55 Essential Baby Supplies – A Complete List!

55 Essential Baby Supplies

First time mom and not sure where to start with preparation? I gotcha covered! Here is a big ol’ list of baby supplies you will need for when your bundle of joy makes their grand entrance into the world. 

Bassinet – If you plan on co-sleeping, I would still strongly suggest you get a bassinet for nap times. They are not super comfortable or the baby, but it did the job well for the first couple months.   

Bassinet Sheets – Babies spit up a lot, so have at least 2 of these sheets on hand.

Crib – Again, I would suggest getting a crib even if you plan on co-sleeping.  Mainly the kind of crib that turns into a toddler bedSo even if you don’t use the crib, you will be set for a toddler bed down the road.

Crib Mattress – Now unfortunately most cribs do not come with the mattress. So make sure that is on your list as well.  A good baby mattress is around $100.  Firm is not exactly super comfortable, but it is said to be the safest for babies. Keep that in mind when you go shopping.

Crib Bumpers – I found this one out the hard way.  Once my baby went into her crib she kept getting her legs stuck in between the crib rails.  I prefer the thinner ones since thick ones are more dangerous (suffocation warnings).

Fitted Crib Sheets – You will want at least 2 fitted sheets because babies tend to spit up a lot.  While one is in the wash you don’t have to wait to make the bed again. 

Bottles – Bottles bottles bottles! My favorite brand is the Philips Avent Anti-colic Baby Bottles. You will need them especially if you are formula feeding, but even if you plan on breastfeeding you will want them if you are pumping and storing milk.

Bottle Nipples – So in addition to the bottles, you will want to get nipples for 3M and 6M+ on hand for when your baby gets to those ages.  When you buy the bottles, they tend to come with the newborn nipples, but not the rest. 

Bottle Cleaners – Cleaning bottles with bottle cleaners is WAY easier than using a regular sponge. You will need to get a few of them because they will wear out after a couple months, but totally worth having.  Best kind I ever got was the OXO Tot Bottle Brush.

Formula – I breastfed the first few months, but I had a can of formula just in case breastfeeding didn’t work out.

Carseat – You are probably thinking, “well duhh!”, but it’s certainly something that should be a high priority.  Most hospitals won’t even let you leave with your baby until they see him/her in the car seat. 

Stroller – If you have a baby during the nicer months of the year, going for walks during maternity leave is a nice way to bond with your new baby and get some exercise in! However, you should get a stroller regardless of birth season because you will most likely need one for the next few years to come. I personally got the BOB Revolution Jogging Stroller and I am in love with it, even after owning it for the last 3 years.

Changing Pad – You can live without this one but it is nice to have a sole changing spot. The Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad fits perfectly on the top of the dresser i mentioned above.

Changing Pad Covers – With the changing pad you will also need changing pad coversGet at least 2 so when one gets poop on it (which it will) you can have a spare on hand.

Dresser – Babies DO NOT need a dresser, but this was a way for me to organize all her clothes. The dresser I got was the Storkcraft Avalon dresser because it had a changing table on the top. Plus, it matched the convertible crib perfectly!

Baby Hats – Babies tend to be cold because well, little body fat and they are not used to the cooler air outside of the womb.  People lose body heat out of the feet and head the most, so hats are essential for babies.  Plus they are adorable!

Clothes! – This is probably the first thing on your mind because newborn baby clothes are so darn cute! Unfortunately, babies grow out of these really fast, so don’t go too crazy on the newborn size. Focus more on getting the 0-3M sizes; they will last longer. Consider getting some 3M clothing as well if you feel like preparing a little further out.

Baby Detergent – All this clothing talk brings me to my next baby essential. Baby Detergent! Newborn baby skin is very sensitive, so sometimes washing their clothes with regular detergent could irritate their skin.

Baby Monitor – Definitely a must have, especially when you move the baby into a crib at night.  I got the HD Display Video Baby Monitor. Worth every dime.

Diaper Bag – Diaper bags will become your new purse! (half joking).  But seriously, get a nice diaper bag that you can hold everything you need. 

Diapers and Wipes – Again, “well duhh!”, but this is far too much of an essential to not put on this list. Newborn and Size 1 diapers you should keep in bulk stock along with a bulk stock of wipes. I can almost guarantee you will go through it all pretty fast.

