Tips For New Moms

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ParentingWithPrimoH2o #CollectiveBias

I had someone call me a parenting “expert” before and I had to laugh. I don’t know if it’s because I have a parenting blog, I’ve spoken at parenting conferences, or because I had more than one child, but let me just start by saying I’m not an expert. I’m just a mom who has been there, done that and I’m still learning how to be successful at this parenting thing. I think I could be one of those tv moms with a couple dozen kids and still not be an expert because every child is so different! While I’m not an expert though, having just left the newborn stage with my third child means I do have a few tricks and tips I’ve discovered that have worked for our family. I wanted to share them in hopes they’d help make things easier for other moms. We’re all sleep-deprived and busy so anything that gives us a bit more time back with our kiddos or helps us sleep a few more minutes here and there is a win right?

I had to start off with a sweet photo of my oldest and youngest. As you can see there is a big gap between the two and I’ve learned a lot over this past decade of parenting (I feel so old now typing that…) Here are some things I’ve discovered:

Join a local mom’s group

I’ve talked about it here on the blog before but joining a mom’s group was probably one of the best things I have done as a parent. When I first had Jacob I only knew one other mom my age so I joined my first local mom’s group (that also had an online forum) when Jacob was just a few months old. I found it invaluable when I was up in the middle of the night with a question or just needed someone to talk to. I started going to playdates before Jacob was even moving around because I needed to get out of the house and talk to other moms. Eventually I’d join many other online mom’s groups as well but I found the local one where we could meet “IRL” so beneficial. If you are raising your child without family (or that village we hear so much about) around you’ll want to do this asap!

Always have an extra outfit for baby (and make sure it fits). Bring one for yourself, too.

Most parents have enough common sense to pack an extra outfit for baby in their diaper bag whenever they go out but do you always make sure it fits? I always keep one in there but discovered that I also want to occassionally check to make sure it’s baby’s size still. A month or so ago I was at a meeting and feeding Emma when I felt something warm in my lap (I’m sure you can all guess what had happened….) I grabbed a diaper, wipes, and her spare outfit and went to change her. I quickly realized, as I was putting the outfit on her, that even though it was her size it was definetely too small for her. Since I had nothing else for her to wear I had to just button up my little sausage baby and hope that the snaps held her baby fat in until we got home. I also recommend keeping a change of clothes in the car for yourself because Emma’s little accident had made me look like I peed myself but I didn’t have a pair of spare pants to change in to.

Don’t stock up on newborn clothes

As you can tell from the point above, babies outgrow their clothes quickly. Newborn clothes are probably one of the worst baby investments you can make because they sometimes only last a couple weeks before babies can’t wear them anymore. Plus, in the first month or so they will probably live in onesies and baby sleepers anyway. I had some of the cutest outfits hanging in Emma’s closet and she never got to wear them!

Make middle of the night feedings easier

When baby’s cries wake you up you’ll be half asleep and feeling like a zombie those first couple months. While you can’t avoid those middle of the night wake up calls, you can make things easier on yourself! If you breastfeed, have everything that you’ll need nearby. I had made myself a little basket with the essentials for pumping and put it right next to my chair so everything I needed was within reach when I was holding Emma. Now we use formula for our little girl and, though she doesn’t wake up as much, I still set everything up for the next time she’ll eat (which is especially helpful if I know daddy is getting up with her). I put a clean bottle on the counter along with her formula. I also leave a burp cloth next to the chair we sit in for feedings.

We used to fill her bottle up with tap water because we didn’t know any better…My mom yelled at me the first time she saw me do so and I brushed her words off saying she would be fine because we all drank the water. While most tap water contains chemicals and other contaminants that purified water doesn’t but I figured the water in my nice suburb wasn’t that bad. I was shocked when I looked it up online and discovered that my town’s water had 8 contaminants detected above health guidelines and 6 other detected contaminants! #MomFAIL. Pound for pound, a baby’s body can’t filter contaminants like an adult’s body can (even though adults shouldn’t be exposed to them either). Not only that but a lot of tap water sources are treated with fluoride, which also poses concerns for babies.

