Pregnancy & Baby – Frugal Novice
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Pregnancy & Baby

Medela is a Must-Have for Moms (Their App is, Too!)

I received a Medela Freestyle Breastpump Deluxe Kit, lanolin, and nursing pads  to facilitate this post. I was not compensated monetarily, and all opinions are honest and are my own.
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When I found out my sister-in-law Lauren (who really might as well just be my sister – love her!) was expecting her first baby, I immediately started thinking of the gear she’d need. As any mom can tell you, there is so much out there on the market and it can be hard to weed through it to find quality products.

Medela is a brand many people equate with breastfeeding and pumping. I remember it being the first brand I really heard about as an expectant mom, and it’s got a great reputation for well-made pumps and more. When I was in the hospital with each of my kids, I used a hospital-grade Medela pump – and loved it, so it was a no-brainer that I’d recommend a Medela pump for Lauren. The Medela Freestyle Breastpump Deluxe Kit has everything a new mom could want – check out all it comes with:

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What’s Your #ClutchStyle?

 

My sister-in-law, Lauren,  just had her first baby last Monday (and oh my word, he is cute!), and I’ve been on the hunt for must-have baby gear for her. Of course, everyone knows wipes are an essential – I can’t even begin to imagine how many wipes we’ve gone through with our three children!

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Huggies Natural Care Wipes are hypoallergenic and 99% water based. They provide the ultimate skin care for babies’ naturally perfect – and sensitive – skin. I went to Sam’s Club to get some for Lauren – they sell a pack with 864 wipes, which comes with a tub and a super-cute (and exclusive!) members-voted clutch. I love shopping at Sam’s for baby items – in fact, I took another trip recently and found a ton of baby gear, all at great prices. From baby clothes to toys to all the essentials like wipes, Sam’s Club is a great one-stop shop for all things baby. If you don’t have a membership yet, find out more about how easy it is to join.

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Give Hope to New Moms with Cigna & Samahope

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the Cigna Foundation, in partnership with Samahope. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. Thanks to Samahope for providing the images in this post.

On Monday something pretty wonderful happened – my sister-in-law gave birth to her first baby, and I became an aunt to an adorable little boy! We drove down to Austin and got to experience the anticipation of sitting in the waiting room, glancing up at any sign of motion for my brother-in-law to announce whether they’d had a boy or girl.

The hospital we were at provided great care for my SIL and the baby, for which we were all really thankful. And here in the U.S., thankfully, great prenatal and postpartum care is a very normal thing. Unfortunately, though, not everyone in the world is so lucky. Some mothers don’t have access to prenatal care to help give their babies the best start before they’re even born, and some women don’t give birth at places with quality resources.

The Cigna Foundation has partnered with Samahope to help raise awareness and funds to improve the maternal health and safe childbirth resources provided to women around the world. And you can help, too.

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Sam’s Club Baby Days + a Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Acorn & Procter and Gamble. All opinions are honest and my own.

My sister-in-law Lauren (might as well be sister) is pregnant with her first baby, and I am almost as excited for her as I was for my own pregnancies. I can’t wait to see her be a mom (she’ll be amazing) and I’m ready to hold my niece or nephew!

Lauren’s due in November, so as that time gets closer and closer, being stocked up on baby gear is more and more on her mind. I started thinking about what all I was glad to have on hand when each of my kids were babies, and wanted to help get her and my brother-in-law all set for their new arrival. I headed over to our local Sam’s Club, because I knew it’d be a great one-stop location to find all sorts of must-haves for babies at cost-efficient prices.

First of all: diapers and wipes. Parents, you know how rapidly you use these, so it’s crucial to have a sizeable stockpile! Sam’s has huge boxes, so I grabbed some Pampers Swaddlers and Sensitive Wipes for Lauren to have ready when she comes home from the hospital.

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And if you noticed, I got instant savings on the diapers, making them an even better deal than they already were. And I got 808 wipes for less than $20. Gotta love bargains like that!

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Huggies Slip-Ons are Perfect for Toddlers Always On-The-Move!

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies. I received product samples to facilitate my review and to thank me for my participation.”

We are in full-fledged toddler mode in our house. E is 18 months old and runs around the house constantly, whether it’s to transfer her baby dolls from their crib to their strollers, or to chase after her two big brothers. Regardless of what the instance is, she does not want to sit still… which means diaper changes can be a real challenge!

