Twins: What Do I Need Two Of?

twins

I have a friend who I am writing this post for, who is pregnant with twins! I am so thrilled for her and her family, and she doesn’t know what she is in for… double the joy, double the love, double everything!

So I haven’t written in a while! I have missed it. I went through an extremely stressful period, but thankfully we are out of it and slowly settling, in a NEW home! I have traded my stress for new stress it feels like, but I’m working hard to take it down so I can write on a regular basis like I wanted to. I hope you can forgive me for my lack of dedication.

Alright! So lets move on to this awesome new post! My friend asked what my must-haves were for twins and I realized that I did not have a check-list type post specifically for twins. What?! If you haven’t seen my amazing Baby Checklist, you should check it out. I outline in a really cute and handy printable a thorough new-baby checklist and to-do list. In this post, for my twin mamas, I’m going to let you know what you need double of, and what you may want to buy two of. Also, I’m going to include some things made specifically for twins and some tips for shopping for twins!

You already know you’ll need two car seats and two cribs, but what about everything else? Keep in mind that all babies are different, so when you buy two of these things, a great thing to do is to not open everything before they arrive. Only open one of each thing and see how each twin likes them. If you find that one of your babies only wants to use the bouncer, or doesn’t like her bassinet, then take the unopened swing back so you can save some money. Twins are expensive!

You may need doubles of:

1. Rock ‘N Play sleeper by Fisher-Price or a bassinet of your choice.

2. A simple Bounce Seat. Perfect for letting your babies kick and bounce while you get things done around the house.

3. Baby Carriers/Wraps if you’re going to be going out, these are a lifesaver! Some babies HATE being in car seats and they want to be close, so let Dad pack one of the twins around while you carry the other!

4. High Chairs or chair attachments seats like this one, made by Fisher Price!

5. Baby Swings.

6. Boppy Pillows– one for you and one for another family member or friend to use while they hold the other twin. Also great if you’re breastfeeding!

You only need one:

1. Bathtub

2. Twin Stroller- I highly recommend Baby Trend Double Snap-N-Go for their car seats! Its amazing and cost effective! Later on, I recommendBaby Trend Sit N Stand Double stroller for your toddler-sized twinnies! I had great success with both of these items and I didn’t have to spend a fortune.

3. Tummy Time Mat or play gym!

4. Pack N Play (optional)

 

The next few things I’m going to show you are items made just for twins!

1. Something you might want to look into for breastfeeding twins is a My Brest Friend Twin breastfeeding pillow. There is also a breastfeeding pillow called the Twin Z pillow that is really cool!

2. Take a look at Table For Two, an adorable seat to make feeding easier!

3. The Twingaroo is a baby carrier made for twins!

 

As far as everything else you might need for baby in general, please don’t forget to look at my ultimate checklist of baby items! Click Here!

Am I missing anything? Let me know! Thanks for reading!

5 Prayers For An Anxious Heart

Anxiety and being a mother go hand in hand, in my opinion. I have struggled with anxiety most of my life and it only just recently got harder to deal with. During my pregnancy with the twins I got over-worried really easily, often feeling alone because no one around me knew what I was going through. It was really hard, even when the boys were born. Everyone just kind of looked at me like, “I don’t know how to help you.” And when you realize that you’re alone, fear and panic can set in really fast.

One of the most important things I can say to a mother that feels that way, is that you aren’t alone. Your guardian angel is right there with you. Pray to God, and let go of those worries.

I was shopping the other day with my family and came across the book Prayers for an Anxious Heart. I grabbed it and read it immediately after I came home, and I wanted to share a few of the prayers with you. Some of them mean so much to me, because it almost completely describes the worries in my heart and my mind on a daily basis. Sometimes I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t begin to put into words what I’m going through. The beautiful prayers in this book truly help me put things back into perspective. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I smile. But all of the time, I feel better.

This book can be found here, Prayers for an Anxious Heart. If you’re an anxious heart, I encourage you to read this book, or simply read these prayers. Realize that you don’t have to cope with your struggles alone.

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Uphold my steps in Your paths,

that my footsteps may not slip.

Psalm 17:5 NKJV

Dear Lord, I believe You are always aware of me. You know where I am right now, and You have a plan for my future. I want to trust You and be confident that everything is designed to make me more and more like You as I walk through each day. But sometimes it seems as though I’m totally on my own. It feels like I’m facing a mountain I have to climb, with nothing to hold on to. All I see is a steep mass with no way to get to the top.

Show me the path I’m to take, Lord. I trust You to guide me and make a way. When there are boulders along the route, please teach me how to use them as stepping stones. If I run into slippery places, give me solid footing. When the path twists and turns and I’m not sure which direction to go, I yearn for assurance that You are before me to direct my steps.

