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Preparing your home for a new baby is a really exciting and fun time, but can be overwhelming, too. Here is a guide to help you prepare for a new baby, including a quick tip with each to help you feel confident with this new stage of life!
Swaddling helps baby sleep better.
With my first, we didn’t really understand swaddling and only had teeny swaddle blankets that didn’t last past the first few weeks without him kicking his way out. By #2, we learned how much swaddling helps baby to feel comforted and fall asleep. aden + anais makes the perfect swaddling blankets! Their generously sized muslin swaddles last well beyond the first year – my 2 year old carries his around as a lovey and my older boys still use them for playtime and fort building! aden + anais just introduced a new line of skincare made for baby with all natural and tear-free products that moisturize with the help of pawpaw fruit. After their soothing bath, wrap up your little one in a swaddle and enjoy time cuddling together!
Nursing may have challenges, but is a wonderful experience.
Nursing can introduce all sorts of the bumps in the road and may not work out for everyone, but it’s a really special time to bond and provide for your child if you’re able. One of the hurdles of breastfeeding comes with their little pincher fingers scratch up your arm or breast. Little Lemon Treasures makes really cute and affordable nursing necklaces to help keep baby’s hands busy and occupied while you nurse. They necklaces also provide a safe accessory you can wear that can double as a toy to distract your tot wherever you may be.
Trust your instincts.
If you are a nursing mom, you may quickly find a lot of mixed opinions about nursing in public. Don’t be afraid to do what is best for you and your baby, despite the onlookers. Being prepared with a nursing cover or clothing that makes it easy to discreetly nurse in public will help! Udderly Hot Mama makes nursing tops that don’t feel frumpy and obvious. Their stylish tops have a neat nursing insert that can be removed when your baby has weaned and you can continue to use the top as part of your everyday wardrobe!
Take advantage of the times to play and explore together.
When you wake up in the middle of the night to cuddle and feed your baby, having a super soft blanket on hand will make the whole experience so much more pleasant. I find myself snuggling up in this Merdy blanket, even without a baby in my arms. They have a really unique patent-pending technology of built-in features of sound, sight, and touch all built in for a wonderful soothing and sensory experience. When it’s time to lay your baby back down, you can lay the blanket somewhere safe and play the built-in music and lights to help lull your baby back to sleep. Or, use the blanket as a playtime mat. These blankets are safe in the washer and dryer and have a long lasting built-in battery that will last 2 years or more. You can take 20% off with the coupon code Q7O1097S5KK, valid through 9/30/2014.
Every baby is different. Do what works best for YOUR baby.
Although it is best to breast feed your baby, sometimes circumstances don’t permit for babies to be breastfed. When my son was first born, he had a hard time latching. I ended up pumping and bottle feeding for the first few months of his life. After my son was born, we went through multiple bottles before finding a bottle that provided the perfect latch. I have to tell you, AVENT bottles saved us! Philips AVENT Natural Bottles wide breast-shaped nipple makes it easy for your baby to latch-on during feeding time. Not only do these bottles provide the perfect natural latch, but the anti-colic design prevents air from flowing into your baby’s stomach. When it’s time for clean-up, AVENT has a Bottle and Nipple brush that is the perfect tool to thoroughly clean all of your baby’s feeding products. Did you know that it’s recommended to air dry your baby’s bottles and feeding accessories? The AVENT Drying Rack has a modern and flexible design which holds an entire day’s worth of feeding products. This is by far the coolest drying rack I’ve ever seen. It’s convenient size and design fits perfectly on my kitchen counter. I’ve found many uses for this drying rack; not only does it dry bottles in a clean and effective manner, but it’s also perfect for drying sippy cups, water bottles, pacifiers, and nursing supplies.
Don’t be afraid of “spoiling” your baby.
I’ve heard the idea before, the thought that if you give your baby toooo much attention, you’ll spoil them. Toss that idea aside! Your baby isn’t out to manipulate you and just wants your attention, as much of it as they can get! Don’t worry about spoiling them with cute clothes, either. Cutie Bees has adorable styles like these soft organic cotton pants that look like jeans! They not only look cute but they’ll be comfy for baby, too! Cutie Bees uses non-toxic water based dyes that are gentle on baby’s skin and all of their clothing is free of formaldehyde, fire-retardants, chlorine, lead, and other harsh toxic chemicals often used in conventional clothing manufacturing. They are all about eco-friendly with materials that are recycled and even a cute tag that can be planted and grow into flowers. You can connect with Cutie Bees on Facebook for updates!
Snuggle your baby as much as possible!