Diaper Rash Cream – Some babies are more prone to diaper rashes than others.  My first got them often whereas my second has yet to have even one.  Keep some Desitin on hand right from the start just in case a rash pops up out of nowhere.  Nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain. 

Diaper Trash Bin – Because diapers STINK. Seriously, get some kind of trash with a lid or those trash bins designed for diapersYour nose will thank you.

Disposable Diaper Trash Bags – Similar to the trash bin, if you are traveling you should keep disposable diaper trash bags on hand.  They smell good and a great dirty diaper holder until you are able to throw it away.  Babies poop A LOT, so be prepared for that when you have to change a poopy diaper on the side of the road.

Swaddles – Both of my girls HATED being swaddled, so my swaddle purchase was null and void, but I would still recommend getting a couple.  You can always re-sell or donate them, which is what I did. 

Burp Cloths – If you want to save your clothes from spit up after feedings, get some burp cloths. They are not super expensive but they are super necessary. 

Blankets – I got a good handful of blankets that I used when snuggling with my little bub, but just make sure to keep them out of the bassinet and/or crib until they are older.

Baby Towels and Washcloths– You don’t really need this because you can just use the towels and washcloths you already own, but I liked the cute little hooded towels designed for babies.  The baby washcloths are softer on the skin as well. 

Baby Hair Brush – Many babies come out bald, but even the baldest of bald babies grow hair eventually. If your baby is like mine, it will come out with a full head of hair. Having a baby hair brush on hand is essential for both scenarios.  They are soft and perfect for that baby thin hair.

Baby Shampoo/Body Wash – I don’t have much to say on this one other than you gotta keep them babies clean! I usually get Johnson and Johnson 2-in-one.

Baby Lotion – Baby skin is very sensitive and can dry out easy.  Make sure to get a good lotion for them to put on after a bath or whenever they need it.

Baby bathtub – We all know babies can’t sit up on their own, so I suggest getting a baby bathtub to wash them in. I used it for the first 9-10 months before my girls were ready for the regular tub (with supervision of course).

Baby Ear Cleaners – Babies get ear wax just like we do.  Baby ear cleaners are thicker on the ends for ear safety. It prevents the ear cleaners from going too far into the baby’s ears.

Baby Nail ClippersBaby nail clippers are a must because those little nails grow fast!  It’s much easier to cut baby nails with smaller clippers. 

Baby Toothbrush and Paste – Babies generally do not have teeth for the first few months, but they can still get bad breath.  You can use water and a cloth if you desire to clean your baby’s gums, but I used a rubber finger toothbrush and paste twice a day. No stinky breath for my babies!

Baby Orajel Another option for a teething baby.  You never know when it will start so being prepared is a must for this. 

Teething Rings – Teething is a rough time for babies.  It hurts and can be very uncomfortable.  I suggest having some teething rings on hand before your baby arrives because you never really know when they will start teething. Every baby is different, so be prepared!

Pacifiers – My first baby loved pacifiers.  She always had one up until she was just over a year old.  My second hated them.  So I won buying them the first time around but wasted money the second time around.  Either way, have a couple on hand in case you have a binky lover on your hands.

Nose Sucker – Nose suckers are a lifesaver when your baby is sick.  They will probably hate it, but it’s very helpful in clearing their airways.  I will say that I never paid a dime for a nose sucker.  The hospital supplied them for me after both births and I took them home when I left. If you don’t get that luxury, the best ones on the market are the Medline Sterile Bulb.

Toy Storage Bin – This is not a dire need before the baby comes, but I liked the idea of having one on hand for when she started to collect toys. 

Baby Swing – Again, first baby loved her swing but the second hated it. I got one for $100, but there are cheaper ones out there, like the Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing.

Pack and Play – A Baby Trend Trend-E Pack and Play and it is totally worth it if your child doesn’t mind being contained. 

Monthly Belly Stickers – Again, not a dire need, but if you are corny like me I took monthly pictures of my babies during their first year with belly stickers. Quick links: For a Girl and for a Boy.

Walker Don’t need this right away, but get it in preparation for when your baby starts becoming mobile.

