• Real Moms Share Real Advice: Getting Things Done When You Have a Tiny Baby at Home

    One of our readers recently asked a GREAT question and the community had so many awesome responses we wanted to share them here.

    “I’m a new mom to a 5-month-old, and I desperately need some lazy genius hacks for pretty much everything 😅😅. I feel like I’m drowning. All my previous routines for laundry, cooking, and cleaning are non-existent now.

    I’m home with her most of the time and am a photographer trying to balance work and baby. It’s super overwhelming. She’s a Velcro baby who doesn’t like being put down, and her naps are short and all over the place.

    I’d love to hear any tips for making life a bit smoother with a baby! “

    Best “Getting Things Done” Baby Advice From Real Moms

    ⭐”My Velcro baby contact napped until around 6 months, and the approach that worked for me was to tackle tasks during his wake windows and treat his naptime as rest time for both of us. This mindset was a game-changer! It meant focusing on things I could do with him, so I had to prioritize what really needed to be done. I ended up doing a lot of dusting, laundry, and vacuuming since he was okay with those activities. On the other hand, bathrooms and mopping didn’t get much attention.”

    ⭐”First off, try to embrace the season you’re in. I know it can be tough, but some chores can wait until you have time. Carrier naps have been a game-changer for my 5-month-old! We still manage some crib naps, but if she refuses to nap or wakes up early (after about 30 minutes), I use the carrier to get a full nap in. A portable white noise machine is essential for us, especially with her 3-year-old brother running around. I can still get things done while she sleeps in the carrier.”

    ⭐”One thing that’s been helping me with laundry is putting a load in at night and setting it to start overnight. That way, it’s ready to switch first thing in the morning, and I already feel like I’ve accomplished something. If your washer doesn’t have that option, finding a routine that works for you might still be helpful. “Another great hack I learned is to cook up a large batch of ground beef or sausage (like 5 lbs) instead of just one. Then, freeze the cooked meat in portions. It makes meal prep so much easier since you have cooked meat ready for quick breakfasts or dinners. Having sausage ready for breakfast and ground beef for various dinner recipes has been a lifesaver. 🙂”

    ⭐”Check out Taking Cara Babies! She helped me so much! My now one-year-old is a consistent napper, in his own crib, and puts himself to sleep! If nothing else, she makes you feel like you aren’t going to go crazy and aren’t alone! You said your mom is available to help, my mom comes to my house once a week, for two hours, and does an all over clean! It is so nice and has allowed me to not feel like I need to spend all weekend cleaning. She has also done things like going through my baby’s dresser and cleaning out all of the too-small stuff or cleaning and reorganizing my kitchen cupboards and pantry! It does get better, I promise! The first year is just very involved!”

    ⭐”Let it go. This season is so short, so if you can, ignore the housework and focus on bonding with your baby. Wearing the baby in a wrap was a game-changer for us. I’d also sit cross-legged with the baby on my legs and fold laundry—sometimes using the baby as a playful surface for a peek-a-boo game. Most importantly, give yourself lots of grace. We’ve all been there, and it’s impossible to do everything alone. Don’t pressure yourself to meet unrealistic expectations.”

    ⭐”I have a son who just turned two, and I remember realizing two key things: trying to achieve more than one goal a day was setting myself up for failure, and I needed to feel productive with house tasks because baby tasks didn’t give the same sense of satisfaction. This was crucial to recognize with my husband, who took on many chores to help out. I didn’t want to feel like he was “cleaning up after me. If you feel the same, having your mom or someone else take over baby duties for a bit so you can tackle some house tasks can be a game changer. It makes you feel accomplished. And if you’re trying to sleep or work during that time, definitely use white noise or other sounds to block out what’s going on with the baby!”

    ⭐”Hi mama! I’ve got a three-month-old and a toddler, so I totally get it. You’re doing amazing, even though it’s so hard. My biggest lazy genius principle right now is to start small. I had everything organized before the baby, but that went out the window with a newborn. Just slowly start incorporating a few minutes of things that matter and build from there. I mean super small steps, like clearing a counter of junk, folding a load of laundry, or just saying “oh well” and reading a book for thirty minutes. Start small and live in your season—there will be more time for routines as they get older.”

