Toddler Breakfast Ideas

Everly loves having yogurt in the morning, but we’ve been stuck in a breakfast rut. She goes a few weeks eating the same things until she doesn’t want it anymore and then we move on to the next one! Here are some breakfast recommendations I received from other moms on Instagram along with a few I researched on my own.

Avocado Toast

SO easy to make in morning, cut up into small pieces.

Almond Flour Pancakes

A friend of mine sent me the easiest recipe after we got the Arthur Flour care package. Everly isn’t really a fan of pancakes or waffles, but I’m sure someone else will enjoy this recipe.

Beat together 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1/4 cup heavy cream.
Add to 1 cup of almond flour and a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

Egg cups with veggies

(easy to bake these in muffin tins). You can use any vegetables! I dice up carrots/sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, or peas.

English Muffins with peanut/almond/sunflower butter and bananas.

Top with hemp seeds!

Whole milk yogurt with honey and fruit

Scrambled egg, bean, and cheese quesadillas

Banana “pancakes”

mix one egg + 1/2 banana and cook in a pan like a pancake

Chia Seed Pudding

Oatmeal with blueberries and cinnamon

Smoothies!

Blueberry/apple sauce muffins

Any other breakfast ideas to share?

xo,

Jacci

Bedtime Routine from Day 1

Bedtime Routine from Day 1

The sooner you begin a bedtime routine, the better. We started a routine with Everly around four weeks. It’s evolved as she’s gotten older, but it’s been the key to longer stretches of sleep. Those longer stretches eventually lead to a full night of sleep (10-11 hours for a one year old). PRAISE GOD! I don’t know about you, but I am a MUCH better mom when Everly is sleeping well – for naps and overnight. Here are some tips from my personal experience… obviously, if something is working with your baby, don’t change it!

Babies thrive with a routine that is scheduled. A bedtime routine can be as simple as diaper change, PJ’s and white noise or as complicated as three sound machines, a bath, swaddle, book, songs, etc. The first step to a bedtime routine is creating a consistent schedule. Jake and I loosely followed the E.A.S.Y. method (from Noob MommyEASY-Schedule-Cheat-Sheet I’m not sure if other people have had success with it, but it worked for me! It helped me figure out what time Everly should be napping and eating and that was good enough.

E.A.S.Y. method

E: Eat

A: Activity

S: Sleep

Y: Your Time

A hungry baby (or person in general) is not going to sleep as well as someone that is well fed. They are also not going to interested in any activity time. When Everly was younger her activities ranges from songs, tummy time, books, staring at her reflection in a mirror, sitting in her bouncer, etc. Now that she’s 12+months the activities are much different. She really has to wear herself out to be tired enough for a nap. We will usually go to the park, read books, color with her water books, build with blocks, use her “food truck” to cook, play with her babies/strollers, and the list could go on. Walks in the stroller don’t count as activities anymore – she needs exercise.

4 weeks – 4 months: Everly was still sleeping in her Rock N Play in our room — our bedtime routine looked like this…

Bath, Lotion, PJ’s, brush hair, swaddle, sound machines (white noise), breastfeed until sleep, put in rock and play and turn that thing on full blast!

4 months – 6 months:

Everly was moved into her nursery in her crib. We switched over to the Merlin Sleep Suit (if you don’t own this – buy immediately). Everly wore hers until she started rolling over daily.

Bath, Lotion, PJ’s, brush hair, sleep sack, sound machines, breastfeed to sleep, put down in crib.

At 6 months we also did cry it out — I’ll write a whole separate blog post on this. Long story short. It’s worth it.

6 months – 12 months:

At 6 months Everly started getting a bottle of breast milk before bed. Eventually, we switched the breast milk to formula (pumping is not fun).

Bath, Lotion, PJ’s, brush hair, Halo Sleep Sack, sound machines, bottle of formula, put in crib awake.

There’s no right answer for the perfect bedtime routine. Create what works for your family’s schedule. It is important to stay consistent and create a calming environment for bedtime!

Good luck!

Flying with Infants: Tips & Tricks

With my family living in Florida, Jake and I knew we would be flying a TON with Everly. She made the best travel companion and we took her everywhere! Everly had been on 14 flights before her first birthday — the majority of them have gone smooth, so here are my tips and tricks.

1. Plan your travel ahead of time.

Book your flights far enough in advance, so you get to pick your seats. I would highly recommend picking your seat even on airlines that charge an additional fee. The aisle seat is usually the best for adults with a lap infant. On every airline we’ve flown children under two are free as long as they sit on your lap (ie: JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, and Delta).

Most babies will nap anywhere and everywhere – which is great! You are probably able to choose anytime to fly. As your baby approaches 4-6 months you might need to schedule around a nap. Flights first thing in the morning work better for us than bedtime/red eye flights.

