Thursday, May 28, 2015

Miami Style Map: On the Move in Isabella Oliver

One of the perks of pregnancy is getting to discover all these amazing clothing brands that are changing the way pregnant women dress their bump and step up their style in the process. One of those brands is Isabella Oliver, an internationally known brand that is favored by the fashionable set as well as A-list celebrities ( What I love about the line, founded by fellow mom and now company CEO, Baukjen De Swaan Arons, is that it speaks directly to the modern woman. When Baukjen was pregnant with her first child, she felt that the market for maternity fashion was barely a blimp on the radar. With the help of her husband and her love of design, she set out to create a collection of wardrobe essentials that moms-to-be could easily showcase throughout their nine months of pregnancy and beyond. 

The line carries everything from 'ruche' dresses to maternity leather leggings- a very 'outside the box' style selection hugely different from the traditional (and on occasion mundane) pregnancy fashion offerings that we sometimes see on the racks. The pieces are versatile, they're contemporary, and they're on trend. 

So I was thrilled when the brand asked me to collaborate with them on a pregnancy fashion post! Not a bad gig! But I did have a hard time narrowing down the pieces I wanted to feature. It was important for me to show my readers just how chic and diverse these pieces could be when mixed and matched with things you already have in your closet! 

The moment I laid eyes on this vibrant yellow tunic (, I was done for. This was exactly what my closet needed for the summer. It adds pizazz and flavor to my already playful pregnancy wardrobe. A color like lemon yellow is high-energy and magnetic. And the form-fitting fit of the jersey top accentuates my growing baby bump, leaving it on full display! 

It effortlessly pairs with anything from skinny jeans and leggings to a full skirt (it's easy to tuck in with a voluminous bottom)! But I also wanted to be a little more adventurous and show how great a bright yellow goes with a bold accent color like navy and kelly green! It may not be the first color combination you think of when you see the top, but the beauty of fashion is about taking risks and playing dress up with out-of-the-ordinary color schemes like this one! There is so much variety. I personally love brights on brights- this top would work well with fuchsia as well as tangerine orange, and even an electric blue! But I dig how the navy, green, and yellow morph into a succulent dynamic palette of summer fun! 

An outfit like this needed a unique and just as loud backdrop in order to capture it's cool essence. And there was no better spot than the artistic concrete runway of Wynwood. It's a fashionista's canvas, so my photographer, Chris, from Ra-Haus (, and I got to work! The murals were specifically selected to highlight the outfit without stealing it's spotlight! From the geometric blacks, blues, and yellows, to the urban bird paradise, it all came together organically. The art is lush, it's colorful, and it's part of the look's story- I'm a pregnant hot momma on the go and I never leave my style behind! 

Another exceptional piece from Isabella Oliver that I'm obsessed with is the structured blazer also in the same lemon yellow shade as the tunic ( This is a fantastic investment piece because not only will you wear it during pregnancy, you can continue wearing it even after giving birth. I'm in love! I made some monochromatic magic happen and styled it with the tunic- a double dose of eye-catching awesomeness! This chic blazer can be thrown over a dress, a graphic tee, and can be worn with shorts or tailored pants. You see where I'm going with this? This yellow blazer is a must-have for every pregnant and non-pregnant woman out there! 

Accessories are just as crucial when styling any look, particularly one that stands out as much as this one. You don't want to overdo it and risk looking like a fly girl in a hip hop music video (a look, I'm not ashamed to admit, that I love on occasion). I added a classic fedora, adding to the cool-yet-sophisticated vibe of this maternity outfit. I went 'sexy mama' with my black Steve Madden gladiator heels. These are actually pretty comfortable and comfort is key when you're carrying extra weight around! As far as jewelry, we kept it clean but edgy with this spiked necklace from Zara. 

Thanks to the creative efforts at Isabella Oliver, pregnancy has never looked so good! What pieces will you add to give your maternity wardrobe a punch?! Check out their new arrivals now! 

