Pregnancy & Baby – Frugal Novice
Browsing Category

Pregnancy & Baby

Walking & Jogging a Breeze with Kelty Speedster Swivel Deluxe Stroller

I think it crosses every woman’s mind at some point – how will I lose this baby weight? A favorite way for me to fit in exercise has always been walking and a little bit of jogging, because it’s something I can do for free and enjoy the outdoors at the same time (when it’s not, y’know, 100+ degrees outside)!

The right jogging stroller can make a big difference in your success with this post-baby. For one thing, having a jogging stroller period is important because otherwise you’ve got a built-in excuse to not get out and exercise. But beyond that, you want a good stroller that is easy to use, has good features, and will keep your baby safe.

Kelty is a brand of outdoor products that also happens to produce a great jogging stroller, the Speedster Swivel Deluxe (did you know it was the recipient of Babble.com’s “2011 Best Stroller” award?).

The stroller has a nice sporty feel to it and comes in either a blue or yellow shade. It’s incredibly easy to assemble and to collapse, which we noticed right away! It also has a ton of features parents will love:

Safety Features:

  • Rear wheel brakes
  • Runaway leash

Stroller Features:

  • Swivel front wheel, with lockout option
  • Easy folding design
  • Bell to alert others
  • Independently reclining seats
  • Fully padded seat and frame
  • Adjustable height handle (34-45″)
  • Quick-release wheels
  • Adjustable sun/rain hood
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Reflective accents
  • Seat-back storage pocket with key fob
  • Under-seat storage bin
  • Water bottle holders

But how does it perform in action? Well, I’m 37+ weeks pregnant, so getting out and jogging isn’t exactly appealing right now, but my friend Amanda and her daughter Rea tested the stroller out for me – and Amanda gave rave reviews! I think Rea did too. :) She said the stroller has a smooth ride (thanks to the inflatable tires rather than hard tires so many strollers have) and was easy to maneuver. The storage bin’s size was really impressive, too – if you’re out and about for a long day of activities, it’s easy to bring along whatever you might need. Here are a few photos we snapped of the stroller:

Note: I received a stroller to facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own or those of my guest reviewer, Amanda.

mombo Taggies Deluxe Slipcover

Back in June I reviewed the mombo nursing pillow. If you haven’t read that review, be sure and check it out to see all the features that make this nursing pillow a step above anything else you might have already tried – seriously, it’s impressive! It’s made by Comfort & Harmony, whose products I’m loving – be sure and keep up with them on Facebook!

One of the features I liked about the mombo was the many cover options available – and my absolute favorite is the pink Taggies deluxe slipcover, which I just got the chance to review! Babies just seem drawn to tags, so I’ve always thought Taggies products were so clever and perfect to use with little ones.

As with all of the mombo covers, there are two sides to this cover – one is solid pink, soft, and velvety, with an embroidered owl and two Taggies wings.

The other side is cotton with a fun polka dot and owl print to it.

And around the sides of this pillow are colorful tags babies will love to play with, making tummy time more fun!

I love this cover (they have a blue one too, for you moms of boys!) and can’t wait to use it with our daughter. Taggies makes all sorts of great products from sleepers to blankets to books and toys – all meant especially for little hands to enjoy!

Note: I received a Taggies mombo cover to facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Start Your Baby off Right – Sealy Posture Perfect Crib Mattress {Giveaway}

When you bring your newborn home from the hospital, you’ll likely have everything all set and ready to go. Where they sleep will be one of your biggest decisions, and having a safe space is vital. When we picked our crib mattresses for each of the boys, we did research on the features and safety information of various options. We knew we wanted something we could really feel good about them sleeping on.