When I had my first baby everyone said, “Don’t hold them too much!” I am so glad I didn’t listen! I snuggled my boy as much as possible and I would never trade those moments for anything. They were gone all too quickly. When my little girl came along, a short 18 months later, I planned on doing the exact same thing. Small problem, my hands were full with her brother! My wrap was my life saver. I got to keep my little lady close and cozy while still taking care of her brother. Solly Baby Wraps are different from other wraps because they feature the softest knits made of natural USA made fabrics. They are light and comfortable which is a lifesaver to me here in Arizona, I can wear it all summer without feeling hot and bulky. Each wrap can be tied for your newborn (up to 10 lbs.), in a classic carry (8-25+ lbs.), and for nursing as well! Moments with your little one are so precious, you blink and then they are 3 and headed to preschool. Solly Baby Wraps help you savor each and every intimate moment with your baby. Their new line launches September 8th at midnight EST and trust me you do not want to miss it! Set your alarms because they go fast!! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for sneak peaks and the latest news!
Never say, “I would never do that.”
You’ll be surprised how quickly those things you may have said you would never do as a parent yourself quickly become your own reality. It is stressful to hold yourself up to ideas you made before your new reality hit. Just be prepared for when “spit” happens and don’t let it stress you out. These full coverage burp pads by BurpGear not only look great, but they cover great too! They rest securely on your shoulder with a strap to keep them in place and cover both shoulders and front and back so you can easily hold and burp your baby without the fear of wearing spit-up to show for your new mom duties!
Take “me” time, if even just a minute.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your new job as “mom” that you may find you quickly forget your own needs. Take a minute, if even only one minute, to unwind and relax and focus on yourself. Especially if you are tired, stressed, or overwhelmed from a crying baby – a time out will help you refocus. Soulful Essence has a line of aromatherapy products that can help you to relax or balance your emotions and can even be helpful for a restless mom or baby. Try their Ouh La Lavender linen spray that can be sprayed directly on your sheets for a soothing sleep experience. Or use Get The Funk Out when the stinkies are at bay to keep the nursery smelling great, despite diaper changes!
Get outdoors whenever you can.
Taking a stroll outside with your little one helps cure cabin fever from being indoors all day. It will easily become a favorite activity for you and your little one, no matter their age. Plus, getting outside and chatting about all the different things you see inevitably calms baby down and gets them ready for nap time. Mezoome makes an adorable stroller liner that helps keep your stroller comfy and clean! It is machine washable so spills and crumbs in your stroller become no big deal. Plus, it is really easy to fit onto your stroller and fits most standard strollers. Then, lay your baby down on one of their super soft 100% Egyptian cotton sheets when nap time comes!
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.
It’s easy to get stressed out with little things happen that feel like a big thing. Try to let the little moments go an not let them stress you out. Remember, you and your baby are both learning the ropes together – and when they toss their cup on the floor, they’re watching and learning right with you! Use a tool like the Venta Airwasher to keep the air in your home clean and healthy! It will help keep everyone feeling great. The Airwasher works without filters by using water to clean dirty air! The air is drawn into the humidifier and washed by water to stop bacteria, germs, dust, allergens – even odor! At the same time, clean water is released to humidify the air for a perfectly clean, cozy room.
Record the everyday moments.
Every day your baby starts to discover new things and you experience firsts together. Doesn’t matter if the moments are new discoveries, overwhelming minutes, funny stories, or something else entirely. Take the time to jot them down as they will be easy to forget. Satsuma Designs is a USA based company that can help you care for all of your babies littlest moments. From playtime to nursery and bath essentials and everywhere in-between. Like their Bamboo changing pad cover that uses bamboo’s natural germ fighting properties to keep your changing table clean and fresh. The cover not only looks great, it’s soft and cozy too. I was also drawn towards their organic washable nursing pads. I’ve always disliked the disposable pads, and these generously sized 5″ circular pads with 4 layers of ultra soft bamboo will provide comfortable protection. Bamboo fabric is naturally antibacterial and absorbent so it’s the perfect choice for a nursing pad.
Establish a routine.
A routine helps everyone in the family know what’s coming next. From bed times to meal times, having a basic routine you follow each day will help your day run smoothly. Routines can also help beyond just your daily schedule with making a habit out of certain every day moments like a trip to the bathroom is followed by wiping, flushing, and then washing your hands. My 22 month old loves to be independent while washing his hands an with a step stool and a few cool tools from Aqueduck he is able to turn on the water and wash his hands all by himself! The faucet extender brings the water closer to the front of the sink so he can reach the water. Then, with the handle extender he can both turn on and off the water, though it was a bit tricky for him at first to push up on the extender, not push down like he naturally wanted to do.
Give your baby space.
As a first time mom, I worried a lot and needed my baby near me at all times. I quickly learned that giving both my baby and myself some space from each other helped us both to relax. Most of the time, that meant just laying my newborn down in a safe and protected place like his bassinet or crib for a nap rather than holding him. Cloud B makes products that are perfect for soothing an infant or toddler and engaging their senses. Their Twilight Turtle shines stars up onto the ceiling and wall to create a calming dimly light room that is easy for baby to fall asleep in. The timer automatically turns of the turtle after 45 minutes to ensure a completely dark room, which is recommended by pediatricians for deep sleep. Add a Sunshine Owl to play one of four melody tracks to lull baby to sleep. It attaches easily to the side of baby’s crib and has two sleep timer settings.