Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by all® free clear.
One of my friends is having her first baby in June, and sometimes I just smile and shake my head at the concept that she has NO. IDEA. WHAT. IS. COMING.
No, no, I’m not going on rant about how your life will change forever and your days will never be the same again. Having a baby is awesome! I have always been obsessed with the idea of having kids, and started running a parenting blog two years before I even had a baby of my own.
It’s just that … having a baby totally changes your life forever? And your days will never be the same again?
I learned a lot during my first few weeks (and months) of motherhood, and the most valuable pieces were how to get through the days feeling like a HINT of the person I used to be — you know, pre-baby Heather, except without the short skirts and loads of free time.
Mastering a few little tricks to make my new (OMG SO NEW) life easier really helped me establish a new normal, and find a routine …
- Make an essentials basket. I had a C-section with both of my babies, so I wasn’t able to move very quickly in those first 4-6 weeks. I was also pinned under a nursing baby about 93% of the time, which made it hard to retrieve items I needed. So I took a wicker basket and packed it with all of the little things I wanted regularly: Chapstick, hand cream, breast pads, nipple cream, baby nail clippers, hair elastics, cell phone charger, TV remotes, etc. (Oh, and a comb for the baby’s hair, because I love combing those sweaty little strands into neat “hairstyles.”) I kept the basket next to me on the couch, or next to the rocker in the nursery, and I always had what I needed nearby.
- Leave snacks and water everywhere. Before he would leave for work, my husband would make up baggies of apple slices, raw veggies, cheese and crackers, and buttered muffins so I always had something easy to grab. I also had a weird system for water where I always had two glasses next to the couch — my primary spot — a glass in the bedroom, and a glass in the nursery. I’d top them up during those precious few minutes when the baby wasn’t attached to me, and then I’d always have water (albeit, room temperature water) to gulp down when I was thirsty.
- Get into a no-fuss laundry routine. When your baby pukes down the front of their onesie — and most of it winds up in your nursing bra — do you really want to sort through that mess to put your clothes in one load with one detergent, and the baby’s barfy wardrobe in another load with a different detergent just for newborn laundry? Repeat after me: Ain’t nobody got time for that. Buy a mild laundry detergent that’s formulated for people with sensitive skin, like all® free clear, and save time by washing EVERYBODY’S LAUNDRY TOGETHER. Throw in a load of laundry at least once a day, transfer it to the dryer, lay it back in everyone’s dresser drawers (folding = optional), and you won’t get buried by a mountain of blankies and yoga pants. You might even get the added adorableness of a teeny tiny sock getting stuck to your husband’s T-shirt. Awwww.
Our family loves all® free clear because it’s mild, it’s 100% free of dyes and perfumes, and it’s proven to reduce 99% of allergens like pet dander, dust mite dander (my top allergen), ragweed pollen (ugh, that too), grass pollen (yes), and tree pollen (the worst). It also has ingredients that minimize skin irritancy potential, which is important for our youngest, who suffers from eczema.
As my friend’s due date approaches, I’m trying to navigate that fine line between telling her how wonderful it’s going to be (that baby head smellllll) and what she’s really in for (so. many. poop. explosions). I know I’ll never really be able to convey how much her life is about to change, but hopefully I can pass on a few survival tips … and maybe throw a few baggies of snacks in her direction when the going gets tough.