On the scale of unnecessary to gotta have it, this is totally a gotta have it item.
Lots of moms I know already have and use the fabulous Halo Sleep Sack to keep their kiddos warm at night. The uninformed might ask: why not a blanket? Well, there is the SIDS risk associated with loading kids’ cribs up with blankets. More importantly, when your little dude or dudette reaches a certain age — for Sam, it was around four months or so — they develop the ability to kick blankets off. Furthermore, they develop the desire to chew on blankets and throw them all over the crib. And, at least for us, putting Sam to bed in just pajamas is a little bit too chilly for the little man. (Have you ever seen a six month old baby’s lower lip quiver uncontrollably because of the chill in the air? It’s ridiculously cute. But, you know, I guess you can’t leave him that way.) Of course, you could swaddle, but many folks report that swaddling past three or four months can cause some issues with the babes, particularly with their hips.
For a long time, Sam wore a generic brand sleep sack as his pajamas. We then covered him with a blanket (not his face, mind you) to keep him warm. He was in our room at this point, so I felt comfortable having him nestled in a blanket — I was right next to his co-sleeper after all! Note the link I posted to the Carter’s Sleep Bag — that thing goes from 0-9 months. My not-so-little dude is totally beyond that now (he’s in twelve month clothing at just shy of six months). The size issue, and the coldness issue that came with the move to the crib, made me very interested in investing in several quality sleep sacks. And Halo is the biggest name in the business.
What’s great about the brand? They have a wide range sizes — from an XS that fits five pounds to an XL that fits 36 pounds — that should carry Sam on towards his second birthday (OMG I can’t believe we’re pummeling head on towards his first! Sniff sniff! My baby boy!). Halo also carries other versions of their sack — one for walkers and one that swaddles just the arms, for infants who like to be swaddled. They also come in a wide range of colors (we have green, white, and blue with a dog themed print) and fabrics (cotton, velboa — a soft chenille like fabric — and microfleece). The microfleece is great for the winter, and the velboa is almost just as warm. I plan on purchasing another for the summer in the soft cotton fabric.
A minor drawback? They are a little expensive compared to the sleep sack you might pick up at Walmart. But they are super quality! We’ve never had a zipper issue — and they actually zip up from the bottom for fast and painless middle-of-the-night diaper changes! Love love love that feature. The fabric is also of such a high quality that any night time blow outs are caught by the sack and not the sheets in the crib!
Another minor issue is that Sam cannot roll as easily in the Halo Sleep Sack — he can do it, but the leg action is certainly restricted. As he has grown stronger, it is now easy for him to roll back and forth and find his comfortable place in the crib. I put him down on his back, and he rolls to his tummy to sleep. In the morning when I go get him, he’s happily on his back, cheerfully eating his feet through the sleep sack.
So, go get it already! You can find them at Amazon and Diapers.com … that is where I have purchased mine. We currently have three in rotation (two microfleece and one velboa), and this has worked perfectly. I would recommend one in fleece for the winter, one to two in velboa for winter, spring, and fall, and one in cotton for summer.
One of our best purchases! Gotta have it!
Signing up for Amazon Prime was a pretty good decision on my part (80 dollars a year for free two day shipping on most anything you can desire), and getting the Amazon credit card has already earned me $25 in rewards. Pretty sweet. Amazon Mom is probably the best of all — it’s free (unlike Prime), they don’t need any info, and it saves 15% on a whole bunch of mommy items, diapers and wipes in particular. If you sign up for Subscribe and Save, another service from Amazon that allows you to — you guessed it — subscribe to certain items, you can get another 15% off. If you can snag an Amazon coupon (often available in the Parents or Parenting magazines), you can end up getting a whole bunch of diapers for 50% off.
Since Sam has had some horrifying rashes, we’ve had to use some heavy duty creams that can stain cloth diapers or cause them to repel, so we’ve been in disposables a bunch these days. Being somewhat environmentally conscious, I prefer Earth’s Best or Seventh Generation diapers, which are manufactured without chlorine. This mostly means that they are produced in such a way that lessens impact on the environment — and for me, it means that they STINK a lot less than other brand sposies. (Next time you get next to a disposable diaper full of pee, give it a big whiff. It smells disgusting — and not like pee. Like really harsh chemicals. Blech.) Anyway, I prefer the non-chlorine brands. And they are expensive. With Amazon Mom, and Subscribe and Save, I can save 30% on a giant package of said diapers. Still expensive, but a lot better. (The 30% off on Amazon actually brings Earth’s Best size 3 to $0.18/diaper, which is the same price you would pay per diaper for the Diapers.com brand diapers. SHAZAM. And they’re better for the environment!)
