Birth, Baby!

Let's talk Parent Hacks! 

In this episode, Ciarra and Samantha share their favorite parent hacks that have made their lives easier as parents. They discuss tips for making the baby's crib easier to clean, using a splash mat under the highchair, using a pacifier to give medicine, freezing breast milk flat, and rotating boxes of toys. They also talk about creative ideas like using animal stickers to help kids put on their shoes, creating a shirt with handprints for each grade, and having a snack bag with individual portions in the car. They share various parenting hacks and tips for making life with kids easier. Some of the hacks include having individual portioned snacks in the car, using a telescoping back scratcher to retrieve dropped toys, keeping a plastic tote or bin in the car for muddy shoes, carrying wet wipes everywhere, having a change of clothes for the entire family in the car, using a car potty for toddlers, using sticky table placemats to reduce mess, and using a fishing lure box or a spinner plate for snacks. The conversation emphasizes the importance of finding what works best for each family and not being judgmental about different parenting choices.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any recommendations for show episode ideas. If you'd like to be a guest, email us with some information about yourself and what type of podcast you'd like to record together. Thank you for all of your support and don't forget to follow and review our podcast, Birth, Baby!

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For the car:

For outings:
Intro and Outro music by Longing for Orpheus. You can find them on Spotify!
  • (00:00) - Introduction and Disclaimer
  • (01:03) - Parent Hacks Introduction
  • (01:31) - Making the Baby's Crib Easier to Clean
  • (04:13) - Using a Splash Mat for Easy Cleanup
  • (06:34) - Giving Medicine with a Pacifier
  • (08:01) - Freezing Breast Milk Flat for Space and Organization
  • (10:23) - Rotating Boxes of Toys for Engagement and Organization
  • (16:24) - Helping Kids Put on Shoes with Animal Stickers
  • (18:18) - Creating a Shirt with Handprints for Each Grade
  • (21:04) - Having a Snack Bag for Car Rides
  • (21:31) - Snack Hacks and Car Organization
  • (24:19) - Retrieving Dropped Toys with a Telescoping Back Scratcher
  • (25:45) - Keeping Shoes Clean with a Plastic Tote or Bin
  • (27:34) - The Importance of Wet Wipes
  • (28:51) - Always Have a Change of Clothes in the Car
  • (31:32) - The Convenience of a Car Potty
  • (37:07) - Reducing Mess with Sticky Table Placemats
  • (39:08) - A Variety of Snacks with a Fishing Lure Box or Spinner Plate
  • (41:00) - Finding What Works Best for Your Family
  • (41:54) - Don't Judge, Prioritize Convenience and Sanity

What is Birth, Baby!?

Welcome to Birth, Baby!, your go-to podcast hosted by Ciarra Morgan and Samantha Kelly, seasoned birth doulas and childbirth educators from Austin, Texas. Join us as we navigate the intricate journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care, offering invaluable insights and expert advice. Through candid interviews, personal anecdotes, and evidence-backed content, we aim to empower families with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. Whether you're seeking guidance on prenatal care, birth planning, or navigating the early days with your newborn, we've got you covered. Tune in to Birth, Baby! and embark on your parenthood journey with confidence.

he information provided on this podcast is for general information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider with any questions you may have.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on this podcast.

Reliance on any information provided here is solely at your own risk.

Welcome, this is Birth, Baby.

Your hosts are Ciarra Morgan and Samantha Kelly.

Ciarra is a birth doula, hypnobirthing educator, and pediatric sleep consultant.

Samantha is a birth doula, childbirth educator, and lactation counselor.

Join us as we guide you through your options for your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey.

All right, y'all, today we're gonna do kind of a fun episode, and we're gonna talk about parent hacks.

So some of the little tips and tricks that we've learned over the years that have made our lives a little bit easier.

And sometimes we get asked random questions by clients, and every once in a while I write them down, write down our answers for those questions.

And so we're gonna compile them here and talk to y'all today about things that have made our lives easier as parents.


Let's, yeah, let's dive in.

What do you got first on your list?

So this is one that's kind of funny because if you have a home birth, this is something that they tell you to do when you're giving birth.

So I always tell people, and this came up a lot when I was doing, when I do sleep training, because sometimes babies will have like a blowout diaper or whatever, and they're like, oh my gosh, and then I have to change all my sheets in the middle of the night, and then we're all so awake, the crib mattress and all of this.

So I say when making your baby's crib for the first time, or when you're changing out the sheets and washing everything, have one mattress protector, then put the fitted sheet on, then put another mattress protector on and another fitted sheet.

So if your baby has a blowout diaper or gets sick with a tummy bug or something in the middle of the night and they throw up, then you don't have to remake the bed when you're half asleep and trying to deal with a messy and sick baby.

You just tear off the top two layers, so the fitted sheet and the mattress protector, throw that bad boy in the washing machine, and oh look, we magically have a brand new, you know, freshly made bed.

Don't forget to put on the extra layer the next day, so you don't have to do it again.

But that has been so clutch.

