Browsing Category

Motherhood

Motherhood

How to Pack for a Baby

I traveled for the first time with my 3-month-old son for Thanksgiving (see my tips for EASY baby travel here!) And honestly the most daunting part of preparation was packing clothes! I’ve only been through one season with him, HOT (welcome to Texas parenting…) So I wasn’t sure how to prepare for all scenarios! I think I figured it out and I want to share the formula with you!

I knew I would be able to do laundry but I packed as though I wouldn’t, just to make sure I had extra clothes if needed because Archer is the most inconvenient pooper.

For context, my Archer is 12 weeks old and typically changes clothes 2 times a day not including changing into pajamas at night. We were traveling to St. Louis where it was significantly colder and dry.

Here’s what I packed for each day:

  • Short sleeved Bodysuit
  • Long Sleeved Bodysuit
  • Pants
  • Onepiece with pants (not footed)
  • Pajamas
  • Extras: Hat, Socks, Vests, Jackets, Sweaters, Special Outfits

Here’s how it all came together:

  • Lay it out by day
  • Pack in gallon Ziploc bags 1 of 2 ways:
  • 1. Pack by day: Write the day and the weather forecast on the outside (I did this the first time and it was a little difficult to find things)
  • 2. Pack by clothing type (this is what I’ll do next time): Onesies, Jackets, etc.
  • Bring a bag for dirty clothes to keep them seperate so the little pieces don’t get lost

I packed Archer’s clothes in my bag, I should have split it up with my husbands bag so I had more room so that’s what we’ll do next time.

Toiletries:

  • Put it all in one bag and keep it in your carry on if you can.
  • Baby toiletries are basically first aid needs: bring baby Tylenol just in case, any vitamins your baby takes (we have vitamin D drops and probiotic drops as well as some essential oils), nail clippers, and some sort of aspirator (I just use the bulb aspirator the hospital gives you) and I always bring this fancy booger picker, ha!

Tips for Everything Else:

  • Pack plenty of burp rags (I use these as burp rags, they’re really cheap so I don’t mind losing them or tossing them)
  • Don’t forget swaddle blankets! I packed 1 to lay out for him when he played on the ground, 1 for the diaper bag and 1 to actually swaddle him if need be (we use this swaddle wearable blanket more often)
  • It’s mentioned it in my baby travel post but I don’t pack diapers except what’s needed to get there, I buy them when we get there.
  • I breastfeed so I didn’t have to pack formula but honestly that would probably be something I would buy there also
  • That being said, I don’t really pump so I just brought a manual pump instead of my electric one, just in case. This one is my favorite.
  • Don’t worry, whatever you forget, you can buy there!

Have I forgotten anything?

Motherhood

Behind the Scenes with a 3 Month Old!

This is what our life is like with a 3 month old baby boy. This post answers all of the questions I get asked most often and all the things I google in the middle of the night. I hope it’s helpful to you, too! 🙂
Baby Update: Archer is about 16.5lbs according to our home scale! He is definitely filling out and I can tell his weight is dispersing differently, he feels more like a baby than an infant now, I really feel like he’s growing before my eyes! He’s chatting all the time and will mimic what we do. Not officially laughing yet but we’re SUUUPER close and I’m doing all the stupid stuff I can to make him laugh.
Mom Update: We went on a date night without Archer for the first time! Woohoo!! He did great (or my sister is totally lying to me…) We traveled for the first time with Archer for Thanksgiving and it was really nice to have a lot of people around who wanted to hold him. Plus staying with people who would watch him so I could get things done or just go grab coffee was an awesome perk! It felt like a huge win to travel with him and be away from home for almost a week. I wrote a post about what we did to make things easy, you can read it here!
Gear We Love: This stroller. We traveled with it last week and oh my word! It folds up to be the size of a carry on (we still gate checked it) and weighs only 12lbs. We got a converter to click our car seat in and it was such a huge help getting through the airport!!
What We Play With: We really love this car seat toy! He doesn’t always enjoy being in his carseat which is unavoidable so we got this toy and he didn’t care about it at all until this month. He’s really entertained by it now!
Eating: We are still exclusively breastfeeding and giving him the occasional bottle. I started using this system this month and it’s a gamechanger!!! WAY less pieces to wash every day. He eats every 2.5 hours almost on the dot during the day. He doesn’t really vary from that but supposedly a growth spurt will kick in soon so that may change.
Sleeping: Archer doesn’t usually nap for longer than an hour at a time during the day and it’s tough to get him to nap on the go unless I’m wearing him. BUT he sleeps really well at night so I’m okay with it. He goes to bed at 7-7:30 and sleeps a 6-8 hour stretch and only wakes up once. He just moved to his crib last night and did great! I’m hoping he’ll totally sleep through the night since he’s not in our room anymore. I’m also going to do something crazy and try to push his bedtime back so he sleeps 8:30-8:30 (I may completely regret that and pretend I never tried…)
Diapers: Still in size 2 and Target brand has been my favorite (which is nice since they’re the cheapest)!! We used Huggies when we were out of town last week and they are super soft but I just don’t love them as much! They don’t seem to last as long or fit him right. I use the same wipes from Huggies but I will say, we used the Honest wipes last week and I really liked those too, they’re really thick and durable but not as wet.