Do you need a few tips for picking out a crib mattress? Be sure and check out this video for some really helpful suggestions:

Sealy is a brand name in mattresses that we’re familiar with and have confidence in – they’ve been around for years! We felt really good about using the Sealy Posture Perfect mattress for baby #3, especially after reading up on it. Here are its features:

  • 180 durability tested innerspring coils provide long-lasting posture support
  • Secure-edge heavy gauge steel border rods give maximum support around the perimeter where toddlers will sit
  • Two firm hypoallergenic layers cushion and comfort baby while providing a supportive sleeping surface
  • GREENGUARD® Children & Schools Certified: This entire mattress is GREENGUARD® Children & Schools certified for indoor air quality and low chemical emissions to help create a healthier sleeping environment for your baby
  • Waterproof cover and lock-stitched waterproof binding resists stains, moisture and mildew
  • Entire mattress wipes clean with a damp cloth for a sanitary sleeping surface
  • Mattress also fits toddler bed frames
  • 35-year warranty on workmanship and materials
  • Meets or exceeds all flammability, lead, phthalate and CPSIA testing and does not contain toxic fire retardants
  • Proudly Made in the USA

The mattress is great – it fits wonderfully in our crib with no gapping around the sides. It’s a thick, firm mattress that will provide a supportive, safe sleeping surface that we can feel good about.

One winner will receive a Sealy Posture Perfect crib mattress (ARV $109.99)! This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Monday, September 17. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: As a Kolcraft Mom, I received a mattress to facilitate my review, and one is being provided for the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ubbi Diaper Pail Brings Style To & Removes Odors From Your Nursery

Almost every nursery has a diaper pail, whether parents choose to use disposable or cloth diapers. They’re never the most attractive things, but they’re functional so we stick them off to the side and hope they won’t really be noticed.

That’s not the case anymore thanks to Ubbi diaper pails! These pails are made of steel and come in a variety of fun colors that really enhance the style of your nursery.

Of course, with having our first girl (and after having two boys) I am totally embracing the pink, and was thrilled to get the hot pink Ubbi to review for our nursery. I love that it adds a pop of color, and I am planning on putting it in a spot right inside the door – a very visible spot that I probably wouldn’t put a normal diaper pail! You can even get decals to add more design flair to your pail, but I like the look of ours as it is.

The top has a sliding mechanism to open and close it, and it has a lock feature that allows you to keep little hands from unintentionally opening the pail when you’re not ready.

There’s a rubber gasket around the lid that helps to seal in odors.

One of my favorite aspects of the Ubbi pail, though, is the ability to use a standard 13-gallon size trash bag and NOT have to buy specialty bags! I can’t tell you how many times with our old pail we’d run out of refills right at the most inconvenient time. And it’s SO easy to install the bag!

When you open up the pail there’s a ring:

You just tuck the bag down inside the ring, folding the sides of the bag over the outside of the ring and inside the pail:

And voila! You’re all set to go:

I am a huge fan of the Ubbi pail. It does retail for more than the pail we used to have, but when I consider the fact that I’m not going to have to spend $6+ on each and every refill, I feel like the costs balance out pretty quickly… and to me the aesthetic appeal of the Ubbi is worth a lot in itself. This would be great to add to your registry, or to give as a gift to someone and really add something special to their nursery.

Keep up with Ubbi on Facebook and Twitter for news on the latest colors available and other great updates!

Note: We receive an Ubbi diaper pail to facilitate this review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Wubbanub – Cute & Useful Pacifier!

Whether you’re a parent or not, you’ve likely heard of a pacifier. You may not, however, know about the Wubbanub – I know I didn’t until just recently, and this is my third pregnancy! The Wubbanub was created by Carla Schneider when she grew tired of losing the pacifier for her baby – she sewed a favorite toy right to the pacifier, making it easy for infants to snuggle the toy and get comfort from the pacifier all at the same time.

The pacifier is made of medical grade silicone and BPA free. The soft plush portion provides comfort to the touch and makes it so much easier for the baby’s little hands to grasp and manipulate the pacifier them self. Which means fewer bouncing, rolling and lost pacifiers and less rooting around in the stroller or bag to find the pacifier.

