Award-Winning Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for New Moms

Holidays, Mom & Baby

The very first Mother’s Day as a new mama may be one of the most important and memorable. There are so many special milestones in the first year with baby, like first words, first steps, and each month’s birthday, but the first Mother’s Day is a unique milestone because it’s all about celebrating MOM!

If you’re stumped about what to get an expecting or new mom for Mother’s Day, look no further! I’ve teamed up with L.A. Parent magazine to share top gift ideas from the National Parenting Product Awards, which features the best family products tested and rated by real mothers! The NAPPA Awards work closely with L.A. Parent magazine to provide their readers with unique and quality gift ideas, and we think these are the very best for new mamas!! The NAPPA Awards has been celebrating the best in family products for 32 years, and L.A. Parent has been a part of the Los Angeles community for 42 years, so you can trust their tips and guidance as you navigate your parenting journey!

L.A. Parent magazine works closely with NAAPA Awards to feature the best products for parents! Here, I’m wearing the award-winning Cloud Robe by Bumpsuit, which we think is a top Mother’s Day gift idea!

Below, I’ve outlined our top Mother’s Day gift ideas that have been recognized by NAAPA as best products for parents! You also can watch me demonstrate these products live on TV on KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at 9:45 a.m.!! If you don’t live in Los Angeles, the show is streaming online at ktla.com!

6 Award-Winning Mother’s Day Gift Ideas For New Moms:

  1. The Cloud Robe by Bumpsuit

This buttery soft robe does just as its name suggests –- mamas feel like they are lounging on a cloud! Designed and sold by Bumpsuit, the new maternity fashion brand beloved by celebrities, the Cloud Robe’s super soft brushed jersey material gently stretches with the body to maintain max fit and support throughout women’s different stages of pregnancy and beyond. The design is elegant yet simple and comes in a timeless beautiful ivory shade. The fabric holds its shape and quality even after washing! What I love most about this robe is that all mama’s will love it no matter where they are in their prenatal or postpartum journey. Help mama lounge while still feeling chic and comfy in this gorgeous robe!

2.     Milkmakers Bath Tea + Foot Soak by Munchkin

Treat mama-to-be to an at-home spa day with these luxurious, all-natural, pregnancy-safe bath soak sachets to help relax tired muscles and moisturize dry skin. Think of it like taking an elevated Epsom salt bath, with bonus itchy belly relief! Use 1 sachet to soak swollen feet or 1-2 sachets for full body bath. Deeply calming botanicals like French lavender and chamomile mingle with rolled oats and pure Epsom salt for the ultimate self-care treat. Pair this soak with the Cloud Robe above for a wonderful pampering gift!

3. Mbrio Pregnancy Earbud Adapters by Mbrio Tech 

Now mamas can easily and safely share their music with their babies with Mbrio – the only patented innovation that uses mom’s own earbuds to share music with baby in the womb! They’re so easy to use – just pop your earbuds into the adapters, clip them to your waistband and feel baby move! Made from medical-grade silicone and independently tested, Mbrio’s adapters are safe for baby’s ears, skin-safe, comfortable and ultra-lightweight. Prenatal music is important, because it soothes baby, helps with bonding, stimulates movement and stimulates baby’s brain and memory! This may be the coolest gift on this list! I wish I would have had these when I was pregnant!

4.     On-The-Go Backpack by TWELVElittle 

Every mom needs a great diaper bag, and this backpack is the perfect stylish bag that can be carried for any occasion — family outings, work functions and travels! For families that travel, the bag’s backside has a zipper pocket with an opening on the top and bottom, to be used as a sleeve to fit through luggage handles. The spacious main compartment has five pockets for maximum organization, and a separate opening for a fully padded laptop sleeve. The D-rings at the back of the backpack allows the bag to be attached to a stroller using the TWELVElittle Stroller Clip Set (sold separately). Made with functional water-resistant materials and vegan leather trim, this bag will hold up throughout all your children’s diaper years and beyond.

5. Sleep Bag by Kyte Baby

Kyte Baby has long been a favorite clothing brand of mine for my babies because of its super soft, comfy materials and variety of colors. This super cozy Sleep Bag from Kyte Baby is the perfect gift to help both mama and baby get sleep — because when baby sleeps, mama sleeps!! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies do not sleep with blankets, so this Sleep Bag is like a wearable blanket to keep your baby cozy and comfortable all night long! The 97% bamboo rayon fabric is breathable and buttery soft to the touch. This Sleep Bag also features a J-shaped double zipper, which makes it easy for mom to take on and off and during middle-of-the-night diaper changes. Kyte Baby’s sleep bag also comes in three different fabric warmth levels, so you can ensure baby’s temperature is comfortable all night. Kyte Baby uses the TOG rating system for measuring fabric warmth for parents to simply select which sleep bag their baby needs based on the typical temperature in their nursery. If you’re confused on what TOG to choose, don’t worry, Kyte Baby’s website helps guide you through it!

5. Crib Mattress by SleepOvation Baby

A crib mattress is probably one of the most useful products a mom can have for baby, and the SleepOvation Baby mattress is probably the safest and most comfortably designed baby mattress on the market! SleepOvation’s mattress is designed to combat plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) with its patented design that reduces pressure on the head while keeping the spine correctly aligned. It comes with a removable and washable cover, and the interior mattress core has built-in air channels to increase breathability, while also providing temperature regulation. What’s amazing about this mattress is that it’s a 2-stage design providing use for both newborn and toddler phases! After your baby’s first birthday, simply turn the mattress over for a softer mattress that insures proper spine alignment. The toddler side also features a waterproof backing that helps keep those leaky diapers contained. One of the things I love most for mom is how lightweight this mattress is! Most crib mattresses are big and bulky, which makes it complicated to change crib sheets. This mattress is much easier for mom to maneuver, which is a big relief when doing laundry!

More Great Gift Ideas:

These aren’t the only great gift ideas for mom! The NAPPA Awards features so many great Mother’s Day gift ideas, and they’re constantly updating their site with new winners, so check back often! Take a look at the NAPPA Awards website and let me know your favorite products! https://www.nappaawards.com/

And, be sure to check out L.A. Parent magazine for additional parenting resources, like family-friendly activities, events and travel destinations, along with community news and parenting advice! https://www.laparent.com/

Mamas! Let me know which of these 6 products you’d like to receive for Mother’s Day in the comments below!

  1. The Cloud Robe by Bumpsuit
  2. Milkmakers Bath Tea + Foot Soak by Munchkin
  3. Mbrio Pregnancy Earbud Adapters by Mbrio Tech
  4. On-The-Go Backpack by TWELVElittle
  5. Sleep Bag by Kyte Baby
  6. Crib Mattress by SleepOvation Baby

Connect with me on Instagram and TikTok for more family-friendly ideas and content!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love. For more information about affiliates and your privacy, view our Terms & Conditions page here.

 

10 Self-Care Tips for New Moms

Health & Wellness, Mom & Baby

Finding self-care as a new mom is REALLY hard!

The day after my firstborn joined our family, I remember thinking to myself, “I’ll never be alone again!” Suddenly, finding time for myself felt almost impossible, and if I did find a moment alone, I felt guilty. As an anxious new mom, my thoughts revolved around the baby while also trying to maintain my pre-baby relationship with my husband. Self-care swiftly moved to the bottom of my priority list, and it became even more challenging to find “me” time once I started working again. So much of my life changed so quickly that I felt like I lost myself overnight! I was three months into life with a new baby, and I broke down… I realized this was my new life, and the excitement of it being new had worn off. I was exhausted and desperately craved some self-care time!

If any of this sounds familiar, I hope it’s brought you some assurance that you’re not alone! I also hope it inspires you not to let yourself get to a breaking point like I did!

Soon after my breakdown, I realized that I had to make a plan to take care of myself or else I’d end up angry and depressed. I loved our newborn and I loved my husband, and I didn’t want to start resenting them. It was up to me to make the changes in my new life to ensure I got the self-care that I needed to be a happy mommy.

Below are my best tips for finding self-care as a new mama. I’m so happy I put these tips into practice a couple months after having my first baby. They became routine habits for me with baby #1 and then made the adjustment to baby #2 (when time is even more limited!) so much easier! With that said, these tips aren’t just for NEW moms… All busy mamas can utilize these tips!

Sometimes, we need some retail inspiration to motivate a new self-care journey! To shop some of my favorite self-care items on Amazon click here!

Getting my hair done with a baby on my lap… Just an example of how finding “self-care” with a new baby can be challenging!

10 Self-Care Tips for New Moms:

  1. Take Advantage of Early Mornings

If you’ve never been a morning person, having children will change that. If your kids are anything like mine, you’ll never sleep past 7 a.m. again! My tip: Wake up before your children! While getting up even earlier than your kids may sound miserable to an exhausted new parent, hear me out… Those early morning hours can be PRECIOUS “ME” TIME. If you can take 10-15 minutes to yourself in the morning before your day with the baby starts, I promise you’ll already feel more in control of your life. The days where my children dictate when I start my mornings are always harder than the days I choose when to get up. I personally prefer to wake up 30 minutes to 1 hour before my children to drink coffee, write in my journal, and read the newspaper (yes, I read the good old fashioned newspaper!). But, even if you only woke up 10 minutes before the baby, that’s 10 golden peaceful minutes to be with your own adult thoughts before the chaotic day with kids begins. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it so much that you’ll become a morning workout person! You could also meditate, read a book, do yoga… make those mornings for YOU!

