Packing a Diaper Bag: Essentials and Extras

child stack of diapers nipple soother feeding milk bottle with w

“Be prepared.” That’s good advice for Girl Scouts and new moms alike! A little preparation goes a long way. Here are the essentials and extras for your diaper bag.

Diapers and more
• Diapers. A good rule of thumb is one or two diapers per hour, but always have at least four. More is better.
• Wipes. They’re also great for sticky hands!
• Diaper-rash cream
• Changing pad
• Plastic bags for dirty diapers and clothes

Clothes and coverage
• Burp cloths
• Receiving blankets
• Full change of clothes for baby. Include a shirt, pair of pants, and pair of socks.
• Extra shirt for you
• Baby hat
• Baby sunblock

Snack time
• Baby’s bottle. To keep things sanitary, put the nipple in a plastic bag.
• Baby food and spoon
• Snacks for baby
• Water and snacks for you
• A bib or two

Toy time
• Baby’s favorite toy
• A favorite comfort object
• Extra pacifiers (if baby uses them) in a clean plastic bag

In case of emergency
• Cell phone
• Charging cord or extra battery
• ID
• Index card with the pediatrician’s number, a neighbor’s number, and your partner’s number

For more tips and advice – or to browse our selection of maternity greeting cards – please visit www.mummumcards.com.

It’s a Snap! How to Get the Perfect Photo of Your Beautiful Bundle of Joy

Young mom showing her interested baby photos on camera

“Children have the unforgivable habit of growing up.” – Bjarne Rueter

Babies grow up in the blink of an eye. While you cherish baby’s precious moments, you can preserve them with photographs. Here are tips to capture the perfect photos – and memories – of your bundle of joy.

Look for the happy. When baby’s happiest, you have a much better chance of getting the best photo. After a meal or nap is usually best.

Think outside the box. Get on the ground right next to baby. Think about different angles and views. The more creative you get, the better your pictures will be.

Use props (carefully). Props can capture baby’s attention and create interesting photos. But too many props can be overwhelming. Choose a few meaningful items to keep it simple and special.

Take lots of pictures! Keep snapping away, and you’ll get that unforgettable shot, along with a series of images of the entire event. Always keep your phone or camera handy for those spontaneous moments.

Avoid flash. Flash can scare babies and small children. Plus, natural light creates better photographs.

Include everyone. Include family, friends, and yourself in the photos. Years from now, your children will love seeing how you looked, too.

Don’t forget about video. Mix in some video with your photos. Sound and movement will add even more life to your precious memories.

For more tips and advice – or to browse our selection of maternity greeting cards – please visit www.mummumcards.com.

¡Hola, mami!

Mummum Princess

Expectant and new moms are elated, exhausted, and often unsure if they’re doing things right. If only the baby could say, “Mommy, everything is perfect.” With Mum Mum Cards, the baby can! Bringing the voice of baby to life, these cards “deliver” humor and warmth to soon-to-be and new moms. And with a brand new line of Spanish-language cards, finding the right card is even easier.

These new cards recognize the importance of family in Hispanic culture as well as the preservation of the Spanish language. Plus, the cards are funny and touching … and they bring a boost of confidence to Mamá.

With these cards, baby can:

• Wish Mamá “Happy Birthday!” (even before he’s born)
• Ask Mamá questions about the moon (she’s already curious)
• Tell Mamá he’s glad he’s hers (so sweet)
• Ask Mamá if she packed the diapers (what a little planner)

and much more. Most of all, the cards create a real connection between baby and Mamá. The cards will bring a smile – and in some cases a tear – to expectant and new mothers.

We invite you to browse our full selection of Spanish-language greeting cards. You can also follow Mum Mum Cards on Facebook and Twitter (@MumMumCards) for baby care tips and pregnancy advice. Whether we’re speaking in English or Spanish, we are here to support you!

Bump on the Run: Tips for Keeping Fit While Expecting

pregnant african american woman exercising

A healthy baby starts with a healthy you. While your body is busy growing a new life, you can help by making exercise part of your daily routine. Here’s the scoop on exercising while expecting.

Why is it important to exercise while expecting?
Exercising during pregnancy has many benefits:
• Prepares you for labor and delivery
• Lessens back pain
• Enhances your energy and mood
• Helps you sleep better
• Prevents excess weight gain

While it’s generally advisable to exercise while expecting, it’s critical to talk to your doctor first. Together, you can determine what exercise routine works best for you.

