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32 Tips, Tricks and Hacks For New And Expecting Parents

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You’ve read the baby books, you’ve gotten advice from family and friends, and you’re ready to jump into the wonderful world of parenting. These tips and tricks will help you through the first few months, including those long, sleepless nights!


  1. Keep a spare change of adult clothes in your diaper bag. 

    You never know when or where a major spit up could occur!
  2. Soothe your teething baby with frozen pacifiers.

    Submerge the pacifier in water and squeeze the end to pick up as much water as possible, then freeze. The frozen pacifier will help soothe your teething infant’s sore gums. 
  3. Use a warm bath towel.

    For newborn babies, it can take time to get used to the cool after-bath air. Warm up your baby’s bath towel with a heating pad for an easy transition.
  4. Use a dimmer switch in the baby’s room. 

    This allows you to keep the lights low while feeding and changing him during the night, making it easier to get him back to sleep.
  5. Never be caught without a stain remover.

    Make your own with one part Dawn dishwashing detergent and two parts hydrogen peroxide to remove all baby-related stains.
  6. Keep bath toys handy.

    At bath time, put your baby and his or her bath toys in a plastic laundry basket in the bathtub to keep the toys close. Remember to still supervise the baby at all times during the bath.
  7. Hang bibs on the high chair.

    For easy access to bibs at dinner time, hang them on an adhesive hook on the back of your baby’s high chair.
  8. Consider moving on to a more family-friendly car.

    Family-friendly vehicles, such as those with sliding doors, bucket seats and lots of room for baby supplies and groceries can make life much easier for new parents!
  9. Keep the car seat manual handy. 

    Make sure you know how to use the car seat and consult the manual to find out when the baby should be transitioned into the next seat.
  10. Warm the crib mattress.

    To help your baby transition from sleeping in your arms to sleeping in the crib, use a heating pad to warm up the crib mattress. Remember to remove the heating pad before your baby goes to sleep.
  11. Easily keep track of baby laundry.

    It can be very easy for tiny baby clothes to disappear in the laundry. Wash tiny baby socks in a lingerie or mesh bag so they don’t get lost!
  12. Use white noise to soothe your baby.

    White noise is great for soothing babies. Try a white noise app on your phone or turn on a fan. 
  13. Use an over-the-door shoe organizer for baby supplies.

    Stash all of your baby’s creams, ointments and other supplies in the pockets of an over-the-door shoe organizer for quick, easy access.
  14. Clean toys in the dishwasher.

    Save time while keeping your baby’s toys sanitary by washing them in the dishwasher.
  15. Buy in bulk.

    Your baby will go through thousands of diapers. Buy diapers and other supplies in bulk to save money.
  16. Prepare for traveling.

    When traveling, it’s not likely every room will be baby-friendly. Bring extra outlet covers or use duct tape in a pinch.
  17. Give your babysitter a babysitter box.

    Prepare a babysitter box full of everything your sitter might need, including notes, instructions and snacks.
  18. Avoid a lot of eye contact with your baby right before bedtime. 

    Eye contact is very stimulating for your baby, so minimize eye contact before bed for a restful night’s sleep.
  19. Safely co-sleep.

    To co-sleep safely, place a co-sleeper or bassinet next to your bed. This will allow you to keep your little one close, without it being a safety hazard.
  20. Keep toys out of the crib at night.

    Keep the crib empty of everything but your baby and the fitted sheet.
  21. Soothe your baby as you move him or her to their crib.

    When you transfer your baby into the crib at bedtime, put your hand gently on his or her stomach, arms and head to comfort and soothe them.
  22. Have a consistent nighttime routine.

    Help your baby understand it’s time to sleep by always following a consistent nighttime routine.
  23. Keep your baby’s room cool.

    Just like us, babies sleep better in a cooler room. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping the temperature in your baby’s room between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  24. Use dark curtains.

    Help your baby sleep better by simulating nighttime during the day. Try blackout shades or dark curtains.
  25. Give your baby a short bedtime massage.

    A 15-minute bedtime massage with baby-safe oil can help your baby fall asleep faster.
  26. Read your baby a bedtime story.

    Bedtime stories aren’t just for toddlers and young children. Reading a story before bed in a soothing voice will help relax your baby, even if he or she is too young to understand it.
  27. Learn your baby’s cues that he or she is tired.

    Be on the watch for clues your baby is tired, such as rubbing his eyes, yawning or becoming whiny. Some babies may do the opposite and act extra energized.
  28. Sing to your baby.

    Singing is a great way to calm your sleepy baby and relieve stress.
  29. Keep tissues handy.

    Keep a box of tissues or wipes handy in every room to mop up spills and messes.
  30. Bring someone to help on your first trip out with your new baby.

    On your first journey out and about with your baby, bring backup. A veteran mom can help keep you from getting flustered.
  31. Take care of your health. 

    Your family needs a healthy mother! Make time for plenty of rest, and keep up with routine exams.
  32. Choose a provider you love. 

    You are going to be spending a lot of time with the obstetrician or midwife you select to help deliver your baby and provide postpartum care, and our providers will be there to help every step of the way. Find a provider you really connect with, and meet the UnityPoint Health - Waterloo OBs and midwives!