This post has been compensated by iHerb.com, however all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
Now that I’ve been doing this “mom thing” for over a year now, I’m finally beginning to find a little bit of a groove. Don’t get me wrong, things are ever-changing, but accepting that has been part of transitioning into parenthood! There are still days that seem completely insane and my house becomes a mess within 2 seconds of cleaning it, but I’m good with it. As a first time mom, I wanted to share a few pieces of advice that helped me care for my babies this past year. Maybe it will help someone out, or make your life a little easier. I am by no means an expert, but just wanted to throw some ideas your way!
Before I begin, if you are a twin mom, you are welcome to also check out my post on surviving the first year with twins. It’s a little more specific to moms with multiples! Now, here we go!
1. Remember that we’re all winging it!
That’s right, calm down. You’re not the only one who has no idea what you’re doing! It’s not just that you’re in a new situation, but also, every baby is different! If you’re stuck with an issue, the solution for one baby, might not work for yours. It’s okay, don’t freak out, and don’t feel like a failure. Basically, every mom that I know is trying her best, and I bet you are too. (P.S.- I put this first, because I feel like everyone needs to hear it!)
2. Take advantage of help that is offered.
My kiddos were born in Germany, with no family or close friends around for help. We adjusted VERY quickly to doing what was necessary to keep ourselves together, and this became our routine. Since moving back to the United States, my parents have visited twice. While my dad and husband worked on house projects, my mom was able to help me a bit. Let me tell you, the smallest things, like having someone change a diaper or play with your kiddos while you get things done, are HUGE. So, from a girl who usually hates help, I’m telling you, don’t underestimate a helping hand!
3. Make food ahead of time.
A lot of new parents find that the entire day goes by, and they realize they haven’t even planned anything for supper. We were in that boat as well, and still are sometimes! What has helped us a lot is a bit of meal planning. Make something ahead of time that you can freeze, or at least eat for a couple of nights in a row. One day of big meal prepping will beat 7 nights of little meal prepping. I promise it will feel SO amazing when the evening rolls around, and you don’t have to cook. If you live near loved ones, you might even get lucky and have a couple of meals brought to you!
4. Prepare with essential items.
When you first bring your newborn home, you’re going to be a little bit of a mess. By this, I mean that the new arrival will occupy most of your time. You won’t be thinking about much else, and you wont want to either! Make sure you stock up on the simple, yet crucial items. I’m talking diapers, diaper cream, lotion, and bath items. You will use these things on a daily basis and won’t want to deal with running out within your first week. Here is a little peak into a few items we stocked up on and why:
- Desitin Maximum Strength Original Paste in a 16 oz and a 4 oz package.- The maximum strength formula has been a life saver! We’ve had some pretty rashy bums over here, and with 40% zinc oxide, this Desitin has worked wonders. The zinc oxide provides a protective barrier for the babies, as well as soothes discomfort, which is crucial! Babies cry when they’re uncomfortable, so being able to relieve them immediately is fantastic.
- Johnson’s Baby Naturals Head-to-Toe Wash: This no more tears formula has been working great for us. It has 97% naturally derived ingredients, no dyes, and no fragrance. One of my twins in particular has sensitive skin, so we try to be pretty conscious of our choice in soaps for him.
- Johnson’s Baby Bedtime Bubble Bath: My babies LOVE baths! They love bubbles to begin with, but Johnson & Johnson’s calming routine of a warm bath, gentle massage, and quiet time afterward is clinically proven to help babies sleep! As a bonus, this bubble bath is free of parabens, soaps or dyes, phthalates, and is hypoallergenic.
- Johnson’s Baby Lotion in Vanilla Oatmeal: Both of my babies love massages, which is adorable. One baby in particular loves this Johnson’s Baby Lotion and he lays down and grins while he gets his skin taken care of. Its mildness is clinically proven, and it’s hypoallergenic as well. On top of that, it also smells great!
Most of these items will go in your diaper bag, or on-the-go bag as well. Try and keep that stocked, so that if you do need to go out, you can grab your bag and go. I actually keep my regular diaper bag ready at all times. If I use up items while I’m out, I just replace them when I get home. I also have a tiny travel bag, that I just throw a couple of diapers, wipes, and bum cream in for short outings! (No one wants to lug around a twin diaper bag all the time!)
5. Have items delivered!
So, if you run out of your essentials, you’re kind of stuck, right? This only happens at inconvenient times, like when your baby is napping, you’re sick, or are just flat out tired. This is where technology becomes our new best friend. All of those baby items that I mentioned above were ordered from iHerb.com. We were able to stay prepared without having to put real pants on! Because, let’s face it, no mom wants to wear real pants right after having a baby or two. If you’re interested in ordering online, you should know iHerb carries the same products that you find in health food stores and pharmacies, but often at prices that 30-40% less! They are a Google trusted store that ships to 160 countries world-wide and offers customer service in 10 different languages, how amazing is that? Get on it, mamas!
6. Dress your baby AND yourself comfortably.
I mentioned how new moms do NOT want to wear pants, right? Let’s be honest. Recovery is rough, things are swollen, you’re achy and “fluffy” at the moment. On top of this, you’re going to need the freedom to move around, and also nurse, if applicable. For me, nursing tops and stretchy pants did the trick. Also, I wore nothing nice, because I was spit up on pretty frequently (I’m sure I smelled amazing).
Your baby also wants to be comfortable, he or she just can’t tell you that! Babies nap and snuggle a lot, so although there are some pretty adorable outfits out there, make sure they’re nice and soft, and fit properly! You’ll also want the outfits to be easy. If a poop-splosion occurs, you want to be able to pull that onesie down with ease! (Tip: The shoulders of onesies like these are made to roll down, so you don’t have to try getting a poopy onesie over your baby’s head!)
7. Have some sort of routine.
For my twins, a routine is pretty crucial. By this, I don’t mean that we do the exact same thing every day, BUT I try to have them nap at the same time as one another. Babies tend to like routines, and believe it or not, they go with it! It’s up to you to create that though. I know people who are strict schedulers, which works fantastic for them, and people who are loose with it, like myself. Either way, find the routine that benefits you and your kiddos the most, and go with it. They need the rest, just as much as they need the play time, and I’m sure you’d like a moment to do what you need to do (or sleep) as well!
8. Sleep when you can!
Speaking of sleep, whether it’s while your baby sleeps, while your husband is living that dad life, try your best to sleep. Every parent knows that sleep deprivation comes with the territory, but if you can sneak a nap, do it! I’m horrible about choosing to do things like clean, instead of sleep, and I often wish I chose the nap. If you can’t sleep, then at least take the time to slow down. Time is going to fly right by you, so even if you can just relax and hold your kiddos for awhile, do that too.
That’s all for now!
Well, new moms, that’s all I’ve got for the time being! These were just some general things that I found helpful, and hopefully you will too. If you have any specific questions, always feel free to shoot me an e-mail or contact me on any social channel. You can find me on Instagram (@twoboysonepup), which is my favorite! Also, don’t forget to visit iHerb.com for 10% off of Desitin, Aveeno Baby, or Johnson & Johnson Baby products until June 30th!
If anyone has any extra advice to share, feel free to leave a comment!