6 Tips to Make Baby’s 1st Holiday Card Splendiferous

It seems like every year the holiday season starts earlier and earlier and I for one am not complaining. I absolutely love this time of year but there is no denying my to-do list gets extra long about right now. As a mom the one holiday task that I have learned you can never start too early is planning for your holiday card! Just think, after you capture the perfect photo you need to choose your  favorite card, personalize your card, accept delivery of your cards, write out all the names and addresses of your friends and family, realize you don’t have enough stamps and head back to the post office (oh wait, is that one just always me?) and then get them in mail in time for the holidays. Check out these 6 tips to ensure your baby’s 1st holiday card is absolutely splendiferous by starting off with that perfect photo:

  1. Your baby’s photo doesn’t have to be taken by a professional. Thanks to the amazing cameras on our phones today you can put your little one somewhere with a lot of natural light and snap away. You can still have beautiful holiday cards without spending a lot on professional photography and no one will notice the difference.

    Minted, “sweet signature”
  2. It is perfectly acceptable to combine this year’s holiday card with your birth announcement (especially if you baby was born in the fall). You can get creative with the title and text on your holiday card while also announcing your baby’s arrival. This is one card people will leave up long after the tree has come down.

    Minted, “little bundle of joy”
  3. Timing can be everything. Even if the hottest photographer in town only has one slot open to take your holiday pics if it is right before nap-time or during feeding time you have to find someone else. Find a time where you know baby will be content for up to 30 minutes (hint, the morning usually works really well for this if you can get everyone ready) so baby is happy and so are you.

    Minted, “delicate boughs”
  4. Put baby in comfortable clothes and don’t overdue the props. It can be tempting to put baby in a brand new outfit and shoes and a jacket and a headband or a cute holiday hat. However, just like you wouldn’t be happy taking a photo in an itchy holiday sweater, baby might not be happy in fancy clothes or under a bunch of props. Look for seasonal clothing that is soft and comfortable like baby is used to everyday.

    Minted, “big bright joy”
  5. Your baby doesn’t need to be awake and smiling. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have baby looking right at the camera or smiling or even awake. After all, sleeping babies don’t cry and you might even be able to get a little more creative with your pic while baby happily sleeps.

    Minted, “most wonderful time”
  6. Don’t stress it and don’t hesitate to get in the photo! Everyone who receives your card is going to be so happy to see your little one and they won’t notice any little things in the picture that you might wish were different. The first holiday season with your new baby is a very special time and you will be happy you and your partner jumped in the picture when you look back on this time. Enjoy it!
    Minted, “winter bright”

    Bonus Tip #7 – Check out Minted for your holiday card! Minted has so many beautiful options that are unique and created by independent artists. Whether you need a Christmas card, Hanukkah card, holiday birth announcement card, New Years card or general holiday card, Minted has beautiful, on-trend designs to meet your needs. I love, love that I can upload my own perfect photo and then browse the Minted catalog with my picture in the designs. This year I was super excited to see their all new Vellum overlay holiday cards and the luxurious dimension the translucent vellum adds to the card (this is the top contender for my family holiday card this year)!

Happy Holidays! xo, Julie

This post is sponsored by Minted but the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Moving to Solids

One of the stages that I can remember being most confused and concerned about when my oldest son (who is now 10) was a baby was transitioning to solid food. I was so unsure how to start, when to start, what gear I needed to start and what exactly I should be feeding him. The one thing that I did know for sure was that I wanted him to have real fruits and veggies and not a lot of fillers.

This was such a big step for me that we decided to feed him his first puree at Christmas with our whole family there (I even got him a special Santa bib). He absolutely loved the bright orange carrot puree and went on to be an amazing little eater but I never stopped worrying about what was in the food that I was feeding him or his little brother and sister.

Now when I am working with clients and we are picking out high chairs, bibs and feeding sets I am also really excited to be able to recommend Beech-Nut® Naturals™. Beech-Nut® Naturals™ is a line of baby food purees that is inspired by homemade, made with real fruits and real veggies.

How many times have you been in your grocery store and looked at a label and you weren’t able to pronounce many of the ingredients? With Beech-Nut® Naturals™ that isn’t the case because each jar is made only with simple, 100% natural ingredients.

We love that Beech-Nut® Naturals™ is accessible and available right in our local grocery store and that it is something that parents can easily grab to feed their babies and feel great about it! Beech-Nut® Naturals™ is really simply real food for babies™!

