Family

AFTER THE BUMP SERIES: SIMPLE TRICKS FOR GETTING BACK INTO SHAPE AFTER HAVING A BABY

Women’s bodies are pretty incredible. We grow babies in our body, we push the babies out of our body, and we feed the babies…with our body. That’s a lot of work our bodies have to go through! Adjusting to life with a newborn can be busy and stressful. The desire to hit the gym and start exercising again, while great, can sometimes seem impossible. I’ve set my alarm for 6 am for two weeks in a row now, every night with the intention of getting up and working out from 6-7am before I need to get the boys ready for school. I’ve actually gotten up and done that one time in the two weeks. Sometimes I feel like if I don’t get to the gym by 6, my opportunity to exercise and be healthy is over for the day because now I need to get kids fed, dressed, driven to school, grocery shop, feed the baby, on and on.

After having Eli, I’ve realized that just because I can’t make it to the gym everyday doesn’t meant that I can’t be healthy. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to fit into my everyday life while taking care of kiddos.

Exercise wherever you are.
Taking care of a baby isn’t for sissys. All day long you are hauling a 20+ lb baby carseat from the house to the car, from the car to the grocery store, back to the car into the school, etc.  You are loading heavy groceries into the car, lifting your stroller, pushing your stroller up the hill to the school, carrying a baby on your hip, helping a toddler see over a tall fence, etc. I’m on my feet constantly and all that heavy lifting is definitely a workout!

If you haven’t had a chance to hit the treadmill, take your kids to the park and walk/jog next to them on the walkway. Sometimes I do stroller squats around the park while Cash plays at the playground (hold onto the stoller with both hands and lunge with each step you take). Park a little further from the school and make yourself walk up that hill for afternoon pickup. Incorporate exercise throughout your day…and chances are, you’re already getting a pretty good workout just taking care of the baby!


Invest in quality workout clothes.
I find it a whole lot easier to get out and exercise when I have workout clothes that I actually want to wear. Being already dressed in comfy running shoes or a cute sweat-wicking top makes it easier for me to get out and move around more. And get some nursing friendly options too! I’ve been looking all over for a good nursing friendly sports bra. I finally found this front zip sports bra at Zappos and I ordered it immediately.  It was at my house in 2 days (free shipping!) and now it is so much easier to nurse Eli after a workout.

Pack yourself healthy snacks.
I am always throwing fishie crackers and granola bars in my bag for the boys to snack on.  If you don’t have something for yourself in your bag, chances are you are going to get starving (especially if nursing) and you are going to eat the extra bag of fruit snacks because you don’t have anything else. I always have a bag of nuts in my bag. They are filling and healthy. I buy this jar of unsalted nuts fills up two of the nut containers perfectly. It is so yummy!

Keep taking your vitamins.
Just because you aren’t pregnant anymore doesn’t mean you should stop taking your prenatal vitamins. I also take 3 of these biotin pills to help with my skin complexion and post baby hair loss (because hormones be crazy!).  I take one Fenugreek pill everyday because it helps with my milk supply. I tend to lose my milk after 9 months, and this supplement has really helped keep my supply up. It might not be necessary/beneficial for everyone, but it has helped me.

Drink tons of water.
I’ve never been a big water drinker. It has no taste to me and it’s so hard for me to force myself to drink water. I’ve been flavoring my water with Mio and now I drink so much water! My guilty pleasure is the Mio Energy (black cherry flavor) mixed with a squirt of Mio lemonade. (it tastes like strawberry lemonade!) The Mio Energy gives me a much needed caffeine boost throughout the day. I know it isn’t the best option, because it does have an artificial sweetener, but I just do one squeeze into a giant thing of water…much less than the recommended serving. And it’s got to be healthier than Diet Coke, right?!

Prep your meals beforehand.
Diet is a HUGE part of getting and staying healthy. I always heard that and believed this, but it wasn’t until I started cutting down my sugar intake drastically that I actually saw how much diet helped even when I don’t have time for intense workouts.  If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (leannebarlow), you probably know that I eat pretty much the same thing everyday (with the exception of dinner). I’ve streamlined my diet so that I know exactly what I am going to be eating that day and barely have to even prepare it.

