baby

14 parents on the hacks that make life with a baby easier.

Cetaphil
Thanks to our brand partner, Cetaphil

When I first had my daughter almost 6 years ago, I recall my husband and I saying to each other as we left the maternity ward, “Are they really going to let us leave with this baby?”                    

We had this overwhelming realisation that we were responsible for this gorgeous helpless baby. Yet we had no idea what we were actually... doing.

We desperately looked out the back car window as we drove away, expecting (and somewhat hoping) the nurses would chase after us. Or at least hand us a manual. Surely, that’s a thing?

I have told this story a few times to my friends, and I discovered that this is a common experience. 

Unfortunately, this baby manual doesn’t exist!

Six years on and another baby in tow, some days I still totally feel like I’m just winging it. I’m sure we all do at many (read: all) stages. But I do feel like I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way I wish I knew from day one. 

This got me thinking: what other tricks have us parents gathered and passed on that we wish we all knew sooner? What actually are the best hacks that make your new life with a baby a heck of a lot easier?

I took this question to my community of parents, and here’s exactly what they reported back.

Alison

I have discovered that nap time is always more successful after a warm bath. 

During bath time, we use a gentle baby wash to help him relax, which I swear helps him drift off to sleep more peacefully (magic, I tell you). 

I prefer one that’s specially formulated for baby’s delicate skin, like Cetaphil Baby. The range is dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic, and it’s endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives, the peak midwifery body in Australia. 

Even a mini baby massage too with their Cetaphil Baby Massage Oil (it has the good stuff in it: shea butter and vitamin E) can help keep them calm before drifting off, and be a lovely way to have one-on-one bonding time with bub.

Their products were recommended to me, so definitely one I’d recommend further to more parents to help make life with a bub easier.

Image: Supplied.

ADVERTISEMENT

Isabelle

I used to put out my kids’ clothes at night in their rooms for them to wear the next day, to make it easier and much smoother during hectic mornings (where I don’t have the mental load for it among 3816563 things). 

I did this for years, and it made life SO much more efficient.

Alicia

I definitely recommend to make life easier with a baby to invest in baby suits with the double zip. 

They’re the most efficient to get on and off when you’re changing your little one what feels like 100 times a day (and in the middle of the night), and I even used to put them on backwards so bubs can't unzip them!

Jess

I make the bed cot in layers (waterproof layer, fitted sheet, waterproof layer, fitted sheet), and it’s a game-changer with a baby. That way if they spew or wet the bed at any hour of the day or night you can whip those sheets off and resettle them as quickly as possible, without doing an overhaul of their bedding.

Charmaine

When travelling home at night, put bubba in the sleeping bag that has holes for the car seat belt so transition to bed is easy. We don’t need them waking up now, do we!

Image: Supplied.

Shell

One of the biggest hacks I was repeatedly told from other parents was DEFINITELY to veer on the side of a less-it-more approach in accumulating "stuff" for bub, which has been my philosophy as a new parent! Also finding all-purpose items with multiple uses when you can has been so helpful too. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Things like minimising toy clutter and just having a limited number of good quality, open-play toys; rather than having a baby bag and a handbag, combining them into one (that is still light enough to carry!); all-in-one products for bub for max efficiency (Cetaphil Baby Gentle Wash & Shampoo, I'm looking at you).

Janelle

Food pouches are SO handy. 

Whether it’s store bought pouches, or reusable pouches you put your own mushy creations in, they’re the best at transporting when you’re out and about, and can have bub feed themselves (with you watching on, of course).

Jess

A thermos was my best friend when I had babies, it made life so much easier. For heating milk or food. You cannot always rely on being somewhere you can heat a bottle quickly to the perfect temp for a fussy little one!

Also, chamomile tea in the milk bottle. I checked that it’s safe for bubs over 12 months, and I even still do this with my daughter when she is upset. 

I make myself a cup and reuse the bag to make her a weak calming tea.

The product that made feeding easier with a bub too was a silicone manual breast pump from Haakaa. It was a lifesaver if I had a blocked milk duct or if I was “filling up” while out and about. 

Josie

Shower when the baby is awake! I pop them in a bouncer to be close, just outside the shower of course. I used to hear cries when showering. I always found they were content watching me and I could take my time.

Freeze meals in portions too, and ice cube trays for your little ones! That blew my mind when another parent told me that hack with my first baby. 

I always had nappies prepared in disposable bags and had them in my nappy bag ready to go. That way it was easy to pull out when dealing with a dirty nappy.

Image: Supplied.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lily 

The best hack to ease the potential (likely) messes from baby is my recommendation to always put a waterproof mattress protectors on every mattress including and especially your own bed as you most likely end up with baby wee/vomits on your own bed.

Jade

Never buy button up onesies, zippers all the way!

Caroline

For bigger kids, make them earn screen time! If they want more make them earn it! My daughter is home sick (not!), so she's just cleaned the bathrooms and vacuumed the carpets for extra screen time. Half my housework is done!

Emi

When we go camping, we use a flexible tub (like ones you can pick up from IKEA or Kmart) for baby’s bath time in the caravan or tent.

Paula

My bub was exclusively breastfed, so he would only take his afternoon nap in my arms. To make live calmer and easier for myself, I used that time to read while breastfeeding, either with a physical book or audio book. It was a beautiful time for us both.

Image: Supplied.

Janelle

I always used a backpack rather than a shoulder bag so I had my hands free when out and about! Might sound like an obvious one, but it's so easy to be drawn into a gorgeous looking nappy bag with handles, but a backpack can also be better for your back pain too.

Cetaphil Baby is now officially endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives. Shop their range in Pharmacies and Supermarkets nationwide.

ACM receives financial donation by Cetaphil Baby. 

AU-CET-2100445

Feature Image: Supplied.

Cetaphil
The Cetaphil Baby range is specially formulated for baby’s delicate skin and healthy skin development Cetaphil Baby products are dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic Cetaphil Baby is endorsed by the Australian College of Midwives, the peak midwifery body in the country.