Slippery Tricks for Bathing a Newborn

“Slippery when wet!” – the definition of bathing your baby.

It dawned on me recently that bathing a newborn baby is a potential cause of stress for new parents. I’m here to give you just a few helpful hints on the what, when and how to bath that sweet, slippery little bundle of joy.

The first question when it comes to bathing is “how often?” A newborn doesn’t need to be bathed daily, especially with soap. She isn’t really doing anything to get especially dirty, and she needs all the natural oils to help protect her brand new skin. So, my advice to most parents is to do a full bath with soap no more than twice a week. Once a week is really fine. Of course, if there’s been a blown out diaper, or big brother spilled his apple juice all over her, then by all means wash the baby! Just remember that bathing daily strips baby of the precious natural barrier.

Another concern that seems to come up is choosing a soap. Is your bar of Dial okay? Does she need to have an organic, vegan, gluten-free unscented goat’s milk that is processed on the third full moon of the month and enriched with the tears of a unicorn? Okay…. that probably doesn’t exist but if it did I guarantee it would be trending!! The answer is that you should use a gentle, preferably unscented soap product that is made for babies. The brand you choose is up to you.

Choose any brand, except this one…. trust me and all the other 90s kids alive to tell the tale– it traumatized a great many of us with it’s “no tears” advertising.

Finally- the biggest concern is HOW should you be bathing the baby? Once the cord stump has fallen off you can officially submerge baby in warm water. If she didn’t like the sponge baths you were giving her before, then you’re likely a little scared of approaching the subject again.

There are the tons of options floating around the internet about which method is best. Co-showering with your newborn, co-bathing, inflatable tubs, bath seats, bath slings…. the list goes on! It’s a lot to sift through, and overwhelming.

So what’s my super easy, and safe way to bathe your baby? It’s the old fashioned kitchen sink method. You can purchase big sponges and seats that fit in your kitchen sink if you’d like. I find that they can be helpful, although sometimes more headache than they are worth.

Regardless you’ll want 2 washrags, one hand towel and two bath towels. Get everything you need to use within reach well before you undress baby. You will want to fill your clean kitchen sink with warm water that is JUST warm to the touch. Likely not as warm as you’d use to shower with. Be sure to use the inside of your wrist or forearm to test the water temperature.

When the sink is about half full, take your hand towel and lay it under where baby’s back will be positioned. This will provide traction for baby’s body- so he won’t slip under the water and it will also absorb the warmth and spread it across the baby’s back where s/he may not be submerged. This helps baby stay calm and comfortable. Once you have baby in the water, be sure to keep one hand behind his neck/head to support him at all times. You’ll take one of the washrags and lay it over his front side to absorb warmth and keep the air from chilling him. (If your little boy’s penis isn’t under water, you may want to be sure to cover that with a washrag as well… just trust me.)

Use your second washrag to gently wash his face, without soap first and then you can use a little baby soap to shampoo his head, and of course the rest of his body. Water from his head may run over his ears, but it should be fine if you make sure to tip his head back a bit to keep it from going inside the ear. (For little girls- use care and don’t force any soap up into her genital area.) You don’t need to scrub his body, just a light swipe over his skin with the soap is enough. If you’re comfortable you can lift baby and try to get his back washed, however this can be awkward so just do what feels best to you.

Once baby is all clean, you’re going to spread one of the bath towels across your front. This can be tricky to do one handed, but you’re a parent now and doing things with one hand is an occupational necessity. Gently lift baby from the water with BOTH hands under his arms to keep him from slipping away and place him on the towel on your chest. Wrap him up, and then wrap the second towel around him for extra warmth.

Do not rub the baby dry, just gently pat, or you could even just snuggle for a moment while the towels do their job. Once he’s dry, you can place him on a changing table (or the floor) and dress him as usual. This is an excellent time to do a little infant massage.

The key to baths is to try to keep your baby as warm and comfortable as possible. If you’re able to have another adult nearby to help you the first few times, that would be great but it’s totally doable with just one adult. Make sure you don’t let baby’s head go under the water, and try to keep him safe from drafts or cool air. He’s going to get upset if he’s chilled, but if you can keep him warm you will find bathtime to be pretty relaxing and perhaps a bonding experience for you both.

