Best Pregnancy Clothes: Target! I absolutely loved their stretchy maternity dresses for spring and summer. I lived in them for both work and daily activities! I wasn’t very large during the winter months, so I can’t say if they have great winter options…but when has Target ever let a woman down?
Favorite Prenatals: I searched high and low for a safe prenatal vitamin without a bunch of artificial colors or weird herbs. The one I ended up using was Zahler Prenatal + DHA from Amazon. I now use Rainbow Light Prenatal One from Target (during breastfeeding), as the Zahler brand sometimes gets hard to find due to manufacturer shortages. Both are safe for breastfeeding and have only necessary ingredients. (Image from Target.com)
Best Baby Clothes Stores:
Kohl’s – Make sure to use Ebates* AND look for coupons. They always have at least a 15% off lingering somewhere online or in their mail flyers.
Carter’s and Oshkosh B’Gosh
Zulily – Brand name items for cheap. Items change daily/weekly.
Target – They have the best everything at a good price point. After having a baby and being cooped up inside, Target will feel like a wonderful vacation.
Garage Sales – I hit the jackpot with boys clothes before my son was born. Most were new and all were extremely cheap! Look for sales in local newspapers or online at gsalr.com. I was able to find local sales online even in a small midwestern town.
*Ebates pays you for the shopping you already do online. Click on the link to access their website and see their current deals. I LOVE using them.
Fisher Price Rock n Play: Great for when baby won’t sleep at night. I never let my son sleep in here longer than 1-2 hours. I’ve heard of moms putting baby to sleep all night in the Rock n Play as a newborn. Ultimately, it is their choice, but it weakens the neck muscles and can cause flat spots on the back of the head. Amazon has the best prices for this item.
Pack n Play or Playard: My mom bought the Ingenuity Playard for me and I love it. It’s been great for downstairs during the day or traveling to my parents. The only flaw is that they don’t sell a mattress specifically for this playard. We bought a Dream on Me mattress on Amazon and it works for travel purposes; however, there is a small gap on one side when placed in the playard. Ingenuity does not make a mattress specific to their placard, which was unfortunate for us.
Hand pump and electric pump: I have the Medela brand of both of these. I love having the hand pump next to my bed at night for my oversupply issue. It helps to relieve engorgement without making much noise, as my son sleeps in his crib near our bed. My insurance covered the cost of the electric pump, while the hand pump was an optional item I chose to purchase.
Hat: My son was born in August. In Wisconsin, it starts to get cold shortly after that. I needed a warm, but cute hat. I found a camouflage, faux fur lined winter hat from Patagonia on Moosejaw.com. One of my favorite items I bought him. He always gets compliments on it and it keeps him very warm! If camouflage is not your style, they have many other cute patterns like the one below! (Image from Moosejaw.com)
Baby Carriers: I didn’t start using carriers until my son was about 8 weeks old. To be honest, I hated them. I would get them partially on, not be able to figure it out, and throw them on the floor like a toddler having a tantrum. For the life of me, I could not figure the darn things out. Once I found enough patience to learn, I wished I had done it sooner. I absolutely love the Moby Wrap and the Original Ergo Baby. Both are great for different activities. My son would not nap by himself during the day, so in summer I would strap him into the Moby Wrap and walk around outside with him until he slept for an hour or two. Now that it’s winter, I use the Ergo Baby every time we go to the store. It’s easier to use on the go, and he likes to look around more when we are out. Both are great purchases for a busy, new mom.
Safe makeup: I had the HARDEST time finding makeup that was safe for pregnancy. While all brands are considered, “safe,” I wanted ones free of unnecessary chemicals and unrecognizable ingredients. After months of searching for something inexpensive, Physicians Formula Organic BB and CC cream and their organic mascara were the only ones I found. Some other brands seemed like a good option until I read their sunscreen ingredients. During pregnancy, it is recommended to use only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they don’t sink into the skin. Overall, makeup free is the way to go; however, if you want to throw some on for a night out or work, use Physicians Formula Organic. It has great coverage and good, safe ingredients!
Shampoo: I love natural ingredients. There are so many harsh chemicals in everything these days that it is hard to find a product that works and is safe. The natural shampoo I found that works best is Nature’s Gate. It doesn’t make your hair greasy like so many of the other natural shampoos. I like the chamomile scent. You can also make your own dry shampoo for lazy days, using 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1/4 cup cornstarch. If you have dark hair, just add some unsweetened cocoa powder to better match your hair shade.
Diapers: I tried all the natural brands (Honest Company, Seventh Generation, Babyganics) and found they were not as absorbent as Huggies Little Snugglers. My son had a lot of blow outs in the natural brands. I love that they have no chemicals, but I had to switch to Huggies so he could nap without leaking. Sometimes you need to change your plan as a mom, and this was one of the times I strayed and was glad I did. I still use some type of green (chemical free), scent free wipes for my son. We use a mix of brands. I prefer these, as they are free of harsh chemicals and parabens. The diaper area can get irritated with other types of wipes. Babyganics, Seventh Generation, and Honest Company all have great wipes. Target or Amazon both stock these brands.
Other Lifesavers for Motherhood:
Washable breast pads -Less likely to encourage a bout of mastitis than disposable ones. Bamboobies sells all different kinds.
Pacifiers – I waited until my son was 6 weeks old before introducing them so breastfeeding could be established. My son loves the Mam brand and they have super cute designs.
Sleep sacks – My little guy hated his arms swaddled, so the Halo Sleep Sacks worked great to swaddle him without being too restricted. You can find them online at Amazon or at Target stores.
Click here for Halo Sleep Sack.
Sound Machine – Helps at night to calm the little guy down and get ready for bed. My mom also bought us a whale sound machine, which is no longer available on Amazon. There are many different kinds, but my baby prefers the simple white noise setting over any of the tunes. You may want to look around for this setting.
Washclothes and burp clothes – You can NEVER have enough. Trust me. I prefer the soft, baby specific organic washcloths like The Motherhood Collection, available at Amazon.
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