Logistics.

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One of the hardest parts of being a parent is figuring out the logistics. I remember being pregnant with Bean and sitting up all night long worrying about things like how I was going to get him from the car into the doctors appointment, or what I was going to do with him in the grocery store? What I hated most about being a new mom was feeling like everyone else knew how to do things and I didn’t, and so I wanted to figure it out before anyone knew that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing!

If I could tell new moms anything, I would tell them this giant secret of parenthood: We’re all new moms.

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Every time Bean hits a new milestone or a new phase or a new age, I’m back to the beginning. Sitting up at night, trying to figure out how to do this parenting thing. It’s a continuous cycle of figuring things out. Your only real objective is to learn only slightly faster than your children grow. And you quickly realize, that’s just darn impossible.

But, it’s the figuring things out that makes parenting so rewarding. The first time Michael ran a fever and I didn’t freak out and have to call the pediatrician in the middle of the night, I felt like Super Woman. The first time Bean had a successful time out, I felt like Wonder Woman. The first time I took both kids grocery shopping by myself, I felt like She-Ra. Watching yourself learn and grown as a parent is sometimes just as exciting as watching your children learn and grow. So, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by being a new mom (of children ANY age), take heart. We all feel like that sometimes. You’re in good company.

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I thought today, I would share some random, simple, logistical tips that I’ve learned over the past two and a half years. There are a thousand different ways to parent, so some of these may not be the way for you. But maybe they’ll at least give you one option in a sea of many.

– When we’re in a parking lot and I’m trying to get the kids into the car, I always put Bean in first. He is the one who moves around the most and the one who would be most likely to bolt out in traffic, so I feel better when he is contained somewhere. Usually, I put him in his seat (now he likes to crawl up himself) quickly, without buckling him, and he plays around in the backseat while I walk around and buckle Gracie in. Then, I go back to Bean and buckle him in. This gets Gracie in her seat quickly, but it also keeps Bean contained.

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– If you have two little ones and you can wing it, it makes things much easier to do dinner, bath, and bedtime all together. We have to do modified versions of this routine with Gracie so that she can hang in there with Bean (ex. she sits in her high chair and feeds herself bits of food while I get his dinner ready and then I feed her the actual baby food when Bean sits down to eat), but for the most part, we give them dinner at the same time and then we give them a bath together. Then, Chris gets Bean ready for bed and I get Gracie ready for bed and they both go down at the same time. That way, our attention isn’t focused on one child while the other has to wait. It also helps keep our evening routine from dragging out for hours. Both kids are in bed by 7:00.

– If you’re able, having two people at bath time when you have two babies in the tub makes it easier and safer. One of us takes one and the other takes the second and we get them all soaped up and clean at the same time.

– If you move a newborn into their own room for the first time and you find yourself unable to sleep because you’re listening to every twitch on the baby monitor, try turning the monitor off. Trust me, when babies need something, they make those needs KNOWN. If they truly wake up because they need something, you’ll be able to hear them cry without the monitor (provided your room is within ear shot of the nursery). I finally took the monitor out of our room with Bean because I was jumping wide awake at every noise he made. And then I realized that if he actually needed me, he would make enough noise on his own.

– When you’re putting on baby shoes on little, bitty, pudgy baby feet, try putting them on at an angle and then twisting them onto the baby’s feet, like you’re twisting the lid on a jar. The shoe will just “snap” into place.

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– When at all possible, carry your infant in the car seat/carrier. I know it’s super heavy to lug around, but when you’re on the go, babies sleep better in their own space. Plus, if it’s cold outside, keeping them wrapped up in their seat with a good blanket keeps them much warmer than if you lift them out.

– Never go ANYWHERE without a burp cloth! No matter how long you’re going to be gone. Even if you’re just running out to the mailbox with your baby – TAKE A BURP CLOTH. Trust me.

– I don’t usually carry diapers in my diaper bag. I have a pack of them that I leave in the car, along with a changing mat and a pack of wipes. I found that whenever we were out and about and I needed a diaper change, I’d rather take the baby out to the car to change them anyway than change them in a public restroom. A word of caution, though, keep diaper wipes in your bag! You’ll use them for so many things!

– If you have babies in daycare, be sure you not only label their bottle, but you label the lids, too. We had so many lids lost or sent home with the wrong families before I finally got smart and started labeling the lid, too.

– This might not work for everyone, but for my babies, we tried to take them out for errands during nap time. When they are newborns and very young infants, usually they can sleep just about anywhere. So, I’d give them a big bottle, load ’em up in their car seat, and on the drive to the grocery story, they’d fall asleep. Then, I’d just put the carrier in the seat part of the grocery cart and they’d sleep while I shopped. The only setback to this method is that when you get home, the baby will be wide-eyed and you’ll be wanting a nap! But, if you really need to get some things done, try doing it during nap time.

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24 Thoughts to “Logistics.”

  1. Carrie

    Im gonna be a 1st time mom in May!!! Baby girl is due on Mothers Day and I LOVED this post… I lay awake all the time wondering how I’m gonna figure all of this out!! I love kids and and am around them all of the time, but I’m kinda wigging out that I’m gonna be responsible for my own!!!