Call Their Genitals By The Correct Names

There are few things that get a good, old fashioned Grandma clutching her pearls quicker than a toddler saying “Penis” or “Vagina.” The use of these anatomical names are often seen as vulgar, uncouth and definitely NOT for the mouths of babes.

So why would I recommend that you teach your children to name their body parts accurately from the beginning?

Two reasons: Safety and Body Positivity.

Obviously none of us wants to consider the chance of a sweet, innocent child being violated by a predator but studies show that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are the victim of sexual abuse as children. That’s a BIG number, and it’s also likely a bit higher considering not all cases are reported to authorities. So although this is absolutely worst case scenario– it’s also something that we must acknowledge and be proactive in preventing.

One of the first lines of defense is giving your child the vocabulary to be able to accurately disclose any abuse to any trusted adults. If you teach your child that her vagina/vulva is a cookie and she tells her teacher that someone touched her cookie- the teacher is likely to dismiss the disclosure. Not only is this a missed opportunity for the child’s abuser to be stopped– but it gives the child the impression that she isn’t going to get help even if she reaches out.

Consider how that comment would be handled if your daughter said to a teacher that someone “touched her vagina or vulva?” It would raise ALL the alarm bells. This fact is enough for a parent to want to teach their child to correctly name their body parts.

Additionally, there is a psychological aspect of teaching our kids the correct language for their bodies. When we treat a penis as just another body part, no different than an arm or foot, we are teaching them that there are no parts of their body that are taboo, or that they should be ashamed of. These early messages play deeply into their feelings about their bodies over time. Psychology Today states that teaching the anatomically correct names for body parts encourages body positivity, self confidence and openness. It also, as stated previously, reduces the susceptibility of your children being molested. When a child has the needed vocabulary, they can easily articulate the things they have experienced, and even discourage a potential predator from violating them in the first place. A predator doesn’t want to be caught, and knowing that your child can out them correctly could be enough to scare them off.

How do you teach them that they should not be ashamed of these body parts, while simultaneously teaching them that those parts are not to be shared? I’ve spent some time considering that dilemma in my years as a mother and what I have done is tell my children that their penis/vagina is a private body part that isn’t for anyone to touch except themselves, occasionally the doctor and their parents if something is wrong with it and they need help. Striking a balance is tough, but it’s about being calm and not making a big deal when your toddler runs across the room naked in front of company. Simply, firmly saying that they must wear pants is no different than saying they must wear shoes.

The key here is to remain calm and not ever treat their body as anything that is to be ashamed of. Remember that you may have to explain to older relatives why you’re teaching them to say these traditionally “inappropriate” things, but in the long run its for the child’s safety and wellness.

Depression’s Ugly Cousin; Rage

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I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows what Postpartum Depression is, and we all have an idea of what it is supposed to look like: think Kirstie Alley crying at the television in a bath robe (am I showing my age with this reference?) But what a lot of people don’t realize is Postpartum Depression isn’t always just sadness, and crying over silly things. In some cases there is no crying at all and the emotions that are triggered in a new mother are big and scary- to her and her family. Mom rage. Have you heard of it? Did you know it’s actually a symptom of PMADs (perinatal mood and anxiety disorder)?? Yes, it’s the irrational cousin to illogical crying and it is AWFUL. Rage is different than anger. Anger is a natural emotional response to stimuli, and it can motivate you to find solutions to problems. Rage on the other hand, is completely uncontrollable anger sometimes leading to violent or senseless acts. It’s important to note- most mothers who experience this symptom have no previous experience with rage of this kind. It comes on suddenly and often surprises the mother as much as her family who catches the brunt of her rage.

I’m going to take this time to say if you are experiencing postpartum, or any sort of mom rage (it happens to moms of all stages) and you are afraid you will bring harm to your child, partner, self or even a pet… GET HELP NOW. It is not your fault that you’re experiencing this, but it’s your responsibility to reach out to a medical provider for assistant. Your child’s pediatrician is a good resource for you- you can definitely talk to him/her about your feelings at the next well check for your child. Another good resource is Postpartum Support International- PSI ( http://www.postpartum.net ) where you can get on the phone with a trained person who can talk to you and refer you to a provider for further support. Please, don’t do something you can’t take back– get the help you need, now.