2. Find Joy in Micro Moments

When there’s a new baby in the house, it may seem impossible to take an hour-long bubble bath whenever you wish. Instead of seeking those big self-care moments, try to find joy in micro moments throughout your day. When I started feeling trapped by my babies, I made a promise to myself that I’d do one small thing every single day that was just for me — for ONLY ME and nobody else! Every morning when I’d make my to-do list, at the very top I’d write one small feasible thing I could do that would bring me joy – a walk in nature, a phone call to my mom, 10 minutes alone to write in my journal, etc. At the end of a day revolved around needy little people, I always felt relief that I was able to do at least one thing for ME. And, as my babies grew and got more self-sufficient, these small things became bigger and longer: an hour-long hike by myself, a day at the spa, brunch out with girlfriends, etc. I believe this practice also taught me to find joy in the simple, which has been such a blessing.

3. Sneak in Exercise

So many moms complain that they can’t exercise because they don’t have TIME. I get it… adjusting to life with a new baby is hard! If you’re used to going to a pilates studio every day after work, but now have to come home to relieve the nanny, it can certainly feel like your exercise routine is a forever goner. This is my tip: JUST MOVE! Movement is exercise! Sneak in all the movement where ever and whenever you can! Take the baby on a stroller walk as soon as you get home from work, run up and down your stairs while the baby is napping, do a yoga video first thing in the morning before the kids wake up… And, don’t forget to plan a time that you can go back to your old pilates class, too! Because feeling like yourself and enjoying your favorite workouts is important, too! You may not be able to do everything like you did before baby, but you shouldn’t have to give it up completely. Personally, I found that I enjoyed working out so much at home that I never rejoined our expensive fancy gym after having a baby. Here on the blog, I’ve shared all my fave home gym equipment from Amazon, as well as my best tips for how to work out when you have young kids!

I go on a run while pushing the babies at least once a week, but I also make it a priority to do a solo run sometimes to feel like myself pre-baby

4. Prioritize Your Health

We mamas get so wrapped up in taking care of our family’s health that we often end up completely neglecting our own! This is your sign to drop everything you’re doing and take inventory of your health! When was the last time you went to your primary care physician? Have you been to the dentist in the last year? Is it time for a dermatologist visit? Put aside 15 minutes, call all your health providers and make those appointments! Your kids cannot be healthy without a healthy mommy!

5. Go to Sleep Early

If you’re not getting adequate sleep, you’ll never feel (or look!) your best — enough said! The best way for me to get enough sleep to is go to bed shortly after I put the children to sleep. I’m often in bed at 8:30 p.m.! I know it’s tempting to stay up late to find more “me” time, but I’ve discovered that limiting my nighttime sleep ultimately makes me feel like crap the next day. Recently, I’ve optimized my nighttime sleep with the help of Juna Nightcap Sleep Drops and Juna Nightcap Sleep Roller, which assist in getting me into a deeper sleep date — and it’s way healthier and more effective than melatonin or any other sleep aid! I’ve explained how Juna works for me in more detail in this blog post.

6. Make a Date with Friends

There’s almost nothing better than a good laugh with girlfriends. But, I know firsthand that friendships can easily take a backseat when you have a new baby in the house. Sometimes, around months 2 to 4 with a new baby, your friends may stop calling or checking in on you. Don’t take this personally, especially if none of your friends have had babies yet. Most likely, they’re assuming your new life with baby is consuming all your time, so they’re giving you space. It’s up to YOU to reach out to friends to fill your social cup. One of my favorite sayings is, “To have a friend, you have to BE a friend!” Make the effort to schedule a time to meet up with friends, and I’m certain they’d love to see you — with or without baby in tow! If you’re struggling getting out of the house, invite them over. Be vulnerable. Tell them you’re covered in breastmilk, haven’t made your bed in weeks, but really just need a gal pal to vent to. A REAL friend loves nothing more than being there for you. I recommend scheduling something with girlfriends at least once a month. If you can, try allowing your partner or caregiver to look after the baby when you meet with friends to really connect without distractions. Quality time with girlfriends is so good for the soul!

7. Join a Mommy-and-Me Class

Joining a mommy-and-me baby class was probably the very best thing I did after my first baby was born! Because we recently moved to the area and knew no one our age, in addition to being one of the very first of my friends to have a baby, joining the mommy-and-me class was the best way for me to connect with other local moms going through exactly what I was currently experiencing! I developed several good friendships from that first class, and now its fun watching our kids go to preschool together! Those ladies were the best sounding board, too, for when we were going through sleep regressions or I needed to vent about anything!! Our teacher was absolutely fabulous and taught me so much about conscious parenting and establishing solid family values, too. I liked the class so much that I signed up for a mommy-and-me class for toddlers! If you want more info about the local class I took, please feel free to contact me!

8. Communicate to Your Partner What You Need

Based on conversations with my other mom friends, I’d guess that maintaining a cordial relationship with our partners is probably one of the most stressful parts of having a newborn in the house. As mamas, we’re going through so much emotionally and physically during this time, and it can be infuriating watching our husbands continue about their lives as if nothing has changed… Must be nice to have adult conversations at work every day… Wow, you can play golf for 5 hours without having leaky breasts?… Why didn’t you know we needed more diapers?… How can you sleep?!… But, here’s the deal… Our spouses cannot read our minds! It would be amazing if they could, but men weren’t granted that superpower, unfortunately. I’m no marriage counselor, but my best advice is to effectively COMMUNICATE to your partner what you need. Tell them when you’re calm and there’s no other distractions. Clearly explain why you need 15 minutes every morning alone or why you want them to start helping with bath time or whatever it is you need! And in turn, ask them what they need! While it may not seem like it on the outside, it’s very likely they’re going through some hard changes, too… They now worry more about providing for the family, they fear they don’t know how to take care of the baby as well as you, they’re embarrassed to admit that they don’t know how to help, so sometimes they do nothing! Empathize with your partner and create a game plan to help each other through this life transition.

9. Start a Gratitude Practice

I believe it’s almost impossible to be depressed when you’re grateful. Instead of wasting energy wishing you could get your old pre-baby life back or grumbling to your partner that they don’t help enough, make a list of things you are grateful for and you’ll instantly feel better. I like to start my day with writing down three things I’m grateful for in my journal, because it sets the tone for a positive day. When times are hard, sometimes I’m simply grateful for a cup of coffee and not much else! But, since I begin my day in gratitude, I find myself adding things to the list in my mind as I go about my day! Look around… What are you grateful for that’s right in front of you?

10. Reconnect With Yourself Doing Something You Loved

If you haven’t experienced it yet, there will probably be a moment when you see an old picture of yourself from pre-baby days and think, “I miss you…” LOL! I promise your old self is still there! Make it a priority to reconnect with what makes you, YOU! Even if you haven’t taken dance since high school, join an adults’ hip hop class or take a virtual class on YouTube! Did you love traveling? Here’s your sign to go ahead and plan your first international trip with baby! Maybe you always loved and appreciated handwritten notes… Try taking up calligraphy! Love yourself by doing something you love!

My self-care time: Writing down what I’m grateful for while enjoying the sunshine. OH! And you can copy my cheapy sunglasses here!

If you need some additional inspiration, below is a list of 20 simple self-care activities! Copy and save this list in the notes section of your phone so you can always reference it when you need some T.L.C.!

  1. Take a walk outside
  2. Read a book or magazine
  3. Take a nap
  4. Meditate
  5. Pray
  6. Call a good friend or relative
  7. Start a gratitude list
  8. Write a bucket list
  9. Watch funny videos
  10. Stretch or do yoga
  11. Pour a special coffee, tea or beverage and drink it slowly
  12. Light a candle
  13. Listen to music
  14. Exercise
  15. Paint, draw or color
  16. Write down 5 things you like about yourself
  17. Give yourself a massage
  18. Paint your nails
  19. Take a bath
  20. Do a breathing exercise, like this one

Do you have any tips for finding self-care that I missed? I’d love to hear what you do to take care of yourself as a mama! Comment below or connect with me on Instagram or TikTok!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love. For more information about affiliates and your privacy, view our Terms & Conditions page here.

Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Kids!

Holidays, Lifestyle, Mom & Baby

Hey Busy Moms! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and I want to share two absolutely FABULOUS online marketplaces that are making it so easy to celebrate LOVE with your family – Maisonette and Goldbelly!

If you don’t yet know about Maisonette, you need to log on their website to check out all their adorable clothes, accessories, toys and gear for kids and families. There’s even some fun things for mom, too, plus home decor! The company was founded by two moms in 2017 with the goal of helping modern families navigate the adventure of raising the next generation. The have the most high quality kids products, partnering with the best brands to curate a shopping destination that all moms love! Maisonette is my go-to site when looking for unique specialty gifts for baby, kids and mama!

