It wasn’t until I had my 3rd baby that I got most of the items on the list below but believe me when I tell you – they made my life SO much easier. When Charlianne came into the world 2 years ago, my big boys were already 5 and 3 so needless to say I had my hands full. I was looking for things to have for this new baby to help keep her busy while I tended to her older brothers AND to help when we were running errands or attending her brother’s many baseball games.
TOP 5 NEW MOM MUST-HAVES
1. The Tiny Love Sooth ‘n Groove mobilewas a lifesaver for me. Most mobiles only play music for about 5 minutes but this one plays for 40 MINUTES! It was perfect for when I needed to give my older two a tubby and could lay Charlianne in her crib…sure enough she would be out cold by the time I was done.
3. Ergo or Ergo 360 – I LOVE MY ERGO. I used it daily when Charli was a newborn and now that she is a toddler who is into everything, I still use it. When she was a baby she loved snuggling into my chest and I could wear her out and about with the freedom of using my arms. Now that she is older, she loves riding on my back.
4. Bob Stroller – You don’t need to be a runner to love this stroller. It turns on a dime, is great in sand or on rough terrain and it is super easy to fold up to put in the back of your car. Charlianne loves to snooze in it when we are at the beach in the summer time.
5. Video Monitor– These are great especially when you are first transitioning your newborn into a crib. I loved watching her settle into her crib and it gave me comfort knowing that she was safe. Now that she is a toddler, I can talk into it when she is trying to climb out of her crib and she will lay right back down. #mommywin
Whether you are a first time mom or this is your third time around, I hope these products are on your list of must-haves.
BONUS: Newborn Photography – Of course I am going to say this is a must have! The first few days after leaving the hospital are a whirlwind of learning everything there is to know about your new baby and just soaking up the quality time together. Bonding and watching their little personalities develop is such an amazing experience. I love to come to your home and capture these special moments whether they are snuggling, feeding, sleeping, getting a tubby or just sitting together as a family.
I am often asked my maternity and birth clients what they should bring to the hospital. Each labor and delivery is different but I have put together a list of my “must-haves” for the hospital.
Top 10 Must-Haves in Your Hospital Bag
Chapstick – when you are in labor, your breathing is so important and with all that breathing through your mouth – YOUR LIPS WILL GET CHAPPED!
Hair Clips or Elastics – no matter how long your hair is, in those final moments of labor it will drive you crazy if it is in your face so be sure to bring something to pull it back when the time comes to start pushing.
Flip Flops/Slippers – when in labor you will want to walk around and after you deliver, if you are anything like me, your feet will be too swollen to wear regular shoes so flip flops and slippers come in handy
Water Bottle – staying hydrated is very important for both a laboring and breastfeeding mom and I always bring my birth clients a camelbak water bottle to have at all times because the straw makes it so easy to hydrate
Phone/iPad charger – there is nothing worse than having your phone go dead when it is time to call your family to let them know you are in labor – or when it is time to call your birth photographer to come capture the delivery of your baby
Button down shirt & leggings – even though you just had a baby you will want to look cute for all of those great hospital photos – especially if you are having a Fresh 48 Newborn session while you are there. A great button down and leggings will look good and have easy access for nursing.
iPad or iPhone with a blue tooth speaker or headphones – music is so relaxing when you are in labor.
Nail File & Mittens for Baby – those little nails come out SHARP and if you are nursing, trust me you will want them cut and filed ASAP. Plus, the mittens will help them to not scratch their cute little faces.
Soothies Gel Pads for Nursing – these are the BEST THING EVER! If you are a nursing mom, throw these in the refrigerator and then stick them on after you nurse for instant relief
FOR DAD – A Sweater or Sweatshirt – While your wife is in labor and super hot – you will be freezing. As a birth photographer, I am always freezing because laboring moms are always hot and want the temperature in the room turned down.
When I was pregnant with my third child, I was super frustrated because I couldn’t take anything for my stuffy nose and I was miserable. This is when a friend introduced me to essential oils and when PEPPERMINT cleared my sinuses INSTANTLY, I was hooked.
Over the past two years, I have expanded my collection of oils for many different uses but I wanted to share my TOP 5 favorites with you all here:
PEPPERMINT – BREATHE EASY
This is my favorite for expectant mamas! I loved it when I was pregnant because it was safe and I still use it daily to help clear my sinuses and give me that pick me up when I am sleepy.
If you are super stuffy (i had this with all 3 pregnancies) inhale or apply topically under now and/or back of neck (be sure to dilute with a carrier oil as it can cause skin sensitivity.
BEWARE this will decrease your milk supply so only use if you are ready to stop breastfeeding
My personal favorite is to rub this on the back of my neck and diffuse when I have a migraine
LAVENDER – SLEEP, SLEEP and MORE SLEEP
Lavender was a game changer for me. I love it most for newborns and toddlers and almost always gift it to my newborn clients. It has the most amazing calming effect on babies.
