Month 1 Postpartum: Favorite Baby Products (and Nursery Update)

Good morning, y’all! I can’t believe it’s already been 11 weeks since I delivered my baby girl. This time around, I have been a bit more aware throughout the whole 4th trimester. I’ve been tracking which products I use the most each month. With my first baby, I was in a fog and could barely remember my last name. Ha!

I have written about my favorite baby products here and here, but I wanted to do a monthly breakdown to make it easier for moms to know what they truly need on day one. I remember worrying about that before my son was born because when you’re a first time mom, you just have no idea.

Today’s post is also quite long and I finish it up with an update on our nursery decor! Grab your coffee or shake and enjoy! 😉

Here’s what products I used and loved in month 1 postpartum.

MONTH 1

PRODUCTS FOR BABY
  • NB onesies (that zip): these by Simple Joys by Carter’s are my favorite. They’re 100% cotton, soft and fit easily over the wrists and ankles. They also zip up, which is crucial. You might be tempted to buy a really cute onesie that has snaps or buttons – don’t do it! Although it’s not a huge inconvenience, make your life as easy as possible and buy the zip-ups. You don’t want to be searching for the snap during a 2 a.m. diaper change.
  • Sleep sacks: these are great to wear over the onesies during the day. They keep the baby relatively warm with an extra layer. They give me peace of mind if I don’t want to put a blanket on the baby while I run to the bathroom. My daughter is prone to being really cold so these are great for daily wear.
  • Swaddle sleepsack: these are the gold standard for swaddle sleepers. They keep your baby’s arms at their sides so that they don’t wake themselves up at night and you can (hopefully, praise be to all that is holy) catch some more zzz’s. This fleece one has been my favorite this winter – works great and keeps bebe so warm!
  • Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment: I use this stuff every day.  In the first month, I primarily use it on her tushy during diaper changes.
  • Vitamin D: if you’re breastfeeding, doctors recommend you supplement with vitamin d because there isn’t enough in breastmilk. This one is my preferred one. There are drops that you can place directly on your nipple but that just didn’t work for me and my kids. By the time I put the drops on, they had already dripped down before my kids had a chance to ingest them.
  • Pack ‘n play (with bassinet / changer): I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this one is a must. We keep it in our living room during the day and roll it into our bedroom at night. This is where the baby sleeps during the day and at night. You can use a free-standing bassinet in your bedroom if you prefer, but neither of our children have liked standard bassinets. We have the UPPABaby bassinet and it’s flat, which can be uncomfortable for infants with reflux. We even raised the head portion to provide an incline to no avail. But both babies have loved sleeping in the Pack ‘n Play bassinet. It has an incline that they both found comfortable. In addition, once your babies reach 3 months, you can remove the bassinet and they can sleep on the flat sheet. The bassinet also doubles as a changer, which allows you to not have to set up a separate changing station. Less stuff taking up space in my living room? Yes, please!
  • Humidifier: this is another must in my book. Both of my babies’ skin was on the dry side and it helped with that. Even more importantly, it helped them breathe better by preventing dry boogers from forming. Anything to help with sleep at night is a necessity!!
  • Wipes: We get these from Costco!
  • Puj Tub or Newborn to Toddler Tub: depending on the size of your sinks at home, I recommend one of these. In our old house I liked the newborn to toddler tub because our kitchen sink was big and it fit nicely in it. We used the infant insert during this time. In our new home, our kitchen sink is smaller and the Puj tub works better in it. But it actually works best in a regular sink in our bathroom so that’s where we’ve been bathing baby girl.
  • Changing pad & liners – I wrote about my Keekaroo review here.
  • Wipes / diaper organizer – I wrote about these here.
  • Crib – see review here.
  • Dresser – see review here.
  • Diaper Pail – see review here.
  • Ultra-calming body wash – I love this for everyday use. It’s great for sensitive skin.  We use it on both of my kids.  See review here.
  • Soothing relief creamy wash: Whenever my son had patches of super dry skin, we’d use this in combination with the Aveeno soothing relief cream.  It worked like a dream.  I’d recommend having both on hand in case your babe has dry skin.
  • Car seat: We have this one as part of the UppaBaby Travel System.  It comes with a stroller and bassinet.  I highly recommend this Travel System because it can be reconfigured for a carseat and seat (or bassinet and seat) if you have two kids.  It can even hold a third! 
  • Boppy lounger – this is where my baby girl lays when she’s not in the pack n play bassinet. It’s cozy and both babies have enjoyed laying in it. We keep it on the couch and she lays on it while we watch tv, etc.
PRODUCTS FOR MAMA

I hope these help y’all as you put together your nurseries and registries. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your baby is loved and cared for. And remember the essentials: clothes, diapers and a place to sleep. Everything else is truly extra.