  2. Maryellen

    I love that you made a reference to She-Ra!

  3. Thank you for this. I am due with my first in July, and these are EXACTLY the things that keep me up at night.

    (And that my husband gets annoyed about because I can’t possibly worry about them alone, so I wake him up and bother him with them, too. Sharing is caring, right?)

  4. Porter is such a light sleeper that we never could go out and do stuff at naptime. Instead we had to plan our days AROUND naptime, which wasn’t so bad once we got the hang of it.

  5. Laura

    Mad props for the She-ra reference πŸ™‚

  6. Jessica

    I’m a new mom to a 4 month old baby girl. A couple of things I’ve learned so far, is to park as close to the cart returns in the parking lot. And any time we go to the doctor I always dress her in a sleeper. They have you strip your baby down to nothing but a diaper. So sleepers are great for quickly getting them in & out of clothes. Oh, and I always take a nice fluffy baby blanket with us. That way I can keep her warm while we wait for the doctor.

  7. Talia Nuckolls

    Katie…you don’t know how often I read your “essays” allow to my husband. You provide so much comic relief and prospective to me, who can tend to be analitical to a fault.
    Here on the West coast most of my friends keep their babies in an Ergo or Moby….and almost never in the car seat….is the car seat the norm down there? Just wondering. Also, if people are breastfeeding, tanking up before shopping is also a must, there you don’t have to worry about what to do with your toddler while you try to find a comfy spot to nurse the baby…
    Thanks for your posts! press on, sister.

  8. Sandy

    since we are such good friends, i feel that i can ask this question =o) has gracie ever had an “accident” while in the tub with bean? if so, what did bean do?

  9. Great tips! Regarding the turn the baby monitor off thing I am totally with you. I have a little motto I say in my head all the time “Fools rush in” so many times the baby will make some noise but go back to sleep if I leave her alone. And when she really, really needs me, she most definitely lets me know!!

    One time my first child slept overnight at Grandma’s house. I gave my mom the monitor and I watched her sit there with the monitor on loudly while my daughter cried it out, pure torture!! “Mom, turn it off until she falls asleep, consider yourself lucky you can’t hear this part!!” Duh!

    Good advice Katie!

  10. Love this post! I now have a 2.5 yo and a 6mo and it seems like we had just gotten the logistics of having one child down, and then #2 came along and it was back to square one!

  11. I find this post very useful and interesting!!
    Even though, I don’t have kids yet, these are great tips I’ll take into account in the future!
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Thank you, thank you! We’re just 2 weeks away from meeting our little girl, and I’m in that ‘oh shit’ phase of being a new mom…will I figure this all out? Please tell me the mom think clicks in when the baby is in your arms? I appreciate any tips I can get!

  13. Katie N.

    Great tips, as always! Side note – do you think Michelle Duggar ever feels like a new mom? I think she’s the caveat to this post πŸ˜‰

  14. KT

    My first is due in 25 days (not that she’ll probably keep that date), so thank you for these tips. I’ve been so busy trying to get everything together that I don’t think I’ve worried much about this stuff, but I know I will!

  15. Nikki

    Thanks for the great post! We are in the “not pregnant, but trying to plan when to get pregnant” phase, and I already am starting to think about logistics. I think it’s time to start going back through the archives to get a heads up of what is to come! Side note-when I was young I had a Betta fish name She-Ra!

  16. It definitely seems like once we finally get Sullivan figured out, he changes things completely and we’re back to square one. We’re kinda far away from the nursery so I just leave our monitor set on the lowest setting. I can’t hear anything until he starts to cry. I sometimes feel like “bring on baby 2” but then I reread some of my early posts about having a newborn and immediately change my mind. Talk to me about it again in a year or so πŸ™‚

  17. Heather

    I love this post…would you consider doing the I get around posts again?

  18. Jennifer

    Great post! One thing I do in parking lots is park close or next to a buggy return, that way I can grab a buggy get the little guy in it go in the store come out and put everything in the car, including little guy and return the buggy just 2 steps away.

  19. Kat

    LOVE THESE! πŸ™‚ Simple. but so nice to know the little tips and tricks. I’m like you- trying to figure things out before someone else figures out that I don’t know any better! Being a new mom is stressful lol

  20. jenny-bird

    Thanks for these tips. The more I know about raising children the more I feel equally prepared/unprepared for motherhood. πŸ™‚ I love the idea of running errands while the child naps. It sound like a great idea.

  21. JustAng

    I am totally trying that shoe tip tomorrow morning. My 9-month-old daughter has gone barefoot many a day because I am so frustrated trying to put on her shoes!

  22. Definitely some amazing advice! A few of the things you mentioned I definitely picked up over the last few months and others, well, I am going to have to keep them in mind! Its always nice to get new mommy tid-bits when you can πŸ™‚ Cabin Fever in Vermont

  23. I love all of these tips. And I do just about all of these with my two kiddos. The only difference is that currently, with my husband’s job, I do all of this as a single parent about 75% of the time. He travels A LOT right now. But all of these shortcuts really do help!

  24. This is a GREAT post. I am ALWAYS trying to figure out the logistics and it’s a PAIN. But, I keep reminding myself that I am not the first to juggle two kids, and it is getting easier!

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