Saturday, March 15, 2014

Super Sippy Cups - Reviews of Training Cups

I have whole cupboard-full of different types of sippy cups from when my first child was little. He refused the bottle at about 4 months old, so I was on a desperate hunt for a cup that he could use. The ones that didn't work at that age I did use later on, so here is my two cents on the different brands and types. 
Kleen Kanteen Stainless Steel Sippy
I would love to have more of these cups, but they are more on the expensive side. They are nice because they are stainless steel and I feel better about throwing them in the dishwasher. The stainless steel doesn't hold the smells and tastes of the drinks like plastic sometimes does. Plus they last forever, and you can different tops for when they get older.

Born Free Training Cups 
These are great cups too. They don’t leak (the spouts for older kids do drip), they are made from 'safe' plastic, and the spouts are softer so it’s an easy transition from breast to sippy cup. This was the only thing my son would use after he refused bottles. You can take the handle off and it's more like a bottle. The only bad thing is, in my opinion, that there are so many parts to clean, kind of a hassle.You can buy different spouts if they get chewed up, or to move up to the next age level.

Playtex The First Sipster
I have a couple of these too, they are smaller size, easier for baby to grab, and less parts to wash. They don’t leak at all (until they have been overused by a 2 year old and the spout hole is all chewed up). They are also pretty inexpensive and easy to find in stores.

Kid Basix The Safe Sippy
This is another stainless steel one, and more costly. This is better for older toddlers because of the size, shape, and type of spout. We use this one a lot now, but it does drip if upside down. It’s pretty easy to clean and indestructible. It's supposed to be a safer spout.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tips for Tolerable Teething

Teething is awful, simply awful. My little one popped the first 8 teeth in a matter of a few rough weeks, but his one year molars were a bear. He suffered for about a month of sleepless nights before they finally pushed through.

There were a few things that helped give him some relief.

1. Nursing: It made him feel better, so I let him nurse whenever he needed it, which was quite a bit at night.

2. Frozen Fruits and Smoothies: When he was 7-8 months old, my little one loved to suck on frozen fruit in these handy Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders. Later I gave him pieces of cut up frozen smoothie that I froze in my Silicone Ice Cube Trays.

3. Natural Teething Tablets: I tried Hyland's Homeopathic Baby Teething Tablets after my sister-in-law recommended them. They worked very well for the first teeth, but didn't do much for the 1st year molars. They are homeopathic, but I was still hesitant to give my baby too much of it.

4. Chamomile Tea: A few sips of Cozy Chamomile Herbal Tea and my little one was able to go to sleep easier and sleep longer when painful gums would normally keep him up all night.

Help Baby Sleep Better

We lucked out and got a baby that was an excellent sleeper from day one. That is until he began teething, and entered the separation anxiety phase.

One morning after very little sleep and at my wits end, I bought this book for my Kindle.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

It is a very good book, it makes you feel better just by reading it and there are very good suggestions for all situations. I found several good tips and techniques and noticed a difference right away. Bedtime and naptime were far less painful for all of us. The methods do take a while, but it is worth it for a happy baby and happy mom.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Starting Solid Foods- Making Homemade Baby Food

Just when you think you have all the baby supplies you need, baby is ready to start solid foods, and you need a whole new set of supplies.

I decided to make my own baby food because it is cheaper and I wanted to know what I was feeding my child. It takes more time than opening a jar of commercial baby food, but it is healthier, and I can use my own garden vegetables. I used a book as a guideline for what to introduce when, and for good recipes and storage information. The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet  

There are a few tools that make homemade baby food easier. I purchased and inexpensive small blender to keep handy on the countertop. The Hamilton Beach Personal Blender works great for making purees and smoothies. I also use it to make healthy mommy smoothies!  A Kitchenaid food processor is good for making big batches of baby food.

I found that silicone Tovolo Ice Cube Trays work great for making big batches and freezing in baby size portions. I then packaged the cubes in bags and sealed with my FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer. This keeps my baby food fresh and healthy, and I can easily pop a cube out and thaw.

