Browsing Category:

Motherhood

In Motherhood on
September 20, 2017

10 ‘must have’ items for your newborn baby

This post contains affiliate links

Getting through the first weeks with a newborn is not easy, as any mom out there would agree, but there have been many baby items that have it made it that much more bearable for us – and I wanted to share them with you! Keep in mind that these items are not uncommon, however are certainly ‘must haves’ for the new mommy and daddy. Don’t forget to add them to your baby registry!

 

Below are my recommendations for the top ten items that you “must have” for your newborn baby:

1. Medela Soft Shell bra inserts

These things were lifesavers for me. If you plan to breastfeed, these were the best recommendation I ever got. If you are breastfeeding, your nipples will get extremely sore and cracked – so sore to the point that you don’t want to wear a shirt or even shower! These shells make it a lot more tolerable. You insert them into your bra or cami and your nipple sits in a dome, so that it doesn’t touch anything. They are also great for when your milk supply comes in because it collects and catches any leakage (before your shirt gets soaked).

2. Kimono Tees

Your baby will love these! I would suggest getting a pack of 3, since you’ll use them quite frequently. They open and snap in the front, instead of having to put something over the baby’s head. These are great because while the baby’s umbilical cord is drying up, you don’t need to irritate it by putting a traditional onesie on. Our baby was comfy in his kimono and we had him wear it to bed every night until his cord fell off.

3. Breast pump

A breast pump is a must have item, even if just for back up. Your breasts become so engorged the first few weeks that you may need to pump after your baby eats, just to relieve the pain you feel. Whatever you pump, make sure to freeze for later!

4. Rock and play sleeper

This is great for when you need a break or baby needs a change of scenery. Ours rocks and vibrates, and Landon slept very well in it. It is compact and lightweight, making it so easy to pack and take with us when we went to visit family or when we dropped him off at daycare. 

5. Muslin Swaddle blankets

These come in so many awesome patterns and are so soft. We swaddled Landon every night before he went to bed, for the first month or so. We found him getting the best sleep when he was swaddled. The tighter the swaddle, the better they tend to sleep – but remember, not too tight!

6. Pampers Swaddlers

One word, amazing. These newborn diapers have a strip that runs down the front of the diaper that lets you know if your baby has peed or not. The strip is yellow and will turn blue when saturated with urine. It is an easy way to know when to change the diaper at a quick glance.

7. Lulyboo Baby Lounger

This portable baby lounger is a God-send. We took it with us anytime we left the house to go visit friends/family. It is a pack-and-go (it folds up into a backpack for convenient travel) bassinet that is fun and engaging and keeps baby comfy and safe when you leave the house. We purchased the Lulyboo Baby Lounger To Go and love it. It is good for the first three months or until your baby outgrows it.

8. Baby Mittens

You wouldn’t believe how long your babies nails can get, even right after they are born – you may even need to give your baby a manicure right when you get home like we did. Mittens are important to have on hand as babies tend to scratch their faces in their sleep or while moving around.

9. Binky

We were very hesitant to use a binky at first, but it really helped soothe Landon when we were changing or bathing him. We don’t encourage him to use it all the time, however it is better than him sucking on his fingers. We asked our doctor and he eased our fears by saying it can help with the hiccups and even reduces the risk of SIDS. If you are concerned or on the fence, check with your pediatrician and make the right decision for your family. Also, make sure to buy the 0-6m size, which is much smaller and fits the newborn face better.

10. Micro Steam Bags

These are great, affordable sterilizing bags that you can use up to 20 times per use. You just insert water, the items you want to clean, and then microwave for 1-3 minutes depending on your microwave wattage. It’s simple and easy and makes the whole sterilizing process 10x easier!

I know a lot of these items seem so obvious, but they really were lifesavers for us! I would love to hear what some of you seasoned moms have to say about products or items you think are your favorite ‘must have’ items. Make sure to leave me a comment below!

 

This post was first seen on Society Letters here.


If you liked this post you may also like these other related posts written by Jess:

BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIALS FOR THE NEW MOM

MUST-HAVE ‘PUMPING ESSENTIALS’ FOR BREASTFEEDING MOMS

In Budgeting, Motherhood on
August 16, 2017

How to financially prepare for your new baby

There’s so many questions when preparing to have your first baby, as my husband and I quickly found out. You can predict some extra (and unexpected) costs when it comes to adding a new addition to your family, some of which may end up being a burden on your finances. I’m here to help give you some practical advice on how to plan your finances as a new mom-to-be, as well as advise you on what to prepare ahead of time so you can save a few bucks during your pregnancy. 

