Monday, 16 September 2019

Newborn Baby Essentials

While I was pregnant, I read a ton of newborn essential blog posts in preparation for my little one's arrival! It can be so confusing and overwhelming trying to figure out what products you need, especially when you haven't even met your baby yet. Every child is different, so today I'll be sharing what worked for my daughter, Mischa. These products may or may not work for your baby, but they do get the stamp of approval from me!

Newborn Baby Girl
Mischa at 5 days old!

Boppy Newborn Lounger ($49.99): I received this as a gift at my baby shower, and I'm really not sure what we would have done without it! I love this lounger as it's a great safe and cozy spot for me to put Mischa in when I'm not able to hold her (going to the washroom, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, etc.). When your baby is so little, you can't just set the down on the hard floor, so this lounger was incredibly handy. My daughter is now 3.5 months old and we still use it. My only complaint with this product is that the cover isn't removable, so it isn't easy to wash. Luckily, we haven't had any poop explosions or spit up on the lounger yet, but the bottom does get dirty and I would like to be able to easily throw the cover in the wash. However, the entire pillow itself is machine washable. This lounger isn't safe for sleep, but it's perfect for awake time!

Boppy Newborn Lounger

Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump ($18.99): I first learnt about this product from Jillian Harris' Instagram stories! This is such a genius product, you simply attach it to one breast while you're feeding your baby on the other breast. The silicone pump catches your let down, and you can save this milk to bottle feed. I used this pump a ton in the beginning, as I needed to relieve some engorgement, but I didn't want to use my electric pump and increase my supply too much. I still use my Haakaa every morning, as my daughter sleeps through the night and I need some help relieving engorgement while she eats on one side. This "pump" has helped to build up my freezer stash, and it doesn't even feel like you're pumping! My only complaint with the Haakaa is that if your baby is an active eater, they can sometimes punch or kick off the pump, so you do have to have one hand on it.

Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump

Blooming Bath Baby Bath ($59.99): I actually bought this second hand off of Marketplace, and I see them on there all the time! I think I paid $15 for mine, so I would recommend trying to find a second hand option if you can! I absolutely love this bath flower, it fits well into our kitchen sink, and allows us to bathe Mischa standing up, instead of hunching over the bath tub. You also save on water, as you just have to fill up your sink instead of the entire tub. This flower is plush, and Mischa seems to find it pretty comfy - she loves bath time! After we bathe her, we hang up the flower on a hook that we place in our shower, and let it dry.

Blooming Bath Baby Bath

Fisher Price Sweet Snugapuppy Dreams Cradle 'n Swing ($189.97): This swing was SUCH a lifesaver! A family member lent it to us, and we couldn't be more grateful. Yes, this swing does take up a lot of floor space, but it is so worth it. Mischa absolutely loves this swing, and in the earlier days it was the only way that I could put her down. She loves the swinging motion, the lullabies, and the lights. You can swing side to side or front to back, and you can also choose the speed of the swinging motion. Mischa is the type of baby that needed to be held 24/7, but she would let me put her in this swing for 15-30 minutes so I could eat/clean/etc. At 3.5 months old, we aren't using this swing quite so often anymore, as now Mischa let's us put her just in her Boppy Lounger, and she's also now napping in her crib, which gives me much more time throughout the day! But for those first 2.5 months, this was an absolute must have.

Fisher Price Sweet Snugapuppy Dreams Cradle 'n Swing

Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine Night Light & Time-to-Rise ($79.99, use your 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupon!): Yes, this is an expensive sound machine, but I don't regret this purchase for a second. In the early days, I used this as a soft nightlight for night feedings. You can customize the colours of the light and the sounds of the machine, and you can even have preset options. Right now I have a yellow toned light as one setting, and the traditional static white noise sound as another setting. Now that Mischa is sleeping in her nursery, I play the white noise all night long, and she seems to sleep well with it! Having the white noise machine going in the evenings makes me feel like I don't have to tip toe around the apartment, as the machine is blocking out some of our noise. I love the Hatch app, as I can use Bluetooth to turn on or off the machine from my phone, which has definitely come in handy many times!

Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine Night Light & Time-to-Rise

Milk Snob Multi Use Baby Car Seat Cover ($49.95) First of all, these covers are SO pretty! Milk Snob has so many different prints and designs, there's bound to be something for everyone's taste/style. I have the print Magnolia, which is a beautiful floral. So far I've used this as a car seat cover and a nursing cover, and when Mischa is a bit older I'm sure I'll use it as a shopping cart cover. When Mischa was very young, I loved putting this over her car seat when I had to bring her into stores with me, as it really discourages people from touching your baby. I will note that you shouldn't keep this cover on while driving, or on your stroller on warm days as the cover can trap the heat in, and your baby could get too warm.

Milk Snob Multi Use Baby Car Seat Cover in Magnolia

Copper Pearl Burp Cloths ($29.95 for a pack of 3): I bought some burp cloths while I was pregnant, but once I discovered these from Copper Pearl there's no going back! They are so plush, soft, and absorbent. Plus, they come in such beautiful prints! Thankfully, Mischa doesn't tend to spit up much, but she can be a bit of a messy eater. So, whenever I'm nursing her at home I actually tuck one of these burp cloths into my nursing bra, and then whatever she dribbles while she's eating gets absorbed by the burp cloth and my bra is nice and dry!

Copper Pearl Burp Cloths

Skip Hop Wipe Clean Changing Pad in Light Grey ($104.95): Yes, this is a very expensive change pad! I was able to get mine on sale, I think for around $80. I definitely think that this product is worth the investment, and I haven't regretted the purchase at all. I love that this change pad just wipes clean. Traditional change pads are soft and made of foam, and you have to put a cover over it, like a pillow case. Every time the baby pees or poops during a diaper change (which happens a lot!), you have to change and was the cover. With this change pad from Skip Hop, you simply wipe the surface clean and dry, and continue on! Anything that saves me a bit of laundry is a winner these days! This change pad also comes with a mobile, which Mischa absolutely adored when she was about 2 months old. Now, at 3.5 months, she doesn't really seem that interested in it anymore, so I might remove it soon.

Skip Hop Wipe Clean Changing Pad in Light Grey

I'm sure there have been other products that we've loved during the newborn stage, but these were the products that were absolute game changers for us! Now that Mischa is out of the newborn stage, she's starting to be a bit more aware of her surroundings, and wanting to be entertained while she's awake. Maybe in a month or two I'll share my favourite products and toys for a 2-4 month old!

What were your absolute must haves during the newborn period?

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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Well.ca Haul for My 3 Month Old

My daughter is now 3 months old (where has the time gone?!), and she's just now starting to show an interest in toys. I received a few toys at my baby shower, but of course now I'm wanting to spoil my little girl. I recently placed an order at Well.ca, and I thought that I would share what I got with you!

Well.ca Haul

Mischa is starting to get quite drooly, which might mean that she is starting to teeth. I decided to order her some teethers, just to have on hand when we do end up needing them! First up is the Malarkey Kids Chew Cube Pink ($15.97), which is a combination rattle and teether. The rattle has 2 mirrored sides & 4 high contrast black & white patterned sides. Mischa loves her Oball, so I think she will like grabbing on to this too. 

Malarkey Kids Chew Cube Pink

My niece loved the Zoli Chubby Gummy Gum Massager Teething Stick ($15.99) when she was teething, so I knew that I had to get some for Mischa too! These teething sticks come in a two pack, and I picked the white and pink combo.

Zoli Chubby Gummy Gum Massager Teething Stick

The last teether that I ordered was the Como Tomo Silicone Baby Teether ($12.99). This was available in orange and blue, and I chose the orange colour. This teether had really great reviews, so I decided to give it a try! 

