Let’s face it, a lot of being a mother is about obsessing over what’s best for our babies (no matter how old they are). Here you’ll find tips and information about caring for your kiddos, great products, feeding tips and suggestions, and information about making memories with your little one!
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Baby’s First Foods Tracker and Idea List
Checklists for your first days home with you baby as well as items to take from the hospital
Self-care, home dates, and toddler activities idea lists
For some reason, when you’re pregnant and in full fledged baby prep mode, so many people try to add one more thing to your list: baby proofing. There are checklists galore out there telling you to add baby proofing your home to the list of other things you do actually need to do before baby arrives. Like grabbing the essentials and interviewing possible pediatricians and daycare providers.
As our son has been getting older and more independent (14 months and he thinks he’s grown :-P) my husband and I have been discussing the way being in daycare seems to be impacting him. In some ways, its been absolutely great, but there have been some frustrations as well. No matter how much you love and trust your provider, there are pros and cons of daycare, just like any other childcare option. And just like any other childcare option you’re evaluating, you’ll have to weigh your own list of pros and cons in deciding if daycare versus another solution will work best for you and your family.
If you’re anything like me, you find the countless items online regarding the “things you absolutely must do before baby arrives” to be overwhelming and exaggerated. There were so many items on those lists that I couldn’t help but question – does this really need to be done before my baby arrives? So, I found myself texting my friends questions like, “why does every checklist out there say I need to pick a pediatrician before I have this kid? Do I really need to do that?” Turns out, the answer to that specific question was a resounding “YES!”
If you’re anything like me, establishing a bedtime routine for your kid can seem like a daunting task. I can’t even manage my own consistent bedtime routine! How am I supposed to put a routine in place and make this strong-willed minion consistently go through the same routine night after night? As it turns out, it has been one of the easiest things for us as a parents, once we decided on what that routine would look like.
In the early weeks after bringing my son home one of the things that drove me crazy was the suggestion to start “reading baby’s cues” in order to get him to sleep. Seriously, what freaking “cues” were those people talking about?! I simultaneously felt like I couldn’t imagine life without him and also totally and completely clueless as to who he was and how the heck to “read” him.
Going back to work is tough – whether you want to go back or not. Leaving your baby is no easy thing, and I don’t think anyone would tell you otherwise (if they do, they are wrong and not to be trusted). Add to the fact that, in a lot of cases, you’re leaving your baby with a stranger, it can seem unbearably difficult. So how do you go about choosing a daycare provider?
Ah, sweet sleep deprivation. We mommas (and dads) wear it like a uniform. Those puffy eyes and three-day-old t-shirts might as well be name tags reading, “Hi, I’m Sarah and I haven’t slept in 167 days, 5 hours, and 13 minutes” (not counting the sleepless last weeks of pregnancy—oof). We knew it was going to be tough, really tough. But countless men and women have suffered through these sleepless nights before us, so of course we could handle it too. But then we brought our little guy home and we were breaking – cracking at the seams.
I don’t know about you, but when my baby got his first cold (and his second) I felt terrible. Trying to soothe him through pitiful whimpers and all-out screams was tough enough for this new momma from a medical perspective, but to add to it the total uselessness I felt when none of my maneuvers calmed him – ouch. Coping with baby’s first cold is necessary, but tough.
When I was pregnant with my son, I would peruse registries online while feeling anxious and overwhelmed. I did my best to prepare to bring our son home: I made lists of which things I needed to bring home from the hospital, attempted to prepare our dogs to welcome a new little person into their home, interviewed pediatricians and daycare providers, and tried to read the right books.
Horray! You’re baby is starting to eat solids! It’s an exciting time and one (hopefully) both you and your baby love. My little guy loved eating table food – still does. And to our benefit, he has a pretty broad palate (at least for now – hopefully that keeps up)! But as much fun as it has been to introduce him to new foods, it’s been kind of a pain finding utensils that worked best.
When I was pregnant with my son I had this, at times, overwhelming fear that he would come and we would not have a single thing ready for him. How would I handle it if I went into labor before we had a crib? What about diapers? And wipes? Do I need a baby monitor right away? Or is that something I can snag through Amazon Prime after he comes? I found myself to be so wound up about something that I knew was unlikely to happen. Even if you’re not in a panic about delivering early, you can still get prepared early with a list of minimalist newborn essentials.
Each night before bed, I put 3-4 books in front of Little Man and let him choose what we read before bedtime. I love this routine – its so fun to watch him develop favorites. Though admittedly, we usually read the same handful of books over and over and over. What can I say? He knows what he likes. And having a stack pile of books of our own is one reason I love to bring books fora baby shower!
Amazon Prime Day is right around the corner (technically it should be “DayS” since the event runs takes place on Monday July 15 & 16, 2019, but that’s neither here nor there). With this two-day parade of deals on the horizon, it got me thinking about my favorite, can’t-live-without baby items. Amazon notoriously doesn’t publish their deals ahead of time, so this list isn’t a list of things you’ll definitely be able to snag a deal on; however, since they’ve been such great items for us, I wanted to share just in case! And if they aren’t on sale for Prime Day then you can at least add them to a registry ?
