The High-Tech, Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better

Snoring is one of the worst enemies of a good night’s sleep, whether it’s you or your partner who’s to blame.

Recently, my husband and I had the chance to try out the new Hupnos anti-snoring mask, which combines technology with a sleep mask to help solve the snoring problem for good.

I’ve been married 10 years and my husband has always been a snorer.  In his case, it’s caused by a combination of allergies and other sinus problems, but there are several different causes of snoring.  He’s tried various remedies over the years, including strips, nose and mouth pieces, sinus medications, herbal remedies and even surgery to correct a deviated septum.

I, on the other hand, have only experienced snoring while pregnant and on rare nights when I crash extremely hard.  But for the most part, I am a stomach sleeper, which is bad for my back, but keeps me from snoring.  But sleep deprivation is one of the biggest triggers of postpartum depression for me, so a good night’s rest is extremely important to me as well.

Here’s what our experience with the Hupnos anti-snoring mask was like.
Hupnos, The High-Tech, Anti-Snoring Mask
*This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. As always, the opinions in this post are my own. This post may contain affiliate and/or paid links.

About Hupnos

Hupnos is a sleep mask, just like one you would wear to block out light while you sleep.  It connects to an app via Bluetooth which analyzes your snoring to try to figure out what is causing it.  The app tracks and records your snoring, head position and breathing throughout the night.  After using it for a few nights in a row, you will be able to see a trend to determine whether or not the anti-snoring mask is working for you.

You can also change the settings so that the mask will intervene in the middle of the night if you are snoring.  Similar to when I punch my husband in the arm when he’s snoring, but slightly more delicate.  The mask will either vibrate if your head position is causing snoring, or it will shoot out a tiny puff of air pressure if your breathing is to blame.

Here’s a short video on how the mask works.

The Sleep Mask

The sleep mask looks modern and high-tech.  Upon first impression, it reminded me more of virtual reality goggles than a traditional sleep mask.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask

The mask is covered in a trendy heather gray and black microfiber fabric, so it’s silky soft but also lightweight with a bit of stretch.  It has an extra layer of foam padding across the top and bottom of the mask so that it rests comfortably against the cheeks and forehead.

To keep it on, the mask has a wide, stretchy microfiber strap that attaches with Velcro on both sides.  The very back of the strap is split to make it easier to adjust for the right fit.

My husband has a shaved head, so hair was not an issue for him, but I was worried about how the mask and Velcro would work with long hair, so I tried it myself.  Thankfully the Velcro closures did not disturb my hair in any way, or make it uncomfortable to sleep.  But I did find that the straps moved around quite often and slipped out of position on my head.

The part that was really different and almost a bit intimidating was the nose piece.  On the inside of the mask, there is a soft, black, silicone piece that you fit your nose onto.  Underneath are two “fan like” valves that remind me of something Darth Vadar would have worn.

The entire nose piece is attached by one snap on either side and can be removed and taken apart for cleaning.  At first, it seemed as though it was all going to fall apart after the first night but it’s actually much more sturdy that we thought.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: Nose Valves

The Technology

With the mask comes a small card with some instructions and a paperclip.  The paperclip is used to initialize the mask.  You only need to do this one time when you first get it.  And then you need to plug it in and charge it.

I never would have thought by looking at the sleep mask that it contained the ability to “charge.”  It doesn’t look bulky or electronic or as though it even contains batteries.  There are no exposed wires or buttons of any kind.  It actually took me a while to locate the USB port (which is slightly hidden on the bottom left side of the nose piece FYI).  Once it’s plugged in, a little red light comes on, which will turn green when it’s fully charged.  And that’s how you know that it does, in fact, contain some technology.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: USB Charging

The Fit

Wearing the sleep mask throughout the entire night is probably the one thing that most people will struggle to adjust to.  It might be especially foreign to someone who’s never worn an eye mask, CPAP machine or another anti-snoring device to sleep.

In order to get a good feel of what it was like, I did try the mask myself for a few nights.

Both my husband and I agreed that the mask, itself, was fairly comfortable once you got it on.  The silicone nose piece fit us each properly (and we have very different sized noses) and didn’t feel like it was restricting breathing.  The straps didn’t dig in or itch.  And the microfiber padding provided a nice cushion on the forehead.

I personally did not like the two harder plastic pieces on either side of the silicone nose piece that slightly pushed into my cheeks.  They didn’t hurt but I was constantly aware that they were there, which got annoying after a while.  My husband didn’t seem bothered by them.

Due to the product being brand new and the combination of fabrics used, he did complain about the smell.  I suppose when something is so close to your nose, the smell is magnified.  But I simply added a couple drops of essential oils to the outside of the sleep mask and problem solved (bonus – it helps induce sleep!)

We both found that the mask did tend to slip out of position throughout the night as we slept.  I found it even more frustrating because, like I said, I’m a stomach sleeper, so it was near impossible for me to find a comfortable sleeping position while wearing the mask.  My husband is a hardcore back sleeper (hence the snoring) but he still found that it slipped off the back of his head.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: Interior View

The App

The app is the part of this anti-snoring mask that takes it to the next level.  The free Hupnos app is available for download on iOS and Android and it’s fairly simple to use.

As soon as you create your account and log in, there’s a big timer that says start.  In the top right, next to the icon of the sleep mask, it should show whether or not your sleep mask is connected to Bluetooth.  If it’s not, you can test your mask in the settings.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: Hupnos App Record Screen
In the top left of the record screen, you can change the mode that the mask operates in.

It defaults to Easy Mode, which just means the mask and app will record your sleep patterns but not apply any intervention to stop you from snoring.

By switching it to Basic Mode, the mask will vibrate slightly when your head position is causing snoring and it will emit air pressure if your breathing is causing snoring.

