Archives for May 2017

Bathing Suit Beauty

Bathing Suit BeautyAs a new mom, it’s such fun to think about your baby splashing about at the pool, lake or ocean during the summer. But the one thing many moms dread for themselves is putting on a bathing suit. Today we’re helping you be a confident bathing suit beauty this summer without extreme dieting or hard core exercise routines.

After pregnancy, your body may look a bit different with some extra padding and skin here and there. If this is your first summer after having a baby, you may be particularly self conscious of your new body. For some, these changes are temporary and for others, having children changes their bodies forever. Regardless of which category you fall into, we’re here to help you feel like a gorgeous bathing suit beauty. Here’s what really matters when you’re rocking your swimsuit this summer:

Choose a Style that Suits

The way you look in your bathing suit may have less to do with you and more to do with your suit. If your body has changed, your suits may need to as well. Rather than having a pity party for your old suits, take the opportunity to purchase a few new ones that work for your new shape. So what if your old two-piece is too tight. Tankinis and one-piece swimsuits can be just as stylish. A halter top with a low V-neck draws attention to your face while skirts and boy shorts may balance your look and smooth out your thighs. Play around with a few styles to figure out what makes you look and feel most confident.

Select Features and Colors that Flatter

Creating optical illusions is one way to feel great about your swimsuit look. Color blocking, side rouching and small prints are playful ways to slim your silhouette. Remember, dark colors like black, brown and navy are also slimming.

Get a Sun-Kiss

Avoid the free radicals that will age your skin but still achieve the appearance of tanned skin with self-tanning lotions or a professional spray tan. Darker skin hides more imperfections and may give you that boost you need to feel like a bathing suit beauty. Also, using a light natural oil on your skin before heading to the water can give you a shimmery, glowing look.

Glam it Up

Treat swim time like other fashion opportunities and make your best effort to look put together. A mani and pedi are certainly in order before heading to the pool, lake or beach. When it’s appropriate, put on some wedge sandals for added height and sophistication. Wear fun earrings and perhaps a cute sun hat too to show off your great sense of style. You may not need a full face of makeup but tinted SPF face lotion, waterproof mascara and some lip gloss will solidify your super sleek swimwear outfit.

Hold the Salt

Eating too much salt makes your retain water and can cause bloating. Stick with natural, whole foods and drink lots of water to flush your body. This will prevent the bulk of bloating and make your skin look radiant.

Tone and Stretch in the A.M.

Just 20 minutes of stretching and strength-building can tighten your appearance before swimwear time. Try to hit each major muscle group – arms, chest, abs, back, glutes, quads and calves. You’ll be surprised what a difference it will make.

Get an Up Do

Pull your hair into a pony tail, bun or messy twist to elongate your neck. It can also add height, which makes you look taller and thinner. Who doesn’t want that?

Confidence

As always, so much about the way you look is the confidence you exude. Your new body shape may be one of many sacrifices you’ll make for your kids over the years. Learning to embrace your body is essential to your self-confidence that will in turn make you look like the bathing suit beauty you are. Choose to have fun and enjoy your time in the sun with your kids. The smile you’ll be wearing is the best summer fashion trend ever.

Be the bathing suit beauty you want to be with these tips for looking like a hot mama this summer!

Sources: WebMD and AOL

Relactation: Return to Breastfeeding

True or false, moms: Once you stop breastfeeding you lose your milk forever? The answer is False. It is entirely possible to return to breastfeeding after a lactation gap, and no we’re not talking about having another baby. Relactation is the process of rebuilding your milk supply after having a baby and taking a break from breastfeeding. (This is different than induced lactation, which occurs when a woman builds a milk supply but has never been pregnant.)

If you’re hoping to return to breastfeeding, here’s the scoop on relactation:

Relactation: Return to BreastfeedingWhile there is little research on relactation, statistics show success rates are pretty high when mothers take the proper steps. The factors that influence success are: having a baby four months or younger, having only a short lactation gap, your baby’s willingness to feed at the breast and seeking professional support. First let’s look at how relactation is even possible.

