As a busy mum, I’m constantly on the hunt for amazing baby products that save time and make mum life easy. Here are some of my favourite finds that help save your sleep, win back some time and are environmentally friendly!
Cocoonababy Baby Mattress
This baby mattress will give you a good night’s sleep with your newborn and help ease any reflux or colic symptoms!
The Cocoonababy is the ultimate mattress to give you and your baby the best chance of a good night’s sleep. This ergonomic nest has been designed by French Obstetricians and is a unique mattress designed for newborns optimal sleep.
I’ve been using this since getting Archer home from the hospital and I have to say this is the BEST purchase you can make as a new mum. I didn’t have the luxury of a Cocoonababy with Henry, and I have noticed a huge difference when it comes to overnight sleeps.
The Cocoonababy has been designed to simulate the feeling your baby experiences in the womb thanks to the enveloping shape of the nest that has your baby laying in a semi-foetal position which promotes DEEP sleep. A great thing for mum’s lacking sleep!
What I love most about this mattress is the slightly inclined position that helps to prevent and relieve the symptoms of gastric reflux and colic. This can be really taxing on your energy levels if you are spending a long time settling baby after a feed – by the time you have fed, burped and settled, it can almost be time for another feed! Not anymore.
There is a wedge which can be repositioned up and down as baby grows and then removed when no longer necessary. I use the velcro fastenings to keep baby secure on the mattress and then have this placed inside my Troll bassinet. You can also keep the Cocoonababy in your preferred cot or bassinet.
Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer
This wipes warmer will save your sleep and keep baby comfortable during nappy changes!
If you live in a cool climate or have a baby over Winter, this is a MUST-HAVE item. There is nothing worse than changing a nappy in the freezing cold with equally cold baby wipes! Introducing the Prince Lionheart Wipes Warmer.
Yes, you heard right! I didn’t know such a thing existed until well into the warmer months with my first. Now, I’m much wiser and have armed the nursery with a wipes warmer to keep baby comfortable – especially during the overnight nappy changes.
Why? When you change baby’s nappy overnight, you try to do your best not to fully wake them so they are easy to re-settle between feeds. This clever unit has an everFRESH® System that keeps wipes moist by an evaporation and condensation process.
Simply load the system with your choice of baby wipes, plug into a power outlet and away you go! The micro-pores in the pillow trap and release water as needed to keep wipes moist ready for your next nappy change.
Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail
This nappy bin will save you hundreds on refills, doesn’t absorb smell and is kind to the environment!
If this is not the most stylish diaper pail/nappy bin you have ever seen, I don’t know what is! A nappy bin is a baby essential and which 12 different colours to choose from, there’s an option to suit any colour scheme.
What I love about this nappy bin, is the fact there are no bags. You can use ANY bag with this disposal system, saving you money on refills and enabling you to find another purpose for the plastic bags piling up at home.
Simply load the bag of your choice into the system, slide back the lid and drop the used nappy in. The benefit of the slide system is that it doesn’t allow for air disruption so there are NO unpleasant odours.
The stainless steel body also prevents odours sticking to the bin, something you really notice with the plastic systems. After a while, the smell sticks to the body and there’s no getting rid of the odour!
Formula Pro Bottle Maker
This product will help save SO much time and stopped fumbling around in the dark in the middle of the night!
For mumma’s out there that are bottle feeding – this will be the single best investment that you make! This product will save you LOADS of time and will make night time bottles a breeze. No more fumbling around in the middle of the night!
The BabyBrezza Formula Pro has won awards including best baby product of 2017, and I can see why. The Formula Pro automatically makes warm, formula bottles in a matter of seconds. There’s no measuring, mixing or fuss required as the system does all the hard work for you.
There is airtight formula storage and it works with most brands of formula. The water tank is completely removable and heats the water to the perfect temperature so you don’t have to worry about under or over-heating.
The other thing I love about this product is the modern and contemporary styling. It’s an item you will most likely have out on your kitchen counter and it’s so gorgeous to look at!
SRC Recovery Shorts
These shorts will help shrink your “mummy tummy” back to normal fast!
This is a product I HIGHLY recommend LIVING IN after birth, particularly if it’s a surgery. It’s the reason my recovery was so much faster the second time around. In fact, my tummy shrunk back to it’s normal size within two weeks of the surgery.
The SRC Recovery Shorts are designed to help post-birth recover including pelvic instability, muscle separation and back pain. And boy oh boy do they deliver!
