My morning routine was in for a rude awakening when Willow came along. I’ve always been an early bird, and I think that prepared me a little bit, but there really is no way to prepare. Fortunately for me, Willow is actually a great sleeper. In the beginning, she usually got up once – rarely twice – in the middle of the night. Currently, she is sleeping through the night – 9 hours!
Regardless, I adjusted very quickly to this new way of waking up and tackling my morning. We found our groove and I am happy to say that I feel really good about it. If there are any others moms out there reading this, I hope that sharing some of my healthy habits will help or inspire your own routine. I think all of this makes for a smooth and cheery morning with baby – for me, anyways! I know that everyone’s routine is different, but this is mine.
The newborn phase feels like a distant dream. I can’t even believe that we went through it with Willow. Between the hormone imbalance, exhaustion, and just the general newness of role, it was quite a blur. And it is true what they say about the fourth trimester… it absolutely flies by. Even in the worst of moments and tantrums – when time feels like its standing still – you’ll soon believe it was only a blink of an eye. I swear.
Regardless of how fast it goes by, it is still the toughest transition you may ever go through (it certainly was for me). Becoming a mother challenged every bit of my being. Things that I thought would be easy, were not so much. Things that I dreaded turned out to be not so bad. My emotions were all over the place. My anxiety was through the roof. My entire existence and purpose suddenly shifted. It is so much to take in, in just a moment. Baby is born. World is turned upside-down, in the best most major, earth-shattering way. On the best days, you are truly elated. On the darker days, you may feel like you’ll never shake the negative. The good news is: it is ALL NORMAL as shit. And it will pass. And you will sleep again. And you will find time to love your husband/wife. And you will be the best mom in the world.
And surprisingly enough, you may eventually miss the first 12 weeks (weird, right?)
At any rate, here you are. Whether you are in the first 12 weeks now, have gone through them, or may face the challenge in the future, I wanted to share my experience and survival tools. Looking back on it, these are the things that made our lives easier and comfortable during the newborn stage. I hope these tips will help another mom.
I hope no one takes this post in a negative light – this is not my intention at all! However, while navigating this motherhood thing, I have definitely been surprised by some of the products that I was so positive I would need and love ending up actually not being necessary for me and Willow at all. Of course, this is a super subjective list because everyone’s baby and situation is different! But hey, I am just being honest about what didn’t work for us. I wrote about our newborn essentials in the past, so here is the opposite end of the spectrum. Take this post with a grain of salt, of course.
In case you are on the fence about some products or wondering what you may get by without… this post is for you. I hope it is helpful. Again – these products were not terrible by any means – they just didn’t quite work out for us!
One of my very favorite things to do while nesting was baby laundry and organizing her dresser. Loving the laundry sounds crazy now, but it was really fun while we waited for her arrival! My mother-in-law was very generous to gift us this changing table. Aside from taking almost 3 hours to complete (that’s always fun), we really love it. It has just the right amount of storage space and doesn’t take up a lot of room in her small room. I also love that it will grow with her – the changing table portion comes off easily and will become her dresser.
I love watching/reading others’ posts and organization videos, so I wanted to share how we organized this one. I’m sure this is going to continue to change as she grows, but you get the idea. Here’s a look at how we’ve been functioning – right from the start!
Trying to decide where to register for your baby on the way is a job in itself. There are so many different stores and websites, but for me, it was an easy decision. I had used Amazon to register for our wedding and loved it so much. I just knew it was going to be a top contender for my baby registry. Once I got started, checked out the perks, and compared pricing to other baby websites, there was just no competition. If you are wondering why you should use Amazon, I’m laying out 10 important reasons that not only made registering easier and cheaper, but so satisfying.
This post is in no way sponsored or anything… I am just obsessed with Amazon.
If you are interested in seeing what my baby registry looked like, you can see that here. I feel like I also need to write a post on what I would do different and actually put on my registry now that I know. Maybe I’ll do that if you guys are interested, too. Spoiler alert: I would do A LOT of things different!
