As Lila grew from baby to toddler, my husband had to practically pry the onesie out of my hands. According to him, if he didn't intervene Lila would be "ten years old, going to school in a onesie under her clothes." So what. I love onesies. Lila could stretch, roll around, and play and her belly wouldn't be exposed. They're one of my favorite baby items. I eventually had to let them go, but there are several items that I refuse to give up. It is mainly for practical reasons, but I will admit, it is partly sentimental. With each baby item I hold on to, in a small way I can deny the fact that Lila is growing up. (sniff sniff)
10) Baby lotion: I remember my mother telling me that she loved the smell of baby lotion. I never understood what was so special about it until I had baby of my own. Snuggling with Lila after her bath, the scent of baby lotion (particularly Johnson's & Johnson's) brings me back to when she was a little, bitty baby in my arms. Awww. So sweet! But besides smelling great, baby lotion is actually a really good moisturizer. The whole family uses it. Love it!
9) The diaper bag: Don’t worry. I don’t actually still carry my diaper bag, but I did for a while after Lila was out of diapers. Now, I still bring a huge bag with me at all times. We need stuff—snacks, crayons and coloring books, a water bottle, a change of clothes in case of an accident… Even if we are just running a quick errand we pack like we’re going on an adventure. Let’s face it. Everyday is an adventure with a four-year-old! After a full day with Lila, I dump out the snack wrappers, broken crayons, works of art on the backs of paper place mats, dirty clothes, sticky, crumpled napkins, and rocks, leaves and whatever other “treasure” found in our travels. Wonder if I will ever go back to carrying a cute, small purse again? My magic eight ball just responded “Ask again later.”
8) The stroller: We are relying on it less and less, but my husband and I still keep the umbrella stroller in the trunk of the car just in case. To think when I was childless, I used to shake my head at “big kids” riding around in strollers—“Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. That kid needs to walk!” Now as a mom, I am forced to eat my words. True, Lila is perfectly capable of walking most of the time and she does. But she is small. Her little legs get tired or she gets exhausted suddenly and needs to take a nap. Then what? One of us has to carry her. So, in desperation, we break out the stroller. Yes, her knees are a little high up and her feet can touch the ground. Are you judging me? Okay, YOU lug 40 pounds of dead weight (along with shopping bags and the huge purse mentioned above) through the mall and out to the parking lot. Uh huh. Yeah. I thought so.
7) Gerber puffs: Yum. This was one of Lila’s first and favorite snacks. She loved them as a baby in her high chair and still enjoys them now. Strawberry, sweet potato, apple cinnamon-- they are light, tasty, and totally addictive. And if you’re like me and mindlessly munch on your child’s leftover snacks, no worries. Puffs are a low calorie/low fat (low WW point) treat. YAY!
6) Cheerios: Again, another babyhood snack that never gets old. We always keep a box of Cheerios in the house. Now we’ve graduated to more advanced flavors such as Honey Nut and Multigrain. Lila still eats them the way she did as a baby-- no bowl, spoon, or milk. Cheerios are the ultimate finger food. Pop a handful and keep it movin’.
5) Sippy cups: Speaking of being on the move, I still consider sippy cups to be essential. Yes, at the dinner table, Lila uses a big girl cup, but any other time she is just too busy and active to be given a cup with no lid. That’s just asking for trouble. We use sippy cups around the house, in the car, playing outside, and when we are simply on the go.
4) Baby books: I have managed to donate or pass down most of Lila’s baby toys, but the baby books still remain. You know the ones— mostly pictures and just a few words on each page? They take about three seconds to read. We have advanced to longer, more complex storybooks, but every once in a while, at bedtime, Lila reaches for an old favorite. Even though it wasn’t that long ago that she was a baby, she seems to get nostalgic when I read these familiar little books to her. The cool thing is she is starting to read these books to me. As she is learning her letters, sounds, and basic spelling, she will often practice her words by reading these books aloud. Timeless treasures, they serve a whole new purpose as she develops her early reading skills. That’s right— My baby can read!
3) Lullabies: Despite Lila confusing me with Alicia Keys, I can not sing. But that doesn't stop Lila from requesting her favorite baby lullabies at night. It's a special part of our bedtime routine. Lila, my audience of one, is probably the only person who will request an encore of my vocal performances.
2) Wipes: What would I do without wipes? Whoever invented this wonderful all purpose cleaning item should be honored. I keep them in the huge purse, in the car, in the bathroom... everywhere! And use them to clean everything from sticky hands to spilled juice to dusty furniture. This is one baby item I will probably never give up.
1) Baby blankets: Sentimental, warm, and comfy, Lila still uses the same blankets she did as a baby. Sure, she is no longer swaddled in them, but they still keep her secure and cozy. When she wakes up in the middle of the night and comes to our room, her blanket comes to. She won't let go of her blankies. The best one was hand knit by a family friend. Can't get more special than that!