So cute, isn’t it? And look at all of the varieties available:

Wubbanubs are available at stores and boutiques around the country, and on some online stores (like Amazon) as well!

Note: I received a Wubbanub to facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily for my post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

 

Stylish Items for All Things Baby from PishPoshBaby.com

I have had a blast looking at baby stuff since getting pregnant, especially since we found out we’re having a girl. Of course, I think I’ve mentioned before that my options for shopping locally are somewhat limited, so online shopping is definitely a favorite of mine. I recently discovered an online baby boutique with all kinds of baby gear from great brands.

Pish Posh Baby has the big items like car seats and strollers, but all sorts of other accessories too – in great, bold colors and fun, fresh patterns that will add a little style to your baby. We got a chance to review a car seat canopy by Oilo from their site.

This is SUCH a cute cover, and in a modern design & color scheme we love – and it’s SO much more “us” than anything we’d seen locally.

It attaches easily with velcro straps to the handlebar, keeping it secure but making it easy to remove. I know from experience with my boys that just tossing a blanket over the car seat is a huge pain – it’s always slipping and falling. With this, you don’t have that problem!

Another thing I really like is that it’s got elastic around the back – this helps keep it snugly in place and keeps the fabric from flying up in the back when you have the car seat outside. Of course, it’s still really easy to access your baby because the front flips up, like so:

Oh, and did you notice the striped print on the underside? Yep, the canopy is reversible so you can have two different looks depending on what you’re in the mood for!

So, if you’re looking for something for your baby or for a baby gift, Pish Posh Baby has a lot to offer – check out the list of brands they’ve got available:

  • Boon
  • Britax
  • Bugaboo
  • Bumbleride
  • Cybex
  • Diono
  • ErgoBaby
  • Glenna Jean
  • Graco
  • Green Frog Art
  • iCandy
  • Inglesina
  • Jamie Rae Hats
  • JJ Cole
  • KidKraft
  • Lullaby Earth
  • Maclaren
  • Maxi Cosi
  • Mountain Buggy
  • Mutsy
  • My Baby Sam
  • Naturepedic
  • Oilo
  • Peg Perego
  • Phil & Teds
  • Recaro
  • Sasha’s
  • Skip Hop
  • Spot On Square
  • Stokke
  • Svan
  • Tegu
  • Tiny Love
  • UppaBaby
  • Valco
  • Stanley Young America

Note: I received the car seat canopy to facilitate my review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Safety Features Abound With the Britax Pavilion 70-G3 {Giveaway!}

I’m pretty obsessed when it comes to my children, safety, and the car. When we recently traded our vehicle in for a minivan, I researched on crash test ratings for hours. And when it comes to car seats, we want nothing but the best and safest options.

Both of the boys have ridden in Britax Marathon seats since they outgrew their infant car seats, and we’ve loved them. We did a lot of research (shocker, right?) when it first came time to purchase J’s seat, and we knew from statistics and tons of parent reviews that Britax was the brand we wanted to go with. Oh, and as if we needed another reason to buy Britax, they now have a Registry Rewards program that lets parents earn a free convertible Britax car seat!

Now they’ve added another model to their line-up – the Pavilion 70-G3.

We got sent a Pavilion to review – C, our 3-year-old, was SO excited to get a new seat – and we continue to be impressed with Britax and their thoughtfulness in designing products. For one thing, their convertible car seats can be used for a LONG time – 5-40 pounds rear-facing, and up to 70 pounds forward-facing.

This means that you can use the seat right from the start (once baby E is born in September watch for a post showing you how the seat works for newborns too!) and all the way up until your child is ready for a booster. I personally am a huge fan of kids staying in a 5-point harness for as long as possible, so I love the high weight limit on their seats.

