Category Archives: Favorite Things
Every small child I have ever known (myself included) loves a good streetcar ride. During my years as a nanny, I went on countless streetcar rides up and down St. Charles Avenue. We’d ride to the park, the French Quarter, and to (my personal favorite) PJ’s Coffee. Last night, while T’s Mai Mai was visiting, we decided to take a little streetcar ride to get some coffee. T was a HUGE fan. There was so much to look at, and so many people to flirt with. Couldn’t resist sharing a few pictures of the fun!
I’m a blur in this one, but T is clear as day.
Enjoying the breeze!
Okay, Okay, what on EARTH do I know about style? I know you’re all thinking it, so I figured I’d just go ahead and say it for you!
The majority of clothes in my closet fall into one of the following categories: clearance rack chic, conservative teacher clothes, easy mom clothes, didn’t have time to iron ensembles, and hand me down couture. I know so little about fashion, that I had to spell-check “couture!” I don’t think I’ve ever purchased anything over $100. Not even my wedding dress. It was $99. So, why am I writing a post about “fashion?”
Well, I’m glad you asked. When you become a mom, your wardrobe choices change. When you’re breastfeeding, those choices are even more drastically different. See, all you’re thinking when you get dressed in the morning is, “What can I wear that I can feed my baby in without exposing everything God gave me? And won’t show any possible spit up stains?” Seriously, what to wear when we left the house plagued my thoughts and mind for the first three months of T’s life. So, here are my fashion rules of breastfeeding, in convenient bullet form. With pictures. Enjoy!
- Wear Layers. Simple enough. If you wear a tank top that you can pull down below your boob, and a shirt you can pull up over your boob, you won’t risk flashing. The top of your breast is covered by your shirt, and your belly is covered by your tank top. Target has some great nursing tanks that I wear under everything. Especially in the early days of breastfeeding, nursing tanks are pretty helpful! Since they have shelf bra built in, you can forget wearing a nursing bra and just put nursing pads inside of the shelf bra. They’re $16.99, which isn’t terrible for nursing tanks. But, I’ve also found (now that we’re a little better a the whole breastfeeding thing) that the $8 camisoles from Old Navy really work just as well. You just have to wear a bra under them. This is the easiest “nursing style” I have discovered. And, it allows you to wear ALMOST ANYTHING in your closet. As long as the shirt you choose can be lifted up, you’re good to go!
As my fashionista friend Caitlyn would say… “remember to accessorize!” See the cute necklace and T-strap sandals? That’s for her! I almost never remember to put on accessories. Something about not having enough time? You can layer a tank under a cute pullover sweater, like the one pictured, or you can put it under a regular Tshirt, a silky blouse, a cowl-neck shirt… the possibilities are endless!
- Utilize Buttons. I’m not just a huge fan of button down shirts. I wear them a lot though, because they’re another easy way to breastfeed discreetly. If you only have to unbutton a few buttons, you won’t be showing much when you feed your baby. Look for a more structured, fitted style, and tuck it into a belted pencil skirt or find a looser, menswear-y shirt and wear it with untucked over jeans. My favorite are loose, short sleeved henleys. What’s a henley, you ask? I didn’t know either, I had to google search “tshirts with a few buttons at the top” to find that word. As it turns out, I have five or six henleys in my closet. They are my favorite thing to wear! I wear them with jeans, shorts, and tuck them into my skirts. Since they have a few buttons at the top, they make breastfeeding a breeze. I’m sure you see where this is going… it’s all about the boob access. I have buttons in every form… traditional button downs, henleys, dresses that button down the front… They’re quite handy, these buttons! How cute would that red blouse look with a pair of skinny jeans and some black flats? I know, right!
- Rock a Scarf. Not only are scarves cute and stylish… they are pretty handy for covering up when nursing! Now, here in Southeast Louisiana, it’s waaaaaaaay too hot to wear even a light scarf until AT LEAST September… but that’s soon, and I plan on rocking scarves all through the fall. What a cute way to breastfeed. Much cuter than any nursing cover I’ve seen!
- Cardigan + Tank Top. You can pull a tank top down and use the cardigan you’re wearing to keep yourself (mostly) covered. Anytime I’ve ever worn such an outfit, I’ve had to drape a blanket around us. It can be done though! Outfits like this are super easy to pull together, though, and they do offer a certain amount of modesty. You can belt a long cardigan at the waist, or wear a drapey open front cardigan (especially handy, since it doubles as a nursing cover). If you’ve known me for long, you know that I’m a pretty huge fan of the cardigan. I always have been. In fact, my husband often mocks me because of it… Oh well. It works, right? I stand by my motto: there’s nothing cuter than a girl in a cardigan!
