Baby

From Pregnancy to Parenthood

By February 8, 2021 May 2nd, 2021 No Comments
From-Pregnancy-to-Parenthood

Hi mamas! I am here to help you out and do a breakdown on a few things that I went through and what helped me during my pregnancy, my doctor’s appointments, my delivery, motherhood with a newborn, and parenthood with a happy baby and a happy marriage.

I am not a professional. These are things that I learned from my doctor and fellow mothers, and from just going through motherhood and eight years of marriage.

Pregnancy

Let me start with that positive pregnancy test!!! Woohoo, exciting and unreal at the same time. You might want to tell everyone but wait for that. Yes, tell your partner. And then set an appointment with a doctor.

  • The doctor will ask you when your last period started and ended and will count the weeks of pregnancy from that point on.
  • The doctor will usually set your first appointment for your 6th – 8th week of pregnancy.
  • That appointment will usually include checking your pulse, your weight and heartbeat. You will also give a urine sample.
  • The doctor will do an ultrasound of your pelvic area as the baby is too small to see from the external ultrasound. The doctor can determine the following:
    • Measure the size of the fetus which helps estimate the due date
    • Confirm the fetal heartbeat
    • Make sure the pregnancy is taking place where it is supposed to (in the uterus, and to rule out a tubal or ectopic pregnancy which means that the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, where it can not continue to develop normally)
    • And determine the number of fetuses.
  • The doctor will go over your prenatal vitamins, what exercises you are allowed to do, no alcohol, no drugs, no smoking rules, what you should avoid to eat and drink and he/she will answer any questions you have.

What to Bring to Your First Doctor Visit

You should have the following ready for this doctor appointment as he/she will also ask you about them:

  • Your medical history and your partner’s 
  • Previous major illnesses or surgeries
  • Known allergies including drug/medication allergies
  • Your mental health history (specifically any depression, anxiety disorder and other mental health disorders)
  • Your gynecological history
  • Any previous pregnancies, including complications or losses and details about previous deliveries
  • Any medications and dosages of medications you are taking including vitamins and herbs
  • Health conditions that run in your and your partner’s families

After your exam you will receive your schedule with the doctor for the next 9 months (you usually see your doctor once a month but that can vary depending on how your pregnancy is going and what your doctor recommends). You will receive a lot of paperwork for different blood tests and exams that you will receive later. Remember: You will be super excited so don’t forget to write down any questions you have so that you don’t forget. Your doctor is the best source for any type of problems or questions you have.

During Pregnancy

Your pregnancy is broken down in 3 trimesters. 

  • 1-3 months = first trimester
  • 3-6 months = second trimester
  • 6-9 months = third trimester

I am going to share what symptoms I went through and fellow mother friends and any amazing tips that helped us during this exciting but uncertain and new time.

1st Trimester

In your first trimester your body will be adjusting to having a second body to take care of. Your body will change on the outside and inside which affects your hormones, body weight, hunger, mood, and energy level.

Prenatal Vitamins: First off, get prenatal vitamins. Try to get a good brand. I got my prenatal vitamins from my nutritionist and a lot of my mama friends used them as well. They are from the brand Thorne and are called Prenatal Vitamins. But you can also just see what your Doctor recommends. As long as you are being taken care of you are all good.

Body Oil: I recommend Mountain Ocean Mother’s Special Blend. Rub that all over your belly, back, butt, thighs and breast. It’s to prevent itching and skin irritation during pregnancy and stretch marks.

Energy Level: When you’re tired which can start right at the beginning of pregnancy or a little into the first trimester. Just lay down and sleep! You will not be able to fight it and you need it. 

Morning Sickness / All Day Sickness: Nausea mainly shows during the first trimester but some have it during several months or throughout the whole pregnancy at which point you should be in touch with your Dr.

But what helped me and my mom friends that went through ‘morning sickness’ (and let me clarify this, morning sickness is an old term for waking up in the morning and needing to throw up or feeling nauseous but a lot of mother’s have it all day or any times a smell or movement triggers it so I call it all day sickness)

  • Ginger chews
  • Vitamin C lollipops
  • Mint scent
  • Avoid rough car rides (sport cars and those that drive crazy)
  • Sit up front during car ride (makes a huge difference from sitting in the back)
  • Snack as much as you can even if you don’t feel like it (nuts or crackers usually do it)

Gain weight: Your doctor will tell you exactly how much weight you are supposed to gain. But yes, gaining weight is a must! Usually it’s between 20-30pounds.

2nd Trimester

During my 2nd trimester I had a lot of energy and went hiking and was physically very active. Which I heard is normal for a lot of pregnant women.

Sleep position: Sleeping got a little harder as my baby bump was finally showing. You are only allowed to sleep on your side so get yourself a good pregnancy pillow.

You are not allowed to sleep on your belly due to your baby needing to survive. And this would cause yourself and your baby pain.

You are not allowed to sleep on your back as it can decrease the heart circulation to yourself and your baby. It can also cause backaches, breathing problems, digestive problems, low blood pressure and hemorrhoids. 

3rd Trimester

During my 3rd trimester I started having the worst heartburn and couldn’t keep any food nor any water down. I asked my doctor for help after two days and one night of me basically throwing up every time I tried to eat or drink. I ended up taking an over the counter pill that was specifically for heartburn and what my doctor recommended. This was after the other heartburn chews didn’t work for me. 

I also avoided the following foods as they tend to cause heartburn:

  • Citrus
  • Spicy foods
  • Fatty, fried and greasy foods
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated drinks

Support your back and belly tip:

The 3rd trimester is known to be the most exhausting one. The baby is huge, and you basically feel like the last 3 months are the longest. 

Your belly is heavy, your back might ache, some women get water storage in the ankles and wrist area and maybe all over.

Maternity Pregnancy support Belt/Brace. It’s supposed to help your belly to avoid skin being ripped or damaged. But mainly to support your back and prevent backaches. 

Bounce Ball. I ended up using it a lot. It feels much better than a chair and takes that weight off of you for a bit.

Swim. Takes that weight off and makes you feel better.

Water + Food Intake

Ever wonder how all the good stuff in the prenatal vitamins and healthy foods you’re faithfully consuming every day are shipped to your fetus? It all starts with water, which helps your body absorb essential nutrients into the cells and transports vitamins, minerals and hormones to the blood cells. It’s those nutrient-rich blood cells that reach the placenta and ultimately your baby—all with the help of H2O.