So if you love saving money, go check out Amazon Mom (Subscribe and Save info is at the bottom of the page). You won’t regret it!
1. Favorite Book: Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joose. Actually, this is my favorite, and I read it to Sam just about every night, so of course it’s his favorite too. It’s a beautifully illustrated book, and the bright colors and intricate designs stimulate Sam to touch the pages. It’s also not too long for his attention span (like some of the Dr. Suess books). The story is also sweet and reassuring and contains a cultural component to pique his curiosity in later years. Love it!
2. Favorite sleep aid: Cloud B Sleep Sheep! This is an extremely cute, fuzzy sheep. It also plays several white noise type sounds — rain, the ocean, a babbling brook, and whale song. (I’m not sure why a sheep would have whale noises, but it’s cool I suppose. I really like whales.) You can set the sounds to run 25 or 45 minutes in order to get Sam through his fitful sleep cycles at the beginning of falling asleep. The best part is that the sounds are not annoying — Eric and I can fall asleep to them as well. This is a lifesaver for fitful nights and unwanted naps!
3. Favorite stuffed animal: Jellycat Bashful Bunny. Sam’s bunny is his new lovey for night time and nap time. He holds onto it (picture in previous post), and he loves touching the ears and … well, chewing on its face. That’s the best thing ever right now in his life. Chewing on faces.
4. Best teething toy: Sophie the Giraffe! Sophie is soft, bendable, and non toxic. She also has thin legs and a thin neck — perfect for little infant hands to grasp. As with his Bun Bun, Sam likes to chew on Sophie’s face. Yum! I see Sophie everywhere! She must be quite popular with all the kiddies.
5. Favorite all-around toy: Manhattan Toy Winkel. Whatever this is, it’s a big hit. Sam loves to hold onto it and gnaw on all of the loops. He also loves to look at the colors and shake it to hear the rattle. A definite must!
The best thing is that these were all gifts! Many thanks to Lucila, Nicole, Emily, Lynn, Deb and the SLUTS (Southern Ladies Under Tremendous Stress — my aunt’s friends, who really have the best name of all). Sam is so lucky to have so many people who love him and give him such wonderful things.
Pregnant ladies, in particular — these are great items for your registry, birthday list, or holiday 2011 wish list!
We are sick. I’ve been handling it by swilling orange juice and sleeping in past a respectable hour. I’m mostly over it now.
Well. The pediatrician told us, yes Sam has a cold. It should take about ten days to get over it. Ten days! The heck you say. Why so much longer? The infant immune system is so much less developed that it takes a lot longer to get over the same cold an adult can kick in three days.
And — this had never occurred to me the first time that I heard it — an infant cannot blow its nose. I mean, obviously if you thought about it, that totally makes sense. But I hadn’t thought about it until I actually saw one of those little snotsucking bulbs given at a baby shower:
That’s what it looks like. You see doctors using them on Grey’s Anatomy for suctioning during surgery, and they also suction out baby noses.
We had about three of these to begin with. The dog got one, I left one at my parents’, and the remaining one is crappy and doesn’t really work that great. They’re all slow to function (you have to suck a bunch of times out of each nostril to get to the stuff), they all make Sam scream at the top of his lungs, and they’re all pretty impossible to clean out (though BRU sells one that has two pieces, which is nice).
Enter the Snot Sucker! I ordered one of these guys off Amazon:
Yes, it is $15. But if you’re like me, you’ll probably go through three or more bulb syringes with a curious dog and a penchant for losing stuff. Also, it is gross. See that red piece? It goes in your mouth. The opposite end goes in the baby’s nose and forms a seal. To get snot out, you suck. There’s a filter so you don’t get boogers in your mouth, but yeah, it’s still pretty gross I guess.
So WHY? Why would you do this?