I did this with my son and it was a game changer because the last thing you wanna do at 2 a.m.

is fully remake a bed and be lifting up corners and edges of a mattress.

I mean, the faster you get your baby back down, you know, the less alert and awake they are, they're more likely to be able to get back to sleep.

Did you ever do this with your kids, Sam?

I actually do it now for my daughter while we're working on like potty training at night, like nighttime training.

You know, we're still in pull-ups most nights, but some nights she wants to wear her undies to bed and it's so much more helpful to be able to do that.

And she's kind of figured it out too.

She can just like pull her own sheets off.

Not that she does, but she could.

Yeah, and I think that it's also that gives you, you know, I love that you brought up that aspect of potty training because, you know, that is still an accident, but it's something that the kid is trying to control.

And so, you know, as parents, we sometimes get a little bit nervous about letting our kids do new things because we're like, that's gonna make so much extra work for me.

They're like, how many times a week am I gonna be changing the sheets?

But if it's something like that, then, you know, she can have the confidence and you can have the, okay, fine, like go ahead and try.

Because they're never gonna do it if they don't try, right?

If we don't give them the opportunity, we want them to do it.

We'll have that little vote of confidence.

Yeah, definitely.


Another one that we have on the list with a similar idea is the splash mat under your kid's high chair.

This is like, I didn't figure this out until I had my second kid, but oh my gosh, it makes such a big difference.

If you get like, they sell them on Amazon.

They're like almost like a vinyl tablecloth, or you could also go get a vinyl tablecloth from the dollar store and put it down underneath the high chair.

But then when you're nine month old is getting into that really fun phase where they just like to drop their food on the ground, then you don't have to worry about mopping every single night.

You can just throw that tablecloth in the wash or take it outside and hose it down or whatever.

Or in my house, we just let the dog go at it.

If you don't have dogs, seriously, I don't know how people have small children without dogs only because they are the cleanup crew.

I remember I would be at my mom's house sometimes and be like, there's no dog to clean this up.

This is awful.

But this reminds me of the episode that we did with Naomi Cotrone about having babies learning to eat and giving them space to play with it.

And she called it art class.

And that's this theory.

It's going to be dropped, it's going to be spilled.

You can also, we are going to share some links in the show notes for different products.

But this is one of those that you really could just go to Home Depot and get the stuff that you lay down when you're printing or something if you want to do it super easy.

But if you're somebody who likes your aesthetic and you want it to look very pretty under your kitchen table, then we have a link for that too.

Also, I use that thing for like, you know, living room picnics and stuff.

I would just pull that out and we could sit down on that in the living room and have a little picnic.

So I still have mine and I still use it all the time for when we want to have a special movie night or something.

I love it.

My son likes to have popcorn with all of these toppings.

You guys, it's really weird.

Like he has to have popcorn with chocolate sauce and cut up strawberries and sprinkles.

And if he has gummies, he'll put gummies in.

I'm like, it's a whole ordeal when we have popcorn.

Then he wants to have like these little special areas that will do it.

And I'm like, your stuff is way too messy.

We have to eat this at the table, but that's a good idea.

I could make a picnic with one of those mats.

So another one is if your baby takes a PASSI, it's so hard to get babies to take this in, right?

So you can cut a hole in the end of a PASSI that they like or the type that they like, not the one that they use or the couple that they use, have one specifically for medicine.

You can cut a tiny hole in the end of it, and you can put the medicine if it's one that doesn't have a closed system.

Some of them have like an open system.

And you can put the dose of Tylenol or whatever it is in there so that when you put their PASSI in and they start sucking on it, they get the medicine in there.

If you want to go the actual way where they made a product that's like this, you can do that too.

They have something you can buy.

We're all about the cheap option when we can.

But they make a product like this.

So I'll link that in the show notes too.

They make like a PASSIFIER that dispenses medication.

And I had one of those.

You did?

My son wouldn't take a PASSIFIER.

So, you know, for those of you out there like me, who one of your children won't, then sorry about your luck.

You'll have to find another child.

They also sell little bottles, like a little bottle that does the medicine too.

So if they won't take a PASSIFIER, you can do that.

That's cool.

Making our lives easier out here, folks.

I love it.


And also, That's what this episode is all about.


And if you're, if your kid, another parent hack, if your kid doesn't take a PASSIFIER or a bottle, and they're just one of those, you can get those little, like the little things that come with it, whatever they are, syringes, and stick it like in the back of their cheek.

If you're watching us on YouTube, you see where I'm pointing, like back of their cheek, like right in there.

And then it's harder for them to spit it out because they can't get their tongue on it, and they'll normally swallow it a lot easier.

At least some of it, right?

Some of it, more of it, more of it.

Like get half a dose.

We'll take it.

Another really great one is when you are pumping to store your breast milk, when you are freezing the breast milk, freeze it flat instead of like standing up.

I also did not figure this one out.

Actually, I never figured this one out.

I saw a client do it once and I was like, oh my God, that's the most genius thing I've ever seen.

