22+ of the Coolest Must-Have Baby Stuff You’ve Probably Never Seen!

must have baby products

It seems like every year that passes, someone invents a baby gadget that I wish I had years before when my kids were babies!

There are also many inventions that are unnecessary, a waste of money, and totally prey on new parents’ emotions. But that’s not the focus of this post!

must have baby products

This post is full of the coolest, must-have baby stuff that we all wish we had “back in the day.” If you’re a new mom or a mom of little ones, you’re going to go nuts over these products!

Take a deep breath and stay calm. When deciding which one you have to have just tell yourself… you deserve it.

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If you’re still in “mom-to-be” status, don’t forget your baby shower registry! Amazon has the largest registry on the planet and allows you to easily add any of these cool products to your registry without searching through retailers!

And you get a FREE sign up welcome box too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coolest Baby Stuff You’ve Probably Never Seen!

1 – Free Hand Baby Bottle Holder

I know every mama has experienced feeding her baby and needing a free hand at the same time! We’ve tried every trick to prop up that bottle but nothing ever works.

This amazing bottle holder is a real problem solver and it almost makes me want another baby… almost.

 

Get this amazing product here!

And if you’re constantly looking for ways to prop up your baby’s bottle in the car, this car seat bottle holder is an answer to your prayers! Check it out here!

2 – First Years 4 in 1 Remote Bottle Warmer

The reason this bottle warmer is on my must-have list is that when my middle daughter was a baby, she would drink at least 3 bottles every night!

And our bedroom was upstairs so I pre-bottled her milk every evening and stored them in a cold pack on my nightstand. And when she started to get hungry, I would get my trusty coffee mug and fill it with hot water from the bathtub and nest her bottle inside to warm up.

This wasn’t the most effective way to heat up her bottles quickly at all. This warmer actually stores your bottles inside and warms the bottles in seconds! I would have jumped at this warmer back then.

Get this amazing product here!

3 – The Toddler Bathtime Dam

This product is genius! And not only does it holds your little one in place, but it also saves gallons of water every single bath!

It easily snaps in place each bathtime and takes up very little space. In fact, it takes up way less space than those large infant tubs! The best part is, you can use this long after your baby grows out of the baby stage!

Check this out this product here!

4 – QuickZip Crib Sheet Set

I remember changing crib sheets and the nightmare experience it was every time. These amazing sheets actually zip on and off easily without the need to remove the mattress from the crib or wreck your back!

These crib sheets are simply revolutionary!

Check out this product here!

5 – Cocoon Cam Plus – Baby Monitor with Breathing Monitoring

There are many baby monitor on the market that have helpful features that give parents that much needed peace of mind when their baby is sleeping.

However, this monitor takes the cake and actually monitors your infant’s breathing! This technology is revolutionary and the best part is it doesn’t require you to attach or stick anything to your baby like many monitors still do.

Get this amazing product here!

6 – Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail

Remember the Diaper Genie? I had one with my first daughter and it was horrible! The plastic tub soaked up all the stink and never gave it up.

This stainless steel diaper pail keeps stacking up the awards, acclaim, and parent praise. It’s super easy to use and never holds on to the stick.

Grab this product here!

6 – Gripebelt Colic and Upset Stomach Swaddling Belt

If you’ve ever had a fussy or colicky baby, it’s really hard for mom and dad and baby too. But this adorable little belt actually works to lightly cradle your infant’s belly which is often the source of the fussiness.

It makes them feel safe and held and also has fun toys for baby to touch and hold.

Get the swaddling belt here!

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7 – Forehead and Ear Thermometer

This ear and forehead thermometer actually works and is highly recommended by other moms like you! There’s no need to take your baby’s temperature rectally anymore. Especially, as they grow older and strongly object.

This makes the process painless, easy, and accurate!

Get this amazing thermometer here!

8 – The SkinSoother Baby Essential for Dry Skin

If your baby suffers from uncomfortable and even painful eczema, cradle cap, or other forms of dry skin this all natural silicone skin soother will bring sweet relief to your new baby.

Simply rub in on their wet skin and watch the irritation wash away. My daughter experienced bad eczema as a baby so this really would have been very helpful!

Get your skin soother here!

9 – Wash. It. Later. Soak and Save Bags

If you’ve ever experienced a diaper blowout, you know how disgusting and overwhelming it can be. My daughter had a blowout in the car seat while stuck in traffic heading to our hotel in Orlando.

I had to change her in the hotel bathroom and wasn’t prepared at all. I ended up washing her with wet paper towels and then wrapping her naked little body in more dry paper towels to carry her through the lobby. Itridiculousulous and only something I can laugh about now!

I luckily had a washing machine in our hotel. However, this isn’t the case most of the time and too often we’ve all just thrown away cute outfits because they were too soiled to keep. Until…

These cool bags allow you to throw those gross poop and pee covered items in their sealable plastic bags. Just add water and one of their detergent pods and seal up for later.

The detergent starts working on the stains and the water keeps the stains from setting until you can get home!

Get these amazing bags here!

10 – Boon Fast Bottle Warmer

I know this is a second bottle warmer on my list. But if you just need a bottle warmer without storage, this warmer will quickly become your bestie.

This bottle warmer may seem like a luxury item but when your newborn is hungry at 3 am and loves her milk warm, you do not want to have to heat up a bottle the old-fashioned way.

This bottle warmer heats up bottles and baby food safely in just over one minute!

Check out this bottle warmer here!

11 – BoogieBulb Baby Nasal Aspirator

This amazing nasal suction bulb is the first and only bulb that can be taken apart and cleaned! I’ve tried those new nasal suction aspirators that you suck through a tube, and they didn’t work for me.

I love a good bulb aspirator, however, they can get really nasty because you can’t easily clean them. Now you can!

Check it out here!

12 – RaZbaby Keep-It-Kleen Pacifier

If your baby loves a good binky, you may want to give this one a try. It actually has a soft covering attached to the pacifier itself.

This prevents it from picking up gross stuff along the way. This makes storage super easy too!

Get this cool pacifier here!

13 – Accu-Dose Pacifier Baby Medicine Dispenser

Getting a baby or toddler to take medicine can sometimes feel like a Game of Thrones episode. At least it was for my littlest baby!

This dosing pacifier makes the process super easy! It won’t change the flavor, but it’s certainly an easy way to give your baby their medicine.

Mom Tip: When my son was a baby he HATED taking any medicine and at the time was sick and had several bad tasting medicines to take at once. An ER nurse shared their hospital hack:

Add a little cherry flavor syrup after you’ve measured out the medication. It works every time!


Get your medicine dispenser here!

14 – Silicone Soft-Tip Training Spoon for Baby Led Weaning

As your little baby grows into a big baby, it’s time for the fun world of self-feeding! And whether you decide to go the route of baby led weaning, or stay the traditional course, these fun spoons will be your go-to!

The super soft and flexible silicon make scooping easier for baby and the unique shape help keep the food on the spoon and into their mouth. This totally reduces melt-downs. I mean, it’s really frustrating when you can’t get all that yummy food in your mouth!

Get this amazing spoon here!

15 – Squooshi Reusable Food Pouch

I LOVE these adorable reusable pouches! We moms all love how food pouches are unbelievably convenient for feeding your babies, toddlers, and kids. In fact, I’d love to feed all my kids’ meals from a pouch! But those store-bought pouches are just so dang expensive.

And Squooshi doesn’t make the DIY filling process complicated at all! You simply fill the super-sealed pouches from the bottom and quickly seal them up. They clean up beautifully and can be used again and again.

Plus, they’re super cute so your kids will love them! And you’re saving tons of money, so that’s a total win-win.

Get your reusable pouches here!

16 – Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump

This manual breast pump is running fast to the front of the line of the many breast pumps on the market. Many moms actually favor this and other manual breast pumps over the electric pumps.

I wish I knew this when I was pumping years ago!

It’s also perfect for when you’re feeding your baby on one side to suction onto the other breast to easily capture milk that is produced during that feeding session.

This makes it perfect for on-the-go, at work, and at home pumping.

Get this amazing breast pump here!

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17 – Itzy Ritzy Nursing Happens Infinity Breastfeeding Scarf

This breastfeeding scarf is so cute and actually doesn’t look like a breastfeeding cover! The fabric is soft and breathable and easily moves to create many stylish looks.

And when it’s time to nurse, you won’t feel like you’re covering your baby with a blanket.

Get this adorable breastfeeding scarf here!

18 – Ju-Ju-Be Be Pumped Breast Pump Bag

Of course, I could resist adding this super cute breast pump bag with the match nursing scarf above! Pumping bags have been the last of the mom stuff to get a splash of style!

And a splash of style you get with this breast pump bag from Ju-Ju-Be. It’s both cute and very functional for making pumping at work and on the go so much easier!

Get this stylish pumping bag here!

19 – Boppy Newborn Lounger

I have a confession to make… I never used my Boppy Pillows for breastfeeding. They always made the BEST newborn loungers!

And now Boppy has recreated their amazing breastfeeding into a pillow made for lounging your new baby. These are literally must-have pillows for putting your baby down at a moment’s notice and still keeping them close.

I used mine when I was nursing or pumping to keep my baby close and happy when my arms weren’t available for snuggling.

Get this baby lounger here!

Comotomo Baby Bottles

These bottles are gaining in serious popularity among new moms! Moms swear that they ease gas and discomfort and are the closest to the breast when switching baby back and forth from breast to bottle.

Just a quick warning when buying ANY bottles. Just buy a very small amount and make sure your baby loves them first. And then go back and buy more!

Get these hugely popular bottles here!


Every year new amazing products for mom and baby come on the market, and I swear I wish I’d thought of them! But at least we can be thankful that someone (usually moms) have the smarts and guts to create these gems!

Let us know in the comments below which product is blowing your mind right now!

 

These little-known baby products are the baby stuff you'll wish you had! This list of must-have baby stuff will be your go-to sanity savers in your baby's first year. #babies #pregnancy #newborn #babycare #babystuff
These must-have baby items will totally save your sanity as a new mom. No fluff baby stuff here! Only the coolest stuff I wish I had when my kids were babies! #babies #pregnancy

51 Ways To Be A Fun Mom Even If You’re Stressed or Tired!

51 easy ways to be a fun mom

Would your kids call you a fun mom? Think about that for a second… are you way too consumed with adulting to notice that your kids really need a mom who is happy and fun?

