The Parenting Struggle

There are days that parenting is just not fun. There’s not enough coffee to get you through the day. There’s too many hours until bedtime. There are too many kids running around your house and creating chaos. This is the parenting struggle. This is life. This is the unspoken reality for many of us. Maybe we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe we had a horrible night’s sleep. (Which is usually the case if you have kids, let’s be honest here.) Maybe we’re in a slump from the day-to-day lifestyle of forgetting who we are as ourselves and not being just “Mom” or “Dad.”

I will be the first to admit that sometimes I forget who I am as Amanda. I know (or at least, for the most part) who I am as Mom. I know what I want my kids to see and remember me as when they look back years from now at their childhood. I know how I want to look to other parents during playdates or online mom groups. But really, I don’t know who I want to be as just me. Not the mom to three kids, or the stay-at-home wife.

 

How do I fix this? The answer is simple, although the action of doing so may not be. Self-care. I know who I am as a mom because that’s what my mind is fixated on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I know who I am as a wife, because again, I’m acting as a wife all day, every day. Taking some time for yourself can be difficult- especially with little ones. I’ve learned that I need 15 minutes every day to make a plan for myself. This plan can be professionally, religiously, or just a plan of attack for the day. I’ve also found that trying to shower every day can totally lift my mood, make me feel better about myself, and give me some additional time away from the chaos that I call my home.

 

Take some time for yourself. Find 15-20 minutes where you can just be you. Take a shower during naptime, after bedtime, or while your partner is home to keep the kids out of the bathroom. Watch a show on Netflix before you go to bed. Get up a few minutes early to drink a cup of coffee or tea while it’s still hot. Lock yourself in the bathroom to pee by yourself, although be prepared for whatever mess may come with it when you get out. 😉

 

Remember who you are and just…. Be you.

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Packing Your Hospital Bag- A Little Help from Push Pack

Packing your hospital bag can be really difficult. After all, pregnancy brain is totally real and you don’t want to forget a thing when you’ll be away from home for a few days. There are so many other important things to do and think about before baby’s big arrival. When packing your bags, Push Pack has you covered!

 

Push Pack is a pre-packed essentials bag perfectly created for your maternity stay when giving birth to your new baby. The Push Pack bag includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial soap, lotion, make-up remover wipe, nipple cream, toothbrush & toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant wipes, razor & shave cream, comb & hair band, baby bottom balm, nail file, breast pads, maxi pads, disposable underwear, note pad, lollypops, snacks, mints, thank you cards & pen, and a “sticky-belly” baby milestone sticker. You can choose between three color bags: pink, blue, or green.

My Experience:

I had a Push Pack when I delivered Jackson and it made packing my bag SO easy! I was afraid of going into labor and then forgetting something important like my toothbrush or deodorant. I was able to pack my bag and the baby’s bag to leave by the door with nothing else to pack! When I went to the hospital, it was so handy to have! I remember using the lip balm in between contractions and sneaking a lollipop or mints in between my nurse coming in! 😉 In my opinion, it’s a must-have for your hospital bag and would make a fantastic baby shower gift!

 

Want a Push Pack for yourself or a friend? Use the code FLUFFBUM for 10% and enter in the giveaway below!

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Preparing for Date Night as Parents

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Parenthood brings along many massive changes in your life. Things aren’t what they used to be, and it mostly brings along good changes! However, there are a few things that change when you’re a parent that you wish maybe didn’t.

For example, you no longer have the time to go out on dates as a couple. You and your husband have children to look after, which can be stressful as well as time-consuming.

But, it’s important that you try and go out on dates as often as you can, for the strength of your relationship. So, here’s my guide to prepare for date night as parents:

Dress Up Nice And Fancy

If date nights become a rarity, then you may as well make the most out of them and dress up nice and fancy. Wear your best clothes and make yourself feel like a million dollars. Ensure your husband is dressed up nice too, I know men have a tendency to just throw any old outfit together when they’re going out. This can be an excuse for you to shower them with a few gifts as you buy them the perfect date outfit. Get them some nice shoes and trousers, along with a lovely fashionable shirt, to ensure they look nice and smart. Think about accessories too, things like mens diamond rings are in fashion now, as are cufflinks and belts. All of this comes together to make your husband look like prince charming. You’ll both be well-dressed and ready for a special evening.

