10 Trusted Resources for Expecting Parents During Quarantine

Expecting parents are always inundated with information but right now it is harder than ever to know who to trust. Below please find a list of trusted online resources and sources of expert information:

  • Sources for coronavirus related information for pregnancy:
  • Twiniversity (THE resource if you are expecting multiples and you can now take their classes online.)
  • Pregnant Chicken (Great info on all things pregnancy and baby gear related with a good sense of humor which we could all use right now.)
  • Birth Day Presence (This NYC based provider of prenatal classes is now offering live online classes including childbirth education, newborn care and infant CPR.)
  • Evidence Based Birth (A site created by a nurse who wanted to share the most current, evidence-based information on pregnancy and childbirth. She has added a comprehensive resource page dedicated to Covid-19.)
  • LYNZY & CO (Make sure you follow her on Instagram. She’s a working Physician’s Assistant in an ER, she’s currently expecting her 4th child, she has openly shared her family’s experience with Covid-19 and she shares good fact based info on pregnancy.)
  • Obe Fitness (If you are looking for online prenatal fitness classes look no further. The app offers on-demand fitness classes you can stream and there is an entire section of strength, yoga and cardio prenatal classes.)
  • Ask an Expert (Use this feature to access our swift, unbiased, expert  information on any baby gear or registry questions.)

xo, Julie

FREE Registry or Gear Consultations During Quarantine

My goal with the services we provide at BabyNav has always been to remove as much stress as possible for expecting parents so they can focus on a happy and healthy pregnancy. I can not imagine a time where this could be more important than right now!

This time of year is typically the busiest time of the year for registry creations, baby shower preparations and buying up lots of baby gear. With our country on quarantine it’s impossible for expecting parents to test drive strollers, head to a baby store to feel how a car seat feels on their arm or try on a baby carrier. It is also impossible for expecting parents to head to the store with friends and family members to get advice on what to add to their registry.

Most expecting parents right now are primarily concerned about protecting their health, the health of their baby and what is going to happen when they head to the hospital/birthing center when they go into labor. Expecting parents shouldn’t have any of the added stress right now of picking out the right bottles or if organic onesies are necessary. We want to support as many of those expecting parents as possible which is why we are going to make our registry and gear services free until May 15th, 2020.

What does that mean exactly? For each expecting parent that reaches out to us we will provide a free  1-hour virtual session for registry or gear consulting (no strings attached at all). If your registry is already started or completed we will review it and let you know what you might be missing or what items you simply don’t need. If you haven’t started your registry we can spend our time reviewing the big ticket items and what works best for your family. You can bring a list of questions on categories or specific brands and we will discuss what works best for your growing family. As an added bonus at the end of every call I will send each expecting parent a list of must-have and nursery stocking items to ensure you have time to shop for everything you need in advance of baby’s arrival.

To set up a virtual consultation simply send an email to info@babynavbabyplanners.com with the subject “FREE consultation” and we will get our time together set up.

Hope you and your families are all safe and healthy! Looking forward to lots of Zoom calls with expecting families! xo, Julie

Must Have Registry List (Free Printable)

Choosing the gear that you will add to your baby registry can be a fun and exciting process but realizing the amount of baby gear available can become quickly overwhelming. This checklist will make sure that you have all the essentials that you need without all the other stuff you don’t. Take this list with you to the store you have chosen to register and pick the items in these categories that fit your personal preference, budget, lifestyle and home design. Look for products that are JPMA certified so you guarantee you are getting the safest products available for your baby!

(Right click on the below image and hit “save image as” to save to your computer and print for your personal use.) 

xo, Julie

Expecting Parent Checklist (Free Printable)

Congratulations! This is a very exciting time in your life but we also know it can get a little (okay a LOT) overwhelming. In the months ahead you may start to feel like there is a never ending list of decisions to make and things to do. Please print and use the below check-list as a guide of “things to do” as you navigate through your pregnancy journey.  We hope that by consolidating this list it will allow you to plan, prepare and take some of the stress out of one of the most precious times in your life!

(Right click on the below image and hit “save image as” to save to your computer and print for your personal use.) 

xo, Julie

Tuesday Introduction: Devi Ma Yoga

When I first met Kelly and heard her story and inspiration behind Devi Ma I was so intrigued. Devi Ma Yoga is so much more than yoga classes and Kelly brings so much experience and wisdom to each of the classes she teaches. I love the approach and flexibility that expecting and new parents can find at Devi Ma Yoga. Read on to hear more about Kelly’s story and what you will find at Devi Ma.

How long ago did you start Devi Ma Yoga and what inspired you?

Devi Ma Yoga opened in November 2018. It was another step on an amazing journey that began back in 2005 when I first started teaching prenatal yoga and Yoga for Labor and Delivery workshops.