Look, I get it. I can be as uptight as they come! I spent my early years as a mom focused on getting all the things done and doing what I called “putting out fires” every day.

I missed sooooo much when my girls were little. And the funny thing is, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since my first daughter was born. I’ve been with my kids from the very beginning and it’s crazy how disconnected I was sitting right next to them. Being a fun mom didn’t come naturally to me… I had to learn how to become a fun mom and enjoy my kids.

51 easy ways to be a fun mom

I started this intentional journey when my son was born three years ago. I made a decision to become the mom I really wanted to be and soak up all the good stuff. To be intentional about being present with my kids and not just their disciplinarian, dinner maker, and chauffeur.

I mean, I’m still all those things but I want to be more!

Family Time Made Simple Checklist

How to Have More Fun With Your Kids

I want to become the fun and happy mom I know my kids really need. It’s not just about feeling happy and being fun all the time but about building the foundation for a life-long relationship. Sure, I’ll always be their mom, but we don’t get a guaranteed ticket into their heart. And that’s where I want to be for a lifetime… in their most intimate place.

In this crazy upsidedown world, I want my kids to never hesitate on coming to me with every question, issue, and fear they experience so I can lovingly help them through it.

Let me tell you, your kids won’t be rushing to you as the uptight, super strict, and always shouting mom. Heck no!

And I’m not talking about doing things to become your child’s friend either. Nope! You are their parent and should be respected as such. But we can be nice and welcoming in how we relate to our kids.

Sure, we all have days when our precious little ones just get on your last nerve and you feel like snapping and are miles away from “fun-town.”

Just try doing these things little by little and I promise you’ll see a difference. And you and your kids will be so grateful you did!

Let me just give you one disclaimer first. The younger your kids are the cooler these activities will seem to them. The older your kids get, the more they’ll act like you’re embarrassing them or you’re being lame for trying.

Let me encourage you that this is just a facade and even your tweens and teens secretly love it when you make an effort to be interested in them even when you may actually be embarrassing them! So give these a try even if you don’t get the reaction you were hoping for.

Here are some Learning Activities for Your Toddler!

51 Ways to be a Fun Mom and Enjoy Your Kids

  1. Have random and undistracted conversations about whatever they bring up. Ask questions and actually be interested in what they say.
  2. Read a book aloud. This is great to do even as your kids get older in the form of a mystery or adventure novel. Here’s my complete kid book recommendations list.
  3. Make slime. Yes, it’s messy but they love it.
  4. Work on a fun activity kit together. These activity crates are my kids’ new obsession!
  5. Go on a scavenger hunt style nature walk. Make a list of things you want to see and score them by difficulty and keep score on the walk. Offer small prizes based on how many points earned.
  6. Race your kid at the park. The faster you are the cooler you appear to be.
  7. Make a craft.
  8. Go swimming.
  9. Play their favorite video game.
  10. Have a contest to see who can do ______ better, faster, neater.
  11. Let them miss a day at school to go to the movies. My husband actually did this one!
  12. Do what they love. If it’s soccer, play soccer with them. If it’s dance, learn the steps with them.
  13. Invite them to run errands with you and stop for ice cream.
  14. Cook a meal together. Here’s a kid’s cooking class that’ll your kids will love.
  15. Play Would You Rather. Here are some questions to get you started. 
  16. Tell jokes.
  17. Watch a Netflix movie marathon complete with buttery popcorn.
  18. Go on a bike ride.
  19. Bake your favorite cookies and turn them into ice cream sandwiches.
  20. Go to a painting class.
  21. Keep a shared journal that you write in separately to share your thoughts. I love this journal! This one’s perfect for boys.
  22. Take a kid-friendly fitness class or enroll them in a kid’s fitness gym. My kids love this one.
  23. Work out together at the park.
  24. Visit a splash park in the summer.
  25. Read kid magazines together and take all the quizzes.
  26. Do silly pranks on each other.
  27. Make your kid laugh with a tickle fight.
  28. Have a silly face contest and post the winner on your social media or just laugh at it.
  29. Make a crazy milkshake.
  30. Have a spa night. My middle daughter loves this!
  31. Play superhero. My son equally loves this!
  32. Write a book together.
  33. Share an art journal if your child loves art. This is such a cute one!
  34. Have a dance party.
  35. Have a totally electronic device free day.
  36. Order books from a monthly subscription service for kids. This makes reading a fun and gift-like experience. My family loves this book subscription service that sends all their books wrapped like birthday gifts!
  37. Have themed dinner nights.
  38. Read a devotional together and work through the activities and questions. This fun devotional combines God and Science in a really fun way.
  39. Play their favorite sport at the park.
  40. Create an obstacle course in the backyard and race to complete it.
  41. Invest in the things they love. My daughter is a brilliant artist so I’m always surprising her with new sketch pads or other art supplies.
  42. Fly a kite.
  43. Have a slumber party in the living room.
  44. Let your kids get really messy. I personally don’t like when my kids get messy, but this is a sacrifice on my end to let them have fun.
  45. Have a water balloon fight.
  46. Put on a full drama performance complete with scripts and costumes.
  47. Have a pajama day during the week.
  48. Build an epic fort in your living room.
  49. Have cuddle time with the child who will still let you. This is great for those kids whose love language is physical touch. Get 50 love language ideas for your kids here!
  50. Add glow sticks to your child’s bath and turn off the lights!
  51. Always give them your full attention no matter when they need you.

Wow! That’s a lot of fun for you and your kids. Are you ready to put this tips to good use? Your kids will thank you for it!

Did I miss an awesome fun idea? Please, share your favorite fun activities in the comments below.

It's hard to be a fun and happy mom when we're stressed and overwhelmed. These 51 fun ideas will have you loving motherhood again! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parenting101 #kids #kidsactivities

Are you lacking in the fun department lately? Snap out of your mom funk and try these simple ways to be a fun mom! Your kids will thank you! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momlife #motherhood #momadviceWant to go from grouchy and tired mom to fun and energetic mom? It's easier than you think! Get 51 simple ways to be a fun mom everyday! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momadvice #momgoalsGet 51 Super simple ways to be a fun mom and really connect with your kids every day even when you're stressed and tired! #parenting #kidsandparenting #momadvice #motherhood #momgoalsEven though it's hard being a mom, our kids don't need more cranky moms. Here are very simple ways to be a more fun mom even when you really don't feel like it! #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #momadvice #familyFind yourself going through the motions as a mom? Try these super simple ways to bring the fun back into motherhood! Become the fun mom your kids need! #motherhood #kidsandparenting #parenting #momlife

These simple tips will help you overcome the habit of being uptight and grouchy and give you real simple ways to have more fun as a mom! How to spend more fun time with your kids! #funmom #kidsandparenting #parenting #motherhood #momlife

How to Increase Breastmilk: The Ultimate Guide for New Moms

One of the biggest concerns for new breastfeeding moms is how to increase breastmilk. I know this was the case for me when all three of my babies were born.

I struggled with low milk supply and many other breastfeeding challenges that I hope to prevent for other sleep deprived, frustrated, and confused moms.

How to increase breastmilk

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not in the camp of moms who were instantly blessed with a steady flow of liquid gold for their new baby. Or you certainly wouldn’t be wasting your previous time reading this!

You’re probably dealing with long days and even longer nights searching for the best breastfeeding tips and wondering if your baby is getting enough milk.

When you do pump, you produce a few meager ounces. This can be frustrating and depressing. Can I offer you some friendly advice first? Do NOT go down that dark road. It leads to no where.

Keeping your mind on the positive and having a positive expectation goes a long way!

Boost Your Milk Supply

Each of the natural methods to boost your milk supply shared here are proven safe and will only help you. A few do have side effects so be sure to read those before trying any new supplements and checking with your Doctor.

Just remember that every woman’s body is different and there are never any guarantees. If you find that your body just doesn’t cooperate, know you’re NOT alone.

I formula fed all three of my babies after breastfeeding and they are three of the healthiest, brightest, and smartest kids I know… if I do say so myself.  

There is never any shame in feeding your baby in any way that’s needed or chosen by you… a loving mother.

Now, let’s explore all the ways to increase your breast milk supply naturally. But first I just want to say that I’m not a lactation expert. Just another mom who cares a lot and does a TON of research!

Read: Breastfeeding videos for new moms that are actually helpful.

How to Know if Your Milk Supply is Even Low

Boosting your milk supply can be a tricky thing because it’s hard to tell why your milk supply is low to begin with. You may be tempted to start pumping to see how much milk you can make.

This is not necessarily going to give you a good gauge because every baby’s milk needs are unique and you may be making just the right amount of milk for your baby. And babies are much more efficient at removing milk from the breast than a pump. Many pumps just don’t work well.

Many moms also think their supply is low because their breasts don’t feel full or their baby is very fussy all the time.

These can be caused by things other than low supply. First, breasts that produce plenty of milk will often never feel full which is totally normal. And secondly a fussy baby can be cause by many things like reflux.

3 clear signs that your milk supply may be low are:

  1. Your Baby is not gaining adequate weight. (Weight recommendations.)
  2. Your baby isn’t wetting enough diapers. A typical infant should be wetting at least 5 diapers in a 24 hour period from 5 days old and onward.
  3. Your baby isn’t soiling enough diapers. A typical newborn should be soiling at least 3 diapers per day beyond day 5. This is sometimes less or more depending on your baby.

If you suspect your milk supply is low and your baby isn’t getting enough milk, make an appointment with both your baby’s pediatrician and a certified lactation consultant right away.

Boosting your milk supply is something you’ll have to work at and most likely experiment with until you find something that works for your body. This isn’t an overnight process… nothing is with parenting.

You just need to decide what you want to do and stick with it until you see results. And get all the help you need because you and your baby deserve it!

Here are many proven and highly recommended methods you can try to boost your milk supply. Remember, most of these won’t work overnight, so try them for at least a week to see how your body responds.

