7 Must Have's for Bottle Feeding!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


If you came here thinking you were going to have to wade through bottle-shaming propaganda to get to the good stuff, you’re in the wrong place! This community LOVES bottle feeding! There are so many positives that come to mind when we think about supporting parents in introducing a bottle like giving both parents the ability to feed and granting the gestational parent some newfound freedom. It also allows for other people to help care for your baby for instances like overnight care (one of our most requested services) and for a much needed date night. Another positive with bottle feeding that you don’t get from breastfeeding is knowing (and seeing!) exactly how much your baby is eating. This can be so relieving to some parents and worth it all in itself! 

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times...and I’ll continue to remind you--we don’t care how you feed your baby. We care that your mental health is being protected and that your baby is being fed. The rest can be figured out and we can help! 

Over the years, we have supported hundreds of families in this transition so we’ve learned a thing or two about giving your baby a bottle. Our ultimate goal in everything we do is to make your life easier and the transitions smoother, so we’ve gathered the exact tools you need to make bottle feeding a breeze!

1. Fave Bottles-- This is a no-brainer! If you’re going to bottle feed, finding the right bottle for you and your baby is a must! We have 3 bottles that we looooooove! The first bottle is the Tommee Tippee bottle! This bottle is the most like a human nipple. I rarely meet a baby that doesn’t like Tommee Tippee bottles so I think it’s your safest bet when ordering a bottle! The chances that your baby rejects the Tommee Tippee is slim to none because it will feel so familiar! On the off chance that you baby does reject the Tommee Tippee, give the Comotomo a try! This is a silicon base bottle that also closely resembles the human breast. As your child grows and learns to hold their own bottle, you can add these slip-on handles to support your child’s intellectual leaps and independence! Finally, our third choice is Dr. Brown’s bottle! They even come in glass which we love!

Personally, I believe that “colic” or “anti-gas” bottles are a big gimmick. I don’t recommend spending substantial amounts of money on these fancy words when purchasing bottles. When we think about gas in babies, most of the time it is not actually the bottle itself, but the way we are feeding the baby. #humanerror This also means that with a few simple tweaks of the wrist and the positioning of your baby, we can cut down on their gas (and spit up!).


2. Soap-- This is intentionally the second on this list because it’s so important! Most people don’t consider the impact of the soap you’re using to clean your child’s bottles, but it can affect so much from skin rashes to spit up to gas. Here’s why: each time you heat up a plastic bottle (the nipples are silicone/plastic as well), the heat breaks down the plastic particles and makes the bottles a bit more porous. This includes heating them to sanitize and clean, too. The soap that you use will be absorbed into the bottles and then digested by your baby. This shouldn’t be too scary, as it happens to us everyday with our dishes, cups, and tupperware. However, it does mean that you have some control here. We recommend using Dr. Bonner’s Pure Castile Baby Soap that is designed for just this! We believe so heavily in this soap because we’ve seen the simple switch be the answer to severe reflux, eczema, and gas! If you think about the toxins in everyday dish soap, it’s no surprise that it can cause so many problems. You don’t want that going into your newborns belly. 

3. Bottle Brush-- If you’ve already introduced a bottle, you’ve probably noticed the thin layer of “slime” that is leftover from breastmilk (and some formulas) in the bottle. If you haven’t introduced a bottle yet, stay tuned, you’ll know what I’m talking about soon enough. This thin layer of ick is actually fat and we want to make sure that it gets cleaned before using that bottle again. Unfortunately, a bottle sanitizer (or boiling the bottles) isn’t going to get rid of the fatty remnants. You are going to need a bottle brush to accomplish this. Like many things in life, not all bottle brushes are created equal. In order to truly get every crevice in your baby’s bottle clean, you’re going to want a bottle that has bristles and a sponge like this one

4. Warmer-- Your baby’s belly is not designed to consume and digest cold milk--not even room temperature milk for the first few months. Before 6 months old, you should be warming your baby’s bottle to slightly warmer than body temperature. Each warmer will come with its’ own set of instructions and will step you through how long to warm up each bottle based on the ounces being warmed. Our favorite warmer is the Phillips Avent warmer! It’s sleek, fits almost all bottles, and has tons of varying heat settings. We also love the Kiinde bottle warmer, but it is slightly higher in price!

To check the temperature of your baby’s bottle, warm up the bottle and test it on your forearm. Hold out your arm and squirt a tiny amount of your forearm. if it is body temperature or slightly warmer, you are all set to serve it! If it’s too hot, you can either take off the top and blow it like hot soup or you can run the bottle (top on) under cold water for 90 seconds and test again. Be very careful not to scald your baby’s mouth and throat as this could cause an aversion to bottle feeding.


5. Grass + Trees-- This one is not self-explanatory, I know! Once you begin bottle feeding, you are going to need a place to store all these bottles...and nipples, and caps, and vent systems. While storing in the cabinet may seem logical, it isn’t quite that feasible because you will be reaching for these things every 2-3 hours. You’re going to want your child’s bottles to be stored conveniently and compactly. This grass drying rack is perfect for that. You can add these trees in to hold nipples and caps, plus any pacifiers! I recommend two trees for every pallet of grass!