The garment itself is made from superior fabric that provides superior comfort and exceptional support. They help to reduce pain, increase pelvic/back support and regain your pre-baby shape faster.
The gentle compression promotes supporting pressure to the pelvis, back and abdominal muscles which improves your mobility. If you are mobile, you are activating your muscles and this is what strengthens your muscles and improves recovery.
Have you tried any of these products? Would love to hear your thoughts below.
Here’s the thing: I don’t wash my face with a cleanser anymore. I mean yes, I use water on it daily if I’m wearing foundation or makeup. But soap or facial cleansers? No way.
Read on to find out why the BEST beauty trick is NOT washing your face.
1. Over washing your face can cause more breakouts
To be honest, I’ve always believed that over cleansing the skin was a bad idea. This is mainly because you can do more damage by trying to scrub your face clean with harsh cleansers and soaps. The result is more breakouts for your skin and less confidence.
2. Cleansers may contain harmful chemical ingredients
To this day, I still avoid most cleansers as many contain harsh foaming agents like Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Not only are these ingredients toxic for the skin, but they can also result in dryness and skin irritation.
3. Rinsing results in a clearer complexion
The good news is, there is growing evidence that women say their complexions are clearer when they simply rinse instead of cleanse. This is most likely because we are trained to over-wash our skin and strip it of precious natural oils that form a protective barrier. The solution: throw out your chemical based cleanser and your skin will love you for it!
4. Over washing your face can make your skin more oily
That’s right. Sounds odd doesn’t it? Truth be told, over cleansing your skin can have the reverse effect on oil production. Harshly stripping the natural oils from your skin can cause an imbalance. After harsh soaps strip all the precious oils, the skins response is to over compensate and create MORE oil. The result – oilier skin and more breakouts.
5. Over washing your face can result in premature ageing
Oil helps to keep our skin nourished and protected. It makes sense that if you remove all of the skins natural oils, you would be more likely to be prone to premature ageing right? It can also disrupt the skin’s delicate barrier causing accelerated skin ageing.
The solution: a magical face cloth
That’s where the magical face cloth comes in. Simply wet, wring out and this magical face cloth will remove all traces of dirt, impurities and makeup – without the need for any cleanser!
That’s right. You don’t need to use any facial cleanser, facial wipe or makeup remover to remove all traces of makeup. This magical cloth does all the work for you.
When you’re finished, simply wash in the hand basin and hang out to dry. Every few days, you can pop into the washing machine to keep it super fresh. The best news – it lasts for over 200 washes!
To be honest, I was SUPER skeptical about this particular product as it claimed to be able to remove makeup with no product at all. After using the cloth a few times, I couldn’t believe it had the power to remove all traces of makeup without any product. Let’s just say, I haven’t stopped using it since.
The best part is, it’s machine washable so you can use it over and over again. PLUS, it’s environmentally friendly and you won’t be throwing out packets of makeup remover wipes AND you get a deeper clean.
Preparing for your new arrival can be one of the most overwhelming experiences for first time mum’s! There are so many options and an abundance of advice, that it can be hard to know what you ACTUALLY need for a new baby.
This Baby Shopping Guide contains all the must-have items for bringing your new baby home and some suggestions on which products I personally found to be the best.
Bassinet or cot and mattress:
This is really personal preference and comes down to a few different factors. If you are having your new baby sleep in the same room as you, I would recommend a bassinet to make the most out of space. If you do go with a bassinet, ideally get something that has wheels so you can move it around the house with you and into other rooms.
Newborn babies spend a lot of time sleeping so it’s nice to have the convenience of bringing them with you to other parts of the house. Especially if you have heating & cooling in certain rooms and keep them in living areas during the day.
For safety reasons, I would personally suggest buying a cot or bassinet new so you know that it has not been tampered with or broken in the past and is 100% safe. Choose a firm mattress for a cot or bassinet for SIDS safety reasons.
We are about to have our second baby and these are the three bassinet’s we are considering for the new bubs. Our first was delivered via an emergency c-section and so I would have LOVED a proper co-sleeper back then as my recovery was so painful.
Here are my top picks for bassinets and co-sleepers:
New babies are prone to lots of messy mishaps during sleep times – you name it, they do it! I would always recommend that you have a mattress protector on your bassinet or cot mattress to protect it. They are super easy to pop through the wash and re-apply when you’re remaking their bed.