In Advanced Mode, you can adjust the vibration level (if you find the buzzing is waking you up) as well as change your default head angle and disable or adjust the air pressure.  And finally, you can adjust the delay time to start the recording (because not everyone falls asleep in 20 minutes).

Before you hit start, you also have the option to add in any factors or remedies that may affect your snoring that night.  For example, if you were drinking heavily or have a cold, or if you took some sleeping pills or applied some essential oils.  These are purely for tracking purposes so when you review your results, you’ll be able to see how they affected you.

The High Tech Anti-Snoring Mask That Will Help You Sleep Better
The Hupnos Anti-Snoring Mask: Hupnos App Results Screen

Once you wake up and hit stop on your recording, you’ll be able to review your results for the night.  You can listen to the recorded audio of your snoring and see how many times the Hupnos anti-snoring mask had to buzz you to change position or apply air pressure.

Using the anti-snoring mask on a regular basis over the course of a week or more will give you information in the trends section so that you can keep track of whether your snoring has improved over time.


Overall Opinion

It’s a really cool gadget with a big claim.  I believe that the vibrations and air pressure of the Hupnos sleep mask COULD subconsciously train your body to sleep in the optimal position to eliminate snoring permanently. I also think that the app’s various methods of recording and tracking your sleep and snoring patterns is a great way to improve sleep overall.

However, it would take some self-discipline and effort on the part of the wearer, as the sleep mask does not do all of the work for you.  It does take some time to get used to wearing the mask and you would have to wear it consistently every night in order to see real improvements.

The constant vibrating and puffs of air pressure are also not for everyone.  A lighter sleeper might find them too bothersome.  Those suffering from anxiety may also find the sleep mask to be too restricting to wear, or dislike the sensation of being buzzed without any control.  And stomach or side sleepers may have a hard time getting comfortable while wearing the mask.

But if you’re serious about training your body to stop snoring, and willing to put in the effort to make it work, then the Hupnos high-tech anti-snoring mask is definitely worth a try!  

To learn more – visit https://hupnos.com/

You can order the Hupnos anti-snoring sleep mask on Indiegogo.

Hupnos, The High-Tech, Anti-Snoring Mask

Hupnos, The High-Tech, Anti-Snoring Mask

Postpartum Insomnia
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Looking After Number One: Self Care Strategies for Moms

Moms tend to forget that they are number one.

When you’re a mom, it’s very easy to devote all your time and energy to parenting. Children have a lot of needs, especially when they’re younger.  And although their needs tend to be time sensitive and consuming, using the right self care strategies can ensure that you make yourself a priority.  It’s important to be selfless, but it’s also crucial that you find the time to look after number one.

Here are some helpful self-care strategies that moms should remember.
Self Care Strategies for Moms
*This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

Managing stress

Stress is a very common problem faced by parents. Sleep deprivation, having to be on the go all the time and feeling like you never have enough hours in the day can all increase the risk of stress. Other factors, such as relationship worries, money problems and trying to balance work and parenthood may also play a part.

If you’re struggling with stress, the one of the best self care strategies is to try and work out exactly what is bothering you and causing you to feel on edge. Often, there are practical solutions.

Take the example of managing your money. If you’re finding it tough to get by from month to the next, or you’re trying to figure out ways to boost your credit score to get a mortgage, or you’re attempting to pay off debt, there are steps you can take. It’s useful to see a financial adviser, to start budgeting, and to use services like my fico to monitor your credit score.

There are myriad causes of stress, but if you let them take hold of you, even the most innocuous-seeming problem can spiral into something all-consuming. Learn to spot signs of stress, and try and manage it before it gets worse. Everyone is different, but popular self-care strategies include exercise, meditation, and creative activities.

11 Things Moms Do That Can Harm Their Mental Health
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Taking time out

It’s no lie that parenting is a full-time job. Even when kids are fast asleep, as a parent you’re still thinking about them and probably worrying about them too. Children do take up a lot of time, but there’s always room in the day for a bit of ‘me time’ too.

Make sure you take advantage of breaks.  Schedule in half an hour to do yoga, an hour to catch up with friends or a night off from time to time to go out with your partner. It’s so important to be able to have that time out to recharge your batteries, relax, and connect with others without the kids in tow.

We all love our children, but there’s no harm in having a breather now and again.  Scheduling some alone time is one of the most important self care strategies a mom can do.

Self Care Routine for a Stay at Home Mom
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Doing what makes you happy

When you become a parent, you tend to focus on what makes your kids happy, but try not to lose sight of what perks you up or brings a smile to your face.  None of these self care strategies even matter unless they’re bringing you joy.

It’s crucial to work on your mental health and to find time to pursue hobbies and interests, engage in social activities and enjoy time doing things you love. Whether you like reading, painting, writing, dancing, or running, give yourself time to do what makes you content.

As a mom, you probably spend most of your time looking after your children.  While they may feel like your number one priority, remember that you are still responsible for taking care of yourself too.  And you will only be able to take care of them if you also take care of yourself.


16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone’s Mood

Holidays can be exciting.  But what about when they’re not?

For many people, the holidays can be stressful and offer more to dread than look forward to.  Mothers suffering from a mood disorder can feel an added amount of pressure to make things special when they really don’t feel up to it and anxiety can worsen with all of the extra socializing.  And anyone who has lost a loved one may miss them more than usual around the holidays.

Between the cold weather, long stretches of darkness and the financial strain of the holidays, it’s no wonder that up to 20% of people report suffering from seasonal affective disorder.

If someone you love is feeling down around the holidays, then consider one of these gifts from Etsy that are sure to boost anyone’s mood.
16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone's Mood
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

Light Therapy

Warm, soft lighting is a great mood booster.  One thing that often makes us feel down during the winter is the lack of sunshine.  Anything that simulates natural light will help to boost our mood naturally.

