Bump Your Baby to Sleep!

It’s 4 a.m., you’ve been up since 2 with a screaming, fussy, inconsolable infant! This baby that you thought was adorable at 8 p.m. is now starting to resemble one of the scary flying monkeys from the Wizard of OZ circa 1939. 

Bumpyourbaby-ShopWholeHeartWhat do you do? You’ve tried the “5 S’s” for calming, right?

1) Swaddling

2) Sideline or stomach position

3) Shhhing (white noise)

4) Sucking (pacifier, finer, bottle, breast)

5) Shaking (always gentle, never vigorous)

Still not working? Try to bump your baby to sleep with the “BumpYourBaby” ball!

Babies like steady, continuous, gentle jiggling because it reminds them of the womb. Hence, the 5 S’s. Each one of those was created to recreate feelings baby felt inutero. The last one can be especially hard if you’ve already been up for hours or, if you’re someone who doesn’t like standing because it’s hard on your back and joints.


In comes the “Baby Bump“! Gently bounce a newborn on a Baby Bump™ to soothe it when nothing else will do the trick.

Baby Bump is “The New Rocking Chair.” Typical rocking chairs make it hard to maintain the jiggle that baby wants (and needs) to maintain calm and trigger their calming reflex to put them to sleep. When you’re holding a baby in a chair and rocking back and forth, the baby is actually rocking side to side at an awkward pace. This rocking is not conducive to calming a fussy baby. The Baby Bump is the best tool for bumping baby calm and taking pressure off your back and joints.

Bump-you-baby-pregnancy-iconMultiple uses!

  • Use the Baby Bump™ for prenatal comfort (enhances pregnant mother’s posture)
  • Use the Baby Bump™ to soothe any, and all, fussy babies
  • Use the Baby Bump™ as during labor support as a birth ball
  • Use the Baby Bump™ to entertain baby, sing, dance
  • Use the Baby Bump™ fo gross motor play to develop trunk & head control
  • Use the Baby Bump™ as a reading chair for antsy toddlers that HAVE to be in motion
  • Use the Baby Bump™ to stay in shape and keep up with energetic toddlers

What sets it apart from an exercise ball?Bump-your-baby-pink

Well, the Baby Bump™ has a leg up on the traditional yoga and fitness balls – 6 legs to be precise. Baby Bump’s unique peg-legged design keeps the ball stable and stationary and will be a helpful tool/toy for every stage of your infants growth from pregnancy to parenthood.

How is it made?

Baby Bump™ manufactures the balls in the furniture capital of world- Italy! They are Bump-your-baby-Italymade from the highest quality material: soft, gripping/non-slip, pearly vinyl that is recyclable, environmentally friendly, latex free, phthalate free and even gluten free. Baby Bump™ focuses on safety for parents and their babies; the balls are “burst proof”, meaning that if they are punctured they will deflate slowly and safely.

Baby Bump™ is now an essential tool/toy for all new parents, a new staple of every nursery and of course, it makes the perfect baby shower gift!

The Baby Bump™ is “The New Rocking Chair.” 


10 Must Read Books During Pregnancy

Our friends at Austin Born have compiled a list of “10 Must-Read Books for Pregnancy Through Early Parenting” and…we approve!

If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant, I can already guess that your library card is melting from so much use. You may have even bit the bullet and signed up for Amazon Prime because yeah, that free shipping is totally worth it when you’re buying enough books you could sink a small ship.

But what do you really need to read to prepare? First hint: put down What to Expect When You’re Expecting. No, seriously. Put.It.Down.

Here’s our list of 10 must-read books for a more calm & confident pregnancy and birth, from your doulas here at AustinBorn:


1) Taking Charge of Your Fertility: You’d be surprised how many of us have some serious gaps in understanding how our own body works. This book is super, super helpful. (“That Girl” has read this one, too!)


2) Pregnancy, Childbirth & The Newborn: Be warned, this one is kind of textbook-y and dry, but factual.

3) Expecting Better: This new kid on the block stirred up quite a bit of controversy when it was released in early 2014. But it’s a super interesting read with an evidence-based approach to busting some of our long held standard practices around pregnancy.

Extra: 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy


4) Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth: If ever they were a messiah of childbirth, it’s midwife Ina May Gaskin (of The Farm) and this would be the gospel. Moments of this book may feel too “hippy-ish” for some moms but we love it for the positive birth stories which will leave you feeling excited for birth, instead of scared.Chelsea Vail, baby expert

5) Natural Hospital Birth: Are you giving birth in a hospital but wanting as few interventions as possible? This is basically your manual. Interventions and procedures are explained in an easy to understand way, with tips on how to prepare for and achieve a low-intervention/unmedicated birth in a medicalized setting.

