Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hacking is soooo 1983

There’s a newish website called “Parent Hacks”, which is dedicated to ways to make parenting easier. The nice thing about that site is that most of the ideas aren’t “big” ideas or changes you need to make to your life – they are small changes (or “hacks”) that can make all the difference.

In that vein, here are a few of our own “hacks”, based on over 800 days of experience:

  1. The Night Feeding/Beating: If you read a powdered formula canister, it’s easier to assemble stereo equipment than to make a bottle of formula. It requires boiling water twice, letting it cool, mixing, and feeding. We moved pretty quickly to the bottle warmer, which meant less boiling and mixing, but the warmer was incredibly sensitive. If you added 1 ml too much water, it turned a tepid bottle into a molten lava of formula, sending you back to the beginning. In addition, it usually takes about 30 seconds to a minute to heat up. In nighttime feeding baby screaming time, that’s about 25 years. The next answer was to use hot water from the tap (I’m sure that will cause some evil consequence), which reduced the risk of 3rd degree burns, but still took too much time. Finally, we hit upon the solution: A thermos, right next to the formula container, filled with water at just the right temperature. We would put that in the thermos right before bedtime, and when the call of duty came in the middle of the night, the water was nice and warm.

  2. Two hands for kids, none for lights: Betsy loves timers. Everything is on a timer. I think she would put me on one if she could. The benefit (which I have slowly realized) is that when you’re running around after two kids, the last thing that is watched is your electric bill.

  3. Diaper Chump: We have the Diaper Champ, which is the lowbrow version of the Diaper Genie. No need to buy sausage casing to wrap the diapers, but the stink level can get pretty high. Once Sophie started eating solids, the stink increased by a factor of 10. We now add an extra step when changing the diaper after #2: we shake the diaper a little into the toilet to get rid of any “solids” which can be removed. It has the additional benefit of teaching Sophie of where the “poo” ultimately goes – in the toilet. That has reduced the stink level by about 90%. Of course, if it’s a heinous/wet poo, the diaper goes into a HazMat bag and disposed of immediately.

Now it’s off to the Parent Hacks site, to see if there are any new ideas to make my life easier.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Crissy said...

I saw your hack on Parent Hacks and just wanted to comment that we do the same thing with our Diaper Champ. It really does reduce the odor and makes for easy clean-up.

Thanks for the great hacks.

9:48 AM, March 17, 2006  
Blogger marthachick said...

Thanks for the hacks!

Re: Diaper Champ stink
I made up my own de-stinkerator. Took a disposable, flat rubbermaid container (the kind for sandwiches), poked holes in the lid and filled the bottom with Baking Soda. I put this at the bottom of the champ, under the bag o' dipes. Seems to be working like a charm.

Of course, toxic waste dumps go right to the outside trash...

10:23 AM, March 17, 2006  
Blogger Neal said...

Martha, thanks for the advice about the de-stinkerator (you have it trademarked, right?)!

I'm going to go home tonight and stab a few container straight away!

1:12 PM, March 17, 2006  
Anonymous Matt said...

Great hacks ! Love your blog and your writing style. We recently launched a parent-to-parent advice service called Minti where other parents help rank up the best advice to the top. These ideas would fit perfectly in. Nice addition too by marthachick. Take a look if you like :) www.minti.com

Matt

7:04 PM, March 17, 2006  

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