Things that Make Life Easier as a New Mom

So, I know… I’ve been doing a lot of blog posts on motherhood lately. But I think that there’s a lot of misconceptions about entering into motherhood.

One such misconception is that you need lots of stuff to be a good mom. From the time a woman gets pregnant, or embarks on the journey to foster or adopt, she is bombarded with ads and offers from companies, all competing to get her time and money.

There are gadgets galore, and the possibilities of things you may or may not need may seem overwhelming.

Let’s be real. What your child needs is a safe place to sleep, eat and lots of love and attention.

When we brought Erin home, I quickly learned that half of those things that are touted as luxury baby items are not necessary for my child’s development nor helpful for me as a mom.

There are a few things that are really simple things that do make my life easier as a mom. And I thought I’d make a list of them for you. Granted, they’re things that help me, but may not necessarily be the things that save your sanity. Every mom is different. But without further ado, here they are.

(The posts on this blog from time to time contain affiliate links, and a portion of the proceeds go to this blog, which takes time, energy, and money to run. However, I only recommend products I really like.  Thank you for reading and supporting this blog.)

1. Comfortable, easy to wear clothing for mommy and baby. I own a few good pairs of leggings. Old Navy has great leggings with a roll-down, yoga waist band. They were essential for me when we brought Erin home from the hospital because I could slide them on quickly with a t-shirt before guests came over. Having a comfortable robe helped too with nursing. No one prepared me for the lack of clothing that having a newborn involved.

Oh and for baby, those frou frou outfits just don’t work for every day. Erin lives in onesies and leggings, and they are easy to change. She also has had several comfy zipper sleepers that were a lifesaver when it came to changing diapers, half asleep in the middle of the night. I will only do zipper sleepers with the new baby.

2. Lots of books. Nothing calms Erin like reading a book when she’s teething. We’ve been reading to her since birth and now she picks up little stroller books and pretends to read them… it’s so cute! We read her Beginner’s Bible before bed at night. She also has a few other favorites.

3. A big crockpot. So this really makes my life easier. I make at least two meals a week in a crockpot. It’s a lifesaver. Just throw in some chicken, potatoes, green beans, and Italian dressing, and you’re all set!

4. A diaper clutch. Someone had the brilliant idea to give me one of these diaper clutches by Skip Hop, and I love it! I can throw it in my tote bag for a quick trip to the store, and the built in changing pad has saved Erin’s bottom in many an emergency.

5. A good nursing/car seat cover. So for about 8 months, we exclusively breastfed and pumped, and this cover has been amazing! It also works as a car seat cover, and I love the 360 coverage. I just slide it over my head, and I felt like I could nurse Erin anywhere in this cover.

6. Stacking toys and puzzles. So as Erin has gotten older, she’s wanted more of a challenge. I’m so thankful one of my old co-workers got me this puzzle, and my mom and dad gave her a developmental tea set for Christmas. She also has some simple rhythm instruments that keep her entertained for quite awhile.

7. An easy to assemble stroller. Let’s face it. Big bulky strollers are a hassle. I have a stroller I’ve used only once because it was just too difficult to assemble. But I love my Graco stroller. I can unfold it with one hand. Woohoo!

8. A good swing. Oh man, I don’t know how I got any sleep without a baby swing. I didn’t think I needed one, but my oh-so-wise SIL bought me one at Once Upon a child, and it was a lifesaver for the first 6 months!

9. A workout dvd with short workouts. Okay, mommies, you cannot use the excuse that you have to much to do. You are worth your time and attention. Can’t get to the gym? A dvd with a 10 minute workout will help you lower stress levels, reduce the risk and/or duration of postpartum depression, and allow you to feel more like a human being. Here’s my faves:

Pilates Workouts for Busy Moms – Erica Ziel/Knocked Up Fitness

Strength – Mash-up Conditioning

Rev4 – Natalie Jill Fitness

You can also check out some of the short workouts I have on this blog. Just remember, you don’t have to work out for an hour to see, feel or maintain results!

10. Healthy snacks you can eat with one hand. If you are breastfeeding, this is an absolute must. I love cheese cubes, a handful of nuts, veggie slices and hummus, bananas, and protein smoothies in a blender bottle, just to name a few. They’re easy to prep in bulk. I can put them in portion appropriate containers to grab and go later. It’s a win win.