Freeze them flat and then once they're frozen, you can stand them up and put them in their little bin and they're taking up a lot less room and they're using the whole space of the bag.

They do have storage systems that you can do that with, or you can also just get a cardboard box from your 12 pack of Dr.

Pepper and store it in there.

And then you can organize them by date and all of that stuff.

However you're choosing to organize, you can have them all organized in there by that date.

So it's easy to just pull it out and they're taking up a lot less room.

I know sometimes I see pictures of people's freezers with all of their crazy amounts of breast milk, especially if you're like an overproducer or something.

And it's just an entire freezer full, top to bottom of breast milk.

And this would maybe make that a little bit easier.

My Type A personality can't handle the videos and pictures that I see where it's like a freezer full, you know, like a chest freezer.

And they're just like haphazardly thrown in there.

Like, I can't, you guys.

It gives me so much jingles.

I'm like, we should organize those.

What about the dates?

What ones were at night and what ones were in the morning?

Do you know that the ones at night have more melatonin in them?

And you should give your baby them at night.

I can't.

So remember when I said in one of those episodes that I think you can post part of Mings of Haiti, I think that rat right there I just showed you.

You couldn't have held it.

We're gonna get into some stuff when your kids are a little bit older.

So, people joke that you don't need toys.

You just need Tupperware.

Kids just wanna play with all the stuff that you already have.

Embrace it.

So if you get box from Amazon or something that has a big, it's a big delivery box, give your kiddo some crayons, put them inside or put the box on its side so they can crawl in there and let them color on that thing.

To break it down right away or, moms, do we really break them down or we just like throw them in the garage so that our husbands can break them down?

Oh, is that just me?

But you can let them color on it.

My husband, if you're listening, I don't ever do that.

There was a video my husband sent me on Instagram one time, and it was a mom with her little girl at the top of their stairs in the garage throwing boxes into the garage, and it said, I'm training her for being a wife one day.

Like, yeah, that's me.

So yeah, use those boxes, use that stuff that comes in that you're just gonna throw away or break down anyway.

You can absolutely let your kids have fun with those or make a fort or whatever.

I know you're really good at that, Samantha.

I wasn't always as good at that.

Oh yeah, we got, I don't even know what it was.

We got like some giant boxes, like in the very beginning of COVID lockdown.

And I think with those sat in the middle of my living room for probably three or four months, and that was all my kids ever played with.

We would like put blankets on them, and they were a fort, I cut a hole out of it, so it was like a car.

It's a whole thing.

They love those things.

I think that they were, my son was definitely furious when I finally ended up throwing them away because they had snacks and milk and whatever else covering the boxes.

But it was their masterpiece.

Oh, that is the only problem, you guys.

If you let them draw on these things, then it's gonna be like the artwork that gets sent home from school.

We're like, what am I supposed to do with it?

Which we have a hack on that.

You wanna share your genius hack on that?

What was my hack on that?

For the boxes that we did this summer?

Oh, yes, that's not even on our list today, I don't think.

Both of us had sons going into kindergarten.

So I saw this little thing online and it was probably a Pinterest thing.

I'm usually a Pinterest fail, but this one was pretty straightforward.

And you get like a file box and you put in a bunch of little file holders, or yeah, file folders.

And you just put the dates on or the grades on them.

So you can start with pre-K.

I still had some stuff for pre-K, so I did add that in, even though we were done with pre-K.

And then kinder, first grade, so and so.

And so then I would just put like my favorite things in that kinder section.

And so that kind of makes me whittle it down and not keep everything, like if it's way too big to fit.

But also for the things that are too big, I take a picture and then I save that in a folder.

So he has had some really cool little things that he's drawn already, surprisingly.

And I don't wanna throw them away because I wanna be able to look back at them.

But you can even do take a picture, throw the original away, and then get those photos printed out and you can frame them and put them on the wall or put them in your binder folder thing like we made.

And then it helps you just keep the important things as your kids get older.

Yeah, and then you can keep like, you know, report cards and all of that stuff in there too to hold on to for the future.

Then someday I'll just hand my kid that box when they move out and say, this is your problem to deal with now.

Thanks, bye.

That's the thing.

That is the thing.

I'm like, what am I saving all of this for?

Maybe my son's wife will wanna look at it one day, you know?

But my sweet mother-in-law who I just adore is a hoarder.

And I would say that to her face.

And maybe if she listens to this, she will laugh.

But she has brought us so many boxes of stuff.

I'm always like, are you driving or flying?

Because if she's driving, I know I'm about to get stuff for my son's childhood.

And it is precious to look at, but it is like, well, what do you do with it?



That'll be fun to look at some day when they're like, you know, graduating from high school and we can lay all that stuff out at their high school graduation parties or something.

I don't know.

Or maybe we'll forget about it.

I have no idea.

But for now, it makes me happy.

And then they'll try to set it on fire.


That's fine.

That's fine.

Another one that we have is have rotating boxes of toys to switch out every few weeks rather than having all the toys out at the same time.

And here's why this is so helpful.

