Our first favorite bottles to use our the Avent 4 ounce bottles. These have been a day one love for her and I love them because they fit with my Spectra breast pump.
Playtex Drop Ins are great for colic babies because the drop in liners keep air out and keep baby from swallowing air in between sucking.
Our last favorite I just bought more of, are the Nuk Simply Natural bottles. They are tailored for babies who breastfeed, or even for those who don't like mine! They are shaped to be natural and nipple-like to have the most natural feeding process as possible. There is also a vent in the nipple top to keep air levels down, making it an anti-colic bottle as well. Another perk of these is the slow down feeding. Sav is notorious for eating too quickly resulting in lots of gas bubbles. These bottles have three versions, depending on baby's age, and lets out only a little milk at a time like a mother's breast would. I love these bottles so much because they check all the boxes!
Stuffy noses no more! The Frida Nose Frida looks so weird, but it works so well! As shown in the video, the parts are simple and there are filters keeping the gross stuff away from your mouth and out of your baby's nose.
A boppy comes in handy for so many situations. If you are breastfeeding it's great for support, but also just bottle feeding because babies can get so darn heavy! We now love using it for propping her up and in the future it will be good for tummy time and sitting up.
We splurged on this teepee and it's been the best purchase ever. She loves do to tummy time in it, but even more than that she loves to lay under the mobile and reach out to grab the animals. I am obsessed with the colors and prints because they are just so fun and bring a lot of color into her nursery.
If you have a baby that needs to be held, a Moby wrap will save your back and your sanity. It is definitely intimidating when you first get it, there is so much fabric! But, once you practice a few times you will get the hang of it and be so thankful you did.
This musical peacock toy can keep her so entertained. It has settings that can help her learn colors, letters, music, and notes. It's been great for traveling and we play with it everyday.
My mom bought her this Baby Einstein fish tank as an early Christmas present, and boy am I grateful! This was a lifesaver on our trip back home from Texas, the blue light was great for even when it was dark because the light isn't harsh. This also has different settings of music and fish moving, music only, and fish moving only.
Halo Sleepsacks are a great swaddle for babies, and even better for mamas like me who stink at swaddling! It does all the hard work for you and keep her sleeping all through the night. If you aren't a fan, we also love the Love to Dream swaddle me, because some nights she prefers her arms up by her face. She is currently in the 50/50 transition one which allows you to unzip their arms and let them be free (great for those that are rolling over and need to transition away from swaddles!)
Stella Bella Co. bows have been an awesome bow shop for us! They send us 3 bows a month with their subscription service, making the whole process great for my wallet. I love the surprise each month, because they are tailored for each month/holidays that may occur then. Belle and Bug Bows on Instagram is another great shop to go to if you like the perky "cheerleader" bows as I call them ha ha. Bows and headbands are so much fun!
The crying. The hand on the side of her face. The inevitable slobber. Chewing her fingers.
Teething has begun.
Honestly I was mentally preparing for her to teeth early, as according to my mom I started teething at 3 months too. Baby S just got over an ear infection and now this is happening, so we made sure to gear up and get the best things to help her cope! Thank goodness for Amazon Prime amiright?! Here are our four great products to help out your early teething babe.
I have been reading that baby’s can be teething for awhile before they actually cut a tooth. I guess it’s a good thing we prepared ahead of time, because I would’ve never paid much attention to these teething signs.
We have been hanging up this toy on her car seat for awhile now and it just so happens to be a teething toy too! Double win! I like that this has both soft and a teething part, and it also crinkles on the wings and has a bell in it. It checks all my boxes for toys because of the versatility of it, so this is highly recommended! You can purchase a similar toy here.
Okay, if you’re going to buy one product to help teething... This is it. Babe has been gnawing on her fingers like no other, so this munch mitt was the easiest for her to begin using and soothing herself with. The polka dot portion has a crinkly material in it and then of course the pink teething part. What I really like about this is she can’t drop it like she can the toys, and the Velcro adjustment has been great for fitting her hand! You can view it here and read more details on the ages that can use it, but she is a 3 month old with long fingers and it still has lots of room for growth!
This toy has been at the bottom of her toy bin and I recently discovered it. It’s the cutest little thing and has been her favorite so far! It’s a smooth rubber toy and she loves chewing on the pink teething ring. This one will be great as she continues teething and can bite down on the different parts of it. It also squeaks which is fun, especially because she loves high pitched sounds.
