When I gave birth to my first daughter in 2010, I felt totally overwhelmed. None of my friends had babies yet, so I was navigating the waters of motherhood on my own. I relied on blogs, books, experts, and my own mom for advice, and I spent hours in new-mom-and-baby classes in search of answers to all my questions. Much to my husband's dismay, I spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on baby products—toys, gadgets, carriers, sleep-aids, bottles, pacifiers, teethers, and anything else I was told would make life with baby easier.
When I became a second-time mom this past March, I pledged to do things differently: I would be wiser when it came to spending money, more confident when it came to sourcing information, and more trusting of my own intuition when it came to making decisions. While there are countless things I'm doing differently this time around, these are just a few that are currently top of mind.
For me, this one was key to my happiness and sanity! The first time around, I was totally anxious when it came to introducing a bottle. I had hired a lactation consultant early-on to ensure breast feeding was successful, and I was terrified of messing things up. I waited more than six weeks in hopes of preventing "nipple confusion" and then paced the hallway upstairs with tears in my eyes while my husband tried desperately to get our baby to take a bottle. Though we bought many types of bottles and nipples, all promising great things, most of the time my daughter wanted nothing but my boob. When she did take a bottle, I felt sad (worrying she wouldn't need me any longer) and when she refused the bottle, I felt sad (worrying I'd never have freedom again).
This time around, the breast-to-bottle transition was quite different. When baby #2 was three weeks old, I pumped some milk, eagerly handed it over to my husband, and walked out of the room. I wanted the freedom that bottle feeding would allow and I wasn't willing to wait six weeks and risk not getting it. When I tried the Playtex Nurser bottles with Drop-Ins Liners I was pleasantly surprised. Unlike the first brand of bottle I bought for her, which range in at $20 per bottle, these were less than $10 for two, and super easy to use. Another practical feature is that when baby is fussy or over-hungry, you can push a little bit of milk into her mouth by pressing on the liner, prompting her to start sucking.
It didn't take much convincing to get this baby on board...
To help prevent nipple confusion and ensure that she will keep coming back to the boob, these nipples have a raised texture that mimics the breast and helps baby to latch-on.
Ahhh, sweet freedom. Now that she can be fed by her daddy, I can catch up on some work...or even sneak out to get a pedicure! (Sssh!)
As a writer and journalist, I'm a huge proponent of gathering information before drawing conclusions or making decisions. Sites like the recently re-launched Playtex mommyville.ca are perfect for reading up on tips, reviews, and advice from experts and other moms before you go shopping. But, what I learned the first time around is that too much information can be overwhelming and lead to heightened anxiety and stress. It can also get really expensive as you continue to spend money on books and products that promise to solve all your problems, but rarely do.
This time around, I've made a promise to myself that while I'll continue doing my research, above all else I'll trust my own intuition and make decisions that are right for me and my baby. This means not over-thinking certain purchases (i.e., the huge double stroller I just knew we'd need), while avoiding others altogether (do I really need a state-of-the-art baby monitor just because the technology has changed in the past three years?).
Shopping tip: Just because another mommy swears by a particular product doesn't mean it will work for your baby. Know that all babies are different and be prepared to adjust your shopping list based on your baby's preferences.
I can't begin to tell you how excited I was when I finally got my toddler toilet trained...just in time to welcome our new baby and another two-plus years of diaper changing. When my first was born, we bought the Playtex Diaper Genie Essentials Pail and placed it in her nursery. We changed dozens of diapers a week, filled hundreds of Diaper Genie refill bags, and counted down the days until our little one would learn to use the potty! When baby #2 was born we dusted off our old Diaper Genie bins. But something had changed...
I began to notice diapers scattered on the floor every time I walked by the Diaper Genie. It seems my husband had become lazy when it came to disposing of dirty diapers. It was at this moment I realized that it might be time to “step it up” and spring for the Diaper Genie Elite pail. The suped-up elite Diaper Genie with a convenient foot pedal (that does the dirty work for you) seemed like the perfect solution. All he would have to do is step on the pedal, throw the diaper in, and voila! it would disappear. And so, as seasoned second-time parents, we decided it was time to treat ourselves to the Diaper Genie Elite.
Now we have the elite Diaper Genie in the baby's room, where most diaper changing takes place, plus two Playtex Diaper Genie Essentials Pails, one on the third floor in our bedroom and one in my older daughter's bathroom for her night-time 'sleep diapers'. With all these Diaper Genie pails working for us, we've managed to maintain a home free from diapers on the floor.
Shopping tip: Diaper Genie 3 Pack Refills are available at Walmart for around $23. These are something you'll want to buy in bulk!
While convincing my 3-year-old to give up her pacifier was a major challenge that required great creativity, bribery, and lots of patience (think: a Fairy who came in the middle of the night and took away all of her soothers to give to babies who needed them more than she did); it was still totally worth it given the years of magic that it worked. When she was over-tired or moody, or we needed her to nap on the go, we'd pop the pacifier into her mouth and voila! It had an instant calming effect. It took a few tries to get it right, but the money spent on finding the right pacifier was totally worth it.
I'm almost ready to introduce the new baby to the Playtex Pacifier. I know what this means. I'll need to have one in every room (not to mention my purse, the car, and the diaper bag—because soothers seriously do have a tendency of disappearing into thin air). I'll need to get a good pacifier clip, like the Playtex pacifier holder, so I don't spend my life picking these goobery gadgets up off the floor. And, I'll likely be woken in the night to pop it back in baby's mouth. But, if I have to go through one more evening of screaming baby and around-the-clock nursing, I'm sure I will cave. Sometimes you just need a moment of peace!