Because our kids have so much stuff, both of us, that just, I think that our other part-time job is trying to organize all of our kids' crap.

So if we can have some boxes of toys to just kind of rotate through, and this was especially helpful when they were littler because they would have their toys and they would play with these five favorite things all the time.

And then the rest of it, they would just get bored with, and they still do it.

But especially when they're littler, they would get bored with it.

And then if I could bring out like, oh, okay, here's the week two of toys, and this is another one that I was probably a lot better at during COVID lockdown than I am now.

But it was really helpful because then it was like, oh, yeah, these things are really fun and exciting again, and I haven't played with this train track in like weeks, and it's just the best thing ever.

And then, you know, they get bored of it.

Nope, okay, it's time to put that box away and go, you know, get the other stuff out.

I think maybe as they get older, it gets a little bit harder because then they're like, where is this toy, mom?

Why are you ruining my life?

Yes, and I am kind of, you know, I've said a million times, I'm the type A mom.

So it kind of kills me to not have it all organized.

And I love having it in bins.

So I thought that putting it in bins in the playroom would be good, and I have this little system, and they're organized.

My son is good at it, but when his friends come over, it is a nightmare.

When we started, when you started saying this one, I was like, this is as do as I say, not as I do moment, because my game room right now is a disaster area.

And there's Legos everywhere.

By the way, when Legos come on the scene, forget it.

But there's Legos everywhere.

And I don't even want to open that door because I'm just gonna end up sitting there for an hour organizing it.

Not for anybody else.

The kids don't care, but I care.

So yeah, if you have it in bins, they're gonna dump them.

I have a play room with doors on it so you can close it and don't have to look at it.

Mine has doors on it, but then they want to go in there and play and I see it and it's giving me stress.

Mine has glass doors, so it's not helpful in the slightest.

You can see it all.

And it's right by the entrance of my house.

So if my play room is a mess, which it always is, I'm just like, hey, this is the life we live.


They'll be older one day and we'll miss the mess.

That's what people say, at least.

I'll believe that when I see it.


So another one that I thought was really cool, and I wish that I had known about this one when my son was learning, or even my daughter 14 years ago.

Well, she wasn't learning to put her shoes on 14 years ago, but they're learning left from right.

And they want to get their own shoes on.

They want to be independent.

And it's hard for them to figure out which shoe is left.

And some of them it's not so obvious.

There's like a very little edge on the inside of the foot to be able to tell which foot it goes on.

So I saw somebody put animal stickers, like they would just take normal animal stickers, cut them in half.

And then like the front of the panda was on the right-hand side and the back was on the left-hand side.

And you could tell, they could tell how to put it together.

It doesn't matter which way it's facing.

I thought that was so cool.

And then when I was looking up ideas of examples of this to put in the show notes, I found that they actually make these.

So somebody decided to create stickers where it's like a face.

So half of the face on one side, half of the face on the other side.

And that helps kiddos know which way to put their shoes on, which is super cool.

I might be buying that for my little four-year-old who is learning that and consistently has her shoes on the wrong feet.

Like every single time we put our shoes on, they're on the wrong feet.

Might invest in that little hack though, but she doesn't care at all.

But then she's like, my feet hurt.

Yeah, of course they do.

Another kind of fun one is buy or make like a shirt with the graduating class year with on the, you can say, you know, like class of 20, whatever.

What are they even gonna be 34 or something?

Mine's 2028.

Oh my God.

Yeah, so anyone who's-

No, that's my daughter is 2028.

That's four years from now.

Well, that's 2028, four years from now also.

What year is it even?

Is it not like 2010?

I don't know what year it is.

Yeah, I know.

No, it's not.

It's fine.

Okay, so anyways, you buy a shirt with, you know, class of 20, whatever, on the front, and then you can have spots on the back for each grade's handprint.

So each summer, they'll put their little handprint on it right before school starts, and then you'll get to see this kind of progression of it, and you can take a picture of them in that shirt every year, you know, buy it large.

So that way, when they're a senior in high school, they can wear it and it'll fit them.

And then you can have those really sweet little pictures.

There's a lot of different variations of this.

You can also do, you know, like I've, you know, there's the first day of school kindergarten, like plaque that you can hold and do that sort of thing.

That's what I do in my house.

Or there's like the, I've seen some people get the Dr.

Seuss books, the, all the places you'll go and they'll have all their teachers sign them.

That's like just the sweetest thing ever.

I don't know how well that would work once they get to be a little bit older, but.

They have a lot of teachers, y'all.

They get to have a lot of teachers one day.

My daughter's in eighth grade and I think she has five or six.

Yeah, I'm not tracking down all those teachers.

No, and then your kid's gonna be like old enough or they're embarrassed if you're doing that.

But I will tell you, every once in a while, like some of you are gonna be listening to this, you're like, crap, I already have a second grader and a newborn, but like, oh, I don't, I didn't get to do this with a second grader.

Just, it's fine, don't worry about it.

But I am so, like, I just got lucky that I found out about this cute little class shirt thing before my daughter was in kinder.

