Now that Brielle is over a year old, I’m reflecting on my first year as a mom and sharing some lessons I learned the hard way. Hopefully you or someone you know can learn from my mistakes, be more prepared than I was or just get a chuckle at my missteps!
- Pack extra clothes for mom. One of the first times I was out doing errands on my own with her, we had a bit of a diaper mishap and both my shirt and our Ergo Baby Carrier were victims. Luckily I wasn’t far from home and was able to get home without too much embarrassment. But had I been further from home, having an extra change of clothes in the car for me would’ve been much appreciated!
- Don’t let them play with the diaper stockpile. Did I ever tell you about that one time that I washed a diaper because someone loved to “put it in the basket” – it being any object and the basket being the laundry basket? Yeah. She was no longer allowed to play with the diaper stockpile after that. Getting diaper gel out of a washing machine is NOT fun!
- Pack your nightlight when you travel away from home. In Brielle’s first year, she only slept away from home one night! We went to Allie’s baby shower when she six months (to the day) and had our first experience realizing that some houses are darker than others. We used a nightlight more for me so I can see with those late night feedings/diaper changes her than for being scared of the dark. Having my own nightlight would’ve been easier.
- Exchange clothing sizes sooner than later. We received SO MANY adorable clothes at Brielle’s baby shower. Too many of the same sizes sometimes. I wanted to exchange sizes, not return the item but sometimes I waited too long and it was out of season by the time I thought of it. No one wants to keep clothes in their closet with the tags still on them that babies outgrow!
- Colored icing sometimes stains their body. I bought a small Carvel ice cream cake for Derek, her and I to enjoy on her actual birthday, knowing that we’d do cupcakes a few days later at her family party. We let her go to town digging into the cake while we ate around the outside. She loved it and I got that sloppy mess photo that everyone craves. But afterwards she had to go straight to the bath due to the blue icing not coming off with a soap and paper towel wash. Luckily she came out non Smurf like and a happy girl!
- Push up their sleeves and pin back their hair before eating. This piggy backs off the last point but we learned the hard way on how to get her ready for food. Kids are messy so do your best to get everything you can out of the way!
- Turn off toys with sounds before going to bed. Before putting her to bed I “set up her room” which included cleaning up all the toys from the floor and putting them in her Rock n Play. Derek did the same in the living room with a basket. We also made sure to hit “off” for any of those toys we know will randomly go on if they aren’t being played with for a while (example: the Vtech Learning Walker we love so much and the Fisher Price Puppy). Otherwise, right when baby is about to be out we’d hear “THE SUN IS SHINING” and who ever wants the sun to shine at 8pm?
- Recognize when it’s time to plan for baby’s awake time more than their sleep time. When Brielle was really little and I was over the “sleep when the baby sleeps” early newborn phase, I’d use those precious nap sessions to run errands, knowing that she’d sleep the whole time we were out due to the lull of the car/stroller. At a certain point I realized she needed the stimulation of being “out” and we should enjoy those activities with an awake baby. Playdates were needed to occupy her awake states so I could get stuff done at home quietly during her nap times. It took some time before I realized this so recognize it when it’s happening moms!