Your recommended daily water intake is higher during pregnancy

You’ll need more water to keep your system running for two during pregnancy. Though it really varies based on your body type and size, how active you are, and so on, the general rule of thumb is somewhere between eight and 10 8-ounce glasses of water (from all sources) a day. But be sure to talk to your practitioner about what works for you and your situation.

I would space out your sips to keep them coming steadily throughout the day rather than gulping a lot at once, which could leave you feeling uncomfortably full. Since most of us don’t drink enough fluids, filling a water bottle or two every morning and keeping it handy all day takes the hassle out of hydration.

Avoid sparkling water or soda drinks. Colas and soft drinks have carbon-dioxide bubbles. Towards the end of pregnancy, you are extremely sensitive, and carbonic acid may give you severe heartburn and indigestion, increasing the acidic levels for close to an hour. Added to caffeine, this makes heartburn in you and the baby worse.

Perfect Pregnancy Foods

Dairy products, such as yogurt, are a great choice for pregnancy meals and snacks. They help you meet increased protein and calcium needs. Probiotics may also reduce the risk of complications. 

Legumes are excellent plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium—all of which your body needs more of during pregnancy. This group of food includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts.

Sweet potatoes are very rich in beta-carotene, a plant compound that is converted into vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is essential for growth and the differentiation of most cells and tissues. It’s very important for healthy fetal development.

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acid. I am not a seafood person so I went to my nutritionist and got Omega-3 vitamins which is fish oil. Omega-3 is very important as it helps build your baby’s brain and eyes.

Eggs are the ultimate health food, as they contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need. A large egg contains 77 calories, as well as high-quality protein and fat. It also packs many vitamins and minerals. Eggs are a great source of choline. Choline is essential for many processes in your body, including brain development and health.

Broccoli and leafy greens contain most of the nutrients that we need during our pregnancy. They are also rich in fiber which may help or treat constipation. 

Lean meat is a great source of high protein.

Berries contain water, fiber, carbs, vitamin c, vitamins, antioxidants and plant compounds. Mainly helps intake of water and increase of nutrients.

Pineapple is totally safe and healthy to eat during your pregnancy. It did go around at some point that you shouldn’t eat it as it could cause miscarriage but that isn’t true and was a myth.

Whole Grains are packed with fiber, plant compounds and vitamins. They are rich in B vitamins and magnesium which is what we need during pregnancy.

Avocados contain high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acid, fiber, folate and potassium. May improve fetal health and also leg cramps which are common during pregnancy. (Monounsaturated fats are healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados and certain nuts. In fact, the evidence shows that monounsaturated fats have a number of health benefits. They can help with weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease inflammation)

These are all foods that I was told to eat and the reason given. I saved it on my computer and here you are. I asked a lot of very specific questions and Googled answers as well.

What Foods to Avoid

High mercury fish (mercury is a highly toxic element) shouldn’t be eaten more then once or twice a month if at all. Includes: Shark, swordfish, tuna, king mackerel.

Raw fish and shellfish can be contaminated with bacteria and parasites. Some of these can cause adverse health effects and harm to both, mother and unborn baby.

Raw or Undercooked Meat may contain harmful bacteria. Meat should be cooked all the way through.

Raw Eggs may be contaminated with Salmonella which can lead to sickness and an increased risk of premature birth or stillbirth. Pasteurized eggs can be used instead (will say it on container).

Just to clarify on raw eggs: lightly scrambled eggs and poached eggs would be in homemade mayonnaise, cake icing, salad dressings, homemade ice cream

Organ meat is a great source of iron, vitamin B12, vitamin A and copper—all of which are good for an expectant mother and her child. However, eating too much animal-based vitamin A (preformed Vitamin A) is not recommended during pregnancy. It may cause vitamin A toxicity, as well as abnormally high copper levels, which can result in birth defects and liver toxicity. Therefore it shouldn’t be eaten more then once a week by pregnant women.

Caffeine. Pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200mg a day. High intake of caffeine can slow the growth of the fetus and cause low birth weight.

Raw Sprouts may be contaminated with bacteria inside the seeds. Pregnant women should only eat cooked sprouts.

Rinse all your fruits and vegetables due to bacteria.

You should not intake any unpasteurized milk, cheese and fruit juice as these foods increase the risk of bacterial infection.

No alcohol as it can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and fetal alcohol syndrome.

Processed junk food can increase your risk of excess weight gain, gestational  diabetes and complications. This can affect your child’s long-term health.

Throwing A Baby Shower

I threw my baby shower in month 6. I believe that a lot of mothers-to-be do that as well.

As part of your baby shower I recommend the following:

Host: Pick a fun host for your party: your sister if you have on, your mom, or a close friend. I recommend someone you can count on.

Invites: Your host should sit down with you and see what theme you would like for your baby shower (ideas can be found on the app Pinterest). Based on that theme you can pretty much find appropriate invitation cards on the website or App Shutterfly. They lay it all out for you and you just fill in the blanks.

Make a list of all your friends and family and your host should send those out.

It should include time and place of course. 

Your invitation should ask to RSVP to your host by whatever date you need it.

Your invitation should have the link to your baby registry (which will be covered below) 

Party Set Up

Based on that theme, go to a good store to find all the decorations. I would recommend Party City as this store has everything, but Michael’s has some fun stuff as well, just not everything you would need and is a little more expensive

Diaper Raffle

Invitations should include a “diaper raffle” It’s a raffle where your friends and family buy diapers in addition to any baby items on your registry and as a thank you, they’ll put their names in a cup/bowl/glass (whatever you choose) and towards the end you pull a name and that person gets a cool snack/wine/beauty basket. You basically end up with diapers for a couple months and don’t have to buy any for that period of time.

Games and Winners Gift

Your host should make a list of fun pregnancy related games (can be found on Pinterest). Every winner should get a little bag with maybe some candy and a candle or whatever you choose. These are just examples. As I said Pinterest gives you from the cheapest to more expensive ideas.

Party Favor

And for everyone to take home as a thank you and appreciation, you’ll have a party favor. This can also just be a bag of candy or let’s say you only invited girls, you could have a bag with a nail file and some cute nail polish. Again, these are just ideas.

Putting Together Your Baby Registry

I will attach an example of a baby registry but you can use any baby company / store that provides baby registry lists and the website gives you all the important things for babies they recommend and you can choose and pick and add anything from other baby stores to put your own list together.

These are just a few items I would recommend:

01. Crib (Baby Bed)

Pick one that can be lowered as the baby grows and can later turn into a bed when your toddler is ready for it. And if you want a changing table attached, I would recommend that as well. Some might like a separate station for that. I got mine with everything and it’s been great. More space in the room for playtime. Money and time saver. A mattress has to be ordered as well and as far as I know they are all water proof these days. Wayfair, Amazon and Ikea all have great deals.