And I have one friend who has a daughter who's a year or two older than mine.

And so I got to kind of tack on to what she was doing.

And so my daughter does, she has this class of 2028 t-shirt and I got it big and it has like a little swoosh around it and it has her name in it.

And then on the back, it says kinder first, second, third, and it's like rows of those.

And we did, we started in kinder and the day before school, that was what we did, or two days before school.

So it has time to dry.

We did the handprint, by the way, put a piece of cardboard between the layers when you do the handprint or else it bleeds through to the front.

We made that mistake one time.

It didn't do that again.

But it was, at first she was like, oh, that's cool.

The second year she thought it was annoying and first grade apparently, shoot, that wasn't cool anymore.

It's cute because now she's excited about it.

Like she's in eighth grade and she loves that we do this together.

We hang it in the back of the closet and a few days before school starts, she was like, mom, don't forget the shirt.

And now we have one for my son and we do one for him.

And now it's like, we all sit at the table and do it together.

And she always wanted me to paint her hand because she wanted it to be perfect.

When my son's like, I wanna paint my own hand.

His looks wild, but that's fine.

He's very independent, but it is really fun.

So I really enjoyed doing that one with the kids.

Yeah, it's a sweet one.

It's just nice to have those little memories of them throughout the years.

And even if it's something that they're gonna be a senior in high school, they're gonna put the shirt on and then you're gonna forget it ever happened.

It's still something that you get to look forward to every year when they're growing up.

And it's fun to do those little things.

That's one piece of something that you have to store.

It's not like you're having to do a ton of stuff.

So let's move on to the car.

Do you want to tell us the first one for the car?

There's so many for the car.

I think that so the first one that we have on here is have a snack bag with individual portions in it.

If you have ever ridden in a car with any child or honestly me, because also I am a car snacker.

You need snacks galore.

They're going to start screaming for snacks when you are 30 minutes away from your location.

And by the time you get there, they'll be full on hangry.

So have snacks in the car with individual portions on it.

Anybody who is not having your kids eat in the car, you're an alien and I don't understand you.

My car is a disaster.

And you know what?

My husband goes and vacuums it for me.

And that's how we live our lives.

But have individual portioned snacks.

And I recommend having those individual portion snacks up front with you so that when the kids start screaming, you can just toss it back at them.

I used to have a little tote in the back of my car with all of our car snacks and wipes and all these different things.

And I very quickly realized I cannot reach it in the trunk of my car.

So I need them up at the front.

Yeah, I'm frugal.

And so I refuse to buy pre-packaged goldfish or anything like that because I just am.

I'm frugal.

I can't do it.

So I do a little-

It's better for the environment.

Yeah, except that I'm putting them in Ziplocs.

You could get your reusable snack bags.

But I just refilled those little bags and I'll do individual portions of goldfish and peanut butter pretzels or whatever.

And it used to be that I would go, Oh, would you like blah, blah, blah?

When my son was hungry or my daughter was hungry.

And now I'm just like, here's the bag.

Shove the tote with all of the things in it.

But God, it's such a sanity saver because they are, they're always freaking hungry in the car and having tiny like small portions that they can eat just to like hold them over until you get where you're going.

If you're in Texas, like we are though, you gotta be really mindful about what you're putting in there because granola bars are not gonna make it.

Fruit snacks apparently melt, who knew?

I gave my kids some fruit snacks the other day and they were all like gooey, nasty, gross.

And she came home gooey, nasty, gross.

So fruit snacks don't vibe in Texas heat.

I love that she still ate them.

I love that she was like, I'm...

She could not care less.

It was basically like a jello shot.

It's fine.

Oh, it's so good.

Okay, so this next one is one of my favorites.

This was actually an accidental find for me.

So I had a back scratcher in the car because my daughter brought it into the car.

She was like eight.

And you know, cause kids be bringing stuff into your car randomly.

I was at a stoplight and my son was, I don't know, like nine months or something at this point.

And you know, they're facing backward.

You can't really see them very well.

You're trying to get with the mirrors and to be able to see them.

And my daughter was like, oh, he keeps dropping his toy.

And like he was screaming about it, right?

And I looked down and I saw this back scratcher that she had brought in, but it telescopes and it has this little claw at the end of it, right?

Cause it's supposed to scratch your back.

And he took that thing and I just started, I telescoped it to where that toy was.

I was at a red light, guys.

And I pulled the toy close to me and I was able to pick it up and toss it back into his car seat.

And I was like, genius.

So I'm gonna put in the show notes.

One of the ones that I like to use, I think it's like a five pack or something.

Just like keep one in the front, keep one in the back, keep one in the passenger seat.

Those are good too.

Oh, like those little pinchy guys?

Yeah, those are awesome.

The trash picker upper thing?

Uh-huh, yeah.

I love that this one telescopes too, because that just makes it so much easier to pull that little, you know, teether or whatever closer to you.

Yeah, a thousand percent.