The trick is to do it all on Sunday night. I prep my breakfast and lunch Mon-Fri on Sunday nights. That way I can just grab the pre-made tupperware from my fridge and inhale it as I feed my own kids. I’ve listed out my recipes for breakfast and lunch below…


For Breakfast: Overnight Oats

1/2 C Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 C Greek Yogurt 
(I love this Strawberry-Honey one. I just buy a quart of it at the grocery store)
1 tsp chia seeds 
1/3-1/2 C Almond Milk
(I use the unsweetened kind. I do a little less than 1/2 cup. If it’s too dry when I go to eat it in the morning, I just add a little more)

Pour all the ingredients into a tupperware, mix it all up with a spoon, and stick in in the fridge. I make 5 at a time, so I do it all really quickly and don’t really use exact measurements. They last about 5-6 days in the fridge, so its perfect to make for the whole week. In the morning I just chop of some bananas or strawberries into it and add a small scoop of jam or a little honey and mix it all up. The chia seeds and the oats absorb the milk overnight, so it’s the consistency of oatmeal. Eating cold oatmeal might take a little getting used to, but I’m hooked! And it keeps me full till lunch. 
For Lunch: Chicken Sausage Veggie Bowl
2 packages of Chicken Sausage (the Italian Style is my favorite)
2 C uncooked brown rice or quinoa 
4 zucchinis (I do 2 yellow and 2 green)
3 sweet potatoes
Garlic Powder (to taste)
Salt/Pepper (to taste)
Feta Cheese
1 can of Roasted Red Peppers (I buy the ones that are pre sliced so I don’t have to chop them up each time)

This makes enough for 7 days worth of lunches for me. 
On Sunday night I cut up all the sausage links (I cut them all along the center length-wise first, then across about 1/2″ wide), and throw them all in a big skillet with some EVOO to brown. While they are cooking I put my rice in the rice cooker, and I chop up all my veggies. I cut up my zucchini the same way I do the sausages, along the center and chopped. I peel the sweet potatoes and slice them 1/2″ thick, then cut each in half both ways, kind of like a mini pizza. Once my veggies are cut, I let them sit out on the counter for a bit so they all have a chance to dry from being washed. If I store them while they are still wet, they will get moldy faster. Once they are fully dry, I throw each one into a gallon ziploc bag with a paper towel inside (to absorb any extra liquid). I store all my cooked rice/quinoa and my cooked sausage in 2 separate tupperware containers and throw them in the fridge too. 
When it’s time for lunch, I put the rice/quinoa in the bottom of my bowl (I do a little more than 1/2 a cup), and top with about 1/2 C of sausage, and about 1/2 C zucchini and 1/2 C sweet potatoes. Then I stick it in the microwave for 4 minutes. This is long enough to cook the veggies so I don’t have to dirty another pan just to cook them! Then I sprinkle lots of garlic powder, salt and pepper over the veggies, add a little feta cheese and roasted red peppers, and mix it all up. 
I’m not a huge cook, and I came up with this recipe bit by bit over the past year. I wanted a way to eat lots of veggies but not have to take a lot of time to cook them each day, and this way works!
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So don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s hard work taking care of kids, and chances are you are getting more exercise then you are giving yourself credit for! 
*Photography by Kendra Maarse Photography. In collaboration with Zappos.
Family

AFTER THE BUMP SERIES: WHAT TO PACK FOR THE HOSPITAL

Packing for the hospital can be tricky. Especially if it’s your very first baby, how are you supposed to know what you will need? For today’s After the Bump series, I’m breaking down how to pack for the hospital so you make sure you have the things you really need, and don’t over pack a bunch of things you won’t use.

