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Diaper Bag Essentials: 10 Must-Haves!

STEP 1: purchase a great diaper bag. STEP 2: fill it up.

Packing the perfect diaper bag is somewhat of an art-form and we just can’t stress the importance of a well-stocked diaper bag. It can literally save the day. The basics are pretty simple – diapers, binkies, milk, etc., but the essentials are something that come with time, experience and difficult situations. Our staff is coming together to share their go-to essentials so hopefully you don’t have to learn the hard way like we did. Here are 10 surprising must-haves the moms at BabySteals never leave home without [+ enter to win a Ju-Ju-Be Toki Dream Be Prepared Bag]!

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Our Top 10 Diaper Bag Must-Haves:

1. Tide To-Go Pen – because you never know when you’re going to need one for yourself or your little one.

2. Clutch & Change Mats – perfect for quick trips when you don’t need your entire diaper bag.

3. Thermometer and Baby Medicine – you just never know. Be prepared!

4. Monkey Balm – perfect for baby’s lips, cheeks, boo-boos and more.

5. Reusable Placemats – make sure baby has a clean place to eat on the go, plus easy clean up!

6. Innobaby Packin’ Smart Stackables – perfect for formula, snacks and small items you need on the go.

7. Extra Clothes for Baby and Mom – you. just. never. know.

8. Baby Trip Clip – you can use these for so many much! Create a nursing cover, shade your stroller, keep up with binkie, teddy and more.

9. MD Mom Wipes – A.K.A. “The everything Wipe”. Helpful for wiping baby, mom, shopping carts, you name it. Keep ’em clean.

10. Generation Baby Wet Bags – these wet totes are perfect for the planned and unplanned adventures.

Check out more of our top diaper bag essentials here!

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Ju-Ju-Be is fun and funky, and for this collaboration teamed up with Tokidoki, another equally fun and funky group to design the ultimate diaper bag. We just so happened to get our hands on one of these and are so excited to be giving away a one-of-a-kind Ju-Ju-Be x Toki Dreams Be Prepared Diaper Bag to one of our fans. Enter to win this amazing bag below and pack it full of all your must-have diaper bag essentials.

Enter to win below:

*BONUS* You can also earn an extra entry by tagging two of your friends in the giveaway Facebook post! (Make sure to like our page while you’re there!)

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*Contest will close on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 11:59 PM PST. Winner will be announced on Friday, August 28, 2015.

6 Things You Should Know About Breastfeeding

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Breastfeeding is one of the hardest, easiest, and most fulfilling things I have done. Before having my baby I had planned on breastfeeding, done my research, and felt prepared, but I still had a few things to learn along the way. Here are six things I think every new breastfeeding mom should know.

 

The beginning is challenging.

Here I was thinking breastfeeding would be the most natural thing in the world. Five months in, it totally is for me now, but the beginning is hard. Breastfeeding is instinctive, but not instinctual. That is to say you and baby both have the instincts to do it, but have to learn how, so don’t give up! Some babies latch on right away, but when mine didn’t, figuring it out was a challenge. I felt like I needed at least two more hands to hold his head and body, position correctly, express milk, and adjust my body. And then once you’re doing it right, it hurts. Like a lot. I’m not saying that to scare you, your nipples just have to adjust and toughen up, sort of like when you first start wearing sandals in the summer. Use nipple cream every single feeding at the beginning and that helps a ton! All that may sound a bit scary, but I promise once you have the hang of it, the benefits are worth it.

 

Your milk changes almost as much as your baby.

You may know all about how your milk changes from colostrum in the first couple days, to transitional milk, to normal milk. But did you know that your milk actually changes based on what your infant needs from day to day? In the morning it helps wake him up and puts him to sleep at night. Some days it may have more antibodies to protect against things either of you may have been exposed to. Other days it may have a higher fat content to help him put on weight. Plus it changes over time as your baby gets older. I found this article on the timeline of a breastfed baby super intriguing to answer some of those questions!

 

You can get free breastfeeding supplies and support.

As of August 2012, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became a law in the United States covering preventative care. Among many other things, this includes both covering a breast pump and lactation consultant. We’re generally not talking about a little single hand-held pump — every insurance is different, but whether you have private or commercial insurance, this law applies to you and you should be eligible for even a fancy double electric pump (some will cover the rental of a hospital grade one). If you’re headed back to work a free pump is a no-brainer, but even if you are a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom, having a pump can give you a little freedom or allow you to breastfeed longer. Just call the 800 number on the back of your insurance card so you can take advantage of this.

 

You need a good support system.

Having others you can rely on is key to being successful at breastfeeding. It will take hours out of your day, every day, so you need your family on board. If you have family or friends who have breastfed before, that can be really helpful too both for advice and moral support. Be sure to talk to your partner, children, boss, and others around you so you can be clear about how this will affect your life and how they can support you. And if you need extra advice or want to find other moms and specialists, you can always find a local group, like La Leche League, in your area.