Como Tomo Silicone Baby Teether

Como Tomo Silicone Baby Teether

Now onto some toys! First up is Green Toys My First Rattle Keys ($9.99). I liked this brand because all of their products are made in the United States from food-safe, 100% recycled plastic milk jugs. 

Green Toys My First Rattle Keys

When I was browsing through the baby toy offerings on Well.ca, as soon as I saw the Hape Toys Geometric Rattle Set ($12.99), I knew that I wanted to get it! This set includes 3 little rattles, small enough to fit into my 3 month old's hands. These rattles are made out of Japanese rice, and are supposed to help with hand-eye coordination.  

Hape Toys Geometric Rattle

Hape Toys Geometric Rattle

The last rattle that I purchased was the Mary Meyer Taggies Rattle Flora Fawn ($13.99). I mean, just look at how cute it is! Mischa has a few toys already with the Taggies on them, and she seems to like grabbing at them, so I hope she likes this adorable rattle too. 

Mary Meyer Taggies Rattle Flora Fawn

The last "toy" that I ordered was the Jenny & Andy Organic Crinkle Toy Panda ($11.99). Mischa's current favourite toy is a plush elephant with a crinkle tummy. She holds onto it whenever we're in the car, and I love hearing her crinkling away in her car seat when I'm driving! So, I hope she likes this crinkle sheet as well!

Jenny & Andy Organic Crinkle Toy Panda

Lastly, I ordered Dapple's Fragrance Free Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid ($7.99). We have their stain remover, which has come in handy many, many times due to poopsplosions! Mischa is breastfed, but I do pump every night now that she is sleeping through the night. Dylan will give her a bottle of pumped milk whenever I'm not around, but mostly I pump because I can't go 12 hours without feeding her or I will be super engorged! Until now, I've just been using normal dish soap to clean my pump and bottles, but I figured a fragrance free option might be a good idea. 

Dapple Fragrance Free Baby Bottle & Dish Liquid

Well there you have it, I hope you enjoyed my Well.ca haul! Have you shopped at Well.ca before? I like that they're a Canadian company, and they're actually based out of my hometown, Guelph Ontario! They offer free shipping on orders over $35, and I normally get my packages within a few business days. I placed this order on a Thursday afternoon and received it on Tuesday, which I think is pretty good! 

If you have children, I would love to know what they were into at 3 months old! Please leave me a comment below with your baby's favourite toys, teethers, etc.! 

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Thursday, 5 September 2019

My Nursing Bra Collection

My 3 month old daughter, Mischa, is exclusively breastfed, and as such I wear nursing bras all the time now. When I was pregnant, I had no clue about what to look for in a good nursing bra, how many I would need, what size I should get, etc. I was completely clueless! During my third trimester, my regular bras started getting really tight around the band. I'm normally a 34 band size, and towards the end of my pregnancy a 38 would have been way more comfortable. I used a bra extender on all of my bras, but even on the loosest setting they felt too tight. I wasn't sure if my band size would go back to normal after I gave birth, or if this was my new normal. I decided to purchase some 34 and some 36's, and kept all of my receipts. Even though you won't know your true size until after you give birth (and sometimes not until months later!), I would definitely recommend purchasing at least one or two nursing bras while you're still pregnant so you don't have to rush out to the mall with your brand new baby. Keep the tags on and your receipts, and you can exchange them if you need to - or get someone else to do it for you! My band size did end up going back to a 34 pretty much right after I gave birth to my daughter, but that might not be the case for everyone.

Nursing Bras


The first nursing bra I purchased was actually from Walmart. It was the George Maternity George Wirefree Light Support Seamless Nursing Bra, and I bought it because it was only $13.97! I bought size medium, which felt really tight in the band while I was pregnant, but ended up fitting really well postpartum. There's nothing fancy about this bra, but I find it to be really comfortable, and in these last two months I've found myself reaching for it a ton! However, I do think that the straps have already loosened up a bit in only two months, so this bra might not last for as long as some other higher quality options. Additionally, I did have to take the removable padding out permanently as is tended to get bunched up every time I nursed.

