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Weekly Activity Plan for Baby's First Year

As a mom who tries to be intentional in raising her sweet little baby, I have searched Pinterest numerous times to find activities to do with my baby that will stimulate growth and development. The results that I found were overwhelming – 60 things to do with your baby before they turn one, 30 activities to do with your 0-3 month old baby, and even a week-by-week activity plan with 2-3 involved activities per week. As a mom that also works 20-25 hours a week outside the home, I don’t have time to do prep work for a lot of activities, especially when keeping my baby nourished and healthy is my first priority.             However, I did want to have some sort of intentionality in what activities my baby did in order to stimulate and hone the skills she was developing. So I created a weekly activity plan for baby’s first year. All of these activities you can do (in varying degrees) from 0-12 months to assist their development in different ways at different stages. Some of the…

How to Make Money while Breastfeeding

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By my calculations, for the first 4-6 months of a child’s life, a breastfeeding mom will spend an average of 3 hours a day breastfeeding (*see my calculations at the bottom of this post!). Now you can feel justified when you complain to your husband that you feel like you spend your whole life nursing. J Although for some women breastfeeding will be difficult (especially the first few weeks) and may require both hands and your full attention, once you’ve “got it down” it can seem a little boring. For someone like me who likes to be productive all the time, it felt a little like I was wasting my time – even though nourishing and caring for your sweet baby is incredibly important!             Nevertheless, I went about searching for a way to be productive at times while simultaneously feeding my child. The best avenue I found was through taking surveys on my phone. You only have to use one hand (while the other is taken up holding/assisting your infant), and you can make mon…

Alone Time for Kids

I grew up with three brothers and no sisters. I had my own room and spent a good amount of time in there by myself, playing imaginary games and making crafts. Being an introvert, I liked playing by myself and I had an extensive imagination. Growing up I could never understand why anyone would not want to spend some alone time now and then, because I enjoyed it and had learned to play that way.             As an adult, I still enjoy spending time by myself, but in regards to my own child I feel differently. When I first began to leave Lilly alone to play with her toys or just stare at the light bulb (one of her favorite pastimes), I began to feel guilty. I felt like I should be playing with her and that spending time with her was more important than whatever else I was going off to do around the house. It took me a while to figure out that not only is this O.K., it may actually be beneficial for my child!             Now, I’m not going to downplay the fact that children do n…

The Unscheduled Baby

When that first sweet little bundle of joy enters your life, everything changes. Just as you lost some control over your life when you got married, you lose even more when you have a child. Even being pregnant is a huge change. You no longer have control over your body it seems – the little nugget determines whether you can or can’t eat, what you eat, and your sleep patterns – amongst other things. Then, once they’re born, they’re even more in charge of your life! It seems like the world revolves around their needs (or wants) and their “schedule” – whatever that may be. I wrote a post earlier about not letting the baby rule your life, and this post is about not letting the baby’s schedule rule their life.             As a new mom, I’m pretty sure I have googled “baby sleep schedule” or “baby feeding schedule” for every month of my child’s life since she was born. I’m always trying to figure my little one out, because I want structure. I want to know when she’ll sleep, when …

Encourage People to Hold Your Baby

Growing up as the third child of four and my “baby” brother only being two years younger, I did not get much experience holding babies until I had babysitting jobs as a teenager. Even then, I would only babysit kids that were over a year old. I always wanted to hold all the new babies in my church, but never felt comfortable because I had next to no experience. Also, many moms I knew tended to be very possessive or protective of their baby, so if they wouldn’t let other adults hold their baby, there was no way they’d let me hold that little bundle of joy. Thus, I was left with sneaking glances and making faces long-distance with any infant that I encountered.             Until I had my own child. Then I got to experience the absolute peace and warmth that comes from holding such a tiny little human (which I’m sure was increased exponentially since it was my own child, though I still feel that way now when I hold someone else’s baby). I’m pretty sure holding babies could be…

Don't Let Your Baby Rule Your Life!

If you have friends with babies, you have probably heard of being a “slave to the schedule”. What people mean by this is typically their baby’s eat/sleep schedule, and they the parents must follow it with more rigor than the baby ever will.             Schedules can be good for children, just as they can be good for adults, but when you are so determined to have your baby on a schedule that you forgo having a normal life or taking advantage of an opportunity, that’s when things get questionable. Your child’s well-being is important, but your well-being and your husband’s well-being must come first.             When we first became parents, many people were so surprised at how we were out and about doing our normal routine shortly after Lilly was born. To be honest, I did try to get her on a schedule, and that lasted about a day. Once I realized that she really was too young to understand a schedule and could sleep (or not sleep) practically anywhere, that’s when I decided …

Swimming with a Baby

Doctors and other parents are always full of advice on what you should or should not do with your infants. Mostly what I hear are a lot of don’ts. Don’t feed them that, don’t do this with them, etc. etc. Of course, babies are small and somewhat incapable of keeping themselves safe, but I think their bodies are more resilient than most people realize. If you consider that a baby’s body goes through labor and delivery (whew!), and heals from it emotionally and physically like you do, that gives a lot of confidence in what they are able to handle.             Sometimes I feel like if doctors had their way neither you (the postpartum mom) nor the baby would leave the house for the first three months of the baby’s life. I think that this view is a bit extreme and causes many parents (especially first-time parents) to be afraid of doing things with their baby that could be beneficial for everyone in the family. One of these things I think people are afraid to expose their baby t…