All posts tagged tips

When in doubt, throw it out…”The results from many of our tests reinforce the message that it’s best not to re-use any car seat that has been in a crash, whether or not it shows visible cracks. After our tests, even models that are not visibly cracked can still show signs of being potentially compromised upon close inspection: Plastics are visibly stressed, internal structures and bars are bent or have changed position, and parts that help create a taut, secure fit became pinched or difficult to use.” – from consumer reports

My main event for 2014.

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Willow will be 9 months old in 3 days.  Hard to believe it.  Things I am working on are making an evening bath time before bedtime routine, waving hey hey and bye bye, getting Willow to take two naps a day,  teaching my pup to lap up the fallen happy puffs around her high chair.  You know, the basics.  The Bear Necessities.  Another thing that has certainly peaked my attention is initiating plans for THE FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!!  Hey hey indeed!  I’ve been tirelessly perusing Pinterest for birthday planning ideas and last night I started a new board here to collect those that I love.   Read more…

“To be happy, one must find one’s bliss”

Yck2gimJMJV4j_KKikhiPONUQSAhbv4FtTXae5Gl1xYThe baby industry sells many products based on eliciting fear from unknowing parents. Low IQ, SIDS, not enough vitamin D, too many fruits, flat heads, too hot, too cold, and on, and on. I try to avoid that sort of propaganda when I can. But, when I read on an airline website that my jogging stroller was too big and would have to be checked instead of milling around airport terminals with me, I threw my grilled cheese to the side and started up my baby gear research engines.

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Transatlantic Baby – Episode Twee

2013-10-19 10.02.23After all was said and done, I was glad I toted so much baby gear with me while we traveled abroad to Europe.  Here’s a recap of how I survived an airport layover, an 8 hour flight and a commute to our final destination.  Get ready Amsterdam, here come mama and Willow! Read more…

James, Fetch me my dinner jacket and a package of diapers.

dipeAs I often do in life, I took the “scenic route” before discovering the fine art of diapering a young one.  Major cloth diaper fails, without backup disposables ready.  Living further than a 30 minute drive to shops carrying chlorine free options.  And the quintessential midnight diaper excursion for daddy, unplanned of course.  I suppose we could say that I just tried those things so that I would be better suited to write a review on this basic need of all new and repeat parents:  Diaper Service.  Or we can simply say better late than never.  Either way, I am on the righteous path now, and Willow’s bum has never been happier. Read more…

If they made them in your size, you’d wear them, too.

Willow's cool leg warmersBaby leg warmers are chic and practical.  Paired with a bloomer, they provide nice cover-up from the chill of household air-conditioning.  They are shed easily before swaddling for nap time to prevent sweating and over-heating.  I definitely get my $ out of them.  They come in many cute styles for purchase.  Willow’s sporting a pair from Crummy Bunny in this picture.  Also check out Hobo Mama’s easy warmer pattern online for free.

Reason #32 to say: More milk, please!

shotsThere is an amazing trick that makes taking your baby to get those dreaded shots at the pediatrician’s office much much easier.  I learned it from the nurse who did my home visit 2 days after Willow was born. Read more…

Imaginary friends ok, invisible friends not.

clean bearWe spend a lot of money on toys for our babies and kids! We love colors, toys that make sounds, toys that don’t make sounds. Plush, plastic, soft and fuzzy. We are struck by claims of IQ boosters. We pay extra for BPA free, natural wood, organic, non-toxic and made in the USA. Basically, we are willing to give more for things that will advance our children while keeping them super healthy. Interestingly, can we all also say that we regularly clean those toys so that they continue to be safe for the kiddos?

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This just in: New dogs and old dogs learning new tricks together.

olddogsWhen you are expecting, you are inundated with information on what to expect each week of pregnancy and upon baby’s arrival. You learn about the soft spot, the need to support baby’s neck, the necessity of cleaning all of that poo poo out of the “diaper zone”, the importance of skin-to-skin contact, the method of swaddling baby, the dangers of germs and smoke. The list goes on and on. I spent at least 6 months doing hard core research and by the time Willow was born, I felt like an expert. But, when it came to handling my baby, I quickly realized that I had to finally use the techniques and they took a lot (!) of practice to get good at them. Reading, while chowing down on delicious chocolate cake (yummmm) while pregnant so was not the same as being 4 days after delivery holding the new one. Now I found myself trying to react to real baby cries and needs. And while I personally had a ton of experience with babies from my younger years with my many nieces and nephews, it was a giant learning curve to get up to speed once I was a 24×7 caretaker of a tiny human.

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Hot Fudge is to Good, as Hot Car is to Bad.