George Maternity George Wirefree Light Support Seamless Nursing Bra

Next, I ordered two nursing bras from La Vie En Rose. Pretty much all of my regular bras are from La Vie, so I figured I couldn't go wrong with their nursing styles. They have a very limited selection -they actually only have two nursing styles. First up is the Nursing Lightly Lined Wireless Bra, which I got in black. I'll start with the positive of this bra: it has 5 rows of hooks so you can adjust the size easily as your body changes during the post partum period. And that's just about all I like about this bra. For a wireless bra, it's incredibly uncomfortable. I find that the bottom of the bra tends to curl up, and digs into my skin. I only find myself reaching for this bra when my others are covered in milk and I haven't had time to do laundry yet. 

La Vie En Rose Nursing Lightly Lined Wireless Bra

When I placed my order, La Vie En Rose was running a 2 for 1 deal on nursing bras (the sale is currently still active 4 months later, so it might be permanent?). The other bra I ordered was the Nursing Lightly Lined Bra in Neutral. I can very happily say that I enjoy this bra much more than the wireless one! This bra is super comfortable, especially since it has wire. It's light, and I like that since it is only lightly lined, the cups fold down easily for nursing. 

La Vie En Rose Nursing Lightly Lined Bra

Next, I got two bras from Thyme Maternity. First up is the Contour Balconnet Underwire Nursing Bra. This is another beige bra with wire, and it's absolutely beautiful, especially for a nursing bra. However, I don't find myself wearing it that often because the cups are a bit more rigid compared to the La Vie bra, so they don't fold down as easily. This definitely isn't a bra that I would wear around the house, but I do wear it if I'm going out and need a more structured beige bra under a lighter coloured shirt. However, I don't think I can fully recommend this bra as the more rigid cup does hinder nursing slightly. 

Contour Balconnet Underwire Nursing Bra

And finally we have Thyme Maternity's Natural Shape Nursing Bra in Black, which I would absolutely recommend to all nursing mamas! This bra is so comfortable, I wish I just bought 5 of these instead of getting different styles (hindsight, eh?). It's wireless, doesn't ride up, comfortable to sleep in, and easy to nurse in. I suppose the only downfall is that because it's a natural shape bra without padding, it doesn't give that perfect shape when wearing tighter clothes. However, I'm all about comfort these days, so that doesn't bother me right now, haha! 

Thyme Maternity Natural Shape Nursing Bra

So there you have it, my nursing bra collection! I do think that 5 nursing bras is a good number to have, especially if you tend to be a bit leaky like me. You could definitely get by with 2, but there have been days when I've leaked through one bra, and gotten puke on another (#momlife), so having a few extra on hand is definitely a bonus. 

Now since Mischa is sleeping through the night (Amen!), I've been pumping before I go to bed. So, I need a pumping bra to add to my collection so I don't have to just sit there holding my pump to my boobs every night! If you have any suggestions, please let me know! 

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Copper Pearl Haul

If you aren't following me on Instagram then you might not know that I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, Mischa, on May 23 2019. I've been settling into motherhood these past 7 weeks, and it has been an absolute dream come true. I'm going to write a separate post on my birth story, as I think it was fairly unique! For now, I want to share one of my favourite baby brands with you: Copper Pearl. I initially discovered this brand at Chapters, and I quickly became obsessed! While my baby is sleeping, I thought I'd share with you a quick Copper Pearl haul!

First up is the beautiful 5 in 1 Multipurpose Infant Car Seat Cover in Grace. I have a car seat cover from Milk Snob that I really love, but I wanted a second. Now I keep one cover permanently on my stroller, and one in my diaper bag to use as a breastfeeding cover when I'm in public. These covers can be used as car seat/stroller covers, a nursing cover, a shopping cart cover, a high chair cover, and an infinity scarf. So far I've only used it for the first two purposes, but I love that they're so versatile. The print Grace is a beautiful white with muted pink roses. I love how soft and feminine this print is!

