3 Stress-Busting Ideas for Busy Moms

Being a parent is amazing, but there is no doubt it is also a relentless task. When you are a mom, there are never any days off, and your own needs tend to be put in last place. Often life is so busy you don’t have the time or energy to think about self-care, let alone put it into practice.

3 Stress-Busting Ideas for Busy Moms

Over the past year, with quarantines in place and physical distancing measures, parents have been under increased stress as they try to homeschool the kids as well as work at home and keep up with chores. Under these circumstances, it is little surprise so many parents are feeling incredibly stressed and exhausted due to this unprecedented situation. As life returns to normal, you might be looking forward to the opportunity to focus on yourself a little more and to have the time for some self-care.

Being in a state of chronic stress is bad for your wellbeing and health, so it is crucial to find effective methods to reduce your stress levels. Why not give some of these stress-busting ideas a try to see what works for you?

The Best of Mom Life Hacks

This post has been sponsored by Store Brand Formula. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

I am not going to sit here and try to pretend that I have this whole parenting thing figured out...because I definitely don't. But after working at a day care, being a nanny for over five years, and a parent for almost eight, I like to think I have a few cards up my sleeves that I like to call "Mom Life Hacks".

The Real Reason Why Moms Stay Up So Late

My husband asks me almost every night, are you coming to bed with me? And during the school year, I do. But it is summer. The kids are with me 24/7. And before they were in school? I didn't get that break. So the reason I don't go to bed when my husband does? Because I just want some me-time.

During the school year at the end of the day, no matter how many cups of coffee I have had, I'm tired at the end of the day. But during the summer, I don't have to worry about schedules or routines as much. But I do have to worry about keeping little ones entertained. All. Day. Long. I don't mind, I really don't! I love spending quality time with my children making crafts, going to the zoo, or going swimming. But I try to squeeze in me-time any way I can.

Earth Day Means New Beginnings {Easy Craft Idea}

In our house, Earth Day is a very special day.

It's the day I officially found out I was pregnant with SweetPea.

 So Happy Earth Day, Everyone!

Earth Day is a great time to teach children about sustainability and humans impact on the planet. There are so many different topics to cover, science experiments, and craft ideas to help teach little ones about their world. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. To complete this super cute craft idea above, all you need is:
tissue paper
construction paper
and a printer

Have your child take small pieces of blue and green tissue paper to glue them in a circle on the construction paper. Then Take a picture of the child looking up and holding their hands in the air, resize to 3x5, cut their outline and paste on construction paper. Voila! What a memorable and adorable craft idea!

10 Ways to Reduce the Risk of S.I.D.S. {HALO SleepSacks for Toddlers Review & Giveaway}

I received a HALO Big Kids SleepSack Lightweight Knit Wearable Blanket for review. I received no additional compensation. All opinions are my own.

HALO SleepSack the original wearable blanket
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HALO Innovation’s SleepSack® wearable blankets have become the standard for hospital nurseries and parents alike. In fact, 1,000 hospital nurseries use the HALO SleepSack Swaddle instead of blankets through the HALO Safer Way to Sleep Initiative. As your child grows from baby to toddler, HALO Innovations offers the SleepSack Early Walker and SleepSack Big Kids - now in a new lightweight- knit fabric. HALO SleepSack Early Walker and SleepSack Big Kids offer your child the warmth and security of a SleepSack so he can fall asleep fast and sleep soundly throughout the night as well as unique foot openings for more mobility when awake.

10 Ways to Reduce the Risk of S.I.D.S. - HALO SleepSack for Toddler Review

By making a purchase, you help support programs and research related to Sudden Infant death Syndrome. Here are some additional ways you can keep your baby safe while sleeping.

1. Place babies on their backs to sleep.
2. Use a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib.
3. Eliminate all soft and loose bedding from baby's crib, including bumpers, positioners and wedges.
4. Use the HALO® SleepSack® wearable blanket instead of loose blankets in the crib.
5. Keep baby's face clear of coverings.
6. Make sure that your crib sheet fits snug on your crib mattress.
7. Never use and adult sheet on a crib mattress; it can come loose, your baby can become entangled and their breathing can become restricted.
8. Be aware of room temperature and clothing to ensure baby doesn't overheat.
9. Don't allow anyone to smoke around your baby.
10. Consider room sharing instead of bed sharing.

