Brats On Board 6 in 1 Nursing Cover Review & Giveaway!

 

Need a good nursing cover?

We have been breastfeeding for 20 months strong! So I don’t wanna say I’m an expert at all, but I do know a thing or two. And in the last 20 months, I’ve gone through a couple of Nursing Covers. Today, I’m going to review a really great one by Brats On Board! Continue reading “Brats On Board 6 in 1 Nursing Cover Review & Giveaway!”

Traveling With A Newborn? 5 Feeding Tips


Traveling with a Newborn?

The holidays are upon us! For most families, this means travel. And if you have a newborn in tow, this can sometimes be a more lengthy (and difficult) process.
The Honest Company, reminded me of the trips we took with my son, while he was a newborn. It isn’t easy, but here’s a few things I learned along the way.
Also, check out these great resources from The Honest Company that can help you, be it breast or bottle, with great products to help you feed your baby! Supplements, boosters for your supply, nipple creams, bibs…they have it all!
But when preparing for Thanksgiving or Christmas vacations, consider these tips that I used, for those long trips in the car…

Plan extra time for feedings

I exclusively breastfed my son, but this applies to everything – breast, bottle, or tube. You have to allow a certain amount of time for feedings. it’s important to know your baby’s routine, and plan accordingly. If they feed for an hour (every hour!), and the drive will be at least two hours long, then you have an idea of a timeframe.
Plan to strike out early. My son cluster fed like clockwork-so we left an hour early, and after the first session, he would be good until we reached our destination.

Comfort is key

Because we chose travel by car, I tried making things as comfortable as possible for me, and my newborn baby. Snuggly blankets, a neck pillow for Mom, space arranged in the back seat for optimal room (avoiding claustrophobia) – whatever it takes to ensure you and your child will be comfy during these stops. Traveling is hard on babies, and the easier you can make it on your baby (and yourself!), the better. And if traveling by automobile, remember you can sometimes…

Get Out Of The Car

We are lucky enough to live right on the Georgia/Florida border. So we never encounter snow! But if you are able to on a nice weather day, consider parking at a rest stop with a nice picnic area, and vacate the car. It will help you to refresh yourself and stretch your legs. And give your baby a different environment for a short change. My son was always a very active eater, and enjoyed looking around until the “milk sleep” took over. Plus, being outside the car for a bit should help you, and your partner, from loathing the car ride to the cousins who just have to live 3 hours away. Something to keep in mind while packing up for the trip, though…

Make A List Of Supplies, And Check Twice

Lists are super handy for all the little details. make sure you have everything you will need for feedings, and at least one extra item (if possible) on hand. Be it bottle, nipples, nursing covers, breast pads, gas drops…make sure that you have backups of anything that can get dirty, or can’t immediately be re-used without proper cleaning. You may not find yourself stopped at a place that will have access to water and soap (that you will feel comfortable using your baby items with), and you don’t want to add more time to your trip (spent washing things).
Pack just enough (not everything!) of the necessities that will get you to your destination, which at that point you can sterilize and clean. Because when baby needs to eat-baby needs to eat! And you’ll want to get back on the road ASAP.
But in the grand scheme of everything, always remember…

Take It Easy

Traveling is hard on anyone, including being stuck in a car for a few hours. Especially hard on newborn babies. The less stress you endure with the preparation, and execution of your trip, the better the ride will be for your child. Children feed off their surrounding energy – if you are calm and collected, it will rub off on them! So relax as much as possible, take moments to stretch your legs and smell the roses (or, at least, fresh air as opposed to the little tree freshener hanging from the rearview mirror), and make life easier on yourself by not rushing. The ride will be a lot more enjoyable for you, and baby!

Check out the feeding resources page on The Honest Company’s site for some awesome products that can help you nourish your little one, and as always, be safe while traveling this holiday season! And many thanks to The Honest Company, for inspiring this conversation amongst mothers! it’s important that we, as a collective, support each other with our experiences!

If you’re looking for more holiday posts, check out this linkup as well!

5 Feeding Tips For Traveling With A newborn

Meadoria Teething/Nursing Necklace Giveaway

 This is a sponsored post in which a winner received a free necklace, paid for by the company. All opinions are 100% mine and not swayed in any way.

