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Posted in baby, parenting

How to Choose a Halloween Costume for Your Baby

“Halloween is in two weeks and I still haven’t picked out a costume for my baby. Help!”

Good news! There’s still time. First Halloweens are fun, but don’t pressure yourself to pick out the perfect costume. When it comes to babies and Halloween, practical is best. Here are some tips:

Check the weather

Not only the weather, but what your plans are.

Do you have older kids that you’ll be taking trick-or-treating? If so, baby may need a warmer costume, or one that can fit a coat underneath.

Live somewhere warm? Then those fluffy, warm costumes may overheat your beach babe.

If you plan on staying inside while your baby is in costume, you have more flexibility, but should still remember that babies overheat easily, so nothing too warm.

Avoid costumes with tails

Baby dinosaurs and other costumes with tails are cute, but don’t expect your little monster to stay in costume for long. If your baby can’t sit up on their own yet, you’ll have to hold them the entire time they’re in costume. If they can sit up, you will still need to take the costume off for car seats, high chairs, etc.

Consider buying a Halloween onesie

You already know to always have a spare set of clothes in the event of a blowout or puke. But why not make it one more festive?!

Halloween onesies can be found at reasonable prices, and you’ll be thankful you have one when your baby is tired of wearing their costume. The onesie pictured below was purchased at Carters.com for less than $10.

Buy online from a company you know

Prefer to buy Baby’s costume online? Do it! But keep in mind these tips:

As tempting as it is to take advantage of Prime and buy your baby’s costume from Amazon, proceed with caution.

Sizes can be hard to determine when buying online, especially if your baby is right around the 6-month mark, as many costumes come in either sizes 0-6 months, or 6-12 months. Buying from a company whose sizes you’re already familiar with can help avoid ending up with a costume that’s too big or too small.

Double check the shipping time and availability of the item. With two weeks left until Halloween, there is still time to get your costume shipped, but verify where it’s coming from and how soon the company can get it shipped. In September I ordered a Halloween costume that was Prime eligible on Amazon, but didn’t realize until after it shipped that the costume was coming from China (I’m in the US) and would not, in fact, be delivered that week. One month later and I neither have the item, nor am able to track it.

Companies like Carter’s and Target have some really cute costumes that generally ship quickly. They are also pretty good about letting you know when items are out-of-stock, so you’re not ordering costumes that won’t ship right away.

Don’t use face paint

We’ve all seen the adorable and hilarious Pinterest photos of babies sporting cute whiskers or funny mustaches for Halloween…don’t do it. Baby skin is extremely sensitive and face paint can not only irritate their faces, but can be difficult to wash off. You also have their busy little fingers to consider…fingers which will surely be in their mouths, rubbing their eyes, and smearing the makeup you so carefully applied.

Enjoy costume hunting and be sure to take lots of pictures! Remember – think practical.

XO Nicoll

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Posted in pregnancy

What You Should Know About Your First Trimester

I just found out I’m pregnant, but it’s too early to tell anyone and I’m feeling really overwhelmed. What do I need to know about my first trimester?

Congratulations! Whether you planned to become pregnant or you’re surprised to find yourself a few days late, that moment when you see the second pink line show up on a pregnancy test is very emotional. Your whole life is about to change. Here was my experience, and some things I wish I would have known going into my first trimester:

Symptoms may not be what you expect

Pregnancy symptoms can be your typical sore boobs and morning sickness. Or they might be non-existant. Nothing is normal, and everything is normal.

My experience: My best friend, Steph, told me about the intense dreams pregnancy can bring on. After I stopped taking birth control, my cycles were pretty long. So for the second month in a row, my period was late. I didn’t think much of it.

One night I had a crazy intense dream that I was on a cruise ship that was flooding and I was drowning. Weird, right? The next day at work I was in a meeting and BOOM! I remembered Steph’s words and I thought…is it possible? It was. That was the day I found out.

My symptoms after that? Nothing. Some food aversions, a lot of foods just didn’t taste good. MAYYYBBEE my stomach felt a little upset if I ate breakfast too late. I didn’t feel good when the weather got cold. But they were all things that weren’t totally out of the ordinary for me.

I spent so much of my first trimester worried that something was wrong because I couldn’t relate to what other pregnant women were going through. I even longed to feel terrible like they did. At one point I went so far as to take another pregnancy test at 7 weeks just to make sure I didn’t imagine it. And guess what? THE TEST WAS NEGATIVE! I obviously lost my mind and called the doctor immediately. Turns out it’s just some phenomenon that happens sometimes when you’re a few weeks in.

Two first-trimester doctor appointments and my little baby was developing right on track.

Some people just don’t experience a lot of symptoms.

We have so much information at our disposal

You can find out anything you want to about your growing baby. Insomnia got you up at night? I always searched different hashtags on Instagram to see how my bump compares to others that are just as far along.

It is so cool to learn about how quickly your little embryo is developing, especially when you can’t see or feel it yet.

Information also comes with a large dose of reality. You will learn about the alarmingly high rate of first trimester miscarriages, birth defects, and everything else that can go wrong.

