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New Mom Gift Guide

New mom Hailey Andresen of Household Mag shares her holiday wishlist.

New Mom Gift Guide

There’s a little secret that all new moms learn fast (pregnant ladies, earmuffs!): babies are all-consuming. Emotionally of course. Yes, you knew that was coming. But they also get the lion’s share of your wallet. Meaning, mama could definitely use a treat. Good thing the holidays are here!

To put together our New Mom holiday gift guide, we turned to a Hailey Andresen of Household Mag. Hailey is one of those gals who you see on the street and you can’t help but blurt out something like “OMG, you are so cute!” or “You look amazing!” even though you’ve literally never met her before and you probably should have used your inside voice instead. Maybe because she’s from Phoenix, so she’s just sweet and down to earth. Maybe it’s because her site, Household Mag, does such a great job of welcoming us all into her Brooklyn life. Or maybe it’s because despite having 2-month-old Owen by her side at all times, still manages to look super-chic and put-together...on her site, Instagram feed, and yes, in real life too.

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As she preps for the holidays with her new family of three--”I am looking forward to decorating the tree and our home, and to creating new traditions in the kitchen!”--Hailey shared her wishlist of treats that are for new mama and new mama alone.

1. InterDesign 6-Peg Wood Storage Rack. I know everyone and their mother has a peg rack on instagram, but I can't help but love the way it looks. This will be an easy trick when it comes to keeping hats, scarves and sweaters up off the floor this winter.

2. iBlock: a cutting board by bkbutcherblock. This would be super helpful if you're planning on hosting any events this season. Keep your phone handy as guests arrive and your tablet handy displaying recipes/playing music. Plus it’s made in Brooklyn.

3. Madewell Transport Rucksack. A stylish bag that can also function as a diaper bag on days that your load is a little lighter.

4 Madewell Flea Market Flares in Kara Wash. High-rise flared jeans to tuck in that post pregnancy tummy and to dress up your denim.

5. Nesting Twiggy Fawn Stack by foxandthefawn on Etsy. Simple rings that don't snag or have the potential to scratch your little ones.

Photography by Amy Frances.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

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Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

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We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

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