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036: Brooke Cates — Redefining Pregnancy Health & Fitness

036: Brooke Cates — Redefining Pregnancy Health & Fitness 1024 512 Kanika

As women, our bodies are constantly evolving. From our teenage years and puberty to our prime in our 20s and 30s to our pregnancy bods and postpartum. So it makes sense that our workouts should evolve as our bodies needs change. We must focus on the areas that need the most attention, have the correct form and cadence to each workout (sets/reps), which prevents injury and allows us to achieve those results we are seeking.

Brooke Cates, Founder & CEO of The Bloom Method, is a Pre & Postnatal Fitness & Health Expert, as well as a Diastasis Recti & Core Rehabilitation Specialist. Brooke created The Bloom Method with a desire to empower women through movement before, during and after their pregnancies. Recognizing gaps in both the mainstream and pregnancy fitness world, she created a method that consists of diastasis recti rehabilitation and prevention exercises, labor training, functional exercise movements and innovative core techniques that are designed to keep women strong and thriving through pregnancy and into motherhood. The Bloom Method is the recommended fitness method trusted by Doctors, Chiropractors, and Pelvic Floor PTs. In 2018 Brooke took The Bloom Method online with Studio Bloom, making it the first ever Pre and Postnatal virtual fitness studio. Since then thousands of women have experienced empowered pregnancies, birth and now experience a deeper connection to their body, movement and exercise than ever before.

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035: Jasmine Snow & Liz Teich — Fashion Forward Mamas

035: Jasmine Snow & Liz Teich — Fashion Forward Mamas 1024 512 Kanika

35 Jasmine Snow & Liz Teich - Horizontal (3)

We wear so many hats in our lives, or shall I say, outfits – as mothers, entrepreneurs, stay at home moms, and working moms. Now the trend has become to embrace these roles while we look and feel our best. Today I have two of my friends and stylists with me – Jasmine Snow and Liz Teich. 

Jasmine Snow is a Fashion and Accessories Editor, Creative Consultant and On-Air style expert in New York City. She has over 10 years of experience in fashion market, editorial development and curiating exclusive content for major fashion brands.

Jasmine built the foundation of her career as the Senior Fashion Editor at Seventeen Magazine, which reaches 12 million readers in the US and appears in 10 different countries worldwide. She developed strong relationships with some of the industry’s leading stylists, photographers and creative directors as well as discovering the new generation of design stars. Jasmine creates and conceptualizes co-branded editorial partnerships with celebrities, fashion tastemakers and global brands such as ShopBop, ShoeDazzle, Bauble Bar, Kendall & Kylie, and while also consulting on editorial projects for leading print and digital brands such as Glamour Magazine, People Magazine, People’s Style Watch, Elle, InStyle, Barney’s New York and Tommy Hilfiger.

Jasmine is known for her insider advice and extensive knowledge in fashion, styling and pop culture. Her expertise on Millennials along with her approachable sense of fashion has led her to become a style expert appearing regularly on E! News, Extra, MTV, Seventeen Magazine’s YouTube Channel, Good Morning America and as a judge on Lifetime’s Project Runway: THREADS.

Liz Teich is a NY-based fashion stylist, lifestyle blogger and mom to her toddler son with a baby  on the way. Her blog, The New York Stylist, covers affordable wardrobe ideas, advice on motherhood, fitness, home decor trends and a behind the scenes look at the fashion industry.

Liz has been a professional stylist for over a decade. She works on print and digital advertising campaigns for major brands including Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Target, Lane Bryant, Netflix, Alex & Ani. She has appeared on-camera as a style expert for Rent The Runway,  White House Black Market as well as a recurring fashion & lifestyle expert on Good Day New York. Other press include Glamour, Instyle, Women’s Health, Huffington Post. 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with both Jasmine and Liz. I was on Jasmine’s holiday segment for the TODAY show hosted by Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie and Liz’s segment for the hottest holiday trends on Fox 5’s Good Day New York hosted by Lori Stokes and Roseanna Scotto. 