However, I was originally inspired toward this work in the 1990s, as a result of my own experiences during pregnancy while living on the reservation in South Dakota. It was here that I glimpsed the powerful spirituality and traditions of pregnancy and birth which is deeply revered by First Nations people, yet starkly juxtaposed to the lack of services and modern realities of reservation life.

When I began teaching Yoga for Labor and Delivery, I realized just how important it is for women and their partners to know much more about birth, how the body and mind adjusts, options, questions to ask and what to expect. I also realized that a good number of women were not fully receiving this information and feeling “not heard”, dissatisfied with their birth experience, and generally disempowered by the system. I observed many women seeking a more meaningful, informed and even spiritual experience in welcoming their baby. This is when I made it one of my goals to offer classes that not only addressed the physical aspects of birth, but also the profound emotional, mental and spiritual aspects that are often overlooked. In 2006, I was nudged forward in this work yet again as I supported my sister’s birth and caught my niece upon her entry into the world. Since this time, I have supported over 70 births. Most recently, I supported the birth of my daughter-in-law and son, welcoming a new grandson Earth-side. In all of these births, I am always deeply struck by the awesome, innate power of women.

When considering names for my studio I was searching for something that captured this innate and powerful energy. Devi Ma seemed like the perfect name. It is a Sanskrit term meaning “goddess mother” and it represents the inherent abundance, power and creative force of the feminine… at all stages of life.

What types of classes do you offer?

I offer yoga classes that include prenatal and mom & baby yoga. I also offer Yin Goddess yoga which focuses on the deep transformations of peri-meno, menopause and beyond. In addition, a “regular” yoga class called Hatha Elements is on the schedule. This is a traditional yoga and meditation practice for both women and men of all ages. Fertility yoga classes will be on the schedule soon, but privates are available now.

I provide a comprehensive childbirth education series (3 classes) that guide parents-to-be through the last weeks of pregnancy, the entire birth process, and the realities of the first six weeks with baby. One of the unique aspects of my childbirth education series is that you get to choose when you take the classes, how many classes you take, and the order in which you attend. The website has a full description of the classes and my approach/philosophy on birth at: yogadevi.mom

My studio also offers workshops, guest speakers, doula services and doula training as well as yoga teacher trainings at both the basic and graduate levels. The yoga trainings I offer are: 200 hour Basic Yoga Teacher Training, Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, Yin Yoga Teacher Training, and continuing education workshops for yoga teachers, including a course I developed in 2009 called Adapting Asana for Prenatal Yoga Students.

How are your classes unique to the classes at my local hospital or gym yoga classes? Where do your classes take place?

Classes at Devi Ma encompass a traditional yoga practice that goes beyond just the practice of physical yoga poses. In addition to movement, we practice yogic breath, meditation and relaxation techniques that serve as effective tools for birth and beyond. We sing to babies, work on subtle body alignment (chakras), address pelvic floor integrity, changes in breast tissue, discuss tips and resources, and find time to just chat. Classes are designed to nurture the “whole woman” by addressing the profound physical, emotional, mental and spiritual transformations of pregnancy and motherhood. As a seasoned doula, childbirth educator and prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher, I combine all of my skill bases for a more comprehensive and informative class. Beyond the average yoga class, my goal is to guide women in how to trust their body, release trepidation surrounding birth and breastfeeding, and reconnect with their internal wisdom. In this way they can navigate the rapid shifts of pregnancy and motherhood with greater understanding, ease and calm.

What does your daily schedule look like? How do you divide your time and priorities between your kids, your husband, your home and your business?

Most of my classes are held in the mornings, evenings, or weekends. But, when I am on-call as a doula, I never know when (or how long) I will be at a birth. In this way, my schedule is sometimes a moving target. In between classes, I prepare lesson plans, update and write training curriculums, mentor new doulas and yoga teachers, and run a business.

My children are now grown. But, I am mom to a very gregarious and talkative parrot. As any bird parent will tell you, caring for a parrot is very similar to having a small child in terms of the care, daily routine and attention they require. So this is actually the anchor that keeps me centered in maintaining a routine that also includes time for myself and my husband every week.

Is there one piece of baby gear that you tell a new mom she needs to have for breastfeeding?

The Haakaa breast milk collector is great for catching milk that leaks from the opposite breast as you are nursing baby. My daughter-in-law used one and said it best: “This was a lifesaver the first three months, and I built up a good stash just doing this.”

Thanks Kelly!

xo, Julie

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

Swanling Innovations Giveaway

We’re celebrating sleep safety for infants and children with a special giveaway with our friends over at Swanling Innovations! One lucky winner will receive a Swanling Slumber Sleeper™ and a 2-hour BabyNav gift certificate for a phone/Skype consultation! It’s so easy to enter…all you have to do is fill out the form below with your information! We would also love for you to share the giveaway with your friends and family so they can get in on the fun!

