Life can be hectic when a new member of the family arrives! If it is your first child, chances are you would have gone through the process of painting a room and setting up as a nursery. Besides the process of picking out a name, there are many other preparations that are required. Some of these preparations include buying diapers, picking out clothes for a newborn, picking out a crib or cot, liaising with your doctor to arrange vaccinations, accepting visits from friends and family members who are eager to see the baby, and much much more! Between juggling all the new responsibilities of having a newborn baby, there is also the constant need to keep the baby’s supplies stocked. However, there can be times when you will have to solve certain problems in the moment. Some of the following do it yourself (DIY) hacks should be able to prepare you for some crucial situations!
(a). The Very Last Diaper
Imagine a situation where you are stuck with the very last diaper or worse, no diapers! This is a common mistake for new parents as they can forget to pack extra diapers or simply not pack enough diapers. If you are lucky, you can easily purchase one from a nearby mall or perhaps even “loan” one if you see another woman who has a baby as well (what are the odds her child is about the same age and size as your child?). However, if you have no such luck, perhaps you have sanitary pads which you can also purchase from the ladies’ room’s vending machine. You can take the pad and stick it onto the last diaper. This means that the last diaper only functions to hold the sanitary pad up while the pad will absorb most of the mess until you can get more diapers (I suggest you find some quickly!).
If you can find some clean towels, you can fold these into a cloth diaper, better known as nappies. This is a great option as it can be very absorbent and can buy you quite a bit of time until you can get more diapers. One of the most popular nappy folding method is known as the Terry Square Bat method. In poorer countries, most parents are not able to afford disposable diapers and opt for cloth nappies instead. There are also those who are environmentally conscious who choose this option as well. For the Terry Square Bat method:
- Take the rectangular fabric and fold it into quarters with corners situated at the top left
- Hold down the bottom three corners with one hand
- Pull the top corner to the side using your other hand
- Turn the nappy over without disturbing the folds
- Fold one third of the square in
- Turn the nappy around so that the triangle fits between the baby’s legs.
- >Depending on the size of your child, you can adjust the size of the nappy.
(b). Baby Bibs for Messy Activities!
Went out for family dinner and forgot to pack a bib for your baby? If you are at a nice restaurant, you could probably ask for several extra disposable napkins that you can use as a bib for your baby. Just like an adult, you could tuck one corner into the collar of the shirt. There are also other options though it can be a bit unsightly. However, if you are at home and simply do not have a clean bib, this can be very useful. You may even want to use this on a regular basis as it saves you the trouble of washing bibs and making use of the plastic bags. You can try using the plastic bags by tearing the bottom of the bad and have your child wear it like a shirt. (It will look like a plastic tank top!) If the bag is too big, you can tear a smaller hole at the bottom of the bag and tear holes at the sides of the bag for the arm to fit through. In the first example, the pre-existing hole of the bag is at the top while in the second option, the pre-existing opening is now at the bottom. You can even use this for activities where it can be cause the bib to be hard to wash such as finger painting! If you are using this technique in the public, you may get the occasional weird look but whatever works, right?
(c). A DIY Swaddle!
Swaddling is an extremely old practice where babies are wrapped in fabric to prevent the movements of their limbs. While it fell out of favor in the seventeenth century, it is now regaining popularity! Medically, the opinion on swaddling is divided as some studies show that it helps the baby to fall and remain asleep while keeping them in supine position, lowering the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). There are some studies that indicate it increases the risk of SIDS and developmental dysplasia of the hip. To read more about the advantages and disadvantages of swaddling, click here!
If you do decide to swaddle your baby, or simply want to make one as a gift, you can easily make one by buying some fabric of your choice. Flannel is a popular choice as it keeps the baby warm. However, if you are live in an area with warm climate, you might want to choose cotton or any fabric that is cooler. To start:
- You can cut the fabric into a 40-inch x 40-inch size.
- Fold the about 1 to 1.5 centimeter of the edges, iron it, and hem the edges. The best stitch for it looks like this.
(d). Making Your Own Baby Safe Stain Remover
Bibs can’t prevent all stains! What if your child gets food over a favorite outfit and ruins it? Here is a method that has proven useful even to clean out stains that has set in for over a year. To make it, all you need is:
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Dawn dish soap
- Baking soda
All these three ingredients are mostly available in any household. You can make the stain remover by missing 2-parts of hydrogen peroxide to 1-part Dawn dish soap, and 1-part baking soda. Once you mix it well, it will start bubbling due to the hydrogen peroxide. The baking soda also makes it thicker. Once the mixture is ready, put the mixture onto the stain and use a brush to scrub it in. Leave it to sit for an hour and wash as normal. The results can be incredible! You can see more detailed instructions and results here!
(e). DIY Diaper Bag
As your child grows older, you may find that there are certain supplies that you need less while you may need some new supplies as well. Depending on the age of your child, you may need different sized diaper bags. To save some money while still being able to design a bag that best suits your needs, you can make your own diaper bag. Designing your own diaper bag can be useful as it can help you to decide the best way to store and carry the milk for your child. If you are transporting breast milk, here is an excellent guide on the required temperatures and containers you need to use. You can even breastfeed if you have adequate privacy! If you are feeding your child baby formula, there will be more equipment that you need to pack to prepare the formula. Here is a great website that entails what may be required if you are bottle feeding.
A little warning, this project can be a bit more tedious than the rest above!
- This website provides you the instructions needed to make a beautiful diaper bag. It can be quite complicated, but the results are well worth it as the bag looks professionally designed and elegant!
- For other designs and possibly simpler instructions, check out these sites that provide you various ideas and patterns! Here is the site for “31 free diaper bag patterns and tutorials” and “Affordable ease: cute and useful DIY diaper bags”.