Parenting Hacks That Take Some Stress Off Your Shoulders

Parenting hacks are tricks and tips that can take stress of your shoulders. These parenting life hacks will return your energy and delight in your kids.

Parenting hacks are stress-relieving, smart strategies for healthy parenting. Imagine parenting with less stress and more joy. Embracing these parenting hacks—or clever skills—will help take stress off your shoulders so you don’t feel so frazzled and exhausted.

This apt phrase has been floating around for decades and has appeared on magnets, shirts, and bumpers stickers because it’s so universally accurate: “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” (Modern parents can add the word “poppa.”) The following parenting hacks will help make you happier and less stressed, and by default, your improved mood will make your family happier, too.

Stress-Relieving Parenting Hacks for Messes and Organization

  • Take the struggles out of clean-up time by turning it into a game. Play “beat the clock” by timing how fast they can pick up toys. Challenge them to throw toys into the toybox or basket. Tape an area of the kitchen floor and have young children try to sweep crumbs and dropped cereal bits into the space. Oh, and play peppy kid music. It helps.
  • Popsicles are a fan favorite among kids, but they make a sticky, drippy mess. Catch the mess with a plastic lid from a coffee cup. Simply slide the stick through the hole, and ta-da! Instant drip tray.
  • Hang clear plastic shoe holders over doors to organize mittens, hats, and other winter gear; ponytail elastics and barrettes, small toys, and more.
  • If your young child takes delight in unrolling toilet paper, secure the roll with a rubber band to thwart them.

Parenting Hacks for Health and Safety and Parent Exhaustion

  • Babies like the soothing pressure of a parent’s hand when drifting to sleep. If you are too exhausted to stand at the crib, you can occasionally rest a glove filled with rice or coffee beans on your little one’s back for comfort while you fall into bed.
  • Store a quart-sized, giant marshmallow-filled baggy in the freezer. When boo-boos need ice, grab this kid-friendly icepack that’s soft and just the right temperature.  
  • Slipping a segment of a pool noodle over the door’s edge will help prevent painful pinches from slammed doors.
  • Pool noodles make handy edge protectors so small children don’t bump their head on corners and edges.
  • Apply puff paint to the bottom of socks to slip-proof them.
  • Draw a chart on a prescription medicine bottle to keep track of doses given.
  • Remove dreaded splinters by covering them with a baking soda and water paste, waiting a few minutes for the splinter to retreat, and easily grab and extract with a tweezers.

Parenting Hacks for Arts and Crafts Time

  • If you need to get things done outside, give your toddler or preschooler a bucket of water and a large paintbrush. Let them have fun painting the fence, house, sidewalk—anything they fancy.
  • Glitter is great for projects but terrible for messes. Keep a lint roller nearby to swiftly roll up errant glitter.
  • Squirt a bit of paint into gallon-size Ziploc bags. Tape them securely to a window or wall, and enjoy your older baby’s mess-free “painting” experience.
  • Tape a large sheet of butcher paper on the floor, place crayons and markers nearby, and let kids scribble, draw, and write anytime they wish.

Stress-Relieving Parenting Hacks to Help with Life’s Little Hassles

  • Are you headed for the beach? Fitted sheets make great sand-free zones. Use objects you have with you, like a cooler, to support the corners of the sheet. This sheet can double as a shady cover over a playpen.
  • Lego pieces and other small toys need washing, but what parent has time or energy to wash them by hand in the sink? Plop the pieces into a mesh bag (or better yet, have your kids do it), and toss them in the washing machine.
  • It’s annoying at best when kids lock themselves in a room. If you don’t want to replace all the handles with lock-free ones, use a rubber band. It’s much cheaper and just as effective (until your kids figures out the counter-hack of removing it). Loop it around one knob, pull it to the other knob, crossing it over the deadlatch, and loop it around the other knob.
  • Wrap rubber bands around the pumps of soap dispensers to limit the amount of soap your kids use.
  • When it’s time to wean your toddler off the pacifier, snip the tip off the binkies to render them useless. Or teach an economics lesson by letting them turn them in to buy a new toy (this is better used with preschoolers).
  • You might have noticed how obnoxiously loud kids’ toys can be. A bit of tape over the speaker muffles.  

Remove stress from your shoulders and revel in life with your kids with these parenting hacks. Momma and poppa and children will be happy.

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2022, January 11). Parenting Hacks That Take Some Stress Off Your Shoulders, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: January 16, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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