Earlier this month - on October 10 - we observed World Mental Health Day, a day to raise awareness in support of mental health. As fellow moms here at lulujo we have experienced the impact that motherhood has on our mental health - the highest of highs, the lowest of lows and the challenging moments in between.
An important aspect of mental health is self-care. The topic of self-care in motherhood is one that we’re interested in and invested in exploring with you. Self-care can look different at different stages of your life. Your exact pre-baby self-care routines or practices may be non-existent now that you have welcomed your little one - or ones - into the world. You probably have new practices or maybe you are struggling to find you-time, like many of us do.
For this blog post we connected with one of our partners and friends, Daniela Ciccarelli, President of KidCentral Supply Inc., a distributor of baby and maternity products for fellow Canadian moms. Daniela is a mom to a young toddler and will welcome baby #2 this winter. As a career-driven professional who strives to serve Canadian moms and be there for her young family, what does self-care look like for her?
lulujo: Why is self-care important to you?
Daniela: I need to be the best version of me for all the people who depend on me. However - and to be honest - taking care of myself is low on my priority list some days. Not only do I need to fill my own cup, but I want to set an example for my own daughter on how to be a strong woman.
lulujo: How have your self-care needs changed since becoming a mom? What are your self-care activities or rituals?
Daniela: Oh, my self-care activities have changed drastically. My pre-motherhood self-care routines no longer exist, mainly because my schedule doesn’t allow for it. So, I have had to adapt and find new ways to find time for myself. Sometimes it’s a phone call to a friend on the way to work. Talking to my close friends soothes my soul. I engage in less planned self-care activities and rituals and now I focus on carving out downtime at the end of my day to unwind and relax my mind - that can be taking a bath, watching TV or sitting alone with my thoughts. In the morning I get up an hour before my daughter so that I have some quiet time alone to start the day. So simple, yet it’s time for me.
lulujo: As a role model to your own daughter, what do you want her to notice and learn about your relationship with yourself and making time and space to do what fills your cup?
Daniela: My priority - and promise - since the day she was born has been to be present. The pace of work and life these days can leave us all quickly distracted by tasks and noise. I strive to be fully present when we are together. I’ve always made it a priority to play, sing, read, and laugh with her. It’s so important to me that she knows I’m physically and mentally there for her. This to me is my best self-care. Being present is the best self-care. The relationship we have and continue to grow is self-soothing and gratifying for me and I know it’s so special for her.
Pro photo-taking tips from Lulujo's long-time photographer that will make your images even sweeter.
There are two reoccurring moments of excitement at our hq; one, when we receive new product samples in the mail and two, when new photos roll in from Mag, our photographer. Put your beautiful babies and some Lulujo in front of her camera and we end up with the best brand images, every time. Cue the oohs and aahs!
You may have seen her pop up behind the scenes on our IG stories - when it comes to photographing Lulujo moms and babes, Mag Hood is our gal. Not only is she an awesome person, she’s a pro moment maker and has captured countless images that tell our brand story beautifully.
Our Milestone Blankets have long been a fan favourite. These boxed sets make a perfect keepsake gift for any expecting mom or dad. And, the coordinating blanket and cards combo makes it easy to create some super cute images to share on your feed. The age cards go from one day to one year and through these photos you will really see how your little one has grown so quickly in their first 12 months. The sweetest.
Here are Mag’s top five tips for parents for capturing these beautiful moments with your phone, or any camera.
No one knows your baby’s schedule better than you! Choosing a time to do the photos when your baby is the most content might seem obvious, but it is key to getting great photos. Taking breaks and not forcing it if it isn’t the right time are also great tips to keep in mind throughout the process.
The key to great photography is finding good natural light. As a professional photographer, I plan all my shots around light. For these types of shots, I recommend soft, natural window light. Choosing a bright room with indirect daylight coming in through the window (the bigger the better) will be the best way to get clean, crisp and well-lit shots of your adorable baby. I also recommend turning off the flash on your camera or phone, as well as any lamps in the room, and using only natural light to light your baby.
With the wide variety of colours and designs, it is fairly simple to coordinate an adorable outfit with your milestone blanket. You can choose specific colours from the blanket or go more neutral. Solid colour outfits with minimal logos and text tend to photograph the best.
Having everything set up and ready to shoot before you bring a happy baby into frame makes it easier to get that desired shot. I recommend placing the milestone blanket on top of a soft, light coloured surface that won’t show through the blanket. This will make it more comfortable for your baby. We typically use soft rugs, duvets and plush blankets, all white or off-white in colour.