I’ve got to list all the features of the seat –  it’s an impressive list, and if you don’t know about Britax seats yet, you’ll quickly see why their seats are top-notch (I’ve added my thoughts to some of the features in bolded parenthesis):

  • HUGS Chest Pads with SafeCell Technology are affixed to the seat shell to ensure proper positioning while SafeCells compress to manage energy and provide resistance to the forward movement of your child in a crash, reducing the risk of head injury (If you watch the crash-test videos of kids in car seats, head injuries are by far the scariest aspect in my opinion. This added technology helps protect the most critical parts of our kiddos.)
  • EZ-Buckle System retains the harness buckle in a forward position and prevents the child from sitting on the buckle when boarding (Oh, how I love this feature. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to get the kids to pull the buckle out for us to be able to buckle them up. This makes it SO much easier!)
  • True Side Impact Protection is deep side walls with energy-absorbing EPP foam along with a head restraint which offers a double layer of EPP foam to distribute crash forces, shield from vehicle intrusion, and contain the head, neck and body while keeping them “in true” or aligned.

 

  • Base with SafeCell Technology features SafeCells designed to compress in a crash, significantly lowering the center of gravity and counteracting the forward rotation of the child seat which normally propels the child toward the front seat.

 

  • Integrated Steel Bars strengthen the connection to the vehicle and reduce forward flexing of the child seat during a crash (This is one of the first things we noticed about the seat, and it really is reassuring to see those strong steel bars protecting the sides of the seat).
  • Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether features a staged-release tether webbing to slow the forward movement, reducing the crash forces reaching the child, and a two-point attachment to minimize forward rotation while anchoring the top of the child seat.

  • Click & Safe® Snug Harness Indicator is an audible aid that provides extra assurance when the harness is within range of appropriate snugness (This is SO useful, in part because we had our straps too loose for a while without realizing it!).

  • Tangle-Free, Five-Point Harness distributes crash forces across the strongest parts of the body and provides a secure fit.
  • 70-pound Weight Capacity for safety and comfort as your child grows.

  • Rear and Forward Facing Recline for child comfort and positioning.
  • High Density Comfort Foam provides an extra layer of padding to gently cushion your child.
  • Plush, Easy-Remove Cover with matching comfort pads and infant body pillow to provide extra comfort and easy cleaning without disassembling or uninstalling the child seat.
  • Two Buckle Positions for your growing child
  • Infant Positioning Insert may be necessary for small infants to achieve a snug fit of the harness around your child (sold separately).
  • Quick-Adjust, No-Rethread Harness repositions the harness shoulder height without disassembling the harness straps.

  • Premium Lower LATCH Connectors for a quick and simple installation featuring a push button for easy release.
  • Built-in Lock-Offs ensure a snug lap and shoulder belt installation with minimal effort
  • Anti-Slip, Contoured Base grips and protects the vehicle seat while offering optimum vehicle fit.
  • Harness Holders keep harness straps pulled to the sides when placing your child in the car seat.
  • Certified for Aircraft Travel
  • Made in the USA with global components

As you can see, this seat has it all! We also loved how easy it was to adjust the height of the seat by simply squeezing the handle at the top and pulling it up.

I’d give this seat 5-stars all around. It’s comfortable, easy to install, easy to adjust, great to look at, and most of all SAFE. As I said, we were already Britax fans but this seat just cements that even further.

The Pavilion 70-G3 retails for $339.99 and you can find it many places – online at retailers like Amazon, and in-store at Buy Buy Baby, Babies R Us and more. But guess what? You can also…

One winner will get a Britax Pavilion 70-G3 car seat (ARV $339.99)! This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Saturday, September 15. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

Note: We received a Britax Pavilion to facilitate our review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Setting Up Our Nursery

Our house just has three bedrooms, and we’ve always had one of the bedrooms set up as a play room. When we found out we were expecting baby #3, we decided at the time that we wouldn’t set up a nursery. Both of the boys slept in a pack n’ play until they were 6-8 months old, and I’m sure it’ll be the same this time around too.

