Life as a new mom is... up and down and all around crazy town! Am I right? Check out the fun video I made highlighting the highs and lows of life with a newborn! (Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!!)
Life with a newborn is no joke. Life with newborn twins? Well, it's not infinitesimally harder, but it's harder... a LOT harder! I now have two months under my belt and feel I'm ready to pass along some of my tips and tricks to those about to embark on the adventure!
You can go with any infant compatible carrier for when one baby is fussy and needs to be held. Personally I love the Moby and Mei Tai. But when BOTH infants need to be held and you need to be mobile and/or hands free? You have way less options. If you're very skilled (or have the patience to sit through a bunch of YouTube tutorials and practice practice practice) you can try wearing both babies in a Moby or other kind of wrap. I tried, and failed. It was quite humbling. So I stuck with the WeeGo Twin Carrier, the only one made specifically for two infants. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world, or perhaps I'm not wearing it right? All the weight is on my shoulders, but still I wear it at least an hour a day. Sometimes you have two overtired and screaming babies and the only way to get them to both calm down and go to sleep at the same time is babywearing and the WeeGo has been a life-saver for me!!
Don't let them get overtired!
Babies cry for many reasons, many of which we are hard wired to check for. They're hungry (look for hunger cues such as hands at mouth, sticking out tongues, smacking lips, etc), they have a dirty diaper (pinch / sniff the diaper or take a peek), they're too hot (check for sweaty neck), or they're too cold (hands and feet are not a good indicator since newborns have poor circulation - instead stick your hand in and feel their belly or back to make sure it's warm). You may also have a colicky baby or sporadic gas (be sure to burp them several times at feeding, and try laying them on your lap with head face up by your knees and feet toward your belly and then rotate their legs in a bicycle motion - this can help work out the gas).
But in my household, if they're fed and changed and still crying, they are simply overtired. They may not look it. They may not have "sleepy eyes" or be yawning, but they need to sleep... desperately... even more than I do! It's amazing how much time flies and how little awake time newborns can handle. In the first month, they are pretty much only awake for feeding. After that, awake time gradually grows but even at 2 months my little ones cannot handle much more than 1 hour of awake time. If we pass 90 minutes they start flipping out and will not go down without a fight (which is when I resort to the WeeGo carrier mentioned above!).
Stay organized but don't stress over schedules!
I went to twin prep classes by Twiniversity and Twin Love Concierge and they both had some really great charts for keeping track of feedings, diapers, medicine, sleep, etc. Using those as guides I created one that was more tailored to what I needed to keep track of, and I filled it out religiously for the first week. I quickly realized the sleep portion of it was a pain in the butt - newborns doze in and out, it was doing my head in! For me, keeping track of feedings (which baby took which boob and at what time) and how many poo/pee diapers they had was most important. After a month, I was only keeping track of feedings. And now at 2 months I've stopped the charting altogether. That said, I will keep track of feedings, diapers, and sleep for 2 days prior to each check up since the nurse always asks for those numbers and you don't want to feel like a big dummy (which I always do - "Ummmm 5? 10? I have no idea!!!")
Most twin parents say getting babies on a schedule is key, and you can try straight from birth but it may not be worth the stress. My babies had a terrible latch and were not gaining weight the first two weeks so I had to give up tandem nursing for a "laid back" position and on top of that I had to pump to supplement. By one month they were both on track for weight and we were back to exclusively breastfeeding. The doc OK'd me to not wake them at night, but when one baby was up I made sure to get the other one up so they were on the same schedule at night. I kept the room fairly dark at night with the sound machine on, which was their cue that it was nighttime, and they never did get their days and nights confused. We were VERY lucky there! During the day though, I still haven't bothered with getting them on the same schedule. I actually kind of prefer when they are opposite since I can enjoy feeding and bonding with one baby while the other is peacefully sleeping. But we will probably be attempting a schedule soon, the flexible 3-hour "eat-play-sleep" BabyWise schedule worked well for my son from about 8 weeks so we may try that soon.
