What every new mom needs to know to help alleviate stress and promote smiles all around.
It’s not always easy being a mom – but I promise you’re already a superhero! (Even if you won’t admit it!) You’re life changes in so many considerable ways… time, work, relationships… everything now revolves around this tiny human. So let’s talk ways to make every moms life easier.
Photo Credit: Traysea Made Chef Services
You’ve probably heard of these two kitchen appliances, but they are a must have as they make meal prep much easier and time efficient! One of the best ways to prepare meals ahead of time is a slow cooker. Just throw your preferred ingredients into the pot early in the day and enjoy your meal at dinner time. Plus the whole house will smell delectable! Another good appliance to have is a rice cooker. This device will transform the lengthy process of cooking rice into a task that’s as simple as pushing a button. If you’re not convinced yet, you should know that after the rice is done cooking it will automatically keep your food warm.
Freezer meals are also an excellent way to decrease meal prep time. No, I’m not referring to the typical TV dinner. This method of meal preparation consists of cooking a meal’s ingredients ahead of time, then freezing it for a drastic reduction of meal prep time in the future. If you want to be even more ready for the sometimes unpredictable hunger pains, try out the once a month cooking approach or just double a recipe for extra servings. Once you’re ready to eat your freezer meal, just thaw it out in the refrigerator and use your preferred warming technique.
My best advice for picky eaters would be to expect odd food habits and offer a variety of nutritious options. Keep in mind that our Breakfast Cookie Minis are a great snack option (and are kid friendly).
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Just because you have a little munchkin running around doesn’t mean that you have to schedule a babysitter in order to exercise. The easiest way to work out is doing cardio while pushing them in their stroller. This can entail anything from a leisurely walk to a brisk run (add in some lunges to really get those quads working!). Stroller cardio is a great way to get your kid outside for some fresh air. By choosing to walk instead of driving, you can promote the importance of spending time in nature. Playing games such as “I spy” is an excellent way to make outdoor fun even more whimsical.
Want a workout that is a little more intense? Check out this video for an 18 minute workout that incorporates your baby.
Bath Time Fun
Photo Credit: Motherhood Before Noon
While this task may have been simple when your child was a baby, many toddlers become tub-resistant. Children may prefer to play over practicing good hygiene, so be sure to add some fun elements to bath time. Some playful suggestions include adding glow sticks to the water and dimming the lights to make it seem like a party, blowing bubbles, and finding toys that are waterproof.
Another dexterous way to inspire smiles in the tub is to vary the schedule of bath time. Children recognize that bath time means that bed time is quickly approaching; therefore, breaking that correlation can be mutually beneficial. Close the door while filling up the tub since the loud sound of the water running can be scary for little ones. To make hair washing easier, place stickers on the ceiling for them to look at while you rinse or purchase goggles. By transforming bath time into a playful event, it should help your child enjoy themselves while getting clean at the same time.
Limiting Screen Time
Although this wasn’t an issue while you were growing up, limiting the amount of screen time that your child has is a very important issue. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a maximum of one hour daily for children over 2 years old. The best way to counteract this natural desire to become enthralled with the black mirror is to find productive alternatives. Be sure to set a good example by being present in the moment while spending time together.
There are many different approaches to encourage children to use their imagination. My favorite option is reading because it helps develop the brain’s cognitive function. Another excellent avenue of distraction is to go outside together every day whether it’s rain or shine. By instilling these positive habits early, your child may not feel the need to be entertained by technology.
Other fantastic alternatives include using dry erase boards to practice writing/drawing or buying costumes for imaginative playtime. No matter which method you choose, you can feel satisfied knowing that you are cultivating creativity and independence in your blossoming child.
Time for Yourself
Being a parent can be exhausting, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you need some alone time. An outstanding way to accomplish personal time is to encourage sharing duties with your counterpart. This way you’ll encourage bonding time with their other parent and lessen the guilt you feel being away from your child.
Other ways to lessen the weight on your shoulders include not feeling guilty when asking for help and identifying the people you can call when you need to vent or need someone to come over for a few minutes so you can shower! Just remember that nobody is perfect and that babies don’t come with instructions.
Advice from Parents at the Bakery
Our Bakery has multiple new moms and a few seasoned veterans – here’s a few of their top tips:
Don't wait until they seem tired to put them down for a nap… put them down right before they show signs of being tired (eye rubbing, yawning, fussiness). I watch for the zoned out stare. You'll learn to gauge it quickly, I promise!
- Nicole, Brand Manager
(Always discuss nutritional information with your child’s doctor.)
- Add ground flax seed to purees (start slow with ¼ tsp and adjust as necessary) - this also adds additional nutrition to first foods
- 1 TBSP of coconut water mixed into bottle of formula/milk once a day. Harmless Harvest Coconut Water is my go-to!
- Adding chia seeds to oatmeal along with a probiotic yogurt, like Nancy's Whole Milk Organic Probiotic Yogurt or Kefir if lactose intolerant)
- Avoiding bananas and sweet potatoes (these foods that have the opposite effect then you're looking for)
Healthy Snacking While On-The-Go
I keep a Ziploc bag full of healthy shelf stable snacks in my diaper bag at all times. In it I have things like Breakfast Cookie Minis, fruit/veggie pouches, cheerios, dried fruit, crackers, meat stick, etc. I restock it as things get used. This way I can grab my bag as I’m running out the door and always have snacks with me. If my daughter is hungry (or I need to distract her for a few minutes) I show her the bag and let her pick out what snack she wants. Added bonus by keeping the snacks in there healthy I don’t care what snack she picks out for herself. As a 2 year old she really enjoys getting to pick for herself!
- Jessie, Accounts Receivable
Make reading a part of your bedtime routine each night. Not only is it very beneficial for development but it’s a great time to bond and wind down for the night.
-Rob, Chief Operating Officer
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