Remember being pregnant with your first child? I do – I was clueless. I read as many books as I could and asked as many questions to the moms in my life. And if you went through the same process, then you know there are as many ways of doing things as there are people to ask. If you don’t have time to do a survey, research and analysis (and really, who does?) then it’s time for Lulibox.
Created by a busy new mom, the LuliBox contains 14 essential items needed for the first week of your newborn’s life and is shipped directly to your doorstep on a date you specify. The LuliBox contains items for dress, feeding, bathing, as well as special fitness and beauty product gifts for mommy, such as, among others, discount passes to Barry’s Bootcamp and Destination Maternity’s Edamame Spa, and Odacite organic skin care line 7-product skin care regimen.
The box costs $99 and has items valued at almost $200 and makes a perfect baby shower gift. You can order yours online on Lulibox.com.
Cute Fruit is the cutest, newest way to track your baby’s growth on your iPhone. The free iPhone app for expecting mothers compares an unborn baby’s relative size to that of a fruit. Cute Fruit features ridiculously cute illustrations that are easy to share with friends and family on Twitter or Facebook. What a great way to share you and your babies progress with friends and family.
I’m a very sentimental person and when I found out I was having a baby one of the things I really wanted was a baby journal. I remember when I was a child I always wanted to know what I was like as a baby so I wanted to have a record of the Tiny Dancer’s childhood for her to reflect on. The only problem was that all the baby journals I saw looked like they were for babies. The only options were pink or blue (don’t get me started) and they were also really big – like photo album big. I liked what they were but I did not like what they looked like.
I’m a Moleskine user so when I found out that Moleskin was introducing a baby journal to their line of notebooks I was ecstatic. I received a baby journal from Moleskine to review and I love it. Finally, there’s a baby journal where you record all of baby’s information that won’t be stuck in childhood forever. The Moleskine baby journal can fit into your life – and your bookshelf!
The Moleskine baby journal is embossed with images of childhood and has pages to take you from pregnancy and through childhood. The journal has tabs for 9 Months to Go, B-day, Homecoming, Special Moments, Health & Care and Feeding. In addition, the journal has blank tabs so you can document whatever you want. The journal also includes contacts, a family tree and growth charts for reference. Finally, the Moleskine baby journal also has pockets to keep mementos and which comes filled with stickers for you to add to the journal.
Before your baby is born, one of the most important decisions you need to make is deciding on a pediatrician because once born, your baby will start seeing doctor’s immediately. Some pediatricians visit your baby in the hospital, while others will see the baby a few days after he/she is born. If your pediatrician does not come to the hospital then the pediatricians on the hospital staff will see your baby.
When I was around 8-9 months pregnant I started doing my research and selected a pediatrician. Before I finalized my decision I scheduled a meeting with her to ask some questions. I highly recommend meeting your child’s prospective pediatrician. You need to feel comfortable with them because you will be asking LOTS of questions and as your child grows you will be seeing a lot of them.
One thing to consider that is not in the list of questions is the sex of your baby. Ideally, your child will have the same pediatrician for years and grow from baby to adolescence with them. Puberty is an awkward time and I thought the Tiny Dancer might be more comfortable asking questions and going through that time with a female doctor. I made sure to find a woman pediatrician so I wouldn’t have to switch doctors when the time came.
Finally, I tried to find someone close to home. Well-baby visits are pretty frequent in the first year and there have been many instances when I went to the doctor the same day for unforeseen reasons. The last thing you want to do is trek all over the place – you’ve already got enough stuff to do. If you can find someone close to home it will make your life much easier.
Finding the right pediatrician for your child is one of the most important things you can do for your baby. When you meet with your child’s pediatrician never be afraid to ask questions. I highly doubt you can ask them something that they haven’t been asked before. When it comes to your child’s health and safety there are no stupid questions.