Fenugreek Breastfeeding

Using Fenugreek to boost milk supply is one of the most popular ways breastfeeding moms are increasing their milk. It’s been shown to increase supply within 24-72 hours, but that, of course, may vary from mom to mom.

Fenugreek is an herb. Its primary uses are as an herb or spice in Indian and Persian cuisine and as a galactagogue for breastfeeding mothers.

Fenugreek is safe but shouldn’t be used by those who are diabetic, have a chickpea or peanut allergy, or have asthma.

There are many ways to use Fenugreek. Here are just a few of the easiest ways:

  1. Take in simple capsule form. The capsules generally come in 610mg and it’s recommended to take 2 capsules 3 times per day with food. That’s a total of 6 capsules per day. (Dosing source) | Here is a capsule that gets high ratings from breastfeeding moms.
  2. Take in a tea form. Many moms swear by Mother’s Milk Tea and is an easy way to take Fenugreek. It has a slightly sweet licorice taste.
  3. Take in a powder form. You can use Fenugreek powder to milk in lactation smoothies to pump up the nutrients you’re getting while breastfeeding. The only downside to using a powder is the high price tag.

Brewer’s Yeast Breastfeeding

Brewer’s yeast is another popular and effective supplement to boost a low milk supply. Though it’s not known exactly why brewers yeast helps increase breastmilk supply it also has some other good benefits such as lowering blood sugar levels for diabetics, may help lower cholesterol levels, and helps nourish skin and hair.

It’s also believed to elevate moods and feelings of mild depression. And with so many moms suffering from Postpartum Depression, it’s worth a try!

It also has some possible side effects such as upset stomach, cramps, and an increased risk of yeast infections.

You can take brewer’s yeast in a simple powder form. This brand of brewer’s yeast has hundreds of happy mom reviews! Just add 1-2 tablespoons to your favorite drink, lactation smoothie, or lactation cookie once per day.

More Breastfeeding Supplements

There are more, less common supplements to use for increasing your milk supply.

  1. Blessed Thistle
  2. Fennel
  3. Stinging Nettle
  4. Alfalfa
  5. Goat’s Rue
  6. Milk Thistle

Always talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant before taking any herbal treatments. For many centuries, herbal remedies have been used as medications. And, just like prescription drugs, herbs and plants can have side effects. And, depending on the preparation, some herbs can even be toxic.

Increase Breastmilk Through Pumping

You can also increase your milk supply through pumping. Also known as power pumping. The concept is simple, the more your baby nurses or you pump the more signals your body receives to tell it to produce more milk.

“If you want to boost your milk supply fast, power pumping can help by creating an artificially high demand for breast milk. By increasing the number of times you pump, you give your body the message to increase milk production.” — Helen Anderson, Chief Lactation Officer

Power pumping works great for moms who’ve already established their milk supply and noticed a dip in their supply or haven’t been able to nurse baby consistently for a number of reasons such as returning to work or a painful breast infection.

It also works for moms who are exclusively pumping as I did with my son. He was admitted in the hospital after 4 days old due to critically low bilirubin levels. I wasn’t even able to hold him more than a few minutes per day.

I had to start pumping right away for days and he never took to the breast so I decided to pump exclusively for as long as I could.

Power pumping helps to mimic cluster feeding which is a natural increase in your baby’s desire and need for milk. Which your body will naturally respond to with increased milk supply.

Power pumping really requires a time commitment. Basically, you’ll need to set aside an hour for your full power pumping session which will look like this:

  • You’ll pump both breasts for 20 minutes
  • Rest for 10 minutes
  • Pump for 10 minutes
  • Rest for 10 minutes
  • Pump for 10 minutes

You can do this at least 2 times a day until you see your supply increase and then gradually reduce your power pumping sessions.

Foods to Increase Breastmilk

Aside from staying very hydrated by drinking lots of water during and in between nursing sessions, there are also foods that tend to help increase milk production. These are referred to as lactation foods or the lactation diet.

  1. Ginger
  2. Garlic
  3. Rolled Oats
  4. Vegetables like carrots, yams, and dark leafy greens
  5. Sesame Seeds

Here’s a great resource of lactation recipes!

When to Know When it’s Time to Supplement with Formula

There are times when it’s appropriate and even necessary to begin supplementing with formula. If you think you may need to supplement, I urge you to get medical support from your baby’s pediatrician and your own Doctor or lactation consultant.

And never feel pressured to keep breastfeeding or start supplementing if you’re not comfortable or ready. As long as your baby is meeting the above guidelines, you most likely have time to make the best decision for your baby without the pressure from professionals who may not share your convictions.

Do you have a tip that worked to increase your breastmilk supply? Please share it in the comments below!

Struggling with low breastmilk supply is a very common problem for nursing moms. Here's the ultimate guide to help you boost your supply the right way! #breastfeeding #pregnancy #newmom #baby #babies #feedingbaby

The Secret to Raising Happy and Confident Teens in an Image Focused World

Raising happy teens

It really bothers me when I see teenage angst played out on TV and in the movies like it’s a natural part of the growing process. Spreading the lie that all teens must have an attitude problem and get into loads of trouble.

The truth is, being a teenager is hard and so much of the time we as parents are getting it wrong. That’s not to say every issue we face with our teens is our fault. The tween and teen stage is full of changes that can be hard for them and for you.

Raising happy teens

But we as parents are the single most important influence our kids have and how we parent and relate to our kids really matters… especially during the teen years.

Does it ever seem strange that your teen can seem totally logical and mature in one moment and completely illogical and impulsive in another?

That’s because their brains are still under construction!

Because the prefrontal cortex is still developing, teenagers might rely on a part of the brain called the amygdala to make decisions and solve problems more than adults do. The amygdala is associated with emotions, impulses, aggression and instinctive behavior. source

This is why it’s hard to be a teen and can be equally hard to raise a teenager.

And to top it off, we live in a very image and selfie-focused world. When we send our kids to any typical school, we’re really sending them into a war zone. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s sadly very true.

There are so many instances of bullying, the pressure to conform, and exposure to things we never intended when we drop them off for their education every day.

Related: 9 Things Your Kid Wishes You’d Do but Doesn’t Know How to Tell You

Parenting Teens with Compassion

In the lives of many tweens and teens, they’re simply getting an education in survival. And this is very sad. No wonder teens are widely seen as angry, unengaged and apathetic people!

As parents, teachers, youth workers, and family members of teens we should be practicing parenting with compassion. And strive for connection and understanding before rushing to correction and judgment.

Don’t we need to focus on character development and discipline with our teens? Absolutely!

But first, we need to do everything in our power to win the heart of our child before they ever reach the teen years. And do everything in our power to keep it!

The heart is the access point to a person’s heart and when you have it you have everything you need to be an amazing mom.

So how do we win the heart of our kids and teens? Start by asking more questions. Not judgment-laden questions, but ones that focus on really getting to know them.

And do LOTS of listening. Way more listening than talking. And trust me, as a mom this is a HUGE challenge. At least it was for me!

We are born and bred to talk, talk, talk and lecture, lecture, lecture as a way of parenting. But we learn so much more when we shut up and listen.

The Secret to Raising Happy Teens

One of the starting points to raising thriving teens is our expectation. Our society programs us to expect the worst when our kids reach their teen years.

It’s referred to in the fabric of our culture over and over again. We’re taught to fear our kids becoming teenagers.

It’s no different than when we all feared our first child turning two because we were all told it was going to be terrible.

I’m kind of different in my thinking… kind of like a teenager. I don’t like being told, “this is how it’s going to be.” As if I have no control over the matter.

Here’s the thing, we do have a say! We do get to choose whether we buy into the lies or write a new story for our family.

I didn’t say it was going to be easy every day but at least when you go into something with the expectation that it’s NOT going to be terrible… that it’s going to be great… you’re starting from a winning position.

There’s so much power in our expectation and having low or fearful expectations actually changes the way we parent.

This is why I choose to expect that my children will all thrive in their teen and adult years… whether they do or don’t is another issue altogether.

My expectation is that they won’t be overcome by bullying and peer pressure, that they’ll be confident to stand on what they know is right, and know how to love themselves and others well.

I hope you choose to expect the same for your kids. And these tips will help you get there. It’s not easy being a parent in any stage, but we were made for this and have the capacity to exceptionally parent our teens.

Know When to Take a Break

I feel it’s necessary to start here when talking about raising tweens and teens. Not because they are bad (we’ve already covered that) but because they’re largely hormonal. Aside from hormones, teen moodiness can be related to issues outside of hormones.

After puberty sets in, kids have a much harder time managing their emotions. Aggression, sadness, and impulsive behavior are just some of the emotions raging in a typical teen.

That means even on the best of days, there are plenty of opportunities for blow-ups.

Even the most mild-mannered adult can find themselves in an all-out verbal war with their teenager.

So when you find yourself going back and forth in a heated discussion with your teen and your blood pressure is steadily rising, practice taking a break.

Just flat-out say that we need to stop this discussion until we both calm down and try again later. That’s it. It’s not worth saying things you’ll regret and you can’t take back.

You never want to risk verbally wounding your child or tearing down the walls of your relationship that you’ve worked so hard to build. Take a break and talk about it later, or if appropriate consider letting it go.

Become a Master Observer

There are so many changes that take place in our children from their tween years into early adulthood. And many of those changes or behavior shifts are a normal part of their growth and development.

However, sometimes major behavior and personality changes can point to trauma. And even seemingly little traumas can cut really deep and make much larger impacts on their reasoning and behavior.

And trauma to a teenager can range from being rejected by a close friend, being introduced to drugs through peer pressure, being a victim of bullying, feelings of depression or suicide, and even sexual abuse.

It’s vitally important that we don’t make the false assumption that all teens withdrawal and become anti-social to their families. This simply isn’t true.

Many, many of these typical teens were traumatized in some way and simply don’t know how to handle it or ask for help. Mainly because they feel it was their fault or that they’ll get into trouble.

I was personally a teen that was traumatized many, many times and all of these encounters warped my mind and how I related to others. Unfortunately, my behavior shift was rolled into the assumption that I was just being a “typical teenager.”

I wasn’t… I was deeply hurt and wounded. And sadly remained that way for much of my adulthood.

We need to put down our distractions and pay attention, be present, and fight for our kids. There’s nothing more important than that.