What Are We Wearing?

Archer: I crammed him into his 0-3 footed onesies last week since I didn’t get to go shopping before we left for Thanksgiving and then noticed his toes were curled in the feet. Whoops!! Sorry buddy! We’ve moved into 3-6 month and some 6 month clothes. They’re still a little long but fit well through the body. (I have a lot of hand me downs and shop at thrift stores mostly but these are my favorite footed onesies to buy!)
Mom: I’m still living in these shoes. A new trick I’ve started doing is shopping for clothes in the sleepwear section. “Sleep” tops are more likely to be nursing friendly and supersoft. And when you wear them with leggings, they don’t even look like pajamas!

Lessons Learned this Month:

  • Superstition isn’t helpful. Let me explain, just because you did something once and it worked doesn’t mean the world will end if you don’t do it again. I had to keep Archer out longer on Monday night and I spent the whole time TERRIFIED he would be up all night because he didn’t fall asleep while we were out. He was fine. Babies definitely thrive on routine but we teach them how to be flexible.
  • Rhythms are more important than schedules. Archer doesn’t wake up at the exact same time every day or nap at 12:30 on the dot but he definitely has a rhythm. He eats every 2.5 hours and sleeps every 1.5 hours for about an hour. So it’s getting easier to predict whats next, even if it’s not by the clock.
  • Life starts to feel normal when you stop thinking about it. We did a ton of sightseeing last week when we went out of town. We went all over the place and I didn’t even think about it. I just followed Archer’s rhythm and it all felt so normal! Now to get up the courage to get out more at home…

Check out our other monthly updates so far: 1 month, 2 month

Motherhood

Traveling with a Baby: Making the Trip EASY!

We traveled for the first time with Baby Archer for Thanksgiving! We flew to St. Louis where my sister in law was hosting. I was so excited to go but at the same time, a little bit overwhelmed about traveling with a 12 week old during holiday craziness! (Check out what our life is like at 2 months old!)

(SPOILER ALERT: He did great, he slept through both flights and as far as I know, no other passengers secretly resented us…)

Now that we made it through, I wanted to tell you what we did that made the trip EASY! (I’ve got a separate post coming about how to pack so stay tuned for that)

Before you leave

Simplify Your Routines. Think through all of the things you do without thinking for naptime, bedtime and bath time. Take a day and jot down EVERYTHING you use and then simplify it, you don’t need it all, I promise. Guess what, you don’t need the “Travel version” of everything. You don’t need a travel sound machine, a phone app or Spotify track will work just fine. You don’t need a different swaddle every night, just use the same one (even if you switch it up at home!)

Figure Out Your Car Seat!! Guess what I learned? Every. Single. Car seat has a way to be totally secure without a car seat base, bases are strictly for convenience. Who knew?? Not me! We have the Nuna Pipa car seat and we love it. It has a European Belt Path which means it buckles over the lap AND around the back (American is only over the lap). It’s really easy to google your Car seat name and belt path to figure out which one yours is. I didn’t practice buckling in the seat ahead of time and I wish I had. We were in a rush when we arrived and I had to secure it really quickly. It worked out but I wish I had more time initially to practice.