2. Organize Yourself

Arriving to the airport alone on the curb with a car seat, luggage, stroller, diaper bag and baby is top 5 most stressful moments of my life. Everly and I took a 9 day trip to Florida and Arizona (without Jake) and boy was I nervous! I ended up surviving — all thanks to being organized. I pack all of our essentials in the diaper bag. There’s no point in bringing an additional purse with you – it’s just one more thing to carry. The night before, I organize her diaper bag by taking every item out and starting fresh. Have your ID, credit card, and boarding pass put in a pocket that’s easily accessible to get through check in.

I also have a travel diaper changing pad that holds wipes, diapers and creams. I can easily grab that instead of bringing the whole bag to the worlds smallest bathrooms on the plane.

3. Carrier or Stroller?

I’ve been asked this question dozens of times. And I always say both. Especially for babies under 6 months. You will fill your stroller up with your water, coffee, breakfast, diaper bag, etc. I always wore Everly in a carrier to get through security – this was super easy for me because most of the time she would be asleep (and you don’t have to take them out).

The Uppababy Vista folds up easily to go through the security check – you will need to take off the wheels too! If you don’t want to fold it, you can push it through the metal detector and they will swipe your hands (not 100% why, but they do!)

Once you get through security you can put baby in the stroller or keep in the carrier. It always worked best to keep Everly in the carrier until we got on the plane.

Gate checking strollers is super easy too – just grab a tag from the gate. I’d recommend putting your stroller in a bag to help avoid extra scratches.

4. Breast milk and Breastfeeding

Everly was exclusively breastfed until she was 6 months old. Before a flight I would usually panic and think I needed to go buy formula for the flight… not sure why! I was always stressed that she wouldn’t latch or my supply wouldn’t be enough to last through the flight. Breastfeeding really gets to your head, man 🤦🏼‍♀️. I would bring between 5-10 ounces of frozen breast milk in a small cooler in my diaper bag with an empty bottle and freezer pack. Security will test any milk that’s thawed, but we’ve never had a problem with that. They also test any water cups, juice cups, and pouches over 3.4oz!

Everyone recommends feeding baby during take off and landing so that their ears can pop too! I traveled with a black nursing cover. It worked as a blackout curtain for sleeping and gave me some privacy. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing for nursing on a plane!

5. Toys AND snacks!

I’m always packed with toys and books. Everly plays with a toy for 2 minutes then is on to the next thing. Before a flight I buy her a brand new toy (as a surprise for the plane). I also packed lots of snacks for her in containers including blueberries, Cherrios, and teething crackers. My favorite snack container is made my Ubbi.

I always travel with Lysol wipes to wipe down the whole row, seat, seatbelt and TV. Planes are a breeding ground for germs.

We have six flights coming up before the end of the year and I’ve been stressed about flying alone with Everly now that she’s a little older. We bought a travel car seat and purchased a seat for her. She’s easier to control when she’s buckled down 💆🏼‍♀️

What are you tips for flying with toddlers? Share any tricks!

Personalized Gifts for Newborns

Hi! I’m a huge fan of monograms, personalizations, and custom made items for baby showers/newborn gifts. They make for such special gifts that families will keep for a lifetime. I’ve come up with a great list of vendors on Etsy and thought that I would share. If you know anyone that is expecting, keep these shops in mind! Now if more of my friends would start having babies that would be great! 🙂

Milestone Blankets

I ordered a milestone blanket for Everly when she was a few days old. I was so excited to get a picture taken monthly on the same blanket to see how she was growing. By month 7 she didn’t want to lay on the blanket… she was more proud of sitting up on her own. We’ve made it work though! I ordered from a small Etsy shop, LittlePeonyCo. The shop has hundred of items available for personalization including blankets and beach towels. The blanket I ordered for Everly has a floral wreath design and comes in a super soft mink material. The blankets come in different sizes too – I’d recommend ordering a larger size (50x60in).

Custom Lovey’s

A lovey might not seem like an immediate necessity, but they are so adorable and great for cuddling. Now that Everly is older she brings her lovey everywhere with her. When she was a couple of months old I was buying little crinkly blankets from an online Etsy shop, DwellDarling. This shop has hundreds of blankets, loveys, and crinkle pages available to be customized with a name or monogram. The prints are so adorable and come with a soft fur backside! They have a great Instagram page that highlights all of the new prints too!

Announcement Pillows

Another option for monthly milestone photos would be to take a picture of the babe propped up in a chair next to an announcement pillow. I ordered one for Everly’s room from Empowering Decor on Etsy. It has her name, birthdate, weight, and height printed with a beautiful design.

Custom Clothing

There’s nothing cuter than a baby in a monogrammed onesie. Seriously, a perfect photo opp. I like to order outfits for holidays that have Everly’s name or initials on them. I ordered from an Etsy shop, LaineyKayDesigns, but there are lots of options available.