During pregnancy and childbirth, your body is preparing for breastfeeding by mixing up a cocktail of hormones that will produce breast milk. Your breasts are also changing to best meet the needs of your baby’s most nutritious source of food. Once your baby is born, stimulation of the nipple triggers the hormone prolactin, which is necessary to produce breast milk. When you have a lactation gap (and amazingly even if you’ve never been pregnant or given birth), stimulating the nipple is how relactation can occur.

As is typical of all breastfeeding, putting your baby on the breast often and draining the breast as much as possible is critical for relactation. Feeding 10-12 times a day, that’s every 2-3 hours, is usually the best way to jumpstart your milk supply. The more stimulation, the more likely you are to restart the production of milk and build a healthy milk supply. Also make sure your baby is feeding effectively with a good latch.

It is also essential to drain your breasts thoroughly with each feeding. Find your baby’s favorite breastfeeding positions and activities to keep your baby interested and engaged in breastfeeding. Breast compressions – squeezing your breasts to encourage milk to drain – may be helpful and keep a trickle of milk coming so your baby will stay on the breast. Another way to keep your baby on the breast is using a supplemental nursing system that feeds your baby from both the breast and a tube of milk at the same time.

If your baby is not willing or able to drain your breasts, pumping is the next best option. Pumping after or in-between feedings is a good idea if your baby is not feeding as often as you would like. A double electric pump is the most efficient way to express milk besides your baby himself.

Milk supply is often the issue that leads to early weaning. If this is why you stopped breastfeeding in the first place, work hard to not run into the same issue. Besides frequent and thorough feedings, spend as much time with your baby as possible and engage in lots of skin-to-skin contact. You may want to take lactation supplements known as galactagogues, such as fenugreek and blessed thistle, or drink a lactation tea.

Relactation usually takes around one month to achieve. Most moms who are able to relactate work with a professional lactation consultant to strategize the best methods for reestablishing milk supply and ensuring their babies are getting enough nourishment during the process.

Sources: LaLecheLeague, KellyMom, MotherLove and Belly Belly

 

The Effects of Stress during Pregnancy

The Effects of Stress during PregnancyAsk any mom-to-be and she’ll tell you that expecting a baby is stressful. Some amount of stress is normal and expected, but prolonged chronic or intense stress can be harmful to both mothers and babies. We’re exploring the effects of stress during pregnancy and some pregnancy-friendly coping techniques.

There are many avenues of stress when you have a baby on the way. Between the aches and pains of pregnancy, preparing for the arrival of your baby, and fear of your new role as a mom, to maintaining your work productivity, managing relationships, and life’s normal daily challenges, stress can creep up on you in many ways. Usually, this type of stress is normal during pregnancy as hormones increase. However, major stress caused by trauma, death of someone close to you, chronic problems (such as financial issues or abuse) or serious pregnancy complications require more attention.

In some ways, stress can be a helpful and motivating influence. For example, worrying about your labor may empower you to write a birth plan that can help you feel more in control over the unknowns of childbirth. Or you may put in some extra time at work to give yourself flexibility once your baby is born.

But when the symptoms of stress take a toll on your body, it can negatively impact your baby. As with other times in your life, side effects of stress include sleeplessness, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, depression, changes in appetite and headaches. This is more often the case with major stress factors rather than normal pregnancy and daily life concerns.

Although the exact ramifications of stress are not traceable, the symptoms of stress can trickle down into pregnancy complications and potential problems for your baby. High blood pressure can cause preeclampsia, which may lead to preterm birth or low birth weight. Stress can weaken your immune system leaving you and your baby more susceptible to illness and infection. Prolonged exposure to elevated stress hormones in utero have also been linked to behavioral and emotional issues as children age. Additionally, prenatal anxiety and depression can lead to postpartum anxiety and depression, which is a critical concern for moms and the wellbeing of their babies.

