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There is a lot of baby gear out there these days and it's hard to know exactly what you need.  We've put together a list of our favorite baby registry items to give you a little help.

 

Undercover Mama

1- Black and White Nursing Tank Bundle from Undercover Mama

This is a wardrobe staple for every Nursing Mama.  Expand your nursing wardrobe with this purchase and make any shirt a nursing shirt! 

Britax Stroller

2- The Britax B- Agile and B-Safe Travel System

We love this travel system because it rides smooth, is light, and compresses easily.  It makes transporting a baby a little easier, and who doesn't want that?

Bamboobies Multi Pack

3- Bamboobies Nursing Pads Multi-pack

These super soft pads soothe chaffed nipples, they are ultra-absorbant and stop leaks, and they are washable so you save money!  Give them a try, you'll thank us later!

4- Lillebaby Complete Carrier

We love this carrier for so many reasons: great ergonomic design, fun colors that my husband could live with, and a forward facing feature that my baby loves! When he needs a nap, I still carry him facing me.

 

5- Simple Wishes B-3 All-in-One Nursing and Hands Free Pumping Bra

A great nursing bra that is also a pumping bra! It is supportive, easy to use, and turns any pump into a hands- free pump.

JuJuBe

6- Ju-Ju-Be Hobo be Messenger Diaper Bag- First Lady 

Every new mama needs an awesome diaper bag and we love Ju-Ju-Be and their newest collection of black and white prints makes you feel less like you are carrying a diaper bag and more like you are carrying a purse.  

7- Nosefrida Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator

This doctor developed and doctor recommended nasal aspirator is amazing at keeping babies naturally snot free. Ingeniously simple Swedish design features a tube that is placed against the nostril (not inside). Parents use their own suction to draw mucus out of their child's nose.  Sounds a little gross, but it is amazing!

8- Skwish Toy 

One of our favorite classic toys, it skwishes and returns to its original shape.  Perfect for little hands.  

9- The Black and White Book

Who doesn't love a good book? This board book is based on the simplicity of objects outlined in black & white that can be easily recognized by babies in their daily surroundings. This is one of those rare books that will interest even a newborn.

10- Weego Amigo Baby Blankets

One of our favorite blankets ever!  The double layer cotton knit makes it super soft and we love the gender neutral designs.

Summer is coming y'all which means, tank tops and shorts are coming out! For the nursing Mamas that means the dreaded layers and a whole lot of sweat...but maybe not? I've got you covered girl ;) First off ALL of Undercover Mamas tanks are super breathable and lightweight meaning you're not going to get over heated. Plus they make a specific "Cool Mama" option! Second off they're perfect to dress up a tank and allow you to nurse without a problem wherever you are! I've put together 3 of my favorite tank looks with my Undercover Mama tanks right here, right now!

LOOK ONE:

Cool Mama Undercover Tank | Pink Clutch | White Tank | Sunglasses | Floppy Hat

 

LOOK TWO:

Pink Tank | Undercover Mama Tank | Shorts | Sandals

LOOK THREE

undercover mama positively oakes

Lace Undercover Mama Tank | Tank Top | White Capris

This post was written by Jess Oakes. You can find her blogging at Positively Oakes and enjoying her new journey of Motherhood with a Dr. Pepper in her hand ;)

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.

If you asked me to name my newborn essentials, included among the list of standard baby items would be a subscription to an online streaming service like Netflix or Hulu. As draining as those first few weeks stuck at home nursing a newborn can be, they are also a perfect time to indulge in some major TV binge watching.     

When my kids were born, part of what got me through those first exhausting weeks was the promise of a little “me time” in the form of catching up on some TV while I nursed. This usually happened during the late evening feeding when I was at my most worn out and, quite frankly, just tired of having a baby clamped to my chest.

I quickly discovered that in my postpartum state not just any TV white noise would fit the bill. What I wanted was something that didn’t require me to think too much (not the time for hard-hitting documentaries); was addicting but not too addicting (I wanted to look forward to watching it but not to the point of being distracted at other times of the day); and most of all, wasn’t too emotional or dramatic (postpartum hormones had me sobbing at random Target commercials, so you can only imagine the devastation that something like Game of Thrones would have caused).