What is the Swanling Slumber Sleeper™?

swanling-JULY-6-2

The Slumber Sleeper® is one of the best sleep aids available for young children as it comforts babies and children allowing them to sleep longer and safer. The all-in-one safe sleep solution combines a sleep sack, fitted sheet, flat sheet, and mattress protector. It is also recognized as “Hip Healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. Recommended by Pediatricians, especially for younger children who have started to roll over in their sleep but cannot roll back, the Slumber Sleeper, with its built in stretch fabric, regulates babies rolling so that they do not get stuck on their stomach in the nighttime. Once the child reaches the gross motor development stage then more movement in the Sleeper can occur as the child grows.

What does the 2-hour BabyNav consultation entail?

sleepplanning

BabyNav will work with your family to understand your lifestyle and your expectations and goals to create a custom timeline of everything that needs to get done. Babies love routine and you will too after working with BabyNav to create a custom routine. We will work together to develop a routine that reinforces play time, quiet time, feeding time, and sleeping time.

Please fill out the form below to enter the giveaway!

* indicates required field

Thank you so much for entering!

Do I really need a baby planner?

Based on the fact that you are reading this on a baby planning site I know you are probably thinking that the answer to the above question is obviously  “yes” but I would say the answer is “maybe not”. Wait, there is more!

There are some people that truly need the extra care and support but for most people having a baby planner isn’t truly a necessity. However, for almost every family that is expecting having a baby planner can be very beneficial. Having a baby planner can give you valuable time back, can actually save you money (more on that in a minute) and will definitely save you some unnecessary stress.

While baby planners are not medical professionals and should never give you any medical advice they can help you with information on almost any other topic related to your pregnancy, baby gear or getting started with baby at home. Baby planners are often very connected to the community and those that offer services intended for expecting moms and new parents. We call these our “concierge services”  but you may just see these listed as “friends” on other baby planner sites.

Any baby planner that you would work with should have a vast amount of knowledge related to baby gear. Baby planners are able to provide advice on what pieces of gear you need and which ones you simply don’t need to bring into your home (this is where the money saving comes into play) based on your lifestyle. Often when you walk into a store to register for items for your baby shower you are given a very long list of items that you should register for….but no one needs all of that gear! A baby planner can help you determine not only which type of gear but provide recommendations on which brands and products where you would get the most use and value.

Here are a few things clients have said after working with us:
Here are a few things clients have said after working with us:

So how do you get started in the search for and hiring a baby planner? First, there may be very few if any in your immediate area but most baby planners offer some level of their services via email, Skype or over the phone. We are based in New York but have worked with families all over the US and Canada. Check out www.internationalbabyplanners.com for a listing of baby planners. Here are a things to think about when hiring a baby planner:

1. Ask them how many clients they have worked with on the specific services that you are interested in.

2. Test their gear knowledge (ask them their thoughts on the latest and greatest). You want them to be 100% up to date on the latest gear that is available and all safety standards.

3. Ask for references and call previous clients.

4. Look up articles they have written and watch any appearances they may have made.

You may decide that having a baby planner come along as you register or as you start to get your nursery in order are what works best for you. You may decide having them help you get your education classes booked and in hiring your nanny will be the most beneficial. Or you may decide after a consultation that there are no services that would be truly beneficial to your family (but I doubt that!).

xo, Julie

the Ivy Joy benefit

I am proud to share that BabyNav is taking a little part in something amazing being organized by my dear friend Jordon at Georgia Grace. Georgia Grace is sold through trunk representatives and one of those, Mary, has been on a long road with her adoptive daughter and her congenital heart defect. Most recently Ivy Joy had her 5th open heart surgery which was unexpected and required an air ambulance to Boston! Jordon and her team at Georgia Grace have organized the “the Ivy Joy benefit” which includes some amazing raffles and all the proceeds will go to Mary and her family! Starting Monday, January 28th you will be able to visit the Georgia Grace Big Cartel Site and the Georgia Grace Facebok page to purchase a $1 ticket for each item for a chance to win. The more tickets the more chances to win! BabyNav has donated a 1 hour Skype consultation for the service of your choice (baby gear consulting or custom sleep plan/routine development).

You may know that congenital heart defects (CHD) are very close to my heart every day. (If not, you can read our story here.) I am really excited for this benefit as I am anything that raises awareness for CHD but this also helps a really special little girl and her mom. I have never met Mary personally but through her honest and open sharing of Ivy Joy’s story I have developed so much respect and admiration for her.

I encourage you to check out Georgia Grace, read Ivy’s story and to participate in the Ivy Joy benefit. Not only are you going to have the chance to win some amazing raffles you will be helping an amazing mom and her family!

xoxo, Julie