September 24, 2018

What Is The Best Diaper Rash Cream?

Disclosure: Some products in this post I have received for free, but all thoughts and opinions are my own! Affiliate links are also used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.

There are so many diaper rash creams out there today, that it made it surprisingly hard to even just pick one when we needed to get some for our daughter.

It gets a little more complicated when you cloth diaper as many aren't safe to use on cloth. You can get around this by using fleece liners, which is what we chose to do as it was too much work to figure out what was or wasn't safe. You could also switch to using disposables till the rash heals, which we did when she ended up getting an open sore because you want to keep the butt as dry as possible and disposable diapers are better at that.

To make it a little easier for you, I have ranked all the diaper rash creams we have tried below, starting with our favorite. 

#1 Pinxav


I actually won this from a giveaway on another blog and so glad I did! I would not have heard of it otherwise as I have yet to see this brand in stores near us, but it is available on Amazon.

This stuff is amazing, it works overnight! It also has a really good smell, in our opinion. Apparently, the menthol smell can be a put off for some people, but I think it actually helped our daughter sleep better as I think of it as a soothing or calming scent.

The only downside for us is that it is pink! If you are using cloth diapers, this will stain, so highly recommend using fleece liners (the liners will stain too, but who cares about the liner right?).


#2 Desitin


This is the one our pediatrician recommended and is probably the most common or well-known brand. It was the one we started out with and it works! From our experience, it's not as fast acting as Pinxav. but still better than a lot of the other brands we tried. It's also got a thicker consistency which makes it stay in place better. Plus you can find it in any store!


#3 CeraVe Baby


This came in one of Target's Baby sample boxes, so we gave it a shot and I would say it's on par with Desitin. The only reason I ranked it lower is that it feels like a more liquidy version of Vaseline.

However, it's the only clear diaper rash cream I have seen (most are white), and that may be a bonus for those using cloth as it won't stain! I would still recommend using fleece liners as it may affect your diaper's absorbancy later on.


#4 Aquaphor


Everyone seems to love this cream, but we just didn't. It's white and runny, super messy to put on, especially if you aren't at home! With it being so liquidy, it doesn't cover the rash as well and it didn't appear to work as well as any of the above brands.


#5 Baby Butz


This is a new brand that just appeared at Target and I was able to get some free samples to try. I wanted to love this cream, I really did, but it just didn't compare to the others. 

The thing I really liked about this cream was how thick it is. It's a really thick white cream, which makes it a little difficult to get out of the container, but it covers the diaper rash so well!

However, despite covering the rash well, it didn't seem to do much healing. We ended up switching back to Pinxav as we didn't want our daughter to be uncomfortable at bedtime and it was gone by the next morning.



Final Thoughts


These are the 5 brands we tried and the top 2 are the ones we plan on sticking too. Now keep in mind what worked best for our daughter may not work best for your baby, so this post is just to give you a starting point as well as introduce you to some of the diaper rash creams out there. 

Have you tried any of these? What worked for you? 

September 7, 2018

Making The Switch To Reusable Cloth Pads

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.

What are cloth pads?


Cloth pads are reusable menstrual pads made of cloth so you can wash an reuse them each cycle. They are also known as "mama cloth." However, I do not like that term as you do not have to be a mom to use cloth menstrual pads.

I think the term "mama cloth" became popular because a lot of moms will switch over to cloth pads if they are cloth diapering, as they can all be washed together. Plus teens usually aren't as concerned about the environment or would think something like cloth pads would be gross. I know teen me would have wanted nothing to do with cloth pads.

And I think calling it "mama cloth" can detour younger girls more from trying it as they see it as an "old" thing or a "mom" thing and won't even consider it as an option, so I will always refer to them as cloth pads or reusable menstrual pads.



Making the switch to reusable menstrual pads


My main reason for the switch was because it is more environmentally friendly. You can wash and reuse cloth. My only other reason for the switch is like with cloth diapers, there are so many cute and fun prints!

Some women are concerned about the "chemicals" in disposables and switch for that reason. I never really cared enough to look into it, to me, it sounded similar to anti-vax arguments, where there really is no truth to it.

Like a lot of women who decide to use cloth pads, I did so after I became a mom. We already used cloth diapers and that was going well, so I decided now would be the perfect time to try cloth pads as I can wash them with the diapers.