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NewMoonBeginnings on Etsy

This lamp from NewMoonBeginnings is made from raw, natural Selenite, which is a crystal used for cleansing negative energy.

Himalayan Salt Lamp

Himalayan salt lamps are also very popular for their healing benefits and soft lighting.  They are great for cleansing and purifying the air in a room and can promote a better night’s sleep. 

Christmas Candle Set Set of 3 or 6 Christmas Gifts Winter image 1
BreatheintheLight on Etsy

Candlelight is another great way to boost your mood and add that hygge home vibe through the winter months.  This set of Christmas scented candles makes a great gift idea!


Inspirational Messages

Quotes and sayings that inspire us have a way of boosting our mood, both directly and subconsciously.  Being surrounded by inspirational messages, whether it’s a framed print in our designated self care sanctuary, or worn on clothing and accessories, is a great way to remind someone of how strong they really are.

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RaincityPrints on Etsy

RaincityPrints does some beautiful work on famous inspirational quotes including everything from Buddha to the Gilmore Girls.  You can have it professionally printed in different sizes, or get it in a digital file and print it yourself (a great last-minute gift idea)!

Customized inspirational mantra cuff image 1
StampinStitchin on Etsy

These gorgeous minimal cuff bracelets have a mantra engraved on them so not only will you look stylish, but you’ll have a little mood boost with you wherever you go.

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TattooMoments on Etsy

Believe it or not, these are temporary tattoos!  This collection from TattooMoments includes 14 tattoos that can last up to 7 days.  This is a great way to show off a motivational message without the commitment of a permanent tattoo.  


Download these 4 FREE 8 x 10 Inspirational Prints in the Running in Triangles Free Resource Library, available exclusively to subscribers of the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide. Click here to subscribe.


The Gift of Comfort

Perhaps it’s our natural instinct to want to hibernate come cold weather, but nothing makes us feel happier than being warm and cozy.  Comfort gifts are a great mood booster, not only because they make us feel good, but also because receiving one is like getting permission to be lazy all day.

Weighted blanket. plush minky Charcoal & Black minky weighted image 1
LittleMimis on Etsy

If you’re gonna give a blanket as a gift this year, then you have to go with a weighted blanket.  There are so many benefits of a weighted blanket for someone suffering from depression, anxiety or insomnia.  Even those without a mental health condition will still benefit from the comfort of a weighted blanket.  It’s like being wrapped in a giant hug.  This one from LittleMimis comes in different weights, colors and patterns and can even be custom embroidered.  

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WineALittleGifts on Etsy

These socks are a great way of telling your loved one to put their feet up and relax.  Don’t worry if they’re not a wine drinker because WineALittleGifts sells over 100 different designs, so you’re sure to find the right pair!

LaAquarelle on Etsy

Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on a person’s mood.  Help your loved one get better night’s sleep with this sleep mask set from LaAquarelle.  It comes in a choice of organic fabrics and includes a lavender sachet you can put under your pillow to help you sleep.


Meditation Tools

Meditation and mindfulness are great ways to improve your mood.  Even for a beginner, the practice of meditation can be easily incorporated into anyone’s self-care routine.  While actual “tools” aren’t a necessity for meditation, there are several gift ideas that can help to enhance the experience.

Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace Diffuser Necklace Aromatherapy image 1
EssentialRays on Etsy

Aromatherapy is an excellent mood booster and supplement to meditation.  The wide variety of aromatherapy jewelry has become more popular and makes your favorite essential oils portable and easy to utilize.  Check out this Etsy shop for a huge selection of beautiful pieces including necklaces, lockets, bracelets and more!

Silent Mind Meditation bowl Tibetan Singing Bowl Set Beaten image 0
SilentMindBowls on Etsy

Tibetan singing bowls have been used in meditation for thousands of years.  The tone they produce is designed to help relax the mind and body and drown out background noise to aid in focus and concentration.  These bowls from SilentMindBowls are not only a stunning art piece, but useful for meditation and relaxation as well.

7 Table Top Air Plant Holder  Air Plant Included image 1
AirLifeGreenery on Etsy

Indoor plants have so many incredible mood boosting benefits.  Being surrounded by lush greenery indoors while everything lays dead and dormant outdoors is one way to keep spirits up during the winter.  Choose a low maintenance option, such as this set of 12 air plants from AURAMORE.   Air plants are a great way to incorporate greenery without needing to worry about pots and soil.  Check out some of these air plant holders from Air Life Greenery.


Encourage Creativity

Being bored and cooped up inside the house during winter will put anyone in a bad mood.  For the holidays this year, consider giving the gift of creativity.  If your loved one already has a hobby, then you’re off to a good start.  But here are a few suggestions if they’re looking for something new to keep their mind distracted and to help lift their mood.

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KirstenBurkeDesign on Etsy

The art of calligraphy is so modern and popular right now.  It’s also an art form that isn’t time-consuming, tedious or strenuous and offers a lot of different applications.  With this beginner’s set from KirstenBurkeDesign, anyone can learn this fantastic skill, all while keeping busy to beat the winter blues.

Creative Mind. Happy Soul. Doodle Journal Guided Journal image 0
DOODLELovelyNow on Etsy

Coloring and doodling offers a simple way to turn off the brain and soothe the mind.  Using an array of bright colors can also work as a mood booster on the dark, grey days of December.  This doodle journal from DOODLELovelyNow gives you space to write, doodle, color and more!