In Style, 


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Rocco Report: 24 Weeks

Hello Squeezers! Hope you all had an awesome and relaxing Memorial Day weekend with your families and friends (and hope you didn't forget to remember those who gave up their lives so that we can enjoy ours). Ours was packed with beach excursions, kid birthday parties, play dates, and BBQ outings and though exhausted, we had a blast. And somewhere in that exhaustion, Coco and I decided to start binge-watching Mad Men! 

Seems like now as a parent, my social calendar automatically includes at least one kid birthday party a week. Seriously, my May and June weekends involve some sort of birthday celebration that Maya has to attend. I'm constantly buying birthday gifts and eating way too many cupcakes. 

The pregnancy has been uneventful this week, and that's a good thing! I've been feeling fantastic, though the heat is starting to affect me a bit more. My energy level drains a lot quicker with a summer pregnancy compared to my winter pregnancy with Maya. Rocco has been moving nonstop inside my belly, particularly between 11pm-3am (I only know because of that Mad Men binge I previously mentioned)! I love feeling him move inside me. It's one of my favorite things about pregnancy. I can't wait until I start seeing some space alien action like a tiny leg or elbow protruding through my skin and moving from side to side. 

Tomorrow I have my monthly appointment with the OB so next week I'll have more clinical updates for you! 

Adventures in co-sleeping. 

I'm going to get straight into the nitty gritty of this week's post which is co-sleeping. For those of you that don't know the exact definition of what co-sleeping entails, it is 'a practice in which babies and young children sleep close to one or both parents, as opposed to in a separate room. Co-sleeping is better explained as a practice where two individuals sleep in sensory proximity to one another (the individual senses the presence of the other). This sensory proximity can either be triggered by: touch, smell, taste, or noise. Therefore, the individuals can be a few centimeters away or on the other side of the room and still have an effect on the other' ( It's a hot-button issue  that has parents divided or keeping mum. The topic of co-sleeping comes with a certain taboo that many parents either don't like to talk about or avoid talking about all together because we've been told that co-sleeping is bad and if you do it, you're irresponsible and putting your baby in danger.

 Like anything that has to do with parenting, it's about what works best for you and your family and it also heavily depends on what kind of child you have. Some babies are great sleepers, some, not so much. Just ask any sleep-deprived caregiver. While reading this article by famed pediatrician, Dr. Sears, I realized that even medical professionals deal with this issue. They aren't exempt from the same parenting scenarios that we all have to deal with ( As new parents and/or parents-to-be, we are continuously bombarded with opinions about whether it's safe or not to sleep with your child. We are told by our pediatricians and the plethora of baby books on the market that co-sleeping will kill your child and the fear of SIDS can plague you to the point of neurosis. But parents have been co-sleeping their children for centuries. In other countries where crib-sleeping is non-existent, parent and child(ren) have always slept together. It's the natural thing to do, like breastfeeding. America seems to be one of the very few countries (if not the only one), to preach against co-sleeping. Why are we taught against it? 

It was a recent article in People Magazine by actress/model, Milla Jovovich, that prompted me to want to open a co-sleeping dialogue amongst other moms ( In the article, she talks about how both her and her husband choose to sleep with their children because it keeps them connected as a family unit in a world dominated by so much modern technology and distraction. She refers to the 'disconnect' that Western culture promotes by keeping babies separate from parents. I didn't necessarily agree with everything she mentioned but it got me thinking. Is there a right or a wrong when it comes to co-sleeping? 