I experienced postpartum rage with the birth of my first son. At the time, I had no clue it was caused by a psychological condition. I honestly couldn’t control it, and that’s the thing with mom rage… even mom doesn’t really understand why she’s yelling. I remember saying horrible, nasty things to my partner- who really wasn’t doing anything wrong. I would get so angry- yelling and being mean to him that I would wear myself out and fall asleep sobbing because I didn’t understand why I was always mad. I fully understand what mothers mean when they say they “just get so mad.” I knew in my logical mind that I could not take my rage out on my baby, and so my husband was always the target of my rage. It was no way to live, and did not make for a very healthy marriage.

Unfortunately, in my case… I didn’t learn to manage my rage in a healthy way for a very long time. I don’t want you to have the same problem I did, so I am here to offer some helpful tips for you if you’re experiencing mom-rage. Before we discuss ways to help yourself, let’s chat about the possible causes of mom rage. It’s important to remember that often rage is a symptom of anxiety. What are some anxiety triggers for moms??

  • The comparison trap! Moms are comparing themselves to the picture perfect images they see on social media, and this is DANGEROUS. Social media is a lie! You are seeing only what those mothers want you to see. They aren’t showing you the bowls of cereal on the dining table- soggy and spoiling. They don’t show you the weeks worth of laundry hidden in the bedroom closet. They don’t take videos of their toddler’s tantrum or their teen telling his mother to “F__ off.” (even though he knows better.) They only show you the pretty things, and sometimes those pretty moments are preceded by a lot of shouting, sweating and crying.
  • Mothers have an uncanny ability to stretch themselves far too thin. Even if you just had a baby- you’re probably doing everything you can to “bounce back.” You’re trying to keep up with housework, family visits, friendships, pets, errands, doctor’s appointments, your marriage and your newborn baby. It is exhausting even for the brand new mother! Consider the more established mother- a couple of kids, a job, PTA meetings, school projects and fundraisers, friendships, appointments for everyone, errands, meal planning, budgeting, a marriage, your kids’ every single need. Motherhood is busy! Moms aren’t superhuman and they get overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed = anxiety.
  • Read through the two previous examples of a day in the life of a mother… notice something missing? Moms are always prioritizing everyone else’s needs first. Again I say, moms are not superhuman- they need to eat, sleep and relax too! Newborn moms are especially bad at remembering to feed themselves properly. And that old adage “sleep when baby sleeps” has made every one of us scoff loudly more than once, right? When we aren’t taking care of ourselves, we are apt to get cranky.
  • The last challenge we have is hard to explain. No, really, it is hard for us to explain! The mental and emotional energy that goes into running a household day in and day out is totally draining! It’s hard to explain why we are tired, because it’s not something tangible that can be seen by others. Newborn is cluster-feeding, and you can’t sleep comfortably with baby on your chest? Stayed awake last night worried about how your preschooler writes all his letters backwards? How about the teeth clenching, heart racing, and knuckle whitening feeling of repeating yourself over, and over and over again all afternoon? It’s all really hard to pin down, but boy… does it wear a girl out! Emotional exhaustion is a big factor in triggering mom rage.

Once you recognize your triggers, you can start to work on anticipating them. Sit and think about it- what triggers you? If it’s a lack of alone time, then try scheduling some alone time in, and girl don’t you dare feel bad about it. If its hunger, make sure you eat regularly. If its being stretched too thin then explore the idea of asking for help, or hiring it if that’s feasible. I’ve known women who find that getting to the gym and working out is their key to happiness, and for others it’s a bi weekly nail appointment. For me? It’s quiet time! Time to sit in beautiful silence and think my thoughts. Find your thing, and stick to it. If you are having trouble controlling your emotions still, even after trying to find your triggers, getting enough rest and eating enough- call your medical provider and talk to them. Don’t forget 20-30% of mothers experience some kind of mental health issue after having a baby, and beyond. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s totally normal.