Lastly, this teething oil was a great purchase! It has lots of great oils in it like peppermint, clove and chamomile. So if you are an oily mama, you will probably LOVE this. You can apply this with just your hand or a cotton swab to your baby’s mouth. I plan on later rubbing a little on a portion of her teething toys so she can apply it herself. But I won’t be doing this until I know her teething is causing more pain to her. For now, she is just slobbering and wanting to chew on things constantly ha ha
This new season in life is going to be an oh so fun one, wish us luck!!! I feel like she is growing up so quickly, and while I hate that she will be in pain soon I feel reassured that I have some great products to combat teething time. If you have, or had, a teething baby, what products worked for them? I would love to hear your input! Being a first time mom, I’ve had a lot of fun discovering which products work and she enjoys. I probably have gone a little overboard with things, but when they are that darn cute... How could you not?
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RegisteringforBaby #CollectiveBias
Just when you think you have it all figured out... you finally do become pregnant and feel in over your head. Trust me, this whole world of motherhood can feel very overwhelming. As a first time mom I knew the basics of how to prepare for a baby, but there are many things I learned along the way and afterwards. Here is what every expecting mama should know all compiled into one place. Motherhood doesn’t have to feel too impossible! Also if you are a Target-aholic, this is the guide for you.
Preparing Your Home
In your last month of pregnancy, start looking into different meals you may enjoy and create a freezer meal stock. I’m such a picky person so this gave me the reassurance that I wouldn’t starve after having my baby, and I would still have a home cooked meal handy. Invest in the tin foil casserole pans and make a few of your favorite meals and store them away! Also don’t just think dinner, breastfast tacos are great to store in the freezer and keep well. If you have family and friends insisting to help, give them your favorite recipes or let them surprise you!
When it comes to the nursery, it's either a parent's favorite part or most dreaded. Buying things for your baby’s nursery can feel overwhelming. There are just so many furniture options and expectations put on the perfect nursery! Let me tell you, a perfect nursery doesn't exist. Just when you finalize everything, once baby comes you'll find that this piece of furniture makes more sense there, or you need a bigger rocker and could do without the giant changing table. Whatever it may come down to, you will find your own flow and what makes sense for your lifestyle. You only need essentials and can add your own personal flair to them. A crib, diaper changing station, clothing storage, a bouncer or swing, and a chair for you to rock your babe in. You don’t have to go overboard but these are all great things to have in your baby’s room or sleeping area.
A huge lifesaver that I learned quickly when it came to the kitchen is make a baby station. Set up a bottle drying rack, and dedicate a cabinet area to baby bottles, spare pump parts, pacifiers, brushes, and medicine, like TYLENOL®. Having this all in one central station will make life so much easier, especially for those late nights when you don't want to be rummaging through your cabinets! You want to always be prepared, so I highly recommend sterilizing everything beforehand. This was something I didn't even think about doing, and having to quickly sterilize all of our bottle and pump parts when our baby was here, and hungry, was no fun.
Along these same lines, wash all of their clothes, blankets, and towels. Anything your baby will be using you will want to prep first with a wash! Be proactive and don't wait until the last minute like I did.
Baby Shower & Registry
Now if this is your first baby, chances are you are gearing up for your baby shower. Which means, your guests would greatly appreciate you to put together a baby registry. I used Target Baby Registry and let me tell you it made life so simple! Yes there are a million options for everything, but Target has a tab for a checklist so you don’t forget anything. Some of my favorite things I added were a car seat (I’ll explain why later!), Johnson’s® Bath Discovery Set, burp cloths, bottles, diapers, wipes, boppy, crib sheets, and of course clothes. I also made the registry for my own need and marked certain items as most wanted for my guests to have as a guide, so they didn’t feel obligated to buy big ticket items. Target Baby registry does offer Group gifting though, making it easy for guests to contribute together for larger items!
The Target registry is not only great to help you stay organized and not forget anything, but it’s also amazing for saving! I’ve mentioned before in the past, you will receive a 15% off discount that will be emailed 8 weeks before baby's arrival date to provide savings on anything left on the registry. I used this towards our car seat and it was super! Downloading the Target Registry app makes keeping your list handy so much simpler and you can even scan products if you want to add them while in store.
You will receive a Welcome kit too. Registrants can pick up your gift at Guest Services for $50 worth of coupons & handpicked samples. This is a great way to try out different products before committing. And who doesn’t love gifts?
Shop my favorite registry items by clicking on the photo!