Save 10% on your order of Smilo baby pacifiers with code 'TBH10'. 


6. Sanitizer-- When it comes to sanitizing your baby’s bottle, you have lots of options! You can use this Nanobébé microwavable sanitizer system! It comes with moveable pegs to accommodate different bottle sizes and types plus sterilizes in just 4 minute! Another microwavable favorite are these Medela Quick Clean Bags! You simply put water in the bottom of the bag, place it in the microwave, and drain the bag! Be careful because it does create a lot of steam! This Baby Brezza Sterilizer is like a deluxe version of bottle sanitizers! It has all the bells and whistles, plus it looks like something from the future! If none of these fancy your liking, a good old fashioned pot of boiling water will do just fine! Bring the water to a boil and dunk each piece of the bottle and all pacifiers in the water. They should be submerged for 10-15 seconds to sanitize properly. Remove the pieces and hang on your grass rack and trees to dry! 

7. Bottle bag-- This is often something that parents forget about when it comes to bottle feeding! If you are bottle feeding with breastmilk, you’re going to need to keep the breastmilk cool on the go so it doesn’t spoil! We love this SkipHop Bottle Bag! It’s stylish, affordable, and perfect for taking your bottles wherever you go! If you are formula feeding, this portable pre-measured formula dispenser will be the biggest game-changer for you! You can thank me later!

*We’ve put all the necessary supplies in our Amazon Storefront to make it easy peasy for you to round-up everything you need!


Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

Clogged Duct Rescue Kit

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Clogged ducts are no fun, but rest assured, we’ve got the key to getting you over this road block and back on track! We are so committed to helping you have a healthy feeding journey! This is HeHe’s secret sauce to releasing blocked ducts, plus at the bottom, you will find a few tips on preventing clogged ducts in the future!


Time Commitment: 20-60 Minutes

What you need:

*We’ve put all the necessary supplies in our Amazon Storefront to make it easy peasy for you to round-up everything you need!

Instructions:


Fill the bowl with warm water. The water should be as warm as you can stand it! Think the temperature of a hot bath or shower. The goal is to have it warmer than your body temperature so that it relaxes the tissues, blood vessels, and mammary glands in your breasts.

Add ⅔ cup of epsom salt. Stir until it is dissolved. This may cause the water to cool off too much. If that happens, simply warm the water up again.

Place the affected breast into the bowl, submerging as much of your breast as possible. *If the water is too hot, remove your breast and wait a few minutes for the water to cool.

Grab your vibrator or your LaVie massager and turn it on. Place it firmly against the blocked duct (usually a red, somewhat swollen area on your breast).

You’re going to stay here for 10-12 minutes. Keep your breast completely submerged and the vibrator on the clogged duct.

Next, removed your breast and dry it off. Turn off the vibrator. Grab your hand pump and pump for 3-5 minutes. The blocked duct may release.

If the clog doesn’t release, had back to the bowl + vibrator step. Don’t forget to rewarm the water. Do this for another 10-12 minutes, followed by the hand pump.

If the clogged duct still doesn’t release, repeat the water + vibrator for another 10-12 minutes. Following this “session,” you’re going to grab your electric pump. Begin on level 3-5. Do not pump more than 10 minutes as we are also being mindful of the messages we are sending your body about your milk supply.

Still Didn’t Release?


If a pump, whether hand or electric, doesn’t pull out the clogged duct, you have one last hail mary! Your baby can help! That’s right, your baby’s suck may be just the force that you need to release a clogged duct. You are going to do what we call “dangle feeding.” Before you dangle feed (between the electric pump and dangle feed), go back to the water + vibrator step for another 10-12 minutes.

Instead of grabbing a pump this time, grab your baby! Lie your baby on a flat surface, on their back. Get on hands and knees, and dangle the affected breast to their face allowing them to latch to feed. The trick? Point your baby’s chin towards the cogged duct. The power of your baby’s suck should be enough to release the blocked duct, especially after all the pump work.

You baby can consume the blocked duct. It will be thick and you want to be mindful of choking, but nutrition-wise it is totally fine for your baby to swallow the blocked duct. The block may contain a bit of blood or appear light pink, this is still safe for your baby to eat. If it comes out while you are pumping, it most likely won’t fit through a bottle nipple, so feel free to fish it out and toss it!

When to Contact Your Doctor:


If you want to call your doctor at the first signs of a clogged duct, then go for it! Otherwise, if you’re not able to unclog the duct, call your healthcare provider. If you develop a fever, give your provider a call and if the duct becomes more swollen or increasingly red/sore.

Preventing Clogged Ducts in the Future:


Sunflower Lecithin-- This is a supplement that I always suggest talking to your doctor about if you get more than 1 clogged duct. The way I look at it is, they are preventable. If you have one clogged duct, I usually consider it a one-time-deal, but if you’re experiencing recurring blocked ducts, that isn’t right. I mean, just listen to the name--blocked ducts or clogged ducts. Sunflower Lecithin can be so helpful in preventing this. Talk to your doctor about using Sunflower Lecithin to help support healthy breasts and a smooth breastfeeding journey.

