Summer Hiking With Infants

san diego hiking with babies infantsIf there’s one thing San Diegans are not short of, it’s hiking trails.

What you WILL find yourself short of are excuses! Because when there’s year round sunshine, there really is no excuse not to grab your shades, shoes and get outside.

A love of hiking needn’t change when a baby arrives on the scene. Sure, the thought of taking a little one along a trail might be a little intimidating at first, but with the right planning and determination, it’s TOTALLY possible! Not only are fresh air and fresh parents the perfect combo, a good hike is also a perfect way to help an older sibling burn off some of that seemingly endless energy.

With weeks of longer days still ahead of us, here’s a few of our favorite infant hiking tips:

  • Pick the Right Carrier – With so many options to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming, so please always feel free to come in and talk to our mamas at the Boutique about age appropriate and safe babywearing. You can bring your carrier and your baby to our Babywearing Clinic with our trained babywearing consultants. TOP TIP: Get your child used to a new carrier before hitting a trail – it can make all the difference.
  • Stick with what you know – At least initially. Don’t get too ambitious on your first family hike – go somewhere that you know well and where you know the terrain. If you want to try somewhere new, do your research and check if it’s flat / stroller friendly first etc. Try and limit that first hike to an hour or two – even if all is going well, don’t push your good luck!
  • Nap time – The hiking motion puts most kids in a carrier to sleep, so if you can, aim to hit a trail at naptime to help stick to your baby’s sleep cycle. If all the snoozy stars align, this nap on the go will give you some ‘me-hiking’ time, or adult time with your partner.
  • Bare Necessities – It’s tempting for any Mama Bear to try and bring everything for all eventualities, but any unnecessary extra weight is guaranteed to make the hike less enjoyable. Along with un-avoidables like diapers, spare clothes, think travel sized items for everything else, – like wipes, our ‘On the Go’ Think Baby Safe sunscreen (SPF 50+) in the Boutique, or the all-natural BALM! Baby Shue Bug spray. Don’t forget snack fuel for you too!
  • Hats, Camera, Action – don’t get us wrong, it’s always safety first when it comes to little ones outside, but safe doesn’t have to mean drab! We have a bunch of hip and trendy safe sun hats for little ones in the Boutique. We’ve even got some adorable ‘Babiators’ in store that make for the cutest baby photos (FACT!). So don’t forgot your camera while hiking.

Enjoy Mother Nature guys! She’s amazing – just like you are. It’s a mom thing!

Need trail ideas? Check out this article on best family friendly hikes in SD.


World Breastfeeding Week 2017 Has a Theme We Can All Get Behind

While the physical act of breastfeeding typically involves just two people – mom and baby – (or more if you are tandem feeding, go mama!), many who have successfully been through this journey will tell you about the importance of others.

Even when breastfeeding comes easy, it’s hard. Understatement of the year!! It’s exhausting. And when it doesn’t come easy, it’s stressful AND exhausting. You can feel robbed of all those perfect breastfeeding images that you nursed in your head while pregnant. Cue the Friend’s intro music….’So no one told you life was gonna be this way’ (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap).

But true to the Friend’s tune, there are people that can be THERE FOR YOU! Your partner, your midwife, your peers, your local community – and even your boss – can all have a supporting role to play in helping you give your baby the best start in life.  For many moms, this idea of teamwork and the realization that it’s not just ‘all on them’ is a welcome relief.

Shouting about available breastfeeding support is one of our favorite past times, so we’re thrilled to see that this year’s theme of World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August 2017) is all about ‘working together.’ It will focus on partnerships that help protect, promote and support breastfeeding, those who help moms find their true allies- and find their feet.

We recognize the role that we can play and the responsibility we have here in North County to make a difference – our doors, our arms, our ears and our hearts are always open to those who need it! You can find support (and new friends) at our Breastfeeding 101 classes, where we talk about common, problems, techniques and positioning, as well as our Lactation Lounge every Tuesday and Friday. The Lactation Lounge is a free support group with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who answers your questions (no question is a stupid question btw!), provides encouragement and promotes confidence. We’re here to remind you not just how amazing your body is, but how amazing a job you are already doing with your little one.

We also offer one-on-one customizable sessions with a certified lactation consultant, as well as a Breastfeeding for Working Mothers class which will help you plan and prepare for your return to work. For all of our classes, feel free to bring your partners – it’s important for them to educate themselves about how they can best support you through this experience.

You can also find support via our online community – the Babies in Bloom Lactation Lounge on Facebook – a judgement free zone and closed group where you can ask for advice on things that are troubling you.

Please share this post during World Breastfeeding Week and beyond – let’s make it our mission to let our friends and family in North County know where we are and that we are always there for them, through the good, the bad and the leakiest of times. Let’s make some noise, gain some attention and widen our pool of supporters. Because together, we will make that difference.


Back to Work Confidence


It takes a real beating from the second that test shows positive doesn’t it? What if I’m not a good mom? Will I be able to handle labor?…. the list of “what if”s and “will I”s are endless.

Your parents raised you to believe in yourself. Your teachers sung your praises and abilities in school. Your friends tell you you’re strong. Your partner tells you you’re beautiful. Your boss has rewarded you with promotions and raises over the years….. and yet for many of us,  all that confidence and self-belief seems to crumble once a baby enters the picture, particularly when it comes to returning to work.