02. Stroller

I would recommend picking a stroller that has the stroller/car seat all in one. And make sure the seat is soft and protects the baby. Amazon has great ones. Go on amazon and put in ‘best stroller’ and it’ll pull them up for you. This should be the most expensive item on your list as it has to be good quality.

03. Baby Bottles

I recommend the Comotomo Baby Bottle (the nipple has different amounts of holes, make sure you pick 1 hole as you don’t want your baby to be flooded) The reason why I recommend those is as the bottle itself feels soft like a boob and the nipple of the bottle is supposed to be the closest to a real nipple. My son and my friend’s kids all used and loved this bottle.

04. Pacifiers

They help keep a baby calm and soothed. Here is the pacifier I used.

05. Halo

The bed you can have next to yours at the beginning as you will get up more often for your baby. I can’t give an actual review as my son hated being in there but every child is different.

06. Diaper Pail

Very important to get a good one as baby diapers stink. Here is a link to one. This one is metal which does do a fairly good job of keeping the smell out of the room.

07. Baby Bounce

My son and his friends all loved it. You can put your child in it and bounce it and it’s fun. I would not recommend an automatic swing as most kids hate it and it’s expensive.

08. Boppy

This is a must. It’s basically a baby pillow that your baby can chill in and drink his bottle. Sleep or just lay next to you if you need a min without your baby in your arms. You have to watch your baby of course.

09. Baby Monitor

A must! Put that camera over your baby’s crib and keep the monitor with you. There are so many different ones. I’ll attach a link to one of the first ones we had.

10. Baby Carrier

Seriously the best invention. When you go on a walk or go shopping and you want to keep your child happy and entertained, this is the best thing. There are many different brands and stores that will sell them so I would recommend reading the reviews.

11. Diaper Bag

Obviously, a must, no question. Here is a link of the one we have. Amazing quality and has lasted us 2 years and still looks amazing. And to add to that a portable changing pad is also very needed so that you can change your baby no matter where you are and it’s safe and clean.

12. Bibs

Get as many as you can. Your baby will be spitting up at times and teeth later which causes a lot of drooling. Bibs are always needed. Again, this would be an example of a set. There are many different brands and stores that sell them.

Baby Bibs 8 Pack Soft and Absorbent for Boys & Girls – Baby Bandana Drool Bibs

13. Onesies

  • Onesies: Put several sets on your baby registry and many different sizes. You will be shopping for your child any chance you get as we all are a little addicted to cute baby stuff. Let your guests buy you all the bulk items. You can always put some real cute items on your baby registry but just focus on some of the more needed stuff first 😊.

There are a few stores that have amazing deals and also pretty good quality. H&M is by far my favorite on bulk, inexpensive and good quality. Carters, Target, Amazon and Oshkosh have good deals as well.

These are a few examples.

  • Gerber baby-boys 5-pack Variety Onesies Bodysuits
  • Hudson Baby unisex-baby Cotton Bodysuits
  • Simple Joys by Carter’s Boys’ 4-Pack Soft Thermal Long Sleeve Bodysuits

14. PJs

Get zip up PJs. The less buttons the better. At the beginning you will feel like your baby is so little and you wouldn’t want to break it. Starting usually 2-3 months in your baby will fight you on all kinds of stuff and the faster you can do a change into PJs the better for you and your baby.

  • Burt’s Bees Baby Baby Boys’ Sleep and Play Pjs, 100% Organic Cotton One-Piece Romper Jumpsuit Zip Front Pajamas
  • Gerber Baby Boys’ 2-Pack Sleep ‘N Play

15. Socks and Pants/Shorts

Don’t put shoes on your list yet. If you want a cute pair for a picture, go for it. But you will really not need them till your baby will be walking. As mentioned above your child will do what he/she wants to do and getting shoes on them when not needed might just add extra stress and melt down scenarios.

16. Baby Bath

The first 1-5ish months (depending how big your baby is and their sitting ability) you’ll need a baby bathtub. That goes into your bathtub, and get a thermometer so you can take the temp of the water that goes into your baby’s bathtub.

17. Baby Skin Care

I would always recommend Honest. Their shampoo, baby cream and bath stuff is amazing, all natural and was the only skin care that didn’t harm my kid. The wipes are great as well. (Other good brands: Burt’s Bees, Baby Bum, Babyganics)

But, regarding their diapers, I wouldn’t recommend them as they don’t hold pee as well and leak easily.

But there are other fun products from other natural companies so you just don’t buy Johnson’s products. That company has been sued several times due to it harming kids and adults skin and causing cancer in several cases.

18. Diapers

For day diapers, I love Huggies and Pampers. For night diapers, we find Huggies has the best. 

I recommend to always buy a size up for night diapers as babies pee almost as much during the night as during the day due to the milk intake during their younger years.

19. Wipes

I also recommend scented wipes. Baby poop stinks.

20. Baby Blender

When your baby is 4 months old, your doctor will usually tell you that you can now start feeding your baby purees and other foods (only what your doctor says and ask any questions). This blender set we still have and is amazing. We tried sweet potato, avocado and banana at the beginning.

This should cover my recommendations. For more details on what you need just google Baby Registry and website after website will tell you exactly how to put one together and make it super easy.

Assisting the Birth Process

A lot of times moms wait for their contractions to come and the baby ends up being late. My baby was late and these were the things I was told to do. It didn’t help me but a lot of my mom friends felt that it helped them:

Backaches, heartburn, hemorrhoids—at 40 weeks all you want to do is hold your baby in your arms. Here are a few tips to help you cope:

Get a Massage. Some Eastern healers believe that certain pressure points on the hands and feet may stimulate the body’s natural labor process, although Dr. Ross says this hasn’t been proven. Even if you can’t get your tired body to a prenatal massage therapist, asking your partner to give you a rubdown might help your aching back, not to mention your mood.

Become a Spice Girl. Sadly, there’s no magic meal that’s guaranteed to bring on labor (although there’s that famous maternity salad dressing that some moms swear by). Still, Dr. Ross has had several clients report that things, ahem, got moving after they indulged in a spicy meal. Spicy foods fall into that “can’t hurt, might help” category, and we say that once you’re more than 40 weeks pregnant with no signs of labor, you’ve earned the right to eat your baby’s weight in Mexican food.

Have an Orgasm or Two. Remember what we said about distraction? The hormone oxytocin surges when you have an orgasm, which can trigger labor in at-term pregnant women. As an added bonus, sperm contains prostaglandins, which can help ripen the cervix. So the more orgasms, the better!