It’s easy to make my own decisions, only to realize I’ve gotten into something I can’t handle. Remind me always to depend on You to show me every step I should take. Then I can know, even when things are difficult, that You will take me to my destination. Give me grace to believe how much You care about every part of my life. Amen.

 

 

 

 

forgiveness

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, 

and abundant in lovingkindness to

all who call upon You.

Psalm 86:5 NASB

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your everlasting love, forgiveness, and mercy. Wrapped in your comforting arms, no anxious or bitter thoughts can take us captive. Yet sometimes we wrestle against Your embrace. Rather than give up our anger and resentment, we choose to wallow in our own discontent. We seek comfort in the familiar burden of impunity and smugly point accusing fingers at those who have hurt us.

Your Word tells us to surrender the wrath and malice we hold against our enemies. Offering love and forgiveness to them that You have given to us will deliver us from the anguish that bitterness so readily brings. The struggle is a hard battle to win.

You mercifully remind us to view those who have wronged us through Your eyes- the same eyes through which You looked upon our own sinfulness. They strive against human failings as much as we do. Then we concede the truth: prayer and forgiveness are the keys to unlock the prison of our enraged hearts.

You, Lord, are always ready to forgive, having loved us with an everlasting love. Help us follow Your divine example. Let us bring into captivity every thought in obedience to Christ. Yes, Lord, our forgiving heart set us rest in the comfort of Your embrace once again.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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fear

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you,

for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,

surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 NASB

Lord, I have no reason to fear, because You are with me. You are ever present by my side to guide and protect me. The things in this world that make me afraid are not more powerful than You and are not out of Your control.

I need not look anxiously around me for help from somewhere else, because You are my God. Keep me from setting up other things in my life as gods. Nothing and no one else besides You is able to give me the peace, endurance, and power I need to face the day ahead. Instead of looking around me and focusing on the things that overwhelm me, may I set my gaze firmly and unwaveringly on You.

Thank You for this wonderful reminder that You will strengthen and help me. I ask You, the Almighty God, for that strength and help right now as I face the days and weeks ahead.

Help me rest securely in the knowledge that I am firmly placed in Your hands.

I truly have no reason to fear with You by my side, as my God, strengthening, helping, and holding me in Your hands. Amen.

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calm

“The LORD will fight for you, and you only have to be silent.”

Exodus 14:14 ESV

In this day and age when action is so heavily stressed, it is hard for me to wrap my head around the thought of not acting. Lord, this is truly a command You give in times of struggle? Waiting on Your will and timing is one of the hardest tasks.

I must remember Your might and power. You create the very atoms of the ground I tread, and I confess that many times I stop around creating chaos when all I seek is order. Lord, the thought of ceasing my plans and obeying Your will frightens me. When You call me to reach outside myself and forgive or trust, it tears me from my selfish pride, rids me of embittered desires, and cleanses the channels of my heart. I must trust that the most strenuous and arduous tasks You grant me will bear the most fruit and draw me closer to You. To know that the God of the universe fights for me, an undeserving sinner, leaves me astounded.

Lord, thank You for fighting my battles inside my heart and outside of myself. Change my heart, Lord; help me obey Your command and trust in Your plan. Let Your spirit prompt me to keep silent and listen for Your instruction. Lord, grant me the courage to release these fears into Your care and stand firm in the fact that You will fight for me. Amen.

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down

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10 NIV

Oh, heavenly Father, what a wonderful gift it is to have Your love embedded so deep in my heart. Nothing is more powerful than the love You have for me. It overcomes all hardship and transgression. Your love fills me up with forgiveness. It washes my heart clean of sin. And when I am downtrodden and weary, it is Your love that refreshes me and gives me strength to carry on.

I find such peace in Your love, a remarkable peace truly beyond my understanding. When I am troubled, I know that You are there in my heart. I listen and I hear You whisper to me gently, almost like a lullaby, “Be still, My child. I am here, and I love you.”

You are always here waiting for me in my heart, ready to help me, to comfort and to love me.

And joy! There is such joy in knowing that Your love is eternal. You are with me wherever I go and whatever I do. Nothing can separate me from Your love- nothing at all. In the worst of times, You draw me near to You. You hold me close and love me with a love so pure that there is no mistake that it comes from You.

Oh, thank You, God. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for being there, down in my heart. Amen.

prayers,heart

How I Stop My Colds In Their Tracks!

colds, natural, healthy, options, medicine, stop, healthy

colds, natural, healthy, options, medicine, stop, healthy

My life is extremely busy. From one moment to the next, I have about 300,000 things on my to-do list. The one thing that can pull my day to a screeching halt is… a cold. All of my life, every time I ever got a cold, it would make me so miserable I couldn’t do anything. For weeks.