When I was pregnant with Maya, I heard everything from, 'Whatever you do don't let your kids sleep with you. Once you get them sleeping in your bed, you'll never get them out,' to 'Sleeping with your kids is the best feeling in the world and it'll only bring you closer together.' I never really formed an opinion in regards to co-sleeping while I was pregnant. My plan was always to have her sleep in her bassinet until she was four months old and then transfer her to her crib. If she cried, I assumed I would let her cry it out and she would fall back asleep on her own. We were extremely blessed that Maya was such a good sleeper. She was pulling six hour sleep stretches after two and a half weeks. I know this isn't the norm, and we were lucky in that sense. With the exception of teething, growth spurts, or having to wake up to give her the pacifier, she slept wonderfully and she slept on her own. As an infant, she slept in her crib and we did let her cry it out when she would get fussy. We rarely ever brought her into the bed with us, mostly because I was deathly afraid i would suffocate her. But there were many times we let her come into our bed to nap with us (thought she did roll off the bed on one occasion). Also, when we would go on vacation or if she was sick, she slept with us. She was also not a fan of hotel cribs or any pack n' play, so the decision for us was easy. Now as a toddler, we are experiencing the co-sleeping issue firsthand. Coco and I are in a unique situation where Maya sleeps in our room. We have a large one bedroom apartment and when we moved to Miami, I automatically transitioned her into a toddler bed in a small area of the room. It was important for me that she sleep in her own bed and learned a sense of sleep Independence that didn't involve sleeping with us but it was something that would require consistency and effort on both our parts. Here's the thing. I love my sleep, as most people do. I also love to hog up the bed, which sucks for Coco (we may start off all cute and cuddly, but then it's every man for himself). But anything that's going to let me sleep, is what's going to work for me and for us, ultimately. At the moment, Maya sleeps in her toddler bed for the majority of the night, sometimes she'll stay there through the night, but for the most part, she wakes up between 4-5am and wants to crawl into bed with us and we don't care. Actually, we love it. If it were up to Coco, she would sleep with us every night. I tend to go for the half and half method. And when she does fall asleep with us in bed because we are watching a movie or reading books, we will transfer her to her bed or just let her stay with us. Why? For two reasons: If she sleeps, I sleep. And yes, there's the occasional kick to the face, the upside down sleeping positions, the constant worrying she's going to soccer punch my belly, but despite all those nuances, I get my eight hours and she sleeps her 10-12. We have a happy baby and happy parents. Secondly, there's no sweeter feeling than cuddling with her. She's at that age where she snuggles up against me and grabs my arm to lock it around hers, and I simply melt. I love spooning with her and I realize there will come a time when she's not going to want to sleep with me or she'll be way too old to be in bed with us. She's going to grow up and I want to enjoy the now, which is waking up next to her. Nothing gets Coco and I more excited than seeing her happy face when we open our eyes first thing in the morning. It makes it easy to forget the hand whack one of us probably endured in the middle of the night. We wouldn't change it for the world. As far as Rocco goes, we will play it by ear. What worked with Maya may not work for him, but we will certainly keep him in his crib and sleeping on his own as long as possible and go from there! 

Why is there shame or parenting judgement if we are co-sleep believers or not? We should be able to discuss openly with other parents and keep in mind that every family's need is different and whether our kids have never been in our bed or they have a permanent zip code in it, we all have our reasons and circumstances for doing it. I rounded up a posse of moms  and got their two cents on the issue of co-sleeping and what I found was that they all had different reasons or rationalizations as to why they co-sleep or not! 

Where do you fall on the co-sleeping spectrum? See what these moms had to say. 

Veronica (mom of 2 )- I do not believe in co-sleeping because they make too much noise and I can't sleep. Sleep is crucial for my sanity. We use the rock n play and one of us stays next to the newborn in the living room depending on what shift we are doing. For example I usually go to sleep as soon as A goes down around 8, and Alec takes next feed or two. Then I do the following shift/feeding after that.  Basically we both need sleep to function so we do whatever we can so each of us gets a good chunk if possible.

Viviana (mom of 2)- We cosleep our oldest, our youngest isn't interested. Some nights are tougher with her in bed but when we wake up in the morning together, it just seems right. She starts the night in her bed and comes to ours some night. On weekends, she just starts in our bed. Again, the mornings are so much better, it just seems right to start the day as a family in the same bed.

