Cotton and Clan Family Origins

Well it is getting closer and closer to the holiday season and if you are anything like me you are already freaking out at the impending lines and online sales that are scheduled to take place any day now! I always have such a hard time finding gifts for people unless they tell me exactly what they want which also takes the surprise out of it. Call me old fashioned, but I really love getting people unique one of a kind gifts that are meaningful!

Not too long ago I came across one of those companies! Cotton and Clan offers unique one of a kind art pieces that are the perfect gift for anyone! They use NASA satelite imaging to pinpoint the exact location on the map where you were either born or where you met your spouse.

 Cotton and Clan

Cotton and Clan

I ended up ordering one for our own family with the date, location, time and a special quote from our wedding day. Our poster was shipped in record time and once taken out and set in a frame it was perfect! It was also such a great discussion piece for our girls! We used the opportunity to sit down and talk about our wedding day, which also lead to questions about kissing boys which needless to say, we ended on that note.

This will probably be my new go to for family gifts because they are just so simple, classic and beautiful. It is definitely one of those pieces that brings so much meaning you will want to have it hanging around the house.

When I grew up my parents never had something like this around our house. I think it is so important for kids to know the story of your family or even better, their own story. How amazing is it that we have access to something like this? The birth of a child or the day you got married are HUGE moments in life that no one ever just decides they want to forget. Those are the memories that last a lifetime! Cotton and Clan makes sure that those memories don’t get forgotten! How incredible!

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They are currently running a kickstarter campaign until November 2018 and have some amazing deals on these posters!

Head over to their kickstarter page here and buy a bundle for you or your family! You know you want to get all those Christmas gifts out of the way so you can actually enjoy the Holiday Season!

Starting Solids Guide

So here we go again... second baby ready to start the adventure of eating solids. As a parent this can be the most exciting to start out, but then can become one of the most frustrating times in babyhood.

Let me start with my first tip... don't stress too much and be flexible! My greatest advice for parents is that this entire journey from start to finish is all about the victories and failures. There will be things that work and don't work and sometimes you'll have to combine and tweak things to work for you and your family! There's no "right" way that fits every family, so find what works for you! 

1. Puree's vs. Baby Led Weaning 

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When we had Winslow we didn't know any other way to introduce foods to her than giving her  purees. They tell you to first start with oatmeal and then one by one introduce all the other fruits and vegetables. I decided early on that I wasn't going to spend a ton of money on food that I could make myself and I knew would have just food in it and not the extra stuff. So i purreed and steamed and froze everything. 

When my second daughter was ready to begin eating solids thats when I found out about Baby Led Weaning. It was such a paradigm shift from what and how I was told babies should eat. It took a lot of research and tons of questions, but in the end I'm so glad we tried it. Although VERY, VERY messy, it is way easier to feed them because you don't have to fight over trying to shove a spoon in their mouth! We are doing the same thing with Aubrey now and my only complaint is that she's so used to feeding herself that its like fighting an animal when we are out in public and I try to spoon feed her mac n cheese. 

Baby Led Weaning by far is my favorite because it just makes sense. The whole premise behind this idea is that babies can and will learn to feed themselves. At an early age they teach themselves through practice and play on how to chew and swallow. They learn textures and most importantly learn to tell you when they are full. 

Another thing that Mom's usually ask is when will baby be ready to eat solids. When we had Winslow, we were advised to begin spoon feeding her oatmeal at 3-4 months. But when I started researching baby led weaning they suggested you wait to feed baby food until they are 6 months or can hold their head up well and sit. So for the last two babies, thats what we did before we fed them any food. I think it was a great sign to know whether or not they were ready for food! 

2. Feeding Gear

As you begin its important to make sure you have the right tools as well. It will get really messy! One of my favorite brands for finding simple and cute feeding gear is Bumkins. They have everything you could possibly need from splat mats, bibs and dishes for your little one. I personally love the Bumkins splat mats and bibs, we use them for every meal. They are easy to wash off and they don't cost a fortune! 

 Ikea, OXO Booster, 4Moms

Ikea, OXO Booster, 4Moms

Another great product I found was the steam bowl from Olababy. When we took our most recent trip to the East Coast I still wanted to make Aubrey fresh food instead of buying a ton of pouches and obviously I couldn't pack my food steamer and processor. So I brought along the Olababy steam bowl. All you need is a pot with a lid and water. Put the steam bowl in boiling water and steam your food like normal. It made our trip so much easier and made me feel good that I didn't have to compromise on nutrition. 