Hydration-- Make sure you are staying extra hydrated as water plays a huge role in your breast health and your breastmilk production.

Bras-- Be sure you are wearing bras that are supportive of breastfeeding or nursing breasts. This means no bras that restrict your breasts or keep them tightly bound to your chest. It also means avoiding bras that have underwires, too. Sports bras are hit or miss. Some folks can manage a healthy, no clogged duct supply while wearing sports bras and some can not.

Draining your breasts-- When you feed your child or pump, make sure that you are completely draining your breast. This is twofold because if you are leaving milk in your breasts after a nursing or pumping session, not only can it cause clogged ducts (and mastitis!), but it can also impact your supply as your breast will think you don’t need to produce that much milk.


Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

HeHe Top 12 Breastfeeding Essentials

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Breastfeeding your baby is no easy feat! No matter what society tells us, learning to breastfeed does require patience.


1. Haakaa: This thing will honestly change your life. Not only is it a hand pump, but it can be a total game-changer for building supply! The Haakaa is a silicon bottle shaped hand pump that attaches to your breast by suction and that’s how it removes your milk.  I’ve seen nursing parents say things like, “This boob just can’t make more than an ounce,” but when we put the Haakaa on, 3 ounces collected! It takes a time or two to learn how to attach it, but once you master it, you’ll never forget. 

2. Hand Pump: I know, I know, the Haakaa is a hand pump so why do you need this? Well, because I suggest using this over an electric pumps for so many reasons like you’re in much more control and the convenience factor is through the roof. You can easily stick a hand pump in your purse and that’s not true about an electric pump.

3. Breastfeeding pillow: This is one that everyone needs, but it’s a matter of finding the right one. There are two that I love. First, the My Breastfriend nursing pillow. It’s firm and wraps all the way around you and is supportive of tons of nursing positions. Next, the boppy. This one wraps around your front, but not all the way around. It’s not as firm so many women need to put a blanket or pillow under it. However, it’s a must-have for your baby to be lounging space and can be a fun addition to tummy time! If you decide to get a different nursing pillow over the boppy, then I suggest ordering the Boppy Lounger (for a safe space for baby and supporting tummy time) rather than the open-bottom boppy. 

If you're looking for more information about breastfeeding basics, check out our Breastfeeding Bundle here!

4. Silverette cups: Don’t be deterred by the price. Hear me out, these Silverettes are an investment, but they are pure magic. Silver holds tons of great healing properties like antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. This can be fantastic in preventing things like thrush. They also help heal cracked and sore nipples. They are cooling (you can even throw them in your fridge for extra relief!) so they might just be the answer to your sore nipple problems! 

5. Nipple Cream: This one is weird because I go a bit rogue. Instead of traditional nipple butter, I recommend and use Primally Pure Baby Balm for sore nipples. I actually use this baby balm for so much--healing pimples, dry skin or dry patches on my skin, on my cuticles and on cuts & scrapes. It’s made of all organic ingredients (you can eat almost all of them) and smells so good. I also love Motherlove Nipple Cream

6. Storage bags: These are a must for all that milk your Haakaa is going to collect, plus anything that you pump to build a stash! Don’t underestimate your body before you even give it a chance to do its’ job. Even if this is not your first child you are breastfeeding, this journey will be different than last time. You’re older, it’s a different baby, and you’ve already done this before. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be challenging. I digress.. You are going to want to be able to store the ounces of milk that you pump and the way you do this is storage bags. Here are my fave bags. I suggest taking a sharpie and writing the date + AM or PM like this: 11/4/19 PM. I also love this affordable lie-flat stackable system! Stackable systems are such a space saver if utilized correctly. 

7. Sunflower Lecithin: This is a supplement that I always suggest talking to your doctor about if you get more than 1 clogged duct. The way I look at it is, they are preventable. This can be a combination of lots of things like not wearing bras that are too tight and watching your sugar intake, and not going too long in between pumping/feeding sessions. If you have one clogged duct, I give our bodies one slip up. If you’re having recurring blocked ducts, that isn’t right. I mean, just listen to the name--blocked ducts or clogged ducts. Sunflower Lecithin can be so helpful in preventing this. Talk to your doctor about using Sunflower Lecithin to help support healthy breasts and a smooth breastfeeding journey. 

8. LaVie Massager: Mastitis is a bitch! The biggest culprit causing mastitis (that we see) is clogged ducts! These two pesky speed bumps can sneak up on you and really throw a kink in your breastfeeding journey (temporarily). You can get a clogged duct from various things like going too long without nursing/pumping, wearing bras that are too tight or that have underwire, and not draining your breasts completely at each nursing/pumping session. You can check out HeHe Clogged Duct Rescue Kit here! One of the best tools for releasing a clogged duct is a vibrator! We love the LaVie massage, but a traditional vibrator will do the job, too! Here’s one for $6 (plus batteries) that has been a lifesaver many times in many homes we serve! If you don’t already have a well stocked bedside table, now’s the time! 

