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Confession: a lot of the parenting advice I used to survive pregnancy and the newborn phase came from Reddit. Reddit is full of parenting tips and baby hacks that have made my life easier, shared by real parents who have been there.
What should I do when my toddler won’t brush his teeth? I’m off to Reddit.
What’s it like to get a cerclage? Reddit had my back.
If you’ve ever been on Reddit, you know that it is a wealth of information. There’s subreddits for everything, including birthing and parenting young children. Since it is full of real people sharing real experiences, the information is often more personal and authentic. A lot of people even added ‘Reddit’ to their Google searches to find more genuine information.
That said, it is so easy to get lost in Reddit’s sea of posts and comments. And unfortunately, Reddit’s native search function is not great, and you can easily stumble upon untoward posts and comments.
To save you from having to wade into the Reddit deep, I’ve curated 20 awesome baby hacks, parenting tips and advice from Reddit. Before diving in, let’s go over some Reddit parenting group basics.
Baby & Parenting Reddit Overview
Reddit is essentially a collection of message boards or forums organized around interests. Communities of people come together on these subreddits, and “socially curate” information by upvoting or downvoting posts and comments.
Here are some common Reddit terms to know:
- Subreddit: niche communities within the Reddit platform organized around interests, denoting by r/”Name”
- Mod: moderator of a subreddit
- Community info or wiki: Subreddits often put together a beginners handbook of frequently asked questions for their topic. Always check these first before posting.
- OP: original poster
- TL;DR: too long, didn’t read. Long posts will often include a short synopsis labeled TL:DR.
- Karma: Reddit points used to highlight well-regarded and frequent contributors. Karma is earned through upvotes.
- Edit: indicates that the poster has changed their post or comment since original posting.
- AMA: ask me anything
- NSFW: not safe for work
- ELI5: Explain to me like I’m 5, a request for questions to be answered in simple terms.
How to Find Baby & Parenting Subreddits and Threads
To begin your search for subreddits and threads, simply type some keywords in the top search bar. A drop down menu will appear with the most relevant and active subreddits on that topic.
For anyone pregnant, I always recommend that one of your first Reddit stops is to check out the subreddit for your due date month. You can find the list of groups here: Monthly Bumper Subreddits.
Examples of great parenting and baby subreddits
Examples of niche parenting and baby subreddits
When looking for previous posts and threads, you can use the native Reddit search function as shown in the picture above. However, their internal search is not best.
I have better luck searching Google and adding either “Reddit” or the subreddit name to the search to find relevant older posts. For example, if you were looking for baby hacks on Reddit, on Google I’d search things like “baby hacks Reddit” (with only Reddit in the search) or “parenting life hacks beyondthebump” (with only the subreddit name) or “parenting tips Reddit daddit” (with both the subreddit name and Reddit in the search).
Now let’s dive into the parenting hacks and tips!
Child Safety Tips
First up we have some tips for child safety that are great to review for new parents.
1. Emergency Contact Info Temporary Tattoo Hack
Your kid wandering off and getting lost is the perennial parent fear. If your toddler is too young to memorize your phone number, then this Reddit parenting hack is for you. Order temporary tattoos with your information that you can put on when attending events.
Unlike a bracelet, your kid won’t be able to remove the tattoo.
2. Choking hazard tip: teach your baby to put coins in a piggy bank
I love this tip from Reddit for reducing a choking hazard risk so much and I can’t wait to try it. Teach your baby to put coins in a piggy bank instead of their mouths.
Our baby is currently in a (very long) phase where she tries to eat everything she finds on the floor. We have to intervene so much that our two-year old even tells her “no, that’s a choking hazard” at this point. Anything that can cut down her choking risk will be a blessing.
Baby Sleep Hacks from Reddit
After safety, the most pressing need for a lot of parents is more sleep. Here are some great tips from Reddit to help both parents and babies sleep and rest a little better.
3. Heat the crib before putting you baby to sleep hack
This is a great parenting hack from Reddit user lhippen that will save you frustration when transferring a sleeping baby into the crib. Going from warm arms to a cold crib sheet can be startling, so take a minute to heat up the spot before you lay your baby down.
This tip suggested using a heating pad, but you could also use a hot water bottle or a rice pillow that you can microwave.
4. Rest during nap time (this one is essential parenting advice)
You may not be able to “sleep when the baby sleeps” but you can definitely try to take a break during naps. Silence is so precious and you can do a lot of things like meal prep when the baby is awake.
Bonus: as your kid gets older, it is good for them to see and participate in household chores instead of waking up to them magically done after nap time. Being involved in the work helps build habits and appreciation for skills they’ll need later in life.
5. The parenting sleep tip that pulls all my heartstrings
Listen, holding a napping baby is one of my deepest parenting joys so I am very biased in favor of this Reddit tip. The tip is a simple one: remember to appreciate holding your sleeping baby because it doesn’t last forever.
When you’re “nap trapped” it is so easy to think about the chores waiting for you instead of recognizing this precious moment in time. I love this reminder to be mindful as much as you can.
Eating & Food Tips for Toddlers
Now for some Reddit hacks for feeding your toddler. Because you’re definitely going to need some tips at some point in your feeding journey.
6. Try pretend food play to encourage eating
If your toddler is uninterested in their food, try out pretending that one of the foods on their plate is related to a favorite animal or character.
I love this Reddit parenting tip because this is how we personally got our kid to eat salad. After feeding the giraffes at the zoo, we asked him if he wanted to eat leaves like a giraffe and the rest is history.
