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!

Why I Switched to Safer…

Did you know the average woman uses NINE skincare/makeup/beauty products per day? On an average day I use between fifteen and thirty!! That number blew me away and I became determined to figure out what exactly was in my powders, lotions, and face washes. I started by using the EWG Healthy Living app on my phone – this app helps guide your exposure to harmful chemicals in your products at home. I started scanning away…. and was horrified by the results. Some products that I had been using for years and years were coming up with a rating of 10! (Ingredients are ranked in the app 1-10 with 10 being the highest for cancer concern, allergy concern, and developmental concern). I challenge you to download the app to see what harmful ingredients are in your home products.

Then I was introduced to Beautycounter! Not only are the ratings the lowest of any makeup and skincare line on the market, but the products are high quality and high performing. I was nervous to switch to a safer makeup line and not have full coverage or high pigmented colors, but I was blown away!

Now, I use Beautycounter make-up, skincare, body care, and hair care DAILY! Until August 13th Beautycounter is offering 20% off with the discount code: LOVE. This is unprecedented for the company, so I encourage everyone to to take a look and take advantage of this great sale!

Full Face of Beautycounter products:

Foundation // Concealer // Blush // Bronzer // Eyeshadow // Lipstick

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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

Weekend in Review: Starting July

Weekend in Review: Starting July

July is by far my FAVORITE month of the year. There are lots of birthday celebrations, beach days, ice cream runs, beautiful sunsets, weddings, sales (!!!), and suntans.  This weekend we only had two things planned – a friend’s wedding in the Cape and swimming in the pool. The weather forecast in the Cape was expected to be perfect, hot with 0% chance of rain and a slight breeze.

The wedding was in Brewster, MA at a beautiful venue, Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club. The ceremony was so sweet.. I always cry no matter what. The food was delicious and the DJ was on point. Jake and I spent the whole night on the dance floor and I was so sore the next morning. I had a great hangover to go with the sore legs too. I thought sticking to tequila, soda and grapefruit would have me in the clear, but apparently when you drink 6 of them you are bound to have a hangover.

(Dress: Lord and Taylor Shoes: BP. @ Nordstrom Sunglasses: BP. @ Nordstrom)

Everly stayed with her Grandpa and had a great night listening to music, playing with her toys and eating a big dinner.

Sunday morning we had a delicious breakfast at our favorite spot in the Cape, Bagel Haven. Then immediately got ready to be poolside. Everly splashed around for a full hour before taking a long afternoon nap.

Everly is starting to become fussy during the daytime… which hasn’t happened in a really long time. I’m assuming she’s teething and hot, but it’s exhausting for this mama. And it makes it very difficult to take adorable pictures of her.

After some time in the pool and an afternoon rest we headed to the Cotuit Kettleers home game. It was the first game that Jake, Everly and I had been to and we had a great time. We brought plenty of snacks and toys for Everly and laid a blanket out in the shady lawn. I highly recommend going to a game if you’re looking for a free Cape Cod activity. The concession stand had great snacks including hot dogs, lobster rolls, and a chowder and it was very family friendly. We’ll definitely be back with a bigger picnic basket and some hard ciders.

I also forced my husband to wear a “Cool Dad” shirt to match Everly — it was a late Father’s Day gift. He’s such a good sport for all of my embarrassing antics. And it also was great opportunity for a million pictures of these two.

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Her sweet little face and hands on her hips!

What a weekend! We’ll be in the Cape for the 4th of July too! Lots of fun planned with my little mini for her first year of celebrations 🙂

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

 

 

My Pros and Cons of Eyelash Extensions

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When I was pregnant with Everly I began getting eyelash extensions. Now, one and a half years later I consider myself somewhat of an “Eyelash Extension Pro”. I’ve experienced :::almost::: everything in these bad boys. I get asked about them almost daily, so I decided to come up with a list of pros and cons.

Pro: They finish your face.

Eyelash extensions are the only thing I wear (makeup wise) four or five days of the week. They are perfect for busy moms, in that regard. If I don’t feel like applying any makeup, I still feel somewhat put together to go out of the house. I don’t ever have to wear mascara when I do apply makeup, so that’s a plus!

Con: They come with a cost.

Eyelash extensions can be expensive and time consuming. To maintain them you should get a fill every three to four weeks. The first set takes approximately 1-1.5 hours to apply and each fill takes around an hour.

Pro: Eyelash extensions are safe.

Each individual false lash is glued to your natural lash. As long as you are going to a professional for them, they are very safe. Who knows what’s in lash extension products that you are applying directly to your eye! It’s very rare, but you could have a negative reaction to the glue. I have sensitve skin and have never had an issue.

Con: You can’t rub your eyes.

You are probably reading this thinking whoooo cares! BUT I have not fully rubbed my eyes for over a year… that’s insane. You have to be careful about maintaining your false lashes. They are more susceptible to fall out if you are rubbing your eyes. When you wash off any makeup, I would recommend using a washcloth and being very careful around your eye area.

I also have a hard time wearing certain pairs of sunglasses. If you wear glasses or contacts I would recommend talking with your optometrist first.

Pro: They look very natural.

They come in different lengths and can look very natural or dramatic, depending on the look you are going for. I started out with a longer length and now have been getting a medium length for the past 6+ months.

Con: A professional should remove them!

Maybe you’ve decided that eyelash extensions are not for you. It’s very tempting to rub them off/pick them off. DO NOT do it! I would highly recommend going back to the technician who applied them to get them removed. If they are removed incorrectly they can damage your natural lashes.

Have you ever had eyelash extensions or used a lash boosting serum? What are your tips for false lashes?

xo,

Jacci