I am also a stay at home mom, which means I hardly go out, so I don't have to worry about dealing with cloth while out and about. I actually still use disposables if I am leaving the house as it is just more convenient and I don't have to worry about carrying around a dirty cloth pad.

The thing I didn't know when I started looking into cloth menstrual pads was just how many different sizes, designs, and absorbancies there were! I decided to start by going with ones that were the similar size of my disposables and I only started with seven as you can see in the image below:


I knew this wouldn't make it through more than a day, but I didn't want to invest in something I wasn't sure I would stick to just yet. I, of course, ended up loving them, and am now working on building my stash!

The cloth is surprisingly more comfortable despite the pads feeling thicker. This could be because they are designed to fit my body better, whereas all disposables are one size fits all, which they really don't in my opinion. Plus the material is softer, whereas disposable pads are so scratchy and itchy.

Where can you buy cloth pads?


If you are just starting, I suggest going the cheap route and buy off of Happy Beehinds as the pads there are all under $3 a piece! Otherwise, Amazon is another great option for finding cloth pads at a cheaper price.

My favorite place to shop, however, is Etsy! There are so many crafters out there that make cloth pads and the best part is most of them will make custom pads for you! As I mentioned before, there are tons of options out there and that is what makes cloth better than disposables as you can have them designed to fit your body shape a lot better.

Here are some of my favorite Etsy shops for cloth pads:

How many do I need?


I have irregular cycles, so finding the right number of pads has been tricky. I currently have 26 total and don't feel it's enough. Some cycles I bleed more than others and find myself running out. Other cycles I have just the right amount. It also depends on how often you wash, I usually do one wash in the middle of my cycle, so if I didn't, I would probably need double the amount I have.

I think the key when making the switch is to start with a few, and just add until you feel you have the perfect number. If you are like me, you would still have some disposables hanging around so you will have a backup if you run out.

I haven't been brave enough to go cloth at night, so I do still use disposables at night, and as stated before, I prefer to use disposables when I'm out of the house. If you, however, want to make a complete switch, a wet bag will also be something you want to have so you have a way to store the pads when you are out of the house.


How do you wash them?


If you already cloth diaper, then you just wash them with your cloth diapers. If you do not cloth diaper, you would first wash them in a normal cold wash or prewash, and then you would want to do a heavy duty cold or hot wash. I prefer to use hot water for the main wash as I personally feel it gets things cleaner, but cold water is fine too. 

A lot of sites will recommend hand rinsing them in cold water first. Even some of the shops I buy from give you care instructions, and they often say to rinse and ring out before washing. I find this isn't necessary as the cold prewash does the rinsing for you.  My pads have come out clean without a problem, even the prints with white on them come out unstained! However,  If you want to rinse before washing, that's totally up to you! Like with cloth diapers, it's all about finding a wash routine that works for you.

For drying, I just throw them in the dryer on medium heat. If you want, you can hang dry them or use low heat.

Have you made the switch? 


Have you used cloth pads? How did it go for you? Let me know in the comments!




August 16, 2018

Gululu Back to School Giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Affiliate links are used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.

Gululu is back again and giving away a $45 Amazon Gift Card to help you prepare for the upcoming school year! 


What is Gululu? 


Gululu was developed by Bowhead Technology as an interactive water bottle that keeps children hydrated while allowing parents to monitor daily water-drinking progress through an easy to use smartphone app. Gululu provides a technology-enabled solution with a learning-through-play mechanism to address issues pertaining to children’s wellbeing.


The water bottle tracks hydration and encourages the child to drink with the help of an educational pet-growing game DIRECTLY ON THE BOTTLE! As kids consume more water from their Gululu bottle, their virtual pet grows and unlocks new worlds and adventures at the “Gululu Universe." Gululu also has an automatic software and content update system that continuously rolls out new features to keep children engaged.

Back to School Must-Haves! Gululu Interactive Water Bottle with Hydration Tracking App for Parents! This great water bottle even has school-time settings!


Gululu's Greater Purpose:

Gululu's mission and contribution are to help children all over the world stay healthy and hydrated! To advance their goal, for every Gululu bottle purchased, a child in a developing country will be provided with clean drinking water! This initiative was created through a partnership with Generosity.org, a humanitarian organization that provides sustainable solutions to the global water crisis, one community at a time. Joining forces with Generosity.org has allowed Gululu to offer programs focused on educating kids on social responsibility and initiate water-well projects for developing countries.

