Even if you have experience babysitting, teaching in a classroom or working at a daycare center, once you become a mom – it is almost as if that experience flies out the window. You have a constant list of questions piling up inside your brain and all those fancy diapers or high-end swings start looking a little less necessary than you may have hoped.
You start realizing it is the little things that end up being the most helpful in the end.
There were quite a few pieces of parenthood I never expected to face when starting this adventure. I discovered helpful insights when confronted with the many unexpected disasters and delights motherhood threw my way. I also learned a great deal from talking to other, more experienced parents and following motherhood-focused blogs and Instagram’s.
Below are just a few things I either discovered on my own, through discussions with Moms or through social media outlets I have found to be incredibly helpful:
- Mesh Sock Bags: As adults, we struggle with socks mysteriously getting eaten when doing laundry. This becomes an even more common epidemic when your washer and dryer come face-to-face with itty-bitty baby socks. Something I did not put on my registry when helping plan our baby shower was a mesh bag specifically for baby socks to go inside of (as well as Wub-a-Nubs, if you decide to go that route). It is important to make sure these bags are zipped or tied off correctly or else they will come undone mid-wash or mid-dry – something I have personally experienced. However, these bags are definitely worth adding to your registry or going out to purchase.
- Diaper Caddy: While fancy diaper bags that turn into backpacks and changing tables and baby carriers are great – sometimes all it takes a simple diaper caddy to make a difficult Mama-moment an easier one. The Stella Mia Diaper Caddy (available by Purggo on Amazon.com) is a light-weight, sectioned caddy that allows you to store all the necessities in an easy, organized fashion. When traveling longer distances, this tote makes it easy to find those Boogie Wipes or formula packets when, with many diaper bags, you find yourself searching and taking out everything before finding what you were looking for. Sometimes a simple tote or caddy can eliminate stress some fancy bags may unexpectedly hand you. (FYI - the beautiful, hand-knit dolls in the Stella Mia caddy are from a great organization Cuddle + Kind).
- Munch Mitts: By three months of age, babies have realized they have hands… and they like putting those hands in their mouths. All. The. Time. I remember wondering, “Why aren’t there rubber mittens my girls can chew on since they can’t yet fully grab ahold of teethers and put them in their mouths yet?” I soon found out that these kinds of items do, in fact, exist. By typing Teething Mitten or Munch Mitt into Google or Amazon, you can discover a whole new world of teethers that can be Velcroed around an infant’s hand. These little items were a godsend when my girls couldn’t yet purposely grab and bring frozen teethers to their mouths.
- Onesie Envelope Folds: On almost every onesie there are two little folds on the neckline by the shoulders. For the longest time I thought those envelope-shaped folds were for design and that, for some reason, every onesie needed to have them. After speaking to another mom, I found out those neckline folds actually serve a purpose. Many babies dislike having onesies put over their heads and many parents despise trying to fit a baby’s funny-shaped head through them. Those folds are purposely meant to stretch so onesies can be put on feet-first through the neck opening – making it so parents do not have to struggle to fit the opening over their baby’s head. Since finding this out, I have not had to suffer the very loud cries that often come with putting on a onesie head-first.
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, new mom of twins and a passionate freelance writer and author. She has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, Rochester Magazine and In Good Health Magazine as well as others. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings and, of course, caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.