With these tips in mind, I hope you’ll be able to create a consistent set-up with the milestone blankets to capture adorable and memorable images of your growing baby.
There is nothing sweeter then a swaddled baby, and for some parents, it’s a go-to move for soothing their little one and helping them sleep soundly.
Some parents swear by swaddling, the age-old method of wrapping your newborn in a thin breathable blanket, which provides comfort as they adjust to life Earth-side. Swaddling can be soothing for your baby by keeping them cozy and may promote better sleep by keeping their startle reflexes at bay.
While our swaddles are versatile and can be used for many purposes, like giving a mama privacy while breastfeeding or providing shade during a sunny afternoon walk in the stroller, it’s good to know the basics of safe swaddling before you welcome your little one into the world. Our swaddles are made with soft, breathable muslin and are tested for safety and durability. If you have any further swaddling related questions, chat with your healthcare provider who can also refer you to additional sleep recommendations.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Safe Swaddling
Swaddling will be short and sweet. It is generally recommended to say so-long to swaddling when your baby begins to roll over, which can happen as early as two months.
We want to know - what is on your mind when it comes to swaddling? Let us know!
Above and beyond diapers and wipes - the seasonal must-haves to add to your diaper bag.
Let me introduce myself! My name is Javessa Stanton (@javessastanton) and I am mom to our sweet boy Rowan and a sweet baby girl on the way. I live in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia. As I become close to my due date I’d love to share some of my favourite lulujo diaper bag essentials fall.
As our baby girl will be making her arrival soon, lulujo's sweet Ballet Slipper Waffle Blanket will be a must-have to keep her cozy during fall walks in our neighbourhood. lulujo's waffle blankets are 100% cotton, breathable and become softer with every wash. I'll also keep lulujo's new bandana bibs handy for when the inevitable drooling starts. The bandana bibs come in so many different prints and colours - I am obsessed. lulujo bandanna bibs are also 100% cotton and safe for newborns.
Style expert and first-time mom Julia Hu breaks down how she created a soothing nursery for her new arrival.
Julia: I had a vision of a peaceful, calming space with personal touches. I really liked the idea of a sage green accent wall and neutral furniture. I love a timeless, classic look as well so I definitely wanted to incorporate all these features when thinking about Mason’s nursery.
Julia: Yes we did! I wanted to keep it gender-neutral though so we can continue using it in the future. That is why I chose sage green and neutral tones.
Julia: I designed the nursery and came up with the vision for it, while my husband and a professional painter helped bring the vision to life.
Julia: I love the personalized elements with his name such as the wooden name sign above his crib that we added. Since he hasn't been sleeping in the room yet, I love the rocking chair area. We spend a lot of quality time there.
Julia: With the Covid-19 pandemic, delivery delays for furniture were a big challenge. We waited quite a bit of time for different pieces to arrive so that was tough to visualize the room without it all coming together at the same time. It's also tough not seeing some elements in person (such as paint color swatches) so I just tried my best to do all my research online. Thankfully it all worked out!
Julia: I learned not to take things too seriously and to have fun in the process. It might be stressful trying to put together a space before baby arrives, but it's so important to take a step back and really appreciate the time and love you put into the room and details. I loved the nights my husband and I worked together on building furniture and seeing the room come together. It made it just that more exciting for baby's arrival!
And most importantly, have fun with it and enjoy the moments before your baby's arrival! It’s such an exciting time so savor each moment.
A brand built with moms in mind.
Our story begins with a simple idea: in 2008 our founder, Dawn, was inspired by a product she made for her newborn while on maternity leave. With great confidence in the belief “If I need this product, other moms will, too,” the brand, fondly named after her two children, was started.
Throughout our 14 years, we have always been proudly women-led, and, first and foremost, we are a team of moms! Working with and supporting mothers of all kinds and mom-preneurs has been an intentional decision for us. We are driven to provide thoughtful and comforting products to our customers - fellow parents - and we also agree on a universal truth: family comes first.
Maybe you have been with us on our journey since day one, or maybe you are just getting to know our brand. In any case, here’s a peek into our team of moms who are dedicated to creating special moments and memories between you and your little one.
Dawn Pottier ~ Founder & CEO
What I work on at Lulujo: Vision, strategy, operations and sales.
My family, described in three words: Loyal, passionate and entertaining.