Jessie- (mom of 3)- I don't believe in co-sleeping because it's the sacred time that you have alone with your husband. However, we do it bc it feels so good and we are both obsessed with the kids. 

Krizia (mom of 1)- I am not a fan of co-sleeping. I feel that when they are newborns it's the perfect time to train them right into the crib. Plus with all the fancy monitors there are now you can watch them and hear every cry and coo. And because of of SIDS, the pediatrician recommends the baby sleeping in your room for the first 6 months minimum. So we did the reverse. Sofia slept in her crib for the first 3 months and then my husband would keep on seeing all these things about SIDS and recalling what our pediatrician said he was like, what if our baby dies at night because she wasn't in our room? And so she slept in her pack and play in my room. Then around 8-9 months, Sofia started sleeping in our bed because I got too lazy when she would wake up in the middle of the night and it was just easy for her to lay in bed with us and let us sleep. When we moved, I refused for Sofia to keep sleeping with us. I hate the constant kicking and feet in my face ( She was 18 months.) So I bought her a big girl bed and made a huge deal of it and she started sleeping in her bed.  I would lay with her to fall asleep but at least I am the one in control of being either in her bed or out of her bed. Plus my husband's mom was super into co-sleeping and his younger sister slept with them in their bed till she was 12. I refuse to let that happen.

Sole- (mom of 1)- I do not believe in co sleeping. We like to keep sleep time separate mainly because I think it helps children with independence and routine . Of course the occasional co sleeping arrangement is ok if our child is sick or we are on vacation. We have seen that it is a very difficult transition for some children to be separated at night time from their parents if they have not become used to sleeping on their own.

Karla (mom of 1)- Luckily we never had to choose. Carolina's transition from crib to bed was really easy and so far she has been a good sleeper (with a few off nights here and there). However, if she hadn't been this easy I would probably give in and let her sleep with us. Taking care of a baby on no sleep doesn't work for me. I morph into a zombie with zero motor skills and zero common sense. So, I guess this makes me an advocate. Taking care of a baby is hard and I think each parent should do what works best for them without being judged. What works for one family might not work for the other. If parents chose to co sleep they should make sure it's safe. Besides, snuggling with your little one is incredibly delicious and good for the soul! :)

Liza (mom of 1)- Prior to the birth of my son, I never thought I would co-sleep but since my son's arrival that has totally changed.  I know there are polar opposite views on the subject but simply put - it works for us!  Continuous sleep was a big factor and just knowing he is close is a wonderful feeling.  He has grown so fast as it is so instead of dreading the commentary or negative connotation of co-sleeping we've decided to embrace it and enjoy it not only because it works for us, but before we know it he'll be all grown up.

Candy- (mom of 2)- I do co-sleep because I feel that sometimes I need sleep and the only way for my child to sleep is with me. Guilt sets in that my child is only going be this small for so long and not going to want me laying with them anymore when they get older. Sometimes it's hard to break the habit of your child coming into your bed because you want to actually snuggle with your spouse instead. As soon as they fall asleep, I always transfer them to their bed.

Kelly- (mom of 1)- We did room sharing. He was in his bassinet  in our room for maybe 2 or 3 months. Then he went to his own room in his crib. He wasn't a good sleeper at times. He would wake up in the middle of night then would sleep with us from time to time and we would sneak him back to his crib. Right after turning one year old, he now prefers sleeping alone on the couch! We sneak him to his full size bed, but he prefers the couch! I'm not all for the co-sleeping, I feel there's a better sense of independence with the child. I'm also not against it 100%.  I have mixed feelings about it.

Michele (mom of 2)- I didn't co-sleep out of fear I would create a bad habit. I also felt that if I co-slept I wouldn't sleep as well and as you know, mommy's sleep is limited already with a newborn around. With Connor, we put him in his crib on day one since he was a noisy sleeper. With Whitney, she slept in a bassinet in our room for three months.

