How to Get Better Sleep

 

My mom and I were recently having a conversation about how I really don’t know anything about what I was like as a baby. Except that I was a good sleeper. My mom looked at me and said in a very matter-of-fact way, “You were a really good sleeper.”

I’ve always loved to sleep.

I had a friend who used to say he wished he didn’t need sleep because it was a waste of time. Thanks but no thanks. I need my sleep! Few things make me quite as happy a lying my head on my pillow at night. (sigh)

 

How to Get Better Sleep

 

Unfortunately, I just don’t sleep like I used to anymore.

Let me rephrase that, I don’t sleep as much as I used to. I’m still a pretty good sleeper, though. When I sleep, I sleep. It’s probably a good thing my son and I co-sleep, otherwise, he would probably be left to cry for quite awhile before I would hear him.

Although, I don’t have issues with sleeping once I am sleeping, I do have issues with not going to sleep early enough or taking awhile to unwind when I attempt to go to sleep earlier.

 

Maybe life would be easier if we didn’t need sleep but we do. It’s a crucial part of our health and well-being. And I know I’m not the only that struggles with getting some zzzzzz’s. This is why I am really excited to introduce you to, Casper, a start-up company that is involved in helping to create the perfect night’s sleep with innovative resources and products like their latex foam mattresses.

 

Casper sent me their exclusive better night sleep cards so that I could share one or a few with you. (I’m going to share them all… shhhh.) Also, though I have received these cards to review and share with you, all views and opinions are my own and I have not received compensation.

So, I have to admit, I didn’t really know what to expect when I heard I would be sent some “cards”. Were they going to hypnotize me? I had no idea!

Each card simply has a sleep problem with some advice on how to combat said problem. They’re pretty simple but they have great advice. I have actually struggled with most of these at one time or another,  except maybe Sunday night insomnia (I never even would have thought of that one!). Oh, and noise. I can sleep through anything. Right now, “busy mind” is probably my issue. I feel like when my little one goes down to sleep, the race is on to get stuff done. I’m going to try this advice and get into a pre-bedtime routine. Or maybe I’ll start with getting a bedtime!

I hope you find these cards helpful, as I have.

What’s your sleep problem?

 

Anxiety. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Busy Mind. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Discomfort. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Hunger. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Noise. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Not Tired. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Sunday Night Insomnia. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Temperature. Sleep Problems. How to Get Better Sleep.

Interview with a Real Mom on Postpartum Depression

Real Mom Interview - Postpartum Depression - PPD - Diary of a New Mommy - Real Moms Talk

When I started Real Moms Talk, I knew right away that I wanted to discuss PPD and Baby Blues. What I didn’t know was what an overwhelming response I would get from women wanting to share their stories. Today, we have an interview with Misty Eilar from Adventures As a Wife and Mommy. Misty is talking about her experience with PPD. I am so grateful that Misty was willing to openly share with us! My hope in doing this interview (and others to come) is that women facing postpartum depression, baby blues and other maternal mental health concerns will know that: 1) they are not alone, 2) there is no shame and 3) they can reach out. I hope you will share Misty’s interview with anyone you think it could help. 

Before we get to the interview, I want to share some basic information about PPD:  

It is not uncommon for women to experience feelings of worry, fatigue and sadness after giving birth. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, about half of mothers are affected by these feelings in the first few days after having a baby (most commonly between days 2 and 5, postpartum). The term for this is Baby Blues and it will generally go away within a couple of weeks. Baby Blues and Postpartum depression (PPD) are not one in the same.  The feelings with PPD are more intense and last much longer. PPD is a clinical depression. Approximately 15% of mothers get PPD each year in the United States alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Symptoms of PPD are similar to that of depression but may also include: 

  • Crying more often than usual
  • Feelings of anger
  • Withdrawing from loved ones
  • Extreme worry about your baby or feeling distant from your baby
  • Worrying that you will hurt your baby
  • Feeling guilty about not being a good parent or doubting your ability to care for your baby

(Above information taken from the CDC website.) 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.

