Why My Stroller is Collecting Dust…

Real Men Wear Babies

I love my Britax stroller – it’s sturdy, easy to unfold, and baby’s car seat clips right in. I (almost) never use it. Am I a hermit who never goes outside? Only when a new version of Civ comes out. Hubby, baby and I take daily walks with the dog, go grocery shopping, and even hit up the occasional festival or restaurant (ah, the crazy social life of the new parent). So how do we do that with a baby in tow and no stroller? Baby-wearing.

Baby More Co. Wrap Details

Baby More Co. Wrap Detail View

I started wearing baby from the day after she was born. Wearing her around the house for a couple of hours each day gives her some skin-to-skin contact and gives me some hands free time to do the dishes, write a blog post, or give the furbabies some love. For the first couple months of her life, the only way she would take her morning nap was snuggled up to her papa or me. Once we started going out for walks  and on more outings after the winter-to-end-all-winters finally ended in CT, we quickly realized that wearing baby had great advantages while out and about too. She’s more likely to sleep, I can keep a closer tab on her moods and needs (and keep the paci in when needed), and most well-meaning but potentially germy strangers won’t touch the baby without permission when she’s snuggled against my boobs (although not all — this is a social no-no people!). With some mommy-ninja skills, I can even breastfeed on the go with baby in the carrier.

When Baby More Co. offered us the change to try out their Baby Wrap Carrier, we jumped at the chance. The more carriers we have, the better the chance that there will be one nearby when baby needs some carry time. One in the bedroom, one by the door, one in the car, and one in the diaper bag (different kinds).

General Baby-wearing Features:

  • Keeps baby nearby so you can easily attend to his wants/needs
  • Gives baby just enough view of the world to observe and learn without sensory overload
  • Skin-to-skin contact has amazing benefits for babies
  • Babies who are worn cry less (I can attest to this one!)
  • Keeps your hands free to do much needed adult things, like cooking, cleaning, working on the computer, etc.
Baby More Co. Tag Detail

Baby More Co. Tag Detail

Product Features: Continue Reading…

Bamboo Crib Mattress Protector by Swaddlez Review

Bamboo Crib Mattress Protector by Swaddlez

Babies are just about the cutest little creatures known to man. Fact. Babies are also some of the messiest creatures known to man. Also fact. And as fun as it can be to wash out a full baby crib mattress from a humungous poop explosion, it’s infinitely easier to just have on a mattress protector that you can throw into the washer. We always have a mattress protector on our crib mattress so let’s how the bamboo crib mattress protector by Swaddlez held up.

Bamboo Crib Mattress Protector by Swaddlez Detail

Bamboo Crib Mattress Protector by Swaddlez Detail

Product Features:

  • This mattress protect is made from super soft bamboo, which is a naturally hypo-allergenic and antibacterial material
  • Prevents (smelly) bacteria, dust mites and mold from growing on the baby’s mattress
  • It is extremely absorbent!
  • The bamboo viscose is a highly breathable material, which is good on many levels
  • It’s perfect for both hot and cold out since it helps keep the baby at a more stable temperature
  • Easily fit my crib mattress- made to fit any 52” by 28” mattresses- while still being snug
  • Machine washable
  • Water (and other baby liquid) proof
  • 100% satisfaction money back guarantee

Continue Reading…

Crystal Wash Laundry Balls Review

Crystal Wash Balls

With a newborn in the house, wifey and I have been carefully making sure that we are keeping our house as safe as possible. This includes making sure her clothes are free of any harmful chemicals. Conventional detergents actually are made from petro-chemicals and are laced with quite a number of ingredients that are questionable at best. We don’t want to be paranoid clean-freak parents but we also don’t want to take any unnecessary chances either. This is where we come to the Crystal Wash Laundry Balls. Let’s see how can solve our dilemma.

Product Features:

  • Cleans laundry just as well as detergent except naturally, without any chemicals, detergents or perfumes
  • Removes all stains and absorbs odors through bioceramics
  • Super cost-efficient since you get 1000 loads of laundry out of these balls (much cheaper than regular detergents, even the cheap ones)
  • Low maintenance- simply let it dry off every 2-3 weeks
  • Balls will contain a pH water sensing chip and a micro-controller with Bluetooth capability to let you know when they need to be “recharged”
  • Good for the environment

Continue Reading…

Citrus Lane Subscription Box for Baby Review – Newborn Box – December 2014

December 2014 Citrus Lane Newborn Box

It’s that time again… the December Citrus Lane Subscription Box is here! Read below to see what goodies were included and then feel free to click my link for a special discount on your own subscription!