Teething/Nursing Necklace Giveaway!

I am so excited and happy to announce that I have teamed up with Meadoria for a giveaway!

All natural wooden teething/nursing necklaces from Meadoria
From Meadorias Facebook page – so pretty!

Do you remember the review I wrote for these awesome nursing necklaces? Well, you can still check that out, but I’ll summarize here: They are comfortable, all natural, and so cute!

My own necklace I received is Royal Blue, and I love it!

 

Bruce is a big fan as well!

I’ve been wearing it since I received it last spring, and it’s such a life saver when Bruce needs to be distracted, especially when nursing. It’s safe and non-toxic, so he can suck and chew to his heart’s content when standing in line at the store, and I don’t have to worry.

I wear my often when out and about, even if Bruce isn’t with me. I think they are very stylish, and let’s be honest, not a lot of practical baby products are!

So I teamed back up with Meadoria to put together a giveaway for a free nursing/teething necklace for my readers! Hosted through Rafflecopter, one lucky winner will be chosen at Random to receive this beautiful, gender neutral necklace in a lovely Gray color.

What do I have to do to win?
First, you must complete the 3 main requirements on the Rafflecopter Form to enter, which are:
Follow me on Instagram
Follow me on Twitter
Follow Meadoria on Instagram
…and that’s it!

The Giveaway will end Friday, Sept.23rd at 12:00am EST.  You will also have a chance submit additional entries for a higher chance of winning, by completing other tasks in the Rafflecopter form. Winner will be announced via Instagram & Twitter. 
Giveaway is for US citizens only, please.

So enter below, and may the odds ever be in your favor!
a Rafflecopter giveaway has concluded (12/14/16)







 

5 Reasons I Love/Hate Breastfeeding


This post contains affiliate links, but all views are 100% my own. I also don’t endorse products unless I absolutely love them and have used them myself.

So, to commemorate our breastfeeding journey that is going on 14 months strong, I have compiled my list of 5 reasons it absolutely sucks…and why it’s also awesome, at the same time!

It’s not an easy feat for any mother to accomplish-and many can’t, due to production issues and a variety of other causes. But, it did come somewhat naturally to us, for which I am very grateful. But that doesn’t mean I still can’t be frustrated from time to time. Which brings us to our first reason…

1. It’s time consuming…
Especially in the first few weeks (or even months!) when Baby is cluster feeding. You’re pretty much confined to one area for X amount of time. Some mothers are super-duper multitaskers and can do a lot of things while feeding, but I still can’t. Nope-when Bruce wants to nurse, we sit down and make a meal out of it. I learned early on if I tried walking through the store with him in a wrap, that boob was eventually going to come out, and then we have other issues, like for instance….

2. Leakage…
At first, if we didn’t nurse every two hours at the most, my shirt was soaked (if not squirting across the room with let-down). And every time we did nurse, I would have so much engorgement in the other breast, that ounces would be wasted on those nifty reusable pads that are absolute must for every breastfeeding mother. Bruce also has a habit of leaving the tap running if he pulls off quickly. But, there’s hope… a milk-saver is a life saver! You’re able to save all the let-down and use for extra feedings, milk baths, or freezing. And it will save you from a wet top. I really loved the Milkies Milk Saver for catching all the extra milk. It fit inside all my nursing bras, and bruce was able to get sometimes an extra 16 ounces by how much i was producing. It saved my laundry as well. For those times when we couldn’t use the Milk Saver, we went with these awesome Organic Bamboo nursing pads-so absorbent, and the best part? Reusable!


3. Nursing bras are the worst

I hate a very special hate for nursing bras. I always get mine tangled, the pads inside become wonky, and it’s usually a hassle for the less-coordinated like myself, to snap them back up very fast.It’s hard to find cute ones (or maybe I’m just picky…actually, I know I’m picky) and they don’t always accommodate every outfit. It took a while but I did finally come across some that I can deal with…removeable pads, easy to breathe material, and best part? Affordable!

