How to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom
How to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom —throw a baby in the mix and they can quickly turn into a chaotic event that you hope ends quickly. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the long holiday season full of festive parties and family get-togethers, but this time doesn’t have to be stressful just because you have a baby. Even if you’re planning to host a party of your own this holiday season, making it all work flawlessly—even with a baby to attend to—is totally possible, and quite fun if you plan ahead and expect the unexpected at all times. The following tips on how to dress (you and your baby), and how to cope with the stresses of hosting your Thanksgiving soiree will help you get through, and enjoy, the holiday festivities.
Dress for Success
Since you’re going to be the host (and life) of the party, you should be as comfortable as possible while still looking great. Rather than throw a formal dinner, opt for a casual party instead so you can dress the part and your guests will be comfortable, too. Here are a few clothing ideas that look and feel great!
- Autumn colors – Bring the beautiful fall colors to your wardrobe by choosing an outfit that incorporates brick red, maroon, shades of brown, dark orange or golden yellow. Draw inspiration from this fall color palette to really get you in the spirit.
- Leggings and Jeggings – While your tight-fitting jeans look great, they probably aren’t practical for this holiday. With all the good food you’ll be serving, they will be uncomfortable in no time. Opt instead for a pair of leggings (which are perfect for this time of year) or a pair of jeggings (they’re hot right now). Paired with a tunic top, the stretchy material will allow for overindulgence and still look fabulous.
- Wrap sweaters – utilize a wrap sweater over the top. These are great because they always look great and double as outerwear if necessary. Should you get too warm, simply remove it.
Most moms look forward to the holidays simply because it’s fun dressing the little ones up in pretty dresses and cute little dress pants and shirts. While babies look so cute in these types of outfits, they may not be the most comfortable attire, and worrying about stains can be nerve-wracking. Rather than going this route, choose comfortable, easy-to-manage baby clothes inspired by the holidays.
- Autumn colors – Take advantage of the season’s color palette and dress baby in shades inspired by nature—rich maize, orange, garnet, browns and other warm tones.
- Fabrics – Choose fabrics that offer warmth and comfort such as velvet or corduroy as these materials convey a holiday-type feel.
- Garments – Layers are a good idea for baby because you can remove some if he gets too warm or when it’s feeding time to avoid stains. Onsies work great for layering because they keep your baby warm and come in many designs suitable for the holiday season.
- Shoes – Shoes are optional because it’s your casual party, but if you forgo them, be sure to have a pair of coordinating socks on those cute little feet.
- Accessories – Accessories such as hair bows can be added to “dress up” your child’s look a little bit, but ultimately, aren’t necessary.
Dealing with the Stress
It can be a big job hosting a Thanksgiving Day party, no doubt, but with the following 11 tips, the festivities should go off without a hitch.
- Make Lists – To keep things organized so you don’t forget anything, make a list (or lists) of things you need to buy, things you need to do, and who’s coming. Mark things off as you complete them. By doing so, you’ll get everything done and feel accomplished without stressing over what you may or may not have forgotten.
- Delegate – As you make your lists, decide what you have to do and what others in the household can comfortably manage—this includes helping with the baby. By giving over some of the work that needs to be done, you take some of the stress off yourself.
- Cook Ahead – Do as much ahead of time as possible. When the little one is taking a nap, do what you can to get ready for the party so you’re not trying to deal with a fussy baby and put a party together at the same time.
- Take Shortcuts – Don’t think you have to prepare everything from scratch. Take advantage of pre-made or boxed items when you can. More than likely, your guests will never know the difference.
- Stock up on Snacks – Hungry guests aren’t happy guests, but if you keep an array of snacks on hand to tide them over until mealtime, everyone’s happy. Shop ahead of time and take advantage of sales on cookies and crackers. The same goes for drinks.
- Decorate Smart – Decorate your house for the Thanksgiving holiday with simple decorations like pumpkins and fall inspired table settings. There’s no need to go all out—just strategically place a few fall decorations here and there, but out of baby’s reach if he’s at that age.
- Tidy is Good Enough – Your guests aren’t coming to your party to see an immaculate house. They’re coming to see you. Don’t spend days on end cleaning from top to bottom. If you have a messy room, simply shut the door. Too much clutter? Gather it up and place it behind closed doors.
- Make it a Buffet – Don’t feel the need to put on a formal dinner for your guests, especially if there are a lot of them. Simply make the meal buffet-style and let them serve and seat themselves.
- Background Music – They say music calms the soul, so play some festive holiday music in the background to help guests get into the spirit. You’ll be surprised at what a little holiday music can do for your mood.
- Don’t Stress about Tradition – If you try to live up to another family member’s longstanding holiday traditions, you may become overwhelmed. Your grandmother had her traditions, but this is your party. Start your own traditions and keep fond memories of hers.
- Look for the Signs – Just as you can get overwhelmed during the holidays, your baby can too. Upsets in a child’s routine can send him spiraling into a meltdown quickly. Watch for signs of fussiness and irritability in your little one and have a plan in place for dealing with it. Make sure there’s a quiet room in a different part of the house where he can go when he gets tired or the festivities become too much. Appoint other family members to help out in caring for the baby during the party so you can enjoy it, too.
