Archive for January, 2011

How to Manage Hair Changes After Pregnancy

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Of all the joys of pregnancy – weight gain, increased foot size, lack of sleep, and internal body organs getting pushed around – at least you get one true benefit…shinier, thicker hair.  So with about 2 weeks until my due date, I took advantage of my husband’s offer to watch the kids on Saturday and headed out to a final, before the baby arrives, hair appointment.  I even splurged a little with highlights; something about being almost 9 months pregnant and feeling frumpy prompted me to go for it.

I knew based on my previous pregnancies this abundance of good hair was fleeting, and that that inevitable postpartum changes were ahead.   If history repeats itself, I can expect hair loss, the hair that remains will become a little less manageable, and the color (or application of) will not be the same.  So with that to look forward to, I thought I could share a couple tactics to help manage the hair changes after pregnancy…(note: some lucky ones don’t experience any postpartum side effects)

-       Handle with care. The extra hair that pregnancy gives, it takes away in the postpartum period.  Camouflage the wispy new growth with bangs or trim your hair to make it look thicker.   Similar to when you give your baby his/her first haircut, trimming the wispy new growth will reveal it is actually thicker than it looks.  Don’t pull hair back too tight, as it may be more delicate and you want to avoid breakage.  Take advantage of products that help promote healthy hair growth, such as thickening shampoos, conditioning treatments, and essential oils.

-       Try different products. Are you used to straight, thick hair?  Well prepare yourself for a new challenge in life. You could come out of this whole experience with a new texture or thickness.  You may need to experiment with products for the new texture.  Rest assured though, even frizzy hair can be controlled with the use of smoothing products and a good Denman brush.  Finer or thicker hair can also be treated with a myriad of products specific to your hair’s needs.  When you are picking up diapers, cruise on by the hair care aisle and do a little beauty product investigation.

-       Think nutrition.  Your diet during pregnancy was probably very healthy (aside from the major sweet tooth you developed).  Don’t give that up just because you delivered your baby.  A healthy diet goes a long way with the condition of your skin and the promotion of healthy hair growth.  Also, nutritional supplements such as Biotin, Vitamin B, C, and E (probably similar to those in your prenatal vitamin) are great sources of nutrients for your hair.

-       Choose a new hairstyle.  It took me a couple of months of sporting a “mushroom” hairdo before I realized layering my hair would help with the flyaway dryness and new growth.  Stylists usually have great advice for new Mom’s on how to choose a style that will complement your hair and face postpartum.  You will probably have a few relatives or friends asking to spend some time with your baby; take advantage of their offers and schedule an hour or two at your salon.  My stylist even told me she didn’t mind me bringing the new baby to my appointment.

-       When all else fails.  I am pretty sure the summer after I had my baby I wore a baseball cap for every “casual” occasion (I may have stretched “casual” a bit, but remember the mushroom hair?).   Use this technique when you can to give you a little time to decide how to manage your hair or if your hair appointment is a week or two away.

So while you can’t prevent the changes that happen to your hair after pregnancy, there are definitely things you can do to help.  I know you will be busy and overwhelmed with your newborn, but don’t forget to take care of yourself.  Or at least keep these tips in mind until you get the hang of things and feel a little more confident about being a new mom.  I know it can be hard to change your style or routine when it comes to your hair, but my experience has been to embrace the changes and have fun with it!

Readers, do you have any helpful tips when it comes to managing your hair post pregnancy?

How to Design a Nursery on a Budget

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Designing your baby’s room doesn’t have to deplete your life savings, and as an added bonus, you don’t have to sacrifice quality or style to achieve a nursery within your budget.  Here are a few tips to help design the nursery you want without dipping into his or her future college fund.

  • Have a plan.   Check out our previous blog “Decorate Your Baby’s Nursery in 5 Easy Steps” for ideas on what can seem like an overwhelming process.  After identifying the bigger ticket items, you can find creative ways to make the rest of the room fit within your budget.  This will reduce any unexpected surprises and ultimately save you money.
  • On this note, select furniture that can last through childhood, that way you only have to buy them once.   If you do borrow or buy furniture second hand, be sure to check out safety guidelines. Vintage cribs are charming, provided they meet safety recommendations.  We used a hand me down changing table, but only after we made sure it was firm and secure.  Safety is the most important concern when shopping garage sales or accepting hand me downs.
  • A big expense with any home improvement project is labor, so do as much of the work you can yourself. Painting walls and furniture yourself is a great way to cut your costs, if you can stand the fumes.  Even if you don’t plan to design your bedding using our Nursery Designer tool, at least see how your nursery will look with different fabrics and crib colors against wall paints and floor coverings (that way, no painting the room twice!).  I’m no designer, but being able to preview what looks good together, makes me feel like one!
  • A little more on paint…select a color for the walls that will “grow” with the child.  Check out our previous blog “How to Design a Nursery That Will Grow With Your Child” for more ideas on creating an “age neutral” nursery.
  • If your friends or family have a baby shower for you, it is a great opportunity to register for some of your nursery must-haves.  But if your like me, and tend to get overwhelmed by all the provisions a new mom and baby need, rely on your network of family and friends who have been there to prioritize your wish list, provide ideas that you may have overlooked, and share any advice or wisdom that will help get you through the next few months.  With that said, we’re happy to lend a hand as well. If you have specific questions or need help, send us a message on our Twitter or Facebook page.  Other moms like you may have the same dilemma and we love to get these conversations going.  And we are constantly perusing the web for helpful articles to post.  Not to mention our in-house designer, Rose, who answers questions and assists with custom bedding in addition to providing and updating the “Ideas and Inspirations” page.
  • Expand storage space by adding extra shelves in the closet or on your nursery walls.  Shelves on the nursery wall can be practical as well as decorative.  Almost all baby things (toys, clothes, etc) are cute when displayed in a neat fashion, and affordable storage units and kits are available from a wide variety of retailers. Plus, reducing clutter will go a long way to helping you stay organized and sane on reduced sleep.
  • Rocking chairs are one of those big-ticket items we mentioned earlier, but don’t underestimate how important a comfortable chair can be for those late night feedings.   There are a wide range of options and prices, but take the time to “kick the tires” and get a chair that works for you.
  • Custom bedding is not out of the question if you are on a budget.  With our Nursery Designer, we’ve streamlined the process to offer you a wonderful assortment of quality fabrics and tools to create the bedding of your dreams at an affordable price.

Keeping your nursery within a budget can seem a daunting task, but it is possible with a little time and planning.  Not only will you increase the amount of money left in your savings account, but you’ll also increase the amount of enjoyment you’ll have in the process.