Of course don't forget your most important gear of all... THE HIGH CHAIR! There are so many great options to fit different styles and spaces! One of my favorite chairs has to be the ikea high chair. It easily fits into any design space and is super easy to clean! I even heard recently of a mom who takes hers apart and fits in conventionality into her dishwasher! TOTAL WIN! There are so many great highchairs that can adjust and grow with your child as well. For a great list with some amazing feedback head over to my friend Bloom and Bundles blog! There are some great options she lists out. 

3. Food

 Raised Real

Raised Real

Now that you know how you want to introduce foods and you have the gear you need, the next step is you need to make an action plan of what you want to start feeding your little one. The most popular and easiest foods to feed them in the beginning are avocados, bananas, sweet potato, squash and oatmeal. My favorite combination is definitely avocados and bananas! 

There are also so many great books out there with recipes and tips for when baby has his/her first foods. Definitely check those out for some great inspiration, or head over to Pinterest of course! 

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Today there are also a lot of companies popping up that will ship you pre-made food. Raised Real is a great option if you want to skip all the meal prep. Every month they provide you with 20 meals, which doesn't seem like a lot, but actually it is more than enough! We got our shipment in the beginning of the month and still have plenty left over that we haven't used yet. All their ingredients are fresh and great combinations of food ensuring that your little ones get a good mix of nutrients. I even found myself copying their food combinations in my own meals! Raised real also provide cards that breakdown all the nutrition facts you need to know. I think the best part about this company and what sets them apart from others is that they allow you to make the decision of how you want to feed your baby. Their food doesn't come in purees so you can decide whether to puree or not. And an added bonus is they can ship you their own food processor as well! They really do give you the tools you need to get the job done! 

I know that starting this journey can be a little hectic but I hope this helped to get you started in the right direction! 

Love you Mama!
xo TERAH

 

First Time Mom's Guide: Save or Splurge Registry Items (Part 2)

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The moment you find out that you are expecting your first child it's like you turn into a shopping maniac. Searching high and low for every single item you think you’ll need for the 1st year of life with this tiny little human. I know with our first I registered for everything under the sun from cribs to walkers (because a 3 month old totally knows how to use a walker at only a few weeks old). Thinking back and talking to new moms I realized that if you put a little strategy behind your registry items you can get exactly what you need for when you need it. 

Here’s the deal… instead of making the mistake most people make by registering for everything you will need the first year, just focus on registering for good quality items and only essentials. I know you think I'm crazy but bear with me so I can explain the why behind this madness! You may think its a little too much to put big ticket items on your registry, but if you have 3-4 of those on your registry and just the essentials like diapers, wipes, blankets, etc, people will be more than happy to put money towards those big items because they know you need them! So don't go crazy on gear you won't need for a few months. Being three kids deep, I’ve learned that investing in quality over quantity has really been a huge benefit when you have kids. Try to think long term. Do you plan on using these items alot? Are you planning to have more kids? If the answer is yes to both those questions then PLEASE invest in good quality registry items. 

So here is my list of what you should save on and what you should splurge on.

SAVE: CRIB/ BASSINET

 franklin and ben abigail 3-in-1 convertible crib

franklin and ben abigail 3-in-1 convertible crib

My advice would be to search for a secondhand crib/bassinet. Most cribs are only used for 2-3 years and are kept in pretty good condition and bassinets are used for even less time. I just recently bought a crib for $50 in excellent condition that is normally $300 and got an awesome bassinet from a friend for FREE!  So search those Facebook sites and you will be bound to find the perfect one! 

SPLURGE: MATTRESS 

I read an article a few months ago when searching for a mattress and it strongly suggested NEVER getting secondhand crib mattresses which I would have to agree with. With Winslow I never did any research regarding mattresses I just assumed that any mattress would work. When looking for a good quality mattress always look at the reviews and find one that is FIRM and SAFE for baby. I’m a huge advocate for breathable mattresses. When Kinley began sleeping in her own crib and rolling over at such a young age I was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to breathe if her face got stuck from rolling over. I ended up doing alot of research and saw so many reviews of the Newton Crib Mattress and was sold! The first night in her crib I slept like the baby knowing that if anything where to happen, she could breath. 

Here are my top Mattresses:

  1. Newton
  2. Nook Sleep System
  3. Naturpedic

SAVE: PUMP

Thank the breastfeeding gods that pumps are now covered through insurance! This used to be a pretty big ticket item. You will definitely want to get a pump so that you can store up a supply for a rainy day or if you just need to get your nails done and leave the baby at home! 