Motherhood is not supposed to be grey. So if your experiencing any kind of symptoms, at any stage of life… reach out! It’s okay to ask for help! You’re beautiful, you’re needed and you need to take care of YOU. When you take care of yourself, that spills over into all aspects of your life. Take care of yourself, mama!

A New Village

This will be a short and sweet post- but it’s exciting!! I am now admin for a new support group on Facebook for women who are trying to become, or are pregnant, postpartum women, and moms with toddler aged kiddos. 2020 had been isolating, to say the least, and it’s been difficult for new mothers to find their people with all the usual routes for friend-making shut down. So this is an opportunity to connect with not only other moms, but doulas as well. I am available to answer questions, as are many of my colleagues in the birth world. I will host educational Live events periodically, and probably some events that will turn out more entertaining and silly… because that’s just me.

This is not regionally based- you don’t need to live in southern Indiana to jump in on the fun!! If this is something that you’re interested in- click the link below to join! I can’t wait to see you there!!

Love, Kelli

https://www.facebook.com/groups/241565530977425

How to Decide Which Breast to Offer

Photo by Icaro Mendes on Pexels.com

Most new nursing moms try to nurse on one breast, then switch to the other breast at the next feeding. This system works, but is it the best?

Honestly, I won’t tell you what system is best- it’s not my thing. I prefer to offer you options to try to find which you like best. So that’s the purpose of this post- to offer another option.

When you think about mealtime, specifically a meal in a restaurant, you can easily imagine the system I’m teaching you. The beginning of this process starts with “bread, appetizers” or the first part of the meal- usually when you are MOST hungry- you barely taste the first few bites because you’re just wanting to get it in your tummy as fast possible. The same idea applies to a baby, just woken from a sleep and ready to eat! That baby is going to swallow fast, trying to get as much in his belly as he can in the shortest amount of time. Once he starts to feel less empty, he will slow down, and may even need to be burped if he’s taken in much air. If baby begins squirming at your breast after the initial let down happens- try burping him to see if he just needs to let out some air. Often when we’ve sucked down a full glass of soda and eaten 3 dinner rolls, we will need to burp ourselves (ever so politely behind out napkins of course.)

After the baby’s slowed down, perhaps has had a burp, it’s time for the main course- this is on the SAME breast that you’ve just given him his starter on. Baby will drink deeply and slowly at this point, drifting in and out of that euphoric baby “milk drunk” phase. At the point that baby becomes satisfied, he will pop off the breast, full and happy. This is the best time to change a diaper (although you might wait, as I’ve noticed babies tend to poop just about 10 minutes after a feed,) burp baby, and play with your baby. This is that “quiet alert state” that parents are told about.

After a bit of play time, with a dry diaper your baby will start to show signs of overstimulation, fussiness or sleepiness. At this point it’s time for DESSERT!! Yes, you are going to offer your tiny baby a dessert. Using the OTHER breast, you nurse the baby until s/he dozes right back off into dreamland. Super simple, the dessert course works as a top-off, a final bite before finishing the meal experience.

Then when the baby wakes again, ready to feed- you’ll offer him/her the starter course on the breast that was the dessert breast last time. Does that make sense?? Hang on, I’ll draw a picture….

That’s it!! Starter, Main Course, Dessert. I’ve been told this technique makes breastfeeding so much smoother for mom and baby! It helps your baby to be able to pop off and on the breast, burping and taking a break when his/her body naturally feel the need to. It also helps to relieve pressure on the other breast at each feeding, so that you aren’t always terribly lopsided!! If you’re worried about latching baby on and off repeatedly, check out my post about how to get a great latch at:

https://nurtureyoudoula.com/2020/12/15/the-four-rules-of-breastfeeding-you-should-definitely-know-about/

HAPPY NURSING!!!

The Four Rules of Breastfeeding You Should Definitely Know About!

Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexels.com

Full disclosure here; I can’t take credit for these rules myself. I took an online course taught by a lovely woman name Samantha Crompton, a lactation consultant and midwife in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ms. Crompton explained breastfeeding to me in a way I’d never heard and it made so much sense that I’m passing the information on to you!!