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Got To A Nice Restaurant

Restaurants are the best setting for dates when you’re married. It’s likely you won’t get to go on that many dates, so you need to make the most out of the ones you do go on. At a restaurant, you can sit for over an hour and talk to one another without any distractions from your kids or work. It gives you a real chance to properly catch up and slow time down for once. Plus, fancy restaurants serve great food, which gives you a nice break from cooking for everyone every day. You get a rest, you and your husband get to talk more, it’s just perfect.

Find Someone To Look After The Kids

Of course, you can’t go out without figuring out who’ll look after your children. If you’re lucky, then you may have family members nearby that will take care of them for the evening. This is great as it kind of gives you more freedom as you worry less and don’t have to rush back early. If you don’t live near family, or no one is available, then maybe your neighbors will look after your kids instead? Worst case scenario, hire a babysitter! Just make sure someone trustworthy is looking after your children while you’re out.

All parents need to go out on dates once in awhile. It will help strengthen your relationship and also take away some stress as you get a nice evening alone for once. When you go on your first date since being a parent, it will feel a bit bad. You will feel guilty and worried about your kids, but it gets better after that!

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How to Help Your Kids Set and Reach Goals

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Our little kids are naturally dreamers of what they want to be in the future. Probably it’s because of the people they see around them. But because the individuals surrounding them change, they change their wishes as well.

My little girl for one has aspired to become a firefighter, a doctor, a McDonald’s crew, and a driver. It’s funny to look at, but it tells us one thing: our kids don’t know how to make up their mind yet.

So with their fluctuating mindset, how do we train our children to be goal setters and reachers?

5 Fun Activities To Teach Goal Setting

Let them choose the goal. I understand that we as parents have our own dreams for our babies even before they came into this world. While that is normal, it can be dangerous.

I have seen a number of parents who enrolled their children in different art and music schools only to have a frequently absent child in the end.

Our kids’ involvement is crucial in every goal setting because it is what they really want. Letting them voice out their preferences makes them think they matter in this decision making.

To make it fun, let them be as creative and imaginative as they want then write it down.

Filter the goal and explain why. At three years old, my daughter wanted to be a forklift driver. She was so determined that she would always volunteer to “drive” whenever she could. She would sit on the driver’s lap (either me or my brother) and maneuver the steering wheel. Well, at least in her perspective.

While it is good to know that she is determined to be a forklift driver, it can also be misleading. For her. A three year old can’t even ride a bike without bumping into something. What more with a heavy machinery?

This is where we step in and explain to them why their chosen goal may not yet be achievable at their age.

Use visual aids when explaining so they can get a grasp of this abstract idea. They won’t be able to understand what unachievable means, so you have to explain really well.

In my case, I was lucky to be residing near a publishing house where they use a forklift to transport the books from the warehouse to the delivery truck.

I brought my daughter there with me one day and showed her the forklift. The sight of its size scared her and that alone changed her mind. “I just want barbie dolls, mommy” she said on our way home.

After our kids realized how far-fetched their goal is, go back to the first step and let them try again. But make sure that the goal you set together is not too easy for your child.

Draw the goal. Once you have determined a reachable goal for your little one, draw it on a clean and special piece of paper.  If your kids are big enough, let them do the sketching. This will let your child feel that his or her goals are special. Include the date the sketch was drawn.

The drawing has to be as detailed as including the date and the milestones to achieve the target.

Including the steps in the drawing helps your child not to be overwhelmed by the target. The small chunks of the entire goal helps him/her see the tiny, doable acts. They will develop the “that’s simple; I can do that” attitude.

Also, including the steps help you carry out the next phase of goal setting and reaching.