FYI... If you don't know yet there is a breast pump coming on the market within the next few months that is completely hands free and wireless. The Willow Pump allows you to wear the pump in your bra and isn't hooked up to anything! I really cant wait for this! Stay on the lookout, but be warned if you decide to purchase this one you will have to pay out of pocket a pretty large chunk of change. 

SPLURGE: STROLLER 

Okay so this one is one of my pet peeves recently. I don’t know why but I get super frustrated with Moms who buy strollers that aren’t going to last them past a year. I mean think about it, that stroller gets toted around, thrown around and beat up on all day long. Wouldn’t it make sense to invest in a good quality one!  Also if you think about it, the majority of well made strollers have great warranties on them so if anything does break they are pretty good at sending replacements. My favorite brand of course would have to be Uppa Baby. It has the ability to convert to tandem which again is another benefit and something to think about if you plan on having more kids. I've taken mine on planes, cars, park, beach and on all sorts of terrain and it is still in pristine condition! 

Here are my top Strollers:

  1. BOB
  2. Mutsy
  3. Uppa Baby
  4. Baby Zen (GREAT FOR TRAVEL)

SAVE: CLOTHES

Having just given birth to my third baby girl I can say that I'm so glad I never bought expensive brands for her to wear in the early months. Target and the Old Navy Clearance section will do just fine. They grow so fast and sometimes spit up on whatever they are wearing that you may get 2-4 uses out of an outfit before it's either ruined or they don't fit it any longer. So don't waste too much money on outfits, to be honest, for the last 2 months Aubrey has been in a diaper the majority of the time haha!

SPLURGE: CAR SEAT

As a Mom you should never ever sacrifice the safety of your child. I don't think any Mom intentionaly would put her child in danger, but I also think that car seat safety is a huge deal and should be something that is not taken likely. All car seats must go through rigorous testing to be allowed on market. I think purchasing a car seat is more about preference when looking at what brand to buy rather than which car seat brand is safer. 

SAVE: SWINGS & BOUNCERS

Like I've said before, Baby is only going to get a few uses out of most of the items you purchase. It is best to save on the stuff that they will only need for a short time, rather than spending a ton. Swings and Bouncers I have found are one of the items you can definitely save on. Again, I'm huge on buying certain items secondhand because it saves you so much money! This is one of those items that if you can find secondhand you will be golden! Here are some of my favorite swings and bouncers! 

1. 4 Moms
2. Skip Hop
3. Fisher Price
 

*Tip: Go for the smaller swings so that they don't take up a lot of room in your house and are easy to move. Baby will already be taking up room with his stuff, you don't want anymore clutter than needed. 

 

SPLURGE: BABY WEARING- WRAPS, SLINGS & CARRIERS

Just the other day I bought a cheap ring sling because I wanted to test out if Aubrey would like being in one. Even though I bought it with the intention of not using it for a long period of time, I realized that having a good quality baby carrier is a must if thats something you want to do. The one I bought was horrible and the fabric began tearing only a few minutes of wearing it and adjusting the carrier. Here are some favorite brands and the most bought items among Moms (and for good reason, they last forever).

1. Ergo
2. Baby Bjorn
3. Solly Wrap
4. Wild Bird Ring Sling

 

I hope this helps to give a little bit of direction if you are a new mom searching for just the right items. It can be overwhelming when you look at everything that is on the market. My advice would be do your research and look at the reviews of those products before buying. 

I would also love to hear what items you SAVED on and what you SPLURGED on! 

xo
Terah B.


2017 Nursery Trends- Guest Post by Meghan Basinger

When your shopping addiction is clothes or shoes you can easily hide the boxes in the guest room closet before your husband asks why your front step looks like a UPS distribution facility. When it’s nursery and kid’s room décor…it’s a heck of a lot harder to shield his eyes from jaw-dropping wallpaper that just magically materializes overnight.

Hi, my name is Meghan. And I have an obsession with nursery and kids’ room décor. And so, I’m here to chat 2017 nursery trends.

FLORALS

Give me all the florals. Make them bold and put them on my walls. We’re not talking tiny intricate fleurs that remind you of grandma’s wallpaper from 1950. I’m loving a dark, moodier take on one wall in the nursery or lighten things up, but still make a statement with 3-D flowers.