Activity Mat – These are good to set the baby down on. They generally entertain babies with the toys overhead. In addition, the mat was nice to keep the floor clean from baby spit up. 

Exersaucer– Not a need right away, but I suggest getting one before or shortly after your baby is born.  My kids loved it and it was also a good way to contain them so you can do something else with both hands for once.  **Life Hack: If your baby can’t touch the ground yet, but pillows under them to sit on.   

Mama Time!

After you give birth, there are some must haves that you will need for yourself as well.  Please note that some of these things below are just for breastfeeding mothers.

Breast Pump – I got my Medela Breast Pump for FREE through my insurance.  Many insurance companies supply these, so check with your insurance to find out what you are able to get.

Milk Storage Bags (if pumping) – If you plan on pumping, have some milk storage bags on hand so you can pump and store milk for later.  This is also super helpful for storing if you are pumping at work. 

Nursing Pads (for leaking) – Never thought you would have to wear pads in your bra huh?  This is more for breastfeeding mothers, but even if you are not breastfeeding you may leak some for a bit.

Bottle Cooler – Great for traveling and keeping bottles cool. It keeps the bottles nice and cold until we can put them back into a fridge. 

Lactation Aids (tea and cookies) – Getting your milk supply up is a main priority if you are breastfeeding.  I personally used Mother’s Milk Tea. I highly recommend tea or lactation cookies to boost your supply. 

Nipple Cream – Breastfeeding mothers only.  Breastfeeding can be painful and cause nipple sores.  Nipple cream can help relieve that pain. 

Nipple Shields – There came a point when my nipple sores got so bad I ended up using a nipple shield for breastfeeding.  I planned to use it until the sores were healed but my baby got so used to the plastic that I just continued to use the shield the rest of my breastfeeding journey.  Some say it can reduce supply, but I never had that issue.

Nursing bras – Get yourself a good nursing braRegular bras will be way too uncomfortable, especially if you are engorged. Trust me, your boobs will thank you. 

Pads – You are going to bleed for a while after you give birth.  The hospital will give you some free pads, but make sure you have some in stock at home for when the freebies run out.  If you are brave enough for tampons go for it, but I stayed away from those until I was fully healed down there.

Whelp, there you have it. It’s no secret that babies are expensive. To help with cost I suggest throw a baby shower. I received SO many diapers at my baby shower that I didn’t have to buy any for 3 months. In the long run just do what you are able to do for you and your baby. No one is going to dock you if your crib is brand new or not. Happy baby prepping!

19 Perfect Baby Shower Gift Ideas

19 Perfect Baby Shower Gift Ideas

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that you are reading those post because you were invited to a baby shower and have no idea what to give as a present.  Or maybe you do know, but just want to find better ideas than the clique (blankets, binkies, cute outfits, etc.).  Don’t disregard those though; they come in handy for new moms and dads. However, if you want to stand out and/or give a gift that is super awesome, here are some great ideas.

Prenatal Massage

Yes, it is a baby shower, but Mom still needs pampering too. Coming from experience, I would have died of happiness if someone got this for me at my baby shower!

Diapers & Wipes

Yes, this is clique, but these things are expensive and that baby is going to need A LOT of both.  If you go this route, go with sizes 1-2 diapers

Baby Bathtub + Accessories

Not too expensive, but a newborn need for sure! If you want to be creative, you can fill the bathtub with bath stuff like baby shampoo, baby towels, lotion, baby toothbrush, hairbrush, baby ear cleaners, diaper cream, etc. 

Nightlight

Newborns tend to sleep in the same room as the parent(s) for a while, but when/if the time comes that the baby graduates to their own crib, a nightlight is a cute room addition.  Plus, it will help Mom/Dad with middle of the night navigation when the baby cries.

Stroller and/or Car Seat

I got this combo at my baby shower and I was extremely thankful. Strollers and car seats are not cheap, but they are a need.  If you get this as a gift be prepared for a lot of thank yous and hugs.

Professional Newborn Photoshoot

I would have LOVED to get this as a gift.  Newborn shoots are pretty expensive though.  I paid $500 for mine, but the pictures are phenomenal and I would do it all over again without question.  If you don’t want to spend that much then that is totally fine, but it would be a very meaningful and sentimental gift for the family.

