Holiday Sleep Tips From Cara of “Taking Cara Babies”

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Happy Holidays Friends. I know how busy things can get over the next few months, the last thing we want is a change in our kids sleep pattern. You I know how important sleep is in our house from my post ABC’s of Sleep with Cara of ” Taking Cara Babies “. So I asked the sleep guru herself to give us a few holiday SLEEP tips to keep babies sleep on track over the holidays. So get ready to screenshot these sleep tips from Cara and save them for years to come!


The holidays are a special time to make lasting memories with your family. Adding a sweet baby to the mix multiplies the JOY, but it can also multiply the stress. Here are a few simple tips to help you enjoy your baby-filled holiday while still protecting your sleep and sanity:

  1. Recreate your baby’s bedroom wherever you spend your night.

Whether you’re going out of town or staying for a late night at grandma’s house, try to replicate your baby’s normal bedtime surroundings as closely as possible. Don’t forget your sound machine, lovey, several pacifiers, sleep sack/swaddle, and even his own crib sheet for the Pack ‘n Play. If your baby is used to sleeping in a DockATot or Rock ‘n Play, make sure to take it with you!

Sometimes a dark room can be hard to find while you’re traveling, so we love this Snooze Shade or these travel black-out blinds so you can keep your baby from waking with that early morning light.

  1. Keep the same bedtime routine even outside of your own house!

A familiar bedtime routine tells your baby’s brain that sleep is coming, just like normal. If you typically give a mini massage, dress in jammies, feed her, and then read a book before placing her in the crib, continue to do that while you’re out of the house. If you need to shorten the routine, make sure to keep a few familiar elements. This predictable series of events remind her that it’s bedtime, even if her surroundings are slightly different. Consistency is so important!

Holiday Party Hack: If you’re not sleeping over, do your bedtime routine before placing your little one into the carseat. This can make the transfer to the crib much easier.

  1. Try to protect one solid nap per day.

During the holidays, it’s so tempting to fill the schedule with as many visits and activities as possible. You don’t want to miss out. However, an overtired baby can turn all of your coordinated fun and memories into a mess. For babies with more than one nap a day, attempt to get a solid morning nap in a Pack ’n Play or crib (instead of on-the-go). Send someone out for coffee or cinnamon rolls or snuggle by the fire while protecting that important rest for your baby. Starting the day rested can allow future naps to happen in the car seat, in grandma’s arms, or in the stroller while you sneak in that last bit of holiday shopping.

Remember: All that activity can be so exhausting for you and your little one! Watch sleepy cues for naps, and check out our blog post on Nap Schedules 5-25 months. If naps are short or happen on the go, bedtime may need to be earlier than usual.

  1. Make memories!

If you have been consistent at home with your baby’s sleep, now is the time to let go a bit. Relax and have fun; enjoy your family time. This is such a special time with your family and friends. Your baby can get back on track when you return home. If baby sleep is a mess before you add in the holidays, we can help with that too!

For more help with travel, hosting for the holidays, or baby sleep, visit our website. Taking Cara Babies exists to help you with baby sleep so that your whole family can thrive.

4 Tips To Help Avoid Stretch Marks While Pregnant

Stretch Marks, Stretch Marks, Stretch Marks

Unfortunately, there is no miracle cream that prevents stretch marks.  Research is showing that genetics play a role in who gets stretch marks. Also, gaining a lot of weight quickly or woman having twins/triples all have increased chances of new stretch marks.

You know me PREVENTION, is everything.

When I found out I was pregnant with Blakely I knew that there was a good chance I would see some new stretch marks. I already had some on my thighs from having a QUICK growth spurt in 8th grade ( 5’6″- 6’0″ over the summer WTF). SOO–I wasn’t going to sit back and not try everything out there to prevent new ones from showing up.

I did a lot of research and found some of the best ways to prevent stretch marks while pregnant, and duh I implemented them all. Why not, right!

I’m here to say I didn’t get ONE new stretch mark while pregnant.Obviously- – folks I can’t say it is JUST because of these 4 things that I didn’t get new stretch marks but I think it helped BIG TIME!

So let’s get into it: 4 Things To Help Avoid Stretch Marks While Pregnant.