Weaving Loom Kit. Small rectangular lap loom. Learn to frame image 1
WoolCoutureCompany

There are so many different ways to encourage creativity.  Crafting of any kind can make a person feel proud and accomplished, but it’s also a way to ban boredom during the winter months.  On Etsy, you’ll be able to find so many different DIY crafting kits, such as this beginner weaving loom kit.  Some other popular favorites include a macrame kit, a beaded embroidery kit and paint by number sets.  


Celebrations
Give the Gift of Etsy

If you didn’t see something specific on this list that appealed to you, or if you just couldn’t decide, then consider giving an Etsy gift card instead.  It can be printed or emailed to the recipient so it makes a great last-minute gift.  And with thousands upon thousands of different things to choose from, it’s a gift that will definitely put a smile on someone’s face.


I know, firsthand, how difficult winter can be – no matter how much you love the holidays.  The extreme high of celebrating with family and friends ends so abruptly, that it’s common for people to feel depressed shortly after the holidays are over.  By giving a gift specifically to help boost their mood, you’re encouraging long-term happiness.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
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16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone's Mood 16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone's Mood

16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone's Mood 16 Gifts that will Boost Anyone's Mood 16 Gifts that will Boost Anyone's Mood

Interview with a Postpartum Doula

A postpartum doula is a newer trend in postpartum care but offers many benefits for new mothers.

The term doula seems to be synonymous with labor and childbirth.  But what many mothers don’t realize is that the first few months in the postpartum period can be even tougher than childbirth itself.  These are the times when mothers need the most support.  A postpartum doula is not just for first time mothers either.  Those with other children at home often need even MORE support to get the rest they so desperately need.

Having help in the first few months after having a baby can greatly reduce the risk of mothers developing postpartum depression.

In an effort to learn more about what a postpartum doula does, I interviewed Lenamarie Gorski, a birth and postpartum doula from Birth With a Voice Doula Service and fellow postpartum depression survivor.  
Postpartum Doula
*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.  *This is a collaborative post and therefore not all of the opinions and statements made are necessarily those of Running in Triangles.
Interview with A Postpartum Doula

1. What is a doula?

A doula is a person that assists a woman in labor. We support the women emotionally, spiritually and through the pain. A doula also assists women in the postpartum period because “it takes a village” to care for a newborn.

2. What is the difference between a birth doula and a postpartum doula?

A birth doula usually ends after the birth.  There is typically one follow up appointment but then the contract ends. The focus is on the birth, pain management and supporting the birthing mom and her partner.

A postpartum doula is strictly for the period after the birth. The focus is on helping with caring for the infant AND mom! I personally try to keep life as normal as possible during my time with a client.

Precipitous Labor
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3. What kind of training do postpartum doulas have?

We typically do workshops. You also are trained in infant CPR as well as breastfeeding for help with the new mom. Certification follows up after the training with work to complete from the accrediting company.

4. What tasks does a postpartum doula do?

A postpartum doula typically does light housework, laundry, preps meals and helps with the infant care as well as breastfeeding. Sometimes we go shopping for the client, anything to keep life moving while the new mom is recovering and adjusting to life with a newborn.

Breast Compression
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5. What type of shifts does a postpartum doula work?

It really depends on the client. The typical shift is nighttime form 7pm-7am. I have had clients change me from night to day as the baby grew/slept longer at night. I sometimes help them until they can find a nanny (I also have trained nannies to the everyday happenings in the home) or it is time for the baby to start daycare.

6. How many months after birth does a postpartum doula provide service for?

Its typically 12 weeks but we can be there up to 6 months with a client depending on the baby’s sleep patterns. The four month sleep regression can sometimes have clients call us back since it can be rough, especially for two parents expected to be at work or when there are older children in the home.

Newborn Daily Schedule
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7. Approximately how much does a postpartum doula cost?

It varies. It can be anywhere from $20.00 an hour to $45.00 an hour. You just need to shop around.

8. Are doula services ever covered by private health insurance?

Currently, no. Unfortunately, this has not yet caught on. In NYC they are going to be covering birth doulas with insurance so I’m hoping this is the beginning of an important trend. However, you can always try! You can submit the bill of the doula to your insurance company and see if they will reimburse.

9. What is the best way to find a postpartum doula where I live?

DoulaMatch.net is a great way! Also, word of mouth! Postpartum, birth groups of your area on Facebook or going to a local birth center. Also, Facebook! You can search “doulas” and Facebook pages of local doulas should come up.

Benefits of Doulas
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10. How can a postpartum doula help a mother with postpartum depression?

Doulas are not medical professionals but we have resources for moms with PPD. We also help them by listening and supporting them through that time to tell them that they are not alone! Whenever I start with a client I always share my story of PPD, to tell them that I am a safe place and I am not here to judge the. Motherhood is hard, sometimes you just need a safe and understanding place to go to and often times doulas provide that safe place.

Any additional information you would like to provide about postpartum doulas?

A postpartum doula is not a nanny, we often get confused by that. We are infant specialists; this covers swaddling, sleeping, nursing, bottle feeding, etc. We are a valuable resource for moms and I really encourage everyone to spread the word and get some help in the postpartum period.


Birth With a Voice

Lenamarie Gorski is a birth/postpartum doula and mother of five from Philadelphia, PA. Before finding her passion as a doula, she finished her degree in biology with a minor in chemistry, while raising her first two children. Feeling like she was pushed into c-sections, as well as her struggle with postpartum depression, encouraged her to begin her training to help other women.

“When you have a baby you need support, love and guidance no matter if it is your first or your fifth child. Never be ashamed to ask for help, it is a sign of strength not weakness.”

If you’re interested in hiring a postpartum doula in the Philadelphia, NJ, or Delaware area – you can contact Lenamarie via her website: www.birthwithavoicedoulaservice.com

You can also purchase her New Mommy Box & Breastfeeding Box online.

