It FINALLY happened! You peed on that little white stick and the pink line appeared! Congratulations! You are going to have a baby! Insert ethereal music while you imagine yourself soothing a sweet, tiny cooing baby in a beautiful, neutrally toned, sunlit room…with an ever so specific plant placed delicately in a corner. Then BOOM. Out of nowhere the onslaught of texts, phone calls, emails, facebook ads begin… all telling you what you MUST have in order to survive parenthood. Dreams of your beautiful, minimalist nursery whither. You’ve spent hundreds of dollars on unnecessary baby gear and suddenly you find yourself surrounded by a bunch of, let’s face it, crap. Instead of playing with that super expensive toy you thought your kid absolutely needed, she’s playing with a role of toilet paper and a carrot. FML, RIGHT? And you? You’re covered in belly bands and butter and all sorts of weird random stuff you really won’t touch once your teeny human arrives.
So, in order to spare you of this same suffering, dear reader, I’ve gathered a list of my Tride-and-True pre and postpartum items. What has made these items worthy of such a title, you may ask? The baby gear that I have selected for this list has taken me through both of my pregnancies, deliveries and into the raising of my tiny, wild little booby monsters!
Let’s start with prenatal gear, shall we?!
The Frida Mom Postpartum Kit:
100% WORTH IT!!! You have just managed to birth an entire human! Let’s be clear. It is a little terrifying. Suddenly you are bringing home a new, screaming roommate who must be waited on hand and foot. But your body also feels like it just bench pressed Jason Fhecking Mamoa. So, go easy on yourself. This handy dandy little kit makes it so you don’t even have to think. It comes with postpartum undies, a peri bottle, soothing foam and witchhazel liners. Pack this in your hospital bag or tuck it away in your restroom for your return home from the hospital! If you know that you are going to have a scheduled belly birth, they also have a kit for c-sections as well.
I’ll be honest. A lot of people told me I’d need a belly band for support. So I purchased 3 and never touched a single one. They were too bulky and never stayed where I needed them to. As a fitness instructor and a performer, I did need the extra support as I was nearing the end of my pregnancy. KT Tape worked wonders! My chiropractor placed it around the base of my belly and across it as well, protecting my abdominals and adding extra support. Between the tape and my favorite leggings, I was able to teach up until 35 weeks! (I would have kept going but the darn Rona finally caught up to me.)
BLANQI! I cannot tell you how difficult it was to find a darn pair of leggings that could withstand teaching 12 plus fitness classes a week, maintain their support of my belly and be able to stay up over my booty… but then I found Blanqi. What a game changer. I am still wearing their post partum leggings as my hot mom bod is still in transition. (I have a small diastasis and these truly give me the support I need while still continuing to work out and teach.)
Happy Baby Carrier
I LOVE baby wearing! Whether my little is having a hard time settling or I need to get a few extra things done around the house, my go-to is always “uppies” in our HBC’s. We tried various other brands but my tinies weren’t comfortable in them. This soft-structured carrier isn’t bulky, has the right amount of cushion and they even have fit consultations to make sure you are wearing your tiny human properly.
When my first little one arrived home, she was so tiny! And we were both new to breast feeding! This pillow made it an easy way to navigate this new world until I could nurse her comfortably without the added support. (I highly recommend getting a few extra covers and especially the waterproof one if you end up with a tiny who spits up a lot.) My breast-friend is on it’s last leg, as it has now been through four kiddos, and I must admit, I am sad to say goodbye to this trusty old steed.
Confession. I HATE light-up, blinky, loud plastic baby toys. I mean, sure, there are probably some great educational electronic toys but they really aren’t my jam. So, rather than get all of the unnecessary -probably not so great for the environment, will most likely give you a headache- plastic toys for Christmas that we will never use and just donate to Goodwill… we opted for the Lovevery subscription. It may seem spendy at first, but to us it made the most sense. We don’t buy the plastic stuff that will break, it seems much more environmentally friendly and there is no question about whether or not the toy is developmentally appropriate, because they’ve done all that work for you.