When your doctor advises your baby is ready (typically around 4 months) to start solids you can pick up the Stage 1 which are simple single ingredient jars such as:

  • Just Sweet potatoes
  • Just Apples
  • Bananas
  • Just Carrots
  • Just Green Beans
  • Just Butternut Squash
  • Prunes

Once your baby has conquered Stage 1 you can move to the Stage 2 (typically around 6 months) which  introduces perfect pairings of two or more foods:

  • Just Pear & Blueberry
  • Banana Orange Pineapple
  • Just Apple & Kale
  • Apple & Pumpkin
  • Just Sweet Corn & Green Beans
  • Just Carrot, Corn & Pumpkin
  • Just Spinach, Zucchini & Peas
  • Apple, Cinnamon & Granola

Have you started solid foods with your baby yet? If so, what was the food you chose as your baby’s first food?

xo, Julie

This post is sponsored by Beech-Nut® Naturals™ but the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

News from ABC Kids Expo 2018…Baby Gear Coming Soon!

This week in Las Vegas is the ABC Kids Expo 2018 which is the chance for juvenile brands to showcase their latest and greatest products. This is also the chance for retailers, the general baby gear community and baby gear nerds like me to see what will be coming out later this year and in 2019. This is where the most innovative baby gear launches and we get to see the latest trends in baby gear. Below are just a few of our favorite baby gear products that are coming out of ABC (be sure to come back as we update this post through October 11th):

nuna cudl

(Image credit: Nuna)

From the brand that brought us the Leaf and changed the way we looked at bouncers and the uber popular Nuna Pipa infant car seats comes their latest innovation with the Nuna Cudl Baby Carrier.  The Cudl is 3-in-1 carrier (front facing inward, front facing outward, back) with an integrated infant booster so there is no need for a seperate infant insert. The padded shoulder straps feature magnetic buckles to ensure super easy and secure closures. A storage pouch, built in hood and two infant bibs make this carrier easy for parents to use! (Available early 2019)

Uppababy knox

(Image Credit: Car Seats for the Littles)

The UPPABaby Vista and Cruz changed the game when it came to strollers and have had the competition chasing them for years. The UPPABaby Mesa has been a popular infant car seat for parents to use seamlessly with the Vista but now UPPAbaby is bringing us the next step with the UPPABaby Knox Convertible car seat. We don’t have too many details yet but we do know it features visual confirmation that the car seat is installed correctly, a nine position no-rethread hardness and a multi-directional tether. The Knox will be available in four fashions. (Available Summer 2019)

clek liing

(Image Credit: Clek)

Clek is known for their innovation in safety, fabrics and fashions when it comes to convertible seats and booster seats so we have anxiously been awaiting their latest announcement that they are launching an infant car seat. The Clek Liing is suitable for babies from 4-35 lbs, weighs 9 lbs, offers a European belt path and a load leg.  (Available February 2019)

Halo DreamNest

(Image Credit: Halo)

Halo has always been a leader in sleep safety and now they are offering a product that is not only for safe sleep but also may help babies and parents get more sleep. The Halo DreamNest 3-in-1 grows with your child from a rocking bassinet, to portable crib to travel cot. It features an open air sleep system with breathable mesh mattress and the EasySway rocker attachment allows you to gently soothe your baby to sleep. The bassinet attachement and EasySway rocker attachment work with your baby up to 15 pounds. (Available January 2019)

silver cross coast

The Silver Cross Coast is the latest in the single to double stroller game! The Coast is lighter and more streamlined than the Wave by Silver Cross which will have a lot of new parents celebrating. With the addition of the tandem seats and car seat adapters (it is currently compatible with Maxi Cosi, Nuna and Cybex) there are 17 total configurations. With the Coast you still get all the beauty and manufacturing expertise that Silver Cross brings. This stroller has a black frame with black chrome features and a textured fabric including an ombre seat fabric. Bassinet Included. (Available for pre-order now)

Ergobaby Cool Air Mesh Omni 360 Review

October 1 – 7th, 2018 is International Baby Wearing which is a week-long opportunity to celebrate, promote and advocate for the many benefits of baby wearing. From slings, to wraps to soft-structured carriers there are products at all price points and fashions that make baby wearing work for all types of families. You can grab one of our favorites (as well as a few great accessories) here!