 

Don’t be shy to get help!

Whether it’s day two or day 362, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a specialist. Lactation consultants are trained to help mothers, like you. Before I started breastfeeding I took a class, which really helped set me up before I ever started. Then after I delivered, I asked my nurses about a million questions still. And when I still felt like I wasn’t getting it, I got a specialist in to help me, which made a world of difference. Don’t be shy to ask questions and get help. Every mom and baby are different, so even if this isn’t your first baby, you may benefit from advice of a specialist.

 

You have the right to breastfeed!

Know your breastfeeding rights so you can defend yourself, if necessary. Every state is different in terms of some laws, but federal law dictates you have the right to nurse in any Federal building or on Federal property that you and baby have the right to be. You also have the right to pump at work and should be given a discreet place to do so. Take the time to inform yourself on your state’s laws. BreastfeedingLaw.com has great information on what your rights are.

The Truth About Breastfeeding: 4 Mom’s Share Their Experiences

breastweek_mobile_600x88_Aug15 Breastfeeding is one of the greatest ways to connect and bond with baby. It’s a natural process, but it doesn’t always happen so naturally. It does for some; others have to work at it and some face other challenges. It can take a toll on a mama – making us feel inadequate, guilty or worse. Thankfully I am in an office with mostly women; it’s awe-inspiring to hear all of their ups and downs with breastfeeding. Today we are sharing 4 different breastfeeding experiences from some of the amazing baby mamas here at BabySteals.com.

Kerianne
kerianne2 I was an anxious new mother. My son arrived overdue, very small and struggling to breathe. After being taken care of and fixed up, he was brought to me and I tried to nurse him. He wanted nothing to do with it. After being intubated, his throat was sore and he made it clear nursing was not something he would be doing without a fight. After a day of trying, with no success, I was provided with two solutions – a bottle, or an IV in his head. Being the anxious mama I was, after many tears, a few more breakdowns and even more tears, the bottle was brought to us, and he ate like a champ! Even though it wasn’t the solution I wanted, I am so glad my little guy was able to eat and grow; no matter the source! He is now a healthy, happy almost-kindergartner, and I wouldn’t change a hair on his head!

Kristen

Kristen&Jude200b Nursing did not come easily for me. In fact, it was downright miserable in the beginning. My nipples bled, I got clogged ducts and my very colicky baby did nothing but cry at me, and my boob. After feeding, burping and changing his diaper, I would countdown to the next hour when I knew he would need to eat again. My toes would literally curl it hurt so bad for the first 2-3 weeks.  But what was more disconcerting to me was he didn’t seem comforted by nursing; he was screaming. All the time. I lamented all those unrealized dreams of bonding with my nursing baby.  He’d take a gulp of milk, pull away and cry. It was a miracle to me he was even thriving at all. And bottle feeding wasn’t an option because he did the same thing with it.

All I could think was, “What is wrong with me and my milk?!” I was making too much milk. My letdown was too strong. I need to pump first before feeding. Don’t pump first because you’ll overproduce, making the problem worse. I ate tomatoes, wait, no chocolate… or could it be dairy? I’m not nursing him long enough on each side. He’s not getting enough hind milk. Maybe I’m not making enough milk? I went in circles trying to figure this thing out. My google searches were relentless. And then, it slowly and progressively got easier. Little by little it just started to work. I woke up one day at 8 weeks and thought, hey, I can do this! But I fought for it. It wasn’t easy, picture-perfect or what I expected, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sort of like parenting!

Deanne

IMG_2580 I am one of the lucky moms that had an easy time with breastfeeding from the start. With my first baby, the lactation counselor came in to check on how things were going, and I was on the phone, walking around the hospital room, nursing my son. She smiled and said, “it looks like you have everything figured out.” When Andrew, my first baby, was 6 months old, my husband and I went on a week-long trip to the Caribbean. When we planned the trip, I didn’t realize that I would not quite be ready to leave my baby for a week! We went anyway, and I did my best to pump while we were gone, but the ship we were on didn’t convert the voltage on the pump so I had to “wing it” with self-expressing in the shower, etc. Luckily, I was able to resume nursing when we returned home. I nursed my oldest son until he was about a year, when he weaned himself.

With my second son, I had a similar experience, with no problems or issues figuring it all out. I went back to work with both of my boys after a couple of months, and pumped a few times a day while I worked. My boys are in their 20s now, so the pump was a big, bulky machine, but it worked very well! I pumped in a closet in my office, because the office didn’t have a dedicated place to pump. I took a phone in there, hooked everything up, put a do not disturb sign on the door and managed to work while I pumped a couple of times a day. I nursed my younger son until he was about 14 months old, when he weaned himself.