These things are MAGIC! We personally used the Love To Dream Swaddles which were amazing and super easy to use. One of the biggest things with newborns is they have no idea what the difference is between day and night. My tip is to use normal zip up suits during the day and only swaddle at night so your baby can begin to learn the difference between the two.
Baby Video Monitor
There are mixed reviews on whether you ACTUALLY need to have a baby monitor or not, and again this is very much personal preference. We personally used ours a lot in the early stages for peace of mind, particularly during the day when you need to hang some washing out, get some fresh air or have a few minutes to yourself and don’t want to stress that your baby needs something. I would set the baby monitor up and then bring it outside with me or into different rooms of the house so I didn’t feel like I was a slave to the nursery!
The concept of needing or using breast pads was so foreign to me before I had my first. I didn’t get why on earth you needed to stick pads over your nipples for crying out loud – how strange. Let me tell you, these things are absolute life-savers when it comes to the first six weeks of breast-feeding.
There is no way that I would’ve survived any public experience without them. I still remember the one time I wasn’t wearing them in a WHITE SHIRT, standing in the kitchen with my partner and his work colleague. I’m sure you can guess what happened next and it was rather embarrassing – HAHA!
My favourites were the disposable Coles brand and you can get them in your online shop (which is an absolute god-send and I will write about in another blog soon) or in-store.
However, if you prefer ones that are machine washable then the Avent washable breast pads are quite good also and definitely love the fact you can have 6 pairs going and throw them in the wash as you need!
Okay – so this one depends on whether you’re going to breast feed or bottle feed. No judgement either way, I could personally only breast feed my son until 4-5 months as my milk began to dry up as I got pregnant so quickly with my second.
If you do decided to get a breast pump, here are my top tips.
Choose a pump that is a closed system (hygienic for you and the baby!)
Choose a pump that has the potential to be cordless – you need to be able to bring it with you anywhere and not be always plugged into a wall
Choose a pump that is a double for convenience sake
I did A LOT of research about breast pumps prior to having my first and really narrowed it down to two pumps that I thought were the best in terms of quality, price and features. I ended up choosing the Spectra S1 Breast Pump which was amazing and super-simple to use.
It is a little on the pricey side but it won’t disappoint and you’ll get lots of use out of this, particularly if you decide to have more than one baby. Ours is still in perfect condition plus they have GREAT customer service if you run into any challenges.
Breast Milk Storage Containers
Again – this one depends on whether you will be breastfeeding or not. If you are, then I highly recommend picking up some breast milk storage containers for a few different reasons.
It’s nice to have a back up in case you need them (support person needs to do a feed while you’re sleeping or not able to breast feed for some reason – and there can be lots of them!)
Any extra milk that you express is not wasted and you can build up a milk bank for times of need
You can bring them with you if for some reason you are heading out and need to express and feed via a bottle
If you get REALLY sore nipples, you can always express and then bottle feed which gives your breasts a bit of a break! Any extra, or if you’re expressing a feed ahead, can be placed in these containers and stored in the fridge until you need them
The AVENT Breast Milk Storage Cups are the ones that I personally used with my first and found them to be air tight, simple to use and easy to clean and store.
Another one for breast feeding mama’s – this will literally save your life. Lots of women get really sore nipples from feeding, especially in the first few weeks. I would recommend having lots of nipple cream on hand and potentially even a few tubes – one for your handbag or baby bag, one for the nursery and one for the car!
The main reason is that nipple cream hydrates, nourishes and replenishes your nipples back to health. The other reason is it protects them from damage or further damage and helps to ease the friction and rubbing that can happen inside your bra or onto the breast pad. Sounds a bit gross but any barrier cream you can put between your beloved nipples and your bra will be heavenly.
Lanisoh is the main brand you will hear of and it does a great job however it is made with animal products so if you’d prefer to use something more natural and free from animal ingredients then I recommend the Weleda brand.
Nappies are the super obvious buy here but there are LOTS to choose from. We went with Huggies initially as that was the recommendation from my friend who had girls. Personally, we found them to leak and I ended up trying Baby Love instead.
I wouldn’t recommend buying any more than one packet/box of newborn nappies as you will find that they outgrow them really quickly or they will leak through (this is a sign that you need to go up to the next size!). It’s not really a bad idea to have them move up to the next size on the earlier side as the guides on the boxes are a rough estimate only.