9. Nursing Comfort Pads: I love these because they do both, hot and cold! These are lifesavers--- or should I say nipple savers?! Either way, you will not want to breastfeed a baby (or exclusive pump) without these handy things! I also recommend buying a pair or two of these and storing them in your freezer for the first few weeks as your nipples adjust to al the “action” they are getting right after birth.

Sidenote: It’s normal for your baby to feed every 1-2 hours in the first two weeks of life. It’s also normal for your baby to stay latched and nurse continuously for a few hours at a time--this is known as “cluster feeding” and your baby will do it for many reasons. First, they are adjusting to this new life “on the outside” and will find immense comfort in nursing (you’re not creating any bad habits so comfort nurse away at this age). Second, they are sloughing off all the neurons that they no longer need while creating new neural pathways for skills they do need since being born.


10. Nursing Tanks + Nursing Bras: There are so many options when it comes to finding a nursing bra (and tanks!). I definitely recommend purchasing one bra from a few (three to four) different brands and seeing which one you best after your baby is here. Why would you want to wait? Well, your breasts are going to change. They are not filled with milk now, but they will be. They aren’t sore or learning to regulate a milk supply right now, but they will be. They aren't being taken out of your bra every 1-2 hours right now, but they will be. Your milk supply will absolutely impact which bra is best for you, so it’s wise to just wait. The same thing with pumping bras (this allows you to be hands free while you pump because the bra hold the pump in place on your breasts). This Momcozy bra is a multi-use bra that is a nursing and pumping bra, plus it’s so soft! This bra is like a sports bra, but made for nursing! Finally, this nursing bra has thicker straps to accommodate bigger breasts or anyone who needs support for their back. This Motherhood Maternity bra is nursing friendly and appropriate to wear under dress clothes if you’re making the return back to work.

11. Bamboobies Breast Pads: Breast pads are always something that women ask, “Do I really need them?” No, you definitely don’t need them, but they do play a supportive role in this breastfeeding story. Imagine this: you're walking in the grocery store and you notice that people are staring at you. You think they must be noticing your darling new baby. As you’re headed down the bread aisle, another mother with her 2-year old, gently whispers “It’s time to change your pads,” as you walk past one another. Immediately, you think your postpartum bleeding has bled through your pants like a middle schooler in math class. You hightail it to the restroom only to discover the front of your shirt is soaked with breastmilk! You think to yourself, “How did I not feel that?!” So… you don’t need breast pads, but they are handy. I particularly love Bamboobies or these bamboo breast pads that are so soft and come with a handy wet bag to store used breast pads throughout the day.

12. Legendairy Milk Supplements: This is one of my go-to’s, my first defenses, my staples. I absolutely love Legendairy Milk and I have seen their supplements completely turn around so many nursing parents’ journey. Their supplements are made from organic herbs and ingredients! I also love that they are a US-based, women-owned business. They have 10 different formulas for you to choose from to achieve your exact breastfeeding goals! Their supplements support things like increasing the fat content in your milk and increasing supply as well as supporting the mammary glands! I’ve linked a few of my other favorites in our Amazon Storefront so you can simply add to cart and be on your way!

*We’ve put all the necessary supplies in our Amazon Storefront to make it easy peasy for you to round-up everything you need!


Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

A Survival Guide: Holidays After a Loss

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


(HeHe's article is published for Birch Baby HERE in its entirety.)

The holiday season can be hard for those who have experienced a loss this year. At a time of year that people are expected to automatically be happy and be cheery and bright-eyed, it can be painful to have to pretend to be enjoying yourself while you are dying inside. One mother described it as “a dark place of heartbreak and anger.” 

Through my work with Mothers’ who have experienced loss (or any kind of trauma), I have found that having a structure of mindsets to help you survive in high-stress situations is helpful. I was considering a survival guide for the holidays for expectant parents who have experienced loss, but then I thought why not just a general survival guide to help when you are coping with loss, no matter what time of year it is.

  • Know your limits (It’s people's’ job to respect that boundary). You have the right to pick and choose which events you attend and which events will too overwhelming emotionally. You can be honest with folks, too. It’s okay to say you aren’t ready, yet. If that’s too painful, have an excuse thought out beforehand. 
  • Share your feelings -or don’t- either way, you must advocate for yourself. By asking to be left alone or acknowledging the fact that you want to share is helping those around you learn how to best support you. Otherwise, you can politely tell people how they can best support you when they ask. 
  • Respect your own personal boundaries. At one point or another, you will find yourself in a situation that you thought you could handle, but turns out you weren’t ready. That’s okay, but know when to take a minute to be alone. Connect with your body, begin to recognize your body’s signs of feeling overwhelmed, and begin to remove yourself before you feeling out of control. 
  • Know when it’s bigger than you. Check out this blog on the “bigger than you approach” to interacting with challenging situations. We all have that one relative or friend of a friend who just won’t get it--no matter how hard you try. That’s okay. It’s not your job to help every single person you encounter understand, but it is your job to recognize when you’re causing yourself more stress than will pay off in the end. 
  • It’s OK to not be OK (and to say no). This is an important one. Refer to #1 where it says it’s okay to not only pick and choose which events you attend but to also be honest with people. See #3 where it says recognize and remove yourself from situations. I can’t stress enough how ok it is to not be ok. Literally, everyone has had moments when they were not okay and no one should expect you to be okay before you are ready. 
  • Start a new tradition to remember your baby. This one can be fun and can look like anything. I urge you to make it a celebration rather than a remembrance. I used to work with a family that got donuts each year to celebrate their angel baby’s birthday. They had two kids after their loss who knew what the holiday was and looked forward to the discussions about their brother each year. It can be as formal as you’d like, if that is your style, or as laid back as a donut date.

