Nine Spring Shirtdresses for (the nursing) Mom

Dresses for (nursing) moms | Shirtdress roundup for spring | PepperDesignBlog.com

chambray popover dresssafari orange dress | white with navy polka dots
navy paisley | vintage stripe dresssolid blue woven shirtdress
oversized shirtdress | olive collared dresschambray shirtdress

There’s one clothing item post-pregnancy that I’m particularly sad to not wear a lot and that’s the basic dress. Hardly any dresses are built for nursing, they just really don’t provide easy access (unless they are super stretchy, and that can still get just a little awkward).

But I love dresses, especially as the weather starts to warm up and they become one of the easiest closet staples (dress + sandals, done!).

Button up shirtdresses for the win. Here are nine that I think may work well for nursing (and definitely non nursing) ladies this spring!

PS my favorite non-maternity maternity dresses part 1 & part 2. A maternity capsule wardrobe.

Communicating with Babies & Toddlers

Communicating with Baby: Baby Sign Language | PepperDesignBlog.com

Taylor is quite the little communicator with three to four word sentences now, but there was a long stretch of time from about 9 months to 15 months where she knew what she wanted but couldn’t quite say what she needed.

If you were to ask me what my best and favorite baby development tips are, my first would be baby led weaning, my second would be my Secrets of a Baby Whisperer sleep training book (also mentioned here) and the third would be baby sign language. When your little one can tell you exactly what they need to calm them down or make them happy – even when they don’t have the words to explain themselves – everyone will be the merrier. Seriously. So much merrier.

When I heard about teaching babies basic sign language it made so much sense! With an infant you are deciphering cries based on needs: food, diaper, tired… When a toddler has a specific need they try so hard to convey it to you as well, and it results in endless frustration on both ends. Being proactive about teaching a few signs to equip them with communication has saved us many times over.

I dug up these photos from just a few months ago as a few examples of which were our favorite words. Our MOST used signs included: I want food, I’m all done (for eating, playing, taking a bath…) and I want more (for food, going down the slide, you name it).

Communicating with Baby: Baby Sign Language | PepperDesignBlog.com

In addition to those three common requests, we also frequently used: please, thank you, dog (she got a kick out of pointing out Bodie), water, milk and sleep (it’s a nice heads up that nap time is on the way).

A few visuals for those signs:

Communicating with Baby: Baby Sign Language | PepperDesignBlog.com

Thank you to Parenting for the above images :). Milk is hard to make out from the illustration but it’s a hand movement like you’re milking a cow. Ha! Especially fun if you’re still nursing.

We started signing when Liv was a baby, and I’ll start incorporating just the most basic signs into everyday communication when Marley is about 7 or 8 months old. It’s great when they make that little brain connection that they can talk to you and start to sign back! Communication is king in baby world.

What do you think? Have you or would you use sign language? Did you have a good experience with it?

PS I’m traveling with Marley for work this week and am pulling up this post on tips for traveling with babies, plus favorite baby products for the first year

Felt Flower Hair Clips

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

Bows and headbands are adorable on every little girl, but I wasn’t so great about adorning the heads of either Liv or Taylor when they were younger. Most big bows and flowers were never really my style, or I’d see the little indent of the headband on their forehead and immediately have mom-guilt so I’d take whatever it was off, or we’d lose anything cute that I had boughten off of Etsy almost immediately so I didn’t really bother with adding more.

Now that they are older and not really into anything in their hair, I sort of wish I had been more diligent about cute head gear. Marley? I’m coming after you with a bow today.

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

But for some reason, when we made little felt flower clips all together, their nothing-in-my-hair attitude began to change! At least for the time being. And since we turned some scrap felt into sweet little gems that even I really dig, I’m really hoping that their affinity for our newest creations stays!

My sweet messy girl let me take a few photos:

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

And then she went back to her usual shenanigans.

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

By the end of our weekend craft hour, we had made maybe five or six felt flowers using basically the same steps.

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

Small diamond-ish petals, some of which were glued pinched together to create texture, others of which were used flat.

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

A quick note on crimping the petals – I found that if I cut the end of the pinched petal off it was much easier to work with.

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

And then plenty and plenty of layering of small petals onto a small round felt disk. I used a glue gun for everything.

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

A few variations included using flat petals and spinning a felt strip into a floral center.

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

Or layering two sets of petals for a little depth (the purple flower in the top collage is a pinched petal flower topped with a flat petal flower, the burgundy below are two flat petal flowers stacked).

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

Once they realized that flowers in their hair might be fun, it was all about the more the merrier. Liv actually went to preschool two days in a row covered in flower clips.

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

DIY Felt Flower Hair Clip Tutorial | PepperDesignBlog.com

They were a little time consuming each, but they were a lot of fun! This is a project I’d do again for sure, but next time with a more kid-friendly glue for Liv when she joined me so that she could make more herself.

A very easy felt bow, multi-purpose diy art boards for more kid-creative moments.

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