And don’t forget to follow Birth With a Voice on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

Do you have a question about postpartum doulas?  Leave it in the comments!

Self-Esteem Reminders For Postpartum Moms

Life as a mommy can be hard.

A lot of new mothers talk about their lack of confidence and self-esteem following the birth of their child, so it’s essential to address the subject and help them. Contrary to what the recent pictures of Kate Middleton holding baby Louis in front of the hospital, your body doesn’t spring back to its normal shape and energy levels in no time. So, don’t be too harsh on yourself if you feel it’s taking ages to get back to your usual self. It’s entirely normal.

Here are a few reminders to boost your self-esteem in the postpartum period.
Self Esteem Reminders for Postpartum Moms
*This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

Love your new self

A lot of young mothers can’t help but look in the mirror and feel less desirable after birth. Ultimately, your body went through enormous changes – giving birth is nothing to take lightly – and you now need to look after a small baby. So, yeah, you look tired. Your complexion is dull – but how could it be otherwise in those circumstances?

You can leave the baby with your parents or your partner and allow yourself some much-deserved self care time.  Spend the day getting your hair or nails done, visit a spa or seek beauty brow care from Lustrous Permanent Beauty. Go on a shopping spree for some new clothes or shoes.  It’s not a matter of making yourself more beautiful than you are – you are already beautiful. It’s about helping yourself to see past the mask of tiredness. Remind yourself to take care of yourself.  

Postpartum Depression Self Care
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Meet other mommies

Having a baby is both a wonderful and stressful experience, regardless how much you wanted to become a mother. Sometimes, you need to hear reassuring words about your baby, or you may want to receive tips from experienced mommies. That’s precisely why it’s so important to connect with other mothers, either through childbirth classes or even online.

You’ll find it great moral support when you’re going through the first steps of parenthood.  It’s normal to wonder if you’re doing everything right or to ask other moms for advice. Finding out that you’re not alone can also improve your self esteem as a parent.  So enjoy the mama wave of love and understanding.

5 Reasons Why Self Care Does Not Make You Selfish
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Be realistic, your body needs time and so do you

Ignore the VIP photos in the magazines or the comments from friends who don’t have children. Postpartum recovery takes time, in fact, it can take 6 weeks or more for a normal birth, and up to 12 weeks for a C-section. So there’s no point blaming yourself for your lack of fitness after the birth. Self-depreciation and the difficulty to accept their post-pregnancy body drive a lot of new mothers into depressive moods. It’s crucial you remember to be patient with your body and with your mind.

Precipitous Labor Recovery
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The bottom line is that as much as you need to embrace motherhood, you can’t deny yourself the right to be a woman with doubts, fears, and worries. It’s okay not to feel like a perfect mommy at first, and it’s totally normal to lose a bit of your self esteem. Take the time to look after yourself, physically and mentally. You’re worth it!

5 Spring Fashion Must-Haves for The Busy Mom

Yes, it is possible for moms to be fashionable, comfortable and functional.

With the promise of warmer weather, moms who have hid under tall boots and long jackets all winter will finally need to come out of hiding.  But it can be difficult to find an age appropriate style that fits all the demands of motherhood. Spring is a great time to clean out the closet, dust off your favorite pieces, get rid of anything worn out or that no longer fits, and put together a style that’s right for you.

Here are some spring fashion tips that are easy to incorporate into any mom’s busy lifestyle.
5 Spring Fashion Must-Haves for Busy Moms
*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.
5 Spring Fashion Must-Haves for Busy Moms
Fashion Tips for Moms

First, I want to say that these are really just bare bones basics. My own personal style tends to include simple pieces in pretty neutral colors (ie. black, black, black…. but also beige, grey, navy, denim and army green).

I love a good patterned dress or trendy shirt in a bold color, however I think you need to have a few staple pieces to lay a good foundation; then filter in the fun pieces that match your personality!

A Lightweight Jacket

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Something like an anorak style or trench inspired jacket makes the perfect topper in any spring weather. Go for a new neutral tone. I personally love army green but navy, camel or blush tones are also great! Look for a fingertip length, and good sized deep pockets. Wear this with everything… jeans, leggings, spring dresses, or layer it over cardigans when it’s cooler out.

Modern Slip On Sneakers

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I love a simple black leather pair with a white sole. Slip on and go. Or go for something a little more fun in a pattern, an embroidered flower detail or fancier fabric like satin or velvet. These are great for the playground, the grocery store or a coffee date with a friend. The possibilities are endless.

A Great Fitting Pair of Jeans

Eclipse

I know this gets talked about so much but when you find a great pair of jeans, you will feel like a new woman. I personally love a nice high rise with a little stretch and a bit distressed in a skinny leg.

Shopping for jeans can be as intimidating as bathing suit shopping.  Here are some jean-shopping fashion tips for moms:

go without your kids

ask the associate for help

try on lots of different rises and washes

don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to find “the one” – you won’t regret it.

An Oversize Cardigan

LARA Fashion Black Oversize Ribbed Knit Cardigan on Zulily

This piece will work overtime in your wardrobe. Go for a neutral like a grey, beige or warm hue, especially if you are not overly adventurous when it comes to color. Look for a longer, cover-the-bum-length and preferably with pockets. (I swear to you, having pockets is so important in sweaters and jackets… we are moms so we have to carry ALL THE THINGS.)

Updated Leggings

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We all know moms can’t live without their leggings, they are the momiform. But step it up with some leather-look, shiny, or moto style leggings. A big trend right now is having a sheer leg panel. I tend to avoid patterned or bold colors, only because I want my clothes to be able to pair with anything. But it’s spring after all and one of the best specifically spring fashion tips is to go for the printed or colored ones! 

