This is part of a sponsored collaboration with AstraZeneca and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

October is National RSV Awareness Month. 

What is RSV?

RSV is a common seasonal virus that typically occurs between November and March in the US and is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies in their first year of life. Premature babies are particularly at risk for developing severe RSV disease due to their underdeveloped lungs. Nearly 100% of infants will contract RSV by the age of 2. 

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RSV is something I am all too familiar with. This past March, at the tender age of 6 months, my son ended up getting it. As a first time mom I always made sure to be extra precautious when out with him and I carried, as well as used, hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes like it was my second job. Letting my guard down just ONE time is what ultimately led to him getting sick. The weather that day was beautiful and I decided to head to the park to stroll around just so we both could get some fresh air. I ended up passing by the newly renovated kids park and thought it was about time he got to try out the swings. He laughed and smiled so big while on them and we truly had such a great time. A few days later I noticed he just wasn’t himself. He wasn’t very active, had a runny nose and had a slight fever. Within 24 hours of noticing those signs, I also noticed his breathing was different and his fever spiked. When I brought him to the pediatrician he was diagnosed with RSV and we were given a nebulizer to treat him. I drove myself nuts upon returning home retracing my steps and trying to figure out who he was around that could of passed this on to him when it hit me — THE PARK! I was so in the moment that day I never wiped down the swing (ok, I know that might be extra but I still feel like I should have done that) or his hands when he got off. I have a ton of pictures and videos of him on the swing and his hands are in his mouth the whole time! I felt so defeated as a Mom at that point but my main concern was getting him better. I knew RSV was not your typical cold but as a first time mom, all of this was new to me. The next day it was even worse and we ended up having to take him to the hospital. He was having a tough time breathing since he was so stuffy which basically led to him to not wanting any fluids and I feared he would end up dehydrated. Seeing him in that mini hospital gown and watching what he was going through was so heartbreaking but it was a relief when we got the OK to go home. I had to monitor him closely for the next few days and it was such a great feeling once he was back to himself.

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I wanted to share my experience with RSV because any child can catch it – even those who have a mom, like me, who is extra when it comes to trying to keep their child germ free.

Now that you know what RSV is, let’s talk about the signs as well as some ways you can help prevent RSV. Babies lungs are fragile and it’s important us parents know how to keep our little ones safe this season. Severe RSV disease can cause up to 125K infant hospitalizations and around 200 infant deaths in the US each year. 

What are the signs of RSV?

-coughing or wheezing that does not stop

-troubled breathing / gasping for breathe

-fever over 100.4

-bluish color around mouth and fingernails

– spread out nostrils or caved in chest when breathing

*Please call your baby’s healthcare provider if you see these symptoms of RSV

How do I prevent RSV?

RSV disease is spread just as easily as the flu. Sneezing, coughing and toughing are all examples of ways RSV can put your infant in risk.

 -Wash your hands throughly before holding your baby and make sure others do the same

-Keep your young baby away from large crowds, young children and people with colds

-Wash your baby’s toys, bedding and clothing often -Don’t let anyone smoke around your baby. Tobacco irritates babies airways and can affect the growth of their lungs.  

*There isn’t a cure for RSV diesease but there are measures you can take to prevent it.

Visit http://bit.ly/RSVProtection to learn more about RSV disease and how to help keep your child healthy this RSV season! #LittleLungs #RSVAwarenessMonth

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Walt Disney World – The happiest place on earth!

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When Disney reached out to me to attend the Royal Welcoming of the First Latina Princess, Elena of Avalor, I screamed YES with no hesitation. I’ve been to Disney twice, once with my madrina and Tio Danny when I was about 7 years old and another time in High School when I had the opportunity to play in a Disney softball tournament. This was my first trip as an adult and I felt like I could really soak in this experience. I knew I was only going to be in town for about 30 hours so I was looking forward to making the best of it.

We stayed at Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

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The property is absolutely beautiful and filled with charm. The staff was so friendly and very accommodating.

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Upon checking in, I received my Disney MagicBand and went on to explore my room as well as the property until it was time to meet up with some of the ladies to have dinner + dessert at Epcot.

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After checking into Epcot, we dined at La Hacienda de San Angel which served an authentic Mexican cuisine and killer margaritas. The best part of dinner had to be getting to know all the girls, great conversation and a ton of laughs. When we were done we headed to the Italy Pavilion for a private dessert party where we had front row seats to IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which is an incredible show that features fireworks, pyrotechnics, laser lights, fountains, and fire to create a visual production on the park’s World Showcase Lagoon. It’s an absolute must see!

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The next day I was up bright and early because I was so excited to get together with the group again and head to the Magic Kingdom for the Royal Welcoming for Princess Elena.

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Cinderella and Prince Charming appear on the stage of the castle, dándole la bienvenida (giving a welcome) to everyone to this magical kingdom and introducing their special guest from Avalor. Princess Elena arrives accompanied by a troupe of regal banner carriers and musicians and when asked to share her historia, Elena
picks up a guitarra and joins her musicians in a performance of the song “My Time,” recounting her magical adventures and triumphant return to Avalor.

It was truly magically to witness this and as a Latina, made me super proud! After the Royal Welcoming we headed to a Disney luncheon where we got to meet and interview all the important people behind Elena of Avalor and even got to meet the princess herself.

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This trip, while short, was an incredible experience and I’m so glad that so many of you followed along with me on Instastories (@pearls_and_paris) and Snapchat (pearlsandparis). THANK YOU Disney for a magical time.

As many of you know, my son is turning ONE in just a few weeks and so we have planned a Family Disney trip for mid October!!!! Make sure you stay tuned as I will be sharing every step of the way with you guys while there.