When it's time for baby to arrive, you'll want to make sure you have all the essentials to take to the hospital. I did a separate blog post on this, but basically pack yourself clothes, toiletries, slippers, a robe, nipple cream, pads, nursing bra, phone charger, camera and charger. You can download the full checklist here! Don't feel like you have to overpack, but you definitely want to make sure you feel comfortable during your hospital stay. So if that means packing your pillow and a sleeping mask, do it! Also, during your stay you'll most likely have amazing nurses that will give you everything to keep you comfy. Take home these pads, peri bottle, ice packs, anything they give you: take it. These supplies are going to help big time during your postpartum recovery. I'm serious about the peri bottle and ice packs, you'll thank me later.
Along the lines of packing, go ahead and pack that diaper bag because you will be so sleep deprived when it's your baby's 2 day check up. Pack diapers, wipes, spare outfit(s), socks, feeding (formula, bottles, whatever you need to feed them!), burp cloths, and a blanket. I know it will feel strange packing a diaper bag for a baby that isn't here yet, but having these essentials packed already will make it easier if you need to add anything extra that you may find yourself needing!
As a new mom, this all can make you feel in over your head. Trust me when I say, you will not be able to remember everything and it rarely all goes according to plan. This was a hard reality for me because I like things to be organized and have no surprises; boy was I in for a treat! As you are expecting the arrival of your new babe, know that you got this. Give that baby love, and don't feel bad if some days aren't as smooth as others. No one expects you to be completely sane on two hours of sleep, enjoy this time, and take all the help you are offered! Motherhood is the best time of your life and you are going to do amazing.
I never thought I'd be a breast pumping mom, but here we are! I am 90% breast pumping and have realized a lot of mamas struggle with pumping and have reached out to me for advice. I'm such a newbie at all of this but I hope I can help those who want to either build up their supply or start exclusively breast pumping.
I personally have a Spectra pump but I rented a Medela from the hospital while waiting for it to arrive. I love them both in their own ways, but I feel my Spectra has more controls and settings. Nonetheless, they all do the same job and have most of the same parts. Spectra consists of the flanges (what you put your girls in), a three part membrane with cases, a filter, the connecting tubes, and the machine. I personally have a plug in one, but it does come in a battery version. There are different settings for speed, vacuum, and also a let down mode option. While pumping, I usually keep it at 50-54 speed and at L03 or L04. I massage my breasts during if I feel lumps, but the massage setting is great as well. This blog post explains it all very well!
I recommend finding a pumping schedule for you and trying to pump for at least 20 minutes every time. In the beginning your baby will eat a lot closer together in time, so you want to always try and stay ahead. So say your baby is taking a nap, pump during that time and keep a bottle out and store anything you have left over. It's a lot easier in the beginning when they are only eating a few ounces, so your oversupply can go into freezer storage. Milk is good at room temperature for about four or five hours so this gives your babe a perfect timeline for when they wake up to eat next. Now at almost two months old she eats four ounces every four to five hours. So every four hours I'm pumping and have a bottle ready and anything over the four ounces goes in another bottle or milk storage bag. I filmed a typical day in my life with my pumping routine. It works great for us, but will soon change as I go back to work ha ha!
With your breast pump, it comes pretty standard, but make sure you get the correct nipple size for your comfort and for the best breast pumping experience. You can get help from a Lactation Consultant while in the hospital to determine what size you are. If you find yourself not getting a good suction, which can result to not getting a lot of milk out, it could be the size isn't right. Also, check and make sure all of your parts are intact, I know the white filter can sometimes be off and it all makes a huge difference!
So I've already touched on the electric machines, but let's be real we don't always get 20-30 minutes to be strapped to a machine ha ha! My Medela hand pump is a life saver. If she let's me, I will lay her down to nap and hand pump both sides for about 15 minutes each. I am able to get 2 ounces on each side during that time which is a full bottle for her. I find myself using my handpump throughout the day more than my electric pump because I can pump while doing other tasks in the home. I strive to pump with my Spectra three times a day, once early morning, one during her bigger afternoon nap, and again in the evening when my husband gets home. All of the time in between I use my handy dandy hand pump!
Other equipment you should look into is a Haakaa pump. These are great if you have a let down and usually leak throughout the day. Most moms will breastfeed one side and attach the haakaa pump to the other to catch all of that let down. For us pumping moms, this would be convenient if you find yourself hand pumping, you can attach this to the other side and then combine all of it together so nothing goes to waste. A Haakaa pump is basically a silicone pump that suctions on to your breast and catches any let down.You can search them on Amazon, or here.