Decor Pieces

My go to spot is Pottery Barn. You can find any and every baby item there and they add personalization to 90% of their items for a small fee. Everything from furniture pieces, Boppy covers, lunch boxes, and towels… the list could go on forever. Sign up for their emails to know when the sales are going on too!

What gift ideas did I miss?

xo,

Jacci

Countdown to ONE!

(Milestone Blanket: LittlePeonyCo Etsy Shop)

Everyone says this, but it’s so true! The first year goes so fast! I remember sleeping on the couch for the first two weeks of Everly’s life wondering how the hell I was going to do it.(Yes, I slept on the couch because I was too afraid to wake Jake in the bedroom when Everly would cry… Hahahah)

And we’ve done it…almost! We’ve made it to her 11 month birthday and have begun the countdown to her first birthday party. Overall, Everly has been a great baby. She’s happy, social, curious, a great eater, and a great sleeper.

Things have not always been so easy and it was very difficult to think ahead and know that things would get better. I remember sleepless nights, LOTS of crying, lots of spit up, difficulty breast feeding, difficulty getting her out the door, and struggling to know if I was doing well enough. I always doubted myself, my intuition. I would stay up late reading blogs, articles, ebooks on everything – how to get your baby to sleep in 5 steps, why is my baby crying, why won’t my newborn sleep, is my baby eating enough. It made me crazy to a point. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself – you’re doing AMAZING and she is going to be just fine! Because that’s exactly what happened. She’s thriving, bubbly, and smart and every single day is better than the last.

If you have a newborn and are struggling, just know that it is going to get easier and that you are not alone. As everyone says… it takes a village. Take help when you need it and stay strong!

xo,

Jacci

 

 

Summer Must Haves for Babies 6+ Months

Boston winters are brutal. They are so horribly cold and snowy with wind chills below zero and 3-4+ layers of clothing. It’s actually my worst nightmare. I count down the days to summer as soon as the first chilly fall day arrives. And NOW, warm weather is here to stay with the first official day of summer on Thursday. For Everly and I, this means lots of days at the playground, outdoor workouts with the jogging stroller, and time in the pool or at the beach!

I’ve rounded out my favorite summer essentials for babies 6 months and older. I’d fully recommend keeping any babies younger than 6 months out of the sun/heat as best as possible.

Outdoor play mats/blankets

Any blanket will usually do the trick for the day at the park, but I’d recommend one that has stakes to stay in the ground if there’s any wind. We have one that we purchased from Target when they did their collaboration with Hunter a few months ago and it’s perfect. It folds up into a small bag and has a beautiful pattern. Everly is able to crawl around on the blanket and play with her toys out of the grass. PS: most kids are afraid of the grass! Here are some similar options:

Opalhouse – Black and White Animal Picnic Blanket

DOUSPT Beach Blanket Picnic Blanket

Travel Fan

We can’t sleep/relax in the heat when we’re sweaty, so babies definitely can’t either. To keep cool I bought Everly a small fan that clips on to her stroller. We like the one with foam fan blades, but all baby fans are safe for the stroller and tiny fingers.

Dreambaby Clip On Stroller Fan, Black w/Silver

fan

Sun Protection

The best way to keep your baby protected from the sun, is to keep them out of it. Sun shades, beach umbrellas, long sleeve bathing suits, sun hats, and sunscreen are so important to keep your baby safe in the sun.

i play. Baby Flap Sun Protection Swim Hat

It comes in 10+ colors, works great in the pool, and ties on under babies chin. It’s basically the only hat that Everly will keep on her head!

RuffleButts Baby/Toddler Girls Long Sleeve One Piece Swimsuit – Painted Flowers with UPF 50+ Sun Protection

This suit comes in different patterns, has a zip for easy on/off, and is UPF 50+ for sun protection. The best part is the long sleeves = less time applying sunscreen.

Beautycounter Countersun Sunscreen: Pediatricians recommend not applying sunscreen to babies under 6 months old. The most important things to think about when buying sunscreen for your child are safety and effectiveness. The safest sunscreen that I’ve found for Everly is by Beautycounter. And best of all is that it’s effective too! There is an option for a mist, lotion or face stick. I’ve used a combo of all three on her, but the mist is definitely the easiest to apply when she’s squirming around. It’s important to remember to reapply every 2 hours or immediately after they go into the water and dry off.

Summertime Toys

Everly loves the water, so we have a great float for the pool. At the beach she will play with the sand – it’s inevitable for them to eat it too. She has sand toys and stacking cups to play with as well.

We are ordering her a water table for the backyard. She played with one over the weekend at a birthday party and loved it!

Bubbles are another easy, inexpensive toy for babies. 20 minutes of guaranteed excitement!

