Beach Essentials for Baby, Kids, & You

Mother is Eternal | Beach Essentials

Mother is Eternal | Beach Essentials

While my sister was here last week, we took a trip to Ocean Beach Park with our babies for the first time and let me tell you, trekking through the sand with two babies that can’t even sit up on their own isn’t all that easy. Wearing them in the sling is extra effort and I was constantly worried about where his face was in regards to the sun.

Overall, it was a great time so I’m here to share some things to make your beach trip much more enjoyable.

Beach Cart: This thing was a lifesaver. We were able to pile everything into it (aside from a couple chairs) and just push it onto the beach. It was a lot better than our initial plan of packing it all into our arms.

Beach Chairs: These fold up into a backpack to make carrying simple.

Shelter: I highly recommend grabbing one of these for your babies. It pops right up, mom or dad can fit to lay in it as well, and you’ve got instant shade and extra sun protection. It’s also lightweight, breathable, and easy to lug. We also bring it to the pool or outside in the yard. This one is great for older kids and adults.

Lip balm: I’m prone to dry lips when out in the sun for too long so I like to keep them hydrated.

Beach Bag: My sister’s diaper bag was large enough to double up as a beach bag as well.

Cooler: Can’t forget the snacks! Also remember to pack a whole bunch of water. Dehydration is serious especially on extremely hot days.

Sunblock: Keep your babies fresh skin protected with a mineral-based sunblock. Apply throughout the day to make it most effective. And adults, don’t forget yourself!

Towels: These are perfect to lay underneath the baby in the shelter or for use with kids and adults.

Sun hat: I never put sunblock on Maddox’s scalp so I insist on him wearing a hat. It keeps the sun out of his face and protects him from burns. And mom, here’s a great one for you.

Shovel & Pail: You can’t go to the beach without trying to make a castle, right? This set is great for the older kids.

Water Resistant Phone Pouch: Between the sand, kids, and water, the beach is a war zone for your phone. The great thing about the pouch is it’s touch sensitive and you still have your headphone jack available. It’s a life saver! Don’t have the funds or the time to buy one? Put your phone in a sandwich bag. It’ll do the same thing!

If you wind up with a sun burn, apply a little aloe. It’ll cool down the burn instantly and promote healing. What else helps make your beach trip more manageable?

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Postpartum Must Haves for Mothers

Postpartum Care Must Haves | Mother is Eternal

During pregnancy, new mothers are focused on preparing for their new bundle. They are worried about the nursery, picking out clothes, creating a dream labor and delivery plan, and debating cloth or disposable. Rarely do mothers worry about the aftermath of birth and helping themselves heal.

Postpartum isn’t glamorous. It’s tender and harsh. We need to care for ourselves so we can better care for our littles. Preparing a recovery kit for yourself or for a friend will make the transition a little more bearable. It’s hard to be comfortable between the pain, the bloody puddle, a needy newborn, and lack of sleep. These are some things sure to ease the postpartum period.

Tuck’s Witch Hazel Pads
These were a lifesaver for me. I didn’t get hemorrhoids (thankfully) but they soothed the general pain and stinging. The coolness felt incredible against broken skin. You can also make your own.

Peri Bottle
HEAVENLY. I was so glad for its existence. I didn’t wipe for a while and merely dabbed toilet paper around. This helped not only relieve me of the sting, but also allowed me to clean off blood. Warm water works the best. The hospital usually provides you with one but they are cheap if you want an extra.

Ice Packs
These were such a relief and wonderful to help swelling. Check with your hospital. Some may provide these for you.

Dermoplast
Another wonderful relief for the vaginal area. It definitely helped take away the burn, sting, and itch. My sister (who had a baby almost 3 months prior to me) hated it and never used it. It’s a strange cooling sensation so everyone will react differently. Most hospitals provide it for you.

Sitz Bath
Herbs are powerful tools from the earth. The herbal blends in sitz baths will help reduce swollen tissues, bring relief to tender areas, promote healing, and reduce the chance of infection. It’s a relaxing way to nourish your vagina and yourself. Take the time alone, breathe it all in and let it all go. Even as a new mama, you deserve a second to care for yourself. Here’s a recipe if you want to DIY!