By the way, paste your child’s goal somewhere conspicuous to set a reminder.

Check progress. Using the drawing your tot created for step 3, examine his progress. If there’s a date to the steps, you may check on the date indicated. You may also check every once in a while.

If it has been weeks from the time the goal was set, and nothing has changed, maybe you should reevaluate the goal (or your child).

I tried to make it more fun for my daughter by covering the milestones that are not yet the target for the time being. This way, she was able to focus on the small steps she had to do to get to the bigger goal.

The added suspense of what’s to come next also thrilled her. “What’s next? What’s next?” She would ask as I uncover the succeeding steps.

Give reward. Is it OK to give rewards? Experts have varying opinion on this, but I can say that it worked well for my daughter. I just had to make sure to focus on appreciating the effort.

Also, I did not lavish her with expensive toys. From the beginning of the goal setting, we also decided what she would get for every achievement she makes. They were as simple as getting a sticker, a star, or watching her favorite movie.

We wrote these rewards on a piece of paper and after reaching a step toward the goal, we would randomly pick one. The surprise factor adds to the fun.

In addition, I emphasize intrinsic motivation. Whenever she accomplishes one of her subgoals, I talk with her about it. “How did you feel doing it?” is my first question. Although her responses are short, I believe it made her think about her actions and why she’s doing it.

What I’m trying to say is, when motivating your kids for this activity, make sure there is balance between extrinsic and intrinsic motivations.

What to do next

After reaching your child’s first goal, make it a habit to do the same for the other goals. It may be laborious on your part, but you are training your child to be an achiever in the long run.

Once your kids have made goal setting and reaching a part of their routine, you can rest assured that you have leader in the making.

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The Truth about Motherhood

 

When you become pregnant, the “truth” about motherhood is almost hidden from you. Been there, done that moms don’t want to scare you with what is about to come.

You’ll never get to pee alone. I don’t care if your child is 5 days old or 5 years old. Chances are, you’ll never use the bathroom alone again. And if you try to, that’s when they’ll start getting into stuff (especially during the toddler phase) and you’ll regret not taking them with you in the first place.

You’ll survive on coffee. And wine. There are nights that you can count the hours of sleep you got on one hand. You’ll be exhausted. Coffee will be your best friend. And then when you’ve had a rough day- wine will be necessary to make it to bedtime. Might as well buy stock on both after you get that positive pregnancy test! 😉

Hello internet friends. Hanging out with friends with kids can be super hard. I love my Target dates and going to ChickFilA with other moms, but in all honesty, I get the most interaction from my internet friends. These moms are up breastfeeding when I am, they’re pulling out their hair midday just like me, and they crave adult interaction as much as I do. Sometimes the best mom friends you’ll have, are friends you’ve never actually met in person.

You’ll catch vomit in your hands, at least once. This is something that you never imagine will actually happen…. But it will. I can almost guarantee it! And if it isn’t your hands catching the vomit, it’ll be your hair. Your shirt. Your mouth. Yep- the real truth.

Prepare for the newborn pee/poop. On you. If you have a baby boy, you probably know this is coming. But if you’re having a girl- you can get peed or pooped on too! Just a word of advice: be quick. And if you plan on changing them in your bed at night, have towels nearby to throw over the mess so you can go back to sleep. Change those sheets in the morning! 😉

Babies get older…. And they turn into kids. I mean, I know we all know this will eventually happen. But I know I wasn’t really prepared for this. Give me a newborn or a toddler and I’ll rock that kind of motherhood! Give me a school-age kid with homework and preteen emotions at 6 years old- SEND HELP. Kids do not get easier as they get older. They get more independent, sure. But easier, oh heck no.

 

Motherhood is not for the weak. But let’s be honest- women are pretty badass so we get through it just fine. With wine. And cookie dough. What’s a “truth” about motherhood that comes to your mind?