If I were nursing a newborn right now, these would be my top Netflix picks (currently streaming as of February 2016):  

 Gilmore Girls

This mother-daughter dramedy is charming, well-written, and just a pleasure to watch. I tuned in faithfully when it was on the air, and as luck would have it Netflix added all seven seasons one week after my daughter was born.  I spent many an evening listening to Lorelai and Rory exchange witty banter while cuddling with my new baby girl. I’m betting that my milk would still magically let down if I heard Carole King singing “Where you lead, I will follow….”

Parks and Recreation

Although I would argue that it doesn’t fully hit its stride until season 3, Parks and Rec is one of my all-time favorite sitcoms. Amy Poehler is at her best playing devoted civil servant Leslie Knope, and the supporting cast members are all hilarious.

The Great British Baking Show

A huge hit in the U.K., this baking competition is reality TV without the drama or intensity of the shows that air in the U.S. It really is just a bunch of nice British people baking amazing stuff in the beautiful English countryside (basically Xanax in TV form). And without exception everyone that I have recommended it to has loved it. Fair warning: if you’re like me and have the appetite of a teenage boy going through a growth spurt while you’re nursing, you might want to arm yourself with some snacks before sitting down to watch this parade of mouthwatering creations. 

Hart of Dixie

This pick falls solidly in the guilty pleasure category, so watch it when you’re feeling particularly braindead or immune to cheesy dialogue and far-fetched plotlines. Rachel Bilson (remember her from The OC?) stars as Zoe Hart, a doctor from Manhattan that moves to the charming town of Bluebell, Alabama to take over a medical practice. Love triangles, catfights, and random shenanigans ensue.

Fixer Upper

I’m usually not a big HGTV fan, but I really enjoy this show. Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines help their clients find a house in need of some TLC and proceed to transform it into something amazing. Again, reality TV without the drama. Unless maybe your husband decided to rip out your master bathroom when you were 39 weeks pregnant (a story for another time) and the thought of home renovations sends you into a fit of rage. Then maybe skip this one.

What are your Netflix favorites? 

 

undercover mama positively oakes

undercover mama positively oakes

Did you know that not only can you layer with your Undercover Mama, but you can also rock it strictly with a cardigan? In fact it's perfect with their Polka dot shirt because you get a little touch of a pattern while keeping the overall look simple and chic. I've put together a little example. I paired my Undercover Mama polka dot top with a loose burgundy cardigan and skinny jeans. I went for more of a flowy cardigan so that if I need the option to cover up a little more while nursing, I can use the extra flap on my cardigan to do so.

These tops are so great for a variety of uses and the cardigan is one of my favs. In fact I'm literally wearing that exact combo right now. It's easy access, comfortable, yet totally cute! Throw it all together with a really great pair of booties and you're ready to rock n' roll.

Grab The Undercover Mama Tank HERE

Shop The Rest of the Look Below.

This post was written by, Jess Oakes. She blogs over at Positively Oakes. You can find her enjoying her new journey into Motherhood and sipping on a Dr. Pepper at all times.

My husband and I just had our first baby. Both of us are the last of our friends, and most of our family to have kids-which means we’ve had a lot of exposure to babies and have been able to see parenting in action. This should naturally make us parenting experts, right? Wrong. I honestly thought I’d be a natural when it came to having babies. I realized that notion was 100% wrong within 5 hours of being home from the hospital. Everything I was so sure of went out the window.

The first night we were home with the baby we did not sleep. At all. The baby was crying all night, and I was sure he was sick. He was also pooping every 30 minutes. I never thought I’d be sitting in bed at 2:00 AM googling “what should my newborn’s poop look like?” and “how do I know if my newborn has diarrhea?” We read several articles about poop that night, and at one point actually grabbed all of the diapers out of the trash to compare the poop in each of them. It was really romantic. After comparing diapers and doing our internet research, we concluded that our child was, in fact, not sick and his poop was completely normal. He apparently just didn’t feel like sleeping that night. Or any night since.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here’s a few tips on poop:

Color: The shade of your baby's poop depends on what you feed him. If you breastfeed, it will be mustard yellow and seedy looking.Formula-fed babies have poop that can be yellow, green or brown. Poop in shades of red (this could mean blood), black (with the exception of the first few) or white are all warning signs, so call your pediatrician if you notice any abnormalities.