Because it WORKS so much better than any other method. And it takes a lot less time and effort. Once you get your sucking technique down pat (from the cheeks, not the lungs), you can get out a lot of the stuff that’s making your little one scream and make horrible snorting/choking noises. Sam hates it just as much as the bulb syringe, but it’s quicker, better and easier than the bulb syringe.
Is it worth $15? To me it is. It’s a pretty clever little device.
On a side note: YES, you need one of the two of these devices. There’s absolutely no surviving without dealing with snot at some point. And you’ll know when your infant needs a snot suck — the snorting/choking sounds are a sure sign. Combined with whistling while breathing. Yeah. Lots of noise. Get in there and get those boogers out.
I just thought I should let you know.
Since I’m a cloth diaper geek at this point, and somewhat crunchy in terms of what goes near my baby, I’ve found a whole lot of amazing products made by WAHMs. What’s a WAHM? Why, that’s a Work at Home Mom. She’s a SAHM — but usually with a page on Etsy or Hyena Cart, or even her own big time website.
I’ve also learned that you should be pretty particular with what you put on your baby’s butt when your baby’s butt touches your nice cloth diapers all day. Lots of baby balms and diaper rash creams have sticky cod liver oil (A&D Ointment) that can make your diapers smell like fish, or they have zinc oxide (Desitin, Aveeno, Bordeaux’s Butt Paste) that can stain your diapers and make the repel liquids — i.e. leak. But you need SOMETHING to put on baby’s skin. Why? Because it’s getting wiped constantly — every two hours or so. It can get red and raw from the wiping, and it can get red and raw from sitting in moisture.
So what’s best? You can find natural, cloth-safe diaper creams at the store or online at Amazon — California Baby, Angel Baby, and Grandma El’s all make good stuff. But … I found the BEST stuff, and it’s made by a small business owner WAHM. (Gotta love supporting work at home moms!)
CJ’s BUTTer is the Best Stuff Out There. I love it! CJ is a WAHM who makes this lovely butt cream. The cream itself is all made from food grade products. I myself have the spray as well as the tube of cream. The spray includes: coconut oil (naturally antibiotic), olive oil, castor oil and vitamin E. My cream includes: shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, lanolin, beeswax, cocoa butter and vitamin E. I also broke down and ordered her yeast formula, which includes all of the same ingredients as the regular cream but excludes lanolin and adds sesame oil and neem oil (natural antifungals).
What fabulous ingredients! Non-irritating, rash preventing, and overall safe for baby (and mom!). I use it at every diaper change. Since my thrush has been in full swing (and acting up again), I’ve been using the yeast formula every day as a preventative. I don’t want to deal with a yeastie rash — and the one time his bum flared up and got all red and bumpity was when I went to my parents’ and forgot my CJ’s yeast formula. That alone recommends her products to me! And when Sam was just a couple of days old, he got a tiny rash that cleared up with the application of CJ’s BUTTer.
Well, now maybe I have some of you mildly interested. Perhaps. Why would you buy this over Desitin or Aveeno if you don’t use cloth diapers?
Because you can use it for everything!
Round here I use it for …
- Dry, cracked nipples (and the yeast formula works for thrush externally!)
- Dry patches on baby’s (or my) face
- Dry hands
- A leave-in conditioner
- Stretch mark cream (soothed itching in late pregnancy)
- All purpose lotion
And if that wasn’t enough … it comes in all kinds of delicious scents. I have it in New Mown Hay, which smells sort of like baby powder but also fresh and crisp. She even has holiday scents, like Apple Spice. Yum!
If you want to buy from a site with free shipping, I fully recommend Sew Crafty Baby and Vermont Country Baby. They are fabulous websites run by WAHMs, and they always have free shipping. (If you like them on Facebook, they always have discount codes as well.)
Here’s what others have to say about CJ’s BUTTer. Happy shopping!
Yes, this is a post about bras. It’s not going to be provocative or salacious, because maternity and nursing bras are none of those things. They can be reasonably pretty, but you won’t be left feeling terribly randy after putting one on.
First of all, as a pregnant lady, you’re going to have to accept that you’ll have to spend a little money on bras. And, if you’re like me, a chick who places a high premium on extreme comfort in the breast-y area, you’ll want to lay down a bit of change on a FEW very nice brassieres.
I said a FEW. I said NEED.