 Images via Pinterest:  Floral Wallpaper  and  Crepe Paper Flowers

Images via Pinterest: Floral Wallpaper and Crepe Paper Flowers

WESTERN

You don’t have to live in Arizona to dress a room with all things cacti. Throw in a wall weaving or feather dreamer and you have yourself a little southwestern oasis. As a mom of two girly-girls (granted, I suppose I’ve made them that way) we haven’t dabbled in this trend…but it’s my secret crush.

 Images via Pinterest:  Cactus Wallpaper  and  Wall Weaving

Images via Pinterest: Cactus Wallpaper and Wall Weaving

THE NON-NURSERY

The first time I saw this image (left) below, I fell head-over-heels. Blown-up black and whites and copper accents? Can I sleep here? I love the idea of a space that doesn’t feel too baby. You’re basically setting your little one up to have some massive style and making the big kid room transition a million times easier. 

 Images via  Megan Burges  and  Pinterest

Images via Megan Burges and Pinterest

SAY IT WITH WORDS

I love words. Twenty-years from now when I’m done chasing kids in every direction imaginable, I’d love to weave words together to make a book worth reading. Until then, I’ll just find a place for words on my walls. 

FURRY FRIENDS

Ok, obviously cute little animals have been making their way into nurseries for decades. But I’m particularly smitten with this peek-a-boo style. Their life-like-look makes you feel like your gifting your sweat pea the most well-behaved pet in the world. 

   
  
 
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    Images via  Jillian Harris  and  LilaXLola

Images via Jillian Harris and LilaXLola

About: Meghan lives in farm-country Georgia with her husband, Kelly; daughters, Bauer + Kingsley; and mini-goldendoodle, Dumbledore. She’s happiest when re-arranging furniture and loves talking nursery and kids’ room design with a glass of pinot in hand with her favorite mom friends and colleagues at Project Nursery.

IG: @megbasinger
Blog: mamasaid.me


What I Wish I Would've Known Before Breastfeeding

 

My breastfeeding journey hasn't been the easiest. With my first born I had no clue what I was doing. I never took a class, read a book or researched anything about breastfeeding. My only education came from the nurse who helped deliver my baby. I honestly didn't think I needed to educate myself. I just assumed that if Breastfeeding was so natural then wouldn't I somehow just know how to do it? It couldn't be that hard? OHHH MAN was I wrong! There were so many things that I was not prepared for like engorgement, clogged milk ducts, sore nipples and what every nursing Mom is terrified of getting... Mastitis. 

With my first daughter I was so overwhelmed with how much work nursing and pumping was that  I gave up after 5 weeks because it became so stressful for me. At that time it was for the sake of sanity that we switched Winslow to formula. 

With my second daughter I made the decision that I wanted to breastfeed as long as I could. This time around I had the time and had a better understanding of what to expect. At least I thought I knew what to expect, but realized I again had no idea.  I remember being in tears every time I would nurse because it hurt so bad. Unfortunately this went on for 2 weeks before I finally couldn't take it anymore and reached out to a professional for help. I found a Lactation consultant and scheduled our first appointment together.

I remember when she walked through the door and we began talking I felt so much relief. Here are just a few things I learned from her that made my breastfeeding journey a success. 

1. You are both learning

When my Lactation Consultant said,  "Remember, you and this brand new baby are learning together" , I don't know what switched in my brain but all of a sudden I felt all this pressure lift off my shoulders. It made total sense!!! Here I was thinking that as a woman and a mom I should instinctively know how to breastfeed my child. I think this is what was really making me feel terrible about my journey so far. I would see all these other moms who had babies at the same time as me not batting an eye when they would nurse. I was so hard on myself thinking that there was something wrong with me because I just can't seem to get it right now matter how many different positions I try or how many articles I read. I felt like such a failure as a Mom. 

When I realized that this journey for many Moms is never easy in the beginning and will take time for both mom and baby to learn, that was when things changed for me. I stopped trying to be perfect at breastfeeding. This new baby is learning so many new things and I'm right there along with her. 

2. Throw the schedule out the door in the beginning

There are so many great books out there for new parents on how to do life with these new little babes. And trust me we all need to gather as much information as possible, parenthood is hard work. But and this is a BIG BUT, I think sometimes we can read those books and interpret them the wrong way. I remember hearing a story about a mom who had her baby so scheduled with feedings that if her baby was fussy and obviously hungry she would refuse to feed her because it wasn't "time". 

Imagine as an adult you had someone refuse to give you water when you were thirsty or a snack because it hadn't been 3 hours yet. When you think about it that way it would make sense right? A babies only drink and food is coming from you! We can't be so scheduled that we miss those hunger cues even if they are out of the norm. 

With Kinley I chose to do on demand feeding and it ended up being the best thing ever!! There's a debate that if you do on demand feeding then babies feed too often and never get fully full.  I actually found that my baby was less fussy, ended up sleeping better and was always content. I think on demand feeding was a huge reason!!

3. Take care of the Ta-Ta's

Something that is never really shared with moms to be is how to care for your boobs when you're nursing. When you first start nursing theres a lot of things that change with your body. There's changes when your milk comes in, then when it normalizes and not to mention being careful of  engorgement and clogged milk ducts too. 

Recently I heard a TRUE story of a Mom who was traveling with her husband and she didn't bring anything to pump with so her husband ended up having to nurse her so that she wouldn't get engorged. I'm all for floor play, but thats just weird and my husband would never go for it anyways.  One of the biggest things a nursing Mom should learn to do is hand expression. There have been lots of times my babies slept longer than normal and when I didn't feel like taking out the pump I just hand expressed! 

There's also those times when you do become engorged specifically when your milk comes in. One thing I learned was to use a cold compress after feedings to help relieve the inflammation. This made a HUGE difference and ended up being a life saver! Also make sure you get some good nipple cream. Theres a lot of new products out there, but I think the best nipple cream you can get is Lanolin. This was also a must have during nursing! 

Everyones breastfeeding journey is different. I can be full of challenges and victories. I would encourage you if you're a nursing Mama out there and you are having a hard time, keep it up! But also know that at the end of the day, you know yourself better than anybody else. Don't feel pressured to keep breastfeeding if it's causing you more stress and you can no longer find the joy in it. Whatever the case may be you are still a rockstar Mom who is doing the best you can to raise those little ones!!!

*Leave a comment letting us know what things you wish you would've known before breastfeeding! 


Nuroo Baby Product Review

Wow... it's been a CRAZY 3 weeks.. as you can see I'm still alive (barely) and we added a new addition to the family, Aubrey Sloane Byrd! She has been such an added blessing to our family and it's been awesome seeing how our other two girls have loved on her. 

Aubrey has also been the easiest thing that has gone on for the past 3 weeks. Not only was she born June 14th, but she also kicked off the most insane beginning of our summer. The week after she was born we moved into another house, which by the way was a much smaller house with no storage (currently writing this on top of unpacked boxes). We also attended 3 weddings in ONE WEEKEND! Two of those were in town, while the other was about 2 hours away. The week after that we also had our in-laws staying with us as well as celebrated our oldest daughters birthday. Man, I had some grand plans to celebrate her birthday, but reality hit me the day before that I have no time to plan or prepare so that was a scramble just putting a basic party together. My proudest Mom moment of the planning of her party was forgetting to order a cake. Theres nothing more stressful than calling 5 different places the day before to find out they have no idea what the movie Trolls is and wouldn't have a cake available in time. 

So as you can see it's been a pretty busy 3 weeks and I've missed you all!!! Now that things are finally (fingers crossed) calming down, I wanted to write this post to firstly let you know about a giveaway coming up and secondly to tell you how much I love these two products we will be featuring!  

The first is the Nuroo Baby Swaddler

I have to say that the one thing that really sold me in this swaddle at first was how easy it was to use and that it grew with baby. Once I began using it, my favorite part about this swaddle became how light and breathable the material was. If you have tuned into the weather recently you might have seen that Southern California has already been hit with a heat waveof 80 degrees. I know we are wusses when it comes to heat. Aubrey is still needing to be swaddled up so she can sleep so I was worried that she would overheat being wrapped up. Every time I've gone to unwrap her she's never been too hot or too cold. For me this is a winner!!! 

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I also love that this swaddle was created by two MOMS! You know that if moms were behind a product like this it has to be worth it! The fabric is made of breathable, moisture wicking properties that help regulate baby's body temperature. It has the ability to pull sweat and moisture from baby in order to keep baby dry and comfortable. The pockets in the swaddle have also been approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as "hip healthy" meaning that when baby is swaddled correctly he/she is in the proper M position making it safe for baby's hips.

The second is the Nuroo Baby Nursing scarf

As I mentioned earlier, at only 2 weeks old, Aubrey had already attended more weddings than we had in a 4 day span. In one weekend we attended 3 different friends weddings. We almost felt like at that point we should've been contestants on that TLC show called 3 Weddings.  One of the things that made me a little anxious when preparing to go to our first wedding was how I was going to find an outfit that was nice enough to wear (only 2 weeks postpartum) and have the ease enough to nurse. As many moms know, the first few days and weeks of a newborns life that little leech is glued to your side feeding every 1-2 hours if not more.  Then on top of that you have those 4 hours of cluster feeding, and we all know thats when the "fun" really begins. 

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Let's just say I got lots of practice nursing in public. One of the weddings we attended was outside and in the sun. I thought for sure at this point I'd be sweating and so would Aubrey under that scarf. When I took her out I was so surprised that neither of us were hot and sweaty. I love this scarf because it is so light and airy and they come in super cute patterns! The scarf also has buttons so you can customize it however you want in any position you want to nurse in. 

I truly am in love with these two products and thats why I've teamed up with Nuroo Baby for an awesome 2 day giveaway! Be sure to stay tuned on our instagram for more details! I seriously have put these to the test the last few days and I don't think I could've survived without them! 

 

 

 


What I Can't Go Without, Baby #3

Here I am, getting ready to add Baby #3 into the mix. I can’t believe that soon I'll have no choice but to buy a mini-van because thats what happens when you have more than two kids, right? To be honest, I have only recently been able to make enough brain space to think about our third addition within the past few weeks. I mean, I feel like I just had a newborn, now Im getting ready to dive back in. When I was thinking about all the things I could possibly need, this list became a lot smaller and realistic than with my first daughter. 

So here is what I cannot do without the third time around:

1. Wonder Weeks App

I am so glad that I found this app, I’m just bummed that this didn’t exist with my oldest 5 years ago! If you are a new mom, or like me and you waited to have another baby 4 years after your first there are alot of things you either don’t know or tend to forget.

This app was a life saver for me! There were times when Kinley would be fussy for no reason and I would go and check the app, view what week in her development she was and sure enough the majority of the time she was just going through what they refer to as a “fussy stage” or going through a developmental stage. This made those fussy weeks alot less stressful just by being able to see what was happening and the best part was it showed you just how long it should last! YES, there was an end in sight!! 

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WHAT I CANT LIVE WITHOUT.1.png

2. Dock-a-tot

Yes I know, everyone talks about the Dock-a-tot including me, but last time with Kinley I never used it and I definitely regretted it. This go around I'm not taking any chances! I want my newborn to sleep (not to mention I would like to have a good nights sleep) and this is the perfect solution!

3. A Drink!

I’ll just leave this one right here.. .

4. Nursing Tank (with built in bra) 

There is nothing more annoying than having to unhook a nursing tank and a nursing bra when you are out an about. For me nursing in public never looked glamorous like it does for others just sitting there smiling while there little one is under a nursing cover being super still and cooperative. Nursing anywhere especially in the summer makes me sweaty and irritable. If I’ve found one way to keep myself from stressing about it thats by finding a good nursing tank with a  bra inside. 

5. Nuroo Baby Swaddle

I never realized just how magical a wrapped swaddle was until I first used one with my second daughter. I always thought they were just gimmick items, but when I used one for the first time I was so annoyed I had never used one before. Until that time I just used a traditional swaddle blanket, but was always so frustrated because those little ninja hands would always find themselves outside of what I thought was a pretty impressive swaddle. 

I know recently there has been more attention and some slight controversy regarding swaddling and parents not wrapping babies correctly which can cause a lot of harm. All that to say, I think this product is the answer to all parents fears and concerns. Nurroo Baby is the only swaddle blanket that has two size options in one swaddle! As your little one grows, you can adjust how the swaddle is used and fits them. 

Please do yourself a favor, especially in the beginning months when baby arrives, get this product! You will be amazed at how much better baby sleeps. 

6. Ubbi Diaper Pail

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When I had my second daughter I remember searching high and low for ways to ensure that my diaper trash can wouldn’t stink up my entire house! One day I stumbled upon Ubbi and let me tell you it changed our whole world! The best part about this diaper can is that its stainless steel and uses a NORMAL TRASH BAG! As a parent the last thing you need to be doing is running around town trying to find trash refills, this was so easy it just made sense. Because it is stainless steel it also hides the smell of dirty diapers very well. The only time you smell anything is when you open the lid, but thats nothing compared to the constant diaper stink some cans let off. Another great thing they just came out with this year is the cutest designs on the outside of their cans that will fit in with any decor. 

