Welcoming our ten week celebration of Poe, I thought I’d take the opportunity to note and commemorate our top-ten newborn essentials, the this’s and that’s that have not only made our transition into parenthood infinitely easier, but our bodies, minds, and spirits incomparably nourished, from the inside out and the outside in. From our pre-birth stockpile of make-ahead meals and post-delivery deliveries, to the soothers that got us through long nights (for mama bird and babe), and the strollers and diaper bags that made getting out of our house and about town accessible. From my home and panty to yours – cheers to ten-finity more weeks, x
Water, crack, and puncture resistant, Andrew and I both found ourselves immediately drawn to Keekaroo’s peanut diaper changer. Living up to every expectation, this solid shelled changer is not only soft and comfortable for Poe, but can be cleaned in seconds (we use multi-surface cleaner), significantly cutting down on bacterial growth and trips to the laundry room.
Despite every intention of nestling Poe into his crib for naps and bedtime, for the past ten weeks we’ve all been hooked (hooked, hooked..) to 4moms’ mamaRoo, this wonderfully sleek and minimally sized bouncer with five different natural motions and five different speeds. Stationed right at the end of our bed for accessibility and ease of mind, its soothing rocks, coupled with the lulling heartbeat, ocean, and rain sounds, have us all feeling calm and comforted at bedtime.
Even with the most beautiful community of friends and family ensuring our bellies stayed full, coupled with a freezer filled to the brim with pre-prepared then frozen stews, there were many a morning, afternoon, evening Andrew and I barely had the energy to flip the switch on our toaster. Taking the burden out of cooking while upholding the integrity of a nourishing and home cooked meal, we couldn’t have been more thankful for meal delivery services, like Munchery, offering same day delivery of ready made and vibrant meals, right to our door. From their abundant kale and herb salads with raw seeds and avocado, to their sesame lime soba noodle bowls with grilled tofu and marinated mushrooms, their plant based and vegan accessible options, all made with unprocessed ingredients, were a much needed crutch and mealtime savior during our first few weeks. As an added bonus, Munchery has a longstanding commitment to promoting food accessibility, giving back each time one of their meals is sold. Washington, DC friends – for every meal purchased from Munchery DC’s menu, Munchery automatically makes a monetary donation equivalent to one meal through Capital Area Food Bank. Because a healthful meal and full belly belongs to everyone.
Though Poe and I have had a seamless breastfeeding connection – strong latch and intimacy in check – I was completely unfamiliar with or aware of engorgement. For those days I could barely strap my sports bra, thank you booby tubes and nipple balm – both all natural and soothing remedies – for keeping my nips crack free and providing that perfect amount of coolness to help me get my head (boobs) back in the game.
We found the Boppy nursing pillow positioned Poe in just the right way so we were both comfortable throughout his feedings, providing relief to my arms and back while ensuring he could get enough to eat. Now that Poe’s neck is getting a bit stronger, it’s also become his support pillow, providing a safe and supportive way for him to sit up and observe.
Water, Water, Water
Finding myself perpetually parched, especially during breastfeeding, I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping a water bottle filled and handy at all times. Although many women want to know how many glasses of water they should be drinking per day, the amount needed varies depending on climate, milk production, body size, and other factors; mamas are advised to drink to thirst, making sure to keep their urine pale yellow. I’ve loved s’well reusable bottle – available in really fun patterns and colors, it doesn’t sweat and keeps my water wonderfully chilled for easy sipping.
With Poe in one hand and a constantly rumbling stomach, I’ve found handheld snacks, like unprocessed smoothies and granola bars have been the most accessible and convenient option for quick calories. With a seemingly endless array of bars on market shelves, I’ve kept Perfect Bar’s vegan friendly almond coconut bar, almond spiced squarebar’s, peanut butter chocolate chip GoMacro bars, and larabars well stocked. These options are all made with real and unprocessed ingredients, making them a nourishing and belly filling snack in a pinch.
Andrew and I have two favorite diaper bags: a gender neutral, moisture resistant, and all-purpose tote from Filson, able to withstand everyday use and abuse, and Madewell’s Transport Tote, my elevated alternate when I’m out with Poe solo at meetings and events. We’ve converted both totes with ToteSavvy’s organizer insert. Available in two convenient sizes, ToteSavvy’s organizer insert includes an insulated bottle pocket, key clasp, changing mat, cell phone pocket, and flat pocket for paperwork for keeping our everyday bags baby friendly and organized. For those looking for a more ‘traditional’ diaper bag option, we’ve also loved LeSportsac’s Ryan bag – gender neutral, lightweight and easy to clean, and wonderfully understated.
The worst at remaining still, I wanted to be sure our stroller was lightweight enough that I could maneuver it on my own, yet sturdy enough to keep up with my multi-mile walks. Andrew and I were most drawn to UPPAbaby’s CRUZ, an albeit fairly expensive option that’s afforded me that option of walking out of our home and about town with infinite ease.
Over the past ten weeks, Andrew and I have relied heavily on make-ahead friendly and semi-homemade meals, those one-pot stews or very simple recipes, requiring only minutes of active cooking time for a weeks worth of ready made bites. Below you’ll find our top five ‘go-to’s.
Almond Chia Overnight Oats • these creamy, dreamy, and magnificently ooey and gooey one-bowl oats are made with gluten free muesli, pure maple, almond flour, and chia. One bowl for a weeks worth of belly filling, nourishing meals.
Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potato Boats • taking full advantage of ready made, yet nourishing products, like hummus and tabbouleh, and pairing them with one-pan favorites, like roasted sweet potatoes, these loaded sweet potatoes, a semi-homemade riff off of my Baked Sweet Potato with Roasted Walnut Romesco, are an absolute time-saver and comforting delight. Andrew loves adding a heaping dollop of harissa for that welcomed pop of spice.
Warm Cannellini and Browned Carrot Salad • that sort of life giving meal that trickles its way into every cell, replenishing and restoring, this is a one-pan and make-ahead friendly salad everyone can get behind. A very simple, texturally and aesthetically complex, and nutritionally profound plant based recipe has become a quick household favorite.
Clean Cannellini Kale Soup • for those afternoons and evenings where you want nothing more than to dive headfirst into a bowl of comfort, a warm cozy blanket made from white beans and kale, this seven ingredient simple soup is just the slurp for you. Coming together in under 30-minutes flat, from cardinal onion cut to summing swallow, belly filling while nutritively rich in plant based protein and fiber, my cannellini kale soup is only elevated further with a bright pop of fresh lemon. I serve my bowl with a side of toasted crusty bread, perfect for dunking.
Tomato and Farro Minestrone • one of my very favorite recipes (of all time), this one-pot minestrone is made with a simple tomato and oregano based broth, loads of chunky vegetables, protein and fiber rich farro and cannellini beans, and barely wilted ribbons of lacinato kale. A nourishing, hearty, and divinely cozy meal I can’t get enough one.