How I learned to be happy from my baby: Five easy rules to follow

Life is good for a baby. You wake up when you want, eat the moment you’re hungry and someone changes and washes you when you’re soiled. I can’t imagine adults living this life unless they have a 24-7 maid (or they’re in need of 24-7 care), but we don’t have to be treated like babies to be happy like babies. Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned from my 11-month-old son.

1. Smile– smiling shows others that you’re happy and brightens their mood. When my son smiles, my world lights up. He’s happy and I’m happy. Living in NYC, I’m often weirded-out when strangers are nice to me. I’ve forgotten that people tend to be nice. When we visited Philly, strangers were always smiling at us, greeting us with salutations and it was not weird to have conversations with them.

2. Sleep– sleep and rest when you’re tired. You can only do so much when you’re exhausted from the day’s activities. Put down that smartphone, log off of Instagram and Facebook, and sleep. When my son is tired, he shuts off the world and sleeps. He wakes up happy every single time after a nice rest.

3. Play– like sleeping, we also need to play. We have to learn to turn off the seriousness and worry– we will find ways to pay our bills. Turn on that inner-child and play– do what you love. Explore the city. Play with your children. Enjoy life a little, even during the week days.

4. Cry– you don’t always have to be tough or put on that poker-bitch-face. We have tears and tear ducts for a reason– we’re supposed to cry when we feel like it. The world is a tough place. Babies are born crying to cope with the cold, harsh world. When we need a good cry, just go for it.

5. Love– my son has taught me to love others more affectionately, show my appreciation and give more hugs and kisses. My son’s eyes light up when he sees me and his smiles are genuine and beautiful. He loves me with no qualms and I’ve learned to show my own parents this.

Live, laugh, learn, smile, sleep, play, cry and love like and baby and I guarantee you’ll be a much happier person.

List of top baby must haves for all new modern mamas (2014) (useful baby shower registry gift items)

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High chair: Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair (~$300+)– Super sleek, ergonomic and functional, this high chair is a great piece of furniture that your baby (six months and older) can sit in until she/he’s a 300-pound adult (hopefully your child won’t ever weigh that much). Sturdy, easy to clean and will last for years.

Snotsucker: The Nose Frida, Nasal Aspirator ($14-$18) is awesome because it’s non-intrusive and comfortable for the baby. While clearing baby’s nostrils, mommy can improve her lung function (this snotsucker can double as an incentive spirometer). It’s not for parents who can’t stand the sight and sound of snot though. Make sure you spray nasal saline mist or drops into each nostril before use (baby nasal drops). Pack n’ Play/ Temporary crib: Graco Pack ‘n Play On The Go Travel Playard ($59.99-$69.99, sometimes cheaper than that). Newborns feed every two to three hours. During the first six weeks, this “pack n’ play” can serve as the baby’s temporary crib, placed right next to mommy and daddy’s bed. When baby is older, this can be used as a playpen. Great for traveling too, it’s foldable and compact. Sturdy and easy to clean. Be sure to get fitted cotton crib sheets for the mattress that comes with the pack n’play.

Swing: Snugapuppy or Snugabunny Cradle Baby Swing (~$139.99) is superb because baby will love seeing her/himself in the mirror over his head, will fall asleep quickly to the hypnotic swinging and will give mommy some rest. Baby will be snug, happy and secure in this swing. Just make sure to put a pillow like the BabyMoon pillow beneath baby’s head to prevent plagiocephaly.

Bottles: Philips AVENT bottles– we love the glass bottles, they are easy to clean, hard to break and baby never had any problem latching onto the nipples. The glass bottles are a bit heavy though and our eight-month old still isn’t able to hold the bottle on his own yet. (Maybe he’s just lazy.)

Stroller and car seat: You can’t go wrong with the B-Agile and B-Safe Travel system (~$450). The stroller is super safe and durable (hey if it can navigate the streets of NYC, land of potholes, it can navigate any street) and it’s comfortable for baby, whether he/she is in the car seat or on the stroller without the car seat.

Diaper cream: Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment to prevent rashes and Desitin Maximum Strength Original Paste when baby has a diaper rash.

Products you can do without:
-Diaper disposal cans like the Diaper Genie (baby poop for the first year or so really doesn’t smell that bad, especially if the babies are breastfed)

-Bottle sterilization system: Unless you live in an area where the water is dirty or contaminated, you don’t need to sterilize the bottles every time before baby feeds. Warm, soapy water will clean the bottles and nipples just fine. Before the first use, however, it’s recommended to sterilize the bottles and nipples

-Fancy and expensive crib sets: Your baby won’t use the comforter that comes in the sets since it’s a suffocation hazard. All the extra attachments for the crib are cumbersome and excessive. All your baby really needs for the first year or so for sleeping are a good mattress, good crib, crib sheets and a breathable blanket.

All images were found on and belong to their respective owners. Click on the images for the links to the product’s pages. I was not endorsed by Amazon or Bed Bath and Beyond or any of these product/brand owners in publishing this post; I’m just a mommy who wants to help other mommies buy awesome products for their little ones.