How many bras do you wear regularly? Before I got knocked up, I probably wore about three or four in a rotating basis, with a nice sports bra on the side. Vicki’s was my brand of choice, and I got a lot of those off Ebay (big shocker). At $20-$30 a bra, that totals $80-$120 in all. Not so bad. And since Vicki’s holds up so well, I don’t really buy bras but every two years or so. Right now, I’ve got all of those lovely ladies stashed away for thinner, less chesty times.
So how many maternity and nursing bras do you REALLY need? My answer: four is all you need, and a sports bra on the side. Seriously. Let’s see how we can do that for less than $120, since that totals my bra stash in “real” life.
1. You’ll need a sports bra. I did have one preggo friend who didn’t want to wear one, because you know, they don’t separate and lift. But trust me, there are some days when you’ll be all like, this is the only thing I can wear. At all. Seriously. (Seriously, ladies, your boobs will hurt at various stages in pregnancy.) Buy one in a couple of sizes larger than your favorite work out bra. I got mine at Target so I could try it on. I would suggest you do the same. I tend to like Champion — this looks like a good one, especially since it goes up to XXL. ($24 on Amazon.)
2. Next, you’ll need a nice maternity bra that lifts and separates. I tried A LOT of different kinds of brassiere — cheapies from Target, Playtex, Bali, Haynes, Barely There … but DANGIT, the absolute best thing ever was from A Pea in the Pod. I’m sorry to say it, I know it ain’t cheap, but that sucker is comfortable and it makes my bosoms look sexy. Here it is. I LOVE it. I wear it with all of my nicer dresses and work clothes, and the ladies at APIP helped me pick out the best size. It’s super supportive, very soft, and has a big supportive band in the back. I can’t recommend it enough. ($36 on apeainthepod.com)
3. For later pregnancy, you’ll want to start buying nursing bras, which let you nurse your kiddo in comfort. You might not start wearing them, but I sure started wearing this one when I found it. I love love love it. For later pregnancy, your bubbies will start growing a second time (they start growing for reals in the later part of your first trimester), and they’ll be a bit sore. Get this lovely brassiere, and you’ll want to wear it all day long, and it will hold over into your nursing stage. Fabulous. It doesn’t LOOK like it has a tremendous amount of support, but it does, and the it has … how can I put this delicately … it has … nipple pads … that keep your ladies looking … smooth. (Yeah that’s a problem in pregnancy you might not expect, but there it is, in heat and in the AC.) Those pads will come in handy when your milk comes in as well. So, hooray for this extremely comfortable purchase. Worth every penny. ($38 on apeainthepod.com)
4. And for those days at home, in pregnancy and in breastfeeding, you’ll need a lovely inexpensive sleep bra. This is comfortable, soft, doesn’t give a lot of support, but is essential for supporting when you’re chilling. And during breastfeeding times, you’ll need one of these to sleep in since you’re boobs will be all over the place and producing some unpredictable fluids at unpredictable times. I got the Medela Sleep Bra, and I enjoy chilling in it. It’s not fabulous for going out out, but it’s fine for the grocery, or Babies R Us, or a walk in the park. ($17 on Amazon)
Hey yo! That’s $115. I did pretty good. And remember, you’ll get some use out of these for a year or so, and if you have a second bambino, two years. Can’t argue with that!
If your budget is tight and you don’t want to spend all at once, then don’t! I lived on the APIP maternity bra, the sports bra and a couple of my old Vicki’s for months, until the Vicki’s weren’t cutting it any more.
Do splurge. I swear. Just splurge on those two bras, and you’ll be set. Honest.
I don’t recommend going on the cheap, particularly for nursing bras. I did buy a couple of Playtex nursers at the Leggs Haynes Bali Playtex outlet (of which there are many in the world), and after wearing them a few times, I can attest that they dig into my skin and leave red marks on me at the end of the day. Those clips that let your boob free? On the cheap bras, they’re ugly, crappy plastic and poorly placed. They HURT. Like heck. Not cool. When you’re nursing and want a really nice bra, get this one instead of a cheap two or three.
Get measured! Don’t GUESS what to get. And go in the store and try them on! The only one I ordered from the online was the sleep bra.
Sorry, I don’t recommend the Bravado line. I find that they have stiff feeling material, and they dig in the skin. Not cool. And they are more expensive than APIP bras, believe it or not.