(( You can find her on Facebook as The Baby Lady or at http://www.sjcconsulting.webs.com ))

Photo by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz on Pexels.com

The first rule is “No Hands Above the Ears”

This is in reference to your hands, not the baby’s. You want to ensure your hand is below the ears while still supporting baby’s head/neck. The reason that you don’t want to hold onto the back of baby’s head is because you can wind up forcing baby into an undesired position for drinking. Think about when you, yourself take a drink of water. You tip your head back, right? Try taking a drink with your chin to your chest… it’s nearly impossible to swallow, isn’t it? This is the same idea. You want to give baby that nice extension of the throat to allow optimal swallowing. This has the added benefit of allowing baby to tip his/her head back when breathing through the nose. You won’t need to worry about your baby being able to breath as long as you’re allowing him/her to control that head movement, even if you (like me) have large breasts that you’re certain will smother that tiny infant.

The second rule is “Tummy to Mummy” (or Mommy)

This is possibly the most useful rule in this list. Tummy to mommy is a way to remind you that your baby is far more portable than you are. I was guilty of this, and I often see in my practice- mothers who bring their breast to the baby, rather than bringing baby to the breast. If you are nursing in an upright, slouched position you are going to destroy your back in a matter of hours. You are nursing CONSTANTLY and you absolutely must be in a relaxed position while you’re nursing. So, make yourself comfortable, first, and then bring baby to YOU, align his/her tummy to your body and nurse comfortably.

The third and fourth rules are “Nose to Nipple” and “Biting the Apple”

Nose to nipple, this is to help you perfect your latch and it aligns with biting the apple. So the idea is to bring baby’s nose to your nipple, and wait for them to open big and wide like they’re taking a bite of an apple and then pop them onto the breast in that moment. This ensures that baby has the majority of your nipple in their mouth, and that they get that deep, comfortable latch we all want.

So those are the four, simple by very important rules of breastfeeding. It’s so easy when you read it, but it can be difficult to remember to take all these steps when you’re sleep deprived and sore. Try writing these rules on a post-it or notepad near where you nurse so you can remember to follow the rules. Happy Lactating!!

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

Recommended Reading for New Parents

This post is in a simple list format so that you can easily scan through and find a book without too much chatter from me. I will eventually write reviews for the books on this list, and if you have any questions about any of them, feel free to reach out. I will not ever list a book here that I don’t think is helpful to new parents, so you can trust that all of these have my stamp of approval. Additionally, I am adding links for you to purchase the titles from Amazon. This are affiliate links, which simply means I get a tiny kick-back if you buy through the links. But again, I won’t ever share anything I don’t believe in.

I know I said I wouldn’t comment much but this book is my FAVORITE postpartum book so far!! It covers literally everything.
Full of recipes and helpful hints for the first few months after a baby, this book is a go-to for postpartum nutritional information.

Special Offer from Mother’s Lounge! FREE BABY ITEMS!!

Hello friends!! I went online this afternoon, searching for freebies that I could offer to you. I fell into a bit of a rabbit hole and came out with the following links to websites with special discount codes that will get you most of the products for free (just pay shipping.)

I love free samples, free products and getting a really great deal. I am bringing these links to you so that you can “cash-in” on the deals also. I have personally used some of these products, others I haven’t so please- if you order something from a link here and you are dissatisfied, contact me so I can remove the information from my website. I *never* want to cheat you, and it isn’t worth the few bucks commission to me to have you be dissatisfied. I’d also love to hear what you love so I can keep it in my handy dandy notebook as something to recommend in the future.

I am here to help new parents, and these products range from practical to OOOOEEEMMMMGEEEEE it’s so cute!!

Be aware that the following links are affiliate links which means that I do get a bit of commission from the sales, but it won’t cost you anything extra. 

CARSEAT CANOPY

The first link is to a product I have actually used and really loved. It’s a carseat cover, perfect for keeping baby warm, out of the sun, and also away from prying, germy fingers. My daughter had the “Kendra” Minky Dot Fabric, which made an excellent substitute for her favorite blanket “Pinkie” whenever we washed laundry.

Here is a photo of the product I owned, personally.  Source: carseatcanopy.com

This website has a variety of patterns, materials and styles so you can find something to suit your needs. The discount code will get you $50 off an order. This means you can just get a free canopy and pay shipping, or you can get something like the “whole caboodle” and take that $50 off.

https://www.carseatcanopy.com/

Use the Discount Code: nurtureyou1 to get your freebie!!!