 

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How to Have an Easier Pregnancy

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Being pregnant is amazing, life-changing and frequently mind-blowing, but it isn’t always easy. No matter how hard you try to do everything right and have a simple pregnancy, you are going to have struggles. That’s perfectly normal, and it happens to everyone, which is why you shouldn’t beat yourself up. Of course, you shouldn’t just sit back and accept it either – there are a number of things you can do to make your pregnancy easier.

 

Here are some tips to help your pregnancy go as smoothly as possible:

 

Eat A Nutritious Diet

 

When you’re pregnant, it is more important than ever to eat well. If your body feels good and you are well-nourished, you’ll be better able to deal with everything that your pregnancy throws at you, including the dreaded heartburn, and you’ll be helping your baby to grow and develop as well as possible.

 

Continue to Exercise

 

Some women worry that exercising might harm their babies, but as long as you are careful, keeping active will help to reduce your chances of experiencing a hemorrhage, prevent you from gaining too much weight and make your birth easier. Just listen to your body, stop when it feels to much and try out gentler forms of exercise like walking and pregnancy yoga. Click here to find out more about exercising when you’re pregnant and know that you’ll be fine and so will your baby.

 

Get Plenty of Sleep

 

Sleeping isn’t always easy when you’ve got a big baby bump getting in the way, and junior has decided bedtime is the perfect time to stretch his legs, but it will help your body to rest and recover from the hard work it is doing to grow your baby. If you find it hard to sleep because you’re uncomfortable, click here to buy a supportive pregnancy pillow, and look up progressive relaxation videos on Youtube. There’s a good chance they will sort the problem out.

 

Take Supplements

 

Even if you’re eating a healthy diet, you can improve your wellbeing by taking vitamins specifically designed for pregnant women. If you suffer from restless legs, headaches or cramps, taking a magnesium supplement may also be helpful.

 

Take the Time to Relax

 

Babies that are exposed to high levels of their mother’s stress hormones can be affected in terms of their IQ and their temperament, and of course, being stressed when you’re pregnant can make things a whole lot harder than they need to be. So, it really is very important that you take time out to relax. Book a pregnancy massage, try meditation or watch your favorite comedy shows with your hubby to relax, unwind and get rid of the day’s stress.

 

Ask for Help
If you are finding it hard to do the things you need to do, whether that be shopping, doing chores or anything else, do not be afraid to ask for help. Your friends and family are there to support you, and they would not want you to struggle. Let them lighten the load, and your pregnancy will go by much more smoothly.

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When They First Get Home

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Taking your child home for the first time is always an exciting and exhausting ordeal. At this point, you have already given birth. So, you will be very tired and drained. This can make it incredibly difficult to plan and take careful actions. Of course, you will already be prepared and ready to take on the challenge. But, the very first day is much harder than the rest. All of the challenges you’ve faced will be working against you. So, to help you out, this post will be going through some things to help you on this very special day. Don’t worry; with the right help, it’s nice and easy to survive this day without any trauma!

When you get home, it’s dad’s turn to start doing some work. Of course, he will have been there with you throughout the entire procedure. But, he won’t have had to deal with anywhere near as much as you. You need to eat before you sleep if you can. This will help you to keep your energy up after everything you’ve gone through. Along with this, dad needs to make the baby comfortable for the night. It’s best to keep the baby in a room with a parent for the night. In most cases, the best candidate for this will be dad. The baby could be easy or difficult on their first night; it’s different with every child.

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Of course, you will already be prepared for the work that you have taken on. You should have watched videos on websites like Youtube, to learn how to change nappies and feed babies. You should have spoken to professionals to make sure you know when your baby is sick. And, you should have everything on your baby essentials shopping list already ticked off. Preparation is the key to success in most things. And, it’s not different when it comes to keeping a baby happy. You and dad will have to work together to get work done. You should aim to share the load between the two of you. This will ensure that no one feels like they are doing too little or too much; saving any tensions around the baby.