I won’t comment one way or another on Motherhood Maternity bras. Try them on, but see if they are comfortable. Walk around in one for a day with the tag on so you can return it if you need to. I really don’t like any of their other stuff though, since it has poor fit.
Don’t overbuy! You don’t need more than four. Wash often, hang to dry, and keep them nice.
Buy them in nude. Nude works with everything. Don’t bother with white or black. Nude it is.
And that’s it … I’m going to try to roll with what I’ve got for nursing, so we’ll see how that works out. I might have to get maybe one more, but that’s all. And I’m done.
Hey everyone! I was just looking at my blog stats and saw that one of the more common searches that led people to my page was “best paint for pregnant ladies,” so hey, I give the people what they want.
The best paint for pregnant ladies is, of course, the lowest of the low-VOC, the paints that are qualified as no-VOC.
The paints that I have used are:
1. Benjamin Moore Natura — I got this guy mixed to match Glidden’s Fresh Guacamole for the nursery. The big advantage here is that you can get Natura mixed to match just about ANYTHING. Another advantage is that it has very little smell at all. Any paint sample you find anywhere? You can get it in Natura. The disadvantages are that you have to go to a Benjamin Moore store to get it, and it’s hella expensive at about 60 bucks a gallon.
2. C2 Lovo (available at Benjamin Moore Stores) — I used this for the master bedroom (in Potato Leek) and the nursery closet (in Chelsea). The advantages are that it comes in lovely colors and that it has very little smell. Again, you have to get it at Benjamin Moore stores, and it runs 55 bucks a gallon. And it’s low-VOC, not no-VOC. But it’s worked well for us in a couple of places.
3. Freshaire — Now, this is the best paint of the lot, I do believe. Major advantages include: you can get it at your local Home Depot, it has a small but very nice selection of colors, and it’s way cheaper at 30 bucks a gallon. It’s not going to be your cheapest option (you have to buy higher VOC paint options for that), but it’s probably down there with the cheapest of the cheap no-VOC options. Oh yeah, and for a cheaper paint, it’s super high quality, thick, and goes on smooth. And with absolutely no odor that we can detect! The only disadvantage I can see is that the color options are limited and somewhat muted. As in, you probably won’t be able to find a bright, charming nursery color — but if your tendency is toward the more subdued, you may be in luck.
A paint I’ve heard about a lot but have not used is Mythic Paint, found at Lowe’s. Check it out! I think it may have more color options than Freshaire, so it’s worth a look.
Of course, many of you pregnant ladies won’t have occasion to paint, or may be totally freaked out by the idea altogether. I will say that the no-VOC is just that. It has no volatile organic compounds, which is the nasty stuff that can give you headaches (and if you drink it, it probably won’t be good for your baby). But there’s no reason to shy away from using the no-VOC paint. It’s an excuse to exercise your nesting instinct in your baby’s room, and perhaps in other areas of your home. It’s water based, green, and non-toxic. As for painting, go for it! Get someone else to get up on the step stool, and take care of your back since you’re up and down a lot during the painting process. And enjoy!
A plug for this amazing iron supplement …
Over fifty percent of pregnant ladies have anemia at some point in their pregnancy. I am one of those ladies. For weeks, and weeks, I have been feeling like total crap. Worn down, drug out, and totally fatigued. I found out I had low hemoglobin on Monday and started taking the iron pills my doctor recommended last night. Today, I’ve felt better than I have in a long time. (Just like my doc said I would.) Anyway, of course ask your doc what to do when you’re preggers and anemic, but I’m loving this supplement. It’s supposed to be a little less harsh on the stomach than most iron supplements, and it releases slowly throughout the day.
Of course, it’s cheaper on Amazon. Find it here.
Welcome to the Savvy Mom Space
I’m a liberal feminist that believes that liberal, feminist ideals should gel with embracing your gender and motherhood (if that’s what you feel like doing). I support all kinds of moms and dads and parents. Oh and, although I totally love that natural vibe and not harming the environment, I supplement my organic milk and fresh fruits and veggies with the occasional Twix, the frequent Oreo, and the daily Coke Zero. I’m opinionated, not easily offended, and a loudmouth in person and on the internet. I am what I am. Welcome.