Must haves for a baby no one told me about

Recently I’ve had a few new Mom friends ask me what items I put on my baby registry I couldn’t do without. Honestly everything! 😂 However there are a few items no one told me about that I recommend to people. Here are my must haves for a baby no one told me about:

1. Electric nail trimmer: It’s literally an electric nail file. SO much easier and less stressful than trying to use clippers.

2. Bandana bibs: I knew babies drooled but I didn’t realize how much! Ryder would go through 3-5 bibs a day some days. After doing some Amazon searching I found some really cute bandana bibs for him! I swear boys get jipped in the clothing department. There’s way more cute clothing options for girls than boys. But these definitely made his outfits a little cuter!

3. More than 1 diaper bag: Sounds crazy I know! But I swear it’ll save you. I have my nice one that I take to dinner, shopping, etc. Then I have a small inexpensive backpack diaper bag for daycare at the gym. The gym daycare has small cubby’s for bags so my regular diaper bag wouldn’t fit in them. Plus, I don’t need everything I put in my regular diaper bag. He’s only there two hours max so diapers, a sippy cup and a changer of clothes are all he needs. My third diaper bag is an inexpensive larger backpack. I use it for days we go to swim class. Often the floors are wet at swim class and I don’t want to set my nice diaper bag in a puddle of water. Not to mention I have to carry wet swimsuits after. So the backpack is perfect because I’m not worried about it getting ruined there. You don’t have to spend tons of money on extra bags. I used ones I got as gifts from judging cheer competitions. They’re sparkly but blue so I figure it works for now! There was one time that my husband and I were handing off Ryder so I could go somewhere and I forgot to take the diaper bag out of the car. I remembered the child! Just not the bag. 🤦🏼‍♀️ This is where a backup bag came in handy!

These might seem like simple little items but they’re all incredibly helpful, even now that Ryder is one year old! The nail trimmer saved us on so many occasions. He’s a wiggler so nail clippers just scared me to death. The bibs saved so many outfit changes. And the extra diaper bags were fitting to our busy lifestyle!

Obviously, get what you think you need for your registry. But in all honesty these are 3 things, looking back, I now know I can’t live without!

Car rides with toddlers

When I told people we were taking Ryder to Lubbock, I swear every one of them got a look of horror on their face. Yeah yeah yeah I know, a 5 hour drive with a 1 year old isn’t ideal. But we wanted to go to the game and knew he’d have a great time

We planned accordingly. I downloaded lots of learning games on my iPad, packed tons of snacks and left an hour before nap time. Ryder is perfectly fine in the car for an hour. So we figured if he took an hour and a half nap, we already killed 2 1/2 hours right there! That left about 2 1/2 hours left to entertain him. If you aren’t familiar with Texas cities, Lubbock is roughly a 5 hour drive West of Dallas (4 1/2 if you go over 70 and don’t stop to go to the bathroom).

Everything worked out perfectly. He actually ended up sleeping a little longer than an hour and a half. When he woke up I crawled in the back seat with him and we played games, read books, ate some snacks and hung out. He didn’t get fussy till about 30 minutes outside of Lubbock. But let’s be honest, we were all getting a bit squirrelly at that point!

Car rides with small kids don’t have to be miserable if you can plan accordingly. I know you can’t always plan your trips to fit your child’s schedule but if you can I promise it’s worth it.

Here is my list of must haves for long car rides with a young toddler:

🔹Snacks

🔹Water

🔹Diapers/wipes

🔹Plastic bag/trash bag to throw trash in

🔹Backup outfit (you never know)

🔹Books, games, toys

🔹IPad loaded with movies and games

🔹Blanket in case they get cold but you are hot and need the air on

🔹Backup bibs if your kid is a drooler like mine

🔹Socks. Ryder’s feet always get cold in the car

If you’re one of those parents who doesn’t want their kid just sitting and watching movies, then download educational games! I found animal games that teach sounds, colors, etc for Ryder that he absolutely loves.

Like I said, car rides don’t have to be miserable. You can make them tolerable if you plan accordingly and bring enough things to entertain!

Adult Time

My husband and I never go out during the week but Monday was our two year wedding anniversary. My mother comes every Tuesday evening to spend time with Ryder for a few hours so we snuck out for a bit to grab a bite to eat and celebrate. It may have been a day late but we celebrated the night of with Ryder as a family, so this was like an extended celebration! 🎉

Everyone has always said “couple time is important.” I rolled my eyes and said yeah yeah I know. But I understand it more when we are out and it’s just us two. Our conversation is different. Not a full 180 but it doesn’t revolve around every minute of Ryder’s day. We discuss more adult related items.

Being a stay at home Mom I forget how much I need that adult conversation. I’ve gotten so used to talking to Ryder, who only responds with sounds or his hands. Or (don’t think I’m crazy) the dogs. Yes I talk to our dogs. Not full on conversations! I’m not completely nuts. But I say things to them every so often. 😳

It’s very strange going from a job where you talk to roughly 200+ people daily, to one where you talk to beings that can’t talk back! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret leaving my job to stay home. I’m surprisingly happier than ever. It’s just been a very big adjustment. One I feel like I’m finally getting used to and getting the hang of. It took a full year! Better late than never I guess. 😂

Remember the importance of couple/adult time OUT of the house. You need it for your own sanity!

The breakfast blame game

I had a friend tell me she doesn’t have time to make breakfast so she skips it, makes a coffee and heads out the door to work every day. She blames this on why she’s starving before lunch and ends up eating horrible the rest of the day, therefore causing her to gain weight.