20130828-151935.jpgAs the summer sizzle begins to fade, kids are returning to school, Halloween planning is in the air, and people are starting to get back into the fall swing of life. The air starts to cool. Outfits change from the perky neon pink to a more snoozy maroon. And hooray for favorite TV shows returning, like Parenthood! Lots of changes. Well unfortunately your car is not getting the memo or even noticing. It, on the other hand, continues to be a sanctuary of heat under the mid-day sun. Read more…

Pumping at work just got easier.

women at workIn the old days, women returning to work would either ween their babies off breastmilk or would have to deal with excruciatingly sore breasts full of a days supply of milk. The women who could pump at work were stuck with the odors and germs of pumping in the bathroom. Well luckily, ladies, those days are over. Hallelujah. Here is a run down of what you need to know about pumping at work:

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The key to getting good discounts on baby purchases is planning ahead. If you wait until you actually need something, you are more likely to pay full price.

Knock knock. Who’s there? The boog in my nose – WAAA!

bulbHow do you make a tissue dance?  Put a boogie in it.  How do you make a baby stop crying?  Pull a boogie out of it.  (Not funny?)  Today’s post covers how to get a boog out of a baby’s nose.  You can tell when a cry is triggered by a boog because the baby will cry sort-of, then pause, then sniffle, then have a weird expression, and then cry again.  Or maybe that’s just Willow.   Read more…

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Baby Gear – Months 0 to 5

As the wise old man once said, “If it makes the baby happy, it makes the mama happy”.  Here are some things that have kept us ladies pretty pleased over the last 5 months.

Newborn | aden + anais azure swaddle blankets, my breast friend deluxe nursing pillow

1st Month | 4moms mamaroo, gerber side snap long sleeved Ts

2nd Month | joovy babasling, white noise for babies sleep

3rd Month | espirit animal kingdom booty socks, mamas and papas baby snug

4th Month | infantino pop & swap gym, tillie knock knock

5th Month | fisher price jumperoo animal kingdom,  happy bellies: oatmeal cereal

Swaddle. Bottle. That's what I always say.

my husband

Yes MAM!

mamAs a first time mom, I was heavily coached at the hospital within hours of Willow’s birth not try a pacifier for at least 2-4 weeks for a couple of reasons – establishing milk supply, nipple confusion, inadvertently skipping feedings, etc.  So, I took the advice from the lactation consultants and waited to try them with Willow.   Read more…

I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dirty stains, too.

20130806-221449.jpgI’ve only ever used one brand of stain remover. But of that one brand, I’ve already been through 60 ounces of it. It’s basically the Kingslayer of stain removers, in my humble opinion. I had received a ~3 oz sample of it in the quintessential baby shower gift: the diaper cake. I think I only need to give one example to show why it made sense not to even try anything else… Read more…

There’s no such thing as a free breast pump, or is there?

pumpIf you want to have a long lasting and loving relationship with your nips, invest in a good breast pump.  That advice can’t be taken lightly.  I read and watched a lot of pump reviews when I was picking mine out and found that the vast majority of cheaper options caused women to get sore and even cracked or bleeding nipples.  Yikes!   Read more…

Scrub-a-dub-dub, get that sunscreen off my soft spot.

nursing padsLet’s face it.  The very concept of washing a baby’s soft spot is intimidating.  Especially when washing off sunscreen is involved.  So is the rest of the slippery baby body once it gets wet.  You worry about dropping, dunking, water or soap in the eyes, etc.  When I set out on my quest for bath supplies for my baby, I found that I was pretty picky.   Read more…

Water and shaking, both not for babies!

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We headed off for the zoo today. Knowing it would hit the upper nineties this afternoon, I wondered about keeping Willow hydrated and cool. As you might be able to tell, we are normally chilled from the sizzling summer heat in air conditioning or in the pool (Laguna Matata). My first thought was to make her an extra bottle with H2O. I’ve never done this, so quickly consulted “trusty” google first. Good thing. What I learned was that while water is a great bev choice for adults, it is definitely not for the little babies. Thing is we adults eat in excess of what our bodies require, but breastfed babies instead get exactly what they need nutritionally from the milk, no more or less. So if water is added to their tiny systems, you risk diluting the baby. Crazy! Suggested instead was…yep you guessed right…a extra bottle of milk! After our hour long stroll around the park, Willow guzzled it right on down.

It never ceases to amaze me how much a mothers body can do for her baby, even this long after she’s been out :)

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vintage fashions for baby

I can’t help myself when it comes to vintage baby clothes.  They are so much cuter and even less expensive than today’s modern options.  I find a lot of items on Etsy.  But for the best prices, finding them at a local thrift shop is the best.

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Is it time yet, Mommy?

I have been fortunate to have 5 months at home with my daughter.  I have one week remaining and then I will resume working outside of our home.  As I look back on this time, I realize I wouldn’t trade it for the world.   Read more…

Always plug in your electronics (like the baby monitor) before bed so that you are ready to go in the morning.

I read to my baby everyday so that one day she will have a giant brain, just like her daddy.  http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/reading_babies.html

Be with your baby as much as you can. Time goes too fast. In your child's life, he/she is a baby for a year, a child for about 10 years, a teen for 6 years and then an adult (and hopefully a friend) for the rest of your life. So one's actual hands-on parenting lasts less than 12-15 years.

my mom