Moisturize: I wouldn’t say I’m the best at moisturizing daily, but staying moisturized while pregnant definitely helped alleviate any itchy skin (a symptom of stretch marks). Later in my pregnancy my skin felt tighter (obviously) and at times itchy. So I knew it was time to lather up my skin and I used a couple products depending on my nausea.

Bio-Oil is what I used most of my pregnancy, it has a mild smell and gave me lots of moisture. Another product I used and is more of a lotion if you don’t like oils is Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks by Spoiled Mama. Every morning and night I would lather up my belly, thighs, breasts anywhere that you are gaining weight or stretching needs that moisture.

Another great option is rosehip oil, it’s like the Mother of All oils.  Rose hip seed oil is packed with trans-retinoic acid, a natural form of vitamin A and omegas that will protect the skin and encourages it to regenerate faster. So oil up girls, it’s truly beneficial!


Eating Healthy: I already have a pretty clean diet, so I knew going into pregnancy that I wanted to maintain that same diet and increase calories gradually, as specified by my doctor. As a nurse I know that amount of food a woman needs during pregnancy is dependent on a variety of things.

For A LOT of people the topic of food and weight gain can be very touchy (myself included), so remember to face it head on with your doctor and come up with a plan. I believe because I gradually gained weight throughout my pregnancy I was able to keep those stretch marks away.


Hydrate: Yes, drink water we hear it all the time and this was the hardest one for me to keep up with. Especially going into my third trimester with the baby sitting right on my bladder. But I did my best to drink 1-2 liters of water daily. Remember the more water you drink the more your skin can take in and hydrate–and hopefully help not develop stretch marks.


Workout and Stretch: My workout routine while pregnant also helped me to maintain that STEADY weight gain while pregnant. My doctor and I had a “chat” at my first appointment just keep me informed on how to work out while pregnant. She told me that pregnancy exercise can vary from my non- pregnant routine, so I needed to be aware of how hard I was pushing myself.

Most exercises you are doing prior to becoming pregnant are safe to continue during your pregnancy, but the body can react differently so be aware of any aches and pains. Most exercise while pregnant is beneficial and can help with constipation, backaches as well as increase your mood and self esteem. Here is a link to some free online workout videos I used while pregnant.


unnamed-1When I feel like something has really help me, that’s when I usually dedicate a whole post to it.

GUYS- – I hope this information is beneficial to you or just a good reminder of things you can do while pregnant to better PROTECT your beautiful skin: it’s the only skin you are gonna have so treat it well.

Have an awesomely fabulous week my loves & don’t forget I want to be friends on INSTAGRAM too!

xo- Whitney

Embracing My Mom Bod

unnamed-1Over the last few years I have really started to see my body as a piece of artwork. I only started to view it this way after I had my daughter. Watching my body carry and give birth to a baby allowed me to give myself some grace in the body image department.

A mother’s body, is beautifully and wonderfully made, I only wish I could have learned this type of grace when I was younger. The struggle to have positive body image has plagued my life since before I can remember. I was never thin enough or toned enough. I always had to many stretch marks and cellulite. This toxic thing called “PERFECTION” ate away at my soul little by little.

I recently shared a guest post on the website KNOW.BE.RAISE, about my journey to loving and accepting my ever changing body. Our bodies help shape our lives and tell our stories. I hope by sharing my story, it will encourage women everywhere to embrace their mom bod.  Head to KNOW. BE. RAISE to read the full post and interview questions.

xo- Whitney

Valentine’s Gift Ideas For Your Mini

Growing up my mom had a sweet little gift for us every Valentines day, yup she was that mom and it was awesome! So I wanted to keep that tradition going, so I’m now that mom too! Here are some easy and fun V-Day gifts for your mini at every age!

Ps. I had to show off little B from last Valentines day. My hubby was deployed so we sent him a fun box of goodies and some cute photos of his girls!