Seven Baby (baby wraps and slings)

You all know I love babywearing, right? At Seven Baby, you can choose a sling or wrap in the pattern of your choice. My discount code will get you the sling for free, the wraps are a bit more pricey- but with the code you’ll still be getting a great deal!

Photo of sling carrier from sevenbaby.com

Go to https://www.sevenbaby.com/

Use discount code: nurtureyou1 and receive $40 off your order! Just pay shipping.

Nursing Pillow

Who doesn’t need a good nursing pillow? Trust me when I tell you, you will use this thing for way more than just breastfeeding. In fact, my husband liked to ours as an extra large neck pillow (for his rather thick neck.) The nursing pillow is one of my favorite baby products, I find it to be so versatile. Choose your favorite and use my code for $40 off, just pay shipping on MANY of the patterns available!!

Source: nursingpillow.com

https://www.nursingpillow.com/cart

Promo code: nurtureyou1

Udder Covers

Okay, I have to admit the title of this product makes me giggle. If you’ve ever nursed a newborn, you know that you can begin to feel a bit like a milk machine.  These nursing covers are pretty and they can be used for more than just nursing in public. This works as a blanket, burp cloth or even a changing pad in a pinch. The nursing cover pictured below comes in many patterns and colors and you can get it free! Just pay shipping. My discount code gets you $35 off on this website.

Source: “Liam” from uddercovers.com

Go to http://www.uddercovers.com

Use the code: nurtureyou1

Milk Bands

Milk Bandsβ„’ are a uniquely designed nursing bracelet that enables the mother to quickly and conveniently identify which breast she last used to feed her baby by simply turning the bracelet inside-out!

But thats not the only purpose, the also have handy time measuring sliders on them to keep track of how long baby fed last, and on which breast. This would be very helpful to a mother trying to get her supply up, or a mother who’s ready to wean. My code will get you $35 off, which comes out to 5 bands, just pay shipping!

Source: milkbands.com

Go to milkbands.com

Use discount code nurtureyou1

Hot Slings

You may be thinking…. why are you sharing another babysling deal? Well, for one thing…. because I have it to offer, but also because I am a firm believer in accessorizing…. even as a mom. So, why not have a few baby carriers that you can match to your shoes…. or pajama pants… or whatever. My code here will get you a $30 discount.

Source: hotslings.com

Go to: http://www.hotslings.com

Discount code: nurtureyou1 {noticing the pattern yet?}

Belly Button Bands

The purpose of this stretchy piece of material is actually VERY practical to a mother. The belly band goes around your belly, allowing you to wear your non-maternity jeans unbuttoned/unzipped with no one noticing. (I need one of these for that Quarantine 15…..errr…. 50) My discount code here will give you $40 to play with on the site, allowing you to grab one body band or two belly bands. Check them out! Lots of colors are available.

Source: bellybuttonbands.com

Go to: http://www.bellybuttonbands.com

Discount code: nurtureyou1

Baby Leggings

Confession- when I bought these my husband looked at me like I was insane. But they were oh-so-cute!! “Baby Leggings are a fashionable, and cute way that you can protect your baby’s knees, keep them warm, and not have to worry about rug burn! These stylish leggings are super soft, and come in all sorts of cute designs (With over 150+ Designs!).” – the baby leggings site says- these are a one size fits most product with sooooo many cute designs. And my code gets you $50! That’s around 5 pairs of cuteness!!!

Source: babyleggings.com

This site also has some really adorable bibs. These aren’t on my “needs” list for baby, but they are definitely precious, and would make a GREAT baby shower gift.

Go to: http://www.babyleggings.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Breast Pads

Ahhhh…. breast pads… you have no idea how valuable they are until you need them and don’t have any. These reusable breast pads come 4 in a pack, and run about $7 each package. They have TONS of colors, patterns and even some pretty funny ones too. I like these watermelon pads. My code gets you $35 to play with, remember you’ll just pay shipping.