- Wrap Up. Wraps are incredibly easy to nurse in, as they slide right over to the side for easy boob access. Pair it with a great nursing bra, and you’re all set! Plus, wraps (and faux wraps, too!) make it easier to wear dresses when you’re nursing. I love wearing dresses, but pre-T, most of the dresses in my closet would require me to strip down entirely naked just to feed him. While that would be possible (although not convenient) at home, it would be just a little awkward anywhere else. A wrap dress enables you to breastfeed WITH your clothes on! Isn’t this floral maxi dress just the cutest?? I pretty much cried when I saw the price tag. $650 at J.Crew. Too bad.
- Ditch the Diaper Bag. After T was born, I felt like SUCH a frumpy mom carrying his basic black SkipHop diaper bag. I wanted something pretty that didn’t scream “DIAPER BAG.” But it also had to be big and functional. I went to Fossil and invested in a nice, big, leather cross body tote. It has worked wonderfully. It had enough pockets to organize all of T’s accessories, and it was a nice bag. I’ve since learned that when it comes to carrying around baby stuff, there are very few items you actually need to have with you. Here’s my list of essentials. They’ll fit into almost any large purse:3 diapers, wipes case, burp rag, extra onesie, lightweight blanket, paci. The blanket does double (and sometimes triple) duty. It can serve as a nursing wrap, a changing pad, and you can also use it as a blanket (duh.) I ditched my diaper bag when T was about 12 weeks old, and I haven’t looked back since!
Happy Fashion-ing, Friends!
Yep… More of our favorites! These items have really silly names. So if you are reading this blog and you don’t have kids… feel free to have a chuckle. The first time I heard of these products, I laughed. Not to go off on a tangent here, but does anyone ever think that they make WAAAAAAAAY too many baby items? I mean, seriously… and they convince you that you ab-so-lutely NEED every single one of them. It’s ridiculous. And genius.
Thankfully, we received about a million hand-me-downs, so we were able to try out all the different toys without having to shell out so much cash. That’s the most important part of having a baby… make sure someone you know has a baby BEFORE you, so you can get all the great hand-me-downs! Anyways, on with the list:
1. The Bumbo. If you look at my pictures on Facebook, then you know that we are pretty big Bumbo fans. According to our family, this item can also be referred to as the “bumper,” the “bummer,” and (my personal favorite) the “bimbo.”
T started using this around 6 weeks… basically as soon as he could hold his head up well enough to try it out. The second I put him in it, it was his favorite. He loves being upright so he can see the world, and the Bumbo helps him do that. T is still using the Bumbo quite a bit these days, although he usually prefers to be free to roll around on the floor. He likes to sit in it on the bathroom counter when I’m doing my hair and makeup in the mornings. He also likes to be on the kitchen counter when I’m cooking dinner. Basically… as long as we put the Bumbo in the center of all the action, T is a happy camper. I can’t imagine where he gets that from! When we were on vacation at the beach, I came back from shopping to find T in the Bumbo on the coffee table. All the guys were sitting around him playing cards, and he was just as happy as can be. He was about 10 weeks then.
2. The Boppy. Now, in our house, these two items get confused very often. I will get T up from his nap and ask John to grab the Boppy for me so I can nurse the little guy. John will come back with the Bumbo. This happens approximately twice a day. It becomes an interesting version of Who’s on First when I repeatedly ask him for the Boppy and he insists that he already brought it to me. Meanwhile, poor T just wants his lunch and could not possibly care less whether or not we have all the proper feeding accessories. At first, we had to use the Boppy at every feeding because I was not coordinated enough to support T, and feedings took so long at the beginning that I needed a Boppy and several other pillows to be comfortable. Now that we’re much better at the whole breastfeeding thing, I just like it because I can rest my laptop on it and blog while I feed! 😉 T also likes to recline in the Boppy on the sofa, on our bed, sometimes in his crib for naps, and on the floor. He thinks it’s comfy! Sometimes, John likes to put him on his belly in the Boppy and watch him vault over it. It’s actually pretty impressive.