Vanessa (mom of 1)-  I don’t believe in co-sleeping. I have even purchased another bed to sleep in the same room as my soon to avoid sleeping together. The few nights I had to let him sleep with me, I was up all night from the kicking and concern he would fall off the bed. At the end of the day, I feel it’s a habit you don’t want to start because it’s impossible to break in the end.

Pam (mom of 1)- My almost three year old wakes up and comes into our bed sometimes and that’s okay with us. But I wouldn’t co-sleep with a baby under two. It’s too dangerous. I never took the chance and why risk it?

See you all next week with all new updates and a fresh topic of discussion! 

Bumpin' Love, 

Rocco's Mom

Friday, May 22, 2015

Kicking Off Memorial Day Weekend With Some Retro Bathing Suit!

It's the long weekend and time to pack up the swimsuits, sunscreens, and coolers and head to your nearest beach! I, for one, can't wait to sit out and catch some rays with some refreshing drinks and the latest gossip rags to keep me company! 

And in the spirit of the festive long weekend, I wanted to share with you my retro pin up shoot I did a few months back with Erika Nelly, of Erika Nelly Photography ( I love the process of transforming from modern gal to sexy vintage bombshell! Everything from the wardrobe to the hair is curated to capture that really special 'wan-bam-wow' pinup look! Erika has a penchant for vintage, as does her wardrobe and make-up stylist so teaming up with them for this throwback photo shoot was lots of fun and full of energy! 

I've had this Target suit for years and it's one of my personal favorites! Though I do wear a lot of bikinis, the few one pieces I do own, are all retro-inspired. Plus, the strapless neckline makes it easy for tanline-free sunning! Polka dots are a classic vintage pattern and such a feminine and timeless look that can still be worn today. They add a hint of that vintage vibe when styled accordingly. I love the cut of this one piece because it really accentuates the curves! If it's something we can learn from the pin-up models of the 50's and 60's, is that embracing your womanly curves was a winning recipe- as it should be! As women and for some of us, as mothers, our bodies are a wonderland of empowerment and amazement. We owe it to love every inch of our curves because they tell us so much about who we are, where we come from, and what we are capable of doing! That's not to say there are moments that sometimes we try to minimize our curves and we have those instances of self-doubt- but we need to keep telling ourselves how much sexier, more confident, and  more beautiful we are because we have them! Time to flaunt! 

And with a suit like this, I'm able to show off my tiny waist and generous hips because even skinny girls (especially skinny Cuban girls) have hips too! And I love them! 

We went for a tiki look and accessorized appropriately with the bamboo snack shack, pineapples, and flamingo props! I absolutely love flamingos! They're so fun and they're the perfect shade of summer pink. I'm sure they're the envy of the bird community. 

We did these really cool retro rolls at the base of my hair and left the rest of it loose with some big beachy curls. A red lip is almost mandatory when you're channeling your inner pin-up girl and the glossier the better! We added a pair of red Fendi heels (these I don't recommend for the beach. Ha!) and a complimenting red rose for the updo! 

And voila! Just call me Kathy Page! 

Want to take a trip back in time and tap into that vintage you?! Treat yourself to vintage bombshell photo shoot with Erika (booking info on! These will be priceless photos you'll be happy you took! 

In Style, 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Beauty Gives Back- A Charitable Evening with Blo Bar Brickell and Face Beauty Bar (RECAP)

Last week, I was honored to partner up with Blo Bar Brickell ( and FACE Beauty Bar ( for a wonderful 'beauty gives back' event benefiting The Glory House of Miami ( The outpouring of support from all those who came out and from all the vendors that contributed to this great event and cause was overwhelming in a good way. Seeing a community come together in order to raise awareness is always a positive force of change and hope, and if you can throw some complimentary beauty treats for a small donation, who wouldn't sign up?!  

