Courtney is a mother of two school-aged children, with nearly a decade of parenting advice and experience to share. The new baby stage can be wonderful but also incredibly hard, and she’s here to help parents gain clarity and confidence as they move forward.
Why are you here sharing your advice on The Baby Swag?
I have a passion for helping new parents, mostly because so many people helped me during that critical stage. I am fortunate enough to live within a five-mile radius of my entire immediate family. I come from the kind of town that everyone dreams of leaving when they’re in high school, but immediately returns to when it’s time to settle down and raise their babies.
In other words, I’m a believer in and a beneficiary of community. When my two children (now ages 7 and 9) were little, I knew I could drive to my parents’ house in less time than it took one song to play on the radio. I’d bend my mama’s ear on everything from diaper rash and medications to which footie pajamas to buy and how to install a car seat.
Yet, I know that not everyone has access to such a circle or relationship. I know there are so many new parents who are learning the ropes as they go, wildly hoping they’re doing a good job (hint: you are).
I know this can be an incredibly challenging season, even while it’s also one of the most special and beautiful ones you’ll ever experience. That’s why I’m here! I’m far from a wise old sage, but I do have the perspective of someone who’s a few years removed from the brand-new baby stage. I’ve been through those big, intimidating milestones and I’ve gained a ton of experience and perspective along the way. Now, I’d love to share what I’ve learned with you.
What’s the most valuable advice (swag) you can share with another parent?
YOU are the perfect parent for your child. You have everything you need within you to keep them happy, healthy, full, and content. It’s so easy to get caught up in the wicked web of comparison, especially when you’re a new parent sitting at home with little to do besides scroll social media all day.
Your feeds are likely filled with images of photo-shopped perfect families. Their homes are spotless. Their children are always smiling. The parents themselves look like they’ve slept more than 30 minutes the night before, which is more than you can say.
My most valuable advice is to remember and celebrate your individuality, and that of your child. While there’s nothing wrong with hopping online every now and then, remember that your home, your family, and your baby are completely unique. If you start to feel burnt out or let down that your real life doesn’t look like their highlight reel, stare into their beautiful eyes and remember that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Oh, and never Google a symptom if your child is sick. Call your pediatrician instead. You don’t want to go down those rabbit holes.
What’s one product that changed your life as a parent?
They’ve come out with several newer models since my babies were babies, but one thing I absolutely loved was the Munchkin Baby Food Masher. It’s a little handheld churner you can take into restaurants and basically mix up anything you eat into baby food, on the spot.
I never had it together enough as a new mom to make ice cube trays filled with puree, or steam and mash my own veggies. Instead, they ate whatever I ate, within reason. I would prepare a meal (or order one in a restaurant), put a few bites into the Masher, and twist away. In a few seconds, it would come out in a glorious pulp that they’d happily gobble down.