Building a Maternity Wardrobe

Having to spend a large sum on, essentially, an entire new wardrobe is a great cause for panic. Especially when you know new baby costs are just around the corner. As I enter month eight of my pregnancy, I am satisfied to say I own a number of appropriate items without going too maternity clothes crazy.

The best advice I received, though I doubted it at the time, was to buy what you need as you need it. I thought this approach was not nearly proactive enough and I would wake up one day with nothing to wear. I did get a jump start on things around Christmas time as my mom bought a number of winter appropriate tops for me, but outside of that I’ve picked items up as I’ve gone along. So what do you really need to buy? It may be different for you than it is for me. I’ve gained a healthy amount of weight, but I can still fit in a number of my shirts, as they are a stretchier fabric. Though I am measuring fine, I don’t look as far along as I am. So, fitted shirts are far more preferable and comfortable than their loose, overwhelming counterparts. Those disclaimers being said, here is what I recommend.

Building a Maternity Wardrobe

Topstees and tanks layered under your current sweaters and cardigans for colder days, then they transition easily into spring/summer months.
Belly Band – this will help hold your pre-pregnancy pants up when you need to unbutton, and they hold up your maternity jeans when your belly doesn’t quite fill them out yet. The first couple of months fold the band in half to make it tighter, then you can wear it across the belly as shown.
Leggings – any kind you have will likely work for a few months, come second trimester you will want an over the belly pair
Jeans – skinny and boot cut are ideal
Comfortable shoes – the basic Keds tennis shoe will always be my go to, recently I also picked up a pair of these slip ons for when shoe tying gets too hard. A nice bonus? The padding in the slip ons is excellent.
Underwear – if your fanny grows in the slightest, get yourself some new underwear. I am in love with these Calvin Klein super comfortable no show panties. Some reviews say they can run small. I ordered a size up from my usual because, duh, pregnancy.
Compression socks and stockings – if you are like me and pregnancy has given you the gift of cankels and varicose veins, get yourself some compression gear stat. And then find a good vein surgeon post pregnancy to fix those guys, I know I will. The higher the “mmHG” the more compression they provide.
Yoga Pants – I am still wearing the same size and style of yoga pants as before, though I have had to buy additional pairs as I wear them so often. This is one area I don’t plan to have to buy an “over the belly” variety.
Dresses – I can’t speak much to this category. It’s still a little chilly for dresses in the Chicago area, but I will be going to get a baby shower dress this weekend. I am picturing a flowy, effortless maxi dress style.

Tips:
– You can get these items anywhere, but be aware of the price. Target had the best price on the belly band (called beband) and every day tanks and shirts. Motherhood Maternity had the best full length legging price – they can run nearly $100 a pair elsewhere, and I got my jeans there during a sale.
– If you gain a “normal” amount of weight, you will likely buy everything in your pre-pregnancy size, but don’t be afraid to try on before you buy. For example, most everything I buy is a small. However, the Liz Lange tees from Target fit my chest better in a medium, even though the tank tops fit me better in a small.
– Keep wearing your normal clothes as long as they are comfortable and any additional stretching isn’t causing damage to the fabric.
– Remember, you aren’t pregnant for that long, so unless you work in a very fashionably demanding field or just love maternity wear, don’t feel pressured to overbuy. Buy what makes you feel good – maybe you don’t like fitted clothing –  and enough of it for you to be comfortable – have at least a weeks worth of tops, underwear, and pants you can wear without being required to do laundry. Also, store your maternity clothes properly whenever you are able to wear your everyday clothes again. This ensures they won’t get lost or damaged should you need them, or a pregnant friend want to borrow them, in the future.

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Organization Motivation

We moved into our home two months ago. It’s crazy how quickly the time has gone by, though we are officially suburbanites as we switched our licenses to our new address last week. While all of our large items and the majority of our belongings are organized and stored in their proper homes, half the rooms have the lurking pile of stuff which I am not sure where to place. In times like this I rely on external motivation. While I usually will down a triple grande soy latte or venti iced coffee and get to work, my future child would not appreciate the caffeine overload, so I am on my own. Kind of.