Copper Pearl 5 in 1 Multipurpose Infant Car Seat Cover in Grace

Next I picked up two packs of burp cloths. These burp cloths from Copper Pearl are hands down the best that I've tried! They are thick and SO soft! It's also a bonus that the prints are so beautiful! Sure, you could buy plain white burp cloths on Amazon for super cheap, and I'm sure they'll get the job done, but these beautiful prints spark joy and for that reason alone I can justify the splurge! I got the Rosie pack, which includes a similar rose design to the Grace Car Seat Cover. I will note that the colours are much more muted on the burp cloth compared to the car seat cover, which did surprise me as I thought they would be identical as the designs are the same. The other two designs in the 3 pack are a pink and white scallop print and a black and white plaid. I also got the Morgan 3 pack, which includes a blue floral, a pink floral, and a peach design. I've put these burp cloths to the test - they've cleaned up spit up, vomit, and poop. They absorb super well, and clean up wonderfully! 

Copper Pearl Burp Cloth Rosie 3 Pack

Copper Pearl Grace
Here you can see the colour difference between the car seat cover and the burp cloth

Copper Pearl Burp Cloth Morgan 3 Pack

Copper Pearl Burp Cloth Morgan 3 Pack

Lastly, I ordered a pack of bibs. Mischa isn't using bibs quite yet, but I might start putting one on her the odd time that Dylan gives her a bottle of breast milk, as she does tend to be a bit messy with the bottle. I'm sure once she starts teething we will get a ton of use out of these bibs! I chose the Georgia 4 Pack, which has a lemon, grape, strawberry, and watermelon print. This fabric is so soft and plush, and the bandana style is super cute on babies! 

Copper Pearl Bandana Bib Georgia 4 Pack

Copper Pearl Bandana Bib Georgia 4 Pack

For all of the moms (or dads, aunts, sisters, grandmas, etc.!), have you bought anything from Copper Pearl before? What are your favourite baby brands?

Sunday, 3 March 2019

First & Second Trimester Update

I've officially entered into my third trimester! I thought it would be nice to share a first and second trimester update, as I know that I love reading other people's updates. I've been keeping a pregnancy journal for my own memories, I know that it'll be nice to have that keepsake to share with my child when they're older.

25 Weeks Pregnant
25 Weeks Pregnant

I'm now 28 weeks, 1 day, which means that my third trimester started yesterday! While the first trimester dragged by, my second trimester seemed to just fly by. For my first 16 weeks, I was exhausted almost all of the time. After work, I would collapse on the couch for the rest of the evening. I had no appetite, and also no energy to cook or eat. Luckily, I only experienced light nausea occasionally, but never actually vomited - a huge relief! So, all things considered my first trimester definitely could have been a lot worse.

At 16 weeks, I got my appetite back and I was starting to feel more like my old self. At 18 weeks 1 day, I felt the baby kick for the first time. It was a Sunday morning, and the kick actually woke me up! Since then, I've been feeling kicks and punches all the time, and they still sometimes wake me up during the night. At 20 weeks, Dylan was able to feel baby kick, although normally when anyone else puts their hands on my bump baby gets shy! At 23 weeks I was able to actually see baby kicking, which was such an emotional moment for me - it made this pregnancy seem so real.

I've been having rib pain for a while now, mostly on my upper right side. There's not much that seems to help with this pain, but most of the time the aches are minor and manageable. In the past few weeks I've been starting to get back pain, and warm baths have been helping. You're not supposed to take hot baths when you're pregnant, and that's definitely a an indulgence that I've been missing, especially in the colder Winter months!

Ultrasounds

I had a dating ultrasound at 10 weeks, and I cried during the entire appointment! Seeing baby for the first time was so magical, and it put a lot of my worries to rest. My mother in law was also convinced that we were having twins, so it was a bit of a relief to see just one baby in there (twins seem so overwhelming!).