Just found out you're having twins? Don't miss my post on "How to Prepare for Having TWINS!" and "My Positive Twin Birth Story" to give you some encouragement! And have you seen my "Twin Pregnancy Progression Time Lapse Video"? You may wanna try creating one, too!! And here's a glimpse into our life with newborn twins and a toddler...
Do you have tips for surviving life with newborn twins? Questions? Leave a comment below!!
When our son was born, we didn't think we had the budget for a professional photo shoot and I very much regret not having done one. I've been in love with the Anne Geddes type photography for as long as I can remember and always wanted to have that for my babies. Well, this second time around I searched high and low and couldn't be happier with what we got with Sweet Born Photography!!
Located in Sunset Park Brooklyn, Jennifer of Sweet Born Photography is nothing short of amazing!! She's a mother herself (actually expecting her second child soon!) so she knows how to handle babies... and new mothers! If you want to stay in the studio and watch, she's totally cool with it. Or you can hang out in the next room and watch movies (they have Netflix!), take a nap on the couch, you get the idea! Personally, I went back and forth between the two rooms - I wanted to see the adorableness as she was capturing it on film, but I didn't want to interfere or have the babies smelling me and getting too excited.
Jennifer and her assistant were amazing getting the babies settled down and into the various positions. It must take incredible patience!! The room was kept nice and warm and they had a shushing machine and a sound machine! She also had an incredible assortment of newborn clothes, accessories, backdrops, etc.
I'm not on Instagram or Pinterest often, but every once in a while I come across something that has me going "OH MY GOSH I HAVE TO HAVE THAT!!!!" Most recently it was custom beanies by Atkinson Drive. I mean, come on, look at these!!!
We got the "Danville" beanies for our twins and looooove them!! So super cute and great quality, too! They may not be able to fit into them for long, but I'm planning to frame them or put them in shadow boxes with a couple other newborn items.
Atkinson Drive also makes other cute personalized baby accessories such as swaddling blankets, pants, bows, skirts, and more. You might want to consider adding them to your baby registry :)
We love our babies, and we certainly love protecting them from the harsh chemicals and ingredients so often found in food, drinks, and personal care products, am I right?? So I'm happy to introduce you to the brand Baby Mantra, providing an earth-friendly range of extremely gentle personal care products for children (newborn to 8 years old). Made in the USA with all-natural skincare ingredients, Baby Mantra products have been certified by the Natural Products Association (NPA), are gluten-free, allergy-tested, dye-free, and cruelty-free. Hooray!
Here's the set of 6 Baby Mantra natural baby skincare products that I received, and so too shall the winner of our giveaway!!!
1. 3-in-1 Bubble Bath, Shampoo & Wash (with lavender oil & aloe)
2. Detangling Conditioner (natural baby conditioner with coconut & lavender oil)
3. Newborn Shampoo & Wash (natural baby shampoo with coconut & olive oil)
4. Calming Lotion (with shea butter & lavender oil)
5. Diaper Rash Ointment (with jojoba & sunflower seed oil; 10% zinc oxide)
6. Calming Massage Oil (natural baby oil with apricot & avocado oil)
The first one I tried out was the calming lotion. It was nice and thin, not pasty or oily, and smelled lovely - very natural, not overly sweet or fake. The scent is actually so neutral, I think even my husband would use it. The bottle says that the formula not only moisturizes but also helps heal and protect baby's skin, and is also good for children and adults with sensitive skin.
Next up I tried the calming massage oil. I never did baby massage though it intrigued me and I always wanted to take a class on it. For now, I rubbed it onto my big belly which can always use some extra help! Let me just say, this stuff smells AMAZING!!! I guess it's the apricot, it's really really nice. The bottle mentions you can also use it on hair and scalp, and while rubbing oil on your scalp seems like a terrible idea I have two words for you: cradle cap. I bet this stuff would be great for that!