It would go through phases. I would get the achy, dry throat. Stopped up nose. Head fog. Watery eyes. Sneezing. Body aches. Headaches. Chills. Then it would last for days and days. Then I would get the gunky throat and the gross cough. Then after that I would get sometimes a constant, barky, dry cough. Sometimes it’d get so bad I’d lose my voice for days.
Sounds more like the flu, doesn’t it?
But its really my personal normal symptoms for the common cold for me. I often get sinusitis too. I finally got fed up with it after I had my daughter, McKennah. I figured there HAS to be a way to help this. My body never responds to over-the-counter drugs, besides ibuprofen. And only when I have a bacterial infection, does it respond to antibiotics.
I have been pregnant for the better half of the last 5 years. My four children mean the absolute world to me. It’s just so hard to be the best mom I need to be when I have a cold. I hits me like a train and suddenly I just can’t do anything. I don’t want to cook, clean, go out anywhere. All I want to do is sit in my tub and drink coffee.
But then I found a few things that would change my life forever.
cold,elderberry,sinus,saline
With a little bit of determination, research, and willingness to try something new, I have found the answer to my month-long cold problem.
  1. Elderberry. Before having kids, I had never even heard of elderberry. It has a lot of health benefits and it has been used for hundreds of years as a part of traditional medicine. They have large amounts of vitamins and antioxidants, and its health benefits range from digestive health, cardiovascular protection, immune system health, and bone health and inflammation. It helps alleviate respiratory conditions such as cold and cough, which is why I use it while I’m sick and even when I’m not to help avoid sickness. It’s only when I’m not taking do I catch nasty germs.
I have grabbed this awesome infographic from Organicfacts.net:
elderberriesinfo
You can view its entire article here.
It is an AWESOME preventative for colds. Take it every day if you have a job where you’re around of lot of people, or take for a few days before you go somewhere where there might be people who are sick.
Another great thing about Elderberry, its SAFE for pregnancy and breastfeeding which is one of my biggest concerns when looking for cold relief as a mom. As long as it is not taken in huge amounts, its very safe, as with many OTC drugs. It is also safe for kids to take, and they even make children’s elderberry supplements. I have a bottle of little elderberry gummies right now! Elderberry is also sweet and easy to take.
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I know for a fact that elderberry works. The first time I started taking it was when I was Day 3 in a horrible cold. It was about 3 days later, I felt good as new. Seriously. Coupled with Elderberry and my #2, Apple Cider Vinegar, my horrible colds are now a thing of the past.

If you want to check out what I personally use, you can view it here on Amazon:Nature’s Way Sambucus Black Elderberry Original Syrup, 8 Ounce

And also here is the children’s gummies that I buy too:Zarbee’s Mighty Bee Gummy – Elderberry – 42 ct

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: I love ACV. It naturally alkalinizes the body, and most illnesses can’t thrive in alkaline environments. Make sure that if you use it, buy the raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized versions that include “The Mother of Vinegar” which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. It is rich potassium, it helps soothe dry throats, and it also helps support a healthy immune system.

Personally, I have had it help stop my colds in their tracks. There are so many wonderful benefits of taking Apple Cider Vinegar. I only buy Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. You can find it everywhere now! I used to have to go to health food stores or order it online. Look at it further by clicking here:Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Did you know that Apple Cider Vinegar has been highly regarded throughout history? In 400 B.C. the great Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing health qualities! You can also give it to your kids as well, and use it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s also healthy for your pets, including horses! 

 

If you want to take ACV, I personally mix it in a cup of tea, 3 times a day. I only use 1-2 tablespoons! If you’ve never had ACV, the taste my knock you down a bit, but you’ll get used to it. Especially when you start seeing how amazing you feel. 🙂
  1. Saline Nasal Spray- I never liked the thought of spraying anything into my nose. I broke down and eventually bought some because my poor nose was raw from trying to get all that congestion loose. I actually tried Nasonex when I was little and I remember it gave me the worst nosebleeds while I was in school. I never used a spray again. But now if I ever have a stuffy nose, saline nasal spray is one of the top things on my list. I can’t use anything with a drug in it because I’m nursing the twins. Saline spray is perfectly safe to use as many times as you need to while you’re sick.
  2. You spray in one nostril, and gently breathe in a little through your nose, even if you can’t breathe through it. It’ll help the spray get to the toughest spots in your nose. A couple of times in each nostril usually does the trick for me. And the best thing to do is to be very patient and gentle with yourself! If you’re blowing your nose really hard, its only going to make the inflammation worse.

Those are my major essentials for knocking colds down. Other things that help me battle them are:

  • chicken soup
  • coconut water
  • tea
  • foods with fresh garlic or ginger
  • cinnamon
  •  lots of dark leafy things, spinach, kale, etc
  • plenty of rest and sleep

What are your experiences with Apple Cider Vinegar or Elderberry? Do you have a go-to cold relief protocol? Let me know in the comments below!

The Best Toys for Babies!

best, toys, for, babies

I’m a mom of four, so I’ve went through my fair share of trial and error when it comes to baby toys. Lots of wasted money on toys that they had no interest in at all. There are some cute toys out there, but you’ve got to think about your baby and what will entertain him or her the most.