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Simple Changes for Moms To Connect With Their Mind, Body, and Soul

Simple Changes for Moms To Connect With Their Mind, Body, and Soul 2560 1709 Kanika

 

For busy moms, healthy habits can be difficult to incorporate into your day when you already have your routine down. For example, you may feel intimidated by the thought of a new workout, especially if you have a tight schedule. Or maybe you want to eat healthier, but this can be expensive, which is hard if your family is on a strict budget.

However, having healthy habits isn’t just about how you stay active or the way you eat. Everything about your life matters, including having a living space that is clean and free of clutter. You also have to pay attention to your sleep patterns and that you’re getting enough, both in quality and quantity. When you treat your body well overall, you’ll feel better in just about every aspect of your life.

If it’s not already the case, getting your family on the same routine can help since everyone will be on the same page. You already know how hard it is to try and make meals for four different people with vastly different tastes and schedules. If possible, make sure your loved ones are ready to make some healthy changes right alongside you so you can all get focused together. Having moral support will help you maintain these habits and work toward new goals.

Here are a few things for moms to consider when making changes to live healthier.

Clean Home, Clear Health

You may not realize how much clutter you’ve accumulated until you start going through each room with the intent to clean things out, and all that clutter can wreak havoc on your mental health, as well as the air quality in your home. Dust, pet dander, bacteria, and other debris can live on your belongings, making it difficult to prevent allergies and other breathing issues. Not only that but also living with mess and clutter can be detrimental to your mental health, leaving you feeling stressed and even affecting your sleep.

Declutter each room, starting with the bedrooms, and give every space a thorough tidying. If you can swing it, hire a cleaning service to help out. In New York, homeowners spend an average of $116-$228 for a good deep clean. Even if it’s just once in a while, it’s a worthy investment.

Say Sayonara!

Stress and anxiety can really take a toll on the way we feel, and sometimes the best way to combat those feelings is to get away for a bit. Whether you need a full-on vacation or just a short road trip (yes, even if it’s solo or with a girlfriend!), it’s important to get a change of scenery sometimes to get the blood flowing and find inspiration again. If you’ve been feeling like you’re in a rut with your career or are having trouble sleeping due to anxiety, consider taking a trip. If you can combine an activity with it, like hiking, all the better.

Improved Gut Health = Better Mood

Scientists are continuing to find that the flora of our gut have a considerable effect on our mood and overall well-being. If a nurtured microbiome can lead to happiness and improved overall wellness, all the more reason to amp up healthier eating habits. For an easy gut health boost, look for ways to incorporate probiotics daily, whether it’s through fermented and cultured foods like yogurt and pickled vegetables or adding prebiotic and probiotic supplements.

Meditate and Melt Away Stress

When life begins to feel overwhelming, sometimes the best way to get through it is to go inward. Meditation is a wonderful way to de-stress because it allows you to focus your concentration in order to relax and push away the stressors of the world. When done in conjunction with yoga (a class usually costs between $12 and $16), it’s the perfect way to feel better overall. Find a quiet, dimly lit spot in your home and give it a try.

Healthy living might necessitate some changes on your part, but they don’t have to bring on stress. In fact, when done correctly, these changes will help you eliminate those negative feelings so that you can focus on your family, job, and personal projects while keeping your mind and body in check.

Contributed by Jennifer McGregor, publichealthlibrary.org

How We’re Potty Training Our Twins + Baby

How We’re Potty Training Our Twins + Baby

How We’re Potty Training Our Twins + Baby 2566 1374 Kanika

Potty training is a sh*t show (literally!) I am in the midst of training my 2.5 year old boy-girl twins and my 14-month-old son (yes, you read that right!) because my husband and I are so done with diapers at our house. If my kids know how to memorize shapes (including the obscure ones like octagons and trapezoids), know their ABCs and numbers, and are speaking in full sentences, it’s high time they learn to go the bathroom. However, I am quickly learning that kids are creatures of habit so no matter how acute their memorization skills, training them to change their routine and adopt a new one is painfully tough. According to Mayo Clinic, potty training success hinges on physical, developmental, and behavioral milestones, not age. Some kids show signs of being ready at 18 – 24 months and others are ready by 3 years old. Here’s what they recommend you ask yourself.

