Since it’s still a newish blog, I don’t typically get many Ask Emmaline questions to this site. But I recently got one from mom-to-be, Alisha, and I thought it was a good time to put it into action. So here goes!
“I’m registering for my baby shower and my husband and I can’t decide if we really need a pack and play. Thoughts?”
Okay, so I was in your shoes not many months ago, wondering the very same thing. Do I really need a pack and play? Does our baby really need all of these contraptions and doesn’t it seem like he’s just going to be moving from crib to bouncer to car seat to rocker and to crib again? Should we really register for one? So I skipped it on my registry.
But six months later, I really, really needed the pack and play.
You see, something funny happens around six months: your baby is probably getting ready to be more mobile, starting to flip from back to front to back again and wants more room to sprawl out. The rocker was no longer the same sort of safe place to put him, since he fought it and wanted out so he could flip.
The other problem that we ran into was sometimes you need a really, really quick place to set him down that is totally safe. No buckles needed, nothing to strap him into, nothing that he can try to flip in. Just a small, crib-like sanctuary where you can set him down and run to the bathroom, answer the phone, grab the boiling-over pan on the stove, or have a glass of water and you don’t have to worry about him. He’s safe, happy, contained, able to flip, and has a few toys in there that he can enjoy.
So, yes, I would recommend registering for a pack and play. You can fold it and take it to go, outside, too! It’s a nice safe place for baby to go. I’ve even put Andrew in it and he has fallen asleep in it. You don’t need anything fancy, something like this will do just fine. Just remember to check and make sure the pack and play you pick has a mattress pad included (otherwise you can buy a standard one for it). And the bassinet and do-dads that come with it aren’t really a necessity. Andrew really just likes to play with his own toys in it.
Now, getting him to stay in there longer than fifteen minutes? If you figure that one out, be sure to let me know.
If ever in my life I’ve believed in superhero powers, THE TIME IS NOW. You guys, I’m doing things I never knew I could do… and it came out of nowhere once Baby Andrew was born. There must be some sort of secret Jetpack that came home with me in my diaper bag because, holy cow, Momma’s got a new bag of tricks. Here are 9 reasons why I, and you, and your mother, and your aunt, and your mother’s mother (aka your grandmother) ARE ALL SUPERMOM. And, this is just an abbreviated list — the list is pretty much never-ending, no?
9 Reasons Why You = Supermom
Here are the reasons I discovered that I have supermom strengths and skills I never knew I had before. These are also reasons why YOU are supermom, because I know all Moms have these powers. Which ones resonate most with you?
1. Food Fullness Factor = 8
I’m never really, really hungry anymore. I’m always kind of hungry, but my appetite is squelched so easily now. Pre-baby / pregnancy: I already want to eat lunch tomorrow. Post-baby: I eat a salad with one hand while I’m rocking baby with the other and I’m all, it’s cool, I’m good.
2. Benchpress Level = Champion.
Okay, so I’m not really a master of the weight bench, but seriously… I’m picking up a twenty-some pound baby every day, millions of times a day, lifting up, placing down, swinging, rocking. Pre-baby: how many more reps? Post-baby: I could and will rock this baby all night until he falls asleep.
3. Ultra Preparedness.
At any given moment, I’m ready for baby to soil eight diapers using seventeen wipes requiring two changes of clothes. I’m ready with a burp cloth, bib, and I have three different bottles pre-filled with formula and warm water (babe is so spoiled) at the ready. I have a toy, a noisemaker, a paci, and a blanket, a bottle of sunblock, Neosporin, baby nail clippers, and lotion, you know, just in case he gets random cases of eczema (he doesn’t). I never need diaper rash cream, but I HAVE A HUGE TUBE OF IT ALWAYS READY TO GO and I don’t really know why. I also have a pair of baby pajamas ALWAYS, just because I think babies should always get warm and snuggly when they’re good and ready. Pre-baby? “Shoot, I forgot my wallet.” Post-baby: “Which type of wallet and what size would you like?”
4. One-Handed Typist, Level Expert
I can type with one hand, baby in the other. Plus, my WPM is KILLING IT. Mavis Beacon would be so proud.
5. Multitasking Champion
WHAT DID I DO with my hands before? Fold them? They were so manicured. Soft. Supple. Bored. Now one hand is folding laundry, the other is typing or eating, my eyes are occasionally watching, one ear is pretending to listen (but it’s really always listening for a baby sound). My hands are so much more useful now. Good job, you guys.
6. Schedules = No Longer a Thing
I don’t really care what the clock says anymore. As in, I’m up at 4am but I’m no longer surprised. At first, it was like, oh okay, this is what 4am looks like. Now it’s all, the birds are a little late today, no? But really, at night you’re putting baby to bed and it’s sometimes 8:30, other times 11:45, and you just have no particular care about specific time anymore. Babies don’t care about time, so you sort of stop caring about it, too. Things will get done, you’ll sleep eventually, it just all falls into place without the tick, tick, ticking of a schedule like you used to have.
7. Professional Grocery Shopper
I used to take SO LONG shopping, especially for groceries. Now I OWN THAT STORE. In, out, twenty minutes or less. I’m either anticipating a baby diaper change, a bottle request, or I’m out while hubby is watching babe and I can’t wait to get home to my fam.
8. Ultra-sonic Hearing
My hearing has never been better. I can be doing laundry, listening to tv, typing, cats meowing and cars going by, and I’m all, “I hear baby, he must have flipped Glowy and needs it flipped back.”