Included in the December 2014 Box:

  • Scrappy Elephant from Under the Nile
  • Little Hoot from Chronicle Books
  • Hitch from Boon
  • Handprint Keepsake from Pearhead
Scrappy Elephant from Under the Nile

Scrappy Elephant from Under the Nile

Scrappy Elephant from Under the Nile

I love the heart print of this toy – even though this was the Christmas  box, I think it will make for adorable first St. Valentine’s Day photos with our little one. The elephant is made of 100% organic cotton scraps left over from clothing production so it’s eco-friendly too. Add to the fact that it’s machine washable and this one is a keeper. Continue Reading…

Baby Rockstar – Lullaby Renditions Of Frozen Review

Baby Rockstar Lullaby Renditions of Frozen CD

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of a little movie called Frozen. With how far and fast Frozen has permeated popular culture, it’s hard to believe that we first heard songs like “Let It Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” only a year ago (the movie was released in November 2013). I have to admit, I love both the movie and the soundtrack so I was excited to receive Baby Rockstar – Lullaby Renditions Of Frozen CD to review.

Baby Rockstar releases ignite a musical curiosity in your little ones and will be favorites of young children, and their parents, for years to come!

Product Features:

Baby Rockstar – Lullaby Renditions Of Frozen CD features Disney’s Frozen soundtrack melodies played with soothing bells mixed with sleepy tones and light percussive effects designed to wind little ones down for bed

Track Listing:

  • Frozen Heart
  • Do You Want to Build a Snowman
  • For the First Time in Forever
  • Love Is an Open Door
  • Let It Go
  • Reindeers Are Better Than People
  • In Summer
  • For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)
  • Fixer Upper
  • Vuelie
  • Heimr Arnadalr

My Thoughts: Continue Reading…

Body Merry Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream Review

Body Merry Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream with Stork

While I’m happy and awed by the ways my body is stretching to support our growing bambino, I definitely don’t need stretch marks to remind me of my pregnancy. Of course, precisely because I’m pregnant, I’m being very careful about what ingredients make it on to my skin or into my mouth to help keep baby-to-be as safe and healthy as possible. Body Merry Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream is made to help prevent and treat stretch marks during pregnancy using natural and organic ingredients.

Body Merry Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream

Body Merry Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream

Product Features:

  • Made with natural and organic ingredients, including Organic Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Vitamins E + C + B3 + B5, Sunflower Seed Oil, Plant Stem Cells, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Organic Gotu Kala, Algae Extract and Japanese Green Tea Leaf Extract
  • No harsh ingredients – free of Parabens, Sulphates, and Phthalates
  • Improves your skin’s elasticity to prevent new tears and marks from forming
  • Great for the whole family to prevent and reduce stretch marks and scars
  • Convenient 4 oz jar
  • Proudly made in the USA
  • Not tested on animals
  • 90 Day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee from Body Merry

My Thoughts:

Continue Reading…

Citrus Lane Subscription Box for Baby Review – Newborn Box – November 2014

November Citrus Lane Box

The November Citrus Lane Subscription Box was my favorite so far! Read below to see what goodies were included and then feel free to click my link for a special discount on your own subscription!

Included in the November 2014 Box:

  • Lullaby to Go from Cloud B
  • Big and Small Board Book from Barefoot Books
  • Pooh Bear Print Starter Bib from Bumkins
  • “Mystery Item”
Lullaby to Go from Cloud B

Cloud B Lullaby to Go

Lullaby to Go from Cloud B

This cute little turtle plays “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” when you squeeze his paw. He is nicely sized for travel and has a velcro strap to attach to carseats and strollers. I think Mr. Turtle will live in the car for extra entertainment on long car trips. Continue Reading…

Citrus Lane Subscription Box for Baby Review – Newborn Box – October 2014

Citrus Lane Newborn Box October 2014

I enjoyed my Citrus Lane September Newborn Box so much that I extended my subscription for 6 months. Was it worth it? Check out the October box below and let me know what you think!

Included in the October 2014 Box:

  • Bake N Shake Donut Rattle from North American Bear Co.
  • Cage Bell from Hohner Kids
  • Where Do I Live Soft Book from Tiny Love
  • Calendula Baby Care from Weleda

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Bake N Shake Donut Rattle from North American Bear Co.:

Very cute and soft and machine washable (yay!). The rattle is a gentle sound and there is nothing sharp for a little one to hurt themselves on. Plus, a newborn chewing on a donut? Priceless.

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Cage Bell from Hohner Kids:

Be warned, the bell in this is very, very loud. I’m not a fan of plastic toys to begin with so I may donate this guy before hubby accidentally maliciously destroys it…

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Where Do I Live Soft Book from Tiny Love:

It’s never too early for your first book! I’m looking forward to using this with my little one during tummy time. There are lots of fabric flaps for little hands to grasp and the colors are bright and cheerful.