Nipple Cream
I simply used coconut oil. Thankfully, my nipples grew accustomed quickly and avoided rawness but many mothers I’ve spoken with, have praised nipple creams. You can also make your own with this recipe.

Breast Pump
Your breasts will become swollen with fresh milk for your little nursling. A breast pump is your friend. It’s also great so you can start stashing away milk for when you finally decide you can handle being away from your little for more than 5 minutes at a time. I’m not an avid pumper so I simply use the manual Medela Harmony but I’d suggest investing in an electric. 

Breast Pads
You can either get disposable or reusable. I went through the disposables like crazy. Until your milk regulates, you leak an insane amount. We had breast pads strewn all over the place for the longest time.

Nursing Bras
I made the mistake of only purchasing one nursing bra. I was doing laundry less in the first few weeks so my bra was drowning in milk stains and milk scent. I highly recommend grabbing more than one. Eventually, I got 4 of these and this sleep one. The sleep one is SO comfortable, I practically lived in it. I don’t recommend anything with a wire. It’s extremely uncomfortable and even worse when engorged.

Comfortable Undies
Warning: do not, I repeat, do NOT wear your cute underwear. You bleed like a waterfall and it’s not worth risking all the underwear you love. Chances are if you have heavy-duty pads, you won’t. But to be on the safe side, grab a few pairs of basic underwear so you won’t feel sad if you need to toss them!

Herbal Tea
Red Raspberry tea is a great support for uterine care.
Milkmaid tea will help support healthy breastfeeding and increase milk production. 

Water Bottle
Hydration is extremely important. All your resources are gathering into your breasts for your baby and taking away from you! You need to keep up your hydration so you can take care of yourself and create milk for the nursling. I always carried my blender bottle around with me but any water bottle will do. 

Easy Snacks
Same as above. Your nutrients are being used up fairly quickly and you need to snack more often. Trail mixes, granola bars, fruits, crackers, and other finger foods are perfect for right now. Keep them near wherever you sit to feed your little one (bedside table, coffee table, etc).

Rest
Don’t worry about the dishes piling up or the clothes dirtying the floor. This time is crucial and belongs to you and the baby. It will get better no matter how tough it seems in the beginning. You’ll all naturally fall into a routine as baby grows. In the meantime, take whatever time you can to rest and recoup.

Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, from friends and family. You don’t need to isolate yourself or do everything on your own now that you have a baby. Whether it’s someone bringing you a meal, or coming over to let you nap while they keep their eye on the baby, or someone picking up your house, or whatever it is: you do deserve it mama so don’t hesitate on asking.

Most importantly remember, be kind to yourself and go through the postpartum period gently. Love is at your fingertips and on the broken skin around your hips.

Postpartum Care Checklist
• Witch Hazel Pads
• Peri Bottle
• Ice Packs
• Dermoplast
• Sitz Bath
• Nipple Cream
• Breast Pump
• Breast Pads
• Nursing Bras
• Comfortable Undies
• Herbal Teas
• Water Bottle
• Easy Snacks
• Rest
• Help

Essential Oils: Copaiba

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be touching base on all the essential oils in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit and presenting you with information, benefits, recipes, and other resources. If you feel like purchasing a Wholesale Membership along with the Premium Starter Kit, feel free to sign-up here or if you don’t want to purchase a starter kit and just want the one essential oil you can sign up through me as a Retail Customer here instead. Please join me on this oily journey. 

Copaiba (Ko-pah-ee-bah) is a resin acquired from South American leguminous trees. The resin is collected similarly to the tapping of the maple tree. After the resin is collected, the most popular of the extraction processes is used: steam distillation. This impressive and powerful essential oil contains 55 percent of beta caryophyllene, the highest amount in any known essential oil. This molecule is known for its use in providing pain relief, digestive comfort, supporting healthy joint function & bone mass, and other irregularities. Here are some other uses and benefits Copaiba essential oil will provide.

Benefits & Uses

Muscle Pain, Cartilage & Join Function, & Pain Relief
Apply directly to the affected area. Copaiba can be used neat (undiluted) except on the most sensitive skin. You can also add 2 drops to a capsule and take 3 times a day or as needed.