Stress is an important thing to consider. Remaining calm isn’t just something you do for just yourself and your partner; you also do it for the baby. The baby will know when you are stressed. And, it won’t respond with reassurance like an adult would. Instead, your baby mostly relies on instinct and will be made to be stressed by your stress. This chain reaction can lead to even more anxiety on your part; as the baby responds with it’s own releases of the tension. It’s important to try and remember that everything will be alright. Everyone makes mistakes with their baby. But, most of the time; it won’t be the end of the world. Just be careful, and you should be alright.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to get prepared for your baby’s arrival. It’s a good idea to have your home ready to cater to a baby. You should have a room for the infant. And, you should have toys and food for them. Babies will usually have milk. And, sometimes you won’t even have to buy it; but, that’s for a different post.

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The Trick to Getting a Baby to Sleep Through the Night – The DockATot

The DockATot may have saved me. You see, like so many sleep deprived parents, I was desperate for a full night’s sleep. I wanted to sleep and stay asleep for any amount of time longer than 3 hours. Jackson just did not like to sleep. Nurse? He liked that. He would have nights where he was waking up every two hours, like a newborn, at 15 months old. To say I was tired…. well, that felt like an understatement. I was exhausted.

Enter in the DockATot. If you’re unfamiliar with the DockATot- it’s a breathable, multi-functional pillow for babies and toddlers. It comes in two sizes: The Deluxe is for babies 0-9 months and Grand is for babies and toddlers over 9 months old. It was designed to mimic the womb and offer a snuggly safe place for babies to sleep. While most families use it while traveling or for safe co-sleeping, it can also be used when transitioning a child into their own bed. The air-permeable sides offer security for both parents and child as they can act as a bed rail.

 

I had seen people rave over them. This huge pillow for babies and toddlers…. It was supposed to help him sleep through the night. But the cost?! Over $200 for a pregnancy look-a-like pillow for a toddler. Ugh. I needed sleep. I needed him to sleep. So I bit the bullet. I contacted DockATot and they sent me a coupon code to use to help me purchase the DockATot Grand- the DockATot for infants and toddlers over 9 months old. Guess what happened next…..

Ladies and gentleman…. Jackson sleeps. He sleeps 12 hours every night. Straight through. I won’t pretend that it happened the exact day that we got the DockATot. Unfortunately, I learned just how easy it is to clean the first night we had it thanks to some toddler vomit. But after about a month of use, Jackson started sleeping through the night in his bed. We even traveled with it and the little boy that refuses to sleep away from home, slept pretty darn good!

We have “broken” the rule and allow it in his crib. This is NOT recommended by the company as it is against “safe-sleep” practices. But my husband and I felt comfortable since Jackson has the capability to move his head or get unstuck if necessary. He’s old enough for a pillow in his crib at 17 months old anyways. The DockATot has given him a sense of comfort and security and will stay with him as we transition to a toddler bed, sometime this year.

I can not say enough good things about the DockATot. It is super easy to clean, super comfortable- of course I laid on it! I love how easily it travels and can’t wait to take it camping with us! (If you didn’t know- Jackson was not a fan of the pack n play, therefore we had to take the crib mattress with us when we went camping 4 times last summer! Crib mattresses aren’t so easy to just take with you….)

While the DockATot may not be the exact answer to getting your baby to sleep through the night, it certainly helped us. In all honesty, Jackson may not have been ready to sleep through the night. Maybe he physically did need to nurse and cuddle mama all night- even though he REFUSED to cosleep- little booger. But I’ll continue to praise the DockATot for getting me some sleep. 😉

 

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Banish The Monsters & Ghoolish Hazards From Your Home

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We all know that little ones worry about the monsters hiding under the bed and in the wardrobe. Parents take comfort in knowing that these dangers only exist in their kids’ imagination.

 

However, they should also know that there could be some very real monsters that could be present in the home in the form of safety hazards. It’s not the bumps and creaks that keep parents up through the night. It’s the worry that their home isn’t safe. If you’re kept up at night by this fear, here are some of the safety issues that you might want to take into consideration. Don’t worry, I’m going to provide the solutions too!

 

 

Second-Hand Toys

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There are plenty of parents who will gladly accept hand me down items and toys for their kids, perhaps from older relatives. There are just a few dangers you need to be aware of here, before you bring them into your home and let your little ones use them.

