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Have you read our first post on Binge Worthy Shows to Watch While Breastfeeding?  The way we see it, new babies nurse around 8 times in a 24 hour period at 20-40 minutes per time which definitely gives you some time to binge watch.   Here's a a few more of our favorites:
 

1- The Mindy Project

Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is a 30-something OB/GYN, working and living in New York City. In season four, Mindy finds herself struggling to balance life as a working mom.  It's a funny, lighthearted, it's okay if you don't totally pay attention to, show.

 

2- Jane the Virgin
After being accidentally artificially inseminated with her boss’s specimen, this show takes some crazy, sometimes violent, awkward and hilarious turns.  
 

3- Call The Midwife
This might seem a little too close to home after having just given birth, but there’s something to be said for being it being relatable.  Plus, you'll be grateful for some of the more modern conveniences and medical advances.  And I love a good period drama.
 

4- House Hunters International
Tell me I'm not the only one who has been sucked into an HGTV marathon.  These episodes are like 22 minutes so if your baby nurses extra long like mine did, you can get in a few episodes each time.  I mean, look at all you can accomplish while nursing!
 
 

5- Freaks and Geeks
You guys, this is an all-star cast including baby Seth Rogan, baby Jason Segal, baby James Franco, and baby Busy Phillips.  Tragically it's only one season but it's a good story line and definitely worth the binge. 
 
 
I was always told to wash my baby's clothes before dressing them for the first time, but I never really understood the reason why. There actually is a reason, other than just making them smell fresh.  Most baby clothes are treated with a finish to ensure that they look brand new and unwrinkled when you buy them.  This can be harmful to their sensitive skin!  So wash those baby clothes!  
 
And while we are at it, here are a few other tips and tricks for tackling baby laundry that I've learned along the way.  
 

DETERGENT
 
I'm partial to Dreft, as my detergent of choice.  But any of the free and clear detergents are recommended.  These detergents contain less, or no added fragrance, which can oftentimes be the culprit in irritating sensitive baby skin.
Avoid the fabric softener — both liquid and sheets. Fabric softener can reduce the effectiveness of the flame retardency on baby pajamas and can also irritate your baby's skin.
 

 
 I was given this bar at a baby shower and was skeptical.  But this handy little bar is amazing at getting stains out. You can find it at the grocery store for super cheap and it can get out almost any laundry stain I've ever had.
 

COLOR CATCHERS
 
Let's face it, babies create a TON of laundry.  And when your an exhausted new mom in survival mode, there isn't time to separate colors and do separate loads.  Enter Color Catchers.  Color catchers are disposable sheets which can be thrown into the wash to help absorb any color dye that may leak and stain other lighter fabrics. 
 
MESH LAUNDRY BAGS
 
Baby clothes are tiny, which means they tend to get lost.  Mesh Laundry bags are a must!   These are perfect for holding baby socks, bibs, mittens, and other small things that tend to wander in the wash.
Listen, I don't want to join the throngs of unsolicited advice givers. I've gotten enough of that throughout pregnancy and motherhood. I just thought I'd share some parenting books that have helped me as I've navigated this crazy new world of first-time mommyhood. 
 
Baby 411 - This saves me from the internet wormhole! My physician assistant friend recommended this to me and I'm so glad she did! No longer am I scouring the internet finding worst-case scenario possibilities for my baby's poop. Turns out most of the time she's just fine. This book provides simple, straightforward advice and answers to common questions that you are definitely going to have. Plus it's super cheap! Worth every penny towards my anxiety management... Darn you WebMD!
 
The Good Sleeper - Written by the self-proclaimed NYC Sleep Doctor I used this as my guide for sleep training. I liked it for its easy reading style and broken down steps, but I would not call it the bible for sleep training — a bit too vague for that if you ask me. However, it was worth the read for this tip alone: your newborn should not be awake for more than 90 minutes at a time. That helped me mold my daughter into becoming a great napper and every minute of sleep is worth it!
 
Bringing Up Bebe - Best to be treated more as an entertaining read more than a how-to guide, but it was enlightening to see an alternative to the over-parenting craze.
 
Additional Resources
 
Happiest Baby on the Block on DVD or Amazon Download - This was so good for me as a first-time parent. I preferred the DVD over the book because of the swaddling and soothing demos. Gotta live by those 7 s's!
 
Babies - I think about this documentary (conveniently on Netflix) all of the time. It follows the story of four babies from across the world from birth to walking. Fascinating! More than anything this illustrates the resiliency of babies and that there is no one right way to do things. 
 