I went for my anatomy scan at 18 weeks 6 days, and baby was starting to look much more baby like. The technician looked at every last part of the baby, and we got a report of good health! The only concerning thing was that my placenta is lying low - not complete placenta previa, but still something that my midwife wants to keep an eye on. I have to go for a follow up ultrasound in the next few weeks to see if my placenta has moved up at all, my midwife is very optimistic that it has which helps to put my mind at ease.

Normally at this ultrasound you can find our the baby's sex, but we decided that we were going to wait until birth. It's one of the greatest surprises in life, and I always knew that I wanted to try to wait. But it's been hard!! Shopping for gender neutral baby clothing can be a challenge, I've been sticking mostly to whites, greys, yellows, and greens. Right now I've just picked up newborn and 0-3 month clothing, and then once the baby is born I can get a bit more creative with the colours/prints.

Anatomy Scan Ultrasound


Weight Gain/Body Image

I always imagined that I would have a huge baby bump, and that just isn't the case. I've been told countless times but people I know and complete strangers that my bump seems small for how far along I am. I know a lot of people would prefer to to be told that they're looking small, but these comments are really starting to get to me! PSA: don't comment on a pregnant woman's body!
At 28 weeks, I've gained 7 pounds, most of which has happened in the past month.
Even though I'm not growing at a rapid pace, I am still trying to keep my skin hydrated to hopefully avoid stretch marks. My top two favourite products are Saje's Vitamin Ease and Live Clean's Sheer Light Dry Body Oil. I tend to focus the Saje cream just on my bump and hips, and I'll apply the oil all over my body every night. I don't have any stretch marks yet, but I'll have to follow up after I give birth.

Saje Vitamin Ease

Live Clean Sheer Light Dry Body Oil

Nursery

We've been slowly working on the nursery for weeks, and it's starting to come together! My favourite part of the nursery is my rocking chair. I spent a lot of time researching different rockers and gliders, and finally settled on the Viv + Rae West Line Rocker, which I ordered from Wayfair. It's super comfortable, the back is high enough that you can rest your head, and it rocks smoothly. I just need to find an ottoman to go with the rocker, which is proving to be a challenge!

Viv + Rae West Line Rocker

Cravings

I thought that I would have major cravings while pregnant, but that really hasn't been the case! If anything, I've been wanting sweets more than normal, but I've always had a sweet tooth. I'm trying to be healthy, but I do treat myself to some Non-Dairy Haagen-Dazs every now and then!

Speaking of my sweet tooth, I went for my glucose test this week to screen for gestational diabetes. For the test, you drink a 50 gram orange drink, wait an hour, and then get your blood tested. Unfortunately, I just barely failed my test, and I had to go for the second, longer glucose test. My midwife said that sometimes people fail the test due to what they ate for breakfast (I had a bagel and peanut butter, my usual breakfast), stress, or poor sleep, and not necessarily because they have gestational diabetes.

Once I got my results from the first test, I have to admit that I was quite upset and scared. I realized that I have very little knowledge about diabetes, and the lifestyle changes that I would have to make would be quite drastic.

For the second glucose test, I had to fast for 12 hours, which was a struggle in and of itself! I had one blood draw, drank a 75 gram orange glucose drink - which I almost choked on it was so sweet! You have 5 minutes to drink the entire bottle, and then you wait an hour, get another blood draw, wait 1 more hour, and have your blood drawn for the third time. My midwife suggested that I have someone come to the test with me to drive me home as you can feel a bit shaky after the drink and fasting. Dylan was luckily able to get some time off of work to accompany me, and I really appreciated having him there with me. I got my results back yesterday, and thankfully my numbers were well within the normal range!

Glucose Drink

I think that about wraps up my first and second trimester experiences nicely! I'm incredibly excited to meet my little peanut, and while I don't want to wish away my third trimester, I can't help by find myself counting down the days until my due date (83 days to be exact!).

28 Weeks Pregnant
28 Weeks Pregnant

If you've been pregnant and have any third trimester must haves, please let me know in a comment below! xo

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