6) The Birth Partner: No matter who your primary labor support person will be (partner, mom, husband, etc.) this is truly a must read. Written by the godmother of the doula profession, Penny Simkin, this book guides support people in how to effectively help a mother in labor including a handy illustrated guide for comfort measures.

Extra: The Birth Book by Dr. Sears


7) Breastfeeding Made Simple: Just read this one, okay? And buy your copy so you can keep it as reference. This book revolves around “7 natural laws” of breastfeeding which are common sense and won’t drive you crazy. It’s informative without being too dry and, most importantly, nonjudgmental. There’s even a section on pumping when you go back to work.


8) Dr. Sear’s Baby Book: This one has it all for birth through two years old. Consider it your reference manual for all those mysterious coughs and sneezes.

9) Touchpoints: This really focuses on the cross-relationship between physical, emotional, and behavioral development. ‘Touchpoints’ will put your mind at ease during all the leaps and regressions (oh, the regressions!) your little one will go through in the first three years.

10) Bumpology: This is a fun, interesting read and will answer lots of your (seemingly) random questions like, “can I eat peanuts during pregnancy?” and “do babies sweat?”


Which book would you add to this list?

Having Twins?

I like to think of myself as a bit of a twin master. In my mind, twins are tougher than singletons, but WAY easier than having two kids of different ages. 

Think about it this way: If you have two kids of different ages, they’re on completely different schedules. They eat at different times, go to bed and nap and different times, play with different toys, wear different size diapers, and throw tantrums for totally different reasons.

Twins, on the other hand, cake walk compared to that! The trick to raising twins, triplets, quads, or beyond? SCHEDULE!

Repeat after me, “I will NOT survive raising twins if I don’t get them on the same schedule”. Repeat this after they’re born and every day until they’re in school, lol.


Now, the natural parent inside me says that babies need what they need when they need it and that parents should respond to their needs accordingly; however, this looks different with singeltons and twins. With a singleton, you can watch for cues and feed only when it’s time. With twins, if you get “feed me” cues from one twin, but not the other…too bad, you’re feeding both. Do NOT feed one and not the other. This will throw your day off, which will throw your night off, and then…life will suck. What have we leared? Feed both.

Now, you can feed the hungry one first and then the other, or you can feed both simultaneously. I prefer to feed both simultaneously either breastfeeding with a My BrestFriend Nursing pillow for twins or bottle feeding with a Table for Two or with the twins in bouncy seats.


Then, choose the least fussy baby first (there will be one, I promise) and burp, swaddle, put down. The reason you choose the least fussy baby is so you can get the chill one settled before the fussy one begins to demand your attention. The fussy one can take longer to burp, harder to swaddle, longer to esttle, etc. If you’re lucky enough not to have a fussy one, no worries, just burp, swaddle, and put down both.

PS: Pay attention to pooping patterns. Are they dirty when you pick them up to feed? If so, change prior to a feed. Do they poop during a feed? If so, change them after a feed AND after a burp, before you swaddle.


Everybody’s favorite topic. We all know how important sleep is!

Smart moms start building healthy sleep habits immediately! This means your baby is in the crib or bassinet that they will spend their nights in right away.Keep baby clean, swaddled, and flat on their back and if you must have a blanket over them, lay it at the nipples and tuck under their sides to keep it secure. No bumpers, stuffed animals, or loose clothing in baby’s bed.

You’ll likely read umpteen-million baby books on sleep…try to avoid any book that recommends “crying it out”. That creates a mad baby, tired parents, and potentially an insecure, maladjusted kid down the road.

Trust yourself to follow their lead. Assume they’re tired and will sleep as long as they need, but also track how long they last before waking up in the middle of the night. If it’s a little more than two hours, then start feeding every two hours BEFORE they cry. They’re much easier to feed and resettle in the middle of the night when they’re not wide awake and overstimulated.

You can slowly taper this to 2.5 hours, then 3 hours, etc. until you have a 5 hour or more stretch between feeds. If your newborn does not settle imediately following a feed, after burping, changing, and swaddling, they’re likely still hungry. They will require more ounces per pound as they grow. Attempt to bulk up the feeds during the day in hopes of longer stretches between feeds in the night.