Sweet Pea always ends up kicking off the covers at night now that she is in her big girl bed. But lately it has been getting cold at night, so I am loving the HALO SleepSack. And I absolutely love watching Sweet Pea walk around in her Big Kid version. It has to be the most adorable thing I have ever seen. I can't wait to take this to Florida in a few weeks. We keep the air conditioner very cool when we are on vacation and I always worry about how cold she is at night that I will wake up every few hours and make sure she is covered up. But with the HALO Big Kids SleepSack Lightweight Knit Wearable Blanket I don't have to worry about it!

Did you know October is SIDS Awareness Month? For every NEW Facebook "like" Halo SleepSack gets during the month of October, they will donate $1 to SIDS Awareness.

So who wants to win a HALO SleepSack of their very own? One very lucky Nanny to Mommy reader will have the opportunity to win a HALO SleepSack of their choice! All you have to do is enter the RaffleCopter below. The only required entry to enter is to comment on this post, all other entries are extra! :) Open to US only, must be 18+ to enter. Nanny to Mommy is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

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5 Tips for Potty Training

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of GoodNites for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Tips for Potty Trainging

My daughter is completely potty trained during the day. We are currently working on night time potty training. I was also a Nanny for five years before I became a Mommy. I am going to share what worked for us and if you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments below so we can all benefit. ;D
1. Don't yell, get mad, or punish. My friend's husband wanted to yell at their daughter whenever she had an accident on the floor and put her in time out. When you have been allowing them to go in their diapers for two years, it can be an alarming sensation to go in a pot. We have to teach them because they don't know any different and need to learn to listen to their little bodies.

2. Make them help clean up messes. If they pee in their panties/undies, then they can take them off. This was a big deal breaker for my daughter. She didn't want to touch the mess, so I think it really helped with association. And as long as you don't get mad, you are teaching them that cleaning up after their mistakes is just a part of life. You won't always be there to do it for them, so best to teach them early.

3. Routine. Being pregnant I have to go more often, so anytime I have to go - I just take my daughter with me. I could never find a good app I liked that would regularly remind us, and I will admit, I was bad about remembering. But now her little body tells her when she has to go because she got use to going on the potty.

4. Ditch the Diapers. You will have to clean up some accidents, but they will feel less comfortable, so they end up paying attention to their body better.
5. Be prepared to clean up a lot of messes and be prepared to not fully ditch the diapers at night for a while. Everyone I have talked to said night time potty training was the hardest. And beside the fact that your little one's bladder may not be ready (like my daughter), sometimes accidents just happen.

GoodNites Underwear help them maintain a sense of privacy and self-esteem until your child outgrows bedwetting. With GoodNites Underwear, there’s no need for a child to worry about wet sheets and other disruptions.
Although GoodNites Underwear are the most absorbent pants for boys and girls ages 4 and up, Sweet Pea has always been moved up in size because of tendency to be a heavy wetter. I recommend GoodNites for night time potty training if you have an older child, larger child, or your child is like mine and is a heavy wetter because they specially made to protect while lying down, they help keep pajamas and bedding dry all night long and feature plush comfort with a discreet design
Remember to visit the GoodNites Facebook page so you can sign up for the undercover mission for your chance to win weekly prizes.
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My Baby the Garlic Stuffed Olive

Okay so technically turned over to 9 weeks preggo on Friday. I have Mommy Brain and Pregnancy Brain combined. It's bad around here. Bare with me, please. :)
According to The Bump, our baby is now the size of a green olive (a grape according to Baby Center). So I handed my Hubby a jar of these Private Selection Garlic Stuffed Olives that we had in the pantry and said, "This is the size of your baby." We got a good giggle out of it.

9 weeks pregnant: baby is the size of an olive

I did this little what's going on this week thing when I was pregnant SweetPea, so I will try and update each week. :)

How Far Along?
9 weeks (& 4 days as of today)

Total Weight Gain:
None as of yet. :)

I had some restless sleep last night, but I have been exhausted and since I'm not uncomfortable yet and besides crazy pregnancy dreams that I can't remember the next morning, I have been sleeping ah-may-zing! Sometimes with naps for good measure. :)

Ice CREAM! But I haven't been giving in. ;)

Nope. I have been feeling phantom flutters since a few weeks after I gave birth to SweetPea, so if I feel anything I still think that's what it is.

Best Moment This Week:
When we ask SweetPea if she wants a brother or sister, she says brother. We will also ask her where the baby is and she points to my belly and says "Tummy Baby" or "Baby Tummy".