SHOP THE OUTFITS
NURSERY UPDATE

Another update that I’m sharing today is our nursery.  We moved into our new house at the beginning of 2019 and our nursery in this house is a bit different than the last. In our old home, the nursery was quite large and spacious.  The nursery now is an adjoining room to our master.  It was used as an office by the previous owners.  It’s smaller and rectangular-shaped.  We weren’t sure initially how it would work, but it’s been great.  We have the toddler in the nursery and baby in a pack ‘n play in our room. We were also able to fit all of the essentials in it (crib and dresser) and moved the rocker into our master bedroom. We previously had this rug in the old nursery, but it didn’t fit. So I got this one instead and I think it fits great. I also couldn’t find curtains in store that were long enough so I worked with Alli Walker Interiors on those. Alli and I had a lot of fun picking out the fabric. I wish I had a better picture of the curtain rods – we picked out a gold rod with lucite cube finials. Love how they turned out!

SHOP THE NURSERY

Post Details:

Vince Camuto Blouse | White Maternity Jeans | Bow | Floral Muslin Swaddle | Name Initials | Llama Bookends | Tanner Crib | Tanner Dresser | Baskets and Liners | Animal Prints | Changing Pad | Rug | Sheep Mobile | Mounted Ram | Glider and Ottoman | End Table | Floor lamp Humidifier | Sound Machine | Diaper Pail | Diaper / Wipes Organizer | Giraffe Stuffed Animal

Photography by: Liz Novi Photography

Thanksgiving Outfit Idea & Life Update

Shop the Look

Hello friends!

A lot has happened since we last spoke! We welcomed our second baby into our family and she has been the biggest blessing. Needless to say, life has been a rollercoaster of emotions these past two weeks [mainly happy with a side of “how do we manage two babies and stay sane?”] Ha! 

LIFE UPDATE

SECOND BABY

My mom has been staying with us since we came home from the hospital, which has been a HUGE help. The hardest part of the newborn phase [for me] is the lack of continued sleep. So mom has been staying up late watching the baby while I get some sleep in between feedings. We are so fortunate to have her helping us and we do not take it for granted in the least!

In between the feedings and snuggles with the new babe, I’m adjusting to nursing, not working [office work, that is], trying to spend enough time with my oldest all while eating my weight in cookie deliveries and rugelach. [For those who don’t know what this is, it’s a Jewish pastry that I craved throughout my pregnancy. My mom bought me some once I got out of the hospital and I have been having at least two, err maybe three, each day. 😬 I told mom that once this bag was finished, we couldn’t buy anymore. 😅)

NURSING

In terms of nursing, breastfeeding is definitely much easier for me this time around. My daughter latched on on day two, whereas it took my son and I about two weeks to figure it out. I also know to drink my Mother’s Milk Tea and eat my lactation cookies to keep up my supply. I talk about that more in this post.  With my first, after I delivered I went back to eating like I did pre-pregnancy, which was a fairly low-carb, standard-calorie diet. I quickly learned that it was not conducive to nursing as my supply dropped significantly. I now let myself eat pretty much whatever I want [within reason], and I find I eat more while nursing than I did while pregnant. In addition, I try and drink 30 oz. of water after each feed.  This step is critical to keeping up supply as well. [New mamas, take note: save the 30 oz. plastic water jug they give you at the hospital! It’s great for your water chugging needs postpartum.] 

BODY

From an overall physical standpoint, I did gain a few stretch marks on my stomach this pregnancy.  I was lucky to have avoided them last time.  I am not complaining though as I am beyond blessed to have been able to carry a baby am so grateful. However, I am kicking myself for not putting on any cocoa butter or moisturizer. I even have some from my first pregnancy sitting out on my bathroom counter! Ugh. My daughter was almost a pound heavier than my son so maybe that’s what did it.  I also think the stretchmarks developed last minute as I didn’t notice them throughout the pregnancy.

MIND

Mentally, having a second baby has been easier because I have already been through this process once. Every little thing is not new and I’m not stressing out about every minor detail. Of course there are new challenges, such as spending enough quality time with my first when my newborn needs me so much right now. Sleep deprivation and hormonal mood swings are all still part of the picture, but expected, and therefore not as stressful this second time around. [Of course this is just my experience and I’ve talked to a couple of moms who felt the second baby was much more stressful.]