Want to know more? Gululu has been featured in leading global media publications in over 20 countries. Among them are TechCrunch, Yahoo, Vogue, and Forbes that declared Gululu as a “Top 5 best kids’ gadgets.”


Enter to Win a $45 Gift Card from Gululu!


Gululu is giving away a $45 Gift Card to one lucky winner to
help you prepare for the upcoming school year!

Enter to Win an Amazon Gift Card from Gululu during the Back to School Giveaway at Mommy's PlaybooK! #EntertoWin #GululuBTS18


Quick Features!


Gululu is an amazing interactive water bottle that provides children with an entertaining reminder to stay hydrated. Parents love it because it doesn't require anything extra from them. All you have to do is wash Gululu after each use, allow it to air dry (baby bottle racks are a great drying solution to keep the lid and bottle together). Kids can easily charge Gululu overnight or between sips as the bottle just rests on the charging cradle when not in use. Take a look at the quick features that highlights why you'll love Gululu too:
  • Monitor children's daily water-drinking progress through your smartphone
  • Grow and evolve with a virtual ‘tamagotchi-like’ virtual pet
  • Experience continuous content updates through an automatic software update system to keep children engaged
  • Parents can utilize “Do Not Disturb” and “Bedtime” modes to be sure the Gululu Pet isn't distracting during learning or rest times.
  • Learn-Through-Play, embark on a journey of health, rewards, and adventures within the “Gululu universe”
  • Connect with friends by syncing to nearby bottles and stay connected with the cloud-based app. Durable, safe, and waterproof with a modular design and easy-to-clean spout that makes maintenance simple BPA-free
Other important features:
  • Monthly themes: Every couple of weeks, Gululu introduces additional features, such as new online campaigns, drinking animations, pet accessories, sound effects, and more. These exciting additions are all automatically updated into the bottle through the cloud.
  • Gululu Universe Journey: Children can redeem accessories for their pets with the virtual coins collected along their journey of discovering the Gululu Universe.
  • Virtual pets: A fourth virtual pet, (Donny), was released at the end of March. More characters are expected to be added soon to expand the population of the “Gululu universe.”

Back to School Giveaway at Mommy's Playbook! #GululuBTS2018
Enter below for a chance to win!
One lucky reader will win a $45 Amazon Gift Card from Gululu!
The giveaway is open US Only, 18+
The giveaway ends 9/1 at 1159p est
Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Mommy’s Playbook Giveaway Rules: This giveaway is Sponsored by Gululu and hosted by Mommy’s Playbook. Winner will receive a $45 Amazon Gift Card! Use the gift card for whatever you like OR towards your Gululu purchase! Victoria and/or Mommy’s Playbook are not responsible for prize fulfillment. By entering this giveaway you are giving the giveaway host and/or event sponsor permission to retain your email address for future communication, you may choose to opt-out of such communications at any time. Please contact Victoria (at) MommysPlaybook.com regarding any questions you have pertaining to this giveaway.

Traditional Anniversary Gifts For The First 5 Years

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.

My husband and I actually started this tradition on a fluke, but went with it! We are following the traditional gifts, so each year we get each something that somehow relates to the traditional gift. You can find a complete list of all the traditional and modern anniversary gifts on Wikipedia.

Here is what we did for our first 5 years of marriage just to give you some ideas!

1st Anniversary - Paper

Tickets to Ama Luna by Cirque du Soleil


For our first anniversary, we went to see Ama Luna by Cirque du Soleil and it worked out as tickets to the show count as paper. We didn't realize this until we were planning what we should do for our second anniversary, so that was lucky! You can also do movie tickets, tickets to a sporting event, etc. Some other fun paper ideas would be to make origami together, write love letters, books, or a romantic coupon book.

2nd Anniversary - Cotton

Socks and Underwear


We were pretty lame with this one and just went with socks and underwear, but we did make sure that package indeed said that they were made of cotton! Clothing is definitely an easy option for this traditional gift!

