When it comes to my baby’s health, I trust my instincts

Any parent will tell you that the uncertainty surrounding parental decisions, big and small, begins way before your little bundle arrives—OB or midwife? Home or hospital birth? Medicated or natural delivery? This is true especially if the decision potentially impacts your child’s future health.

A few generations ago, parents weren’t nearly as overwhelmed with information, options, and opinions—so many opinions!  Your family, neighbors, BFFs and the Internet are all too often more than willing to share the “best” way to handle any decision.

No matter what you’re faced with, the immense amount of health information can be both a blessing and a curse.

When my daughter was born, we immediately noticed gastrointestinal (GI) issues, which only seemed to get worse as time passed. Sometimes this was accompanied by a “colicky” temperament.  I tried to stay away from Dr. Google and mentioned my worries at every checkup. I repeatedly receive assurance that all babies are different, and there was no cause for concern.  Still, my gut said something was off.


This went on until my daughter was about a little over three-years-old when I mentioned to a mom-friend that I felt our pediatrician didn’t take our concerns seriously.  My friend had recently switched her kids to a new pediatrician, and she highly recommended that I see him for a second opinion.  I felt loyal to our doctor, but I decided to try hers in hopes of quelling my anxiety.

At the appointment, he took the time to listen carefully to my concerns and talked to and observed my daughter.  He ordered labs which later revealed her antibodies were off the charts—very unusual for her age—and the first indication of Celiac.

He also referred her to a specialist for an evaluation of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), based on my descriptions and his observations of her behavior during the exam.  She was diagnosed with SPD, a neurological condition where it’s difficult to process information received by the senses, which was likely the cause of her “colicky temperament” as an infant.

She has been in weekly occupational therapy ever since, where she has learned to overcome many of her earlier obstacles. I often wonder where she’d be had we not sought the second opinion.

The one thing I learned never to discount, of all the resources out there, is my gut.

There are so many decisions to make and things to learn when you become a parent. When you encounter difficulty having a doctor hear your concerns or reaching a diagnosis, be sure to reach out to another to reach resolution. And whether it’s “mother’s intuition” or not, I am a firm believer in listening to my gut.

This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

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 supporting Motherly and mamas.

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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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