Keep Moving. We’re not saying that exercising is easy when you’re 40 weeks pregnant with a baby overdue, but try to stay active. Although stretching, doing prenatal yoga, or going for a short walk aren’t likely to bring on labor, they’re all good for you and your baby. (But don’t overdo it: If you do go into labor, you don’t want to be tuckered out from the get-go!)

Stay off Social Media. At this point in your pregnancy, it’s acceptable (and maybe even advised) to pretty much avoid anyone and everyone, both in the flesh and online, who isn’t your medical practitioner or your partner–in other words, anyone who might have the poor judgment to ask if you’re still pregnant. Keep family and friends up-to-date with a daily blog entry, such as: “Just visited the doc, who said everything’s fine.” Record a new voicemail with an upbeat message: “No, baby’s not here yet. Thankfully, we’re all healthy. Keep checking this message for daily updates!”

Make Good Use of Your Time. If your baby is overdue, take advantage of the time to catch up on sleep, finish the nursery, and stock your larder with ready-made meals. Also consider addressing birth announcements and thank-you notes.

Birth Classes

Find a good birth class either through friends or your doctor, and moms that have been through it. These classes will help teach you everything from:

  • When your first contraction is and how far apart your contractions should be till you have to go to the hospital
  • To what to do when you have contractions and how your partner can help you make it easier
  • What to do when your water breaks
  • All about breastfeeding and how long you should be breast feeding till using a bottle
  • Different exercises you should be doing as prep for delivery and how to heal best after birth
  • Your rights in the hospital during delivery and after

Birth Plan

Some parents like writing up a birth plan for their nurses and Dr. I won’t go further into it as it includes a lot but I will show you an example of mine. Just as a note, you never know what your baby or your body will go through and you should ALWAYS listen to your doctor and nurses if it is about keeping you and your baby safe.

My birth plan pretty much went out the window due to me being in more pain then I thought I would be in. One of the things I had mentioned in my birth plan was ‘no additional drugs’ but I ended up needing them. I didn’t fight my doctor or nurses and fully trusted them and I now have a very healthy and happy child.

So here you go on that birth plan:


Family – Newborn Care Instructions

  • Name: Baby Boy (Parents: Jeannie and Danny)
  • OB/GYN: Dr. Tamayo, M.D.
  • Pediatrician: Glendale Pediatrics
  • Professional Labor Asst.: I didn’t have one and was glad but some mothers love it.

Thank you for helping with our newborn baby care. We are requesting your cooperation with these preferences for tending to our newborn.

Please remain quiet as the baby is born allowing for the baby to hear our voices first.

Do not suction the baby unless medically necessary.

Please place the baby skin to skin on my chest immediately following birth. The baby will be above the placenta and I would like to wait until the cord stops pulsating before it is clamped and cut. This is important to us. (as a note this is common for hospitals to do nowadays)

My husband will cut the cord.

I would like to spend as much time as possible bonding with the baby prior to administering any newborn procedures. No routine procedures shall be administered to my newborn without prior consent.

My husband shall accompany our newborn at all times while in the hospital. 

Eyes: We prefer no antibiotic drops be given to the baby.

Vitamin K: Please do not administer a Vitamin K shot.

Immunizations: All immunizations including but not limited to the Hep B will be postponed until the baby visits the pediatrician outside the hospital.

If needed, GENTLY wipe the baby, I prefer the vernix to be on the baby’s skin. No bath is necessary.

I will be breastfeeding exclusively. Do not offer formula, water, artificial nipples etc. I would like the assistance of a lactation consultant. 

Circumcision: We do/do not intend to circumcise and would/would not like to have it done at the hospital by our baby’s health care provider. Dad will/will not be present during this procedure.

If the baby is not well: I request for my husband to accompany the baby if transported. I wish to supply breast milk, hold, rock, and care for my baby with unlimited visitation. 

Thank you, Jeannie & Danny


(This is just an example and can be different for everyone)

Must Haves for The Hospital and After Birth

For your delivery of baby you need the following:

CUTE ONSIE | Bring a onesie for your baby if you want cute pics. The hospital provides diapers, baby beanies and onesies.

SOCKS | Bring socks for the baby.

CHANGE OF CLOTHES | Bring yourself a change of clothes, very comfy and loose pants.

SHOWER SUPPLIES | Bring your shower supplies. You’ll need a good shower after delivering.  

BABY CAR SEAT | Your baby’s car seat needs to be fully set up in the car for it to be brought home. Follow the car seat rules and make sure it’s fully secured. It was found that the middle back seat is the safest to have your child’s seat on. As far as I remember there will be a hospital staff member checking on the car seat being in your car.

That should be all. You really don’t need much. If you want make-up for pics, bring that as well. 

I don’t know the changes with corona but my husband slept on a side bed in the same room with me while I was still waiting. My pregnancy got induced so that took a bit.

What Mom Needs to Heal After Vaginal Birth

MAXI OVERNIGHT PADS | Maxi Overnight Pads and what the hospital gives you and you can always ask for a lot and they’ll give you what they can.

RADIANT PADS | Radiant Pads will help, especially with stitches which most of us get. It cools it and keeps your healing process happy

SEVENTH GENERATION PADS

DERMOPLAST | Hospital strength dermoplast pain relieving spray (they will give you a bottle in the hospital but in case you run out) There are natural brands as well for the spray such as Earth Mother. I used both and both helped.

BREASTFEEDING BRAS | You should have breastfeeding bras at this point so yes use them when breastfeeding. And get yourself some breastfeeding pads for your bra as you will leak and don’t want that all over your clothes.

Breastfeeding & Formula

I believe that a majority of us mothers want to breastfeed their baby. It’s the best you can give your newborn. You learn all about that in your pregnancy class and can even request someone in the hospital to help you with that.

Breastfeeding is recommended for 6 months and 2 years, with other foods. (World Health Organization)

But a lot of doctors recommend starting solids at 4 months with breast milk or formula as well. But one thing that your doctor will tell you is that your breast milk will not produce all the things your child needs after 6 months. I have seen mothers trying to only breastfeed past that point and kids end up being underweight and undernutrition. 

Formula

But if your baby isn’t into it and will not latch on nor drink it, don’t feel bad going on formula. There are so many good formulas these days that you don’t have to feel bad or think that you are a bad mom.

My son would for his life not latch on and scream. He basically didn’t eat for his first 2 days of his life. That made me feel way worse and guilty and I wish I would have known that I can just put him on formula.