 

11. A fertility monitor. So this is a personal preference, but your hormones do all sorts of wacky things after childbirth. I wish I’d bought one of these earlier. It tracks your cycles and basal body temperature and even the early stages of pregnancy. I have the Easy@Home fertility monitor that plugs into my smart phone. (I did receive this product for a great discount.) And it is so nice to not have to keep a paper chart. I just sync the thermometer with my smartphone, and voila.

12. A planner. With kids, the appointments seem never ending, and trust me, you shouldn’t try to remember them all. That’s why a planner is so important.

13. A way to relax…. I’ll admit.. I’m a little more of a type A personality, but I’ve learned to have me time each day, even if it’s 5 minutes before bed. I love journaling and crocheting when I’m trying to relax, and I’m always in the mood for a good cup of tea with my manatee tea infuser. I also typically sneak in a 5 or 10 minute workout to lower my stress levels.

14. A cleaning routine. I’ll just be honest, this is one I struggle with, but we do make sure certain things get done daily, like kitchen counters and sweeping, while others, such as bathrooms, get completed once weekly… (or every other week). Assign who does what, and this will save you frustration and heartache.

So here’s my very short list of different things that have made my life easier as a new mom this past year… notice, there were no wipe warmers or baby food makers. (That’s what I use my Ninja blender for!)

Keep it simple, and you’re sure to enjoy spending time with your little one, and less time, thinking about this lavish routine I’d have to maintain.

Stay genuine,

Julie

How To Babyproof Your Home: A Product Review

 

Hey there! It’s been quite a Monday! Little Erin is almost 6 weeks old, and getting more mobile all the time. Over the past week, I’ve been looking into products that will help me effectively baby proof my home. We have a lot of cabinets and drawers and with all this storage comes great responsibility. (I’m getting nervous already and so is Micah.)

So, when I was asked to review these products by pepbaby, I was overjoyed. I was also not disappointed. Here’s my review of three of their awesome products!

 

Disclaimer: I received these products from pepbaby at discount in exchange for my honest opinion. That being said, I only publish positive reviews based on my personal experience of products that I believe to be effective. I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. 

 

 

Corner Protectors

We have a lot of corners in our house. Just in our living room, we have two desks an entertainment center, and other miscellaneous pieces of furniture, that little Cutie Pie can hit her head on. I was so excited when I received these corner protectors. They have a rubbery texture, and the adhesive was easy to apply to the three inside surfaces of the corner protector. I was then able to apply to thoroughly cleaned surfaces without a problem. Now typically, anything with 3M adhesive makes me nervouse, because I have seen the finishes of many pieces of wood furniture ruined by corner protectors, but when I tested a corner after the adhesive dried, I was pleased to find that the finish wasn’t ruined! Yay! Our entertainment center now sports these awesome corner protectors. It was so easy to apply that I even filmed a youtube video while applying them one-handed. They also came with little adhesive disks, which made their application super easy.

 

Magnetic Locks

Unfortunately for us, we don’t have knobs on our cabinets, so we can’t use the el cheapo rubber band trick to baby proof our cabinet doors. And most magnetic locks are expensive. I was pleased to see that even without the discount, these pepbaby magnetic locks were just as good as the fancy ones I’d seen at Babies R Us for about half the price.  They were easy to apply: just firmly press the lock on the door, and the latch piece on the cabinet above and let dry for 24 hours, and voila! Our cleaning supply cabinet locks are now baby proofed, with no additional tools. The locks also came with adhesive already attached, which saved me a lot of time and effort.

 

Car Seat/Nursing Cover

Okay, so this isn’t exactly baby proofing…but it will save you from a wardrobe malfunction. I’ll confess, I’d been looking for a carseat/nursing cover like this one for months. I like my traditional nursing covers for when we have guests at home, but this is perfect for when we’re out in public! I will never buy another nursing cover! Really though, I love this one! The fabric is so soft and breathable, and It easily gives me 360 coverage while I’m nursing my little Cutie. No wrestling with the cover, and no having to tie a cover over my Car Seat. And no more have to use two separate accessories. It’s my new favorite accessory for running errands. It also came with a laundry bag, which will definitely be used.

 

I really enjoyed baby proofing with these products. Applying all of them maybe took 10 minutes, tops. Please check out pepbaby’s other products on amazon.