This post is sponsored by Mirum and Parent’s Choice
Today I am sharing a real life Q&A I had with one of my friends and real Moms like you that joined us on a Facebook Live event! If you missed it, don’t worry you can read all about it here and I even included the live so you can watch it now!
Enter to win a prize pack by sharing your own advice, or asking questions with the hashtag #MomsKnowBestWM on your social channels. Ten winners will be chosen and each will receive a $200 Walmart e-gift card!
Let’s get started with our topics and questions we covered. I hope you’ll enjoy this as much as we did! Leave a comment on the blog post if you have something you want to share with us about the topics we discussed! Okay, here we go!
When You First Found out you were pregnant what did you do first?
Abby: I bought a baby bib that said “I love my Daddy” and gave it to my husband to let him know the news first!
Heather: I think I was just completely overwhelmed at that point, I don’t even remember what I did first. I had only been married for 7 months. I think my husband knew I was pregnant before I did because I was so sick so he brought home a pregnancy test for me!
Describe Your Experience of Becoming a New Mom – What kind of Research did you do?
Abby: I researched all kinds of things on babycenter.com. While I was pregnant I also researched a lot of baby items online and asked my sister and sister-in-law what baby items that were must haves and what I could maybe go without. I also read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”
Heather: I read a ton of Books! Baby Wise, What to Expect When you’re Expecting and I spent Hours on Baby Center. I’m not sure if I really learned that much about being a parent from all those books, I’m pretty sure nothing can prepare you for being a mom but it made me feel better :) Real life experience and talking to other Moms is what helped the most!
What was your MUST HAVE Baby Product?
Abby: Hands down the baby swing for my first child- that thing saved my life. The interesting thing is that my second child hated the swing, which quickly reminded me that each child is different! I also loved my shopping cart cover!
Heather: Diaper Genie, we actually tried not having one with our second, and went back to the real thing with our Third….expensive bags and all. I also couldn’t live without my ERGO. My kids practically lived in that thing.
What was the Best Advice You got from the Community of Moms Around You?
Abby: Do what works best for you and your baby. Some of my friends did things very differently than I did, but we all talked about what we did and what worked for us. Sometimes they would say something that they did and I’d try it and it worked really well, then sometimes I knew it wasn’t for me. But, just not judging others and learning from one another.
Heather: Do what Only You Can Do! Let other people help with the rest, it’s okay to ask for help and have help! We all get overwhelmed at some points.
What is one thing you Wish You Knew when you were a new mom, that you know now?
Abby: To try and enjoy the kids while they were little babies more, because it goes fast. It’s hard to do that sometimes between sleepless nights and diaper changes and feedings,but it really does fly by. I actually just got a timehop on my Facebook today and it showed a picture of my daughter when she was 11 months old and we were sitting at her 3rd grade awards. It made me a little sad.
Heather: You can’t get these hours back! Hold them, rock them, love them, these sweet times don’t last long. Also, it’s a season. There will be a day when there aren’t any more diapers to change, or baths to give, it’s freeing but can also be sad at the same time, so just enjoy the season your in.
What Were Some of the Challenges You Faced with Feeding and Scheduling?
Abby: Where do I start? This was my biggest challenge. I had decided prior to having my first baby I was NOT going to use formula. I was only breastfeeding. Little did I know that I would struggle big time breast feeding. At 4 months my doctor said I needed to supplement with formula. It was like the worst news (which looking back is so silly to me now). I wouldn’t give up trying to breastfeed so I was pumping, breastfeeding and doing formula, and it was miserable. At 6 months I finally gave up the breastfeeding and pumping and went straight to formula and it was the best! Scheduling came pretty easy to me. I stayed on a schedule with my first child for the most part with eating and napping and bedtime and that worked well for me. When my second came around he was less scheduled because we were going and doing things for my first.
Heather: I never had enough supply, but I tried everything! I remember feeling so overwhelmed and defeated because I couldn’t leave my kids and pump enough. Basically they drank more in a feeding than I could produce. So very early on with all 3 of my kids we supplemented with formula when I was going to be away from them.
What were some of the Challenges You Faced in Finding the Right Formula for You and Your Baby?
Abby: Once I knew we were going to use formula it stressed me out because I knew it would eat up some of our grocery budget. We had gone from two incomes to one, so I was constantly looking for ways to save. I checked out all the name brand formulas, but just couldn’t come to peace with the cost so I started looking for alternatives to name brands. Parent’s Choice formula at Walmart was a great find because it was such a savings over the name brand options, paying about half what I would if I was buying the name brands. I knew it was just as good and thankfully my kids were both able to stay on regular milk based formula, even though there are great options with Parent’s Choice Sensitivity and Gentle formulas.
Heather: I think this is just SO OVERWHELMING! There’s no guidebook and every child is so different, so what works for one mom or baby, might not work for another baby! Also, formula can be so expensive, it was a struggle at that point in our lives to find the extra room in our budget for $30 Cans of Formula. So I looked for every way possible to save.
That’s why I love that Parents Choice’s New Non-GMO Formula, these were just named the 2018’s best baby formula by BabyBargains.com because the Formulations compare so well to all the different name brand formulas, plus you can save over 50% by making this one simple switch and you still have some great choices!