    ⭐I have three kids and felt the same way with my first! It’s easy to say, “just let it go” (because if there was ever a time, this is it), but I know how hard that is when you’re living through it. Try picking one thing each day (or on days you have the energy) that’s driving you nuts and tackle it when the baby rests, even if it’s as small as wiping down a bathroom sink. It won’t make a huge difference, but you’ll feel better. I also suggest doing laundry at night. Start a load around dinner, move it to the dryer at bedtime, and then whoever’s up first can fold it. Sometimes it’s a progressive fold, but that’s okay. With my second and third, I had a cleaning service come in twice a month to handle the kitchen, bathrooms, and living/dining room area. It wasn’t too expensive and really helped reduce my stress levels!

    ⭐”I used to make a to-do list and arrange items by how long they took, like in 5-minute, 10-20 minute, 30-minute rows. That way, when the baby was sleeping, I didn’t have the panic of “What was I needing to do?!” and forgetting everything. If you know your baby is likely to nap for only 20 minutes, tackle a 20-minute job first (it’s okay if she wakes and cries for a few minutes while you finish up). If she’s still sleeping, pick a 5-minute job or something shorter. This helped me avoid decision fatigue about what needed to be done and what to prioritize. And definitely schedule yourself some meal times—those are always #1 priority “jobs.” Even if you prep something early to eat while folding laundry in that 20-minute slot. 😜”

    ⭐”Freezer meal prep, dump meals, and disposable dishes can save you a lot of time. Consider using a laundry service and scheduling a robot vacuum to run regularly. Close off rooms you don’t use to keep things more manageable. And try to get out of the house as much as possible because babies can’t dirty a house they’re not in! (This last tip will be useful for the next few years too!)”

    ⭐”I had a Velcro baby too, and baby wearing was the only way I could get anything done. I’d often throw a load of laundry in first thing in the morning with the goal of having it folded and put away by the end of the day.”

    ⭐”I felt the same way with my son, but I learned to let go of all those expectations and just enjoy my time with my baby—seriously, it goes by fast. Let the dishes pile up a bit, skip vacuuming the floors for a day. It’s not worth the stress. It gets easier as they get older. My son is 22 months now, and I can finally get a little bit done around the house while he’s home with me.”

  • “O-Fish-Ally One” Fishing Themed First Birthday Party

    Hey there, party planners! Ready to dive into your little one’s first birthday celebration? An “O-Fish-Ally One” fish-themed party is a fin-tastic way to mark this special milestone. Whether you’re planning for a boy or a girl, let’s explore some splash-tacular ideas to make this celebration unforgettable.

    For Boys: Under the Sea Adventure

    Color Scheme: Opt for ocean-inspired colors like blues, greens, and whites, with pops of orange and yellow.

    Decorations: Set the scene with underwater-themed decorations. Think fish-shaped balloons, an “O-Fish-Ally One” banner, and table settings adorned with seashells and fishnet tablecloths.

    Snack Bar: Create a snack bar with ocean-themed treats like goldfish crackers, blue Jell-O cups, and fish-shaped cookies. Use sand buckets and shovels to serve snacks for an extra fun touch.

    Drink Station

    Cake: Imagine a cake decorated with fondant fish, seaweed, and bubbles. Add an “O-Fish-Ally One” cake topper to complete the look.

    Activities:

    • Fishing Game: Set up a small fishing game where kids can “catch” toy fish with magnetic rods.
    • Pin the Fin on the Fish: A fun twist on the classic game with a fishy theme.

    Party Favors: Send guests home with mini fish bowls with toy fish, fish-shaped bath toys, or personalized ocean-themed coloring books. These fun favors will remind them of the great time they had.

    For Girls: Mermaid Magic

    Photo Credit/Link to Purchase

    Color Scheme: Combine ocean colors with a touch of sparkle. Think pastel blues, purples, pinks, and shimmering golds.

    Decorations: Create a magical underwater atmosphere with mermaid-themed decorations. Think iridescent balloons, a “O-Fish-Ally One” banner, and table settings featuring glittery seashells and mermaid tails.