Thankfully HUGGIES has a great solution for busy babies and toddlers – Little Movers Slip-On Diapers! I’ve got a link to a coupon for these, too, by the way – $1 off (or $1.50 off if you share a link with three friends)! Just click here to access the coupon.

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These diapers don’t require any opening or adjusting – you just slip them on, meaning your child doesn’t even have to lay down.

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The Little Movers Slip-On Diapers are made with stretchy sides, so they provide a great fit without adjustment- they slip on easily and off easily, too. Last night was a perfect moment for me to test out just how effective these diapers are. E was busy looking at a book and could not be bothered to lay down for a diaper change – but it was really easy to have her step into the diaper.

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What I love is that you don’t lose the benefits of traditional diapers. These have Leak Lock Protection, which absorb wetness and lock it away from your baby’s skin. I wondered the question I think many of you are thinking too… what happens when they have a dirty diaper?

Easy – the sides can be opened like traditional diapers for those instances when you need to do so.

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We love these diapers – they provide us with a really quick diaper-changing experience. E is used to stepping into her pants and shorts, so she is happy to step into her diaper and we don’t get the fussing that we do sometimes when we lay her down for a diaper change. The fit and absorbency are both top-notch, and we’d definitely recommend them to other families with babies who are standing and walking.

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Here’s a commercial for the Slip-Ons to give you an even better idea of how they work:

Don’t forget, to access a coupon for these diapers just  click here

Vera Bradley Baby Clothes & Accessories are a Great Addition to the Brand!

Note: We received a Vera Bradley baby item for review. We were not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are our own.

If you remember, back last summer I reviewed a Vera Bradley diaper bag. This bag is my favorite diaper bag we’ve had – it’s stylish and we get compliments on it, but it also is great for organizing baby gear, and it’s held up the best of any diaper bag we’ve owned. Well, now Vera Bradley has expanded their line to include baby clothes and more accessories, and these pieces are just as great!

The new pieces include blankets, booties, layette sets, onesies and even oh-so-adorable socks… and more!

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We got to review one of the new Vera Bradley baby dress & bloomer sets – in Tutti Frutti. When it arrived and I saw the packaging, I knew this was a perfect gift idea for a special baby in your life. Isn’t this absolutely adorable??

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We LOVE this dress. It’s soft and well-made, and the pattern is just perfect. E has gotten so many compliments on this dress! We think she looks pretty cute in it, too – what do you think?

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You can find the Vera Bradley baby clothes and items on their site. Be forewarned – you’ll want to get one of everything!

Zutano Baby Clothes Will Brighten Up Your Holidays {Giveaway!}

Since having E in September, I’ve gotten back in to the whole world of shopping for baby clothes. And I have to admit I love it. Tiny clothing is just plain cute. In our city, I’m pretty limited to a few select stores, so online shopping is what really provides me with opportunities for unique clothes for her. Zutano is one of those stores that I could go broke at if I weren’t careful!

We got sent two outfits, both of which I absolutely adore. The first is a Penny Lane peasant top and baby skinny leggings to go with it. The colors on this outfit just pop, and we got a ton of compliments on it when we were out.

The second outfit we received just screams coziness. It’s the fuschia cozie elf onesie (although I think of it more as a sleeper), and it is just stinkin’ cute, there’s no doubt about it. We got the baby booties that go along with it, too.

I had E wear this outfit on a rare cold Texas day, and it was just perfect. It kept her warm from head to toe, and it makes for some pretty great photo opps, too.

There are truly an abundance of items on Zutano’s site that I would love to snatch up for E – and they have great little boys’ clothes, too! If you’re as in love with their clothes as I am, you’re going to be thrilled to find out I get to give away a $75 Zutano e-gift card to one lucky recipient!

One winner will receive a $75 Zutano e-gift card.

This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Monday, December 10. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I received clothing from Zutano to facilitate my review, and they are providing the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

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Nurture Naturally with Seventh Generation Baby Care Products {Giveaway}

Many of you have probably heard of Seventh Generation products before – I know we’ve used their household cleaners before and I really liked that they were free of chemicals that so many other cleaners have. It only makes sense that I, as a mom, would then be even more excited to have natural products for use with our kids. Since we have our newborn, E, who’s just two months old, I’m even more interested in finding natural products to use on her sensitive skin.

Seventh Generation now has a variety of baby care products, so I can feel great about what I use with E!