I knew I needed to stop having my family use tap water immediately because the quality of the water is just as important as the quality of the formula I have chosen. I heard about the Primo® First Steps Bottom-Loading Water Dispenser and it seemed like the perfect fit for our whole family. The dispenser provides cold, warm or hot drinking water with the warm option supplying water at 98.6-104 degrees Fahrenheit—specially designed for mixing baby formula. Middle of the night feedings are so much easier now that we just have to push a button to get water at the right temperature! When my boys were babies we used to have to stand over the sink holding the bottles under running warm water until the bottle was the perfect temperature. Those days are now in the past!

The unit sets up in minutes with no tools, plumbing, or installation required and the easy bottom-loading design means no more lifting heavy bottles. Primo® is the only brand that delivers best in class dispensers for the home and safe, great-tasting bulk water either exchange or refill water. The water dispenser uses 3 or 5-gallon bottles (sold separately) which we found at a number of stores nearby. Once we had purchased the water at our local Lowe’s all we had to do was hook it up and push it in the cabinet.

One of the things I was initially concerned about when looking at water coolers was that my baby would burn herself on the hot water once she started walking so it was comforting to know that the hot water has a child-resistant safety feature. Not only was there a switch to turn it off on the back but I could lock the front controls so none of the buttons would work if pushed by little fingers. There is also a self-sanitizing function that boils the water in the warm water reservoir every 12 hours (or more often if you choose) to ensure the quality of the water. While we got this mainly for the warm water for bottles and the icy cold water for drinking, having the hot water makes our hot cocoa for family movie nights a breeze to make which my older boys love!

You can learn more and purchase the Primo water dispenser at primowater.com. If baby isn’t here yet, consider adding it to your baby registry! I know sometimes, especially if you have other children, you might not need many baby things since you still have them from when your other kids were younger so this is a great gift idea if you really aren’t sure what to add to your registry!

Restock the diaper bag every evening

I learned this one the hard way. When my boys were younger I grabbed the diaper bag as I was running out the door for the day. I had forgotten that I used my last wipe and of course I needed them when I was out! Let’s just say that toilet paper does not work as well as a wipe does for cleaning dirty baby bottoms… Since mornings are always hectic I’ve found it easiest to get the diaper bag ready at night so I don’t have to worry about packing it while trying to get all three kids out the door.

Keep diapers and other necessities in more than one place

Before I had my first child I carefully set up the changing table with everything that I’d need for diaper changes. Once I actually had Jacob though I discovered that I rarely actually used the changing table. I typically would just lay a blanket out on our living room floor and change him there. Having diaper changing supplies in a few different places (my room, his room, and our living room) ended up making the most sense. This is especially true if you live in a two story home because who wants to be walking up and down steps all day just to change a dirty diaper?

What tips do you have? I’d love to hear them! Bonus points if they are helpful for babies who are on-the-go because that’s our next stage! (And honestly, it’s been almost a decade since I’ve been in that stage so I don’t remember much about it!) Chat with me on social! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

 

 

Baby Lullabies That Parents Will Enjoy Too

Now that I have a little one again we have been listening to a lot of lullabies. When my boys were younger I had lullaby CDs so we listened to the same songs over and over again. Nowadays, I typically tell Alexa to play baby lullabies when it’s time for Emma’s morning or afternoon nap and during tummy time (which is not a favorite activity of Emma’s) and Alexa plays a variety of songs. Some tunes I recognize from Disney movies, some are classics, and some I had never heard before these past few months. I thought I’d share my favorites for all of you who are looking for some new lullabies to listen to with your baby (because as much as I love “You Are My Sunshine” there’s only so many times a day I want to hear it….)

A Thousand Years (Lullaby) by Christina Perri

Father’s Lullaby by Nick Lachey

Wonderfully Made by Scripture Lullabies

Lullaby by Dixie Chicks

Keep You Safe by JJ Heller (and any of the songs on her ‘I Dream of You Volume II’ album)

A Mother’s Prayer by Rachel Aldous

Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman

Forever Young by Bob Dylan

Baby Mine by Alison Krauss

Sweet Dreams by Jewel

Then there’s the Rockabye Baby lullaby renditions of your favorite songs, like this flashback to my days of Blink-182 obsession- Adam’s Song lullaby rendition

Here are a couple other songs that aren’t lullabies but are still sweet messages to a child…

Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift

When I Pray For You by Dan & Shay

There are so many more choices of songs to sing baby to sleep then when my boys were little! What’s your favorite lullaby? Tweet with me and let me know!

