Simple Steps to Stay Present During the Baby Years

The baby years are years to cherish and be present in. Here are some practical things you can do to stay present and capture the joy.

I have seven children, and during the baby years, I felt like I would be changing diapers forever. But the truth is, the baby years flew by. The days of having an infant look at me as if I was the most beautiful woman in the world are long gone.

Nobody besides Jesus will adore you the same way your infants do, and this season of your life is worth savoring. It’s worth marking and remembering and taking time to smell and feel and love these years. Be all here and all in. 

Simple Steps to Stay Present

Practically speaking, how can we be present with babies when trying to get school-­aged children educated or off to school? How can we be attentive and give eye contact to our middle children while also trying to nurse and nurture an infant? 

There are some practical things we can do.

1. Stop Looking at Our Phones

When my oldest children were infants, we didn’t have smart­phones, but I still squandered eye contact by reading or talking on our old corded phone. So make sure to give your babies eye contact. Look at them, listen to them, repeat back what they say. When your children talk to you, look at them and respond. 

2. Simplify Meals

I taught my toddlers to get themselves a bowl of dry cereal so I could finish nursing the infant in the morning, and I kept healthy snacks such as cheese, carrots, and bananas easily accessible. I also taught children to contribute to the work of making and cleaning up meals. If we can work together on the feeding of our people, then we will all have more time to notice the beauty of our life.

3. Simplify Home Care

We don’t have to decorate for every season, and it doesn’t matter to our babies if their nursery is Instagram-­worthy. You only get one baby season with each of your children, so keep your home simple so that relationships come first. Ask your family what helps them feel comfortable at home and curate your home for the people who actually live there.

4. Simplify School

If you are homeschooling, spend the early years doing the basics. You can make the early years of schooling focused on story and on relationships. If your children are in a traditional school, try to negotiate for reasonable homework loads with teachers, or find ways to get through assignments quickly. Children need to move and play and create; they don’t need every activity of the day dictated by adults.

5. Notice the Beauty

When we work to keep our mind in the present, when we discipline ourselves to be fully here, instead of somewhere in the future, feeling scared, we can start to overcome our fear. When you notice that your mind is wandering, bring your attention back into the here and now. Maybe you need a little cue word or phrase; one of our counselors told us to say, “That’s a lie” when we started worrying about the future. Maybe for you, a simple breath prayer: “Jesus, come near.” Whatever works for you. Just find a way to pull yourself into the present so you don’t miss the beauty of this season.

I did my best to savor my babies in the moment, and you just need to do your best as well. So let go of the fear and be here now. Trust that when God says, “Fear not, I am with you always,”7 it is true, and he really will be there with you, holding you and walking you through whatever challenge each new day brings. He is good, and his love endures.

Let’s give all we have to stay present with our children and love them well. We only have now.


  1. What worries keep you from being present with your children?
  2. How can knowing that God is with us help us stay present with our children?

To learn more about overcoming fear, recapturing joy, and staying present in motherhood all through the lens of beloved books, check out Mothering by the Book by Jennifer Pepito.

Jennifer Pepito is the host of the Restoration Home podcast, author of Mothering by the Book, and founder of Jennifer is on a mission to help moms overcome fear and live with wonder and purpose. Her resources help create joyful memories among families, which lead to deeper connections and lasting relationships. Jennifer lives with her beloved family in the mountains, where she enjoys reading aloud, working in her garden, and watching the sunset.

Visit her online at and on Instagram @thepeacefulpress.

100 Words of Affirmation Your Son/Daughter Needs to Hear

Matt and Lisa Jacobson want you to discover the powerful ways you can build your children up in love with the beautiful words you choose to say every day–words that every son and daughter needs to hear.

These affirmation books offer you one hundred phrases to say to your son or daughter – along with short, personal stories and examples – that deeply encourage, affirm, and inspire.

So start speaking a kind and beautiful word into their lives daily and watch your children–and your relationship with them–transform before your eyes.

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