If you are experiencing particularly high levels of stress during pregnancy, consider these ways of coping with your stress:

  • Talk it Out: Open a dialogue about your stressors with your partner, family, friends and other pregnant moms. If necessary, seek professional help from a therapist.
  • Keep a Journal: Write down your thoughts, fears and stressors to release them from your mind.
  • Prioritize your Health: Work hard to eat healthy and exercise, both of which can affect stress and your mood.
  • Consult your Doctor: Ask your physician for safe ways to ease the discomforts of pregnancy that may be exacerbating your stress.
  • Do Less: Sometimes you just need to let things go when you’re stressed or ask for help to ensure your responsibilities are covered.
  • Relax: When you feel your stress levels are at the max, take time to relax and rejuvenate. A full body break can help reset and rebalance your body, mind and spirit.
  • Study Up: When stress stems from unknowns, becoming more knowledgeable can curb your stress. If childbirth, baby care or parenting are stressing you out, read books about them or take classes to feel more prepared.

Sources: March of Dimes, WebMD and Parents

Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction Surgery

As you enter motherhood, you may wonder how your body will react to carrying and nourishing a new life. Women who have had breast reduction surgery are often concerned about their ability to breastfeed. Breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery is possible for many new moms but it is impossible to know if you will be successful until you give it a go.

Here’s what you need to know about breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery:

Breast reduction surgery is medically known as reduction mammaplasty and is the surgical procedure for removing excess fat, tissue and skin from the breast to create a bust size more proportionate to a woman’s body. The procedure may sever some or all of a woman’s milk-producing ducts and glands as well as damage nerves in the breasts, which is why breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery is questionable.

Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction SurgeryUsually, if there is feeling in the nipple and the nipple and areola are still attached to the breast tissue beneath them, some amount of breastfeeding is possible. It’s when the nipple is removed and reattached to a reconstructed breast when breastfeeding is unlikely. Beyond the need for milk ducts and glands to flow towards the nipple, nerves in the breast are required for stimulating prolactin and oxytocin, the hormones responsible for lactation. While many new moms never feel their let downs, stimulation of the nipple is necessary for them to occur and allow the free flow of milk to the nipple.

If you’ve had breast reduction surgery in the past, you’ll have to wait and see if you are able to breastfeed once your baby arrives. It’s wise to prepare as if breastfeeding will be possible by reading about it, taking a class and buying supplies that will make nursing more comfortable for you.

Let your doctor and pediatrician know about your breast reduction surgery so they are best able to help you navigate breastfeeding. You may need extra support from a lactation consultant and you’ll want to be extremely vigilant that your baby is getting enough milk for proper growth. Breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery may result in a low milk supply that may not be adequate for your baby. Remember, even if exclusive breastfeeding is not possible, small amounts of breast milk will provide your baby with vital antibodies to help her remain healthy in early infancy.

If you are considering breast reduction surgery before you’ve had children, most experts agree you should try to wait until after breastfeeding to have this or any other surgical procedures on your breasts. However, sometimes breast surgery is medically necessary prior to having children, in which case you should discuss your desire to have a baby and breastfeed with your surgeon. There are no guarantees breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery is possible, but your surgeon can make every effort to try to leave milk ducts and breast nerves in tact. Also, it is believed that women who have had their breast surgeries more than five years before having children are more likely to successfully breastfeed.

Sources: La Leche League, Baby Center and Cleveland Clinic

 

5 Tips for Dealing with a Picky Eater

5 Tips for Dealing with a Picky EaterWhen your baby starts solids, she will discover a whole new world of flavor. For some, this experience is exhilarating and your baby may wonder why you’ve withheld such delicacies for so long. Other babies are more satisfied with the fantastic familiar flavor of your breast milk and may be less inclined to try new foods. If you have a picky baby on your hands, try these 5 tips for dealing with a picky eater.

If you find that your baby is a picky eater, don’t despair. A picky eater in infancy does not mean your child will remain that way her entire childhood. Babies reject food for a variety of reasons including the unfamiliar flavor, texture and temperature. They may also eat more during growth spurts and less in-between. Or when your little one is teething or fighting off a cold, she’s less inclined to gobble up what you’re serving. Figuring out your baby’s likes and dislikes will take some experimentation with all of these variables.