  • Can your child walk to and sit on a toilet?
  • Can your child pull down his or her pants and pull them up again?
  • Can your child stay dry for up to two hours?
  • Can your child understand and follow basic directions?
  • Can your child communicate when he or she needs to go?
  • Does your child seem interested in using the toilet?

If you answered mostly yes, your child might be ready. If you answered mostly no, you might want to wait — especially if your child is about to face a major change, such as a move or the arrival of a new sibling.

For my baby, we prop him on the toilet when he wakes up in the morning and from his two naps, and he inevitably pees and goes number 2 at times. Amazing! We read that getting your child acclimated to the toilet at a young age may make it easier when he is walking and talking because it’s something he’s now familiar with. (Fingers crossed he trains right alongside my twins!)

To me, the process of potty training isn’t really for the kid. It’s for the parent. Are you mentally, physically, and emotionally ready for it? Because it’s your lead, and you’ll have to come up with a game plan and stick to it. As I said, we are in the midst of training our kids so I have yet to do our victory dance at the finish line, but the process takes time and I know we’ll get there. For now, I’d like to share what is working for us thus far!

  1. Reading Material. Most of my friends read Oh Crap! Potty Training – Everything Modern Parents Need To Know To Do It Once and Do It Right by Jamie Glowacki. She has a 6-step plan and encourages parents to spend a long weekend at home (with kids sans diapers) so that they get used to the sensation of going in a toilet. Kids actually grow comfortable with sitting in their own urine/feces (so gross, I know!) because they don’t know any different. For your kids, you can buy them Toilet Time books. All three of my kids love pressing the button and hearing the flushing sound, and though it’s silly, I think it reinforces what using the potty entails – start to finish.
  2. Get Equipped. We have both toilet seat covers and small toilets at home. The kids seem to prefer the Jool Baby toilet seat covers because they’re comfortable and they actually like stowing them away on the handy-dandy command hook on the wall. I love them since I’m a minimalist and hate clunky baby gear. You’ll need a step stool like the Acko foldable step stool (another stow away item in the bathroom. Score!), which helps them get onto the toilet and is necessary when they’re washing their hands. We use this Prince Lionheart faucet extender too, which makes it easy for my toddlers to be self sufficient. We have two Oxo Tot Potty Chairs which are easy to clean and do the job as well (especially when the kids need to sit a while). I just discovered this Mindful Moby Baby Potty that has an ergonomic design, doubles as a step stool, and donates a portion of its proceeds to save whales which is a lovely initiative.
  3. Schedule Time. Not going anywhere for a while? Grab a snickers (and some pet training pads to line the floor and bathroom cleaner) because doing the full-on potty training is a 3-day-long affair, in 1 hour increments. You can let your kids run around with no underpants or if you want, put on their underwear and if an accident happens, at least they know what it feels like.
  4. Buy the Necessary Apparel. My son wears Fruit of the Loom boxer briefs and my daughter wears Hanes hipster panties. On school days we send them in Seventh Generation pull-up diapers because I’m not quite ready to have an accident in their car seats. I find these to be the most hypoallegenic on the market. At night, they wear The Honest Company Overnight Diapers, which are free of harmful chemicals and are super absorbent for 8+ hours. There are PeeJamas (cute, huh!) that help with weaning off overnight diapers because they have absorbent material for accidents, and can be worn as regular PJs post training.
  5. Use a timer. Whether you have an Echo Dot with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or smart watch, set a timer for every hour or every 45 minutes and put your kids on the toilet. It’ll turn into a game each time the alarm goes off. If that’s too difficult, be sure to put them on at least 45 minutes after each meal or after they chug down their milk or water.
  6. Potty Chart, etc. You can make your own potty chart and put up stickers each time they use the bathroom which leads to a prize at the end like a new toy or a trip to their favorite indoor gym. I also started incentivizing with Auntie Annie fruit snacks – 1 for pee, 2 for poop. I know some schools of thought are staunchly against rewards because kids need not be rewarded for something they must learn to do, but if it’s working for you with younger kids, I don’t see the harm in it. Eventually it will become habitual and they’ll forget about the chart and rewards on their own.

As with any parenting strategy, to each their own. Get prepared, try a few different tactics, and remember to be calm and patient. Don’t shame your little one when they make a mistake because potty training can backfire and they may regress even more. Lastly, ensure that you and your village (grandparents, preschool teachers, nanny/babysitter) are on the same page. You’ve got this!