3rd Anniversary - Leather

Coasters


For leather, we got each other coaster sets as we couldn't agree on one design! I got him a set featuring the loon (Minnesota state bird) and he got me the set with our state on it (Minnesota). If you're a Minnesotan, you can get these coasters from Great Lakes Northern Outfitters. Otherwise, there are plenty of options on Etsy if you want another state or are looking for something else! Some other leather ideas you could do are key fobs, belts, wallets, jewelry,. and purses. 

4th Anniversary - Fruit and Flowers

Pumpkin and Flowers


Our anniversary is in October, so this worked out perfectly! I got my husband a giant pumpkin so he could decorate our front door because guess what, a pumpkin is technically a fruit! He got me flowers, so simple and who doesn't love receiving fresh flowers? Some other fun ideas you could do are a fruit basket, order an edible arrangement, plant flowers or grow from seeds if you have a spring anniversary, or plant a fruit tree.

5th Anniversary - Wood

Point Driver Tool and Picture Frame


At this point, my husband had gotten into woodworking, so he decided he was going to make me a picture frame, but in order to finish it, he needed a Point Driver, so I bought him one. He basically gave the picture frame without the glass and I gave him the tool so he could use the tool to finish the picture frame! Some other ideas you could do are jewelry or keepsake boxes, rocking chairs, wooden spoonswood watch, and cutting boards.

Some of our Anniversary Gifts



July 30, 2018

Benji & The Giant Kite Book Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: I received this product for free in exchange for an unbiased, honest review. In no way did the discount affect my review of the product. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used in this post. Read my full disclosure here.

Benji & The Giant Kite Review 


Benji & The Giant Kite tell the story of a boy named Benji and his love of kites. One day he sees a giant kite in a store that he would love to have, but his mom makes him work for it. I love the message this book gives about working hard to achieve your dreams! It isn't always easy, but it's so worth it.

The book is recommended for ages 4 and up, but my one-year-old actually loves this book. She is obsessed with the dog and pointed him out on each page. Plus the artwork is beautiful and there were a lot of little details that she pointed at and wanted to know what they were.

It's not too long either, so it makes for the perfect bedtime read. Overall, I highly recommend this book to be added to your child's library!


You can purchase your own copy on Amazon or enter below for a chance to win a copy!


Benji & The Giant Kite Giveaway



Sponsored By: Jane Wesman Public Relations
Hosted By: Forever My Little Moon

Open to US residents. Must be 18+ to enter.
Giveaway runs: 7/30/18 - 8/20/18
Good luck!

July 27, 2018

Teepee Joy Set Giveaway

Disclosure: Affiliate links used in post, full Giveaway disclosure located below giveaway form.  You can read my full disclosure here. 


Sponsored By: Teepee Joy

Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy

Winner Will Receive:

Pre-Designed Teepee Joy set of your choice! 

Includes teepee, mat, and 4-pillow set! A $306 - $316 RV Giveaway!




Be sure to check out Love, Mrs. Mommy's full review of Teepee Joy! Fun photos included!

Also if you can't wait to see if you win or need more than one, you can use Love, Mrs. Mommy's exclusive coupon code for 10% off your purchase! 
Just use "LMM10OFF" at checkout!


Open To US entries and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 7/27 9:00 AM EST through 8/24 11:59PM EST
Good luck everyone!

Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy, and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winner will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

July 25, 2018

$30 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway From Gululu

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read full disclosure here.

Gululu! The Summer Hydration Helper!


It's no secret that most children need an incentive to remember to drink when they are busy playing at the park, swimming at the beach, and hanging out with friends. Sometimes we choose to give our kids drinks that are high in sugar and not as healthy as we would like in an effort to get them to drink when we could be doing something radically different -- like giving our child a Gululu interactive water bottle instead! Gululu helps to remind your child to drink more water through a Tamagucci-like pet that grows when children drink! Parents can be sure it is working by tracking progress on the app! Learn more below!

Enter to Win a $30 Amazon Gift Card from Gululu!

Gululu is giving away a $30 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner to
bring awareness to your child's summer hydration needs!