Feed, burp, change, swaddle, put down on the back. If they fuss a little bit do NOT pick them up. Wait about 5 minutes or so and see if they can settle themselves. If the cry begins to escalate, pick them up, love them until they’re drowsy again, then set back down. Wait another 5-8 minutes to see if they settle. Most babies that are fed and happy will fall back to sleep quickly.

Do NOT hold all night long. 1) It’s a SIDS risk. 2) It creates unhealthy sleep habits. 3) It prevents baby from self-soothing 4) You’ll be a tired-ass mama

Photo Credit: saintpetersblog.com

The first few months of life will consist of nothing but creating a schedule, feeding, burping, changing, swaddling, sleeping; however, there are a few other tips to remember when raising twins:

  • Make several copies of house keys, mail keys, and car keys. Leave spares with a neighbor, close friends, spouse, babysitter, and at work, in your purse, and in the diaper bag. You’re raising two humans…keys tend to get lost.
  • Channel your inner pre-K teacher and color code the shit out of everything! If they’re fraternal, this is less of a problem, but with identical twins, you’ll want identifiers on all bottles, onesies, prescriptions, etc.
  • Create a framed, hangable chalkboard/bulletin board titled “What I Need” and keep it updated so that when friends drop by randomly or call and say, “If you need anything let me know…” you’ll actually be able to point them towards what you need. Don’t be scared to take people up on their offers.
  • Remember babies are resilient. There may be times one is crying while you’re tending to another or both are crying while you’re pouring yourself a dry martini…but, remember, self-care is important. If they cry a few minutes while you pull yourself together, they will not conciously think, “My mom must not love me”.
  • Cloth diaper! You will spend anywhere from $6000-9,000 in diapers and wipes with twins before they’re potty trained, but you could spend $1000 and get 18-24 diapers a piece that are one size (OS) and will stick with them from birth until age 4! Save that money for nannies and sleep trainers.
  • Set up “changing stations” EVERYwhere
  • Nurse! Nurse often. Nurse on demand.
  • Get your placenta encapsulated. Twins can be delivered naturally and vaginally, but let’s be honest, many are delivered via c-section. C-section mamas have a higher chance for post-partum depression, slower recovery and decreased milk supply. Encapsulating your placenta will set you back about $200 initially, but the benefits are outrageous!

Note: bottle warmers suck, wipe warmers are not portable, and pacifiers expel germs after a few seconds on the floor (don’t they?)

If you have specific concerns or questions that weren’t addressed in this post OR you’d like additional support, shoot me an email. My consultation fees via email are minimal and I love to help. Email me at: chelseavail@wholeheartaustin.com Good luck, mom!

Lalabu Lala-believe It!

I’m a HUGE advocate for babywearing, but like many moms out there, I get overwhelmed at all of the options and quite frankly…freaked out about the newborn options. That was until discovering the Lalabu!


Here’s what you do NOT want for a newborn:

  • Hips rotated out, legs on either side
  • Forward facing carrier (can you say “overstimulation”?)
  • Crappy fabric up against the brand new baby skin
  • Chin to chest position from an ill fitted sling

This is why the Lalabu Soothe Shirt kicks ass! Not only is it $20-30 cheaper than a Moby Wrap (itchy itchy & complicated), but it’s got some super awesome features unlike any other carrier out there!

  • Easy to use pouch calms newborns
  • Built-in nursing bra for convenient breastfeeding
  • Soft, wrinkle free fabric
  • Perfect for all seasons – stylish enough to wear alone, light enough to wear under layers
  • Made in the USA (very “mom and pop” roots)

It’s a shirt!! It’s idiot proof!! Just put it on over, or under, your regular clothes. Baby gets fussy, hard to hold, wants to snuggle, or needs to nurse…just pop him right into the lil’ marsupial pouch and get to soothin’!


From a Child Development perspective, babywearing is a MUST! It does much more than you think:

1. Improves gross motor development and trunk control due to the suspension

2. Improves language development and speech patters due to the close range to mamas voice

3. Improves physiological patterns (heart rate, breathing) from so much skin to skin, tummy to tummy

4. Improved bonding…happier baby

5. Babywearing is “attchment parenting” and bukoos of studies have shown products of attachment parenting styles to be better adjusted, more confident, more organized, and more social

Lalabu-Soothe-Shirt-Chocolate-Brown-Smile Lalabu Soothe Shirt Rich Purple Lalabu Soothe Shirt Heather Gray Cozy Pouch

The Lalabu Soothe Shirt comes in a variety of neutral colors and is sized to perfection. Order yours now or gift to a friend at your next baby shower!

Lalabu Soothe Shirt