Motherhood + Life

Baby Hacks – Things that make motherhood easier!

May 8, 2016

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I recently became a new mom again and while a lot of it is familiar and like riding a bike, there are parts to this newborn phase that feel very different and brand spanking new!

Now with 2 babies under 2 while running a business, I’m always on the lookout for the latest gear or products that make the mom life easier. I’ve rounded up some of my favorites– some are tried and true that I relied on with my first daughter, and some are new things that I’m adding to my mom toolbox the second time around.

My criteria:

Will it help baby (and me) sleep more? Done.

Does it make everyday tasks or errands more manageable? Great!

Will it help me to look or feel better? Amen.

Is it functional + super adorable? Sold.

Call them hacks, helpers or magical motherhood unicorn friends. Bottom line, they help make this new mom feel a little more sane and for that, I’m grateful!

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The really great thing about this list is that all of these products are created by moms!

So, I’ve included a mompreneur spotlight with each product so you can meet the brains behind the brands.

I’d love to hear what your favorite baby hacks are in the comments– please, do share!

And if you want to see some of these in action, check out this segment I did with soon-to-be-dad Todd Chance on the FOX Morning Mix.

Now, let’s get to it!

7 Ultimate Baby Hacks

Solly Baby Wraps

Babywearing is the best baby hack out there: close snuggles & hands free to clean, work, eat… It’s amazing! It’s no wonder why moms all over the world have been wrapping and wearing their babies for years.

The wraps by Solly Baby are my favorite. They are soft, breathable and modern. I bought two Solly wraps when Jane was just a little peanut and wore her in them until she was about a year. Now they’re getting me through life with a busy toddler and a newborn. Thank you Solly Baby!

I’m giving away a Solly wrap over on Instagram (@emilyrichett) this weekend… so be on the lookout for details!

Shop wraps for you & even adorable ‘Solly Dolly’ wraps for you littles: Solly Baby

Mompreneur spotlightElle Rowley

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Elle created Solly Baby (named after her second child, Solomon), while her husband was finishing school in 2011. The rest, is babywearing history! Now, her sweet family of five lives in San Diego.

“…We believe that taking on the role of mother or father does not replace you as an individual, it simply adds to it. Our wraps reflect your personal aesthetic, seamlessly and luxuriously integrating all of the benefits of babywearing and the beauty of still being YOU.”

 


Mint and Arrows Swaddles

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This is a hack for two reasons: swaddling with regular blankets is tricky and my babies have always broken free of them. These cocoon swaddles are super soft, breathable and go on just like a sock. Check it out!

And second: they are adorable and perfect for pictures!

They come in a ton of gorgeous prints. I love the florals and the cool geo designs. You can get a matching headband or beanie with most of them too.

You can stalk the Instagram page (@mintandarrows) for great announcement photo ideas too.

Take 15% off your order with code: MODERNMOM at  Mint and Arrows

Mompreneur spotlight:  Meagan Wolter

FullSizeRender-4Meagan started Mint and Arrows in 2013 after becoming a mom as a way to work from home so she could spend more time with her son. She first started making headbands, nursing covers, carseat covers and a variety of other products but quickly realized so much inventory was a lot to manage.

So she focused on her hottest seller: headbands. After a few years, she wanted to set herself apart from all of the other headband shops and created a product that would make life easier with a baby: a simple, beautiful swaddle!

Now her insanely popular (over 122K followers on Instagram!) cocoon swaddles are patent pending and sell like hotcakes on Etsy.

 


Native Wilds- The Nest

As an aspiring minimalist (my husband will laugh outloud if he reads this…. emphasis on *aspiring!) and someone who appreciates natural, beautiful materials and design, I feel like The Nest was made for me… and the thousands of other moms who also feel the same way I do about it: Obsessed! It replaced at least 5 things in my bag, functioning as a nursing scarf, shopping cart cover, swaddle (as on Josie in the picture above), car seat cover and blanket, all in one! It’s super soft, breathable, hypoallergenic and antibacterial.

Check out this cool video that shows all the different functions.

I also love that it is eco-friendly, made using a custom knit fabric that is harvested from the raw wood of sustainably grown trees. It’s milled from scratch in downtown LA and it’s 100% made in the USA.