4. Your body isn’t necessarily your own…
As I mentioned with the time consumption, be prepared that your breasts, aren’t really yours for a time-they belong to the baby. To be used whenever necessary, needed, wanted, or even just out of boredom. Breastfed babies love their boobs! Naturally, they will want them a lot-and when they do, you’ll know it. Sometimes even at the worst times. My son has tried pulling my top down in enough stores to confirm this.
5.  Some people are NOT pro-breastfeeding…
It’s sad, but it is true. Yes, there are laws in place that allow you to feed anywhere, with or without a cover, but it’s still a pretty taboo thing in today’s society. Nearly every day there is another report of a mother being shamed into a back room, bathroom stall, or asked to leave an establishment entirely, because she is trying to nurse her child. This makes most breastfeeding mothers anxious and angry, especially if like my child, their’s refuses to use a cover. I’m the first to whip it out whenever necessary to provide sustenance for my child (my “give a f*ck list” is incredibly short), but that still doesn’t mean I’d like to try avoiding confrontation with the small minded.
…but all these things aside, here’s my top 5 reasons it’s also, like, the best thing ever….
5. You have downtime (and an excuse to excuse yourself)
The time you’ll spend lounging on the couch (or in bed) while nursing will give you ample time to catch up on social media, binge-watch youtube, or even read a book. That’s after you’ve talked to your baby, sang to them, told all those stories you’ve been waiting to tell a little one since you learned you were pregnant. Whatever it takes to keep you from going stir-crazy while sitting in one spot. And in an awkward social situation, like visiting relatives, when you really want to get out of a conversation-the baby will magically need to nurse!
4. It helps you build a schedule
At least, it helped me. Even with cluster feeding, my son pretty much nursed about the same time throughout the day. So we got into a routine of nursing, napping, nursing, playing, nursing…you get the picture. Especially with a newborn, everything about your life will begin to revolve around baby and on his schedule. So let it help you rebuild yours.
3. Your boobs will look amazing!
If like me, you’ve been mostly small chested your whole life, you will love this phase of life where you look amazing in anything you wear (although you’ll probably go for breastfeeding friendly clothes most the time). It’s natures boob-job and so much more cost-efficient than a real one. Just enjoy them while they last…
2. Your body is doing something incredible!
While your baby has pretty much taken it over since conception, keep in mind that what you’re doing while nursing, is a pretty awesome thing. You’re providing the most nourishing, natural way for your child to grow and develop, and that’s a wonderful feat. There are a lot of women who, biologically, just don’t have the means to produce (and really want to!) and here you are-just doing it! Doing what women have done literally since the dawn of time, to ensure their offsprings survival (in the days before formula). Not to mention just how healthy breast milk is for your child, providing vitamins and nutrients still not synthetically developed or available in formula. And you are bonding with your child like only you and your baby can. Cherish these times, if anything, for those who cannot.
And the number one reason (I think) that despite all the annoying inconveniences, breast feeding is still the best thing ever…
1. If you choose to breastfeed, you will find an overwhelming amount of support
Yes, there’s always those people who will *try* to shame you and for some reason, don’t like to see it (or know that mothers do it), but there is actually a great support system surrounding breastfeeding. Entire groups and organizations built for the sole purpose of education, encouragement, and providing resources to help facilitate all your breastfeeding needs. One of my personal favorites, with a local league in nearly every town, is the La Leche League. Just by talking to fellow mamas who are going down the same path in terms of feeding their baby, you can find a lot of great advice, and support amongst peers. Breastfeeding is becoming increasingly more accepted with all the awareness spread by these groups, and fellow mother’s as well.
This list was written with humor, but all joking aside-I’m not bashing formula (or tube) feeding in any way, shape, or form. But honestly, breastfeeding can suck. It can be tedious, annoying, inconvenient, frustrating, and downright a pain (and I haven’t even touched on sore, cracked, bleeding nipples, mastitis, or the disappointment of spilling 12 ounces of pumped milk that took an hour to get out).
But I believe it is worth all the tears to be able to provide what I feel is the best nutrition for my child, and to take part in one of the best bonding experiences we were ever able to have together. The pros really do outweigh all the cons.
Do you agree with these lists? What’s some of the downfalls (or upsides?) you have experienced as a nursing mom?

top-5-reasons

Don’t Let Them Steal Your Joy

Motherhood is full of Joy, and Doubt…

One thing no one ever tells you, when becoming a first time mother, is the amount of criticism you will undoubtedly face on a day to day basis.

