Diaper Bag Essentials

Once we become parents, we learn the hard way that we have to tote around all kinds of baby items. Diapers, bottles, a change of clothes, medicine, first aid kit, the list goes on and on and on. Let’s not even mention the mountain of toys that we tote with us all too often to keep our little one’s minds stimulated and occupied! Sometimes, we even over pack our diaper bags, not wanting to leave anything behind. So, rather then piling everything into the car every time that you need to go to the grocery store, why not just pack the essentials?
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The Hottest New Baby Products of 2013

If there is one market that is constantly changing and evolving, it would most definitely be the baby and toddler market. As the needs of babies and parents change throughout time, more and more companies are coming up with new products, or putting a new spin on an old product. The results of this are some of the latest and coolest items for parents and babies alike! Here at OohBelly, we’re always excited to see what new and awesome baby products are on the horizon, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the hottest products on the market for 2013!

MimiJumi Baby Bottle

If you’re a mama who is trying to switch from breast to bottle, but your tot is having trouble adjusting, you may want to give these Mimijumi baby bottles a try. They were created to mimic the breast, to help make the transition from breast to bottle a little easier on both of you. These amazing bottles come in two sizes, the “very hungry” and the “not so hungry” sizes! You can find out more about their products at mimijumi.com!
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Happy “Mommy-tine’s” Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all old mommies, new mommies, not yet mommies, and soon to be mommies reading this! Many of us might not personally feel the need to be obligated by a particular day to express ‘love’. We might happily choose to pass the day like any other regular one. But if it does inevitably, in any way swing our thoughts towards ‘love’, how can it not remind us, especially new moms or soon to be moms of the bond that takes or is about to take the dynamics of love forever to a new level!
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Dear Valentine, Please put on my shoes!

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(Shoe fetishists who read that literally will be very disappointed with the rest of this post.)

Valentine’s day is, well, it is what it is: Created by greeting card/chocolate companies, middle school torture, pointless, since we should say, “I love you,” all year long, an excuse for epic nerd rage, a night to revel in the love of your cat/best friend/favorite Meg Ryan Movie, or a time of utter confusion for straight men everywhere. Roses, chocolate, sappy card, giant teddy bears, lingerie (never get her lingerie), dinner, a movie, that collectible action figure she’s had her eye on…which do you choose?

Lucky for you, I am here to help! The answer is simple. In terms of a gift, any of the above will do. (Except lingerie. Seriously. Don’t go there.) I mean it though, they are all equally hollow expressions that pass (on this one day a year, through the magic of St. Valentine and ad wizards!) for real and honest emotional connection. Don’t get me wrong. The thought does count. It does. A bouquet of flowers (make sure it is not a kind that she is allergic to) is definitely better than doing nothing at all, but I have a better idea, and ladies, this applies to you too. Poor fellas tend to get the short end of the chocolate rose.
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Parental Guilt: Assuaging Feelings Of Failure

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill

I’m going to be very honest here: Since I’ve had kids, I feel like a failure almost every day of my life. I always wanted to be THAT mother. You know the one. Perfectly put together every day with kids who are always clean and look like they just stepped out of a Gymboree catalog. I wanted to be the mom who easily juggles working outside the home and still manages to bake and have gourmet dinners ready by the time her husband gets home. Instead I’m a mom who was excited this morning that I was able to shower before noon and I had clean yoga pants to wear. Many days, my kids spend most of their time in their pajamas or in whatever I can grab before my daughter tries to roll off the changing table. My house looks like a toy store exploded and even though I’m not working now, I barely have the energy at the end of the day to spell gourmet let alone cook it. Last night, we had Pastaroni.

Everyday I feel like I’m failing because I am not living up to these ideals. Everyday I try harder and harder and get more frustrated because my kids deserve to have the best mom possible. I want to be the prefect mom because they DESERVE perfection.

But then I begin to consider the detriment of having a ’perfect’ mom on my kids, Elliot and Oliver. Growing up, I always struggled with being a perfectionist. I felt a lot of self-created pressure to do things well and if I wasn’t what I deemed ‘good enough’, I quit. I couldn’t handle being seen as not good enough. I don’t play an instrument and I never played sports because those were things that I wasn’t strong at immediately. I don’t want my kids to feel that pressure. I want them to understand that it’s ok to make mistakes and that as long as you try your best, then that is good enough. I think that having a mom who isn’t perfect, who makes mistakes, and who just keeps striving to be better, could actually be the perfect example for them. But then the thing I struggle with is how do I stop feeling guilty? How do I become ok with not being everything that they deserve, but being the mother they need?

As a parent, what do you feel guilty about? How do you deal with it?

A Few Words from Our Community

Our readers are a wide range of people from partners trying to share advice, homeschooling questions, girlfriends chatting about what goes on during diaper changes to new Mommies looking for resources. When I became a new Mommy I continuously thought I was on my own. I didn’t know any other new Mommies of twins. As I got out of my social awkwardness and started to join play groups, expanding my circle of friends to other parents, I found often people all had situations they got a good laugh at, questions they needed help with, or advice they’d share. It makes me think of the game played during baby showers where people give advice to the new parents.

Not everyone has access to a group of Mommies to ask questions or listen to. So I thought I would reach out to some of my personal Mommy friends. Asking them, what piece of advice they’d give new parents; from sex to child-birth, from diaper changes to what IS that? Nothing was off-limits.
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Preventing Stretch Marks Naturally

One of the biggest concerns for pregnant women is the ever looming idea that they will get stretch marks or “stripes” as some call it. Some women will spend hundreds of dollars on products promising the prevention of these lines from covering your abdomen. Of all the products that are advertised today, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, can be a saving grace from these “love lines”.
If you have your own bottle, feel free to take a look at the ingredients. How much of this product is actually ‘cocoa butter?’ You will see that it is mainly water, other chemicals, some various oils, and a hint of cocoa butter. What are you really buying? This product will hydrate your skin temporarily but you will need to reapply as needed, depending on how dry your skin already is. Skin comes in all different types and levels of health, which is why cocoa butter may only work for some women and not others.
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Pregnancy, Childbirth and Sexuality

“Over and over again, I’ve seen that the best way to get a baby out is by getting it on with your old man. That loving, sexy vibe is what puts the baby in there, and it’s what gets it out too.” –Cora from Spiritual Midwifery

I find there is a great divide in our culture between sexuality, pregnancy and birth. Sex is so often fetishized, commodified and stripped of its connection to life. It’s all about pleasure, and it is, but sometimes it is also the start of a new being. There’s something to honor there, something about that for me. Don’t get me wrong, I totally honor non-procreative sex as well, its vast iterations, but what I wish to bridge is the connection sex and sexuality have to birth and the pregnant woman. Pregnancy and childbirth are very individualized experiences, so I acknowledge that this approach to birth may not resonate with all readers, but I do hope it expands your thinking on the role a woman’s sexuality plays in this moment of her life.
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