What are your must haves for the summer with your baby?

xo,

Jacci

Top 10 Essential Baby Items

Top 10 Essential Baby Items

 

You’re over the moon excited with baby number one on the way and you’ve done your gender reveal party… what now? Run to BuyBuyBaby (RIP Babies’R US) and test out every  single baby product!

I’ve been asked SO many times on what to register for/what is a MUST HAVE for when your baby arrives. Here’s a list of the absolute top 10 items. Some of these items are needed immediately and some are important to have once your baby is 3+ months old. Obviously, you’ll need diapers, wipes, and swaddle blankets.. that’s a no brainer even for the newest mom to be.

The best advice is to register for everything — don’t skimp! You’ll be surprised to see what your friends/family will generously gift!

Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

rock and play

The Rock ‘n Play Sleeper comes in different patterns and prints and is the absolute most used baby item in every household with a newborn. Everly slept in this rock and play every night for the first four months of her life. Make sure you register for one with the auto rocker, music, and white noise.

Hushh Portable Sound Machine

hushh 2

White noise is a necessity for getting your baby to sleep. It reminds your newborn of being safe and warm in the womb. There are plenty of white noise apps available to download on your iPhone, but this machine is worth the $30 price tag. It’s rechargeable (never buy one that takes batteries), has three types of white noise and clips easily to baby’s stroller or car seat. This machine has been EVERYWHERE with us, but lives in Everly’s room for her nighttime sleep and naps.

Skip Hop Chelsea Diaper Bag Backpack

chelsea diaper bag

Having a backpack for a diaper bag is SO important. A baby’s diaper bag comes everywhere with you the few years of the baby’s life. This bag has the perfect amount of storage and style. I added the Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station to organize everything needed for a quick diaper change. Everly’s diaper bag always diapers (duh), A&D, and Water Wipes – the best baby wipes for sensitive skin.

Aden + Anais Musy Squares

musy squares

Everly was a great eater and rarely spit up… until she was about 5 months old. Then we started going through 3-4 soaked burp cloths/day. It felt like we were taking a step backwards, but realized she needed to relax for 10-15 minutes after eating instead of going straight to playing. These are very lightweight cloths.. perfect for spit up and drool. They were also Everly’s first Lovey… awwww!! 🙂 Now that she’s a little older, she’s graduated to a new lovey, also by Aden+Anais

Babyganics Foaming Dish and Bottle Soap

babyganics

Basically, the whole Babyganics line is amazing. Everything has a light scent and is great for sensitive skin. The foaming dish and bottle soap is perfect to clean pacifiers, highchairs, bottles, and dishes because it doesn’t leave a residue. We also are huge fans of the Hand Sanitizer Wipes, Moisturizing Lotion, and Toy Wipes.

FridaBaby NoseFrida

nose frida

You’ve probably heard of this weird tool for sucking snot out of babies noses and were confused like I was. It’s hard to understand how it works without trying, but trust me and just buy it. You’ll thank me when your baby has his/her first cold. Between boogie wipes, Nasal spray, and this magical tool your baby will be feeling better in no time.

Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit Microfleece

merlin

$40 is VERY steep for a baby swaddle, but this thing really is *magic*. Babies get to a point where they don’t want their hands swaddled… it’s usually around the 3 month mark, but varies by baby. This is the swaddle at that point. It comes in three colors and looks like a snow suit. Everly wore a long sleeve onesie under it nightly and was never overheated. We ended up using this for about 3 months (until she was rolling over and wanted to sleep on her stomach).

Zipper Long Sleeved Onesies

zipper.jpeg

The zipper is key for newborns! You will be changing 8-15 diapers per day! Don’t waste any time on snaps… they are so stupid. Carter’s makes a Sleep and Play version with zippers, but our favorites were from Target – Cloud Island. These ones had a reversible zipper so you don’t have to take the whole outfit off when you change a diaper.

Black Out Curtains/Car Seat Canopy

Keys to baby sleeping well: swaddle, white noise, and a DARK room. You will need to invest in black out curtains for the best sleep stretches and Everly sleeps 12-13 hours a night! Napping in her crib would not be possible without these curtains from Target. When we’re on the go she will nap in her car seat thanks to a car seat canopy (we have a solid black one). It’s also a great cover for breastfeeding!

UppaBaby Vista Stroller

vista

My husband and I decided to splurge on the UppaBaby Vista stroller when we won $500 on a scratch off at Christmas Dinner. Chaaa Chingggggg! It was the best decision ever! We love that this travel system can hold three kids – yes, three! It has the smoothest ride, looks very sleek and is easy to fold/transport. We purchased the stroller set in Jake (black), but there are several colors that are on sale! It comes with the bassinet attachment and the Rumble Seat. Note that the car seat is not included in the travel system – you’ll need the UppaBaby Mesa

Top 10 RoundUp is complete! Top 10 Toddler Items TBD – send me your must haves!