How should I exercise?
There are many great ways to get your body moving and heart pumping when you’re pregnant:
• Walking and running
• Swimming
• Dancing and aerobics
• Yoga and stretching
• Weight training

What should I avoid?
These exercises are not recommended for pregnant women:
• Contact sports
• Sports and activities with a high risk of falling, such as skiing, surfing, and horseback riding
• Sports at high altitude

How long and how frequently should I exercise?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends exercising at least 30 minutes a day, almost daily. Listen to your body and your doctor to determine what’s best for you and your pregnancy.

What else should I know?
There are lots of great resources about exercise and pregnancy. Here are a few more important tips:
• Always warm up and cool down.
• Drink lots of water.
• Avoid overheating and overdoing it.
• Wear the right clothes and shoes.
• Listen to your body and call your doctor with any concerns.

Following these simple exercise tips will help you (and your baby) enjoy a happy, healthy pregnancy.

For more tips and advice – or to browse our selection of maternity greeting cards – please visit www.mummumcards.com.

Pink or Blue? Creative Ways to Reveal Baby’s Gender

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Is it a boy or a girl? Do you know? When will you find out?

How many times does a pregnant woman hear those questions? To have some fun with your response, try one of these clever ways to announce the news at a gender reveal party.

Games. Add some competitive spice to the gender reveal!
Silly String Fight – Buy pink or blue Silly String and cover the labels. Give each guest a bottle. When the fight starts, the secret’s out!
Arm Wrestling – Each parent represents a color – pink or blue – and competes in a pre-planned match. Winner reveals the gender.
Team Pink vs. Team Blue – Ask your guests to wear the color of their choice. During the party, reveal which team won by picking the right color!

Sweets. You can use a cake for the reveal – it’s a popular option – or try one of these sweet ideas:
• Fortune cookies with the gender listed inside
• Pancake toppings – blueberries or strawberries
• Colored soda

Baby Shower Surprise. This is a fun twist on the gender reveal party … where the guests know the gender before you do! Give the unopened envelope from your ultrasound appointment to the shower planner, who will ask guests to buy gender-specific gifts (and keep the secret until the shower). When the first gift is opened, you will know if you’re having a boy or girl!

Girl or boy? Friends and relatives are sure to enjoy these fun ways to hear the news. And, if you choose not to find out the secret, you’ll all be surprised together when the magical day arrives.

Enter Our Greeting Card Design Competition – Celebrating Dads-To-Be!

Young couple posing in park

Have you ever wanted to design your own greeting card? Here is your chance! Now through July 15, 2015, we’re holding a Mum Mum Cards Design Competition in honor of Father’s Day. The winner will have their card made by Mum Mum Cards and available for purchase at www.mummumcards.com!

Our Contest Mission

Upon becoming pregnant, women often wonder how to announce the good news to their loved ones, most specifically the special man in their life. The winning entry will give women the perfect words to share with the dad-to-be … all from the voice of the baby.

Contest Rules

1. Design a card that tells a man he is going to be a father. The card may be humorous or sentimental – or something in between!

2. Make sure the card uses the baby’s “voice.” In other words, the card should be written from the perspective of the baby. (At Mum Mum Cards, we believe it’s never too soon to make a connection between a baby and his/her mom and dad.)

3. Include text, original images, and artwork. Submissions should be made for a 5½-by-7½-inch card and formatted as a PDF or JPEG file.

4. Submit your entry to tcameron@slicecommunications.com. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident. Mum Mum Cards employees and their immediate family members are not eligible.

The winning card will be announced on July 17 via Mum Mum Cards’ social media networks. Good luck!

What to Read When You’re Expecting: Our Favorite Pregnancy Books

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Not only is being pregnant a brand-new experience for first-time moms, but it also carries a brand-new language. Expectant mothers find themselves discussing everything from breech birth to breastfeeding, Lamaze to labor, and ultrasound to uterus.

For definitions, details, and tips on pregnancy — mixed with some humor from women who have been there — here are some great books to read when you’re expecting.

1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Heidi Murkoff
This is the classic pregnancy book, named by USA Today as one of the 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. You’ll find everything about pregnancy — the good, the bad and the ugly — infused with humor throughout.

