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8 Tips to Make Parenting Less Stressful, According to Model (and Mom) Molly Sims

The actress, model, and mother of three kids under the age five knows what being a busy parent is all about. Here are her hacks to make the job of parenting easier.

Parenting-HacksCOURTESY Erica Hampton

Have one bathtime

“I am the captain of the ship,” says Sims. “When I am bathing my kids, we are locked in the bathroom with three towels, their underwear, their diapers, and their lotion. Then it’s like a factory and I am pushing babies and children through, but I get it all done at once.”

Parenting-HacksCOURTESY MOLLY SIMS

Restock your diaper bag daily

“I always have my diaper bag packed and ready to go,” says Sims. After she’s been out with the kids, she restocks as soon as she gets back to the house. “When I come home, I always re-do it and I cannot tell you how much time it saves me.” Just don’t stock it with any of these products that are never safe to use on a baby.

Parenting-HacksCOURTESY Erica Hampton

Have a designated cubby for each kid

Each of Sims’s kids has a cubby near the door with everything they need in it for the day. “My daughter even has all of her hair accessories there, so I don’t have to run upstairs to grab them,” she says. “I even brush their teeth downstairs. This also helps with organization because everything has its place. They know where their shoe cubby is, they know they have to put their toothbrush back in their cubby, and they clean up after themselves because they know where it goes.”

Parenting-HacksCOURTESY MOLLY SIMS

Pack school lunches at night

“We always pack school lunches the night before and put it in the refrigerator. I know that sounds terrible,” admits Sims, “but it’s one less thing I have to do. Sometimes I pre-buy the snack bag, so I can just grab and go. And I keep it simple.” Dinner is the time to try new things, she says. If you do want to get creative at lunchtime, check out these unique school lunches that aren’t sandwiches.

Parenting-HacksCOURTESY MOLLY SIMS

Get medical questions answered with an app

“I love the LiveHealth Online telehealth app,” Sims says. “I can go on, pay my $49 (or less depending on your insurance), put in my information, and talk to a doctor almost instantly without leaving the house. You don’t have to schlep three kids to the doctor at six o’clock or wait for a doctor on call to call me back. Oh my, that is my worst nightmare!”

Parenting-HacksCOURTESY MOLLY SIMS

Use disposable changing pads when traveling

“When traveling with little ones, get those disposable poo-poo pads,” advises Sims, referring to the ones used when training a pet. “Instead of having your blanket or your changing pad, just use one of these and then chuck it. I can’t tell you how many I have gone through while not ruining other things that I love.” Don’t miss even more smart parenting tips to simplify your life.

Parenting-HacksCOURTESY Gia Canali

Have small bags inside your purse

“I always think it’s bad to have a bottomless pit for a purse, so make sure everything is organized into smaller travel bags to separate everything,” explains Sims. “That saves me a lot of time and really keeps me organized in knowing what I have, you know. Each one of my kids has their own little medicine kit, for example, and I know exactly where it is.”

Parenting-HacksCOURTESY MOLLY SIMS

Always have pipe cleaners on hand

“Pipe cleaners are the greatest,” says Sims: “I can make a bracelet, a headband, fish animals—we can do anything with a pipe cleaner on a plane, at a restaurant, let me tell you. I can do a whole wardrobe out of a pipe cleaner!”

Now that you have the low-down on the best parenting advice, make sure you never follow the 52 worst parenting tips parents can get.

Jordi Lippe-McGraw
Jordi Lippe-McGraw is a contributing writer for RD.com's travel and entertainment sections and former Entertainment Director for Life & Style, In Touch and Closer Weekly for six years. As a lifestyle reporter/editor for over a decade, she's written for various outlets including The New York Times, Travel+ Leisure, and Vogue, and has appeared on TODAY, MSNBC, and E. She's also traveled to over 30 countries, including Antarctica while five months pregnant. Follow her in Instagram @jordimcgraw and Twitter @jordilippe.