Is time out going to hurt my career?

Will I be able to do my job when I go back?

Will my boss view me in the same way?

Will I cope?

Marie Hunter, a working North County mom of two (3 and 5) and friend of Babies in Bloom, shares her experience.

CASE STUDY: A Working Moms Thoughts

“It’s immediately hard because you are at a phase in your life where you just don’t recognize yourself right now. You are desperately seeking something familiar but can’t find it anywhere. NOTHING that has happened in your life is now comparable to this moment, so sometimes it’s good to hear from other Moms who have been through it and come out the other side.

I learned that the worst thing you can do is try and prove you are exactly the same person you were before the baby. I did and it was exhausting. Not to mention completely unsuccessful.  Because you are not exactly the same person. And never will be again. That’s not a bad thing – it’s a NEW thing. Embrace the change, don’t fight it like I first did. You WILL find your new rhythm, I promise you.

I remember my first few weeks back at the office after my first. Not only was I experiencing separation anxiety, I felt completely out of the loop, was sleep deprived and still a victim of baby brain (ohhhh, the fog struggle is real, even months…WAIT, years on). It was an overwhelming cocktail – I can’t even imagine the added pressure for those moms milk pumping at work. I’ve so much respect for those ladies.

The first few days I cried. At my desk. In the bathroom. And that’s ok. It’s normal. Let it out. I was lucky, I had good people around me, and speaking from someone who has done this twice now, I can assure you, this doesn’t last.

Sure, you might be a little rusty here and there. Don’t beat yourself up about it. There are plenty of people that feel rusty and forget their work email password after a week’s vacation, let alone what you’ve been through over the past few months. Give yourself permission to gently transition back into the role – and simply start with enjoying the adult conversations, the uninterrupted lunches and the piping hot coffees.”

Her three top tips to any mom returning to the workplace after a baby would be:

  1. It’s a new you right? So, get some new clothes. Walk into the office feeling good about yourself. It might sound shallow but it was an important part of my mind set. After months of yoga paints, it really helped me get back into professional mode.
  2. Start your child in their day-care a few days, even weeks earlier, if you can. This will get you used to being away from your baby during the day. It can be a hard adjustment at first, so try and stagger the emotional punches – don’t try and make everything happen in one day. First get baby and you settled into a new routine, then tackle the job.
  3. Start saying NO at work. Don’t feel like you have anything to prove when you go back or you will take on more than you can handle. You have drop offs and pickups to make now, you have tea time, bath time, story time AND bedtime to deal with when you get home. You don’t want to be taking additional work home with you if you can help it. I did for a long time and I felt like I was always rushing my evening time with the kids so I could get back to work. You will hate yourself for it. Focus on better task prioritization and better still, delegation, instead of trying to do it all – this is also a sure way to impress your boss!

Thanks for sharing, Marie!

At Babies in Bloom, we know that moms make fantastic workers because they ARE moms, not in spite of being a mom. For starters, we are already used to calmly dealing with lots of crap (literally, ha ha!). We’re multi-tasking queens. And we are so respectful of timeframes that we’re super productive, because we all want is to leave on time and get home for those snuggles.

To any Mom out there planning her return to work, good luck! We believe in you – the glorious new you!



Postpartum Depression Awareness Month

lactation-consultant-san-diegoMay is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month. Year after year we are seeing more and more brave mothers come forward to talk about their depression experiences – and long may it continue. Postpartum depression comes in all shapes and sizes, with no age, race or social class bias, and it’s so important for society to truly understand how far and wide this mental issue spreads.

One of the most powerful articles about postpartum depression that we’ve come across  is this one. Katherine Stone, founder and author of Postpartum Progress, asked her community of depression and anxiety survivors, to share a photo of themselves that could be captioned by filling in the following sentence:

“When this picture was taken, I was suffering from ______________. You can’t tell by looking, but I felt / was going through _____________.”

The responses were incredible, revealing just how well postpartum depression can be hidden, and stay undetected by friends and family. One mom said:

“I told no one. And all everyone said was how great I looked.”

The pictures Katherine received showed smiling moms snuggling with their babies – just one of the many types of pictures you see splattered across social media daily. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and they should also say ‘don’t judge a photo by a smile.’ Behind the biggest of smiles can hide the most heartbreaking of struggles. Another mom posted:

“When this picture was taken, I was suffering severe depression. You can’t tell by looking, but I had to force myself to leave the house, was crying all the time, and hated being a mom.”

Just like there is no one type of sufferer, there is no one type of symptom when it comes to postpartum depression. It’s important for moms, both first timers and seasoned moms, to know this. Having a baby, be it your first or fifth, can involve a difficult and confusing postpartum transition for many women.

A safe, non-judgmental outlet for moms to discuss this issue, whether they are suffering or not, can be so helpful and inspiring. To support postpartum depression month, our Blooming Mamas postpartum group with Rachel Davis, MFT will be free of charge throughout May (Thursdays at 1 pm).

Some believe it takes a village to raise a child. We believe that it can also take a village to help raise a mom up. The village mustn’t ever forget to look after mom, too.