So, did this help ” how to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom”? I certainly hope so! And Happy Holidays!
In an interview with CNN slated to air September 15th, Prince William reveals the nursery décor for the new Prince of Cambridge, George. Deciding to bring his love of Africa to his new son’s nursery decor, the royal couple is going with a jungle theme of sorts. In the one-hour special, William says, “I’ll have toy elephants and rhinos around the room. We’ll cover it in, you know, lots of bushes and things like that. We’ll make him grow up as if he’s in the bush,” he adds.
Feeling a strong connection to Africa after having traveled there many times as a child with his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and again several times in adulthood, Prince William even proposed to Kate Middleton during a trip to Kenya. Bringing something so special into his first child’s room was important. The 31-year old new father hopes little George will someday get to experience Africa the way he and his brother, Prince Harry, did on their trips with their parents. Until then, his room in the bush will have to do.
You can create a jungle theme in your baby’s nursery, too. Baby bedding and nursery décor in a zebra stripe pattern adds just a touch of the wild side to your baby’s room. Our Safari series baby bedding is ideal for both boys’ and girls’ nurseries and with curtains, pillows and blankets to match, you can create your own little safari oasis right in your own home. Your little prince or princess will love sleeping in the wild.
Watch the full one-hour special with Prince William, called “Prince William’s Passion: New Father, New Hope” on September 15, 2013 on CNN and CNN International at 10 p.m. ET.
XOXOXOXO, Patty, Owner www.HarperGraceBaby.com
Choosing Colors for the Nursery
Choosing nursery décor for your upcoming bundle of joy is always a fun task. Picking out wall colors, baby bedding, and wall décor to create the perfect ambiance for baby is something you’ve probably given a great deal of thought to. You and your baby will be spending a lot of time in the nursery, so you want it to promote a comforting and relaxing atmosphere. One of the easiest ways to convey comfort and relaxation is with color. Many psychologists believe colors directly affect mood, so decorating the nursery with certain colors can help soothe baby, creating the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and sleep.
The mood you wish to promote in the nursery will determine the colors you should use. If you’re into Feng Shui, white is a great color to invoke peace, creativity and serenity. It’s also the perfect color because it allows you to be creative with other colors in the crib bedding and accessories in the room.
Blue – Blue colors promote a positive energy. The lighter and softer the shade, the more peaceful the energy, while bold blues are very energizing. Blue is a wonderful color, but you may want to stay away from bright, bold blues in your baby boy bedding because it might deter relaxation and sleep.
Green – Green is the color of nature and one of the most relaxing colors in the spectrum. Soft, light shades promote healthy, restful sleep and can help calm a fussy baby.
Pink – The traditional color for girls, pink in soft shades or used as an accent color can be very soothing and serene. Stay away from bright pinks or an all pink décor because it can be too distracting.
Violet – Violet works in much the same way as pink. In soft, light shades, it promotes calm and serenity. Avoid bold purples in your baby girl bedding as it may be too distracting for a restful sleep.
Yellow – Yellow has always been a popular non-gender color. However, it may not be the perfect color for nursery décor because it can be over-stimulating and distracting. If you include yellow in the room, stick to lighter, softer shades and use it sparingly.
Brown – Brown has become popular over the last few years in the nursery. It works well with other earth tones but should be only be used as an accent color. Too much brown can squash creativity and make a room look drab.
It’s been awhile I know – but now that we are back on the band wagon – found this great post of Trends in Baby Bedding from one of our manufacturers that we thought would be an interesting read.
Long Story Short – Bold Prints and Big Prints are VERY popular. Tangerine Baby Bedding is perfect for both baby boy and baby girl.
We are having fun with Chevron. Our Chevron Baby Bedding will give your nursery a modern, clean look. Now available in Charcoal, Fuchsia or Tangerine. Crisp white & gray, hot pink or orange lends a fresh feel to your new baby’s room. Chevron Baby Bedding is available as a 4 Piece Set (includes crib bumper, crib sheet, crib skirt and blanket), 3 Piece Set (includes crib bumper, crib sheet and crib skirt), 2 Piece Set (includes Crib Sheet and Crib Skirt), or each piece can be purchased separately. Other coordinating accessories include Throw Pillow, Curtain Panels, Changing Pad Cover & Fabric by the Yard. Choose optional monogramming for your baby bedding, which is available in a variety of fonts & colors. Please allow 1-3 weeks extra production time if monogramming your bumper.
Your baby’s safety is important. As a parent, you baby-proof the house, buy all the right furniture for the nursery, and never let your new bundle of joy out of your sight, even for a second. Keeping your baby safe is your job, and you do it well. However, how much thought have you given to the bedding in your baby’s crib? Sure, it’s soft and fluffy, and matches fabulously with the décor, but how safe is it? Here are a few things to keep in mind when outfitting your baby’s crib with bedding.