Tip #1: Flavor

Offering your baby a range of foods – from sweet, to savory, and everything in between – is important to understanding her pallet. When you’re just starting out, wait a 2-4 days between serving new foods. This will not only ensure your baby does not have an allergy to certain foods, but it will also help you really determine if she likes the food. She may not know herself until trying it a few times. If your baby doesn’t like a food, don’t banish it from her diet forever. Try again in a few weeks. As she discovers new flavors, her pallet will evolve and she may come around to once-rejected foods. Don’t shy away from adding spices to your baby’s cuisine. She’s used to the evolving flavor of your breast milk and may enjoy that in her baby food as well.

Tip #2: Blend

Serving straight green beans or kale may be off-putting to your baby. If you discover that is the case, start by blending it with breast milk and baby cereal to balance the flavor. Or you can mix more pungent veggies with a favorite fruit. Slowly cut back on the additives until the veggies it he only thing left. This is a form of pallet training that may help your baby learn to like certain foods.

Tip #3: Texture

Even when you puree your baby’s food, the texture will vary somewhat. Perhaps it’s the creamy avocado that your baby prefers over grainer apples. Eventually your baby will need to learn to appreciate the natural textures of food, but if it is hindering its likeability, try serving everything at her desired texture. Then slowly ease up on the processing to allow her to get a sense of the food’s true texture.

Tip #4: Temperature

Also experiment with different temperatures. Your baby is used to warm breast milk so she may actually prefer lukewarm or warm food. Other babies may like chilled foods, especially while teething. Before you decide your baby truly doesn’t enjoy a certain food, offer it at several different temperatures to gage her reaction.

Tip #5: Routine

By having set meal times and snack times, you can help ensure your baby is ready to eat when it’s time to eat. Allowing your baby to snack constantly may mean she’s not hungry for meals when they are being served. While you never want your baby to be ravenously hungry, you do want her to be hungry enough to want to try new foods. Also, if your baby understands that not eating a meal will lead to more desirable snacky foods later, she may hold out for a better option.

Remember, set a good example for your baby and don’t give in or give up every time meals or snacks are rejected. Learning to eat is a process of experimentation for both you and your baby. Be patient and enjoy the ride!

Pool Time with Baby

Pool Time with BabyWho’s excited for summer pool time? If you love swimming, you may be eager to get your baby in the pool as well. Swimming is a terrific activity for babies but there are a few things to keep in mind about pool time with baby. Here’s a checklist to help your baby have a wet and wonderful summer at the pool:

Age: Babies under two months should hold off on taking a dip. Pools can harbor harmful bacteria that may cause illness in newborns with minimal immune defenses. Plus, harsh chemicals designed to kill off bacteria are also dangerous to your newborn. After two months your baby can better handle what he may encounter in the pool and early exposure to swimming may help foster his wet and wild side sooner.

Temperature: The ideal pool temperature for a baby is 85 to 87 degrees. Babies under one year have a hard time regulating their body temperatures so if the water feels cold to you, it is extremely frigid to your baby. Always take your baby out of the pool if he is shivering. Also, never put your baby in a hot tub or pool that is too warm.

Preparation: The bath is a fantastic way to prepare for pool time with baby. Make baths fun by allowing your baby to splash and play with toys. Sing songs and play games too. If you feel inclined you can get into the bath with your baby since this is most similar to being in the pool together. Gently splash water on your baby’s head and face every once in awhile to get him used to the sensation. Feel free to hold your baby in the shower as well.

Safety and Security: In the pool, hold your baby firmly yet comfortably. This will ensure your baby’s safety and make him feel secure in the water. Always stay in shallow water where you have good footing. Even as your toddler becomes an adequate swimmer, stay within an arm’s reach away. Never let children play alone near water and keep pool gates locked when you’re not around.

Fun: Show your baby how much fun the pool can be. Play games, sing songs, offer water toys and carefully splash about with your baby. When you have fun together in the pool, you create a positive association with the experience.

Baby Cues: Most babies enjoy the water but some are more timid. Don’t force your baby to play in the pool for longer than a few minutes if he’s not into it. Just as fun in the pool creates positive associations, bad experiences can create negative ones. Some babies need a little more time to get used to swimming and that’s OK. If you have an adventurous baby who wants to test out his swimming skills from the womb, use caution as you foster a love of the pool.