Anhoni Patel – Mrs. Patel’s

Anhoni Patel – Mrs. Patel’s 5847 3898 Kanika

If you’re a breastfeeding mom, chances are you’ve heard of Mrs. Patel’s and have tried their line of lactation teas and treats. CEO and Founder Anhoni Patel launched the company 7 years ago in San Francisco when her daughter was just 4.5 months old (inspiring, right? #momgoals). Based on age-old Ayurvedic recipes that were passed down from mothers in her family, Anhoni is keeping traditions alive while building a community of women across the globe. A former writer, she loves that she has recently tapped her entrepreneurial spirit though her passion for good coffee and baked goods.

 

What inspired you to launch Mrs. Patel’s?
I wanted to help other mothers who were struggling with their breastfeeding and postpartum healing. After I had my children my mother made me special snacks, treats and teas that aided me tremendously and I wanted to share that healing and strength with other women. These were very old recipes that had been passed down from mother to mother within our family for generations and nothing like them were available to other women.

So many of my friends had tough postpartum periods and difficulties with their milk supply, and their struggles inspired me to start Mrs. Patel’s so that women everywhere could benefit from them as I did.

Tell us about your breastfeeding journey through pregnancy and motherhood.
I tried to be as informed as possible about breastfeeding when I was pregnant with my first child. I took an excellent breastfeeding class and had an amazing midwife who was also a lactation consultant. The best thing you can do for your milk supply is to nurse as soon as you can after giving birth and to do lots of skin to skin. Drink lots of (warm) water and take a deep breathe to relax! Stress and worry can really affect supply and health. And if you are having any issues, see a lactation professional as soon as you can. It can be a lot of hard work, but if you have the goal to breastfeeding/pump, then dedication and persistence are key. Though I had several tough moments – struggling through thrush, mastitis, a bout of low supply, an accident,  pneumonia, the flu, pumping at work – I was really dedicated to breastfeeding and giving my children breastmilk due to the numerous and substantial benefits it provides.

Is your mom proud of you for launching your brand with her namesake?
Yes – she is! And, besides hearing from women around the country who we have helped, having my mother be proud of our line is one of the most satisfying and joyful aspects of the business. We still work on every single recipe together!

What is it like juggling work life and mom life? Can you take us through a typical day?
I think the most challenging part of anyone’s day- be they a parent or not, a mother or a father, is time management. And the more people, projects and commitments you have in your life, the more strictly you have to manage your time in order to be able to focus clearly, accomplish your goals and prioritize your attention. You also have to be okay with not getting through your to-do list each and every day.

Like many, my life is very busy. To keep track of everything, I rigorously plan out each month, week and day. I usually wake up around 4am; I love waking up early – the house is quiet and I relish this slow, peaceful and calm time to myself. During these hours I check and organize emails, relax, workout, meditate and get ready for the day. If the children are not already awake, I wake them up around 7am and we get their breakfasts, lunches and snacks ready. And then I drop them off at our carpool or at school. I try to get into to work before 8am. I enjoy working long hours (for the first few years I began the company, I consistently worked 80-100 hours a week), which I don’t get to do as much these days. So I like to be the first person at work and then work as efficiently as I can. I am also heavily involved in the kids’ school and if there is a field trip or class event, I am lucky to have a flexible schedule to chaperone or attend/organize school events. Either myself, my husband or one of my best friends picks the kids up from school in the afternoon. If I am not picking up the kids, I try to get home by 5pm. I spend some time with the kids and then I begin cooking dinner. We always eat dinner together as a family every night. We try to get the kids in bed by 8pm and that is also when I go to sleep! This is our current schedule but it was different when the kids were younger and it will change as they get older.

Tell us about the Mrs. Patel’s product line.
We have three lines – Pregnancy, Lactation and, our newest line, Women’s Health, which can be enjoyed by any woman no matter what stage she is in.

The Pregnancy line features teas for each trimester of pregnancy addressing the issues a woman may have during those months.

