You grow so fast, so I am gathering every moment into my heart

Before I was prepared for it, my baby had morphed into a toddler.

You grow so fast, so I am gathering every moment into my heart

The baby will turn one next week, and she is desperate to walk. She watches her older sister running on the beach or in our street with the big kids, and her longing to join in is so palpable I can almost see it rising from the top of her little blond head like puffs of steam. She pulls herself up and stands helplessly, as whatever she wanted to take herself towards has already been spirited away by the whirlwind that is the three-year-old. She squawks impotently at the injustice of it all, and my heart aches for her.

But secretly, I feel like I’ve been given a reprieve. Not just from the toddler bumps and scrapes that are all to come, but from the grieving that comes with saying goodbye to the baby days—the goodbye that, the moment they learn to walk, is inevitable and expedited.


Of course we all instinctually value and praise progress, and so it should be.

She rolled over! She’s sitting up! She said, “Mama!” But while we’re lurching from one milestone to the next, the reality is that time is just flying by far too fast.

My eldest did everything in a hurry. She didn’t bother to learn to crawl and instead at 10 months and one day got up and began to run—which she hasn’t stopped doing since.

The challenges of having an early walker are all the ones you would expect—ability before sensibility, the crashes, bumps to the head, face plants, and the clear and present danger posed by the tiniest of steps or rises. But the thing you don’t expect is to feel cheated. Before I was prepared for it, my baby had morphed into a toddler. She had lengthened out and lost her delicious baby thighs. She stood tall, she took herself to where she needed to go, and suddenly, I felt a sad and unexpected sense of the obsolete. And, I wasn’t ready.

Now with my littlest—and last—I feel like I’ve been given an unexpected gift.

When they’re not yet walking they just look littler somehow, they are more dependent—the passage of time is that much less obvious. And so it’s been that I’ve had a few extra months of “baby.”

I wonder if a baby’s walking style is a sign of the personality they will one day embody. It certainly seems to ring true for my eldest. She is immensely physical and terrifyingly brave. She jumps and asks questions later—both metaphorically and otherwise. She is a firecracker of will and energy, she bubbles with enthusiasm, she brings the joy, and she has pushed me to the very edge of my limits and beyond.

In contrast, it would seem as though the littlest is shaping up to be the more sensible, sensitive one—the introspective soul. She crawls around daintily and reverses herself towards the stairs, taking them one at a time and never too quickly. She sits for long periods and watches.

She picks up tiny objects with her nimble little fingers and examines them before holding them up for my approval.

Her desire to join in with her sister seems tempered only by her aversion to the unknown. I get the sense she will walk in her own good time, and only then when she has weighed up the risks and rewards.

I wonder if I will ever stop marvelling at how different my first and second children are from one another. How could this be, with identical genes and upbringings? But they doggedly continue to assert their own personalities, and I wouldn’t want them any other way.

As Ruby’s first birthday and her inevitable toddlerhood hurtle towards me, I’m taking in every last, golden moment of “baby,” grateful that it’s lasted this long.

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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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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