I fed my baby commercial infant cereal, because it is a nice smooth starter food with vitamins and minerals added. I like  Earth's Best Multi Grain Cereal because it is organic, whole grain, non-GMO, and all the good stuff I look for. You can start with Earth's Best Wholegrain Rice Cereal as a first food, and then introduce oatmeal and other grains after rice is tolerated well.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Keeping in Shape for New Moms

It is a good idea to stay fit before, during, and after pregnancy. If you start a workout routine or activity before you become pregnant, it will be easier to stick with it. While pregnant, exercise can help you regulate your weight gain, ensure a speedy recovery after delivery, help you sleep better and  lift your moods. After baby is born and you are recovered, a workout routine will help you lose the baby weight, and give you the strength to carry and chase after baby. (Some exercises and activities are not recommended, please consult your doctor for more information)

I decided to combine a healthy diet with brisk walking and a pregnancy toning workout. I found The Perfect Pregnancy Workout  DVD, and I love it. The workout was easy to fit into my schedule, and I could do it at home. It is designed for pregnant women, and has three levels of difficulty, so that you have something to work towards. I did the workout 3 times a week and tried to go for walks the rest of the days.

The workout made me feel really good, and I had a relatively easy delivery. My abs were strong so I didn't have a huge belly and I was able to recover quickly. I am over 30, so knew it was going to be more difficult to bounce back.

I continued with the workout after baby was born, as much as I could, and the exercises have really helped me keep up with an active baby. The music in the video, and the woman's accent can get old after a while, but I memorized the routine and now I do it to my choice of music. I also take baby for brisk walks in the stroller. I have found that a  jogging stroller works best for this, and you can take it on a little rougher terrain.

Accessories for your workout:

Yoga Mat
Rubbermaid Small Step Stool
Neoprene Hand Weights

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baby Bath Time Products

Giving baby a bath can be a simple as using a sink or plastic basin, but a special baby bath can make it easier and more fun for both of you. I picked out the First Year's Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling. It has a sling for newborns, and after that there are two ways for babies to sit in the tub, reclining for infants, and sitting up for bigger babies. It has a drain in the bottom and is easy to use. This worked great for many months until my baby was ready for the big tub.

A bath-time necessity is a water temperature tester. I use the Munchkin 'White Hot' Duck Bath Toy. It says 'hot' on the bottom if the water is too hot, and it's also a cute toy to play with in the bath.

Once baby is big enough for the big tub, you need to make sure it is safe, with a Spout Cover, and a non slip Rubber Safety Mat

 I also like to use Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Bath, Lavender & Vanilla. It's a nice calming scent and Aveeno is relatively gentle as far as soaps go.

I also use the Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo, but I add drops of Grapefruit seed extract because my baby had a little cradle cap and it seemed to help.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Baby Sleepwear- Newborn to Toddler

To keep baby snuggly and warm at night, you can't beat swaddle blankets and sleep sacks. Most newborns love to be swaddled, it calms them and helps them sleep. 

Unless you are an expert swaddler, like the nurses at the hospital, you will appreciate the new swaddle blankets with velcro. It's really easy to wrap them up and keep them happy and secure. The swaddle blankets come in a couple sizes and many colors. You can get jersey cotton for warm weather, Organic Cotton, or Microfleece for cool weather. Make sure you have at least 2 blankets for when you have to wash one. You can usually buy a 3 Pack in the Cotton Knit and save a little money.

My baby loved his swaddle blanket for the first few weeks, but after that he wanted his arms out, so I moved up the the sleep sacks. The sleep sacks are also available with a swaddle type flap, but it won't be wrapped as tight as the swaddle blankets. Every baby is different if what they prefer, so if you purchase several options, make sure you can return the ones you don't need.

Sleep sacks are great for any age baby. Even babies that are crawling or walking as long as they are used to being in the sack. The are great because baby is warm and comfortable and can kick and move around as much as they want and not kick off their blanket. They will sleep better, which means you will sleep better!

The sleep sacks come in Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. They are also available in several colors and fabrics. They come in thinner cotton for warm weather, Micro-Fleece for cool weather, and Deluxe Velboa, which is somewhat in between, and a little more breathable than the microfleece.