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So you’re getting ready to send your little bean off to school for the first time. If you’re anything like me when I was in your shoes one year ago, I’d say you’re probably nervous, unsure and may even find yourself spontaneously weeping in the grocery store… just sayin’.


I see how much you love your big kid baby, and I know you’re experiencing all the feels right now. To be honest, I want nothing more than to wrap you up in my arms and tell you how much I understand—and also that it’s going to be okay. But since I can’t, I thought I’d share a few ideas and pieces of advice.

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First and foremost—

She’s always going to be your baby. Always.

If you take one thing home from this, I want it to be this—your child is always going to be your baby. And she is always going to need you.

When my daughter started kindergarten last year, it felt like I couldn’t go 30 minutes without someone telling me she was “all grown up now.” And while yes, this is “real” school and yes, she is growing like a weed—she is still very much my little girl.

She still wants to snuggle with me every night, still needs me to make her breakfast, still asks me to kiss her booboos, and you should see how much her face still lights up when I pick her up at the end of the day (you guys, it’s so cute.)

They’re always going to be our babies, mamas. Even when we’re helping them get their children out the door to school. ?

You’re still her expert

With the introduction of teachers comes the start of other people telling you things about your child—and this can feel a bit weird at first. But it’s often really great. Having an experienced professional to talk through concerns and ideas with is wonderful—I learned a lot about my daughter and how to help her grow from her teacher.

But remember that ultimately you are her expert and her champion, and if something at school doesn’t feel right—you are very much allowed to speak up and do what you know needs to be done for your child. ?

Her teacher wants to hear from you

You may be feeling a little reluctant to reach out to your child’s teacher because you know they have a lot of students and are very busy. BUT— communicating with teachers actually makes their job easier and ultimately gives your child a better experience.

So go ahead and send that email explaining what makes your kid unique before school starts. Spend a few extra minutes at pick-up checking in with the teacher. Schedule an extra parent-teacher conference. You and her teacher are a team. ?

You might feel a little disconnected

I say this not to scare you, but just so that if it happens, you know you’re not alone. Kids are not the best at relaying the events of the day.

For example—

Mom: “What did you do today?!”

Child: “Color.”

Mom: “That’s it? You were gone for 6 hours and all you did was color?”

Child: “Yes.”

It can be hard coming to terms with the fact that your child is off having experiences that you don’t know everything about. First, remember that this is normal. Also keep in mind that she is in excellent hands and having a wonderful time. Last, try some new ways of engaging with her. Instead of “what did you do today?” try some of these conversation starter questions. ?️

Create systems

Life is about to get hectic—in a fun way!

But if you can take some time now to put a few systems in place to keep yourself and your kiddo organized, you’ll feel a lot less stressed and will be able to enjoy it all.

Spend 5-10 minutes each evening prepping for the next day—lunch, outfits and backpacks are so much easier to handle the night before. Develop a morning routine that works for you and gets everyone out the door still smiling. Implement a way to sort and store the suitcases worth of artwork that are about to inundate your home, as well as a way to keep track of forms, homework and library books. And of course, declutter! ✨

Get ready for mom friends

If you haven’t already had the pleasure of making some mom friends, this might be your chance!

If it feels awkward, remember that they are probably feeling the same way, too. About halfway through the school year, I was feeling like I really needed some grown-up connections so I mustered up the courage to send an email out to all the moms asking if anyone would want to have a Moms Night Out. Every single one said yes. We had an awesome dinner out (we actually did it several times), and even though some of our kids are off at different schools now, many of us have stayed close.

It’s okay to enjoy the extra time

Afraid to admit that you’re a little (or a lot) excited to have a little more time in the day to yourself? DON’T BE! You have worked HARD over these last years! It’s okay to be excited that you have a quiet house for a few hours a day. Or to be happy that you get to have some one-on-one time with your younger child. Or return to a hobby or job that you maybe put on the back burner for a while. And, it is okay to take a nap. A long, beautiful, glorious nap. ?

Mama, you didn’t think you would survive having a newborn but you did (and beautifully.) You were terrified of having a toddler, but you mastered that with grace and made it look easy. And now you’re here with your “big” kid, unsure of what’s to come. But look back at how well you’ve handled everything else and what a wonderful little human you are raising. I promise you, it’s going to be okay.

Actually, it’s going to be more than okay. It’s going to be awesome. You’ve got this.

Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)

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Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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


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