The Lactation line offers treats, snacks and teas that aid in milk production and postpartum healing. We offer 7 different flavors of our Lactation Treats, including gluten-free and vegan options, two different lactation teas – sold as loose tea or in brew bags, and a versatile Lactation Sprinkle.

As moms, we never make time for ourselves. How do you do so?
I wake up very early and this is my special time to relax – I read, watch a show, exercise and meditate. I also have a wonderful group of friends who I love seeing on the weekends.

Who is MP’s ideal customer?
ALL WOMEN. Any age, pregnant or not, nursing or not. 20 years old or 75 years old. You just have to be a woman and like good food with herbs that can help you.

With the popularization of breastfeeding (e.g. National Breastfeeding Month, Melinda Gates advocacy), what has MP done to make its mark?
Our mission is to support women. We offer a free weekly Q & A session on our Instagram page (@mrspatels) with lactation counselor and postpartum doula where women from anywhere in the world can ask questions and be heard. We have a private community group on Facebook where women can go to share their experiences, ask questions and support one another. Through our social network platforms, we create and cultivate community and offer authentic views about pregnancy, breastfeeding, postpartum and motherhood. And soon we’ll be launching a blog section on our web site (www.mrsmilk.com) addressing various topics relevant to our community, featuring posts from various experts. We are also ardent supporters of World Breastfeeding Week and Black Breastfeeding Week as well as promoting breastfeeding and women’s health in communities of color.

How are you different from competitors on the market (e.g. Mother’s Milk Tea, Milky Mama)?
A: We are the only woman-owned & mom-owned company out there using Ayurvedic herbs for pregnancy, lactation and women’s health in handcrafted, artisanal foods and teas which meld the ancient with the modern. Our special products are also based on family recipes which are hundreds of years old and have many years of wisdom behind them.

What advice do you have for mompreneurs?
Just go for it. Make a plan, of course, and go slowly, but there is only one way to start a business – and that is actually starting it and going for it.

Tell us the mantra you live by?
A: You can’t lose if you don’t quit.

Got Milk? – Mrs. Patel’s Review

Got Milk? – Mrs. Patel’s Review 3500 2333 Kanika

Ask any new mother about breastfeeding and she’s bound to tell you all about her personal experience – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Though cluster feeding and sleep deprivation are no fun, I have always been fascinated by breastfeeding and its benefits so I kept at it with my boy-girl twins for nearly a year (tandem feeding using my Twin-Z pillow) and am currently breastfeeding my 4-month-old son. I am fortunate he is a good eater. At the hospital, the nurses and my lactation consultant were impressed and said, “Look at that latch. He knows exactly what to do and is a hungry hippo!” I have to admit however, like all nursing moms, I often wonder “am I making enough milk?”

This time around, I am doing all the things I used to do like taking Malunggay supplements, fennel capsules, oatmeal with flaxseed, lactation cookies (the secret ingredient is Brewer’s yeast), and guzzling 80 oz. of water a day. But I am adding one more variable to the mix — Mrs. Patel’s.

Trusted by over 100k mothers, Mrs. Patel’s features lactation teas, bars, and sprinkles. I found out about the company while browsing on Instagram and purchased the bundle package (box of lactation tea and bars for $35) to try the most popular products. Here’s my review.

Milk Water Tea (Chai Spice) – $12.99

Ingredients – Much like a masala chai, this is made of tea leaves and cinnamon with added all natural, ayurvedic herbs like dill seeds (suaa in Hindi) and alfalfa sprouts (rajko). Dill and alfalfa are the galactagogues, or milk-producing ingredients, while cinnamon is known to make breastmilk taste sweet. Your baby will love that!

Taste – I can’t go a day without brewing my masala chai in the morning, so I really liked this blend. Though it’s more watery than chai, it still has the distinct aroma and flavors. I stir in steamed whole milk to make it more frothy and satiating.

How I Consume It – The box comes with 7 sachets and mentions you can use each 3x. I actually steep one sachet into a medium carafe which yields 5-6 small cups of tea which I sip on throughout the day.

Did it Work? – An aunty of mine once told me that consuming liquids, be it water, milk, or soup, helps milk production. I used to concoct my own tea using dill seeds and ghee, but this tea tastes so much better and it has been working. I have seen a 1.5 oz increase to my pump sessions (I now produce 5 – 6 oz total for my 4-month-old).