The next online marketplace that you must know about is Goldbelly! This online marketplace is where you go to find the best regional and artisanal foods crafted by top local food purveyors throughout the United States, like celebrity chefs, restaurants, bakeries, delis, etc. Have you ever wanted to try one of Duff Goldman’s famous cakes but don’t live near one of his cake studios in Baltimore or LA? Well, now you can with Goldbelly, which ships to all 50 states! Goldbelly is great if you need impressive food for a special occasion or want to gift someone an extraordinary treat. For example, through Goldbelly you can recreate Wolfgang Puck’s legendary smoked salmon pizza at home, or gift your friend, boss, mom, client (anyone!) the famous macarons from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, Calif. There are so many outstanding culinary experiences for purchase in one place!

I turn to both of these sites when I’m looking for something special for holidays and Valentine’s is no different! Below are some great products from Maisonette and Goldbelly to help you celebrate with your kids this Valentine’s Day!

  1. Mommy-and-Me Matching Pajamas and Sweaters

I’m a sucker for matching with my mini, so I love that Maisonette is offering a variety of mommy-and-me styles for Valentine’s Day!

Fun products and treats to celebrate Valentine's Day with your littlest loves!
Maison Me Valentine’s Pajamas for Women and Pajamas for Baby and Toddler

Wake up in comfy yet chic mommy-and-me matching pajamas by Maison Me featuring a mini heart print and shades of pink for Valentine’s Day. These special holiday pajamas, featured in the Ditsy Heart print, come in adult women’s sizes, as well as footies for babies sized 0-24 months and kids sized 2 years to 12 years. Their lightweight 100% cotton rib is super comfortable for sleep or play and cute enough to lounge in all day!

When it’s time to change out of your PJs, the Love Sweater by GiGi Knitwear is the perfect top for Valentine’s Day and chilly February days! Rendered in a sift and breathable light weight knit, the Love Sweater is perfect for layering and playtime. GiGi Knitwear’s one-of-a-kind sweaters are handmade by a family-owned factory in Bulgaria with super soft fine merino wool to keep you and your mini extra cozy. Find the women’s sweater here and the little girls’ sweater here.

Love Sweater Mini

2. Valentine’s Day Mini Fashion Accessories

Maisonette features some of the chicest kids’ accessories from independent brands, including adorable Valentine’s Day themed jewelry, sunglasses and purses, for your little one to wear throughout the whole month of love!

Children will feel sophisticated and special with the Risa’s Pieces Noa Valentine’s Day Monogram Bracelet Set, which you can personalize with your child’s name. It comes as a fashionable stacking set of three red, white, and pink bracelets.

Perfect for sunny SoCal, GlamBaby Priscilla Heart Shaped Sunglasses are made of durable acetate and offer 100% UVA/UVB protection. They come in the option of red or white for your littlest fashionista.

Complete your sweetheart’s outfit with a Ce Ce Co. Velvet Purse with Heart Patches! The upscale Ce Ce Co. also has this Tweed Purse with Furry Heart for your sophisticated bebe. Is it me or is there nothing cuter than a little girl adorned in mini versions of grown-up accessories!

3. Valentine’s Plant Based Playdough

Get creative with your little one on the Day of Love with The Dough Project’s ultimate box of Valentine’s Day goodies! The Dough Project Much Love Bundle comes complete with three jars of fresh, plant-based playdough, a box of “Make Your Own Playdough” mix and a mini rolling pin for unlimited play! The dough comes in red and pink Valentine’s colors for the celebration! The DIY playdough mix is an especially fun sensory project for kids. It’s a dry mix that you simply blend with water and oil to make your own dough – sort of like making pancakes or cookies! The Dough Project is a product parents can feel good about while being made from all natural, food-grade ingredients and colored from plants.

The Dough Project Much Love Bundle

4. Valentine’s Day Tea Set for Dolls by Sophia’s by Teamson

Make imaginary play fun for Valentine’s Day with the Sophia’s by Teamson Kids Valentine’s Day themed tea set. This Warm Your Heart Hot Cocoa & Sweets Set features all the desserts your little one’s doll could want with cake pops, sugar cookies and chocolate covered strawberries! Mugs of hot chocolate with whipped cream, plates and spoons complete this detailed set. Kids will have lots of fun celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special pretend tea party! The doll is sold separately, but you can use this tea set for any 18’ doll or with your stuffed animals!

Warm Your Heart Hot Cocoa & Sweets Set

5.    Heart Lunch Box by Dabbawalla Bags and Surprise Lunch Notes by Cheree Berry Paper

Be her Valentine all year long with this adorable pink and white heart lunch bag from Dabbawalla Bags. These quality bags are not only great for tots and teens, but moms and teachers would love to receive these sweet bags as a gift for Valentine’s Day, too! There’s also an option to personalize the lunch tote with an embroidered name! The insulating, eco-friendly material is machine washable and flexible enough to hold a wide range of lunch containers. All Dabbawalla Bags are crafted with TPE, a sustainable foam that is degradable, recyclable, and friendly to the environment. The production of these bags supports fair labor practices and is certified free of toxic chemicals.  

Surprise your little sweetie with a thoughtful love note in their lunch box with this set of 40 notes from Cheree Berry Paper that are playful, yet polished. Cheree Berry Paper is a custom graphic design and stationery company known for creating interactive and conceptual designs full of unexpected details and clever copywriting.  Your little one will love the surprise note that lets them know you’re thinking of them while at school on Valentine’s Day.

Cheree Berry Paper Surprise Lunch Box Notes

6.    Goldbelly Valentine’s Treats from Chefs Cat Cora and Duff Goldman

Goldbelly is known for offering the most unique and delicious food products from the nation’s top chefs, small businesses, and food purveyors, and the company is offering dozens of options of specialty Valentine’s treats to share with your kiddos, friends and family this year!

Drop one of popular Iron Chef Cat Cora’s bite-sized Heart Shaped Rainbow Cookies in your kiddos lunch box for a Valentine’s Day surprise at school or pass out to friends at a Valentine’s Day party! These classic Italian rainbow cookies will brighten anyone’s Valentine’s Day made with three layers of marzipan, apricot jam and a thin coating of chocolate topped with chocolate sprinkles. They come in a set of 18, so they’re perfect for sharing with your children and their friends!

If you’ve spent any time watching Food Network over the past decade, then you know Duff Goldman and his legendary cakes. This Red Velvet Heart Cake is a delicious four-layer red velvet cake with vanilla cream cheese filling, frosted with pink-tinted buttercream frosting and decorated with red fondant hearts – the perfect way to show your love with your little ones! The cake serves 8-10 people – great for a party! It also arrives in a decorative box, so it could make for a fun gift!

Duff Goldman’s Red Velvet Heart Cake

I hope you’ll take some time to check out Maisonette and Goldbelly for your Valentine’s Day celebration needs, in addition to other holidays! I plan to shop their sites in a couple months for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter!

I’d love to hear how you’re planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kiddos! Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on Instagram @maggiehjackson!

XO Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love. For more information about affiliates and your privacy, view our Terms & Conditions page here.

6 Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Mom from Mom-Owned Businesses in the LA-OC Area

beauty, fashion, Holidays, Lifestyle, Mom & Baby, Travel

I’m so excited to share this list of great gift ideas for mom from some of my favorite mom-owned businesses in the LA-OC area! In addition to sharing the list below, I’m featuring these gifts LIVE on KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles today, Dec. 22, 2021 at around 11:45 a.m., and I’m so hopeful you’ll tune in! *UPDATE* If you missed the live TV segment, you can view the recorded version here.

Monogrammed Travel Bag from The Monogrammed Home in San Marino

Okay, so… You made your list, checked it twice, and… Oops! You STILL need a gift for mom!!

This is when some of you will quickly run to Target to find a mug that says “MOM” or grab whatever overpriced, picked-over item you can find at Tiffany’s or Nordstrom. Don’t be one of those people wandering blankly around the big chain store only to get mom ANOTHER robe or slippers. Didn’t you get her that last year? Crap, you can’t remember!

Y’all… Don’t do this to mom! Yes, those gifts mentioned above are nice… I have thoroughly enjoyed every robe I’ve been gifted… BUT!!! (This is an important “but,” thus needed additional emphasis) … I need y’all to think of what kind of gift mom really deserves after what she has been up to this holiday season…

Those holiday cards your friends and family received? She designed, signed, and addressed those… Not to mention she licked all 75 envelopes!

Your kids’ reindeer antler headband, the “holiday themed red sweater,” and new dress shoes (grew out of last year’s shoes) that their teacher required you to buy and have your child wear for their school holiday performance… MOM.

Who coordinated the family holiday outings? Photos with Santa, holiday lights show, kids’ museum holiday activities, etc., etc. … MOM.

Who made cookies for Santa? Sure, the kids helped… But, it was probably MOM who had to set it up and clean it up! ALL THOSE SPRINKLES AHHH!!!

Gifts for your neighbors, extended family, newspaper delivery person, mail carrier, kids’ teachers, etc… MOM!!

All the dang wrapping… MOM.

And who usually makes Christmas Eve dinner and/or Christmas Day brunch as everyone enjoys their new gifts or watches football… not always but usually MOM!!!

The exception to all these tasks listed above is a mom who has an incredibly helpful and/or available partner, a mom who has the financial means to outsource everything, or the mom who just stopped giving a F—! Nevertheless, the holiday hustle can get to any mom no matter the level of support she receives.