Frequency: Some babies go a few times a day, while others only need to poop once. Breastfed babies will often poop after almost every feeding so prepare for lots of diaper changes.

Here are a few more resources and more graphic pictures to consult:

 12 Types of Baby Poop & What They Mean 

Diaper Decoder

Baby Poo, a Visual Guide 

(warning, these are real photos in case you don't have the stomach for it)

 

Easter is coming y'all and you know what the means...DRESSES GALORE! Unless you're nursing....actually, I have great news for you. You can still wear a dress this year even if you are nursing and it's easier than ever! Here's my guidelines for nursing Mamas and dress wearing:

1. Find a dress you're comfortable in, where the top is easy to slide down and it's not too tight fitting (because that doesn't make it easy for the top to pull down)

2. Grab an Undercover Mama Top Cover

3. Put the top cover on, throw your dress on and you're ready to rule the world--breastfeeding and all!

See how I styled one:

undercover mama

undercover mama

undercover mama

undercover mama

Here's the scoop, that Undercover Mama Top Cover slides right up, while the top of your dress slides right down-- making it an easy little shield and the perfect way to breastfeed. It's a win, win all around and perfect for Easter!

Here's a few of my favorite dresses to rock with a top cover and that's breastfeeding accessible:

This post was written by Jess Oakes. You can find her blogging at Positively Oakes, playing with her new babe and most likely sipping on a Dr. Pepper!

I love a good layered look, so today I'm going to show you 5 of my favorite layered looks for weekdays with my Undercover Mamas shirts.

Monday Business casual

undercover mama positively oakes

Black Shirt | Gray Mama Tank | Blazer | Dress Pants | Shoes

Tuesday Errand Chic

undercover mama positively oakes

Blush Top | White Mama Tank | Ripped Jeans | Nude Flats | Bag

Wednesday Meeting Ready

undercover mama positively oakes

Lace Tank | Black Mama TankSkirt | Heels | Glasses | Watch

Thursday Simple

undercover mama positively oakes

Maxi Dress | Pink Mama Tank | Sandals |

Friday Casual Friday

undercover mama positively oakes

Leggings | Nude Mama Tank | Sweater | Booties

This post was written by, Jess Oakes. She blogs over at Positively Oakes. You can find her enjoying her new journey into Motherhood and sipping on a Dr. Pepper at all times.

Ah, the newborn photo shoot. Funny how those peaceful, sweet images of a sleeping baby reveal nothing of the chaos that so often accompanies this phase of life. Seems like the last thing you want to worry about when you’ve just had a baby is getting their pictures taken, but nothing beats looking back at those photos when the years have transformed your once tiny baby into a bigger, louder, messier version of themselves. With that in mind, here are some tips for making the process go as smoothly as possible:

Take some time to decide what kind of photos you really want

Some questions to ask yourself:

-Do I want formal studio portraits or more casual photos in an informal setting?

-Who do I want in the photos? Just the baby? Baby and parents? Siblings?

-How much money/time/effort do I want to invest in this?

In my case, I knew I wanted something more polished than my amateur iphone photos to document my new babies, but also realized that I didn’t want to spend top dollar on a photographer or dream up a bunch of elaborate props, outfits, etc., especially since I found myself gravitating more towards simple photos of newborns swaddled in their cribs than studio shots of naked babies sleeping in a basket of flowers or perched on a pile of books.

I also wanted my babies’ newborn photos to reflect the life of our family and their surroundings when they first arrived, so I opted to have photos done at home with our whole family present, keeping outfits and backgrounds simple and casual. And since I wasn’t too hung up on the quality of these photos as long as we got one decent group shot and a few great portraits of the baby, I hired amateur photographers that took the photos for a fraction of the price that most professionals charge.

Regardless of which approach you want to take and what your priorities are for your newborn’s moment in the limelight, definitely keep the following in mind:

Plan ahead as much as possible

This could probably prevent most of the stresses in life, right? And photo shoots are no exception. Photographers generally recommend getting newborn photos taken sometime within two weeks of your baby’s arrival, and heaven knows those first couple of days/weeks with a new baby are crazy enough without having to scramble to get ready for a photo session. So try to think through most of the process beforehand:

-Nail down clothing choices for everyone in the photos, not just baby. Even if you aren’t going to buy anything new or wear anything fancy, fish the clothes you have in mind out of the closet and hide them away until it’s time to take pictures. Otherwise you might end up rushing to Old Navy the morning of the shoot to buy your husband a new gray polo shirt because his is stained (not that I speak from experience or anything…)

-Assemble any props, blankets, etc. that you want to use and have them ready to go so that you’re not looking for things while the photographer snaps away. As we’ve established, I like to keep things simple for newborn photos with my babies in white onesies or something similar, but I’ve used different swaddle blankets and accessories to mix things up.