Like every new mom, I thought by doing my research, and making careful decisions on how I decided to raise my child, I would find the answers for every choice I decided upon. And I did-from breastfeeding, to diapering, to which rash cream to use, whether or not to make my own baby food or buy it from the store…but then once my little bundle of joy came into the world, I encountered something surprisingly more annoying than morning sickness and labor pains combined…

The Sanctimommy.

Much like the fabled “Dementors” of Harry Potter, only much harder to detect, they are everywhere. Sucking the pure joy from any mother’s soul with snide comments on how they are such the better parent than you are…on any topic!

You can’t ever win…

I decided to breastfeed because I thought it was the healthiest choice for my child; on a bonding level, nutritional level, and even developmental. I bought a few bottles, just in case something were to happen and Daddy needed to feed him, or maybe something happened with my supply. But we actually didn’t have any trouble with nursing-I have a very strong milk supply, my son was a natural breast-feeder, and when we attempted the bottle he flat out refused.
Enter the Sanctimommy; “Well, why don’t you give him formula so you don’t have to feed him as much?” or, “If you gave him formula you wouldn’t have to get up in the middle of the night as much, because it’s thicker…” and, “You SHOULD give him formula, he will sleep through the night.”

Now, I’m not shaming formula feeding my any means – and if you feel that’s the best choice for your child, go for it! But I sometimes can’t help but feel when comments like such are made, it’s more challenging of my decisions as a parent, than helpful advice. Especially after I explain my reasoning…and the comments are just repeated.

I experienced the same when it came to deciding whether or not to use cloth diapers- I chose to use them for economical reasons, possible sensitivity issues, and for the environment (you can find my top 5 reasons for choosing cloth here). But the backlash I received from some of my mommy friends…
“Disposables are so much easier, don’t bother, you won’t have time.”
“Do you really want to be washing sh*t?”
Now, these are personal opinion, not that’s there’s anything wrong with it-and for us, not entirely true. I do one extra load of laundry every few days, depending on how much I want to stretch time between washes. And when you properly dispose of baby poo (which you’re supposed to do with disposables anyway), it’s not like you have turds floating around your washing machine. In the end, it’s my choice which diapers I use for my baby, just as it’s anyone else’s for their child. Among my personal friends, I received no support for my decision on this.

And that’s probably the hardest thing for a first time mom; you’re going to have other parents ask you how you do things, and even question it, all the while “trying” to give you advice on how they managed with their kids. But these comments, be it with good intentions or just plain smugness, can really upset someone who honestly just wants the best for their child-and can make them question everything. Parent’s question themselves enough…I really doubt anyone needs help with that part.

Now, if it’s something potentially dangerous, that’s one thing-but if it’s something as silly as whether to use store bought baby food, or homemade, is the challenge really that necessary? Is even any more necessary to argue that one mother’s opinion on certain ways of doing things, is any better than another?

No one is safe…

And that’s what I’ve noticed, not just within our first year as a family, but everywhere! Someone can’t hardly post a picture on Instagram without smug comments on how they should be parenting better. “You should try this…you need to be doing that…”
And maybe it is only out of trying to offer “helpful” advice-but where’s the line between “helpful”, and “sanctimonious shaming?”

One thing I’ve learned this past year? It literally doesn’t matter what you do. Someone, somewhere, is going to think they are a better parent than you are. Another thing I learned? Only you know what’s best for your child. Everyone’s parenting style is different. You use the Cry it Out method? You babywear? You let your kids watch tv? I honestly have nothing to say about how you “should,” or “need” to do anything different!

You can make your own organic baby food, and someone is going to ask you why you don’t just buy what’s in the store. You can buy what’s available, and someone will tell you homemade is better. It’s a no-win situation.

Sanctimommies are everywhere, and some people just get off on being “better than” someone else. As long as your child is taken care of, nothing else matters.

If anyone wants to share pearls of wisdom from their experiences, I’m all ears-until they use the phrase “____ is better.” Or, “…you need to do _____ instead.”
Then it’s all taken with big grains of salt….with my margaritas.

That’s my helpful advice to the first time mom questioning herself after the battle with the Dementors. Don’t let them steal your joy. Just listen, and make your own decision for what’s best for your child.

How to deal with criticism and shaming comments towards your parenting decisions