Breastfeeding for me was such a wonderful part of being a mother. I loved this sweet, bonding time spent with my babies and I feel thankful that it came easily and naturally to me.

Jessica

jess I’ll be honest… I was nervous about breastfeeding. My mom has 3 kids and the longest she was able to nurse was 3 weeks. Knowing this made me scared and being scared makes me research like crazy. I read everything there was to know about breastfeeding – how to most likely succeed, how to increase your milk supply, what to do when a baby won’t latch, how often to nurse, how to deal with growth spurts and everything in between. I attended breastfeeding classes, met with a lactation consultant and was sure I knew everything possible to help us succeed.

Cut to the day our little girl was born. She had trouble latching from the beginning. Immediately after she was born we worked and worked. We just didn’t have any luck. We met with a lactation consultant for a miserable 45 minutes that ended in a full breakdown for both me and our darling baby. We tried everything. Once we got her to latch, we faced even more trouble. Instead of making enough milk, our little girl was starving. I was pumping to try to increase my milk supply, taking supplements, drinking my weight in water and trying all the tricks I could find. Nothing worked. I was absolutely devastated. This was supposed to be natural, and work. I was supposed to be able to feed my baby… this is what is best for her and I wasn’t able to provide it. I felt like a huge failure.

We started supplementing with formula and doing everything we could to help our little girl grow and be healthy. I was still pumping after each feeding. Every time she ate resulted in being nursed, getting a bottle and then me pumping. It was stressful and hard on her and me. I wasn’t getting any sleep and we were crying a lot. We lasted about 3 months. At that point, we just couldn’t do it any more. I was devastated all over again and felt so sad. We moved to formula full time… and our baby was healthy and strong. She was happy, we slept instead of our hour long eating routine and our lives improved.

Nursing was one of my favorite things… and simultaneously one of the hardest things I have ever done. I loved being able to provide some of what would make my baby the healthiest possible, and I was devastated that I wasn’t able to do it as much as she needed. I loved breastfeeding. LOVED IT. I tried all over again with our second, with the same result. It turns out I truly just don’t make enough milk. I have learned to be softer with myself and do the best I can, and have learned that it will be okay. For that I am truly grateful.

If you are looking to breastfeed or are currently, click here for some great items to make it easier on you. If you need more information on breastfeeding, check out this infographic. Happy #WorldBreastfeedingWeek and #NationalBreastfeedingMonth!

11 Facts about Breastfeeding

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Did you know a newborn’s tummy is the size of a cherry or that your baby tastes what you eat through your breast milk? Did you know that while 77% of U.S. women start nursing their babies at birth but only 25% of them make it to the recommended one year mark? Check out these interesting facts about breastfeeding.

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Shop our breastfeeding collection here! All orders ship for $2.99 in the U.S. (see details for more information)!

BabySteals is Celebrating Breastfeeding Week!

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Time to make the milkmakers happy… join us for BabySteals Breastfeeding Week this Monday through Friday!

Who: Nursing mamas, proud grandmas, supportive daddies, lactation specialists — anyone who loves breastfeeding!

What: In honor of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, we are having an entire week of steals and celebration! We have the “best of the breast” products every mom needs as an essential part of your nursing survival kit.

When:  August 1-7, 2015

Where: Right here at BabySteals.com! Don’t miss out on the breastfeeding fun. Make sure you like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for more fun and excitement!

Our Top 5 No Bake Desserts for July 4th!

Who’s excited for the long weekend of 4th of July celebrations? The 4th of July is such a great time to spend with family and friends while BBQing and enjoying each other’s company! Whether you’re going to a gathering or throwing your own backyard BBQ, as a busy parent it’s hard to find free time to prepare anything, much less want to turn the oven on in this heat. No worries – the staff here at Steals.com have you covered! We’ve compiled our top 5 no bake desserts that are perfect for your 4th of July parties so you can stay out of the heat and enjoy the long weekend.

 

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1. No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Tart – These bad boys are great for entertaining at home or to bring along! Want to know the best part?… You’ll have these delish little bites of heaven completed in 10 minutes. For some added 4th of July flair, add some strawberries, cranberries or raspberries.

 

 

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2. American Flag Tray – If you’re looking for easy peasy, here you go! This one takes less than 15 minutes to clean and cut the berries and setup the display. Feel free to substitute with other red berries or white cheese for the pretzels. This is also a great way to get the kids involved in the planning process!

 


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3. USA Strawberries – Simple, cute and done within 10 minutes. These little beauties are so easy, yet so yummy. Pick up some strawberries, wash them off, melt some chocolate and get dipping! This is another fun one to get the kids helping with.

