This article lives on Wal-Mart.com in partnership with them! Check it out here!
When I think about having my first baby nearly eight years ago I look back at that girl so fondly. She was so uncontrollably excited to be a mom. I had graduated college only a few months before my due date and decided to quit my job about a month before my son came. I had been running at a break-neck pace most of my 4 year marriage. Full-time student, employed full-time and also working on side part-time projects and a business I had started. It all came to a halt a few weeks before I delivered and for the first time ever I could just sit around. No homework to be done, no deadlines at work, my entrepreneurial endeavors weren’t pressing. I didn’t know what to do with myself! And then he was born. Who knew the process of feeding and keeping a baby clean could take so many hours!?
The advice came rolling in “Sleep when he sleeps” (YES, DO THAT!) “Enjoy every second” (Pretty sure that’s not possible but I guess with the right outlook, sure!) SO much of the advice contradicted other advice and it is so easy to become overwhelmed and ashamed that you can’t be the right mom for your baby.
That is where we are wrong, ladies. No one is a more perfect fit for your baby than you. They’re the only ones who have heard your heartbeat from the inside, you know your intention and your desire to do things right by them. The best part is they will love you no matter what. That unconditional love that can only come by being a parent is the most healing, encouraging, motivating thing in the world.
Getting advice bombs dropped on you? Just smile and nod. Take in what feels right to you and let the rest roll off your back. Nothing can compare to your intuition, to your gut, it has proven itself to me in my parenting thousands of times. The best advice I ever got was to trust myself and that has made all the difference.
Now for the fun part, THE STUFF! It is so fun to prepare a space for your baby. While there are loads of products you and your baby probably won’t need, here is what I swear by!
You’ll find with a newborn there is asleep and then there is eating, and then there is sleeping again. So here’s what I think are musts for those two important times of day. 😉
Wal-Mart has such a great collection of Babyletto which has such great modern pieces and accessories. You can’t go wrong with this Crib and Bedding Set.
It’s such a good deal, too! Black and White a great a neutral starting point, add pops of color with the decor and other accessories and you can use it for either gender and for multiple siblings to come! Pro tip: You’re gonna want a second and third back up crib sheet. These are my favorites: HERE
I don’t like things to be too matchy-matchy, so I veer away from buying sets and try to collect pieces that all go together! This shelving and changing pad combo
is so minimal and airy and goes great with this crib
which is so on trend with the light wood details!
Perhaps the place you will spend the most time in in the whole house is your nursery glider. Make sure it’s comfortable! I love a swivel glider and have this one in my nursery
. I still rock my one year old to bed each night so it gets A LOT of use! I wish I knew to skip the ottoman, I found it was always in the way especially at night when you’re stumbling around.
Whatever decor you decide on make black out curtains
a priority. Studies have shown that sleeping in total darkness or, at the very least, dimness allows for a deeper sleep. All three of my boys are stellar sleepers and I attribute this partially to a dark room with a fan to block sound. But what I wish I knew with this is that whatever environment you create for them at home you’re going to need to recreate when traveling. So yep that means we carry a fan everywhere!
As your baby gets older you’ll notice they get very handsy, wanting to grab at everything and it gets especially trying while you’re chasing their diaper or getting them dressed. Lay your baby on something soft and tactile and you might get a few wiggle free moments. Love this small area rug
for just that!
My babies live in sleeping gowns in those early months. So many diaper changes you gotta keep it easy as possible. Then since you’re not giving them a blanket in bed until a year old, sleep sacks
are an excellent way to keep them warm and cozy! I wouldn’t bother with too many outfits those first few months, I always just want them to be comfortable, so I say keep them in PJs as long as you can get away with it!
For me, helping my babies find good sleeping habits from the start included a good nighttime routine. Something we did every night to help calm and settle them. Usually a bath, lotion and massage, lullabies. With those calming scents and sounds they seemed to fight me less! Since half my kids have had sensitive skin issues I just start out with all-natural products like California Baby.
This makes a great shower gift, too! Also Butt Paste
is my go to for rashes, stock up!
I am always surprised at how early my babies are ready for a little bit of stimulation. Having ways to soothe and also engage them are equally important and something I wish I knew! This rattle
is a great starter! Shiny, bright, different textures and easy to grip!
I know this is an investment and it is really the only one I make for this stage. If you’re planning on having multiple kids it will easily last you and after trying other brands I won’t go back. I swear by the Uppa Vista System
and wish I would’ve treated myself to the bassinet attachment for all three kids instead of just my last! So much of my mental health after having a baby is getting out of my cave. Whether it’s for a walk or a solo trip to the store for more diapers. The bassinet attachment
makes it so easy to be outside, they’re so comfortable and it is everything to me as a new mom!
My favorite way to carry baby outside of the bassinet is a soft baby wrap
! If your baby is fussy and doesn’t like to be put down, this will save you. If you have other children, this goes from a nice thing to have to an absolute must. Once they outgrow their infant seat get a convertible car seat! I love this one.
Okay mamas and papas to be, I hope this helps! You truly have got this, and I am here and all ears with any questions you’ve got!