Motherhood is filled with so much change, growth and adjustment that time starts to move differently. With each new phase in our children’s lives, us mommies are gifted with a sense of accomplishment while the rest of the world is fixated on developmental milestones and who the baby looks like. Insert heart eye emoji and eye-roll emoji here. Between all the time that passes from latching to tummy-time and solid food to first steps, when the first birthday comes around its easy for accomplishments to take on a more overwhelming feeling.
Or maybe that’s just what happened with me. I don’t know where the first year of my daughter’s life went however, that first birthday party hit me like a ton of bricks with questions inscribed on them. How did I get here? How did I survive? How did she survive? What the proverbial hell is going on? Eventually the questions subsided and my overwhelming feelings gave way to more relaxed ones. The relaxed feelings then led to a period of reflection.
While I was reflecting I was able to stop trying so hard and just be grateful for the journey of motherhood. Now, if someone told me that during the first year I would have shrugged it off the way I do all parenting advice, with an eye-roll. So I won’t be giving you advice, instead I have come up with some baby-hacks (not to be confused with parenting advice) that are useful if your baby suffers from diaper rash and hates tummy time or you want to feed your baby health food and/or are looking to travel within the first year postpartum.
Baby-Hack to Prevent Diaper Rash
When the first suspicions came that I was with child, I took two positive pregnancy tests and still needed confirmation from a doctor. I forced myself into my doctor’s office without an appointment because I figured her sticks were better than mine. Turns out they were the same. I was preggo and because she was my primary care doctor and not a OB/GYN all she could give me was this tip: no matter what gender the baby is, wipe Vaseline down the sides and in the butt-crack to help the pee etc. flow down into the diaper instead of sitting on the skin. It’s not the cutest thing in the world and it does add a few seconds more to the diaper changing routine but it works! My daughter is 15 months old and has never had diaper rash.
Baby-Hack for Tummy-Time
Whose baby loves tummy time? And who’s doctor doesn’t suggest it at the 3-month check-up? My daughter, Lavender, hated it. I kept trying and she kept screaming. I tried reasoning with her to no avail. Finally, I resigned myself to the reality that she would never be mobile and I would just have to carry her forever. I can be real extra sometimes. When I got out of my feelings I started realizing the purpose behind tummy time. Laying on the belly, lifting the head strengthens the back so baby will be able to sit up and eventually start walking. How could I get around the tummy-time screams and jumpstart Lavender’s independence?
The Baby Bumbo Chair. I just plopped her in there and the chair did the rest, honestly. Her back got stronger and tummy-time stopped sounding like the death of a nation. Lavender started sitting up which led to crawling, pulling up, standing, steps and full-on walking by the time she was 10 months.
Baby-Hack for Healthy Diets
This hack is for the mommies who are very serious about what goes into their babies’ body. By serious, I mean serious, serious. By serious, serious, I mean you probably treat your body the same way. No pre-packed food, no preservatives and for the record I’m talking food, not formula. If you want your baby to eat healthy and not drive yourself crazy you need some sort of baby cooking apparatus. There’s a ton of them on the market and I suggest one that steams and then puree’s. Usually it takes about 15 minutes and then your baby has a mush version of fresh produce to keep them healthy and popping on that growth development chart.
Baby-Hacks for Travel
Travel, yes travel because mommy and daddy gotta have a life too. My baby-hacks for traveling are simple you’ll need Vick’s vapor rub for the mosquitoes and water for departures and arrivals. My Husband and I took our sweet Lavender to my native Jamaica when she was four months old. My biggest worries were the mosquitoes and her ears popping on the plane. I learned through research that Vick’s is magical mosquito repellant and it’s less toxic than products that are sold as bug spray. Every morning I would rub Lavender and myself down in Vick’s and chile, no bites. This is significant because we were in the bush at a farm in Portland and at a hotel decorated with bug nets over the beds.
Anyway, Lavender’s pediatrician spilled the tea about sipping water on take-off and landing to keep her ears from popping. Just enough water that he or she is swallowing during those two crucial moments. It has worked like a charm. However, I must warn you not to try to be cute like I did and give a full bottle. Lavender traveled so well during our Jamaica vacation that we also flew with her to New Orleans at 9 months, another beautiful traveling moment. Then we flew with her to Virginia at one years old. We had a late flight back home so I thought, “If I give her this bottle for the landing maybe she’ll got to sleep and we’ll bypass the whole ear popping thing too.” Fail. She threw up everywhere because there was too much in her stomach. Did I mention we were on a plane?
Oh well it’s the moments like those that make this journey just a little stickier with enjoyment. I hope you find these baby-hacks as useful as I did.
About the Author
Alicia lives in Florida with her husband Josh and their daughter Lavender. You can follow her on Instagram @aliciakonsker or her thoughts on the blog at www.aliciakonsker.com