These 5 staples are so easy to wear with everything and make picking outfits to wear simple! Perfect for any busy mom on the go.

Spring Fashion Tips for Moms
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Additional Spring Fashion Tips

The Tuck and Roll

The “Front Tuck”

This is the holy grail of fashion tips!  When you are wearing pants with a waistband (ie. NOT with leggings), simply tuck only the front part of your shirt into the waist. This will instantly define your waist and elongate your legs. It’s magic. (a throwback alternative is to do a t-shirt knot in the front middle!)

The “Ankle Roll”

It’s all about the ankle! With jeans, roll that bottom cuff up to show a sliver of skin – perfect with the slip on runner or an ankle boot. Do NOT let your socks show! Even in leggings, make sure they are not too long. Not talking capris here, think more of a 7/8th or even a tad longer in length.  This trick can also be applied to your jacket or sweater… roll or push up the sleeve whenever you can.

Black T-Shirt

Find the perfect black t-shirt. One that is cotton so it will breathe but not too thin that it hugs every roll. And when you find a t-shirt you love, buy it in the other colors too. And another black one, because… kids.

Baseball Hat

Find a black (or other basic neutral) baseball style hat that fits you really well.  Different fabrics or textures will step up the fashion, but for those “run-out-the-door-haven’t-washed-my-hair-in-3-days” kind of days, a hat on trend can make you look put together.  (Add those aviator or over sized sunglasses and basically be celebrity mom status)

There you have it, a few style tips that can hopefully help you ditch the frumpy mommy fashion and be on your way to looking like the fashionista you are inside!

Spring Fashion Tips for Moms
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One thing I can say as a mom who values fashion and being on trend is this:

You are putting on those leggings and T-shirt or jeans and hoodie anyways, so take the extra 15 seconds to style it in a way that will give you an extra boost of confidence and if you are anything like me, when you look good, you feel good.  Try using some of these spring fashion tips, and hopefully you’ll experience a confidence boost as well!


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Jess Sankar is a happily married stay-at-home mother of two young daughters.  She currently manages the Running in Triangles Instagram page @running_in_triangles, where she shares self care tips for moms and creates beautiful content for both the blog and social media.  To learn more about Jess, click here.

This is How The Baby Sleep Site Can Save Your Sanity

Sleep training is one of those tough parts of parenthood.  You either get it right or you struggle with sleep deprivation for many, many years.

Years ago, when I started researching sleep training for my first baby, there was so much conflicting information.  I had no idea which method would work and so I resorted to good, old “trial and error.”  Thankfully he was a pretty easy going kid who took to it wonderfully, unlike my second child.  In an effort to avoid the stress of sleep training, I’ve started looking into sleep training consultants for advice with my third baby.

One site that offers these types of services is The Baby Sleep Site.
The Baby Sleep Site Review
* This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. As always, the opinions in this post are my own. This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products I love from companies I trust.

Sleep Training: Where to Start

Get a Personalized Sleep Plan


Sleep consultation sites like The Baby Sleep Site usually offer wide varieties of different options based on your sleep training needs, which can get really overwhelming (especially when you’re a sleep deprived parent who has no idea where to begin).  And the last thing any parent wants to do is shell out money for a service that they’re not convinced is not going to be worth it.

I was drawn to The Baby Sleep Site because they offer something unique…  

The Baby Sleep Site Members Area
The Baby Sleep Site Review
The Baby Sleep Site | Membership

Yes, it costs money.  But for as little as $12/month – you have a valuable source of resources and information available at your fingertips.  The Members Area comes loaded with e-books, articles, quizzes, downloadable worksheets and even a chat room.

The Baby Sleep Site Review
The Baby Sleep Site | Members Area | Tele-seminars

One of my favorite features is the tele-seminars.  They’re about half an hour long so you can listen to one while you’re cooking dinner or folding a load of laundry – perfect for busy moms who don’t have time to read through tons of articles!

Another great feature as a member is the custom schedule maker – which you can use as often as you need to as your baby grows.

The Baby Sleep Site Review
The Baby Sleep Site | Members Area | Custom Schedule

The Members Area is a great tool for a parent who is just beginning to struggle with sleep training and needs some guidance on where to start.


But what if you need even more help? 

What if you’ve read all the e-books and changed around your baby’s schedule 15 times just to try to make it work but they’re still not sleeping through the night?

It goes without saying that all babies are different, and some are definitely harder to figure out than others.  That’s where the sleep experts come in.  They’ve dealt with babies of all different temperaments and preferences before.  Even a mother of three has only ever had to handle sleep training three kids – but sleep experts have handled sleep training thousands of them.

If you feel lost and overwhelmed when it comes to sleep training, then you can purchase one of The Baby Sleep Site’s consultation packages.

They offer both phone and e-mail consultation, depending on which you prefer.  E-mail is a great option for busy moms but sometimes it really helps to speak to someone one-on-one. (They also offer an express sleep plan if you’re desperate for a good night’s sleep.)

The Baby Sleep Site Review
The Baby Sleep Site | Services

The best part is, as a Member, you get a 20% discount towards the consultation package of your choice!


The Baby Sleep Site’s most popular package is the Deluxe E-mail Consulting Package.

You can get more info about the other package options here but the difference is basically how many follow up e-mails you get (i.e. how much “time” you want to purchase.)

The Baby Sleep Site Review
The Baby Sleep Site | E-Mail Consulting Options

Beginning the consultation process is very simple but I would recommend setting aside enough time, free of distractions to complete the sleep history.  It might also help to write down any notes about your child’s specific areas that you want to work on, what their schedule is like, and how they’ve responded to sleep training in the past.

Once you have an idea of what you need work on, you submit a sleep history assessment via the Help Desk.  The questions are pretty straightforward and there are several places to elaborate further on what is happening specifically with your child.

