Having my third kid means I’m an expert, right? HAHAHAHAHA.
Every pregnancy and every baby is different – everyone says that.
I mean, this pregnancy WAS different.
My third pregnancy was the first pregnancy that Jay wasn’t deployed for and I was responsible for taking care of two other small humans. Jay is in the military and although he wasn’t deployed, he was still working ridiculous hours – leaving SUPER EARLY in the morning and coming home around bed time. Not to mention all the weeks he’d be gone for travel. So even though he wasn’t in an active war zone he still wasn’t physically at home.
Solo parenting is draining. My definition of solo parenting means that the other parent is in the picture just not physically around more than 80% of the time. You are supported emotionally and financially but are solo the majority of the time. Not to be confused with single parenting. (Sidenote: I can’t even fathom the stress of single parenting. If you are a single parent, YOU ARE AMAZING. The best. I bow down to you!)
The first six months of motherhood is a blur. There would be times that I would be so sleep deprived that I thought I was dreaming. Sometimes, days would last for MONTHS or months would fly by and seem like a minute. I was juggling three kids, a deployed husband, and a Master’s Degree.
Yes, my hands were absolutely full! Even if I were an octopus, my hands would have still been full.
I am sharing the SIX things that helped me survive the first SIX months and a few honorable mentions at the end!
A Baby Carrier. Different baby carriers at that! The ring sling, the wrap, the baby backpack looking thing…Yeah, all of them. Your baby might love one and not the other. Your baby might love one one day and a different carrier the next day. One carrier might go with your outfit or activity a little better. Just get one of each. Register for all of them. Being hands free when you’re full of kids NECESSARY!
A Yoga Ball. This is in conjunction with the baby carrier. When I had my first kid, I would walk miles and miles with a screaming baby in my arms around our little apartment in Arizona. When I had my second, I would put the baby in a baby carrier and lightly bounce on the yoga ball. Most of the time that would make him fall asleep, sometimes he would just be content bouncing.
I was able to get some textbook reading done, play cars with my oldest, or watch TV all while bouncing on a yoga ball with a sleeping baby on my chest. Not only was this an awesome way to get baby to sleep, I had some killer quads after hours and hours of bouncing! Please note, I was lightly bouncing. I wasn’t bouncing like I was going to take off into space – SAFELY bounce the baby.
Infant Probiotics. It’s super important to address your baby’s gut health early on by making sure the digestive and immune system is thriving. My two older boys didn’t get Evivo, a once daily baby probiotic, because I didn't know about it. Evivo is clinically proven to restore good bacteria called B. infantis while it reduces harmful bacteria linked to colic, eczema, diabetes and obesity by 80%. Maybe if I knew about this sooner, I wouldn’t have walked and bounced colicky babies for hours and hours and hours.
When I nursed, I wasn’t the healthiest eater. I’m also assuming that my breastmilk was 87% coffee. I pumped and nursed for all three kids for as long as I could but every single time, I would wake up one morning with a dwindling supply that eventually completely dried up within a few days. Luckily, I pumped enough to keep giving the kids milk even months after I stopped producing. The beauty of Evivo is that it it doesn’t need a lot of breast milk to work properly. Evivo works with oligosaccharides from milk to be 100% effective. Your baby will still benefit if you are supplementing with formula.
To try Evivo for yourself, use code "EvivoBlog10" for $10 off a 4-week or greater starter kit and "EvivoBlog20" for $20 off an 8-week or greater starter kit! There are only a limited number of redemptions, the code expires December 31, 2019.
Video Baby Monitor. Yes, this totally saved my sanity! I love video monitors compared to the traditional sound monitor or a camera with an app that you access from your phone. Before the video monitor I always heard the “phantom baby cry” (ya know, where you think you hear your baby crying but they're actually sleeping) and I didn’t like keeping an app open and my phone on because that just drains the battery -- especially at bedtime! I’m psycho so I need to be able to have my eyes on my kids at all times if I’m not in the same room as them. The peace of mind with a GOOD video monitor SO WORTH splurging on. The one I had worked over our house wi-fi. It was super helpful knowing your baby is safe while you’re in the garage with your other kid, watching a movie, showering, or cooking dinner.
White Noise/Baby Relax Playlists. On YouTube or on Spotify, you can just search “Baby Relax” or “White Noise for Sleeping” instead of paying $45 for a sound machine. A lot of times a computer, phone, or iPad went unused in our house. It was easier to just grab one of those, pull it up, and let the kids go to sleep. It’s SO much better than me SHUSHing in my baby’s ear at 130dBs for like 30 mins. Also! If you’re out and about and your kid is losing their mind in the stroller, play the playlist and stick it in a crevice of the stroller so they can hear it and fall asleep.
A friend. Motherhood is SO LONELY. I love being able to confide and vent to a couple friends that wouldn’t judge me. You need to find a friend that you DON’T have to cater to. Invite them over for dinner and let them know you haven’t brushed your teeth even though its 545PM and you’ve been wearing the same clothes for 36 hours. You need someone that you can gossip with, to share your wins with, to complain to, and that will talk you off a ledge if your emotions get the best of you. You don’t need many, maybe one or two. They will definitely save your sanity.
Diaper Pail. Remember those pregnancy hormones gave you that super human nose? Welp, post partum hormones allow you have that super human smell. Do your house a favor and get a diaper pail. Get a few diaper pails actually because diapers stink and unless you love living in a perpetual diaper, your nose will thank you! Bonus?? Depending on the age of your oldest, your kids can help throw the diaper pails in the trashcan so you won’t have to go out and smell your trash!
Travel System. The stroller, carseat, carrier thing. OHMYGOODNESS. I think I would’ve failed as a parent without a travel system. The super easy transfer the infant car seat from the stroller to the car and go!? Genius. It’s saved many hours of having to rock the baby back to sleep. If you decide to get a separate convertible carseat and a stroller, don’t. It’s the wrong choice!!
Essential Oil/Good Smelling Candle. So why does this list only have to be baby related? Mamas need to be taken care of too. The thing that really helped me feel normal after a full day of being hyper-aware and always “on” with the kids was relaxing at the end of the day. Even if its for an hour before the baby wakes up again, I get that hour to myself. I loved diffusing oils or burning a good smelling candle while I decompressed on the couch, scrolling through memes and funny articles.
A GOOD subscription service. Be it netflix, hulu, or something else! Food make up, clothes – whatever! You need a good subscription service to look forward to every month. It’s like a little gift for all your hard work you’re doing caring for little humans. I got a subscription for snack boxes every month because I love food and I love new snacks to try!
Meal Delivery Service. You know what’s worse than cravings? Being hungry for those cravings and someone not being around to get it or watch the kids while you get and get it. Doesn’t have a drive thru? Forget it. Dragging all the kids out of the car so you can stand in line to get a crispy chicken sandwich and waffle fries? No thanks. I’m always willing to pay a little extra for delivery if that means I get the food I want and I don’t have to drag anyone out of the house!
Refillable Water Bottle. GOOD GRACIOUS. The thirst of a new mom insatiable. Having a water bottle within arms reach at all times was THE BEST and necessary.
A Wide Tooth Comb. Remember those Rapunzel vibes you got from your pregnancy? Good bye Rapunzel, Hello Gollum!
Your hair will fall out. In chunks. It’s normal and scary and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can prevent more hair from falling out by using a wide tooth comb when you’re in the shower or after your shower.
TELL ME! What are some things you used that saved your sanity? What are some thing that you use daily that save your sanity?