Let Gululu Help Your Children Stay Hydrated This Summer!
About Gululu:
The fun Gululu bottle features a pet, Tamagucci-like, that grows and goes through underwater adventures as the kid drink. The pets in Gululu motivate kids to develop healthy habits on their own. When your child drinks from Gululu Interactive Bottle, the pet grows happier and evolves. This constant interaction both entertains and encourages beneficial habit formation. Gululu has been featured on all main media publication like Forbes, Vogue, and others.- and parents love it!
Gululu's Mission:
Gululu has made it their mission to help kids all around the world be healthier and stay hydrated! Their interactive bottle keeps kids hydrated through a pet that encourages them to drink and has an app that shows the parents exactly their kids intake. With each and every purchase of Gululu, a child in a developing country is provided clean drinking water, for life.

In addition to their great mission to keep kids hydrated, for every bottle purchased, they donate to build clean drinking water wells for kids in developing countries through their partnership with Generosity.org Learn more about how water = life HERE.
You can find Gululu on Amazon!
Gululu Water Bottles for Back to School!
ENTER TO WIN!
One lucky reader will win a $30 Amazon Gift Card
The giveaway is open to US Only, 18+
The giveaway ends 8/5 at 1159p est
Be sure to come back daily for more chances to win.
Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  
Mommy’s Playbook Giveaway Rules: This giveaway is Sponsored by Gululu and hosted by Mommy’s Playbook. Winner will receive a $30 Amazon Gift Card! Use the gift card for whatever you like OR towards your Gululu purchase! Victoria and/or Mommy’s Playbook are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact Victoria (at) MommysPlaybook.com regarding any questions you have pertaining to this giveaway.

July 24, 2018

"Made You Smile" With Gymboree

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I was also compensated for this post. Read full disclosure here.


I have teamed up with Gymboree for their "Made You Smile" campaign, where they ask what makes you, your family, and/or your kid smile?

It is the little moments with my husband and daughter that makes me smile. Like watching my husband play with our daughter, Little Moon, and hearing her laugh, or when he reads her a bedtime story, and she thinks the fish in the book is a ball, so she keeps pointing at it and saying "ball" (in her defense, it is a really round fish!).

What makes my daughter smile? Going the playground makes her smile. She is more interested in the wood chips than the play equipment though (she is carrying a woodchip in the photo below). She recently has started showing an interest in the tunnel and slide, so we are making progress!

By the way, my daughter loves this shirt from Gymboree! She pointed at it and kept saying "cat" over and over again. She loves our cats and tries to play with them, but they aren't a fan of her and often run away! It's okay because the dog will play with her. They are best buds, and they make each other smile! (The leggings are also from Gymboree).

Reading and looking at books also makes my daughter smile. She never really stays on one page long enough for me to finish reading it to her, so I mostly just point at the pictures on the page and say what I am pointing at. She loves to point at pictures to own and have me tell her what it is. Below she is reading "Animal's Under The Bed!" by Meg Smiley.
 
You can't see it well in this photo, but her shirt says "You, me and a good book." The perfect outfit for story time! This set is also from Gymboree!

Want to know what else makes me smile? Gymboree's new clothing line!

Gymboree asked modern moms want they wanted for their children's clothes and the results are amazing! Their new "Made You Smile" collection features clothing that is more comfortable (so soft!), more durable (perfect for the playground!), and versatile (never have to worry about matching again!); making their clothes the perfect choice for back to school!

We were always fans of Gymboree as their clothing was always cute, modest,  and good quality, but are loving the new line even more! I just can't get over how soft her new clothes are! Plus they are so durable and so far have survived our trips to the playground!

If you haven't checked out the new #MadeYouSmile collection yet, you can by clicking the banner below.

Gymboree Sale On Now!

Gymboree offers free shipping Over $50 + free returns!

What makes you or your child smile? Feel free to share in the comments!

July 20, 2018

WOpet Automatic Cat & Dog Pet Feeder Giveaway

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read full disclosure here.

WOpet Automatic Cat & Dog Pet Feeder Giveaway!

1 Winner ~ Ends 8/11 @WOpetshop



Deliciously Savvy is hosting a giveaway in which one lucky winner will receive a WOPET Automatic Cat & Dog Feeder! There is one lucky winner for this one, so enter today & good luck to you!


Sponsored By: WOpet


Hosted By: Deliciously Savvy


Co-Hosted By:

Forever Dreamin' // Missy's Views & Savings Clues // The YourDesignerDog Blog // Sweet Southern Savings // Michigan Saving And More // My Silly Little Gang // Holiday Contest and Sweeps


PLUS a Big Thank You To All Of The Amazing Blogs Promoting This Savvy Giveaway ~ You All Rock!