Honestly, thank goodness we live in the technological age. Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, my favorite blogs, that’s where I go to to get inspired. Nothing makes you feel more like a slob than realizing you’ve spent an hour reading through blog posts that speak to your hyper organized soul and you’ve done nothing about your own space. So where/what has been kicking my butt into gear?

Organization Motivation

  1. The Daily Connoisseur blog and YouTube – I also own all three of her books and they have convinced me I was a Francophile 1950’s housewife in a past life. Some of her advice can seem dated and not applicable to a lot busy women, but I also find it a nice change from a lot of superficial content out there.
  2. The Simply Luxurious Life blog – Shannon covers everything from fashion (her picks are ageless), to new books, to inspiring bits of insight. Plus, as a list obsessed person, her archive is a joy to peruse at any given time.
  3. Honey We’re Home blog – I’ve only been reading this blog since around the new year, but I like the variety of content she offers. Fashion, home decor, and she has recently had her second child so I am eating up all of her baby posts for help on what to do in the coming months!
  4. How Jen Does It YouTube – This is a channel I am new to, I came across a mention of it in a video from The Daily Connoisseur. Jen posts tips, Q & A’s, and “clean along” videos which make you feel a bit like a stalker, but I find something very calming about watching other people tidy up.
  5. My Instagram favorites? A Bowl Full of LemonsPearls, Lace, and Grace, and The Home Edit are probably my top three for visually calming images.

I am all for any site that advocates a routine to keep things clean and simple. I don’t want someone telling me I need to buy more clutter to organize and clean my clutter and THEN I will be ready to get started. No. I’m all about simplicity. Though I do really need to get a box for our wrapping paper so we can get that out of the living room.

Baby Registry 101

Baby Registry

As first time parents we not only have no idea what we are getting ourselves into, we also have no supplies to help us take on this adventure. What do we register for? Furniture, changing pad, stroller, obvious. What about everything else? Do I really need to register for blankets and onesies? How intensely serious should I take reviews? It’s a mentally exhausting process. We spent maybe half an hour at a baby store checking out stroller quality and dimensions of bedroom furniture and honestly that is all the time I wanted to spent there. I didn’t want the pressure and overwhelm of a baby registry consultant guiding us item by item, I wanted to google what we might require and set down at my computer to research and register.

I read a handful of articles about what is useful and what isn’t, this one I certainly agree with. I also asked some friends and created a list of what I believed we would use, need, and not want or be able to get for ourselves. Some of the best advice I received?

  • Don’t register for every last detail, blankets, toys, clothes, UNLESS you want something specific. For example, there is an adorable picture I have had my eye on for a year, so I added it to our registry. Plus, People will often get you the small stuff, like bibs, diapers, or outfits as gifts.
  • Test drive the big things. This was more of a personal revelation. I had one specific stroller/travel set in mind, this is what I was going to register for and that’s that. However, once we went to the store and compared that stroller to a similar one, I immediately changed my mind. We registered for what we consider to be a higher quality, and ironically more cost effective, stroller.
  • Do you really need it? I received recommendations about a co-sleeper aka bassinet from friends and was planning to get that very one. However, our nursery is right across from our bedroom, I would never bring the bassinet around the house or to another location, and I ultimately felt it was an unnecessary pricey item that our baby would outgrow in a few months anyway.
  • Will it last? I plan to buy these “big items” one time, so getting something of quality is crucial. Not only will it ensure better safety for each child as the items are not manufactured cheaply, it will also help with the longevity. Also consider some gender neutral items, or at least don’t get everything in magenta if you plan on having future children as your possible future son will not appreciate such things. We are having a boy, but his teal stroller and gray diaper bag will work just as well for his possible future sister.
  • Where are you registering? I opted to register at Babylist instead of individual stores. First of all, I wanted items from a number of places and I didn’t want to have a mile long list of “The couple is registered at…” Another perk, the site offers buying options. Maybe one item is cheaper on Amazon or at Target, Babylist will tell the buyer the cheapest place to purchase, while allowing that purchase to be attributed to your registry. And maybe my favorite thing? You get an email each time someone buys you an item. It’s like Christmas in your inbox every day.

All that said, any and all things baby related we are certainly learning as we go along. Next on the baby agenda? Registering at the hospital and getting the nursery deep cleaned and ready for the arrival of baby gifts!