SO, LET’S HOOK MOM UP THIS YEAR, Y’ALL! Let’s get her something that’s truly unique and thoughtful while also supporting a local MOM-owned business!

REASONS TO BUY FROM A LOCAL MOM-OWNED BUSINESS:

  • Shopping local is a great way to give back to your community where you live and want to see prosper. Local stores tend to keep their profits local, hire local employees, and donate to local charities and organizations.
  • It’s the best shopping method to limit your environmental impact. There’s less shipping and typically more local products available, so less transportation needed.
  • The experience is unmatched! You’ll have the opportunity to personally connect with a member of your community who really cares about their customers! Also, the knowledge of their products is superior to some of the big box chains that hire seasonal employees. Because they’re passionate about their products and filling a need in their community, local business owners often go the extra mile to make sure you are a happy customer!
  • If you love your mom, you’ll also love supporting another local mom. Imagine your own mom putting her blood, sweat and tears into a business on top of all her mom-ing… That is one bad mother!
  • Interesting products! Local businesses sell products that fulfill the interests of the owner and the owner’s customers. They are not limited to some national chain store’s sales and marketing plan, so you’ll often get some really unique and special product options!
  • It’s hard to trust last-minute shipping these days with all the supply shortages and shipping delays we’re seeing on the news. When you shop local, you’re typically perusing all the products currently in stock, so you don’t have to worry about your gift not making it to mom before Christmas.

Now that I’ve convinced you that shopping at a local, mom-owned business is the way to go, below is a list of my favorite gift ideas from mom-owned businesses in Southern California. These business stretch from Sunset Beach to Montrose, and all have ways to secure gifts in these last couple days leading up to Christmas. I’ve included gift ideas for every type of mom – the new mom, the expecting mom, and moms who love wine, traveling, skincare and wellness.

6 Holiday Gift Ideas for Mom from Local Mom-Owned Businesses:

FOR THE EXPECTING MOM

Cleobella Taylor Mama Bag in Cognac

Cleobella Taylor Mama Bag

This leather bag is so chic and high-quality that you’d have no idea it’s actually a diaper bag! Perfect for the stylish new mom who doesn’t always want to look like she’s hauling around baby gear! The braided detailing on the handle and zipper pulls is gorgeous, and it comes in three different colors (black, moccasin and cognac) to fit any mom’s style. I personally love how this bag is well designed for versatility. You can wear it as a backpack, crossbody, or with your hands for style and convenience. Multiple pockets are large enough to hold all the essentials. I can even squeeze my laptop into it in case I need to mix work with mom life. I fully intend to carry this bag even when we’re out of the diaper phase! Cleobella was founded by a SoCal mom, along with her husband, who desired ethically handmade fashion inspired by her global travels. The brand is deeply rooted in its commitment to sustainability and employment that uplifts independent artisans around the world. One percent of every purchase goes back to charities that support our planet and people who need it most. 

How to Buy: The Taylor Mama Bag is available to purchase in-person at the Cleobella boutique in Sunset Beach located at 16792 14th St Sunset Beach, CA 90742. The boutique will be open from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 22-23. The company website www.cleobella.com offers expedited shipping options from their local headquarters, in addition to e-gift cards for those extra last-minute shoppers. Be sure to use the code KTLA at checkout for 20% off your order! The code is good through December.

FOR THE NEW MOM

Saranoni Mommy-and-Me Matching Luxury Blankets at Babies, Bellies & Bosoms

Keep mama and baby cozy this winter with luxury matching blankets from Saranoni found at Bellies, Babies & Bosoms in Montrose. Saranoni’s Bamboni Collection is made from bamboo fibers that are converted to rayon, so the blanket’s cloud-like fabric is light, breathable, stretchy, and as soft as ever! When you’re snuggled up with this blanket, “you’ll feel like you’re wrapped in a cupcake!” said Laura, the owner of Bellies, Babies & Bosoms. The blankets will undoubtedly bring comfort and warmth to mommy and baby this holiday season, and I’m obsessed with the idea of giving a matching mommy-and-baby gift to a new mom! The blankets come in a variety of colors and patterns to match mom’s style and home. If you purchase the “Mudcloth” print, Saranoni will donate a portion of proceeds to Well-Africa, an organization that strives to end child slavery, build schools, and educate children in West Africa. Love a gift that gives back!

How to Buy: Saranoni’s Bamboni Collection of blankets are available to purchase at Bellies, Babies & Bosoms in Montrose, a quaint historic community just north of Glendale. I love this shop because it was founded by a mom in 2003 with the passion to promote breastfeeding, support new mothers and be a sanctuary for all motherhood needs. She carries so many special gifts for new parents and babies! Bellies is located at 2430 Honolulu Avenue, Montrose, CA 91020 and will be open from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on Dec. 22-23 and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Dec. 24.

FOR THE BEAUTY LOVING MOM

Tinted Lip Jellies from Facile Dermatology and Boutique

Just in time for the holidays, Facile launched its fan-favorite lip moisturizer in a collection of brand-new Tinted Lip Jellies with a plumping complex that instantly boosts hydration and leaves lips looking fuller, firmer, and more defined with each wear. The Tinted Lip Jellies come in three effortless shades: Rose, Rouge, and Berry. I tried all three shades and each of them looked good on my skin tone, but my favorite is the Rose to wear every day for a very natural look. Glossy but never sticky, the Tinted Lip Jellies soften and condition lips with a long-lasting, hydrating blend of Peptides, Jojoba Oil, and Essential Fatty Acids, leaving lips with a wash of beautiful color. Not only are these lip jellies amazing for your lips, every purchase goes toward an amazing cause! Throughout the month of December, Facile will be donating 20% of all Lip Jelly sales to NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) which provides advocacy, education, support, and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. Co-founded by skincare-obsessed entrepreneur and mom Danielle Nadick Levy and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nancy Samolitis. Facile opened in 2016 and quickly garnered a celeb following from beauties like Mandy Moore, Lucy Hale and Dove Cameron. If you really want to win big with mom, accompany the Lip Jellies with a gift card for mom to get a personalized treatment at Facile. They do it all from mini facials to fillers to microneedling and PRP injections! Perfect for any beauty or skincare loving mama!

How to Buy: Facile has two locations in West Hollywood (8457 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, CA 90069) and Pasadena (140 S. Lake Ave., Suite 104, Pasadena, CA 91101) where the products can be purchased on Dec. 22 or 23.

FOR THE WINE ENTHUSIAST MOM

Aervana Travel Aerator from Emerald Forest Gifts

This brand-new Travel Wine Aerator from Aervana is perfect for any wine lover who loves to travel or simply save space at home (glass decanters don’t travel well and take up lots of space!). This aerator is small enough to fit in your purse or drawer, plus, it comes with a cute carrying case and corkscrew. At the touch of a button, it turns tannic wine into smooth-as-velvet liquid in seconds! Simply attach the single tube that accompanies the Aervana Travel to the body of the aerator, slip it over an open wine bottle, and press the button on top.  Perfect for travel, road trips, the beach, picnics – anywhere! To be honest, my husband and I love this aerator so much that we use it at home most of the time!

How to Buy: Get the Aervana Travel Aerator before Christmas at mom-owned Emerald Forest Gifts in the San Fernando Valley located at 12638 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604. The owner, Michelle, started Emerald Forest Gifts in 1987 and is celebrating the store’s 36th Christmas Season! Known for carrying unique, elegant gifts for all occasions, Emerald Forest will even gift wrap your gift to make it easy for you to give to mom! Her shop will be open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 22-23 and from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 24.

FOR THE WELLNESS WARRIOR MOM

Juna Essential Roller Set

If mom is always looking to optimize her wellbeing (or if she simply needs some help chilling out this holiday season – LOL!), Juna’s new essential oil rollerballs offer a therapeutic mood lifting experience throughout the day. The Essential Roller Set from Juna includes three nanoparticle mood-shifting rollerballs – Balance, Nightcap and Ease – designed with a complex blend of scientifically proven functional botanicals that will reset the mind and shift mood. Roll on temples, behind the ears, wrists, breathe deep and experience the mood shifting benefits.  The Balance helps you feel awake and clear; the Nightcap helps ease you into a deep sleep; and the Ease can help you shift your mood from overwhelmed to calm and relaxed. They are great for daily use, for on-the-go, fast, effective relief. Based in Dana Point, Juna creates plant powered products with over 40+ active botanicals that solve the stress, anxiety, and sleep issues women are facing daily. The wellness company was founded by two busy career women and mothers seeking an effective solution to optimize their every day.

How to Buy: The rollers are available to purchase with expedited shipping for Christmas on juna-world.com. If you use code KTLA at checkout, you’ll get 20% off your order! The code is good through December. Perfect time to consider getting Juna’s bestselling Nightcap drops, too! Juna also sells several of its plant-powered solutions in Erewhon markets.

