Baby Hacks: Tips for Making Life with a Baby Easier

 Hello friends!
My son, Hudson, is 10 months old today! 
{how did that happen?!?}
Life with a baby is certainly an adventure - a wonderful, crazy, sometimes difficult adventure filled with sweet snuggles, late nights, early mornings, belly laughs, projectile spit up, countless diaper changes, etc. I have compiled this list of "baby hacks" - or tricks that have helped me manage the wonderfully hard life of raising a baby. I pray they prove helpful to you :)

1. Use a pacifier clip to keep toys from going overboard
Do you have a pacifier clip?

They are usually used for clipping a pacifier onto a baby's shirt to keep it from falling onto the ground. However, they are also super handy for keeping toys attached, especially once your baby discovers that he can throw things off of the high chair (and rest assured, he will learn to throw things). This is particularly helpful at restaurants where the floors may be sticky and less-than-clean.
 We also use this to keep toys in the stroller when we go for walks:
 ...and in the carseat to keep the toy contained and the baby happy:
and if you're really in a pinch and don't have a pacifier clip, you can always use a shoelace:
*Note: For safety, don't leave your baby unattended with a shoelace.

2. Stick your socks inside of one another
Baby socks.
So cute.
So tiny.

Does your baby's sock collection ever look like this?
There's nothing more frustrating than running late and digging through a drawer for a tiny pair of matching socks. So I came up with this trick to keep the socks neat and organized:
Fold ONE sock:
and stick it INSIDE the other sock:
 All of Hudson's socks are paired up and take up way less space in his drawer:

3. Fill your dishwasher basket every night
Munchkin makes an excellent dishwasher basket to hold all of the itty bitty baby things (pacifiers, bottle nipples, spoons, etc.) in the dishwasher. Mine stays in the top rack all the time.
Every night before I start the washer, I do a quick scan of the living room and Hudson's room for any toys or pieces that need sanitizing. I pop them in this basket and in the morning, voila! They are clean and ready to be sucked on, dragged around, and eaten with.

4. Milk bottles make excellent maracas!
Fill a bottle with just about anything and you've got a quick homemade shaker! 
These quick and easy "maracas" keep Hudson happily entertained - plus they are a lot cheaper than the official baby shakers.

5. Get your baby their own set of measuring cups and spoons
Trust me on this one.
Babies love measuring cups and spoons - and buying them their own set that can stay in their toy box will save you time when you need the 1/4 t. for that late-night recipe. Plus you won't have to constantly second guess whether or not you've washed off the baby slobber before measuring out the olive oil.
I also bought Hudson his own spatula because they are just about his favorite things on Earth. I know - I'm a nice mom :).

6. Luggage tags make excellent teethers

Is your baby teething? Yes.
Are they fussy? Yes.
Are they sleeping? No.
Are you sleeping? No.
Enter: luggage tags!

These rubber luggage tags are excellent teethers. My baby loves to suck and chew on them - and they provided some much-needed relief!

7. Keep an Baby Emergency Kit in your trunk
I keep this bag in my trunk at all times for those days when spit up gets everywhere, the baby has three diaper blowouts in a 2-hour period, and you lose a sock in the mall parking lot. 
Here's what's inside:

Hudson's bag has a complete change of clothes - I like to have everything in one bag so that I can quickly grab it and run to the bathroom to change him rather than trying to juggle a sticky, dirty, smelly baby while digging through the diaper bag for tiny clothes.

Mommy's bag also has a complete change of clothes for me - yes, even down to the socks. If you don't have an extra pair of socks, you'll definitely end up with baby vomit in your own pair. Trust me: pack the extra socks.
Extra items: diapers, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, a spare pacifier, and a new bottle of puffs.

Do you have any "baby hacks" or tips to make life with a baby a little easier? I'd love to hear about them - leave a comment below! :)

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