First, be aware that older products might not have the same safety standards as the ones on the market today. As such, older toys might be made up of dangerous chemicals or even paints that could be toxic. Don’t forget, even charities often reject second hand joys and you can read more about that on www.dailymail.com.

As well as this, you need to watch out for loose or missing parts on toys. Children can swallow these and they can become choking hazards.

 

Damp And Dirty

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You have to keep the home clean and tidy when you have children. You should be particularly cautious of letting mold develop around the windows. While this might not seem like a major problem, the spores mold releases can be dangerous for young children.

Not to mention the fact that mold and damp walls can also attract insects like termites into your home. While these little beasties aren’t poisonous, they can cause dust particle in the air that can affect breathing and even cause asthma in kids. You can read more about this on a site such as www.termitecontrolplans.com. Here you’ll also find some of the signs that you are dealing with this type of infestation and what you can do to prevent any further issues.

 

Dishwasher Dangers

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We bet your dishwasher isn’t on the list of the monstrous dangers that you think are a threat to your child, but perhaps it should be. The problem with dishwashers is that they don’t always clean thoroughly. Or rather, they clean a little too well because the soapy detergent is left over as residue. You need to be careful of this because it can be poisonous for kids. Check out more info on this at www.helphealthhappen.com.

Make sure you rinse any cutlery or plates you’re using before using them with your child. Or, check them thoroughly before putting them away out of the dishwasher.

 

Where’s The Baby?

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Thank goodness for technology. Parents often have irrational fears about their kids. For instance, every so often through the day, you might panic wondering where your child is. Even though, you know they are in another room playing or perhaps in bed taking a nap.

Well, with the child trackers this fear is gone for good. Instead, you can make sure you know exactly where your kid is even if they are out playing in the garden. Not only does this give you peace of mind, but it also ensures that older children don’t stray too far from the house.

Using this advice, you can vanquish some of the greatest dangers to your kids from the home for good.

 

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Buon Bambini Pouch Topper Giveaway!

The Buon Bambini Pouch Topper has been such a lifesaver! You know how kids like to squeeze those food pouches until there’s a giant mess? Yeah- mama doesn’t have time for that! These pouch toppers will fit on the baby food pouches you buy from the store or the reusable pouches you fill at home.

The pouch topper keeps the mess at bay by controling the flow. Your baby or toddler can not squirt the baby food pouch all over the floor anymore! 😉 They literally have to suck it out like a straw.

I have been using this since Jackson started on solid foods last year and it is still a super handy food accessory in our home. It’s really easy to clean out either by hand washing with a nipple brush or rinsing it out and putting in the dishwasher. In my opinion, if you’re going to use food pouches, these are a must-have item!

 

Because this is one of my favorite baby food products and can be used into the toddler years- I want to give one away to a lucky reader! 🙂 Comment below with why you’d like one and subscribe to Fluff Bum Babies for a chance to win! I’ll pick a winner on April 21st! 🙂

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AWE Süsse PD All-In-One Diaper Review

The AWE Süsse PD All-In-One Diaper was designed and created by three moms that decided to open an eco-friendly family store! Their store, AWE Süsse was named with their youngest children’s names in mind, along with their German heritage. They carry many of the brands we all know and love- but they also have created their own diaper!

About the Diaper

This diaper was designed with their babies in mind. It is easy to use for babysitters and daycare providers- but also absorbent enough for bedtime! The diaper has a PUL outer layer around French terry, to keep clothes dry. On the inside, you’ll find a layer of athletic jersey lining to pull the wetness away from baby’s sensitive skin. The absorbant stiched in insert is made up of French terry, organic cotton, bamboo and hemp. The insert is wrapped in organic cotton so only the softest material touches baby. With four rows of snaps, there’s many size settings to make sure your baby gets the best fit possible.