Before I give you a recap of this fun and festive event, I wanted to give stylist, Chanel Peraza- Munoz, a BIG shoutout for the out-of this-world braided mohawk she gave me for the night. I loved it so much, I wrapped it up before going to bed and wore it the following night! I've never received so many compliments. She's a talented and creative force to be reckoned with. 

When the folks at Blo approached me about hosting this charitable event, I immediately knew which charity I wanted to feature. I had recently done an event at Bloomingdales, and met the team behind Glory House of Miami. It's a fairly new charitable organization that is making big strides in the fight to bring awareness to the human trafficking industry. With Florida being one of the leading states in human trafficking (Miami alone brought in 235 million from human trafficking rings), Glory House aims to serve as a place of refuge and long-term service, to rescued female victims of human trafficking. Any organization that strives to empower women is a charity I can stand behind. 

Once guests checked in and received their bands, they were also able to participate in a beauty raffle worth up to $250! For $1 a ticket, they had the chance to win Moroccan Oil Products (, and complimentary hair and makeup services! 

Keeping guests happy and fed is a big part of any event, and we were lucky enough to have some great food and drink businesses offering their services to our 'beauty gives back' event. The bubbly was flowing thanks to Zonin Prosecco ( My palette is very specific when it comes to prosecco. I like them dry and not very fruit forward- just light enough but not overpowering. Zonin is at the top of my list. I'm a big fan of Zonin and I was very excited when we were able to connect and learned they were interested in being part of our charitable event. They wanted to help and pay it forward and that just took them up a notch in my book! They share the same passion and message about giving back that we wanted to spread to our guests. And guests loved the bubbly! 

Same goes for the kind folks at Dreaming Tree Wines (, one half which is helmed by musician, Dave Matthews. They generously donated bottles of their white and red blends to the event. Their Chardonnay is crisp, light, with hints of spice and fruit that is perfect for a hot Miami night! Guests were coming back for seconds! And we can't forget about the delicious cupcakes by local cupcake shop, LA Sweets ( You might have seen this 'little bake shop that could' on such shows as 'Cupcake Wars' and 'The Next Great Baker.' It's no wonder they're a fan favorite with such cupcake creations as guava, triple chocolate, and nutella cheesecake, flying off the shelves! 

As part of the $5 donation, guests were able to enjoy a complimentary braid bar and lip bar. Two stylists were on hand giving ladies beautiful ombre lips with a pop of color and shine. My personal favorite was a coral matte shade with a dusting of gold gloss. I was so happy to see so many of our guests taking advantage of the lip bar and getting some makeup tips as well from the FACE Brow and Beauty Bar staff! 

And once those lips were freshly painted, the ladies indulged in a 'female power' inspired braid bar at the Blo Bar space. They had their pick from either a fish braid, braid crown, or Katniss-like side braids! If braids weren't your thing- no need to fret! As part of the night's special, Blo slashed their blowout prices to $25, and all proceeds also went to benefit Glory House! 

Blo has some incredibly amazing stylists on hand who can basically create anything you bring to them. I love seeing the guests' reactions once their undo or blowout was all done! After getting dolled up, these girls were ready to hit the town! 

Can't get enough updo photos? Here are some great shots captured by our event photographer, Jessii. Photos by Jessii (Instagram @photosbyjessii) was on hand to photograph the event and because of her generous service, I'm able to give you some great behind the scenes shots of our fun event! 

Last but not least, what's a beauty event without some temporary fashion tattoos! Check out this beautiful tattoo necklace by Dash of Flash (! With a $1 contribution, guests were able to accessorize themselves with these cool and unique flash tats during the event! And the best part - they last for days! Dash of Flash Tats are available for purchase at FACE Brow and Beauty Bar. 

Overall, the turnout was great, the company was great, and the event raised a nice chunk of money for the Glory House organization! I was humbled and honored to be part of such a charitable initiative with Blo and FACE and hope that we can work together again to raise awareness for another wonderful cause! Thank you to all those who came out, to everyone who donated, to the Blo and FACE staff, and to the Brickell community for spreading the word! 