Source: breastpads.com

Go to: http://www.breastpads.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Ruffle Buns

So we’ll stick this on our “super cute baby shower gift” list. These are ruffled butt bloomers, or diaper covers, for babies. Presh? Absolutely!! If you have a little man in the house, don’t worry! Ruffle buns sells Stud Muffins for boys also. My code gets you $60 to play with on the site. I know I loved the ruffles when my little girl was born… so go get some.

Source: rufflebuns.com

Go to: http://www.rufflebuns.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Babsy Books

I am an avid reader, I have philosophy (much to my husband’s dismay) that you can NEVER have too many books! My children have even realized that I have a hard time saying no when they want a new book. I give books in lieu of birthday cards. I love books. So I’m excited to bring you this deal!! $40 off on this website will get you 5 board books for only the shipping costs.

Source: babsybooks.com

Go to: http://www.babsybooks.com

Use code: nurtureyou1

Hot Hips

This product is similar to the belly bands above, except THIS one has a button to secure it to your jeans!! With these you’ll be able to stay in your pre-pregnancy jeans for longer than your belly would otherwise allow! This code gets you $60 off your order.

Source: hothips.com

Go to: http://www.hothips.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Eskimo Kids

These are so fun and warm for the whole family! Choose your favorite furry creature from the wide selection and keep warm this winter in the faux fur cuteness! My discount code gets you $35 off!

Source: eskimokids.com

Go to: http://www.eskimokids.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Hooded Towels

I was a skeptic of these towels as a first time mom, but let me tell you…. they are AWESOME! Especially for rangling toddlers who don’t want to stay still. Wrap your kiddo up in this warm and colorful towel to make drying off a breeze! My code saves you $35 which should get you one free towel if you pay shipping!!

Source: hoodedtowels.com

Go to: http://www.hoodedtowels.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Pregnancy Pillow

Any woman who has been pregnant knows that a pregnancy pillow is one of the best things ever made. Find a pillow that suits you on this site, choosing from a variety of colors and materials and styles. My code gets you $50 off your order.

Source: pregnancypillow

Go to: http://www.pregnancypillow.com

Code: nurtureyou1

iCoil

This portable, extra long charger is great for helping mom keep her phone charged while she nurses in a spot not conveniently placed near an outlet. 12ft USB cord, coils around the base so you won’t be tangled up. Many colors available. My code saves you $30!

Source: icoil.com

Go to: http://www.icoil.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Little Fans

Themed carseat covers, these are for the little sports fans to be in your life. Choose your favorite team and keep baby cozy while you rep your squad. My code gets you $35 off your order.

Source: littlefans.com

Go to: http://www.littlefans.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Little Wanderers

Baby’s shoes are just about the sweetest thing! They are so unnecessary, however and hard soled shoes are NOT recommended for babies and young toddlers who are still learning to walk. This deal will score you a free pair (or even 2 pairs) of soft soled, adorable infant shoes that will make all the grandma’s go “AWWWWW!!” $6p off your order, just pay shipping!

Source: littlewanderers.com

Go to: http://www.littlewanderers.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Custom Pacifiers

Pacifiers are so so awesome… especially at 3am. And on this site you can design your own!! With my code you’ll get $30 to play with, and with that- you can get up to 3 free personalized pacifiers! How awesome is that?! I have to say, this is the product I’m most excited about on this list.

Source: custompacifiers.com

Go to: http://www.custompacifiers.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Custom Snappies

Okay, maybe THESE are my favorite product in this offer. Custom onsies, made by you!! You’ll get $50 to use on this site to create TWO onsies as unique as your baby! Just pay that shipping cost and they’re all yours!!

Source: customsnappies.com

Go to: http://www.customsnappies.com

Code: nurtureyou1

Phew!! That was A LOT of information, and I lot of free stuff! I am so glad to be able to offer these specials to you. These are great options for yourself, your friends, coworkers, or anyone having a baby!!

Thank you for being here today! Let me know if you ordered anything and what you think of it! I really want to know!

Seeking Your Mom Tribe

Late October Swim Sesh because one of them has a heated pool- and it ain’t me!!