FOR THE WELL-TRAVELED MOM

Personalized Jewelry Round and 3-Piece Travel Set from The Monogrammed Home

Nothing is more thoughtful than a personalized gift, and The Monogrammed Home can help you secure these monogrammed travel cases just in time for Christmas! I love this adorable Seersucker Jewelry Round and 3-Piece Stacking Set that can be used for toiletries, makeup, hair accessories, and whatever you can fit, ready to be monogrammed with mom’s name or initials! I also love the idea of monogramming the 3-piece set to stay organized around the house with labels like, “cords,” “sunscreen,” “vitamins,” “safety pins,” etc. The stacking set is available for $78 and comes in 7 different colors. The jewelry rounds are available for $38 and come in four different colors. Pricing includes monogramming, and customers can choose from over 100 monogram and font options and over 50 thread colors! You’re sure to find a style that mom will love! The Monogrammed Home is one of my most favorite gift shops close to my home! The shop offers a variety of thoughtful, personalized home and lifestyle gifts for everyone in your life. I seriously get every special occasion gift from this shop! The shop was founded by two sisters in 2014, who are now mothers.

How to Buy: Available online at the-monogrammed-home.com, by phone (626) 405-1153, or at The Monogrammed Home located at 2556 Mission St., San Marino, CA 91108. KTLA viewers will not incur a rush charge for purchases of the Jewelry Round or Stacking Set. Purchases placed today (Dec. 22, 2021) by 3 p.m. will be ready for pick up tomorrow (Dec. 23, 2021) between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gift cards also are available to purchase. 

The Taylor Mama Bag from Cleobella is a perfect gift for an expecting mom!

MOMS! Which of these gifts would you like to receive? Let me know in the comments below, or connect with me on Instagram at @maggiehjackson!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love. For more information about affiliates and your privacy, view our Terms & Conditions page here.

6 Healthy Halloween Snacks

Health & Wellness, Home, Kitchen, Lifestyle, Mom & Baby
6 healthy Halloween snacks that are easy and fun to make with your kids!

Got a picky eater? I’ve found the best way to get my kids to eat healthy is to get them involved in the kitchen with me! And, what better way to celebrate the spooky season than with fun Halloween inspired healthy treats! From green goblin smoothie bowls to spider crackers to boo-tiful mini cupcakes, these 6 snacks are so easy and fun to make! Plus, they’re too yummy not to eat! Your family will love spending time in the kitchen together this fall recreating these spook-tacular snacks!

I was so excited to feature these healthy Halloween snacks on KTLA Morning News with anchor Jessica Holmes, who’s a mom and food lover like me! Check out our video, below, for all the tricks to make these treats!

Watch me share Healthy Halloween Snack Ideas for Kids with KTLA Morning News Anchor Jessica Holmes!
Green Goblin Smoothie Bowls

Halloween Snack Idea #1: Green Goblin Smoothie Bowl

Adding spinach into smoothies is one of the easiest ways to get kids to eat their greens! And, you can’t taste the spinach – promise! For this Green Goblin Smoothie Bowl, make a green smoothie, pour into a small bowl, and have your kids toppings like granola or coconut for hair, dried fruit like raisins, dates or cranberries for the eyes, and pumpkin seeds or marshmallows for the smile. Kids have lots of fun decorating their green goblin face! 

Here is my favorite easy Green Smoothie recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup water (or almond milk or oat milk)

Instructions:

Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately.

Peanut Butter Spider Crackers

Halloween Snack Idea #2: Spider Crackers

Have your kids help assemble these spooky spider crackers made with round crackers (I like Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers), pretzel sticks, peanut butter (or another nut or sunflower seed butter) or cream cheese, and small dried fruit, like raisins or blueberries. 

Ingredients:

  • Round crackers
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Peanut butter (or your preferred nut/sunflower seed butter) or spreadable cream cheese
  • Small dried fruit like raisins, blueberries, cranberries, or Wilton Edible Candy Eyeballs

Instructions:

  1. Spread nut butter or cream cheese on two crackers thick enough to hold pretzels
  2. Break 4 pretzels in half
  3. Place the 8 half pretzels sticks around one cracker to resemble spider legs
  4. Top the cracker with the second cracker to secure the legs and make a sandwich
  5. Dip 2 dried fruit pieces in the nut butter or cream cheese and stick them to the top of the spider cracker sandwich to resemble eyes
  6. Enjoy!
Clementine Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts

Halloween Snack Idea #3: Clementine Pumpkins and Banana Ghosts

These fruity treats are so easy to make and fun to eat! Peel clementines and cut celery into small sticks. Have kids add the celery sticks to clementines as stems to make pumpkins! Peel bananas and cut in half. Have your children add mini chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth to create ghosts!

Spooky Grilled Cheese

Halloween Snack Idea #4: Spooky Grilled Cheese

Turn everyone’s favorite lunch into a frightful treat with Halloween shaped cookie cutters and dark rye bread! You can use wheat or white bread, but the dark rye bread is much more spooky! Plus, my toddler surprisingly loves it! Because of its color, he calls it “chocolate bread,” even though it tastes nothing like chocolate! Your kiddo will have lots of fun using cookie cutters to make ghosts, bats and pumpkins in their bread, but I recommend leaving the stovetop cooking to parents!

Ingredients: (makes 1 grilled cheese)

  • 2 slices dark rye bread
  • 1-2 slices of pre-sliced cheddar cheese (depending on how cheesy you like your sandwich!)
  • Butter

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter over medium high heat in pan on stovetop.
  2. Take one slice of bread and use Halloween cookie cutter to cut shape into middle of bread. Butter one side of the bread cut-out bread.
  3. Take the other slice of bread and butter one side.
  4. Place both slices of bread in pan with the buttered side up.
  5. After cooking for a couple minutes and letting the bread get to your toasty preference, flip both sides of bread to cook the other side. Immediately place cheese on the slice of bread without the cut-out.
  6. Continue cooking until cheese is melty.
  7. Place cut-out side bread on top of cheese and press down so the cheese sticks the slices together.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Creepy Eyes Cereal Bar

Halloween Snack Idea #5: Creepy Eyes Cereal Bars

Add funny eyes to pre-made cereal bars (or my favorite 3-ingredient cheerio bars seen here!) by rolling cream cheese into tiny little balls and adding a mini chocolate chips for eyes. If you’re low on time, it’s fun to add these eyes to anything pre-made, like muffins or frozen waffles!

Halloween Snack Idea #6: Green Halloween “Cupcakes”

My toddler loves these green “superpower” muffins, made with spinach, bananas, rolled oats and sweetened with honey! I love the ghastly green vibes of these for Halloween! Top with Nutella spread for “icing” and have your kids add Halloween sprinkles to make healthy-ish cupcakes! 

Which healthy Halloween snack do you want to try with your kiddos? Let me know in the comments below, or connect with me on Instagram @maggiehjackson!

XO, Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

Diaper Bag Essentials

fashion, Mom & Baby

The baby product industry is always working to convince us that we need MORE STUFF, so I’m determined to keep our approach as minimalist as possible. With all the options out there, it can be easy to get overwhelmed guessing what you truly need in your diaper bag – for baby and mom! Rather than carry half the nursery with me “just in case,” I personally prefer to stick to just the essentials.

The first step is choosing the right diaper bag. I have two: the Freshly Picked Classic Backpack in black and my new favorite Cleobella Taylor Mama Bag in Moccasin.

Here’s what’s important when shopping for a diaper bag:

Backpack style – Only once did I attempt to carry a large shoulder bag with me when out with the babies, and it was so challenging! Backpacks keep your hands free and the bag off the dirty ground – especially important when changing diapers in public restrooms!

Pockets! And more pockets! – Staying organized on-the-go is necessary when you’re quickly trying to clean up a mess or wipe a runny nose. Sometimes, you only have one hand to quickly grab a wipe! Pockets provide a place for everything, so you’re not digging toward the bottom of your bag for the loose hand sanitizer, sunscreen or whatever it may be.

Just big enough for a small laptop – Our family loves traveling and I’ve even brought the babies with me on work trips. In my opinion, there’s nothing more annoying than carrying additional bags through the airport when you also have kids in tow, so having a diaper bag that’s large enough for a small laptop – but no larger – is ideal.

Chic – As someone who considers herself a “cool mom,” there’s nothing more annoying to me than an item that screams baby. Like, I want carry a diaper bag, but I don’t want to look like I’m carrying a diaper bag. I like that the two bags I have can also function as stylish backpacks without looking like I’m carrying a pack of baby wipes with me.

Quality – This bag will go everywhere with you for a couple years, so you want it to be durable.

My diaper bags:

Freshly Picked Diaper Backpack in Black

This was the bag I had on my baby registry, and it has been such a wondeful gift! This Freshly Picked diaper bag has survived almost three years of baby and toddler craziness. I’ve brought this bag everywhere with me, and I really don’t see why a mama would need any other bag. In addition to the zipper closure, it has a flap that goes over the top, which is so handy when you only have one hand to close your bag and go! Because its black vegan leather, the bag can be dressed up and doesn’t stand out when I’ve had to take it to more formal occasions. I’ve brought this bag with me to present at work conferences! Bonus: It comes with a portable changing pad, so you don’t have to buy a separate one!