In my house right now, it is the, we're in the midst of teaball season, which means we are at teaball, like, you know, almost every night of the week, since both of my kids are playing right now.

So between practices and everything.

It's also spring right now, so it is raining every other day.

And so it's muddy all the time, which means that they get back in my car and their shoes are disgusting.

They're like grassy and they're muddy.

And then they put their feet on my seats and my seats are nasty and muddy and the carpets are nasty and muddy.

And I'm not detailing my car that often.

So it's my car's nasty and muddy.

Except that I figured out that if you can carry around like a plastic tote or like a bin or something, or even just like, you know, grocery bags, you can put their, you can make them take off their shoes before they get in the car, like sit down on the edge of the car, take off your shoes, put them in the bin.

And then we don't have to deal with that.

And then I can get home and set their shoes outside or wherever so that they're not getting my car all gross.

Save the carpet.

Save the carpet, absolutely.

Also, we'll do this like with their uniforms sometimes when they've gotten all nasty, because apparently every four-year-old T baller needs to know how to slide.

And so she gets in my car covered in mud from sliding into home.

If you knew her daughter, you would just love that visual of this prissy little thing.

Decide she needs to learn how to slide.

I love it.

It's fine.

She hits the ball to home plate exactly, and then manages to slide into home base.

It's hysterical.

Or into first base, or every base, any base.

They all slide everywhere.

So she'll strip off her little uniform and we'll put it in the bin with the rest of the stuff.

So that way her car seat doesn't get nasty, because also I'm not taking apart my car seat to clean that all the time.

And when your kids are a little bit older and they're like keeping their feet on the ground, which some of them can't quite reach, but as they get a little bit older, this hack can work too.

Again, in the show notes, I'll have a link to one that I really like, but you can even use like a dish bin or something, because some of them get a little bit expensive if they have the sections.

But there's one that has a handle in the, it's like a caddy.

It has a handle in the center and just two sides.

And people generally use them as like art bins or something.

But if they are just normal children that can like put their feet on the floor, normal children, older children, I should say, like real human, and they can just set foot on each side in that bin.

And since they're plastic, you can just spray it out.

So they don't even necessarily have to take their shoes off.

They can just step right into that bin, right?

So I really like that one.

Also, on the same note, just always bring wet wipes everywhere all the time, forever.

Even when your kids are too old to need wipes, carry wipes.

Forever, because their hands are going to get gross.

Remember, she just said Texas sun doesn't vibe with the melty snacks.

We still keep protein bars in the car because my kids get real hangry like their mama.

And it has like a chocolate layer on the outside.

And my son does not care how melty it is.

He wants to eat it.

And so, you know, he's six.

We shouldn't be having that big of messes, but sometimes we do.

And so wet wipes are a clutch.

You've got to have the wet wipes.

I've got two more that aren't on our list, but I think are equally as important.

So the first one is always have a change of clothes for your entire family in your car at all times.

Entire family.

Entire family.

When my son, it was his very first Easter, so we're coming up on, I guess, six years of that.

He had, it was in his little sweet little outfit.

I was in my Easter outfit.

We looked great.

We were at church.

I'm holding him on my hip, and then I feel it.

It's there.

We have a blowout.

Roll over my dress, all over my head.

And so then I finished church in my sweats and a T-shirt because that's what I had in my car, but I had it.

Otherwise I would have had to sit in this blowout outfit or go home or whatever.

That would have been so sad.

So change of clothes at all times.

If you're a doula, you probably already have a change of clothes in your car all the time because that's how we live, but very important for the whole family.

I also say that when you travel to have a change of clothes for everybody when you travel, because there are some babies that get on a plane and then their whole system just decides to empty right then and there on the plane all over you.

Like my nephew, that's like what he does every time he gets on a plane.

He's something about the pressure.

Something about the pressure.

He releases the pressure.

So that's one.

The second one.

Hold on.

I have a six-year-old as my youngest, you guys.

Six years old.

And I just had to use mine the other day because he was at grandpa's house and he had his really nice wrangler white t-shirt on because he said it had a pocket and he wanted to wear it.

He wore it with sweats, y'all.

Pick your battles.

And I all of a sudden had a doctor appointment that they were able to, they had a cancellation and they were able to get me in.

So I was about to have to take him to a doctor appointment, which was no fun at all.

But he had gotten his shirt wet at Grandpa's house when he was playing with him, when he was shirtless.

And I all of a sudden have to go to this doctor appointment.

He was like, I don't have a shirt, I can't go in.

And I was like, yes, you do, homie.

And I had his clothes in the back.

I always keep them in an individual Ziploc bag, like a gallon size, because I take out the outfit he's getting into and I put the gross one in that Ziploc bag so that if it's a blowout, you guys already have something to put it into.

So it doesn't matter how old your kids are, have it change your clothes.

Blowout, accidents, sprites spilled all over you in the middle of Costco.

Yes, that happened to me last week.

We all need outfits all the time.

My next one, and I stand by this being the most genius thing I have ever realized as a parent, so get ready for it, is a car potty.

