There are some terms that send a literal shutter down your spine, as if you’ve just heard nails on a chalkboard. “Mom jeans” might just be one of them. But I’m going to alleviate all your fears about transitioning from your low-rise jeans to st‌yles of the high-rise variety—because it’s an absolute MUST once you become a mom. And once you try them, you won’t want to go back!

In a recent informal poll among my mommy fashion blogger friends, I found that 98 percent of them prefer high waisted jeans as their number one denim choice now that they’re moms. The other 2 percent mentioned mid-rise. But no one—NO ONE—dared to mentioned low rise.

I’m not surprised they reacted this way. And that’s because I know that these mommy fashionistas understand fit. They know that a high rise jean will do two things for them. First, a high rise will prevent the dreaded “muffin top”, because the waistband hits at the smallest part of your waist (the correct term for that is your “natural waist”). Second, high rise jeans actually have a slimming affect, almost appearing to pull in your waistline. Just make sure you buy a pair that fits properly.

So once you’ve crossed the threshold into actually allowing yourself to look outside of your low-rise comfort zone, I’ve created a handy checklist for you. You can print it out or save it on your phone, and take it shopping with you to ease your stress. Here’s the number one rule you must follow when off to find your perfect mom jeans:

Go into your favorite denim store when you have plenty of time.

Finding the right jeans is like finding a needle in a haystack. Get mentally prepared before you walk in and set the expectation that it’s going to take a little while to find the right pair. Just because some people make it look easy, doesn’t mean it always is. Setting the proper expectation in the dressing room will help alleviate a lot of the stress that goes along with buying jeans.

Ask the sales associate to help you pull as many high rise jeans in your size and budget as possible. Try some different cuts, too—skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, flared jeans, ripped jeans (or not)—they’ll all make the perfect pair of mom jeans! They key to finding the perfect pair of jeans is to find THE pair that fits you like a glove.

Also, grab a few tops that you’d normally wear with jeans, so you can play around with tucking them in, letting them drape, knotting them and any other way you want to st‌yle them. Tee shirts, blouses, sweaters, tanks…try on ALL the tops. You want to make sure that your jeans will be able to be st‌yled a variety of ways. Not all jeans can be worn with every top or even every shoe, so pay particular attention to these details.

Another helpful tip is to bring some photos of your favorite celebrities wearing the st‌yles of jeans you want to try, and have the sales associate pull some similar looks. This will help focus your search a bit, and let them know more about your own personal st‌yle.

Now comes the hard part. Start trying them on and pay attention to the following—and very important—characteristics:

Fit: Can you sit, stand, bend over and generally contort yourself in a manner that goes along with everything you do as a mom, while still feeling comfortable? You’ll want to be able to get on the floor with your kids and play on the playground, just as much as you’ll want to be able to wear them out to dinner in comfort.

Wash: Will you be able to get a lot of wear out of these jeans, in terms of the number of tops you can pair them with? As a general rule, really light washes come across as more casual, and you may have less luck dressing them up, as opposed to darker wash jeans, which can more often go both ways.

General Versatility: As mentioned above, make sure you’ll be able to st‌yle your jeans with a variety of tops and shoes, so that you’ll get as much use out of them as possible. Some jeans are just not made for all occasions, but some very special pairs are. If you’re searching for your very first pair of high waisted jeans, then pay special attention to their general versatility when in the dressing room. This will help you avoid buyer’s remorse later, especially if you’ve purchased a pretty expensive pair.

Price: This seems obvious, but while at first glance a pair may seem within or out of reach of your general budet, consider how much wear you’ll get out of them. If you find a less expensive pair that you may not get a lot of use out of, then your cost per wear could actually be higher than a more expensive pair for which you may get a ton of use from.

Cost per wear equals the cost of the item divided by the number of times you wear it. If you have a pair of jeans that cost $50, but you only wore them five times, then your cost per wear is $10; whereas, if you bought a pair of $200 jeans and wore them 200 times (it’s realistic), your cost per wear is ony $1, so that may in fact be the better purchase, in the end.

I hope you’ve found this jeans shopping guide helpful, and whether or not you think you may like high waisted mom jeans, I urge you to try them. All your favorite social media stars and celebrity mommies are wearing this denim trend, and once you try it, I’m pretty sure you’ll understand that there’s nothing like the feeling of a great pair of high rise jeans hugging your middle in a supportive and non-muffin-top-inducing way.

You’ll finally understand what all the “It Girls” already know: mom jeans are the best!

Featured Photo Courtesy: sarandy westfall via Unsplash