Start with a few drops in the bath and add a few drops to bedding to promote relaxation
Dilute with a carrier oil and massage on forehead, back, shoulders, under nose and especially on the bottom of feet
For teething babies, massage on jaw line using a carrier oil
PROTECTIVE BLEND – BATTLE THE SICKNESS
This blend has been a lifesaver this winter with all of the nasty bugs going around. We use it daily in my house and I LOVE THE SMELL.
Diffuse aromatically or dilute with a carrier oil and massage on the bottom of feet to boost immunity and combat viral and bacterial threats to the body
Add to water and use as a surface cleaner
GROUNDING BLEND – STRESS AWAY
This is a new favorite for me. I started using it to calm my two year old (and myself) and it may not completely get rid of the terrible two’s but it at least takes the edge off (for both of us).
Create a roller ball with the grounding blend and dilute with a carrier oil. Rub on the bottom toddler’s feet or back of the neck morning and evening to help combat the tantrums (Terrible Two’s)
CLEANSING BLEND – CLEAN HOUSE SMELL
I like to say this is my “spring go to” oil. It is so clean and fresh smelling and I use it ALL THE TIME. Actually, it is currently in my kitchen diffuser right now!
Get rid of the dirty house smell by diffusing this light and airy smell
Mix with vinegar and water in glass bottle for cleaning
Laundry : add 2-4 drops to your wash for that fresh smell
Let’s face it, after having a baby we all crave to have that “pre-baby body” back. In reality, our bodies are forever changed. As a mom of 3, I can say that I look and feel completely different after having my babies BUT I also realize that health is WAY more important than having a bikini body. After, having my 3rd baby 2 years ago (I still can’t believe that she is 2), I started working hard to get back in shape. I started running…yes running which is crazy because I am not a runner. After 2 years, I am STILL NOT A RUNNER. I say I am a jogger. No matter what your workout of choice is, I wanted to share with you some Workout “Mommy Must Haves” that have helped me to get back in shape.
Whether I am working out at the gym, going for a run or biking with my kiddos I ALWAYS have the following items with me:
Camelback Water Bottle – I have one with a straw because a trainer once told me that you can drink more water through a straw because your belly doesn’t get full of air. With this water bottle, I find it easy to drink at least a gallon of water a day.
Fitbit – I try to track at least 7K steps before 10am because I sit a lot for work. I also set a time on my fitbit to tell me to get up and move around because as a NH Maternity and Newborn Photographer, I spend a lot of time sitting on the computer editing images.
Headphones/Iphone or Ipod – I NEED MUSIC when I work out – so I use wireless headphones and have a Running Case for my iPhone so my tunes are always close.
Workout Clothing – A great pair of sneakers is a must-have and the RIGHT ones are important. I suggest checking out Runner’s Alley in Portsmouth, NH and have them work with you to find the best sneaker to meet your needs. I am thrifty so I get most of my work out clothes from Old Navy with my points and they always have to be on sale:).
Setting Goals and Accountability
Whether you want to lose ten pounds, get your blood pressure down or fit into those skinny jeans again, having a goal and holding yourself accountable are key. This year my goal was to run a 10K and although it feels like I am a lifetime away from that goal, I WILL DO IT! How you ask? Because I set goals and have support:
A workout buddy – I love to just go for a walk with friends and family because it doesn’t feel like working out. My friend Melissa from Melissa Lacasse Photography started walking with me a couple months ago at the Y and we “talk shop” and burn through 3 miles in no time at all!
I also started eating better and living by the 80/20 rule of eating really clean 80% of the time and only splurging on those special treats 20% of the time. There are two programs that have really worked for me and I lost 25 lbs. this year AND AM KEEPING IT OFF!
Omnitrition – This program jump started me into living a more healthy lifestyle through a 21-42 day deep cleanse. I saw results immediately and it was easy to follow.
21-Day Fix – Following the 21 Day Fix food plan and utilizing the Beachbody Fitness Videos have helped me to keep the weight off
Summer is coming! Let’s get outside and start moving. Enjoy the sun with your kids and get in a little exercise at the same time. I hope that you have enjoyed these tips and if you want to learn more “Mommy Must-Haves” please sign up for my monthly newsletter below.
Today is DAY 3 of this “Mommy Must Haves” series and even though it doesn’t feel like it outside right now here on the Seacoast in New Hampshire summer will be here before we know it and I wanted to share some summer tips. Please excuse some of the really bad cell phone pictures but this is how I document our summer excursions to the beach and the lake and thought you would like to see these products in action. So here goes:
Summer “Mommy Must Haves”
These products will come in handy for any of you moms out there who have a mobile toddler. Charlianne was walking at 10 months and I needed to pull out all the stops with her. We had a great summer last year at the beach, the lake and just in our own backyard and I truly believe it was because of the following products:
These are just a few of my Toddler “Mommy Must Haves” and I hope that they help you enjoy the summer a little more with your active kiddos. I know that we have had a blast and can’t wait for the weather to get warmer so we can head to the lake and enjoy the sun!