 

 

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4. Fourth of July Wands – These fun little wands will be the star of the show… and not just at the kids table either! Though they may have more fun casting spells and granting wishes with their wands, the adults are sure to love this sweet and cool treat on a hot summer day, too. Super easy and super quick to make, these are a perfect treat to have the kiddos help with!

 

 

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5. Cookie Flag of America – Grab your favorite cookie, get some colored chocolate melting and get dipping for this quick and easy no bake dessert. Dip the cookie in all 3 colors to create a red, white & blue cookie, or create an American flag similar to the one on the left.

 

 

Need more inspiration? Check out our 4th of July Pinterest board for ideas on food, DIY projects and more. And don’t forget to use your 15% coupon code “JULY4TH” on any order this Friday, July 3rd through Sunday, July 5th. Get Shopping >>

Mommy Water Giveaway

Calling all pregnant mommies — who hates taking their prenatal vitamins? Or even worse, who gets sick when trying to swallow and digest these pills? As one mom said,

“taking my prenatals is worse than taking horse pills!” – Maggie, San Diego

Forget it! Mommy Water is here to the rescue, and to make getting your nutrients even better! Mommy Water was designed by a team of medical doctors, nutritionists and beverage formulators to address the many needs of the modern pregnancy. Traditional prenatal vitamins, either in pill or gummy form, lack many of the essential elements necessary for a healthy pregnancy.

As such, the research team at Mommy Water set out to create the perfect prenatal vitamin. Pour it right into your water for a great tasting, hydrating way of getting your nutrients. Beyond your baby bump, what a great way for nursing moms to continue their vitamins post partum!
prenatals for expecting moms

So Why is Mommy Water Better?

In addition to the traditional prenatal vitamin profile, Mommy Water adds:

 Digestive health: The fiber source in Mommy Water is a prebiotic that helps promote digestive health by stimulating the normal, beneficial bacteria in the colon.

 Bone health: Inulin found in Mommy Water may boost calcium absorption, which is important to building and maintaining strong bones.

 Weight management: Diets rich in fiber, such as inulin, may help maintain a feeling of fullness for longer periods after eating.

 Negligible impact on glycemic response: Inulin is suitable for use in a low glycemic diet. Inulin, as a food ingredient, does not significantly impact blood sugar levels making Mommy Water safe for women with gestational diabetes. *

 Fiber enrichment: A diet rich in soluble fiber, such as inulin, helps to maintain a healthy digestive tract and may help promote regularity.

 Brain Boost: Can’t find your keys, lost your wallet? “Pregnancy brain” got you forgetting your neighbors name? Emerging research shows that choline is not only essential for fetal brain development, can help reduce “pregnancy brain.”

 Sun kissed Iron: By combining vitamin c with iron, Mommy Water increases the bioavailability of iron, an essential mineral for healthy pregnancies. And by drinking your iron in Mommy Water, you won’t suffer that nauseous feeling pills or gummies give as they breakdown in your system.

 Electrolytes: Dehydration is a common problem with expecting mothers Mommy Water combines water and electrolytes to help combat dehydration and improve absorption of all the great vitamins and mineral in a great tasting daily drink.

 Pyridoxine: Pyridoxine helps alleviate nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness, which is often times exacerbated by the breakdown of large prenatal pills. The amount of Pyridoxine in Mommy Water was recommended by our team of Doctors for combating pregnancy related nausea.

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Enter to WIN! We are giving away a 3-month supply of Mommy Water! Enter below.

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Contest ends Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 11:59pm MST. Winner announced upon notification and will be chosen with Rafflecopter. The contact information you provide will not be shared outside Steals.com. Click here to read our full privacy notice. Winnings are not for resale. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Participation open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years or older.

Saranoni Giveaway | Gift Week 2014

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Lusciously deliciously soft only begins to describe the cozy, luxurious softness of a Saranoni. There’s a reason these blankets are labeled a “must-have” by BabySteals customers! Minky swirls, lush raised fabric and a ribbed border make three delicious textures to please the senses. The only thing you’ll wish is that it was big enough to wrap yourself in too!

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Lucky for you, we are giving away TWO Saranoni Baby Blankets to two winners!

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Contest ends Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 11:59pm MST. Winner announced upon notification and will be chosen with Rafflecopter. The contact information you provide will not be shared outside Steals.com. Click here to read our full privacy notice. Winnings are not for resale. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. Participation open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years or older.

20 Foods That Boost Your Breast Milk Supply

Most every nursing mom worries about making sure her supply is up at some point in time. Since you can’t measure your breast milk like you can formula, it’s easy to get insecure about production. The key is eating healthy, getting enough fluids, and just finding what works for you. So we put together a list of foods that are both good for you and help boost your breast milk supply.

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Printable Sign for Pumping Moms

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Check out this cute printable sign we made for pumping moms to use to alert people you need privacy. Perfect for the office or wherever you need to pump!

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Click here to save the printable.