When seeking a mom-tribe; do not be afraid that you’re the only mom who’s child didn’t wear socks to school. Do not think that the spit up stain on your tee shirt will be a turn off. Don’t worry about your financial differences, don’t worry about the way you might not look or act like them. Maybe you have tattoos and none of them do. Maybe you have a history that you think they’ll be absolutely disgusted by. Maybe you are ashamed that your kids throw a tantrum at every hint of the word “no.”

When seeking your mom-tribe you will, without a doubt be riddled with all the worries. What if they don’t like you!?!?!

Mom Friends make a trip to the Pumpkin Patch with toddlers a form of self-care!!

Wanna know a secret??

They have the exact same concerns.

They love you even when you speak your ugly truth in front of a large group.

In high school we were divided by cliques, and although sometimes you find women who still subscribe to that way of thinking, most women aren’t about that life…. they do however worry that you ARE about that life. This is why you struggle making friends at playgrounds. But what I’ve found is that becoming a mother gives you an automatic membership to the most diverse clique of all….

The MOM LIFE clique. These women, of all shapes, sizes, colors, backgrounds all have one thing in common and that’s a deep, intimate understanding of what mothers all around the world experience.

All different walks of life, and one thing in common.

So when you look for your mom tribe or village or crew, don’t fret! Don’t even bother putting jeans on!! Just put yourself out there, exchange numbers and horror stories about poop. Before you know it you’ll have a whole group of wonderful mommies who will support you through troubled times, help you pull together your 6th graders homework at 11pm, and they will love you in the way you need to be loved.

Moms out on the town are even more fun that when you were in college!! We just go home before midnight.

If you are hiring me to be your doula, be sure to ask me where I found my tribe. They’re always taking new mama members.

Also- remember one of the BIGGEST things that you will need after a baby is FRIENDS who get it.

New Baby Must Haves

Let’s have a chat about what things you REALLY need to have when your new bundle of joy comes home.

Before the baby comes home, you should put some effort into creating your nest(s). You may want to create two or more areas. You’ll want these to be comfortable spots, maybe a comfortable chair in your living room and your bed with a pile of pillows to prop yourself up with. Next to your comfy sitting place, set up a table with a basket of items you’ll want to have handy. Let me be honest, from my own experience, those changing tables, dressers and cribs are nice and fun to buy… but they don’t really get much use in those first hazy months. In the baskets you’ll want some diapers, wipes, diaper cream (I need to add that to my image!!), nipple cream, nursing pads, tissues, healthy snacks, a phone charger, perhaps a dim lamp, burp clothes, pacifiers if you choose to use them, and maybe an extra sleeper/onesie. Also something good to buy is gripe water, just so you have it on hand.

Next, if you have a support team in place talk to them about creating a meal train. Do a bit of cooking, or even just prepare extra portions of meals you’re already making anyway, and place them in the freezer for easy to grab meals. Stock up on healthy snacks, lactation teas and cookies, and other herbal items you may want to try.

As for the big ticket items, it can be a bit mind boggling so let me narrow it down for you. You will need a carseat, bassinet or co-sleeper (again, a crib doesn’t typically get used right away in my experience) and an infant swing or bouncy seat with vibration or both of these. Additionally, choose a breast pump, and the bottles you want to try- many parents buy a few different brands because breastfed babies are often picky about those bottle nips- and breastmilk storage bags.

You will likely be drooling over the beautiful, and sometime EXTRA outfits that are on the market. Listen…. there is nothing cuter than a newborn dressed like a grandpa, or a baseball player, but honestly, you’re not going to need all those outfits. Of course, having a couple in the closet is SUPER fun and great for pictures, but they grow out of them FAST and you’ll find yourself spending the big bucks for something that won’t get worn much. You’ll want to buy onesies, and sleepers. Take it from a vet-mom and buy sleepers with a zipper and not snaps!! Also pick up a couple of sleepers/onesies in the next size up for baby…. because they really do grow overnight. You’ll thank me for that. Warm blankets, as well as receiving blankets and burp clothes are a must have.

For now, that’s all I can think of that you really need. I’ll add to this list if I think of anything else. I want you to know, this is my own opinion… and you may find that I’m crazy for thinking wipe warmers and changing tables are unnecessary. That’s fine!! If you’re having a baby on a budget, though, this list is sure to put your mind at ease.