Formula (if not breastfeeding)

If mommy-to-be is not planning on breastfeeding, then get a big can of formula as a gift (or part of a gift). Formula is expensive and typically a baby will go through a big can a week. It will be extremely helpful to cut that cost down by getting some for the baby. FYI: Ask what kind they want to use first before buying. 

Gift Cards

Go ahead and say this is a copout gift.  But seriously, gift cards are great.  Just make sure it’s a gift card to some place actually useful, like Target or Walmart.  You can also get one of those prepaid Visa cards that can be used almost anywhere. 

3D/4D Ultrasound

I did this for both my pregnancies and it was such a great experience to get a first glimpse at their perfect little faces.  The best time to get these done it between 24 and 34 weeks, so you can either wait until the baby shower or give your gift early. (Recommend giving it early). Just for the record, I paid $120 each time I got one of these done. It was worth every dime.

Baby Clothes

I would advise to stay away from this gift idea because other people at the baby shower are probably going to get clothes (mostly because those are the most fun things to shop for). BUT if you insist on getting an outfit, stay away from the newborn sizes.  Go with a 3M or 6M size.

Pedicure for Mom

This is another gift I WISH I got at my baby shower.  This is a great idea, considering pregnant mothers tend to have sore and/or swollen feet towards the end of pregnancy. 

Baby Monitor

Again, not very cheap if you get a good one, but they are a need for sure.  If you go this route, get one with the camera screen.

Swaddles

Tons of newborns love being swaddled, so this is a nice gift if you are assuming that the baby will like that kind of thing. However, both of my kids hated being swaddled, so I had to give all mine away.  Either way, it’s a nice gesture, but just be warned it may never be used.

Diaper Bin

One of the first lessons I learned being a new mom is that I needed a diaper bin if I wanted to save my nose from the horrible stench of baby poo. Putting the dirty diapers in plastic bags and throwing them in the normal trashcan was not enough to cover that odor. A diaper bin is super useful and I can guarantee they will be thanking you for it.

Diaper Bag

So this one is tricky, because most parents like to pick out their own diaper bag (I know I did). But it is something they are going to need to leave the house with a baby.  Best bet for this one is to ask them to pick out a diaper bag on their own and that you will pay for it.  That way they get what they want and it’s still a gift from you. 

“Lazy Man” Gift Basket

If you really have no idea what to get or have no time, Amazon will have you covered!  Just search for “baby shower gift baskets”, and voila! You got yourself an awesome gift that will be delivered to your doorstep. To save you a searching endeavor, my favorite gift basket for a boy is the New Baby Boy Gift Basket and Simply Baby Girl Necessities for a girl.

Memory Book

Clique to the max, but it is a nice gift to give and receive.  Sentimental stuff always pull on heartstrings. Pearhead First 5 Years Chevron Baby Memory Book is by far the best one.

Belly Stickers

I loved doing those monthly baby pictures with the belly stickers!  It’s corny and may embarrass your kid when they are older, but it is cool to see your baby grow each month during that first year.  Quick links: Girl Stickers and Boy Stickers.

Hand Sanitizer

Cheap, but oh so necessary.  Add this item to whatever else you plan on getting as a “cherry on top of the cake”.

There are so many other things you can get as a baby shower gift. Bibs, toys, books, burp cloths, etc.  If I were to ever have any more kids in the future, the list above is what I would have on my baby shower registry for sure, emphasis on the prenatal massage!

17 Diaper Bag Essentials

17 Diaper Bag Essentials

 

It’s no secret that when you become a mom you pretty much take the entire house with you when you leave to go anywhere.  It seems like a lot of things to take with you, but you will become a pro at it in no time, I promise. 

First and foremost, you are going to need a diaper bag.  It is the most essential thing you can get when you have a baby and/or a toddler.  I happen to have 2 diaper bags that I lug with me, one for my baby and the other for my toddler, because….well….they both need different stuff. I purchased the RUVALINO Large Diaper Tote and it is by far the best and most stylish diaper bag I could find. If you open my handy dandy diaper bags you will find: 

1. Diapers of course! For my baby that is.I usually pack at least 12-15 diapers for an 8 hour period. I never use them all, but it’s better to have more than not enough. To save some money on diapers, I recommend buying them in bulk.