Of course, now that the nesting phase has hit me full force I have changed my mind and it now seems very crucial to have at least some space dedicated to baby E. Thankfully Brian is pretty laid-back and just went with it when I suggested we go ahead and get a crib. We’re going to make the play room partially a nursery, while still keeping some of the toy storage for the boys.

We put together a crib this weekend, although we still need to put in the mattress – I love this crib! It’s modern and light, and it even came with a bed rail to turn it into a toddler bed down the road – beautiful and practical!

I’ll post more photos as the project progresses – we’re doing letters for her name (thanks to my lovely sister-in-law Lauren for finding the idea for what we’re doing!) and I’m attempting to make a valance for the window (was going to make curtains, but don’t have enough of the fabric – whoops).

We’re also hoping to add a little bit of storage to the room, but I haven’t 100% decided what to do. I am leaning toward saving up for the changing table that matches the crib (it’s sooo pretty!) but I’ve also been scouring a variety of chest of drawers to see if there’s an option there that could work as a changing table & still provide the storage we want. Right now we’ve cleaned out a few drawers in our room for baby things, but that’s not going to work long-term.

I think the room will turn out really cute, and it’s fun having a reason to be crafty (seriously, can’t wait for you to see the letters once I finish)! Do you have any nursery ideas you just love that I should try? Share them in the comments!

Caboose Too Adds Even More Versatility to the Joovy Caboose Stroller

Since we’re about to have three kids, the Joovy Caboose Ultralight stroller was extremely appealing to us. We love the bench seat in the back that’s perfect for older kids to sit on when they need a rest, and it also has a foot rest so kids can stand too if they prefer.  Here you can see the boys trying out the stroller – the canopy covers both kids well at once.

I know from experience that traditional double strollers are HEAVY – the one we had when C was a baby weighed in at 40 pounds. The Joovy Caboose Ultralight weighs just 21 pounds, which makes it so much easier for loading and unloading in the car, and for maneuvering around.  And can we talk about the awesome colors? We picked the “Greenie” pictured above, but they also have Blueberry, Orangie, Brownie and Black.

The Caboose comes with a car seat adapter, allowing you to use it with most infant car seats and still have the added bonus of the bench seat.

Did you notice something in the photo with the car seat above? That’s right…. there’s not just the bench seat in the photo – now there’s an option to purchase a full-sized second seat – the Caboose Too! And we got the chance to try it out. This accessory converts your tandem Caboose to a full double stroller really quickly (it seriously only took me 5 minutes maybe to add the seat). It installs easily onto the existing rear platform and stroller frame, and it reclines and includes a 5-point harness, just like the front seat.  The Caboose Too seat offers additional support and comfort for children still too young to use the bench seat and the standing platform of the Caboose. This configuration offers the flexibility to use the seat until the older child reaches the point where they want to sit or stand on the back of the Caboose.

Since our baby isn’t due until September, we tried out the seat with our boys – J is almost 40 pounds and C is 35 pounds, so they can still use the stroller together (instructions suggest a maximum of 90 pounds of weight combined). C loved sitting in the seat and said he had plenty of room!

I also liked that it’s easy to see through from front to back (and vice versa). It was easy for J to turn around and talk to C, and C was able to get a good view of what was in front of us even with being in the back seat.

We are thoroughly impressed with the Caboose Ultralight and love the added value of having a second full seat with the Caboose Too. It’s a compact, sleek-looking stroller that’s lightweight, easy to maneuver, and versatile. Check out Joovy’s site to see all of the color options!

Note: We received a Joovy Caboose Ultralight and Caboose Too seat to facilitate this review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Take a Sunny Stroll with Tiny Love {Giveaway}

I think most parents can relate to a situation in which you’re driving in the car, or are out running errands, and your baby starts to get fussy. For us, having toys to entertain the boys was essential for helping us survive outings successfully. But it’s not always easy to remember to bring toys along – unless, like the Sunny Stroll from Tiny Love, it attaches right to your infant carrier!

