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How to Survive Summer as a New Mom

5 postpartum wellness tips and lots of really cute babies.

How to Survive Summer as a New Mom

If you’re having a summer baby, you are one lucky mama, right? Nope, not so fast. As good as summertime can be for the psyche, it can be bad for your brand new babe. From bug bites to high temps to the scorching sunrays, everything about summer seems to be after your little one’s well being -- and thus your sanity; and you, mama, well… You can’t even splash the heat away for at least the first six weeks postpartum. So what’s a new mom to do to keep her cool all summer long? Fear not. Even with a newborn in tow, summer is still not the time to hide indoors. You just need to make sense of this (sweaty) transition into motherhood and know what to do so that you and your little one have the safest, sunniest summer yet. That’s why we recently hosted NYC mamas and their babies for a Well Rounded Postpartum Wellness Workshop at Pure Yoga, and gathered some of NYC’s foremost wellness and parenting experts to give our guests a little summer pep talk. From new mom nutrition hacks to summer babywearing tips, here’s what new moms should do to welcome their new bundles and the hottest season of the year with confidence. 1. One of the best things about summer is all of the fun and adventure to be had...and babywearing makes spending time with your little ones that much easier. With Ergobaby's mesh carriers, parents and caregivers can keep baby close while staying cool too! Two tips for babywearing in warm weather: keep a layer of fabric between you and baby to help make things feel less sticky. Also, you can slip a flexible, soft ice pack into your zippered pocket to help help keep you and your baby a bit cooler. Happy babywearing! -- Christina Soletti, Ergobaby 2. Moms on the go need to think about their own nutrition, too! Here’s a great tip! Sneak some of your little’s delicious, fresh baby food. Just spread some apple puree on a piece of whole wheat toast or swirl some mango puree into a cup of Greek yogurt and voila! A healthy (and fast) snack for mama! -- Michelle Muller, Little Spoon 3. Sunscreen should be worn year round, but it is especially critical during the summer months when you typically spend the most time outdoors. Be sure to apply sunscreen on your face and body. After a fun day in the sun with your little ones, Vichy’s new clean moisturizer - Mineral 89 - is the perfect dose of strength and hydration your skin needs. -- JamieRagusa, Vichy 4. Skip screen time and choose playtime! For many of us summer involves a little bit of extra travel. Next time you are on the road or in the air, skip the iPad, which passively entertains, and encourage your little one to actively engage in play instead. Whether that means singing songs with a rattle, making up a story with finger puppets or playing dress up, take the opportunity to unplug and turn to play! -- Allison Klein, Rose & Rex 5. When it comes to cooking (and eating!), use what’s in season. Apricots are plentiful in the summer. Add to store-bought salsa for a summery twist. And be creative! Grill summer peaches on the BBQ and top them with coconut milk ice cream for an extra sweet summer treat. Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Instead of ice cubes, add frozen fruit to a pitcher of water and voila! Gorgeous kid-friendly summer sangria. Arielle Haspel of Be Well with Arielle, in partnership with FreshDirect In between workshops and talks, our mama guests got to indulge in a healthy, energizing lunch from Sweetgreen and sip on yummy mocktails made with organic baby food ingredients by Little Spoon. For those who needed a break, HelloSitter came to the rescue and took over rocking and soothing duties while mom ran to the bathroom or got a pampering face massage from the experts at FaceLove, capped off by a refreshing spritz of Vichy's Mineralizing Thermal Water. Meanwhile, babies got to lounge around on soft swaddles from Just Born, then took turns in the cozying up on giggle's gorgeous gliders in the FreshDirect Feeding Nook. As usual, our guests got to leave the event with an adorable Maptote bag (can you really ever have enough cute tote bags, mama?) filled to the brim with gifts from our event sponsors and some extras from June & January, Comotomo, Earth Mama Angel Baby and babo botanicals and got to choose their fave nursing gear from our Belabumbum Bra Bar. Scroll down to get a glimpse of the event, and hope we'll see you at the next one! Photography by Ren'ee Kahn Bresler for Well Rounded.

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After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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