buy kids clothes a size too big for them in the sale, then stash them away until you need them – it spreads the cost so you’re not spending a fortune in one go when they suddenly have a growth spurt, and you get a lot more for your money because you’re buying in the sale
  2. Haven’t got a paint palette? Use an old ice cube tray instead
  3. The school holidays are rife with free events and activities for children, you just need to do your research and find them. Check council websites, local tourist attractions, libraries
  4. You don’t need to spend money on expensive bath toys, just wash out their old shampoo bottles – they’ll have so much fun filling and emptying them

General Parenting Life Hacks

  1. Celebrate their birthday on a day that is convenient to you! If their party isn’t until a few days after their birthday (or vice versa), just don’t tell them it’s their birthday – they won’t know the difference and it can be confusing for little ones to have presents but no party. Just do the whole birthday (presents, cake, party, cards, phonecalls to relatives) on one chosen day
  2. When making a weekly chart, lay out the days of the week so that they go round the page (kids don’t understand the concept of getting to the bottom of a list and then jumping back to the top again)life hacks circular chart
  3. Song sacks make great on-going prizes as you can add an item each time they use the potty or say thank you or whatever stage you’re at


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Add yours
  1. 1
    Cheryl @ ReimerandRuby

    Life hacks… that’s what we, parents need to know, don’t we? I have been practicing some of these techniques which really made life more efficient, but it’s great to know a lot more in this post. Thanks for sharing! #MarvMondays

  2. 3

    I love some of these – the plates in the fridge is such a good idea and the ice cube paint tray!! I always say I need to rotate toys – mine get so bored of their toys and they have so many!!! Great post! #marvmondays

    • 4
      Lucy At Home

      Yeah I have good intentions of rotating the toys but the ones I’ve hidden away always seem to migrate downstairs again pretty quickly! I think just the act of moving them away makes the kids want to play with them! Thanks for commenting. L

  3. 5
    Emily Bresin

    I love your tip of putting the kids plates in the fridge. Such a great idea! I never would have thought of that. Thanks for sharing! #MarvMondays

    • 10
      Lucy At Home

      My song sack is my go-to grumpiness-diffuser! No matter how cross my toddler gets, if I suggest the song sack, the corners of her mouth slowly curl into a smile! Thanks for commenting. L

  4. 11
    The Tale of Mummyhood

    I’m completely taken by the first point, we always have to pacify a grumpy toddler whilst waiting for her food to cool. Put the plate in the fridge – genius! I love it!


  5. 13
    Grounded Mummy

    I am going to print this off and stick it on my fridge! Thank you! Lol! I am that sad but I do love this, especially the themes for the school holidays, (I’ve already gone into your linked post and will be stealing this with immediate effect!) and keeping kids plates in the fridge. Will you be adding to the list or can other mums add to it? Thanks again! #marvmondays

    • 14
      Lucy At Home

      Thank you!! I’m so glad you found it helpful. If you have some more ideas to include, I’d love to hear them. If you add them to the comments section, I’ll update the post and reference you in it 🙂

  6. 16
    My Petit Canard

    I love this, what a great list! Particularly love the muslin breastfeeding one, the dried cereal one, the shopping list one, the kids toy backpack one, the clip board and scrap paper one and the ice cube paint palette – all things that I can see myself trying out in the future 🙂 Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

    • 17
      Lucy At Home

      Oh good – I’m so glad you’ve found so many helpful 🙂 It was just a list of things I’ve found useful to do with my own girls. It’s great to hear that people have found them useful too. Thank you for commenting. L

  7. 21

    Love this, especially storing plates in the fridge..I am so doing that from now on!Love the breastfeeding tip too and I always have crayons I’ve nabbed from restaurants in my bag!Cereal on the go..that’s a fab idea too!xx #TheList

  8. 23
    Elizabeth (Wander Mum)

    Such great ideas…would never have thought of putting the plates in the fridge. Crayons and paper – essential and the toy bag is a good idea too. Don’t think I could do the birthday one though…I get way too excited about their birthdays! Thanks for sharing #thelist

  9. 25

    Great tips. Kids plates in the fridge is very clever. I always by clothes in the sale – problem is I have so many stashed away for all three of them I’m bound to forget to get them out when the time comes!

    • 28
      Lucy At Home

      I hope it works – shopping with little ones can be such hard work. Unfortunately, I’m not much of an artist so I have to write the word too to remind myself what it’s supposed to be! Hahaha. Thank you for your comment. L

  10. 34
    Alana - Burnished Chaos

    Some great ideas here. Some I already do (crayons and bag of toys on hand at all times when going out), and others I can’t believe I didn’t think of and will definitely be stealing. The plate in the fridge was a real forehead slapper for me, I used to spend ages wafting the food around outside to cool it down! Also, the clipboard and shampoo bottle ideas are pure gold. Thanks for sharing #TheList #MarvMondays #PoCoLo

    • 35
      Lucy At Home

      It seems like a lot of people have liked the plate-in-the-fridge one! It must be a common problem. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who has a child that won’t eat anything unless it is luke-warm!! haha. Thank you for your comment. L

  11. 38
    Madeline (This Glorious Life)

    The two tips about grocery shopping have definitely worked for me. When my son was little I always did it online as he was quite hard work to take to the supermarket. My daughter now is actually quite fun to go shopping with, but when all three of us go together it’s been really useful to get my son to write/draw a list for us which then keeps them both entertained round the shop! x

  12. 44

    One of the best, most helpful posts I’ve read in a while – thank you! The cereal as snack and shopping list ones are so simple but so genius 🙂 Def saving this post for future ref #pocolo #thelist

    • 45
      Lucy At Home

      Oh I’m so glad you found it helpful. I’m sure everyone who looks after kids has their own tips and tricks for getting things done, these are just a few that have worked for our family. It’s nice to know that other people find them helpful too. Thank you for commenting. L

  13. 46
    Stephanie Robinson

    I think we all have life hacks that we think everyone knows and then suddenly we realise they don’t – which is why these kinds of posts are so worthwhile. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo and being such a fab #newbieshowcase today 🙂

  14. 51
    Agent Spitback

    I love these hacks! So clever. I like the plate idea – I would have never thought of it. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

  15. 56
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    That’s a great list – I never thought about putting the kids’ plates in the fridge for a while so that when hot food is put on them, it will cool down quicker, although I do always serve their food up first. We have boxes of toys that we rotate and a small rucksack of toys that helps keep the children entertained – I fill it with the toys that come with magazines after the inital interest has worn off- that way it doesn’t matter too much if something gets lost when out and about. The themed weeks idea is good too and I like the pictorial shopping list. #twinklytuesday

  16. 60

    Love this! I do the toy rotation thing, they think they have new toys again! Love your plates in the fridge trick…genius! #twinklytuesday xx

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