Take a look at all of the designs at nativewilds.com

Mompreneur Spotlight: Susanna McMillan

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The Nest was designed by Susanna, a mom to Irish Twins, whose vision was to create products that simplified motherhood and empowered women.
In fact, Susanna has made empowering women a part of her business model. $1 from each sale is donated to invest in a life saving birth kit for a mother in the most underserved areas of the world.

“One woman dies every two minutes due to pregnancy complications. 99% of these maternal deaths occur in developing countries and almost all of them are preventable. Most births in rural areas of developing countries take place at home, often without medical assistance. In these settings, a clean birth kit can reduce maternal and child mortality, and begins a cycle of health and well-being that stretches much farther than the home it is used in. We believe that when women thrive, all of society benefits!”


The Magic Sleep Suit
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I will have earned a graduate degree in Baby Seep by the time I survive this second round of motherhood. I have read all the articles and researched all the ‘things’ this time around. And I can’t wait to put the Magic Sleepsuit to work for us in a couple months! I discovered this after a friend started using it with her adorable babe Leo (see Exhibit A: Cuteness Overload, above).

After my friend told me her son started sleeping 8 hours at night in the suit and I read some of the 1200+ raving reviews on Amazon, I just had to learn more!

The Magic Sleepsuit was invented by a Pediatric Physical Therapist and mom of 4. It’s for babies that have outgrown the swaddle phase (around 3 months) but still want to feel cozy and contained in order to sleep. I think the layers of the suit are the ‘magic’ that help inhibit the startle reflex. Josie isn’t quite old enough to try this yet but I already have one ready to go for when the time is right. As you can see from the pictures, little Leo loves it (and his mom too!).

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I’ll share an update over on Instagram next month when we try the sleep suit out for the first time. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to sleep over here, I don’t need just a hack. I could seriously use some magic! 

So stock up and catch some extra zzzz’s, mama, and if you do, please tell me how it works for you! : Magic Sleep Suit

Mompreneur spotlight Mauren Howard

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Maureen used her expertise as a pediatric physical therapist along with her intuition as a (tired) mom to create a product that helped her son sleep longer stretches. The goal was to recreate the snug, comforting feeling that always put him to sleep in his stroller. After many prototypes, the Magic Sleepsuit was created and has since helped thousands of families.

My kids will always be my priority. I don’t want to miss any of their growing up. But who better than a mom to figure out how to manage a business and a family? We’re always multi-tasking. We’re the CEOs of our households. And what a great way to show your kids what’s possible.”

 

 

 


DockATot

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I wish I had this hack my first time around. The DockATot is everything!

The website calls it a “multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting and snuggling dock you can take anywhere.” And that basically sums it up. To your baby, it’s like your womb on the outside with convenient little handles so you can tote it around the house or to the beach… and from the cover to the interior, the entire thing is washable, which is great if there’s a spit up episode or you get ketchup on it during a family BBQ… not that I would know :).

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It comes in two sizes, one for infants and a larger size for toddlers. Jane will be 2 next week and she sleeps in the grand size every night in her big girl bed. She feels secure in it and it prevents her from falling out of bed. This is a hack worth investing in from the beginning!

If you want to Dock your Tot, you can get 10% off with my referral link : DockATot

Mompreneur spotlight: Lisa Furuland

Lisa had the idea for DockATot when her first child was born and she was unable to find the perfect lounging product to fit his needs.

“When my son Ilias was born in 2006, I searched unsuccessfully for an alternative to the blanket, the cot, and the baby lounger,” she says. “I craved something more snug and at the same time more versatile.”

Lisa has always had an eye for beauty and design. She studied art history at Stockholm University and professional photography studies and architectural education at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Lisa lives with her husband and two sons in a lovely small seaside town, just north of Stockholm.

 

 

 


Fawn Design Bags

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What’s better than a gorgeous bag? A gorgeous diaper bag!

And this is what Fawn Design does best. This bag is one of my secret mom hacks because it doesn’t make me feel like a mom when I’m wearing it- know what I mean? Half the time my outfit is a little suspect… dried spit up or milk stains, hair in a messy bun… you know the drill. But this bag makes me look and feel put together.