Even now, Henry is always using nappies that are around a size too big as it’s more important for them to be absorbent than to be a perfect smaller fit!
Again – there are lots of options for wipes. The most important thing is to strike a balance between quality and cost as there is a big difference between the budget option and the higher quality one. Personally, I found that the budget baby wipes didn’t have much moisture, were prone to ripping and I had to use 10x as many to do the job.
The best that you can buy would hands down be the Water Wipes brand which are made with 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract. They can be a little bit hard to find at times and are definitely on the expensive side but so worth it!
For the nursery, I had the Huggies pop-up tubs that you can refill with bulk wipes and save some money. These are great for the nursery as they are easy to pop open with one hand during a nappy change however I would recommend a travel size pack for the baby bag as they are too clunky to carry around in your bag.
To be honest, I have no idea how so many people survive without a change table! This has been the biggest god-send for us and is something we use daily – even with a 10 month old. It’s definitely true that you can change a baby anywhere, and you definitely do that when you have a new born but having a dedicated area in the nursery to change a nappy is definitely worthwhile.
This is not an item I would spend LOTS of money on unless you have a particular brand or look that you want to achieve. We went with the IKEA change table which was so affordable and has served us so well! TIP: We bought our change table topper from Baby Bunting though as I wasn’t a big fan of the quality of the IKEA one – I haven’t personally used it but I definitely love the plush, thick topper we bought from BB.
If you have a car, you will definitely need either a capsule or a car seat. You don’t have to buy both at the same time – most people suggest starting with the capsule which can be used until approximately 6 months of age and then transfer to a convertible car seat which will last between 3-4 years.
Personally, we LOVED our capsule and can’t recommend them highly enough. It’s so convenient to have a car seat that clips in and out of the base in the car without waking baby up! We were so sad when Henry outgrew his and had to move to a big boy car seat as he wakes up as soon as he gets in and out of the car and we can’t clip him straight into the pram base anymore.
If you choose a capsule, my tip would be to buy a pram that has adaptors so you can literally get baby out of the car and clip the capsule straight onto the pram base! Voila!
A pram is a must-have and will be an item you use everyday! Again, this is a personal preference item and there are so many great prams on the market. The most important thing is that you go and personally try them in-store, wheel them around, pack them up and pack them down so you really get a good idea of what you are buying.
Another tip is to buy a pram that has the potential to be a double/tandem if you decide to have another baby after this one. We went with the Bugaboo Cam3 which has been a great pram for the most part however we have to sell it now to buy a double/tandem as it can’t convert!
Baby Bath Support
If you already have a bath at home then I would recommend just picking up a baby bath support as we found these much easier to use than a baby bath on a stand. It’s another thing you have to find room to store and it also doesn’t have a drain or plug so can be a challenge to clean up after every bath.
Other Must-Have Items:
Small wash cloths (these come in handy for bath time, little spews, dribbles and cleaning up!)
I hope this guide has helped with your journey and given you some advice on the items that are essential for a new baby. If you enjoyed the post or have any questions, please comment below!
Disclaimer: I have NOT been sponsored or paid in any way to promote the below brands, the advice is based on my personal experiences only.
“Face mapping” is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that connects a point on your face to an organ so you know what to focus on healing internally to clear your skin for life.
There are 9 key areas that breakouts occur and here is what they mean:
TIPS: Drink more water to ensure you are flushing toxins from your body, take 15 minutes every day to meditate and become present to reduce stress levels, ensure you are in bed by 10pm and practice healthy sleep habits.
TEMPLES + EYEBROWS
Diet too high in fat
TIPS: Keep alcoholic beverages to a minimum, avoid deep fried and oily foods, get active for 15 minutes everyday – even if it’s just a brisk walk!
Poor blood circulation
TIPS: Eat more fruit and vegetables, get active for 15 minutes every day, consider taking a Triphala supplement to keep you regular. My favourite is Banyan Botanicals.
TIPS: Book an acupuncture session and ask your Doctor to focus on points that balance the kidneys, drink more water (you should be aiming for 2-3L per day) and avoid alcohol or smoking.
Dirty mobile phone/cell phone
TIPS: Keep your mobile/cell phone clean with a baby or alcohol wipe, avoid processed foods, monitor portion sizes and drink lots of water to ensure you are flushing toxins from your body.
MOUTH + LIP AREA
TIPS: Avoid spicy foods, use a natural toothpaste and resist the urge to squeeze pimples on your lip line!
