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Breastfeeding Blog-Lovin'

5 blogs that might just be the breastfeeding support you've been searching for.

Breastfeeding Blog-Lovin'

Breastfeeding can be an extreme subject. Either you’re frowned upon because you’re exposing yourself in public, or you’re exiled because your “unsuccessful” try just wasn’t good enough for someone. Regardless, we all know the amazing benefits, and while nursing just isn’t in the cards for everyone, your level of success can often be about the support system around you. I, personally, had to seek that encouragement. After an unplanned C-section and pressure to try formula on Day 2 at the hospital, I felt a little like... oh, you know, a failure (postpartum hormones are not nice). Nurses told me it would be in my best interest to supplement with formula, even though my child was latching perfectly, and I had colostrum coming in. So I did. What did I know? I met a lactation consultant a few hours before we exited the hospital and she said three words: supply and demand. Right. But even after my milk was coming in, breastfeeding was more difficult than I thought. My instinct was to nurse, but it took a toll on me mentally and physically. I felt restrained, and then I felt guilt for feeling restrained. I was allergic to the first set of breast pads that I used, so I kept thinking I had thrush. My nipples were bright pink and uncomfortable, and I had a baby that wanted to nurse every two hours, and sometimes, every hour. Oh, newborns....I didn’t find it to be this amazing experience women talked about. My baby fell asleep each time he latched, and I was not staring longingly into his eyes. Instead I was staring into my iPhone, Googling something about nursing while nursing. Surely I was doing this wrong. Just one more day, I told myself...everyday for the first 12 weeks. And then I only tried quitting once every week. Until suddenly, he was six months and nursing was finally second nature. Then he was 12 months, and even though it was way past my “goal date," I didn’t see a reason to stop. Now he’s 21 months, and our one nurse in the evening is simply sweet. It’s our special time where I do stare into his eyes, and sometimes he cracks a joke with a look. The truth is I wouldn’t have made it past the first six weeks without the breastfeeding-mom sites, blogs and Instagrams that were there for me during late-night feedings. Because as cheesy as it sounds, they helped me see that I wasn't alone. Here are 5 blogs that may just help get you through one more day...week, month and year. Kelly Mom- In the beginning, it seemed like every time I breastfed I had another question. And every answer came from Kelly Mom. Founded by international board certified lactation consultant and mom of three Kelly Bonyata, this website was developed to provide evidence-based information on breastfeeding and parenting. She consistently supplies fact and support throughout each post. The Leaky boob- What’s in a name you say? Well, to the many mamas out there worrying about whether they’re leaking through their shirt or not, The Leaky Boob strikes a chord. The founder, Jessica Martin-Webber, has been normalizing breastfeeding on Facebook, Instagram, her blog and, I imagine, real life, way before I realized it had to be normalized. Fearless Formula Feeder- Suzanna Barston’s name has been on the tip of everyone’s memes after announcing the #Isupportyou movement. A formula-feeding mom herself, Barston stepped forward to change the views of breast vs. bottles and unite new mothers, encouraging them to support one another regardless of feeding method. She’s a game changer. Marvelous kiddo (Instagram)-Marvelous Kiddo (formerly a blog) is a great follow. Mom of three Leigh Pennebaker somehow makes breastfeeding in public chic and on trend. She also shares photos of her personal style (which is fantastic) and baby wearing. Sometimes all three at once. I am not the Babysitter- Founder Jamie Lynne Grumet became recognizable when she stood on the cover of Time magazine last year nursing her three-year-old son. This year, alongside Suzanna Barston and Kim Simon, she is heading the #Isupportyou campaign. In addition to sharing her adoption story, Grumet recently learned that she has the power to reach people globally, and has been using her blog to bring national coverage and assistance to an HIV/AIDS children’s center in Awassa, Ethiopia, giving 20,000 people (and counting) clean water, and providing an entire village in Ethiopia with cloth diapers. Main image via I am Not the Babysitter.

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

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5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

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Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

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