Snuggly Babywearing with Kowalli

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One of my favorite things about babywearing is that you’re so close to your baby. You can clean the house, go on a hike, shop at Target or go to a football game while enjoying your sweet baby (or toddler). Moms and Dads can get stuff done and the baby is happy, it’s a win-win!

One dilemma I’ve always had with babywearing is staying warm during the winter months. We live in New England. It gets COLD! I’ve tried using my Beco or Ergo with a coat but I can never keep both of us warm. When Jackson was little, I would always put him in the stroller and bundle him up with blankets because I never found a good solution for cold weather babywearing.

Just a few weeks ago, I went pumpkin picking with my friend Heather, from HousewifeHeather.com, on a cold, drizzly day. While I was trying to balance wearing Sidney and protecting us from the rain, Heather whipped out an awesome toga-looking fleece  baby carrier cover. With one quick motion she put it over her baby and they all looked warm and toasty while I spent all of my energy keeping Sidney warm and dry. I was totally jealous.

Heather mentioned the Kowalli earlier this year when she bought one for her youngest, who was born in the winter. She loved that Kowalli had written her a nice note mentioning that they loved sending Kowallis to fellow Rhode Island Moms. I wish I would have bought one last Spring because there were many times I couldn’t wear Sidney and keep both of us warm easily. Fortunately, I have one now (thank you, Kowalli!) and am thrilled to be able to use this for another cold New England winter.

I used the Kowalli for the first time last weekend at a Boston College football game. The game started at 1pm, so when we got to the campus at 10am it was still chilly. It took me only an extra 10 seconds to throw on the Kowalli, secure it with the easy toggle and go. Both Sidney & I were warm and snuggly for the rest of the game, especially with the warm fleece pockets on the front. I love wearing vests, so the Kowalli is a perfect fit and allows Sidney to face out, towards me or on my hip while keeping us both warm and my arms free. I love that it is adjustable and my husband could easily use the Kowalli while wearing Sidney.
I’wish I had a Kowalli when Jackson was little! 

You can purchase a Kowalli online for only $69 (totally worth it to wear your baby when you would normally be too cold). Kowalli has also generously offered to give a Kowalli Baby Carrier Cover away to a Baby Gators Den reader, just use the widget below to enter. Please check out Kowalli on their web site, Facebook & Twitter pages. Best of luck!

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Newborn Must Haves: the Second Time Around

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I don’t claim to know everything about newborn babies or breastfeeding (despite what my Mom believes) but I do know what has worked for me with my two kids.

For Me:
My #1 favorite item to surviving the newborn phase is my iPhone. I use it while nursing in the middle of the night to tweet my other #zombiemoms friends. I have the White Noise app to help Sidney & I sleep better,.When Jackson was little, another app I would use is the Total Baby App to time how long he nursed for, when I changed his diaper, etc. It records everything from when the baby slept, had her diaper changed and what side you nursed from. Well worth the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee. Despite all of the awesome apps you can use for newborns, it takes great pictures and video. New moms: your baby will grow up faster than you can imagine- take pictures every day.

Nursing tanks are my go-to fashion right now. Super easy to nurse without my postpartum “jelly belly” hanging out. My favorite brand is Bravado, a little pricier than the ones you will find at Target but they last longer and fit better. Tucked into the tank are always Johnson’s nursing pads. I like these the best because they aren’t individually wrapped like other brands and they have a little indention for your nipples, making them comfortable.  The last thing you want to do while nursing in public is to have a big wet spot where you leaked through your shirt- I’ve been there.

A good support system. This is key! Find a New Mom’s Group in your area (I went to one at Bellani Maternity and met some of my best girl friends there (love you Beth-Ann & Vicky!) If you can’t find one in your area, go online. Twitter is an amazing resource with tons of people wanting to help you: nurses, lactation consultants, doctors, other new moms- you name it and they are on there. If you are new on twitter, tweet me @RiGatorMom to introduce yourself. :) Another good online resource is KellyMom.com, if you have a breastfeeding question, there will be an answer waiting for you.

 

For Baby:
Sleepers with zippers
, especially in the beginning! When your baby is brand spanking new and you are up every two hours at night, nursing and changing poopy diapers, the last thing you want to do in the dark is find those tiny snaps to dress your baby. Zippers are key in your sleepers, trust me! When baby gets a little older they won’t poop all night long so you won’t have as many diaper changes so snaps won’t make as big a deal.

Aden & Anais musling swaddling wraps are the best to swaddle your newborn. I used the velcro SwaddleMes for Jackson because I hadn’t discovered these yet (until my friend Jen gave Sidney a set). These blankets are super soft and easy to get a nice, tight swaddle with. Sidney has already decided she doesn’t want her arms swaddled, so we use them to swaddle her lower half, to cover her in her stroller/car seat or to throw over my shoulder for a nursing cover/burp cloth. These also make a great baby gift!

For Both:
Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper bassinet:
This thing saved me when I had Jackson and an unexpected c-section. I found one on Craigslist with leg extensions (because we have a tall bed) for $60. Worth every penny, trust me. While breastfeeding, you can roll over at night and feed your baby without getting out of bed. Bed-sharing scared me because I was worried I’d roll over on the baby, although I know it works for many. I sleep much better now knowing Sidney is a foot away from me, attached to our bed, but has her own safe space. I honestly don’t think breastfeeding would have gone as smoothly for both of my kids without this. Having to recover from both c-sections was hard enough, I can’t imagine having to get out of bed every time to nurse.

 

Do you have any newborn must haves? I plan on updating this as I remember more items, but I’d love to hear what worked well for you.

Thank you!