11 allegedly 'genius' parenting hacks that are actually total garbage

The internet is full of parenting hacks, but a lot of them are completely ridiculous. Maybe don't try these at home.

Parenting hacks are all over the internet. Sure, many of them are genius and make life so much easier, but others seem pretty absurd. And, hey, maybe these hacks that we’re poking holes in work for you, and if so, great—but behold our list of what we consider to among the most ridiculous parenting hacks making the rounds on the internet.

1. Filling a glove with rice or beans and placing it on your sleeping child

Baby sleeping with glove filled with beans on their back
Photo: Pinterest

If your kid is used to falling asleep with your hand on their back, you could, theoretically, place a weighted glove on there instead. But we think it might be kind of troubling for a child to wake and find their parent’s detached “hand” in bed with them. Hard no on this one.

2. Fix a broken Barbie doll

Barbie with head popped off and a creepy face drawn on neck
Photo: Funky Junk via Pinterest

This is equal parts funny and creepy. If your child loses the head off of their Barbie, you could be resourceful and draw a smiley face on the Barbie’s neck, leading to years of therapy. Or you could, you know, throw the broken toy in the garbage. (Hey, are headless Barbies recyclable? Asking for a friend.)

3. Haul strawberries with a straw

Strawberry with a straw through it to pop the stem off
Photo: Lets Live, Love, Laugh via Pinterest

OK, so this one actually works (we tried it), but it’s not without fault. Unless you have super sturdy straws—the flimsy dollar store ones that come in a pack of 7,000 don’t cut it—you’re better off just lopping off the top of your berry like every other human on planet earth.

4. Extend your faucet with a lotion bottle

Bathroom sink with plastic tap extender so kid can reach the flow of water
Photo: Pinterest

Yeah, so this one also doesn’t not work, but what’s wrong with a stool, guys? Keep in mind the edge of that cut plastic is probably going to be pretty sharp. Schlep that step-stool to the sink and throw that lotion bottle in the recycling bin where it belongs.

5. Cool French fries in air conditioner vent

Yep, there’s actually a “parent hack” circulating that suggests you cool down your kid’s fast-food fries in your car’s air conditioner vent. First off, gross, that AC vent is probably hella dusty. Secondly, remember that time when you just blew on too-hot food with your mouth to cool it down for your kid? That went OK, right?

6. Use a cardboard box to make a slide

Kids going down a homemade cardboard slide on the stairs
Photo: The Contemplative Creative via Pinterest

Playing with a giant box intact is the perfect activity. Making a slide out of one by breaking it down and laying it on the staircase isn’t your best idea. Instead of a trip to the ER for a broken face, why not just take a trip to the park where there are real slides designed by people with, like, engineering degrees?

7. Fill a beanbag chair with stuffed animals

This one is about “organization,” but why not just cull the collection and donate the stuffed animals your kid doesn’t play with rather than hoarding them? (If your local thrift shop doesn’t want them, animal shelters will never say no to a bag full of stuffies.)

8. Open plastic packaging with a can opener (or nail clippers if you especially hate yourself)

Can opener opening a plastic package
Photo: Pinterest

This one might seem like an act of sorcery, but the opposable thumb and wrist action required to operate a can opener or nail clippers to open plastic packaging is not how you live your best life. All those times you successfully opened stuff with kitchen scissors was cool. Do more of that.

9. Make DIY wrinkle release spray


Hahahahaha. You literally have baby vomit in your hair—you’re not releasing any wrinkles.

10. Arm extenders in the car to pass back snacks

In theory, this checks out. But you shouldn’t be passing things to the backseat while you’re driving. You’re also not a T-Rex, so go ahead and use your arms to pass those snacks back (when you’re in the passenger seat, duh!).

11. Vacuuming hair into a ponytail 

This hack makes for a good gif, but really? Putting hair in a ponytail literally takes four seconds. How long does it take to schlep the shop vac from the basement? Also, don’t use zip ties to fasten a hairdo. We saw that, Pinterest.

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