Use an over-the-door shoe hanger as a baby clothes organizer. The small pockets are just the right size for those tiny outfits. Shirts and shorts can go together in a single pocket for an easy outfit change. If your door is far away from where you normally change your baby, place some hooks on the wall and hang the organizer from there. To ensure that everyone's outfit gets worn by the baby before it's too small, don't restock the organizer until all pockets are empty. Then when Aunt Agnes asks you about her outfit, you can assure her that you know the baby wore it and loved it without trying to rack your sleep-deprived brain remembering which onesie she bought for baby.
Once your baby is eating finger foods, use a formula dispenser as snack dispenser for goldfish, cheerios, etc. The container fits easily into a diaper bag, keeps the snack from getting crushed, and is easy to find. The small opening also makes it harder for your munchkin to get out too many snacks at a time.
Make “Wet Ones” disinfecting wipes in the same way as making your own baby wipes. Just use ½ of the baby oil, twice the rubbing alcohol, and the same amount of soap as the baby wipe recipe. Or omit the alcohol and substitute ½ C of kitchen surface disinfectant for part of the water. Make sure that the disinfectant you use is approved for food surfaces, and clearly mark that the wipes are not for baby butt!
If you are having an outdoor party for your child's birthday, use a Frisbee as a paper plate holder. Once the guest are done eating, they can play with their Frisbee, which also makes a nice take-home present for your guests.
Instead of using ice cubes that melt and make a mess, use rice or popcorn kernels the next time your child has a boo-boo. Place the rice or popcorn kernels in a durable ziploc bag and keep the bag in the freezer. The rice or popcorn will get cold but will stay moldable to the injury. There's no melty mess and the bag can be wiped off and placed back in the freezer for another time.
When giving a present to a child, wrap the present in an inexpensive t-shirt and tie in place with a jump-rope. The novelty of the wrapping will make your gift seem more special, and you can spend less on the actual present. Keep an eye out for clearance t-shirts or blank t-shirts at craft stores and stock up on sizes you'll likely use. Jump ropes can often be found in packs of 8 as party favors and will cost less than a dollar each.
Dishwasher detergent is typically stored under the kitchen sink. However, the humidity and possible leaks make under the sink a poor storage place for detergent. Under the sink can also be a potential danger if you have small children, even with a safety latch. To solve this problem, place a small amount of detergent in a child-proof bottle and keep that bottle under the sink. Store the larger container elsewhere in the house, away from water and small children. As an added benefit, the smaller container will make it easier to pour less detergent into your dishwasher (you really only need a TBS or so for most loads). In the event that your child manages to undo both the cabinet and the bottle, the smaller amount of detergent will at least ensure that your child will have less of a dangerous substance to interact with.
If your child's clothing has a zipper pull that is hard to grasp or the zipper pull breaks off, use a small washable key chain fob. The larger size of the fob will make it easier for little fingers to grasp and fasten the zipper and will provide some novel personalization to your child's clothes.
Make your baby's or small child's bed with two sets of fitted sheets and mattress protectors – mattress protector, fitted sheet, mattress protector, fitted sheet. When you need to change the sheets in the middle of the night, simply pull off the top fitted sheet and mattress protector and you're good to go. No fumbling around in the middle of the night while trying to simultaneously console a wet or sick child.
If you have a baby monitor that has several speakers, use the speakers throughout your house to create a whole-house stereo system. Simply place the music next to the baby monitor itself, and the sound will play throughout the house via the different speakers. The quality won't be the same as a professional system, but it's a lot cheaper!
If you are traveling with a baby and you don't want to bring your baby tub, use a small plastic laundry basket set inside the regular bathtub. The holes in the basket will allow bath water in, and the size of the basket will make it easier to bathe baby.
The knees of kid's jeans will last longer if you use iron-on patches on the inside of the jean leg when the jeans are still new.
Being a mother has unique challenges and situations. I'm convinced parents are often more creative thanks to their children - as a survival mechanism, if nothing else! In honor of Mother's Day, here are some handy hints and tips, Mommy edition: