It just dawned on me. I have officially been pregnant or breastfeeding for the past 5 years straight, with only a 1 month break around January 2015. Like, whoa. The twins are nearly 18 months old now and I've been weaning them gradually. We're at the point where we may have already had our last nursing session - it's kind of hard to ever know when it's really your last, and we may have already had it.
It's totally bitter sweet, since these are my last babies, knock on wood, and as the last drop of milk flows from my body to theirs, my days as a Baby Growing Factory will officially be over. I simultaneously want to shout from the rooftops and celebrate with a couple bottles of champagne, while sobbing uncontrollably.
The truth is, as hard and overwhelming as it can be at times, it's been equally awesome. I loved being pregnant. Even at 39 weeks with twins, being the size of a house with debilitating hip pain, it is the most amazing experience you can ever imagine - creating and growing life in your body. Every hiccup and stretch, even every kick to your bladder, it's simply breathtaking (in the good and bad way!!). Likewise, birth, though excruciating and disgustingly mortifying (yes, please, let's have a dozen strangers watch babies eject from my vagina, thank you, this is such fun!!!), is incredibly beautiful and life changing. It's truly an experience I wish everyone (who wants it) could have, and leaves my heart weeping for friends who are not able to.
And breastfeeding, ohhhhhh breastfeeding. "Breast is best" and all that. Well, there is a lot of pressure put on women to do this, and I want to say it's not for every woman - either because she can't or it just doesn't work well for her or her baby, and there is nothing wrong with that. FED IS BEST!!! With that said, breastfeeding was an incredible journey for me, with both my son and my girls, and I feel blessed that it worked out for us. It certainly had its highs and lows, though. The painfully cracked nipples and anxiety over whether or not they were getting enough in those early days. The soaked nursing pads and fear of having to nurse in public! But then, suddenly, it all became so easy and beautiful. Having the ability to calm a crying baby isntantly, nourishing them, bonding with them in a way no other person on this earth could. Not having to worry about packing enough formula or cleaning bottles. Over a cumulative 3.5 years of breastfeeding, I have nursed my babies pretty much anywhere imaginable - in a bar, on planes and subways, at the pool... I could write a breastfeeding version of Green Eggs and Ham!
But, here I sit, with 1800 wonderful, crazy, painful, beautiful days of pregnancy and breastfeeding behind me. They made up such a huge part of who I was and who I am as a mother. As I get further away from these days of my life, they will likely become fuzzy distant memories, so, I want to pay tribute and immortalize them with some photos of my journey below, and then, when I'm ready, it's about time to organize some sort of booze-filled getaway weekend with my girl friends. BECAUSE I FINALLY CAN!!! Talk about a silver lining :)
Collage of my first pregnancy, my son, who made me a mother! From the first sonogram to our first time breastfeeding in public!
Collage of my second pregnancy, my twin girls, who made our family complete :)
And of course I have to include in this tribute the best pregnancy keepsake ever: the stop motion of my twins featuring their adorable big brother!!
Did you do anything to commemorate being done with pregnancy and/or breastfeeding? Is it something you look forward to or dread?? Share in a comment below!!
Let's face it, when your sweet tooth craves sweets, it's pretty hard to resist. But why should you have to resist completely? Wouldn't it be nice if there were some treats that were not only delicious, but also nutritious? Well, you're in luck - I'm thrilled to be working with a brand featuring products that are just that. I'm pleased to introduce you to #MotherNurture!!
Mother Nurture products are marketed toward pregnant and breastfeeding moms, but I'll let you in on a little secret, you don't have to be pregnant or breastfeeding to find these tasty and packed with a little boost of nutrition! So, if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth with a bit less guilt, read on!!
I've tried several kinds of vitamin chews, and while they're not bad, they're certainly not mistaken for regular chocolate or candy. But Mother Nurture all natural Chocolate Truffles (in milk chocolate or dark chocolate with raspberry) are a whole other ball game. They are rich, creamy, melt in your mouth, scrumptious, OMG kinda chocolate. NO WAY I would in a million years imagine they were fortified, but they are!!! One truffle (but really, who eats just one??) contains 50mg of calcium, 40mcg of folic acid, 20mg of DHA, .75mcg of Vitamin D, 1 gram of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 70 calories. So, no, you shouldn't down an entire box, and they're not a replacement for a well-balanced diet and prenatal vitamins, but there's no need for an ounce of guilt for having one (or 3??) a day.
When you're pregnant or breastfeeding, you have to stay really hydrated. But drinking water all day and all night can be a bit tedious. Sometimes, you just need to taste something!! This is where Mother Nurture Enhanced Waters come in. They are sweet, delish, and packed with a nutritious punch to boot! Coming in 3 yummy flavors (Tropical Splash, Mixed Berry, and Pink Grapefruit), each 16.9 ounce bottle of triple filtered water contains 100mg of calcium, 50mg of choline, 75mcg of folic acid, .25mcg of Vitamin B12, 90 calories. There are a whopping 23 grams of sugar, however they use pure cane sugar, so none of those scary artificial sweeteners that you should avoid, especially when pregnant!
So, go on, go get you some! Did I mention they are non-GMO, Gluten-free, & Kosher with BPA-free packaging! And don't forget to follow Mother Nurture on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
We are very excited to bring you another awesome giveaway and help announce the 2016 Fall Green Scene Mom Award Winners, hosted by Mommy Scene and celebrating Eco-friendly product design and creative innovation. Award winning products include natural body products, universal baby gear, essentials for moms, and items for solving problems and making family life with kids easier. Enter to win a fabulous collection of prizes! Open to US entries and ends 11/20/16.
Yoro Naturals Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream (2x 2 oz. jars)
You'll love this natural, creamy balm by YoRo Naturals. It’s incredibly soothing and healing for eczema, diaper rash, chapped skin, bug bites, cuts and scrapes. Use it anywhere your skin ails you. Gentle and safe for little ones. Soothing and effective for adults too. Full Award Details »
Back Buddy All-In-One Support Pillow
Back Buddy is an award-winning maternity and feeding support pillow, designed by a Chiropractor and a nursing mother. It alleviates common back pain, provides comfort and support for holding or feeding baby, and encourages proper position for breastfeeding. Made in the USA from high-quality structural foam that is certified to be made without harmful flame retardants, phthalates, CFC's, mercury, lead and other heavy metals. Full Award Details »
Bebe Bamboo zZippy Sleepsuit (Pear)
Bebe Bamboo specially designed zZippy sleepsuit makes change time quick and easy. The 2 way zipper unzips from the bottom for quicker changing without having to expose the chest, and top to bottom to undress your baby as usual. Extremely soft, delicate and smooth, and promotes comfortable and restful sleep. Full Award Details »
Andy Pandy Diapers 2 packs of bamboo diapers
These eco-friendly bamboo diapers are made from the highest quality premium materials. Naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial, making them ideal for babies with sensitive skin. Made from biodegradable bamboo, these diapers are extremely soft and silky to the touch, yet strong and absorbent. Moisture wicking and thermal regulating capabilities keep your baby's skin dry and comfortable in hot or cold temperatures. Natural aloe liner nourishs your baby's skin and a wetness indicator lets you know when baby needs to be changed. Does not contain chlorine, alcohol, peservatives, phthalates, latex, PVC, TBT, or antioxidants. Full Award Details »
Revelae Kids Cozy Sleeper and Blanket Pouch
Revelae Kids Cozy Baby Sleepers create a secure sleeping environment that helps babies sleep through the night, thanks to the fully enclosed baby sleep sack design that resembles the womb and keeps hands and feet tucked inside. One-of-a-kind Cozy Blanket Pouches keep baby cozy from the waist down and are hard to kick off, secured by a soft elastic waistband. The fuzzy polyester material is comforting and can't be pulled up near the face, providing a cozy and safe sleep space. Full Award Details »
Baby Care by e-cloth chemical-free cleaning
(Stroller & Car Seat Cloth, Toy & Nursery Cloth, Table & High Chair Cloth)
Baby Care by e-cloth products clean with just water, 100% eliminating the risk of chemical sensitivities, allergic reactions, rashes and asthma attacks associated with the use of chemical additives, fragrances and dyes. Baby Care by e-cloth is the safe cleaning choice for thoughtful moms who want to protect their babies and kids by eliminating exposure to toxic chemicals without sacrificing performance. Full Award Details »
Crane Cube Cool Mist Humidifier
Here at Crane, we put "Design for Better Living" into everything that we do. We started with a few designs in 2005 and continue to grow each year working towards solving your indoor needs. Crane products are designed with efficiency, function and style in mind. We love to be creative with colors, designs and we know our products will bring comfort and smiles to your home! Full Award Details »
(Egyptian Calendula & Aloe Baby Body Wash & Shampoo, Egyptian Calendula Calming Baby Bath, Body & Massage Oil, Egyptian Calendula & Comfrey Healing Baby Balm)
Active Essentials is a luxury organic skincare company offering safe products for babies, kids and adults that are made using ONLY fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers. Active Essentials products are free of any harsh chemicals and chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrances, GMOs, parabens, sulfates or phthalates and are cruelty-free, gluten-free, color-safe, vegan, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and naturally non-toxic. Full Award Details »
Fresh Wave Works Laundry Booster
Loads of happiness is within reach. Fresh Wave Laundry Booster removes odors using natural ingredients. No harsh chemicals. No harmful ingredients. Give your laundry detergent a boost and remove difficult, set-in odors. Add 2 to 4 capfuls during the wash or rinse cycle. To remove washer odors, wet a soft cloth with Laundry Booster. Wipe the rubber gasket, the door and any other visible seals. Full Award Details »
Buttons Diapers Muslin Burp Cloth Bibs
Buttons Diapers 100% cotton muslin burp cloths and bibs are the perfect baby essential. They work as a contoured over-the-shoulder burp cloth for baby, an large coverage bib during meals, and a handy cloth to wipe up messes. These cute muslin bibs are soft, breathable, absorbent, and made from natural material that gets even softer & fluffier each time you wash it. The burp cloth easily converts to a bib by using the sewn-in snap. Full Award Details »
Better Life New Baby Essentials Kit
(All-Purpose Cleaner (32oz), Nursery Cleaner, Lavender & Chamomile (16oz), Dish Soap (22oz), Hand and Body Soap (12oz), Hand and Body Lotion (12oz), Six-Compartment Cleaning Caddy, (2) General Purpose Microfiber Cloths - green)
Safe for bottles, binkies, bibs and even your baby's bum. Better Life was born by two dads who set out to create a line of plant-derived, non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaners that would be the perfect marriage of safety and performance. The result is a line of cleaners that work better and are safe enough for everything in your home and sink. Even baby. The Better Life New Baby Essentials Kit has everything you need to prep for baby and makes clean up a snap after your bundle of joy arrives! Full Award Details »
Pacific Baby Natural Bamboo Feeding Apple Plate (cream)
Made from natural bamboo, this modern apple plate is completely plastic-free. Strong, durable and safe, Pacific Baby bamboo feeding products are machine washable, top rack. Full Award Details »
This giveaway is coordinated by Mommy Scene, sponsored by the participating brands, and is open to US entries ages 18 and older. No purchase required to enter. One winner will be randomly chosen and contacted through e-mail, and their name displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on Nov. 20, 2016. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand. Have fun and good luck!
Enter to Win Now!!
Eating right is a challenge for many women, even more so when you're eating for two (or more)! There's never been a time in my life I was more aware and concerned about my nutrition than during my two pregnancies (especially the twin one!). Eating the best you can is important but not always easy what with morning sickness and terrible cravings/aversions), which is why prenatals and other nutritional supplements are so important! I'm excited to be working with a brand that has in mind the health and well-being of moms-to-be and breastfeeding moms!
Premama is the first nationwide line of natural powdered nutritional supplement drink mixes for women from preconception through breastfeeding. They allow women to skip that dreaded horse-pill sized prenatal vitamin, instead downing a delicious drink! They've got supplements to support fertility or lactation, a complete prenatal vitamin, prenatal vitamin with DHA, and now, they've just released, drum roll please...
Premama "Digestive Aid", a prenatal fiber and probiotic chew
Soft and absolutely scrumptious, each vanilla-caramel flavored digestive aid chew contains 2 grams of fiber, 1 billion CFU's of probiotics, 20 calories, 1 gram of sugar, and 4 carbs. Mamas are directed to consume 1-4 chews a day for optimal benefit, and after you taste one you just might find yourself having to resist the urge to down more than that. But remember, they're not candy (though they taste like it) - they are nutritional supplements and you don't want to overdo it!
But what are probiotics?
New to the whole probiotic ballgame? Basically, probiotics are "good" bacteria that balance the health of your gut, which is responsible for up to 70% of your body's immune system response! Your body starts building its good bacteria colonies from infancy - while traveling through mama's birth canal and then from the nipple while breastfeeding. However, taking antibiotics or having certain illnesses or disorders can wreak havoc on these healthy bacteria and so probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods (like yogurt, kimchee, sauerkraut, etc) are getting hyped up these days for good reason!
Each of Premama's Digestive Aid chews contains 1 billion CFU's of Bacillus coagulans, which according to Wikipedia is thought to improve vaginal flora, improve pain and bloating in IBS patients, and increase immune response to viral challenges.
Where to buy Premama Digestive Chews:
Promoting both healthy digestion and immune system, Premama's Digestive Aid is already available online ($15.99 for a box of 28 on Amazon) and will be in stores at the end of July (you can search for a store near you here)!
What do you think? Do you take vitamins or probiotics regularly - for general health or specific issues?
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge through MomSelect, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
In need of some beautiful clothing that will work throughout your pregnancy and beyond, and that is breastfeeding-friendly but not obviously so? If yes, I'm thrilled to introduce you to Loyal Hana!!
The most unique and fabulous thing about Loyal Hana is how discreet they make their breastfeeding slits. Rather than simple nursing tanks with clips similar to nursing bras, Loyal Hana tops have breastfeeding slits that zip. That's right - zip! And when they're zipped up, you cannot tell they're there at all (see the pic below on the right - that is the top and bottom of the zipper - you can't see it!!). Really really cool. This means no one will possibly know you're wearing a nursing top, and you can keep it in your wardrobe even after you finish breastfeeding / pumping! SCORE!!
All of their pieces are wonderfully flowy - so they will fit you through all 4 trimesters of your pregnancy. Yes I said 4, that includes the "4th trimester" - the one where you are no longer pregnant but still have quite a bump that you wish to disguise. Let the dresses and tops flow or add a belt to accentuate your baby bump or postpartum waist.
I tested out the Amanda Black White Chevron v-neck tank ($90) and the Anya arrowhead print dress ($105). Both are a silk-like 100% polyester, light-weight and comfy. I found the quality to be top-notch and felt so super stylish (especially compared to my normal wardrobe of basic nursing tank and jeans), yet still able to quickly and discreetly whip out a boob to feed one (or both) of my babies. They are on the pricier side but their ability to work with you throughout pregnancy, breastfeeding, and beyond (so for years really) makes them quite a good bang for your buck in my opinion!!
You can check out all of Loyal Hana's chic, stylish, and comfortable maternity and nursing garments on their website here.
Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
Being a new mom or dad is tough. The anxiety and paranoia starts during pregnancy and simply doesn't end until the kids have grown up and left the house (maybe not even then!). You worry about all the things you don't know, if what you think you know is actually wrong, if you're wrecking your child, why everyone is silently (or not so silently) judging you, etc etc etc. Well, knowledge is power, so read up and ask friends and family. Find out as much as you can, use what works for your family, and fake it til you make it. That's right, you may think all your parent friends know what they're doing but it's all a guessing game and we're all just doing the best we can with what we have!
What do we have, what do we want, and what do we need? Sometimes it's hard to know the difference. There are TONS of products out there catering toward the paranoia of new parents. Most of them are absolutely unnecessary. That said, many can be quite helpful, put your mind at ease, and some may even save lives. So, without further ado, here are some interesting products that came about to solve the most common and peskiest of parenting paranoias. You may have never heard of these, but if budget allows you may want to take them into consideration for a splurge or to put on that good ol' baby registry! Here we go!
CONCERN #1: SIDS / Suffocation. "My baby has started rolling onto his belly! Will he suffocate?! Should I roll him onto his back every time?? I'm up all night doing this and am exhausted!!!"
Solution: A breathable mattress.
There are a few breathable sleep surfaces to choose from that will lower the risk of SIDS and suffocation when baby sleeps on belly, and also leave baby less sweaty. On a regular surface, the concern is that carbon dioxide gets trapped and rebreathed by baby. A breathable surface allows the carbon dioxide to flow freely away and provides baby a fresher breathing space.
Lullaby Earth Breeze Cover is waterproof and washable, with 3D spacer fabric that increases air circulation and enables air to flow between the baby and the mattress. It fits on most mattresses, and comes with the Lullaby Earth Breeze mattress which is a great non-toxic option since no fire retardant chemicals are added to it (but it still meets fire resistant standards). Check out my full review of this mattress and cover, which we're using for both of our twin girls (who have been rolling to belly since quite early on). ($99 for cover, $279 for mattress)
Newton is a revolutionary mattress - the entire mattress is breathable and washable. My concern with this one is that it's not waterproof, and if you add a waterproof topper than it's no longer breathable. But, a Newton rep told me the cover is water-resistant and most blowouts or spit-up don't permeate the cover, so laundering the cover only is usually sufficient (they recommend having a 2nd cover as a backup). If a nighttime mess gets through to the mattress, most parents choose to rinse off that side, and flip the mattress over til they can clean it better in the morning. ($350 on Amazon)
Secure Beginnings also makes a breathable sleeping surface for babies, but it is the priciest. You have to get the breathable mattress as well as the base. While it looks quite different from a traditional mattress, it should fit in most cribs. ($490 on Amazon)
CONCERN #2: Milk production. "I'm exclusively breastfeeding and worried if my newborn is getting enough milk. How do I know!??
Solution: Baby scale.
Having an excellent pediatrician and lactation consultant (LC) at your side is key to a healthy baby and successful breastfeeding. If baby is making enough wet diapers and weighing in appropriately at each checkup, you know you are producing enough milk. But some mamas would like a bit more reassurance in between those checkups and the solution is pretty simple. Find a very sensitive baby scale and weigh the baby before and after each feeding to find out how many ounces they consumed!!
Discuss with your pediatrician how many ounces the baby should be getting per 24 hours, and how many ounces in how many total feedings. If for some reason baby isn't getting enough, discuss with your doc and LC a game plan. It may be an issue of tongue tie or incorrect latch, or needing to increase supply through diet, hydration, and pumping.
If you go the route of the baby scale, make sure it's sensitive at least to the half ounce, and don't let yourself get obsessed with it! Perhaps you need to use it at each feeding for a day or two, and then here and there after that. There's no need to go overboard and let yourself go crazy over it!
Traditional digital baby scales run around $50 and are good through about 60 pounds. And interesting (pricier) option is the Hatch Baby Smart Pad - a "smart" changing table and scale in one that connect to your phone via wifi and keeps track of weight, feedings, and diaper changes! ($249 on Amazon)
CONCERN #3: Flat head. "I'm worried about my baby developing a flat head from the swing or Rock 'n Play or simply laying down all the time."
SOLUTION: Special pillow or hat.
Some babies may be more prone to developing flat or misshapen heads, it's part nature and part nurture. Most heads that develop mild flat spots will round back out naturally as soon as baby starts sitting and getting more time off of their head, but there are things you can do to help prevent flat spots in the first place. First of all, make sure baby isn't always lying with head facing the same direction. This could happen if you are laying baby down in the same spot in the same direction all the time (baby might naturally turn head toward you), or if baby has torticollis ("twisted neck" - discuss with your pediatrician). There are also a couple of products that might help:
The Tortle is a repositioning beanie baby wears that helps you control which way they lay their head thanks to a tiny pillow on the back that you can move from one side to the other. ($24.99 on Amazon)
The Boppy Noggin Nest is donut type pillow meant to be used in devices notorious for encouraging flat spot development, such as the swing, Rock 'n Play, or stroller. The idea is that it relieves pressure on the back of the head. ($14 on Amazon)
CONCERN #4: Crib rails. "My baby keeps bumping his head and getting his legs stuck in the crib rails!"
SOLUTION: Crib bumpers and liners.
A traditional padded crib bumper is not recommended for two reason. 1) It poses a suffocation risk. 2) It can be used as an aid in climbing out of the crib. However, there are a couple of products that can help without these risks.
A mesh crib liner will prevent limbs from escaping through the rails, and also will keep those pacifiers from being dropped! A win-win! It's breathable and collapsable, so cannot be used for climbing. ($24.99 on Amazon)
Wonder Bumpers are padded but instead of being one long piece around the entire crib, they go on each individual rail, leaving space to breathe between the rails. They will keep baby from bumping their head on the rails, and may help keep limbs inside.
Have you tried any of these products? Have any others that gave you peace of mind as a new parent? Share in a comment below!
This was my fourth time attending the New York Baby Show, which carries a lot of sentiment for me - 2013 was my first visit and was the show that started my wonderful relationship with the app and digital parenting magazine, Mommy Nearest! Every year you see a lot of similar faces and brands with oldie but goodie products as well as newly launched ones, in addition to a ton of brand new up and coming businesses, ones just launching in the US from abroad, and the underdog small mom and pop shops.
This year we started at the Momtrends Blogger Lounge (where we dropped my son off at The Nanny League's play center), fueled up (lunch for us and milk for my girls), and then took off to the expo floor! Here are some of the products that really stood out as the latest and greatest this year - I think you'll agree! Prepare for your mind to be blown!!
GB Pockit Compact Stroller (#1 Pick)
If you read my highlights post from last year's NY Baby Show you might remember I featured GB's Qbit stroller, which was the first stroller I'd seen to fold down super small (13” by 21” and under 15 pounds). Since then, a few strollers have come into the game, but GB is once again at the front of the race with their latest, the Pockit. It has the smallest fold on the market (actually holding the 2014 Guinness World Record for most compact stroller), weighing 9.5 pounds and folding quickly down to 11.8" x 7" x 13.8" to be exact. It's small but strong, holding a child up to 55 pounds with a basket holding up to 11 pounds. It doesn't recline and has a minimalist canopy, but this thing is bad assssss!
Cheeky Chompers (#2 Pick)
I am a big fan of bandana bibs, and the fact that these also have a silicone teether on the bottom. Ummm... YES!! LOVE IT!!! I am all about teethers than can't be dropped or thrown from a stroller, especially when they're as cute as these!
Nourish Nursing and Beyond (#3 Pick)
I have over 2.5 years (and counting) of breastfeeding under my belt and am a bit jaded with my closet. To be breastfeeding-friendly, dresses have to be v-neck or wrap style, which usually exposes more cleavage than I'm comfortable with. Nursing tanks generally have a smaller shelf than will fit my twin-feeding milk monsters, so again, major cleavage. MAJOR. Also, they tend to be maternity / nursing tops so they are baggy and ill fitting once you are no longer pregnant. So, when I came across Nourish, it was like HALLELUJAH. They have nursing-friendly tops and dresses that don't look like nursing wear. They have discreet panels which pull aside or unbutton to allow for breastfeeding, but seriously, no one would suspect it was a nursing top! So, you could wear these items well beyond weaning. Seriously fashionable, and practical. LOVE!!
First of all, look at those amazingly adorable bento style stainless steal plates. They even have lids so they can be packed for school lunch (something on my mind currently since my toddler will be off to Pre-K in the fall!!). I'm also loving their various sizes of storage containers - freezer trays with half ounce or 3 ounce cubes, stackable and twistable containers, not to mention their cute baby teethers! Innobaby has tons of good stuff, you can see more on their website!
We don't have a car, but if we did, this might be on my shopping list. Basically it's a system that hooks up to your car seat and connects to your phone. It tells you things like the temperature in the back seat (the dad behind the app showed me an example of the outside temperature being 85 degrees but the inside temperature reading 115 degrees before the AC kicked in - WOW!!). It will send you an alert if your little stinker unbuckles himself. And if your little one is still in the car after x-amount of time passes without the car moving, you'll receive an alert. If you don't respond within x-amount of time, it'll automatically notify your list of emergency contacts.
We've all tried a million and one of same-same-but-different snack cups. All "spill-proof" but really, our toddlers somehow still manage to spill... But the Munchie Mug has a very unique top that really sets it apart. It's actually made of food grade polypropylene/spandex blend fabric, and you can see from my photos above it is completely closed when your fingers aren't reaching through. It's all dishwasher safe, to boot! Pretty cool!!
Not that I have the time for baby books, but I love the idea of making them for each of our kids. So Savor really caught my idea - not only are their keepsake boxes and storage systems beautiful and a great way to stay organized, they can handle actual 3D objects. Their Baby Edition Keepsake Box has 9 drawers to hold things like baby teeth, lock of hair, baby shoes, etc. It also holds 8 vertical files, personalizing initials, and a birthday survey to document yearly highlights.
We want what's best for our babies, and baby food is no different, whether we make our own or buy jars and pouches. But is it possible we are being misled by the big brands out there? It is suggested that the way most food (baby and adult) is processed through heat, a good amount of the original nutrition is lost, and then added back in with with things that may or may not be absorbed as well by our bodies. A relatively new process out there called HPP processes food by pressure instead of heat, thus maintaining the original nutrition. Once Upon A Farm is a new baby food company using this HPP technology. You can find them in the refrigerated section, because they do not contain the preservatives that allow other baby foods to be shelf stable for months or years. They also have really gourmet blends, packed with nutrition and helping your baby to develop their palate.
There are a few reasons these toys made my list. 1, it's a huge Japanese company just launching here in the States. In fact, it's the same company behind the uber popular Magna-tiles (LOVE them!!) 2, their Mochi by People line of baby toys (pictured on left) are made of rice, how cool! 3, their "Brain Builder" toys (pictured on right) feature different toys specifically designed for each month of a baby's development. From textures and sounds to twists and whistles, they'll keep your baby interested and learning. 4, They make some really cool magnetic blocks which are perfect for babies and toddlers alike.
Disclaimer: I was provided complimentary access to this event and a "swag bag" but all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased - hey, I'm no sell out!
In celebration of our twins' half birthday, I'd like to present you with the products I deem must-haves for baby twins - the things we simply couldn't have survived without! I'll also throw in a few which may not be *essential* but are fun to add to your baby registry or splurge on if you have the budget! Ready, set, GO!!!
Twins Prep Book & Classes
"What To Do When You're Having Two" will educate you on how to eat for three and get through your pregnancy, what to expect at the birth, how to tandem breastfeed or bottle feed, create schedules, interview pediatricians and nannies, you name it!! While you're at it, check out author Natalie Diaz' awesome website, Twiniversity, and in-person and on-line twins prep classes!
Tandem Nursing / Feeding Pillow
There are 2 awesome pillows out there for tandem feeding twins. Mothers tend to be divided over preferring one over the other, so I really can't say definitively that one is better. Personally, I preferred the My Brest Friend Twins Feeding Pillow but only because I found the height of the pillow higher and better for me. The Twin Z Pillow (see my review here) is the other beloved one, especially if you have a c-section or are bottle feeding. It also doubles as a baby lounger, and has built-in back support for mama.
Newborn Twins Baby Carrier
For newborn twins, some parents are able to figure out how to tandem wear using the Moby or a woven wrap. This mama? Not so much. For me, the WeeGo Twin Carrier was a lifesaver. Seriously. (Check out my "Life With Newborn Twins" video featuring the magic of this carrier!). The WeeGo is good from 3 pounds until they're about 6 months, however I found that once they hit 10 pounds each I couldn't use it anymore. I never got it to fit right and it hung from my shoulders quite painfully... still, when both newborns were screaming and they'd been fed and changed, this was often the only thing I could do to get them both quiet and asleep!!
Tandem Baby Carrier
For older twins, or even a toddler and baby, the TwinGo Carrier is amazing!!! You can wear them as 2 separate carriers (one for mom and one for dad, let's say), or remove one set of shoulder straps and hook them together so you can wear one child on the front and one on the back. They also have great pocket storage allowing you to forgo the diaper bag! Check out my full review here.
Stroller for Twins
Strollers all have various features which may or may not be what you are looking for. Many twin parents will go with a twin snap 'n go followed by a Baby Jogger City Select, or something like that, because they get the job done and are budget-friendly. But my family had some unique requirements. Being city dwellers with a toddler, newborn twins, and no car, I needed a stroller that had infant-compatible reversible seats, and preferred side-by-side over tandem alignment. The ONLY stroller out there that fit the bill was the StrollAir MyDuo. (If you're thinking Bugaboo Donkey works, no... it's not infant compatible - you have to use the bassinet until baby is 6 months or so). Overall, we LOVE LOVE LOVE our StrollAir!!! You can use with 2 seats (good for infant or toddler), 2 car seats (with universal adapters), 2 infant bassinets, or any combination of those! You can get standard never-flat tires or upgrade to the air-filled tires for a smoother ride (what we have). It's really an amazing stroller!! We also purchased the Englacha X-Rider sit/stand toddler board which has been a GREAT add-on (though some of the screws have become stripped - either I had it hooked on wrong or I should have gone with the more universal B-Rider...).
Eventually, unless you plan on one giant "family bed," you will need your twins in their own separate cribs. Some choose to go straight there from day one, others wait a month, six months, a year... It's up to you! You can start them off in co-sleepers, Rock 'N Plays, sharing a crib, or whatever, but one really unique option is the Babyhome So-Ro Twin Cradle (see my full review here). It rocks smoothly and has the babies' heads slightly elevated (good for reflux) and when they grow out of it at around 6 months it flips to the side and becomes a storage shelf (or a fun bartender's nook as some friends advised me!!)
I prefer BB Blocks (wooden numbered blocks) for weekly and monthly photos, but Milesone Cards have a twin-specific set with cards such as "We came home today" and "We smiled at each other for the first time today" which are really fun to use and keep (if you ever find the time to put together baby books for them)! They also include a set for each individual baby because let's face it, they will hit most milestones such as rolling over, sleeping through the night, and crawling at different times.
So there you go, my must-haves for twins! As far as diapers and toys and bathtime and all that, they need pretty much the same products as a regular singleton baby. I took the advice I received at my Twiniversity prep class which was to get one of each and get a 2nd after we're home and decide we NEED another. For example, we started out with two auto-rocking Rock 'n Plays (which they slept in for the first month - we didn't know about that the twin cradle yet!), and decided after a few weeks to go ahead and get a 2nd Baby Bjorn Bouncer and Fisher Price Swing. We still have only got one exersaucer, one play mat, one Bumbo seat, and one activity seat, and I just kind of rotate them through those! We also have one baby bath because I can only bathe one at a time, HA! You will most likely eventually need two cribs, two high chairs, and if you drive, two car seats.
My final piece of advice is to search for your local Mothers of Multiples group. You can save a TON by buying all of these products used and/or selling them used after you're finished with them!! This tip and many others are offered in my article "How to prepare for having twins" - check it out!
Did I miss any great twin-related products? Do you have some I should check out for older twins? Share in a comment below!!
When you grow a human in your belly, things change. Some things are temporary and some are permanent. From stretch marks to hair loss, many women struggle with low self-esteem over their new "mom bod," and this saddens me greatly.
To me, each tiger stripe is a reminder of your most wonderful accomplishment. That remaining "baby bump" brought life and completed your family. So, acknowledge your imperfections, stay fit and eat mindfully, but embrace your mom bod for what it is: beautiful, strong, loving, and amazingly awesome!!
With the help of a few mom friends, I've put together the following video to encourage moms to love themselves and their bodies. I hope you'll help the #MyMomBodIs movement by commenting below and sharing this blog post and video! Thank you!!
Originally posted on Mommy Nearest
Most of us are very aware that what we consume while pregnant will pass through to our baby in the womb—that's why we do our best to eat well-balanced meals, take vitamins and stay healthy. But did you know that what you consume while breastfeeding could be causing problems for your baby (and thus yourself)!? I chatted with food and wellness educator Ebeth Johnson, aka The Breastfeeding Chef, to talk about breastfeeding nutrition and its effects on mother and baby. She experienced first hand how changing your diet while breastfeeding can eliminate things such as colic, cradle cap and eczema.
Not having enough milk is a huge concern for expecting and new moms. Are there certain foods that will help maintain or build the quantity of milk produced?
The best way to increase your supply is to put your baby on your breast as much as possible, pump after feedings, and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water—you’re hydrating yourself and the baby. Beyond that, there are various lactogenic foods that will increase the milk supply of breastfeeding mothers, however they effect each woman to a different extent. Most women can see the impact of lactogenic foods within 4 to 7 days of consistent use, though some will experience changes within 48 hours. Foods that will help your supply include green leafy vegetables (especially kale, collards and mustard greens), oats, barley, carrots, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, figs, sea vegetables, nutritional yeast, fennel, almonds, macadamia, cashew, walnut, ginger, and garlic. Just be careful—using a few lactogenic foods over and over will cause them to lose their effectiveness. Instead, eat a variety of lactogenic foods over time.
On the flip side, are there any foods that could decrease milk production that breastfeeding moms should avoid?
Actually, yes, there are many anti-lactogenic foods that can decrease a breastfeeding mother’s milk supply. Such herbs and foods include peppermint, sage, parsley, rosemary, thyme, coffee, black tea, green tea, chocolate, soft drinks and carbonated beverages, citric acid, vitamin c supplements, tomatoes, paprika, and citrus fruits. Some women may consume a small amount of anti-lactogenic foods and experience major effects while others may eat large quantities and experience no effect at all. My suggestion is that you avoid these foods for the first three to four weeks after birth.
Colic is common, but a pretty horrific thing for new parents to deal with. When you have a colicky baby who screams all evening, you’re often told there is no cause or cure and you just have to wait it out, for months. What’s your take?
My own research revealed that colic may be caused by contractions of immature intestines as they try to digest food or by gas trapped in the intestines. Since it seems the issue resides in the digestive system, this suggests that the maternal diet may have something to do with its cause and can perhaps have the ability to relieve or soothe its painful effects. If you have a baby with colic, the first thing I suggest is to remove all dairy products from your diet—dairy is the number one dietary cause of colic and may take up to 14 days to completely leave your milk and stop causing challenges for your newborn. You might also consider decreasing consumption of or eliminating other common triggers including wheat, refined sugar and flours, gluten, chocolate, peanuts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, garlic, and even too much fruit (especially peaches, plums, grapes, strawberries and pineapple). At the same time, consume caffeine-free teas that contain catnip, dill, fennel, lemon balm and cinnamon (these can help relieve the painful cramping of colic as well as ease digestion for both you and your baby) and consume foods high in magnesium. Colicky babies secrete more magnesium in their urine due to their high level of stress. This magnesium needs to be replaced because magnesium deficiency leads to muscle spasms, like those experienced in the gut of colicky babies. Above all, hold your baby more—colic is linked to emotional upset that can be soothed somewhat by skin to skin contact and nursing on demand.
How about eczema? Is that food-related as well?
It can be. Infants with eczema most often get it as a response to formula or something their mother ate that came through breast milk. The most common food triggers of eczema are dairy, wheat, corn, soy, citrus, wheat, eggs and bananas. You’ll want to consider eliminating those as well as increasing your intake of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and zinc. Some zinc rich power foods are ground raw sesame seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, adzuki beans, raw sunflower seeds, wild rice, edamame, shitake mushrooms, tahini and kale. In the meantime, massage your baby twice-daily with one tablespoon flax seed oil, one capsule of borage (220mg) or primrose oil (500mg).
Let’s talk cradle cap. It doesn’t seem to bother the babies, but it’s pretty tough to see your little one’s scalp covered in this gunk. Do you really think it’s the result of what the baby (and mother) is ingesting?
Yes! Cradle cap is often associated with an intolerance to formula or a food in the maternal diet. One of the most common dietary causes of cradle cap is milk and dairy products, however eggs, wheat, nuts, peanuts, shellfish, soy and corn are also usual suspects. My suggestion is to remove all dairy and eggs from your diet, increase your consumption of magnesium, zinc, biotin and essential fatty acids (hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, and cod liver oil), and treat the cradle cap topically (massage with oil, leave on overnight, and rinse and gently rub with a warm wet washcloth in the morning). If cradle cap persists, try eliminating another possible dietary cause listed above.
What foods should be increased or avoided for reflux?
Add foods that are soothing to the digestive tract, including ginger, aloe vera, melon, fennel, asparagus, green beans, leafy greens, root vegetables, brown rice, pseudo grains, and fresh papaya with the seeds. Make sure you’re getting enough calcium, magnesium, potassium and B12. Avoid trigger foods like chocolate, mint, citrus, raw onion, caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, dairy, and fried and grilled foods.
Have you treated any of your baby’s ailments through an elimination diet? If so, let us know how it went below.
About Me ^_^
I'm just a NYC mom blogger and YouTuber living in Bay Ridge Brooklyn with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1)! Sharing the trials and tribulations of raising bi-lingual bi-racial bi-national babies in the Big Apple! Humor, honesty, family travel, product reviews & giveaways, galore!