So here’s the thing……YOU decide what goes in your belly. We really can’t blame anyone (or anything) but ourselves for the choices we make. That doughnut at your office does not literally call your name every morning. 😡

If you know you battle to eat good during the day and breakfast is something you are clearly struggling with, you have options…..

1. Premake your breakfast the night before to save time! Make a to-go container of Greek yogurt with berries. Or try overnight oats and mix in a few of your favorite items like fruit, chia seeds, almonds, coco powder or almonds!

2. Wake up earlier!!! Seriously there are so many breakfast options that take less than 5 minutes. Things like avocado toast with eggs, peanut butter toast with banana, or even a protein shake with fruit and spinach mixed in. All of these take less than 5 minutes to make. Set your alarm to go off 15 minutes earlier so you have time to make the food and eat it.

You have options! When I was a teacher I had to be to school at 6:30am to be at my morning duty spot at 6:50am, then class started at 7:30am. Not to mention I had a 20 minute drive. Making breakfast at 5:45 in the morning was just not an option for me. Well, it could have been but I’m not the best morning person when it’s THAT early. 😂

I always pre made meals. Sometimes I made these egg muffins that I would just pop in the microwave and eat in the car. I used muffin tins to make them every Sunday (recipe will be on my blog next week). Some days I would just hard boil eggs and leave a bowl of them in the fridge to grab and take to eat while at my duty spot.

Stop making excuses and do something! If you want to eat better and your problem starts with breakfast, then fix it! Small changes make a big difference! 💪🏻

Note: Yes I know there are diets out there that encourage breakfast fasting. But this doesn’t work for everyone. Especially her if she’s repeating the vicious cycle of eating bad daily because she’s hungry from not eating breakfast. Some people lack the self control ability to do a breakfast fast and not destroy the rest of their day after.

That voice in your head

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. -Vincent Van Gogh

Often times when we are reaching for a new goal or trying something new, fear and insecurities kick in and you tell yourself you can’t rather than you can. Don’t let the “voice” in your head tell you you can’t. Other people may be negative and discouraging, that’s expected (sadly). But don’t let your own “voice” be discouraging to you. Think positive and be your own biggest supporter! You’ll never get anywhere with a negative mindset.

Growing up I was always told “you can do anything you put your mind to.” If you have the drive and focus, you can accomplish so much!

Body Dysmorphia

I found this picture a few years ago and was shocked at how tiny I looked! My arms were so scrawny! I remember thinking back then I was “fat” and had weight to lose. I would spend almost two hours in the gym some days. I wish I could go back and slap my former self! 😳

When I was a teacher, I always started our mental health chapter by showing this picture and beginning the discussion of body dysmorphia. I would explain that sometimes you can’t see what others see, especially when it comes to your body.

Body dismorphia by definition is the obsessive idea that some aspect of one’s own body part or appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix their dysmorphic part.

This was a topic I actually spent two days on in both my health and leadership classes. Body dismorphia has become so prevalent, especially with the amount of social media channels now available.

Two days may seem like a long time to discuss a topic like body dismorphia but you’d be amazed at how into the topic they got! Kids will tell you the struggles of social media and how it affects their view of themselves. It’s brutal for kids now days. Its just my opinion, but I’m thankful I grew up in a time with no social media and cellphones that didn’t take pictures!

One of my favorite discussion questions to ask was “if we did away with social media (yes I know we never will but let’s just say hypothetically) would body dismorphia be less prevalent?”

We then followed up with a question like….. “do you think social media makes kids/teens now days tougher or weaker?” This question led to a full day of back and forth discussion (most of the time). In my leadership class we actually used it as a debate question when we did our debate section.

I was so incredibly impressed by the raw honesty of some of the kids in my classes. I was pretty quiet in HS and was always afraid to share my opinion for fear of ridicule. Obviously that’s changed now! 😂

I have my moments where I’m critical of myself, but I think I’m more logical now. Maybe that’s something that comes with age. But I look back at old pictures vs current and I feel like I know what “healthy” looks like now on my body. I also use social media as a tool! I love to read what new recipes people are trying or how other moms are getting through similar struggles. Yes social media has negative aspects and some people use it to vent and complain. But if you ignore all of that there are some really fantastic people out there in the world talking about so many great things. Find those people who encourage you and follow them! Remember, positivity breeds positivity! 💙

Sleep troubles

On occasion I struggle to fall asleep. My mind races with all the things I need to do that week and the next thing I know it’s 3am and I’m still staring at the ceiling. How I laid there for 4+ hours just thinking without falling asleep is beyond me!

Over the years I’ve tried a few things here and there to help me fall asleep. I’m not really a fan of sleep meds, so anything organic and natural I’m all for. Here’s a few things that work for me:

•Melatonin- Your body produces this naturally, but you can buy melatonin supplements at almost any wellness or grocery store. It is a hormone released by your brain that tells your body it’s night time and time to sleep. It naturally makes you tired

•Drink a glass of milk (doesn’t have to be warm)- Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan that causes sleepiness

•Earplugs- Sometimes sounds keep me up. I’ll hear something outside and it startled me or makes me think of something which gets my mind racing

•Avoid your phone and the tv- being exposed to blue and white light from your phone, tv, computers, etc at night prevents your brain from producing melatonin

•Take a walk- Taking a walk before bed can help tire your body but also tire your brain. I’ve noticed when I go for a walk at night my mind runs during the walk. I make my mental lists and think about the week. Then when I get into bed I’m physically and mentally tired

As I said, these are things I’ve found that have worked for me. Everyone is different. Some of these things won’t work for some people. But if you’re having sleep problems give one (or more) a try. See if it works for you! Happy sleeping! 💤