Giveaway: $250 Diapers.com gift card + 3mo Supply of Pampers Swaddlers
Any seasoned parent will tell you the newborn phase is a piece of cake compared to toddlerdom. Any parent of a teenager will tell you toddlerdom is a walk in the park compared to the teen years, but I’m not there yet so I’m going to pretend my children will start aging backwards once they reach thirteen.
I experienced the cake walk with my second kid, but not so much with my first. I was a newbie and every decision (even the ones that involved socks and washcloths) seemed like the difference between life and death. Going from zero to one is pretty life-changing (in good ways and bad ways) so I don’t want to diminish anyone who struggles during that time.
What I will tell you is no matter what you are going through emotionally, there are definitely ways to take advantage of those first few months. And no, I’m not going to say “sleep when the baby sleeps”. I always found that to be a total crock.
I’m sure it works nicely for women who value sleep more than anything else, but I always valued my hours awake when I didn’t have to worry about the baby. If I slept when the baby slept, I would be doing nothing but being a mom. I wanted to do things for myself— like eat, shower, watch TV, check facebook, talk on the phone, play Candy Crush and take a walk.
In the first few months, your baby is small, sleepy, immobile and highly portable. Here are ten ways to take advantage of the newborn phase:
1) Take an insane amount of photos
Prior to having a child, you probably updated Facebook and Instagram with some restraint. You shared what was truly worthy of sharing and took great care not to inundate friends with the humdrum details of your life. But all that self-editing is exhausting and a new baby is the perfect excuse to bombard your friends with family photos like the Kardashian you were meant to be. You don’t have to post anything especially amazing; the adorableness of your baby’s face is share-worthy enough. You are proud. Everyone from your high school friends to your ex-dog walker should know. REPEATEDLY.
2) Binge watch shows on Netflix
Binge watching a whole season of a show on a rainy lazy Saturday is one of the main things I miss about my life before children. Obviously, most shows worth watching are not toddler-appropriate but when you have a newborn, all they see and hear are light and sounds. They won’t really see the sexually explicit scenes in Orange is the New Black any more than they’ll decipher gun shots on The Wire. It’s all good. If your baby is keeping you up in the middle of the night or perfectly content staring up at the ceiling fan during the day, throw on a show and make that time worth your while.
3) Go anywhere and everywhere
With my first baby, I heard you must keep your bundle of joy indoors for the first six weeks. So that’s what I did. But there are plenty of people who believe it’s healthy to get that baby some fresh air. And if not immediately, then the second those six weeks are up. Don’t bother yourself with a stroller. Strollers make new moms freak out at every stairway and curb. They can’t fit through the doors to your favorite coffee shop. I suggest strapping that 10-15lbs on your chest and wandering your city or your neighborhood with complete freedom. Not only will you be able to go anywhere you want, your baby will sleep that much longer. And probably be perfectly content when he/she wakes up. You can go shopping, walk around a museum or take a stroll just because it’s a nice day and for once in your life, YOU HAVE NOWHERE ELSE TO BE.
4) brunch with your friends
Remember before you had kids, how you’d see people sitting in sidewalk cafes at 10am on a Tuesday and think— WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE??? Don’t they have JOBS?! Maternity leave is one of the few excuses in your life to have breakfast at a restaurant on a weekday. I’d skip the baby wearing on these occasions and take your baby for a ride in the stroller right around nap time. If your baby goes down and your pancakes arrive right at about the same time, well then you have struck MATERNITY LEAVE GOLD. I’m not saying I didn’t spend the majority of my time at home in my pajamas, but those few instances where I actually got dressed, timed the nap just right and sat down with friends over bacon and french toast were pretty freakin’ glorious.
5) Eat whatever you want
You know how pregnancy is supposed to be an excuse to quit your diet and eat until your heart’s content? I actually found most foods made me nauseous. And I couldn’t eat a lot of the things I really wanted like camembert and spicy tuna rolls. (Not together obviously.) But after the baby was born, my appetite came back, most of the restrictions were lifted and I was hungrier than ever. Plus, I had a very handy milk sucking machine attached to my boobs most of the time whose main purpose in life (besides love and devotion) was helping me drop my pregnancy pounds. Also, there was still no shame in wearing my maternity jeans, so a little belly expansion with dinner was not a problem. I have never eaten so much pasta in my life.
