So here is the thing. One thing I enjoy reading on blogs is real-people-opinions on products and services and what not. Things you buy with money. But I also recognize that sharing said opinions can often come off the wrong way- like you are obsessed with “things” over people, that you are shopping obsessed, that you spend your money on unnecessary objects. And so I try to keep my “ooh you must try this” product sharing to a minimum, because up here in the house hold the truth is things are nice but we love people and memories more, I’m window shopping obsessed and while I sometimes spend my money on things others deem unnecessary, we do live on a strict budget. Student loans, young adults, city with a high cost of living, not independently wealthy, blah blah blah. If MTV wanted to create Real World for my generation they’d just have to throw some people in a house with bills and a budget and see what ensued.
Anyway. Just because I don’t have my parents credit card to spend with as I please (I do have my parent’s credit card, sadly the only time it is utilized is to buy gifts for my Mom from my Dad, concierge service if you will) it doesn’t mean I don’t have things I love, maternity and baby-related edition. So, for the things that have made life more pleasant I submit:
Yeah I figured maternity tank tops were a total waste of money until I tried one on in order to see what a pair of pants looked like with a shirt on. These suckers come up high enough to keep you from looking like a lady of the night and have enough length that they don’t ride up your hips. WINNER. I used a coupon to buy two and they are constantly being washed and reworn. If you are very tall or large busted and have trouble finding tank tops that are long enough, I’d recommend these- they don’t have tons of extra fabric in the belly (just lots of stretch) so you wouldn’t look like you were wearing maternity clothes when you didn’t need them. If you are pregnant, you need a few of these.
I know there are a lot of products out there for pregnant women to rub on their bellies that promise to prevent stretch marks, and I also know that stretch marks are 100% genetic so you can’t really prevent them. But stretch marks aside, my stomach is stretched and itchy and uncomfortable and this little tummy bar is perfect for keeping me from itching the night away. My friend Elizabeth gave it to me with the warning that it didn’t smell particularly lovely (it doesn’t smell bad, it just doesn’t really smell like anything) but that she loved it. I was skeptical but she was right. I rub it all over before bed and it really has helped keep my appendix scars from bothering me too badly (they are not pleased with the recent changes in my abdominal region and they are the reason I will NEVER wear a bikini again, stupid Frankenstein scars.) And for what it is worth- so far, no stretch marks.
I will confess that I have been generously loaned two Isabella Oliver maternity items (a dress and a tunic) by my friends and I can see what the hype is all about. If you find yourself needing to invest in a nice dress to get you through work or the holiday season or an important event, I can’t recommend Isabella Oliver enough. If you don’t want to take the full plunge, there are some maternity clothing rental services that stock IO, so you can always rent something for just one weekend if need be. These are not inexpensive, but the quality and fit are superb.
Don’t worry, I won’t subject you to an image of me in these things. And I know, the idea of Spanx + maternity is confusing, but rest assured, there is NO sucking in of your belly. Basically these things are great under dresses because they keep your other parts in check while gently supporting your tummy- no pinching or compression of the baby. When I asked for maternity tights recommendations the clear front runner was Spanx tights, so I plan on getting a few pair as it gets These maternity Spanx are perfect under dresses, suit pants or other thin material where you are worried about lines.
I have no idea if the baby is going to like these or not, but every Mom friend out there has recommended them whole-heartedly for a million and one uses so I bought a 3 pack that I saw on sale. OH MY GOODNESS. I have never touched something so sinfully soft but strong in my life. If the baby doesn’t like them I will just use them myself, because touching these blankets is like touching a cloud. Apparently they are useful for all things baby- swaddling, tummy time, breastfeeding cover ups, improvised sun shades and more. They get softer with each washing which is a little like promising me the sun, moon and stars, but I’m willing to believe the hype.
All Things Etsy
Truth: the vast majority of baby things are ugly. They are plastic, they are weird colors, they make odd sounds and they are not made for adult enjoyment. And when it comes to some things (like certain toys) I’m willing to get over myself and my sense of style and recognize that the baby’s likes come first. But some things, man, I just don’t want them to take over my house. My living room does not have to be assaulted by all things jungle animal themed and pastel. And this is where Etsy comes in- you can find all sorts of handmade baby items like Boppy covers and shopping cart covers that don’t assault your eyes and don’t cost and arm and a leg. So if all the store-bought options have you cringing, don’t be afraid to see if someone with sewing skills can make you something a little more your style. A shopping cart cover is always going to be a little large and in charge, but it doesn’t have to be covered in Elmo either. Just be cautious with car seat accessories, remember that the experts don’t recommend you put ANYTHING in or on a car seat that didn’t come from the car seat manufacturer.
None of these products have been given to me for free (unless you could a friend loaning me something?) and none of these links are affiliate links. Click forth with the knowledge that I’m making not a dime off of any of these suggestions!