Hi guys — update! Being home with Willow has been so much fun. An adjustment, but still… I totally embraced it. Aside from snuggling, bonding, and caring for her, I’ve had more time to work on personal projects, catch up on tv, cooking, and cleaning – yes, cleaning. Working full-time definitely put a damper on my cleaning routine. I was always too tired to clean when getting home from work, and then I would sort of rush through it on the weekend to avoid being home all day. But now that I am home, it’s definitely been much easier keeping up with it and honestly, not as much of a burden.
But baby or no baby, I think that most of these tips will be helpful for anyone who wants some motivation in the cleaning department. Just sharing some of the things that help me keep a tidier home. At the very least, I hope it inspires you to get up and clean something, haha!
I’ve mentioned it on here more than once, but I am obsessed with my non-diaper bag. To be honest, I did choose a diaper bag out and was gifted it at my shower. It was so much bulkier than the photos and it was simply… not me. When you become a mom, you do lose some pieces of your previous self (it’s not a bad thing, but it was a little sad for me at first). Life is so much more beautiful with your baby, but why sacrifice your personal sense of style? If there was one thing I wanted to savor, it was my style choices. I just could not see myself carrying around that lug of a diaper bag. Of course, a lot of women love their diaper bags! Which is awesome, because whatever works best for you, that is what you should always do. But the ones marketed as diaper bags were just not for me.
I quickly exchanged the bag in for something that was actually cheaper, chicer, and vegan-friendly. I can’t even tell you how much I love it. It goes well with everything, isn’t too big, and easily holds all of my own things, as well as Willow’s.
The thing is – newborns need very little. Aside from the diapers/wipes/car seat, I did find that some products I used much more than others, and they quickly became a part of our daily routine. I know this varies from baby-to-baby, so what works best for me may not necessarily be the best for your little one, but hey… maybe it will help you in some way. That’s my hope, anyway. :)
Here’s my very subjective list of essentials.
Before Willow arrived, I shared a post on what’s in our diaper bag. And I’ll be honest – A LOT has changed since then. I was carrying way too much. I also realized that the diaper bag I originally purchased was just no the one for me. It was a little too bulky. It also didn’t feel like “me” and I really didn’t want to lose that. If I am going to be carrying around this bag 24/7, I want it to be something I’m excited to carry!
Because honestly – bags that are marketed as diaper bags are nice, but not necessary. A big bag is all you need! Does it have pockets and compartments? Yes? It’ll probably work just fine! They also make awesome organizers for these things now, which can turn any bag into a diaper bag. I actually did buy this one, but ended up not even using it. It added more weight than anything else. The bag I ended up buying is not only my style and chic, it is light-weight, durable, and has awesome compartments! You can find the bag I use here and take a look. It has an outside pocket, pockets inside, and a zipper space in between both sides of the purse – I use one side for my items, the middle zippered compartment for clothes/cloths, and the other side for diapering needs. It both short and long shoulder-strap options (though I prefer the short shoulder one).
Everyone is different, but this is the bag that works for us. If you like actual diaper bags, that works, too. They just didn’t work for me! But anyways, onto what is inside the bag. It’s a bit minimal, but that is how I like it. I never need more than this.
Hi friends! Feels good to write a post here and there while still soaking up these first few weeks of motherhood.
As discussed in Willow’s birth story, a lot of the things that I feared the most ended up going so smoothly. Postpartum care also falls under this, because it really wasn’t as scary as I had always heard. Physically, I was fortunate to not have major tearing or any other issues, so it was pretty straightforward care. But aside from physical care, it is extremely important to care for your mental and emotional state. This was the hard part for me, but I’ll save that for another post. For now, I wanted to share some of the ways that I was able to stay comfortable and get through those first few crazy weeks. When it feels overwhelming, just remember that it is temporary. I had to tell myself this quite a few times. So if that is how you feel, the good news is, the weeks fly by.
Onto what worked for me :)