You guys, if you have a toddler, you need a car potty.

My husband thought that I was absolutely insane when I said that I was putting our little travel potty in the car and I was going to be leaving it there.

He's like, that's disgusting.

Our kids don't need to pee in the car.

Do you understand how children work?

We're going to walk out of Walmart and she's going to have to go right then and there at that very second.

Or we're going to be driving down the highway in the middle of West Texas on our way to family and she's going to have to go right at that very second.

Or my son is going to have to go, even six year olds, they can't hold it forever.

You know, he can fire hose into the wind.

She can't.

So we gotta have something.

The little girls, it's hard.

Little boys, it's so nice.

I had a girl first.

So I was used to having, I literally would make a potty with my arms.

Those of you watching us on YouTube, what was this?

Her legs here, her back here.

And I was literally holding her outside of the car, letting her pee.

And even when they're little, they may or may not actually be able to like do that.

They might get some nerves and not be able to.

So if you have a little car potty, it makes their lives so much easier.

What I have is it's like this Playtex one, and it came with these like dog poop bags, basically, that you put in the little thing.

And so then when they go, I can just tie it up and get rid of it.

That way it was amazing.

I've run out of those bags since, but I found on Amazon, they have them.

And those ones will fit over like any potty.

So if you have like, you know, the baby Bajorn or whatever different potty's out there, it's genius.

And then you can just tie it up and, you know, wherever you are, you don't have to worry about it, cause it's all contained and not worrying about spilling in your car.

Car potty, so you guys, I've seen a few other parents that have them.

All of my friends have them because I talk about it nonstop.

I think one time we were going, we were going somewhere and as we're walking by a car, there's a little girl who's in her car with her mom using her car potty.

And that was when my husband was like, oh, other people do this too.

I was like, yeah, they do.

And it's genius.

You just made me think of another one that's not on the list.

I have a son that gets car sick and always has.

And so does Samantha, actually.

And we both live kind of far from each other and our kids like to play.

So one of our kid is gonna get car sick going to visit the other kid.

And there are two things that I do.

One, I always carry like a bucket kind of thing in my car, like a kind of a Tupperware that has a lid.

And because sometimes when they're really little, they can't really hold a bag very well, but they can hold kind of a bowl.

And so I would let him hold that.

And then as he got older, you can buy Emesis bags, just like if you were in labor and had to throw up and they would give you an Emesis bag.

You can buy those on Amazon.

And I did, and I have them.

They're really not.

But if you're like, I'm not buying anything extra and oh my gosh, I just need something.

I don't have anything.

I keep gallons of Ziploc bags in the car.

Because it's big enough.

He can hold it.

He can throw up into it and then you can zip it.

And then you don't have to worry about it spilling into the car.

So I really like the Ziploc bag idea.

Yeah, I love the Emesis bags.

I have them at, I bought them initially for my birth bag when I first became a doula.

And I rarely use them because normally we're with providers that also have them.

But I use those at home, like when my kids are sick all the time, because it's so much easier to hand them that little bag and I can put four around the pillow.

And like, there's one here if you need to grab it, one there, one there, one there.

And they carry these around.

For my daughter, it's like her emotional support Emesis bag.

If her tummy hurts, she just loves to carry it.

We should all support Emesis bag.

That's how it works in our house.

I love those bags.

Kids are so weird.

They just are.

That just reminded me of something so random that has nothing to do with a parent hack.

But my son, you know, those little like letters that they can play with in the bathtub, letters and numbers in their foam, and you can kind of stick them to the side, but they're not sticky.

It's just because the water's on them.

My son was like two.

He was obsessed with this one, only one out of the set, the purple number nine.

And we, he had to sleep with purple nine all the time.

That was one of his lovies was purple nine.

And we had, I rarely had a house cleaner, but I, at that point in my life was like, I can't do all the things with a two year old.

So I would have one come like once a month just to clean up after me a little bit.

And one time they moved the purple nine.

They thought it wasn't supposed to be in the bed because why should it be?

And oh my God, we lost our minds.

I was calling the owner of the cleaning company like, I know this is really weird, but I need you to call the person that was on mine.

So I think the purple nine.

That reminds me, we're just off on a bunny trail now.

There was a mom in one of our mom groups recently that was talking about a plastic carrot and how her kids fight over plastic carrots.

And she's like, I know this is just the weirdest thing, but the set is like pretty common set.

My kids fight over this one single carrot and I'm terrified that we're going to lose it someday.

So I just need everybody.

If you have plastic carrots and your kids won't care, can I please have your carrots?

And I think she ended up with like, I don't even know a dozen at least of those little plastic carrots.

It was a saga.

It was hilarious because she kept updating it with pictures of how many carrots she got.

And I think it was over 20 at one point.

She's like, these are all carrots.

And I get it.

I do too.

Kids are freaking insane, y'all.

They love carrots and purple nines.

Oh, it's so good.

If you're not a parent, you're probably not listening to this anyway.

So I was gonna say, if you're not a parent, you'll get it one day.

