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Parenting ... it’s a challenge! And when you’re a new mom or dad, you need all the help you can get. Luckily, support can come from all sorts of places — your partner, your friends and family, your personal mantra, and the many products and household items designed to make new parents’ lives just a little easier!
We asked moms and dads from around the web:
When you’re a new parent, what’s the one thing you just can’t live without?
“That first year with twins, I couldn’t live without my blog and social media to feel connected while isolated at home. My monthly indulgences to Starbucks or getting a pedicure were lifesavers too. Getting out for fresh air and some ‘me’ time really helped me stay healthier and be a better parent when I returned. Along those lines, my BOB Double Jogging Stroller encouraged all three of us to get out and get moving, which was great for all of us.”
“The one thing a new parent can’t live without is sleep. Babies take a lot of energy, especially if you are breast feeding, so make sure you get enough sleep. Easy to say, right? But hard to do. I suggest napping when baby naps, because it’s the one time baby will let you. I also suggest paying attention to your diet and eating nutrition-packed foods that will help your body do its best awake and asleep. Make sure to respect your body’s needs and arrange for someone to watch the baby for a few hours while you catch up on sleep if necessary. Focus on creating a sleep routine with baby that works for everyone.”
“My must-have thing is a much-used mantra. I have four little boys ages 5 and under. The hardest thing for me during the hectic baby phase is maintaining a sense of perspective. I find myself often repeating: ‘This too shall pass.’ During late-night cry sessions, it serves as a reminder that those times are temporary. During all the beautiful, connected, sweet moments, I say the exact same thing, and it helps me remember that these fleeting days are something to be cherished.”
“Remember to enjoy living in the moment. Every parent gets bogged down with the long term thought of being a parent and what’s on deck ... sometimes we forget to just be there in that moment.”
“When I became a parent for the first time, the one main thing I couldn’t live without was my phone. I’m ashamed to say so, but it had everything on it, from breastfeeding apps that recorded my last feed, to the Wonder Weeks app that warned me when my son was about to make another developmental leap. On top of that, it connected me to the outside world. Without it, I probably would have felt very lonely during the first few weeks."
“As a new parent, the one thing I cannot live without is Rachel Cole and her coaching to be a well-fed woman who loves my curves. Also, reminding myself that the really, really, really hard stuff is just ‘for now.’”
“As a mother to six children, reflecting on my six unique births and postpartums, there are a few things I wouldn’t want to do without. The first is a support system. Whether that is family, friends, or a postpartum doula. It is essential for the mother and partner to have support as they heal from birth and adjust to a new ebb and flow. Beyond that I would say Netflix, chocolate, and a Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper I simply wouldn’t want to be without during the fourth trimester!”
“I would say your inner voice, which tells you to trust your instincts, because mama really does know best!”
“I think that a baby carrier with good back support is a must have for new parents! Babies and parents thrive when they spend time together, and a great baby carrier allows parents freedom and comfort while bonding with their baby.”
“The one thing I couldn’t live without as a new parent was the Notes app on my phone. I was able to use it to keep track of feedings, any medication the kids needed, and doctor’s instructions. It was a lifesaver since I had two under 2.”
“The one thing that I couldn't do without were my muslins — they were a godsend! For clearing up mess, checking over your shoulder when carrying the baby, and even soothing them when they get a little older, too! A muslin should never be out of a parent's reach ... and you'll still be using them years later. My kids are 9 and 11 now, and we still have them as they are just so, so handy for all those kid-related accidents!”
“The one thing I couldn't live without as a new parent was my instincts. I feel very strongly that you have to go with your gut. Follow, that and you can't go wrong.”