Click on any of these pictures to go to its Amazon page. Amazon almost always beats the store prices so I’m saving you some time and linking all of the pictures to it’s specific page. Happy shopping! 🙂

0-6 Months

These are my personal favorites for babies this age. It’s such a waste to buy big, bulky toys, even if they hang on the car seat, because from my experience, babies just aren’t that interested in that giant elephant with rings on each foot. It’s all super cute but its just overwhelming to them.

Simple, inexpensive things are the way to go. All of my kids loved things that they could grasp and hold on to themselves. Things that were big were just too heavy and they never got played with.

Look for things that have bright, contrasting colors. A ton of pink stuff is cute, but babies love to look at all of the different colors. That also goes for things that are plain colors like tan and gray. It’s just not fun for babies unless it has another sensory effect for them.

Look for things that rattle, click, snap, or crunch. Try not to get things with buttons unless they are big and easy to press. At this age, their attention span isn’t really long enough for them to focus on a big toy like a ball popper. If you’re buying for a baby up to 6 months, these simple toys are going to be a favorite!

Don’t forget about things they can chew on. Teething babies put everything in their mouths! Toys made specifically for teething are great and its always good to find ones that are easy to keep clean.

6-12 Months

This is probably the best toy out there for babies and toddlers. It is a Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Home Play Set. We bought one of these for my oldest daughter, and we still have it sitting in the living room right now for my twins to play with. It’s adorable, sturdy, and there are so many little things to do with it.

 

This xylophone was always a big favorite with my kids and it is easy to listen to, compared to some of of their noisy toys. Teach them to tap the chimes gently and this xylophone actually comes with a few little songs you and your baby can learn to play. 

 

Building blocks are my kids favorite thing to play with, and they’re 2 and 5 now and they still play with them.
These are great for babies because they are too big to be a choking hazard, like the single Lego Duplo block, and their size makes them easy to hold and put together.

My kids also loved these Melissa and Doug wooden puzzles.They’re inexpensive and sturdy enough for toddlers, and they encourage fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills.

Buying toys for babies seems like an easy task, just grab something in their age group and go. But if you want something that the baby will love, you’ll have to think like your baby and take note of where they are developmentally. If she’s trying to learn to crawl, buy a ball to roll across the floor and she will love trying to chase after it. If she’s learning to sit up, get something that will be stationary and won’t roll away from her. Whatever you do, encourage learning and creativity!

 

 

 

Don’t forget, you can click on any of these

pictures to go to its Amazon page, if you’d like to look into one of the toys further!

If you have a little Princess (they also make one for little Knights!), the Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Set is something you need to have. We ended up collecting every princess they have, and we also bought the Little People Disney Princess Klip Klop Stable. We love Little People by Fisher Price! My girls are 3 and 5 and still play with them. Imagination is so important, and the earlier imaginative play can start, the better. You can show your child how to pretend to make a pot of tea for a princess or how to “walk up the stairs!”. I loved seeing my girls light up when I would get down there and play princesses with them. I have little knights now and I already know I’m going to be buying more Little People stuff. 🙂

 

I hope you enjoyed this list! I want to hear from other moms out there. What toy did your child love the most? Was it a big toy? Was it a stuffed animal? Comment and let me know!

Share this post with your friends! Thank you. 🙂

 

The Best Baby Checklist from A Mom of Four!

I’m finally done with my new-baby checklist. This is everything I personally need for a new baby in the house and some more things that I always like to have for extra comfort during the first postpartum weeks. If you have any questions about anything on here, let me know! I have listed some of my favorite products, and I’m going to give you guys the link to each one of them so you can check them out yourself!

 

baby checklist

 

 

Here is the HUGE List of my favorite items. Most of these you can find on Amazon (score!).

  1. My chair from American Signature Furniture. It is the best, softest thing to sit in, sleep in, rock in while you’re pregnant, and during those long nights and getting used to nursing. It is the best. I love it so much.
  2. Tucks pads.
  3. Colace Stool Softener  not super fun to talk about, but its such a necessity for postpartum.
  4. Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray also a big necessity.
  5. Boppy Nursing Pillow
  6. Medela Tender Care Lanolin– My favorite! This is my first choice among all of the brands.
  7.  Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote – Also my personal favorite.
  8. Medela Contact Nipple Shield, Medium– These were life savers for my twins. They were so tiny and had issues latching at first, which can cause any mom to rethink breastfeeding at all. You NEED these in your hospital bag!
  9. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, Pink/Purple, 0-3 Months, 2 Count– These pacifiers are the ones they give you in the hospital. I love these because there is virtually no risk for a choking hazard. But please be sure to change it as your baby gets older, there are 3+ month Soothies that are made a little tougher to keep babies from putting the entire thing in their mouths. Hands down these are the best pacifiers out there. My babies have never used anything else!
  10. Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge– This is the bath sponge that I love to use for newborns, it adds a lot of security during bath time and its easy to keep clean. Take a look at the price!
  11. Fisher-Price Newborn Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper– This is what I’ve been talking about in all of my posts. I love it. Its a major necessity for me.

