Baby Shower Gifts Natural Moms Will Love

natural parentingWhat do you do when the mommy to be is more of a natural parent like myself? You won’t find disposable diapers, formula, etc. on my registry so where do you go from there if you want to buy something unique? Check out my gifting cheat sheet below for baby shower gifts natural moms will love.

For the breastfeeding mama:

For nursing mommas that aren’t shy about feeding public, they will appreciate a booby baby beanie. Its quite adorable if I do say so myself. Not as open to a public feeding yet? No problem, get a cute nursing cover! Udder Covers always have some kind of promo code going on and lots of cute prints. If you didn’t know or are unfamiliar with nursing moms, breastfeeding either makes you extremely thirsty, hungry, or both! Your mommy to be will highly appreciate a new water bottle or some lactation cookies to help keep her supply up. A couple of other ideas would be a cute pro breastfeeding necklace or a nursing band to help her remember which side she last fed on and don’t forget some reusable nursing pads.

For cloth diapering family:

Though cloth diapers can be expensive, but diaper covers are not, and cute options are everywhere. Not sure what brand to get the new mom? Opt for something else that will be put to good use, try grabbing a cloth diaper specific laundry detergent, wool dryer balls, or a special bag for dirty cloth diapers. For those moms who cloth and use “sunning” as their method of drying diapers, a drying rack is the perfect gift to keep everything organized.

For the Natural or Home birthing Family:

Though I’m not having a natural water birth with this little one, I’d love to give it a try with the next baby if my VBAC is successful. For those who are all set for a natural or home birth, hiring a doula is a great option to help a pain aching momma to stay on track. Some great cheaper options would be a bluetooth player to have comforting music play without worrying if the hospital offers a way to play it after the fact. Other great birthing necessities would be essential oils to help with stress relief and a birthing ball to help loosen and open up your hips.

If all else fails gift certificates to any natural parenting store will be a great way to give mom and dad the freedom to choose what they want and know that you gave them that satisfaction. Also, savings bonds are a great way to help invest in the baby’s future.

 


Baby Carrier Shopping Guide

This post is full of great information and was originally posted at: Busy Mommy Media

I was a late bloomer to babywearing but it’s been one of the biggest joys for me during those early years with my babies and one of the things I’ll be the saddest to let go of once I move out of the baby stage for the final time. I have to be honest — I have no idea how I survived the early years of being a mom without an infant carrier. I wonder if I can be a babywearing grandma eventually?

That being said, I recognize that as a new mom, babywearing, and all the options that come along with it, can be a bit overwhelming. That’s probably the primary reason I waited so long to give it a try.

The thing about having all of those options is that you can usually find something that works perfectly for you, even if the first option you try doesn’t work out.

If you are a new mom, or just new to babywearing, you may be wondering, “why would I want to wear my baby anyway? Isn’t that what a stroller is for?”

Because it keeps your baby close while giving you your arms back. Remember all those things you did with two hands instead of one before your baby was born – dishes, putting on makeup, answering an email. You can’t do those things (or at least do them well) while holding your baby and a stroller in the house just isn’t practical.

What about outside the house? Some babies just flat out don’t like strollers. They want to be with mom. Other times a stroller is more hassle then it’s worth. I loved wearing my baby for quick trips to the grocery store or if I was going to be in a crowded place that a stroller didn’t fit or where I was at risk of running over the heels of strangers.

Legoland California

Babywearing is a great way to keep your baby close, especially during that newborn stage, and that’s great for bonding, calming a fussy baby, and breastfeeding. My babies have been much calmer when they are carried and the ones that I practiced babywearing with more often slept through the night much sooner.

The most important thing babies can learn while they are young is trust and babywearing is a great way to promote trust. Your baby feels comforted and learns that you are there if she needs you. That has a wonderful way of calming a baby down.

So, what are your babywearing options? 

I’m going to cover some of the most common options (and the ones I’ve liked the best. I’m not going over some of the options that didn’t work for me (Mei Tai carriers come to mind) but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a great fit for you. If there’s a carrier I haven’t covered that you’ve had good luck with, please share it with us in the comments.

Soft Structured Baby Carrier

LillebabyA soft structured baby carrier is one of the easiest to use and I’ve also found it to be the most comfortable (although with everything, this is purely personal preference). I tried out an older Snugli and later a Baby Bjorn before I was aware of the issues surrounding “crotch-danglers” (carriers that allow the baby to hang by the crotch) and the potential for hip dysplasia issues. Both of those companies have started moving towards a wider crotch design in their current products but I found that they were hard on my back as my baby grew so I never really caught the baby wearing bug.

When my third son as 18 months old I began using an Ergo. I assumed I wouldn’t get much use for it since he was older but I was expecting my 4th baby so I planned on using it more down the road. I was wrong. The Ergo was so comfortable I barely felt the weight of my 18 month old. Sadly I lost my 4th son at birth but I continued using the Ergo until my 3rd son was over 2 very comfortably and from then on I was a baby wearing convert.