One of our biggest money savers when having Landon has been shopping secondhand for nursery furniture. Have you ever looked at the prices of crib sets? A full nursery set can cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000. The dresser alone costs more than an adult dresser! If you’re having your first baby, I understand your wanting to have everything new. That’s totally fine (I’m right there with ya), but I would recommend re-furnishing secondhand items if you are open to the idea. My husband and I purchased a used bar table and after some planning, my husband extended the top part to make it into a baby changing table. It was a $30 find and only took a little labor, some new paint and cheap sandpaper to give it that rustic look we all lust after. We also purchased a secondhand dresser, which we re-painted to match our nursery. There are so many apps, websites and FB groups to use when it comes to finding some cool second hand stuff. We like to use the app Close5, which is where we found our second-hand purchases!

Another great way to save on pregnancy costs, such as copays or blood work is by signing up for a health spending account through your job. If you are planning ahead or thinking of starting a family, be sure to look into this option. An HSA account is a pre-tax account used to pay for eligible medical care expenses that aren’t covered by your insurance plan. If you can stash some money away into an account like this, you should have enough money to cover anything that the insurance doesn’t end up paying. My job offers a similar service, called a Flex Spending Account, where my company actually gives me money to keep healthy by going for routine physicals, dental exams, joining a gym, etc. They basically give out around $500 of free money in incentives to keep myself and my family healthy! It ends up saving insurance money in the long run, so look into what your job offers such as this.

Another piece of practical and pretty obvious advice would be to get to know your personal insurance plan. Do your research and shop around for the right insurance option for you and your family. Check into how much your deductible is and what you will need to pay out of pocket. By knowing your deductible ahead of time, you can anticipate the cost of your delivery and hospital stay. Another great perk of having insurance is that most companies (if not all), cover the cost of a breast pump. When you are in your third trimester you can get a script from your doctor which you can then submit to your insurance and in return receive a free breast bump — often times they will even deliver it to your local Target store. Breastfeeding is another way to save tons of money on milk and is beneficial to your baby’s health.

Finally, be prepared to save. Understand that taking your three-month maternity leave that you will not be paid at 100 percent of your current salary. Most moms only make up to 60% of their normal salary during this time. The best case scenario would be preparing ahead of time and putting aside some money every month to account for this loss of income. I didn’t do my research before I became pregnant, so I was unaware that you weren’t paid your full salary during maternity leave. We always have our savings, but didn’t set aside any extra money for this time. If you could have a special account set up beforehand, you will be better prepared financially and not blindsided by your lessened salary. If you are returning to work full-time after your pregnancy, keep in mind the cost of childcare and set up a plan for aftercare once the baby is born. Compare prices of local day cares or see if a close family member could watch your little one on the days you have to work.

There are so many money saving tips out there, but it can still feel overwhelming as you try and prepare for your first baby. Don’t let your pregnancy get ahead of your bank and make sure your savings are set before your kiddo arrives. 

Feel free to leave me a comment below with your best kept money secrets!

 

This post was written by Jess but first seen on Society Letters here

In Guest Posts, Motherhood on
June 21, 2017

How I was able to work from home and raise our baby

Working from home jobs, tips & ideas are easy to find but what if you have no experience? What companies, opportunities and business can you run part time with kids? Here’s how one woman did it and how you can too!!! Awesome stuff everyone who wants to work from home needs to read!

Now, more than ever, people are tired of the 9-5 grind. I especially was! Job security is out the window and more people are looking for other options to work from home, be their own boss, hit the alarm clock when they want, stay at home with their kids and travel freely. Today, the American spirit of free enterprise is on the rise and with the access of online resources, the options are just about endless.

Related: Work from home and be your own boss. Start a blog and learn how here: Blogging for beginners: How To Start Your Own Blog.

 

If you are a new mom, the idea of staying at home and giving your new baby endless kisses (witnessing their first smile, laugh, word, steps…) may sound better than being at work.
My husband and I prepared ahead of time in order to give me the choice of staying home or being an employee when the time came.

 

Here’s how I was able to work form home and raise our baby:

 

Dig your well before you’re thirsty

We started a savings plan before we decided to have kids. Even $10 here or there added up. When the time came to start having kids, I got on the phone with our insurance and the hospital to calculate the cost of delivery and prenatal appointments. Now that I had a goal number to hit, we got on a strict budget and split my entire salary three ways: baby savings, savings and paying off debt. We wanted to get as much debt out of the way as possible, save the rest of what we needed for the cost of having our baby and build up a few months worth of my salary in savings.