It’s beautiful faux leather exterior and interior, which makes it super easy to clean the entire bag. You can turn it inside out to get all those animal cracker crumbs out and give it a good wipe it down.

It can be worn as a backpack- a must if you like to wear your baby in a sling or wrap (also the best travel hack: diaper bag on your back, baby wearing in the front = hands free & hassle free through the airport!) and also has a cross body strap.

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The interior is lined with pockets for holding diapers, blankets, that one random baby sock, you know, all the things. And there’s one big open compartment in the middle. It’s the perfect layout and comes in some gorgeous colors. I have the brown and couldn’t resist when I saw all the pictures of the limited edition blush on Instagram so I scooped one up during the pre-sale (now they’re sold out!). This brand is really challenging that aspiring minimalist in me…

Order quick if you want one – these sell fast! Fawn Design

And stay tuned, I’ll be interviewing co-owner Jenny here soon about her inspiring start-up story and we’ll be giving away a bag!

Mompreneur Spotlight: Jenny Wecker
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Jenny first learned to sew when she was 5 years old. This was the budding talent that would eventually produce one very in demand diaper bag!
She and her husband Cole started the business in 2014, and made just under 100 bags that first year, spending 4 hours cutting and sewing each one by hand. They couldn’t keep up with the demand and customers would wait six months just to get their hands on one. In order to scale, they launched a Kickstarter page and raised $42,000 in just 15 days- nearly double their fundraising goal! A few months later, they had the manufacturing and resources needed to grow and even grabbed the attention of the New York Times. The demand- and the buzz- hasn’t stopped since.

The Binxy Baby

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Anything that helps make trips to the grocery store or Target easier is a win in my book! So, I was excited to try out the Binxy Baby- another product I wish I had the first time around.

The Binxy Baby solves a common grocery shopping problem of where to put your baby! You can’t put the carseat on top of the cart or it can become top heavy and easily tip. And putting the carseat inside the cart doesn’t work for obvious reasons (where are you going to put all the ingredients for taco night?!).

The Binxy Baby is a hammock that clips right onto the grocery cart so your baby– or even your entire carseat– can safely hangout, leaving room for your groceries below.

Genius! I am guilty of putting my carseat inside the cart and then forcing groceries all around the nooks and crannies… even putting some IN the carseat between little baby legs and arms. But not anymore. Shopping with the Binxy is a breeze.

Shop 10% off Binxy Baby products: Binxy Baby

Mompreneur Spotlight: Lisa Pinnell

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After struggling with the same frustrating grocery trips many of us moms have endured, Lisa started researching better options. That’s when she discovered that about 24,000 kids a year are sent to the ER because of shopping cart-related injuries. So she set out to create a solution. After many late nights, some very ugly prototypes, every safety test you can imagine, and a little help from her mom, the Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock was born.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it! Those are just a few of my favorite things that make motherhood a bit easier right now. I find most of these cool brands on Instagram and suggestions from friends and bloggers. I have a bunch of other hacks and my favorite items saved on my Amazon list. I’d love to know what some of your favorite hacks are– please share in the comments below so all of us new moms can check them out!

 

 

  1. Angela Schultz says:

    BABY BREZZA.
    My biggest recommendation to parents that are bottle feeding (solely or even supplementing) is the Baby Brezza. We call it the Baby Keurig and it’s AMAZING!! It makes a bottle in seconds (2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 oz) heated to the perfect temp. I would even recommend it if your little one is already a few months old. Best deal seems to be on Amazon.

    • Emily Richett says:

      I’ve seen those- super cool! I could see where that would be a life saver if bottle feeding full-time! Now if only it would clean the bottles too… 😉 Thanks Angela!

  2. Daisy says:

    Emily,

    Loved your feature on Fox News. Really interesting and innovative products. Have you seen The Tiny Love take along bouncer? It’s definitely a mommy time hack and I found it invaluable when travelling with my baby daughter.

    Daisy
    X

    • Emily Richett says:

      Hi Daisy-
      I just searched for that and realized I’ve seen it on carseats and always wondered what it was- great idea! Thanks for the tip. 🙂

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