Valentines Mini Gift Guide

 Valentines inflatable unicorn gift  Valentines Junk Food Valentine tee

Valentines Oriental Trading Plush Hearts  Valentines Very Hungry Caterpillar Book

Valentines States Puzzle   Valentines Castle

Valentines Classics book set

Inflatable Valentine Unicorn Ring Toss Game
Crazy Little Thing Called Love Tee
50 States – Puzzle Within a Puzzle
Love From The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Plush Conversation Hearts
Epic Castle Playhouse
Complete Puffin Classics – Set of 11

This Just Got Real, Self Acceptance in 2018

Self Acceptance- Positively Posie
Happy New Years Eve Friends!!
I hope your holiday season has been wonderful, it has been so fun around here!
I can’t believe tomorrow will be 2018, this year flew by. I am not a huge fan of New Years resolutions, but in 2018 I really feel like I need a LIFE resolution, not just a New Years resolution.

Self Acceptance is something that I have never had, I’ve struggled my whole life with my ever changing body which led me to an eating disorder and body dysmorphia. As a mom I play such an important role in my little girl’s life, mama is who she looks up too! If I can’t learn self acceptance of my body, how can I teach Blakely to love and accept herself! I have a feeling 2018 will be filled with a lot of personal growth and maybe some tears. Lets just say it will be a big year for us and I’m looking forward to it.

Have a great time ringing in the NEW YEAR, I’ll see you in 2018!
xo- Whitney
+Shirt: HERE
+Leggings: HERE
Self Acceptance - Positively Posie
Shirt: HERE
Leggings: HERE
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The Ultimate Momiform, Lets Be Honest It’s A Must

Ultimate Momiform

Today it’s all about the 5 items you need to make the Ultimate Momiform!! The Momiform changes with the seasons so for a perfect winter momiform, you’ll need a basic cozy sweater, the perfect bag, great pair of jeans, and of course comfy shoes!! Click the Pictures to SHOP!

A cozy sweater should be a staple in every women’s closet, living San Diego my closet is starting to fill up with them. Here are two of my faves that are easy to pair with any denim or leggings .They truly make for a great staple piece for your closet.

Second every women and mom needs a killer bag! I actually never carried a real baby bag. I will admit I bought a great Tory Bruch baby bag but I always just went back to carrying a big cheap reversible tote or a backpack! I guess I am not the traditional mom in the baby bag department! Click the photos to shop my favorite bags!!!!

We all need a great pair of denim– distressed denim happens to be my favorite right now! You can’t go wrong with a good pair of distressed jeans. My favorite picks are cozy & stretchy which is what you need as mom, heck it’s what every woman wants!

And to top off the perfect momiform, you need definitely a comfy and cute shoe. I happen to be obsessed with Targets shoes, my recent favorites have all come from Target! Click the pictures to SHOP!

Let me know your Momiform essentials, maybe I need to add something to mine!

xo- Whitney

 

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Hope you’ve had a great weekend and I hope you all have fun shopping for your new momiform!!

xx- Whitney

Mom and Baby – Anytime GIFT GUIDE

GIFT GUIDES, GIFT GUIDES!

We are half way through December Friends and only 10 days until Christmas! This year I wanted to take time and put together a fun gift guide that truly can be used year around! So here is my ANYTIME OF THE YEAR gift guide for Mom and Baby!

Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!

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  1. If I were to buy an adult lovey it would be a Slumberkins– seriously can’t wait to get our next baby one of these cuties!
  2. A New Day Backless loafers Mule, the best loafer I have ever owned! So comfy!
  3. Girl’s Gotta Dream Alexander McQueen studded skull backpack as a diaper bag, fun fact this site let’s you borrow and buy!
  4. Melissa and Doug Everything! Blakely is getting their cleaning set for Christmas, we are thinking the kitchen and food for her Birthday 😉
  5. Ouai essential kit, I love their dry shampoo… hands down it’s the best!
  6. I’ve recently become an OLD NAVY lover, these PJS are everything and they are $18 what a steal!
  7. OMG I mean, a Palm Springs inspired playhouse, need I say more?
  8. A cozy chunky blanket is always a great gift
  9. Every girl needs a pretty watch and this Olivia Burton Big Dial Watch is affordable and stunning!

What did I tell you….a few fun gifts that are perfect for Mom or Baby ANYTIME of the year! See I GOT YOU!