Part of the healing process is pushing yourself a healthy amount, but also recognizing the healing and work you still have to do. It’s okay to remember that sometimes the only cure is time. Surrounding yourself with those who care about you and will support you during this time is essential. Be vigilant on how much you push yourself during the holidays as it is already a stressful time of year. It’s okay to say no and to respect your own boundaries.

Happy Holidays to all the parents anywhere on this parenthood journey! Stay strong out there and remember to lean on your village when you need!


Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

Tips for Traveling with Baby

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

(HeHe's article is published for Mama Goose HERE in its entirety.)

Traveling over the holidays can be a struggle when you have tiny humans. Kids seem to add so many new layers to traveling…more than I even knew was possible. I am an avid traveler and have been supporting families with small children for nearly a decade. Through this, I have learned many tricks to making life simpler and smoother for parents. One of my favorite “life hacks” to share with parents of little ones is how to travel light. 

There’s no doubt that traveling with kids with inevitably create the need to travel with more stuff, but it doesn’t have to be a painful as many of us would image. I have put together a packing list for new parents that will help make traveling with kids much less of a headache! This podcast lays out tricks to make traveling with young children easier! Here is a list of clothing to pack for your baby, sleep necessities and helpful hints to minimize the “stuff” you have to bring along! 

For tips on what to pack for clothing, baby gear, sleep, baby carriers, and more check out the HeHe's full article here!

Bonus Tips:

  • Pack only a few diapers and wipes. When you get to your destination, you can purchase all the wipes and diapers you need. You’ll thank me later. 
  • Try to be as consistent as possible with your child’s sleep/bedtime routine. This will help your child feel safe and ease the anxiety that comes along with traveling by providing them with a predictable ending to their vacation days. Maintaining their sleep routines while on vacation will help your child get better, more restful sleep while away, too. 
  • Try changing over the contents of your diaper bag to a backpack! Backpacks are spacier and can be worn. There are precious backpack diaper bags! I love bags with stroller straps and a changing pad; especially made with Vegan Leather! Make sure your bag has enough storage space for a small electric breast-pump if you are using one.


FREE TRAVEL DOWNLOADS:

  • Click HERE for a {FREE} guide for Traveling with Newborns
  • Click HERE for a {FREE} guide for Traveling Light with Kids


We've know how hard this can be! We've got you covered. Get ready to travel on and make the sweetest memories with your littles!


Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

What I Learned From the Woman Who Threatened to Punch All Breastfeeding Moms and Babies

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

(HeHe's article is published for Family Education HERE in its entirety.)

Earlier this week, Carly Clark, a mother, posted a very violent and aggressive attack on breastfeeding mothers everywhere. In her post, she threatens to punch breastfeeding mothers and their babies if she sees anymore.
 “I’m not sorry – the next female that tries to whip her boob out to breastfeed in front of my kids will get a black eye, move that baby [because] I’ll punch it too #zerocare #why #inpublicletsjustshowkidsboobs #notmine.” 

As soon as I read it, my heart sank... yours did, too, didn’t it? It’s no wonder it’s going viral. Her reaction tells me that we have a bunch of adults who have zero emotional intelligence. It lets me know that as a society we struggle to understand that everyone gets to make their own choices and you don’t get a say in that. I encourage this mom to look deep inside herself, identify why she is feeling unworthy and unhappy with herself, and then deal with her own problems. She needs to work through those sticky emotions that came up.

One upset woman responded, “What in the actual hell??! How do people – especially a woman – still have this kind of mentality???! How ridiculous!! We have been feeding our babies the way our bodies intended since the dawn of time.”

Here is where my heart jumped in excitement because people are standing up to an clear exhibit of an unsafe mentality, but then I immediately took a big breath of “okay, we’ve got a lot of work to do.” I love to see people standing up for what they believe in, but we’ve gone so far from the idea of love and understanding that it’s painful. We have to start with love and trying to understand when we approach others.

(HeHe's article is published for Family Education HERE in its entirety.)

Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

8 Reasons Why Being Pregnant for the Holidays is Awesome

Wednesday, November 6, 2019


(HeHe's article is published for Family Education HERE in its entirety.)