So those are my favorites out of the list! I hope you find the list useful and you can narrow it down by checking off what you need, or adding other things you want to have! I have also added a safety checklist of things you need to be aware of before bringing baby home.

I have just published an article about baby toys that will be helpful for new moms as well, it is The Best Toys for Babies! Check it out!

Don’t forget to make the most of your pregnancy, click here to see my favorite Pregnancy Keepsake Ideas.

I want to know what else is a must-have for pregnancy, postpartum and baby. If you’re a mom of multiple children or a first-time mom, let me know what you think! I want to hear from you. Comment below!

Please share with this with your friends, and feel free to sign up for my All-Things-SuperBaby newsletter!

 

35 of Our Favorite Summer Activity Ideas

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The end of winter is almost here, and I’m so excited. We had a beautiful weekend and we were able to go out in shorts and t-shirts! The twins are crawling now so I’m determined to stay outside a little more this summer than I did last, when they were newborns! Their sisters did not get to play outside with Mommy as much as they were used to so this summer, we are going to have a blast! I have a big list of summer activities and this is just a few realistic ones that we will be able to do when it warms up a bit! I hope you find some things you’d like to do too!

  1. Create a scavenger hunt! I found an adorable printable from Clean and Scentsible, you can find the post here. I loved scavenger hunts when I was little. And these are so versatile, you can put just about anything into a scavenger hunt! Make it really fun and get the kids involved in the list-making. 2e224a3f60acbab352ecb2a35c56f696
  2. Go on a picnic. This is so much fun because its low-cost, and you can pick anywhere you want to go to have a picnic!
  3. Find a nature trail. c08fee2c7fcaeb128d0416d9f5997146
  4. Go swimming at the lake. 7d7a32270833ad247cd78c52c21ffd8f
  5. Go to a new park.
  6. Ride bikes.
  7. Draw with chalk! 7889e07dd780aec6a7634813ead17ab1
  8. Play with bubbles!
  9. Finger painting!
  10. Buy bouncy balls and have a race! f516d87b827126572d17e100140ef34a
  11. Go fishing. f2c39351ed493c45180e63579cddbb0f
  12. Go camping! 1a0415aa9749da7986268b4022c50870
  13. Play a sport.
  14. Build sand castles! 2f4cdc44c4bbb33618f1506947059c09
  15. Turn up some music outside and dance!
  16. Have a cookout.
  17. Take horseback riding lessons. 76490d0559142f471059bb5943889752
  18. Take the dog to a dog park. d39f2a399916d20500364c404b511fe1
  19. Make a lemonade stand!
  20. Do a yard sale!
  21. Play in the sprinkler. 3790c14c493351c667948dd77f2cf3f9
  22. Collect bugs! There are special containers and nets you can buy just  for kids. k2-_50f94c47-3f21-4c8a-a767-2005c6064c41.v1
  23. Collect fireflies at night! 0ce0973b0fa70e33e433c0d4416c27ad
  24. Build something! A birdhouse or a dog house. 3d94c2e4d854dfccc81556deda84733d
  25. Build an obstacle course.
  26. Go look for arrowheads! 05109dc30ecd2c7e8c1a8676e0f6bfd9
  27. Look for crawfish.
  28. Grow something!
  29. Paint a flower pot, 7393341370154269a79be3cc21718233
  30. Plant flowers!
  31. Make a bird watching journal for the nature trails. I LOVE this free printable from Buggy and Buddy: Free Bird Book for kids!  b1252a2e3221a616123642ae48e99058
  32. Build a bird feeder, here’s something that the kids can make: Easy Bird Feeders!  e9d1ce925b6abd372a64c31b599ed753
  33. Find pet rocks, and paint them! bb0f4b7dcbebf1a5a8ee2dcf6531fcc5
  34. Make tie-dye shirts! e5243e0bc34d17cc2ba4346282d64088
  35. No matter what you do, just make sure you’re spending your time with your kids. 100%. Leave the smartphones and tablets at home. Lastly, let your kids come up with something to do! Give them ideas and let them choose.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share and leave a comment. 🙂

Breastfeeding Essentials!

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This is my top 10 essentials for a nursing mama. I have made this picture great for pinning on your Pinterest board! Enjoy.

As a nursing mom, I’ve had 5 years of nursing experience (total! so far). I nursed my daughters for two years each, and I’m working on 9 months with my twin sons! I’ve learned full well what works, what doesn’t and what is a total waste of money when it comes to nursing. Nursing is very inexpensive, and you don’t need a whole bunch of expensive stuff to start. All you truly need is support. If you feel like you don’t have any, let me be that support for you. You can talk to me by going to my “Contact Me” page, or just leave a comment!