Another great thing to consider is your nursing pads. I am wearing my washable Medela nursing pads all day, but after pumping I try and put my Medela soft shell shields on to protect my nipples. These are amazing and allow for airflow. The pumps pull out your nipples, so afterwards we are normally just squishing them again when we put our bras back on, which can be painful. These soft shell shields keep them out and let them slowly go back to their normal shape, and also has a sponge that catches any leakage. I will warn you though if you have a good let down, do not bend over because it will spill out of your shirt! I've learned this a few times ha ha. Other equipment you should consider investing in is nipple cream, gel packs, a pumping bra to hold your bottles in place, and good nursing pads. I linked all of the brands I use!
Build Your Supply
Now, when I was fresh out of the hospital and trying to get my milk in, I was pumping every two hours for about 30 minutes. This helped build up my supply and tell my body to produce milk quickly. I slowly started to space it out over the month to two and a half hours, three hours, and now I go four to six hours. You don't get much sleep the first few weeks so be prepared! It seems like a lot, but the more often you pump, the more your body will signal to produce milk to keep up. So, if you find yourself still barely producing, keep at the every two hours for a longer period of time before spacing it out more.
Also, you can power pump! Power pumping is pumping for 20 minutes (if your milk stops flowing before the 20 minute mark stop then), rest for 10 minutes. Then, pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, and pump for 10 minutes. Attempt this once a day, but you can do it three times a day for three days to really boost your supply. Also, listen to your body. Your breasts will become engorged and harden when they are full. You want to take care of yourself and prevent things like clogged milk ducts that can turn into mastitis.
While the routine I wrote above is a great way to build your supply, here are other things mamas swear by! Note, I am not a health professional and these are just ideas I or other mamas have tried out. Talk to your provider about taking certain things, as things like Fenugreek have been reported to boosting some mom's supply while completely delpleting others.
-oatmeal, garlic, carrots, nuts, ginger
-drinking lots of water
-Mother's milk tea
-upspring milk flow
Finding Your Routine
I think this is the most challenging part for moms wanting to breastfeed, when do you find the time? First, see how often your baby eats. I'll use mine for example and she eats every 4-5 hours. She typically wakes up at 4 am so I will feed her, change her and then lay her back down. I pump for 30 minutes in the morning and make a bottle out of it, saving any extra in the fridge or freezer. I rinse off my pump parts and put the second bottle in a bowl to be washed. I go back to bed, and at 8 am I pump again for 15-20 and feed her that first bottle I had left out. This time afterwards washing all the parts and the bottles.
If you can get really good you can pump right before your baby wakes up, but most of the time she ends up laying on me because she doesn't like to lay down by herself very long ha ha. I only wash my pump parts every other time I use them, because I'm using it again within a 5 hour time span and I figured if milk can sit out, my rinsed pump parts can too. I also read recently that moms will put the entire piece in a ziploc bag without rinsing off any milk and it can stay good for a full day; but I haven't tried that method. Find what works for you and don't feel too overwhelmed with having to figure out a schedule. It will be hard at first, but now I feel like it's second nature and pumping and washing is just a part of our day!
I hope this helps those of y'all who have come to me for advice. It's been a lot of trial and error for us, and hasn't been an easy road. It is very draining mentally and physically, but I am just so happy to still provide for her even if breastfeeding isn't working out for us! I am still striving to breast feed more and will just replace a pumping time with feeding her, and then pump the opposite side she doesn't eat off of. If you have any additional questions feel free to reach out to me in the comments or on my social media, I'd be happy to help!
This post is in collaboration with LilHappyMoments. I was sent product to review and not only was our experience magical, but all of my opinions are my own.
Sooo I am one of those moms that is a perfectionist. We went a few weeks ago to check out Walmart's halloween selection for babies and I was very disappointed. I also checked out Target and Amazon and everything was lame, weird, or worse: sold out. I was just at my whit's end and just wanted Sav to have a unique costume that was also super cute. Thankfully, a special gem of a person reached out to me that next day and wanted to collaborate! Lil Happy Moments definitely has created a happy moment for us and curated the best unicorn outfit ever.
If you are a mama needing to fulfill your want for a custom costume that is unique to your babe and style, I highly suggest this shop! She allows you to fully customize everything and I received the outfit at lightning speed. Seriously, like Amazon Prime fast ha ha! So you have time if you order quickly. I wanted her to be a unicorn so badly, and was afraid I'd have to just settle on something else. Thankfully we had a fairy godmother who could make this Halloween a magical one. The link to her shop and Instagram will be below. I love that it's not like the typical costume that they just wear once and it sits in the closet. The custom onesie will pair nicely with cute pants and every girl needs a tutu in her closet. This headband is to. die. for. Seriously I've never seen something so cute!
Happy Halloween y'all!