    Snack Bar: Design a snack bar with mermaid-inspired treats like mini sandwiches, fruit cups, and mermaid tail cupcakes. Use clam shell bowls and seaweed (green streamers) for decoration.

    Cake: Picture a cake adorned with mermaid tails, seashells, and starfish. Add an “O-Fish-Ally One” cake topper to complete the look.

    Activities:

    • Mermaid Craft Station: Provide materials for kids to make their own mermaid crowns or fishy crafts.
    • Underwater Treasure Hunt: Hide small treasures around the party area for kids to find.

    Party Favors: Give guests mermaid-themed hair ties, shell necklaces, or personalized fish-shaped keychains. These thoughtful gifts will be cherished keepsakes from the party.

    Outfits for the Birthday Baby

    Dress your little fish in style for their big day with these adorable outfit ideas:

    • Fish Onesie: Choose a onesie that looks like a cute fish or is adorned with fish patterns. Personalize it with your baby’s name and the number 1.
    • Mermaid Dress: For girls, a mermaid dress with a tutu skirt in ocean colors will make her feel like the star of the party.
    • Fish-themed T-shirt: A customized t-shirt with “O-Fish-Ally One” or “One Year Old” written in a fun font. Pair it with comfy pants or a tutu.
    • Underwater Accessories: Complete the look with a fish-themed hat or headband with fish or mermaid details. It adds a cute touch and is perfect for photos.

    Choose an outfit that not only looks adorable but also allows your little one to move and play comfortably throughout the celebration.

    Balloon Arch for Extra Wow Factor

    Create a stunning focal point at your party with a DIY balloon arch:

    • Materials Needed: You’ll need a balloon pump, assorted balloons in your party colors, balloon tape or a sturdy string, and glue dots.
    • Assembly: Start by inflating your balloons to various sizes. Attach them to the balloon tape or string using glue dots, alternating colors and sizes to create a visually appealing pattern.
    • Installation: Hang the balloon arch above the entrance to welcome guests or behind the cake table for a festive backdrop. Secure it with hooks or tape.
    • Customization: Add extra flair by incorporating fish-shaped foil balloons or attaching faux seaweed and bubbles for an underwater touch.

    A balloon arch not only adds a touch of whimsy but also serves as a fantastic photo opportunity for guests to capture memories of your little one’s special day.

    Invitations that Set the Tone

    Start the excitement early with creative invitations that reflect your “O-Fish-Ally One” fish-themed party:

    • Digital Invitations: Use online platforms to design and send digital invitations featuring adorable fish illustrations and ocean wording. It’s eco-friendly and convenient for guests to RSVP.
    • Paper Invitations: Opt for custom-designed paper invitations shaped like fish or decorated with bubbles and waves. Include all the essential details like date, time, location, and RSVP information.
    • Personal Touch: Add a fishy note or poem about your little one turning one and how much their presence would mean to you on this special day.

    Whichever option you choose, invitations set the stage for a splashy celebration and get guests excited about the fun to come!

    Photo Ideas for Your O-Fish-Ally One Party

    ofishally one birthday photo booth idea

    Capture every adorable moment with these photo ideas:

    • Cake Smash: Set up a designated area for your little one to enjoy their first taste of cake. Get ready to snap messy, joyful photos!
    • Underwater Backdrop: Take photos of guests in front of a backdrop designed like an underwater scene. It’s a fun and colorful setting.
    • Group Shots: Gather everyone for group photos with fish-themed props like fish hats, bubbles, and nets.
    • Close-Ups: Capture close-up shots of the intricate details on the cake and underwater decorations.
    • Family Moments: Don’t forget to capture candid moments of your family celebrating together.