 

7. HELP! 

If there is one thing you definitely need when you have a newborn is HELP and SUPPORT! Whether this is your 1st, 2nd or 3rd there is nothing that makes the few first months a little bit easier than having help! You don't have to hire someone in order to help you and if you don't have family around to help I have found that other Mom's are more than willing to help out. We all know how crazy life can get with a new baby! I had my second baby thousands of miles away from my family and having just moved to a new area where I knew no one. The few Moms and community I was able to make actually helped tremendously. It's also easier than ever to connect with fellow Moms through Facebook or Mommy groups in your area and I've found that most Moms on those sights are looking for other Moms to hang out with and support because we are all needing a community!  So don't be afraid to ask for help! 

These were just a few major items I couldn't keep to myself and I hope they help!

p.s. Leave us a comment on what things you found that you couldn't live without! We would love to hear what other Mama's found as lifesavers! 


Getting Your Home Ready For Breastfeeding- Guest Post by Katie Marischen

Frank was born a few weeks early and our doctors say it was the main cause of our breastfeeding challenges for the first week. After we brought him home I hired a lactation consultant to come to the house to address some of our issues. When babies are early they can be sleepier than usual making it difficult to nurse, but I also struggled with positioning and was always unsure of the latch. Our lactation consultant was an angel in disguise for us and aside from getting our nursing game strong she also taught us a lot for next time. One of the services she offered was a home visit before the baby arrives to help prepare and avoid any unnecessary challenges once the baby came.

I wished I had heard of this before and I strongly recommend that you find a local lactation consultant to do this if breastfeeding is as important to you as it was to us.

You can find lactation consultants through your local La Leche League or the International Lacatation Consultant Association. I found ours through another mom so be sure to ask around as well since personal recommendations are always the best.

Breastfeeding can sometimes be difficult and I am so thankful that I had someone to help me navigate those moments. Here are just a few things she taught me and some things that I figured out on my own to help you prepare. Keep in mind that the pumping items aren’t included here, but if you need your pump and supplies nearby be sure to set them up before the baby comes. 

1.   Nursing Stations

Designate where you will be most comfortable nursing when you come home. For me it was our living room and our bedroom. We didn’t really use the nursery until he was about 6 weeks old, but everyone’s sleeping situation is different! In those spots, you will want to set up everything you will need to last you through cluster feeding and late nights. I would grab a great basket or caddy. My favorite is the Felt Diaper Caddy from The Good Baby because it is large enough for everything, moves easily and isn’t an eye sore.

Here’s what you will want to pack up!

For Mom
o   Nipple Cream (LOVE the Motherlove Nipple Cream- the best there is)
o   Nursing Pads
o   Water Bottle
o   Snacks- Energy bars, individually wrapped prunes (sorry, but you’ll thank me), jerky, dried fruit
o   Phone Charger with Extra Long Cord 
o   Chapstick (My lips were so chapped postpartum)
o   Hand Sanitizer/ Lotion

For Baby
o   Diapers & Wipes
o   Burp Clothes
o   Pacifier

2.   Nursing Pillows

There are lots of nursing pillows on the market. The most popular option is the Original Boppy Nursing Pillow, but those first weeks may require more support than it can offer. Keep extra pillows in the areas where you plan to nurse like the living room and bedroom so you can prop the baby up as needed. My biggest mistake was adjusting myself to get to the baby instead of adjusting the baby to me! It will save your back, trust me.

There are also some newer and highly rated nursing pillows that you might want to consider avoiding having to use so many pillows!

Boppy 2-Sided Breastfeeding Pillow $45, My Brest Friend $35, Infantino Adjustable Nursing Pillow $40

3.   Nursing Apps

I’ll be honest, I am old school when it comes to baby tracking and tried using a notebook, but could never remember to take it with me so I quickly switched to using an app on my phone. You can track nursing time and which side as well as diapers and sleep. I loved looking at the charts every day, even the ones that showed the plentiful awake time at night! Ha! I surveyed all the moms I know for their favorite tracking apps.

o   BabyTracker
o   Baby Nursing
o   Glow Baby
o   Sprout Baby

4.   For When It Hurts!  

This is the best place to consult your doctor or lactation consultant, but there are a few products you might want to have on hand during those early and sometimes painful nursing sessions.

o   Nursing Shields
o   Nipple Cream
o   Ice/Hot Packs

5.   Nursing Wardrobe

Nursing bras and tanks will become a staple of your daily outfit. I would collect enough so you don’t have to do laundry every other day and can replace whenever they get too dirty with milk and spit up. My favorite nursing bras from Cake Maternity are high quality and beyond comfortable. Ingrid and Isabel makes a killer nursing tank that made everything feel smoother (thank goodness!).