The Sunny Stroll, a ?exible feature-?lled arch that attaches to a stroller, has been an especially big hit with moms, including actress Selma Blair, who was pictured in US Magazine pushing her son’s stroller with the Sunny Stroll attached. The Tiny Princess Butter?y Stroll is the follow-up version to this innovative product, so you can have it in pink too!

I love this product – first of all, the flexible joints give you all sorts of options as to how to configure the toy, AND they make it really easy to make it compact when you’re not using it. But the best part is the clamps. You can easily attach them to almost any stroller or car seat, giving you ultimate versatility.

Both versions of the Sunny Stroll retail for $19.99, making this an affordable item to get for your child or as a gift for someone else!

Of course… you could also win one here. :)

One winner will get their choice of the Sunny Stroll in either the version I have, or the Tiny Princess version! This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Tuesday, August 21. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wear Your Baby Easily Right from the Start with the ErgoBaby Bundle of Joy {Giveaway!}

When babies are first born, they’re near you virtually all of the time. When my first son was born, it was really easy to hold him all the time because there were no distractions around! When our second son was born, we quickly realized it was a different ball game. I needed to be able to attend to our older son AND hold C, which was sometimes pretty impossible. And now that our daughter’s due date is right around the corner, the importance of having a great carrier is pretty pressing!

I asked around in all my mom circles for which carrier I should get, and the resounding answer was almost always the Ergobaby. The Ergobaby carrier is designed to be as comfortable for you as it is for your baby. It distributes your baby’s weight evenly across your hips and shoulders so you can enjoy being close to your baby while having your hands free. It can be worn in the front, back or hip position, and supports babies up to 45 lbs., and infants 7-12 lbs. with the use of the Infant Insert. In the past you would purchase the carrier and the insert separately, but now Ergobaby has packaged the two together in the appropriately-named Bundle of Joy, available in four colors:

We got to review the set and went with the Galaxy Grey, although I would’ve been happy with any of the four – I like that they’re all nice and neutral.We apparently picked the “right” color, though – the boys love the stars on it.

 

My friend Amanda tried it out and modeled for a picture with her sweet daughter Rea:

And of course I took photos of all the features for you to see for yourself. I can definitely see why this carrier is rated as one of the best among moms! Here are some of the aspects I love:

• Padded straps. These are incredibly comfortable to wear.

• Zippered pouch on the front – perfect for keys, cell phone, or a few other essentials while you’re out.

• The Infant Insert – of course, this is the key factor of the Bundle of Joy set. I love the coordinating fabric and the fact that it’ll allow us to wear the baby and keep her cozy right from the start (7 lbs. +).

• Back and waist clips – it’s great to have both of these both for easier wear and for security.

• Built-in hood. Whether you’re shading your baby from the sun or from the wind, this is a great feature to have (and it tucks neatly away in a provided pocket when you’re not using it).

• Quality of fabrics. This is sturdy, yet soft, material – and the embroidered stars are really well-done! I love that they offer organic fabrics as well.

I know we will use our Ergobaby a ton and am already looking forward to having it for the cooler months! Would you love to have an Ergobaby? Well you can purchase their Bundle of Joy (or any of their other great products) here and you can enter to win one here and now!

One winner will get to pick their choice of Bundle of Joy sets! This contest is open to all U.S. residents aged 18+. Entries will be accepted until the end of the day (midnight Central) Monday, August 27. By entering this giveaway you agree to the Official Rules.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: I received an Ergobaby Bundle of Joy to review and one is being provided for the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Wordless Wednesday: Swagger Wagon

We held off on getting a full-fledged minivan, buying a Mazda 5 in 2010 as a compromise. But now that we’ll soon have 3 kiddos, it was pretty much inevitable we’d need something bigger. Well, I felt that way, and Brian either agreed or got tired of hearing me talk about it. :) Regardless, we traded in the Mazda for a Toyota Sienna on Saturday. And, well, I kinda love it. I think Brian might, too.