My toddler is out of diapers and we still have a few months before the twins are due, so while I couldn't give it a proper trial I can attest to the Diaper Rash Ointment being nice and thick and seeming like it would do a good job at creating a barrier and protecting your little one's bum. It features 10% zinc oxide (a key ingredient for both good diaper creams and sunblocks), as well as almond oil, rosemary leaf, and jojoba. I'm not gonna lie, it doesn't smell nice (though it doesn't smell bad either). It smells like just about any diaper cream. But we don't use diaper creams for the lovely smell, do we?
OK, so Baby Mantra is kicking it in my book. Natural products that work and you can feel comfortable using on your baby (or yourself)! You can purchase their products in a number of retail shops (check their store locator to find a retailer near you), as well as on Amazon, babiesrus.com, drugstore.com, diapers.com, and walgreens.com. And you can get a coupon for $2.50 here!
But if you're feeling lucky... you can enter to win all 6 of these Baby Mantra products ($70 value) right here on my blog! Just enter to win in the Gleam box below (giveaway ends July 8 at 11:59PM EST). Good luck!!
Disclaimer: I received these products for the purpose of this review, however, these are my own opinions and they have not been influenced in any way by Baby Mantra.
This was my third time attending the huuuuuuge New York Baby Show, but my first time attending as a preggo, so it was quite a different experience and we had a blast! While I couldn't spend much time at the MomTrends Blogger Lounge, it was an absolutely fabulous addition to this year's show and I hope to have fun with the makeovers, networking, and more in there next year!!
Down in the expo hall, from face painting and play rooms to a rotation of children's musicians, they had lots going to entertain the little ones. Even Canon had a little enclosed play area set up with a bunch of cameras for parents to practice snapping shots of their kids in action! But my main mission was to find the newest and coolest products on the market for pregnancy, babies, and beyond - ones I hadn't seen at the expos before and that totally blew my mind. And so... here you go!!
My shorter "Best from the Baby Show" list was originally posted on Mommy Nearest.
Stroller & Carrier Related Goodies:
GB Qbit Stroller
This soon to hit the market stroller is certainly one of a kind. Weighing less than 15 pounds, the Qbit folds down to a self-standing 13” by 21” cube, fitting into most planes’ overhead compartments and the back seat of any car. It also features a full-size reclining seat for a child up to 50 pounds, large expandable canopy, storage basket, transport bag with shoulder strap, and adapters compatible with several car seats! Available from July at Babies R Us.
Hatch Things’ SureShop
You know when you load the back of your stroller with one too many items and it flips over backward? The struggle is real, and Hatch Things has the solution! Their SureShop bag clips onto the side of your stroller (or onto shopping carts, walkers, bike handles, etc). It comes in 6 funky colors and folds into a compact self-storing pouch when you’re not using it! Available on Hatch Thing’s website and Amazon.
Lilly Gold has two really cool options for getting your car seats around. The 2 in 1 Zoomer (pictured left) is a cart for your car seat that has latches compatible with your car seat's latches, so it fits securely onto the cart, and has a wheel base and handle that allows you to push it just like a stroller! They also have a car seat, the 5-in-1 Sit 'n' Stroll that actually turns into a stroller. Both of these seem ideal for families that use taxis or car share (ZipCar, etc), and for vacations where you'll be traveling by air, bus, train, taxi, etc. No more lugging those strollers around - push them easily, with your kids riding safely in them!! Available on Lilly Gold's website and Amazon.
Does your stroller flip over backward when you try to hang anything from the handles? Or every time your child hops out of the seat? Buggy Balance has created little weights (3 pounds each) that will keep your stroller from flipping over! These seem great for daily use on tipsy umbrella strollers (frankly, many non-umbrella strollers could use them, too!), and if you have a day of lugging the stroller up and down the subway stairs, simply leave the weights at home! Available on Amazon.
i-Angel Hipseat Carrier
I was kinda blown away by how versitle and practical this carrier is. You can see all the different ways to use it in the image to the left - wear your baby on the front, back, or hip; rest your baby on the hipseat or strap them into the full carrier! It's amazing! It also promises to disperse the weight through your hips rather than your back and shoulders, which sounds mighty comfy! Available on i-Angel's website and Amazon.