Lately it seems like all I want to do is buy things on Etsy. Things I like. Things I want. Things I need. If you haven’t checked out Etsy, you should take a minute to do so. It’s like a giant online craft fair.
I have a whole list of items I want to buy, but my favorite by far is this adorable “car caddy.” Clearly it will be a good little while before T is ready for matchbox cars, but I am so in love with this!
It rolls up neatly, so it can fit in my purse. Then, when we’re somewhere boring like the dentist’s office, or a restaurant, or a grown up’s house where there are no toys… Voila! Instant entertainment! Hours of fun!
It unrolls into a little race track road, and has 5 tiny pockets for 5 different matchbox cars. Who doesn’t love tiny pockets?? Plus, the adorable car print is, well, ADORABLE! I may be jumping the gun here, but I’m just about ready to order one (or two, or three…) of these!
I told you I had a lot of favorites… here’s two more for ya! The first, we couldn’t live without! The second, definitely a luxury… but we get SO much use out of it:
1. Awesome swaddle blankets!
T loves being swaddled up tight… although he likes to have one arm out so he can suck his thumb. These blankets are the perfect swaddle blankets if you live in South Louisiana. It’s hot here. They’re muslin. Enough said! Plus, they come in super-cute prints and patterns. Elephants, monkeys, dots, stripes… We have eight of them floating around the house. I use them to swaddle T when he’s sleeping, and I always keep one in the diaper bag to use as a cover when I’m nursing. I used to use a “hooter hider,” but now that it’s so warm out I’ve been opting for these lightweight blankets instead. I can position them so that T’s head is uncovered, which is especially important to him in this heat!
2. Our Cadillac of a stroller:
Okay, I actually have a little experience in the stroller department. Many of you know that I was a nanny for several years in college. I did a lot of babysitting, which means I took a lot of kids on a LOT of outings. I got to test drive a million different strollers during that time. Most of them sucked! When it came time to pick our own stroller, I had a very long list of criteria. This stroller had to be GREAT. We are out and about all the time, so we needed something that wouldn’t be a pain. The Bob stroller is awesome. We have the 12″ version, because 16″ wheels seemed a little much for us– we aren’t runners, but we do go for occasional jogs. We love this thing. It turns on a dime, rolls over potholes with ease (which is incredibly important when your city was built on a swamp. Below sea level.), and isn’t nearly as bulky as I thought it would be. The front wheel locks, so when we use it to take T for a run, we are good to go. It also unlocks and swivels so that we can maneuver more easily. It has shocks, and the sun canopy extends waaaaaay out, so T is never in direct sunlight. Seriously, we love this thing.
It turns out I have a lot of favorite things. In fact, my “favorite things” often change from day to day. There will likely be several subsequent posts in this category… In this post, I’m going to show off two of my current favorite things.
1. These awesome reusable nursing pads!
I know I mentioned these in a previous post, but seriously, I can not get over them! They’re only $2.90 for two pairs, and they’re so adorable. I ordered 4 pairs, and spent less than $10 including shipping! They’re also super soft, and once you “break them in” they don’t show through your shirts. I bought them to use at night since T’s sleeping habits can be a little, uh… unpredictable, and I’d rather not wake up in a puddle. But, they’re so cute, I’ve been using them during the day, too. Plus, I’m sure that I’m saving a ton of money by not buying the disposable ones anymore! My only tip is not to put them in the dryer. I think I’m going to start washing them in a lingerie bag, too, so I won’t risk losing any of them. How terrible to have mismatched pairs of nursing pads! That would be a definite faux pas!
2. The Baby K’Tan!
Okay, the first picture was taken when T was just a little peanut. I used this sling CONSTANTLY when he was that small because I didn’t want germy strangers touching him when we were out and about. Plus, it was much easier to pop him in the sling than to unload the car seat and the stroller, load him into it, maneuver it through the store (and we have a super-maneuverable stroller, too. It’s another one of my favorite things. But, alas, I digress…), and then load it all back up again. Now that T is bigger, I use this sling & my Moby wrap a lot. He used to AL WAYS fall asleep as soon as I put him in the sling, but lately he likes to take in the sights. $55 is more than I normally spend on… well, anything. But, I had a 20% off coupon at diapers.com, and I also qualified for free shipping. So I got a pretty good deal. Plus, T likes to be “held,” and I like to have my hands free, so this sling was definitely worth the money I spent!