Acne
Apply 2-3 drops onto a cotton ball and apply neat onto active acne pimples and scars to reduce skin inflammation. Within 2-3 hours, you will see a noticeable difference in redness. Use this daily. This study shows the success of copaiba on acne.

Teething
Apply a drop onto your finger and rub onto gums.

Stretch Marks & Scars
Copaiba can be massaged directly onto stretch marks and scars to fade them. Combine it with coconut oil to help fade them away.

Digestive System
Take 2 drops in a capsule 3 times a day or as needed. Also, you can rub onto abdomen during irregularity to help promote regularity in the system.

Urinary Tract
Massage onto lower abdomen to help reduce incidences of incontinence and bedwetting. It helps tone the muscles of the bladder to provide better bladder control.

Respiratory System
Add a 2-4 drops to a pot of boiling water. Cover your head with a towel over the pot and breathe in.

Insect Bites
Put a drop onto the bite to help reduce swelling, redness, and provide relief from the sting or itch.

Meditation & Prayer
Place 4-6 drops in the diffuser during your meditation or prayer as it will help to increase spiritual awareness and will help with grounding. The aroma helps to lighten a tense or stressed mood.

Magnifier Oil
Magnifier oils increase or magnify the properties and benefits of other oils. If you had a cold, you could apply Eucalyptus to the chest then apply Copaiba to increase the benefits of the Eucalyptus.

Until August 14, 2015, the Premium Starter Kit at Young Living is $10 off. This means a $300 value for only $150! It comes with 11 oils including the magic of Copaiba. By joining through me here, I become your sponsor. Therefore I can help you with anything you need. Business questions, essential oil questions, uses, safety concerns, etc. You name it, I’ll help you. It also helps us get to know each other on a more personal level while learning, loving, and navigating the world of essential oils. If you have any questions, read this information or contact me here.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

How To Nurse In Public

(Source)

You’ve just sat down in a restaurant. You smile at your husband and begin to open your menu. As you start discussing the list of drinks, you hear a whimper and a stir. You look up apologetically at your husband and turn your focus to the baby. The diaper is dry, the pacifier won’t hold, and your baby is licking their lips and shoving their entire first in their mouth. This can only mean one thing so you unbuckle the seat belt or take baby out of the wrap, cradle hold your baby, take out your breast, and watch as baby settles down. You smile at your husband, flip through the menu with your free hand, and continue to discuss dinner options.

Or do you? Too often women shy away from this situation. A situation that is nothing but natural and normal. A common occurrence within the breastfeeding community of women is being uncomfortable nursing in public. For some, it’s a nerve-wracking task and for some it’s like an attached limb they’ve had their whole life. It’s understandable. For years, women’s breasts have been seen sexually rather than biologically. We favor bra ads but shy away from sharing information about breastfeeding. I’ve talked to so many new mothers who are scared of leaving the house because they don’t know what to do in this situation. Hopefully these tips can help:

Practice
Start at home. Breastfeeding may be natural but it’s not always easy. If you’re worried about breast exposure, try latching baby on at home and you’ll find you don’t expose much at all. Try different ways out. Try it with a cover and without a cover. Try it with a blanket over your shoulder that you can pull onto baby’s head until latched. Over time, you’ll be a ninja at breastfeeding without exposing much at all. Experiment and find what works for you.

Wear Appropriate Attire
I get disheveled easily. Breastfeeding in public was a snap once I wore more accessible clothing. I highly recommend a nursing bra if you don’t already have one. Besides my breasts and my pump, it’s my most valued breastfeeding tool. These are the best and easiest outfits I’ve found:

– Two piece outfits. Pants, shorts or skirts paired with a nursing bra and a loose top is the easiest outfit and my go-to. Lift your shirt from the bottom and baby can access the breast. You can pull the shirt down enough to cover any breast exposure and help make you more comfortable. If you are uncomfortable about any belly showing, you can wear a belly band or a tank top underneath your shirt.
– Dresses are wonderful as long as they are an easy, flexible material so you can pull down and access the breast.
– If you have the cash, splurge on a couple nursing clothes that already have the holes sewn in.
– Nursing tanks are great too. Buy a couple different colors and wear them with a cover up.