Pictured above are their diaper cream, bubble bath, lotion, foaming shampoo/wash, sunscreen, and regular shampoo/wash. We haven’t started letting E have bubble baths yet, but I tried the bubble bath with our preschoolers and they loved it – the tub was filled with suds, and I felt great about knowing there weren’t any harmful chemicals behind the bubbles.

I attended an online presentation about chemicals in products and was shocked at how pervasive they are in our lives. It’s also unnerving the effects that the chemicals can have on us and, more importantly, on our children. Studies show that their endocrine systems can be greatly disrupted, causing all sorts of problems (even contributing to obesity). Researchers at John Hopkins Children’s Center found that children with high urinary levels of parabens were more sensitive to environmental allergens.

Here are some ingredients you should not use on your baby (none of which are included in Seventh Generation products):

  • Parabens (ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-)
  • Phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP, DMP, DEP)
  • Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diasolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo2-nitropropane-1, 3 diol (bronopol)
  • “Fragrance” or “preservatives” rather than listing actual ingredients
  • Triclosan
  • DEA (diethanolamine) and TEA (triethanolamine)
  • Tetrasodium and trisodium EDTA

After learning more about the potential effects of chemicals on our children, I became even more resolved to use natural products for them. At the online presentation I attended, I also learned some baby massage tips, so I decided to use some of those tips and the Seventh Generation Wee Gen baby lotion to give E a massage.

All-natural Seventh Generation Baby Lotion? Check. Adorable baby? Check. All set for baby massage! 

Here are some tips shared by Tina Allen with Liddle Kidz Foundation, so you can share the benefits of baby massage with your infant:

Choose the Best Time and Place

Creating the best environment for massage is an ideal way to give yourself, and baby time
to relax. Choose a familiar place that is warm, quiet and with few distractions. The best
time for massage is when baby is awake, healthy and happy. Some babies prefer the
morning, while others prefer the afternoon or before bedtime.

Be comfortable

Relax, enjoy and have fun! Position yourself so that you are comfortable. Be sure baby is
safe and placed on a soft area. Keep in mind, babies roll and become slippery when using
oil. Be sure your hands are warm and clean before you begin.

Choosing Massage Oil

While it is not required, using oil can help make massage more enjoyable for some babies
and parents. Olive oil and Grapeseed oil are some of the best choices for infant massage.
However if you choose to use lotions be sure to choose a non-toxic option, like Seventh
Generation baby lotion – which contains olive oil as a main ingredient.

Ask Permission

Infant massage can be a wonderful tool for increasing your communication. Massage is not
something that parents do to their baby, but rather with their little one. Listen to your
baby. She will give you the signals to let you know she is enjoying massage, or when she is
all done for now.

Know When Not to Massage

Never provide massage for your baby without permission (when sleeping, crying or fussy).
Avoid massage when he is ill, has a fever or infection. If he has broken skin, rash or
bruising. Wait at least 48 – 72 hours following immunizations. For tummy massage, wait
30 minutes after eating. If he has any special healthcare needs seek further guidance as to
what would be the safest approach.

For more information on Infant Massage visit: www.LiddleKidz.com.

I’ve even got a wonderful video on infant massage to share with you. Click here to check it out!

So, now you’ve got valuable information on choosing natural products for your baby, and you’ve learned some great tips for baby massage. How could this post get any better? A giveaway, of course! First, though, let me share info for the upcoming Twitter party (where you can have even more chances to win, and pick up great information too!):

SEVENTH GENERATION TWITTER PARTY

  • What: Join us for an informative party to discuss the importance of using truly pure and natural baby care products! We’ll tell you how to identify the safest product ingredients and those ingredients to watch out for.
  • When: The party will be on Monday, Nov. 5, at 1p ET.
  • Where: Use the #7GenBabyFest hashtag on Twitter to find us!
  • Hosts: Follow @theMotherhood, @SeventhGen, @CooperMunroe and @EmilyMcKhann
  • Prizes: We will give away five prize packs containing full sets of the Seventh Generation baby personal care line.
Now, on to my giveaway:

TWO winners will each win a prize pack of Wee Gen baby care products from Seventh Generation (pictured above). Each set is valued at $50!

This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Monday, November 19. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: I am participating in the Seventh Generation program with The Motherhood. I have been compensated for my time.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and are my own.

