My favourite maternity and parenting hacks that I've picked up over the past 16 months, with some help from my wonderful friends, family and customers...
1) forgotten the thermal bottle case? No fear! wrap a nappy around the bottle to keep it warm for a couple of hours.
2) Baby is obsessed with running off with your phone and the fake plastic one doesn't cut it for her? We dug out a 15 year old beast of a phone for her and now she play with that instead.
3) Another use for nappies... for those times when your brain completely fails you and you forget to put breast pads in- chop up a nappy! (but be warned, if not done carefully and place in bra with care then you will end up with super-absorbent blue crystals exploding out of your top)
4) For that awkward in-between pregnancy stage where the maternity clothes look a bit ridiculous but you can't breathe in your regular clothes. Just loop a hair tie through the button hole of your trousers and around the button (or buy a bellyband!).
5) This one had me kicking myself... Really should have thought of this one whilst Rose was being a little demon! If you have forgotten to put the sterilizer on in time and the bottles are waaaaay too hot then (carefully) pop the teat in the freezer to cool down and using a pair of kitchen tongs hold the bottle under the cold tap (upside down) to cool off.
6) hands free parenting with a young child? use a sling! my £15 ring sling from amazon is my favourite baby item- sling, make-shift reigns, breastfeeding cover... this thing does everything! my toddler STILL falls asleep in it (plus I get amazing cuddles). They are actually pretty simple to make, here is a ring sling tutorial for the crafty readers... http://theuncoordinatedmommy.com/diy-ring-sling/
7) I found it so hard to find nice looking, comfy maternity bras (that didn't cost the earth!). So I gave up and bought sports bras instead.
8) Imagine this scenario- you're visiting your mother/sister/great aunt Doris etc, their house is second-mortgage huuuuuuge and you don't have the baby monitor with you. Take two phones facetime them to each other and place one looking at the baby, voila! baby monitor!
9) Yoga was incredible (after my morning sicky 1st trimester) for stretching my aches, and making me feel less hippo-like.
10) Theres's been a poo-nami! those flaps on the shoulders of babygrows and sleepsuits are made for exactly this disaster- roll them down over the baby's shoulders and you can take it off them from the foot end instead.
11) White noise- my answer to pretty much everything. You'll be amazed at just how effective a bit of white noise can be at keep your baby asleep. There are loads of free apps for this, no need for ewan the sheep!
12) Nappy rash and the cream won't stay put- how frustrating is this? So pop the cream on and then set it it place with a sprinkle of talc to keep it in place for longer and form a barrier.
13) Vomit smell in your car/sofa/bed/life won't go... pop some of this on it http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pets/cat/cat-litter/cat-cleaning-products/simple-solution-stain-and-odour-remover-for-cats-4-litre-%28online-only%29
14) Water splashes over your child's face when washing their hair- it is a bit of a juggling act but get a dry flannel, roll it up and pop on their forehead when you are rinsing their hair to catch the stray water.