And I must point out that we don’t need to rely mearing on our own observations. Praying for our kids opens the door to being able to hear from Holy Spirit who will point us to issues with our kids we might never be able to observe on our own.

Related: The Power and Purpose of a Regular Quiet Time Routine

Model Kindness & SelfLove

One of the things teens get a bad rap for is lacking compassion. The easiest way to raise compassionate kids is to be compassionate. We need to model both compassion and kindness to others in front of our children so they can see these qualities in action.

We can’t simply leave it to the world to do it because it’s not really happening.

Kids are like little tape recorders walking around doing and saying everything they hear and see at home. I served in children’s ministry for over a decade and I’ve seen a lot! Your kids are telling all your business. Lol

The point I’m trying to make is we want them to be instinctively walking around and seeking out the hurting, the left out, and the unloved. Because they see us doing it first.

We also need to be modeling healthy self-love and self-esteem! Our kids are growing up in an image-focused world and it’s easy to feel like you don’t measure up.

Talking about our wrinkles and cellulite all the time isn’t setting the best example. It’s up to us to learn to love our own bodies and who we really are just the way we are… imperfections and all!

Teach Teens the Value of Grit

Grit is probably one of the most powerful qualities a person can develop and grow to live their best life. Grit is defined as passion and perseverance over the long term.

Grit supersedes talent, intelligence, connections, and the ability to overcome your own fear. Grit is what determines whether you’ll stay where you’re supposed to be and abundantly thrive there.

As Angela Duckworth points out in her Ted Talk below, how to teach grit in kids is still unclear. That’s why I believe teaching kids the “value” of grit is so powerful.

Instead of putting all of our emphasis on talent and intelligence we need to encourage our children to see their goals over the long haul. That they absolutely have the power to create their own destiny if they take the passion-driven right actions long enough.

Lead them to their Passion

Most of the time passion manifests through what we see as a talent. Maybe our child is really good at baseball, dance, or excels in their artistic ability. If that child is equally driven to grow in that gift… you have a passion!

Other times a passion can be people, need, or problem-driven. For example, this teen was filled with a passion to help cancer patients when her mom and sister were battling cancer.

She started a non-profit organization and it has grown enormously and is helping so many people.

The source of your child’s passion can come from many places. However, the important thing is that we help nurture their passion and give them every opportunity possible to rise beyond their potential.

The reason passion is so important for kids and teens is because it serves to keep them focused and occupied in something that deeply matters to them.

This is a very good thing as long as they practice healthy balance, of course. But the biggest factor is when a teen is filled with a passion, they are less likely to be influenced by peer pressure, teen boredom, low self-esteem, and bullying.

Why? Because they’re busy building something! They just don’t have time for the foolishness.

It’s NEVER a good idea to have a bored and uninspired teenager. Never.

Related: How to Stop Standing in the Way of Your Child’s Purpose

Be an Undistracted Parent

One of the reasons I believe it’s possible to make such a positive impact as a parent is by actually being there. And I’m not talking necessarily about not working. Most of us, including me, have to work for income.

I’m talking about being a Present Parent. One that’s not distracted by their phone, their busyness, or even their own dreams and passion.

As a mom, our first ministry is our family. And making the hard sacrifices to be there physically and emotionally must be our first priority. Especially over money.

The last several years we weren’t living a very glamorous life. We had a few setbacks in our business and ended up struggling in our finances. I wasn’t making any money from blogging at the time and my emotions and fear pointed me toward getting a job.

In the end, I stayed home and worked my butt off to stay focused on my family and work extremely hard in the fringe hours to build a business that I can work from home. All with the dream of earning an income that allows me the freedom to be with my kids.

Even if you’re a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t need to work for income you can still struggle to be a present parent. Present parenting has so much more to do with your priority of Family Time and making connections with your kids.

Praise Effort Over Results

Our kids are literally just trying to figure it all out every single day. And it’s hard.

Intentionally offering praise and encouragement when our kids take the right action is so key. When they take the initiative to clean their room on their own, to study for a test without prodding, or anything else you notice it’s important that we take a moment to reinforce that behavior.

They may not clean their room the way you like it done or might get a less than perfect grade on that test, but they took imperfect action. And imperfect action is a million times better than no action!

If your child is consistently earning C’s in school but they work diligently and make every opportunity to do well, then they should be praised the same as a student that earns straight A’s.

Why? Because of their effort. I always encourage my kids to do their best… not someone else’s best.

If we know our kids tried their best, then we praise them for their effort first and then the result.

If we only praise based on results, we run the high risk of marginalizing kids who don’t naturally fit into the high-performing or high-achieving model.

Related: 2 Super Easy Ways to Teach Your Child Personal Accountability and Stop the Blame Game

Fill Their Love Bank

Think of your child’s heart as a bank. We all have a love bank and it works the same as our real bank accounts. We put deposits in and take withdrawals out.

How do we fill out child’s love bank?

By showing them love through encouragement. By affirming them way more than we correct or criticize them. And by always showing up, even when they push us away and say they don’t want us to.

Withdrawals happen when we scream at our kids in anger and frustration. When we judge them before we ever try to understand them. When we disconnect because we feel rejected.

Remember, it’s hard to be a teen. And much of the time, they’re struggling with complex emotions they don’t know how to deal with. Some days our teens just need a long, love-drenched hug… even if it’s just a verbal one.

Related: 50 Simple Ways to Show Love to Your Child Speaking their Love Language

Never Tolerate Disrespect

Finally, we must never tolerate disrespect to anyone. This really needs to start when they’re toddlers.

If kids are allowed to talk back to you or other adults or aren’t corrected when they’re outright disrespectful it’s like giving them a giant green light. And it only gets worse as they enter their tween years.

Talking back is a matter of personal expression. We all have the urge to say what’s on our minds and have the last word when we’re angry or frustrated.

And being able to develop the personal restraint to hold your tongue in these situations is an important social skill everyone needs to be able to do. Sadly, too few don’t.

When we allow our kids and teens to over-talk us, say rude comments or talk back it must be a non-negotiable action that’s always grounds for discipline.

If they’re allowed to be disrespectful to their own parents it’s likely this behavior will transfer to teachers, coaches, and other parents. If not dealt with, there’s a good chance they will grow to become rude people.

Please don’t raise another rude person. We have too many already!

All jokes aside, this is an area that needs boundaries and constant attention until they learn how to more effectively handle their emotions.


Which areas are you most excited about focusing on with your teen? I know this post showed a lot things we can work on with our teens. Don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed or discouraged.

Just take the right actions one step at a time!

Share your teen struggles and questions in the comments below!

 

Having struggles with your teen? Try these simple tips to help you raise happy and confident teens in a negative world! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #teens #tweensHaving struggles with your teenager? Try these simple tips to help you raise a happy and confident teen in this largely negative and image focused world! It's possible! #kidsandparenting #teens #tweens #raisingkids #parenting #parentingtipsTeenagers are great. Having struggles with your teenager? Try these simple tips to help you raise a happy and confident teen in this largely negative and image focused world! It's possible! #kidsandparenting #teens #tweens #raisingkids #parenting #parentingtips

Want to know the secret to raising confident and happy teens? The answers may surprise you! Check out how to help your teen and tween be their best! #tweens #teens #raisingkids #parenting #parenting101

50 Simple Ways to Speak Your Child’s Love Language Everyday

speak your child's love language

Did you know there’s an actual language of love… no not Italian. Seriously, we all have a unique Love Language that’s tailor-made to our unique personality. A language that when it’s spoken to us, can make us feel love in a deeply personal way.

And understanding the power of love languages, especially as it pertains to our kids, makes such an impact on how we give and receive love. This post shares simple and tangible ways to bond closer with your children using their love language.

We all know what it’s like to feel loved. It’s this experience of love that hits our heart much differently than merely knowing we’re loved. So many of us live the majority of our days in the “knowing we’re loved” zone, versus actually “experiencing that love” in action.

speak your child's love language

We all want to feel that love a whole lot more than just knowing it’s there. I know I’m guilty of letting the days go by without going beyond the usual hug, kiss, and I love you as I drop them off at school. And, of course, the thought that feeding them, clothing them, and sheltering them is an expression of love.

And though they are clearly expressions of love, I have to ask myself when was the last time my child “felt” love. A love that was meant just for them, and not a one-size-fits-all love that merely got tossed to all the kids at once on the way out the door.

The truth is, far too often we all take for granted that our spouse, children, and friends simply know we love them and leave it at that. Until a holiday (#Valentine’s Day) or other special event rolls around. Then we bring out the big guns!

This list is designed to help you become an even better mom and a positive parent than you already are!

We Speak Love in our Own Language

But our loved ones need so much more than that, especially our sweet children. Who are generally sweet most of the time. 

They need to feel and experience a clear and tangible expression of our love. One they can’t question or talk themselves out of later. And the best way to do this is to show them love in their own love language.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock (or mounds of your children’s dirty laundry) and haven’t heard of love languages; let me catch you up.

The concept is taught extensively by Gary Chapman who wrote several books on the topic including The 5 Love Languages of Children – which I HIGHLY recommend along with all of his other books on the topic.

He teaches that there are basically five main ways (languages) we humans uniquely communicate love to one another. We all communicate on some level using all five languages, but Gary believes we each have one overarching language that’s stronger than all the others. That’s our love language.

Why are Love Languages Important?

The interesting part is, we naturally communicate our love to others using our own love language. I mean, that’s our own language, right? But this can hinder the flow of the “love exchange” because, as you know by now, we receive love best in our own language. Confused yet?

Please don’t be. Think of love languages as actual languages. If your husband spoke French and you only spoke English, your relationship would be challenging at best. But if you knew each other’s language and chose to speak that language to each other – you’d be in business. No more mixed signals. Well, hopefully.

This gives us the challenge of identifying and understanding the love language of those we want to show love to the most – our family. This way you can shoot your arrows of love like The Mocking Jay and hit the bulls-eye every single time. Imagine that!

The whole point of understanding and using love languages is the concept of filling each other’s love tank. And doing things that fill our child’s love tank in the specific way that they need it, sends the message loud and clear to your child – I AM LOVED.