On to one of my favorite features: the rainbow snaps. We’ve seen rainbow snaps on Lalabye Baby diapers, and it’s one of their big selling points. The AWE Süsse PD All-In-One Diaper also has rainbow snaps to make diaper changes easy for other caretakers. Its super easy to grab a index card and color the outline of the diaper and then circle which color snap setting baby is currently fitting into. This makes it a million times easier to leave baby with someone that is unfamiliar with cloth diapering!

Want to use it on a newborn? This diaper also features an umbilical cord snap down! Because of the way the snaps are designed, you also have the option of a fifth rise to make it even tinier for the itty bittiest of babies! This diaper will start to fit around 8 lbs and fit until 35 lbs.

My Experience

I refuse to post about a diaper that did not work for us- because how can I tell you to use it if I wouldn’t? Well- this is not the case here! I love this diaper! It fits SUPER trim but it so absorbent. It even passed our bedtime test! 😉 Jackson seemed comfortable and his super sensitive skin wasn’t red, even after spending the night in it- which is a constant issue we have with using cloth for nighttime. The available designs are super adorable! I absolutely love the galaxy print: AWE Süsse Dreams. Isn’t it amazing?!

 

Overall- my experience with the diaper was fantastic. I love the elastics, the rainbow snaps, the materials used, and of course…. the absorbancy! This diaper is a winner in my book. I just wish I had a teeny tiny squish to try it on and see how it would fit on a newborn!

 

So now- a giveaway! You’ve seen what I like about the diaper so tell me in the comments- What’s your favorite feature of the AWE Süsse PD AIO diaper?

 
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Please note: I did receive the diapers for the review. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.

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A Look @ Babyganics + a Review!

 

As a Guidance Guide Brand Ambassador- I received this amazing package from Babyganics! Inside the package included baby wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, body lotion, and body wash/shampoo. I’ve used a few Babyganics items in the past- but not all of these!

Baby Wipes

Babyganics face, hand & baby wipes are made with plant-based ingredients. These baby wipes are super thick- but not so thick that you can’t handle them easily. They also have a slight texture to them to help clean up the messiest messes on baby! They’re fragrance free, so super gentle on baby’s sensitive skin. Added bonus? They’re also free from alcohol, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial dyes! I’m very particular about what baby wipes I use for diaper changes and these are my new favorite- hands down! They get the job done but without a bunch of added “stuff.”

 

Hand Sanitizer

Visitors in my house probably think I’m a germaphobe because there is hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE throughout my house. I also be sure to keep one in the diaper bag. This was a product that I already owned and love. There are seriously only 7 ingredients in the alcohol-free version. This particular hand sanitizer also foams, so it’s fun for the kids! And we all know that if the kids think it’s fun…. they’ll actually use it! 😉 My favorite part about this hand saniziter is that it doesn’t have a sticky feel after it’s all rubbed in. A little bit also goes a long way, so even the travel size lasts a long time!

 

Sunscreen

Here in Ohio, we don’t need sunscreen until May…. sometimes June! I’m really picky about the sunscreen I use, if I’m being honest. Babyganics’ Suncreen is SPF 50 and is mineral based. In their sunscreen, you will not find PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles. It’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients. Being tear free and non-allergenic, it seems like a pretty good sunscreen to try! Babyganics also states that it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes! I’ll definitely be trying this on the kids this summer for sure!

 

 

Body Lotion

I absolutely love this body lotion! Jackson loves his bath time, but it’s hard on his skin since he has some eczema. This lotion isn’t harsh on his sensitive skin but still smells super good! (We have the chamomile verbena scent!) It has all the good stuff- plant-based and certified organic ingredients like aloe, shea butter, olive oil, vitamin E and avocado oil. And again, you won’t find any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial fragrances or dyes in this lotion! Jackson’s skin is super smooth after we use it and it also doesn’t get that sticky feeling. I’ve even started using on super dry hands- totally helps moisturize them. It’s also not super thick, so it’s much easier to rub in than some other baby lotions we’ve tried.

