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Between trying to get a good night’s sleep, running around for everyone’s activities, achieving our work goals, and still finding time for our relationship, most moms will take all we can get to save a few minutes.


Luckily, there are tons of parenting hacks out there to help cut back on those small things that can drive us crazy (ahem, running out of toilet paper at 7 a.m. on Monday right before you leave for work). This year, mamas everywhere shared their best parenting hacks to get ahead and take the stress out of the day-to-day hustle.

Here’s what we learned in 2017 and will *definitely* be taking into 2018 with us.

1. Wake up one hour earlier for that me-time you’ve been craving.

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2. Have kids put their hands on the circle (gas cap) whenever getting out of car. Lets mama unload without worrying about someone running off or getting hurt.

3. Offer two acceptable choices for your little one—speeds up the process, makes them feel empowered and avoids timely arguments.

4. Go paperless with ScanSnap. No more having to sift through hundreds of papers.

5. Keep specific toys in different baskets (high chair toys, going out to dinner toys, bedroom toys) so all you have to do is grab it and go.

6. Use a hanging jewelry or shoe holder to store legos. Avoid stepping on them or having to sift through all of the types.

7. Get your older kids an UnbuckleMe so you spend less time getting them out of car seats.

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8. Set the coffee up the night before. One less thing to worry about in the morning.

9. Use shower caps to avoid getting dirt in places you don’t want it, such as over the stroller’s wheels or to wrap shoes when packing in a suitcase.

10. Keep your most-used items in a decorative jar on your stovetop to streamline the cooking process.

11. Add initials to sides of passports. When you travel, you’ll know exactly which one is for who instead of flipping through each one.

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12. Every time you cook, make an extra batch and freeze it. It can be used for extra lunches throughout the week or for that day where everything seems to be hectic.

13. Freeze a nutrient-rich smoothie or breastmilk or formula and make into a popsicle. A simple way to get kids to eat while thinking it’s a treat. Bonus: Works even better for teething or when they’re sick.

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14. Create an “oops” kit for the car with items like emergency cash, snacks, first aid kit, and an extra set of clothes.

15. Always buy the essentials in bulk (toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, body wash) so you’re never left running to the store last minute. Even better, use a program like Amazon’s Dash Buttons to automatically replenish so you don’t have to worry about it.

16. Layer crib sheets with leak pads so if your little one makes a mess, you only have to remove one sheet.

17. Put the syringe of medicine through the nipple of the bottle for a painless way for baby to get medication.

18. Use muffin liners to separate foods during lunch time or in a lunch box. Saves the stress of your picky little one who hates food items to touch.

19. Keep a decorative basket in each room of the house. Use it to toss extra items into at the end of each day, from leftover toys to blankets.

20. Get Tile for your keys, wallet, and other items your family loses. No more searching around for hours trying to find it.

I was blissfully asleep on the couch while my little one was occupied elsewhere with toys, books and my partner. She got bored with what they were doing, escaped from his watch and, sensing my absence, set about looking for me. Finding me on the couch, nose-level, she peeled back my one available eyelid, singing, "Mama? Mama? ...You there? Wake UP!"

Sound familiar? Nothing limits sleep more than parenthood. And nothing is more sought after as a parent than a nap, if not a good night's rest.

But Mother Nature practically guarantees that you are likely to be woken up by a toddler—they're hardwired to find you (and get your attention) when you're "away."

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