Lactation Bar (Chocolate and Salted Caramel White) – $28

Ingredients – These bars are made of galactagogues like whole wheat flour, fenugreek (methi), and ghee, along with coconut flakes, cardamom, and a tinge of chili spice.

Taste – I have tried both the chocolate and salted caramel white flavors. I am a white chocolate lover so I devoured the salted caramel white bars. They both tasted a lot like a typical protein bar, though softer and much more rich. The glaze on top adds just the right amount of sweetness.

How I Consume It – This box has 12 bars. For nearly two weeks, I ate one bar every morning with a tall glass of whole milk. Delicious.

Did it Work? – Over the span of two weeks, I saw about a 1 oz. increase on each side which resulted in 5-6 oz total. My milk appears thicker than before. Since I breastfeed more often than I pump, it’s hard to measure exactly how much I produce so I gauge by how I feel. I essentially felt fuller and my baby seemed content after his feedings which is a good sign.

Disclaimer: I came across Mrs. Patel’s on my own and have provided my honest feedback. Since I have tried and tested these products and have seen results, they have become one of my brand partners. Use my link and enter promo code MOMSENSE15 for 15% off your order: http://bit.ly/2Dk1eBr

Mom Haul: Baby Products I Love

Mom Haul: Baby Products I Love 1200 1027 Kanika

Doesn’t it seem like there’s some new gadget for your toddler on the market every day? Though some products are useful, many are just plain frivolous or unnecessary. I am a minimalist (like most New Yorkers), so I only buy things I believe serve a utility and are valuable. Here is a short list of toddler products I have come to swear by. 

Lumehra FlexBag

Is it a hamper? It is a duffle bag? Wait for it. It’s both! The FlexBag was designed to make ‘mom life’ simpler as it doubles as a bag to use at home and while traveling. Consider it a hamper on steroids since it has numerous mesh compartments. I use them for my kids’ socks, undershirts, and as a way to separate my baby’s clothes from my twin toddlers’ clothes, which cuts folding/putting away time in half. The bag is made of durable, stain/mold resistant, waterproof fabric, so it’s ideal to take on the road. If you have older kids, you can leave it in the back of your minivan (your supermom-mobile as I so fondly call it!) and throw in dirty soccer clothes, shoes, etc. to toss in the laundry when you get home. Can we say mom win? You can purchase the FlexBag here

 

Nose Frida

My toddler twins are in daycare and I still can’t believe how many viruses the’ve been exposed to in a matter of months. Just as they’re recovering from a cold, they seem to get better for a week, only to have a runny nose again. Enter – the Nose Frida. I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s an ingenious product made by a mom who knew the tried-and-tested bulb syringe for mucus extraction is actually a cesspool for mold and bacteria. It makes me wonder why they’re still used in hospitals. The Nose Frida is a mucus removal device comprised of an aspirator tube and a mouthpiece valve that allows you to literally suction your little one’s boogies. To clean, you can take it apart and put it in the dishwasher or sterilize it. Just brilliant. You can purchase the NoseFrida here.

Door Knob Protector

When my kids became tall enough to reach door knobs, I became paranoid that they would sneak out of their room in middle of the night and go tumbling down the steps. Child proof door knob covers by Jool Baby lets me sleep easy. It’s a very simple design that snaps over a round doorknob. No fancy lock or lever. Your kids will attempt to twist and twist, but will be swiveling the cover around and won’t actually have a grip on the doorknob to open the door. Is it bad that I get some sort of pleasure out of them trying to make a break for it knowing that it’s impossible?! Purchase your Jool Baby child proof door knob cover here.

 

 

Faucet Extender

My husband and I encourage our kids to be self-sufficient. From eating their food with a fork (no matter how much ends up on the floor) to climbing up the steps to belting themselves in their carseats, it’s gratifying for us (and them!) to see how they’re growing and becoming increasingly more independent. The Prince Lionheart faucet extender is a simple design that suits most bathroom sinks. With the help of their 13″ inch small stool, my one year old kids are able to brush their teeth on their own. They love it and so do I. Purchase the Prince Lionheart faucet extenders here.