See you at the next one! 

In Style, 


Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Rocco Report: 23 Weeks

Happy Sunday Squeezers! Hope you all had a fab-o weekend and enjoyed it to the max. I had a busy (yet exciting) week of projects and events and I'm officially pooped. On top of that, I'm nursing a pesky cold. Hell hath no fury like a sick pregnant woman. I'm limited to a trifecta of pregnancy-approved over the counter meds like Tylenol for body aches and pains, Sudafed PE for stuffy nose and congestion, and Delsym 12h for coughs. They're mildly helping but it still feels like I've been hit by a ton of bricks. The best remedy for feeling better is resting- straight up laying in bed resting- and I'm not very good at it. First off, I had so much to do this weekend, I just couldn't sit it out. None of the stuff was urgently mandatory, but it felt like it to me. Plus, Maya's social calendar is never-ending. My weekends are consumed with kid birthday parties and festivities and I may bitch about it, but I secretly enjoy every second of it. Today is the first day in a few weeks I had absolutely NOTHING to do so I've been in pajamas all day, laying in bed, and doing trivial things like reading magazines, watching tv, and deleting pictures on my phone. After a while though, I get bored and start walking around the apartment looking for things to do and then Coco banishes me right back into the bedroom to rest. As he says, 'you can't complain you feel like crap when it's your own fault you feel that way." I hate it when he's right. Might as well be productive in bed and finish my weekly Rocco Report! 

Besides this annoying illness that has invaded my preggo-go-lucky body, I'm feeling hella good. The belly keeps growing as do the breasts, which seem to be more tender the second time around. And I've reached another milestone in my pregnancy- I officially can no longer see my vagina. Yep, it's become a little like the Holy Spirit- you know it's there, but you just can't see it. If I stand up straight and look down, all I see is belly. I can't even peak over it to catch a glimpse of my pikachu. Shaving my bikini area is going to get interesting and inventive. That, or I'll have to resort to waxing or have Coco become my nether region barber. Yikes. 

A few weeks ago, I partnered up with local baby boutique, Tutti-Bambini (, for a segment with NBC 6 in the Mix (!/on-air/as-seen-on/Gift-Idea-for-Mom--or-Moms-to-be---Tutti-Bambini/302962251). I wanted to really focus on essential baby gear that every new mom and dad should add to their registry. The process of registering for baby can be daunting! With so many products on the market it can be difficult for new parents to know what's a passing fad and what really is going to be a lifesaver. On top of that, every baby is different. What works for one baby, may not work for another. For example, Maya hated the playpen. I used it maybe 2-3 times before packing it up and giving it away. She wanted nothing to do with it. I know plenty of babies and parents who swore the playpen was fantastic. Unfortunately, my infant didn't share that sentiment. And when you're doing this parenthood thing for a second time, you become a bit of an expert of what is going to work for you and what you could live without. For example, a high chair was one of those purchases that I quickly dubbed non-essential. Who needs a 250 dollar high chair that looks like something out of the Jetsons? I didn't need that. I immediately returned it for it a $30 seat that ties to my dining room chair and it was the best purchase I made, so was my $20 Ikea high chair when we moved down to Miami. I'll be using both for Rocco.

So with what I learned as a first time mom and with the help of Tutti Bambini, here are the six products that I think every new mom and dad should have when baby comes home! And like I said, babies have their own taste so don't be surprised if one of these may not fit the bill! Just like parenting, finding the right gear is all about trial and error.    

