#MotherlyStories: How do I know when I’m done having babies?

Adrienne of Stylish Bump talks about her dilemma—to go for another child, or is her family already complete?

#MotherlyStories: How do I know when I’m done having babies?

For #MotherlyStories |

By Adrienne of Stylish Bump

This has been on my mind a lot lately. A LOT. In fact, I think about it every day. Running Stylish Bump means that I see lots of photos every day of pregnant women: the magical moment they share their very first scan, first tiny bump shot, first photos of their toes poking out from behind the bump.

I am lucky enough to be sent and tagged in hundreds of those special bump photos—from all over the world—and am privileged to share in this most wonderful part of a woman’s life.

But what has been on my mind lately is this: how do you know when you’re done? More specifically, when I’M done?


I know a lot of women that just KNOW they’re done. I meet them all the time and they are absolutely certain, dogmatic even, that they are finished having babies. So much so that they arrange for their partners to have a vasectomy!

But I keep wondering about having another child. Is our family complete? Will I ever be pregnant again?

It’s probably a selfish thing, but being pregnant and experiencing child birth again is what I think about the most. I absolutely LOVED being pregnant. Every aspect of it. Aside from the first 16 weeks of morning sickness, I had wonderful pregnancies and adored the experience. Even the morning sickness was positive—it gave me that daily reassurance that my baby was healthy and growing. After miscarrying my first baby, the morning sickness was a relief that things were going well.

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I loved the pregnancy fashion, the attention my bump attracted, how I felt more like a woman than ever before, the sense of purpose and responsibility I felt, and so connected with other pregnant women. And I had wonderful labour and birth experiences. Really! All drug free, very quick labours in a hospital and recovered very well, very quickly.

All these factors make having another baby such an attractive idea.


I think about how tricky it would be to have a newborn again. The night feeds, the sleeplessness, the exhaustion of recovering from pregnancy yet still having to run the household and look after the other children—it’s a lot.

To have another baby would impact the whole family, not just me. It’s more than just conceiving, being pregnant, going through labour and delivering a healthy baby. There’s sharing a room. Another cot. Another car set —a bigger car! A bigger house. Less holidays. More cooking. More cleaning...

And I already have three children. Three. I’m SO lucky: they’re healthy, happy, adore one another, and with three girls comes a lifetime of hand-me-downs. Easy!

So much to consider.

Of course, my older daughters are all for it. (They’re still young!) My husband is happy if I’m happy. If I’d like another baby, then he’s all for it. Ultimately the decision is up to me.

But how do you KNOW when you’re done? How do you know when your family is complete? And if you feel like it is complete, will the pangs of ‘what if’ ever go away?

I don’t think it ever will go away. Not for me anyway. I think about it every single day—should we have another one? But then I think about my reasons for it. I have three healthy, beautiful, smart, intelligent, articulate and completely different girls. And it’s not about having a boy. Not for me at least.

When I consider another baby, it’s about having another person in our family to love, nuture, grow and enjoy life with—like we do with our girls.

But I think about not having enough time with my girls. Already now at times I do find it difficult to have quality one-on-one time with each of them individually. We do lots of things together, like riding our bikes to the park and going for ice-cream, but spending time with EACH of them doing what they like to do most is tricky. Even though they’re all very close in age, they’re all at very different stages of development in terms of what they like to do. Like, what sort of books they like to be read.

And as they get older I can see they’ll require more one-on-one time to learn to read, write, draw, and do various activities and sports on weekends that they’ll each choose. I don’t want them to miss out on anything and I don’t want to miss out on experiencing anything with them.

So I think about it every day, and I’m torn. I think about the pros and cons and still can’t make up my mind. Some days I am absolutely keeping all my baby things and convinced number #4 is a great idea. Other days, when I’m struggling to get to everyone, the house is a disaster-zone, the washing has piled up and I can’t be in three places at once, I think ‘no way’.

So I guess it will just be on my mind until the time comes that it’s too late. That my time will run out, my baby-years will be behind me and the decision will have been made for me.

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When it comes to registering for baby products, there's one word we love: convertible.

In contrast to items you use for a short period of time, convertible (or multi-use) products are made to grow with your baby… and trust us, that makes them worth their weight in gold.

Convertible items allow you to reap the benefits of your baby registry for years to come—and that's just savvy shopping, mama. Also savvy shopping? Creating your baby registry with Target and enjoying their Year of Benefits registry program for expectant parents. Just by starting your registry, you will get a welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. And Target's newest registry perk, the Year of Exclusive Deals, gives you discounts on essentials for your baby's whole first year when you sign up for Target Circle as well.

If you prioritize value and longevity when creating your registry, here are 10 items you'll love from day one through day 1,000… and beyond!

A crib that can grow through childhood + beyond

Simmons Kids Slumbertime Monterey 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

A crib is a necessity as you plan for life with your baby—you know that already. But what about in a couple of years when they need a toddler bed? Or a few years beyond that when they graduate to a bigger bed? Well, you're in luck: With the right attachments, this bed can be the only one they need until college.


A cozy blanket for snuggles + security

Plush Velboa Baby Blanket I Love You - Cloud Island\u2122 White/Black

Blankets have earned their spot on millions upon millions of registries for good reason: They function as stroller covers or play mats during the early days, then become beloved security items in the toddler years.


A comfy spot for feeding + stories

Baby Relax Addison Swivel Gliding Recliner

During your first months of motherhood, a comfortable gliding chair will be your second home as you spend time feeding and bonding. As your child grows (and mobility makes those snuggles harder to catch), you'll discover a new love for this cozy spot for stories and bedtime snuggles.


Sealy Cozy Rest Extra Firm Crib and Toddler Mattress

Fun fact: A standard crib and toddler bed actually use the same size mattress. That's why it's smart to get a quality crib mattress right out of the gate: One less thing to change up in a few years!


A changing table that doubles as a dresser

Simmons\u00ae Kids Monterey 4 Drawer Dresser with change top

If space is at a premium in your baby's nursery, look for a combination changing table and dresser. That way, you can keep using the dresser long after your little one is potty trained.


A car seat that converts to a booster

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

The safest place for your child is in the backseat of your car, in either a car seat or (later) booster. But instead of buying a new seat for each phase, you can check off multiple boxes at once by adding a convertible car seat to your registry.


A stroller that accommodates big kids, too

Graco FastAction Jogger LX Stroller

The need for a good stroller doesn't end when your little one learns to walk, so look for a stroller that can accommodate bigger kids, too. We recommend a jogging stroller that allows you to attach an infant car seat and is still perfectly spacious for toddlers.


A place to dine for years to come

Ingenuity SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair - Slate

From first bites to family dinners around the table, one single high chair can be the solution you need. That is, if you look for a version that adapts into a booster seat when your child is ready for a plate at the table.


A white noise machine + alarm clock in one

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

After spending months listening to ambient noise in the womb, white noise remains incredibly comforting for your child. It's nice to have a sound machine that can transition to a time-to-rise clock down the line. By cueing with sounds and colors, these clocks reinforce healthy sleep habits.


A baby carrier that can haul a toddler, too

Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier

A carrier is a major help when your baby loves being held, but you need use of your hands. But even months or years down the line, you can still get use out of that carrier. To maximize longevity, look for one that can be used with your child facing outward or even carried on your back as they grow.


Enjoy building your registry with Target, mama! The Year of Benefits is calling your name with a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more! 😉

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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