Pick A Comfortable Spot
Breastfeeding in public is so much easier when you find a cozy spot to sit. Making this experience comfortable will help you calm any anxiety you may have. This may mean a fitting room at a retail store, a park bench when walking around, your car at the grocery store, or a restaurant booth. You want enough space for you, your baby, and whatever else you have with you.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Some people will get uncomfortable and feel obliged to say something to you. That is their own personal issue. You are within your rights and the rights of nature. Breastfeeding in public is LEGAL in many places and for good reason. No one has the right to discriminate against you for feeding your child nor can anyone prevent you from doing so. They shouldn’t be asking you to feed elsewhere or disturbing you whatsoever.

If you’re in the states, this site summarizes the statutes for each state.

Act Confident
The trick to anything is acting confident.. even when you aren’t. You know you are doing something crucial for your child’s livelihood so own it. Smile if someone frowns at you. If someone responds negatively, here are some witty comebacks you can use. Remember, not everyone that stares at you, is staring for a negative reason. Some may be genuinely curious. If it’s hard to find your confidence, look at your baby while you’re feeding and remind yourself what’s truly important. You can also join The Badass Breastfeeder for a positive boost and more breastfeeding information and watch this video to give yourself a little laugh.

Just Do It
I know, I know. It’s easier said than done but I promise, once you do it, you’ll be refreshed. You’ll get so used to it, you won’t ever think twice of hiding away in your car or in the restroom. After a couple times, your confidence will be exploding and you’ll be a pro.

Why I Babywear and Reasons You Should, Too.

You’re lying on your activity mat observing the toys hanging above your head. You’ve been there for a few minutes by yourself, curious and content but you’re beginning to fuss. I think you’re starting to realize your alone and you’re not sure where your mother went. So I hear you whimper and I come over to you. You look at me with big blue eyes, searching me, knowing me. You look into my eyes and you whimper – an acknowledgment that you crave to be picked up. So I grab my sling and I tuck you inside close to my warmth. You whimper maybe twice more until you calm, realizing where you are. Now it’s just us with uninterrupted connection.

Babywearing has been practiced for centuries in countless cultures and countries. Often, mothers had to return to their labor not long after birth making babywearing a necessity. In most of history, women are seen carrying their babies on them rather than in a separate counterpart. By incorporating babywearing into your daily life, you can make it a whole lot simpler.

Bonding, Closeness, & Connection

One of my main reasons for babywearing is it promotes a closeness between baby and wearer. By wearing baby, you help create a warm, safe, and secure environment. This is a necessity for babies. Think about it. They were curled up tight in a womb for 9 months. Now they’re out in the world: fresh, new, and frightened. The best place for them to be? In your arms, soaking up your warmth.

Keeping them close to you in a sling allows you to connect, bond, and be close to them. Crucial actions that are dire to their development. Another great thing about babywearing is it’s not exclusive to mother alone but family and friends are able to benefit and bond as well!

Happier Baby

Research shows babies who are worn cry less. The study done by Hunziker and Barr (1986) concludes “the relative lack of carrying in our society may predispose to crying and colic in normal infants.” They also concluded 43% of babies who were carried cried less and 54% in the evenings! I don’t know any mother who would object to that.

Convenience

One of my favorite things about babywearing is both hands are free. Babywearing enables you to do chores, eat a meal, prepare a meal, go shopping, etc while tending to your baby. Not only that but you don’t have to lug a big, bulky stroller around everywhere. Some places don’t allow strollers and without one, you are able to fit into tighter and crowded spaces.

Growth & Development

In a sling or wrap, babies are at eye level. This helps promote an interaction that babies lower down are less likely to receive: talking, eye contact, etc. They have a “parent’s eye view” which helps them become aware of their surroundings (i.e. voices, tone of voice, walking patterns, etc). It helps give them a sense of “being human”. Also, by being carried, baby is able to see more compared to being condensed in a stroller and if they are seeing too much they can look elsewhere. This helps baby make independent choices. And even if mom or wearer is busy, baby is still able to learn.

