I've been wanting to write this post for a while, but I didn't quite feel like I was out of survival mode yet! I *think* I'm starting to get my head a teeny bit above water (granted we haven't hit the dreaded 4 month sleep regression yet) and feel like I have enough clarity to share a few things that have been super helpful during the past 3+ months.
1.) ASK for help and/or make a list of things you need ahead of time and when someone asks what they can bring, tell them! My strong point is definitely not vocalizing my needs, but in this season of what felt like complete drowning at times, I found myself more willing to ask for help. The problem was I didn't always know what I needed or frankly have the mental energy to think about it. Looking back, I should have made a list of things I wanted/needed. Examples include making a list of favorite snacks, drinks, restaurants (even specific menu items at a restaurant) and household chores. It may sound ridiculous but if there's specific instructions for something in your house (i.e. washer/dryer), type them out and tape them up. There are usually a lot of people willing and wanting to help when a new baby comes home, but they can only help as much as you allow. Set everyone up for success by thinking about your needs ahead of time!
2.) A good probiotic. Seriously. 70% of your immunity is in your gut and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it's easier to get sick when you're literally running on no sleep. I also had to receive antibiotics prior to delivery so all the more reason I loaded up on probiotics. My best friend even made me homemade bone broth when she was here helping for the week after we brought Joy home!
3.) Create a snack/hydration basket to always have nearby where you feed your baby. This is something EVERY mom needs- doesn't matter if you're breastfeeding, pumping or bottle-feeding, we all have a usual place we feed the baby and there should be some nutritious snacks and drinks there! I'm surprised I didn't figure this one out sooner, but I feel like every time I sat down to feed the baby, I somehow failed to have something to drink or eat. At first I just started stashing dark chocolate in a little bin (seriously), but then nuts, granola bars, and dried fruits and veggies joined the dark chocolate. It may sound a bit extreme, but we have a mini-fridge (that we already had- didn't purchase it specifically for this) next to where I pump/feed Joy. It's stocked with waters, La Croix and electrolyte drinks. I have zero excuse for not staying hydrated.
4.) Keep easy/healthy ready-to-eat items on standby, consider grocery delivery or even a mealkit delivery service and plan ahead!! The old motto of you either fail to plan or plan to fail is even more true when you're trying to keep a household going after bringing a new baby home. I was so fortunate to have my best friend stay with us the first week after Joy was born and she cooked up a storm! She left us with a freezer stocked full of frozen meals, but I learned the hard way that I still had to plan ahead to thaw them [duh]. That sounds so silly, but I would stumble into the kitchen at 5pm and think "We can eat the chicken and rice casserole for dinner...", but then realize it actually needs to thaw. Plan ahead- write a tentative meal plan out for the week. Even if that includes take out, at least you know ahead of time and that also helps you identify the best time for someone to bring a meal over when they ask what you need! And I can't stress enough how grocery delivery and curbside have saved my butt. We wouldn't have any fresh groceries if it wasn't for those options and I even wrote a post comparing Shipt, H-E-B curbside and Prime Pantry!
5.) Rely on sheet pan meals and freezer meals. Here are a few of my favorite KISS in the Kitchen sheet pan meals and also a round-up of 25 meals that are freezer-friendly!
Hope you found these tips helpful! Mamas, you are doing a great job and your little ones are so blessed to have you! <3 Shannon
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This is not a sponsored post. I received a DockATot for review purposes and all opinions are my own. There are affiliate links below, but as always, I only promote brands and products I'm truly passionate about!
I want to go on record that if you have one of those babies that is just a magically great sleeper, I can't relate to you at all. We love our sweet Joy to pieces, but sleeping isn't one of her strengths. Needless to say that's made it a smidge hard on Mr. KISS in the Kitchen and I. We've finally got in a good routine with who's on shift and how we split up who stays up with her ALL night (yes, some nights were like that during the first 6 weeks), but we've also relied on some clutch items that help baby girl stay asleep once she gets there. I mentioned a few of the things (The Ollie World swaddle, a childhood sleep consultant and the DockATot) in my newborn essentials post, but I wanted to share more details about the DockATot because it's just that great!