What I love about our team and the Lulujo community: We have a fiercely dedicated and loyal team who all want to be part of making a difference. Everyone connected to Lulujo supports and encourages our vision in the most positive way - by learning, having courage, taking risks, believing, having fun, being inclusive, working as a team, considering all opinions, and doing it with an entrepreneurial spirit. We listen to our community of incredible fans who love our products and we learn from them what parents around the world want for their families. Together, within our team, we listen and build it.
is super soft, gender neutral and fun. To me, this blanket represents a risk we took and believed in. In 2014, when we created this print and the black and white Modern Collection, many people told us they would not sell. But we believed in our decision and still to this day black and white decor in baby bedding and nurseries is on-trend and has even become a classic look.
Alicia Tracy ~ Director, Brand & Product Development
What I work on at Lulujo: Creating and growing the Lulujo brand.
My family, described in three words: Adventure, acceptance, and creativity.
What I love about our team and the Lulujo community: Our team is like a toolbox with everyone we need to make or do anything. If we can imagine it and believe it, the right people are in place to help make the magic happen. Internally, and among our partners, we have the brightest and most dedicated people all with a “can-do” attitude. Top this off with our amazing customers and brand supporters and what we have is a beautiful community that I am so very proud to be part of. The freedom to be truly creative and supported is a gift!
Amanda Walsh ~ Customer Service & Administration
What I work on at Lulujo: Order processing, providing exceptional customer service and ensuring our headquarters runs smoothly.
My family, described in three words: Love, funny, and cheerful.
What I love about our team and the Lulujo community: To me, the Lulujo community means family, love, and support.
My favourite Lulujo product: My favourite item is the Turkish towels. They are the perfect beach towel, but also make a great throw blanket on cool summer nights. If my children were younger, our quilts would be my top favourite baby product. They are the perfect mix of being warm, yet lightweight and oh, so soft!
Keshia Matthews ~ Online Sales Manager
What I work on at Lulujo: I manage and establish our e-commerce platforms for retailers and customers to help them have a seamless interaction and buying experience.
My family, described in three words: Faith, love, and fun.
What I love about our team and the Lulujo community: I have a two-part answer. One, the “behind the scenes" Lulujo community that is made up of our team of four ladies at our HQ but also the other people we get the privilege of working with behind the scenes. This little community works hard every day, and always has fun doing it! We celebrate each win - whether that is a sale in our store or website or launching new products that we know people will love! We celebrate each victory, no matter how small, because we know that each one matters to the success of Lulujo. So bottom line, this community is about encouragement and celebration! Second, the Lulujo community that is made up of all of our customers - local and around the world. This community means love, support and loyalty. I love reading messages and talking to people in-store that share their stories about how a blanket helps their little one sleep or soothes them when they're upset. It is the BEST feeling in the world to be a part of that and I definitely do not take it for granted! What a privilege to be a part of such an awesome community!
My favourite Lulujo product: My favourite Lulujo product would have to be the My Friend Lulu doll. My girls both have the doll and to see them play and use their imagination to come up with different scenarios is so fun to watch and be a part of!
Lulujo-Mom Approved: top 5 tips and products for your Lulujo gift registry
#1: Think long-term.
"Register for items that will meet your needs and the baby’s needs in the long term like cozy quilts that stand the test of time and our multi-purpose swaddles. PS - I love using my Leopard swaddle as a nursing cover and a scarf."
Keshia's Lulujo Gift Registry Must-Haves:
#2: Variety makes the registry.
"Add variation, especially when it comes to sized items like sleep suits. Add sizes that you don’t need immediately such as 6-9 months so you don’t have too many of the same size."
Julia's Lulujo Gift Registry Must-Haves:
#3: Get advice from friends.
"Consult with your mom friends when creating your gift registry. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options nowadays."
Crystal's Lulujo Gift Registry Must-Haves:
#4: Quality over quantity.
"When you focus on quality - and not quantity - you end up with less waste and beautiful pieces to hand down to the next baby in your life."
Natalie's Lulujo Gift Registry Must-Haves:
#5: You do you, but make sure to edit.
"To truly curate the gift registry that will serve you, give yourself a day or two to edit the registry before you share it with friends and family."
Laura's Lulujo Gift Registry Must-Haves:
Mix work, fun, and friendship and you get a brand with heart and soul.
"Winner winner chicken dinner”. A funny text that means we’re on the same page and both loving a new print our designer just sent over. It’s a great feeling when our vision has been achieved in a pattern, colour, or product. I sent a screenshot to Dawn on Friday evening because, in our world, what better way to kick off the weekend.
For those new to Lulujo, Dawn is the founder and CEO who started the brand 11 years ago. My role is product development which involves working with our manufacturers and designers to create products and packaging based on current trends. I also oversee anything brand related like photography, social media, trade shows, or our catalog.