7. Let them eat off the floor (the most real parenting tip)
This is a parenting life hack from Reddit that everyone needs to hear: it’s okay for your baby or toddler to eat off the floor at home. With how messy babies eat, you’ll be wiping up your floor multiple times a day so really, it’s likely the cleanest floor ever.
Our toddler actually picks up all food our baby throws on the floor and then feeds it to her. Everyone is still alive and well.
8. Put pumping parts in the fridge, a hack for breastfeeding parents
If your baby isn’t quite to solids yet and you’re pumping, this Reddit life hack is a game changer. Put pumping parts in the fridge instead of washing them each time. This will save you a lot of time and work (especially since breastfeeding and pumping take up so much of a woman’s time after a baby!)
I’ll be real, we have never liked bathing our baby or toddler. It is a lot of work and once you finish one bath, you just have to do it again in a couple days. That’s why I liked these tips from Reddit to make bath time a little smoother.
9. Do dinner and bath time together to mix it up
I love this life hack to get dinner and bath time done together. It saves time, it saves clean up and it adds novelty which encourages more eating.
We’ve done it before with our toddler and he thought it was truly hysterical. Plus, he ate his whole dinner.
10. A hack for the toddler that hates getting their hair washed
Honesty moment: we haven’t really washed our toddler’s hair in months (he only let’s us near it with a wet rag). He loses his mind at water being poured on his head because he’s scared of it getting in his eyes. I found this tip to use a mirror when I was searching out ways to help him.
What I love about this bath time hack is that it gives information and a sense of control back to the toddler. So much happens to toddlers where they have no say or no frame of reference. Letting them see what happens is a simple way to ameliorate an unknown for them.
11. Extend the life of your bath toys with this simple hack
Why, oh why do toy makers put little holes in plastic bath toys? The holes aren’t big enough dry out trapped water so the toys are a huge mold risk. This easy parenting tip from Reddit can help: seal up the hole with hot glue before use.
Baby Crying & Toddler Tantrum Tips
Here are some tips when faced with an inconsolable baby or toddler meltdown. In general, we’ve drank the gentle parenting Kool-aid and sit with our toddler as he works through being upset.
However, sometimes you’ll be trying to make it to a doctor’s appointment on time and need a card in your back pocket to break the meltdown cycle. These parenting hacks are for those moments.
12. A simple question to break the meltdown cycle
This parenting tip from Reddit user GayMaryPoppins is simple: ask your kid what color shirt they are wearing to help bring them out of their meltdown.
What I like about this tip is it doesn’t try to convince the toddler that they are okay or that they shouldn’t be upset. It simply gives them a pause to help pull them out of a crying cycle.
13. Blow in your crying baby’s face
I know this one doesn’t sound great, but it works. If your baby is inconsolable, try blowing in their face to get a break in the crying. And in that brief break, apply whatever comfort measures work for your kid.
We’ve definitely used this tip to get our baby to stop crying for a moment to get them to take a pacifier. It worked every time.
Just Plain Clever Parenting Hacks
Now for some clever parenting life hacks from Reddit.
14. Start including your kid in housework early, a parenting tip that plays the long game
When your toddler is old enough to want to help with chores, include them. At first, it will be more work for you to do it but it is an investment that pays off in the end. They become more helpful and it teaches important life skills.
Plus, toddlers think chores are fun activities so it keeps them occupied.
15. When negotiating with a toddler, add some novelty
Here’s a simple parenting hack: use your kid’s favorite toy to win their buy in. Sure, they don’t want to go potty but what if their race-car wants to see them go potty? At least for our kid, this tip works more often than it should.
16. Two great parenting hacks for the price of one Reddit comment
Both of these hacks are so simple and genius. I fully intend to try putting cheerios in the toilet to teach aim when we hit that point with our toddler. And giving a “repellent spray” for their nighttime fears is just plain clever.
Sage Parenting Tips from Reddit
Finally, we close the list with some of the most sage parenting tips shared on Reddit.
17. Embrace a routine, because not all baby hacks are flashy.
I couldn’t agree with this tip about having a routine more. With our babies, having them on a three hour routine of sleep, eat, play made everything more predictable.
And now with a toddler, routine gives him space to relax since he generally knows what to expect each day.
18. Buy the same color socks, perhaps the most pragmatic parenting hack
I’ve gone through A LOT of reddit posts curating this list of hacks, and it is shocking how many times “buy the same color socks” gets suggested. That many parents can’t be wrong so this life hack makes the list! It is a tip we definitely use ourselves.
Though, I’d skip the ziplock bag tip. My personal baby/toddler storage hack is to use mesh laundry bags instead since they’re big, flexible and more durable.
19. Remember, everything is a phase
This is a great reminder from Reddit user saf621 that the hard moments in parenting are most often a short phase. When you’re up in the middle of the night for weeks it can feel like it’ll never end and you have to find a solution, but sometimes the real solution is “give it some time.”
As your baby becomes a toddler and beyond, you’ll be in a constant cycle of old challenges phasing out as new challenges phase in. But when you’re in the moment, it can be hard to see that forest for the trees so I appreciate this reminder.
20. Take more videos (the Reddit parenting tip I wish I appreciated sooner)
I’ll end on this parenting tip because it is the one I wish I had realized sooner. Pictures are great but I wish I had more videos of my loved ones.
I sadly learned this lesson when we lost my dad and we didn’t have many videos. I thought I took enough videos of our first born, but truly, there’s no such thing as too many videos. I know it’s cliche but it does go so fast and I find myself regularly rewatching the videos we do have from his newborn days. Take more videos.