100 Health Hacks Every Mom Should Know


April 14th, 2010

Becoming a mom means that you wear many hats, from chef to family nurse. Most moms don’t have a nursing degree, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a little medical knowledge at home. Check out our collection of hacks to take care of your little ones like an expert.


Here you’ll find general health hacks.

  1. Speak up: Don’t be a silent bystander-be your child’s advocate.
  2. Listen to fear: Use fear as a signal that you need to know more.
  3. Get vaccinated: Prevent your child from contracting diseases by following the recommended vaccination schedule.


These hacks are especially for the first years of your child’s life.

  1. Breastfeed: Breastfeed your child for at least 6 months to improve health and help cut down on the risk of death.
  2. Never wake a sleeping baby: Respect your baby’s sleep needs, and avoid waking him or her up from sleep.
  3. Don’t be afraid to breastfeed in public: With the right location and cover-up, you can successfully breastfeed in public.
  4. Put babies to sleep on their backs: Always place babies on their backs to sleep.
  5. Use a fan in your baby’s room: Slash the risk of SIDS by keeping air moving and preventing carbon dioxide from pooling around your baby.


Make bedtime and sleeping a breeze with the help of these hacks.

  1. Keep your child’s room cool and dark: Be sure that your child’s bedroom is dark and kept at a cool temperature.
  2. Don’t give your child caffeine six hours or less before bed: Avoid food or drinks with caffeine less than six hours before bedtime.
  3. Get babies used to everyday noise: Don’t tiptoe around your baby-allow them to get used to the noises of your home.
  4. Put kids to bed when they are tired but still awake: Put your child in bed before they fall asleep.
  5. Avoid large meals close to bedtime: Don’t feed your child large meals before bed.
  6. Establish a regular bed time: Set up a regular bed and waking time and do not vary from it.
  7. Keep after-dinner play relaxing: Too much activity close to bedtime can keep your child awake.
  8. Create a relaxing bedtime routine: Give your child a warm bath or read a story before bed.
  9. Keep distractions to a minimum: Do not allow TV, radio, or music when your child is going to sleep.


Use these hacks to keep your kids safe at home and beyond.

  1. Know your poison control number: Be sure to have your poison control number handy at all times.
  2. Store poisons out of sight and reach: Keep poisons like medicines, cleaners, and paints in their original packaging away from children.
  3. Teach your child to dial 911: Take a few minutes to teach your children how to call 911.
  4. Check products for safety recalls: Look up your products to find out if they’ve been recalled for safety reasons.
  5. Keep CFLS out of lamps: Avoid using compact fluorescent bulbs in lamps that children can reach and knock over.
  6. Use barriers: Stair gates and window guards can help prevent falls.
  7. Use child safety latches: Protect children from harmful products with latches on child-accessible cabinets.
  8. Use a code word: Use a code word that is only known by you and close friends so that your child will know who to trust.
  9. Always use safety caps: Keep all medicines in containers with safety caps.
  10. Set your hot water temperature to 120 degrees: Prevent scalding burns by setting your hot water heater to 120 degrees or lower.

Mental Health

Support your child’s mental health and healthy stress levels using these hacks.

  1. Listen without criticism: Discuss your child’s fears and concerns.
  2. Focus on the positive: Help children count their blessings, even in times of trouble.
  3. Provide a secure environment: Be consistent and dependable so that kids feel safe.
  4. Lead by example: Teach your children to deal with stress by managing stress successfully yourself.
  5. Build your child’s self esteem: Help your child with the coping skills they need to manage low levels of stress.
  6. Spend relaxation time: Spending relaxed time with children will allow you to connect and practice good role modeling.
  7. Don’t stress too much about video games: Video games can boost problem-solving ability and dexterity in children.
  8. Instill confidence: As your children get older, let them build their confidence by resolving problems on their own.
  9. Encourage your child to express their feelings: Acknowledge your child’s feelings and assist them with comfort and encouragement.


These hacks will help you avoid accidents.

  1. Use and test smoke alarms: Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it regularly to improve your chances of getting out alive in a fire.
  2. Take an infant/child CPR class: Get instructions on what to do when your child is choking with an infant/child CPR class.
  3. Keep hot drinks away from children: Your tea or coffee can scald a child, so keep your drink out of reach.
  4. Never leave a child alone in water: Don’t leave children or babies alone in the bath, even to run out for a towel.
  5. Avoid latex balloons: Latex balloons have been associated with a large amount of choking deaths among children.
  6. Keep the loops of blind cords away from children: Move children’s beds away from window blinds.
  7. Keep our home clean: Be sure your home is clear of small items that can cause choking.
  8. Check bathwater for temperature: Before you put your child in the bath, check the temperature with your elbow.
  9. Choose toys without small parts: Look for toys with parts larger than 1 3/4 inches.
  10. Keep tools out of reach and sight: Be sure to keep hammers and other tools away from children.

Food & Nutrition

Use these hacks to give your child the nutrition necessary for healthy growth.

