There’s no manual for raising a baby, but these are shortcuts you need to know! These smart solutions (created by other stumped parents) address everything from bathtime to teething and make pregnancy and childrearing easier. Read on for clever products and tips and then pass on these pearls of wisdom to other newbie parents.

1. Keep rubber ducky at arm’s reach by plopping the baby and bath toys in a laundry basket inside the tub. Bonus: The basket prevents baby bums from sliding around in a slippery tub.

2. With a little nip, tuck and stitch, his oversized tee becomes your chic and comfy maternity top. Visit Cotton and Curls for all the simple steps.

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3. Mosquitos have a thing for cute, squishy baby fat. But the little buggers don’t stand a chance with this insider tip: Place a crib sheet on top of your outdoor playpen t o keep out critters.

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4. Until all high chairs come with a hook on the back for bib storage, stick a self-adhesive hook on it and call it a day.

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5. Tired of finding baby-snot-covered tissues strewn around the house or stuffed into your pockets? Attach a tissue box to an empty tissue box using rubber bands for a convenient mini-waste basket.

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6. Baby leg warmers are so cute, practical and easy to make! Cut the feet off of a pair of grownup knee-high socks, fold over the raw edge, and stitch it closed. Voila!

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7. When your babe starts opening cabinets before you’ve invested in safety locks, slip cookie cutters over them to keep them closed.

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8. Running out of closet space with all of those new baby clothes? Loop a soda can tab on one hanger and then hook another hanger through it to double your space instantly.

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9. The Infantino Cuddle Up Ergonomic Hoodie Carrier makes babywearing on chilly days even cozier—especially for you! The front cuddle pocket keeps hands toasty when your coat pockets are covered.

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10. Soothe a teething baby’s gums by letting them gnaw on a pacifier pop. To make them, pour breastmilk or water into an ice tray, dunk in pacifiers, and let them freeze.

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11. Some babies require as many creams, ointments and potions as their beauty-product-obsessed moms. Keep it all organized in the pockets of an over-the-door shoe organizer in your nursery or bathroom.

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photo from Project Nursery

Like what you read? Sign up for Red Tricycle’s Bump + Baby edition that offers all of the best products, style, services and creative ideas to get the most out of your pregnancy and early stages of life.

— Ayren Jackson-Cannady

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