First lets talk about timing.  When should you have your bag packed? I think a good rule of thumb is to grab your bag and start gathering a few things together 2 weeks before your due date. There are a lot of items that you use on an everyday basis that you wont be able to pack away that early. Just keep a mental note of where those items are (ie: put them away in the right place each time you use them) so you won’t be stressed trying to remember where everything is when you do go to add them.

Hospital Bag: An a overnight duffle bag like this one is perfect. And a rolling cary-on suitcase works great too. You won’t need a ton of things, so don’t do too big. I always have Garrett pack a separate bag for his items, just so I can keep my bag close by me if I can’t get up and walk to it when I need something from it.

Electronics: So SO important! You (or most likely your husband or family member in the room) will be taking hundreds of pictures. And having every moment captured is such a treasure.  I recommend bringing:

phone
phone charger
portable phone charger: You never know what your battery life will be when you leave for the hospital, and a few times my phone charger cord didn’t reach to my hospital bed, so this might come in handy.
lap top / charger: You might need to clear off pictures from your phone/camera, and it is smart to back up your hospital pictures as soon as possible. You can never be too careful since these are pictures/videos you can never replace!
camera: I upgraded my DSLR to this one and my lens to this one a few months before I had Eli. In my opinion, if you like photography and are in the market for a nice camera, take the plunge and do it before the baby is here. You will want as many amazing quality pictures of them as possible. To me its the only way I can hang on to those first fleeting moments of my yummy newborn babies.
camera battery/battery charger: Make sure it’s fully charged.
back up camera battery: It might sound anal, but we used ours and I was so glad to have it charged and ready to go.
memory card: If your DSLR takes video, make sure your card is large enough to store plenty of video and pictures. Mine is 32 GB.
tripod: This is especially handy if you don’t have someone there to film or take pictures during the birth. Garrett just set up my iPhone on the tripod with this phone attachment and turned on the video, so he could focus on the baby.

Loungewear: You will most likely wear a hospital gown the first day or so in the hospital, so don’t worry too much about clothing. But there are a few extras that you should pack.
robe: When you do get up and move around, a robe is handy to throw on, since the hospital down is pretty ‘revealing’ in the back πŸ˜‰ 
sleeping/nursing bra: You will be nursing. A lot. And you will have your boobs out a lot. But when visitors come, its really nice to have a soft comfy sleeping/nursing bra to wear. These are also so great to wear to bed when your milk comes in. You will get so big and engorged and no bra can be painful. Also, no need to bring underwear. The hospital will get you all suited up in the world most gigantic mesh panties. And you will never feel less sexy in your entire life. 
socks: You never know how cold your room will be, so these come in handy. The hospital gave me a pair after having Eli, but I wore mine while I was in labor, so I’m glad I brought them. 
postpartum band: GET THIS. Get this get this. This is super helpful to getting your body back to normal after having a baby. I start wearing mine in the hospital as soon as I can. For about 6 weeks after having a baby, your bones are still pretty pliable after widening with pregnancy. This band helps pull your hips/ribs/stomach back together. I just velcro mine as tight as I could and I wore it as much a I could stand (including while sleeping). Sometimes the additional back support was nice as well.
sentimental item: I wore my kids initial necklace when I had my last 2 babies and I loved having that little sentimental object to make the experience even more special.
hair tie

Toiletries:

chapstick: They will give you some in the hospital, but I liked having my favorite next to my bed.
deodorant
toothbrush/toothpaste
mirror
makeup: It’s always nice to feel a little put together when people come to visit. Before my two older boys came to meet Eli, I used the mirror I packed and did my makeup. I felt refreshed and more myself.
makeup removing pads: These were so nice to have on hand when I was tired and ready to sleep, but my epidural hadn’t quite worn off so I couldn’t get up to go wash my face.
face wash/lotion
dry shampoo: I couldn’t shower for the first day and a half, so this helped me freshen up!
magazines/books: Each experience is different, but chances are you will do a lot of waiting. Waiting to progress, waiting for the anesthesiologist, etc. Bring a few things to read to pass the time.
snacks: I stuffed my face the entire ride to the hospital, because you can’t eat once you get into the labor and delivery room till after you’ve had the baby. I was STARVING after having Eli and the cafeteria there was closed. I was so glad I had something to eat to hold me over.