    Instagram Caption Ideas

    Share your sweet memories with these Instagram caption ideas:

    • “One year of fin-tastic fun! 🐠🎉 Celebrating [Child’s Name]’s first birthday with an underwater adventure.”
    • “O-fish-ally one! 🎈🐟 Our little one is turning one and we’re celebrating in style.”
    • “Making a splash with [Child’s Name]’s first year. Happy birthday!”
    • “Our little fish is one year old! 🌊✨”
    • “Celebrating one year of joy with our little guppy. #OFishAllyOne”

    More Tips for a Splashy Celebration

    • Music Playlist: Curate a playlist with upbeat ocean and beach songs that toddlers and adults will enjoy dancing to. It sets the perfect party vibe!
    • Photo Booth Fun: Create a DIY photo booth with props like fish hats, mermaid tails, and speech bubbles with fun messages. It’s a hit for capturing memorable snapshots.
    • Interactive Games: Organize games such as musical chairs with ocean-themed music or a fish-themed scavenger hunt. Keep the little ones entertained and engaged!

    Planning Ahead

    Start planning your “O-Fish-Ally One” themed party a few months ahead. This gives you time to secure the venue, send out invitations, and gather all the decorations and supplies you need. Enlist help from family and friends to make setup and cleanup a breeze on the big day.

    Sweet Success

    With these ideas and tips, your “O-Fish-Ally One” themed first birthday party is sure to be a hit. Enjoy every moment of celebrating this special milestone with your little one and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Happy planning and happy birthday to your little fish! 🐠✨

  • Ho Ho Oh Baby! Celebrate with These Christmas Baby Shower Ideas

    ‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a little one than with a Christmas-themed baby shower?

    Combining the magic of Christmas with the joy of a baby shower creates a double dose of happiness and festivity.

    Here are some delightful ideas to help you plan the perfect Christmas baby shower that will have everyone jingling all the way!

    1. Invitations: Santa’s Special Delivery

    Start with invitations that set the tone for your festive baby shower. Imagine holiday-themed designs with cute baby elements:

    • Baby rattle shaped like a candy cane
    • Stork wearing a Santa hat

    You can even go digital with animated e-cards featuring Santa delivering a special package! For a rustic touch, try invitations with kraft paper and red plaid ribbons.

    Photo Credit/Link to Purchase
    Photo Credit/Link to Purchase

    The possibilities are endless, and they all scream, “Let’s get festive!”

    DIY Tip: Create your own invitations using online design tools like Canva, which offers plenty of Christmas-themed templates.

    2. Decor: Winter Wonderland

    Transform your venue into a winter wonderland that sparkles with holiday cheer. Think twinkling fairy lights, glittering snowflakes, and lots of red and green accents.

    Photo Credit

    How about a Christmas tree adorned with baby-themed ornaments like mini bottles and booties as a centerpiece?

    Don’t forget a cozy corner with stockings labeled with each guest’s name as a sweet take-home gift.

    For a unique twist, consider a “Baby’s First Christmas” theme, with everything decorated as if it’s ready for the baby’s first holiday.

    Budget-Friendly Tip: Use inexpensive materials like paper snowflakes and DIY garlands to keep costs down without sacrificing style.

    3. Menu: Festive Feast

    Plan a merry and bright menu, perfect for satisfying festive cravings. Serve up classic Christmas treats with a baby shower twist:

    • Gingerbread cookies shaped like baby onesies
    • Hot chocolate bar with marshmallows, peppermint sticks, and whipped cream

    A cake shaped like a gift box or a baby wrapped in a Christmas stocking will be the star of the dessert table.

    Photo Credit/Link to Purchase

    For savory bites, mini quiches, cranberry and brie bites, and peppermint brownies will keep guests munching merrily.

    Recipe Idea: Try making cranberry and brie bites. Simply bake crescent roll dough in mini muffin tins, fill with brie and cranberry sauce, and bake until golden.

    4. Games: Reindeer Games

    Add some holiday cheer to your baby shower games. Try:

    • “Pin the Nose on Rudolph”
    • Christmas-themed diaper toss
    • “Guess the Baby Picture” game where guests bring their own baby photos dressed in holiday outfits

    How about playing “Christmas Carol Diaper Challenge,” where guests change a diaper while singing a Christmas carol? These games are sure to have everyone laughing and creating joyful memories.

    Real-Life Example: One host shared how their guests loved the “Guess the Baby Picture” game, leading to many laughs and sweet stories.

