Grocery cart

Even on its best days, parenting is tough stuff. There's always some new mess, mishap or meltdown to navigate.

We parents could use a little help along the way. Here are 26 parenting hacks to help make life a little easier.

1. Take onesies off from top to bottom in messy situations. Those envelope folds on the shoulders aren't just for making it easier to get the onesie over your baby's head.

2. Use bath towels under kids’ car seats to keep your seats nice. This also works under dining room chairs and high chairs.

3. Line your car’s cup holders with cupcake liners.

4. Use cupcake liners on the bottom of popsicles to catch the drips.

5. Put condiments under the hot dog instead of on top for less mess.

6. Lift the side tabs on juice boxes to create “wings” for holding to help prevent spills.

7. Invest in a pizza cutter or kitchen shears for toddler food.

8. Write medicine dosage schedule on the medicine bottle.

9. Use vinegar on minor burns.

10. Hang a Command Hook on the back of the high chair to hang up bibs.

11. Wash baby sock together in a laundry bag so you don’t lose them. OK and maybe grown-up socks, too.

12. Replace broken diaper tabs with adhesive bandages or painters tape.

13. Frozen sponges make great lunch box ice packs in a pinch.

14. Freeze large marshmallows in a Ziploc bag to use as a cold pack for ouchies.

15. Use an empty Altoids container to store crayons in your purse or diaper bag.

16. Keep pacifiers clean in your purse or diaper bag using to-go sauce containers.

17. Take Play-Doh to dinner to occupy kids. It's easy to clean up.

18. Scotch tape kids coloring menus to the table.

19. Store Play-Doh containers in a K-Cup carousel.

20. Use a lint roller to pick up glitter and other small craft items.

21. Use toothpaste to clean permanent marker off of furniture.

22. Set a timer for clean-up and have kids try and “beat the clock.” In fact, turn everything into a race.

23. Color-code items if you have multiple kids to prevent fights. One color for one kid — pink cup, pink bowl, pink plate, pink bath towel, etc.

24. Keep one blanket per child in your car.

25. Hide candy in “health food” containers.

26. Lift the front panel of a grocery cart to let your kids in. No more lifting up and over!

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Shea Saladee lives in Papillion with her husband, Brent, and their three children. She works as an instructor at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

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