slippers: Sure bests walking around your hospital room barefoot. Mine are from here.
comfy top / lounge pants: After I finally got a shower, it felt so good to get into normal clothes. Make sure they are soft and loose. These pants look super soft and comfy, and I wore this top.You will be sore and have those trusty mesh pantie/diapers on, so tight leggings wouldn’t work.

coming home outfit for baby: Such a fun thing to pack! A long sleeved onesie with hand protectors, leggings, a beanie, and socks or crib moccasins worked great for Eli. And don’t forget a soft blanket!

coming home outfit for Mom: This can be a bit tricky. Don’t bring your skinny jeans. I always opt for maxi dresses like this one (and it’s nursing friendly!). They aren’t form fitting and are comfortable to wear.
nursing bra: I have this one and it works great.

Family

AFTER THE BUMP SERIES: 3 TIPS FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP WITH A NEWBORN

Getting a good night’s sleep with a newborn sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? I know all babies are different. Some sleep better than others. I’ve experienced good sleeping babies and….not so good sleeping babies. Either way, sleep deprivation is real and it can make you do crazy things! So with my third baby, I’ve done 3 things that help maximize the little sleep I get. (Make sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post on how I use my HALO Bassinest. That thing is amazing!)
TIP 1:
Keep the baby close. With my first baby, I kept his bassinet by the foot of our bed. But that meant having to get out of bed every 2 hours to pick him up and feed him. If you have to physically stand and get up for each feeding, that will make your body wake up even more, making it harder for you to fall back asleep after the feeding (..before the next feeding).  I don’t sleep very well with a baby in our bed, but this time around I wanted my baby to sleep as close to me as possible. Have you heard of the HALO Bassinest? They’ve been featured everywhere. This thing has been a lifesaver! I can’t say enough good things about it. I can literally lay down in my bed and watch my baby sleeping right next to me. At night I wrap Eli in the HALO SleepSack, that keeps him nice and wrapped, but allows me to zip it open at the bottom for nighttime diaper changes. Then I lay him in the Bassinest. You can see all of the amazing features it offers here, but here are my favorite parts about it:
  • We have very minimal room on my side of the bed, so I needed something that wouldn’t take up too much space, but still allow Eli to sleep next to me. The HALO Bassinest has a thin base that allows me to slide the base under the bed so that the Bassinest is right up next to my bed. You can also adjust the height on it, so that is is the exact level of your mattress.
  • The side of of the Bassinest lowers. It lowers! So genius. All I have to do is reach over, push the side down with my elbows while I pick up Eli. And it’s retractable, so it goes right back up after you press down on it, keeping the baby safe and eliminating any chance of the baby falling out. 
  • It swivels. This was the major selling point for me. I wanted the Bassinest right up next to my bed, but it would be a pain to have to move down to the bottom of the bed in order to get out of it. This one swivels, so I can push it back and out of the way, making it super easy to get out of bed! (you have to watch the video below to see it in action)
  • It has amazing button options. It vibrates (!!), it plays soft music, it has a blue light that makes it easy to see at night, and it had a nursing timer button that blinks for 15 minutes so you know when to change sides. I’m not joking. They thought of everything! 

TIP 2:
Keep your movements minimal. The more you move around for each feeding, the harder it will be for you to fall back to sleep. To eliminate unnecessary moving around all night, keep the baby within arms reach, along with everything else you need. I keep a big pillow on the floor by my bed so that when Eli wakes up, I can just bend down, grab the pillow, and throw it behind my back to prop me up while I nurse. I also sleep with my nursing pillow in between my legs. I usually sleep with a leg pillow anyway, and this is a convenient way to quickly grab my nursing pillow without having to stand up and get it. I also keep diapers, wipes, and a burp cloth on my nightstand.