I was so excited when her DockATot arrived at the house. I was right at 40 weeks pregnant and thinking maybe her DockATot was what she was waiting for ;). Turns out, it wasn't, and she cooked another 8 days. When we came home from the hospital, she had her comfy lounger awaiting her.
The DockATot is a multi-function lounger. Babies can sleep, play and chill in an incredibly comfortable and safe dock that can be easily moved around the house or when traveling! They are created in Sweden and they're truly one of a kind when it comes to a safe lounger that is comfortable, functional, and stylish. Although Miss Joy often has a hard time getting to sleep, she sleeps much harder and longer when she's in her DockATot! If your baby sleeping longer sounds good to you, click the photo below to shop! You can even sign up to save 10%!
All DockATots have been tested for breathability, are made from non-toxic materials and feel like a plush cocoon that all parents can feel confident is safely keeping their little one comfortable. In my newborn essentials post, I mentioned the importance of a "fourth trimester". This refers to the first few months of baby's life being as close as possible to their life in the womb. This translates to loud, tight and dark. The DockATot is the perfect lounger to help baby still have a womb-like experience that is soft, tender, and snug! Miss Joy loves hers for sleeping, playing and it's also a great place to do tummy time as the rounded sides can go under her arms to prop her up.
One of my favorite things about the DockATot is how easy it is to change a cover and add a toy bar. It seems like so many baby items require an unbelievable amount of assembly and what new parent has time for that?! The DockATot comes ready to go and switching out the covers is a breeze. The toy bar takes less than a minute to put in place and is secured through cotton handles on the side of the dock. Thank you, DockATot for making my life easier!
Little Miss Joy should fit in this Deluxe DockATot until she's about 8 months or so and then we'll graduate her to the Grand DockATot. I know that time is going to fly by- it's so hard to believe our baby girl is already 2 months old! It's been the fastest yet slowest 2 months of my life and I'm so grateful for this sweet baby God entrusted us to care of!
Stay tuned for a post from my intern, Amanda! Y'all have loved her other recipes (especially these Veggie Egg White Muffins!) and she's bringing some roasted veggies your way next week!
This is not a sponsored post. Some of the below products I received for free and there may be affiliate links, but all opinions are my own and as always, I only promote brands and products I'm truly passionate about!
Being a mom has been a blend of everything I thought it would be and a lot of things I totally wasn't expecting. It's all the things I dreamed of, like being totally in awe and in-love with my baby and being utterly exhausted in a way that can't even compare to any other season in life. Those are the things I expected (and of course there are others), but I didn't expect the feeding challenges or the blood curdling screams. I played a lot of "baby crying" videos from YouTube to help prepare our dog, but none of them quite had the octave of sweet Joy. That being said, I can't imagine life without her :).
Regardless of whether your newborn journey is just how you pictured it or if it's drastically different, chances are, all our journeys have a distinct element of "survival". Survival mode has been the epitome of the newborn phase and I'm excited to share some of the baby and mama items that have been super helpful for us during this newborn and postpartum period!
The Ollie World Swaddle
My friend Lindsey of Sleep Little Lamb made sure to let us know how important swaddling is for newborns. Creating a "4th trimester" for a fresh babe outside the womb can be incredibly helpful to calm and soothe. Swaddling is definitely an art and somehow Mr. KISS in the Kitchen is a master swaddler. I, on the other hand, am not quite as skilled and when using muslin blankets, it's approximately 4 seconds before my daughter is flailing her arms. THANK GOODNESS for the Ollie Swaddle! No wonder it's known as The Smarter Swaddle™. It's made from custom moisture-wicking material to help reduce the risk of overheating and with a custom fit, it meets the needs and size of each little one! You can even do an easy access diaper change from the hole in the bottom and since it's one size, it's a breeze when transitioning to different stages. You can see Miss Joy is nice and snug in her Ollie below! Click the photo below to shop at The Ollie World and you can "Sign up and save 10% off your first order"!
