TThe first few months of new parenthood is challenging. It’s even more challenging when you live in rural America, thirty miles from the nearest gas station or hours from major box stores. In all the “What to Expect” books and blogs I read trying to get me prepared for the task, I found very little advice on what might make life easier for a new mom in the boonies. So I took some notes as I went along to help country moms like me trying to keep a new baby safe and healthy way out in the sticks.
- A baby pack, sling or wrap. I used an Ergo Baby, but area baby stores like Rattle ‘n Roll in Dickinson have great pack and wrap options as well. My baby liked to be bounced and walked around the house so wearing her meant more hands free time around the house, it was easier on my back and when the weather was nice and she was old enough, I was free to take her out with me to feed the bottle calf or for a hike in the hills for some much needed fresh air.
- Speaking of walks, it’s easier to brave the giant chunks of scoria and mud if you have a big-wheeled jogging stroller. I once watched one of my friends push her baby across the bumpy badlands in one of these bad boys. There are tons to choose from and they can be spendy, but I think they’re worth it out here. My only recommendation is that it has a good sunshade.
- Baby Safe Bug Spray. I liked to take my baby with me outside whenever I could. But out here not only do we have mosquitoes, but we also have pesky horse flies and the dreaded wood tick. Let me tell you there’s nothing more terrifying to a mom than finding a tick crawling up your baby’s neck and toward her ear!
- Baby Sun Hat: Even in the cool spring, the sun can be hard on baby’s eyes. When I would take my baby out with me in the pack, I often times put her in a sunhat to shade her eyes as well as a beanie to cover her ears, because, well, it’s North Dakota. Here’s one of my favorites. It’s adjustable in two places and comes in some cute patterns. I also got this adorable one at Watford City’s Beaver Creek Creations!
- Baby Bunting Snowsuit: Edie still lives in this on the chilly days that don’t require a full on snowsuit. It’s also thinner, so can be worn safely in the carseat. And it fits over her clothes for an extra layer of warmth on all those walks I took her on in the carrier those first few months. The Columbia Line is the one I like.
- A tablet holder for the car: We live a good forty-five minutes from the nearest grocery store. This means plenty of hours in the car. My baby didn’t particularly like to be confined to her car seat, so I found that playing a kid friendly movie with lots of colors and sounds helped soothe and distract her. We just downloaded a few of her favorites on our tablet and strapped it to the holder on the headrest in front of her. Now, at a year, she looks forward to getting in the car because it means she can relax and watch a movie.Just make sure the holder is tested and rated crash safe. We use the iPadKet, which works for my old iPad and my husband’s Samsung tablet.
- And while we’re on the run, with a little one who needs to be fed every couple hours, I found having a thermos full of hot water in the diaper bag to warm up the bottles. The Tommy Tippy Travel Bottle and Food Warmer thermos I used also came with a little cooler with an ice pack to keep the breast milk cold on the run.
There’s plenty more products I use everyday that I’ve come to rely on, but these are what I’ve found to be “country mom” specific.
Have any additional suggestions?
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