Swim Lessons: Feel free to enroll in parent-assisted swim lessons by age 6 months. Learning to swim with you by his side and being led by a trained instructor should be a fun and productive experience for your baby.

Water Swallowing: Watch out for your baby swallowing water. Some babies find it humorous to swallow water, which may lead to choking or dry drowning. Plus, pool water is full of chemicals that aren’t good for your baby’s system.

Floatation Devices: Many parents choose not use “floaties” and other inflatable floatation devices as it may give your baby a false sense of security around water. However, if you are on a boat, or in an ocean or lake, a life-jacket is necessary.

We hope you enjoy pool time with baby this summer!!

Sources: Parenting, Parents and Baby Center

Born to Breastfeed

Born to BreastfeedGrowing a tiny being and then sustaining it through breast milk is nothing short of a miracle. The biological and evolutionary factors that have led to these phenomena are extraordinary and mind-blowing. As a mother, your body transforms into a beautiful haven to embrace and support your baby. Then, when your baby is just moments old he instinctually knows how to breastfeed as his first act of love and survival in life. Is this truly amazing or what? Today we’re looking at the ways your baby was born to breastfeed.

Food and love top the list of your baby’s most basic needs and he probably has figured that out from the second he was born. Sometimes just minutes after entering the world babies prove they were born to breastfeed by crawling to their mother’s breast for their first feeding. If you’ve ever witnessed it, there is no denying, it’s a remarkable act.

Many physical aspects of your baby’s body were strategically designed to make breastfeeding easier. As if manufactured for precision and efficiency, your baby was born to breastfeed. Check out how…

  • Your baby’s nose is tiny and flat, exactly what is needed to be able to comfortably breathe while breastfeeding. As you can imagine, a large nose would make breastfeeding rather difficult.
  • Your baby’s disproportionally large tongue and fatty cheeks help position the mouth and tongue for proper latch and sucking.
  • Your baby’s short airway encourages milk to go down the esophagus rather than the windpipe when in a lying position and helps your baby extend his neck for feeding.
  • Your baby’s eyesight is just the distance between his eyes and your face while breastfeeding. Not a coincidence!
  • Your baby can smell the unique scent of your breast milk in order to find his food source. Babies can even differentiate their own mother’s milk from someone else’s.
  • Breastfeeding encourages closeness so your baby will remain warm and feel safe. This skin-to-skin contact warms your baby and offers a sense of security. Your baby’s heartbeat may sync with yours as well. All of this promotes less fussiness and more calmness.
  • Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between you and your baby. By being close and feeding often, you and your baby will learn each other for a deep connection.
  • Your baby has a natural instinct to suck and your nipple is most satisfying. Suckling from your breast not only yields nutrients, but it is also relaxing and may help your baby sleep better.
  • Breast milk contains hundreds of essential nutrients that support your baby’s best health including strengthening your baby’s immune system, helping organs develop properly, and stabilizing your baby blood sugar levels.
  • Breast milk is extremely pure and is the easiest first food for your baby to digest so he will reap the most benefits from the nutrients it offers and experience less digestive issues.
  • The health benefits of breastfeeding last for a lifetime. It’s the easiest and best way to give your baby the best start to a long and healthy life.

Breastfeeding is natural in every way because babies were born to breastfeed!

Sources: Women’s Health, Parents and YouTube

Maternal Vitamin E and Risk of Asthma

Maternal Vitamin E and Risk of AsthmaNew research shows there may be a correlation between maternal Vitamin E and risk of asthma. Specifically, a study conducted out of Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that babies born to mothers with low Vitamin E levels are more likely to have asthma and respiratory problems.

The study followed 650 babies from birth to two years of age. Their mothers were tested for two specific Vitamin E levels after giving birth. Those with lower levels of Vitamin E had children who were more likely to have been treated for asthma or wheezing within their first two years. These results were determined based on medical data and reports from their mothers.