And Now The Sponsor & The Details:



WEBSITE ~ FACEBOOK ~ TWITTER ~ PINTEREST ~ INSTAGRAM ~ YOU TUBE ~ AMAZON


1 Lucky Winners Will Receive WOpet Automatic Cat & Dog Feeder ~ $90 RV!


Read Deliciously Savvy's Review Here




Giveaway Dates: 7/20 12AM EST until 8/11 11:59 PM EST
Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents only.
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway will end at 11:59 PM (EST) on 08/11/2018.
Good luck everyone! Enter Below.

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! (not required)



Deliciously Savvy did not receive any form of compensation for this giveaway. Once a winner is selected via the Rafflecopter process, the product will be shipped. Winners have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. No other blog associated with this giveaway is responsible for the product shipment. WOpet will be providing the prize above to the winner. This post does contain affiliate links. Thank You for stopping by! Any Questions or Concerns email me at mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

If you have any questions or are a brand/company and would like to work with Deliciously Savvy please contact us here.

Thanks For Visiting Forever My Little Moon!

Leave Some Comment Love While You Are Here!

July 16, 2018

10 Diaper Bag Must Haves For 0-12 Months

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read full disclosure here.

10 Diaper Bag Must Haves

Being a first-time mom, I relied a lot on what other people recommended to put in their diaper bag, but eventually learned for myself what I needed and didn't need. This list is meant to be a guideline as I'm sure your bag will vary depending on your needs as well, which you will figure out as you go!

1) Diapers & Wipes


Obviously, you will want diapers, but how many? In the beginning, I tended to overpack, stuffing 10 of those suckers in there, eventually I got the point where I was comfortable with 5, and never once have I used them all! I highly recommend Pamper's Pure diapers.

You will just need one package until that package gets low, then you'll want to make sure you have a backup! Pamper's Pure wipes are our favorite.

2) Changing Mat


A lot of public bathrooms do have changing tables, but I still liked having my own portable changing mat to place on top as you don't know how often those are cleaned. Plus if they don't have a changing table, you can change your baby on the floor or in the car with the mat.

3) Burp Cloth


Babies spit up a lot, so having a burp cloth on hand at all times is a must! 

4) Blanket


This is more important in the winter as you can use it to cover your baby in the car seat or stroller. You may still want to do this in the summer to keep nosey people away, so make sure you get a breathable cotton muslin blanket, like these ones on Amazon

5) Diaper Rash Cream


Diaper rash happens, so it's best to always be prepared! We found that Pinxav brand to be the best! It worked the quickest. Our second choice would be Desitin. We tried Aquaphor and CeraVe as well, but they didn't seem to work as well. 


6) Bottle & Formula


Always bring an empty bottle in case you have to feed the baby while out and about. You can always fill it with water at a fountain or sink, or bring a separate water bottle with water to pour into it.

I highly recommend getting some formula sticks as they are easier to carry around than a canister. We got a lot as free samples from out Pediatrician, but you can also find them on Amazon.

7) Extra Outfits


Yes, that is plural. I found that having one spare outfit is sometimes not enough. Babies are messy and blowouts do happen. I would for sure have at least two spare onesies and pants. I found I could get by with just one pair of spare socks as my girl didn't really kick them off until she was older, but you may need more as socks may go missing! 

8) Toys


You will want some toys to entertain your baby while out and about. I highly recommend getting the ones you can strap onto your stroller or car seat and dangle in front of your baby. You could also get links or toy safety straps too to attach toys to the stroller so you don't lose them!


9) Disinfecting Wipes & Hand Sanitizer


These are great for wiping down changing stations in bathrooms before lying your baby down on them, or for cleaning shopping carts, or high chairs at restaurants, etc. You can find the Clorox Wipe pouches in the travel section at Target or on Amazon.

The hand sanitizer is for you, not for the baby. I found using hand sanitizer to be so much faster and easier than washing my hands after diaper changes. Bath and Body Works is my favorite with all their scents and you can even get cute little keychain pouches for them now. You can also find plain travel sized bottles on Amazon as well.

10) Pacifier


You will always want a back up in case you forget to bring one!



Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Pixabay.