Overestimate Travel Time and take double the diapers! It’s really easy to think “oh, the flight is only 1.5 hours” BUT think about how long you’ll be at the airport ahead of time and how long it will take to get to the final destination when you get there. Our flight was an hour and a half but from leaving our house to arriving at our accommodations ended up being 5 hours. I took double the diapers per hour, so 10 diapers.

Think of imaginary schedules. Archer isn’t totally on a schedule so I don’t know what he’ll be doing at 12:30 every day but I know he’s awake for about 1.5 hours and then sleeps for about an hour and eats every 2.5 hours. So once he wakes up, I can kinda figure out the day-ish. Since our flight was at 12:45 I just kept him awake 15 mins longer and he slept through the whole flight!

Check the Weather (AND humidity). I checked the weather and realized we didn’t havea coat or hats for Archer for freezing weather so I had to make sure we had that before we left. I DIDN’T check humidity and that was a huge mistake!! It was so much drier than I realized and I didn’t bring any lotion or a humidifier so we had to figure that out when we got there. 

Assign Tasks with your partner. I was lucky I wasn’t traveling alone this time so I was able to team up with Robert! Before we got anywhere we would run through what each of us were doing. “Okay you grab the stroller and car seat, I’ll have Archer in the carrier and go change him when we get through security”. It makes for WAY less confusion and keeps everyone on task and not overwhelmed by the whole thing.

During the Flight

Nurse/feed during takeoff or landing This was the one thing everyone kept telling me! You could also use a pacifier but Archer doesn’t take one consistently. The sucking and swallowing motion keeps the pressure from bothering babies ears. But honestly Archer slept through takeoff and landing and it didn’t seem to bother him at all!

Pick your seat wisely – We flew Southwest so we didn’t have to pick ahead of time but here are my recommendations. If you’re nursing, pick a window seat so you can be discreet. If you’re bottle feeding and won’t be able to give a bottle during the flight, sit in an aisle seat so you can hop up and bounce the baby when they get fussy. This is where teamwork works again because we had a deal where Robert would handle diaper changes in the bathroom if needed since he was sitting in the middle. Also, there was NOT a changing table in the bathroom of our Southwest plane…

Bring something for the People Around You. I think the whole elaborate apology gifts for everyone on the plane is a little much (“Sorry if I’m fussy, here’s a king sized candy bar!”). BUT I do have a extra loud baby and I know not everyone else is used to it. So I recommend carrying a box of ear plugs to offer to the people around you if you really can’t get the baby calm. It’s simple, easy to keep in your bag, and helpful to the other passengers.

When you get there

Buy Diapers and Wipes. I only brought enough for the travel part (double what we needed). We bought 2 small packs of diapers and 2 containers of wipes when we got there and that got us through 5 days with diapers left over. This will save SO much space in your suitcase!

Take Multiple ways to carry the baby. We had an Ergobaby carrier and the carseat that clicked into this AMAZING travel stroller. We kept everything in the car we could assess what would work wherever we went. I wore him in the carrier most of the time.

Buy or bring Snacks. If you are a nursing mom DO NOT FORGET THIS!!! I did and went hungry a few times which paired with carrying a baby, made me exhausted VERY quickly. I’m dairy free and that made it so much harder to just grab something when I was hungry (which was all the time…). In hindsight I would grab some snacks while getting the diapers and wipes.

Find somewhere to do laundry. This is easy when you stay with family like we did and most AirBNB’s have laundry capabilities. I’m not sure how to handle a hotel, however. Make sure you have a stain remover with you or buy one there so that there isn’t as much pressure to wash clothes immediately!

This is what worked for us this time! We’re flying again in a few weeks and may do something completely different, who knows?

Do you have any baby travel tips?

Check out my monthly baby updates – 1 month old & 2 month old

This posts contains affiliate links which means when you purchase something, I receive a small commission. Thanks for supporting this blog in this way!

Beauty, Motherhood

5 Makeup Tips for New moms!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

It’s very rare I get the full chance to get ready for the day anymore. And when I do get the chance, I get decision fatigue and can’t pick what I even want to wear!
So these are the tips I’ve found reduce my stress and give me the best and quickest makeup look for everyday!
I have basically resorted to using the makeup I usually travel with. This began when I started living out of my travel bag when I got back from the hospital after having Archer. Here are the tips I’ve learned from mastering a 5 minute face!