Real Moms Talk NoviceMommy.comInterview with Misty Eilar: 

  1. Were you diagnosed with postpartum depression? Yes, I was diagnosed at about 5 months postpartum. My husband made me go because he was worried.
  2. What were the symptoms you experienced?  I was sad, depressed, anxious, irritated all the time, and couldn’t handle anything. I noticed my sadness first. 
  3. How long after having your baby did you notice PPD symptoms? I noticed them at about 3 months, but I was dealing with C-Diff at the time and really didn’t think about it much.
  4. Was there a specific event that caused you to seek help? I was finally relatively healthy from C-Diff and was still feeling off for some reason. 
  5. Did you confide in anyone before going seeing a doctor? I confided in my Husband and my friend, Anne.
  6. Did you have any guilt or shame associated with your diagnosis? No not at all. It is somewhat common and I already had Anxiety issues before. 
  7. What did you do to recover? I am on Zoloft and I have people to talk to when I need it.
  8. What advice would you give to a woman that thinks she may have PPD? Please be honest and ask for help. There is nothing to be ashamed of. 
  9. What advice would you give to a woman who has been diagnosed with PPD? Work at getting better. There is no quick fix. If you do take medication, please talk with your doctor before you decide to go off of it. 

Meet Misty: 

Misty Eilar - Adventures as A Wife and Mommy - Real Moms Talk Interview - PPD - Postpartum Depression I am a mommy of a wonderful 15 month old girl named Annabel. My husband Brandon and I are going on our 5th wedding anniversary. I am a stay at home mom and blogger. My main focus of my blog is mommy, DIY and Saving Money. I also do product and book reviews. I don’t do it for the money (I don’t make any). I do it just to spread my love, life and knowledge with everyone.

 

Would you like to share your story? Real Moms Talk accepts interviews and original posts on a variety of subjects that matter to moms. Email inez@novicemommy.com. 

Why I Don’t Refer to Myself as a Single Mom

 

I can count the number of times I have said the words, “I’m a single mom”. One time when trying to update my Instagram profile with keywords I wrote, “single mom”. Then I immediately deleted it. It just felt wrong. I did an interview once on being a single mom, which I actually was kind of proud of. After that, I thought maybe I should step out more into the “single mom” arena and was going to write a guest post for a single mommy blog. But, when it came down to it, I just didn’t feel right about it.

Now, before I go any further, I want to say there is nothing wrong with women referring to themselves as single moms. I just don’t prefer to do it myself.

 

Why I Don't Refer to Myself As a Single Mom - Diary of a New Mommy

This is why…

  • A mom by any other name is still a momMarried moms don’t go around saying “I’m a married mom”. Or engaged moms, “I’m an engaged mom”. If they did, I’m sorry but I would probably giggle. I don’t like to label myself a single mom because my marital status has nothing to do with my  role as “mom”. If I had a husband, I would still be a mom. I would just also be a wife. I don’t want to separate myself from other moms by wearing the “single mom” badge. Because, at the end of the day, we are all moms.
  • I would rather not talk about it. I distinctly remember a conversation I had once at church. Another mom and I were swapping c-section recovery stories. I joked that God must have had mercy on me since I had no one to pull my pants down for me to go the restroom or put me in the shower. At this point, another person who was involved in the conversation, said, “I didn’t know you were a single mother.” Suddenly, this funny conversation turned serious. At least, in my mind, it did. Though, I know that was not at all the intent. I felt bad. I was even a little embarrassed. I feared that this lighthearted conversation would suddenly turn into questions about my situation. I will say, that since then, this person and I have become good friends and she has been thoroughly filled in on my situation. Also, as far as I can recall, no one bombarded me with questions that day at church. But it has happened. A lot. People want to know details. They wonder how I ended up as a single mom, I suppose, especially since I was single throughout my pregnancy. For the most part, though, I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to be a mom, like all the other moms.
  • Every mom has challenges. Sure, there are some challenges to being a single mom but… what mom doesn’t have challenges? Perhaps being “single” is my challenge  but for some women, it’s being married that’s the challenge. Ok, I’m kind of kidding, but kind of not. There are some things that I don’t have to do deal with, like arguing over how much I spend on baby clothes! Also, being the sole person responsible for the day to day care of my son is my life – I just do it. I don’t have the challenge of managing my frustrations over someone else not helping me enough… or at all. Moms with spouses have financial problems, family problems… we all have problems. Being single doesn’t make my life any harder than anyone else’s. It’s just different.
  • It may paint an inaccurate picture of what my life is really like.  I am extremely fortunate. I am able to stay home with my son because my parents have graciously opened their home to us and allow me to do so. I receive child support which covers all of my son’s regular needs. (Also, my son is spoiled by his family, on both sides!) I am able to use whatever income I make through blogging and other things, like selling baby stuff, for my own needs and other extras that come up. While I don’t have a lot of the luxuries I used to have, I most don’t come even close to struggling the way many single moms do. This goes for moral support, too. 
  • In many ways, I don’t feel singleMy marital status box might check off “single” but I don’t feel single. In fact, I frequently refer to the time before I had my son as “when I was single”. I may not be married but I am far from single, as in alone.