All in all, I am so grateful for this blessing in our lives and can’t wait to share what I learn with you all as we go.

THANKSGIVING OUTFIT IDEA

Now onto the holiday season that’s right around the corner! Thanksgiving is just two weeks away [What?! HOW??] and I think it’s safe to say that it’s my favorite holiday. Being Jewish, we don’t have all of the Christmas excitement that December brings [Hanukkah is wonderful but obviously not as mainstream or celebrated like Christmas.] So I think that’s why I love the Fall season and Thanksgiving so much. Being with family, eating delicious food, decorating your home and front doorstep with all the fall foliage and pumpkins…what could be better?!

Every year, I look forward to [and sometimes stress out about] my Thanksgiving Day outfit. This is usually my busiest time at work and if I’m not diligent about planning ahead, the holiday can sneak up on me.  We usually go to a big family lunch at my husband’s cousin’s house.  In terms of an outfit, I try to pick out something casual and comfortable [I do not hold back on seconds or thirds at Thanksgiving!] 😛 Sometimes I’ll go with jeans and a nice top, and other times I will wear a dress with boots if I want to feel a little dressier.  

OUTFIT INSPIRATION & SOURCING

We shot this look when I was 38 weeks pregnant and this dress is so comfortable and cozy.  For any pregnant mamas looking for a dress that is casual, yet still feels put together at the same time, this one is it. Not to mention, it’s not constricting at all and is only $28! I love Old Navy for their basic maternity dresses and this one does not disappoint.  

For my non-pregnant ladies, I linked a couple of sweater dresses that I think are really cute as well.  I decided to dress up my look with these knee-high boots that I got from the Nordstrom Sale last year, but you can also make it more casual with flats or flat boots. The heeled boots I’m wearing in the pictures are sold out at Nordstrom but there’s some sizes left on Amazon.  I also linked a few similar options below.  I threw on this large scarf [I got mine in a little boutique in Canada but this one is very similar] and paired it with my Tory Burch purse.  It’s an older style no longer sold but I love this one! Reminds me of the Gucci Marmont.

I hope this look inspires you as you put together your outfit for Thanksgiving!

Shop the Look: Maternity Dress [similar, non-maternity options: Sweater Dress, Sweater Dress] / High-heeled Boots, sold out [same but from Amazon, similar, similar] / Flat Boots / Scarf, in Camel / Purse, old [similar]

How to throw a Dr. Seuss-Themed 1st Birthday Party

Hi y’all!

My son recently turned 1 and we threw him a Dr. Seuss “Sam I Am / Cat in the Hat” 1st birthday party. The party theme was my husband’s idea so we called him the Creative Director / Chairman of the Board [I bounced ideas off of him] and me the CEO [who executed the vision] 😉.

I had so much fun planning it but it definitely got stressful at times because I just wanted everything to be perfect! [Who knew that measuring tables and buying the right-sized tablecloths can be so time-consuming?!] It ended up being a birthday / housewarming party because we hadn’t had all of our friends and family over to our new home yet.  The party was wonderful and it was so special to share the joyous occasion with everyone we love. 

If you’re looking to host a Dr. Seuss-themed party, I detail exactly how I set everything up, the vendors that I worked with and all of the decorations that I used.  

PARTY SETUP / DECOR

Here’s how we set up the decor:

FRONT YARD

I worked with Jose from LCJ Balloons to create the balloon clusters lining the walkway to our home. I originally was going to buy regular helium balloons but he let me know there was currently a helium shortage in the US [who knew?!] and that we’d have to go with “frame balloons.” I had seen these balloon clusters on Pinterest and wanted the same look. So he suggested I go to hobby lobby and buy wooden sticks to which he could attach the balloons. I did just that [see pic below – I got the small, rectangular ones] and then we spray painted them red and turquoise. It was such a festive way to greet the guests and set the tone for the party.

FRONT DOOR

I got the door sign below from Lulu’s Custom Design and used a red and white striped ribbon to hang it to the door.  [They don’t seem to have the original ‘Oh the Places you will go’ door sign that I customized, but I bet if you asked them for this design, they will make it for you.]

DESSERT STATION

The dessert station [aka our kitchen table in disguise] in our breakfast area was probably the most congregated area throughout the party, along with the kitchen itself.  In addition to kids wanting to grab a cupcake as they made their way through the house, it was truly the heart of the party in terms of decorations.  Jose set up a beautiful balloon arch behind the desserts that was the focal point inside of the house.

