If there’s one thing that new parents can agree upon, it’s that having a baby turns your life upside down. From the sleepless nights to the constant worrying about the tiny person you’re now responsible for, everything you thought you knew is now very different and life seems a lot more difficult than it used to.
If you’re a parent (first-time or not), you could probably do with all the help you can get to make things a little easier – you have nine months to prepare, but then you’re on your own. These new baby hacks should take some of the pressure off and allow you to solve some of the problems that make parents’ lives a nightmare.
1. Know about silent reflux
A condition that can cause a lot of confusion amongst parents is silent reflux, where the contents of the stomach are regurgitated into the oesophagus and then swallowed again, rather than being spat out. This can cause a lot of coughing and even lead to croup if it isn’t dealt with.
You can recognize silent reflux if you hear the baby reflux but not bring anything up or if you can’t get them to shake a persistent cough. The problem will eventually disappear, but to speed up the process you should more regular burping, smaller feeds and even raising the head end of the cot if possible.
2. Vick’s coughing remedy
There are people arguing both sides of this remedy online, and it seems so odd that it goes without saying that it should be taken with a large pinch of salt. However, if your little one coughs throughout the night (not a particularly relaxing experience for any parent), one way that you can solve the problem (apparently) is by rubbing Vick’s Vaporub into his feet and covering them with socks at night. We can’t speak for the success of the treatment, but there’s little harm in trying it for yourself and seeing if it works – it should start to make a difference immediately.
3. Freeze dummies to soothe teething pain
The period when a baby begins teething can be one of the most testing for parents. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, teething begins and you’re back to square one. The main issue you’ll have is trying to find a technique to soothe the discomfort the baby is feeling.
4. Protect work clothes in the morning
If you’re a working parent, your time to wash and iron clothing might be at a bit of a premium, so you need to try and protect your work outfits at breakfast time. If you don’t want to have to shield yourself with saucepans or learn to duck to avoid flying food and other projectiles, a smart investment to make is a dressing gown or lab coat that can cover your clothes and take the hits for your smart blouse or trousers.
5. Make white noise your new best friend
One of the biggest challenges of your new parenthood will be making sure your little one gets enough sleep and, in turn, that you do as well! White noise can be invaluable because babies love it – they fall asleep more easily, stay asleep for longer, cry less and are easy to wean once they have reached their first birthday. Some parents think that they won’t be able to wean their babies off the white noise, but simply lessen the volume of your machine each night until it’s turned off completely and you shouldn’t have too many problems.
6. Get on with your day by using a baby sling
Life doesn’t just stop when you have a baby. Household tasks still need to be done, but this becomes more difficult if your little one starts crying when you leave him alone. The simple solution is to pop him in a baby sling while you get on with things – he’ll be happier (he might even sleep!) and you’ll be able to work without being interrupted.
7. Apply pressure to feet to soothe aches
When it comes to general aches and pains, a lot of parents swear by foot reflexology when it comes to their babies. In this theory, different parts of the foot correspond to different parts of the body, which will be soothed when you put gentle pressure on the relevant part of the foot. It is also a good bonding exercise for you to practice, even if it doesn’t seem to have much of an effect!