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10 parenting hacks you must know (including how to get a little extra sleep)

Posted February 15

If you’re an exhausted parent, you need this. (Deseret Photo)

Everyone knows that parenting is not an easy task. Use these 10 tips to make your job a little more manageable:

1. Breakfast in bed

Get up a little before your kids wake up and leave a tray of breakfast food in their room. Be sure to use foods that won’t leave stains on your carpet and that are easy to clean up. This could be a sippy cup with water, a granola bar and some grapes. If you aren’t a morning person, leave the tray in their room after your kid has fallen asleep for the night. When they wake up, they’ll have something to eat without needing to wake up mom. Let them play in their room until you wake up. This will give you the extra 30 minutes of sleep you desperately need!

2. Clean-up race

Make clean-up time fun with a race! The first one to clean their room wins. If your kids share a bedroom or a toy room, divide it into sections and start the timer.

3. Cover the car seat with a towel

When your child isn’t using their car seat, cover it with a towel during those scorching hot summer months. This will help keep those buckles a little cooler when it's time to strap in.

4. DIY ball pit

Keep your kids entertained with a DIY ball pit. Grab a big box, kiddie pool, or laundry basket and fill it with balls for hours of fun.

5. Use a fitted sheet as a cover

Use a fitted sheet to cover your child’s playpen when you’re outside. This will keep them shaded and keep out the bugs.

6. “I’m lost” jewelry

When you’re going out in public, especially if it is a highly populated or new area, have your child wear a necklace or bracelet with your phone number on it. If they get separated from you, they’ll be able to contact you.

7. Monster spray

If your child is afraid of monsters, grab a bottle of monster spray! Turn this into a fun activity by letting them help you decorate the outside of the bottle. Fill the bottle with water, but shh, that’s the secret! Help your child fall asleep a little easier by allowing them to keep the bottle by their bed at night.

8. Put magnets on your kid’s favorite cup

Your kid probably visits the kitchen multiple times a day to rehydrate, so save some space in your dishwasher by putting magnets on a cup and leaving it on the fridge during the day. This hack has another benefit: Now that their cup is reachable, your child will be able to get their own drink of water.

9. Road trip gifts

If you’re preparing for a long road trip, pack a few small presents for your child to open at the start of each day on the trip. This gives them something to look forward to, and something to keep them entertained on the car ride. Try out some on-the-go games like mad libs, magnetic board games or interactive travel games like car bingo.

10. Store snacks in a shower caddy

Keep your car clutter-free by storing snacks in a shower caddy when you’re on a road trip. This keeps your food organized and easily accessible.

Parenting isn’t easy, but you’ll find your stride. Try out these parenting hacks to make life just a little easier...and maybe get inspired to come up with your own along the way.

Shaelynn Miller is a journalist who has a passion for photography, video production and writing.

Contact her at smiller@deseretdigital.com.

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