Newborn Essentials

We hit the three month mark just a couple weeks ago and I was able to reflect on what some call the “fourth trimester" or the first twelve weeks of my baby’s life. At my baby shower back in December I was kindly gifted some amazing and beautiful items for my sweet boy, but a lot of it I simply didn’t use. I had a hard time planning my registry and there wasn’t much on it, so I left my guests on their own to come up with what to gift me. I think if I’d had a clearer idea on what I needed, I could have guided my guests a little better as to what to gift me. So hopefully I can help guide you soon to be moms and already moms out there as to what items have made having a newborn so much easier.

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haakaa

haakaa

HAAKA
This is a breast pump (-ish) made entirely of silicone that suctions to your breast and catches any let down or breast milk. I love this thing because I decided early on that I didn't want to be married to a breast pump and I am able use this at my leisure to store any breast milk that myself or my husband may want to use at a later date. It’s super easy to use and clean, it doesn’t hurt and I usually can fill the entire thing during one feeding. I haven’t used an actual breast pump at all and my son is three months old. I’ve exclusively breastfed him and used the Haakaa to create a back-stock of breast milk.

GERBER PREFOLDS
I put some super cute, printed burp cloths on my registry that I just loved. Weeks before my sweet one arrived I had them folded and stacked in an accessible place, one that I quickly stopped reaching for when I discovered that they were made more for fashion than function. Back to Amazon I went to scour the reviews of burp cloths when I came upon the Gerber Prefolds, which are actually just old school cloth diapers. I ordered a pack and haven’t looked back, in fact, I’ve ordered several more since. They are so absorbent and my son is quite a spitter (some may even view it as vomiting.) With the cute, printed burp cloths his spit up would just slide right off and down my back or my front, never to be absorbed by the burp cloth. With the Gerber prefolds, they absorb right away so spillage is more minimal. I also notice that I can use them for extended periods of time as the continue to hold and absorb. The only drawback is that if you throw them into the laundry and bury them, they can mold, but this is a natural occurrence obviously and I’ve become more mindful of that to avoid throwing any away.

Copper pearl bibs

Copper pearl bibs

BIBS
I was under the impression that bibs were something your baby needs when they start teething or when they start eating solids. I did not anticipate how much my son would spit up and needless to say bibs were not on my registry so I scrambled to purchase some after changing my son’s clothes for the umpteenth time that day. I settled on a set by Parker Baby Co. which I’ve been very pleased with. Since then I also discovered Copper Pearl and they have some of the cutest prints, especially for little girls. What I love about the types of bandana bibs that these two companies sell is that the top layer absorbs any moisture (and a lot of moisture at that,) while the bottom layer protects and keeps baby’s skin and clothes dry. This means I’m not constantly changing clothes all day and he isn’t developing any scary rash around his neck and chin.

Lou Lou & co swaddle blanket

Lou Lou & co swaddle blanket

LOU LOU & COMPANY NO SCRATCH MITTENS
I swear by these, especially in those early weeks when your baby’s fingers are so small and sweet. The last thing you want to do is to take nail clippers to them. I love that Lou Lou & Company make swaddles and outfits that match their mittens because with as many photos as you’ll be taking of your sweet one you won’t want a pair of gaudy mittens sticking out. These mittens are super stretchy and soft so your baby’s hands won’t feel confined and they won’t be hard to get on and off. They also stay on, which is an issue I had with mittens from another brand. The only time I wouldn’t recommend for your baby to wear these is during moments of breastfeeding. You’ll want as much skin on skin contact as possible with your baby during those precious moments.

LOU LOU & COMPANY SWADDLE BLANKET
As I mentioned above, Lou Lou & Company also make swaddles and let me tell you, they are the best! We are talking super stretchy, manipulative, soft fabric that makes it so easy to swaddle your baby. We were gifted a few “easy” swaddlers and I don’t know if my baby is a Houdini or if he just super strong, but he broke out of them in no time. I could see why some say their babies don’t enjoy being swaddled. I would have thought so myself if I hadn’t discovered the Lou Lou & Company swaddles. What I love even more about them is that they also serve as amazing cover ups for nursing or for newborn car seats with handles. I use them as blankets for breezy days in the stroller and because of their large size I can also just lay them flat anywhere for a quick changing or tummy time. They’re so versatile!

MAM PACIFIERS
There’s not much to say about these except that above any other pacifier we have tried, these ones work for my son. The ingredients are safe, they’re made for breastfed babies and they simply work.

Tulamama Pacifier Clip

Tulamama Pacifier Clip

TULAMAMA PACIFIER CLIP
I kept seeing these super cute and trendy pacifier clips on instagram and I was very attracted to the style of them, so when I came across the Tulamama Pacifier Clip, it caught my eye because it looked just like the ones I’d been seeing. It’s made with silicone beads that your little one can chew on when they’re teething and this thing comes in clutch when we are baby wearing because I never have to worry about losing my pacifier.

SHNUGGLE BABY BATH TUB

SHNUGGLE BABY BATH TUB

SHNUGGLE BABY BATH TUB
We were kindly gifted a fisher price tub that worked really well in the beginning days when we were just sponge bathing our little guy, but he quickly grew out of it and we noticed he stopped enjoying bath time as much, so I did some research and came upon the Shnuggle Baby Bath Tub. What is cool about this tub is that your little one can actually sit up in it against the non slip back support, so their body is submerged in the water and they don’t get cold. A hump in the bottom keeps your baby’s rear end in place as well. My son can now enjoy bath time while being supported and submerged in the water at the same time. In my opinion, this product is also safer than other tubs on the market.

