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The Amazon survival guide for parents

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Lesser-known tricks that make the site even more useful for moms and dads

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If your Boppy doubles as a throw pillow, your living room seating arrangement includes a Snuggabunny Swing, and you occasionally drink wine out of Take & Toss sippy cups, you’re a parent.

With this great title comes two relationships of reliance: your children rely on you to take care of them, and you rely on Amazon to take care of you.

You could certainly find children's supplies by driving to the grocery store or Target and braving the aisles with your ticking time bomb of a child who sits happily in the cart until you’re stuck in the longest. Line. Ever. But it’s moments like these when the land of Prime shipping and "Buy now with 1-Click" beckon like long-lost friends: "Go home, my child. Go home and order online to get all of this stuff in two days or less."

Below, find a list of shortcuts and tips that aim to further simplify the Parenting-While-Ordering-Amazon Process. Best part? If your toddler throws a tantrum while you’re shopping, at least it’s not in public.

Prime

A no-brainer for parents, Amazon Prime costs $99 a year and enables free, two-day shipping on loads of products. It also unlocks access to Prime Now (free two-hour delivery in 20 U.S. cities), Amazon Family (diaper discounts and coupons), Prime Pantry (fill a $6-to-ship box with everyday household items) and the goofy-yet-magical Dash Button. But you already knew about Prime and signed up for it ages ago. Carry on.

Did you know you could order...

Bulk greeting cards: If you and your child are attending a lot of birthday parties and find yourself frequently racing out to the store to buy one greeting card, save money and time by buying a bunch at once, like 30 cards for $16. Some packs come with assorted cards, so you’re covered for a variety of occasions.

Wine: Maintain your sanity, but don’t expect to stay awake after three glasses if you woke up with your kids at 6:15AM. Start at Amazon.com/wine and sort by categories like grape, vintage, professional rating, or price. And take a look at the wine options with one-cent shipping fees.

Amazon Wine

Generic brand items: Just like Target has its own generic Up & Up brand, Amazon has its AmazonBasics brand (Amazon.com/basics). It includes a variety of things like batteries, to save the day when the only toy that stops your child from crying runs out of juice; washcloths, since there never seem to be enough clean ones lying around; and balance balls, which can double for post-baby stomach crunches and bounce-rocking baby to sleep.

Using credit card points toward Amazon dollars

Sad but true: Kids are expensive. Thanks to that, there’s a very real chance that you’re not going to spend your credit card points on a European vacation anytime soon. Instead, put those points toward your Amazon purchases. This works with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Discover Cashback Bonus or Discover Miles, and Citi ThankYou.

Dollars for books

If you buy something that you don’t need delivered right away and can resist the need for instant gratification, you could be rewarded. The "no-rush shipping program" lets Prime users opt out of two-day shipping at checkout in favor of slower (five- to seven-day), but still free, shipping. To say thanks, Amazon may give you a promotional credit toward a future purchase, like $1 toward books or digital music.

Beyond Wish Lists

You’re probably familiar with Amazon Wish Lists, but you may not know about the Amazon Kids’ Birthdays program. Here, you can set up a list that’s personalized to your kid, including age, interests, and a note about what he or she likes. Amazon suggests relevant gift ideas, but you can add your own, like any Wish List. It also sends a shopping reminder as early as four weeks and as late as one day before the birthday.

Amazon birthday

To save time looking for the right gift, try the Gift Finder. It asks you to enter who you’re buying for and what they’re interested in, then spits out some results. It’s not perfect, but it could send you in the right direction.

Amazon’s STEM Toys and Games Store sends people to one place for items related to science, technology, engineering, and math-related skills. These products can be displayed according to age, including preschool, 5-7 years, 8-11 years and 12+ years. And yes, your two-year-old will probably go ga-ga over this live cup of caterpillars.

Amazon STEM

Subscribe and save

No surprise here: Parents with little spare time don’t mind being nudged about ordering more of something before they run out. Amazon’s Subscribe and Save products are offered at a discount and include a variety of things like shampoo, vitamins, Infant Tylenol and dog food. And Subscribe and Save isn't limited to people with Prime memberships.

Parenting is tough, but trekking off to a store with your kids in tow anytime you need to buy something? That’s just unimaginable. Note to self: Ask Mom how she ever survived.