The holidays can be a time of stress for so many of us. I wondered if pregnancy provided women with a sense of comfort or was an added factor to the holiday hustle and bustle. I reached out to moms in various stages of their pregnancy and parenting journey to see if the thoughts surrounding their holiday bumps were of sugar plums and presents or stockings filled with coal. This is a countdown to the number one reason why it is merrier than mistletoe to be expecting a tiny human during the holidays.

This is a countdown to the number one reason why it is merrier than mistletoe to be expecting a tiny human during the holidays. There's nothing better than being pregnant during the holiday season!

(HeHe's article is published for Family Education HERE in its entirety.)

Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 
"Welcome to The Birth Lounge"

Let's Talk Toys! Tips for 6 Months to 12 Months!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

(This is a two part series! Check last week for Part One: birth to 6 months!)

Toys have so many great benefits! They bring joy, concentration, and education for children of all ages. Even adults can’t resist a good toy, like a new high-tech blender for the kitchen or a cool solar powered lawn mower for the yard. But when it comes time to build that baby registry and fill that nursery with toys for your expected baby, parents find it so difficult to choose the “right” ones from the thousands of toys out there on the market today. But it really doesn’t need to be that hard! You don’t need the newest addition of baby toys. Knowing what stage of development your baby is in and how to use the toys you have is the key to success when playing with your child during their first year. We are going to help you navigate that! I am going to break down the major developmental milestones of your baby’s first year of life and a few toys that can help foster that development. Playtime is going to be so fun for you and your baby!

6-9 Months

Your baby has a personality and it’s starting to show! They want to tell you things, show you new tricks, and are trying to make sense of the world around them. Babies are so curious at this age and we really want to encourage that curiosity through their play and social interactions. Play becomes more purposefully during the last half of a baby’s first year. Toys for this age remain focused on motor and language development and include a cause and effect reaction. Let’s see your baby show off a little!
O Ball creates a variety of toys similar to this one, including balls, rattles, etc. This specific one is great because it can be introduced and used appropriately at any age. The flexible “mesh” like top makes it easy for kids to manipulate on their own and with a playmate. They can hold it, shake it, and practice transferring it between each hand. The car feature will be so interesting to your baby. They may enjoy rolling it across the floor and will watch as the beads rattle in the wheels. Playing a passing game with your baby using this toy will promote social interactions through turn-taking. Don’t forget to model language during that back and forth play like using a “Ready, set, go!” narration as you pass the car!

I love these alternative stacking “blocks.” The weighted ball shape gives it a more interesting dynamic for your baby to explore. They can stack them in many ways and watch as it creates a more visually interesting structure when adding one on top of the other. This toy is great for babies to work on their fine motor skills and coordinate to avoid knocking it down. Your baby can stack, roll, spin, and transfer the different sized pieces as part of their play. I’ve seen many babies occupy themselves with this toy for extended periods of time. It’s fun for both your baby, and the caregiver!
    9 to 12 Months

    Your baby is closing in on those last few months of their first year and boy have they learned a lot! Time really does fly and it can sometimes be nostalgic to think about everything that’s happened leading up to this point. You and your baby have been through a lot together and there is still so much to learn and grow from. By now, your baby has preferences, understands more language, and is continuously learning, thinking and problem solving. Play should still be fun, but also challenging. We want to support your baby to achieve things like hand eye coordination, first words, and sustained attention.

    Here are some toys that can help with that:


    This is twist on the modern classic I am sure most of us grew up with and loved. I know I did! At this age, your baby should now understand the idea of object permanence or the idea that when things disappear they are not gone forever. Your baby will love the surprise of the hungry caterpillar popping out of the box. The music provides an auditory stimulus your baby will learn to recognize before anticipating the pop up surprise. Try turning it the majority of the way and then encouraging your baby to finish. They eventually can use their developed fine motor skills and hand eye coordination to turn the toy completely by themselves. This toy is sure to bring many belly laughs!

    There are many, many, many, varieties of this toy. The classic shape sorter! I love this one because of its wooden material and simplicity. The more durable, eco-friendly material will last through your child’s first few years of life and into those pre-academic stages of learning. You can encourage your baby to put the correct shapes in the holes by pointing out where they go or letting them explore it on their own. The open top makes it easy for a baby to dump and fill - another great play skill babies love to show off. To promote gross motor development, put the shapes on top of the couch and encourage your baby to pull themselves up to stand and cruse along the length of the couch to collect each shape and dump into the box.
    Remember, playtime is important during your baby’s first year of life, but it should still be fun! Everyday objects around the house are just as good as an overpriced toy from your local toy store. Fill a water bottle with rice to make a rattle or have fun with an empty (or full) tissue box. Use playtime as an excuse to bond with your baby and don’t stress about what they may or may not be learning. Babies will naturally learn through play and we as parents just need to provide our tiny humans the time and space to explore that playtime environment!
    Post written by Caitlin LeBeau, TBH Team Member & Doula

    Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 


    Let's Talk Toys! Tips for Birth to 6 Months

    Wednesday, October 23, 2019


    (This is a two part series! Check back for part two 6 months to 12 months next week!)

