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An Open Letter to My Baby on the Changing Table

Why the f do you have to make it so hard for me?

An Open Letter to My Baby on the Changing Table

Darling Small Child of Mine,

Sweet Angel. You lovable, huggable, silly little being whom I love more than life, and maybe even a little more than I love your brother, but don’t tell him I said that. I say this with all the love a mother could possibly draw from her warm, maternal heart: Why the f do you make it so hard for me to change your diaper?

First of all, you know it wasn’t always this way. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, that you went from a giggly, cooing little potato head exalting in having his tushie exposed to the Gods to a shrieking maniac intent on sending me to an early grave every time I change you. One day you were totally cute about it, and then the next day things got weird. Was it something I did? Did I rub you the wrong way (literally)?

Why do you try to fling yourself out of my arms, or sometimes try to scramble to the top of my head, as we approach your changing table for a diaper change? You make it seem like I’m about to feed you to the lions, which I think is a little theatrical, don’t you? I mean, the screaming like I am flaying you alive as soon as I lay you down? I am simply trying to provide you with a fresh, clean surface in which to defecate. Stop being such a drama queen.

A request: Could you please not twist like the corkscrew I use every night to open my Pinot when I attach the sticky tabs to your diaper? When you do that, it results in the dreaded Lopsided Diaper which not only looks like I don’t give a you-know-what about your comfort, but dude, it has to feel pretty awkward for you, too.

Ditto doing The Twist when I’m wiping the poo off your bum. Because you run the risk of smearing poo onto either your pajamas or worse – the clean changing table cover I lovingly wrestled onto your changing pad this morning because your father somehow didn’t see the poop stains when he changed you last night even though I don’t believe him for a second (but that’s just between us, OK? I don’t want to start a fight).

Can you please explain how it is possible that the same child who needs “uppy” every time he wants to get in or out of a chair suddenly possesses Herculean strength as soon as he’s lying prone on the changing table? How is it that when you push your stubby little legs into my chest you have the force to send me flying across the room? Sometimes it takes two to three people to hold you down to change your diaper and since I am frequently alone with you this is why I so often avoid changing you. Sorry. Or you’re welcome?

And on the rare occasion that you require a diaper change when you’re in the deepest of sleep, you can literally be snoring and you’ll STILL get pissed at me for changing you.

It is hard for me not to take this personally − the fact that you insist on taking your morning poo in an already soggy-from-the-night diaper. And then running away screaming from me when I try to change it, so that hours after my first attempt, your diaper has gotten so weighed down that it is hanging around your ankles underneath your onesie pajama like a little Heffalump beneath your pant leg.

Also, could you please stop insisting on carrying your lovey to said changing table and flinging it towards your dirty bottom in the midst of your toddler rage? I hate having to wash Doggie Lovey twice a day, sometimes three for good measure because you’re a sneaky son-of-a-gun and I don’t always catch you in the act of soiling your lovey but I have to assume you did so I play it safe.

Why do you touch your butt when I'm just about to put your diaper on? I mean, yeah, I wiped it with unscented, organic wipes but you probably still have fecal matter on you. And then you take that same finger and pause from your complaining to stick your finger IN MY EYE as you say “Eyes!” because you’re thrilled you know that word and that you’ve made the connection between it and a body part of mine. And I wonder why Pink Eye is so rampant in our house.

So listen. I’ve been elbow deep in your poop since day one and I have to say, I’m pretty over it. Would you consider learning to poop on the toilet all the time, not just when the spirit moves you – which tends to be STRICTLY when your older brother legitimately is using it to poop? And when I mean legitimately I mean in contrast to what you do when your brother finally relinquishes the potty to you – which is to kick at your stool so that it collapses and I have to fix it over and over, or to ask me to sing you Twinkle Twinkle sixty times but cut me off after the first verse to clap and say “Yaaaay!!” and then request I start all over again. Please let me get to “how I wonder what you are.” Just once.

I hope you take all of the above into consideration the next time we find ourselves here, together, by your changing table. Or even better, maybe pretty soon we can skip this whole act altogether and go straight to the potty. If we both work on this, I think we can meet somewhere in the middle.

Just preferably not on my nice hardwood floors, OK?

Love,

Mommy

Photography by Jonica Moore for Well Rounded NY.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!


A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.

$239.99

A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.

$219.99

A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.

$379.99

A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.

$29.99

A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.

$99.99

A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.

$15.99

A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.

$79.99

A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.

$99.99

An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.

$24.99

A white noise machine that pulls double duty

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

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.

$59.99

And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring 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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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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But sometimes finding the right words for talking to kids can be really, really challenging. When choosing how to respond to the marker on the wall, or the seemingly unending why-can't-I battle, or in simply keeping healthy communication open with kids who don't want to talk, the words don't seem to come so easily.

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