Making the decision to have a third child was one of the most wonderful/insane choices we have ever made.
Let’s start with the insane.
It is never (and I mean never) quiet. My big kids only have one volume: loud and when there’s a fussy baby added to the mix the noise level hovers somewhere around a not-so-dull roar. Someone is always pawing at me…I’m nursing the baby while the toddler is climbing on my back and the 4-year-old is pulling my arm to try and get me to come help her with some thing or another. And the logistics for getting out the door or preparing for a special event/occasion/outing are kind of ridiculous. It involves bringing ALL THE THINGS for ALL THE PEOPLE and it’s kind of overwhelming to say the least.
But, those crazy things are far outweighed by the wonderful things. My big kids are obsessed with the baby and seeing them sing her little lullabies or bring her a new toy when she’s dropped hers on the ground or all the many ways they dote on her makes my mama heart swell with joy. Our little Alice has completed our family so perfectly and given us one last chance to soak up the sweetness of the baby stage. I was never really a baby person until having her, but she is so good natured and mellow that it makes it easier to truly enjoy this stage, which is extra special since she will likely be our last baby.
In the midst of the chaos around here, it can be easy for our go-with-the-flow girl to miss out on quality time though. It’s a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” type of situation sometimes, and since Alice will happily entertain herself with tummy time and toys while I’m making lunches and getting little people dressed and breaking up sibling bickering over broken Lego structures, she spends a lot of time patiently waiting for one-on-one time with me. There are times when I feel guilty about it, but then I am reminded of how lucky she is to have her older siblings – they definitely give her plenty of attention during the times when I’m unable to.
Even though she isn’t attention starved by any stretch of the imagination, I’m definitely fullyful for the little solo moments we get to spend together. Our nursing sessions are one of those times. It’s a time when I’m forced to just sit and be still for a moment and snuggle with my girl. Another time that has become a special Mommy & Alice time has been bath time.
Of all of my babies, Alice gets the most excited when it comes to bath time. She kicks her feet and splashes her arms like a little fish and becomes positively gleeful. I soap her up and we chat…she babbles happily. It’s the perfect bonding time, because baths are a necessity, but also a time that we can have focused time together.
We’ve been loving Aquaphor Baby Wash and Shampoo, because it’s gentle, soap-free formula is perfectly moisturizing and works for all of my kids and their sensitive skin. I also appreciate that it’s made with safe ingredients like soothing chamomile and provitamin B5. I’m picky about the products I use on my kids, so I usually check them out ahead of time with the EWG Skin Deep app and this baby wash scores a 2 on the their scale, which is a win in my book.
After her bath, I get her all warm and cozy in a towel and get her diapered – making sure to use Aquaphor’s Diaper Rash Cream 3 in 1. After learning my lesson the hard way when Fern was a baby, I’ve tried to use diaper cream as a preventative measure instead of just as a soothing treatment once diaper rash rears it’s ugly head. Thankfully Aquaphor’s diaper cream has you covered for preventing, soothing and treating all in one easy step.
Once she’s dried off and diapered, I like to do a little bit of baby massage while rubbing Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment on her. It protects her skin in this cold, dry, winter weather and is great for healing any irritated places on her skin and especially drool rashes from the constant teething going on here.
As an added bonus, it works really well for rubbing on the chapped chins and noses of my big kids (thanks cold season) and it’s really hydrating for my psoriasis-induced dry patches. Always convenient to have one product that works for everyone in our family.
Even though these are just small moments, doing everyday things with my littlest, they are sweet and worthy of savoring. After having done this two times before, I know now how quickly her babyhood is going to blow by and I’m taking any moments I can to soak her up.
Sometimes as parents, it can be easy to feel like we have to “do it all” and be there to dote on our children every moment of the day. Obviously this is completely unrealistic, but even though we know this, there are times when the mom guilt still manages to creep in and pile up.
But, I am encouraging you to say no to the mom guilt.
In between the cooking and cleaning and folding of tiny socks, steal away these simple, little moments and bottle them up in your mama heart. I know it’s completely crazy some days, but it is so, so worth it and I am thankful for being able to find these little moments in the midst of everyday tasks to connect with my little ones.
*This post was created in partnership with Aquaphor. All thoughts and opinions are my own.