Target Sensory Bin Kits
We are all about experiences in our home. And these are another really great investment. If you have a sensory table and don’t have the time to plan a theme and gather all the necessary equipment, its all right here in this magical little kit. Dinosaurs, you got it! Mermaids, check! Space aliens, of course! I just swap themes as my littles lose interest and they love whatever comes next! (Adding that if any of these kits include water beads, I throw them away as they are toxic and can be very dangerous if ingested!!)
A Pikler Triangle
SO worth it! I won’t lie. My husband argued every step of the way on this one. As soon as we set it up for my little one’s birthday, he fell in love. We are in the PNW and having this little gem to play on indoors is a life saver! Same with the Nugget….or two… that we have! My littles love building forts, climbing structures and so much more with these pieces!
I am an over supplier so I have to pump even though my tiny humans are exclusive breastfed…. And also, I have more than one tiny human! Nothing is worse than being plugged into a wall and not able to chase after the one that’s about to unravel all the toilet paper or throw your cellphone into a toilet. I’ve been able to use this at home, on set and at work, even pumping while training to become a Pure Barre instructor! Any time someone realizing I’m pumping, mostly because I’ve let them know, they are amazed at how advanced technology is now with regards to pumps. They are quiet, discreet and don’t leak, even while taking a fitness class!
Sunflower Lecithin by Legendary Milk
If you are an over supplier, such as myself, you might also tend to get clogged ducts or mastitis more frequently. Once I started taking this on the regular, I said goodbye! I stand by their pumping spray as well! They do have a bundle of supplements that are said to increase milk production, enhance its nutritional value and promote milk flow. It’s also fenugreek free! (NOTE: Fenugreek is said to aid in one’s milk supply but more often than not, it is know to TANK supplies, so beware!)
I cannot rave about the Haaka enough. Between catching my letdown while my tiny human fed on the other side, and using the Haaka to relieve my oversupply, I was able to build up a freezer stash in no time! The only downside to the haaka is that little baby feet can sometimes kick it and cause it to pop off. My rec is to get a lanyard or utilize the lady bugs! They can sit directly in your bra to catch let down as well!
So this is something no one ever warned me about. Postpartum Hair Loss!!! Y’all. I’m not exaggerating when I say that around four months postpartum I started looking like my 75 year old abuelo. My pattern of hairloss was called “the crown”, meaning that it went all the way around my head…my temples, the middle of my forehead, below my ears and the base of my neck. It was AWFUL! Plus, I hate headbands because I could never find one that stayed on. Thankfully I stumbled across the OOAKSHELL facebook page and then proceeded to their website where I got my hands on way too many to admit. They are basically like a ring sling but for your head. Great coverage, they stay on and they are pretty stinkin’ cute! Dress them up or down and “the crown” is covered!
Last, But Certainly Not Least
Here is my shameless plug for Tree of Life, Holly Lara and why I chose this company specifically. Ya’ll, my breastfeeding journey was HARD. When my first little one joined us earthside, she damaged my nipples right out of the gate. Pardon the details, but her suckle reflex was so strong that my nipples cracked, bled, and I was instructed to wait at least four hours before I could feed her because of the significant damage she was causing. She lost too much weight, we had latch issues, she wasn’t gaining quickly enough. We had nipple shields, weird tube things to try to feed her, spoons, the whole nine yards. I didn’t think I was going to be able to breast feed my little one but we BOTH worked so hard to make it happen. I am now happy to say that my tiny baby booby monster is now going on three years of mama’s milkies, as she calls it.
I knew I wanted to commemorate such a significant milestone with breastmilk jewelry. I could even pass it along to my daughter one day. So I joined countless groups, looked over pages and pages of settings and chats until I stumbled upon Holly’s group. Here is what sets her apart from the others. Not only is her artistry impeccable but she has created an incredible sense of community. She follows her clients carefully, listens to their stories and even delicately places a personalized hand-written note with the pieces she has so carefully crafted for you. And even then, it goes much further than that. Within this community, I quickly saw that Holly was holding space for those of us who are grieving. A sister, a mother, a grandparent, a child. She holds space for our joy, our celebration, our grief and our mourning, and then ever so masterfully creates a beautiful piece of art, incapsulating that story, that we can cherish for a lifetime. Thank you, Holly, for holding that space for us, all while on your very own life’s journey.