I’m not saying I try to hide the fact that I’m a single mom or that I don’t ever reference it, I definitely have and I’m sure I will again.  It’s just not my “thing” – it doesn’t define me.

 

Memorial Day Activities for Kids (of all ages)

For many Americans, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. We break out our BBQ’s and, if it’s warm enough, our swimsuits. We spend the day with friends and family, playing games or sports and, of course, we eat. Sadly, this is often the extent of our Memorial Day activities.

For me, this is how I spent Memorial Day for most of my life, until I was twenty six years old. The year prior, one of my brother’s best friends from high school was killed in an insurgent attack while on patrol in Afghanistan. That was one of the most emotional funerals I have ever attended. Knowing that this young (only 27 years old) man had died fighting for my freedom was overwhelming. Seeing his heartbroken parents and sister was almost too much to bear. To this day, I can’t think of him without crying.

Memorial Day Activities for Kids - NoviceMommy.com

This event changed Memorial Day for me. Forever. 

I still enjoy a Memorial Day picnic but I cannot enjoy the day without paying tribute to Victor and all the other men and women who died while fighting for our country. Now that I am a mom, it is important to me that I teach my son what Memorial Day is actually about. I will show him pictures of his uncle’s friend and, for as long as we live nearby, we will visit the cemetery with our family to pay our respects. If we are not able to visit then we will do other activities.

If you would like to find some activities to do with your children on Memorial Day, here are a few ideas: 

  1. Go to a parade or Memorial Service. Many cities hold Memorial Day parades. This is a fun way to celebrate the day for all members of the family and can be a great conversation starter for you and your kids about what Memorial Day is. You can also attend a memorial service. Many veterans cemetery’s will have services. Also, churches and other non-profit organizations sometimes have memorial services and other Memorial Day events. While we normally go to the cemetery, last year was the first time my family attended the actual service. Since it was a wide open space (the cemetery) it was very kid-friendly. I would have no problem taking my son, who will be one on Memorial Day.
  2. Set up a craft table. If you’re hosting a BBQ, you can set up a craft table with a patriotic theme for the kids, like this super cute sponge flag. Not that crafty? Just set out some coloring pages!

    Check this out at notimeforflashcards.com

    Picture from: No Time for Flash Cards. Visit their site, to see the craft. 

  3. Play Memorial Day games. For older children you can have an internet scavenger hunt where your kids have to search the internet (with supervision) to find answers to questions about Memorial Day. If you have a large group, you could even pair up adults and kids to use smartphones to find the answers. Make it extra fun and award a prize to the winning team. (Candy bars would be an easy and cheap prize!) You could also test your knowledge by taking this online quiz.
  4. Watch an educational video. A really easy, low key way to focus on the meaning of Memorial Day with your kids is to watch an educational video, like the one below.
  5. Sing patriotic songs. Another easy activity is singing some patriotic songs. This is especially great for preschoolers and younger. I realized that my son and I haven’t done any patriotic songs, yet. So, I figured with Memorial Day coming up, this would be the perfect time! I started incorporating “God Bless America” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” into our music time.  I got a flag to wave while we marched (well, I marched, he can’t even walk). I let him play with the flag, I just kept a good eye on him. He really he loved both songs!

I hope you have a happy Memorial Day and find some time to honor our fallen soldiers. Freedom is not free!

Music Time With Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers

Music time is not only a great activity for little ones but it has a life-long positive impact on brain development. My son has enjoyed playing a lot of different games and activities but music time is definitely his favorite. It only gets more fun as he grows! We do a daily “structured” (as structured as we can be) music time but he often initiates his own music time several times a day.

When it’s music time, I start off by clapping my hands on my knees to let my son know we’re about to sing. I also do this in the church nursery and I have one little guy that will walk up to me and hit my knees, asking to sing. It’s too cute!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure page for more information.)

Music Time for Infants, Toddlers & Preschoolers

Here are some of the songs we sing during our music time and some of the fun things we do to go along with them. 

