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  • What It’s Like Being An Insta-Dad

    Noam Dekel gives us a glimpse at life behind the feed.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    We often hear the phrase: the woman behind the man. But what about the man behind the woman? Especially when that woman is a fast growing star on the Insta-mama scene?

    We’ve been wondering just that ever since we caught a glimpse of Noam Dekel on Dikla Goren (aka, Girl Plus Two)’s Instagram feed. Dikla’s handsome husband can often be spotted juggling several (or all!) of the Israeli couple’s 3 kids, and we can only imagine how much he’s wrangling behind the scenes to help make it all look so effortless…even when we know it can’t possibly be.

    It turns out this Brooklyn daddy is truly as hands-on as it seems...

    Read more...

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  • Top Tips For The Second-Time Around Mom

    Congratulations! Now that you’ve mastered your first child, another new baby is on the way. If you’re expecting your second (or third, fourth…) baby, you might be in for some surprises. And this next baby might be exactly like your first, or entirely his or her own. Either way, things will change for you and your family, and it’s just as important to be prepared now as it was the first time around. With another baby, there are new questions and challenges, but it’s not all unfamiliar. There’s no reason for you to reinvent the wheel, and much of the same advice for your first carries on to your subsequent babies. But there are some tips specifically to prepare you and your family for the new arrival.

    Make “Let it Go” your new mantra. With another child on the way, feel free to lower your expectations a little. Clean house, folded laundry, adorable matching outfits and uber-healthy homemade snacks are probably not in the cards while you’re settling in with your expanded family. It will even out eventually (and probably sooner than you think!) but for the first several months, don’t stress out about doing everything - or anything - perfectly. Decide where it’s most crucial you spend your time, whether it’s packing healthy lunches or reading extra stories at bedtime, and prioritize those things. Don’t worry, the vacuum cleaner will still be there next month.

    Optimize what you can. The reality is that you have a new little person to care for, but you didn’t grow another set of hands or an extra 6 hours to the day. This is the time to learn little tricks to help you get everything done at home and work efficiently and effectively. One great second-time around hack is to carry the new baby in a wrap or other carrier. Whether you’re around the house or out and about on errands, this will help you get chores done or play with your older child while keeping the baby close and cozy.

    Be realistic about baby gear. Think back to your oldest child’s infant days. What were the most useful, the most indispensable items that got you through the day-to-day? If you still have them stored in the garage, dust them off and get them ready for the new baby. If not, get them again. The gear that made your first baby a happy camper will likely do the trick for the second or third. Be aware, though, that every baby is different. That baby swing your first practically lived in might terrify your next child. Don’t be afraid to let go of items if they’re not working. And definitely don’t feel pressure to pick up the gear that you barely used the first time around.  

    Adopt a flexible schedule. Remember how long it took to get out of the house with a newborn? Spit-ups, diaper changes, and other curveballs can end up monopolizing an entire morning. Now, that’s multiplied by two (or three). You may need to cancel or change plans at the last minute, and that’s okay. If those derailments mean that your older child misses something fun, like a party or a playdate, do your best to reschedule soon so he or she doesn’t miss out. Whether you need to be somewhere at a certain time, or you’re simply trying to go for a walk around the block, give yourself extra time to get out the door and plan on the unexpected delays.

    Involve the first child as much as possible. Give them small tasks that are easy for them to manage: bringing you a diaper when it’s time for a change, singing to the baby at naptime, restocking the pile of burp clothes by your bed. One sweet and meaningful activity you can arrange for your first child is for him or her to give the new baby a present when the siblings meet one another for the first time. It can be anything, from a blanket to a special toy to a crayon-drawn picture. You can also have a present waiting for your oldest child/children “from” the new arrival. Instant sibling bonding!

    Watch your language. As hard as it may be for you to adjust to another creature in the house, your oldest child or children are experiencing their own challenges. Let the older sibling know that the entire family is going through a transition, and frame it in a positive way. Blaming the baby for things you suddenly can’t do (“don’t be loud, your sister is sleeping” or “we can’t go to the park because your brother needs to nurse) could possibly plant seeds of resentment in your older child. Change the way you discuss the day-to-day as a family without centering “don’t’s” around the new baby. Say things like “I can’t wait to go outside and be wild after your sister wakes up” or “Let’s go to the park tomorrow when it’s nicer. We can do a picnic inside right now.”

    Be gentle with yourself and your kids. Just like when your older child was a newborn, every day was a learning experience for you. The same goes for your second or third baby. You’re managing another family member (who is at his/her neediest) while trying to keep on top of your other children, making sure everyone is getting their needs met. That’s a tall order, on a good day! Remind yourself that you’re learning - and creating - a new family rhythm with new norms, new traditions, and new relationships. That takes some time.

