What to get a mom to be for her?
I don’t know about you but I am really big on handmade gifts or gifts that are helpful. So, when I got invited to my first baby shower since becoming a mom I wanted to make sure my gift would be helpful. I knew that this mom to be had lots of family who had made sure she was covered for baby essentials. So, I wanted to make sure she had a few items that made all the difference to me. Which led to making a mom to be care box.
Making a care box
Once I decided to collect a few items for the mom to be and skip the traditional baby shower gift. I knew I wanted to add items that were useful. So, I added the following “somethings”:
- Useful- an item that I used a lot once I was a new struggling mom.
- For self care- beauty, bath, an item that would make her feel good about herself.
- Sweey/cozy- who doesn’t need to feel cozy after baby is here.
- Helpful- an item that you wish you would’ve known about sooner.
Think of a gift that helped you get through those early days of being a mom.
For my something useful I went with this laundry backpack. I was so sore after I gave birth and with our laundry on a different floor I couldn’t hold a basket against my tummy. I found something similar to this on clearance when I was postpartum and I LOVE IT! It made getting laundry done so much easier.
At my baby shower a close friend made me a little hospital goodie bag of things to pack. It was a super sweet and useful gift and full of things I would’ve never thought of.
Two of those things were dry shampoo and face wipes. So, so simple but made me feel so human after delivery. These were my two self care items for this care box.
Just try and think of the thing that made you feel clean or fresh while at the hospital or when you got back home. What helped you feel “put together?” Include this as your self care item.
Sweet and cozy
This one was easy. What is something that would make your mom-to-be feel cozy or sweet? Maybe she likes a certain kind of chocolate or is she a coffee lover?
For my care box I got her a coffee mug that had a cute Mom saying on it. This is her first baby and I always love getting mugs that make me feel good when I read them. So this seemed fitting.
Who doesn’t want something helpful as a first time mom? Think of an item you discovered or were introduced to when you were a new mom that you wish you knew about sooner.
My something useful was Mother’s Milk Tea.
My friend wants to nurse and doesn’t have any moms around who have nurses so I wanted to include this tea.
This particular tea helped keep my supply up when my son and I were struggling with nursing. Such a simple gift but a game changer I wish I knew about before beginning my nursing journey.
After I collected all my gifts I bought a super cute box that could be used after she opened the present and of course added a small hand written note explaining my gift.
There is something about personalized gift that always made me feel special and hopefully my friend I gifted this to felt that way. Small things can go a long way.
What would you include in your mom to be care box? Let me know in the comments.
“Would you and Alex like to go to Vegas with us in the spring?” This is how the conversation started. As a mom my first thought was “But how?” How can I leave baby overnight that many nights in a row? I guess I had never even thought about vacationing without our son but when the opportunity presented itself, we couldn’t say no. A whole week in Vegas with some of our best friends!
Once we sat down and figured out the how, I went into mom mode. I checked all the boxes to make sure him and I would be comfortable for the time we were away.
Making the Decision is the Easy Part
Once you decide that you are leaving your little one for the first time overnight for whatever reason that is; to deliver baby two, vacation, or an extra long date night, that’s the easy part. It’s the next part that is hard, the planning. As mothers we will go through every. single. possible. scenario and worry ourselves to death. So, to help with the worry I’ve decided to share with you what I did to prepare for 7 days away from our son.
Leaving Baby Overnight Takes Lots of Planning!
Whether you are leaving baby for one night or a week it takes planning. Some of that planning was obvious for me like clothes, formula, etc. But once I started going through every scenario I needed to prepare for, THERE WAS SO MUCH MORE!
If you are going to be leaving your baby overnight these are the basis I covered and I recommend you cover to make your time away as worry-free as it can be:
- Make a schedule for while you’re away.
- Pack their bag.
- Prepare food for your time away.
- Prepare for an emergency.
Schedules Are a Moms Best Friend
It doesn’t matter if we are at home or 2,000 miles away, there is something about a schedule that gives us a sense of calm (or is that just me, I think other moms are like this haha). So when we made the choice to leave, the first thing I did was sit down and write schedules. I wrote schedules for:
- his day
- and when I would be able to call and talk to him each day.
Meals are a huge part of a child’s day. To write the schedule for meals try answering these questions:
- When will your child eat? Do you have a really strict time for each meal or do you have a general time for each meal?
- Where will your child eat? Do they eat in a high chair for meals and bottles? Do they take a bottle to bed or wake up with one?
- What will they eat or NOT eat? Did you prepare food for them? Does the person who is keeping them need to cook? If so, what foods do they like or not like? Are they allergic to anything?
It seems like a lot of questions but once it’s wrote out it doesn’t look nearly as complicated.
For us the schedule looked like this.