Babyhome's Side Light
Not only is this a great looking and functional toddler bed rail, but what makes it really stand out is its built in LED night light!! The light automaticaly shuts off after 30 minutes (when child is fast asleep), and the rail includes see through mesh and removable/washable fabric. Available on Albee Baby and Amazon.
Love To Dream
This swaddle really caught my eye as it swaddles baby in a really unique position, actually baby's most natural position - arms up! The Stage 1 Swaddle Up (0-4 months, pictured far left) has baby fully inclosed but still able to self-sooth, while Stage 2 Swaddle (4-8 months, pictured near left) includes removable sleeves. Made of 93% cotton and 7% elastane, they also include a travel slot (for use in stroller or car seat). Also, a genius twin zipper allows for diaper changes while arms remain swaddled! Available on Regal + Lager's website and Amazon.
Newton Crib Mattress
Looking for a safe, light, and easy to clean crib mattress? Newton has just come out with one unlike any other. Are you ready? The entire 11-pound mattress is washable! Unzip and throw the 100% polyester cover in the washer, and then wash the mattress completely through in your bathtub! Made of a patented material (10% food-grade polymer, 90% air) that does not off-gas or leach toxins, the Newton provides support while allowing the mattress to have unprecedented breathability (which waterproof mattresses, even the organic ones, lack). With no foam, glue, latex, or springs, Newton is 100% recyclable, however because it’s 100% washable we expect you’ll prefer to hand it down through several children or families instead! Available on Newton’s website and Amazon.
Whether snoozing in a bassinet next to your bed or in another room, it’s natural to be paranoid and constantly worrying if your baby is breathing. But Snuza Hero offers you piece of mind. It clips onto your baby’s diaper and monitors their subtlest movements and breaths. If the movements are weak or less than 8 per minute, or if no movement is detected for 15 seconds, Hero will vibrate gently to stimulate your baby. If this occurs three times, a Rouse Warning will alert you, and if there is still no movement detected for 5 seconds, an alarm will go off. No more wondering and worrying, Snuza will keep you in the know! Available at a number of retailers and Amazon.
Other Cool Goodies:
BabySmile Portable Nasal Aspirator
I've tried a few nasal aspirators and they all have their pros and cons, but this is the first one I've tried that 1) gets the job done easily and quickly, 2) is not powered by your mouth, 3) is quiet, 4) is portable, 5) is reasonably priced. So, yeah, it's pretty great! (My full review is coming soon - stay tuned!!). Available on Amazon.
We’re all very familiar with maternity pants, but now Apres Bebe has brought postpartum pants into the picture! Touted as shape wear for the new mom, Apres Bebe is a legging that combines a comfortable pant leg with a slimming tummy control panel. They come in navy or black, are tagless for comfort, and are available on the Apres Bebe website.
Looking for a cute and functional teether that baby won’t drop or gag on? Say hello to the Yummy Mitt, a teething mitten that straps onto your child’s hand with velcro! Made of 100% medical grade silicone and 100% cotton, Yummy Mitt is free of BPA, PVC, lead, latex, and phthalates, and includes multiple sensory textures, patterns, and colors. Available on Darling & Co’s website.
As silly as this one looks, it couldn’t be more practical! The Beebo frees up your bottle holding hand for more important things like playing with your baby, reading a story, or tending to a sibling. Got twins? Throw a Beebo across each shoulder and all of a sudden you can hold your babies while bottle feeding! The bottle holder flexes for a secure hold and rotates 360 degrees, staying at the perfect angle, and the entire Beebo is free of BPA, lead, and phthalates. Available on Beebo’s website and Amazon.