It took me approximately 15 minutes to complete the assessment.

The Baby Sleep Site Review
The Baby Sleep Site | Personalized Sleep Plan Assessment

Prior to submitting your sleep history, there is an estimated chart of how long it will take to receive a response. 

The Baby Sleep Site Review
The Baby Sleep Site | Sleep Plan Turnaround Time

I submitted my sleep history on a Friday after 5 PM EST and received my personalized sleep plan on Monday morning!


The Personalized Sleep Plan

As a “researcher” myself, I didn’t have extremely high hopes for the personalized sleep plan.  I felt as though I had read enough books and blogs, all of which had the same info, that there wouldn’t be much in the personalized sleep plan that I didn’t already know.  (In the sleep history assessment, you have the option to select the level of detail you would like.  I, of course, selected the highest level.)

I will admit that, upon receiving my personalized sleep plan, it exceeded my expectations.  The key reason being – it’s personalized!  I didn’t appreciate exactly what that meant until I received the sleep plan back from Nicole Johnson and her team of experts.

Let me highlight my favorite parts so that you can see what I mean:
    • Specific needs for my child based on the information I included in the assessment.  For example, how much she should be sleeping or eating or napping based not just on her age but also on her temperament and history.
    • Daytime and nighttime routines based on her sleeping arrangements since my toddler and five year old currently share a bedroom.
    • A personalized mantra about my specific sleep training goals that I can repeat to myself on those rough, sleepless nights.
    • The day to day plan with precise steps to take each day, including how and what to prepare for before beginning the plan. (See image below)
The Baby Sleep Site Review
The Baby Sleep Site | Personalized Sleep Plan

All of these different things stood out to me in the personalized sleep plan.  When I was doing my own research on sleep training, then it was up to me to create a plan based on what I learned and I truly had no idea if it was going to work for my child or not.  Upon reading this personalized sleep plan, I found myself pretty confident that I could easily incorporate these changes, and more importantly, that my daughter would be comfortable with them.

The personalized sleep plan included actionable steps for me to take to correct my child’s sleeping problems, based on a number of different factors that I hadn’t even considered.  

I still have my three follow up e-mails to use, which are good for 6 months.  So as I incorporate these recommended changes to her schedule and bedtime routine, I will have help waiting if I encounter any problems.

Knowing that I have an expert in my corner has absolutely saved my sanity!  I regret that I didn’t choose a sleep training expert when my second child was younger and I was battling such extreme postpartum depression.  Perhaps it could have reduced the amount of stress and sleep deprivation I was experiencing then.  But now, as a busy mother of three, sleep training is no longer an issue I need to stress about, thanks to The Baby Sleep Site.


How much would you pay for a good night’s sleep?

The largest obstacle I would see to most parents hiring a sleep consultant would likely be the cost associated.  For this, it all comes down to priorities and how important the sleep is to you.  In my case, sleep deprivation is a big trigger of postpartum depression relapses, and so I can’t afford to lose that war.

It’s important to keep in mind that what you are paying for is the time and service of a professional.  I’m pretty sure I’ve paid the guy who fertilizes my lawn in the summer more money and that hasn’t gotten me very far in life.

So when I take all these things into consideration, the cost of a professional sleep consultant is worth it, in my opinion.

[View packages and prices from The Baby Sleep Site HERE]


For More Information:

Visit The Baby Sleep Site website to learn more about what they have to offer.  If you’re interested in becoming a member, you can join here!

9 Awesome Tips for Decorating Children’s Bedrooms Without Wasting Money

Designing and decorating a child’s bedroom is never easy, especially when you have three kids with very different tastes. 

How can you get it right without disappointing your child or having to change things around again in six months’ time? It’s a pretty difficult balancing act, and many parents get it wrong.  Unfortunately, when parents do get it wrong, they tend to waste a lot of money, and that’s the last thing you need.

Luckily for you, there are lots of tips that you can take advantage of if you want to get this whole thing right without ever wasting any money. And it doesn’t have to involve taking the cheap option and disappointing your child either, so everyone can be a winner here!

Here are some tips that will allow you to get the most out of your child’s bedroom and remain relevant and suitable for a long time to come.
Tips for decorating children's bedrooms without wasting money
*This is a collaborative post* *This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

1. Don’t be Too Specific With Design Features

Your child’s interests, tastes and favorite TV shows and characters probably change all the time. That’s something that you should definitely keep in mind when you’re coming up with design features for their bedroom. If you choose a theme that is too specific, relating to a movie or TV show, they will probably lose interest in that thing within 6 months or a year if you’re lucky. That’s simply the nature of childhood. So many parents have made this mistake in the past, and it costs them big.


2. Keep Things Adaptable Because Change is Coming

It’s not just the general design you need to keep adaptable though. It’s also a good idea to keep the furniture and general arrangement and layout as flexible as possible too. As we’ve already mentioned, your children will change and grow up over time. That means their needs will also change. It’s wise to be prepared from that from day one when it comes to designing their bedroom. So don’t nail things to the walls and floors, and don’t set things in stone because you’ll only regret it later.

8 Creative Ways to Deal With Bedtime Excuses
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3. Fit a Chalkboard

Having a chalkboard in the room can be a great idea because it can serve all kinds of different purposes as your child moves through the different phases of childhood. They can use it to help them learn things while they’re young and still learning basic math and English skills. And they can later make use of it in order to get creative and express themselves in various ways. It could be as big or small as you want it to be so definitely consider this option.

[You can get a can of chalkboard paint on Amazon for around $10]

4. Add Detail With Wall Stickers or Stencils

SurfaceInspired on Etsy

One good way to add some style to your son or daughter’s wall is to use wall stickers and stencils. Stickers are perfect for short-term designs because they can be removed and replaced as soon as your child wants a new design to be put in place. These details will add something more to the room and stop it from looking dull or tired. There are so many sticker and stencil options out there that are ideal for children’s bedrooms.