There are actually 4 different Parent’s Choice Formulas that I want to tell you about so you can pick the one that’s right for you when you’re walking down the formula aisle at Walmart!
PARENTS CHOICE FORMULAS:
Parent’s Choice Infant Non-GMO Formula
This is a Milk Based Formula produced using ingredients that have not been genetically engineered.
Contains Prebiotics which help support your baby’s immune system and digestive health
Parent’s Choice Advantage Non GMO Infant Formula
This is Designed to be more like breastmilk
Nutritionally comparable to Similac Advance Non -GMO and around 50% Less!
It has DHA, Lutein and Vitamin E which all help with Mental, and Visual Development as well as the Immune System.
Parent’s Choice Sensitivity Formula
Designed for Babies with Fussiness and Gas because of Lactose Intolerance
Compare to Similac Sensitive
General Signs of Lactose Intolerance include Spit Ups, Diarrhea, Gas, Bloating.
Parent’s Choice Gentle Formula
Partially Hydrolyzed – A Milk Formula that has partially broken down whey protein.
Compare the ingredients to Enfamil Gentlease and save up to 50%!
For Fussiness, Gas & Crying
Easy to Digest Formula
Neuro Complete, supports healthy infant brain development
How did you save money on Baby Essentials (From Feeding to Clothing, Diapers and More)
Abby: I used tons of coupons. I mainly found coupons on diapers and wipes. I even bulk bought those at times. I also bought store brands like Parent’s Choice. I was a really frugal young Mom and looking back I’m so glad I was able to do that. It helped us move from that two income to one and not be super stressed over money. That’s one thing I love about Walmart, they have all the great baby toys, diapering essentials, baby food, formula, clothing and more at their Everyday Low Prices.
Heather: This is actually the time frame where I learned how to coupon really well. I did everything I could to save money on everything from Diapers, to Wipes, to Formula.
So remember back 10 years ago we had to send in an actual rebate if we wanted to save, but now with apps like Ibotta, it’s so much easier to save! Right now Ibotta has 4 Different Ibotta Offers (one for each type of formula) for Parent’s Choice formulas available at Walmart. You can save $3 off each can of formula, and you can actually purchase and redeem each offer 4 times.
So, basically if you found your favorite type of formula you could Purchase 4 Parent’s Choice Formula and Save $12 on the 4 cans! Plus, you’re already saving a lot over name brand formulas, so this is a fantastic deal you will want to take advantage of!
One thing I learned was that All Formula Sold in the US must meet the Same Nutritional and Safety Guidelines mandated by the government so you can save a lot of money by opting to a Store brand. Also, the same manufacturer that makes Parent’s Choice also makes other Generic In Store Formulas like the ones found at Sam’s Club or BJ’s Warehouse Stores, but you can grab Parent’s Choice at Walmart without a Membership!
What was one thing you didn’t expect about Motherhood?
Abby: How hard it would be, how little sleep I would get and how it would really mold me. Motherhood is a full time job so us Moms have so much to do all the time. And it changes, I used to worry about using the right bath soap and feeding my child the right baby food and now I am reading articles about friendships at school and the summer slide, and totally different things.
Heather: I think I thought I was more prepared to be a Mom than I really was. I had worked with kids a lot and babysat all the time when I was growing up. There’s just no manual or handbook that can really prepare you. Every Kid is different and so they have different needs and different products work best for each child.
What was your Biggest Mom Fail?
Abby: I think so many things I do are not good enough, but really I need to focus on the end like when they leave my house, what do I want them to be like?
I’ve gotten mad at my kids for spilling milk or dumping food on the floor and making messes, and realized that stuff doesn’t really matter that much. They’re kids, and kids will be kids and I can lighten up about those things a little bit. I want them to remember me being fun and playing with them and not getting mad about little things.
Heather: Oh we could be here all day talking about this! I realize now I was too hard on them, and too hard on myself. I also think I expected perfection out of my kids and I remind myself almost daily that no one is perfect 100% of the time. I want our home to be a place of Grace and I failed at that so much when the kids were little, and probably still to this day.
Also, I think Social Media gives us an in-complete picture of peoples lives, and I fall into the comparison trap so often. It might be matching clothes on Easter, or Cute Lunchbox Notes everyday at School. I often hold myself to such a high standard that I forget to focus on our successes and I spend a lot of time beating myself up over all the things I didn’t get done.
What would you do differently if you could go back in time?
Abby: I think this goes along with what I mentioned earlier about the time with your kids. You never get it back. You never get to hold them again when they’re big like you can when they’re babies and I totally took that for granted.
Heather: I think hindsight is 20/20 – I realize now that so many of the things I stressed over weren’t really that important. I stressed over things like should I breast feed or bottle feed or should I let them cry it out, or go in their room and pick them up. I had so many voices in my head whether it was a book or a friend that meant well, but I wish I had just been true to myself and gone with my gut instinct most of the time, because in the end it was normally right.
What Advice Would You Give to New Moms Based on Your Experiences and Challenges
Abby: Do what’s best for you and your baby. Don’t let others that aren’t in your shoes dictate what you do and don’t do. This is SO Hard not to do.
Heather: Remember it’s a season! What seems stressful now, is probably the very thing you’ll miss at some point so Slow Down and soak it in because it won’t last forever!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mirum and Parent’s Choice. I was compensated for sharing this information with you, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.