Zip A Dee Doo Dah – We are in a play group that opens circle time with this song every week. The group is called SKIP, so we actually sing “Skip a dee doo dah” but I sing it at home with my son the regular way. It’s a good opening song. I usually use an instrument like a tambourine or the maracas.

ABC Song – We usually play instruments during this song but I sometimes use his ABC book to point out the different letters as we sing.

If You’re Happy & You Know It – This is a favorite of my son’s. He mostly claps the whole time but it’s still fun.

Old MacDonald – What kid doesn’t love Old MacDonald? I use our Animal Noises book with this song. When we get to the “had a” I open the book to see what animal we will be doing. If you do this, make sure to shut the book after each animal for the dramatic affect of opening it for the next one. If you have a toy with barnyard animals, you could also use these. Keep the animals hidden and then pull one out when it’s time.

The Chicken Dance – I’m not sure how we even got started with this one but it’s the first tune my son has been able to “sing”. He will randomly bust this one out and start flailing his arms all over the place. It’s quite adorable. I usually will include this one in music time. It’s great for older ones because it gets them moving and kids love to shake their booties!

Shapes Song – I was trying to find a shapes song and came across this one on youtube. It’s an easy tune to catch on to. If you have a shape sorter you can use the shapes during the song or you could use a book and point to the shapes.

Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes – We have a Scholastic book to go with this song, so sometimes we sing along with the book (there are also other books for the song on Amazon). Other times we just do without.

The Wheels on the Bus – My son really loves this one, too. I like to do this one sitting down with him on my legs. When we sing “the people on the bus” I bounce him “up and down” on my legs. He really enjoys this part and “the wipers on the bus go swish swish swish”.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – This is one of my favorites. Oh, and my son likes it too! We turn off the lights and use a flashlight as the “star”. I like to turn it off and on during the “twinkle, twinkle” and I start off point at the floor until “up above”, then I point it at the ceiling. My son loves looking up at the “star”. Another fun thing to do, if you want to be more active (especially for older kids), is lay on your back on the ground and move your arms and legs in and out so you look like a twinkling star. 

Numbers Song – One little, two little, three little… numbers.  I use my fingers to hold up the different numbers as we sing. When my son was a baby I used to sing, “one little, two little, three little babies”.

The More We Get Together – In our play group they end with this song and say each child’s name (example, “with Jack and Emma and Noah and (so on)… the happier we’ll be”. I do the same thing at home but since it’s just baby and mommy, I usually name our other family members as well.

What’s your little one(s) favorite song?

5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging

Ok, so, the title of this post is slightly misleading but to be completely accurate would have been way too long of a title (and it’s already long). I have blogged for much longer than one year. I started way back in 2007 but I usually would post “regularly” for like  a month (maybe two) and then I would disappear for a year (maybe two). I did have a beauty blog that I was semi-consistent with for awhile but, ironically, when I started working at Sephora I blogged less and less. Then, I got pregnant and just didn’t feel like doing a beauty blog anymore. It’s still there, horrible pictures and all. It wasn’t until May 2015 that I did more than write some posts to share with my friends and family (a couple of friends of mine are the ones that convinced me to do the beauty blog). Sometimes I look back at that beauty blog and wish I had known all of the things I know now after a year of blogging more seriously. Maybe that’s why I keep it. It’s either that, or I want to remember that I used to brush my hair every day. Who am I kidding? It’s probably the latter.

5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Blogging - Diary of a New Mommy - Mommy Blogger

Here are 5 Things I learned in my (sort of ) first year of blogging:

  1. I have to put myself out there. I was actually way better at sharing my inconsistent blogs than I have been with this one. I blogged for about four months before I started promoting my blog, other than occasional tweets. And the only reason I tweeted was because I never used Twitter and didn’t think any of my friends did, either. (I know, I’m weird. It’s ok.)  I still rarely share my posts on my personal Facebook page. But, I’ve learned in this past year that I have to get over myself and put myself out there. I have to let people know that I’m here, otherwise, they may never know. This also goes for working with brands. I used to think I had to wait for some astronomical page view number to get paid but that’s really not true. Sometimes, you have not because you ask not!
  2. I have something to say. I think number one is directly affected by this one.  The more confident I have become in knowing that I have something to say, the more I have been able promote my blog. The reason I was able to promote my writing in the past was because I was confident in my voice on those subjects. But, a mommy blog? (That I started before I was a mommy.)  I had no authority in that. But, I’ve learned over the last year that while I am by no means an expert, I do have something to say on the subject. First of all, and most importantly, it’s my life. It’s what I do day in and day out. Second, I worked with children as my career for 14 years. I do know some stuff about kids. Third, at the time I started my blog I was working as a peer counselor in a crisis pregnancy center. I was surrounded by pregnant ladies and new mommies.  I had plenty of information on the subject. Lastly, I am a researcher by nature… I mean, I can google and pin with the best of them!
  3. Blog groups are awesome. If you are not  a blogger you may not know this but there are a ton of Facebook groups for bloggers. If you did know that, then, well I guess I’m even more lame than I thought! I did not know this. I thought Facebook groups were for direct sales parties when someone wanted free stuff but didn’t want anyone in her house. (By “someone” I mean me.) I had no idea that there were groups I could join to meet other bloggers, ask questions and promote my blog. I came across a blog that I really liked (via Pinterest, of course) and I learned that the blogger was starting a Christian Blogger repin group on Facebook (it has sense been renamed to Christian Blogger Community) and I decided to join. Through that group, I started realizing that blogger groups was a total thing. I’m now in a whole boatload of groups and even started my own last month! Joining these groups has been a total game changer for me. I have learned so much from other bloggers and I’ve been able to grow as a blogger. Also, I’ve made some virtual friends. Which, for a stay at home mom who doesn’t get out much, this is huge.
  4. Comparison is for the birds. When we compare ourselves to other people (in any facet of life) we almost never have the full story. When we see an over night success story, very rarely do we realize that it’s actually an over hundreds of nights success story. When we see what other people have, we generally don’t know what they started with. Sure, some people start with nothing. But, others start with plenty of resources.  There are bloggers that invest thousands of dollars into starting their blogs. Other bloggers have professional social media marketing experience. Some bloggers even have time. I invested $14 in my blog. I have zero social media marketing experience (unless you count posting my every move on Facebook for a small, regrettable, window of time) and my boss (aka my baby) gives me very little time for breaks. My successes, and your successes, will not look the same because we come from different places. We have different strengths and different struggles. There is no comparison.
  5. Blogging is work! I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. Blogging is work. You don’t just write a post and off you go. You have to create images, promote the post, reply to comments, manage your social media accounts, work with brands, respond to emails, research and the list goes on! I could easily spend a full work day on blogging. (And I might be more successful if I did but I won’t compare myself to the bloggers that can!).

What have you learned from blogging?

First Year – Top 12 Posts

May is birthday month around here. My birthday, my son’s birthday and my blog’s birthday! One year ago, at 38 weeks pregnant, I decided to start novicemommy.com. I had blogged on and off for years but it was basically a way for me to write some thoughts down and (sometimes) share them with my friends and family on Facebook. I’ve always loved to write and since I was a little girl, being a writer was my dream. As I was nearing the birth of my son, I realized that I had to make that dream a reality. With my whole world (and Pinterest boards) being overtaken by all things baby, it seemed like a no brainer… and novicemommy.com was born. Just a couple of weeks before my son! It has been a crazy, busy, awesome year with both of my babies. As I look back at how I defined being a writer, a year ago, I can say I have achieved that dream. Thank you for being a part of my dream come true! In honor of my blogging birthday, I have made a list of my Top 12 Posts from my first year. Take a look and see if there’s something you missed!

image of top 12 posts first year diary of a new mommy

  1. 10 Interesting and Fun Facts About Newborns (check out an updated version that was published on HuffingtonPost)
  2. Baby’s First Easter Basket Ideas
  3. Budget-Friendly Labor & Delivery Nurse Gifts
  4. 9 Quotes for Mother’s Day
  5. Let’s Not Make Meternity Leave a Thing
  6. How to Balance the Blog Life and Mom Life
  7. This is Why I am A Stay-At-Home Mom
  8. 4 Ways to Support Your Friend, the Blogger
  9. 5 Chick Flicks to Binge Watch on Netflix
  10. My Labor Playlist
  11. Tips for Treating Dry Skin in Pregnancy
  12. 3 Tips on Relationships for Moms

Bonus: There were a couple of ties, so to break them I chose posts only written by me. Here are two guest posts from Real Moms Talk that tied in the Top 12 but didn’t make my cut. Real Moms Talk Losing the Baby Weight  and God is Still Faithful and He is Still With Me (Our High-Risk Pregnancy)

New Workout Routine (Interactive Webcam Fitness)

So, this is a slightly different post than I normally do but I wanted to let you, my readers, in on a new workout routine I’m going to be starting up this week with HeyWorkout, an interactive webcam yoga & fitness studio.