    Trust what you already know about being a mom. You’ve likely honed a pretty stellar mommy-instinct with your first baby. That intuition is still there, and it’s still strong, even if it’s been awhile since you’ve had a newborn around. You have your experience to call back on, which can alleviate any fear around pregnancy, childbirth, feeding, or the dreaded diaper blowouts.

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  • Top 5 Instagram Dads To Follow This Father's Day

    Father’s day is just around the corner, so here we are bringing you our list of top 5 Dads to follow on Instagram!

    Josh (@tiesandfries)

    Josh, father of three and husband of beloved instamom @taza, will inspire you to pick up your family and travel the world. His feed is constantly updated with high-quality, breathtaking photos of the couple with their children in their hometown of New York City and around the world. We particularly loved vicariously enjoying the Washington DC cherry blossoms with the fam.

     

    Cody Andrew (@codywestonandrew)

    Don’t ever let your hubby catch you scrolling through instadad Cody Andrew’s feed! Conquering the world with his three kids Beckam, Mara, and Wes, Cody makes parenting look fun and easy. His spontaneous life with an must-have style are GQ-worthy. We are so jealous of fellow insta-famous mom, Christine Andrew @hellofashionblog.

     

    Mike Quinones (@lifewithmicah)

    When dad Mike Quinones and wife Amanda Booth discovered that Micah had Down Syndrome, they hoped to inspire others with Micah’s story. "With social media you can connect with people and actually see what these babies are capable of doing. It made everything seem really light instead of really heavy." Today, it has become a platform to educate other families on what life  is like with the condition. How can you not fall in love with those beautiful blue eyes?

     

    Matthew Novak (@mattjnovak)

    Along with his daughter Lola and his wife Zoe, North Face ambassador Matthew pushes us to travel the unknown. We love following the family’s rustic adventures. Get lost in the photo gallery of this insta-explorator-dad while rediscovering the beauty of nature, particularly the woods.

     

    Aubrey McCoy (@aubreymccoy)

    Husband to 1 and father extraordinaire of four, Audrey McCoy is guaranteed to light up your instagram feed. Whether he is having a cozy morning at home or going to the park with the family, this instadad makes day to day activities look like a shoot straight out of Vogue. We love his simple yet beautiful shots of kids + Bijou the cat!

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    6 Instagram Moms To Follow This Fall
    Tags: Fathers, Fun

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  • Help Him Help You: 4 Tips For Future Fathers From PregPrep

    Trying to conceive involves many variables from mom but dad makes up half the equation too! To ensure a healthy pregnancy, both men and women have to be ready. Here are PregPrep’s top 4 tips for helping dad-to-be prepare for little one.

    CHECK WITH DOCTOR. Healthy or not, men should see a doctor for a full physical exam before trying to get their partner pregnant. Besides chronic disease, medication, and problems with ejaculation/erections/libido, anything can affect fertility, so be sure he reveals his family history to his physician.

    EAT HEALTHY. A healthy diet rich in fruits and veggies not only improve sperm quality but certain antioxidants found in said foods, like Vitamin C and E, boost sperm count and motility too. Lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains also enhance overall sperm health. Make sure you and your partner are working on this together–it makes eating healthy a lot easier and more fun.

    CHOOSE BOXERS. Some experts claim that testicles can overheat in briefs, thereby affecting sperm production. While this may seem silly, it’s always better to play it safe, right?

    RELAX & HAVE FUN. Between tracking cycles and everything else you have to consider, trying to conceive can get stressful. But don’t make baby-making feel like a chore. The process can take many months, so unwind and enjoy each other’s company. Ever consider honeymoon #2?

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  • 6 Pregnancy Books You Need To Read

    Walk into any bookstore, scour the shelves in the prenatal/childbirth section, and be both amazed and terrified at the magnitude of books offered for expectant parents to consume. To save you time and money, we’ve hand-selected our six favorite books to read during pregnancy, which cover everything from getting pregnant to soothing a fussy baby. Upon completion of each book, you’ll close the back cover feeling informed, empowered and prepared for motherhood.

    Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy

    This 500+ page guide book of the pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and newborn stages, expertly written by a team of medical experts from the renowned Mayo Clinic, offers non-biased advice on everything from spotting and pre-natal sex to preparing for labor and post-partum work decisions. Written in the voice of a wise friend, this book contains many valuable features, including: a 40-week pregnancy calendar, week-by-week updates on baby’s growth, month-by-month physical changes for mom, colored pictures, a decision making chart, and a symptoms guide. Although recommended for all moms, first-time moms will especially appreciate this comprehensive pregnancy and parenting handbook.

    The Expectant Father

    Armin Brott—parenting expert, author and talk show host—presents an honest look at pregnancy from the perspective of an expectant father. He touches on everything from overcoming infertility and taking childbirth classes, to adopting a baby and becoming the father that you want to be, while being both reassuring and funny. The 350+ pages of this modern man’s guide to pregnancy feature expert advice from obstetricians, childbirth instructors, psychologists and sociologists, which leaves expectant fathers feeling more knowledgeable about, and more prepared for, the emotional, financial and physical changes that will occur during their partner’s pregnancy.