Obviously, breastfeeding is not this simple and a quick blog post will not ensure your success, but with all the stress of a new baby it can be very helpful to get a step ahead!

Thanks for letting me stop by
and share with you!
Xo, Katie
Bloom&Bundle
 

 


 


The Body Trap

After having my second baby, I remember being a little obsessed (okay, a lot obsessed) with getting back to my pre-baby weight. With all 3 of my pregnancies I gained not 20, 30 or even 40. Yep, I gained 50 pounds!! The sad part is that all my girls delivered on time and as small as a pea. After gaining that much weight, I just wanted to be like all the other Moms on Instagram I saw who had lost their weight within 6 months and had a six pack.

I remember waking up early to exercise and eating really good. And if you know me, you would know that I hate exercise. In fact I used to tell people that I had exercise induced asthma (Google it people… its real). Exercise (really cardio) does not help me work off steam or make me feel better about myself, its just annoying to me. But, I know that if I want to stay healthy and have enough energy to keep up with my kids, I have to start making my health a priority now. I don’t have to be in the best shape of my life or always eat salads and go on a juice cleanse.I'm not saying that stuff is wrong or right, but we are all different and our bodies require different things. We can't compare our health to another persons. 

“I was now getting into shape and making healthy eating habits for the RIGHT reasons, my family! Not to show everyone else that I could loose weight fast. ”

I finally got to a point where I just stopped stressing and let it go. I took the pressure off myself to be this perfect in shape Mom of two and enjoyed actually BEING a Mom of two which was way more important. Once I let go of all that stress, the road to getting healthy became a lot easier (not PRE-BABY healthy… but TRULY healthy). I was now getting into shape and making healthy eating habits for the RIGHT reasons, my family! Not to show everyone else that I could loose weight fast. 

There’s no one size fits all, every woman is different, but lets set a good example for the other Moms out there!

I'm not writing this to tell you that if you're not working to be healthy then something is wrong with you. In fact, I want to tell you the exact opposite. I want you to know that as long as you have the right motives and don’t put unrealistic goals on yourself, it’ll be easier than you think. There’s no one size fits all, every woman is different, but lets set a good example for the other Moms out there! 


How to get your kids moving this Summer

Summer is fast approaching and every Mom out there is frantically searching Facebook chats and online brochures to find the best camps to put their kids in for the summer, because let's face it... we don't want to go insane this summer while the kids are home for hours and hours. I myself and expecting a baby the same week my oldest daughter has her last week of school (talk about timing) so I am on the hunt for activities (or babysitters) who are more than willing to entertain my energetic five year old. 

I know a lot of parents find camps and activities very easily in the summer, but what about those weeks or days the kids are home and terrorizing our house? What do you do then when you can't be rescued? Here are just a few things I've found that really help in those moments when I need to get my kid doing something (for both our sanity)!

1. Pre-plan

I know this is easier said than done sometimes especially when you have really little ones running around your house. But honestly if you can begin thinking of activities now before those moments of boredom hit then you will thank yourself (or thank me)! One year I went to the dollar store and bought bins and crafts and bubbles and pretty much anything that could possibly entertain my oldest. I put different activities in each box so she could choose what she wanted to do that day. It really helped to keep her engaged and doing something rather than sitting on her iPad. 

2. Find out what other kids are doing

During the summer it can be hard to coordinate play dates with friends because most people travel or kids are in camps. Find out before hand what your kids friends are doing and even plan to have both your kids do the same camp or activity. We have friends that always put their kids in camps during the summer so I went through my calendar and actually made notes of when her kids would be available to play. 

3. Set goals during the week for outings and play time outside

I like to at least get my kids outside and playing at a park two times a week if not more. Sometimes the best days are the ones where you don't have anything planned and can just spend a few hours at the park making new friends. It gives kids a great opportunity to socialize as well as yourself. During the summer it can either tend to be really busy or not busy enough. I think having days where maybe you don't have something scheduled can sometimes end up being one of the best days. It allows you to be fluid and just take a nice relaxing day.

I think the biggest thing that will help is to have a plan of action before summer comes. If you don't have a clue, then chances are it will be a pretty boring summer for you and your kids. Start researching and seeing what kind of events are taking place in your area and put those in your calendar. Even if you never attend all the events or activities you plan on attending at least you know that there are options of things you can do outside of the house.