Okay, so just two more left.

These are for outings.

We're gonna probably do a travel tips episode eventually.

By the way, if you have great travel tips and you wanna send them in, do it.

And we'll share them on the podcast.

But one of them is there are sticky table placemats.

If you've ever been to Chick-fil-A, hey, Chick-fil-A sponsor us, Ziploc sponsor us for saying so many products in this episode.

But if you ever at Chick-fil-A, they have those little placemats, the little plastic foldable ones, and they have a little strip at the top and a strip at the bottom that you pull off and it sticks to the table.

They're amazing.

They reduce germs, but they also reduce mess.

And my son didn't want the plate when he was little.

He wanted to just be able to pick it up and use his little pincher grip and not have them all organized on a plate.

He wanted them just on the table.

So those little mats were amazing.

And I didn't even know for the longest that you can buy them on Amazon because what can you not even get on Amazon these days?

And you can just buy like a 50 pack or whatever and keep some in your diaper bag.

I remember there were times that I was out and I would see another mom and be like, oh, do you want one?

Like it was like Oprah, you get one and you get one because it's a game changer.

And parents were always like, oh my gosh, that's such a great idea.

So I really love having those disposable table or placemats.

I may or may not have stolen a handful of them from Chick-fil-A when my son was little and kept them in my diaper bag.

And you know what?

I probably should have bought them on Amazon, but those things changed my life.

You probably used them at other Chick-fil-A's, if we're all gonna be honest, because I know the highest status of Chick-fil-A app points.

I'm a signature member.

I work hard.

It is hard work.

It's a commitment.

It is a commitment.

It's great.

All right, I put this next one on there.

I don't even know if you know what this means.

I don't.

I don't know what this means.


It's a little bit country.

So I used to hunt and fish a lot, and that's like something people are gonna make, but you did?


So if you have like a tack box, like a fishing lure box, where you can have them all separated into different areas, you can buy one brand new, it never had any fishing stuff in it, and put a bunch of different snacks in there, which are, it's amazing, because you know kids get sick of stuff, and if you're on a road trip or something, they're gonna want a million different things, and one thing's not gonna be enough.

So you can put a bunch in these, I mean, there's like 18 sections, or however many sections, there's ones with a ton of them, and you can put a bunch of different snacks in them.

Another thing that I saw that was really cool, and it's along the same lines of different types of foods, but my son went to a friend's house the other day, and you know, kids don't really like to try new things.

He went to a friend's house the other day, and he came home, and I was like, you know, are you hungry?

Because I figured he hadn't had a snack.

And he's like, no, I ate at so-and-so's house.

I was like, oh, what'd you have?

And he goes, well, his mom had this cool plate, and it had a spinner.

The charcuterie snack plate.

It's so cool.

It has like 12 sections or whatever.

And she said she got it on Amazon, of course she did.

And they would spin it, and she put all different snacks in all different ones, and you had to eat whatever it landed on.

So it was like a game that then you're trying the new food that's in there.

And he tried things that he wouldn't have tried otherwise because he still didn't like them, but that's okay.

But he tried them because they were in, it was kind of fun.

It was like a betting game or truth or dare of food.

And you spin it around and try new food.

So I thought that was pretty cool.

Making it into a game is a fun idea.

We do charcuterie for dinner sometimes, and I just put a bunch of stuff on there that my kids may or may not eat, but it's great.

It's wonderful.

So that's just a few of our favorite hacks.

I don't think that's anywhere close to all of them, but it's just some of the things that we've kind of learned over the years.

And I think something that we say sometimes on the podcast and just to people, the clients in general, is you're going to get a lot of these sort of things.

You're going to be like, this is the only way to do it.

This is the best way to do it.

I've learned all of this.

And other than the car potty, all of these can be taken with a grain of salt.

You know, do what works best for you, except for the car potty and maybe the change of clothes in the car.

Do what's going to work best for you and your family.

I always say with parenting, you're going to just have so much advice and opinions and everything thrown at you.

So a huge part of parenting and keeping your sanity is just learning to take what you can from people and then let the rest go.

You know you and your family best.

You know your baby best.

No one else is going to be that much smarter than you about all these different things.

So if something sounds like it'll work for you, give it a try.

If it doesn't work, don't do it again.

That's fine.

And when I was preparing for this episode, I was like, man, a lot of these things have plastic in it.

And I know that's so taboo to everyone.

But you know what?

Sometimes convenience has to win out for sanity.

And if you don't want to use plastic, please don't.

That's great.

And please don't judge me for sometimes using plastic because it's real easy to clean.

And that's just exactly what works for your family.

So if you have any other ideas, then you want us to.

Yeah, yeah, for sure.

If you have any other ideas and you want to send them in, we would love to do follow up episodes on this kind of stuff with all of y'all's tips and tricks and little hacks that you've found along the way.

And we will talk to you next week.

Bye y'all.

Thank you for joining us on Birth, Baby!

Thanks again to Longing for Orpheus for our music.

You can look him up on Spotify.

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See you next week.