For dessert, we had a cake, cupcakes, cookies and Russian chocolates. [My family and I are Russian so these chocolates from Euro Deli make it to every birthday party/dinner/special event.] Nina’s Treats made them all and they were both beautiful and delicious. I used these white plastic trays for the cupcakes and these dessert plates.  I also got this tablecloth and this red and white striped runner.  

FOOD

We catered BBQ from Sonny Bryan’s.  It was delicious and they do a great job! We definitely got too much food, so my lesson learned is to order for about 85% of the RSVPs.  There’s usually a handful of invitees that don’t show up, some don’t eat and the others just graze.

I used these cups, straws and plates.

INTERIOR DECOR

For the inside of the house, in addition to the cake setup, I had a photo banner from here [no longer sold on Etsy so I found another one I like] with a picture of my son starting from Month 1 through Month 12.  I also displayed a cardboard cutout of Dr. Seuss, a garland for the mantle and balloons [these too] throughout the house. [I had the balloons filled with helium at Tom Thumb, our local grocery store.]  We also placed two of the cocktail tables that we rented inside so that people could nosh while standing and socializing.

OUTSIDE

Under the covered patio we had two tables that we joined together. I decorated them with turquoise tablecloths, red and white striped runners and flowers.  We also had cocktail tables with red tablecloths tied with a burlap ribbon where people could stand and eat.   We have a mantle outside that I decorated with this ‘Happy Birthday’ garland.  [I don’t see the exact one I bought on the Etsy shop’s site but she makes custom signs, so you can just show her the image if you want the exact one.] We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and did the cake out here to avoid lots of messy frosting on the floor. [I must say, I think my son had one lick of cake and that was about it. We definitely didn’t have the full on smashing that you see with some kids.  Ha!]  We brought out the high chair to which I attached red and turquoise balloons and a ‘ONE’ sign.  Behind the high chair, I had this garland.  I unfortunately didn’t have the photographer take a picture of the high chair setup before we started the cake, but I have linked all of the items above.

For the backyard, I rented a life-sized Jenga and Connect Four game, along with a kids table and chairs for drawing.  I printed out Dr. Seuss drawings that the kids could color and had little mason jars filled with crayons [inspo from Joanna Gaines, of course. ;)] I also used mason jars as flower vases tied with blue polka dotted ribbon [this was one of my favorite little touches at the party.] The tablecloths were white and red-striped plastic ones from Party City but they no longer have them in stock.  This is a similar option.  

I bought a baby pool and filled it with plastic balls, which was a huge hit for kids all the way up to ages 5 – 6.  We also had cornhole for the adults.

Jose made a beautiful number 1 balloon with a Dr. Seuss hat on top of it that we displayed. 

PARTY FAVORS

For party favors, I got these Dr. Seuss bags and filled them with these Dr. Seuss goodies. 🙂 Another lesson learned was that I placed these in the dining room and NO ONE remembered to take them on their way out.  I thought I would remind our friends and family to grab one when they left, but of course I was too busy playing hostess to even remember.  So for the next party, I will definitely be placing these by the door so that people remember to take one on their way out.

T-SHIRTS & HATS

I also got myself, my husband and my son matching ‘Sam I Am’ t-shirts. [Unfortunately ,the shop is no longer available on Etsy.  Here’s one option I found that allows you to print the decal for your t-shirt.]  I also got my son this onesie as a backup to the t-shirt and it is so soft and nice.  My husband was also super excited to wear a matching hat with our son so we got them these hats [dad’s and son’s].  

I hope this helps you if you’re trying to throw a Dr. Seuss-themed party! 

Favorite Baby Products for the First Year

Nursery Details:

Hi y’all! Happy AUGUST!!

I can’t believe that over half of the year has gone by and my baby is now one.  Hopefully my experience over the last year can help any of the new mamas-to-be as you create your baby registry and prepare the nursery.  I currently have four pregnant girlfriends and their journeys have inspired this post.  I am also expecting my second baby later this fall [surprise!!], so stocking up on essentials is on my mind. 🙂

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First Overnight Trip

 
 
 

Traveling for Work with a Newborn

The first time I travelled after the baby was born was my first week back at work.  I took a day trip to Houston and that was ROUGH. I had never pumped on an airplane or an airport bathroom / pumping lounge. I mean, heck, I had barely pumped period! In addition, I was still so physically exhausted at 3 months postpartum, that travelling / pumping / working / getting home late at night was exhausting.

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