One of the things I wish I had done while I was pregnant was take a picture every month in the same top and in the same pose (side view ala Hitchcock). You would think I would have learned from not documenting my belly but I didn’t record the Tiny Dancer’s growth each month. Yes, I took tons of pictures, but I thought it would be cute to document each month in a special outfit. I just found out about Sticky Bellies and I wish I had them during my pregnancy and during the Tiny Dancer’s first year. Since I’ve sworn off more children I won’t have the chance to use them – but I definitely think you should!
The Sticky Bellies milestone stickers are available in a girl’s, boy’s and gender neautral theme. The best part is that no sewing is required. The heavy duty stickers stick to your clothing and can be taken on and off several times – you know how photo shoots can be sometimes. Try telling an infant not to spit up on a new outfit – yeah right! You can also document your pregnancy with the Oh Sew Ready set. These would make a great gift for a baby shower or for a family member or friend who you just found out is pregnant. The sets retail for $14.99 each and can be purchased online on the Sticky Bellies Website.
Many people make travel plans for the summer and just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean that you can’t join in on the fun. So take that babymoon you’ve been wanting to take – just be sure to be prepared, do your research and kick your heels up before the sleepless nights come your way.
Do Your Research
Before you plan anything, visit and speak to your doctor to get an “ok” to travel. The last thing you want to do is book a trip and then have your doctor advise you not to go!
Check with the airline and see if they have a travel cut-off date for pregnant women. If dates are an issue with the airline, have a doctor’s note with your due date stated.
Choose a good time to travel. Generally, the second trimester is the safest time to travel.
Bring your insurance card and any medical information you may need should a medical emergency arise.
On The Road / Up In The Air
Dress appropriately – Wear items that are breathable, easily layered and comfortable.
Stay hydrated – drink lots of water.
Bring snacks – have healthy bites with you in case you get hungry, laid over or just want something to nibble on.
Stretch! Take breaks, get up and move around.
Be Active – But Not Too Active
Don’t do any heavy lifting! Or pulling of heavy suitcases!
Don’t participate in any activities that could be dangerous or that you wouldn’t do at home.
If you feel tired, uncomfortable or in pain, stop and call your doctor.
You’re on vacation. Take a deep breath and relax – it may be the last time you do so for a while!
I hope these tips help you have a great vacation. Bon Voyage!
Exercise is always part of a healthy lifestyle – but what about exercising while you’re pregnant? It turns out that exercise during pregnancy is good for you and can help you feel great throughout your pregnancy and even prepare you for labor and delivery. As with any exercise program, you should follow some guidelines. Here’s a list of things to consider…
1. First, talk to your doctor. Let her/him know the kinds of workouts you were doing before your pregnancy and have her/him give you the green light before you keep exercising during pregnancy.
2. Once you hit the second trimester, the list of activities you take part in gets shorter. You shouldn’t do anything more strenuous than what you did before you were pregnant. You should also avoid contact sports and anything that requires lots of balance because your center of gravity is changing. Also, after the first trimester you should avoid any exercise that requires you to lay on your back.
3. If at anytime during the workout you are uncomfortable or in pain, STOP. You may want to call your doctor as well (see below for more details).
4. Be sure to stay cool and don’t overheat. Drink lots of water and don’t exercise outside during peak heat/humidity or if you have a fever.
5. Dress appropriately for the kind of workout you’re doing. Appropriate attire usually includes loose comfortable clothing, good supportive bra and proper shoes.
According to WebMD, STOP and call your doctor if you feel any of these symptoms:
Feel chest pain.
Have abdominal pain, pelvic pain, or persistent contractions.
Have a headache.
Notice an absence or decrease in fetal movement.
Feel faint, dizzy, nauseous, or light-headed.
Feel cold or clammy.
Have vaginal bleeding.
Have a sudden gush of fluid from the vagina or a trickle of fluid that leaks steadily.
Notice an irregular or rapid heartbeat.
Have sudden swelling in your ankles, hands, face, or calf pain.
Are short of breath.
Have difficulty walking.
Have muscle weakness.