TIPS: Take a Vitex supplement (women only) to assist with reproductive organ health and ensure you are eating healthy and balanced macro meals.
Have you ever wondered what the differences are between supermarket cages eggs and free-range eggs? Shopping for eggs has to be one of the most confusing and time consuming part of your shopping trip.
Here, I have made shopping for eggs easy and I will share my helpful tips to make your shopping experience for eggs a walk in the park! This is an excellent guide for shopping for your Clear Skin Project ingredients too.
These eggs are the worst of the bunch and the most inhumane. These chickens are “commercially farmed”, raised in battery cages were cages are stacked up on top of each other and the chicken has clipped wings. They are kept in pitch black and have no exposure to the sun or any type of exercise. Steer clear from these eggs as not only are they inhumane, but contain less nutrition than other kinds of eggs.
Cage-Free chickens are not raised in the same conditions as caged eggs but they are most likely still raised in a small area with little exposure to the sun and exercise. Cage-free eggs can be deceiving because you automatically assume that they would be free, roaming as they please.
FREE RANGE EGGS
Free range chickens have exposure to the outdoors for a portion of their life however it does not mean that the chickens must be allowed to roam grassy yards or ensure a certain amount of time outdoors in an appropriate amount of space. It still can be a little deceiving as you cannot be sure of the exact amount of time and space that the chicken receives however it is a far better egg option than caged and cage-free eggs.
CERTIFIED ORGANIC EGGS
These are the pick of the bunch as it means that the food that the chickens enjoy is certified organic and they cannot be pumped full of antibiotics – reducing your exposure to toxins. These chickens would spend the most amount of time outdoors in an appropriate amount of space and are the egg of choice!
So now that the different types of eggs have been cleared up, you should be more familiar with the supermarket jargon you see on egg packaging. Remember that eating healthy is a journey and you don’t necessarily have to change all your choices at once. It’s best to gradually change your choices based on what you can afford and what your values are.
Focus on including as much whole, real foods into your diet as possible as we talked about in Clear Skin Project.
Some final tips on egg shopping:
Price is a good indicator of quality
When a chicken is under stress you lose nutrition in the egg
Free range and cage-free are better than caged eggs
If you like this post, checkout more recipes, stories and tips in our Clear Skin Project eBook. It’s filled with over 60 pages of information on the body, nutrition, hormones, affirmations, skincare, clean eating recipes and MORE! Includes BONUS 8 week guidelines to get you started on your journey to clear skin! Check it out here.
I’ve been a little bit missing in action lately and I wanted to explain to you why… After suffering from PCOS and other ovarian issues for many years (BIG part of my acne journey) and being told it would be very difficult for me to conceive naturally I finally received the best news of my life… I AM PREGNANT![/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_gallery type=”nivo” interval=”0″ images=”4609,4610,4611″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]It’s been a rollercoaster ride of emotion, joy and excitement and while I really wanted to write to you, my focus was on getting through the first trimester healthily. Here is the low down on how I conceived naturally with PCOS:
Vitex tablets (1 dose daily)
Vitamin D capsules (6000iu daily)
Healthy balanced diet for a healthy gut
Lots of water to flush my body of toxins
Regular exercise including walking & yoga
My personal focus was not on getting pregnant, it was on being healthy. This means that I surrendered to the fact that I had PCOS and focussed on treating my body with kindness, nourishing it with the best foods possible and getting lots of rest.
There are several really important factors when treating PCOS and these include:
Acai berries are the amazing fruits of acai palm trees, predominantly found in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. These small berries are packed full of nutrients and contain a whole host of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids to help your skin glow! Acai berries are known as the “Beauty Berry” and do your body a world of good including increased energy levels, boosted immune system, improved metabolic function and better skin! One of the most popular ways to eat acai berries is in a acai bowl, topped with yummy sliced fruits – check out one of my favourite recipes below.
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
100g frozen acas berry pulp or 4 tbsp acai powder
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 small banana
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup strawberries
1/4 cup gluten free granola
Drizzle of raw honey, optional
1. Add all main ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add extra almond milk as required if you need to perfect the consistency. Aim for a frozen-yoghurt consistency, slightly thicker than a smoothie.
2. Spoon the mixture into bowls and top with your preferred toppings and a drizzle of honey.
Enjoy! Please leave your comments and questions below – I would love to hear from you! Make sure you share your recipe with me on my Facebook page here or tag me in your Instagram posts!