2. Baby Wipes.  Even if you have a totally potty trained toddler, you should still carry baby wipes, or some kind of cleaning wipes. 

3. Portable Changing pad (for baby). I have been in situations where there wasn’t a changing table around and I ended up using my sweater to lay her down on instead. Avoid those “what do I do now” scenarios with a portable changing padJust for the record, some diaper bags come with a portable changing pad as part of the package deal. 

4. Disposable Diaper Bags.  No trash nearby? No problem! I use disposable diaper bags all the time, even at home to keep dirty diaper smells contained. Not only do the help contain dirty diaper smells when you don’t have a trash nearby, they are also good to use for dirty clothes.   Toddlers can have “accidents”, so if I am out of the home I would put her wet clothes in the nicely scented bag and grab the change of clothes I packed for her.  Which leads me to my next essential item.

5. Change of clothes! I can’t tell you how many times my kids get dirty in some form or another. So for both my girls I have 2 sets of spare clothes, JUST IN CASE.

6. Bottles or Sippy Cups. If formula feeding, formula is only good for an hour after it’s made. So what I did was fill my Avent bottles up with water and then add the formula afterwards when my baby was hungry. This kept the formula bottles fresh. BUT if you are like me, I exclusively pumped for the first 3 months. Luckily, expressed milk lasts longer in room temperature. Ideally it should be used within 4 to 5 hours, but you could extend that time up to about 8 hours.  I never went anywhere that long with my baby, so it was never an issue staying in that timeframe. I don’t really need to explain what to put in sippy cups, right? Okay, moving on. 

7. Snacks! Make sure you bring snacks. I pack snacks for both my girls, age appropriate options of course. This is probably the most important thing to your kid, so DO NOT FORGET IT.  It doesn’t matter if you are leaving the house for 10 hours or 10 minutes. Always bring a snack or 2, or 3. 

8. Lotion. Not much to say on this one, but I pack this because my girls tend to get dry skin in the winter months.  I use Aveeno eczema cream and it works like a charm.

9. Sun screen.  Definitely an essential during the summer months.  Kids love playing outside and the last thing you want is for them to get burnt. They may hate putting it on, or at least my kids do, but it’s very much worth it. They will thank you someday for not having skin cancer.

10. Travel Tissues. Because boogers, right?  That is all.

11. Toys/Comfort Toys. My kids both have a blanket and a stuffed bear they bring everywhere. Heaven forbid we forget the take those with us.  I also pack another toy or toys for entertainment, depending on where we are going and how long.

12. Band-Aids. Kids are klutzy little humans.  It’s a good idea to have Band-Aids on hand for those “boo-boos” that can’t be healed with your kiss. 

13. Diaper Rash Cream.  You know, to sooth that little baby butt if it needs soothing! Keep some cream on hand just in case you got a little red bum to take care of.

14. Burp cloths. I’m almost positive you would rather your baby’s spit up to be on a burp cloth than down the back of your shirt, right? If you choose to disregard this one, make sure you bring a change of clothes for yourself too.

15. Bibs. Babies are messy eaters. Bibs will help catch the fallen food, but I can’t guarantee it will catch all of it. You have been warned.

16. Hand SanitizerThis is something I use mostly for myself to kill those pesky germs because I am handling my kids all the time.  So no, not a diaper bag essential, but definitely a purse/car essential!

17.. Medicine. I pack Baby Tylenol, toddler cold medicine and Baby OrajelFor the record, the baby orajel can be a lifesaver for a cranky teething baby. If you are bringing your kid(s) to a daycare make sure the daycare provider has a license to distribute medication.

This does look like a lot of things, and as you go through the motions you will probably come up with a few more items that you will want to keep handy.  Like a breast pump and nursing pads for example, which I most definitely needed the first 3 months. Anyways, I hope this list helps you get the ball rolling at the very least.  Happy diaper bag prepping!  