1. Get an all in one palette so you only have to open, close and put away one thing.

My savior is this all in one palette from Lorac pictured above – it has eye shadows, blush and bronzer. Unfortunately I bought it at Nordstrom Rack years ago and it’s no longer available but I linked some very similar palettes below.
2. Wear a light base. I know it feels like you need double wear all day coverage foundation applied with a spackle spatula but you don’t. And honestly, if and when you fall asleep with your makeup on, a bb cream or tinted moisturizer won’t destroy your pores as badly.
3. Pick a lip color you can apply with your eyes closed. Tinted lip balms are the best. Buy about 3 tinted lip balms. One for the car, one for the diaper bag and one for the makeup vanity. A little bit of color on your lips can brighten your whole face so it’s nice to have something moisturizing to apply on the go without a mirror! I LOVE this one from Neutrogena in Plum or Rose.
4. Narrow down your brushes In fact, if you can apply most of it with your hands, that’s the best! I have a ton of makeup brushes but I only leave 4 of them out. Blush/bronzer, powder, and 2 eye shadow brushes.
5. Pick a portion you can do no matter what. No time for a full eye look? Pick ONE shadow or JUST mascara or JUST brows. Whatever you love about yourself, accentuate it first in case you run out of time! In my case, I always put on bronzer, it makes me look alive. 😉
What’s your favorite quick makeup tip?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Motherhood

Behind the Scenes with a Two Month Old!

Baby Update:
Archer is 13lbs 13.5oz (probably over 14lbs by now…half of which is all in his chins), 23.5″ long and has a head in the 90th percentile (for his giant brain of course).
He’s not on a schedule yet but we’re getting into a routine that works about 50% of the time – he’s an every other day baby as I like to say.
Mom Update:
I cut dairy out of my diet this month after we saw some symptoms that Archer couldn’t handle it. It’s really unnerving to realize something I was eating was hurting my baby and I had no idea! Honestly, I don’t miss queso and mac and cheese and pizza unless I really think about it. No really, I’m fine. *wipes tears from keyboard*
Just kidding. I’ve found lots of ways to adapt and am excited to share more recipes and snack ideas with other moms out there dairy free and nursing. That’s been the hardest part – being starving all the time and having no idea what’s safe to eat.
Gear We Love: My husband is on staff with a ministry called Young Life that works with high schoolers. As a result, we go to a lot of pep rallies and football games and other loud places. Archer hasn’t been to a football game yet but we love these headphones for pep rallies! He totally slept through an entire Halloween pep rally the other day wearing these!
What We Play With:
He’s starting to love the crinkly baby paper! He’s still not grabbing anything so the crinkling is all on me but he’s definitely entertained!
We were given this funky little toy as a gift by accident – my niece opened it in the store before they left so they tossed it in with our gift. I put it aside and didn’t know what to do with it. I saw it in an ad recently how it’s one of the few toys you can use from 0 months and up. I did a little googling and found out how to use it! Their website talks about all the developmental benefits (who knew?!) and so far, Archer really likes it!
Eating:
We’re still nursing exclusively and introducing a bottle slowly but surely! Obviously he’s getting enough to eat, ha! We’ve been using these bottles and he’s been taking them pretty well!
Sleeping:
We’re loosely (and I mean looooooosely) following the Mom’s on Call method to get on a schedule and establish a routine but like I said earlier, it only works every other day. He’ll sleep consistently in 3-4 hour stretches at night and will push to 5 a few nights a week. I still nap when he naps most of the time during the day.
Diapers:
We’re in size 2 now as of last week! We switched from Pampers Swaddlers to Baby Dry and I’m not a fan. Definitely going back to Swaddlers after this box to see if those are better. They supposedly last for 12 hours but they seem to swell up much more quickly and he obviously doesn’t like them either.
Still using the same Huggies Natural Care wipes and loving them! We had our first experience with diaper rash this month since I wasn’t convinced the diapers were too small and kept putting him in them…whoops. We used the Beauty Counter diaper rash cream and I ALWAYS use this nifty little tool.
What Are We Wearing?
Archer: Still in 3 month! Squeezing into most 0-3 month sized clothes but not for long! We had our first cold front this month and I had a moment of “OH MY GOSH WHAT SHOULD HE WEAR?!” Luckily, a blanket covers a multitude of sins and it’s Texas so the cold days are few and far between. He got his EarWells off so hats are back in the game and it’s ten times easier to put onesies over his big ol’ head. He got to wear his fancy outfit (that includes suspenders) twice this month to his first wedding and to our Young Life Banquet! He’s such a dapper little baby man. 🙂
Mom: Slowly but surely cleaning out the maternity clothes (mainly because they’re all summer clothes and not helpful right now). I’m unbelievably thankful that “athleisure” is a thing so I can wear all the leggings I want. Speaking of which, I’m obsessed with these high waisted leggings from Zella, these slip on sneakers from Steve Madden (that I had to order a half size bigger because I’ve come to terms that my feet may not go back to the way they were) and these joggers from Nordstrom’s.
Mom Care:
I returned a huge stack of unread, overdue library books this month. So that was an expensive bummer. I really want to get back into reading but it’s so hard to focus long term – like as soon as Archer falls asleep, I just zone out for a little bit.