[Check out the SurfaceInspired shop on Etsy for some great wall decal options]

5. Assess Furniture Materials and Choose the Ones That Will Last

The furniture you use in your child’s bedroom is important because you want it to be durable and as long-lasting as possible. The last thing you want is for your boisterous child to break a furniture item when using it. That’s not only dangerous for them but also costly for you as a parent. So always look at the materials from which relevant children’s bedroom furniture is made before buying. That way, everything you buy will last for as long as it possibly can.

Avoid the Stress of Sleep Training
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6. Make Use of Old Picture Frames

You can do anything with old picture frames and it’s this that makes them so useful when you’re looking to liven up the walls of your child’s bedroom. You can add nice designs, photos or art to the frames and make them work nicely together. You could make a collage of picture frames because this often creates a nice impression, so give it some thought. It’s a simple trick but it works wonderfully.

[You can purchase a set of picture frames to make your own collage on Etsy]

7. Storage Should be Part of the Design

Storage is a huge part of any child’s bedroom. Let’s face it; all kids of piles of toys and gadgets that need to have their own storage place. But that doesn’t mean the storage can’t be part of the design. It’s more than possible to use colorful boxes and baskets to make the room both stylish and functional. 

8. Focus on Timelessness

Some design styles are timeless, and these are the things you should be focusing on if you want to avoid having to make regular design changes to the room going forward. The simple and classic touches that are both timeless and suitable for children are not always easy to find, but you’ll know them when you see them. Stay away from the temporary and plastic items that are only going to break or look tired within a few months of use.

9. Keep Your Child Involved in the Design Process

It’s important to remember the importance of keeping your child involved in the design process because they need to have their say. If they’re old enough to do that, they will be clear about what they want and what they expect. This is helpful because you don’t want them to start complaining about the design as soon as it’s in place. Obviously, you’re still going to have to take the lead, but your child should be involved in some way.

Image Source

No parent should waste money when it comes to designing their children’s bedrooms. It’s more than possible to come up with designs that will hold strong and survive the test of time if you’re willing to think carefully and take the right steps.  It is important for your child to have a comfortable, relaxing space of their own, but it is completely do-able on any budget.


 

4 Tips for Surviving Three Car Seats

Families with three kids are often put in a difficult position when it comes to choosing a vehicle.   

The struggle that is three car seats.

If you weren’t driving a minivan before baby #3 came along, you may be strongly considering one now.  But a minivan isn’t the only option.  It is entirely possible to accommodate three car seats comfortably in many different vehicles. 

Here are my best tips to help you get through this phase.
4 Tips for Surviving Three Car seats
*This is a sponsored post for which I received compensation. As always, the opinions in this post are my own.

1. Find the right vehicle

Expecting baby number three?  You may not need to purchase a new vehicle right away.  Whether you’re looking to upgrade or wondering if your existing vehicle will be able to accommodate three car seats, it’s best to do your research ahead of time.  You can use Cars.com’s car seat check to find out the rating on your vehicle or one you’re considering buying.

16HondaPilot_SO_ES_CSC_Lead.jpg
cars.com

The busy lifestyle that this stage of parenthood is infamous for means spending a lot of time on the road. If I factor in our regular 2 hour road trips back to our hometown on the weekends, it’s safe to say that we spend nearly as much time in the vehicle as we do anywhere else. Purchasing our family vehicle was as big of a decision as was purchasing our home, so research was essential.


2. Find the right car seat

The type of car seats you’re using will also have an impact.  In a perfect world, you may have one child in a high back booster, one in a convertible forward facing seat and one in a rear facing bucket seat.  But if your children are closer in age or if you have multiples, you may have two in bucket seats and/or rear facing.  The combination possibilities are endless.

The other thing you’ll want to consider is the brand of car seat you are using.  Some brands are created bulkier than others and this can affect how well they fit side by side by side.

Cars.com has done a lot of this research for you.  Here is a list of vehicles that can fit three car seats side by side.  

17-honda-pilot-fits-three-es.jpg
cars.com

3. Find the right positions

Which car seat goes where?  There’s no right or wrong answer.  As long as the car seats are installed correctly and don’t hinder the position of the driver and passenger seats in front of them, it doesn’t really matter which child sits where.  You can watch this car seat safety video from Cars.com for more information.

Have easy access to the child who needs the most attention.
      • If the baby tends to sleep during car rides, then you may want to keep the rambunctious toddler within arms reach instead.
      • OR, you may want to keep the oldest child closest to you in order to pass things to them to distribute among their siblings.
Consider the convenience of getting into and out of the vehicle. 
      • If the oldest child can buckle themselves in, put them the farthest away from the door. 
      • Bucket seats on a base are simple enough to move but can be heavy and bulky and usually best suited close to a door. 
      • Give yourself enough space and leverage to buckle in that squirmy toddler.
      • Factor in the weather
      • Consider how often you need to park in crowded parking lots and garages.

4. Third row – yes or no?

Having a vehicle with a third row isn’t always a necessity with three kids.  But it IS a bonus.  I, like many other parents, avoided getting a minivan and opted for an SUV with a third row instead.  Here’s a list of the best three row SUV’s for car seats.  And while that third row isn’t regularly used, it’s a nice feature to have, both for additional seating and for when the kids get older and will want their own space in the backseat.

17_GMC_Acadia_CSC_ES_02.jpg
cars.com
Because as much as I don’t want to admit it – the day will come when they will no longer be in car seats and the struggle of the daily buckle will be another memory for the baby book.