Seven years ago, after a serendipitous introduction, Dawn and I had our first meeting at a sushi restaurant, just a few doors down from our now hq and flagship store. The business was growing and she needed some help...had I ever designed, coordinated, and set up a booth for a baby brand at an international industry trade show? I had not, BUT, from that one conversation I knew we could hit it out of the park together. Eight weeks later we were on our way to Las Vegas. After a roller coaster of stress and excitement, our “just go for it and figure it out” attitude led the way to an amazing show and the beginning of a friendship that crosses lines of work, play, and family.
What we do doesn't feel like work; it's an extension of who we are both creatively and as reflected in the core values of the company. Our friendship thrives in celebrating every goal reached and envisioning the milestones ahead. We share excitement in the small wins along the way; every order, new follower, thoughtful review, and mom who tells us how much their Lulujo products mean to them.
Lulujo has taken us on adventures around the world, from New York to Beijing, Cologne to Boston. On our off time we squeeze in every free minute to explore on the Hop On Hop Off, find an exquisite dessert bar, try to end the night with a much needed foot massage, and then back to the hotel to watch Jimmy Fallon. We live a few streets apart in a beautiful, dynamic city and take advantage of walks to work to chat about new product ideas, sales strategy, or to get some comic relief in a story often involving Dawn’s kids, Emily and Jack, or, as you know them, Lulu and Jo. The mountain bike community has become a big part of both of our families' lives and we’re all chomping at the bit to get back out and enjoy all our home in Atlantic Canada has to offer.
Throughout the years, celebrated moments like proms, graduations, new homes, cottages, Christmases, and vacations have been met with losses, struggles, and uncertainties. With every up and down, Dawn has been one of my greatest supporters and cheerleaders. She is a mentor and an example in how to approach family, friendship and leadership with tremendous generosity that makes people feel loved and valued.
Behind the brand there are many wonderful stories of relationships with great partners, awesome employees, and incredible supporters over the years. But, I'll dare to say our friendship is a winner winner chicken dinner.
~ Alicia, brand & product development for Lulujo
Maybe you’re creating your baby registry, or perhaps you’re not quite sure where to start. We get it. We’ve been there. To help avoid the endless website scrolling, we’re breaking down our Lulujo products that new moms have told us they love.
CREATING COMFORTING MOMENTS
Our signature swaddling blankets are an absolute must-have - just ask Jillian Harris. A swaddle will likely be one of the first things you wrap your baby with after you welcome them into the world. Swaddles are a versatile and functional blanket well beyond the swaddling stage, from an impromptu stroller cover or changing pad to a go-to blankie throughout toddlerhood.
All of our baby swaddles are made with breathable muslin, both 100% cotton or bamboo and cotton blend and come in single, two- and three-pack options. The Lulujo swaddle is known for its quality, unmatched softness and range of beautiful prints from traditional and watercolour to solids and boho.
Lulujo Mom Tip: You will want multiple swaddles on hand during the newborn stage - six swaddles is an excellent place to start.
Little ones love the comfort of our mini muslin security blankets, which feature smooth satin trim. Security blankets can help babies (and toddlers) self-soothe. These blankets are breathable, ultra-soft, and the perfect size for little hands. Babies love the tactile feel and can carry them wherever they go. Available as a two-pack, each blanket is 100% cotton.
Lulujo Mom Tip: Tie a security blanket to the car seat or stroller for self-soothing while on the go.
organic cotton washcloths
Bathtime can be a comforting time for your little one. Our eco-friendly washcloths are extra soft and gentle on baby’s delicate skin. You can never have too many of these reusable cloths that get softer with every wash.
Babies and toddlers love our lovies - a sweet combination of security blanket and toy. Made with muslin and oh-so cuddly, your little one will enjoy discovering its softness.
You have probably been reading a lot about tummy time. Our quilts are warm and cozy for tummy time and perfect for bedtime as your baby gets older. These beautifully soft quilted blankets are made with four layers of deluxe muslin and come in timeless patterns.
waffle blanketsOur cozy waffle blankets
are another great option for under your little one during tummy time. Our waffle blankets are made from quality cotton in a lovely textured waffle weave designed to be gentle on baby's skin and ideal for all seasons.
