You did it – you did the most incredible thing in the world. You made a baby! You created a person, grew it in your body, and somehow got that person out of your body. You are seriously extraordinary. Now that you have a baby, you have millions of things to do and carry quite the responsibility.
Change diaper 10+ times a day. Feed baby 7-100 times a day. Clean poop off of onesies, socks, three-piece outfit (why did I put the baby in a multiple piece outfit??), the changing table, curtains, walls, and carpet, depending on the severity of the blowout situation. Bathe, dry, lotion, (carefully) powder, and clothe baby. Snuggle, rock, sing, read, walk, play, sleep (maybe?), and stare at the baby. All. Day. Long.
With all of these wonderful, important, and critical responsibilities you now have as a parent, you may be missing out on these 13 unexpected ways to use your baby. ‘Use your baby?’ you say. ‘That’s absurd,’ you say. It’s your baby, you can use it! Don’t miss out on all of these baby benefits.
13 Unexpected Uses for Babies
- A free piece of exercise equipment: As parents, it can be difficult to get to the gym, but staying healthy is important. There are all sorts of free workout videos online where you work out with your baby as your weight – how cool is that?
- A reason to pick and choose your social engagements carefully: It can be difficult to say no to plans; something as simple as an afternoon shopping trip can become a stressful ordeal. Do you have enough milk to leave with a sitter? Should you lug your pump in the car just in case? Will you end up having to hand express all over the fitting room to relieve the horrible pain? Then again, bringing the baby presents its own set of issues. You can try to plan things around her “schedule” (schedule, what’s that?), but often that doesn’t go as planned, and the family ends up a flustered, sweaty, crying, agitated mess. With a baby, you can choose your social commitments more discerningly for what works for your family’s agenda.
- A way to get extra help at the store: When people at the store ask you if you need help, have you ever wanted to say yes but felt funny accepting the extra hands? When you’re carting around an extra person, not only should you feel no guilt accepting assistance, but people are more willing to help and are sympathetic towards you. Hey, add a screaming, leaking baby and who knows? Maybe you’ll go straight to the front of the line.
- Get free stuff: When you have a baby, you have to buy things like diapers and wipes regularly. It makes me feel slightly better about the hundreds (thousands?) of dollars we put into diapers that many brands allow you to rack up points where you can get free stuff. Also, people love babies. People love shopping. People love shopping for babies. Especially when your baby is new, expect visitors to show up with the outfit they just couldn’t possibly pass up! Be sure to show prompt gratitude for any gifts, and write a heartfelt thank you note.
- Up your cute factor: Have you ever felt mortified for running into someone when you look like a slob? With a baby on your hip, everyone will look past your dark circles and unbrushed hair and praise your adorable little munchkin. Suddenly, you either do not matter or look a whole lot cuter. (While you’re at it though, why not throw your hair into an easy everyday bun? This will also up your cute factor.)
- Stay in your pajamas all day: Did you ever just feel like not getting dressed? Especially during my maternity leave in the dead of winter, I felt like a blob with my strange deflated balloon belly, and let’s face it, my boobs were always out – it was just easier to wear my jammies and a robe. You can do that with a baby! Might I suggest investing in some new, cute jammy jams to make yourself feel good? I would shower and change into fresh pajamas so I had some sense of order to my day. I would put on my trick outfit for special visitors – my nicest black yoga pants and a ‘dressier’ comfy tunic or zip up to really look lazy chic fab.
- Boost your social media: Do you want to get new Instagram followers or Facebook likes? Start posting those adorable candid shots of your little one and search for other cute kiddos and mommas, too. People love babies, and parents love connecting with other parents on social media. Who cares if they are all secretly thinking their own baby is way cuter than that baby?
- Justify extra help around the house: You have always wanted a cleaning service but could never really justify the expense – until now. As full time parents who may or may not work, keeping your house in order is more difficult than ever. And I’m not one of those people who can lay back and say that the housework can all wait – it’s a lovely sentiment, but I have a nervous breakdown when I see dust, so that’s not an option for me. Solicit help from loved ones (bribe them with pizza or baked goods) or hire a cleaning service – it doesn’t have to be every week, even a deep clean once a month can really help.
- Built in friend for siblings: If you already have a child, bringing a new baby into the mix is a wonderful thing. You just created your child’s new built-in bestie! Hooray! Better yet, your baby will entertain your child and vice versa so momma can close her eyes for 30 seconds or use the washroom. Ah, the luxuries of being a mom. These rules apply to cousins, also.
- Reason to channel your inner child: We all secretly or not so secretly miss the joys of being a child; with a baby, it’s now a requirement of your job to be silly at all times. I know you love singing in the car but feel self-conscious belting it out. Well, now you have to sing and dance all the time. Soon you’ll get to color, watch Disney movies, and play dress up.
- Way to make new friends: Being a parent of a baby can be isolating; you struggle with people understanding your new schedule and want to commit all of your time to your family. Your single friends can only hear about the frequency and consistency of your little one’s bowel movements so many times. However, with a baby, you can easily make new friends with other parents who are also craving friendships during this new phase in their lives. It’s hard to make friends as an adult, am I right? Well use your baby to make new friends; there are tons of meetups and Facebook groups you can connect with people on, or just use your baby to walk up to someone with a baby and use them as your talking point (I did this in a restaurant and it worked wonderfully).
- Use their products: I found my new savior to dry feet by using my daughter’s Aquaphor. I also love using her baby products (we use Burts Bees) because they smell and feel so darn good.
- To get off the phone: Have you ever been on the phone and don’t know how to get off? Well with a baby, you have the perfect excuse for many years to come. Sorry, that’s all for now – gotta run, I think I hear the baby…