During  Real Moms Talk  losing the baby weight, I shared a little bit about my life-long battle with weight. I also shared that I had 9 more pounds of baby weight to lose. At the end of the series, I announced that I had lost it! Sadly, as soon as I got off of the super strict eating plan I was on, I gained it all back. So, here I am two weeks from my son’s first birthday and I am not back at my pre-pregnancy weight. And I’m really disappointed. Like, eat a whole bag of chips disappointed.

I know I’m not the first woman who has struggled with her weight, especially after having a baby, and I won’t be the last. There are a lot of moms in the same boat of needing to be better versions of ourselves, specifically in the area of physical fitness – whether that’s losing weight, toning up or just feeling (and actually being) healthier. But sometimes being a mom gets in the way of making the time for it.

New Workout Routine. Interactive Webcame Yoga & Fitness Studio.

I’m not saying that it should, it just does. It’s hard to find time to take a shower, let alone go to the gym and then take a shower!

This is why I am excited that I came across HeyWorkout. You can take live classes or recorded classes from your computer in your own home. I was given a one year free membership in exchange for sharing my journey with my readers. I will give monthly updates either on my blog, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Be sure you’re following me so you don’t miss it!

Also, HeyWorkout is offering a 14 day Free Trial to my readers (the normal trial is 7 days). If you’ve been looking for a workout regimen that will fit into your busy mom schedule, this might be it! Use my link to sign up for your trial.

I’ve checked out the site a little bit and have taken a few minutes of a couple different classes but I will officially start my journey today (May 16, 2016). For my first week, my goal is to log on 3 days and go to one class. My goal isn’t even to finish, it’s just to “go” and get through as much as I can of each class before my mommy duties call me away.

Working out is always more fun with a partner… I would love it if you would join me, even if it’s just for two weeks!

What’s your favorite workout?

 

7 Breastfeeding Essentials

When my son was a newborn I had a couple of different friends ask me how nursing was going and both had told me that it was “beautiful”. I remember thinking, there is nothing beautiful about this. I will say that the way he knew exactly what to do minutes after being laid on my chest as a newborn was beautiful. It was amazing. But, days and weeks later? It was awkward. It hurt. And it hurt. Did I mention it hurt? Don’t believe those lactation experts. It hurts! Thankfully, I did get past the “this is not beautiful” stage and really began to love it. Breastfeeding is beautiful and it is something special that you and your baby have just between the two of you. But, yes there is a bit of a learning curve. And, now that I’ve done it, I totally get why so many women give up in those first few weeks. There are a lot of great products to help nursing moms. I have compiled a list of 7 Breastfeeding Essentials that really helped me out as a new nursing mom. 

(This post contains affiliate links; I may receive  commission for purchases made through these links.)

7 Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy

  1. Lansinoh SoothiesOh. My. Word. These things are AMAZING! My sister is a lactation consultant (I know, how lucky was I?) and she swears by these. In the beginning when I was experiencing a lot of discomfort, she ran out and bought me some. Like I said, amazing. They instantly sooth nipple soreness. Seriously, get themLansinoh Soothies Gel Pads. 7 Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy
  2. Lansinoh Lanolin – Also for the soreness (cracking, blistering… oh my!). In those first few days/weeks, you will be sore. Unless, of course, you have nipples of steel. I only had a small tube that the hospital gave me. I didn’t even use the whole tube but it was still very helpful to have on hand, especially for the first couple of weeks. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin. Breastfeeding Essentials. Nipple Cream. Nursing Supplies
  3. Sports Bra – A friend of mine suggested that I buy nursing sports bras as they are more comfortable. I have one that someone gave me but I actually ended up buying regular sports bras. I eventually started wearing regular bras but at first I only wore sports bras. And when I say “regular” I mean regular.  I’ve never purchased a nursing bra. (And only own the one that was given to me.) Sports Bra. Breastfeeding Essentials.
  4. Nursing Pads – For the leaking. Need I say more? I used Lansinoh Disposable Pads. They worked really well for me. Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads.
  5. Ice Pack – In the event of engorgement, you will want an ice pack. I used a regular old ice pack but there are ice packs and cold compresses specifically for breastfeeding. Whichever you choose, make sure there is an ice pack in your house! Breastfeeding Relief. Breasfeeding Essentials.
  6. Water Bottle – Get the biggest water bottle there is. Nursing makes you thirsty. Really thirsty. I got a 32 oz.  hydro flask as a gift when I was pregnant and it was perfect! Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy
  7. Nursing Cover – This is probably not something you will use right away, unless you plan on having lots of guests that you feel comfortable nursing in front of but not so comfortable that you don’t care if they see your breasts. But, when the time comes, you will may want a nursing cover. I don’t use a cover a whole lot, only because we’re pretty much always home. But I do have a cover. One of my biggest tips on choosing a cover, is get something lightweight. After all, it is going over your baby’s head! You want to make sure it’s not too heavy, so it doesn’t get too hot in there. There are a lot of different covers to choose from. You could go with the sheet/apron looking kind. I was given two of these. Free works for me. Or you could go with some of the more fashionable covers.  I was recently introduced to Hannah Grey Nursing Couture through Instagram. They have some really cute covers that can be used as ponchos, scarves and even car seat covers or blankies for baby. I really love their collection! Oh, and did I mention they’re offering us a discount? Use my code “diary15” for 15% off! This offer ends May 20. 