Prior to my son being born, I went to so many different stores looking for the perfect baby bag and I honestly was just disappointed over and over again. I was okay with having the ordinary black nylon baby bag for everyday wear but I really wanted something for the days where we had special events to go…. something that didn’t look so much like your typical baby bag.

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When I discovered the Henri Bendel West 57th Baby Bag, it was an instant breathe of fresh air. Finally a baby bag with a chic and classic touch. The bag is made of saffiano leather with two durable and water resistant nylon exterior pockets on each side. It comes in black and dark grey which are both lined with a purple silk like material. It has amazing details too such as full zipper closure, two bottle compartments, two open pockets, four additional inner pockets, a changing pad and a removable/adjustable cross body strap. My favorite thing about this bag is that it doesn’t look like a diaper bag at all and I plan to use it to travel when my son is out of the diaper stage.

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Top: Stretch Knit Body Suit // Pants: Striped Palazzo Pants

Shoes: Calvin Klein Caged Sandals // Bag: West 57th Baby Bag

While this is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Munchkin and Latina Bloggers Connect, all opinions expressed are my own.

As a first time mom, it took me some time to find a balance between mom life and me time. This was especially true when it came time to feeding my son. Prior to his birth I already knew I wanted to breastfeed and hoped to do so for at least the first 3 months. Breastfeeding was this totally new concept for me and I was a little overwhelmed when I started to think about running errands between nursing him.

After a few weeks of us being settled at home, I decided I wanted to exclusively pump. I knew this would be more time consuming but it was important to me that I continue providing breast milk for my son. I was little nervous about bottle feeding as I have heard many babies have nipple confusion and will refuse to bottle feed or even start refusing the breast. This is when I was introduced to Munchkin’s LATCH line. Designed to ease the transition from breast to bottle—and back again, the LATCH bottle features a patented nipple that enables the baby’s palate to stretch back and forth, and attain a proper latch. When breastfeeding, baby controls the flow of milk by applying pressure to the base of mom’s nipple. The LATCH bottle mimics mom by releasing more breast milk as baby pushes against the nipple’s base.

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In addition to the bottle, the LATCH line also includes nursing pads (5X thinner and 3X more absorbent than the average nursing pad), a LATCH bottle brush, sterilizer bags (Which I love! Just toss one in your bag for easy on-the-go bottle cleanings) and a pump brush (the only brush on the market designed for a breast pump).

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The LATCH line really gives me freedom to not only get things done around my home but also to take some time out for myself, which is so important when you are a parent. I love that I have peace of mind that my husband and family can also help during my son’s feedings. Motherhood is stressful and sometimes you just a need time out to go outside and read a book or relax. I do yoga to destress as well and the LATCH miracle nursing pads keep me dry during class but are super discreet since they are so thin.

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How do you find balance as a mom? Leave your tips below.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Munchkin and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored collaboration with DiMe Media and Dreft. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Spring has sprung! Now that the weather is finally beautiful, my family loves to spend time outside. These are the days that we spend on our deck bbq’ing with friends and family and our little one absolutely loves playing in the grass. Unfortunately with the change of the season comes a ton of seasonal allergies and other worries that can be daunting to our children. With the heightened allergens in the air, rising temperatures can trigger skin irritations so I am always looking for gentle products to protect my little one’s sensitive skin.

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Cleaning your children’s clothes in a gentle, hypoallergenic product, like Dreft, is a great way to help keep them comfortable during the spring season. Dreft is the Number 1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians to be gentle and hypoallergenic on baby’s skin. Dreft has been trusted for over 80 years and comes with a baby scent that is loved by Mothers.

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Dr. Hes has teamed up with Dreft to bring you some of her top tips to keeping your baby comfortable during this spring season.

  1. Shade the sun – The long awaited spring season means increased outdoor time for parents and their babies. When heading outside, don’t forget to practice appropriate baby skin safety.

 For babies 6 months or older. If your baby is 6 months or older, liberally use sunscreen. Also, avoid exposing your baby to the sun during peak hours — generally 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — and dress your baby in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses. 

For babies younger than 6 months. If your baby is younger than 6 months, keep him or her out of direct sunlight. Protect your baby from sun exposure by dressing him or her in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses

2. Load up on liquids – Staying hydrated during the spring months is important as baby gets more active outdoor time and sun exposure. Start with the inside and ensure children get enough to drink throughout the day. Infants should nurse or take a bottle often; older kids should tote a sippy cup or reusable water bottle. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and smoothies in your child’s diet too

3. Choose the right fabrics and care for them properly – When it comes to fabrics, it’s extremely important to seek out gentle and hypoallergenic items to care for the items that touch baby’s sensitive skin. It’s also essential that fabrics be cared for properly. Wash baby’s items with a specially-formulated product such as Dreft, the #1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians to be gentle and hypoallergenic on baby’s skin. Trusted for over 80 years, Dreft comes with a babyhood scent beloved by moms, and it remains safe and hypoallergenic for baby.

Interested in finding out more information about Dreft? Join us for a Dreft Twitter Party and a chance to win fabulous prizes on Thursday, May 12th from 9-10pm ET! To RSVP, visit www.dimemedia.net #DreftSpring

I’ve teamed up with Dreft to host a fun giveaway for my readers! One lucky person will win the following.

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-Dreft product: Newborn, Active and Blissfuls

-$50 AMEX Giftcard

To enter all you have to do is comment below and tell me what your favorite spring time activity to do with your little one is.

For an additional entry, follow me on Instagram // @pearls_and_paris  and Tweet about the giveaway using the #DreftSpring hashtag.

The giveaway will end on May 24th and the winner will be announced by May 27th. The giveaway is open to US residents 18+ only.

GOOD LUCK xo

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