Previous studies conducted on mice had the same results. Although this study did not test mothers during pregnancy, researchers believe that Vitamin E levels immediately after giving birth are reflective of the levels while babies were in the womb.

Vitamin E is a critical fat-soluble antioxidant that helps maintain cell structure. It is partially responsible for proper organ function and is essential in defending cells against free radicals. During pregnancy, the right amount of Vitamin E is crucial to support your baby’s rapidly growing cells and especially the development of your baby’s lungs. Additionally, Vitamin E during pregnancy can keep blood pressure levels in check to help avoid preeclampsia

There are eight types of Vitamin E. This study found that a-tocopherol and y-tocopherol were most important to reduce the risk of asthma and wheezing in young children. The best sources of alpha-tocopherol are sunflower oil and safflower oil. Y-tocopherol is more common and found in corn, soy, seeds, and nuts (walnuts, pecans and peanuts), as well as vegetable oils.

It is recommended that pregnant women consume 3 mg of Vitamin E daily for their own health and that of their developing babies. This can usually be achieved by eating a well-balanced diet without supplementation.  Too much Vitamin E can be harmful to growing fetuses.

The findings of this study were reported at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s annual meeting.

Sources: WebMD, MPR, Live Science and AptaClub

 

 

Mother’s Day Memories

As Mother’s Day draws near, you may be reflecting on your experiences so far as a mother and thinking about your own mother as well. Each of us has a unique relationship with our children, which may be influenced by our own mothers. Before you sit back and enjoy being celebrated on Mother’s Day, it’s a good time to think about how you want to be remembered as a mom.

In 25 years when your children are adults, how do you want to be remembered on Mother’s Day? If you’re not living out those qualities, make some changes so you are the mom you want your kids to have. Which of these memories do you want to create?

Mother’s Day MemoriesFun and Spontaneous: Structure and schedules may keep your lives sane but memories are made from fun and spontaneous moments. Whether it’s a stop off at an ice cream shop before dinner or a surprise trip to Disney World, adding fun and spontaneity to your days will bring joy and smiles to everyone in your family. You can achieve this in small ways every day by breaking out in song when the mood strikes you or turning a chore into a game.

Love of Learning: Your kids may not appreciate all the random facts you share but they will enjoy being smart cookies. If you want to be remembered for all the knowledge you impart on your kiddos, find clever ways to incorporate learning into your everyday lives. Turn following a yummy recipe into a math lesson. Chart the weather in your city. Practice science experiments at home. Keep a map handy to talk about different places in the world when they come up in conversation. And of course, read about everything and encourage your children to ask why.

Seeking Adventure:  For the adventure-loving mom, spread your free spirit to your kids by involving them in your wild journeys. From backyard adventuring (think camp outs and scavenger hunts) to travel across the globe, your little ones will remember your adventurous nature. Risk-taking is a hard skill for some kids to learn, but you can help your kids safely take risks through adventure activities.

Leader in your Community: Whether it’s school, a scout troupe, a religious organization or a community group, demonstrating your leadership skills is something your kids will remember. Getting involved to make your world (in the most micro or macro sense) a better place can be ingrained in children at a young age. Show your kids how people coming together can make a difference. It’s a memory they will carry with them and probably emulate in their own lives as well.

Fostering Independence: Mother’s are usually nurturing by nature and that’s a wonderful thing. We’re hard-wired to be a safe and secure “home” for our children. But fostering independence will also serve them well in life. Making mistakes in the name of learning and teaching your children to be resourceful are necessary skills for productive citizens of the world. That’s not to say you have to choose tough love if that’s not your way. However setting your kids on a path to independence is a gift they will remember and thank you for in the future.

We wish you a very happy Mother’s Day full of beautiful memories – both the ones you have from your past and the ones you choose to create.

What Do Newborns Really Need?

There’s no doubt you’ve come to realize there are an endless number of baby products available for purchase. Before you buy up the baby supply store, ask yourself, what do newborns really need? Or better yet, just keep reading…

Your precious sweet baby will certainly be a handful but when considering what do newborns really need, the answer is fairly simple: Not much! That’s not to say you won’t end up with a lot of baby stuff by the end of your baby’s first year. But you truly don’t need all that much from day one. In many cases, you can wait to meet your baby to determine her needs. And remember, you’ll probably receive many gifts so buying a bunch of “nice to haves” may be unnecessary.