His doctor said that I could feed formula and pump my own breast milk to mix it up. I did that for a couple weeks till I was over it and I only fed him formula. He was happy, healthy and strong.

My doctor recommended Similac baby formula at the beginning. They come in little ready bottles. All you have to do is shake them and open the bottle. And the baby can drink it.

Once he was about 3 months old those bottles got too expensive for us as he needed more and more food. We continued with baby formula Pure Bliss which is also made by the brand Similac. He loved it. You do get more amount for less money and it’s fresh milk, grass fed, with iron and no antibiotics, non GMO etc. (I’ll attach a link for more information)

Pure Bliss by Similac Infant Formula, Modeled After Breast Milk, Non-GMO Baby Formula, 24.7 Ounces

In a lot of cases, babies have allergies to the mother’s breast milk or formula and it usually shows in stomach aches and their skin reactions. In both cases see your doctor and ask what either you need to stop eating or eating more of and if its formula related what formula you need to change to.

What to Feed at 4 Months

When your baby is 4 months old and your doctor gives you the green light for purees mainly, the fun times begin.

You want to teach your baby to swallow. They are used to drinking and not taking anything else in. 

You can buy purees in any store. But if you are someone that wants to test the waters and not waste your money on stuff that your child might not like, I would recommend getting a baby blender set.

You can blend any fruit and veggies or even potatoes and see what you baby ends up liking the most. The set will provide little containers that you can keep in your fridge and spread the food out during the day and week. 

Another meal I added at that age was baby cereal. The baby brand Gerber has some real good and nutritious Single Grain Rice baby cereal (they have other flavors as well)

This will test your patience as you baby isn’t used to swallowing foods so they’ll spit it out or just gag it out. Have some good bibs and towels so that you can keep the mess in check. 

But once your baby is used to it, it’s super fun.

I never put pasta or tomato sauce on his meals as that mess would just be too hard to clean up.

What to Feed at 6 Months

At 6 months, the doctor usually gives you the green light for more solid foods.

I started steaming veggies so that they are soft and he was able to eat broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, squash and potato/sweet potato. I think starting him that young made him into a veggie lover.

For breakfast I made eggs and avocado. He loved the eggs and wasn’t into the avocado.

Noodles I made and just sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top. Very loved meal till this day. I buy Gluten Free noodles. Annie is a great kids company and has gluten free packages. But I mainly feed him our noodles so it’s really up to every parent.

Gerber’s sausages. They come in chicken, turkey and beef. Cook them for 10 seconds and you’ll have the perfect meal. The sausages are super soft and almost dissolve in your baby’s mouth and are the perfect kid’s size. 

Gerber’s has great kids snacks as well. You’ll need them as your baby will be teething by month number 3 usually and those are life savers.

Cheese is always a great source of protein as long as your child isn’t allergic to dairy which isn’t a problem nowadays as we have dairy free cheese in almost all stores.

I fed him bread at times as he really liked it but it made him choke or throw up so I wouldn’t do it with my next kid till some teeth are coming in.

Beans and peas are also a good soft baby food choice.

Banana and watermelon were the two fruits I felt comfortable giving him as they didn’t have skin and weren’t sour tasting. 

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression does not happen to all moms but to a good amount. It basically is a natural thing that can happen as your hormones are coming off that high to an extreme low.

The depression length and how someone feels varies for everyone.

I suffered from it for the first week. And here is what I did to handle it. These are tips:

  1. Tell your partner about it so that it isn’t all in your mind and you can get it off your chest (to the men, be understanding and make her feel good)
  2. Keep taking your prenatal vitamins
  3. Eat good foods (veggies and protein)
  4. Take naps when your baby naps (you need that extra sleep)
  5. Get out of the house (walks or meeting up with a family member or friend)
  6. Go on fun stroller walks
  7. Take relaxing baths or shower (when your partner is home)
  8. If you are living close to family, get grandparents or the aunt over to your house. Or a good mom friend. It all helps and gives you a min breather.
  9. Keep yourself busy with fun little things such as updating the baby book or doing your nails (whatever makes you feel happy)

These are the main things I did and it got me out of my head so quickly and my body felt so much better. After birth you’ll be tired and in some pain. Your baby will keep you on your toes. So that little action you can do for yourself means a lot during that time.

Making Sure Your Partner Knows How to Be a Parent

Us moms, we always try to take it all on and do everything ourselves. We tend to get impatient when our partner doesn’t know how to do specific things, and end up bypassing him/her. Well, you are a team and it shouldn’t only be one of you that knows how to do baby related things as it will overwhelm you at some point.

My husband works full time and I am a stay home mom. We decided to do that early on as we wanted to have one parent being part of everything and we love it and don’t regret it. But any other parenting style is totally acceptable. Some dads are the full time parent, some parents have both working and the kid is in day care. 

It doesn’t matter what parenting style you do. What matters is, that both of you know how to take care of a baby, including:

  • Feeding (breastfeeding not included)
  • Diaper changing
  • Clothes changing
  • Knowing what the baby can have and what is dangerous
  • Knowing the update of the child’s capabilities (activities and any new foods that can be eaten)
  • Baby’s schedule (naps, start of the day, end of the day)

Happy Baby & Happy Parents

How did I keep my marriage alive and happy while having a child?

Well first off, knowing that we were a team and that both of us could do the parenting thing was such relief for me as the main caretaker.

After my body was fully healed, I felt much better about going outside and doing fun activities again.

We started doing date nights 1-2x a month. Had his grandparents watch him.

We would do fun trips with the kid and it got us out and about and connected to the real word again.

We would also meet up with friends either together or separate, depending what it was. And it kept us connected to our friends and made us feel like we are still ourselves. 

Our sex life went back to normal after a few months. You can be sexually active once your doctor gives you the green light. But it is normal to feel exhausted and tired (both parents) Just be in good communication about it and keep it real.

But if you as a woman, don’t feel sex drive you should see your doctor. Sex is part of most healthy relationships and just because you have a child doesn’t mean you got no relationship with your partner. Take care of yourself and your partner.

And while we are at it, if your relationship is bad before a baby, a baby will not help it. At most it will make it even harder and worse. 

Stay Home Mother

I am a stay home mother and I have had great fun and joy but also the most exhausting and testing days.

The older your child gets, the more they push their limits with you to see how far they can take it. You will get to a point where you got patience and you’ll feel crazy like you’re losing your mind. Well, I can tell you that it’s normal and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.

One thing that I have learned is that the more control you put in on them the more you become a team with your child. 