Tips to Identify Your Child’s Love Language

In case you don’t know your child’s love language, I’m going to briefly list a few clues to point you in the right direction. I’ll warn you, it may seem at first that your child has ALL the love languages.

But if you observe your child over time, it’ll become more clear. Once you know your child’s love language, you can have fun delivering love messages to them in a way that’s sure to fill their love tank all the way to the top!

Physical Touch

  • Your child is touchy-feely and never seems to leave your side.
  • Frequently grabs your hand to hold it, leans on you, or rubs you in an affectionate way.
  • Loves to snuggle, cuddle, and be close.
  • If you reject this snuggle-fest request, they’ll likely feel rejected themselves.

Words of Affirmation

  • Your child is highly motivated by your words of encouragement.
  • They tend to feed off the validation of others.
  • They also will be more affected by harsh verbal correction or discipline.
  • Compliments and praise are like fuel to their soul.

Quality Time

  • Your child will frequently ask to spend time with you, even after you just had an awesome one on one day yesterday! Lol
  • Every time you turn around – they’re there looking to see what you’re doing.
  • If they aren’t getting the attention they’re seeking out, they will often resort to getting attention elsewhere. This is where getting negative attention can come in.
  • They’ll ask to come along when you’re just running errands. The point is, they want to be with you. Here are some great ideas for family connections!

Gifts

  • Your child sees receiving gifts a special moment.
  • On big gift giving days like Christmas and Birthdays, they’ll often remember who gave each and every gift.
  • They will often collect and store seemingly random mementos from places they’ve been or from things they’ve been given by friends.

Acts of Service

  • Your child always wants to help and will even try to take over doing things like folding the laundry or putting away dishes as an act of love.
  • They will look for things that need to be done, like cleaning up the pile of blocks that got left in the corner. They’ll feel proud and accomplished after doing this, so showing your appreciation will go a long way.
  • They will naturally look for ways to help others.

How to Bond with Your Child Using Love Language

Even when you’re busy and overwhelmed with life, these ideas are so super, simple that you’ll find yourself inventing new ideas. The ways to speak your child’s love language are really endless and are only bound by your creativity and FUN! Let’s get to it.

 Physical Touch

  1. Watch their favorite TV show or read a book snuggled up on the couch. For ideas, check out my Epic Summer Reading list here!
  2. Create a special one-of-a-kind handshake.
  3. Give a lingering hug every day. One that just holds for an extra moment or two.
  4. Offer piggy-back or on the shoulder rides (if they’re still little enough!)
  5. Invite them into your lap to read as long and as often as they’ll still accept the invitation.
  6. Challenge them to an arm or thumb wrestling contest.
  7. Play a board game. Twister is a great one if you can handle it, Mom!
  8. ALWAYS tuck your child in for bed whenever possible.
  9. Wake them up sweetly with a warm snuggle instead of the light on and a, “wake up!”
  10. Do yoga or stretches together using each other for gentle resistance and support.

Words of Affirmation

  1. Write them a love note in their lunch box.
  2. Send them a text message telling them how awesome they are. Be specific and genuine! They’ll spot a canned praise a mile away.
  3. Always be ready with something awesome to say about them when they’re with their friends and/or siblings.
  4. When disciplining/correcting use the sandwich method. Praise – correction – praise.
  5. Offer words of praise that are very specific such as, “it was so awesome when you did … “
  6. Talk openly about them in a positive way around other family and friends.
  7. Always reserve correction to be given privately within your home and not around others.
  8. Create fan signs for your child at their sports games or other activities. And scream their name loudly if appropriate.
  9. Purchase a nice journal for them and write an inspiring message for them on the first page and date it. Words are important for those with this love language so journaling is usually a great activity to encourage.
  10. Create a secret journal that only you and your child know about that you use to write back and forth to each other. This is wonderful for those challenging tween years.

Quality Time

  1. Have a regularly scheduled date day. Could be simple and free like going to the park every Friday. Here are some great FREE ideas! 
  2. Go for a walk alone. Allow them to lead the conversation.
  3. Order a fun subscription box for kids. They are so much fun. My kids are obsessed with these!
  4. Find a way to include them in your work, if you work from home and they’re old enough. Get creative.
  5. Play with your child. Enter their play fort, hide really well in a game of hide-and-seek, and learn how to give their dolls the most stylish do’s for their latest date to the ball.
  6. Create a project together that the whole family can enjoy when it’s done.
  7. Reorganize or rearrange a room together.
  8. Take up a physical activity like running together. You can train together and run marathons throughout the year.
  9. Cook a meal together. Allow them to plan, shop, and prepare it.
  10. Identify a talent, hobby, or sport they love and find a way to get involved. Become a coach, a volunteer, or start your own group.

Gifts

  1. Give unique and meaningful gifts like planting a beautiful tree together in the backyard. Preferably one of their favorites, if possible.
  2. Tap into your inner DIY crafter (get on Pinterest) and find something to make for your child that they can use every day like a jewelry organizer or a nice phone charging station. The fact that you took the time to make something won’t be lost on this child!
  3. Get creative in making gifts for classroom gift-giving seasons like Valentine’s Day. They like giving gifts as much as receiving them.
  4. Give them the gift of quality stationery so they can beautifully express their appreciation for the gifts they receive from others.
  5. Make their gifts an event or experience by coordinating a gift treasure hunt.
  6. Work on a project that allows them to use their talents as gift giving opportunities.
  7. Give them gifts with a deeper meaning or significance such as a piece of jewelry or a personalized journal. And make the packaging thoughtful!
  8. Bring them a personal memento from an interesting place you went that day or from your travels. For example, a cool looking rock or flower. Repay the “look what I found” sentiment we get from them so often.
  9. Buy them personalized items with their name on it. This could be as simple as a dinner plate or cup with their name printed on it but can get more special as they get older.
  10. Create cool spaces for them to store their new gifts or mementos. Like baskets, shadowbox shelves, or cabinets with open spaces.

Acts of Service

  1. Give your child special responsibilities they personally enjoy doing such as cooking, walking the dog, or watering the plants. Allow them to have feedback in the process.
  2. Create opportunities to display random acts of kindness to strangers together.
  3. Offer to be a teacher’s helper in your child’s classroom and allow your child to work as your assistant.
  4. Discuss how you can work with them to use their interests to help others on your street. If they love animals, you can both offer to wash their neighbor’s dog for free together.
  5. Payback their acts of service by doing one of their chores secretly.
  6. Let your child HELP! Even when they roll the shirts up instead of folding them.
  7. Plan simple random acts of kindness just for them.
  8. Take the time to teach. Instead of just “doing” everything, slow down and teach your child how to do something.
  9. Always bring extra to share. If you get a snack in the kitchen put extra on your plate so you can freely share. Or better yet, offer to get them their own plate!
  10. Cook them their favorite “real” breakfast every now and then on a school morning

This is just a list to get your imagination working. As a mom, it’s important for us to take the time to learn how to deliver the message of our love in a way that speaks uniquely to them. No more generic love! 

Do me a favor and put in the comments below what your child’s love language is. My oldest daughter’s is giving gifts, and my middle daughters is physical touch. I’m not yet sure of my toddler’s yet but I’ll keep you posted.

Tell us what love expressions you’re planning next in the comments below! Let’s keep this list going beyond this 50!

 

Does your child "feel" your love every day in a tangible way? It's super easy when you know their love language! Get 50 super simple ways to speak your child's love language every day! #parenting #momadvice #kids #kidsandparenting #parentingtipsKnowing your child's love language is very helpful in being able to show love to your child in a special way every day. These 50 ideas will get you started today! #lovelanguage #kidsandparenting #parenting #momadvice #mom #kidsLove is unique for everyone because we all have a love language. Find out how to speak your child's unique love language today! #lovelanguage #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #momlife #motherhood These super easy and unique ideas will have you speaking your child's love language everyday and strengthening your relationship in the process! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parenting101

Want to know the secret to making your child feel loved every day? It's learning to speak your child's love language! This post will both help you learn their love language and give you 50 simple ways to speak your child's love language every day! #lovelanguage #parenting #kidsandparenting #positiveparenting #gentleparenting

4 Things You Must Do When Motherhood is Kicking Your Butt!

What to do when motherhood is hard

Is motherhood kickin your butt? Do you spend your days second-guessing your decisions and feeling like you’ll never get this mom thing right?

Let me ask you another question – How do we as moms decide what was a good “mom day” versus a bad one? Is it when everything goes as we planned? Is it when no major catastrophes happened that day? What about when your to-do list actually gets done? What about if we “feel” like a good mom? Hmmm.

Or if all your kids listened and obeyed the first time all day? Oops sorry, that last one was part of a fairy tale. My apologies. 😉

The point is, how do we know if we’re doing a good job at this mom thing? I believe the answer is we need to learn how to set realistic expectations for motherhood.

What to do when motherhood is hard

This is especially true in our massively social media driven world where all moms seem to want to share is their highlight reel. I’m guilty of this too. I mean who wants to air their dirty laundry or dishes for the world to see?

But, I’ve got news for you. ALL moms have messy floors, dirty dishes, kids that talk back and disobey, and a to-do list a mile long that never seems to get done. Oh, and are plagued by this nagging feeling that you’re screwing up your kids. YOU’RE NOT ALONE. Here’s my post on Instagram where I get a little real on the topic. 😉

Messy Living Room on Instagram

Related: 51 Ways to be a Fun Mom even when you’re stressed and tired!

As moms, we’re a lot more alike than we think. Sure, we may have majorly different parenting styles and world-views but we love our children and work really hard to make sure they get their best chance in life.

That’s why we need to cut ourselves a little slack and begin to see motherhood from a different, better angle. I’m not necessarily proud to say this but most of the time when I’m struggling with anything in my life 9 times out of 10 I’m looking at it the wrong way.

Pessimism runs in my blood. I have to fight against seeing the negative side of things on a daily basis. And my motherhood struggles are no exception. And just so you know, I didn’t just write that to say that your struggles are all in your head and you just need to think more positively and everything will get better.

I merely want to point out that even when problems and struggles are so very real, having a healthy perspective and doing healthy activities go such a long way in helping us heal our way through those issues.