TIP 3:
Prep everything beforehand. No matter how tired you are going to bed at night, you are going to be more tired in the middle of the night nursing. So make the effort to “set up” your bed before hitting the hay. Load your nightstand with diapers, wipes, a burp cloth, a water bottle, and anything else you might need for late night feedings.

In order to see how amazing the HALO Bassinest really is, I made this video to show you exactly how I use it. You can find more about the HALO Bassinest on their instagramfacebook, twitter, and pinterest.

In collaboration with HALO Bassinest. All thoughts and opinions are my own
Family

AFTER THE BUMP SERIES: BABY REGISTRY ESSENTIALS + GIVEAWAY

HAT / MATERNITY DRESS (WORKS FOR NURSING TOO!)

I’m so excited to kick off a new series on my blog called ‘After the Bump’. Think of it like a sequel to my ‘Dressing the Bump’ series. In my Dressing the Bump series I listed all of the key clothing pieces to have for your first, second, and third trimester of pregnancy. Now I’m taking things a step further, and walking you through all of my must haves once the baby is born. Since I’ve now gone through 3 babies, I have a really clear picture of all of the products that you use on an everyday basis to care for your newborn. And I’ve rounded them all up in this post. I’m also giving away a Baby Registry Essentials Kit with Dr. Browns over on my Instagram, so go check that out and enter here!

Today we are kicking things off with everything that you should include on your baby registry. I remember walking into Babies R Us when I was pregnant with my first feeling SO overwhelmed. I felt like I needed everything because I had absolutely nothing. But good news! You don’t need everything. But you do need a lot of things..and the key is knowing what you will use and what you won’t use for the first few months of your babies life.

I’ve broken down my list into 6 categories: Changing, Sleeping, Feeding, Cleaning, Traveling, and Cleaning. I break them down individually below, and then compiled the complete list at the bottom of this post. Feel free to past this along to anyone that you know who is expecting!

CHANGING



  • Wipes: You will need millions of these. I usually get the sensitive ones when they are brand new for the first month or so. After that you can get a good feel for if they have sensitive skin or not. I usually get the less expensive wipes after about 2 months if they don’t have skin that is easily irritated. 
  • Wipe Warmer: It sounds unnecessary but I always felt so bad wiping baby bums with a freezing cold wipe in the middle of the night! This one is aesthetically pleasing and has a nightlight that comes in handy in a dark room. 
  • Diapers: Lots of my friends love the Papers Swaddles when they are newborns. I have been more partial to Huggies because I feel like I have less blow outs in those. I just when through a full pack of Honest Diapers and they can last a full night no problem. I was super impressed. But they are pretty dang pricey. Want to know my favorite right now? Up & Up. They are easily the cheapest I’ve found and work just as well as Huggies. I highly recommend them!
  • Diaper Rash Cream: Change poopy diapers immediately with newborns. That yellow newborn poop develops rashes so quickly! And cream after every change helps as well. I love Dr. Brown’s Diaper Rash Cream. 
  • Changing Table: This is a must have for me. Its just more comfortable to have one right at your level. Laying the baby on couches or floors just doesn’t cut it for me. I have one similar to this one from Target, or you can splurge with this one. Isn’t it gorgeous!?
  • Changing Pad/ Cover:  I recommend this cover for your pad. The minky fabric whisks away moisture and is easy to wipe of. (it’s also washable)
  • Diaper Genie:  Some people throw them in trash bags and take them to their outside trash, but I just don’t have time for that. I use mine like crazy and it’s super convenient and I haven had any problems with odor. Make sure you register for the Diaper Genie Elite. This one has a lever you press with your foot to open the top, making it easy to toss in the diaper if you only have one free hand. While you’re at it, register for some Diaper Genie refills as well.

