10 genius parent hacks

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1. Shrink the screen time

Little boy sitting on carpet and looking TV

Have you noticed that up to a certain age, little ones are immune to plotlines? They'll happily drop in and out of a movie, watch one scene several times over or nod off at the most exciting moment of Despicable Me. Use this flexibility to your advantage and cut screen time by starting junior's viewing in the middle rather than at the start of their show.

2. Noodle know-how

Studio photograph of colorful foam floating swim noodles.

A humble pool noodle can work wonders on dry land, too – to make bedtime so much easier. For toddlers transitioning to big kid beds, or co-sleepers, wedge a pool noodle between the mattress and the fitted sheet to form a barrier to prevent your sleeping beauty from rolling out.

3. Bedtime bliss

A cute little girl fast asleep in a double bed

It's all about layers when it comes to bedtime accident proofing.

Make the bed twice, with a mattress protector between two layers of sheets. If a leak happens late at night, simply remove the top sheet and protector. So much better than rummaging around in the dark, half awake, for spare sheets.

4. Ace your air

two cute child baby girls playing and having fun on the bed. loving sisters hug
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Who wants to worry about fiddling with air and temperature controls when you'd rather be playing with the little ones – or putting your feet up for a rest? Invest in a smart purifier and let the latest technology do the work for you. Features include climate control to measure air quality and temperature taking the fuss out of maintaining your ideal indoor environment.

5. Nail those nails

Cut fingernails baby

Unlike their mothers, who usually yearn for a long relax and pamper session in the manicurist's chair, babies and toddlers have a habit of crawling off, complaining or downright refusing when it comes to nail trimming time. Safe restraint is required for your reluctant mini-people, and a forward facing carrier works like a dream. If your car seat's the closest thing, there's no reason why you can't do the trim there (when you're stationary, of course!).

6. Potty power

Closeup of cute little 12 months old toddler baby girl child sitting on potty. Kid playing with educational wooden toy. Toilet training concept. Baby learning, development steps.

Ever since an inspired parent shared the simple but smart idea of lining a potty with a coffee filter to ease the dreaded toilet dump, mums and dads everywhere have been trying their own take on this killer hack for lessening the toil of toilet training. We say plain old toilet paper works well. But we've heard of one mum saving on water and lining her potty with a doggy poo bag then binning the whole delightful package instead of flushing - just as you would with a pup-produced number two.

7. Clued-up cleaning

mom's hands washing baby milk bottle

Bottles and sippy cups attract a whole lotta sticky so easily. As well as being downright icky, it's also a trap for all kinds of nasty bacteria that won't be a friend to your little one's tummy, so you need to thoroughly remove every trace. Soak the soiled vessels in a bowl of water with a few denture tablets for a half hour to blitz that funk factor.

8. Switched on

Baby playing with electrical extension and outlet  at home

Cover electrical outlets with Band Aids to prevent toddlers from flicking switches on and poking curious fingers into sockets. This hack's perfect for hotels and anywhere away from home where plastic covers might not already be in place. Keep the Band Aid plain coloured to stop it catching your little explorer's eye.

9. Tap tech

Closeup shot of a father helping his baby girl wash her hands at a tap

If your toddler's too small to reach the running water from the tap, attach a DIY extender by cutting a hole in the bottom of an old plastic bottle and fitting it snugly over the tap, so the water emerges from the opening – in the right spot for those little hands. And to prevent taps from being turned on by those same little hands, pop a plastic cup over the top or even a kids' Slinky toy.

10. DIY mute button

Sweet Baby Girl Playing With Toys

This one's music to every tired parent's ears: cover the speakers on all those noisy plastic toys with sticky tape, muffling every infectious (IE infuriating) tune, bleep, squeak and animal noise. Then sit back and enjoy the peace. You're welcome.

This article has been produced in association with Dyson. 

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