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Let's get real, TikTok has kind of become an expert guide to almost everything. From cleaning hacks to cooking hacks and most recently parenting hacks, the amount of things I have learnt from this app amazes me.
Parenting is one of those things that no matter how much you think you've prepared, things are unexpected — and sometimes after trying everything by the book for your baby, it still doesn't work. That's where these hacks come in to play.
The hacks shared on TikTok are often times first hand experiences by other parents who have been in similar situations.
In the first few months after I had my daughter, I tried several parenting hacks I saw suggested on TikTok — and a few in particular worked like a charm. I even had a few family members ask me where I learned the techniques as they were so unorthodox, but did the trick!
I think one of the hardest things about having a baby is not knowing exactly what they need or want since they can't communicate with words. Thankfully, parenting TikTok taught me these three hacks that helped me not feel so helpless — at least sometimes!
TikTok parenting hack that works #1: Hunger hack
Babies eat a lot in the beginning — I'm talking every couple of hours and sometimes more. Not only that, but in many cases they fall asleep while feeding and then wake up minutes later still hungry. It becomes a back and forth cycle of feeding and sleeping, feeding and sleeping and repeat. So, the key is to try and keep them awake to continue feeding until they are full, so that they will sleep longer and you get more time in between each feed.
But how do you figure out when they are full?!
Well, according to TikTok — and specifically this video by user @thehawkinsfamily — if the baby's hands are in tight fists, chances are that they are more than likely hungry. If you pay close attention to this as the baby feeds, you will notice that as they feed and get fuller the fists relax and aren't as tight anymore.
In the first few weeks of feeding my baby girl, I was always so unsure of knowing if she was full, but once I saw this hack, I would just watch her hands and pay attention to when they were relaxed versus tightened and it honestly worked and made things much easier and it seems I am not alone.
This video was viewed over 16 million times with many of the commenters agreeing that this is indeed a hunger cue and helped in making those newborn days easier.
TikTok parenting hack that works #2: Sleep hack
Another thing newborn babies love to do is sleep.
Sometimes babies will fight sleep for a number of reasons and in turn become overtired, which can make them quite upset and even harder to get down.
To avoid this, it's a good idea to pay attention to your baby using different cues or hacks to help determine when they are becoming tired and ready for a nap. That way, you can start getting them settled before it gets to the point of no return.
Thanks to @The Stringy Mama on TikTok, me and almost 5 million others who watched this learned a common early sleep cue is redness around the eyebrow line.
Once I saw this, I started paying a lot more attention to my baby girl's eyebrows. As soon as I saw any redness, I would start getting her ready for a nap — and I am not exaggerating when I say it made a world of a difference. Instead of trying to calm down an overtired baby who is not having it, she was calm to begin with and down within minutes.
TikTok parenting hack that works #3: Burp hack
This one made for a lot of funny pictures and laughs, but it also got the job done. Any new parent will know that after every feed, you have to burp your baby — because they just don't know how to themselves just yet.
My baby girl was a huge burper. She literally needed to burp multiple times during feeds or would get very uncomfortable. Thankfully, I had seen @_the_hansen's burp hack video pop up on my for you page weeks before I gave birth, and it truly was a gamechanger.
For this hack, you sit baby on your thigh, with one of your hands on the baby's chin, and one on the back of their head. Then — and this is where you'll have to trust me — you slowly "roll" the baby around in a circle — watch the video to see what I mean.
After feeding her, l I would often hand her off to a family member to burp her to catch a break, but she would always end up back with me — because this was the fastest and only way she would burp in the early days. Soon enough, everyone was burping her this way.
I later read, this method works so well because since babies aren't that mobile at first the gas just sits around, but moving them like this helps lets the gas escape — not sure how much truth there is to that, but all I know is this works.
I loved this hack not only because it made life much easier, but boy the laughs and pictures we captured are priceless and I'm sure I'm not alone in this because many shared their own videos while using this method.
OK — last one I promise.