 

8 Diaper Bags That Don’t Look Like Diaper Bags

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. (And also, I’m not pregnant….didn’t want anyone thinking this was an announcement post.)

When my boys were little, my diaper bag couldn’t pass for anything but a diaper bag. It was baby blue and brown and had the name of a well-known children’s store embossed on it. At the time I loved how roomy it was but I’m really liking the new trend of having a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag. If I have another child I’d want something that can pass for a purse when I’m sans kids. (Not that I’m sans kids often but a girl can dream of an evening out, right?)

Here are some of my favorite diaper bags from Baby Cubby, a chic store that carries the top items for mom and baby. All of these can pass for a purse or tote while after the kids are out of diapers.

Oemi Baby Leather Diaper Bag

Hands-down this is my favorite diaper bag I’ve come across. The Oemi leather bag is cut from the finest and softest distressed aniline leather available and is not only stylish but functional, too. It boasts five interior and three exterior pockets giving you more than enough room to stay prepared for everything you’ll need for your little one. Buy it here.

Skip Hop Greenwich Simply Chic Diaper Bag 

The Skip Hop Greenwich diaper backpack in smoke is chic and convenient. Made of wipeable vegan leather, it’s the perfect bag for busy parents! It has multiple pockets for ultimate organization and includes a changing pad and stroller straps. Buy it here.

Timi & Leslie Convertible Collection Rachel Satchel

The Timi & Leslie Rachel Satchel is made for the modern mom. Easy-to-clean faux leather, several interior and exterior pockets, included accessories and custom hardware make this a classic bag that won’t look like a diaper bag. Buy it here.

Coco and Kiwi Sydney 5 – Piece Diaper Bag

This sleek and simple design will make a big impact!  The Sydney 5-Piece Diaper Bag is sure to fulfill all your needs with its functional design and special included accessories! Buy it here.

Petunia Pickle Bottom Glazed Pathway Pack

The Pathway Pack is a super classy bag for modern parenting that even dads will want to use. It has great features like a laptop pocket and can be worn as a backpack or cross-body.  The sleek glazed canvas is easy to clean, and the fantastic colors offered will fit either parent’s style. Buy it here.

Little Unicorn Rambler Satchel Diaper Bag

If you need a bag that is both functional and stylish, this is it! The Little Unicorn Olive Rambler Satchel is the ultimate organizer bag with its 12 pockets. The durable cotton canvas is sure to hold up, and the vegan leather adds the perfect trendy touch. Buy it here.

Little Unicorn Rotunda Diaper Bag

The Rotunda diaper bag offers a sophisticated combination of style and thoughtful function while you’re on the go with or without your little one. Its sleek design makes it easy to incorporate the Rotunda into your wardrobe long after your babies are out of diapers. I love that it has a tech pocket to protect electronics. Buy it here.

Timi & Leslie Convertible Collection Charlie Tote

The Charlie tote is made from faux leather and features custom hardware in an antique brass finish. The tote is fashionable but has great accessories so it functions well as both a diaper bag and a purse. It has a zippered sac for soiled clothes, a changing bag with front mesh pocket to hold diaper changing necessities, and a stylish clutch with interior credit card slots and an inside zippered pocket for all of mom’s must-haves. Buy it here.

Baby Cubby carries more than just diaper bags, too. They have a large variety of everything parents need for babies and toddlers. I really love that they take the time to make videos about most of the items they carry so you can get an idea of what the products are like in person. They make the online ordering process easy for those of us that are not close by to their Lindon, Utah storefront.

Which diaper bag is your favorite?

 

Baby Shower Memories {Giveaway}

This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Dreft. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine. Some parts of my pregnancies I’d like to forget- like the morning sickness, food aversions and puffy feet. Other things though, I remember fondly, like my baby shower that was thrown for me while I was pregnant with Jacob. I had a great group of people joining me to celebrate including family members, my work friends and even some of my college friends who came in from out of state. There were delicious foods and cute decorations and everyone gave me such thoughtful gifts. One of my favorite things that I received was a picture frame with everyone’s well wishes on it. I love personalized gifts like that. Other gifts I loved were adorable outfits for my baby and those necessities that every new mom needs like a highchair, a bouncer, toys and packs of diapers. Another item that new moms might not think to buy themselves is special laundry detergent made especially for their new baby’s delicate skin. When my boys were infants we used Dreftbecause it is gentle and hypoallergenic on baby’s sensitive skin, tough on stains and has a baby fresh scent. It is also the #1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians and the #1 dermatologist recommended brand for baby clothes.