June 25, 2018

It's Okay To Judge Bad Parenting

It's Okay To Judge Bad Parenting

Disclosure: This is an opinion post.

"You should never judge anyone's parenting decisions." - I have been hearing and seeing this a lot now that I am a parent, and it seems almost everyone agrees with this statement, but as someone who was raised with what most would consider a bad parenting style, I have to disagree. 

  • Some parents beat their children and think that is an acceptable parenting method. 
  • Some parents cuss, yell, scream at their children and think that is an acceptable parenting method.
  • Some parents do everything for their child and never give them a chance to learn on their own and think this is an okay parenting method.
  • Some parents let their children do whatever they want and think this is an okay parenting method. 

See where I'm going with this? Most of the things I listed are what the majority would call bad parenting styles. If saying someone's method is "bad" is judging them, then yes, I judge because there are bad methods. Not all methods are good. Not all parenting is good.

I think a lot of people struggle with this because when someone disagrees with your parenting decision, you feel attacked and take it personally, rather than as a chance to learn and grow. Plus the parents are most likely sharing what punishment they used in order to validate that what they did to their child was okay, so when they get backlash, it just makes them feel worse. I also think those who do point out the bad parenting method, don't always do so in the nicest way, and you can't really give advice to someone who isn't looking for it. 

It also doesn't help that we often don't have the full story, but I question whether that is necessary in some cases. If you see a mom hitting her kid, do you really need to know why she is doing it to consider it bad parenting? Isn't hitting bad in general? Or you see a dad shouting cuss words at his child. Do you really need the whole story before considering that bad parenting?

I do believe all children are different and need different approaches, but shouldn't that be more of a reason to be more open to receiving advice from others, especially when we know the method we are using is on the extreme side, "a last resort" option? 

I commonly hear "I tried everything else and it didn't work." When the truth is you tried everything you knew before turning to the extreme. You didn't seek outside opinions first or look for other methods elsewhere. We often turn to the methods that were used on us, which aren't always the best. As a society with so many depressed adults, we should have already realized by now that past parenting styles weren't the greatest.

So when I see a mom screaming at her kid in the grocery store, I am going to judge. I am going to judge her actions. I get children are difficult and I understand the mom is just having a bad day. She is probably a good mom, but she made a bad parenting decision. I know nothing I say will help and I so long to give the child a hug and tell them it's okay as I was that child once. Adults have the worst tantrums if you ask me.

I get we aren't perfect. I sometimes slip up and yell at my daughter. I regret it afterward and apologize right away. That doesn't make me a bad mom, but I am not afraid to admit I made a bad decision, that I used a bad parenting method, that I could have chosen a better option. 

I think saying there is no such thing as bad parenting is harmful. It justifies a person's poor parenting decision. It makes them think, "hey this method is okay because there is no such thing as bad parenting," and unfortunately, this can potentially lead to harming your child either physically or emotionally. 

Now I'm not saying to go out there and attack others for their bad parenting decisions. You can't give someone advice unless they ask for it. However, if someone does come to you and decides to open up or "brag" about their decision, then I feel you can at least say you didn't agree and why.

With the internet, so many narcissists post about how proud they are that they punished their kid and post it to the world to see, and I will always comment on those to let them know that what they did could have potentially harmed their child. They may not be asking for advice (they are more likely seeking validation), but if it's a public post I feel it is free to post your opinion. A lot of people will be reading the comments, so I like to think I may have caught the attention of a reader and spared some children from harm.

That being said, you should never brag about punishing your child on social media. This is publicly shaming them, which is a form of bullying. It is basically talking about someone behind their back. 

I believe the majority of us are good parents, we just sometimes make bad decisions, and we need to be able to own up to our own bad parenting so we can look for gentler and better methods. If we want a world with less depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc, then we need to aim to be better than our parents. We should aim for better than "fine" for our children.


What are your thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments!


Fatherly also did a post for the 7 times they believed it was okay to judge parents. While I agree with their points, I don't think you should ever judge the person. Let's focus more so on the decision. There are no bad people, just people who made bad decisions.

June 11, 2018

15 Feeding Must Haves For Babies & Toddlers

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. Read full disclosure here.

Somewhere between 4-6 months, or even later, your baby will be ready to start solids. Here is a list of items we loved and you will need when that time comes! You can find most of these products in my Amazon shop.

