With my first child, I was able to find extra time to do things, and efficiency didn’t really matter. When I had my second, I did not have that same freedom. So, I’ve tried to do everything I can think of to make my responsibilities more efficient and decrease stress by cutting the unnecessary. Becoming more efficient as a mother has helped me maximize my time while becoming a better mom, wife, and homemaker.
I’ve searched for solutions online, and I’ve seen other mothers using products that make mothering easier. I want to share my findings with you.
Use a diaper bag back pack– or at least a long shoulder sling. Our first diaper bag shoulder strap busted the first month we had it. No offense to JJ Cole because I think I was carrying too much weight in it, but needless to say we haven’t had a diaper bag we could carry shoulder style or back pack style for years. That worked for one baby, but not two. You really do need two hands when you have more than one child. We use a back pack if we will be walking a lot. If not, a shoulder bag works just fine. To make things even more efficient, I use my diaper bag as a purse. I have a billfold type wallet that I throw in and take out as needed.
Playtex drop in bottles– I had the hardest time finding a bottle that would work for my second. She was picky. Luckily, after spending too much (but not near as much as I could’ve) on 4 other brands, I found these Playtex drop in bottles. They decreases the amount you have to spend to find a good latching nipple because they have 4 different nipple shapes and multiple different flows for the same bottle. I was able to find a slower flow wide latch nipple that worked really well. Also, Playtex bottles are some of the least expensive to buy, so its great if your breastfed baby is struggling to wean. I save tons of time with these too! Now that my daughter is weaned the bottle drop ins save me SOOO much time in washing and sanitizing. Because the nipples are inexpensive I switch those out at the same time as the Playtex drop in and wash the nipples all at once. The drop ins save me at least 45 minutes a day (if not more), and if people ask about the waste I’m sure to tell them it comes out about even, because I’d use so much water and the microwave to wash and sterilize bottles for my son which I do not have to do with these.
Diaper Genie- With my son I decided I’d just run the diapers out to the street garbage because I didn’t want a nasty smell in the house. It worked. Now, that is not an option. I’m worried if I unlock the front door my son will bolt. Using a Diaper Genie has made changing two kids’ diapers much much easier on me.
Soaking bucket with OxiClean– blow outs, spit up, etc. Just put the item in a soaking bucket with OxiClean until you are ready to do a load of laundry. This is a great tutorial from my friend Chelsea of how to get really tough stains out of baby clothes.
Shower instead of bathing- Instead of bathing the kids one at a time we all shower together. I let the bathtub fill a little while the water is warm. I wash/shower the kids and then allow them to play in the tub while I shower. Then I rinse them and we all get out.
Spot Shot– Spot shot is the miracle carpet cleaner and has saved me tons of time scrubbing our carpets, mattress, and clothes (yes it works for stains on clothes!). If you have not tried it, do yourself a favor and give it whirl.
Disposable diapers- Although cloth diapering may be less expensive, when you have multiples using disposables they do save time.
Get your toddlers helping. In my book I co-wrote, “Living a Rich Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom: How to Build a Secure Financial Foundation for You and Your Children,” my sister, Karen, wrote about her friend who has their 18-month-old feed and water the cat each day. He loves to do it and actually always remembers. My son loves to help me move laundry from the washer to the dryer. I drop the laundry on the dryer door and he pushes it in. He can also get the wipes for me when I change his baby sister. He’ll sometimes even go get certain items I need when asked. Getting your toddler to help with simple chores not only increases your productivity, but also instills a great work ethic for them and increases their self-confidence.
Nursing- Nursing is quite efficient. There are no bottles and little waste; it’s inexpensive, convenient, and time saving (unless you are driving). Also, side lying nursing and multitasking while nursing makes nursing even more efficient. If you have never tried this, you are missing out. Nursing while lying on my side allowed me to get much needed rest while my baby ate. Further, I would often nurse and multi-task. I set my baby up and then blog, answer emails, make phone calls, pay bills, clip her fingernails, etc. There is so much downtime for an exclusively breastfed baby, efficient moms can really get lots done if they set themselves up to before beginning to feed.
Leak proof sippy cups– My son would bite through any sippy cup we gave him and even when he hadn’t made a hole, sometimes they would still leak. When I found these I almost jumped for joy! No more spilled milk, juice, water, etc. Even his razor sharp teeth can’t bite through these—trust me, he’s tried. They also sell the gasket replacements so you don’t have to buy a new cup if the little piece goes missing. With all the spills I was cleaning up these have really freed up time!
Nap or meditate- While it may seem a bit backwards that napping, meditating, or taking a good rest would increase productivity, I encourage you to try it for a week and see the results for yourself. Motherhood is a 24/7, 365 days of the year job and every single one of us needs a break—at least one daily. Resting really helps the body replenish it’s resources and will aid you in making it until bedtime without too big of a burn out. My mom was an excellent example of this. Ever since she had babies she would sit in the large recliner in the front room and close her eyes and rest while we napped or had quite time. Although she wouldn’t nap as long as we did (so she could get some very needed things done), she was always much happier afterwards. Always.
Amazon Prime– When we need something (diaper genie refills, diapers, PB2 for my protein drinks, etc.) and I don’t have a coupon for it and really don’t want to pack up my two kids to run and grab one thing, I order on Amazon Prime and get free two day shipping. Some may ask if this really saves me money. I have to answer with a resounding YES! I spend more if I’m in a store and able to grab this and that on the way in and out. In my book I co-wrote, “Living a Rich Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom: How to Build a Secure Financial Foundation for You and Your Children,” I talk about how just staying out of stores helps me to save significantly. Further, Amazon Prime saves time. I log on, search an item, add it to my cart, and check out. Literally in the time it would take to check to make sure I have everything I need in my diaper bag to go to the store I have the item on the way to my house for free.
Electric breast pump- I’ve used both electric and manual. Oddly enough I like the manual one for weaning but the electric (especially if you have this bottle holder bra strap) for saving time. It is far and away more efficient. If you don’t have one, check your insurance, they are often required to supply new moms with electric breast pumps.
Becco Gemini or similar carrier that is comfortable and easy to use. My daughter is just an angel. She really is the sweetest most calm and easy baby—as long as she is being held. I definitely love her sweet disposition, but it does get draining holding her ALL DAY long. So, after lots of reviews (and knowing that my kids don’t stay light for long) I bought this Becco Gemini carrier. It allows me to hold her in four different positions. For comfort and less back ache, you can crisscross the back straps which is a must in my book. With the crisscrossed straps and all of the newborn and baby options this carrier is great for ages 1 month-10 months or more. It is so insanely comfortable, which is something I never imagined I’d say. While carrying her I’m able to clean, do dishes, cook carefully, and even blog (I set my laptop on a high shelf and type while I hold her). There are tutorials on YouTube on how to nurse while wearing the Becco Gemini and as long as I’m home I did nurse her in it. This carrier has made me much much more efficient. And I got it gently used for a steal.
Let your kids entertain each other (if applicable). I often allow my son to hold his sister (he loves it!). I also let her watch him run around, play, jump on the tramp, etc. I love seeing them creating a relationship and bonding… and even better, I don’t have to entertain either one for a little while, and I can catch up on a few emails or just watch them, relax, and enjoy the moment.
What are some unique products or ideas you’ve come across to help your efficiency as a mom of young kids and babies?
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