While I have love, Loved, LOVED my Ergo with a passion for years I’m afraid I’m cheating on it now. At this year’s ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas I was introduced to the Lillebaby carrier and I’m amazed at how much more supportive it is. With lumbar support and an extra wide belly panel this carrier is so much more comfortable then anything I’ve worn before and it allows for 6 carrying positions!  You’ll probably see this carrier in lots of future Instagram photos I’m sure because my 16 month old would much rather be carried then ride in her stroller most of the time.

Other soft structured carrier options include the Boba 3G Classic, the Onya Baby Outback Carrier, and the Beco Soleil baby carrier.

Top Picks for Busy Moms

#1 – Lillebaby infant carrier (can be used for newborns without an insert)

#2 – Ergobaby infant carrier (can be used for newborns with an insert, sold separately)

 Baby Wrap Carrier

Baby K'TanI was intimidated by baby wraps for years. They looked scary. Even now when I introduce them to people the most common response I get is “I don’t think I would be able to do that”.

Fortunately they aren’t as scary as they look and they offer a lot more flexibility than more structured carriers, especially for the newborn stage. There are some great videos online that teach you how to properly use a wrap and each brand includes their own illustrated instructions. I always recommend that parents practice a few times with a doll or with a second set of hands as a spotter until they get more comfortable with a wrap.

I look at it like this — if I can do it, anyone can do it. Seriously. I’m kind of clueless with most things but within a few days of using a wrap I felt pretty confident with it and I loved the fit I got and how easy it was to adjust things based on your own needs. My now 16 month old was carried almost exclusively in a wrap for the first 6 months of her life and she can still fit very comfortably in one (although I do prefer the ease of a soft structured carrier at our current stage).

Wraps are one size fits all, which is great if you need to switch back and forth between caregivers. My husband was scared of the wrap so he wouldn’t use it himself but he did finally come around and say if I tied it on he’d wear the baby in it. The actual process of putting the wrap on was just overwhelming to him.

I was nuts for our Boba Wrap (pictured in orange at the beginning of the post) because of the gentle stretch and how soft it felt against my baby’s skin. I’ve heard from a lot of moms who love the Moby wrap too. It is a bit less stretchy than the Boba, which was a harder adjustment for me since I had gotten used to the feel of a Boba Wrap but that’s completely personal preference. Ergobaby is introducing a new wrap in early 2014 and after seeing it the ABC Kids Expo this year I suspect it may be my new favorite but I’ll have to wait until I try it in action to make a decision on that.

If you want to move into something with less stretch, woven wraps may be your thing. They have a bit steeper learning curve but are a better option with heavier babies and allow more variety in the variety of ways you can wear your baby.

If you want the feel of a wrap without the hassle, the Baby K’tan is perfect. I LOVED this during the newborn stage and for times when I needed to get a wrap on quickly (like short trips to the stores). The Baby K’tan is a ready-to-wear wrap with a double loop design that doesn’t require any fancy tying.

Top Picks for Busy Moms

# 1 Baby K’Tan – I LOVE this option for newborns and ease of use with older babies.

#2 Boba Wrap – The stretch of this wrap makes it so easy to get a great fit.

#3 Moby Wrap – This is close behind the Boba for me but because this is personal preference on the feel it may be your top pick. I found it harder to get a great fit with this wrap but I’m a late bloomer when it comes to using wraps so I like things that make it easy.

Sling Carrier

HotslingSlings are one of the simplest infant carriers out there and they take up almost no space so they are great for fitting into your diaper bag. I used a sling with my boys when they were newborns and loved them for around the house. The support isn’t as great as some of the other options out there simply because you are only taking advantage of one shoulder but they are easy to use and quick to get on and off.

Slings are usually fitted so you need to make sure you are buying the right size for your body. You usually get a great fit with this. The downside is if your husband wants to take a turn carrying the baby he’s out of luck (and so are you). My husband actually wouldn’t use a sling because he just didn’t think it was very masculine but he’ll gladly use some of the other options (with the exception of a wrap, see above).

I used the Hotsling with my second and third sons and had great luck with them. They have a huge variety of patterns to choose from and are one of the most affordable options out there. Hotslings now makes an adjustable sling which may be a great option if you don’t know your size or want to use your sling for multiple caregivers.

With my third son I discovered ring slings and used a Maya Wrap for years. The ring design makes it adjustable so you can get a great fit, although it is a bit bulkier to fit in a diaper bag.

If you want the feel of a sling with a bit more support, I recommend the Baby K’Tan which came about when an innovative mom began using two slings crossed in opposite directions and formed the Baby K’Tan off of that design. The end result is something that’s a bit of a cross between a sling and a wrap.