As babies grow and develop, laundry needs change for both little ones and their families, which is why Dreft introduced a new line of laundry products that are specially designed for different stages of babyhood. The line includes three products: Dreft Stage 1: Newborn; Dreft Stage 2: Active Baby and Dreft Blissfuls.

Now with Dreft’s line of laundry care products, families can focus less on the mess and more on the amazing moments they share together. I love the new Dreft Blissfuls in-wash scent booster because it lets me bring back that amazing baby scent (and all those memories) whenever I want.

I might not have a little baby anymore but one of my favorite celeb couples will soon and I can’t wait to follow their journey. Sean and Catherine Lowe from “The Bachelor” are expecting a child and Dreft has partnered with them to share their beautiful, messy moments of parenthood. For the first year they will be giving fans a glimpse into their lives as they journey into #amazinghood. Dreft threw them a “Loads of Love” baby shower last week where the couple was showered with all the love, support and essentials needed to prepare them for the arrival of their precious new baby.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a Dreft “Baby Shower” Package (ARV $75) which will include:

Dreft product (Newborn, Active Baby, & Blissfuls)
Little Me Welcome to the World Bib and Burp Set
 Little Me Giraffe Gown
Gender Neutral Lovey

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment sharing your favorite pregnancy or baby related memory.

For an extra entry you can share on a social channel and leave the link in a comment below.

Giveaway ends May 15, 2016 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 21 or older to enter and have a US mailing address (NO PO BOXES).

Baby Cuteness…. {Wordless Wednesday}

Thought I’d start your day off with a little cuteness….

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Lifenest Baby Sleeping System Giveaway {$150 Value}

One of my biggest fears when my children were babies was that they would roll over in their sleep. I would check on them multiple times per night just to make sure they were still sleeping on their backs and breathing. I was a bit paranoid about it but I couldn’t help myself. As a mom, the safety of my children was, and still is, a top priority.

I am happy to share about Lifenest because I wish I had this product when my now 4 and 2 year olds were infants. Though I still would have checked on them constantly, I would have been able to relax a little knowing my child had a safe sleeping area. Along with helping baby breathe better, Lifenest also helps prevent Flat Head Syndrome. Watch the YouTube video for a demonstration of how it works. Here is some more information:

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a Lifenest Sleeping System

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me your favorite feature of this product

2) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Like LIFENEST on Facebook

4) Share this giveaway on the social network of your choice

5) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends July 11, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US only. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.

(Disclaimer: The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that baby sleep on their back. Talk to your child’s pediatrician before using this, or any other, baby product.)

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Opinions are my own.)

Wordless Wednesday: Babies (and a Giveaway)

Lucas and his cousin, Maddie

I have linked this picture to: Wordless Wednesday Home
5 Minutes for Mom ~ Go Graham Go! ~ Jolly Mom ~ Look What Mom Found… ~ Mom of 3 Girls ~
Momspective ~ MomStart ~ Two of a Kind… ~ Frosted Fingers

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Today’s Giveaway:

One box of All Natural Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

This stuff works awesome (really)! I always used generic diaper rash cream in the past and the rashes always took a few days to go away. This past week Lucas had a diaper rash and when I used the Boudreaux’s “butt paste” his rash was gone by the next day.

I never knew there was such a huge difference in the quality of the diaper rash creams that were on the market so I always just bought the one that was the cheapest or one that I had a coupon for. Won’t be doing that anymore….

How to enter:

Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about babies.

Is it their smell, the softness of their skin, their innocence? My favorite thing about babies is that they are so cuddly!

If you don’t need the diaper rash cream but still want to leave a comment that’s ok too (just let me know).

Giveaway ends July 23rd at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: Blairex Laboratories, Inc. sent me one box of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste to try out and one to giveaway to my readers. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not required to give a positive review about this product.)