June 27, 2018
my best tips for first time parents

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Our Life Covered. The opinions and text were created by me and reflect my beliefs. Getting prepared to have a new baby is the

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Our Life Covered. The opinions and text were created by me and reflect my beliefs.

Getting prepared to have a new baby is the most precious time. It’s busy and a little scary at times, but overall just filled with the sweetest moments imagining that in a short amount of time, your new baby will be here in your arms.

I’ve given it some thought and have come up with 15 of the best pieces of advice that I could think of for any of you in that season of life. Take my tips with a grain of salt… you do you. (See #4!) But these are things that certainly resonate with me after having two babies!

1. Get out of the house. I promise it will do you so much good, even if it’s just driving around in the car with your baby in tow or going for a stroller walk down the street with a friend. Days when I’m home all day long are really… well, long. When I can get out and about for errands and things like that (even though it’s usually a pain to do with a toddler and infant!), I’m generally in a much more joyful mood.

2. Take photos, but only save a couple. What I mean by this is… after you take 25 photos of the same pose of your baby, go back in and delete at least 23 of them! If you don’t, then later on when you want to print some photos (because we all do this regularly, right?) you won’t have to go through hundreds of photos narrowing down your favorites. You’ll know exactly which ones are your favorites, making the whole deal a lot easier.

3. Purchase life insurance. You never want to imagine anything bad happening to you or your spouse, but it’s definitely a nice idea to purchase life insurance so that your family will be better financially cared for in the unlikely event that it does. You may have a small policy that your employer has provided through benefits, but chances are it’s not adequate coverage if you have children. I recently discovered a company called Our Life Covered℠, that compares quotes from top-rated insurance providers in a very clear and easy way to understand. You can get quotes in literally seconds by hopping on their website or by chatting with one of their agents on the phone. Plus, another reason to purchase a policy now is because the younger you are, the more chances you have of getting a good rate due to your age and good health. Here are more reasons why you may want to think about getting a life insurance policy.

4. Do it your way. You’re the parent. Don’t feel like you have to read every book, do what your best friend did for her child, or listen to all the advice people will gladly give you. You do you. You know what’s best for your child.

5. At the end of the day, remember how AMAZING being a parent is—and spread the word to your friends who are expecting for the first time. It’s hard and you’re sleepy and you probably could use a good shower. Everybody talks about the tough stuff. But people wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t the single best thing in the whole world, right? And it really is. Having a baby is pure joy. Remember that on the hard days when you’re feeling discouraged. Nobody loves every moment of parenting and nobody will judge you when you want to leave everybody behind and escape to a private island somewhere with nothing but an umbrella drink and a good book. That’s normal… but you know what’s even better than that? Loving on your sweet baby and watching him/her develop into a wonderful, happy human being. That’s the best.

6. Do all the paperwork right away. Add your baby to your health insurance soon because you’ll have a limited number of days to be able to do this after the birth, so don’t wait! Also, you’ll need to complete the paperwork to get your baby’s birth certificate and social security card. The hospital will likely help you with this before you’re discharged, but make sure to follow through with the final steps!

7. Fill out the baby book. I didn’t fill out Watson’s until he was almost two years old. Yep, I hate to admit that, so don’t be like me. Luckily I had all of my monthly update posts to read back on to remind me of each month. I wish I had stayed on top of it!

8. Plan for child care. Will you go back to work or stay home with your baby? Can a family member help you with your baby’s care? Will you need a nanny or need to enroll your baby in day care? You’ll be so glad to have that figured out as soon as possible—ideally before the baby even arrives!

9. Write or adjust your will. Brandon and I sat down with an attorney who helped us plan our estate. The process was a lot easier than I expected and it’s such a relief to know that our wishes are legally documented.

10. Make sure you have alone time with your baby. That quiet, bonding time is SO important. Honestly, the quiet moments I spent snuggling my babies when they were freshly born are the best moments of my life.

11. Never do anything when the baby is asleep that you could do when he/she is awake. This is my #1 tip for time management. If there’s something on your to do list that can be done while your baby is next to you awake, then don’t do it while the baby is napping. Save nap time for a chance to do things you can’t do while the baby is awake… like take a nap yourself!

12. There will be moments when you question whether you’re doing a good job. You are.

13. Do everything you said you’d never do. Let the laundry pile up… ignore your to-do list and just hold your baby… order take out or eat cereal for dinner… hire someone to clean your house if that’s in the cards for you. Just do whatever makes your life easier and don’t worry about “what you should be doing.”

14. Repeat after me: Formula is not poison. I wish our society didn’t build up breastfeeding to be the end all be all. Of course it’s best, but it’s hard work and also, it’s just not an option for all women. I exclusively nursed Watson until he was 7+ months old and after I weaned him, I remember feeling an incredible amount of freedom that I didn’t know I was missing! Then I saw that he loved the formula, which made me so relieved. I’ve actually tried to give some formula to Rosie periodically because my supply is getting lower, but she refuses. I’m working on her!

15. Get ready for the day. In the newborn days, it’s so easy to go all day without even brushing your teeth, much less getting dressed for the day. I mean, why would you? You’re probably just going to be inside with your baby all day anyway! But it will make you feel like a million buckseven if all you do is just go splash some water on your face, brush your teeth, and change out of your jammies—even if that just means putting on a fresh set!