6 months. I can’t believe it. Somehow we’ve reached 6 months of immeasurable joy and exhaustion with this perfect little human. In honor of that milestone, today I’m sharing with you a round-up some great toys for a 6 month old! Most of these have been some of his favorite toys for a little while now, so they very well may change tomorrow, but for now I wanted to put into writing the things that bring him joy at this moment. Because these moments fly by in a blink of an eye (as evidenced by the fact that we have a 6 month old!)
Feed the Family
One of the things that I think people get caught up on rather unnecessarily, is at what age children should or should not be eating specific foods. Its during those early years when you can establish good eating habits in your son or daughter. Its in those early years where your child had not yet established a pickiness because they’ve not yet been exposed to snacks and junk. You want to know something weird?
Welcome to the world of motherhood – where people will judge your choices without taking into consideration your circumstances. Being a mom, or parent in general really, is a tough gig. Not only are you responsible for keeping an indefensible human person alive, but you’re also responsible for managing every day life in the most sleep deprived state of existence. It can be brutal.
I’m a bit of an anxious overthinker in general. But when our son first began eating solids on a regular basis, I was overthinking my daycare lunch ideas all the time. I didn’t know what to send, or how much. And I was really concerned with making sure he was getting all of the necessary nutrients. But I also worried about him getting bored with different foods, so I was always trying to add variety.
Starting solids is an exciting time. There are funny facial reactions and excitement as you broaden your little one’s world a bit. But it can also be stressful. Not only are you left trying to figure out what kinds of food to feed your baby, and trying to gauge if he or she enjoys what you’re offering (tip: give each food a couple of chances before ruling it out); but your baby also needs some time for their body to transition from a liquid-only diet. Add to that your child can’t verbalize how they’re feeling, your left to figure out what is normal and to be expected after starting solids, and what’s not.
We’ve been going through a massive transition at our house over the last 4 months. I feel like, having a baby, we’re always in periods of “massive transition.” This one, however, has happened much quicker than I expected. Little Man is almost a year old and has been loving starting solids – which has been exciting, exhausting, and overwhelming for me. I swear, this kid eats like a teenager.
I have really struggled with returning to work after maternity leave — really struggled. There have been many tears (more from me than from Little Man) and resentment over the fact that we just can’t make it work for me to be home right now. So, when I began to struggle maintaining an adequate milk supply to keep up with Little Man’s demands at daycare, I was crushed. For me, supplying him with milk throughout the day felt like the one thing I could do – my one chance to contribute some aspect of his daily care.
I don’t know about you – but bottles did not go over well in our house. He demanded to be fed straight from the source. None of this plastic middleman nonsense. Feeding time used to be a happy time for Little Man, but with the introduction of these plastic breast impersonators, meal time was met with more tears than smiles. For both of us, really. Because, as my days on maternity leave neared the end, I became more and more anxious that he would starve at daycare — refusing to take a bottle. Images of my baby screaming all day without food to comfort his hunger pangs brought me to tears on more than one occasion. I was panicking.
We’re living in some stressful times. Times that most of us didn’t expect. Many of us have had our daily routines turned on their heads by this pandemic. And we’re finding ourselves spending a lot more time in our homes and with our loved ones. Being stuck at home can be hard on all of us (even us introverts), but in my experience its going to be especially difficult on the children.
Normally, I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. But I do want to set a challenge for myself this year, and maybe you do too. My working mom’s New Year’s resolution (aka my New Year’s challenge to myself) is to introduce my son to one new experience every month. As a working mom I especially struggle with feeling like I don’t get to be a part of so many of his firsts; I get approximately 3 hours a day with him during the week days and often much of that time is spent preparing. Preparing for the day, for dinner, or for bedtime.
Little Man started learning to walk he would go between me and Hubbaloo This started right around when he was 13 months old. The first day, literally, that he started – he face planted hard into the base of the couch. Poor kiddo promptly got an enormous, unicorn horn-style bump in the middle of his head. And man did I feel terrible. It didn’t help that he promptly stopped even trying to walk for a good three or four days. He had clearly decided that this walking thing that everyone else was doing was just way too dangerous for him to do. After a couple of days getting from point A to point B on his knees, he seemed to rethink the danger of walking and began trying it out every so often.
We just got back from our first nearly week-long vacation since Little Man was born, and boy did we need it! I love getting away with my little family to reconnect and relax. If I had my way I would gladly live at the beach full-time, but you know, we have to have jobs and families and what-not. This was our third beach vacation with a baby, though the previous two trips were quick weekend trips. Now that we’ve made the trip a couple of times, I feel like we finally have a good idea of what to expect when we go. And more importantly, what we need to make sure to pack.
I can’t believe it. Our bubba baby is in swim lessons. Sure, the term is loose (very loose), but we go to the pool on Saturday mornings for half an hour of playing and learning to get comfortable in the water with 9 other kids and their parents. It’s a fun, unique experiences with our baby. So, sure, I count that as a lesson. I knew we had to sign him up for classes as early as possible because:
Hi! I'm Sarah
Welcome to Snugglebug Life
I’m a mom, like you, navigating parenthood for the first time. Snugglebug Life is where I share the tips and tricks I wish I knew along the way along way!