I used to suffer for months on end with depression and never told anyone. I just listened to my self-condemning thoughts and never did any of the things I’m sharing with you on this list. Instead, I allowed those thoughts to permeate my heart and make me feel hopeless.

I want you to know that simply by reading this, you’re an amazing mom. You care about your kids and your own wellness. And I want to encourage you, from the mom who always thought the worst of herself, that you don’t have to live in that place!

Keep reading and find your freedom.

Here are 4 things to need to do right now when motherhood is kickin your butt!

Related: Why Putting Yourself First Makes You a Much Better Mom!

Momlife Made Simple Email course

1 – Think Like Your Kids

Kids naturally think of themselves first, and their number one priority 99% of the time is doing something that brings them joy. In other words, a kid’s gotta have fun, right!

So why not take on that same philosophy yourself? Especially, when #momlife is kicking your butt! Take time to drop all the mom stuff, responsibilities, and burdens. And just do what makes you happy and brings you joy. That could be reading a great book. This book is a must-read when you’re feeling the mom-blues. It helped me work out some major issues I was feeling in my mom life. If reading isn’t your thing, it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you feel filled while doing it.

Related: Why All Moms Need to be Intentional With a Regular Self Care Routine 

I would also highly recommend spending fun time with your kids. I know at first glance this may seem a little counter-intuitive because we’re talking about motherhood kicking your butt. However, if the kids are driving you crazy it may be because they’re actually craving your attention. Not just your shared space in the room attention but your all-eyes-on-me, doing total fun stuff attention.

And you need this fun kid time too. The reason we struggle to sometimes enjoy just hanging out with our kids is we feel the pressure of #AllTheThings that need to be done and are piling up. I totally get it! But making real connections with your family is one of the best things you can do to reset your mom rut and start enjoying motherhood again. Need some ideas? I’ve got you covered here!

Here’s my favorite subscription service that my kids are obsessed with and makes fun time super interactive and educational. I highly recommend you check it out for yourself!

2 – Drop Perfection

No mom is perfect and we all have good stuff and not so good stuff, but we were made for our kids and they’re made for us. I believe birth is a divine appointment, and we’re all created by a loving God. With this in mind, I firmly believe that we don’t just have random kids. Sometimes it can feel like we do, though. Lol

Our children are given to us. Children that we’re already equipped to raise and understand even if it doesn’t seem that way. Trying to be perfect and making no mistakes is a total setup for epic failure.

In fact, perfection is really an illusion like a mirage in the desert. It tempts us to keep chasing it, but the truth is, it’s not real. We were created to simply be us. That’s it. Learn to be OK with your unique personality and parenting style. And stop comparing yourself to other moms.  Your kiddos need YOU!

Related:4 Surprising Signs You’re a Burnt Out Mom and How to Bounce Back Quickly!

3 – Say No to Mom-guilt 

Another powerful way to set realistic expectations as a mom is to say no to mom-guilt. Yes, you can get rid of mom-guilt. Well, mostly, because having that guilty feeling is just par for the course for moms because the real source of mom-guilt is the love you have for your child. If you didn’t have that, why would you ever feel guilty?

The thing we must remember is we have grace. God’s grace causes things to work out well even if we’ve messed up big time. That same grace is there to help us move beyond our mistakes so we can move forward without heavy guilt baggage.

And guilt is a toxic emotion meant to stop you in your tracks and have you #InYourFeelings for far too long.

Related: The Truth about Mom Guilt and How to Get Rid of it Forever!

4 – Get Refocused on Your Why

After you’ve had a few kids, it becomes harder to remember why you wanted to have a family in the first place. To remember those visions you had of becoming a mother and what you wanted to accomplish.

My husband and I struggled with infertility issues so it took us almost 5 years before we got pregnant with our first child. The last few years before I got pregnant were agony. Every single month, 12 of them to be exact, brought extreme heartache.

It also was a season of vision, as I could see nothing but my baby for years before she came. We longed to finally meet her. In that time of waiting, I never thought of the mistakes I’d make or the frustrations I’d later feel raising a pre-teen daughter.

I only focused on loving her with all my heart and providing her with her absolute best chance in this life.

So, when motherhood feels hard and is really kicking my butt, I can simply refocus and remember that I’m doing just fine as long as I’m loving my kids with all my heart and still working to give them the best I can give.

You Are Doing the Best Work

Let’s all be honest with ourselves for a moment. When was the last time you ended the day with a positive thought about yourself as a mom? Do you even know your true value as a mom?

Motherhood is hands-down the hardest and yet most purposeful and fulfilling job anyone could ever ask for! We have a powerful and impactful ministry assignment to raise those little ones into who they were called to be. That’s a very big job and that’s partly why it’s so hard. That and the fact that those little ones are super messy, bossy, and generally all about themselves most days. 😉

I know that wiping running snotty noses, helping with homework, cooking, cleaning, driving kids EVERYWHERE, and breaking up sibling wrestling matches doesn’t feel very purposeful or fulfilling all the time. Just know, that all moms struggle with that stuff.

And whether you feel like it or not, motherhood is a calling. And all the biggest callings come with the biggest sacrifices. But I also firmly believe we ALL have the grace to do what we’re called to. You have the grace to be a wonderful mother… oh and a joyful mom too!

Go ahead and lift up another mom and share this post to all the moms you know. And together we can lay down perfection or guilt and embrace US.

Leave a comment below and bravely share how you’re going to embrace YOU.

 

Feeling like you suck as a mom? We all do some days. You need to start doing these 4 things right now when your mom life is kicking your butt! #motherhood #momlife #parentingstruggles

Motherhood is hard! Here are 4 things you MUST do when you feel frustrated and overwhelmed with motherhood. #motherhood #mom #parenting #momlife

Mom burn out is real and when you feel totally overwhelmed as a mom, these are 4 things you must do right now to keep your sanity and renew your mind! #momlife #motherhood #newmom

13 Simple and Fun Activities That Will Bring Your Whole Family Together

spending time with family

Families thrive at their best when they are spending regular quality time together. But spending time with family seems to be on the decline. According to the New York Post, on average most American families are spending 37 minutes a day together as a family.

spending time with family

We can explore all the reasons that contribute to this average, and debate on whether this is too little or too much but the truth is there are a million reasons why families don’t or can’t find the time to come together and enjoy each other as a family on a more frequent basis.

And lack of time isn’t always the clear culprit. There are other factors like having children with a wide age gap that can hinder finding activities that everyone enjoys. Sibling rivalry when doing activities all together can also suck the fun out of family time.

The keys to having family time that’s fun for you, your spouse, and each one of your children are these two things – simplicity and consistency.

Simplicity is best for everyone but especially you. If you feel pressure to plan elaborate family nights and activities you’re likely to get burned out and overwhelmed. And let me let you in on a little secret, kids remember the simplest things not the complicated.

Stick to the very end for a heartwarming reminder of this! Plus, they want a happy mom so stick with simple!

The best thing to do is have a regularly time scheduled each week to come together. I didn’t even say each day! That’s it. What you do during this time can vary from week to week but having a consistent when you do it helps keep everyone accountable.

Is Spending Time with Family Important?

The simple answer to that question is yes. And just to be clear, in this post when I refer to “family time” I’m specifically taking about time together as a whole. Not just mom and the kids or mom and one child doing something together.

And the fact is, for most families having quality time together as one family is challenging to pull off on a daily basis. What about family dinner, you ask? It’s been widely discussed that family dinners are on the sharp decline and while this may be a bad thing, it’s the reality for many families – including mine!

But no one is debating that making quality time for family isn’t important and necessary for connection. In fact, there are many benefits to regular family time such as:

Building a positive self-image in your child. When your children know it’s a priority to you that you spend dedicated time with them every day, they get the message loud and clear that – they matter. There’s a strong correlation between parental involvement and a child’s self-esteem and “internal controls,” which points to a child’s ability to regulate his emotions. Therefore, involved parents equate to happier kids.

Improves family communication through practice. Communicating effectively as a family can be a real challenge but through frequent family time together you get to improve through practicing and finding out what works best for your family.

Creates stronger emotional bonds. Being truly connected to the heart of your child is extremely important to maintaining a healthy relationship that carries them into adulthood. This can only happen through spending time with your child. As the saying goes, in a family love is spelled T.I.M.E.

Family Time Made Simple Checklist

It’s Not About the Time

Before we dive into the simple activities you can easily do as a family, I want to address the issue of time. As in, how much time is enough.

Studies have been done to try and scientifically answer this question but the truth is, it can’t because every family is differnet and has it’s own needs. It’s our job as parents to be looking and listening for what’s possibly lacking and work to meet those needs for our children.

One huge point to remember though is it’s more about quality than quantity as the wise old saying goes. If you as a parent are rushed, unengaged, or bored your kids will feel these negative emotions and will feel rejection so you might as well skip it if you’re not up to it that day. And don’t worry, we’ve ALL been there!

Creating a regular family time should be a priority but never a rigid burden in an already hectic lifestyle or season. And every family is unique and must work within the boundaries of their own family structure. For example, single parents and military spouses who’s spouse is currently deployed are carrying the responsibility of creating family time without the help of another adult.

This can be really challenging and overwhelming if your expectations are too high. If you find yourself in this life season right now, remembering simple is your best asset. If you find your kids are pushing back on big game nights or outings together, just have a movie night or binge watch your favorite shows together.

Just being in the same room together doing something fun is still very powerful for connection versus everyone being tucked away in their own corners of the house! Or begging to leave the house all together! The fact that your kids actually want to hang out with you is a great sign… so take it with joy.

This list of ideas are simple, very simple. My family doesn’t do over-the-top themed activities so you won’t find those here. Just easy ideas that any family can do to start bonding together a little more each week.