This portable lounger has been such a helpful napping tool for us. The DockATot is a multi-function lounger, co-sleeper, and playtime lounger. Babies can sleep, play, and chill in an incredibly comfortable and safe dock that can be easily moved around the house or when traveling! Although Miss Joy often has a hard time getting to sleep, she sleeps much harder and longer when she's in her DockATot! All DockATots have been tested for breathability, are made from non-toxic materials, and are an ideal micro-climate for babies and tots. The Deluxe DockATot that Joy is in below is designed for 0-8 months, but there's also the Grand DockATot which is ideal for 9-36 months. Click the photo below to learn more about DockATot and check out all their adorable patterns. There's even a summer sale going on right now!
Solly Baby Wrap
Our sweet girl was lip and tongue tied, so that made our first several weeks especially challenging. Feeding was a living nightmare and after we got her lip/tongue tie revised, she had a several day stretch where she did not want to be put down. My Solly Baby Wrap was a tremendous help and allowed me to have my hands free for other things or just give my arms a break from holding her! Plus, it's buttery soft and breathable so even in Texas, I can wear her without overheating either one of us!
I wasn't one of those moms that was super eager to get out of the house after we came home from the hospital. We had more appointments than I wanted so a trip to the grocery store or Target sounded awful. However, at about the one month mark I was feeling more ready to take on Target. The Binxy Baby was a safe and comfortable way to keep Joy secure in the cart. Several people stopped and asked me what she was resting so comfortably in, including one mama who was holding her 3 month old, while shopping. I wasn't surprised when she said she was going to order one that same day! The Binxy Baby is safety tested, fits most standard grocery store carts and is used for babies up to 6-8 months of age or until they can sit up on their own. It can even hold the carseat and supports up to 50 pounds in weight. Click the photo below to see the cute patterns and sign up on their website to save 10% off your first order!
Milk Snob Cover
The entire postpartum experience and newborn period looked a lot different than I thought it would. I thought we would be hunkered down at home for quite some time, but instead the day after we came home, we were back out making a visit to the outpatient lactation office. The next day we were at the pediatrician. A few days later we were at the pediatric dentist. You get the idea... and you bet I wanted to cover our little peanut up to protect her from the sun, germs, people and the like. Plus it's super cute ;).
Childhood Sleep Consultant
My friend Lindsey with Sleep Little Lamb has been a wealth of knowledge for us! Who knew there are ideal wake and sleep times for a 3 week old? Kudos to you if you know that stuff, but this new mama was/is clueless. Having an expert breakdown the fundamentals of newborn sleep in an easy to understand and compassionate way has been super helpful. Lindsey gets to work with families in their homes here in San Antonio, but can provide virtual services across the U.S. and worldwide!
This is seriously a hidden gem. My friend Amber recommended these little nightlights and they're fantastic. Whether I'm pumping or breastfeeding in the middle of the night or changing a diaper, it's really nice to not have to turn on a bright overhead light. These little nightlights can be turned on/off or dimmed all with the touch of your finger and they're rechargeable- no batteries needed. I'll be ordering a couple more of these from Amazon soon!
Bamboobies Nursing Pads
Nursing pads are not created equal. The disposable ones have a time and place, but I found all of the material to be rather irritating. The Bamboobies nursing pads though are honestly the softest material ever and incredibly comfortable. They're easy to launder and since it seems the washing machine is ALWAYS going, I just toss the pads in with a load of baby girl's clothes and dry them on gentle. Easy peasy- can't recommend these enough.
Earth Mama Organics Nipple Butter
This is another life-saver. I actually started using this nipple butter when Mr. KISS in the Kitchen and I were on our babymoon in Colorado Springs. The weather was so cold and dry and I found myself in need of some nipple butter. Needless to say, cold dry weather doesn't have anything on a newborn with a tongue and lip tie... the nipple butter has been a life-saver. I also put it on Joy's dry skin which surprisingly works even better than coconut oil!
I knew I would be spending a lot of time in the glider, but just like everything else you think you know before you're a mom (but then you REALLY KNOW once you're in it), I likely spend more than half of my day in the glider. We purchased ours at a local store, Crib and Kids, and were equally as thrilled with the service as we were the glider! The store is adorable, the staff were so helpful and I couldn't be happier with the glider!
Welcome to KISS in the Kitchen! I'm Shannon, and my dad always told me "Keep it simple, Shannon". And that's what you'll find here- simple recipes and simple ideas to help you get healthier and happier.