2. Let’s Panic About Babies! Alice Bradley and Eden M. Kennedy
Looking for some humor to help manage the scary things happening to your body? Recognizing both the joy and terror pregnancy brings, this book takes a lighthearted look at the miracle of birth.

3. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. Mayo Clinic
This book from the world-famous Mayo Clinic offers an organized layout chock full of information. Resources include week-by-week updates on baby’s growth and month-by-month changes for mom, a symptoms guide, and answers to all your questions.

4. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Ina May Gaskin
Known as the nation’s leading midwife, Gaskin draws on over 30 years of experience to share everything you need to know about preparing for childbirth. In addition to her stories and wisdom, you’ll find a thorough list of resources.

Happy reading!

Motherhood Inspired: Six Awesome Mom Quotes

Mother and daughter

Changing dirty diapers … helping with homework … providing shuttle service … coping with teen angst … offering advice on everything from romance to finance. A mother’s duties are 24/7, 365 days a year. For life.

But, oh the rewards and joys of motherhood! Here are six awesome quotes to remind you just how important and loved you are, Mom.

• “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” ― Jill Churchill

• “There will be so many times you feel like you’ve failed. But in the eyes, heart, and mind of your child you ARE Super Mom.” — Stephanie Precourt

• “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ― Washington Irving

• “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.” — Princess Diana

• “I would say that my mother is the single biggest role model in my life, but that term doesn’t seem to encompass enough when I use it about her. She was the love of my life.” — Mindy Kaling

• “Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark … to have been loved so deeply … will give us some protection forever.” — J.K. Rowling

What’s in a Name? Tips for Choosing Your Baby‘s Name

pregnant woman's belly with colorful butterflies with female nam

Suspense surrounded the recent arrival of England’s new royal baby. Worldwide, people wondered whether the child would be a prince or princess. Even more, they debated just the right name. According to polls, more than 80% of respondents approved of the parents’ final choice: Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Few parents experience the pressure of having to name a princess of England. Still, choosing your baby’s name can be royally difficult.

Here are things to consider when picking the perfect moniker for your mini-me.

• Do you want a name that’s trendy or traditional? (Noah and Emma top the list of most popular names for 2014.)
• Is there a family name to honor, or do you prefer something unconventional?
• How does the name sound with your surname?
• What is the meaning behind the name?
• Does it flow with the names of your other children?
• What kind of nicknames will the name inspire?
• Will people have trouble pronouncing or spelling the name?

If you find yourself stuck in your selection process, turn to trusted friends and family for advice. Or, try online. You’ll find baby name generators, loads of baby name lists, and even message boards for this specific purpose.

In the end, don’t worry too much. Regardless of the name you choose, your baby will still be your little prince or princess.

Rest and Relax: 7 Ways to De-stress When You’re Expecting

Pregnancy is hard work, whether it’s your first, second, or nineteenth time. Add that to the stressors of everyday life – dirty dishes, rush hour commute, you name it – and you can easily get overwhelmed. (Can you relate?) Invest in your health and baby’s health by taking the stress out of your pregnancy. Here are 7 ways to stop fretting and start relaxing.

Rest.
Rest is key during pregnancy. Enjoy a nap or two. Sleep in when possible. Have a cup of tea. Clear out your Netflix queue or DVR and enjoy your favorite movies.

Exercise.
This is a great way to improve your mood and energy levels. Always confirm with your doctor, but there are lots of activities you can enjoy while expecting, such as yoga, walking, and swimming.

Read a book.
Pick up a book that lets you escape for a little while. Save a new novel from your favorite writer, or ask friends for their beach read recommendation. Besides, it could be awhile before you can enjoy a book again after baby arrives.

Enjoy the sunshine.
Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, get some sunshine in your life. This is especially important if you spend most of your time indoors. Sunshine is an instant mood booster.

Turn off your phone.
Disconnect from your phone and social media for a little while. Enjoy the freedom of not checking email, Twitter, or Facebook feeds.

Breathe.
Stop for a moment, and take 10 deep breaths. Even better, practice mindful breathing or meditation for 30 minutes a day. The goal is to ease and clear your racing mind.

Get away.
Enjoy a weekend away or a break before baby arrives. The change of scenery and chance to leave daily life behind is good for you – and baby.