  1. Minimize distractions: Turn off the TV, remove books, and toys at the table.
  2. Respect your child’s appetite: If your child isn’t hungry, don’t force them to eat a meal or snack.
  3. Never allow kids to run and play while eating: Reduce the threat of choking by keeping your child from running or playing while eating.
  4. Don’t make dessert a reward: Dessert as a reward sends the message that dessert is the best food.
  5. Don’t bribe: Don’t bribe or force your child to clean their plate, or it may result in a food power struggle.
  6. Don’t prepare separate meals: Don’t be a short order cook and prepare separate meals for your picky eating child.
  7. Give your child vitamin D: Ensure that your child gets at least 400 IU of vitamin D every day, whether it’s from milk or supplements.
  8. Stick to routines: Serve meals and snacks about the same time every day so that your child has a chance to be hungry.
  9. Cut food into small pieces: Reduce the risk of choking by cutting food into small pieces, especially hot dogs.
  10. Be patient with new foods: Let your child test and get repeated exposure to new foods.
  11. Freeze pureed veggies: Cool your child’s meal down with pureed veggies you’ve frozen into cute shapes.
  12. Make food fun: Serve vegetables with dip or sauce, use cookie cutters, and serve breakfast for dinner.
  13. Choose developmentally appropriate foods: Avoid foods that your child is not developed enough to eat, such as hard, smooth foods before developing the necessary grinding motion.
  14. Ask for your child’s help: Ask your child to help you select fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods.
  15. Keep only gross candy: Curb candy cravings by making sure the only candy around is unappealing.
  16. Set a good example: Eat a variety of healthy foods to encourage your child to follow.
  17. Supervise children while eating: Be sure to watch your children while eating and encourage them to chew their food completely.
  18. Encourage your child to wash their hands frequently: Make sure your child washes his or her hands before eating and after using the bathroom.
  19. Sneak healthy food in: Add vegetables to spaghetti sauce, casseroles, and fruit to cereal.


These hacks can help cut down on allergy symptoms.

  1. Keep pets out of your child’s bedroom: Help prevent your child from being exposed to dog and cat dander by keeping them out of your child’s room.
  2. Use protective covers: Make use of protective covers for your child’s mattress and pillow, and wash bedding once a week in hot water to kill dust mites.
  3. Keep your bathroom clean and well ventilated: Zap mold in your bathroom by keeping your bathroom clean and well ventilated.
  4. Introduce solid foods gradually: Introduce solid foods gradually to slow allergies.
  5. Wipe down counters: Keep mice and bugs at bay by wiping counters and keeping food put away.
  6. Wash or suffocate stuffed animals: Wash stuffed animals in hot water or tie them in a garbage bag for 24 hours to suffocate the dust mites.
  7. Gradually increase milk to fight a milk allergy: Improve your child’s milk intolerance over time by gradually increasing amounts of milk under MD supervision.
  8. Clean carpets weekly: Use a HEPA-filter vacuum once a week and keep your child out of the room to avoid dust in the air.

First Aid

Build your first aid kit with these hacks in mind.

  1. Assemble a first aid kit: Keep your first aid supplies handy and all in one place with a first aid kit.
  2. Sanitary earplug holder: Use a contact lens case to keep earplugs sanitary and handy.
  3. Leaf band aid: If you need a band aid, but have none handy, tie long leaves in a pinch.

Germs & Immunity

Give your child an immunity barrier using these hacks.

  1. Make bubbles: Encourage your child to make bubbles with soap when washing hands.
  2. Expose kids to the natural world: Allowing kids to pick up germs and dirt-within reason-can help build their immunity.
  3. Don’t share lip balm: Avoid sharing lip balm between family members to stop sharing germs.
  4. Wipe one surface: Don’t use wipes on more than one surface-toss it after each one.
  5. Spot clean: Pay attention to areas where germs linger and make sure they are clean.


These hacks will keep your child’s skin healthy and irritation free.

  1. Use lip balm as thumb balm: For kids that damage their skin by sucking on thumbs, cover them with unflavored lip balm.
  2. Bumless diapers for diaper rash: If your child is suffering from diaper rash and needs to air out, simply cut the back out of diapers when you know a #2 is not imminent.
  3. Use lip balm for tissue irritation: Stop tissues from irritating your child’s skin by covering the affected area with lip balm.
  4. Turn old socks into scratch guards: Cover bug bites while they heal with old socks.
  5. Use chilly diapers for diaper rash: Help ease the pain of diaper rash with diapers stuck in the freezer.


Make medicine work for your child with these hacks.

  1. Call medicine “dragon juice”: Encourage your child to take medicine by calling it something more appealing.
  2. Give your child choices: Ask if your child wants to take medicine upon waking or after brushing teeth, and give the option to take purple or red.
  3. Never give children aspirin: Aspirin can affect organs of the body and may be fatal, so avoid it, even “baby aspirin.”
  4. Be generous with rewards: Offer lots of praise to give them something to look forward to with medicine.
  5. Use one nasal spray bottle per person: Be sure that you’re not sharing nasal spray among family members.
  6. Explain that you take medicine too: Show your child how you have to take medicine or a multivitamin to stay healthy.
  7. Don’t use multi-symptom medicines: Avoid multi-symptom medicines that can overmedicate your child.
  8. Have your child suck on an ice cube: Help your child tone down their taste buds by sucking on an ice cube.
  9. Tape empty tissue boxes to full ones: Manage germs by taping an empty tissue box to a full one as a trash can.
  10. Ask before crushing pills and mixing with food: Some medicines are time-release pills and shouldn’t be mixed with food.
  11. Avoid decongestants: Decongestants can cause unwanted symptoms including a dangerously rapid heartbeat.
  12. Don’t trick your child by mixing medicine with food: It’s hard to ensure the entire dose has been taken, and it takes control away from children.
  13. Offer a chaser for liquid medicine: Have juice or another drink ready for your child to drink right away when downing liquid medicine.
  14. Cure hiccups with peanut butter: Give kids a spoonful of peanut butter to stop the hiccups.

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