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I look at my 2-year-old and think, 'Wait, weren't you just a baby?'

She was just starting to babble and say ‘Mama’ like, a couple of weeks ago, wasn’t it?

I look at my 2-year-old and think, 'Wait, weren't you just a baby?'

As I was rocking my 4-month-old this morning—bouncing and shushing and trying to get her down for her nap—I was overcome with a flood of emotions. She was smiling at me, her eyes full of love and magic and wonder, falling deeper and deeper into sleep as her eyelashes fluttered and her smiled faded.

It has been a hectic morning. My 4-year-old was home sick again from school for what seems like the 500th time this year.

My babysitter's child is sick, too, so I had my 2-year-old with me at home. She has been demanding to sit on my lap, wiggling around, as I try to get work done on my laptop. It's been—let's just say—causing my blood pressure to rise.

She was following me around the house as I was tending to my sick preschooler while also tending to my 4-month-old while also trying to edit and take a meeting online. I was just doing too much and was overwhelmed.

So what did I do?

I lost my patience with her. At her. I told her to stop whining. All the positive parenting techniques I try to incorporate into my everyday life flew right out the window.

I reflected on this (and cried) as I rocked my 4-month-old. My 2-year-old was just this little, too. I was just rocking her.

How is she now demanding Bubble Guppies instead of Daniel Tiger from me? She was just giggling at the funny noises I was making as she lay on her playmat. I was all the entertainment she needed.

How is she telling me (very sternly) "I need some space, Mommy!"? She was just happily eating up every single word I fed to her. I could get her bright eyes to shine and her smile to beam from ear to ear in a millisecond.

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How is she getting so tall and growing out of her big girl shoes? She was just in nine month clothes, wasn't she?

How is she voicing her own opinions and directing me, her father, and both of her sisters on what to do and how to do it? She was just starting to babble and say 'Mama' like, a couple of weeks ago, wasn't it?

That's what I feel like. Especially when I lose my patience. Especially when guilt creeps in.

Because sometimes I forget.

I forget how young she really is. She's only two!

I forget how little she really is. She still fits perfectly in my arms.

I forget how her brain is not fully developed yet. She is really smart, but doesn't always understand my requests and directions.

I forget how she doesn't know how to process and handle all of her big emotions yet. That even though she's articulate for her age, she hasn't emotionally matured yet.

I already kind of forget how she felt in my arms, when I was rocking her at four months—so small and so helpless.

Because now she is big and can do things for herself.

When I set my third daughter down when she was deep in sleep, I felt an urgent sense of panic to go into the archives and look through old photos of my oldest two to remind myself of that time in our lives. To remember what it felt like to be a mom of one. Then a mom of two.

This morning, my moment of clarity came while rocking my baby girl. I still feel like a new, baby mom. While I'm not seasoned vet, I'm not really a "new mom." I'm a mom of four years and have a preschooler, a toddler, and a baby to prove it.

But one day my babies will all be kids, then teenagers, then adults, and I'll close the chapter of my life when I had babies. I won't be this mom anymore.

So I have to remember.

Because it's breaking my heart to think I'm forgetting.

Most days are so busy—busy with fun things, hectic things, school things, crazy things, overwhelming things. Full of beauty, love and madness.

But these are the days. THIS is what life is. My beautiful babies. My blessings. I need to remember these moments with them. Please don't let me forget.

True

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

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

Our Partners

Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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