1. If I had to pick one thing to get for nursing it would be a Boppy pillow hands-down. Newborns are tiny and nursing a newborn can be difficult especially if they’re under 7lbs (three of my babies were under 7!). Boppy provides the best support and it’s very comfortable to use. I’ve used several other brands and none of them compare!

2. I rarely use it now, but for nursing a newborn the second most important thing for me to have is lanolin nipple cream. The most effective brand for me is Medela. It’s a creamier consistency than other brands and if you have sore, cracked or other nipple problems, you’re going to want something easy and comfortable to apply.

3. Prenatals . It’s pretty self explanatory, but I highly recommend staying on your prenatals if you’re breastfeeding.

4. I put a BIG fluffy recliner in the picture above for a reason: If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you’re going to be sitting down a lot. And you’re going to be sitting a LONG time. Your baby will nurse for about 15-20 minutes on each side, every three hours around the clock in the early days. If you buy the wooden glider with the 2 inch thick pad, your rear end is going to hate you. Mine did! I spent HOURS upon hours in the glider when my first daughter was born and I vowed to get a big rocking recliner when we had our next baby. You Will NOT Regret It.

5. A hospital grade pump. I didn’t even buy a manual pump when we had our first baby. I wasn’t planning on breastfeeding. It wasn’t until we had her that I fell in love with nursing. I ended up buying a manual pump when I was dealing with my first clogged duct, and it didn’t help at all. I bought a hospital grade pump after our second baby was born, and it worked wonders. I’m an exclusive nursing mama, which means that I don’t do any pumping or any formula feeding, so for the moms that plan on feeding with bottles, skip right on over the manual pumps and buy a hospital grade pump before your baby is born and learn everything about it! It is not difficult to use at all, but I recommend getting really familiar with milk storage guidelines and sanitation practices.

6. This needs to be in big letters but I won’t yell too loud: WATER. Aside from my Boppy pillow, water is my best friend. Keep a bottle with you wherever you are. Drink when baby drinks, and get plenty! Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

7. A nursing bra. Nursing bras are my saving grace but for the early days I just recommend going to a maternity store and buying nursing pajamas or a nursing gown. That way you don’t have to wear a bra, and a top while you’re dealing with that first-two-weeks-engorgement-period. You need to be as comfortable as possible to enjoy breastfeeding and be really successful. Splurge on yourself and buy some super soft nursing pajamas before your baby is born, and use them in the hospital. I did with my twins and I was ever-so-thankful.

8. Healthy, healthy, healthy snacks. My favorite thing to eat in the hospital were these little veggie trays they had after I had the boys. They had chicken salad, carrots, crackers, and cheese and it was delicious and filling. I recommend having a family member go out while you’re in the hospital and fill your fridge up with yummy snacks like this for you to eat. You’re going to be pretty hungry (or not-I was shocked at my lack of appetite after I had my daughter) so make sure you go home to a pantry stocked full of healthy snacks for you to munch on throughout the day and night.

9. Nursing pads these are another huge necessity for me. Buy them and pack them in your hospital bag, because when your milk comes in, its going to be a huge mess(lol!). That was another thing that I didn’t prepare for when we had our first baby. I used tons and tons of these and the brand that I loved was Lasinoh, but Medela is good too. I don’t recommend buying reusable nursing pads.

10. Nursing camis. These are awesome during all phases of your breastfeeding journey, I love them and I still use them now that my twins are 8 months old. I hope that I can make some nursing cami’s for my business, Snickerdoodle, soon. 🙂

Added: one thing that I forgot to mention was Medela Nipple Shields. I bought them when we had the twins, and they really helped my son Jackson who struggled with a bad latch! It was amazing! I highly recommend them for babies born early. 

 

Having twins? Read my Breastfeeding Twins post!

My other checklist posts are: All-Things Baby! and Pregnancy Necessities!

Thanks for reading! These are my necessities, if you have more, please share! Thanks y’all.

Breastfeeding twins: What you need, and some tips to help.

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^Our twins Jackson and Levi.

Breastfeeding twins sounds like a near-impossible feat. So much to worry about. So time consuming. What if I don’t make enough milk for two babies? Can I do that?! Can I really nourish two babies.. Adequately? Will they be healthy? What if they don’t gain enough weight? How will I get any sleep? Is it even possible to hold two babies nursing at the same time?!

These are some of the thoughts I had when I was pregnant with my twin boys. Even as a breastfeeding veteran, I was terrified. I felt very intimidated by the thought of two babies needing me every three hours around the clock for their first few months of life.. Even though I have a combined four years of breastfeeding under my belt, I still felt like it was a crazy thing for me to expect myself to be able to do. I can only imagine what moms think of their abilities to do this who have no breastfeeding experience at all.