Looking for an organic laundry detergent? You can't get more green than Eco Nuts! When agitated in water, these berries produce a naturally occuring surfactant called saponin, which gently cleanses laundry! Place 4-5 of the Soap Berries in a bag and reuse them up to 10 times. They also have a liquid version (better for HE machines) and a variety of other products. Available on Eco Nuts' website and Amazon.
So, what do you think. Amazing right? What products are you most impressed with?? Share in a comment below!!
Just like his mother and father, my son has a great love of music. He started dancing to the beat in my womb and hasn't stopped since! Because he and I both love dancing, I most often play my favorite top 40 stuff that gets us jammin'. You know, "Happy", "Blurred Lines", that kinda stuff. Though, now that he's a toddler I should probably start worrying about lyrics and the message behind them. We've recently really gotten into the biggies in the kiddie music industry such as Laurie Berkner Band - just TRY to turn off the "We Are The Dinosaurs" song while my son is marching around to it, I dare you!
Looking for more kid-friendly music we can just pop on as background music while we're playing together, or down the road sit down and talk about the meaning of their lyrics, I recently came across Growing Sound, which has produced 16 or so CDs based on the latest research in social & emotional development. Each CD has a different focus; things such as Self Control, Friendship & Social Awareness, Confidence, Mindfulness, and much more.
I got my hands on Growing Sound's latest CD, Dandelion Songs for Developing Toddlers and Early Preschoolers, featuring Demi Mays (and Friends).
"Dandelion is a collection of songs that capture and celebrate the day to day joys in a toddler’s life and how they interact with the parents and caregivers that love and teach them as they grow." Featuring songs such as "Cause I Love It", "Wipe it Away", "Make a Face", and "Baby Animal Song", Dandelion is engaging and beautifully sung music that my little guy and I can both enjoy. It's fun, but chill, not something that is likely to get your toddler all hyped up, making it a safe listen any time of day or night! And it comes with a lyrics booklet so you can study up and sing along in no time! With lyrics such as "My mouth is for the things I drink and eat - water, food and treat. Everything else stays out - Only food in my mouth!", you can see how it's cute and silly, while at the same time teaching our little ones important lessons!
You can see Growing Sound's entire CD collection (including Dandelion) here, view lyrics, and listen to clips from all the songs. You can purchase the CD ($9.99) or individual songs ($0.99 each) on cdbaby.com, iTunes, and Amazon... BUT...
I'm giving away FIVE free downloads of the entire Dandelion CD!!!
Enter to win in the rafflecopter box below - this giveaway is not limited to US residents, but you must be 18 or over to enter. The giveaway will end at 11:59PM EST, Tuesday November 25, and winners will be notified by e-mail. They'll have 24 hours to reply in order to receive the download code before another winner will be chosen. GOOD LUCK!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
From a portable crib to fleece footies and a diaper bag, this $750 value giveaway we've partnered up with Green Scene Mom on has seriously got it all! One jackpot winner will definitely be experience Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanza or...) early this year!! Each of the sponsoring brands offer niche and innovative products for moms, kids and families to make life simpler, inspire creativity, and encourage natural living. Enter below for the chance to win this amazing prize package!
Jackpot Prize Package:
Guava Family Lotus Everywhere Crib - $249.95
Lina.j Diaper Bag - $119
Boom Boom Prints $50 Gift Card
NuRoo Nursing Scarf & Swaddler - $55
Yummi Pouch Reusable Food Pouches & Snack Bags set of 3 - $33
OLLI+LIME 50 pack Triangle Wall Decals - $20
Baby Covee 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Blanket - $50
Endangered Species Color Me Eco Pak - $14.99
Buttons Diapers Pail Liner - $16
Magnificent Baby Smart Little Bear Fleece Footie - $49.95
Blooming Bath Baby Bath - $39.99
Tegu 14-Piece Tints magnetic wooden blocks - $35
b.box Diaper Wallet - $34.95
This giveaway is running til November 23 and is open to United States entries who have a US mailing address.