You have to know when to put down the laptop and just have faith that everything is going well in your body.

My experience: I’m a researcher. So from the instant I found out I was pregnant I was constantly scouring the internet, or flipping through the pages of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. A lot of what I found was scary, but I couldn’t get enough information.

I also joined a private Facebook group of other women due around the same time. Believe it or not, that group was by far what has caused me the most stress in this pregnancy. It was about 160 women, and all too often they were posting about bleeding, miscarriages, going to the doctor and not finding a heartbeat. These were all things I head read about on the internet, but putting a face to the stories made it very real. I spent far too much time worrying that their terrible stories would happen to me.

Joining the group was really eye-opening for me. I didn’t realize how common miscarriage is and how blessed we have been to have a hassle-free pregnancy. But seeing the posts was so anxiety-inducing that I actually wished I hadn’t joined at all. It wasn’t until I was at about 15 weeks that I started to find the group helpful. There were other first-time moms who would ask questions I wanted to know the answers to, and plenty of experienced mothers who could provide sage advice.

Each person has different needs, but if I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t have joined that group until my second trimester. Pregnancy is stressful enough.

The human body is incredible

Pregnancy really is a miracle. I was and am continually amazed at how quickly a baby grows in utero.

A pregnant body is making so many changes to accommodate that little being and giving it everything it needs in order to thrive.

For as often as we complain about sickness or fatigue, they are minor symptoms compared to the miracle that is happening inside.

My favorite first trimester moments: My first two doctor’s appointments were unforgettable. The first appointment was at just seven weeks and the instant that I saw that little heart beating on the screen I started crying. It was so surreal seeing a living being inside of me.

Just four weeks later, at 11 weeks, the ultrasound clearly showed my baby’s arms and legs. The difference in just a month was amazing.

Those two appointments made the pregnancy so much more real for me.

I wish you a smooth and stress-free pregnancy and so much patience as you wait until you’re comfortable telling the rest of the world about your little one!

XO Nicoll

Have a question? Submit it HERE

Posted in postpartum

6 Things I Didn’t Expect Postpartum

I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy and have done everything to prepare for labor & delivery. What should I be expecting after delivery that I haven’t already heard about?

Yes! As expecting mothers, we spend so much time reading up on every aspect of our pregnancy and what to expect during labor. But there are a few surprising things that come postpartum. Here were my top 6 biggest surprises:

The peri bottle

Talk about a lifesaver! After you give birth and you’re a bloody mess *down there*, the hospital will provide you with a little water bottle that you squirt on yourself when you go to the bathroom. It feels great and leaves your very sore parts clean, like a portable bidet!

A word of advice: get a spare and pack it in your diaper bag because you do not want to be running an errand, have to pee and realize you left your peri bottle at home. It hurts and it’s just not an experience I’d wish on anyone I love.

Being scared to poop

I was more scared of my post-delivery bowel movement than I was of childbirth itself. Every muscle, tendon and piece of skin had been stretched beyond its breaking point and the idea of anything else coming out was just unfathomable.

Between how I felt physically and the mental block that prohibited me from going…it was days before I would get near a toilet for Number 2.

Tailbone pain

To piggy back on my fear of going to the bathroom…that was in large part because of how bad my tailbone hurt! I remember telling the nurse at the hospital that it felt like I bruised my tailbone, to which she responded, “you probably did.” What?!

Yeah. Apparently Baby’s head can cause some trauma to your tailbone. I couldn’t sit comfortably for months after delivery!

Stretchy skin

It makes sense, but not something I ever gave any consideration. After giving birth, your stomach is still very swollen for weeks, but once the swelling starts to come down, your skin is still stretched out.

Don’t panic yet! Your skin does eventually catch up…kind of. I’ve accepted that I’m probably always going to be a little squishier, but at least my skin doesn’t look/feel as funny as it did in the days following delivery.

I’ll also add…the squishy skin and stretch marks are so worth it.

Nursing is hard

I don’t know if you plan on nursing, but if you are, just know that it’s hard at first. And it hurts! But it’s normal and it does get better.

I don’t know why, but this took me totally by surprise. I thought it would be the most natural thing in the world, but it takes your baby some time to learn and it takes your body some time to acclimate.

It’s also tricky because breastfeeding requires you to continue to care for your body when your only care in the world is caring for that brand new baby. The last thing on your mind is drinking enough water and intaking enough calories…which is what your body needs in order to produce milk.

Unfortunately it also means a couple of weeks of pain and sleep deprivation because your baby needs to eat every 2-3 hours, if not more.

Once both you and Baby get into a routine, though, it’s very special.

How much I love my son

Of course I knew I would love him. But I never expected how overwhelmed with love I would be. There were so many days when I would just hold him and look at him and cry because my heart was just exploding out of my chest. The love that a mother has for her child is unlike anything I ever could have imagined. It’s simultaneously wondering how you ever lived without this little person, worrying about everything that could ever hurt them, and understanding that this right here was your entire life’s purpose and nothing else will ever matter as much as your baby.

Wishing you and your baby a healthy delivery. You’re doing great!

XO Nicoll

Have a question? Submit it HERE