I have raised my voice in situations that I felt out of control about and no matter how many times I would repeat myself my child would ignore me. 

But the majority of my day is chill and is more games than fights.

I am going to break down what I did to keep my kid busy during which parts of his baby and toddler life:

0-3 months:

  • Feeding
  • Sleeping
  • Stroller walks
  • Mall walks
  • Laying in backyard on a blanket
  • Doing tummy time a few times a day on his play mat
  • Having grandparents over
  • Taught him how to grab things which was a major milestone

4-6 months:

  • Trying new foods
  • Taking less naps but still naps
  • Sleep training at 5 months (he started sleeping in his own bed after 3 days of that)
  • Started looking at books
  • Learned how to sit by himself
  • Playground visits where he would mainly let me swing him or play with some toys on our picnic blanket
  • Got him a ball pit which was the one activity that kept him busy the most
  • Meeting up with baby friends
  • Would do park and zoo visits
  • Did a swim class once a week for a couple months
  • Learned how to crawl 

7-12 months:

  • Same as above
  • We got him a walker at month 10 and month 11 he was walking by himself so he got much more out of the parks and playgrounds
  • We put him on a more specific nap schedule as he only napped around 3-4 times for 30 min (2 in the morning and 2 throughout the afternoon) We kept it the same timing every day. Made it easier for me to predict my day and he was happier as he got his nap.

1-2 years old:

  • Once he was 1-year-old, he napped 2 times daily. I put him on a schedule of one nap at 10am and one around 2pm. Made both of our days happier and smoother.
  • Starting at age 1½, he started napping once a day. I put him on a schedule of nap time at noon and night time at 6pm. Everytime I altered that schedule or let him do what he wanted I would end up having an angry toddler and belated nap and night time with more drama.
  • In summary, keep your child on a schedule. Your child shouldn’t be running your life. And a child with sleep is happy.

I also noticed that feeding my kid any fruit or veggies right before his nap made him stay up longer as his stomach was active and he would usually poop and that would be an hour in. So preventing fruits and veggies was needed.

He would eat lunch at 11:30am and it would be pasta and chicken or rice and sausage or even a grilled cheese and he would be out for 2.5-3 hours.

I noticed that mixing up meals and flavors would be so fun for him. Kids get bored quickly just like us adults. So get creative.

I love cooking and being creative on meals but I do sometimes make him those dino-chicken or corn dogs in my microwave. Not often but, yes, and your kid will be just fine.

6pm dinner with veggies and 8pm bedtime since he has been 2 years old. It gives his body 2 hours to digest and make him feel ready for bed.

Sugars:

I try to buy him low sugar cookies and treats. Annie’s has great ones. And Whole Foods has some great brands as well.

I mainly give him fruit as it’s healthy and tastes sweet.

I keep the sugar intake low as kids usually go sugar high and then crash which is the worst thing to go through for both so, yes I will choose a banana over a candy bar.

Popsicles:

I make smoothies every day of fruit and maybe spinach in it and freeze him some popsicles with that. He loves it. Has helped his teething since he was little and keeps him hydrated when he is sick or just hot. You can buy a popsicle mold set in all sizes.

When Your Baby is Sick

When your baby is sick, has a cold, fever, or just runny nose you should see your doctor. They give great advice and for first time parents it’s good to know what your baby has and what can be done as a handling.

But to keep yourself prepared; you should have the following in your household:

  • Your baby needs a lot of rest
  • Healthcare and grooming kit
Safety 1st Nursery Care Health & Grooming Kit, Pyramids Aqua, One Size
  • Baby Tylenol (read packaging as it will say baby or kid) ask your doctor for amount and how often daily. (I know that there are different natural products for baby fever but none of them worked for us so I am not able to provide much insight on those)
  • Pedialyte 
  • Popsicle molds (make Pedialyte popsicles as they are great for hydration)
  • Oilogic stuffy nose and cough vapor bath (use it every time when he has a cold, its effective and he loves the smell, I would always make the bath and close the door so that the scent stayed in the bathroom)
Oilogic Stuffy Nose and Cough Essential Oil Vapor Bath Relief for Babies and Toddlers – Naturally Soothes with a Blend of Essential Oils – 266ml (9 fl oz, 2-Pack)
  • Oilogic Essential oil roll on for stuffy nose and cough (use it every time, works like magic)
  • Zarbee’s Baby Cough Syrup+ immune (your baby isn’t allowed any honey intake till he/she is past 1 year old, my doctor told me that honey could prevent development of baby’s growth) This baby cough syrup has no honey and the brand is all natural and delish.
  • Nasal syringe will be in your healthcare and grooming kit. If baby’s nose is super stuffed up, suck it out with the syringe.
  • Don’t pressure your child to eat, fluids are the main thing your child should be taking. If any food, I recommend and my baby doctor gave me those ideas; chicken soup, broth, applesauce and watermelon.
  • Your baby will wake up more frequently while sick so let them get any sleep that they can get and don’t wake them up to keep them ‘on schedule’.

Eczema

Some babies have eczema. Your doctor will recommend a few things. This is what helped my son:

  • Changed formula (remember, every child can have different allergies)
  • Aveeno oat milk bath (it will say on package ‘made for eczema’).
  • Eczema relief baby cream (Eucerin was a great product for us; your doctor will recommend what they feel will handle the amount of eczema).
  • Baby laundry soap instead of using your own if it isn’t fully natural (Seventh Generation has a great one but there are other ones).
  • Aquaphor is great for very dry skin and can prevent dry spots from turning into more.

Teething

Your baby will be teething forever. I remember my boy teething on and off from month 2.5 to 2 years old. Babies drool mainly and bite on anything they want to bite on. You should not have any small items available to your baby as they just go for it.

We had so many chew and teething toys and of course he didn’t want any of them and didn’t use them. A lot of my mom friends went through the same thing. Babies mainly want to chew on your keys, straws, metal items and anything they aren’t supposed to have.

So please don’t waste your money on any of those. The most successful teething reliefs we used and again a lot of my mom friends, were the following:

  • Popsicles (I made some Pedialyte ones but over time I used my smoothie leftovers and it was healthier and he enjoyed them). Keeps it soothed and your baby stays hydrated as the drooling is very intense in the first few months of teething.
  • Baby Banana (it looks like a banana toothbrush and it’s very soothing as your baby can chew on it and rub on its gum)
  • Happy Baby has organic teething crackers that come in different flavors and shapes. (Every baby tends to be obsessed and it helps them stay happy and out of pain.)