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SLEEPING
  • Bassinet/Crib: Don’t stress if you don’t have a crib for the first few months of your babies life. They sleep in your room for a good while anyway. But a bassinet is important when they are in your room. I’ve done a pack and play before, which is fine, but they do take up a lot of space. I have been using the HALO Bassinest with Eli and I can’t say enough good things about it! I love it so much I am dedicating an entire post to it in a little πŸ˜‰  It takes up minimal space and your baby can sleep right next to you. Which is so helpful for those late night feedings. 
  • Blankets: You can never have too make blankets. I love the Aden and Anais muslin blankes for when they are a little older (they are super big, which can be hard to swaddle a newborn in). I am obsessed with June & January’s blankets. Perfect size, and made of high quality knit muslin so they hold their shape and keep their beautiful wash after wash. 
  • Sleepers: I love this kind with the elastic at the bottom. Super easy to change diapers. And these footie ones are darling and keep them nice and warm at night.
  • White Noise Machine: We got this one with Bradley and our boys still use it. I need to get a second one for Eli! It helps them drift off to sleep and keeps them from hearing any noises outside their room that might wake them up.
  • Pacifier: Some babies take them, some don’t. Try a few different kinds to see which ones your babies like best. I love these PreVent Contoured pacifiers from Dr. Brown’s. They are made to fit a tiny mouth and they glow in the dark for crying out loud. Brilliant. I also love this Giraffe Lovey Pacifier Holder that helps keep that paci in during car rides when it will inevitably pop out in the middle of stand still traffic. 
  • Humidifier: Super helpful for congestion and keeping their little system healthy.
  • Rocking Chair/Glider: I didn’t get my first rocking chair till my second baby. This glider is beautiful!You spend so much time nursing, it is really nice to have a comfortable seat to sit/sleep in while you feed!
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FEEDING 
(for nursing and bottle feeding)

  • Nursing Pillow: I literally refuse to nurse without one. Super helpful. I love this Nursing Pillow by Dr. Brown’s.
  • Nipple Cream: Nursing is crazy painful for the first few weeks. Don’t give up! I could give a sermon on nursing, but make sure you use nipple cream. This Dr. Browns Nipple Cream works great and isn’t sticky.
  • Nipple Shield: I get so so sore every time I start nursing and these nipple shields help give me a little break to heal and still allow me to nurse. They were recommended to me by a lactation specialist and they literally saved me. And please please meet with your lactation specialist! You should see one in the hospital no matter what, but don’t hesitate to go back a week after as well. Even if it might be working fine for you in the hospital, it can get hard once you are home. I even met with one after having my third baby and it was still helpful!
  • Breast Pads: It’s always smart to register for nursing pads like these Dr. Browns Disposable Breast Pads to have on hand, because leaking all over your bra and shirt is no fun (and messy!).
  • Burp Cloth: There are 3 things I have with me at all time each time I nurse- my nursing pillow, a giant water bottle, and burp cloths. I go through at least 2 a day. I love these Aden & Anais ones because they are big, fit perfectly on your neck, and convert into a (non ugly) bib!
  • Bottles: Even if you nurse, you will still want bottles for when you pump. These Dr. Brown’s Options Bottles are great for newborns because they eliminate any air in the bottle that will cause painful gas bubbles in babys tummy.
  • Bottle Warmer: Super helpful especially if you are formula feeding! Dr. Browns Bottle Warmer is compact and easy to use.
  • Bottle Cleaner: You will be cleaning lots of bottles, might as well make it easy with a cleaner made specifically for bottles!
  • Milk Storage Bags: I used regular ziploc bags for a long time….and then realized that my frozen milk was going sour! It was so upsetting to me. So make sure to register for some of these!
  • Pump: Get one as soon as you can! When your milk is coming in you are so engorged, and if the baby isn’t hungry, pumping will give you relief you need, extra milk to save for later, and keep you from getting mastitis or clogged milk ducts! You should be able to get one for free in the hospital (I know this to be true in California…not positive on the other states)
  • Pump Strap: If you have a pump, you need a Pump Strap! After nursing all day, the last thing you want to do is nurse a machine and not have your hands free. This strap holds the pumps in place for you so your hands are free to work or help with the baby. It is genius and I am so so grateful that I have one!
  • Gas Drops: My newborns get super gassy especially when my milk comes in. These drops helped so so much and are safe for brand new babies. Have these on hand before the baby is here! It is no fun to have to make a late night trip to the drugstore to pick them up with a screaming gassy baby. Believe me. I’ve had to do it.
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CLEANING