There are so many proven benefits to baby wearing…

  • Strengthens the bond between you and baby
  • Allows you to get things done hands free (BIG bonus if you have older kids)
  • Reduces infant crying!!!
  • Aids in baby’s physical and emotional development
  • Promotes early language development

If we had to name one winner in the soft-structured carrier game this week it would be the all new Ergobaby Omni Cool Air Mesh 360! Thanks to the comfy, personalized fit and cool mesh fabric you can carry baby and be hands free longer. It is super easy to switch baby from facing in to facing out thanks to the quick sliders. The Ergobaby Omni Cool Air Mesh 360 works with your newborn at 7lbs up to your toddler at 45lbs and requires no infant insert. Check out our full video review…

Happy Carrying! xo, Julie

 

Disclosure: Ergobaby provided free product for review. However, all opinions are my own.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means, we may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase something from a link we post because we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you anything. We appreciate your support!

4 Steps to Dressing Your Body Post Baby

Congratulations, your baby has arrived and mommyhood has taken you by the reigns. You have so much to focus on that getting dressed should be the least of your worries! Here are a four  simple tips to help as you start to dress your ever changing postpartum body:

Boob Fast Food T-Shirt Bra
  1. Be sure you’re wearing the right size undergarments! Get fitted to find your true bra size and keep those girls up. Don’t be afraid of going up in underwear size either.  Your new body is temporary and the point is to feel comfortable and have the perfect fit. Your clothes will feel and look better if the foundation underneath is solid! Trust me.

    Hatch, The Classic White
  2. Bodies don’t just spring back once baby is out, sadly. Maternity clothes will still be your friend over the next couple months, and that’s OK! In fact, it’ll be flattering, especially your maternity jeans. If nursing, you’ll also want to invest in some nursing friendly tops for ease and to be sure you are comfortable. As always, mixing and matching maternity and regular clothes according to what fits your body best is effective outfit planning.

    Ingrid & Isabel Essentials Cozy Wrap
  3. Layers add effortless style, create a shapely figure, provide warmth (for you and baby) and can make nursing in public a breeze. Cargo/leather/denim jackets, cardigans or scarves are great examples. Blanket scarves are super cozy for winter months and lightweight scarves are great for summer months. These even double up as blankets or sun shields if ever in a pinch! #winning

    Chewbeads Perry Necklace
  4. Lastly, and my favorite, are pops of color. Lots of new moms (even non-moms) can be self-conscious about their mid-section. Sticking to dark colors around wherever you’re uncomfortable and drawing attention to accessories with a bolder color for your earrings, shoes, lip gloss or manicure are fabulously fun distractions!

At the end of the day, you’re in survival mode keeping both you and baby comfortable. Plan ahead with some basics for you that make throwing on an outfit effortless. You’d be surprised at how looking pulled together and even getting a compliment from a stranger can really boost your mood.

Angela is a personal stylist and CT mom of 3 who loves helping women look and feel their best. Through her mindful services, she intends to get to the root of your true style so that you can confidently express your inner beauty on the outside too. Whether it’s a closet edit, in-person shopping session, wardrobe restyling out of your own closet, or virtual styling, her mission is to simplify your wardrobe goals and to guide you to effortlessly expressing your own unique fashion sense. Check her out at Styling Seed

Top 5 Picks From The New York Baby Show

This last weekend was the New York Baby Show which is the largest show for new and expecting parents in the country and of course we had to go check it out. Whether they were testing out strollers on the stroller track, listening to one of the expert seminars or just checking out all the gear there was definitely an energetic buzz from the more than 5000 attendees at this year’s show.  There were so many great brands and our favorite pieces of gear were there but the below were my top 5 new finds:

  1. Summer Infant 3D PAC cs+ – Over the last year we have seen an explosion of great travel or lightweight strollers! The Summer Infant 3D PAC cs+ is one that is full of great features with a tiny fold and Summer Infant has still managed to keep the price low. This stroller weighs in at only 16 lbs, offers a belly bar, adjustable footrest, extra storage pocket and comes with both a cell phone holder and cup holder. Like many of these strollers, the fold is the star of the Summer Infant 3D PAC cs+ with a one hand, self standing fold that includes a shoulder strap. Oh and did we mention it is compatible with Graco and Chicco car seats (with the use of built-in straps)? All of this and the Summer Infant 3D PAC cs+ only retails for $149. You can purchase it now here and to see our video of the fold head here.
  2. La Petitie Creme – French moms don’t use baby wipes – who knew?? Instead French moms use a reusable cloth and a cream or lotion to clean their little ones at each diaper change. Honestly, at first I was a little skeptical but once I felt this 100% all natural alternative to baby wipes I was totally sold!  La Petite Creme is made with only five ingredients; Olive Oil, Water, Limewater, Beeswax, Glycerin and Vitamin E. You simply put a small amount on a cloth and then wipe your little ones bottom like you normally would with a wipe. What is left behind is a super soft oily residue that works as a preventive diaper cream. You can purchase yours here.                                              
  3. Romp & Roost – Moms of multiples this one is for you!! Romp & Roost is stylish, over-sized play area or sleep space. This play yard includes a patented, removable divider that separates the space into two spacious spaces with an airy mess fabric. The Romp & Roost features large wheels with brakes and a convenient carry bag making it perfect for trips to grandma. This is one of those pieces of gear that is simple but super smart and you can purchase it now here.                                                                                                 
  4. Maxi-Cosi Magellan-Max 5-in-1 – This new seat by Maxi-Cosi may truly be the only car seat you ever need to buy as this car seat will grow with your child from birth up to 120 pounds (or to the end of the 10 year warranty which ever comes first). Thanks to the 7 recline positions, 3-level back shell height adjustments, no rethread harness with a magnetic chest clip and 14-point head rest adjustments you can ensure your child is always in the safest and most comfortable position. This seat can be used rear facing from 5-40 lbs, forward facing from 22-65 lbs and in booster mode from 40-120 lbs (in booster mode there is a great compartment to store away the harness). The Magellan Max 5-in-1 includes two dishwasher safe cup holders and all the fabric is removable and machine washable and dryer safe. Yep…machine washable and dryer safe! This is still in pre-order but we will update as soon as it starts shipping soon. 
  5. Babo Botanicals – Pure, organic, solution oriented, natural, non-toxic, effective and safe are all things parents want in products going on their baby’s skin and Babo Botanicals are all of those! Whether your baby has eczema or simply dry skin or you just want an effective sunscreen that is going to be safe for your little one Babo Botanicals has the right product. These smell amazing, they feel amazing on your skin and they can be used for the whole family. Babo Botanicals also offers amazing products for mom like tinted suncreens, stretch mark oil and lip tints. You can purchase your newborn set and more here.

Special thanks to Mom Trends for having us in the comfy VIP/Blogger Lounge and for a great lunch!

xo, Julie

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means, we may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase something from a link we post because we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you anything. We appreciate your support!

New York Baby Show 2018 Ticket Giveaway

COMING SOON! The 2018 New York Baby Show, on May 19 & 20 at Pier 94 will once again be the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country. Not just because it is in my backyard, this show is one of my favorite all year and I hope to see lots of you there!

Now in its 8th year, no other event provides a better experience for expectant and new families from New York and neighboring counties, seeking a family-friendly jamboree of top brands, great speakers and seminars, big giveaways, and lots of learning, support, bonding, and fun.

We are giving away 10 FREE tickets for you and your family to experience the show.  Normal ticket price is $30 per family (for 2 adults and up to 4 children), and $20 per individual. Hurry and use the link below to grab one of these free tickets.

 Free Tickets

If you weren’t lucky enough to get a free ticket you can still enjoy 50% off tickets (family or single).

50% Off Tickets

Once you grab your tickets send me an email (julie@babynavbabyplanners.com) and let me know you are going to be there! I would love to say hello! 🙂

xo, Julie

Top 3 Expert Baby Bump Styling Tips

You’re pregnant! Congratulations and welcome to this amazing next chapter of your life.  As your baby grows, so do you and getting dressed can become frustrating, to say the least. That uncomfortable stage where it’s not yet an obvious baby bump and potentially just some extra weight around the waistline can leave you feeling frumpy, which isn’t good for anybody. Sometimes, women prefer to not invest in maternity style because it’s a temporary stage for your body, but if it negatively affects how you feel daily, keep reading to learn how a good outfit can boost your mood.