The weather has been much nicer so we’ve been on a lot more walks! I’ve been hitting my FitBit step goals for the first time since mid pregnancy! I got the “yay you did it!” alert on my FitBit last week and thought my battery was dying…that’s how unfamiliar I am with hitting my step goal.

I’m easing into working out more, it’s been pretty easy with a 14lb baby, I just throw some squats in while I hold him!

Lessons Learned this Month:
– Postpartum Anxiety doesn’t set in right away. Everyone makes it sound like if you are going to struggle with Postpartum depression or anxiety, it will hit you right away. So when I made it through the first month I thought I was in the clear. But honestly, it took two months for the overwhelm to hit me. I was able to power through during the first month and I don’t think I even stopped to think about how overwhelmed I was until this month. And that’s okay. It’s hard because this is usually when people start to feel normal and scheduled and life becomes more predictable. But I feel guilty for just now feeling overwhelmed. Now, I don’t think it’s specifically Postpartum Anxiety since I had anxiety pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy as well, but anxiety nonetheless.
– It’s awful to see your baby in pain From realizing that my eating dairy was making Archer uncomfortable to watching him get his shots (which I sobbed through right along with him), I realized how much my heart cringed when he was in pain.
– A lot of Candy Crush can be played while nursing at all hours. 😉 
Motherhood

Baby Music for Grown-Ups

Is anyone else staunchly opposed to Baby Einstein or is it just me? Look, while Archer doesn’t have a music preference, I don’t want to alter mine. In fact, I’d rather influence him with my amazing taste in music! 😉

That being said, it’s hard to find calming music, lullaby-ish that doesn’t make me want to claw my ears out.

So, I delved into Spotify and made a playlist to share with all of you! (Well, I actually made about 5 but I haven’t perfected all of them yet…so stay tuned)

This playlist is all slower songs, perfect for winding down the day or starting off that super early morning. There are some hymns and worship songs that are tucked in there in case that’s the only Jesus you get for the day. There are some hipster songs and classic lullabies, it’s a nice blend of all of it. It’s in no particular order so begin wherever you like!

Out of all these songs, I have my top 5 “lullaby” albums that are awesome and have songs that I don’t hate myself for singing along to – plus a lot of them have lyrics with so much truth that it’s so encouraging to have those words floating around in my mind all day.

Be Held by Christy Nockels

I Dream of You by JJ Heller

Psalms by Sandra McCracken

Sing Over Me: Worship Songs and Lullabies

Lullaby Hymns: for the Weary Soul by Katy Kinard

 

So mama, enjoy rotating between these so you don’t drive yourself crazy!! 🙂

Motherhood

Behind the Scenes with a One Month Old!

Baby Update:

Baby Archer is 11lbs 3 oz and I can’t remember how long!