13 Fun Activities for Spending Time with Family

  1. Go on a walk together. If you are a fit family (or need to be) this is a great way to laugh, talk, race each other and get out of the house. Oh and burn off some much-needed calories after dinner!
  2. Have a family game night. Game nights aren’t going away and are a really fun way to get silly, competitive, and even forget about lingering family stress. Here’s a list of our favorite Family Board Games. Video games are also fun to play together as a family!
  3. Have a slumber party in the living room. When your kids are still little, camping in the living room feels like an amazing adventure! Add a few forts, AKA tents, and it’s a night to remember!
  4. Cook dinner together. If your family loves cooking and eating food than actually preparing meals together can be a really fun way of connecting and working together. Get one of those meal kits that you order in the mail and follow the recipe together to make it even easier.
  5. Binge watch your favorite family shows on Netflix. Yes, watching TV does count as quality family time. As long as it’s intentional like a series that your whole family loves instead of just mindlessly watching anything that comes on TV.
  6. Instead of going out for ice cream have a sundae at home night. Going out for ice cream be really expensive! Try staying home and making your own sundaes. You can even go the extra mile and bake cookies too. Your kids will love these family nights!
  7. Start a family business. I know this sounds like a big one but starting a small business that centers around a shared passion can be a wonderful way to connect and work together to do something meaningful as a family.
  8. Have weekly family dinners. Sitting down every night as a family for dinner is a challenge for many families including mine. Establishing one night a week when everyone is home as a dinner night can help so much in creating consistency despite hectic schedules.
  9. Watch a movie or make it a marathon. Our family is a HUGE Marvel family and we’ll take any excuse to watch any of our favorite superhero movies on a lazy weekend in our PJ’s.
  10. Go on a road trip. This is probably not one to do as frequently but taking a quick road trip to a nearby town is fun and refreshing especially if you live close to fun attractions.
  11. Volunteer for a cause. Every city has organizations that help those in need. Find a cause that your family cares deeply about and volunteer to help that organization for a time each month.
  12. Do random acts of kindness. Plan simple and fun ways to go out in your community and do nice things. There are tons of fun ideas here.
  13. Do chores together. No seriously! Doing your weekly chores together as a family makes the work go by faster and with a bit of fun like adding silly songs like Raining Tacos (my kids’ favorite) can make the hard work of chores fly by while having fun together.

Final Thoughts on Family Time

Spending time together as a family might hold its own challenges if your spouse travels frequently or is in the military. And if you’re a single parent you may feel overwhelmed with having everything resting on your shoulders and this is just one more thing to put on your mom list.

Please be encouraged by this, children have the tendency to remember the simplest things as the most fun. I can’t remember where I heard this so please forgive me (I think it was on the radio) This woman was telling how her now grown daughter remembered this one particular memory.

Her daughter said it was the most fun thing when her mom made dinner by putting together a plate of snacks like crackers, cheese, and fruit. When her mom heard her daughter’s confession, she couldn’t believe it because she remembered feeling like a bad mom on those nights when she was too tired to cook a real dinner.

Wow! This is so funny because for one, I do this myself and call them “snacky dinner” and my kids love them. Go figure! But also it’s a great reminder that often what we beat ourselves up over not doing enough, our kids feel our actions are just right.

Strengthening your family has never been easier than with these simple ideas for spending time as a family. Your kids won't complain about these ideas! And the best part is they center around simple! #familytime #family #parenting #kidsandparenting #activities
Finding time to spend together as a family can be challenging for busy families. Here are the most simple ways to easily bring your whole family together! #family #kidsandparenting

Never Have to Deal with Toddler Temper Tantrums Again with These Fool-Proof Tips

Toddler temper tantrums are tricky but there are simple ways to stop them from ever happening in the first place! Click to get the best tips. #parenting #kidsandparenting #parenting101 #parentingtips #momlife

Toddler temper tantrums – they can strike at a moment’s notice. And usually, happen at the quietest and least kid appropriate location possible with plenty of judging witnesses shaming you with their childless stares.

If your toddler has ever unleashed a monster temper tantrum in public, you already know it’s on the top 10 list of most embarrassing and most frustrating moments in your life.

Toddler temper tantrums are tricky but there are simple ways to stop them from ever happening in the first place! Click to get the best tips. #parenting #kidsandparenting #parenting101 #parentingtips #momlife

So what’s a mom to do when her blessed angel reaches the age of toddlerhood and isn’t maintaining their previous cutie-pie status?

There is help and you don’t have to live afraid to go outdoors or feel like a prisoner to your new toddler’s reign of terror.

But first, we need to change the narrative.

Change the Toddler Narrative

I really hate hearing parents label the toddler years as the terrible twos. This is basically stereotyping and nobody likes to be stereotyped… ever. We ALL want to have the opportunity to be our own person and live our lives without the labels trying to hold us back.

Plus, having the mindset that all toddlers are like the Tasmanian Devil will only hurt you as a parent. That’s because you’re already going into the toddler years expecting the craziness to ensue. Maybe your friend had a toddler that became unglued at the sound of the word, No.

And you automatically assumed this was the norm.

Anytime we go into any relationship or encounter with a set of preconceived notions about that person, we never give them a fighting chance to show us any different. This includes our children.

And this way of thinking is exactly what’s wrong in our world today. So, let’s not allow this toxic mindset to creep into our homes.

Instead, we need to focus on us. Yes, not our toddler but us as parents. Our children are brilliant little people and have the amazing capacity to rise up and meet our parental expectations. We just need to know what those are and lay them out.

And just like the carefully chosen outfit that you laid on the bed for your child to wear to church, they’ll probably come along and chose something else. You need to be prepared that battles will go down but you are the boss and you’ve got this!

OK, so now that we’ve got that out the way.

Related: How to use Your Words to Raise Brave and Vision Focused Kids

How to Prevent Temper Tantrums

The key to handling temper tantrums with grace is knowing that the real work really begins before the toddler tantrum ever shows up on the scene. And that’s what this post is all about… the before.

If you’re looking for tips on how to stop a tantrum already in progress, you’re going to want to read this!

I have three children and one of my kiddos is in the throes of toddlerhood. And I can probably count on two hands (that being generous) how many tantrums I’ve experienced with all three of my kids combined. I don’t say that to brag.

Only to offer encouragement that all of the typical “stages” that are thrown at us as parents don’t have to be our own experiences. I’m by no means a perfect parent but I went into motherhood with the mindset that I’m not excepting society’s negative reports for my children.

That means the terrible twos, the tween and teen disrespect, and anything else society tells me is supposed to happen with my children.

Instead, I choose to take responsibility for creating the environment I want to live. Call me crazy, but I just hate when someone tells me I can’t do something or this is just the way it is.

So, I set out to do things differently. Here is the simple formula for gracefully preventing your toddler’s temper tantrums.

Related: 2 Super Easy Ways to Teach Your Child Personal Accountability and Stop the Blame Game

What Tantrums Really Are

Tantrums are one of the ways your toddler communicates. Like a baby cries… a toddler will act out in their emotions to get our attention. Therefore, don’t worry, tantrums are normal and they don’t mean your child is bad or unruly.

In fact, I’ve had my fair share of “adult” tantrums, some of which were sadly witnessed by my kids. We all get angry, feel misunderstand, and want to be heard. We also don’t always go about expressing our feelings in the most productive and appropriate way.

This is no different from the way toddlers and kids will express their feelings in an outright on the floor tirade. But it’s our job to teach and guide our children into healthier ways to express our emotions. Nobody ever wants to see an adult kicking and screaming on the floor!

And in my own personal experience, most of my kid’s tantrums were because I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on and what they needed at that moment…

Start with Meeting Their Immediate Needs

Toddlers are still very much like their former baby selves. They lack the ability to tell you what they really need and so they act out in a way that’s very similar to a baby crying when they’re wet, hungry, or tired.

When a toddler starts acting out, pulling away from you, and no longer listening you need to go into inspector mode immediately to stop a meltdown in its tracks. Ask yourself when was the last time your little guy had a snack, took his nap, or went to the bathroom. Or basically anything else you can think of.

Meeting these needs early and quickly is the best way to keep a full-on tantrum from happening.

I think we ALL know that lack of sleep or food are huge triggers for a toddler meltdown, so start there.

I’m pretty sure, my son is the most hungry kid on the planet! And he’s quite the opposite from his two older sisters. So as he got older I naturally thought I had this parenting thing down and packed snacks and food based on what I did previously.

I broke the cardinal parenting rule… never try to treat all your kids the same! So basically, he was always hungry and wanting to eat. I quickly learned to bring more healthy snacks with us and that fixed that problem!

Also, if your kiddo doesn’t do well at all with a missed nap, try to always schedule outings and appointments around her nap whenever possible.

Related: 9 Things Your Kid Wishes You’d Do But Doesn’t Know How to Tell You

Consider How You Contribute to the Problem

Other tantrum triggers can be stress or lack of attention from you. Yes, we can actually do things to contribute to their tantrums.

For example, were you stressed out this afternoon getting her to her doctor’s appointment on time? Were you yelling at the cars, had an intense phone call on the way, or even yelled at your child?

Kids can hold on to the stressful emotions we put out and they simply have no way of handling them in a healthy or effective way. It’s the same thing happening when a baby is crying and suddenly your baby starts crying too.

Toddlers also tend to be extremely sensitive. The other day we were headed to breakfast as a family and my husband and I were deep in conversation. And my toddler began annoying his big sister… his specialty. And instead of stopping our conversation to handle the problem, we ignored it until we blew a top.

Big mistake! My husband yelled at him in the back seat (he pretty much never yells) and my son started the teary-eyed pout. When we pulled up to the restaurant, he seemed fine to me but when he got out and saw his dad, he started to cry very hard.

Needless to say, my husband felt terrible. But this shows how strongly toddlers can hold on to stressful emotions.

The second thing I mentioned is lack of attention. If you’re on your phone the whole time in the waiting room and he’s trying to get your attention, stop and be present with him. Nobody likes to be ignored, and this goes for your child too.

Foster Guided Independence

Another great way to allow your child to feel important and ward off tantrums is to offer them the opportunity to make simple choices which make them feel respected. I like to call this guided independence.

What kinds of choices are we talking about?

Let your child make toddler sized choices like what to wear, which plate they want to eat on, and what color cup they want before they have the opportunity to ask for the green cup themselves. Try putting two cups on the counter and telling your little one to choose a cup and get some milk.

Most of the time these simple choices mean absolutely nothing to us, but giving a toddler the wrong color cup can launch the first missile in WW4.

It’s better to offer them the choice first instead of grabbing a cup and them not liking it and then having to correct the situation and ruining dinner.