But above all else, know that you're doing awesome and at the end of the day your kid is lucky to have you!

For parents of young children, the prospect of being stick in a car with babies and toddlers can be enough to take the wind out of any travel plans. But don’t let the idea of travelling with toddlers or babies stop you from holidaying happily; if you take the following steps to ensure you’re prepared for every eventuality, road trips can be exactly the type of family experience that (golden!) memories are made of.

Travel planning:

A bit of forward planning is a necessary when it comes to travelling with a baby or toddler. Plan to:

Travel at night, if you can - replicating your children’s natural sleeping patterns will defend against tiredness induced tantrums. (If you do choose to travel in the dark, though, make sure to keep the designated driver alert and awake).

Avoid hitting the road at peak travel time; that means both the time of year, and the time of day.

Set out a picturesque route with plenty of pit-stops. This is a great way to make your road trip more than just a dreary drive, and maps or apps can show you the various lookouts and green spaces that mark your chosen stretch of road.

Kitting out the car: 

Taking a “safety first” attitude should be your first priority when considering vacations with toddlers or a vacation with a baby. Ensuring that your kids’ booster seats are strapped in and secure (and the right size for your baby/toddler) is the most important box to tick on your car-ride checklist.

Consider investing in some window-shades to keep the glare out of your kids’ eyes and to create an in-car environment that is more amenable to sleep.

A first-aid kit is a must where small children are involved and you’re far away from a home-base.

Packing, packing, packing: 

It’s always a good idea to do your packing well before you set off on your journey. Don’t forget these essentials:

Anything and everything your baby or toddler would need on an average day at home, pack into a carry-bag for the car. This means vitals like (but certainly not limited to) expressed milk, favourite toys, plastic bags, and plenty of nappies. Pack clothes appropriate for the place you’re heading to – merino children’s clothing such as knits for colder climates, and light layers for the beach.

Entertainment for the car: loading up your device with kiddie-friendly audiobooks, podcasts, and videos ensures a day full of virtual distraction for your tiny tots. Make sure to include some podcasts that interest you, too, if you’re lucky enough to have your kid(s) doze off during the journey.

In the same vein, don’t forget your adult necessities – check twice that you’ve got your wallet and keys handy, and pack your phone (and charger) in case of emergencies.

 The drive:

Keeping a conscious eye on your kids will allow you to perceive any signs of grizzliness before a bad mood matures into a full-blown tantrum. Giving your baby/toddler a small snack or toy to placate them will help nip tantrums in the bud.

If you have them, older children are a godsend. Getting your bigger kids to play with the younger ones is great entertainment for babies and toddlers and allows the adult(s) a much-needed chance to conserve some energy too.

Sticking to a regular eating/drinking/breastfeeding schedule wards against irritability for all road-tripping parties. Stopping every few hours for a healthy meal or snack also keeps kids’ digestion normal (which means reduced possibility of car-sickness).

 

And if all else fails - whip out your camera and document the experience! Even if your road trip doesn’t go perfectly, chances are you’ll look back on the journey with fondness when your kids are older.

When we got married, my husband informed me of a burning desire he has to see every Major League Ballpark in the country. Unaware of what I’d be getting myself into, I agreed to make it our family goal. Therefore, every trip we take during baseball season, we fit in a baseball game. Another thing to mention is that my husband is a die-hard Red Sox fan, who would never miss an opportunity to see them play, at any stadium. So, when it was announced that the Sox would be playing in California, a mere 10 hours away, he was ready to jump at the chance to see them.

I however, was not too excited to take in a game this particular trip, as we would have our 6 month old nursing baby in tow. A baseball game can last anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how well the teams are playing. Keeping a 6 month old content on my lap for a possible 4 hours was not a scenario I was willing to play out. I was not looking forward to trying to nurse my baby in our outfield seats located in direct sunlight, nor was I excited at the prospect of sitting in a public or family restroom to nurse him. I reluctantly agreed to the trip.

Needless to say, when we got to the ballpark I was not a happy mom. I made sure to feed my son before we got to the stadium, praying he wouldn’t need to eat until after we left. Of course he did, and he let me know, very loudly that he was not going to wait any more. I looked in desperation to my husband who had spent the last hour of the game walking around with the baby strapped to him while I wrangled our two year old, and told him we had to go. He tried to convince me we could stay, but I was determined. In a last ditch effort, my husband asked the nearest usher if there happened to be a Mother’s Room somewhere in the park. He directed us to the other side of the park, where I expected to find a bathroom with a bench and a changing table.