-Browse Pinterest, photographer’s websites, etc. to get an idea of specific poses/photos you want to have and show them to the photographer beforehand.

Set yourself up for success

You might be looking at the photos accompanying this post and think “geez, these babies look kind of big” and that’s because both of my kids didn’t have “newborn” photos taken until they were about a month old.

Maybe by the third baby I’ll feel differently, but with both of my experiences so far I’ve felt a bit of anxiety and depression both at the tail end of my pregnancies and for the first few weeks after the baby is born. Nothing major, but enough that newborn photos are the furthest thing from my mind. So I waited until I felt better and capable of more than just making it through the day to get these photos taken. And even though it resulted in not-your-typical newborn shots (my daughter stayed awake the whole time!) it made for a better experience for everyone involved.

But even if you are feeling on top of the world after having your baby, make sure you’re not sabotaging yourself:

-If you know you’re not a morning person, don’t schedule your baby’s photos first thing in the morning thinking you’ll magically be able to pull it together that one day. Same goes for other times/days, especially if you have other kids involved. Consider when everyone is most likely to be in a good, cooperative mood and schedule your photos for that time.

 

-Calculate how long you need to get yourself and/or everyone else ready (hair, makeup, etc.) and add on an extra hour. Just trust me on this one.

-Feed your baby right before the photo shoot starts, even if they aren’t due for a feeding yet. You want them happy and content. And if you want photos of their cute naked tush, make sure the room you are in is warm enough.  Basically, make sure that they are happy and comfortable.

And last of all—this may be the biggest “do as I say, not as I do” piece of advice on here—but don’t stress too much. Even if the photos turn out terrible and you hate them, I guarantee if you pull them out 6 months later they will magically look better (speaking from personal experience here). And even if they don’t, they’re just pictures, right? Go snuggle your baby and forget about them.  

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the leaves, stems, seeds, bark, roots, and flowers of plants and have a wide range of physical and emotional uses, including supporting a pregnant and laboring mother. DōTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils work great and Jennifer is here to give you some recipes to use as you prepare for labor.  Always consult your doctor or midwife when using essential oils during pregnancy and labor.

BLACK PEPPER

Benefits:

Black Pepper has a warming effect to the touch and can help sooth anxious feelings.

To Use:

Have your doula, midwife or partner mix 1-2 drops in 10-12 drops of fractionated coconut oil in their hands and massage it on your hips during back labor for a soothing warming sensation.

WILD ORANGE

Benefits:

This essential oil possesses stimulating and purifying qualities, making it ideal for supporting healthy immune system function when seasonal threats are high. Wild Orange contains powerful antioxidants that help maintain overall health. Diffusing Wild Orange will energize and uplift the mind and body while purifying the air.

 To Use:

Diffuse 2-3 drops during labor for an energizing effect.  

If no diffuser is available, place 1 drop in your palm, rub your hands together, cup them over your nose and mouth, and inhale.

LAVENDAR, FRANKINCENSE & HELICHRYSUM

Benefits:

These three oils have incredible properties that help our skin. All are known to help reduce skin irritation and imperfections, which make them perfect for preparing the body for labor and facilitating recovery postpartum.

To Use:

Add 10 drops of each essential oil to 2oz of fractionated coconut oil in a glass container or glass spray bottle to apply with perineal massage daily starting around 37 weeks.  The remainder can be used postpartum after daily peri washes. Using a glass spray bottle is the easiest way to apply postpartum.

Add 10 drops of each to 1/2c of raw shea butter and 1/2c of melted coconut oil. Whip together in a mixer, and apply to your growing itchy belly as needed.

Feel free to contact Jennifer, as she specializes in making each of these custom blends for expecting mothers. You can find out more about doTERRa essential oils and purchase undiluted CPTG oils here or email for further information oilybabies@gmail.com

* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.

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