ABC’s of Sleep with Cara of ” Taking Cara Babies “

When I was 9 months pregnant I remember telling myself, “Whitney sleep as much as you can right now because when you have Blakely you’re never gonna sleep again.”

Skip ahead 11 months, my husband was deployed and I still had a baby waking up 3-4 times a night. Blakely insisted on being fed to sooth herself back to sleep.

I was a ZOMBIE– I knew I needed some outside help and I was lucky to find a sleep consultant, Cara of  Taking Cara Babies


Cara is based out of Arizona, some of you AZ moms may have taken her “Will I Ever Sleep Again?” class that is offered at Modern Milk in Scottsdale. This class is intended for expecting parents and those with babies under 12 weeks. For those of us who don’t live in Arizona, you can purchase the online version of this class on her website. I will definitely be taking this class with our next baby, whenever that might be!

Back to our story: since Blakely was already 11 months old, the “Will I Ever Sleep Again?” class didn’t meet our needs. Luckily, Cara has created something for babies 5-24 months, called The ABC’s of Sleep.

Maybe your baby has never been a great sleeper, or you recently traveled and their sleep pattern has changed. GUYS–whatever the circumstance is, The ABC’s of Sleep is designed for you. This program is incredible and something that you can fall back on when life happens, so let me break it down for you!


The ABC’s of sleep program helps guide you with a step-by-step plan to help your baby sleep 10-12 hours a night in their crib. Cara will break down how to conquer night sleep, weaning night feedings, and conquering naps.

Below is what you will get with the ABC’s of Sleep program and a few very important tips I’ve learned from Cara along the way!

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Obviously, every baby is so different that’s why the ABC’s of Sleep Class has 3 options to fit your needs.  There is also a private Facebook group that allows parents to chat and support one another– SO cool!

This program is worth every penny, I am not one of those people that can live on a few hours of sleep. With this program you will remain actively involved in the process, and before you know it your little one will transition from a dependent sleeper to an independent sleeper.

For my husband and I the big issue was tackling “night feedings”. NO LIE: with Cara’s plan I was able to fully wean Blakely off of night feeding in 10 days. Thanks to ABC’s of Sleep Class, Blakely was sleeping 11- 12 hours a night 2 weeks into the program. Literally I type this with a huge smile on my face, because this class was life changing.


Lets talk NAPS real quick. My little one continued to take 2 naps a day until she was 18 months old, again thanks to the Cara’s nap plan. Now at 2 years old she still takes a 2 hour nap each day and sleeps 11-12 hours a night. Is your MIND BLOWN yet?


TIP #1

Life Happens. I’ve learned from Cara that lots of things impact our kids sleep. One of the benefits of having a good sleeper is when my baby’s sleep is suddenly disrupted, I know there is a DEEPER issue happening. I’ve posted few of my favorite blog posts and Instagram posts of Cara’s. I constantly refer back to when life happens.

Blog #1: Day Light Savings Help

Blog#2: Sleep and Sick Season

Instagram #1: Ear infection?

Instagram #2: Who Needs a Nap?

TIP #2

A sound machine is a must have… END OF STORY!

TIP #3

Bed time routines are SO important because it cues your baby’s brain that it’s time for bed. It’s not what you do but how you do it so KEEP it simple, calm and consistent! Our routine consists of a 10 minute bath, then into her room where the sound machine is already running, we lotion and young living lavender oil, then PJ’s, read 3-4 books and then lights off and into her crib. She rolls around for a few minutes but is usually asleep in 10 minutes with no crying.

TIP #4

Don’t give up–it’s not to late to get your baby sleeping in their own crib or sleeping in long stretches! My daughter was 11 months old when we implemented Cara’s plan. Guys, I’ll say it again this plan was LIFE CHANGING! This blog post doesn’t even do justice to how life changing this class could be for you and your baby.  A healthy sleep foundation for your baby means a better quality of life for you and your family.

WHERE TO FIND Cara of ” Taking Cara Babies “
Instagram       Website        Facebook 
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Mama Must Have Items- Positively Posie

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Happy Friday Friends!