    The Best Birth

    A 20-year veteran of the labor and delivery ward, Sarah McMoyler, RN, has crafted an easy-to-follow guide for expectant parents, especially first timers, who are having a planned hospital delivery. Within the pages of this modern book, McMoyler offers practical, realistic advice for moms, including the importance of labor position changes, vocalization and partner support (both during and after childbirth). Her goal is to prepare readers for their upcoming, unpredictable labor and delivery experience, while encouraging them to be flexible with their birth plans and open-minded with their health care providers. The Best Birth takes you through various delivery scenarios, while reiterating the fact that “any birth after which the mother and child are healthy is a success.”

    The Happiest Baby on the Block

    Harvey Karp, MD., a successful California pediatrician and assistant professor at the School of Medicine, UCLA, has combined research, ancient wisdom and experience to craft this easy-to-read guide on remedying colic. Dubbed “perhaps the most important parenting book of the decade,” The Happiest Baby on the Block delves deep into the following four principles that Dr. Karp developed to soothe baby’s senses and improve sleep: the missing fourth trimester, the calming reflex, the 5 “S’s” (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking), and the cuddle cure. While infant colic syndrome typically presents itself during the first three months of baby’s life, these tactics can be applied past the “fourth trimester” to aid in calming baby. The Happiest Toddler on the Block, also by Dr. Karp, is a great follow-up book for parents of children ages one- to four-years-old.

    Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating A Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home

    Christopher Gavigan, Former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World, which is the leading national non-profit devoted to protecting children from dangerous environmental exposures, has written a book that empowers readers to “clean up” their daily lives, starting with the smallest of changes. Gavigan consulted over 40 experts, including doctors, environmental scientists, public-health experts like Dr. Harvey Karp, and even celebrity parents like Sheryl Crow and Tom Hanks, to offer a comprehensive approach on greening the home, greening your nutrition, and most importantly greening your pregnancy by switching to natural beauty products and setting up a nontoxic nursery. Readers will also get a 27-page buyers guide, packed with resources to aid in the “going green” process.

    Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

    Ina May Gaskin, a founding member and former president of the Midwives’ Alliance of North America, gives a comprehensive overview of the practice of natural childbirth in this guide book. Focusing on the midwifery model of care, Gaskin discusses the importance of the mind-body connection of childbirth to empower women in their natural abilities to give birth. The first half of the book is filled with personal narratives shared by former clients, whose stories Gaskin hopes will ease the worries and fears will-be expectant mothers may have. In the second half, Gaskin delivers practical advice on topics such as avoiding medical intervention that may be unnecessary. In this combination, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth offers an alternative view to childbirth practices and is a good read for both expectant moms and expectant dads.

    Take your time getting through this list of must read books, so that the information doesn’t overwhelm you, and consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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  • Fatherly: A Website For Guys Who Happen To Be Dads

    Nine Naturals loves moms and moms-to-be, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about all the dads out there. In celebration of the upcoming Father’s Day, we are excited to share a wonderful new website that you are going to love introducing to the dads in your life: Fatherly.

    Co-founders Michael Rothman and Simon Isaacs created Fatherly when they realized that, while there was an abundance of parenting content for moms, there was no specific material geared towards expectant dads! And so Fatherly, a parenting resource geared towards guys-who-happen-to-be-dads, was born. Guy-approved topics range from evidence-based relationship insights, parenting “hacks” for making Dad’s life easier as well as more light-hearted dispatches from around the web. Fatherly is committed to making the parenting process easier, whether it’s offering a spot-on recommendation or a shameless laugh to help dads focus on spending more quality time with their kid and less time freaking out.

    So, why would Dads love Fatherly? Because of entertaining, but also helpful, articles like this:

    1) Wearable Tech is Coming For Your Kids: Perfect for the tech loving dad – six wearable pieces of tech to keep track, in every sense of the word, of your kids, from monitoring your baby’s breathing and sleep quality to keeping tabs on your toddler’s movement.

    2) Hypnotize A Screaming Baby in Five Seconds: Find the perfect distraction to calm your screaming baby and give your ears some blissful peace. Guess what song and artist soothes this particular baby?

    3) Baby Sitting + Weight Lifting = This: Newborn baby keeping Dad away from the gym? Keep in shape with tools found around the house. Replicate with caution (and, perhaps, consult with your significant other first).

    4) Great Moments In Pro Sports Paternity Leave: Babies + sports = all of dad’s favorite topics in one article.

    5) Get Kids To Bend To Your Will With This Simple Grammar Trick: Remember to ask them “to be or not to be” rather than “to do or not to do.”

    Pass along to all the dads in your life and don’t forget to sign up for the Fatherly Newsletter!

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