    Toys have so many great benefits! They bring joy, concentration, and education for children of all ages. Even adults can’t resist a good toy, like a new high-tech blender for the kitchen or a cool solar powered lawn mower for the yard. But when it comes time to build that baby registry and fill that nursery with toys for your expected baby, parents find it so difficult to choose the “right” ones from the thousands of toys out there on the market today. But it really doesn’t need to be that hard! You don’t need the newest addition of baby toys. Knowing what stage of development your baby is in and how to use the toys you have is the key to success when playing with your child during their first year. We are going to help you navigate that! I am going to break down the major developmental milestones of your baby’s first year of life and a few toys that can help foster that development. Playtime is going to be so fun for you and your baby!

    Birth-3 Months

    Yes! Your babies do more than just eat, poop, and sleep during these first few months! Play doesn’t need to look like this big production and toy explosion. Having a few good toy staples will be super beneficial for both your sanity and your baby’s development. During this stage of development, we want to think about the motor development of both your baby’s large and small muscles and the start of their social interactions like responding to familiar voices, sounds and people.

    Here are a few toys to consider when thinking about play time in those first few months:
    I love this mirror because it is versatile and visually stimulating. Although your baby won’t recognize themselves yet, they will be so interested in that silly baby looking back at them. The contrasting colors are easy for your baby to see and the different pictures and shapes it comes with will spark their curiosity. Your baby will want to grab at the mirror’s reflection and they will begin to reach out to it to explore it more. Use this during tummy time to encourage baby to lift their head and look at themselves. Strengthening your baby’s neck muscles is so important for head control and later gross motor skills. This mirror is a must have if you have a fussy baby during tummy times. 
    I can’t say enough good things about crinkle paper. It is simple yet so developmentally stimulating and interesting for your baby! This toy really wakes up a baby’s senses in the best way. Babies learn about their environment through touch and sound. This toy is safe for babies to mouth, chew, grasp and shake. You can even play a little peekaboo with your baby using this paper as motivation to look for your face. Watch them smile when you reappear! 
    3 to 6 Months
    This is such a fun age for both parents and babies! Your baby is more alert and responsive to their environment. They are making more sounds, using facial expressions and learning how to navigate their surroundings better. Your baby is working so hard during play and you may not even realize it! During this stage, we are thinking about how to foster that language development and continuing to support gross motor skills through, you guessed it, more tummy time!!

    Here are a few toys to consider during months 3 to 6:

    Introducing a play mat will be helpful when encouraging your babes to tolerate tummy time for longer periods of time. This mat is awesome because it provides a few different support options depending on what position is most comfortable for your baby and where they are in development, whether it’s working on rolling, independent sitting or crawling. It allows for toy attachments and a mirror to make their experience more interactive and motivating. Your baby will be mastering those gross motor skills in no time!


    It may seem silly to read books to your child at such young age but it is totally appropriate and encouraged even before birth! Reading to your baby is a great way for them to recognize your voice, learn about speech patterns, and enhances a baby’s exposure to vocabulary and memory. This book is usually a hit with our younger crowd due to its interesting designs and high-contrast images. Don’t let the lackluster narration on each page detour you! You can assign your own language to each picture as you and your baby read together. Talk about what you see, what it reminds you of, and assign silly sounds or noises that are appropriate for each picture. The more you talk the more your baby will listen and absorb your language. They may even imitate a sound or two! Add books to your library for more variety during your play routine.
    Remember, playtime is important during your baby’s first year of life, but it should still be fun! Everyday objects around the house are just as good as an overpriced toy from your local toy store. Fill a water bottle with rice to make a rattle or have fun with an empty (or full) tissue box. Use playtime as an excuse to bond with your baby and don’t stress about what they may or may not be learning. Babies will naturally learn through play and we as parents just need to provide our tiny humans the time and space to explore that playtime environment!
    Post written by Caitlin LeBeau, TBH Team Member & Doula

    Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 



    Learning how to Let Go (In Parenthood & Beyond)

    Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    (HeHe's article is published for Birch Baby HERE in its entirety.)

    When someone says something is bigger than you, a natural instinct is to be bigger than whatever is bigger than you, right? Wrong. That will only lead to a vicious and very unhealthy cycle. However, there are a few things you can do. I wish I could say, "take this magic pill and all your troubles will go away." (*cue my wanting to save the whole world complex*) I don't have a special pill, but I do have a few words of advice about what I've learned to do. 