I master time. Clock time = irrelevant, but one hour = everything. I can do SO MANY THINGS in one hour. Bathe baby. Change him. Feed him. Burp him. Grab laundry, change the diaper pail, restock the diapers, get new wipes out, wipe down the nursery, pick up the toys. Whew. I do, then, put my feet up and waste the next hour watching a show, but still. Credit where due.
Baby Andrew did something today that made me laugh. I handed him a new toy, knowing full well it was going right into his mouth before he even took a look at it. It made me laugh because, instinctively, I already knew it was going to happen. I’ve been prepped for many things baby after having two cats for over seven years, and, while I promise I’m not comparing having a cat to having a baby (babies are 100000x more work and 1000000x more interactive), it still can prepare you for some of the responsibilities that comes with being a new mom. They do have the funniest similarities! Let’s begin, shall we?
But first, hilarious cat gifs.
And these are hilarious, too. Cat owners = we understand these all too well.
17 Ways Cats are like Newborn Babies
1. They put everything in their mouth.
Oh my gosh, everything. If I’m crafting, the cats are all, what’s this, ribbon? Let me taste it. Yes, tastes like ribbon. I give baby a toy, he’s all, ooh, what does this taste like?
2. They get into EVERYTHING.
This doesn’t apply as much to Andrew yet (he’s only three months), but I know once he starts crawling he’ll be getting into everything. For cats, it was ever since day one, from closets to boxes to winter jackets. If it fits, it sits. My laptop?
3. You never get a full night’s sleep.
Since the day I brought home Geppetto and Shadow, I never slept through the night. That’s a solid 7 years ago. Whether they’re waking me up to feed them, to play, or just because they’re being exceptionally noisy, I’m always up three, four times a night. Which is great practice for a baby because, obviously, you’ll be up during the night. With Andrew, I sleep pretty well, except I never sleep fully — as a parent, you’re always sort of awake, just listening, making sure baby’s okay.
4. You’re particular about how people handle them.
“He likes it when you”… fill in the blank with something baby, like “lift him up and burp him like this”. Or, cat, “tickle behind his ear and don’t touch his face.”
5. You open windows, close windows, open them again.
Baby: Is he too cold? Too warm? Is it too noisy? Cat: Does he want to lay next to this window? That one? My shirt is in the way, here, let me move that for you so you can be more comfortable. It’s totally an eye roll, but so very true.
6. You snuggle them whenever you can.
You’ll want to hold that baby as much as possible because baby snuggles = best thing in the world. Likewise, cats don’t usually like to be handled, but you’ll do it anyway and force them to like it because you’re their honorary Cat Mom. And somehow you think they’ll grow to like it (but do they ever?)
7. You have to cut their nails, or else they get ridiculously long.
Baby nails get so long so quickly. Cat nails get so long so quickly. For the safety of everyone, including themselves, they require regular nail trimming. And neither of them care for it.
8. They love milk.
It’s milk, 24/7, all day every day. Babies love it. Cats love it.
9. They talk a lot, but don’t make a whole lot of sense.
Babbles and cries are no easier to figure out that meows and hisses. Either way, they need and want something and you’ll do whatever you can to figure out what it is. If the baby cries and the cat meows at the same time, baby always (obviously) wins. Cat doesn’t seem to mind, as they’ll just hit you up for food again in the next twenty minute interval (or the next time you stand up, whichever comes first).
10. They crave attention.
Cats, while they pretend you don’t exist sometimes, really do love human interaction. If you don’t play with them for awhile, they get resentful and start knocking things from tables onto the floor. Babies don’t do such a thing, but if you’re playing with them and look away for a second, you know, because a pot is boiling over on the stove, they cry instinctively, but in the sweetest way.
11. They want to eat around the clock.
Babies eat constantly, but for good reason: they’re growing, changing, using up energy. Cats just like to eat socially, except it’s around the clock and if you let them, they’ll become really particular about what they eat. Case in point: we gave Geppetto wet food recently and he stuck his nose up at it because it was a different flavor. He actually looked at it, looked at me, looked back at it, and walked away.
12. They have a favorite blanket and/or toy.
Baby: “Did you bring Monk, blankey, and Glowy?” Cats: “Did you remember to lay the afghan out on the couch and fill up the catnip skunk?”
13. They spit up on the regular.
Babies spit up once in awhile, some more than others. Cats? All cats throw up. All the time. And if you say that yours doesn’t, you’re lying to yourself and the general population.
14. You take care of their “business”.
I’ve been cleaning dirty diapers for 7 years, except it’s messier and in a litter box form. Diapers on babies is SO MUCH EASIER. At least everything is contained and you’re not digging like you’re on some archeaological dig! Plus, babies don’t pee outside the diaper, but cats frequently pee outside the box if something isn’t just so.
15. They don’t like loud noises.
In particular, sneezes. The other day, Andrew was sleeping and I had to sneeze. I tried to quietly sneeze, but regardless, it came out and he was surprised and it woke him up instantly and he started crying. I felt so bad! Cats hate sneezes, too. Andrew (hubby) will sneeze really loudly sometimes, just because that’s how he sneezes, and the cat will either a) run away from him, like if he’s on the couch, or b) let out a really loud, “um, excuse you” type meow. It’s hilarious.
16. They grow up so fast.
The time between baby and toddler goes by so fast, at least that’s what I’m told. Kittens? I know for a fact they go from kitty to adult cat in like, twenty days. That’s what it seems like anyway. Enjoy those moments when they’re teeny tiny!
17. You’re their whole world.
Babies love you with all their heart. You’re their everything. Cats? Well, cats love you, too, and you’re their world, but they don’t always like to admit it. ;)