How to Swaddle Your Baby

How to Swaddle Your Baby 2048 1367 Kanika

 

My OBGYN told me the first three months of a baby’s life should be considered a fourth trimester. Anything and everything that simulates the womb reminds your baby of his ‘happy place.’ Swaddling is one of the first techniques new parents learn to soothe their crying babies. I still remember learning to swaddle our twins at the hospital. My husband and I would practice on either my son or my daughter and then switch! With my third baby, it couldn’t be more easy peasy. He’s a lovely, low-maintenance kid and the fact that I actually know what I am doing probably helps too. Over the years, I’ve learned complicated swaddling techniques and easy ones and have tried various swaddle blankets and sleepers. And you know what? I personally feel that coming back to the basics is what works best for my baby. Here’s a video on swaddling made easy! I love Aden and Anais swaddles since they’re lightweight, breathable, and made of 100% organic cotton muslin. 

 

My Fave Organic Baby Products

My Fave Organic Baby Products 3000 2000 Kanika

 

It seems as though the major retailers in the baby industry are the biggest culprits when it comes to using chemicals and toxic materials in their products. After extensive research and trial and error, here are some of the all-natural baby products I swear by.

Crib Mattress
We have three Colgate Eco Classica III Organic Crib Mattress for our twins and newborn and love it. Made of 100% cotton and natural fibers, the mattress is firm yet comfortable. It fits right into our 3-in-1 crib/toddler bed which makes life so much simpler with each phase of our babies’ lives.

Baby Pillow
To prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), pediatricians advise no pillows, blankets, bumpers, or toys in the crib. It should be completely bare. We use this Organic Cotton Baby Protective Pillow when we are watching our little one as it prevents flat head. Organic Cotton Baby Protective Pillow

Moisturizer
Whether it’s for you or the baby, coconut oil is the best emollient, moisturizer, daily diaper rash barrier cream, hair oil, you name it! We use Tropical Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Why use lotions with ingredients you can’t pronounce when this works just as well, if not better!

Bug Repellent
My little ones often had mosquito bites crop up on their hands and feet (I guess they can’t resist that baby fat!), so I use California Baby Bug Repellent whenever we go outside in the summer. You can spray it on their skin and on the stroller to add an ‘aura’ of added protection.

Baby Toothbrushes
The design of these Sunzel Baby Toothbrushes prevent your toddler from shoving their toothbrush to the back of their mouth. These initial toothbrushes are a great way for growing toddlers to get in a routine of brushing their teeth and maintaining their oral health.

Baby Toothpaste
According to WebMD, “in children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.” Our babies use Tom’s Toddler Floride-Free Toothpaste.

Diaper Rash Cream
Oh the painful diaper rash! Since urine and stool (especially the watery poopy blowouts. TMI, I know!) are acidic, they can easily cause rashes on your baby’s tush and they worsen because they’re in diapers all day long. The most important thing to do when your little one has a burn on their bum is to keep the area as dry as possible and use a barrier cream + vaseline. We use Burt’s Bees Diaper Rash Cream as a barrier cream and good ol’ petroleum jelly to seal the wound shut.

Hand Sanitizer
I honestly love all of Honest’s products. 😉 The Honest Hand Sanitizer smells amazing and kills 99.9% of germs with a few spritzes.

Sunscreen
Kids have uber sensitive skin so just like us, they should wear sunscreen every day. My entire family uses Alba Botanica Sunscreen SPF 30 which is made for sensitive skin.

What all natural products does your little one use? Leave me a message in the comments below!

My Hospital Essentials

My Hospital Essentials 1800 988 Kanika

 

After three kids and two pregnancies, I’ve learned exactly what is needed on d-day (aka your baby’s date of delivery!) During my twin pregnancy, I hurriedly packed a bag at 3 am when my water broke. Talk about hectic! But with baby #3, I was better prepared since I knew what was useful during my stay and what wasn’t. This video is all about my hospital bag essentials.

Here’s a list of products for mom and baby.

Products for Mom:

Products for Baby:

I am a minimalist so didn’t want to overpack with items that weren’t necessary. What items did you pack for your big day that I didn’t mention? Leave them in the comment section below. Thank you Mamas!