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 TRAVELING
  • Car Seat: This Nuna carseat is my favorite. It’s lightweight and the seat is super plush and comfy. It comes with an infant insert for when they are little. My favorite part about it is it has a built in shade protector! It sticks with magnets on the sides, and then hides away nicely in the cover when you aren’t using it. Brilliant!
  • Stroller:  I could write a book on strollers I’ve don’t so much research. So let me make this easy for you. The Baby Jogger City Select is the way to go. It is narrow so it fits through clothing racks and doorways, easy to maneuver, the bottom basket is huge and holds a ton, and its easy to close up (believe me…I open and close mine 5-6 times a day taking the older 2 to school each day). Plus it’s beautiful. The best part is that it changes to a double so easily! When the second one comes along you just buy the second seat adaptor and pop on a second seat. No need to buy a second stroller! (which I had to do when I had Cash. I wish I would have just started with this stroller in the first place!) It is spendy… I know. I opened up an Etsy shop and sold my handmade clothing just to be able to afford it. It is that worth it! For the Nuna carseat I just bought this attachment and it pops on easily. I would also recommend this universal console for holding keys and drinks. I use it every time I use my stroller.
  • Diaper Bag: There are so many beautiful ones out there, but this one from Petunia Picklebottom is my absolute favorite. Its the perfect size, wipes off easily, looks like a normal person, and don’t even get me started on the gold hardware. I love love love it.
  • Baby Wrap: I highly recommend the Solly Baby wrap! Baby loves it and it so nice for getting work done around the house while still being able to “hold” your baby.

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Bouncer: For sure you need a bouncer. A simple portable one like this is just fine. Its really handy because you can move it from room to room. But holy cow… I am in love with my mamaRoo Bouncer Seat. It is the cadalac of bouncers! I have a more in depth post coming up on this bouncer, but the main takeaway is that it actually rocks a baby like a mom rocks a baby. And it has white noise built into it. And bluetooth, and a connection for your phone. And a freaking app on your phone so you can control it from across the room. You guys….its amazing.
Bumbo Seat: I start using our Bumbo seat when our babies are about 2 months. Its great to help strengthen their necks, easy to clean, and babies love getting to sit up and actually see you!
Books: I’m all about reading to your babies early. They love it! It helps their little minds and eyesight. Hard books are great for little ones.

BABY REGISTRY START PACK GIVEAWAY!

To help get you started on your registry, I’ve teamed up with Dr. Brown’s to give one lucky winner a Baby Registry Start Pack full of my very favorite Dr. Browns products! This giveaway includes:

PreVent Contoured Pacifiers
Giraffe Lovey Pacifier Holder
Diaper Rash Cream
Nursing Pillow
Nipple Cream
Disposable Breast Pads
Bottle Warmer
Bottle Cleaner
Milk Storage Bags
Baby Wash
Baby Lotion

Amazing, right?! To enter, head over to this instagram post with all the details of how to enter (it’s super easy). The giveaway is open to US and Canada (except Quebec).

Below I’ve rounded up all of my Baby Registry Essentials into one condensed list. Feel free to print it out, or pin this post and save it for later!

Wipes
Wipe Warmer
Diapers
Diaper Rash Cream
Changing Table
Changing PadCover
Diaper Genie
Bassinet/Crib
Blankets
Sleepers
White Noise Machine
Pacifier
Humidifier
Rocking Chair/Glider
Nursing Pillow
Nipple Cream
Nipple Shield
Breast Pads
Burp Cloth
Bottles
Gas Drops
Bottle Warmer
Bottle Cleaner
Milk Storage Bags
Pump
Pump Strap
Bathtub
Baby Wash
Baby Lotion
Wash Cloths
Bath Towel

Stroller
Diaper Bag
Baby Wrap
Bouncer
Bumbo Seat
Books