Baby boy had a growth spurt at 3 weeks and a mental leap at 4.5 weeks (based on the Wonder Weeks App which tracks mental development and is really cool so see how he’s growing mentally as well as physically) and will have another growth spurt at 6 weeks. So, what does a growth spurt look like? Nursing 24/7 and fighting sleep. Yaaaaay! I thought something was wrong but nothing is wrong, it’s just really hard.

Mom Update:

Mama is ***lbs and who cares ounces and still not cleared to work out so whatevs.

I’m pretty much all healed up from the outside (I had a C Section). There are some days I’m in more pain than others but God bless the ability to take Advil again!! I haven’t been cleared for working out just yet which is weird since I was so active during my pregnancy. My incision is doing well, but still numb, isn’t that crazy?! I’m at a complex point where I’m not sure what to wear. At all. If it fits, I’m not confident I can nurse in it if I’m out and I haven’t worn real, non maternity pants yet…

Mom Care: 

I’ve attempted a quiet time a few times. I’m using Lara Casey’s Write the Word because it’s so stinkin’ simple. One passage of scripture and a journal section. But that’s still too much for me sometimes and it takes me multiple days to get through just one! My current, consistent self care is making a cup of coffee every day. I get to drink it at some point after as many 30 second microwaves as it takes and it’s great. I also get out of the house for a new moms bible study once a week with Archer and I’ve loved it.

Gear We Love:

We had a swing game changer this month. We had the fancy Mamaroo that we never used because it’s called a swing but it’s not really a swing. So we bought an old school swing. And y’all, Archer is a new baby. My. Word. He loves it. It has a mobile and music that he loves. I’m pretty sure his first smile will be at the swing, not his loving parents.

(This is the swing we got).

Diaper Update:

We’re using Pampers size 1 now, we switched from Huggies because we ran out but I like Pampers for this size more than Huggies (I did NOT like Pampers in newborn!!) We have a big pooper with skinny little legs so blowouts are definitely likely!! (look at this size difference in Size 1 between the brands!) Huggies Natural Care wipes are still my favorite.

I bought these wipes travel packs from Amazon that are refillable to keep around the house and in the diaper bag.

I also found out that these bags are totally helpful when changing a diaper out.

What Are We Wearing?

Archer:

Archer is wearing 0-3 month size (3 month in Carter’s size which is most of what we have). A few Newborn gown sleepers still work but he rarely wears those.

 

We start the day in a onesie and add pants if we’re going out. If we’re staying in all day then he’s wearing a footie onesie, usually zippered but I allow snaps during the day (NOT at night, yikes). He only poops through clothes once typically. PJ’s are a zippered onesie and we swaddle him in a light swaddle or not at all (the startle reflex doesn’t really wake him up!)

Me: Still living in nursing tank tops with a rotating jacket or flannel. I love these tanks off of Amazon and these short sleeve cardigans. I’ll wear maternity shorts or leggings with that. I don’t leave the house much so it works. Plus the weather hasn’t really cooled down yet so layers are great. I’m working on a capsule wardrobe for the fall/winter so I will keep you posted on that! Let’s just say there will be a LOT of cozy cardigans in my future…

Lessons Learned This Month:

Don’t be afraid to try something new if what you have is not working. This goes for diaper brands, pacifiers, bottles, everything.

Limit your locations. I started getting out more this month. I got confident in nursing and would just go to the bathroom to nurse when needed wherever I was and Archer did great and napped in between! I, however, was EXHAUSTED at the end of the day because I didn’t nap when he did. So I limited my locations. 2 was ideal but 3 was my MAX. If I’ve hit a 3rd location, I need to head home soon after.

Don’t expect normalcy yet. Nothing will be the same day to day, apparently it’s not supposed to be yet. (It’s my first time too, so I have no idea!)

It‘s okay if you don’t want people to touch or hold your baby. I felt guilty not letting people hold my baby until I remembered, oh wait, it’s my baby. He hasn’t gotten his shots yet and a stomach bug is going around so I would just rather not. I have yet to master a kind, non-awkward way to tell people no, besides wearing the baby in a carrier. As a note, I’ll almost always let another mom hold Archer if they ask. They’ve done it before so I trust them most.

This post contains affiliate links which means I will receive compensation when you purchase through this post, thanks for supporting this little blog in such an easy way!