A Pea in the Pod Joe’s Secret Fit Belly Skinny Leg Maternity Jeans

1. To start, you can get away with your regular threads, leaning towards leggings, flowy or asymmetrical tops, over-sized shirts, jeans expanded by your elastic hair-tie, maybe a bra adjuster to expand your bra. But once that gets uncomfortable, I highly recommend finding the right pair of maternity jeans. Trust me, you won’t want to get out of them! (And you’ll be sporting them post-baby too.) Don’t make the mistake of buying regular clothes a size up because maternity lines stay true to your size and fit in flattering ways to show off your baby bump. Stick to the color and patterns that appeal to you and make that belly your greatest accessory!

Old Navy Maternity Bodycon Scoop-Neck Dress

2. Shopping maternity doesn’t need to break the bank. H&M, Old Navy (the above dress is only $20!), Target, and ASOS all carry fun styles that are budget friendly. If you’re into designer brands, A Pea in the Pod, Isabella Oliver, Nordstrom, and Hatch always have a solid selection for both quality and fit. You’ll definitely get plenty of wear out of your maternity clothes, plus maybe miles for another pregnancy, handing down to a good friend, or even consignment.

Ingrid & Isabel at Nordstrom

3. Not everything needs to be maternity! Wisely mix and match. A fabulous way to elevate a simple maternity dress is to wear it with your chic blazer, leather or denim jackets…no need to zip up! You could even wear a dress with a cool pair of sneakers for comfort and style. In addition, make the most of bold accessories to glam up any plain outfit. Accessories always fit, right?! Whether you’re wearing all black, colors, floral, or stripes, be sure you’re comfortable because true beauty shines with confidence.

If you’re still feeling stuck, create a Pinterest board to figure out a style you love. Or hire a personal stylist to get you through it by really digging into your closet and doing the legwork of shopping. Pregnant women are glowing and gorgeous. Try your best to embrace it!

Angela is a personal stylist and CT mom of 3 who loves helping women look and feel their best. Through her mindful services, she intends to get to the root of your true style so that you can confidently express your inner beauty on the outside too. Whether it’s a closet edit, in-person shopping session, wardrobe restyling out of your own closet, or virtual styling, her mission is to simplify your wardrobe goals and to guide you to effortlessly expressing your own unique fashion sense. Check her out at Styling Seed

Best St. Patrick’s Day Baby Gear (and some for mom too)

On St. Patrick’s Day we are all a little bit Irish! We have selected our favorite green gear to make sure you and baby are safe from pinches. And as a bonus we found all these on Amazon and they are all available with Prime so you can be sure they will arrive on time!

From cribs to bibs and everything in between check out our list of more than 35 green products on our Amazon Influencer page HERE! Don’t wait…some of these items are selling out quickly!

xo, Julie

 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means, we may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase something from a link we post because we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you anything. We appreciate your support!

Stylish (and Still Safe) Baby Proofing Products

Safety is always a priority but over the month of September it gets extra attention because it is Baby Safety Month. Baby gear and making sure parents know how to use baby gear safely is a real passion for me but safety doesn’t end there. There are a lot less glamorous things to talk about when it comes to safety (and yes, toilet locks are on that list). Check out the below for some of our favorite baby  gear products that are super safe and functional but also come with a look that you won’t mind:

  1. Puj Snug Spout Cover – This ultra soft, flexible and mildew resistant spout cover will not only keep your little one safe in the tub but its modern design will keep you and baby happy.
  2. Qdos Crystal Gate – Made with professional acrylic and tested to meet the most rigorous safety standards, the Qdos Crystal Gate brings a contemporary modern design to match the beauty of your home.
  3. West Elm Walton Ottoman – Instead of constantly worrying about your little one bumping into the corners of your coffee table go for something softer. The Walton Ottoman offers a double padded cushion and is big enough for your coffee table needs or to just put your tired feet up.
  4. Rhoost Table Corner Guards – Whether you need to protect your little walker against the edges of your kitchen countertops, your dining room table or your coffee table the Rhoost Corner Guards will adjust to fit and won’t damage your furniture by using adhesive.
  5. Safety Baby Self-Closing Outlet Cover – These covers will fully replace your outlet covers to ensure the utmost safety while also leaving you without plugs all over your house.
  6. Little Nomad Playmat – These non-toxic foam mats are made with interlocking 2 x 2 tiles to create a beautiful surface that is safe for baby to roll and play while looking amazing in your home.

xo, Julie

Note: These items are only a small list of the items you need to fully baby proof your home and does not cover everything needed to keep baby safe. Always follow manufacturers directions and if needed hire a professional baby proofer. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means, we may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase something from a link we post because we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you anything. We appreciate your support!