10 Ways Relationships Change When You Become Parents

10 Ways Relationships Change When You Become Parents

 

Relationships tend to suffer once children come along and my husband and I are not immune from that statement. Our relationship changed drastically after we became parents and I was nowhere near prepared for it. Why did the man I was so deeply in love with turn into someone I was always angry at? My entire pregnancy I was preparing for the arrival of our daughter that I neglected to prepare for the changes my husband and I would go through. I was naive to think things would be exactly the same. There were times where I was wondering if we were even going to make it. But in the end we did and we came out stronger than ever.  It just took some work and a mutual desire to grow together during this new chapter of our lives.

So onto the meat and potatoes, here are some ways relationships change after you become parents. Hopefully it can somewhat prepare you for what is to come. 

Related posts:

Scheduled Sex

Say goodbye to spontaneous sex. If you don’t schedule it (at least for me) then it will never happen. We love each other very much, but sleep is more of a priority at this point.  After working our day jobs and then coming home to the kids, by the time they go to bed we are ready for bed ourselves. It’s not exactly as exciting as it used to be, but for now this is what we have to do.  To put some light on it, scheduled sex is way better than no sex!

Parenting Styles

Luckily for me and my husband, we are on the same page with parenting styles. But for many couples parenting styles clash. Maybe dad says no to something but mom says yes, or vice versa.  This could not only confuse your child but cause pretty large arguments between you and your spouse.  Get on the same page and parent together.  Having this talk and setting rules before the baby comes would be the most beneficial.

Date Nights

Date nights have now become far and few in between. If we neglect to schedule a date night then we could go months without going out or doing anything together. One thing that has helped us is we started to schedule a couple date nights a month and we stick to it. It’s so easy to forget about something like that but it is so important to stay connected and be reminded that you are more than just Mommy and Daddy.

Lack Of Sleep

I will be the first to admit that only sleeping for 4-5 hours a night made me a super grumpy person and my husband was always the one to feel the wrath from that. Lack of sleep makes even the most patient person edgy. People tend to be less grateful when they aren’t getting enough sleep.  The best advice I can give here is try to prioritize sleep as much as you can. Give yourself a bedtime and make sure to share the nightly baby duty with your spouse so you both can get as much rest as you can.  Everything is better when you are rested.

Communication

I think one of the key things in having a successful relationship is communication. But once you have kids it can be very difficult to have meaningful conversations. Typically a conversation will start and stop a million times because one of the kids needs us. This leads back to the importance of having date nights. Funny part is that when we actually are able to communicate uninterrupted it’s usually about our kids. I guess we’re just a little obsessed with them.  

Household Chores

There have always been chores, but now it seems like chores take 10 times longer to complete than before. Dishes, laundry, trash. I used to have no problem keeping up with it all.  Now that I have little humans who take up 99% of my time, it can be easy to fall behind on that stuff.  Best advice?  Set some ground rules on who takes care of what.  You do the laundry and your spouse does the dishes. You vacuum and they take out the trash.  If you split the chores it won’t feel so overwhelming.  Remember, you guys are a team.

Money Matters

Money matters more than you thought. Money is a huge relationship stressor and is often overwhelming. Bottom line? KIDS COST A LOT OF MONEY. The cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 is $233,610 according to 2015 statistics.  My poor wallet. Worst part about money stresses?  I take my anxiety and frustration out on my husband. Thankfully we are now in a spot where we are more financially stable, but we still have to be careful.  We don’t buy the name brand clothing or all organic baby food.  We had to cut back on things in order to accommodate our larger family.  Everyone’s financial situation is different, so do what is best for your family and cut back where you need to.  Trust me, you can live without a Loui Vuitton purse.

Lovers or Co-Workers?

At times, parenting feels a lot like co-workers. Your job is taking care of kids and maintaining a household.  You both tag team the chores and the baby
duties and at the end of the day you give each other a high five and fall asleep, just to do it all over again. Between all the appointments and planning and cleaning and parenting, you may forget to stop for a moment and give your spouse a loving hug or kiss. It is so easy to get caught up in the routine that you forget to love your spouse in the process.  You guys need each now more than ever.  Don’t forget why you guys decided to do this journey together in the first place.  

You Might Hate Each Other

Sometimes, you might hate each other. Sometimes you will feel like your way is the best way and that everything your spouse is doing is wrong. You will bicker at each other and occasionally criticize their actions.   If you find yourself “hating” your spouse, try to remember why you chose to start a family with them to begin with. Remember the love you shared and realize that you both are trying as hard as you can. Give each other the benefit of the doubt and don’t sweat the small stuff.