Cleobella Taylor Mama Bag in Moccasin Leather

Y’all, I am so obsessed with this Cleobella bag that I’ll probably continue to carry it as a chic travel backpack even when we’re out of the baby stage. I got this diaper bag after having my second baby, Lucy. I’d been carrying the Freshly Picked bag for the last 2.5 years and was ready for a change. I’ve been gravitating toward more neutrals since having a girl, and I think the moccasin color is perfect for spring and summer. The leather is so soft, and there’s so many pockets and compartments inside making it so easy to stay organized. I love that it also comes with a long shoulder strap to wear as a cross body. The braided detailing is very stylish. When my mother and husband first saw it, they did not think it was a diaper bag – WIN!

What’s in my diaper bag:

Portable Changing Pad

For diaper changes on-the-go, an easy-to-clean portable changing pad is vital. I like this portable changing pad from Amazon because its small and thin, so it doesn’t take up too much space in my diaper bag.

Muslin Swaddle Blanket

I love these aden + anais Muslin Blankets because they are multifunctional while being beautiful and long-lasting. I use these as a nursing cover, a swaddle for baby, a blanket for baby to wrap up in or lie down on, or to cover dirty surfaces baby may touch, like a grocery cart. They come in several beautiful colors and patterns that are easily washable. I like that they can cover a large surface while still being able to fold small to fit in my bag.

Burp Cloth

My favorite burp cloths are by KiddyStar, because they are thick and hold their shape. I’ve ended up with spit up all over me when using other brands’ thin, short, floppy burp cloths.

Disposable Diaper Bags

I carry these Munchkin Diaper Bag Refills in case I have to change a yucky diaper on-the-go and there’s no where to dispose the diaper. Believe me, you don’t want to have to keep an exposed yucky diaper in your beautiful new diaper bag or inside your car – ewwww!

Backup Clothes – Kyte Baby Footies

Spit-ups and blow-outs are just a part of everyday life when you have a baby, so always keep an extra change of clothes for baby in your bag. I especially like to have Kyte Baby Footies, because they’re sooooo soft and fold up really small inside your bag! They come in so many colors, so when you’re making your baby registry, register for a bunch!

Huggies Diapers and Wipes

After trying every brand of diaper out there, Huggies Diapers seem to be the best at keeping blow-outs at bay – very important when you’re out and about with baby! We also use Huggies Natural Care Wipes.

Extra Teething Toy

I always keep an extra teething toy or two in my bag to give something “new” to the baby that she’s currently not playing with in her stroller. It helps when she’s starting to get bored and fussy. I like these natural wooden teething rings because they’re non-toxic and have fashionable neutral colors.

Cuyana Wristlet

After carrying around my heavy wallet for a year with my firstborn, I finally wised up and got this cute, slim wristlet wallet from Cuyana. This wristlet has been so handy, especially when traveling. I keep my diaper bag on my back and this wallet around my wrist as I’m going through the airport and have to consistently pull out ID’s, tickets, credit card, etc. I also like this for quick errands when I don’t want to carry my diaper bag to the store. Now, I don’t need to transfer my wallet to another bag, because this wristlet does it all. It also has a pocket big enough for my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Cuyana has become one of my favorite leather goods brands. It’s such good quality at a perfect price point. And, the brand works to be as sustainable as possible.

Quay Sunglasses

I’ve owned several pairs of Quay Sunglasses, and these are my newest pair. I like that they’re fashionable, good quality, and at a good price point, so I don’t feel guilty buying a couple new trendy pairs at a time to try.

Other items that I always keep in my diaper bag include disinfecting wipes (to wipe down yucky surfaces), hand sanitizer, chapstick or lip color, and snacks for my toddler and me.

Our matching outfits:

While I have you, let’s talk about how cute these matching mommy-and-me dresses are from Cleobella. My mother and I used to wear matching dresses and jumpers back in the ’90s, so when I found out I was having a daughter, I got so excited for our future matching outfits! The main difference is that my mother actually used to sew our dresses back in the day, and since I’m no seamstress, it makes my heart so happy that Cleobella sells these adorable dresses. I’m wearing the Magdalena Mini Dress in natural and Lucy is wearing the Littles Magdalena Dress in natural.

I’m wearing the Magdalena Mini Dress in natural and Lucy is wearing the Littles Magdalena Dress in natural
Holding my Cuyana Wristlet

I hope this post was helpful for new mamas trying to plan outings with their littles or for experienced mamas looking to revamp their diaper bag! Comment in the posts below or let me know on Instagram!

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

Best Nespresso Accessory Ever!

Home, Kitchen, Lifestyle
Nespresso coffee is my fuel for mornings with babies!

I’m a morning person… And morning people need their coffee! Especially if you’re a mom to a baby and toddler!

My husband gifted me a Nespresso machine a few years ago, and I have to admit that it was probably a better gift than a piece of fine jewelry. (Shhhh… don’t let him know! I still want fine jewelry! LOL!)

But, seriously, Nespresso is the gift that keeps giving EVERY MORNING.

I love how easy it is to make gourmet coffee and clean. And, I love all the yummy flavors!

My favorite flavor is the Intenso XL (because mama needs XL coffee with two babies!) and regular Intenso. I also really like Melozio and Caramel Cookie when I want an afternoon coffee or a fun flavor.

A few of my favorite things: A cup of Nespresso coffee, Intenso XL coffee pods, Diptyque candle, Chanel and Tom Ford coffee table books

But, what I’m here to share is the best Nespresso accessory that you need if you have a Nespresso machine — POD STORAGE!

EVERIE Crystal Tempered Glass Top Organizer Drawer Holder

We had a Nespresso machine for three years before I found the perfect glass top organizer drawer holder on Amazon. We used to throw our pods in a drawer, and even with drawer organizers, they never felt truly organized and they took up precious drawer space! This glass top organizer is perfect to go under the machine, and beautifully organizes all of our pods. I love that it fits with our modern, minimalist kitchen design.

My favorite part of every morning – Our Nespresso machine and coffee pod organizer!

And, for those of you in the market for a new coffee machine, Nespresso is the way to go for the best tasting coffee that’s so easy to make. We used to buy freshly ground beans and make a big pot of coffee every morning. That was lovely but started to feel like such a chore to make and clean… And, when having two little babies in the house, the last thing you want is another chore! Like, why am I counting spoonfuls of coffee grounds at 6 a.m. to make the perfect pot when a little baby just woke me up three times last night? GIVE… ME… COFFEE… NOW!!!

Here is the coffee machine my husband gave me:

Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle with Aeroccino Milk Frother 

I honestly only use the milk frother a couple times a year when I’m really craving a latte. I truly love the regular Nespresso coffee with some creamer or half-and-half.

If you really want to step-up your coffee game, here is a barista level Nespresso machine that could potentially be a 5-year anniversary gift from my husband (but I still want fine jewelry!):

Nespresso Creatista Plus Coffee Espresso Machine

With the Creatista, you can level-up your coffee game by making fancy recipes for flat whites, cappuccinos, and latte macchiatos. You’ll never need to go to a Starbucks again!

XO Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.

BABY REGISTRY MUST-HAVES

Mom & Baby

Now that I’ve had two VERY different babies, I feel that I have a good idea of the most essential baby products every mom needs to add to their registry. When making my registry, I attempted my best to be as minimalist as possible with both babies. I hate clutter, and I didn’t want excess baby stuff around the house. With that said, it can be really hard to predict all your baby’s preferences before they are born, and sometimes you end up buying a couple of versions of an item when one doesn’t work out (for example, I tried wayyy too many varieties of swaddles until I found one that worked for us).

Below is a master list of the best baby products I’ve used for both my babies. Plus, I provided a detailed list with product descriptions below that. In my opinion, this list includes the most vital items to add to your registry and covers all the gear and products you’ll need for the first 3-4 months. I also have a list of best postpartum products for C-section and breastfeeding moms that I’ll share soon, so be on the lookout!

MASTER BABY REGISTRY LIST:

-Everyday Stroller: UPPAbaby VISTA V2 Stroller

-Travel Stroller: Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

-Wrap Carrier: Solly Baby

-Overall Baby Carrier: Omni 360 Ergobaby Carrier

-Bassinet: Design Dua Moses Basket

-Swaddle: Love To Dream Swaddle

-Sound Machine/Night Light: Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine and Night Light

-Travel Crib / Pack and Play: Lotus Travel Crib

-Bouncer: Fisher-Price Sweet Dreams Deluxe Bouncer

-Baby Lounger: DockATot Deluxe+

-Newborn Lounger: Boppy Newborn Lounger

-Activity Gym: Skip Hop Baby Play Mat and Activity Gym

-Nursing Pillow: Boppy Nursing Pillow

-Burp Cloths: KiddyStar Baby Burp Cloths

-Drool Bibs: KeaBabies Organic Baby Bandana Drool Bibs

-Nursing Cover: aden + anais Swaddle Blanket

-Manual Breast Pump: Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump

-Bottles: Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle, Dr. Brown’s Glass Baby Bottles and Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottles

-Diaper Bag: Freshly Picked Diaper Bag Backpack

-Changing Pad Liners: Munchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners

-Diaper Changing Pad: PooPoose Diaper Changing Pad

-Diaper Pail: Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail

-Wipe Dispenser: OXO Tot Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser

-Diapers: Huggies Little Snugglers Baby Diapers

-Bathtub: Angelcare Baby Bath

-Towel & Washcloths: Pottery Barn Gingham Baby Hooded Towel & Washcloths Set

-Bath Time Rinse Cup: Skip Hop Moby Bath Rinse Cup

-Baby Shampoo, Body Wash and Lotion: Noodle & Boo Newborn 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash and Baby Lotion

-Rattle: SmartNoggin NogginStik Developmental Light-Up Rattle

-Teether: Itzy Ritzy Silicone Baby Teether

-Starter Book Set: Baby Einstein’s My First Library Board Book Set


DETAILED BABY REGISTRY LIST:

Strollers, Carriers and Items to Get Around with Baby:

Best Everyday Stroller: UPPAbaby VISTA V2 Stroller

OK, moms and dads, this is may be one of the most important items on your registry. Don’t overlook it and don’t roll your eyes like I did when I saw this stroller’s price tag. The UPPAbaby VISTA is everything you need and more for your first baby AND your second baby. That was the selling point for me. I felt pretty certain that I wanted a second baby fairly soon after my first, and the VISTA is perfect for two children. Currently, my 3 month old rides in the stroller and my toddler likes to ride on the UPPAbaby VISTA PiggyBack Ride-Along Board. He’ll also ride in the stroller on a rare occasion, but he is so busy and independent that the ride-along board is genius! The stroller is durable with a smooth ride, has a large basket to carry EVERYTHING underneath and works perfectly with the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat. OK, so I’ll admit that I actually started resenting the VISTA 8 months into my first baby. It started feeling big and unnecessary, and we never liked taking it on an airplane, so I started using a small jogging stroller to primarily get around with Landon. It sat in our garage for a bit. But, now that we have a newborn, it’s all we’ve used for the last 3 months, and I know we’ll continue to use it to push around two children at once. I’m SO HAPPY we have this stroller!!

Best Travel Stroller: Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

For those of you who travel a lot, in and out of Ubers, or don’t feel like reinstalling the car seat every time you change cars, this stroller + car seat duo is for you. I know some moms that use this as their primary stroller and infant car seat, but that didn’t work for us because I now need a stroller that carries two at a time and also one with more storage capacity. I also don’t think the “ride” is smooth enough for long excursions. But, this stroller is genius. I took it on a work trip when I had to be in and out of taxis and Ubers, and the ease of folding up the wheels and converting the stroller to a car seat convinced me there is no need for any other travel stroller until your baby outgrows this one around 1 year old.

Best Wrap Carrier: Solly Baby

Our Solly Baby wrap was used ALL the time!
Lucy lived in her Solly Baby wrap the first 3 months

My second baby, Lucy, lived in the Solly wrap for her first three months. There was a bit of a learning curve to get the super long piece of fabric tied into a tight, comfy wrap, but it was totally worth it, because I don’t know what I would have done if she wasn’t in that wrap. She loved being super close to mom as I did chores around the house, cooked dinner and put my first baby to bed.

Best Overall Baby Carrier: Omni 360 Ergobaby Carrier

This carrier is best for longterm wear and grows with your baby until the toddler years. I’ve used the Ergobaby for long walks and hikes where a stroller was too difficult to bring or when baby just didn’t want to be anywhere else but on me. And, unlike the Solly, my husband will wear it!

Sleep Necessities:

Favorite Bassinet: Design Dua Moses Basket

I think the bassinet is one of the hardest things to buy. A baby’s sleep is so unpredictable for the first few months and every baby is different. I did not know this until my first was born. I borrowed the Halo bassinet from a friend, and I’m so glad I borrowed instead of purchased, because he may have only slept in it two or three nights. He hated being anywhere other than my chest the first two months, and after that, he was always in the DockATot (more on that below) or trying to sleep on his tummy. I ended up putting him in the crib un-swaddled really early compared to most babies. For my second baby, I didn’t want to invest in an expensive bassinet until after she was born and I knew what sort of sleeper she was. Instead, I purchased the Design Dua Moses basket to get us started. Yes, it’s not necessarily cheap, but it doesn’t have the shocking price tag like the Snoo or Halo. I figured that even if she never slept in it once, at least it looked cute for me to take pictures of her in (crazy mom here). Since it was an attractive basket, I also knew we also could use it for storing stuffed animals or toys. Plus, she could use it for her baby dolls when she’s older. Well, she turned out to be a decent sleeper for a newborn and she actually slept in it for a few weeks! But, I still moved her out of it and into her crib early, because I figured I wanted to get her used to the crib while she was sleeping well. It now holds all her stuffed animals.

Favorite Swaddle: Love To Dream Swaddle

My first baby hated being swaddled, but maybe that’s because we never tried the Love to Dream swaddle, which leaves their arms in the natural up position. Lucy would calm down immediately when putting her in this swaddle. I also bought the next version up where you can remove the arms for when baby starts rolling. My first baby woke up every couple of hours, but Lucy has done 8 hours straight in the Love to Dream swaddle! Plus, I love how babies look like super cute little burritos in it!

Sound Machine / Night Light: Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine and Night Light


I love the Hatch sound machine and night light and currently use it for our infant Lucy. I love that I can control the light color and brightness, plus the sound and volume all from my phone. I use it to play a lullaby as we’re getting ready for bed, then switch to white noise when it’s time for lights out. I used a different sound machine and separate night light for Landon when he was a baby, and while it was just OKAY, this has all the bells and whistles. It’s great for when they get older and you want to help them understand when it’s okay to get out of bed by changing the light from red to green. I’ve heard so many sleep success stories from mommies who’ve used this!

Best Travel Crib / Pack and Play: Lotus Travel Crib


We traveled with both of our babies fairly soon after they were born, so we needed a travel crib. This Lotus Travel Crib by Guava Family is so easy to use. It folds into an easy-to-carry bag and pops out for easy set-up. I know some moms who use this in their home as a space to contain their crawling baby, too. It’s worth the price tag for how convenient and easy it is to use, plus, it looks good!

Places for Baby to Sit and Play:

Favorite Bouncer:Fisher-Price Sweet Dreams Deluxe Bouncer
Lucy loves the Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer

For my first baby, we used Fisher Price’s Rock ‘n Play, but that product was recalled before Lucy was born. That was okay with me, because Landon never really liked sitting in there for long anyway. He didn’t like looking up at the sky and would get bored. I decided a bouncer would be better for Lucy, and after looking into options, this Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer seemed like the perfect fit. The price was right AND it offered some entertainment with the dangling animals above her head – which she stares at and tries to reach for ALL the time. I considered something a bit more pleasing to the eye, like Babybjorn, but I learned my lesson the first time with a place for baby to sit that didn’t have any entertaining attachments to it. Baby gets bored! And, I need a safe place for baby to sit while I try to cook dinner, get dressed, chase the toddler, etc. The other bouncer options out there are so expensive and didn’t feel worth it for doing the same thing as Fisher Price’s bouncer. Plus, babies only use it for a few months!

Best Baby Lounger: DockATot Deluxe+


Baby naps ALL the time, and you need places for those impromptu naps other than the bassinet or crib. I absolutely LOVE the DockATot and tell all my friends what a lifesaver it was for my first baby. If Landon wasn’t on my chest, he would ONLY sleep in the DockATot for his first few months of life. I know, technically, this is against the safe sleeping rules. But, we were just trying to survive, y’all! Plus, I slept in the same room as him and was awake every couple of hours, anyway. Lucy loved taking naps in it as I did chores around the house by her. The material is high quality, it’s durable, washable, easy on the eyes, and it fits most babies through 8 months. This is a product I don’t know what we would have done without.

Best Newborn Lounger: Boppy Newborn Lounger

Both of my babies spent so much time in the Boppy Newborn Lounger. You may wonder why you’d need another lounger when I already recommended the DockATot, but like I said previously, you’ll want places to sit baby around the house. It’s much easier than hauling loungers up and down the stairs or into different rooms. We always kept this on our couch and its where I sat baby in between feeds and while watching TV when I was recovering from my C-section. It’s cozy for baby and easy for mama to wipe clean.

Favorite Activity Gym: Skip Hop Baby Play Mat and Activity Gym


We loved this Skip Hop play gym for both of our babies. It’s affordable and easy to look at with neutral colors. It’s where both of my babies rolled over for the first time. Lucy loves laying there and grabbing the toys. I considered getting a more expensive play gym for Lucy, but I’m glad I didn’t spend the money since I already had this one. These things take up space, and once baby can crawl and pull up, they like finding other things around the house to explore (Stairs! Cabinets! Drawers! And all the other hazards that will drive you crazy – LOL!). My goal is to have less baby stuff or things I can resell. I can’t imagine play gyms being easy to resell after a baby spits up on and destroys it for 6 months.

Feeding:

Best Nursing Pillow: Boppy Nursing Pillow


If you have any desire to breastfeed, do yourself a big favor and get this Boppy nursing pillow. I exclusively breastfed both my babies, and this pillow made it so much easier for me and baby to comfortably and successfully do it. And, when I say I EXCLUSIVELY breastfed, I mean we used NO BOTTLES. That’s right, my babies spent a huge chunk of their first few months camped out on this pillow, and it saved my shoulders and back. I used this for Landon until he was about 9 months and big enough to where I didn’t really need the extra support, and I’m still using it for Lucy at 3.5 months.