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Keep Baby Safe with Munchkin Products

We had been out of the “baby stage” for a while now, with C being 3 and J being 5. But now that E is here, we’re back in full force and safety is definitely on our minds. And did you know that September is National Baby Safety Month? It’s a great time to be aware of steps to take to keep your infant safe.

With safety on the brain, I was excited to discover all of the products from Munchkin to help keep babies safe. We received the Munchkin Childproofing Kit, which includes:

  • 8 Drawer and Cabinet Latches
  • 12 Plug Covers
  • 4 XTRAGUARD™ Soft Impact Corner Cushions
  • 1 XTRAGUARD™ Dual Purpose Door Stopper

They have other items, if you don’t want a whole kit but are looking for specific safety gear:

  • XtraGuard™ Safety Lock Plug Covers: Equipped with an integrated locking mechanism, the no-grip form of these covers can be unlocked with an edged-tool, such as a coin
  • XtraGuard™ Dual Locking Appliance Latch: Secures drawers, cabinets and appliances with a locking-indicator and three custom  settings
  • 4-Pack Corner Cushions: With a rounded, foam corner design, these cushions provide maximum protection at edges and corners where impact is most likely to occur
  • 2-Pack Door Knob Covers: A turning-point in door security, these covers have a locking geometric shape that wraps around the entire knob with tamper-resistant depressors

Are you gearing up to keep your baby safe? What’s the most crucial safety item in your house? I think it’s plug covers for us. What’s your opinion?

Note: I received a Childproofing Kit to facilitate this post. I was not compensated monetarily. All opinions are honest and are my own.

 

 

Wordless Wednesday: New Addition

Wonder why I haven’t been posting as much this past week?

We’ve been a little busy…. introducing baby E, born September 5! :)

Baby Registries Have Never Been So Simple! {Wayfair Review}

If you’re like me – and many other people I know – your friends and family are scattered around the country. Technology makes it easier to keep in touch (thanks, email and Facebook) and now thanks to online retailers like Wayfair, you can easily have a gift registry for your baby-to-be or your engagement. This allows people to go online, place an order, and have it shipped right to your doorstep. Another perk of using Wayfair is that they’ve got pretty much everything on their site, giving you a wider range of things to include.

Check out a few of the baby registry options from their look book:

And of course don’t forget all the many ideas for things to add to your wedding registry too:

We got a chance to review a piece of nursery furniture from Wayfair – this white swivel vanity:

It was easy to assemble – the directions were very clear-cut and pieces were labeled with little stickers. Our only issue was that the screw for one of the pegs broke, so we’re just using 3 of the 4 pegs on the side, but we will remedy that down the road. As you can see in the photos above, this unit provides a lot of storage space. And we’re not even using the two little cubbies at the bottom right now – they’ll be perfect for shoes! It’s great right now to prep with items for a newborn (and I love having little dresses hung on the sides) but I can see how this piece can really grow with a child – and it’s even got a full-length mirror on the back (not glass, for safety):

As I mentioned, the whole unit swivels, making it easy to switch between the storage side and the mirror. In our case we decided to put a lamp on top, so we’re not using the swivel feature now but I know we will in the future!

Note: We received the vanity from Wayfair to facilitate our review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Make Baby Naming Fun with Belly Ballot!

As I can tell you from recent experience, it can be a challenge coming up with a name for your baby! You want to pick a name that fits now, and that they’ll grow into, and that fits with your last name. Oh, and of course you also, if you’re like me, have names you want to avoid because of negative association.

Picking a name can be difficult too because you might find something you love, but then other people decide to start giving opinions. I’m not talking about people whose opinions you really value – I mean the grocery store checker or other random people who happen to ask what names you’re considering.

When we were first picking a name for our daughter, we looked at a few names in particular – Evelyn and Hazel were at the top of our list. We like old-fashioned names, but not everyone agrees with us and we definitely had people tell us they didn’t like one or both of those names for one reason or another.

Belly Ballot is a FUN way to let family and friends in on your baby naming. You pick five names and then let them vote on their favorites. For one thing, you only invite who you WANT to invite, so you’re not going to get an unwelcome opinion from your neighbor’s cousin’s girlfriend’s sister. And they’re voting on the names they like best, so you’re only seeing the positives and aren’t getting negative feedback. Plus, since it’s online it’s a way to involve friends and family that might be far away and feel disconnected.

Click here if you want to check it out for yourself or share with expectant friends – or if you’re like me and just have a blast looking through baby names. :)