If you wrote out the major events of your day, what would that look like? From the time your child gets up till they go to bed there are things that are the same most days. When they eat, when they nap, when they go to bed. Now, we are pretty casual parents so my son doesn’t have an exact time for each of these things but there is a round about time for most of them.
When you go to write this schedule just think about if you were watching someones child what information would you need to get through the day and overnight.
- wake up time
- meal times
- nap times
- bedtime and routine
- when will you be able to call (is there a time difference?)
It doesn’t have to be super extensive, just enough that your child’s day looks pretty normal and all the major questions are answered.
What’s In the Barney Bag?
When you decided to leave your baby for the first time overnight, if you are anything like me then you immediately go to ‘the bag.‘ What clothes, shoes, diapers, formula, etc. will they need for an overnight away? This is a huge part of planning especially if your child will be staying outside of your home while you are gone.
A quick check list of things that I went through were:
- clothes, at least one outfit a day. Then pack a few extra.
- pajamas, again what you normal use plus at least one extra.
- diapers (average how many and then throw in extras)
- a towel
- any medications they might need
- any comforts of home. My son hasn’t attached to anything yet but you might want to include a blankie or Teddy if they use one.
- formula or breast milk ( I will talk more about this in food prepping).
Food, Prep or Not to Prep?
In our household we food prep every week, so when we decided to go on this vacation I knew I would do the same for our son before we left. By food prepping the grandparents had less to worry about and I also knew what my son was eating while I was away. If you don’t have the time or if you simply do not want to food prep then I would suggest writing a list of foods your child does like for whomever is keeping them while you’re away.
If you would like to food prep, then the next bit is for you.
To food prep you have to decide:
- What your child will eat while you are away?
- What will keep well?
- How will you store it?
I knew my son loved all of these foods and each meal was healthy and easy to make. I decided to make the following menu for the week:
Breakfast: fruit and banana pancakes
Lunch: Mac & cheese, cheddar, broccoli bites
Dinner: Quesadillas and peppers
For each day there was a bag with the day of the week and how to heat or prep the meal.
Once it was all prepped I tossed it all in one giant bag and put it in the freezer. All the foods would keep in the freezer and the grandparents had to just pull out the meals for that day and heat when needed.
All of this probably only took an hour or so and the grandparents didn’t have to worry about cooking or what he could or couldn’t have.
Along with food you will also need to portion out breast milk or formula for your time away. We used formula so I did enough for 3-8 oz bottles a day and three or four extra bottles just in case they were needed.
(If your baby is still on puree foods read my post on meal prepping purees)
Of all the things that we did to prepare to leave our son this is the thing that made me feel the most at peace, the In Case of Emergency Envelope.
There were so many scary scenarios that went through my head leading up to our trip. What if he got hurt, or sick or if he was in an accident? As moms we worry and this small envelope helped me ease those worries.
Before we left we made a special envelope that had anything the grandparents would need in case of an emergency. I included information they would need and things they night not remember in the moment. Here is what we included in the envelope:
- letter with permission to treat
- an insurance card
- all the information they would need to admit him to a hospital
Permission to treat
As we prepared to leave him overnight for a whole week this I googled what to include in a letter to give permission to someone other than the parents, to treat a child. The letter read something like this,
We (your and your partners name),
Give permission to (name of person who will have your child) to make any and all medical decisions on behalf of (your child’s name) while we are away.
(Yours and your partner’s printed name and signature.)
Time is crucial in some situations and having written permission to treat can speed things up. (Also, I am by no means a lawyer or professional in any way. This is just the information I used and I can’t confirm this is legally correct).
This was a duh moment when I read this online. I NEVER thought to leave an insurance card just in case. If you have an extra copy this is a huge must have for anyone keeping your child while you are away.
ANY and ALL information they would need
On a simple piece of paper I wrote any and all important information they would need in case of an emergency.
- Pediatrician’s name, phone numbers and location
- your child’s social security number (we don’t normally write this down but this envelope was kept locked up unless needed while we were gone)
- any known allergies
- date of birth (grandparents know this but in an emergency maybe not)
- any medications that are being taken daily
- parents names and date of birth
- contact information for parents
Once all of this was together I stuck it in a normal envelope. I told his grandparents to keep it somewhere safe but accessible. This way if something happened they could just hand all the information to whoever needed. All the information they could need was in one simple envelope. They wouldn’t have to think or worry about anything if God forbid something would happen that they would have it.
Now, Enjoy Yourselves!
After, you have checked all the boxes and packed everything thing they’ll need, enjoy yourselves. I know this is hard and not everyone will agree with me, that time away is needed but I think it is. My husband and I had a great time and to my surprise I didn’t worry as much as I thought I would. I knew my son was in good hands and that I had made his days as normal as I could.
