Now that it's been almost 1 whole year (!) since my sweet girl was born and I became a momma, I thought I'd share some of the things that have gotten me through and been essential to my experience as a new mom thus far. Hopefully some of you new moms/moms-to-be will find this helpful.
1. Milkmaid tea or Mother's milk tea (tasty and helps with milk supply) or something good and caffeinated after a high-needs, sleepless night is just what the dr. ordered. It's also just nice to cozy up with some tea at the end of the day, when baby is sleeping, and have a little "me" time.
2. American Apparel (Saves the day again. I'm addicted to that place) bras. I never got into nursing bras. They were too expensive for my blood (at least the good ones that won't fall apart on you after one wash). So I just got a ton of these and these they've worked great for me. Super easy to pull out the boob and put back, so comfortable AND sexy. I also love wearing these at night.
3. Nursing Pads: I liked these disposables and these reusables the best. Please excuse the ridiculous name of the latter. They worked really well! The other kinds of reusables I would still often leak through onto my shirt, but these were super absorbant! P.S. Around 9 months postpartum my milk really started to regulate and I have not needed to use nursing pads much anymore. So there is an end to them, don't worry!
4. Flats and Clogs- They were my best friends over the summer. They're practical and beautiful. Two absolutes, especially for a momma. Oh and these. I'm hoping, badly, saltwaters are back in style for awhile (comfiest. sandal. ever). I'm looking forward to bringing these shoes back into rotation come spring and warmer days. For the fall and winter boots, boots, and more boots have been my faithful friends. Again, practical, comfortable and pretty.
Don't you miss these warm days?
And a fall/winter shot + a deliciously, chubby baby foot...
5. Loose fitted tops like these (AMAZING t-shirts. Feel like $50, but only $15. Win! Also they just came out with a long sleeve that looks the comfiest) or this cozy sweater (I live in that thing) or this darling blouse to dress your look up a bit- You can easily and discreetly nurse in public without those nursing covers that were such a hassle to me. If you're shy about the whole thing (which I totally was at first when I was still learning) they didn't really make me feel any better. I was fumbling around with it like an idiot and to me they scream for attention and practically yell, "Hey everybody! I'm nursing my baby!" I'd rather flash my boob if I wanted to shout it to the world than mess with that thing. Not only did the covers not work for me practically, but they weren't working for my convictions either. It made me feel like I was trying to hide one of the most natural, important things in the world: feeding a baby. Those of you who love the nursing covers, I mean no disrespect, if you feel most comfortable using one then by all means use one. I just wanted to share my experience with them and and encourage the mama's out there who would like another option. Feel proud to nurse your sweet babies in public. As you can see from the photo below, it's really modest (I bet, for those of you who follow me on instagram, you didn't even know she was nursing in this picture!). At this point, I've ended up breastfeeding Eleanor all over Portland, and it has been a wonderful, freeing experience. Now I barely think twice about it!
6. A flattering, comfortable pair of jeans- Mobility is key when you're a momma so jeans are a must. And the flattering factor is just as key. I live in skinnies and straight legs. I'll love levi's forever (affordable and timeless) and I have a new love for J.Crew jeans. I have these and wear them daily.
7. Mascara: It does wonders my friends. My current favorites are MAC's new In Extreme Dimension Lash in black and Buxom lash in black by Bare Escentuals. Oh, and I only put it on my top lashes---not my bottom ones. Inspired by the 60s originally, but now I just think it has a way of making me look less tired.
8. Another easy beauty essential in my book is bright lipstick: It transforms you look with ease and brightens up your whole face. One of my all-time favorites is J. Crew's Poppy King. Over the fall and winter season, I've especially enjoyed going a little darker with this fantastic shade.
9. Baby carriers- I love, love, LOVE my Sakura Bloom sling. They are gorgeous, easy, comfortable, and Eleanor loves it too! You can wear it easily with a newborn all the way up to 35 lbs! I often wear Eleanor on my hip in it now that she's bigger. The Ergo is also a favorite. Daniel especially loves it because it fits his frame really nicely.
A shot of the sling in action...
And here's a not so great shot of the Ergo but too sweet of a picture not to share...
10. Wine- I love having a glass before bed. Now that Eleanor sleeps through the night I feel more free to have a glass (or two, lets be honest) at the end of the day curled up with a book or my laptop writing blog posts and browsing the web. It's such a relaxer for me.
11. Baths- They were essential in pregnancy and remain essential now (you momma's out there know what I'm talking about). I like to put a little lavender bubble bath in mine.
12. Date nights- some with your partner and some with just yourself. They are vital for your sanity, and being a good mom. Being a momma is all-consuming. By far the most demanding thing I've ever taken on. So making time to fill myself and my marriage has become just as necessary as air. It's more important now than it ever has been and yet its harder to make happen than it ever has been. I think its also important for your child to see you take care of yourself and see his/her parents love and nurture their relationship. I think that has a way of growing security in your child and sending them the message that relationship with others and yourself are priorities. Knowing that makes it easier to leave Eleanor when I feel like I can't or don't want to.
The husband and I on a movie date a few months back...
13. The Moop market bag- This is what I have used for a diaper bag. It's not really a diaper bag, but it has worked perfectly as one. I loathed the idea of getting a diaper bag. Overpriced. Ugly. Clunky. Ugh. Then my friend told me about Moop bags, I looked them up and I was sold. They're pretty, handmade, and made of quality long-lasting materials. The market bag, specifically, is big, deep, and has pockets---making it perfect for all that baby stuff! I've loved it.
Well that's my list (or most of it anyway) thus far as a new momma. What have some of your go-tos/essentials been? I woud love to hear from you other mommas!
Also, my pregnancy essentials for all of you pregnants!