Here’s what I found instead.

Ladies, this is a Nursing Suite. It is the first of its kind on the west coast. It is an air conditioned piece of heaven located on the field level concourse of Petco Baseball Park. There are couches, tables and an outside seating area in the shade where you can nurse while watching the game. If you choose to stay inside, there are televisions that show the game There is an attendant assigned just to the mother’s room, and they are the nicest people at the ballpark. They make sure you have water, ensure no one comes in to disturb you, and the one I met even spent time informing my husband that I would be out in a moment as I was changing a diaper. Men are not allowed in the nursing room, for privacy. Also available to mothers is a clean bathroom and changing station, a refrigerator, and bottle warmer.  I chose to nurse my baby outside so I could watch the game because he isn’t easily scared or distracted. So there I was in a prime viewing spot, in the shade, sipping my ice water and nursing my baby and smiling at the thought of how jealous my husband was going to be. This was my view.

Though they never ushered me out, they do try to make sure no one stays for too long to make sure there is enough room for other moms.

In doing some research, many baseball and football stadiums are stepping up to provide nice nursing areas for their Mommy fans.

Here are some others that I found:

Baseball:Great American Ballpark Cincinnati, OH

Fenway Park Boston, MA – Nursing Pods/Mamava Suites

Nationals Park, Washington DC

Football: TCF Bank Stadium Minneapolis MN – Nursing Pods/Mamava Suites

CenturyLink Field – Seattle, WA

 

Hopefully other stadiums will choose to follow suit so that our Sport SuperFan Mamas can have the experience I did! 

At some point, almost every breastfeeding mama has faced a blow out.  Those yellow stains can be such a nuisance, so we turned to our instagram community of moms for help.  Here are a few tips they've shared to deal with stains like this:

 

1-  Oxiclean 

 

 
4-  Blue Dawn + Hydrogen Peroxide + Baking Soda
 
5-  Sunshine
 
No matter the method, once washed lay clothing out in the sun.  It works as a natural stain remover and helps bleach the stain out.  Plus it's all natural and completely FREE!

When my son was born I wrote him a lengthy letter every week describing that week’s events, any milestones or changes, etc. I thought that for sure I would have no problem keeping this up throughout his childhood and for any other children that came along (ha ha ha ha ha) but as tends to be the case, by the time he hit 2 and I was pregnant with my daughter the letters shifted to monthly, as did my daughter’s when she was born. The real bummer is that I had high hopes of making these letters into photo books with pictures from every week, but sadly they are still just Word files on my computer. Maybe I’ll have time to create the books when my kids go off to college. To save all you other moms from repeating my mistakes, I’ve rounded up three simple ways to document your kids’ milestones without too much stress.

Chatbooks

This Utah company has been a favorite of mine since they started offering their super affordable 60- page softcover books as a way preserve the posts on your Instagram feed. In the years since they have expanded their offering to include hardcover books, and the sky is the limit when it comes to methods of creating your Chatbook. You can pull photos from various social media accounts, your phone, or your computer.

Chatbooks also offers the option of creating a book by hashtag, which would be a pretty efficient way to create a keepsake for your kids. Just create a hashtag for each child, then post once a week (or whatever frequency you like) on your Instagram account (I actually created a second private account for this purpose) with a few words about what they did that week. At the end of the year you should have enough posts to fill up one of these books, and you can order it for less than ten bucks! Easy as pie.

Promptly Journals

Perfect for those that want more of a traditional keepsake, Promptly Journals is the brainchild of a fellow Utah mom/graphic designer looking for a way to document her daughter’s entire childhood in one place. These beautiful linen covered journals eliminate the problem of staring at the blank pages of a journal wondering what to write by providing questions for each phase of your child’s life, from your pregnancy through their teen years. Prompts include questions like “is there any special significance to your child’s name?”, “what is your toddler’s favorite item of clothing?”, and “what are your teen’s dreams for the future?”

Qeepsake Baby Journal

I heard about this concept when a friend of mine posted about it on Facebook, and it truly doesn’t get any easier than this. Qeepsake was started by busy parents of five children, and the concept is simple: qeepsake texts you a daily question about your kid (something simple like “what makes your baby smile?”), you text back, and your entry is saved in their online journal. When you have more time you can access the account online and edit, add photos, etc. Qeepsake will be available for customers in the U.S. and Canada sometime in Spring 2016, but you can get early access by sharing the link with friends via social media or email.