Have you ever taken a vacation without your child or had to leave your little one for an extended amount of time? What would you add to this list of things to do before you leave?
When I took a test to see if I was pregnant I had my suspicions. We had to use fertility treatments so there is always that doubt. But there were a few clues that I was getting the answer we were waiting on.
My suspicion started one night while I was watching How to Train a Dragon 2 (by myself I might add). One of the small dragons threw up, which lead me to throw up. Anyone who knows me knows that I would rather feel crumby all day then to throw up and I threw up over a cartoon throwing up. So we tested the next day and we were pregnant with #2! We were so excited especially me because my first pregnancy was AMAZING! I had some food aversion but no sickness, not really any pains and basically a simple pregnancy and delivery.
Lesson 1 as a second time mom, no two pregnancies are the same apparently. I have been sick almost everyday for 11 weeks. I have gone through some terrible days and on top of being sick I still have my son who needs me each day at home.
So how have I survived up to this point? Lots of trial and error!!! Here is the list of foods, drinks and tricks that have helped me get to week 11 somewhat in tact.
So mama if you are feeling crumby try these simply tricks.
Whether you have some nausea or you are sick everyday like me you need to be prepared for feeling your worst! Especially, if you have a little one(s) at home counting on you.
Items that I keep near are plastic grocery bags, mints, napkins and a small snack. At home I have a little area in almost all the rooms just in case I feel sick. I keep mints under my bathroom sink, in the kitchen and in my bedside table.
When I am on the go I keep mints, plastic bags and a snack in my car and in my diaper bag. This way I am never in a place where I’m unprepared. Morning sickness doesn’t care if you on the highway or in the middle of the grocery store it’s better to be prepared then not.
Finding foods to eat
There have been days where I can’t keep anything down at all! And for the first 9 weeks I couldn’t stand the taste of water (which I am normally drink all day). So, it took so trial and error to find foods and drinks that helped me get the nutrients and energy I needed.
These are some foods that helped me through the days where everything looked gross or made me want to run to the bathroom.
- Popsicles: I found this awesome brand called Outshine they have real fruit and no sugar added. I would eat these to get some calories and to stay hydrated. While trying to find food to eat I read that popsicles are better than saltines because they have more nutrients. I assume there is some truth to that but either way I felt better eating frozen fruit that bland crackers.
- Chickenbroth: On bad days it’s important to keep your sodium replenished. Broth was easy to get down, it had flavor and I was getting some liquid in my system as well. You can buy broth already made. I opted to use bullion cubes this way I could control the taste and amount of sodium I was getting.
- Bananas: Some days I couldn’t eat these but on days I could I tried to eat at least one. They are packed full of nutrients and are bland enough to look appetizing.
- Triscuits: These crackers come in so many flavors but they are also 100% whole grain wheat made with simple ingredients. When I needed a snack with a crunch and some saltiness there were my go to.
Also, because water was a no go for a while I had to look for other ways to stay hydrated. I found a few options that helped until I could keep water down (which thank God I can now)
- Spindriftsparklingwater: These waters are made with real fruits. They have a few different flavors and the fact that they are carbonated helped settle my stomach on those really rough days. My favorite flavor was blackberry. Yum!
- Ginger ale: This is one you have probably heard before but if you are a fan of ginger ale it really does help with the nausea. This is by far my favorite one.
- I did get to the point where I didn’t want ginger ale so I searched for other ginger flavored drinks. Which lead me to find some awesome ginger teas.
- Ginger Teas: I am lucky enough to have an awesome coffee shop in my town that is a small business with the best teas. So here I found a ginger peach tea that has been a life saver on days where I need a little caffeine and something to settle my morning sickness. If you are every in Cincinnati definitely check out Coffee Emporium! But if you are too far to come to Cincinnati you can always check out your own local tea shop or grocery store there are so many ginger options that are awesome.
This may seem like a contradiction but I mean it, move as much as you can. Of course there are days where I am too weak to get up and workout or do anything. But on the days where you have even a little energy get up and move your body.
I have been doing these awesome 20 minute workouts from Michelle Marie Fit Pregnancy Program.
The days where I can move even a little I tend to feel a better afterwards. When you are laying on the couch because you don’t feel well it can take a toll on your body, which is already going through so much. It’s better to move those muscles when you have the energy trust me.
I aim to get my workout in four times a week and with Fit Mom To Be’s AWESOME workouts I can break a sweat in as little as 15 mins. If you want to check out these workouts she has a great 14 Day Free Trial workout program you can try!!
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Heading into the second Trimester
As week 12 is quickly approaching I can only hope and pray that the nausea will ease up soon. If you are going through morning sickness and nausea too, I feel for you and I hope these tips help give you some relief.
What has worked for you when it comes to having morning sickness? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Lots of Love,