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Go ahead. Take the selfie with your baby.

Go ahead. Take the selfie with your baby.

Parenting - or for that matter, life - isn’t always easy. Between the feedings and the laundry and the dishes and work, there are days when it can feel nearly impossible to balance it all. Your house is a mess, there’s no milk in the fridge and you can’t remember the last time you had a shower.

But you know what? You should go ahead and take a selfie with your baby.

You’re busy. Maybe you’re not comfortable with how you look post-baby, or maybe you just don’t like to have your picture taken. Maybe you didn’t bother to put any makeup on today. That’s OK.

You should go ahead and take the selfie.

Is your shirt stained? Are you wearing your old, worn leggings with holes in the knees? Did you never get out of your pajamas today? That’s OK.

You should go ahead and take the selfie.

All too often moms are on the other side of the camera, capturing precious images of our families. They’re beautiful memories, but they don’t include us. You see, we’re usually the designated family historian, making sure every special moment is captured. But when you’re the one capturing the moments, you’re rarely represented in them.

We won’t be here forever. And anyone who’s lost a parent can tell you, they’d rather have photos of their parent, than a photo of the family holiday tree. Time passes. Memories fade. Leave your children plenty of photos of you together to help them remember you by.

Go ahead and take the selfie.

Camping with Baby? You bet.

Camping with Baby? You bet.

Some people really, REALLY like camping. It’s their THING. They live for time in the woods, sleeping on the ground, campfires, and shared bathroom facilities.

Others, well, not so much. In fact, the thought of spending an entire weekend in the great outdoors breaks them out in hives.

If you’re in the second group, this post is not for you. Carry on.

But if you’re in the first group - yay! You’ve probably been camping your whole life but now that you’re a parent (or soon to be), you might be wondering how you can continue camping with a baby in tow.

Pull up your folding chair and let’s have a little chat.

First of all, let’s be completely honest. No matter how much you enjoy camping, it ain’t easy. Camping with your baby compounds that, but if you know it going in you’ll be fine. All in all, it’s mostly about the extra gear you’ll need to take. Your baby’s day-to-day routine doesn’t really change just because you’re living alfresco. Baby needs to eat, sleep and play. Pack accordingly.

Eat

If your baby is young and still on breastmilk or formula, then you’ll just need yourself, or formula and bottles. When it comes to formula, bring twice as much as you need. No, really. Just in case. To make life a little easier, use disposable bottle liners for the duration of your trip. You can sterilize the nipples in boiling water on your camp stove. Easy-peasy.

If baby is on solids, take a freestanding portable high chair or one that clamps to the picnic table. And for the love of all that’s holy, don’t forget the vinyl tablecloth.

Sleep

The bigger the tent, the better. Family of three? Get a tent for 10. Ok - we’re exaggerating. But only a little. You’re going to want the biggest tent you can afford, preferably one you can stand upright in, and one that has room for your bed, baby’s portable crib or bassinet, all your luggage, and a diaper changing station.

A word about baby’s sleeping arrangements and temperature - as in you can’t regulate it in a tent. So given the time of year, pack accordingly. Socks, warm pajamas and sleep sacks are musts, even in the summer. And be sure to take a HUSH hat, to block out sounds from camp so baby can sleep peacefully.

Play

Even though we’re talking about it last, this is what you’ll probably take care of first when you arrive at camp. After all, you’ve gotta unload the car and set up the tent. What in the world are you supposed to do with your kid?

Set up the pack n’ play and put a mosquito net or a sheet across the top to keep the bugs out. You’ll use it all weekend. Other ideas: a small, separate tent that’s just for play, an inflatable baby pool (Boom! It’s also your baby bath tub!), a portable play yard. The choice is yours. Just Do. It. First. You’ll thank us. Promise.

If you have some camping experience under your belt, adding your little one into the mix really isn’t that hard. Just be sure to plan ahead. And maybe rent an extra-large trailer to haul all the extra gear.

We’re kidding.

Sort of.

10 of our favorite parenting blogs

10 of our favorite parenting blogs

No one ever said being a parent is easy. And heaven knows that kid didn’t come with a manual. (It’s OK to admit there are days when you really, really wish you had a manual. Tantrums, page 36. Suddenly will only wear purple pants, page 82. Inexplicable preference for black olive pizza, page 443. We know you understand.) But anyway, this manual doesn’t exist, so we make due. And we commiserate. And we thank heaven for parenting blogs. Here are some of our favorites:

Pregnant Chicken: Parenting, with a side of humor, by Amy Morrison. Amy tackles the fun stuff (baby names), the hard stuff (daycare), the truly difficult stuff (postpartum depression), and everything in between.

Baby FoodE:  If you enjoy making your own baby food (Or maybe it’s something you aspire to - hey, we get it.), you have to check out this blog. Not only is Michelle Oliver’s site full of amazing recipes, it’s a joy to look at. (PS - if you have older kids, there are great school lunch ideas, too!)

Fearless Formula Feeder: Not everyone can breastfeed, but unfortunately some bottle-feeding mamas are stigmatized for the way they have to feed their babies. Suzanne Barston created this blog and community to offer support, and to help change the culture surrounding bottle feeding.

Mommy Shorts: With helpful parenting articles (The Benefits of Lazy Parenting - we’re totally there for that!) and humor, NYC-based mom Ilana Wiles has created a beautiful, helpful blog any parent will love.

Project Nursery: Of all the things you think about when you’re pregnant, what to do with the nursery is right up there with naming your baby. Ok - maybe not. But it’s close. Thanks to the wonderful blog created by co-founders Melisa Fluhr and Pam Ginocchio, the solutions are at the tips of your fingers.

Uplifting Families: Babies are only little for a little while. As they grow their needs change, and so do your parenting questions. Christy Garrett’s great blog covers parenting solutions and motivation for kids of all ages.

Suitcases and Sippy Cups: So, yeah. Travelling with Kids. Some people rock it. Other of us, well, we pretty much stay home. But if the travel bug bites and you want to take your kids along, check out Jessica Bowers’ blog. The suggestions here are not to be missed.

The Happiest Home: A blog that’s “realistic, not idealistic?” Yes, please. Megan Francis and Sarah Powers focus their blog on helping families live happier, healthier, more peaceful lives. Who couldn’t use some of that?

The Art of Simple: Karen Fleck believes parenting should be as simple as possible - not the super-complicated thing so many of us make it out to be. She’s a mom of four happy kids, so maybe she’s on to something. It’s worth a read.

Hurrah for Gin: Sometimes, parenting is stressful. And hard. And there will be days when you just need to blow off some steam. This is the blog for those days. Trust us.