Im here to say this:

You can nurse your twins. Effortlessly.

It takes patience, determination, and willingness to alter your schedule and your tasks around your babies’ needs.

I’m going to give you the best advice I have, from my experiences nursing my sons. I hope it helps:)

During pregnancy To-Do’s:
1. Plan maternity leave if you are working. The more time home with your babies, the better.
2. Get a high quality breast pump. A lot of insurances are covering the cost of a breast pump, I highly recommend looking into this!
3. Learn and read everything you need to know about using the pump, and reading about when to pump and breast milk storage.
4. Get your basic nursing essentials from my list Breastfeeding Essentials!
5. Buy two Fisher Price Rock ‘n Plays. The closer your babies are to you at night, the better. There are so many good things about this little bassinet when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s portable, it’s safe, it’s comfortable, and it’s small. You can find one on Amazon by clicking here:Here

6. Do your HOMEWORK.

The one thing that I urge moms to do is read. Educate yourself about breastfeeding. The more information and knowledge you have before your start, the better your confidence will be about nursing to your goals.

Expect yourself to run into road bumps. Everyone does. Research all of these things and PLEASE only go to trusted sources for breastfeeding info.

My top nursing go-to website is Kellymom.com.
You should also seek support from your local La Leche League Group, you can find information here at LLLI.org.

These are some basic road bumps that I have had to deal with:

-correcting poor latch
-engorgement
-clogged ducts
-milk blebs
-mastitis
-nursing a sick baby(stopped up nose)
-nursing strike
*Another thing, don’t believe breastfeeding advice from just anyone. There are a lot of things people think are supposed to help with nursing but really only hurt your efforts. There are myths out there that may make your struggles so hard that you cannot continue. Your great aunts sisters niece might mean well, but only take their advice with a grain of salt. Do your homework. Do your research before you take any advice.*

When your babies are born:

– begin breastfeeding right away, as soon as you can. If it is possible, ask that absolutely no formula is given to either of your babies. If you can’t physically nurse your babies (if they need to be in the NICU, begin pumping when you can.)
-get in touch with the breastfeeding consultant while you are in the hospital and make sure all of your questions are answered and you feel confident about nursing your babies.
I was adamant about nursing both of my twins at the same time while I was in the hospital. I wanted to know I could do it. I don’t really know why I wanted to, but the encouragement from the staff at the hospital really helped me. They were really surprised that I was actually attempting it and doing it! And I wondered to myself, do most twin moms not try? I surely hope it is not the lack of confidence that keeps twin parents (or any parents, rather) from breastfeeding their babies. I realize that the amount of support that a new mom gets when she starts breastfeeding truly can make or break her. I just can’t assume most moms will toughen up and have that determination all by themselves. It was a miracle that I did, because I had no support when we had our first baby. But I can see that it doesn’t happen for everyone. If this post helps just one mom, I would feel like I have done my job for my entire blog, you know? I want all breastfeeding moms to know that they CAN do this and that they CAN get through the road bumps. You can.

Not necessarily tandem nursing, that’s optional. But the truth is, you’re going to have to do it at some point. Those babes are going to be crying at the same time, you’re going to realize that you have two boobs! (Lol.) and really, it isn’t that bad. Tandem nursing is an art. And you don’t need anything but a comfortable place to sit.

More on that later.

When you come home from the hospital, get a journal and keep it next to you and write down every poo diaper, every pee, When they nurse and how long they nurse. Their doctor is going to want to know all of that anyway, but it helps your confidence level. Knowing they are giving you plenty of wet diapers means they’re getting enough to eat. And when you write it down, you don’t have to rack your sleepy brain to try to remember the blur of the last week to see if he’s had a drop in pee diapers, when you feel discouraged that he’s not getting enough milk. (Sorry for the forever-long sentence just then.)

Another HUGE thing I want to tell moms:
Fall in love with water.
Water is going to be the key to success. You need to have great, clean, good tasting water. The Sam’s Choice bottled water at Walmart is just fine and it tastes great. I’m extremely picky about my water, so trust me on that one! Nursing my 8 month old twins, I go through three 32-pack bottled water packs in two weeks.
You need to keep a bottle close to you at all times. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty (obviously) but don’t wait until you get thirsty to drink. Keep one with you while you’re nursing and when you sleep. Another saying that is easy to remember, Drink when they drink!

