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30 Hacks for Today’s Parents!

The Goddard School is 30, and, to celebrate, we held a “30 Hacks for Today’s Parent” contest! We asked parents to post a comment along with a photo, video and/or short description that shows off their favorite parenting hack.

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Here are the top 30 parenting hacks from our Goddard parents!

1.”When you go on vacation and want to make sure your kid won’t fall out of bed, tuck extra pillows or rolled up blankets under the sheet on each side of the bed. It creates a little bumper to keep them from rolling out.” – Rachel S. rachael-sartor-edited
2. “Use a washing machine drain pan to catch dropped food & crumbs.” – Mara J

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3. “Chopsticks stop sticky hands!” – Katherine D.T.

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4. “When you have a sick kiddo – tape an empty tissue box box to the full one.  When you have a dirty tissue you can stuff it into the empty box so you don’t have to get up and throw it away each time.  When the box is full just snap it off and toss it.” – Carey S.

5.  “When my little one was just learning to pull herself up we had a coffee table with bars and designs on the bottom (along with a shelf we kept magazines…). So she wouldn’t hit her head on the bars or pull the magazines out we tied a crib bumper along the bottom (on the left in photo).” – Amanda S.

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6. “I keep a diaper caddy in the backseat of my car in case I have an unplanned doctor appointment or event that would need essentials when I don’t normally have my diaper bag or am coming from work to get kids. I keep diapers, wipes, change of clothes, toys, snacks, books, blanket, hand wipes, diaper cream and other necessities. They even serve as back ups in case I forget to throw something in my diaper bag. That way I’m covered on all bases!” – Sarah B.W.

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7. “To wean your toddler off of their pacifier, try cutting the nipple off of the pacifier and tell him/her that it is “broken.” If you feel that cutting the whole nipple off all at once is too dramatic, you can start off by cutting a small hole in the end of the nipple and slowly make it bigger and bigger until the child is no longer comforted by the pacifier.” – Kyla C.

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8. “Keeping the kids out of the kitchen drawers and cupboards – toy links and a yardstick.” – Abby W.

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9. “Our kids love to paint, but want every color. We put it in an ice cube tray, with press n seal wrap on top. It doesn’t dry out! Also use q tips for paint brushes. One in each color. Makes for easier clean up & less wasted paint!” – Carolyn K.P.

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10. “For some reason, restaurants tend to serve kid meals at like 500 degrees. Whenever we go out to eat, we will order our child’s meal when we order our drinks but we ask that their meal be kept in the back until our food is ready to come out. It helps to cool the food down out of eyesight of our child (as its hard for them to understand the concept of ‘wait and let it cool down’ when the chicken fingers and fries are right in front of them).” – Samantha L.

11. “To keep my son’s bedroom door from being slammed we cut down the side of a pool noodle and put it at the top of his door.” – Shauna B.

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12. “For dining on the go, Carry a lint roller in the diaper bag. Apply 2-3 rows of lint roller tape, adhesive side down on dirty public tables. The backside creates a clean, cheap, disposable and immovable eating surface for toddlers. Then clean up any crumbs with the adhesive side afterward.” – Paula S. M.

13. “Buy your kids a Starbucks cake pop to get them to be quiet for five minutes so you can drink some coffee in peace.”

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14. “Use laundry clips to prevent taco spills.”

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15. “Grab a dirty sock off of the floor and wipe down the surfaces in the kids’ bedrooms every week when gathering dirty laundry. It’s worked for 22 years. Kid still doesn’t know. Repeat for husband…that one has worked for 28 years. They think I dust..” – Amy T.

16. “Giving your kiddo pesky medications: Having a hard time getting your infant to swallow medication? One trick is to squirt a little medication into the inner cheek of your kiddo and then quickly blow in your baby’s face. This can cause them to swallow, getting the medications down them before they spit it back in your face!” – Jake C.