Enter to win in the rafflecoptor box below!
Insurance. For most people it's something you don't really think twice about. If you have the means, you pony up and get it because the alternative is scary as hell. Medical insurance, life insurance, home owner's or renter's insurance, car insurance, even your money is insured in the bank. But how about your children. Are they insured? There are a few options here. One being signing up for life insurance at birth because they won't qualify for one if they are ever diagnosed with a whole slew of disorders or illnesses. Another kind of insurance for not just your children but also for you and your partner? Banking your child's cord blood and placenta.
Stem cells have life saving and life changing properties for that child, siblings, and parents, and the uses are growing year by year. Now, they're used to treat 80 types of blood-related and genetic diseases including leukemia. But in the future? Who knows! There is hope that one day in the not too distant future stem cells will be able to treat Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, and to restore the ability to walk to those with severe spinal cord injuries.
It’s been shown that using a higher number of stem cells in a transplant leads to better engraftment and survival. Did you know that you can preserve significantly more of your baby’s stem cells by adding placenta blood banking to your cord blood collection? This is what LifebankUSA brings to the field. Only LifebankUSA has the proprietary technology to offer placenta blood banking with cord blood banking to expectant parents. They are also the only company in the world to release placenta stem cell units for transplant.
So here's where you get the chance to not only reach out for more information from LifebankUSA, but to also enter to win one of 3 Graco 4ever™ 4-in-1 Car Seats! Just click here and enter your contact info for a chance to win. Contest ends December 21, 2014.
This is a sponsored post, but opinions are my own and not swayed by compensation of any kind. I limit sponsored posts to companies that meet my moral standards and I feel I can really stand behind (hey, I'm not a sell out!). As always, take my posts with a grain of salt and please be sure to do your research to come to your own informed decision for anything regarding you and your baby!
We always want to dress our little ones in something as cute as they are, am I right?? Budget, time, and energy can be limiting, but it's nice to have a few pieces that are totally drool worthy; that make you and everyone who sees them just kind of lose it in a chorus of "OMG That is just too cute!!!!!" Well, I've got some shoes that definitely fit the bill - baby moccasins by Freshly Picked!
The first thing that gets you is how unique and adorable they are. But they'are also super comfy, durable, 100% genuine leather, and come in a bazillion different designs (tons of colors in regular leather, shiny, suede, and patterns such as camo, pineapple, bugs, you name it; some of them even have matching t-shirts and bags)! They have stretchy elastic around the ankle which means they'll stay on, but at the same time they're also super easy to get on and off (my son has a REALLY fat/thick foot which makes most shoes impossible to get on, but these were no problem!) And because the bottoms are soft soled and thin, they're the perfect choice for new walkers (though maybe not the best choice for hiking over rocks and broken glass, LOL)!! They come in size 0-10, which is about the age of infant through 4-5 years! Here's my little 20 monther modeling his new pair of Cherry Freshly Picked moccasins (he had a mini-meltdown when I took them off - he is so in love!!).
If you're not sure what size to get, they have a sizing chart. I measured my son's foot and rounded up, putting him at a size 7. Unfortunately, they're WAY too big (if you can't tell from the photos - they stayed on no problem, but he had a good inch or so of empty shoe in front of his toes). He probably won't wear them for another half a year at least! Wahhhhh!!! Oh well, something to look forward to!
At $60 a pop, these shoes are definitely a splurge but ohhhhh wait - you can enter my giveaway to win a free pair (as well as 7 other awesome products for toddlers in my $300 value Back To School giveaway!!).
Enter to win here!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC mom blogger, Influencer, YouTuber, & Entrepreneur living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1)! My blog is chock full of humor, honesty, family travel & product reviews, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, with weekly local kids' events roundups and annual guides for families here in South Brooklyn!