You Will Grow Stronger

During all the chaos and messes and sleep deprivation, you will grow from this together.  You will see your spouse morph into a parent and it will be so beautiful and heartwarming.  You will see a side of them you never known existed and you couldn’t imagine doing this journey with anyone else. Though it is beautiful, it will be hard.  Some days you will get on each other’s last nerves and some days you will wish you had more time together.  But just remember that these days are numbered and sooner than you think you will have all the time in the world again. If you are both willing to put in the work towards your relationship, you will grow stronger than you could have ever imagined.  

Having children really is the ultimate test on relationships. You have to work together in ways you never had to before. It can be quite the adjustment and unfortunately many couples can’t withstand this hard phase and ultimately end up in divorce. But if you both are in it for the long haul you should have nothing to worry about. Just make sure to sneak kisses and hugs when you can, be kind to each other and grow with each other during this parenting journey. Remember that you are both in this together. You are a team. Someday your child(ren) will be grown and you will have each other all to yourselves again and ready to take on the next chapter of life hand in hand.

The Last Time

The Last Time

There was a time when my oldest daughter would not go to bed unless I rocked her in my arms. I would stand in the middle of her room and cradle her, rocking ever so slightly until she fell asleep on me. My arms would ache and my back would hurt every single time, but I would force myself to ignore those pains. I would just focus on my daughter and the mission to get her to sleep. As the minutes ticked by I’d watch her eyes get heavy and eventually she would drift off to sleep. I distinctly remember the last time she wanted me to do this for her. As I rocked her, she looked at me and pointed to her crib.  She wanted me to lay her down instead this time. I put her in her crib as she wished and stood on the other side of her room waiting to see if maybe she would change her mind and want me to hold her again.  She shuffled a bit, curled up and fell asleep all on her own. A tear ran down my face as I realized she didn’t need me to rock her anymore. Where did my baby go? Even though I rocked her every night for a year, I would have given anything to do it just one last time.  I was very emotionally unprepared for it. I felt robbed.

This moment made me think back on how many lasts I completely overlooked. I can’t remember the last time my daughter woke up at 2a.m. for a bottle, or the last time I wiped drool off her chin from teething. I can’t remember the exact moment her newborn scent faded away. I know there will be many more of these endings to come, but I fear that I won’t know that they are the lasts until they are long gone. By the time I realize it I’ll yet again have little memory of when the ending actually came.  

That’s when it really hit me that these days are numbered. This time is fleeting. I focused so much on my daughter’s firsts that I rarely paid any attention to her lasts.  Her first tooth, first word, first steps. Every one of her firsts is recorded in some way and marked as milestones.  I feel ashamed to admit that I have neglected to appreciate what she has left behind as she has grown.  The scary part is that I will have no clue that it will be the last time when it comes. A last time I will wipe a dirty face or give her a bath. A last lullaby. I won’t know enough to pay attention or appreciate the moment as if it were the last time. I get scared to think of all the precious times I’ve missed from hurrying through our routine and not really being present for each moment. What if it really was the last time my daughter wanted me to carry her or hold her hand? By the time I realized it, it would be too late.

You never know when it will be the last time your child will need you or want you. The last time you kiss a “boo-boo” and somehow it makes it all better. The last time your child gets so excited to see you and runs into your arms when you pick them up from daycare or school. The last time you will carry your child from the car to the house because they fell asleep during the commute. They are only little for such a short amount of time. That is why you should cherish every moment for what it is because after all, it could very well be the last time. 

Now, let’s be real here.  I know there are going to be days where I will be frustrated and impatient. Days where I am overwhelmed and angry. There will be days where I can’t wait until bedtime because I want the day to be over. I’m not going to be this blissful every moment of every day, even though I wish I could be.  During those hard times though, I hope that I can think back to this mindset, the one I have now, and remind myself that these moments will not last forever. I hope that I can open my mind to see the bigger picture and realize how fast it all really is. I want to be able to tell myself to not take any of these days for granted because some day all of these “raising small children” duties will end and I am going to miss it. Every single bit of it.