How to Lose Weight & Be Healthy After Pregnancy

How to lose weight after pregnancy can be challenging when not knowing what to do. I was so used to eating a lot from my pregnancy that I was constantly hungry and was too tired to make proper meals and would end up eating unhealthy meals and way too much meat and crabs, lacking vegetable and fruit intake.

For mothers that can breastfeed it seems easier as breastfeeding helps to lose that pregnancy fat and storage that was built over 9 months. And even for those mothers it can be hard to go back to a healthy body.

Once I fully figured out what to do I was able to lose my pregnancy weight and the weight I had put on after due to not taking care of myself and feeling healthy again, in only 6 months.

Here are a few tips:

  • Postpartum belly wrap (keeps that loose skin, tight and prevents further damage)
  • Start eating whole meals, lots of veggies and fruits, try to replace unhealthy carbs with healthy carbs (instead of potato, do sweet potato or purple potato), prevent beef as much as possible to stick to light meats only, sugar intake should be kept to minimum (fruit excluded)
  • Keep your water intake high
  • Take walks with your baby in the stroller, helps you to get out and it made such a big difference for my body, just getting back in scheduled motion (only as much as you feel you can do, your uterus will be healing for an entire year so even when you get work out approval by doctor, your body might not be the strongest)
  • A lot of women that gave birth through vagina will have lack of muscle control down there. This means you might leak or pee yourself without being able to hold it in for long or at all. Believe me, this has all happened to me. Do your Kegel exercises. It’s 10 times fast and 10 times slow (squeezing it together and letting go that muscle down there) 3 times a day. I am bringing this up as this needs to have control before you try to start working out. You don’t want to have accidents while at the gym or even at home if possible.
  • Always wear a pad. For the first few months. Your period isn’t regular at the beginning and with all that is going on down there, you want to be safe and clean.
  • Buy a waist trainer. It changed my entire workout result. It helps your stomach, back and sides to sweat easily which helps with fat burning and you actually know that you got something done that day.
Nebility Women Waist Trainer Belt Tummy Control Waist Cincher Trimmer Sauna Sweat Workout Girdle Waist Slimmer Belly Band
  • Take pictures. Front, back, side, legs from front and back as well. These are for yourself so that after every month you can take pictures to compare. I never weighed myself, due to the fact that you’ll be losing fat but gaining muscle. But that’s up to you. I loved seeing the progress every month as it gave me another reason and more motivation to keep going.
  • Get a good postpartum workout program. Pinterest is great for that. It helps you to find very simple beginner workouts to get your core strength back so that you can do ab workouts. And it has great leg workouts as well. I would start working out from home as you can take a walk during the day and then have a yoga mat at home and do a little 20 min workout while your baby is napping.
  • A friend of mine who was pregnant with me, kept sending me workouts throughout the year. You can find her on IG and YouTube for very effective and building up workouts @shenaegrimesbeech
Shenae Grimes-Beech: Instagram
Shenae Grimes-Beech: YouTube
  • I am sure some of you are aware or maybe not, there is a breathing technique and stretches to do. Basically, you have to breathe out on positive contraction and breathe in on negative contraction. It’s crucial to breathe right while during abdominal exercises as well. For example, while doing crunches, exhale on your way up to the crunch and inhale on your way down to starting position.
  • Stretching is very important before and after your workout. Every body part-  stretch should be 20 seconds. Gets you results faster and more effectively.
  • Healthy snacking (put that in on Pinterest and you’ll get some good stuff)
  • Avoid processed meals, fast food meals and sugar drinks such as coke etc.
  • Cheat days. I didn’t have any at the beginning. Once I had made some good headway and progress I started having cheat days on weekends. I would still eat a cauliflower pizza crust instead of an actual pizza, it’s light and doesn’t blow up your stomach. Instead of eating a burger with buns I would eat a burger lettuce wrapped (I am a vegetarian so I eat veggie burger and those are even lighter on you and taste delish if you find the right brand) There are a lot of healthy choices for meals that we love, we just got to look for them.

These are just a few tips that helped me get rid of all my pregnancy weight, stay healthy, feel alert and energized. Eating healthy and feeling good, alert and energized is a good thing. Everyone has a different body shape and I love it. I am not saying be a stick, this is not the message at all. 

How to Shape a Child’s Behavior

This sounds harsh but is not at all. 

How do we get our kids to listen to us, get them to stop having meltdowns, teach them that they can’t just have everything they want, what to do when they do something right, what to do when they do something wrong, should there be a reward and penalty system and how can I keep my child happy.

First off, we as parents need to look at what we want our child to be like. Do we want our child to be independent or depend on us? I think that is the first step!

I raised my boy to be independent because I knew and still know that he depends on me enough that the little independents he has he should have and it’s been so fun to watch him, teaching himself different things that I surely could teach him but he just enjoys doing himself.

So if you are a parent that can agree with that viewpoint, I feel like this would be the right article for you. And, by all means, every parent has a right to their own ways and viewpoints about parenting. Here are a few fun tips:

Tummy-time. Your doctor will recommend it very soon in your baby’s life. Not all babies like it but let them do a bit every day so that they can learn how to hold up their head.

Sleep Training. Super important for a baby to do sleep training. They learn how to sleep in their own bed, without needing you and they learn how to self-south. There are many different ways to sleep train. I would find a professional that can tell you about the different options and you as parents can decide which one you would like.

Playtime. Your play mat that your baby does tummy time on, should have some toys hanging down, your baby should try to reach for them. You can always hold it close to the baby to help. It trains their eye and hand coordination.

Holding own bottle. Once your baby sleeps in his/her own bed, you want them to be able to hold their own bottle. The above mentioned exercise will help that along. (At the beginning we did buy a bottle holder that we clipped on the upper side of his bed, helped for the time being)

Learning to Sit. Month number five I taught my baby to sit. I would just build pillows around him and be right there with him. It trained his hip bones and he started sitting solid after a few weeks.

Isolated Playtime. Once he was able to sit I would leave him in his room, completely baby proof and let him play and entertain himself, I mainly sat further away and he didn’t even feel he needed me to play for a few min.

Learning to Crawl. I had him hang out with some crawling babies and he had to learn it right away. He kept trying and I helped him. He learned crawling in a couple weeks.

At this point he got bored much faster, he needed so much activity that I would daily take him to different parks to crawl around big grass areas. It kept us both busy and happy. The more they learn and want to do, the more mood swings they get. Outside activities is the number one cure.

Build that meal, nap and end of day schedule as soon as you have some solid nap times figured out. You want to prevent any huge mood swings and tired baby. Your baby will fight you at times and might just be awake in bed but you are responsible to keep that child happy so let’s keep the schedule in.