Stay on your prenatal vitamins. Don’t stop them just because you aren’t pregnant anymore. You’re still nourishing their every need. <3

Keep snacks with you close by, and don’t get hungry. Don’t worry about dieting because one great thing about nursing is that those pregnancy pounds will disappear! I was still hanging onto 40lbs when the twins were born, and now I’m down to 15lbs. So keep your diet full of good, healthy foods and stay full, because you’re still eating for three. 🙂

Night-time Nursing:

One big thing I’ve learned nursing twins is if you want to get any sleep, nurse your babies at the same time throughout the night. For example, if Baby A wakes up at 2:30am, nurse and lay him back down, but wake Baby B up to nurse as well. That way, you don’t nurse Baby A and go back to sleep just for Baby B to wake up hungry in a half hour later when you just barely got to sleep again. That way both babies are fed and hopefully sleep another 2-3 hours before someone wakes up again. Eventually they’ll get on the same pattern and it’ll help you tremendously when you’re trying to sync up their schedules.

Now, some may not agree with me on this and that’s alright, but here’s another tip: let Dad do most of the work through the night. Let him do the diaper changes. Let him get up to get them. You need your rest. I know how hard it is not to do those things yourself but breastfeeding takes HALF of a mothers energy. Half. You need every ounce of sleep you can get. If you’re doing the massive task of feeding two babies with your body, he can change a diaper half asleep. He will be alright. You stay asleep when the babes go to fussing at night, let him get them a fresh diaper and then you can wake and nurse. Let him put them back to bed.

Speaking of rest, learn to nurse while laying down. It’s probably not feasible when they’re newborns but as they get a little older and they grow a little, side lying is best at night for nursing because you can fall right back to sleep very easily. You don’t have to get up and get a nursing pillow and situate yourself and then situate baby. It takes a lot of energy to do that half asleep and can make you dread night feedings.

Prepare for hunger. When my first daughter was born my husband actually made me a sandwich before we went to bed. It is kind of funny now that I think about it but it really helped. I would wake up starving and I would gobble down whatever I could get. Pb&J sandwiches would fill me up until morning. 🙂 You will get hungry throughout the night and if you can, eat up!

Whew I’m exhausted.
I will do a Part 2 post soon! Thanks for reading. 🙂

Blogger Babes Link Party

25 Things To Say to Your Children To Encourage Them

 

I made this post in infographic form, so it’ll be easily “pinnable”! I have tried to make at least one photo in each of my posts easily recognized when you’re searching through your pins on Pinterest. If you are on Pinterest and want to follow me, you can find me here: Pinterest.com/Kennahsmama

One thing I must do as a mother is let my children know that they can do anything they set their minds to. I strive every day to make them feel like their voices are heard, like their thoughts and ideas mean something to me, and that they are an important part of the family. I have gathered some of my favorite things to say to my kids on a daily basis. I want to share the things that help my daughters know that I want to hear what they have to say. I want to encourage them to speak their mind, while being kind and courteous.

 

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I love to encourage my children to do their best, all the time. Do you have something you want to share? Comment!

Thanks for reading, and feel free to Pin!

 

 

Happy 5th Birthday, Darlin’!

My oldest daughter, McKennah, turned 5 this week. I am so proud of her.. and its been a bittersweet time for me. It seems like days ago I was helping her walk around the house, or trying to get her to say “Babo”, her word for Elmo that I loved to hear her say. Now she’s learning the alphabet, and writing her name. She’s so smart and so beautiful. She’s going to be in kindergarten next year and every time I think about it, I get all teary-eyed! My sweet, beautiful baby is growing up right before my eyes.

She had a cowgirl birthday party. It made my inner child so excited because I grew up on the back of a horse, so you can imagine how crazy happy I was to hear that my kiddo wanted anything to do with horses. I would never push her into horses because true cowgirls are not taught, they are born. 🙂 and I can only hope that Ava and my boys have horses in their blood too!

The boys had fun hanging out while we were getting ready for the party..

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Then their cousin Mikey came to play!

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Kennah’s birthday was really on Wednesday.. and we took her to her favorite restaurant for lunch and then we made strawberry cheesecake cupcakes for her at home!

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Her party was Saturday. Some of her decorations!

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My sister Shannon and I played with Breyer horses growing up. I kept them over the years and we brought them down from storage to decorate with. They’re on her cake and we put them on the fireplace mantle. 🙂 These horses mean so much to us, and I can’t wait till the kids are old enough to play with them.

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Her cake 🙂

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My sister and I made them. I baked the cake but I could not TOUCH that icing. She’s an icing wizard! 🙂 And fantastic with cupcakes. She doesn’t think she’s good at cakes but as you can see, she’s freaking awesome.  Go to her website here:Mama Moments.com if you’d like to contact Shannon about her cakes!

 

Some of our guests.. 🙂

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Kennah was NOT excited about everyone singing Happy Birthday to her… but she loved her cake and she ate every bit of her plate AND her ice cream. That girl could live on ice cream. She loved opening her presents, though!

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She had a wonderful time at her party. She loved everything. I hope that I can get her buddies to come to her party next year. It’s always so cold on her birthday so a lot of people don’t really like to come and it makes me sad for her. She was born on a very snowy day.. I hope she doesn’t hate me for that forever. lol.

Thanks for reading. 🙂

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