Top Picks for Busy Moms

#1 Maya Wrap Ring Sling

#2 Hotslings Adjustable Sling

Frame Carriers

Kelty Frame Infant CarrierFrame carriers are by far the biggest carriers available but often provide the greatest support. If given the choice, my husband will always choose a frame carrier. Me, on the other hand, for some reason I don’t have the right kind of back strength for a backpack carrier and these have never worked well for me — I think it’s something about how high you end up carrying with these.

Frame carriers are amazing for camping or hiking, but I’ve heard from moms who love them for trips to the store or as a way to keep their hands free while doing housework because they feel like the support is amazing. Frame carriers also offer some great options for storing your stuff, but you have to keep in mind that filling all those little pockets will add on extra weight.

The Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 is the ultimate in frame infant carriers. This provides great support for even the longest hikes and includes a sun shield to protect your baby’s sensitive skin. This carrier stands on it’s own so it’s easy to get baby in and out and includes plenty of storage for all your stuff.

If you want something a big lighter for daily use, the Chicco Smart Support Backpack would be a great choice. At 7 pounds, it’s actually about the same weight as the Kelty but without as many extra storage options you won’t be tempted to load it up with stuff and it’s much less bulky.

Top Picks for Busy Moms

#1 Kelty Pathfinder 30.0

#2 Chicco Smart Support Backpack


Adovia Sulfur Soap Review

acne soap

My face has always been prone to breaking out randomly and not like 1-2 little pimples, I mean clusters. Exactly, its gross. When I was offered the opportunity to try Adovia Sulfur Soap I figured why not?

The soap claimed many things such as:

- being highly enriched with minerals and sulfur from the Dead Sea
- balancing and optimizing your skin’s natural moisture levels with Olive Oil, Dead Sea minerals, and Aloe Vera extract
- sulfur has Antiseptic, Anti-Fungal and Antibacterial properties
- the soap thoroughly cleansing your face and body and leaving your skin gentle and smooth

acne soapI opened the box, smelled the bar, and put it in my shower. That night when it was time to wash my face I lathered it up, washed, and rinsed. The smell of the soap isn’t great but it definitely isn’t terrible. Having sulfur in it you can only expect this though. When I rinsed my face it was literally squeaky clean which worried me since that normally means its going to dry my face out. However now that I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks there hasn’t been one ounce of dryness in my face.

I have to say that I have never had an acne soap handle my skin so well. Not only have my breakouts almost disappeared, my face hasn’t been oily(nor dry) once since switching to Adovia. Adding the bonus of it being 100% natural has made me a customer now. If you have oily skin and haven’t had any luck with anything else, give Adovia sulfur soap a try, at $10 a bar on Amazon(http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/b00mg962aa) you can’t beat it!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


5 Must Watch Movies When You’re Pregnant

Being pregnant takes a toll on you to say the least but sometimes you can find a little comic relief in movies and what better way than movies? Here are my 5 must watch movies when you’re pregnant:

Juno.

movies when you're pregnant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knocked Up.

movies when you're pregnant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Away We Go.

movies when you're pregnant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What To Expect When You’re Expecting.

movies when you're pregnant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Mama.

movies when you're pregnant

 

 


Ways to Cut Costs on Your Nursery and Ways Not To

baby nurserySo you’re expecting a new little bundle of joy. You’ve cleared out the small bedroom near yours and you’re ready to set up your baby’s room. Here are some suggestions that will keep baby safe and comfortable without trying to spend too much.

Safety is the number one factor in a baby’s room. Check out the safety guidelines before buying or borrowing a crib since guidelines and recalls are updated regularly. Use your money to buy things that will last at least a few years, such as a crib that converts to a toddler bed. You may choose to use a bassinet or a co-sleeper in the first few months and keep it by your bed, but eventually you will need a crib. Other baby furniture necessities include a high chair because you don’t want the food all over you and if workable in your budget, don’t forget a comfortable rocking chair or glider (with arms) for late-night feedings or rocking your little one to sleep. Very basic ones are all over in consignment shops or you could probably pick up one at a yard sale for cheap.

One of the biggest expenses in fixing up a nursery is the labor, so the best way to save money is to do it yourself! Refinish and paint (lead-free!) furniture, sew curtains (you can use cute fabric from JoAnn’s), and get grandma to knit baby blankets. Paint the walls in light shades in a color that will “grow” with the child. You don’t want a color you or your child will hate later on. If you love wallpaper, try decorating with only doing an accent wall or border just don’t get too carried away as wallpaper tends to look tacky if you don’t pick the right one. For wall decor, pinterest like crazy to find easy diy crafts to spruce up and add color to your little one’s room. Remember less can be more.

If friends will be throwing you a baby shower, register for some things to decorate the room, such as bedding, crib accessories (bumper pads, mobiles), and bright colored toys or stuffed animals. Also, maybe don’t forget about storage for these items so don’t forget to throw in some baskets and storage to your list.