6) Kiss your doctor
Your doctor will tell you many things at your first post-birth visit, but you will only hear two of them— no exercise and no sex. Well, isn’t that upsetting. Can she also write “no housework” on a piece of paper and tell my husband he is medically obligated to give me foot massages every night? Because that would be like HEAVEN ON EARTH. Also, if you want to pretend your doctor said you still weren’t 100% healed after your six week, nobody is reporting back to your spouse but you. Doctor patient confidentiality is a beautiful thing.
7) Buy everything you can online
When my first was born over five years ago, I was introduced to a relatively new service called Diapers.com. It was a lifesaver, as there is nothing harder than lugging home an economy sized pack of Pampers Swaddlers when you have a baby strapped to your chest. And don’t tell me to use the stroller, because jumbo packs of diapers do not fit underneath the seat. We used Diapers.com for everything from diapers (obviously) to baby shoes, sunscreen and diaper pail refills. We even bought books, bathing suits, crib sheets and that infant toy my friend swore would have my baby reciting the alphabet by six months. And from there, we expanded to toilet paper, laundry detergent and tissues. There are lots of things in your life you must shop for in person— diapers is not one of them. For the love of God, take advantage of free delivery, great sales and speedy shipping.
8) Stretch your creativity
There are few times in your life when you have a tiny baby at your disposal. She can’t move, she sleeps often, you are home alone most of the time. Are you a creative person? Position that baby on the floor and then craft insanely intricate surroundings during nap time. Dress that baby up like your favorite television characters. Put that baby in a business suit made for a full-grown man. Baby mug! Pretty soon your baby will be moving and these opportunities will pass.
9) Start a blog
Remember when I said sleeping when the baby sleeps was not for me? I used my time to write, reflect, make jokes, tell stories, post pictures and share them all online. I know making all your baby woes public is not everyone’s cup of tea, but five years later, starting this blog was the best decision I ever made. And I never would have done it without the endless stream of fodder that comes from having a newly born pooping, drooling, puking muse like my baby girl.
10) Accept Help
When my first was born, I made the mistake of thinking I had to do everything myself. My mother was trying her best to be available to me but I thought this was because she didn’t trust that I knew what I was doing. (Which I didn’t, but that’s not really the point.) When my mom finally confronted me about why I was so cold whenever she offered help, I finally realized she was trying to make herself indispensable so she could have more time with her granddaughters, not to prove I was doing something wrong. Once I let her help me and removed the guilt in doing so, everyone was happier, including the kids who got to spend quality time with Grammy.
These tips can be applied to new moms, whether it’s your first kid or your fifth. Although, I imagine, once it’s your fifth, you have them down to a science.
Today, I’m giving away a $250 Diapers.com gift card and a 3 month supply of Pampers Swaddlers to one lucky reader!
Diapers.com is one of the most convenient services for new moms and super soft Pampers Swaddlers, sized from Premie all the way up to Size 6, are the #1 Choice of U.S. hospitals.
1) “Like” this post below. Then visit Diapers.com and list the one newborn item you could not live without in the comments under this post. Please include a link to the item on Diapers.com.
2) For a second entry, follow @mommyshorts and @diapersdotcom on twitter, tweet the following and then leave a second comment saying you did so:
I entered to win a $250 @Diapersdotcom gift card and a 3mo supply of @Pampers Swaddlers on @mommyshorts! (bit.ly link)
Winner will be announced Friday, May 15th.
To wish all moms a Happy Mother’s Day, Diapers.com is currently holding a promotion until May 10th. If you buy two items, you save 15%. If you buy three items, you save 20%. This applies to Pampers, Luvs, Easy Ups, Bounty, Charmin, Tide and Swiffer. Just use the code PGMOM at checkout.
And the winner is… Allison Nay, who can’t live without swaddles!
Congrats! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.