There are all kinds of lists that you can download before having a baby. Lists for what you need in the hospital, lists for what you need at home, lists for what diaper bag you need to buy. But few, if any, of these lists look at what mothers need beyond personal care items. I mean the things that moms really “need” sometimes. And as my child (who, to his credit is a very easy going and lovely baby) is entering toddlerhood, complete with back arching and bonelessness when he doesn’t get what he wants, I’m finding that I need a few more items for me. I call this collection of items my motherhood survival kit.
And obviously I can survive without them (most of the time), but I don’t want to. These are the things I keep at home or in the diaper bag to keep myself and my baby sane and entertained. We’re both happier when all of these are around.
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Click through for my 9 motherhood survival items!
Caffeine 2 of 10
Now, I am lucky because my son is a great sleeper. He didn't sleep through the night until he was 11 months old, but from the first day he did it, he hasn't looked back. We're 2.5 months into this sleep routine and it. is. magical. But, he definitely likes to get up early (especially on non-work days, because obviously) and keeps me going non-stop while he's awake, so caffeine in the morning is a must. I prefer mine as coffee or diet coke, but I'll take just about any liquid form available.
Video Monitor 3 of 10
We have my son in a floor bed in his room, so being able to keep an eye on him is critical for my sanity. Sometimes, like right now as I write this, he plays for upwards of an hour before falling asleep, so even though his room is well baby proofed, it's really helpful for me to be able to see him. We currently use a Foscam IP monitor and really like the flexibility to pan the camera and speak to him through it, even if he usually laughs at us and carries on.
Get a Foscam IP camera from Amazon for $67.60
Bath Bombs 4 of 10
These are more of a luxury than a necessity, but after several days of bending over and walking who knows how many steps with my not quite walking baby, a hot bath with a bath bomb is pretty much the best thing in the world. My favorite one is Butterball, which has coco butter chunks in it, so not only do you smell great, but it's a nice moisturizer too.
Get bath bombs at Lush for $4.95
Sesame Street 5 of 10
I am aware of and respectful of the no tv until age 2 recommendations, but realistically, I need a little help sometimes. Several mornings a week I go to work well after my husband has left and a lot of the time, I need to be able to get ready while Eli is up. And though he is really great at independent play, sometimes he really wants to independently play with my make up brushes. Elmo, Telly, Murray and the crew help provide just enough distraction that I can get through my morning routine without Eli helping. And also, he loves it (and I don't mind it, except for Abby Cadabby who makes me homicidal). We watch our Sesame Street on Netflix, but you can watch it daily on PBS and Noggin.
Candy Crush 6 of 10
Don't judge me. I resisted for a long time, but now I am addicted and Candy Crush is my favorite unwinding tool during naps or after the baby has gone to bed. My only regret is that I encouraged my husband to play and now I'm stuck on level 86 and he's on 230. So.
Get Candy Crush right here!
Video and Still Cameras 7 of 10
We are so fortunate to live in the age of smart phones for a few reasons. Besides the ability to be in contact with family and friends at all times, the easily availability of cameras, both still and video, are huge to me. My husband and I both work, so it's nice to be able to capture moments and experiences when the other can't be around. Plus, there are so many little things you forget, so being able to preserve even dull moments (like Eli falling in love with his new sock monkey!) are a must. I think this might be the most essential motherhood item for me.
Netflix and Hulu Plus 8 of 10
Before Eli came along, we were big TV watchers. The TV was on almost every waking hour, mostly for background noise and primarily on Food Network. Since we started limiting his TV to only Sesame Street and only one hour a day, our tv watching has changed. Right now we use a DVR to record our shows, but it's becoming not worth the cost and when our contract is up next month, we'll be returning it. Instead, we'll be streaming the much less expensive Netflix and Hulu Plus on our tv so we can still watch our shows at nap and bedtimes, but without paying so much. It's a good compromise and a nice mental break in the evenings before bed.
Car mirror 9 of 10
This was an item that I didn't even register for because I was like, "Pshaw. Why do I need to see the baby?" And then I had a baby hysterically screaming and I couldn't see if something was in his face or what the deal was. So I got a mirror that attaches to the headrest so it can't become a projectile in a crash and it's plastic (and therefore shatterproof) and it has made car rides so much easier and less stressful.
Get this from Amazon for $11.99
The biggest "Diaper Bag" I could find 10 of 10
I originally had a Skip Hop diaper bag and I liked it quite a lot. But once Eli began eating solid foods and requiring more stuff for outings, it just wasn't cutting it. After seeing my sister's Lululemon bag and openly coveting it, I received this bag for Chanukah. It's not technically a diaper bag at all, it's a yoga bag, but it's huge, with a ton of compartments, it's easy to carry and cute to boot. I love that I can carry all my purse items and all of Eli's items in one bag, which despite it's largeness, fits in our stroller basket. I don't go anywhere without it. The bag is no longer sold online, but I've seen it in stores and on ebay if you're interested. It's pricey (hence why I asked for it as a gift!) but I love it so.
Those are my essential motherhood related items. What can’t you live without?