    5. Activities: Keepsake Crafts

    Set up a craft station where guests can create keepsakes for the mom-to-be and baby. Provide plain white onesies and fabric markers for decorating or Christmas ornaments that guests can personalize with messages for the baby.

    A “Wishing Tree” with tags where guests write their wishes for the baby is a touching addition. For a more wintery touch, how about a snow globe-making station? Guests can create mini winter wonderlands to take home.

    DIY Tip: Purchase plain ornaments and provide paint pens, glitter, and ribbons for guests to personalize their keepsakes.

    6. Favors: Holly Jolly Goodies

    Send guests home with favors that keep the holiday spirit alive:

    • Mini jars of homemade hot chocolate mix
    • Peppermint-scented candles
    • Ornaments with the baby’s due date

    Wrap them in festive packaging with a tag that says, “Thank you for celebrating our little miracle.”

    For a more personalized touch, consider mini photo frames with a picture from the shower or custom cookies decorated with baby and holiday themes.

    Vendor Recommendation: Etsy has wonderful shops that offer custom ornaments and candles perfect for shower favors.

    Some of my favorite ideas from Etsy:

    Photo Credit/Link to Purchase

    Photo Credit/Link to Purchase

    Photo Credit/Link to Purchase

    7. Photo Booth: Say Cheese and Merry Christmas!

    Create a festive photo booth with props like Santa hats, reindeer antlers, and elf ears. A backdrop with a snowy scene or a decorated Christmas tree will make for perfect holiday photos.

    Provide a Polaroid camera so guests can snap and take home instant memories. For a unique twist, set up a “Santa’s Workshop” themed booth with toy-making props and elf costumes.

    Photo Inspiration: Check out Pinterest for creative photo booth backdrop ideas that will make your shower pictures pop!

    8. Playlist: Baby, It’s Cold Outside

    Compile a playlist of holiday classics mixed with baby-themed tunes:

    • “Santa Baby”
    • “All I Want for Christmas Is You”
    • “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

    Soft instrumental Christmas music can play in the background during gift-opening or meal times. For a fun addition, include a few lullabies or nursery rhymes with a Christmas twist.

    DIY Tip: Create a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music and share it with guests before the event so they can get into the holiday spirit early.

    9. Gifts: Deck the Halls with Baby Items

    Create a gift display area that doubles as decor. Arrange gifts under a Christmas tree or in a sleigh. Encourage guests to wrap their gifts in festive paper to add to the holiday feel.

    Consider having a “Diaper Raffle” where guests bring a pack of diapers for a chance to win a prize.

    For a more interactive element, how about a “Secret Santa” style gift exchange with baby-themed gifts?

    Budget-Friendly Tip: Use inexpensive holiday wrapping paper and DIY tags to make each gift look extra special.

    10. Thank You Notes: Joyful Tidings

    After the shower, send out thank you notes with a personal touch. Choose cards with holiday designs and include a photo from the shower or a small token like a candy cane.

    Express your gratitude with messages like, “Thank you for making our holiday baby shower merry and bright!” For a unique touch, include a small Christmas ornament with each note, so guests can remember the special day every year.


    Summary

    • Invitations: Go for festive designs, consider DIY or digital options.
    • Decor: Create a winter wonderland with budget-friendly DIYs.
    • Menu: Serve holiday-themed treats and easy recipes.
    • Games: Incorporate fun, holiday-themed games.
    • Activities: Set up craft stations for keepsakes.
    • Favors: Offer personalized, holiday-themed favors.
    • Photo Booth: Set up a festive booth with props and backdrops.
    • Playlist: Mix holiday classics with baby-themed tunes.
    • Gifts: Create a decorative display area and consider interactive gift exchanges.
    • Thank You Notes: Send personalized notes with a holiday touch.

    With these creative ideas and practical tips, your Christmas baby shower will be a heartwarming celebration combining the holiday season’s joy with the excitement of welcoming a new baby.

    So, get ready to deck the halls, sip some hot cocoa, and spread cheer as you shower the mom-to-be with love and holiday magic!

Pregnancy Support

Baby Sleep Help

First Birthday Party Planning