When my child got older and older and would nap less and less, mainly jumping and playing in his bed, I would adjust his schedule and naps to less but would always keep that schedule in for that time. The moment you go off schedule, you will regret it most of the time. Your baby can get overtired which is the worst thing a parent and baby can go through regarding meltdowns and trying to get the baby to sleep.

So, YES, keep that SCHEDULE in at all times.

If your baby has issues falling asleep you can take a stroller walk/or baby carrier and make it look around and from doing that much looking and you talking to them and pointing to fun trees and whatever you see, they will get tired and fall asleep.

I wouldn’t recommend the car ride sleep trick. Sometimes it’s totally needed because your child is just not going down and you might feel it is the only thing that’ll do it. Do it. But don’t get your baby into the habit of it if you want your child to fall asleep in his/her bed. But of course there are moments in our life with new babies where we just need a quick fix and that’s totally fine. Just keep the long term goal in mind.

When your baby cries, it’s usually hungry, tired, or has a full diaper.

It can also be stomach aches, growing pains or discomfort. Your baby will feel if you are anxious and nervous, etc. So try to be as informed and calm as you can be as they will calm down as long as you can stay calm.

Like what happened to me a lot when my boy was a baby, he would cry and I would try all these things and nothing would do it for him. I would get so scared midway and then say ‘I don’t know what to do anymore’ and he would scream even louder. Babies do have those ‘witching hours’ where you just have to stay calm, rock them a bit, feed them or take a walk and the crying will end.

  • Keep nothing in reaching distance. Once your toddler can crawl, he/she will start pulling himself/herself up on little tables and chairs to basically just stand and see what’s going on, on the surface. Just keep his toys or snacks on there. Prevent accidents this way.
  • Speak and listen. My husband and I talked to our baby from the beginning. Full sentences, full questions and stories. Your child will communicate one way or another, it might not be a full word but they point at things and say baby language stuff. We always listened and acknowledged our kid. When he pointed at something we would tell him the name of it. When he wanted something we would give it to him or not, depending on what it was. It builds a safe and great relationship.
  • React to their emotion. When they give you a smile or get excited about something, show that compassion and smile back and be excited with them. Later on when they can actually say things or do things, acknowledge their great actions and progress.

When misemotion occurs, check what it is about. It can be hunger, tiredness, pain and these things need to be handled accordingly. Be alert, be aware and even check with your child if it wants food and it will show you no or yes. 

  • Eating meals. It is so important for kids to eat meals that have the nutrients and protein they need. You are dealing with a growing body. Snacks aren’t enough anymore. I have heard of parents struggling with their toddler refusing to eat real food and only going for crackers and puffs. If that occurs just don’t have any snacks available and make it a reward for eating a full meal.

My son eats full breakfast, lunch and dinner and gets fun snacks during the day.

Also a tip regarding meals before nap or bedtime. If your meals include sugars and fruits your child might have some issues falling asleep. Keeping his lunch and dinner at simple meals that have some carbs, meat and veggies if at all has changed his nap to 2.5-3 hours. Your child will sleep much faster and smoother.

  • Tantrums / Meltdowns. When your toddler (I started this at 1.5 years old) has melt downs and tantrums I would start ‘Time Out”. You simply tell your child that he is going into ‘time out’ and that he can call you when he has calmed down. I put him in his crib, leave the door open and leave all lights on so that he doesn’t think I am penalizing him with ‘going to bed’ and he snaps out of it so quickly. He’ll call my name and I get him and ask him if he is ready to continue the day, he says yes and we’re all good again.

Toddlers have to learn that they can’t get everything on a cry mechanism and melt down mode. If we don’t allow them to have something then there is a reason for it.

They also, more generally, need to learn that they can’t just misbehave and think we’ll jump for them. Toddlers tend to hit and throw things when they are mad so time out has been a great grounder.

  • I teach my son to share. If it’s not that toy he is holding he will have to give his guest another toy. I am not saying that when you are at a playground and someone runs up to your child and takes that toy away, that that would be ok. Every parent should be making sure kids know to not just take a toy that isn’t theirs. But sharing is fun and should be taught as it can quickly turn into a ‘me’ situation where your kid just learns to be selfish and therefore takes other kid’s toys away as well. It’s a manners point and I feel the younger they learn the better. My kid is now 2 and he’ll take such good care of his friends and he knows they are his toys and that he is sharing for that time being.

It doesn’t come about overnight, kids need a lot of repetitive communication and demonstrations on how to do it and they will learn. It’s all a game, nothing about this has to be in some serious emotion.

  • Manners. Teach your child to say please and thank you. Behave around your child the way you want them to behave. They copy your actions much faster than you think.
  • Keep your child busy. When at home my toddler started helping me with laundry and dishes when he was a little over 1 year old. Of course he wasn’t doing much the way I would do it but I thanked him and acknowledged him for his great help.
  • Parks and playgrounds keep your kid active, makes them tired and makes them meet other kids and learn social skills.
  • You can put your child in baby classes (swimming, gym and arts) which will improve all the above as well.
  • Cleaning up was a great game as well. Every end of the day, I bring a bucket outside for his toys and balls and he will clean up with me. We made it a scheduled thing and he is used to it now.
  • Go on walks. In a stroller, a tricycle, or on foot. Keeps the kid busy and active. A lot of kids love exploring. Find cool, kid-friendly trails and get your kid exploring that area.
  • Teach wrong from right. You acknowledge everything that your kid does right.

When your kid makes a mistake or does something wrong, you have to tell him/her that it was wrong and why. The moment they understand why, it makes more sense and they will do it less or never again. I have seen it both ways and it works. Kids need a lot of reminders but they will remember without having to lose it.

It is totally normal as a parent to lose patience, have exhausting days, want to cry all day, feeling like you just cleaned up and your house looks like a mess again, feeling like you are getting nothing done, feeling isolated from the world and your friends, wanting to see no one, feeling like you have a bad day and its never ending and all these depressing feelings.

This is why you need to work as a team and give one parent (the more suffering) a break, let them go get their fav Starbucks drink, go do whatever makes them feel happy for those couple hours and recharge. If you are a single parent, have your parents over or a babysitter. No is judging, no one said it would be easy and if then that’s a lie. Things will get easier and more fun the more structure is built. Not every day will suck but there will be a few of those, no question.

As a mom, you should join some mom groups online. Moms communicate with one another on those apps and groups and give each other tips etc.

These are the groups/apps I like: Peanut (app), FB group #Momlife (by Shenae Beech Grimes)

Alphabeautics Logo