Graduating to fetus. :)

Favorite Moments:
Re-Announcing our pregnancy to family at the family reunion on Saturday
2nd pregnancy announcement t-shirt

It's crazy how many things are different this time around. Laws are different for goodness sake! LOL Here's my little go to list. I have been asked why didn't you I something so many times by family that it truly is getting ridiculous. So I decided to make a go to cheat sheet, so we can go step-by-step exactly what has changed since the almost three years since I was pregnant with SweetPea.

Things That Are Different This Pregnancy:
1. cell phones, smart phones, apps - I got an Android smart phone that my pregnancy brain is making me forget the name of when SweetPea was first born. And it was considered a smart phone, but Androids didn't have all the apps that iPhones had back then PLUS there are even more apps now for smart phones that make keeping track of diapers, feedings, and all sorts of other things that would have been really useful! Like reminders for weekly/monthly pregnancy photos, tracking weight gain, or staying social on message boards. PLUS my phone I had when I was pregnant with SweetPea was a crappy flip phone with terrible picture quality.

2. breast pump through insurance - Thanks to new legislation, you can go through your insurance to get a breast pump. I had a hand-me-down Evenflo Comfort Select Double Performance Dual Auto-Cycling Breast Pump that my sister-in-law gave me. It was horrible. And although some people just aren't good at pumping, no matter what they do, I think my pump was a major problem in my pumping situation. It would have been nice to get Sweet Pea use to a bottle, so I could have a guilt-free night every now and again.

3. Rear Facing until age 2 - I felt forced to forward face Sweet Pea too early. Before I wanted to. And now looking back at it, others had the dumbest, most selfish reasons. But it is now the LAW that children stay rear-facing until age 2. The exciting thing though, I already have a brand-new infant carrier thanks to blogging. :)

4. No more drop down cribs - We have one and actually this changed right before Sweet Pea was born when we already had our crib. We just don't use the drop down side feature. When people ask us if we had lowered our crib, they need to remember - our crib is already lower than non- drop down side cribs.

I'm sure I can think of some more. But my previous pregnancy turned into mommy brain and now I have it mixed with pregnancy again, making my memory mommy brain worse x2. So that's what's new with us. How has your week been?

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Don't Judge Others {Wordful Wednesday}

Hey Everyone! I'm here at the Graco Jogger Event today! :D

This Wordless Wednesday is actually very Word-FULL!

I had a not so great experience yesterday with someone close to me. And maybe they read this (I don't know), but they probably won't know what this is about or if it was even directed at them if they saw it. But it makes me feel better to get it out.

Sarcasm is Awesome.
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Great Free Apps for New Moms

Free Apps for New Moms

My Cycles iPhone Android App

MC app on my phone to keep track of my menstrual cycles because for the LIFE of me I can never remember when my last cycle was when I go to the doctor PLUS it gives you a guesstimate to let you know when you are ovulating if that is what you need. ;)

Gerber iPhone Android App

Gerber app (now the Toddler 2+) so I can keep up with Sweet Pea's weight plus it will send you a reminder to take a photo everyday. Also as your child gets older, there will be different games on there. They even have a pregnancy app. I am a pro-breastfeeding friendly mama and believe in waiting until six months to start solids, but I still loved these apps.

Groovebook iPhone Android App

Groovebook is a great app to help save all those mobile pictures. Great way to give pictures to relatives or to make sure you have hard copies. You get 100 pictures each month delivered to your mailbox for just $2.99 shipping! And if you use promo code CHASTAIN1 you get your first month free. Plus you can cancel your subscription at any time!

Shutterfly iPhone Android App

Shutterfly to automatically upload all those photos so you have them forever. And Shutterfly provides unlimited storage space so you forever have the app at you finger tips. If you sign up HERE, you can get your first 50 prints FREE! :D

Pampers Gifts to Grow iPhone Android App

Pampers Gift to Grow is great to save all those codes from the best newborn disposable diaper, Pampers Swaddlers. Gifts to Grow rewards program is as simple as 1, 2, free.
1 – Register online 2 – Purchase Pampers products and earn points 3 – Redeem your points for free gifts! Simply join Pampers today and get started with 100 bonus points. Click Here!

My Fitness Pal iPhone Android App
My Fitness Pal to help with that post-pregnancy poundage. I love this app. I have been on the chunky side before I even got pregnant. I have lost 35 lbs (most of which was pregnancy weight) and this app helped tremendously. You count calories, record exercises (which can be connected to other apps), and encourage others who you are friends with through this app! Click HERE to friend me on MyFitnessPal!

