Thursday, June 28, 2012

Independence Day Fluff Photo Contest!

Want to win $100 to spend at Thanks Mama? All you have to do is take a great photo of your little one with an Independence Day theme and have your friends and family vote for you. Easy! Now what are you waiting for? Go put your little one in a red, white, or blue diaper, get some props, use your imagination! ENTER THE CONTEST HERE.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

ERGObaby Organic Teething Pads Review

I absolutely love our ERGObaby Carrier, I don't know how I would survive the early parenting years without it! So glad I bought it when we had our first baby, even though it was pricey for us. It does get a ton of use though and now that Baby T is teething, he is putting it through a rigorous test by constantly gnawing on the shoulder straps. So I decided that the Organic Teething Pads from ERGO would be perfect to protect the straps and not have to wash it so much, not to mention that I would rather him be chewing on organic cotton than the strap material (whatever it is made of).

That photo is pretty much Baby T at all times when he is in the carrier, I don't remember when was the last time he was in it without chewing on the teething pads. He falls asleep right after chewing for several minutes - that's the day we went to a farm with animals, it was nice to have my hands free to take photos, play with my toddler, and hold a water bottle. It seems that chewing is very therapeutic for a teething 7 month old, as if that's what puts him to sleep right away. If your baby is not at the teething stage yet, trust me - you'll wish you had these once the baby starts destroying those straps!

The pads are very easy to use, you just snap them on with little snaps (like the ones on clothing, not cloth diapers). They come in Mocha and Natural, I have the Mocha ones - it's a neutral color that pretty much will look good on any carrier. I also think these would be great on car seat straps if you have an issue with your infant chewing on them, though they may be a little shorter than typical car seat strap covers. They are reversible, though I only use them on one side. I have only washed them once so far, just threw them in a cold wash with gentle detergent and a delicate drying cycle. They came out slightly wrinkly and a tad smaller than they were, I think - maybe that was just the impression I got (not like I measured them!). They would be very easy to hand wash too, a lot easier than spot washing the carrier after your baby chews on it.

The ERGO Organic Teething Pads are only $20 for a pair, which I think is a great price considering how much you pay for the carrier. I'll tell you it is so much easier to throw the pads in the wash than the whole carrier! Obviously you can't wash the carrier after every time the baby chews on the straps - that's the problem I ran into before. He would chew on it and spit up right on the strap area, spot washing it was hard and not productive. Now it is so much easier to just throw the pads in the wash and the whole carrier is kept clean. Unless of course you get a poop explosion - thankfully that doesn't happen much with cloth diapers!

Buy the ERGO Organic Teething Pads at Thanks Mama!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Baby Must Haves

Everyone always asks "What are your must haves for baby?" I read somewhere once that all the baby needs is diapers, love, and a boob! While that is actually true, of course there is a little more to it. The more time passes the more I realize how little the baby needs and how much is nice to have to make the life of the parent easier - not really the baby. Even if it is only for your peace of mind. Also, needs vary from family to family depending on where you live, how you work, many items may be a must have for one family and a nice-to-have for another. Here is what we can't live without for a baby 1 year and under.

Cloth Diapers: Obviously, diapers are something you'll need. As a must, you need at least 12 diapers, but it is doubtful you would do laundry every single day, so having 24 diapers is nice. I actually did get by with 7 cloth diapers for two months with a 6 month old baby, so it is doable!

Baby Carrier: With both my babies I don't know what I would do without one! I have tried so many carriers, all of them have pros and cons, you just have to try a couple to see what you like. Some moms love wraps, some love soft structured carriers (like the Boba or Ergo), many (like me) love both for different purposes. To me life without a carrier would be like life without a third hand, and we all wish we had one at one point or another!

Bibs: I consider a bib a necessity. Who has the time to spend on trying to get stains out? I don't. While you could just let the baby try solids while they are naked, most times I can't do that because our house isn't toasty comfy September through April, it can get chilly and I don't want to undress the baby just to save the clothes - so bibs are a must. We've made a habit of wearing them and the kids never complain.

Non-toxic crib mattress: Babies spend so much time in their beds slumbering away, this place simply must be safe for them. There are so many toxins in regular mattresses, it is disturbing. I believe it is a worthwhile investment for the health of your baby, even if it costs twice that of a regular toxic mattress with fire retardants.

Non-toxic teether: We are in the throes of teething, it is a tough battle! A good teether for baby is a must to keep them chewing on something non-toxic while their first teeth come out. While you may find something at home that your child may like gnawing on, you can't be sure what is in the material - so it is important for spend a few bucks on something that you know is not toxic.

Stroller that converts to a double: Okay, so this isn't a must, but oh-so-nice-to-have. If you have one baby, chances are it will not be your last. Strollers that convert to a double just make sense don't you think? I think most strollers should be able to do that, though I wish there were more like it in an affordable price range. the iCandy Peach is an awesome one that will grow with you from holding a newborn in a bassinet, to holding two toddlers!

We pretty much have all the necessities covered at Thanks Mama!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

GroVia BioWipes Review

I find it rather odd that the first year we cloth diapered I continued to use disposable wipes, don't even know why. When my daughter was about a year old I stopped using wipes at home altogether, I just found it easier to wash her with running water. With our second baby we have been using cloth wipes since day one. On a recent four day road trip we used disposable diapers (gasp!) and we took along a package of these GroVia BioWipes to try out. 

They very much remind me of other chlorine-free wipes that we have used before. The difference is that these are actually biodegradable, that's right - they are compostable baby wipes! There aren't any fragrances, chlorine, dyes, etc. They are soft, average in size like any other disposable wipe, they contain only seven natural ingredients (Purified Water, Certified Organic Aloe Vera, Glycerin (vegetable oil derived), Alkyl Polyglucoside (corn based), Vitamin E, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxymethyl Glycinate (a naturally occurring amino acid). There are 80 wipes in a package. These are not made from petroleum like most other wipes, they are made from Ingeo fibers - which are man-made from renewable resources (i.e. plant fibers). You can actually wash them and reuse them if you choose! 

When we went to Washington D.C., I kept a few of these in my diaper bag in a container. I cannot stand fragrances and I have never bought regular baby wipes - they almost make me want to gag for some reason (must be the artificial fragrances, I'm sensitive to chemicals). I was glad to have these for diaper changes, and since we were temporarily using disposable diapers for those four days, this was a perfect option for travel. I'll be using them throughout the summer for road trips and when we are out and about. While I still prefer using cloth wipes every day for frugal and financial reasons, these are the next best thing when you need them. 

Perhaps the only two things we do not really like about them is that they are actually made in China (even though it does say "Fairly and conscientiously made in China" I trust GroVia on that) and that the package needs to be resealed very carefully if you don't want them to dry out. The opening is rather small, it's tough to get the wipes out - maybe it's just me and I haven't used disposable wipes in a long time. The wipes retail for $5.99 per package. That's more expensive than any other disposable wipes I've seen. But again, you're paying for a fairly made, biodegradable product. It's up to you to decide if it is worth it for your family personally. 

So if you are looking for biodegradable baby wipes for any reason, like travel or for keeping in your diaper bag for occasional messes or snotty noses, these are a great option!

Check out the GroVia BioWipes at Thanks Mama!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tuesday Twitter Party!

Have you heard? We're having another Twitter party tomorrow night, June 5th at 9pm Eastern time. Put your kids to sleep and grab a glass of wine, join us for fabulous prizes and to connect with other fluff loving moms! We would love to chat and connect with you!

There will be 7 winners of great prizes! Click below to RSVP on the Diaper Pin website through the easy Rafflecopter form.

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