It’s not at all about letting kids run the show or some new-aged passive parenting tactics. But it is about understanding the needs of our kids and lovingly allowing them to experience independence on our terms, not theirs.

You may need to create boundaries with these choices to prevent yourself from getting frustrated. For example, I let my son get himself dressed every morning. But I have a special drawer where he has a bunch of t-shirts and shorts to choose from.

Most of them all go together so it’s helpful that I have one less task to do and he doesn’t leave out of the house looking like a circus performer. And the best part is he feels like a big boy and doesn’t feel the need to search for ways to battle for independence.

Related: 60 Fun Questions to Ask Your Kids to Learn Their Heart

Establish Strong Expectations

Here’s my favorite tip and where I believe most parents are missing it. This is honestly where my husband shines and helped me see where I was actually sabotaging my own efforts along the way.

Toddlers may be small, but they’re extremely smart! They know when your no means no and when it really means, um, OK fine. Ever done that one before?

Your kid just mentally hit the jackpot and will be coming for you, again and again, to get what they want.

It’s our job and responsibility to establish strong and predictable expectations for our kids as early as newborns. Basically, when your baby cries she learns that you’ll get up and go into mommy investigation mode to fix her current problem.

When you let your toddler that when we go into the store we do NOT run around, touch things on the shelves, or any other inappropriate behavior.

When your toddler hears your instruction and proceeds to do just want you told him not to do, he’s testing the waters and waiting for your response. This will determine if he does it again. Kids will always do what they’re allowed to do.

Inappropriate behavior needs to be addressed every single time. No matter how much of a pain in the butt it is. This works! And it is work! But it’s so worth it when your child knows how to behave themselves in public and at home.

Does my toddler son ever break out in a sprint in Target? Yep! And I firmly tell him we do NOT run in stores and he immediately goes back in the cart. No second chances, no discussions, no bribes, no deals.

Let’s just say, it doesn’t happen often. He’s learned that we mean business. But toddlers will be toddlers, which means they love to test the boundaries and see what they can get away with.

If you waiver it’s like a shark smelling blood in the water… you’re done!

Related: How to Get Your Kids to Listen Without the Yelling and Regret

Be Consistent

Finally, I need to add that there isn’t a quick fix for any parenting struggles and challenges. They all take unique approaches and a lot of trial and error.

But most of all, they require consistency.

We need to keep showing up and doing what is right over and over. And just like consistency is necessary to see the results we want at the gym, it’s exactly the same with parenting.

Your kids already know what to expect from you, whether good or bad. It’s our responsibility to set the right expectations and you’ll see your child thrive.

How do you establish healthy boundaries with your children? Share in the comments below!

 

Toddler temper tantrums are tricky but there are simple ways to stop them from ever happening in the first place! Click to get the best tips. #parenting #kidsandparenting #parenting101 #parentingtips #momlifeLearn the mom tricks to preventing the dreaded toddler temper tantrum from ever showing up! Yes, they work! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parenting101 #momlifeInstead of stopping temper tantrums, try preventing them all together with this simple and easy to do tips! #kidsandparenting #parenting #momlife #parenting101 #parentingtipsToddler temper tantrums are especially frustrating but they can be prevented all together with these easy and highly effective tips! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parenting101 #parentingtips #kids

Never have to deal with another soul-wrenching toddler temper tantrum again. These tips will help you stop tantrums before they start! #toddlers #raisingtoddlers #toddlerapproved #kidsandparenting #positiveparenting

60 Strong and Cool Baby Names with Powerful Meanings

2018 Strong and cool baby names

I love strong baby names and my husband and I took the naming of our three kiddos pretty seriously, but we also had a lot of fun too. Right now strong and cool baby names are very popular and today’s parents are all about unique names with powerful meanings! 

2018 Strong and cool baby names

Names are important. When we call someone by a name, that’s the meaning we are assigning to them. In essence, we are calling them a meaning.

Let me say it like this, we wouldn’t want anyone calling our kid stupid, right? First, you wouldn’t believe that was true, but also you don’t want your child hearing over and over that they’re stupid, dumb, or any other negative attribute.

On the flip side, we want to speak powerful words and encouragement into the hearts of our children. Let’s say your child’s name is Wisdom or the Greek equivalent, Sophia. I know several children by both of those names and they are beautiful. And each day they are called Wisdom… very powerful!

In the case with my children’s names, we started with the meaning we wanted to speak over our child every day and tirelessly poured over hundreds of names until we found the ones we loved.

In the case of my middle daughter, her name came to me in a dream. I loved how beautiful her name sounded and the meaning fit the description we wanted so that was easy! Here are more beautiful baby girl names!

In this list, I wanted to offer strong baby names that sounded fresh and cool but also have powerful meanings. I also purposefully didn’t separate boy names from girl names because parents are switching up names so much these days I wanted to leave that up to you.

These are perfect strong baby names with powerful meanings for 2019!

Want to research more name meanings? Try this free resource. Enter in any name and discover it’s meaning. Related: Popular and trending baby names.

Related: Everything You Need for Your New Baby!

If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re pregnant and if you’re looking for helpful pregnancy resources check out these posts:

The Most Shocking Things that Happen After Giving Birth

How to Increase Your Milk Supply

Fun and Creative Pregnancy Announcements You’ll Love

The Hands Down Best Birthing Course!

Strong and Cool Names with Powerful Meanings:

Abigail – Joy of the Father

Ace – Number one, the best

Amara – Eternal

Amora – Love

Axel – My Father is Peace

Asher – Blessed and Happy

Aaliyah – Rising

Alessandra – Defender of mankind

Balan – A Knight Of The Round Table

Barke – Barke

Bazyli – King

Callie – Most Beautiful

Caelan – Powerful warrior

Chance – Good Fortune

Creed – Guiding principle; I believe

Dante – Lasting and Enduring

Declan – Full of Goodness

Denzell – Powerful

Edric – power and good fortune

Elliot – Lord is my God.

Esme – Loved

Ethan – Strong and Firm

Faye – Loyalty; confidence

Felix – Happy and Prosperous

Gabriel – Devoted to God; a hero of God

Griffin – Strong Lord

Hannah – Favor; grace of God

Henry – Ruler

Ian – God is gracious

Ida – Hardworking

Jayce – Healer or the lord is salvation

Julian – Father of the Skies

Karson – Christian

Kay – Pure

Levi – Joined in harmony

Lucas – Light-giving; illumination

Milo – Soldier

Mila – People’s Favor

Malik – Sovereign

Noelle – Day of Christ

Noah – Rest, Peace

Owen – Young Warrior

Paisley – Church

Nova – New

Quillion – Crossing Swords

Raine – She is singing; queen.

Reyes – King

Reign – Rule, Sovereign

Reese – Enthusiasm

Reilly – Courageous

Ronin – Well-advised ruler

Salem – Peace

Scout – To listen

Tiara – Crown

Verena – True

Valerio – Strength

Walt – Army Ruler

Xander – Protector of Men

Zale – Sea Strength

Zana – God’s gracious gift

Which baby name is your favorite? Share in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

These strong baby names are cool and lovable and the best part is their powerful meanings! #babynames #babies

27 Creative Pregnancy Announcement Ideas You’ll Want to Steal!

Epic pregnancy announcement pictures

With over 200 million pregnancies surprising and delighting families every single year, that’s a lot of pregnancy announcements being shared with the world! Especially on social media.

Announcing your pregnancy is one of the most fun things to do after you find out you’re pregnant. Once you and your spouse decide on the right time to announce your pregnancy you probably want to start with your family and friends first.

Epic pregnancy announcement pictures

As long as you are comfortable on your timeline, you can be as creative or as laid back as you want when you make the official announcement to family and close friends. In other words, a simple excited call to your parents is just fine.

If that’s not fun enough for you, try buying a cute gift to announce to your parents, siblings, and even best friends. Here are some adorable ideas!

 

 

Pregnancy Announcements Gift Ideas

Click to get your mug!

Click to get your gift onesie

Click to get your best friend mug

Click to get your gift onesie

Click to grab your mug

What’s the best way to present your cute little gift?

There’s no right or wrong way! Just have fun and let this time bring you and your family joy. Simple invite your family to dinner or a simple lunch and present your fun little gifts at the end for a fun surprise.

If you’re more of a party girl, get inspiration here on hosting a cocktail announcement party.

 

 

27 Creative Ways to Announce Your Pregnancy on Social Media

Once you’ve made sure to announce your pregnancy to your closest loved ones, it’s time to share your blessing with the rest of the world. And what better way to do that than on social media!

These fun pregnancy announcement ideas are fun and creative and are sure to bring you and everyone who sees your announcement tons of joy!

pregnancy announcement ideas

Pregnancy Announcements Ideas for 1st Time Moms

Your first baby is such a rollercoaster of emotions! There’s nothing in the world like it. Here are some super fun ideas to share your first baby bump!

 
 
 
 
 
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Related: The Ultimate Baby Essentials List for the Minimal Mom on a Budget

 
 
 
 
 
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Pregnancy Announcements for Baby #2 and on…

When you have the honor of being blessed with baby #2 and so on those pregnancy announcements go to another level of fun! Try bringing in the siblings for a whole family announcement.

 
 
 
 
 
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Related: 60 Unique and Cool Baby Names with Powerful Meanings

 
 
 
 
 
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Related: 25 Sweet and Feminine Baby Girl Names with Strong Meanings

 
 
 
 
 
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Pregnancy Announcement Using Your Ultrasound Images

We all get those sweet little ultrasound images, at our first pregnancy appointment. Why not use those pictures to announce your pregnancy?

 
 
 
 
 
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The Sweetest Pregnancy Celebrations

Pregnancy after infertility, IVF, or miscarriage is the sweetest celebration of all! I’ve personally experienced pregnancies after both long-term infertility and miscarriage. You’ll just love these heartwarming announcements.

 
 
 
 
 
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Let me know which announcement is your favorite! Vote in the comments below. Please click on any Instagram to follow these amazing moms!

 

Looking for fun and super creative ways to announce your pregnancy? These super cool pregnancy announcements will be so fun to try to announce your bundle of joy! #pregnancy #pregnancyannouncements