Before becoming a mother I thought that parenting would be easy and breezy and that I would be able to pick things up from books and articles online. I was obviously clueless because nothing can prepare you for the actual process and experience of motherhood. By now having a small amount of experience on the matter, I am truly amazed and enlightened by how moms manage it all. In today’s fast-paced world, moms have to be resourceful and creative when it comes to managing their children and family. When you become a new mom, you realize that you are now a part of an exclusive club made up of different women who share the same goals – to raise their children right. Every child, situation and family is different and every mom’s style is different as well. Nowadays when I’m around moms, I love to ask them about their experiences and what tricks and strategies they use to make their lives easier when it comes to caring for and raising their kids.
We asked some friends for their own personal “mom hacks” and it may just have the solution to your Mommy problems at home.
Mel Habito, 31
Zoe, almost 5 months
Start taking malunggay pills at 37 weeks of pregnancy (or earlier even). I did this and had no problem with milk supply.
Have a portable bidet spray in your hospital bag. It was the most useful thing I had for myself after giving birth!
Download the app "Baby Ears" to decode your baby's cry (gassy, hungry, need to be burped, etc)
Put the baby tub on top of the bathroom sink as it is the perfect height for a baby bathtub. This saves me from backaches.
Lay a new diaper under the old one before each diaper change—just in case an explosion happens (and trust me I've had a few)
If you have a baby who just can’t sleep without motion, a rocking crib is such a worthy investment. It's made my life, and sleeping time, much easier.
When breastfeeding, use a haakaa on the other side to catch letdown. Or when engorged in the middle of the night but too lazy to pump, just sleep with two haakaas attached to your breasts (just make sure you dont knock it down when you move or else your milk will spill on you. haha!)
Don't have a tabo to use for bath time? Or tabo is too big for your newborn's head? Use a small cup instead.
Establish a bedtime routine and consistently follow it so that baby has a signal that it is almost time to sleep. Read the same book every night--she will not only know it is bedtime but she will also look forward to reading that book each night. (my baby starts getting excited when she sees me bringing out the book)
If you don’t have a white noise machine, just download free apps that have white noise sounds. (there are plenty)
Try to focus on wake times, not sleep times! I used to stress so much about the length of her naps. When I started to focus on how long she could be awake instead, she started napping longer.
Forgot to pack a bib? Just fold a hanky into a triangle and wrap it around baby's neck
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Jill Mondigo, 35
When I make my weekly shopping list, I ask my son what he'd like to eat. With him helping me plan the menu, I know I'll be making things he'll actually eat. Plus, he seems to like that I ask his opinion.
Camille Severino, 37
Rafa 1 year and 3 months
I don’t really have much strategic tactics. I include her in everything I do; I don’t have a yaya so there’s not much choice. I include her in some of my workouts - she enjoys that very much, we go do errands together - groceries, shopping, going to the bank, driving for my parents, etc. whenever we eat out I let her watch cartoons on my phone so she’ll eat (lol, not exactly a good tactic but just a few mins a day won’t hurt I hope)
Cris Rodriguez, 36 Joachim Miguel, 4 and Juliana Lucia, 3
I do the reward system like a follow through in school. Sometimes it can be challenging for the kids to listen and follow right away. They are in the stage where they test your patience. When I have a hard time making them listen or follow, I try the reward/prize approach like what they do in their school. They get a sticker, stamp and sometimes some sweets if they listen and follow. When it comes to feeding, I usually mix vegetables in their food so they won’t notice it. Like when I cook monggo, I mix it with spinach but I try to cut the leaves in very small pieces so they won’t notice it. And also when I cook tinola, I try to mash the sayote with the soup, my kids love soup!
Maria Carla Angela Carranceja, 35 Carlin Heleina, 3
My mommy hack that I want to share is how to avoid tantrums or “bili moko” in the mall. While still in the car I will explain to Heleina what we’re doing at the mall and she can only choose to play or buy a not-so-expensive toy. And when going to the grocery she can choose only one kind of candy or cookies she wants. So when we go to malls I don’t have to worry about Heleina having tantrums.
Teng Ongpin, 35
Rex Antonio and David Gideon
10 Month old twin boys
We put their pureed food in ice cube trays and freeze them, so we can prepare ahead and save time, but are still able to give them healthier and natural food compared to store-bought food. When I change their nappies, they usually spin around and don't stay still so I give them the "toys" that they usually aren't allowed to hold (remote control or phone) so they can focus.
Crisela Cervantes, 39
My little one wakes up early everyday around 6 am and it’s hard to keep her still anytime during the day. So when we have to prepare breakfast we had to think of ways to get her involved in the prep work. We’ve tried making shapes with bread, spreading jam and mixing things. But by far the best activity that keeps our toddler focused on the task at hand and also takes some time is removing egg shells. So there you go! Eggs are not only healthy but a great time consuming and interesting activity for toddlers. It may be different for other kids but I guess as always the best is to keep trying until you find the one that works best (at least until it lasts). Best part is she loves it!
Liezel Padiernos, 34
Reiley, 3 years and 6 Months
Lorenzo, 1 Year and 9 Months
My daughter, Reiley, started to eat on her own when she was 14 months old. I didn’t have a yaya/helper and I was 2 months pregnant with my second child so I’d always leave her alone when eating, playing, etc and gave her independence to figure out most things on her own. The freedom I gave her had a good impact because she literally won’t let me feed her and she would always tell me “only me Nanay, only me”... from feeding herself, putting on her clothes, her shoes, etc.
I try to raise my kids gadget-free because I noticed that when they have screen time, they become irritable and impatient after. So I made a rule that they can only watch TV when it’s the weekend (but I include Fridays cause we are usually out on Saturdays and Sundays so technically they can only watch on Fridays!) My daughter now asks me, “Nanay is it the weekend?” and when I say no, she will just say- okay. There was one time; I let my husband take care of the kids and apparently my husband told her come on let’s watch TV. I heard Reiley shout, “No Tatay, it is NOT THE WEEKEND!” Siya pa yung galit. lol!
When travelling, I make sure I get flight schedules that coincide with their nap time or sleeping time so that I won’t have a hard time taking care of an active or bored child on board. I also have emergency surprise toys to get them preoccupied on board. Like Play Doh, stickers, and coloring books.
My diaper bag has all the essentials plus crayons, coloring books/drawing books. This way, I get to eat and have a few minutes for myself when we dine out.