So excited to bring you some new Mama Must Haves (check out past my last MMH’s guest post), over the past year and a half I have found some products that I absolutely love and can’t go without! I don’t know about you but when I had to register at Buy Buy baby I was so overwhelmed. I had NO clue what was good and what was necessary as a new mom. So if you are feeling that way hopefully this post can give you an idea of some really great products with mom’s STAMP of approval on them.

+ Sassy diaper sacks– I literally don’t go anywhere without these little guys. They really help cut the stinky diaper smell, so when your on a airplane and a blow out situation happens you want these in your bag!

+ Sassy Toys– Great for development with bright colors and bold patterns. These have been some of Blakely’s favorite toys and have kept her busy while out to dinner or on a airplane!

+ Babyganics products- As most of you know I am a big fan of babyganics from my previous post.  So I couldn’t do a mama must have without one of my favorites on the list. Their shampoo +body wash is so gentle and fragrance free, we have never had a “shampoo in the eye situation” at our house because it is so gentle!

+ Lavender oil- Kids sleep support is something that is really important to me! We have a wonderful sleeper in our house thanks to our wonderful sleep specialist, Cara of Taking Cara of babies- – see that post here.  As of recent I have been using lavender oil on her feet too, I dilute it in a couple drops of coconut oil. You don’t have to dilute it from what Young Living’s website. It states you can apply 2–4 drops directly to desired area and that dilution is not required, but I do dilute when I put it on Blakely. I don’t sell Young Living I just buy it, but if you are interested in learning more about oils in general check out Joys_Journey on Instagram and direct message her! She is a guru on oils and can walk you through the entire process!

+ Bumkins Silicone Grip Dish is the best grip dish I have found! Once stuck down it’s not moving, only mama can get that back up! When I was registering I put down the trendy and more expensive EZPZ mat, but Blakely easily moved this tray around and it made a mess. Don’t ask me why but the Bumkins dish truly works and it is cheaper, doesn’t get much better than that!

+ Birth Annoucement– So the last mama must have is truly for “mama” more than for baby. I think it’s so special to have a birth announcement for your little one that is unique and tailored to your baby.  I was blessed to have my best friend Alexandra of Fleurish Letters +Design create this incredible birth announcement for my daughter.  She illustrates everything by hand and it’s written in beautiful hand lettering. It’s definitely a wonderful keepsake, something that I will always treasure! Enter the giveaway for a chance to choose from the many theme announcements that are available. FIND FLEURISH LETTERS  + DESIGN ON:

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Etsy

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Hey Mama, 3 Babyganics Products You Should Be Using

A clean house is a must for our family.

I do my best to always use baby-safe products when I’m cleaning, I never want to question could this be safe for Blakely. When Blakely was born I didn’t know what products to use, there are just so many out there! But I was won over by Babyganics because their products are formulated with plant-based, natural and certified organic ingredients.

Recently, Babyganics sent me some their fabulous products to try, some of these I already use daily and others were new to me. So today I’m excited to share 3 of my favorite Babyganics products. For reals though, using these products give me peace of mind that I’m using good and gentle cleaning products in our home.

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Product 1: Babyganics Mineral Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion

This has been my go to sunscreen since Blakely was born. I love it because the ingredients are way more natural than other sunscreens, it’s non-allergenic and tear free.When you have a one year old who won’t sit still while putting on sunscreen an effortless application is a MUST! So I love how Babyganics applies, it rubs in the skin right away, has no strange sunscreen smell!

Product 2: Babyganics Face and Hand Wipes

The day these Babyganics goodies arrived at our door, Blakely had come down with her second cold ever. There were a lot of boogers and sneezes happening at our house, the face and hand wipes came in so handy that week. They are super gentle wipes, Blakely did not have any redness around her nose the entire cold. These wipes are very hydrating and they are unscented (unlike some other boogie wipes out there)!unnamed.jpg

Product 3: Babyganics Foaming Dish & Bottle Soap

It’s crazy how fast bottles add up in the sink. Every mom knows the faster the bottles can get cleaned and rinsed the better! Foam soap is great because there is alway less rinsing aka less water used, this soap takes off the residue and 100% gets rid of the stinky smell of formula.

What are your favorite Babyganics products?

Check out Babyganics on: Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

**This post was sponsored by Babyganics,