10 Ways Your Life Changes When You Have Kids

 10 Ways Your Life Changes When You Have Kids

It’s no secret that your life changes once you have a baby. Actually, my entire life has changed in some way or another, but here are the top 10 ways that becoming a Mom has changed my life.

What is Sleep?

You have a whole new definition of the word exhausted. Getting a good night’s sleep and feeling rested in the morning is a thing of the past.  The baby stage is particularly hard since they tend to get up frequently, but even my 3 year old gets up often from bad dreams.  “Sleeping in” is also something that is long gone. Why do kids love getting up at the crack of dawn? All I can say is thank goodness for coffee and Simply Skin Vitamin OIl.

New Appreciation

I now have a new appreciation for my own Mom.  She changed my diapers, stayed up with me at night, sacrificed a lot of herself for me and always put my needs before her own. As a child/teenager I often overlooked those things. Now I have a much clearer image of what her life was like when I was growing up and I am so appreciative for all she has done.

New Routine

Your daily routine is going to change, probably a lot.  You might have to wake up earlier and go to bed later.  You might have to plan dinner earlier so you can squeeze in bath time. Your once hour long showers turn into quick 5 minute ones.  It might be hectic for a while, but you will get into a new routine that works for you and your family. It’s like taking on a new job. You will be nervous, confused and a little uncomfortable at first but over time you will get in a routine and everything will become easier.

It’s the Little Things

The little things in life matter more now. Who knew that painting rocks or picking flowers could bring so much joy?  You now see things through the eyes of a child and it may even remind you of your own childhood. Some of my best memories as a child were not things that cost a lot of money or involved a huge vacation.  They were things like going mushroom picking with my Grandfather and going for bike rides with my Dad. Those things helped shape my life and created memories that I will cherish forever. Ever since becoming a Mom I now see more than ever that the little things really do matter the most.

Patience

Kids will test your patience on a daily basis and sometimes you will lose your S.H.I.T. You are human and have your limits. Even though that will happen, overall you will become much more patient than you ever thought you could be.  You learn to go with the flow and take one day at a time.  You will master the art of staying calm in the middle of a tantrum and not losing your cool when your child refuses to eat everything you cook them.  And let’s not forget about potty training; nothing is more of a patience tester than trying to potty train a stubborn child!  When you are put in situations where you would normally scream but instead remain calm and collected is when you will really see this change.

Friendships

The old saying is true; you do lose a lot of your friends once you have kids. The ones who promised to visit you after your baby is born never do and the ones who use to invite you to go out now stopped. But don’t think of this as a bad thing. It is a new chapter in your life and not everyone is meant to be in it. The friends who still stick around and are still there for you after you become a Mom are the ones you should keep close to you.  You may even create new friendships with other Moms!        

Changing Priorities

Things that use to matter to me don’t as much anymore. I don’t care about looking perfect before leaving the house anymore. Can you believe I use to do my hair and makeup just to go to Walmart?! Money I use to blow on clothes is now being saved for my kids college funds. A spotless house is no longer the top of my list of priorities. Chores will always be there, but your kids will only be small for such a short amount of time. I would rather spend that precious time with them.

Less Time For Yourself

You will cherish alone time more because you won’t get it very often. Peeing and showering alone is a luxury now.  Time you used to spend web surfing or watching TV is now being used to care and play with your kids. Even though I miss time alone, I wouldn’t trade this life of chaos for the world.   

You’re Scared Of Everything

The world seems more like a dangerous place now.  Those protective Mama instincts come in full effect and you become hypersensitive to everything that could possibly harm your child.  People you used just pass by are now on the corner of your eye.  You become much more cautious while driving. You may even notice yourself saying “be careful” 50+ times a day now.

Everything Takes Longer

Everything takes longer to do because it’s not just you anymore. Leaving the house is a process that becomes more than just grabbing your car keys and leaving. Going grocery shopping takes nearly double the amount of time than it used to.  All I can say about this is give yourself enough leeway time and always expect the unexpected, like your baby having a massive blowout the moment you pull out of the driveway. 

Yes, your life changes when you have kids.  Some of those changes are hard to deal with and others are eye openers on what actually matters in your life and what doesn’t. Life will be different, but welcome these changes and embrace this new chapter of your life. It is quite beautiful.