 Halo Bassinet- this bassinet is fairly new and it is designed with comfort and ease in mind. It is the only bassinet on the market that you can move and swivel close to you while still giving baby a safe and separate space to sleep. This makes tending to baby at nighttime a lot easier. And just think how convenient for you! 
4Moms Momaroo- I swear by this bounce seat by 4 moms. I used it for Maya and I will be using it again with Rocco. The new models now have a feature where you can control all the movements from anywhere in the home right from an app. The best part about this bounce seat is that it is designed with the same movements as if the parent were holding an infant. It moves up and down and side to side with five different speeds, and motions like car ride and tree swing. And the seat reclines.  
 Onesies - Your baby will live in onesies for the first few weeks even first couple of months. I invested in plain white ones from Gerber and Carter and always had them in rotation. You'll be changing onesies a few times a day (think 4-5 times) and probably washing them continuously as well. So it's good to stock up on these essentials because you'll definitely be getting use out of them. If plain onesies aren't your cup of tea, brands like Spunky Stork, offer a unique array of designs. 
Nose frida snot sucker- Yes, it sounds a little scary but I promise you it isn't and every parent I know swears by this gadget! And it's an aspirator that actually works! It's non-invasive (almost like a tiny vacuum), easy to use anywhere you are, and it gives baby instant relief. And no, you will not ingest your kids' mucus. 
Nuna Pipa car seat- A car seat will be one of the most important and personal purchases you will make for new baby and probably one of the first you will use. Not only is it functional and fashionable but it is one of the safest car seats on the market. It's also one of the lightest on the market, has a "Dream Drape" that extends the canopy fully and attaches with magnets so it's silent. Make sure you visit a certified child safety technician so they can show you how to properly install and harness both your car seat and your baby. 

Chewbeads pacifier clip- One thing I learned as a new mom is that a pacifier clip will be your best friend throughout infancy, especially in the middle of the night. I often found myself getting up to pop in Maya's pacifier and then I discovered pacifier clips! I love these from Chewbeads because they are 100% silicone and safe to chew. Your baby will always have their pacifier close by so there's no more playing "where did the pacifier go"  game.    

So many things get put on the back burner when a new baby arrives, including one-on-one time with your significant other. It's so easy to get lost in the excitement and care of a newborn. By the time your day is done, you're exhausted to do anything else, let alone talk or go on a date with your husband/wife. But finding that time to reconnect with your partner is important, even if it happens after you put your baby down for the night. Many will either disagree or agree with me when I say this statement, but when it comes to priority and hierarchy, your spouse should top that list, then baby. Your marriage (or partnership if you aren't married) will be the first model of love and teamwork that your child or children will see growing up. The amount of work and effort you put into your own marriage/relationship, will show your kids that mommy and daddy are not only individuals with their own likes and dislikes, but mommy and daddy will be a stronger unit, and better parents, when they strengthen their own bond. Life can't revolve around kids alone. You were a couple before baby came into the picture and that can't be forgotten. It has to be nurtured because you can easily grow distant or resentful, especially when you throw lack of sleep into the mix. It's not always easy to make the effort, and I'll be the first to admit that. Sometimes you just find yourself consumed in all things baby that you postpone date night for another time and basically forget about your other half, leaving them on the sidelines collecting dust. It happens to all of us. When Maya was born, Coco and I made a huge effort to spend time just the two of us once a week. Finding a slew of babysitters was the first item on my agenda when Maya arrived because I knew I would need them in order to make plans. So once a week, we would pick a restaurant or a bar, and escape for a few hours to catch up and reconnect. And even though we said 'no baby talk', that didn't quite pan out but it's fine. How could we not talk about her?! The times we didn't make it out, we would get a bottle of wine and just sit and cuddle on our couch and talk, something simple yet meaningful to keep us connected. 

Because at the end of the day, when your kids go off to college or get married and start their own families, who's still going to be at your side when the house is empty and that other chapter of your life begins? 

Date night with my better half at Perla Restaurant in the West Village

Thanks for tuning in to this week's Rocco Report! Keep coming back for more because I really enjoy sharing my journey and parenting two cents with you, squeezers! 

Bumpin' Love, 

Rocco's Mom.