    • Remind Yourself. Constantly remind yourself of what you have learned and why this is bigger than you. Whether that look like, "They are not a good person and no matter how nice I am to them, they won't change," or "This person needs more help than I can provide them and they aren't open to speaking with anyone new," or maybe even a little self-preservation of "I just can't continue to support this person because it is so negative and it is affecting my personal life/relationships." 
    • Do Some Soul Searching. When something doesn't sit right with us, it is important to search within yourself to understand why. It is important to understand your own triggers and your own boundaries when working with other people. Understanding this about yourself can help you be aware of when someone is getting close to crossing those lines, advocate for yourself and set your limits and expectations. 
    • Talk About It. Find someone you can trust and someone who understands and talk. Talk it through with that person. It's helpful if that person will challenge your thoughts to help you consider other viewpoints and angles. Some people want to talk about things once and they feel better, while others may want to continue to verbally process all the things so it may take a few conversations. Remember, there is a difference between coping and talking versus dwelling. 
    • Plan For The Future. What did you learn from this encounter? Take a bit to reflect. Self-reflection will help you learn things about yourself. Behavioral reflection will allow you to look at both parties' behaviors to learn something; plus this may give you an insight into where the other person might be coming from. Emotional reflection will help you evaluate your emotions going into the situation, during the situation, and what emotion the situation elicited from you afterward. You can also try to think about the other person's possible emotions. Through this time of reflection, you can think of ways that, if you had to have this conversation (or one similar) again, you would be better prepared to stay in control. 

    Whatever is going on in your life--especially in your pregnancy or on your journey to conceiving--take a pause to really think, "Is this bigger than me?" This time in your life is full of learning opportunities. 

    Having a child is just the beginning of a long journey of "a-ha moments" that help you realize things about yourself such as your boundaries, your weaknesses, your breaking points, your achievements, and your triumphs. 

    You will learn what you need to survive vs. what you need to be happy. You will learn what exhaustion really feels like, but you will always, somehow, find the energy to keep going.You will be amazed at yourself and your child, but also at your partner. 

    One of my darling friends said it best, recently. She said, "This year has been a year of pure happiness, pure exhaustion, pure amazement, pure anxiety, and most importantly pure love." It will also be filled with those moments that are bigger than you and that's okay.

    Looking to work on YOUR mindset in parenting?
    Grab our FREE Mindset & Parenthood guide HERE!


    Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

    Our TOP Nutrition Posts

    Wednesday, October 9, 2019

    Our TOP Nutrition Posts

    You've requested it - here is our TBH round up for all things nutrition!

    • Eating for the Trimesters with Lainey Younkin - Lainey Younkin, whose nickname is “the dietician who doesn’t put people on diets”, is a nutritionist in Boston who takes an honest and realistic approach to helping her clients live a healthy lifestyle. Rather than putting clients on diets that often only yield the desired results in the short-term and can make you feel guilty about eating, Lainey helps her clients make gradual, more sustainable adjustments that allow them to live healthier lives in the long-term.
    • Sugar Detox and Fueling Your Body with Food - Hehe talks to sisters and business partners, Erika and Tiffany Brown, about their passion for food and the major impacts that what you eat can have on your life.The foods that you eat can affect countless aspects of your life, from your weight to your energy level to your skin and even your susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Cutting out certain foods can lead to noticeable differences in your mood and your overall health.
    • Gut Health with Liz Bane - Liz Bane, a wellness concierge and a holistic health coach certified by the Institute of Integrated Nutrition to help us understand this often mentioned yet often misunderstood system in our bodies. Liz is here to share all her best tips and tricks to helping your gut function at its optimal ability!
    • Low Down on Plus-Size Pregnancies - Pregnancy can be a tough journey for anybody, but if you’re plus-size, the journey can be even tougher. However, there are so many things you can do as a plus-size mama to help yourself along this journey, and we’re here to give you the low-down on that today!
    • Eliminating Toxins in Your Home with Bri Pruitt - Bri is a registered nurse and nutrition health coach and has been focusing on a healthy and holistic lifestyle for seven years.  She lives in Idaho with her six year old daughter and has countless tips and tricks for transitioning to a toxin-free lifestyle in steps so that you can achieve the life you want without feeling overwhelmed.
    Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

    Respecting the "GOLDEN HOUR"

    Wednesday, October 2, 2019


     (HeHe's article is published for Birch Baby HERE in its entirety.)

    The time immediately following your birth is crucial to the well being of your child. Research says that respecting what is called “The Golden Hour” can help give your child the best possible start. 

    If it is possible, requesting that your medical staff and birth team respect this time can help your baby adjust to life on the outside before they are poked and prodded with newborn test and passed from person to person for birth stats. 

    The way in which the golden hour mentality is carried out varies from culture to culture. In some cultures an extended golden hour called “lying in” is a practice in which women are waited upon and only allowed to do minimal tasks such as getting up to use the bathroom, but not to shower. 

    It is said to be supportive of postpartum healing and mother-child attachment. However, in some cultures, parents aren’t afforded any paid time off of work to recover from birth and bond with their baby. 

    Visitors are no exception to the rule. It varies widely from culture to culture and family to family. Some parents choose not to have visitors for at least a few days after the birth and some parents prefer to be surrounded by family and friends immediately following. 

    Whatever your preference, respecting The Golden Hour can be done in a quiet, intimate room or a room that looks like birth after party!

    (Click HERE to continue reading 'Respecting the 'Golden Hour'' on Birch Baby.)

    Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 


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