Baby Nursing iPhone Android App
Baby Nursing is so great to keep up with how longed you nursed, which side your baby last nursed on, and it keeps tracks of diapers, which is the key when determining if baby is getting enough. And you are most likely thinking, "I will remember, I don't need an app to help remind me", I thought that too. Once you pop a baby out, you lose pregnancy brain and have what we call in the biz mommy brain.

Grocery IQ Coupons.com iPhone Android App

Coupons.com created the Grocery IQ app to help you organize your shopping list based on available coupons. You can also create new items and share your list with someone. So if you need the hubby to pick something up for you, he can know exactly what to buy!

Social Media Instagram iPhone Android App

I have had Instagram ever since it became available for Android. Now I have an iPhone (which I feel is a more superior phone), but I loved this app. Actually any social media app is good for new moms, because it is so important to stay in touch. With Instagram, you have the ability to share photos of your new cute bundle of joy very easy. Click HERE to follow us on Instagram.

I hope you find these apps as helpful as I did. What apps do you recommend for new apps? Which app are you interested in trying out? I would love to hear your feedback!

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SweetPea has allergies. :(

pollen count in Georgia

I took SweetPea to the doctor yesterday. She has been coughing and her eyes have been getting crusty with redness. Then Wednesday, she broke out in hives and eye started swelling. I called the after hours service and talked to a nurse who prescribed Benadryl. But her eye was ridiculously swollen yesterday morning! So I took her in. I had B today, which made the day interesting for sure.

Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis - Pink Eye Due to Allergies

My husband and I both suffer from allergies due to pollen. Usually it isn't a huge deal, as we just stay inside when the pollen count gets high. But Wednesday I had the White Cloud Diapers event, so we were outside all day. Georgia has a very high pollen count this time each year, but it has been in the extremely high category since Sunday, according to AtlantaAllergy.com.

The doctor said she has what is called Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis. According to WedMD, Allergic conjunctivitis is most commonly (although it happens everywhere) seen in areas with high seasonal allergens, like Georgia.

The doctor said Children's Claritin daily, he also suggested something called Claritin Eyes for "preventive care" if we have to be outside, and prescribed her some eye drops for the time being. He said the best thing to do is avoid outside, period, on days with high to extremely high pollen count.

I feel so bad for my baby.

By the way, I love my pediatrician. He said that people who don't suffer from something, usually think others make it up. And that as the mommy, I know best. I love that he makes me feel like I am doing a good job. He was always so supportive of my breastfeeding and is so good with SweetPea. She is always so scared of the doctor's office, but he always makes her laugh and smile.

I got offered to sign up to be a Children's Claritin Mom Crew Member through Mom Select. I didn't initially sign-up because SweetPea's allergies weren't bad, so I didn't think that it would be a fit for us. I hope the program isn't closed, because after all of this, you better believe I am applying. I hate that my baby has to go through this mess.

So that's what's going on with us. How is the weather where you live?

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♪The Simpsons♬

My husband has always has an obsession with "The Simpsons". Although he doesn't watch any of the newer episodes (the show just isn't what it use to be), he went and saw the movie at midnight the day it came out in theaters and he has dressed as Homer for the past four years (this past year he decided to switch it up by going as Zombie Homer) at Dragon*Con.

The Simpsons
2009 - 2010 - 2012

"The Simpsons" - Lisa's First Word

I don't know if you are familiar with this program, but the oldest child, Bart, always calls the dad, Homer, by his first name. In the episode, "Lisa's First Word", Homer tries to get Bart to call him Daddy but he seems to call him Homer out of defiance.

And I think that something has kind of hit Hubby a little too close to home(r) and although at first he thought it was cute because it reminded him of The Simpsons, I think it has started to bother him, because I know it bothers me.

SweetPea calls him by his first name. Just as Bart did with Homer. She has to be reminded to call him Daddy. We have always called each other mommy and daddy around her, so we can't figure out where it's coming from. The only thing I can think of is, my friend's little girl has learned to call him by his first name and I think SweetPea is picking up on this as well.

I think the reason he feels bad is because he works such long hours. When SweetPea was a baby, it seemed every time he would hold her, she would cry. I feel guilty because she only calls me Diana when B is around. But "The Homer Phase" has leaked into an every day, most of the time occurrence.

Did your little one ever go through a phase like this? Do you have any tips on how we could possibly handle it? We kindly correct her, now, but she continues to do it. Any suggestions?