 

Related:  The first step towards achieving your financial dreams is creating a budget. Get on the right track: Budget + Free Printable, For Beginners

 

Have a plan B – ALWAYS

In addition to a savings plan, we started a side stream of income outside of our jobs (a plan B) before we got pregnant.

Here’s an interesting story for you: shortly after my husband and I were married, the company we were working for stopped giving us paychecks, we found other jobs and I landed an awesome opportunity for my career in Denver, CO. After spending every penny we had on the move and leaving our families behind, they let me go three months later due to lack of funds; last one in, first one out. Almost the exact same situation happened to my husband at two other agencies he worked for shortly after.

After the fourth teary phone call, we decided that depending on someone else for our income was not the way to go. We wanted to be financially stable now and set for retirement, so we looked for other options. We did our research on many, many options and got fully educated before deciding on our course of action. We kept our goals in the forefront as we made our decisions. I was skeptical about everything because the norm was getting a good education, getting a job, buying a house, going into debt, and retiring if possible. That’s what we were trying to do but it wasn’t working for us and I desperately wanted a plan B.

There are many options out there of side hustles, alternative means of income, work from home jobs etc. All you have to do is Google or Pinterest your way through them. I was shocked at the alternative options to the 9-5. You really do have your pick! We could have chosen from many but we landed on an MLM business, and on the side…side, I started a blog and Thomas flips products via ebay for fun. MLM stands for multi-level marketing. I am not going to go into all the details about MLMs (because there are so many out there!) but they can be an incredible turn-key business opportunity like franchising without the huge financial portfolio and investments required. Do your research if you plan to look into a MLM! Find a company that has been around for a LONG time, offers a variety of products (not just a few genre-specific miracle things), has a great incentive package (compare them to others), the sponsor does not profit from your sign-up, and most importantly, has easily (daily) accessible, personal mentors (who are where you want to be) focused authentically for your success.

 

Get mentorship from others who have success

Whatever you choose to do, the biggest thing I learned is to take advice and get mentorship from others who were successful in doing what I wanted to do. Everybody had an opinion but one of the biggest keys to our success was listening only to those who were where we wanted to be.

There are so many amazing resources out there. Decide what you want to do. Decide how you want to live. Look for people who live that lifestyle and do what you want to do. Learn from them in any way you can. If you want to work from home and earn X income, find those who have done it. Consume the information you find.

For example, now I run a blog on the side and every day I read up on how other bloggers (who make thousands each month minimum) do what they do. I take classes online of those bloggers who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Yes, I have friends and relatives (who don’t even have blogs) give me advice. Do I listen? Yes. I respect them as human beings but I only DO what those who have been successful before me have done.

 

Put in the work

“I just don’t have time for that.” This is the most common excuse I hear from solo plan A people even if they say they may be interested in having a plan B and eventually working for themselves.

Here’s the deal. You probably do have time. You can achieve your goal, if you really want it. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and there is a reason why some people are more successful than others. Cut the TV out, get up two hours early, put in time over your lunch break, make your goal a priority over wine night with the girls and keep doing it day in and day out till you reach your goal.

Have goals. Know where you are going and don’t be afraid to put in the work. When you are so frustrated that you want to throw in the towel and scream aloud on your balcony so all the world can hear, push through and welcome yourself to success. It does get easier but only for those who put in the work, aren’t afraid to live out of their comfort zone, welcome failure, learn with all of their might and push for their goals.

 

How to be a work-from-home success

There are three things that will allow you to achieve your goal:

  1. Have a big why: this is the goal you are reaching for. Have the idea of staying at home and seeing your baby take their first steps motivate you. Whatever will push you to get up at 5 am when you hate to or put in the hours to achieve that goal. If you don’t have a big why, you will lack the motivation to get you through the hurdles that come from any entrepreneurial endeavor.
  2. Learn. Learn. Learn. Follow others who have achieved what you want to achieve. Don’t be afraid to set big goals. Believe in yourself. Push yourself. Most importantly: be real with yourself. I’ve seen bloggers say to an e-course group, “I did everything the course told me to do. I’ve tried every trick in the books for the last six months. I’m ready to give up.” They received a slew of comments about all the things they weren’t doing on their blog that the course clearly laid out. Be real with yourself.
  3. Have a good work habit. Day in and day out, set goals and put in the work.

 

“Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive And Believe, It Can Achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

 

Alice at A Silver Lined Life

 

 

css.php