Best Burp Cloths: KiddyStar Baby Burp Cloths


I was gifted TONS of different burp cloths with my first baby, and after experimenting with all of them, these were the ones I kept going back to. I even bought more of them, so I didn’t have to keep washing them as often, even though I had tons of other different burp clothes in baby’s dresser. You don’t have to spend time unfolding them while rushing to clean up a spit-up disaster, they’re durable and soft. Star rating: 10+!

Favorite Drool Bibs: KeaBabies Organic Baby Bandana Drool Bibs


My first baby spit up so much after every feeding, and my second baby is a major drooler. These organic KeaBabies drool bibs are perfect to catch all the yucky so you’re not changing baby’s outfit 10 times a day! And, they are so soft and cute!

Best Nursing Cover: aden + anais Swaddle Blanket


Since exclusively breastfeeding both babies, that means I do a lot of nursing in public. Obviously, I’m all for the #NormalizeBreastfeeding movement, but there are some times and places you just don’t want to accidentally expose yourself (like at a football watching party with your husband’s guy friends). I preferred these cute, soft, Aden + Anais swaddles to cover myself and baby, because they’re so handy when out and about. I’ve also used them as a blanket for baby to lay on, to cover baby’s stroller, and to wipe up major diaper blow-outs or spit-up messes. They also keep their shape after washing. I had some swaddle blankets with my first baby that did not. Bonus: They come in lots of sweet patterns and colors.

Favorite Manual Breast Pump: Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump


The Haakaa is so helpful while breastfeeding, especially for the first couple of months. By using the Haakaa, I was able to establish a good milk supply, plus save TONS of milk without having to hook myself up to an electronic pump (some moms prefer not to use an electric pump until after regular nursing has been established with baby). I’d put the Haakaa on one breast while baby nursed from the other, and I’d make 2-6 ounces of milk to save. If I didn’t have the Haakaa, I’d have soaked nursing pads and burp cloths – and wasted liquid gold (aka breastmilk)! I was able to store so much milk in the freezer with my first baby that I never even used an electronic pump. As I mentioned above, I exclusively breastfed, so I didn’t need to pump while baby drank from bottle. I stored my milk in the Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags, which are easy to store because they lay flat on top of each other.

Bottles: Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle, Dr. Brown’s Glass Baby Bottles and Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottles
As I’ve already said, I did not use bottles with my babies, but I feel like I can’t leave y’all hanging here since its such an important part of many babies’ first year. I asked all my mom friends their preferred bottle and everyone had a different answer! All babies are different and all bottles are different, so you may have to try a few to get a feel for what baby takes to. While every mom had a different tip related to bottle brands, the most popular brands I kept hearing over and over were Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle, Dr. Brown’s Glass Baby Bottles and Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottles.

Diapering:

Favorite Diaper Bag: Freshly Picked Diaper Bag Backpack


I know I needed a backpack instead of a shoulder bag, because my pre-baby shoulder-strap purse was already hurting my neck and shoulders with all the stuff I carry around – there was no way I could carry around all the baby stuff on my shoulder. Plus, a backpack keeps hands free – great for shopping, throwing stuff in your car, and when you need to pick up your toddler who’s running away from you! This backpack is so pretty – just like a designer purse. I’ve had it for almost three years now, and it’s held up SO WELL. And, it carries so much stuff that I take it EVERYWHERE. I even put my laptop in it when we travel!

Favorite Changing Pad Liners: Munchkin Waterproof Changing Pad Liners


I never knew how handy these would be! Get these Munchkin changing pad liners, so you’re not constantly washing hard-to-clean items or items you just don’t want to remove from their designated spots, like the changing pad cover, DockATot, etc. I even kept one of these downstairs on the couch to change baby’s diaper to keep me from going upstairs to our official changing station.

Best Changing Pad: PooPoose Diaper Changing Pad


I really dislike the name of this product LOL but it does the job! I especially loved the soft straps for Landon when he started getting really squirmy around 5-6 months. Imagine trying to change a baby’s poopy diaper while they’re trying to touch their butt or roll over – yikes! This saves you! I bought the recommended PooPoose Changing Pad Cover in varsity grey.

Best Diaper Pail: Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail


I’m about to drop some realness on y’all… ALL diaper pails stink. There is no magic way to keep your diaper pail from stinking with the amount of wetness and funk that sits in a pail, even a stainless steel one. But, this Ubbi diaper pail does a pretty darn good job. We had ours for almost 2 years before it started stinking so bad that there was no saving it. That was 1.5 years after putting the really gross poopy diapers in there that you’ll soon discover after introducing your baby to solids. We bought a fresh, new Ubbi pail, and I’ve learned you can make yours last even longer by changing the bag every other day, adding the Ubbi Odor Absorbing Gels and bagging the super stinky poopy diapers in Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bags prior to putting in the Ubbi pail. All I can say is, best wishes on your poop diaper journey!

Best Wipe Dispenser: OXO Tot Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser


I never knew how vital this OXO Tot wipe dispenser would be! It sure comes in handy when you’re juggling holding baby’s legs, dropping the diaper in the diaper pail, and need to pull more wipes to clean the yucky – all while attempting not to get poop everywhere! Get this!

Best Diapers: Huggies Little Snugglers Baby Diapers


Y’all, I really wanted to be Ms. Organic Mommy and use all the best “environmentally better” diapers. I tried them ALL for both my babies and none compare to Huggies Little Snugglers, especially for the 0-3 months stage. These are the only diapers I’ve found that limit blow-outs. You may think you want to use the organic brands, or even reusable diapers (seriously, good for you, I commend you…), but after you’ve ruined enough clothes and touched enough poop, you’ll want to switch to these.

Bath Time:

Favorite Bathtub: Angelcare Baby Bath

Lucy in the Angelcare baby bathtub

The Angelcare baby bathtub is such a simple and easy tub that we used for both babies. It’s inexpensive, but it’s held up so well! The colors haven’t faded and there’s no gross mold or any other residue left behind on the tub, unlike some of our other bath toys. Both my babies have loved bath time and never complained being in this tub. After bath, we store this under our sink, but we used to hang it behind the bathroom door in our old house. I really don’t think you need anything fancy for baby’s first bathtub. Get one that’s safe and easy to store, like the Angelcare!

Favorite Towel & Washcloths: Pottery Barn Gingham Baby Hooded Towel & Washcloths Set

Pottery Barn Gingham Towel & Washcloths Set can be personalized!

It was tough to choose my favorite baby towel and washcloths, because we received several as gifts that are all great and functional. However, I chose Pottery Barn’s gingham baby hooded towel and washcloth as my #1 choice because of the thick and soft material. It really held up after numerous washes. Plus, you can personalize it! My second favorite hooded baby towels are the super soft aden + anais Classic Hooded Baby Bath Towels, because they also are thick and hold up very well. I wash my babies’ bath towels more than my own because there always seems to be some sort of spit-up or poopy accident right before or after bath!

Favorite Rinse Cup: Skip Hop Moby Bath Rinse Cup


I underestimated how much I’d love a good rinse cup. This Skip Hop Moby Rise Cup keeps the water out of my babies’ eyes and makes it so easy to wash their hair tear-free. Now that Landon is older, he loves using it to help give baby a bath.

Best Baby Shampoo, Body Wash and Lotion: Noodle & Boo Newborn 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash and Baby Lotion


All new mamas worry about their babies’ sensitive newborn skin and want to choose the most delicate, natural products. I love Noodle & Boo’s 2-in-1 Shampoo & Body Wash and Lotion because it checks all the boxes: non-toxic, plant-based, dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, made in USA… AND it has a light irresistible newborn baby scent that will make you want to double you baby’s kisses post bath time.

Toys and Books:

Best Rattle: SmartNoggin NogginStik Developmental Light-Up Rattle



This SmartNoggin rattle encourages development in multiple ways, and both of my babies loved it. They love feeling the different textures, tracking the light and looking in the mirror at the bottom of the rattle. Since they liked it so much, I also would use it to encourage tummy time. I’d set it in front of them while on their tummies to look at.

Favorite Teether: Itzy Ritzy Silicone Baby Teether – BPA-Free Infant Teether with Easy-to-Hold Design and Textured Back Side to Massage and Soothe Sore, Swollen Gums, Cactus


Most any silicon teether will do, but I like that this one was large enough to where I didn’t lose it and the fact that it was a gender neutral cactus. It just felt very “LA” (LOL!) and didn’t scream “baby!” like many other crazy primary colored teethers.

Favorite Starter Books: Baby Einstein’s My First Library Board Book Set


This Baby Einstein book block is a great starter set to introduce your babies to reading and baby basics – colors, shapes, animals and such. I started reading immediately with both of my babies, and I’m so happy that Landon LOVES and interacts with his books at 2.5 years old.

Whew! That’s a lot of gear for baby! Did I forget anything that you other mamas found vital for your newborn baby? Let me know by emailing me here or connect with me on Instagram.

XO, Maggie

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some of this post contains affiliate links for the products I use and LOVE. If you take action on these links (like clicking, buying, etc.), I may receive compensation at no cost to you. As always, all opinions are my own, and I’ll only recommend what I truly love.