BABYBJORN BOUNCER BALANCE

BABYBJORN BOUNCER BALANCE

BABYBJORN BOUNCER
I discovered the Babybjorn Bouncer when I was facing a major dilemma a few weeks after my son was born. My husband was going back to work and I was to become more independent with my baby. This included going downstairs and making myself some breakfast in the morning, taking trips by myself to the doctor’s office, and even the simple task of just taking a shower. For a while I tried to just get everything done during his naps, but I realized eventually that wasn’t realistic. Where was I supposed to put my baby when I was doing these things? I just want to run downstairs to make coffee, but I can’t do it with one hand and I don’t want to leave him upstairs by himself. This is where the bouncer steps in. Alas, I can put my baby down somewhere!

HAPPIEST BABY’S SNOO

HAPPIEST BABY’S SNOO

This super simple bouncer does exactly that - it bounces. It’s a soft and gentle bouncing that is only induced by the baby’s movements and I love that because it seems more natural and soothing to me than those battery powered or electric baby devices with sounds and flashing lights. What I also love about this bouncer is the color selection it comes in. I ordered one in a beige color and it matches my home and my aesthetic perfectly.

SNOO
Okay, this is the priciest item on this list and with good reason. Someone said if Apple made a bassinet, it would be the Snoo and I have to agree. I have a full video review on this device that you can watch here and I also wrote a whole blog post about it that you can read here, but in a nutshell I would trade every device and item on this list for just the Snoo. It is a bassinet that provides a gentle swaying motion along with white noise that responds to your baby’s cry. We have received way more sleep than I think we even deserve with a newborn because of the Snoo’s safety features as well as its ability to keep my baby asleep for lengthy periods of time. Do yourself a favor and buy the Snoo if you are expecting. You absolutely won’t regret it.



I just want to mention that no matter what items and devices you do or don’t buy for your baby, all your baby really needs is you. If you are able to afford the luxury and convenience of some of these items then that’s wonderful, but at the end of the day what your baby really needs is your tender love and care. Good luck!

Maternity Lifestyle Photoshoot

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Having a maternity photoshoot is pretty much a pregnancy rite of passage, right? Especially when it’s your first child. I knew when I became pregnant that I wanted to capture this chapter in my life, but I’ve gained almost thirty pounds and have simply not felt like myself. Which is to be expected! After all, I AM pregnant and I'm not myself.

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Luckily, I have amazing photographers whom I trust infinitely to capture me in my best “light.”. Charlyn and Samantha of CS Photography photographed my elopement last year and my husband and I just love their work. When we asked them to photograph us again, I knew they would respect our vision of having more of a lifestyle shoot than a maternity shoot.

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The morning of this photoshoot was kind of perfect, despite the lack of sunlight coming through the windows and having chosen my outfit about 4 minutes before Char and Samantha arrived. My husband and I made some coffee in the French press and we just sat around and enjoyed each other’s company while the girls snapped away. That’s what is so wonderful about a lifestyle shoot - it’s not overly posed so you can be a little more relaxed. Every now and again Char or Samantha would make little suggestions on positioning or where to direct our eyes, but for the most part we were just hanging out. And it was lovely.

These photos are proof that you don’t have to have a cheesy, uncomfortable, posed maternity shoot with the way overdone heart hands over the belly button. And if that’s your thing, I hope you aren’t insulted, but it’s not mine!

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Maternity Clothing: What to Buy + Stitch Fix Review

I’m currently in my 8th month of pregnancy, and my maternity clothing journey has not been what I expected it to be. A lot of friends of mine shared with me that they were able to wear their pre-pregnancy clothing their entire pregnancy, so I assumed I would be able to as well. I prefer looser fitting clothing for the most part, and I was hopeful. But by around week 12 or 13, which is very early on for some, I started feeling uncomfortable. And rather than huff in the mirror each morning about how I looked or simply feel uncomfortable all day, I set out to buy some maternity clothing.

 
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What I first experienced was not what I would describe as easy or inexpensive, but I learned a lot along the way and I want to share that with you all.

Stitch Fix recently began offering a maternity box and it is something I wish I would have known about much sooner. If you don’t already know, Stitch Fix is a service in which a personal stylist will hand pick a selection of clothing, accessories, or shoes based on your tastes, needs, and budget. The items come shipped to your doorstep for you to try on, decide what you’d like to keep and simply send back. There is a styling fee of $20, which contributes toward the cost of any items you decide to keep. It’s genius. I used this service previously, but had no idea they offered a maternity box! Some of my favorite maternity items in my closet are items I purchased through Stitch Fix.

 
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Unfortunately for all you pregnant mamas out there, there aren’t many retailers who sell maternity clothing in their stores. Plenty sell them online, but it has been difficult for me to find places I could walk into and try items on. Places near me that sell maternity clothing in store are Target, H&M, and Motherhood/Pea in the Pod. Target has a limited selection at my local store, but I found a lot of my winter sweaters there. H&M has the lowest prices and they also carry trendier maternity items, so it was my favorite place to shop. Motherhood / A Pea in the Pod were the priciest stores I shopped at in person, but I found staple items there such as jeans that I was able to wear from early on in my pregnancy and can still wear, so they were well worth the investment.

Below are some of my favorite maternity items that I have been wearing throughout my pregnancy that are still available.

Check out my youtube video where I show my entire collection of maternity clothing, talk about what styles and brands worked out best for me and also unbox my most recent Stitch Fix.

If you’re interested in trying Stitch Fix and want $25 off your first box, click here.