Buying baby boy bedding and baby girl bedding is fun. There are so many fun themes, colors, and patterns to choose from. One thing that comes with most baby bedding sets is bumper pads. Bumper pads are those cute 6-inch padded “walls” that line the bars of the crib to keep baby from bumping his head. While not necessary in a crib, they do add style to the nursery’s décor. If you do use bumper pads, be sure they are tied securely to the bars of the crib, and that the ties are not dangling in the bed.
Mattress Pads vs. Plastic Mattress Sheets
To protect the mattress in the crib, many parents use plastic sheets. These sheets can get very hot in summer months and even create a choking hazard if they come off the mattress in the middle of the night. Instead of using plastic sheets, use a flannel backed mattress pad and a well-fitted sheet. Your baby will be more comfortable on the breathable fabric and there is less risk of suffocation. You can find several options for sheets and mattress covers in the www.HarperGraceBaby.com baby bedding boutique.
It may be tempting to cover your sleeping baby with a nice cozy, warm blanket. Unfortunately, fluffy, soft blankets have been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and should be used wisely. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use blankets at all in your baby’s crib; it just means you need to use them correctly. Blankets should be tucked securely under the mattress on the sides and at the foot of the bed. Only bring the blanket up to the baby’s chest to avoid suffocation.
Another alternative to using blankets is to dress your baby in sleepers, infant sacks, or pajamas with feet so he stays warm without using a blanket.
If you choose to use heavily padded and super soft baby bedding in your child’s nursery, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the National Institute of Child Health all recommend removing it from the crib before placing your baby down to sleep. When it’s time for bed, less is more to keep your little one safe.
So, you’ve just found out you’re pregnant, and you can’t wait to start buying maternity clothes. Congratulations! Buying maternity clothes is fun, but where do you start? If this is your first pregnancy, you may be wondering just what size to buy to accommodate your soon-to-be growing baby bump. This is a question many women have, especially when shopping online, so we’ve put together a short guide to help you figure it all out.
Where to Begin
Maternity clothing sizes work the same way regular clothing sizes work. If your pre-pregnancy size is a “small”, that’s the size you should buy in maternity clothing, too. The same goes for numbered sizes. If you wore a size 8 before you got pregnant, look for a size 8 in maternity fashions.
Jeans that go by waist size work the same way. If you wore a 28-inch waist before pregnancy, that’s the size you’ll need during your pregnancy. It’s true your waist will no longer be 28 inches, but maternity manufacturers make it easy to get the right size by using the same sizing guidelines.
If you’re heading out to buy maternity clothes before you begin showing, many maternity shops have “fake” strap-on pregnancy bellies for you to use to see what their clothes will look like on you later on in your pregnancy. This is a good way to choose outfits that fit properly and flatter your body.
Some women find that it’s not just their belly that grows during pregnancy. Other parts of the body expand as well, so it may become necessary to buy maternity clothes in a size or two larger than your normal pre-pregnancy size as you get into the later stages of your pregnancy.
What Not to Do
Don’t be tempted to purchase non-maternity clothing in a size or two larger than you’d normally wear, as if you’re just putting on weight. Maternity clothing manufacturers make their clothing with extra material, stretchy panels and flattering details so you can be comfortable and look good while you’re pregnant. Buying non-maternity clothing will result in ill-fitting, uncomfortable clothes that you won’t be happy wearing.
xoxo, Patty Gatter
When you’re the mother of a young child, leaving the house can be quite nerve-wracking. Do you have everything you need? What if your child spills something on his clothes, or wets through his diaper? What if he develops a rash on his tushy while on a long day trip? Do you have an extra pacifier in case he loses the one in his mouth? Making sure you have everything you need to care for your child on the go without feeling like you’re taking the whole house with you takes planning…..and an organized diaper bag.
Here is a checklist of some of the most important items you should include in your diaper bag. Copy it off, tuck it in the pocket of the diaper bag and refer to it before you leave the house to be sure you have everything.
- Hand sanitizer
- Changing pad
- Plastic bags (to put dirty diapers in)
- Filled bottles
- Sippy cup
- Change of clothes
- Diaper rash cream
- Emergency info
- Nail clippers
- Camera (you don’t want to miss those fleeting moments!)
- Nursing cover
- Breast pads for nursing moms
- Sling (to carry baby)
- First aid kit
If you’re carrying a separate bag for yourself, be sure it contains all the essentials, too.
- Cell phone
- Bottle of water
- Book (you never know when you’ll get a free minute to relax!)
- Clean shirt (in case you get spit up on)
Diaper Bag Tips
- Choose a diaper bag with a waterproof lining. It’s much easier to clean up when spills occur.
- A diaper bag with multiple compartments is the best for keeping things organized.
- Use Ziploc baggies to keep medicine and other liquids from leaking inside the diaper bag.
- Save time and headache by packing similar items together. For instance, place all food items in one compartment. On the same note, place items that you use together in the same compartment, such as diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream.
- Consider buying two diaper bags – one small one for quick trips and one larger one for longer trips.
- If you don’t get the right diaper bag the first time, try again. Not all diaper bags are going to work for all mothers. You may have to try a couple on for size before you find one that works best for you.
www.HarperGraceBaby.com www.HarperGraceMaternity.com www.HarperGraceOrganics.com