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Calendula Baby Care from Weleda:

While the size of this sample is a bit small, I do like Weleda products and will be happy to use this on our little one.

Overall Impression: 

I was very happy with this month’s box and am glad I resubscribed to Citrus Lane! Aside from the bell-that-hubby-hates, I will definitely use everything else in the box. If you want to subscribe and get your own boxes for little ones, click here and get 50% off your first month!*

What was your favorite item in the box? What do you think I’ll use most as a new mom?

 

(*I do get a referral reward from Citrus Lane if you join through my link. The discount is offered by Citrus Lane and may be stopped/changed without notice)

Babies: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Belle and her Prince

Written by Donat a/k/a The Vegan Hubby

The sheer number of decisions that one has to make for our children is both astounding and fascinating to me. Before they are even born (or conceived even!) a hundred different decisions have already been decided about their future fate.

Driving back from one of our birth classes, wifey and I were discussing some of the things we part of the day’s workshop. We were talking about the pros and cons of yet another piece of the baby puzzle. It hit me at that moment just how many of these sorts of discussions we have already had and will continue to have in the near and distant future. These include everything from what vitamins to take before we even began trying, to the actual birth, to what we plan on doing after the baby is born.

Now I don’t mind these conversations, in fact I like them a lot. They provide tons of insight and clarity on how we both feel about different issues and we virtually always agree on what the “right” thing to do is. What really interests me is just how much of the baby’s life has already been decided without any input on their part. Obviously, he/she hasn’t even been born yet, he/she won’t even be able to talk for a while and certainly cannot make any informed decision for many years to come. It’s just that I never realized that (a) there were so many decisions to make and (b) that so many of them would have to be made far in advance. I think it might also be noted that we are probably not the typical expecting couple in the sense that we have thought about many things for a long time before getting pregnant, we’ve spent hours and hours researching information and we are probably a lot more proactive than most people. I am also quite all right with that considering the average couple in the U.S. is considerably overweight, malnourished and uninformed.

Deciding on what we believe to be the right thing is often an interesting process. Most of the time we make our decisions based on the conventional wisdom that is out thanks to reading up on articles, studies and books that are well respected (i.e. birth plan, diet, exercises). Sometimes we base our decisions on experiences we have personally already had (i.e. future schooling, raising, etc.). Other times we make them because despite what science or success stories have to say, we are just not doing it as it does not resonate with us at all (i.e. placenta consumption). This mix of intellect, experience and intuition just feels like the best way to go through everything in life, babies included. Continue Reading…

Bluum Subscription Box Review – Second Trimester – October 2014

October 2014 Bluum Box

This month I decided to give Bluum box a try. Bluum sends goodies for mom and baby each month based on your child’s age and gender. My box is based on being in the second trimester and is gender neutral as we won’t know the sex of the baby until he/she is born in a few months.

Included in the October 2014 Box:

  1. Giggle Better Basics Striped Teething Tomato
  2. Loralin Design Baby Visitors Guest Book
  3. Healthy Mama Boost it Up! – Mighty Mango
  4. Jellystone Designs Organic Bangle – Eggplant

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1. Giggle Better Basics Striped Teething Tomato 
This is a cute 100% organic cotton teether. Bluum values it at $8, which is the MSRP but it’s only $4.99 on Giggle.com. I like that it’s organic and washable and the design is cute for a boy or girl.

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2. Loralin Design Baby Visitors Guest Book 
I never knew baby visiting guest books existed, but now that we have it, we will probably use to record first visitors and to give people something special to do when not holding the baby.  Bluum values it at $30. I never would have bought this on my own or requested on a registry but it could be fun to have and to look back on later.

October 2014 Bluum Box

3. Healthy Mama Boost it Up! – Mighty Mango

This item I did not like – it is not vegan and the ingredients are very sugar heavy. The first three ingredients are Filtered Water, Sugar, Whey Protein Isolate – not exactly a health drink. I had hubby bring this one into the office to give away and did not remember to take a picture first. Bluum values this at $3.49.

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4. Jellystone Designs Organic Bangle – Eggplant 
This a bangle bracelet made of silicone so that baby can teeth on it. It’s an interesting idea but I don’t think a teether would stay clean enough to go in baby’s mouth if you are wearing it all day. I would use as a teether or a bracelet but not both. Bluum values this at $15.

Bottom Line:

Bluum would make a fun gift but I will probably not continue subscribing on my own. Compared to Citrus Lane (which I did end up extending my subscription to) the items are a bit less practical for what I need right now as a first time mama. If you have the extra cash, it’s still a fun box.

What do you think of the Bluum box I received? Let me know in the comments!