1 Baby Cereal or Oatmeal

Our pediatrician recommended starting with baby cereal or oatmeal as it is bland so baby is more so getting used to the texture at this time and not worrying about the taste. Our favorites were Happy Baby and Earth's Best.

Baby Oatmeal

2. Puffs

While doing the oatmeal, you can also introduce puffs as they are also pretty flavorless (despite having different flavors, we tried them ourselves, haha!) and will allow your baby to practice feeding themselves!

Puffs

3. Blender

A blender will be necessary if you plan on making your own baby food. We love our Ninja blender and highly recommend it!

4. Silicone Icecube Trays or Glass Jars

We used both but could have probably gotten away with just glass jars. I would personally skip the icecube trays and go for the jars as you can freeze them and heat them up in the microwave. However, if you do want to do the icecube trays, definitely go with silicone as they pop out so much easier!
Ball Mason JarsIce Cube Trays

5. Spoons

You will have to start with spoon-feeding your baby, but eventually, they will be the ones playing with the spoons and learning how to use them! We love the Munchkin spoons!

6. Sippy Cup

Sippy cups are going to be a lot like pacifiers, you may get lucky and the first one you picks works, or you may have to try many different ones until you find one your baby likes. We went through so many sippy cups and even though sites claimed the straws are harder, our daughter only likes the straw sippy cups. The Playtex ones are our favorite as they don't leak and the straw stays in place. Avoid The First Years brand, those straws pop out so easily, it's a pain, as your baby will throw it on the floor over and over again.

Sippy Cups

7. Bowls

These are more for you, in the beginning, to mix oatmeal in, as if you give it to the baby, it'll just end up on the floor. We found it was easier to serve food right on the high chair tray and let her just mess around with it with her hands and spoon. We liked these Munchkin ones as they came with a lid, so when your baby is older, you can save what they don't eat for later. 

8. Food Tray or Plate

We mostly use our daughter's high chair tray, but if you want a little less mess, you can get a food tray or plate to put food on. Just know that it may end up on the floor. We got these kiddie bite trays back when I was a brand enthusiast for the company and they were awesome! Our daughter, of course, would play with the tray, but only after she was done eating, so we got lucky. There are some toddlers who will just toss it food and all onto the floor so you may want to look for something with suction, though I've heard some toddlers are strong enough to remove those!

Kiddie Bite Tray

9. Food Pouches or Jars

Food pouches are not recommended by the pediatricians we talked to as they can inhibit a child's ability to learn to feed themselves. You can, however, still use them occasionally or simply just squeeze the food out onto a tray or bowl for your child to mess with. We use pouches when traveling or out and about and avoid them at home. 

Jar food is actually really hard to find now, so I mostly bought pouches and just squeezed them out for our daughter. Beech-Nut was the only jar brand we bought.

Food Pouches

10. Toothbrush

Your baby may not have teeth at first, but once they start solids you should try an wipe their mouth with a warm washcloth once a day, usually after dinner or their last solid feeding of the day. You can also get a finger brush, which our daughter loved during teething as it was like a nice massage on her gums. Later on, once your baby has more teeth, you can switch to the bristle brush.

Toothbrush

11. Bibs

Babies are messy so you will need bibs and lots of them! My favorite ones are actually the ones my aunt and cousin made for us out of what appeared to be dishtowels. They are so long and cover the entire body! Here are some bigger ones I found on Amazon. There are also these full coverage apron ones that seem a bit extreme to me, but if you don't like a mess at all, then it may be for you!

12. High Chair

You will need something to feed your baby in! We have a Graco 2 in one so it can switch into a booster seat for later.

13. Washcloths or Baby Wipes

Feeding time is very messy so you will need a washcloth to wipe your baby clean or you can use baby wipes. A washcloth is more eco-friendly as it is reusable, but baby wipes are great when traveling.

14. Handheld Food Chopper

This little food chopper made cutting up veggies and fruits a breeze when our baby was ready to move on to table food! You will definitely want one if baby led weaning is your thing or once you're ready to switch to table food, as cutting everything up with a fork or knife takes so much work.

Food Chopper

15. Teething Biscuits

Our daughter loved teething biscuits. They are great for teething and is great practice for learning to feed themselves.

Teething Biscuits

Did I miss anything? Feel free to share your must haves in the comments!