Lulu & Jo books
Propping up a board book can keep your little one engaged and interested during tummy time. Plus, reading with your child at a young age is a wonderful bonding activity and teaches communication, listening, memory, and vocabulary skills. Our padded board books, written by much-loved Canadian author Sheree Fitch, are keepsake quality with rounded edges - the perfect addition to a little one's "my first books" collection.
change pad covers
These beautiful covers are designed to fit a standard size change pad. Made with our premium 100% cotton muslin, they feature prints from our boho collection that will complement your baby's stylish nursery. In addition, our covers are made with breathable cotton muslin that gets softer with every wash. (Oh, and we have matching crib sheets, too.)
Lulujo Mom Tip: Our change pad covered fits the Keekaroo Peanut changing pad too.
This one's for you, mama. Trust us.
Our gift to you: receive a FREE Mommy + Me scrunchie set with your next purchase by using code FREESCRUNCHIE at checkout. Be sure to select your favourite and add it to cart first!
Our Hello World hat and swaddle (and HELLO birth announcement sticker) will have your newborn super cozy and camera-ready. This ready-to-use set will make it easy to snap the perfect photo and introduce your little one to family and friends.
Baby’s First Year
Turn a year of milestones into memories with our Baby's First Year photo blanket and cards. A baby registry favourite, each set includes a beautiful muslin milestone baby blanket and age cards from one day to one year old. Be ready to swoon over beautiful keepsake photos.
bonus milestone card set
As moms, we know that capturing a baby’s firsts - like crawling and walking - is so special. That’s why we’re including a milestone card pack with each purchase. We love helping parents capture those can’t-miss moments.
Creating a boho nursery haven for your little one has benefits, like celebrating special hand-me-down heirloom pieces and encouraging self expression.
While bohemian style (or “boho” as it’s affectionately known) originated in France in the nineteenth century, the aesthetic can be well-suited to just about any home, or room, in 2021. Unlike other styles that are rooted in a particular era - think mid-century modern - boho style is inspired by people, places, treasures and memories, and one that you can truly make your own. This highly personal style is often inspired by travel and experiencing different cultures, which is likely why you’re leaning towards creating a boho-inspired space. We’re all reminiscing about our travels and looking forward to the next opportunity to show our little ones a different part of the world. In many ways, boho style isn’t about achieving a particular look - it is about creating a special feeling.
An eclectic boho aesthetic is a great choice for a nursery as it creates a warm and welcoming environment for babies and parents (and siblings) - a place your family will want to spend time together. A collected, layered and lived-in look - a hallmark of boho style - helps remove the pressure from parents to create a pristine, overly themed nursery that may quickly feel outdated. By adopting a boho mindset and allowing the room to evolve and take shape over time, you also bring your little one in on the journey to create a room of their own.
So while we all admire perfectly curated rooms with macrame, pampas grass, and muted rainbow wall murals, here are our top 5 tips to give your nursery a boho feeling, whether you’re expecting or looking to reimagine your little one’s abode.
1. Layer textures for cozy moments. Layering adds coziness and a sense of ease to any room, whether it’s pillows, rugs or blankets and swaddles to have at-the-ready for tummy time, nursing time or nap time. We like to layer our textured cotton waffle blankets and soft muslin swaddles with great grandma’s quilts. Peppering swaddles throughout the room helps ensure your boho baby is always close to a comforting blanket.
2. Highlight heirloom pieces. The true beauty of boho is creating moments where heirloom and priceless family pieces can shine. Whether it’s a grandparent’s keepsake box, a globe from your childhood or a thrifted vintage piece, the items that hold a special place in your heart should be displayed with pride.
3. Mix prints and patterns. It’s time to throw rules about matching to the wayside. Bohemian style was derived from collecting special items from travelling (and part of a nomadic lifestyle). Mixing prints and patterns that you love will make the nursery feel special and personal. Our boho swaddles come in bundles of two to help you achieve this look. Geometric prints and florals are signatures of boho style. We’ve got you covered.
4. Lean into natural materials. Natural materials are timeless, can grow with your little one and help bring together a boho nursery. Opt for real wood (in furniture or decorative touches), rattan, muslin and other natural fabrics, vintage leather and sheepskin, for example.
above: Fish Change Pad Cover
5. Express yourself, and encourage self-expression. Be inspired by the OG bohemians and let your own creative spirit run wild. Style the room in a way that feels right for you and your family and build on it over time. Express yourself, because encouraging self-expression is an important part of a little one’s development - it fosters creativity, independence and self-confidence.
Remember that creating a bohemian-style room takes time. Once you’re able to begin travelling again, bring back pieces that feel right at home in your little one’s room. And most of all, enjoy the process!
Because we have lots of free time and spare chocolate eggs, we thought this would be a good time for Emily to show us how to make her famous cupcakes decorated with adorable bird nests!
Leave your comments below!