    Use my code "diary15" until May 20 for a 15% off discount.

    Use my code “diary15” until May 20 for a 15% off discount.

So, that’s my list. These are the things that helped me in my nursing experience. (Yes, I realize I didn’t include pumps. We’ll talk about that later.) What are your nursing essentials? 

 

4 Ways to Support Your Friend, The Blogger

4 Ways to Support Your Friend, The Blogger

If you are alive in 2016, chances are you know someone that has a blog. Blogging is used by both business and individuals. It is used as a creative outlet and as an income generator. Whether a blogger is doing it purely for fun or to make money, I guarantee you he/she wants some support. Blogging takes time, more time than most people realize. And there’s so much more involved than writing and hitting publish. Though, the writing itself can be pretty time consuming, bloggers also have to research, make visually appealing images and promote their posts (all of which are more involved than you probably care to hear). The promotion part often takes just as much if not more time than putting the post together! All this to say, bloggers want people to read no matter what their reason for blogging. If you have a friend that is a blogger, there are several ways that you can show your support. 

(This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to disclosure for more information.)

4 Ways to Support Your Friend, The Blogger

  1. Click – Don’t have time to actually read your friend’s latest post? It’s fine. Seriously. Every page view counts, so just click the link and stick around long enough for the page to load (and maybe a little more, sing Mary Had a Little Lamb or something). Have you noticed ads on your friend’s blog? If there’s an ad that interests you, click it to find out more. In most cases, simply by clicking you could be helping your friend earn a commission. 
  2. Share – Did you enjoy your friend’s post? Do you know someone else that might enjoy it? Share it! Didn’t get to read it? Pin it for later! Hopefully your friend has share buttons to make it easy for you but if not all you have to do is copy the url and paste into the social media platform of your choice. (You can also text or email it to a friend.) By sharing posts, you are helping to broaden your friend’s reach. Trust me, any blogger would be extremely grateful for the help in getting the word out. 
  3. Comment – If you have a few minutes to spend, make a comment on your friend’s post. What did you like about it? How can you relate? Was there a quote in there that you really like? Commenting will not only encourage your friend but it will help build the blog’s community. People are more apt to comment when they see that others have done so. Go ahead, lead the charge! Also, if your friend works with brands (or would like to) comments will help with those relationships. Brands want to see interaction. 
  4. Follow – I recently had a conversation with two people about my blog within minutes of each other. The first person, an aspiring blogger, immediately asked about my traffic numbers. The second person, a professional blogger, immediately asked me about social media following. Social media is a vital component for blog growth. You can help your friend out by following the blog’s social media platforms. Much like commenting, this helps build community and it helps with brand relationships. The majority of my blog’s brand relationships have come directly from my Instagram account. When you follow your friend, it’s more than just another number – you are also connecting him/her with other potential followers. (Have you ever seen “suggestions”?) 

These are all really easy ways that you can support your friend’s blogging endeavors. Of course, you could take it a step further by purchasing products directly from the site or through affiliate links like Amazon. But, by doing any (or all) of the 4 things above you are helping your friend out in a big way… without spending any money!