Exercise is a great way to stay healthy during pregnancy and even in some cases ward off gestational diabetes. Make sure to take it easy and keep it movin’!
Are you a mama? Well, there’s an app for that… several hundred that is. Apps for the iPhone and iPad are being added every day. I remember searching for breastfeeding apps a year ago and only finding 2-3 and now there are well over twenty apps to help you keep track of feedings. At this rate, it’s hard to figure out which apps are keepers, and which you should just pass by. So, I spent a day on iTunes (quite literally, it took me all day!) to see what the best iPhone/iPad apps were for pregnant moms, babies and new moms. I have not gotten around to trying every single one, but I compared the apps to other apps like it and made my selections based on user reviews. At the end of the day, we all have our preferences so try them out and see what you like best. Many of the apps are free and many have “lite” (free) versions. All of the Apps listed below are available on iTunes. I hope this helps make your life easier!
Best iPhone/iPad apps for Pregnant Ladies (in no particular order):
Maybe Baby & Maybe Baby Lite – fertility, period and ovulation tracker. I used an app similar to this to keep track of days when the husband and I were trying to have a baby. If you want to try it for free, try the lite version and then if you like it you can buy the full version.
50,000 Baby Names – as soon as you find out your pregnant, I guarantee you one of the first things you’ll think of is what will I name the child? This free app will help you figure it out while you’re in line at the grocery store.
New Mom – a reference that takes you from thinking about getting pregnant to being a new mama.
Best iPhone/iPad Apps for New and/or Nursing Moms (in no particular order):
iBreastfeed- brought to you by the breast pump company Medela, iBreastfeed is an excellent and the most complete app. It includes tips on breastfeeding, a log to keep track of babies eating, sleeping and diaper changes, and helps you find breastfeeding and pumping friendly locations.
Zoola Lite – learning fun with animals – includes pictures, sounds and songs. (The Tiny Dancer loves this!)
White Noise Lite – white noise app with everything from static to fans to airplanes. This app was indispensable during the Tiny Dancer’s first three months. The static noise put her to sleep and kept her asleep!
Baby Rattle – 123 – shake the iPad/iPhone for an endless surprise of animations and sounds.
When I prepped for my hospital stay I had it in my head that I was going to give birth naturally and I was in denial about the possibility of having a c-section. The clothing I packed for the hospital reflected my mindset: pajama pants and tank tops. Well, if I learned anything about pregnancy and child birth it’s that you can plan as much as you want but you have to go with the flow. My reality was that I needed to have a c-section – so pants were not going to cut it. I ended up wearing the hospital gowns for my entire stay and I wish I had known that there were other alternatives.
There are several companies that make hospital-style gowns. For the most part they are in pastels (I’m not sure what it is about child birth that makes designers think Easter Egg colors – maybe it’s the shape of our bellies?) but at least you know it’s your own gown and fifty people before you weren’t wearing the same gown. If you want more of a traditional night gown style there are several styles that also come in handy if you plan on nursing.
Whatever you choose to wear there are few main things to consider – as long as your clothing choice takes these into consideration you’ll be fine. First, you want to be comfortable so choose a style that you favor and make sure the fabric is soft and doesn’t irritate you. Second, if you are nursing, make sure you are wearing something that offers easy access. You’ll be nursing every two to three hours around the clock so you won’t want to be changing in and out of tops each time. Finally, there will be pictures taken. No, they probably won’t be flattering (unless you’re one of those people that has hair and makeup done before hospital photos – I am not). Friends and family are going to document this joyous occasion and you’ll at least want to be wearing something you won’t cringe at the site of for the rest of your life. If you keep these issues in mind when choosing what to wear at the hospital you’ll be able to concentrate on what really matters – your new baby!
*Update* I just found out about Annie & Isabel gowns and these gowns are really cute – it’s all in the details: ladybug on the sleeve, the cut of the back along with the bow and the box pleat in front. More fabrics to choose from but I’m a sucker for polka dots!