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17. “This parenting “hack” I am recommending is curbside grocery pickup 😉 Walmart and Giant Eagle both offer it in multiple locations. As a parent, this has saved me so much time and money each week. You can sit in the luxury of your own home, ask the kids what they’d like to eat, research food offerings and become organized with recipes. Families that have rather large grocery lists each week and parents who dread walking into a grocery store, this is such an awesome service. I’ve been doing this for months now, it’s a game changer.” Amy B.

18. “For potty training toddlers: cover the mattress with a waterproof cover then fitted sheet. Repeat the waterproof cover and fitted sheet on top. If they have an accident in the night just pull off the first layer and put them right back to bed quickly without a major disturbance in their (and your) sleep.” – Amanda K.

19. “We struggled to find child safety locks to keep our pantry doors and our sons closet doors shut because the handles were so far away. none of the typical door locks worked. We used the oven or fridge locks instead.” – Cary S.

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20. “Our best parent hack is using blue painters tape for everything. We put some over the speaker on toys (why are kids toys so loud?!), use them as “stickers” or let the kids hang artwork all around the house. Since it’s painters tape it doesn’t damage the walls or toys! ” – Tricia H

21. “For potty training and sick kiddos, keep two layers of mattress protector and sheets on the bed. Makes middle of the night changes a little easier to just take a layer off and have one ready to go! I’ve done it in the crib and big kid beds.” – Carolyn K.P.

22. “We use hair ties to keep cabinets and double closet doors closed! We’ve tried all of the expensive gadgets, and hair ties have been the most successful at keeping our little one safe! (They rock for trips, too!)” – Paige O.

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23. “This is great for any baby/toddler who were the bed. Sometimes diapers get too full during the night and it leaks or sometimes toddlers just wet the bed… so… It is a PAIN to change the sheets in a crib. So what we do is put a water proof liner on, then a sheet, then another water proof liner and another sheet, so if the sheet gets wet, you just have to rip off one set and the bed is made and ready to go. So you’re only making the bed every other time. Works for us!” – Dori S.

24. “Use your child’s dresser as a changing table. Saves money & space by not buying a separate changing table & you’ll have room to keep everything handy! (Our changing pad came with straps that you can nail into the dresser to prevent it from moving). Bonus hack from the picture: Use the IKEA spice racks as book holders. We painted ours. (IKEA has figured out that folks do this & our store actually stocks them in the kid’s section now).” – Betsy P.

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25. ” A friend of mine gave me these great tips: Carry a bassinet or small crib waterproof flat sheet or cover in the diaper bag for diaper changes in public. It covers the nasty changing stations completely (to keep baby from touching anything–we all know the disposable covers sometime provided are not big enough nor are most changing pads), and can also be used in the car. Best thing about it, if it gets dirty, you just throw it in the wash! This same friend also told me to get a small portable potty with disposable liners for the car for road trips or when public bathrooms are just too gross for little ones who touch everything.” – Jessica I.B.

26. “Throw dirty socks in a small mesh laundry bag. Was and dry in bag and never lose them!” – Elyse J. S.

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27. “My hack: I encourage my kids to ask a lot of questions. It builds a lot of curiosity. That’s why I always use Alexa or google . I tell my kids to ask Alexa and google all the time. It also keeps them busy.” – Melwyn X. P.

28. “This was absolutely one of the best ideas… the laundry basket in the tub to keep all the baby toys near my daughter.” – Chantele M.

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29. “Pretty simple and yet “Oh So” effective hack that has always worked for me – giving your child a choice of 2 things when you already know that both get them doing what you want them to do. For example, a kid that refuses to take medicine – start off saying do you want to take your medicine with a pretzel or a cracker??? They usually make a choice and do one or the other not even realizing they just did what you wanted. Bonus, your child likes getting to make decisions!” – Colleen C.

30. “It has recently come to my attention that rubber duckies and other small bath toys can often become filled with bacteria due to the collection of water inside. So, I have begun to use a hot glue gun to seal the small hole on the bottom close” – Dori F.

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