What do newborns really need? Here’s the essential list:

Diapers and Wipes: Or better said, something to diaper with and something to wipe with because there are many options when it comes to diapers and wipes. If you go for the standard disposable varieties, you may want a small pack of a few different types to determine which ones your baby wears best without wasting money on a bulk supply. You really can’t go wrong with any type of wipes. For those who are taking the greener route, have your reusable diaper supplies ready to go and a simple washcloth works as a washable wipe.

What Do Newborns Really Need?A Bed: Notice we don’t say a crib. Your baby can sleep in several places in the first few months although experts recommend that she does have her own safe sleep space outside of your bed. A cradle, basinet or play yard can work as an early bed for your baby. Don’t feel obligated to have a crib right away. Many parents don’t bring in a crib out of superstition or may be waiting to transition a toddler out of the baby’s eventual crib.

Blankets or Swaddles: Your baby will likely enjoy being wrapped up snugly in a swaddle. In the hospital you’ll probably get some blankets that work just fine for swaddling but have a few more on hand. You can go for traditional blankets that you will fold into a swaddle or pre-stitched swaddles.

Clothes: Cute clothes are fun but when it comes to what you really need for your newborn, function is more important. Eight to 10 bodysuits and five to seven pajamas should do it. You’ll probably run your baby’s laundry several times a week (you’ll need a gentle laundry detergent!) due to diaper leaks and spit-up so too many items are unnecessary. Keep in mind that your baby will hit several growth spurts within the first month to six weeks of life so she’ll grow out of her newborn clothes rather quickly.

Feeding Supplies: When you’re breastfeeding, all you truly need is your body! However, you may want to have a nursing pillow on hand to make things more comfortable. Several nursing bras that you wore during pregnancy should transition to nursing for the few weeks and then you can buy more nursing bras once your milk comes in and you determine your size. Burp cloths are a good idea but regular wash cloths or hand towels work well too. Experts recommend holding off on giving your baby a breast milk bottle until at least four weeks after birth to establish a strong breastfeeding routine and to encourage milk supply. If you know you’ll need to pump and serve bottles before then, have your supplies ready before your baby arrives.

Car Seat: Many hospitals won’t let you leave unless your baby is secure in a car seat. Make sure you get one that is appropriate for an infant but also has room to grow.

Along with love, patience and a good attitude, that’s really all you need when you bring home a newborn. Your precious new baby will spend most of her time eating, sleeping, soiling diapers and hanging out in your arms, all of which is covered by our list.

Looking for things that will make your life easier or that you may need eventually? Here are a few “nice to haves”:

Rocking Chair: Rocking can be soothing to your baby but some don’t like it. If you can’t fit a rocker in your nursery, don’t worry. Bouncing, swaying or walking around work well for calming your baby too. And you can nurse anywhere so don’t feel obligated to have a rocker.

Stroller: Strollers male life easier when you’re out and about but chances are you won’t be going anywhere with your baby for a few months other than the doctor’s office. Some car seats are paired with a stroller system to transfer your baby without having to take her out of the car seat.

Baby Carrier: Planning to get things done around the house with your newborn? If so, a baby carrier will help you keep your baby close while freeing up your hands for other tasks.

Changing Table: Any old dresser can double as a changing table with a changing pad on top. Don’t feel like you must buy a table or baby dresser designed just for this purpose.

Baby Venues: Setting your baby down for a moment in a bouncy chair or infant swing may be helpful but again, not mandatory. In fact, sometimes these replace tummy time or interactive play, which can hinder your baby’s physical and mental development.

Baby Bathtub: Bathing your baby in the sink for the first few weeks (or months) is completely fine! As your baby gets bigger, it may be cumbersome to hold your slippery wet baby safely and then you’ll need a bathtub. Baby towels are super cute, but your regular bath towels are just fine too.

Sources: WebMD and Scary Mommy