BTW Sweet Pea is 28 months old today. :)

Anyways here are some of my favorite pictures of them. Yes there are a lot. But they are just so cute together:

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Lip Tie - What is it?

I received an email today from a mother who thanked me because she came across my blog and had to google lip tie, but realized this may have been the reason she had issues during her breastfeeding journey. Then I realized that although I may have mentioned lip tie, I never discussed what it is.

I was looking at your blog and read about your daughter having a lip tie. I wanted to say thank you, because I never heard of that condition so I googled it. That's when I realised my daughter has the same issue. I managed to bf her until she was 18months but it was sooooo hard and I was still feeling guilty about it. So thank you! If I have another baby in the future at least I will know! :)

Breastfeeding a Baby with Lip Tie

SweetPea self-weaned at 14 months. I had trouble with her latch in the beginning and constant issues with supply. My daughter was always on the lower side of the dreaded percentiles. And I blamed myself constantly. The horrible mommy guilts had sunk in.

When SweetPea was around 18 months old, I came across a blog (and for the life of me I can not remember it now) that talked about lip tie and included pictures. I now know what my daughter had that made our breastfeeding relationship more difficult, that I believe contributed to my PPD, but now I know for my next baby and ways to boost my supply, so I won't get as frustrated with myself.

SweetPea went undiagnosed but I could have saved myself a ton of heartache and stress. If you are having issues with your baby's latch or your supply, I would talk to a doctor about upper labial tie (which is the scientific name of lip tie). Now there isn't much they know about the issue. But I think just knowing your child has a lip tie, can help with the stress levels, which can ultimately help with the breastfeeding bond in general.

What is an upper labial tie?

Inside your mouth, there is a small fold of tissue which runs between your upper lip and gum (you can feel it with your tongue). This is called the maxillary labial frenulum (or frenum). Most people have no significant frenulum attachment, but sometimes this frenulum attaches further down the gum, or runs between the front teeth and attaches behind them, causing restricted movement of the upper lip. It's similar to tongue tie, but involving the upper lip and gum instead. An upper labial tie can occur on its own or in conjunction with a tongue tie. It's also possible to have a lower labial tie (involving the bottom lip and gum).

Breastfeeding an Infant with Lip Tie

This picture is the best I could get of my daughter, but there are better ones online.

Depending on the severity of the lip tie, they may want to clip the frenulum. Like with any child surgery, make sure you have done your research on all the risks involved, also research doctors, as well as the procedure that will be done. We worked through our lip tie. With the help of breastfeeding cookies, fenugreek, and frequent feedings. There are lip ties that are severe than hers. Just consult your lactation consultant or pediatrician.

When should you consult a physician?

You are the mama and ultimately know what is best. So if you feel you need to talk to a doctor about it and even seek a second opinion, then you do what you feel is best. Trust those mommy instincts. Other times to talk to your doctor or lactation consultant are if your latch is painful. In the beginning, the initial latch on might be painful. As the baby nurses though, it should not continue to be painful. Try repositioning your baby. After years of working in child care, my main issue was how I was holding SweetPea to nurse. Baby and mommy should be tummy to tummy.
You should also talk to your doctor if you feel your child isn't urinating enough. Breastfed babies can sometimes go 5 to 7 days with out pooping, some poop every hour, but they should, according to KellyMom, have one wet diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). But once mom’s milk comes in, expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet.

I hope you find this helpful. My favorite resource for breastfeeding advice is KellyMom. Feel free to share your breastfeeding experience or questions in the comments below! :)

Funny Baby Onesies & a Giveaway!

You have all seen those funny maternity shirts and onesies scoured around the net. I have chosen to share a few of my favorites.

Some pretty funny stuff, so I was very excited when I received the opportunity to share one of these personalized onesies for babies to one Nanny to Mommy reader!

CafePress has many other fun stuff like cute bedding duvet covers. You can like CafePress on Facebook, follow CafePress on Twitter, or follow CafePress on Pinterest.

The only required entry is to comment on which your favorite is. Winner will get to pick ANY personalized onesie from CafePress. All entries are verified.
Please note that Nanny to Mommy is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Thank you for entering and please feel free to check out the side bar for other awesome giveaways.

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This sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with CafePress and that any references to any of Nanny to Mommy Blog’s products, services, or offerings by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, supplier or otherwise do not constitute or imply endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation thereof by CafePress.