Summertime is upon us, and that means spending more time outside! Keeping babies safe in the hot summer sun is imperative; sun damage is cumulative over a lifetime, and overexposure early in life can increase your risk for skin cancer. Practicing sun safety doesn’t have to mean keeping your children cooped up all day long; instead, a little forethought and preparation is all you need to keep your little ones safe on the playground and in the pool.

An infant’s limited amount of melanin, our skin’s naturally protective pigment, makes them especially susceptible to the damaging effects of sunlight. Unfortunately, sunscreen isn’t the answer for infants. Pediatricians advise not using sunscreen on babies 0-6 months old; the skin is too sensitive at this age for sunscreen. Instead, infants should have limited sun exposure by covering their body as much as possible and keeping them in the shade. Dress your baby in lightweight clothing that covers arms and legs, and choose a wide-brimmed hat to protect baby’s face and neck. I am partial to Swim Zip’s stylish and functional rashguards, sun hats, and sunsuits.

Taking early morning walks and evening strolls also limits the amount of sun exposure. The hours of 10 am to 4 pm are when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, so finding a shady spot in the middle of the day for your picnic or playground outing is essential. Shade isn’t always easy to come by, so consider keeping a baby pop-up shade dome in the car. I liked this one from Redmond Beach.

Once your baby reaches 6 months of age, you can use a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. This type of sunscreen protects from harmful UVA and UVB rays. If you choose a spray-on sunscreen, be sure to mist it into your hands and then apply to your child. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before venturing outdoors, and should be reapplied every 2 hours or more often if swimming. Be generous when slathering on sunscreen; the American Academy of Dermatology estimates that most only apply half as much sunscreen as they should. A good rule of thumb is about half an ounce (enough to fill the palm of your toddler’s hand) to cover a child’s body. And even though it seems counterintuitive, cloudy days still necessitate skin protection; 80% of UV rays penetrate cloud coverings.

Choosing a sunscreen can be confusing; the Environmental Working Group recommends finding a brand of sunscreen that does not contain potential hormone disruptors like retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) and oxybenzone. Some of the suncreens on this list can be hard to find. Look for Kiss My Face and California Baby brands, both of which are easier to find in stores.

The best way to ensure your baby is safe in the sun is to make it easy on you – keep extra sunscreen, layers of clothing, and a hat in your diaper bag. You’ll be ready for impromptu outings and you and your little ones can safely soak up some vitamin D.

These baby board books have a wonderful message about love. We picked our 3 favorites! These make great baby gifts.

1-You Are My I Love You

 

2-I Love You Through and Through

3-Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You

5 Reasons To Reduce Your Kids’ Screen Time That Have Nothing To Do with Mommy Guilt or Medical Data

1. The feeling you get when you start to realize the TV noise has been constant. You know the feeling I’m talking about. You’re going about your daily business but your nerves start feeling a little bit raw and your patience starts feeling a little bit thin and you start to realize it’s because the sound of theme songs and squeaky cartoon character voices are about as soothing as nails on a chalkboard.

2. You absorb the noise and it sticks to the deepest recesses of your soul. You think your home is finally quiet and calm and filled only with the sounds of your kids (finally!) playing contentedly in the next room or back yard. And then it happens. You catch yourself trying to fix a kitchen appliance and singing, “Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!” Or you’re humming the Curious George theme song in your cubicle and driving your colleagues insane. It never stops. It haunts you. It haunts everyone.

3. Your Hulu suggestions are officially the worst. You finally get the kids to bed, pull out the good snacks (the chocolatey ones the kids don’t know about), and snuggle in next to your partner to watch something new, with bad words and everything. Ahhhh… but wait. What’s this? All of your personalized suggestions are whiney animations. By the time you remember how to clear your viewing activity, your husband is snoring next to you. What. A. Buzzkill.

4. It’s burning a hole in your wallet I’m not talking about the cable bill, or even the data plan. I’m talking about all the toys and gear we get guilted into buying. The shows may be free, but they get ya with branding! Your kid loves Sesame Street? Expect her Christmas wish list to begin and end with everything Elmo. He loves superheros? Clothes shopping is going to end in tears (yours and his) if you don’t walk out with some superhero stuff that you don’t even like. Sweet were the days we could buy the cheaper, generic necessities.

5. Your future grandchildren may end up with names like Muck and Caillou.

And nobody deserves a grandchild named after Caillou.

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