Physically, it keeps baby off their back to reduce the chance of a flat spot and it promotes  proper hip development (in most carriers).

Aids Sleep

Personally, my baby has yet to find the sleepy dust that babywearing gives off as he is much too curious of everything but I have heard numerous stories and have seen countless pictures with babies asleep in slings and wraps. Also, many people have found their babies sleep longer at night when they are carried during the day.

Alleviates Muscle Pain

Let’s face it, babies are heavy and they get heavier the older they get. Babywearing evenly distributes baby’s weight across the body which helps take weight off your shoulders and back and allows you to hold baby for longer. If you often have sensitive or sore muscles, a carrier is a great addition to your mommy arsenal. 

Carrying your baby is a positive and intimate experience. I hope this inspires you to wear your baby close to you and close to your heart, exactly where they belong.

Mother’s Milk

 Breastfeeding has been a sacred journey for me. It’s truly one of my favorite things about motherhood. To be able to nourish his body with my body is unfathomable. To be able to sustain life with my body is amazing. I feel I have been let in on an ancient secret between women and it’s beautiful.

I’m surprised at how natural it came to both of us and how natural nursing in public was. I thought I’d shy away, embarrassed. Worried about judgment. Turns out, I don’t care. It is what it is – natural and necessary. I’ve learned to become a nursing ninja with no nip slips. Those offended need to look within, question themselves.
These are our soft moments together. As one, once again

Essential Oils: Lavender for Babies & Other Benefits

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be touching base on all the essential oils in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit and presenting you with information, benefits, recipes, and other resources. If you feel like purchasing a Wholesale Membership along with the Premium Starter Kit, feel free to sign-up here or if you don’t want to purchase a starter kit and just want the one essential oil you can sign up as a Retail Customer here instead. Please join me on this oily journey. 

(Photo Source: Pinterest)

Many parents struggle with putting their little one to bed. Some nights can seem excruciatingly daunting especially when you’re lacking on rest yourself. During these times, something I’m extremely grateful for is lavender essential oil.

The lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) aroma has been so wonderful to Maddox (and to me!). He’s been much more calm, his sleep cycles seem to last longer, and putting him to bed is a little easier. After his night time bath, I rub Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Calming lotion (made with lavender) on his skin. Then I massage his feet with lavender essential oil in a carrier. A favorite of mine is fractionated coconut oil but you can use tea tree, olive, etc. Whichever you prefer! I also dab a little onto his third eye, the spot between his eyebrows. Occasionally, I’ll rub diluted lavender on my palms and slowly pass it in front of his nose a couple times. You can even add a couple drops into his bath (diluted first by a water-soluble carrier such as vegetable glycerin). All of these will help to calm and soothe your baby.

Please note, babies are VERY sensitive and you have to use extreme precaution when using EO’s on or around them.  I have done my research for my own little one on what essential oils are safe so use your judgment or speak to a professional. I recommend when introducing essential oils to your baby, you test a diluted dab on a tiny section of their skin. Introduce oils to them gently since their skin is so new and fragile. Remember dilution is key and very important for babies and children. Personally I feel safest using 1-2tbsp of carrier oil with 1-2 drops of lavender.

Other Benefits of Lavender

Bug repellent
You can either make a spray or dab a few drops on your wrists, knees, neck, and wrists to keep the pesky little insects at bay. Here’s a wonderful bug spray recipe.

Insect Bite
Rub 2-4 drops of Lavender oil onto the mosquito bite.

Alleviates headache pain
Inhale lavender for about 15 minutes. The best way is a few drops in a diffuser.

Acne & General Skin Care
If you have an outraged blemish, try a drop of lavender oil on a q-tip and apply a couple times a day. This can also work to help lighten acne scars. You can also create a toner with a bottle of witch hazel or jojoba oil and add 5-10 drops (depending on the bottle size) and apply morning and night. For dry skin, pour water into a spray bottle and add 10-15 drops of lavender until symptoms subside. Or apply with a nut/vegetable oil.

Feel free to purchase your own lavender by signing up with Young Living!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.