 

 

Body Wash/Shampoo

The Babyganics Shampoo & Body Wash is also a foaming soap- like their hand sanitizer. So obviously, it’s a huge hit with the kids! I love it because I don’t have to lather it up. I feel like that step has already been done for me! This particular soap makes me happy because it’s also tear free- we all know babies and toddlers don’t sit still for long! I like knowing that we won’t have a complete meltdown if some gets into Jackson’s eyes. Like the rest of the products, it’s made with plant-based and certified organic ingredients and is free of all the junk. It not only cleans baby’s sensitive skin, but it also has a 100% natural NeoNourish® seed oil blend to nourish skin as well.

 

 

All in all, I’m really happy with the Babyganics products! Last summer, I found their Insect Repellent and fell in love with it right away! But after trying all these products- it really makes me want to take a trip to Target and grab a few other of their products to try! So tell me this- do you use any Babyganics products in your home? What’s your favorite??? 🙂

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MommyCon Chicago- An Attendee’s Point of View

Earlier this month, I had the privilege to attend MommyCon Chicago! I traveled 6ish hours from Columbus- and it was SO worth it! This mama needed a vacation and I figured what better place than MommyCon?! I took Jackson with me and attended with my sister-in-law and nephew. While I wasn’t totally “child-free,” it was still a little freeing to get out of the house and have two children less for a few days! 😉 MommyCon Chicago was combined with WEAR this year- so we were looking forward to three days of the event!!!

 

We left Ohio Friday morning and made it with very little bumps in the road. We only stopped twice; once for lunch and once for gas. Can you believe we only stopped twice with TWO rambunctious toddlers? Yeah- I can’t either. But it worked out!!! We made it an hour before check-in, but Hilton was amazing and let us check-in early since our room was ready. After we got into the hotel room, we got ready and headed to MommyCon! Luckily, I really only wanted to attend one of the sessions on Friday and it was the last session of the day. After the session- I stopped at the MommyCon Shoppe and grabbed a new Milk & Milk & Milk shirt for Jackson!

Friday evening was the Wear Party presented by Abby’s Lane. Christy from Smartbottoms, Ula from Tula Baby, Julie from Cloth Diaper Geek and Stephanie from Abby’s Lane were on stage and spoke to the party-goers. It was hard to hear the amazing women on the stage, which was disappointing. But we all had a drink ticket, entered to win some prizes, and had some delicious food! (They served brownies, cookies, and a veggie tray with hummus!) Jackson enjoyed dancing to Miss Jamie’s music!

 

Saturday was the main event day! The exhibitor hall was full of amazing exhibitors and I picked up some amazing goodies! 😉 As a blogger for Cotton Babies, Jen Labit invited me up on stage during the mob party! I (unexpectedly) spoke to the attendee’s about why we started cloth diapering and why I started this blog. It was super exciting. I feel like I looked silly- my last “public speaking” was 8+ years ago in high school!

Also on Saturday, I took pictures with everyone I could! I love meeting new people and seeing my internet friends! Saturday felt really hectic so it was nice to be in the hotel connected to the convention center. I could go back to the room as I pleased to just decompress, grab a snack, etc.

 

Saturday night was a night to remember! I snatched tickets for the Tula Party! They did not disappoint- when using the #freetogrow on instagram, there was a printer printing out your photos! There was also an awesome green screen for pictures and they printed out those pictures right there as a souvenir! We were the first to see the upcoming release of the new Free to Grow Tula carriers and we were able to not only see them- but we could try them on as well! And did I mention…. open bar? Yeah. It was a phenomenal party! Perfect for a mom-cation! 😉

 

Sunday was our last day. The initial plan was that we would stay until giveaways that day- but it just didn’t work out. We were tired. And we didn’t pace ourselves well on Saturday. I attended a social media session with Xza and Mat York first thing in the morning and did a little bit more shopping. By that point, the toddlers were done. And the mamas were tired! Plus, add in the fact that we had a 6+ hour drive ahead of us…. it was just time to go. 🙁

 

MommyCon Chicago did not disappoint. Per the usual, we left with amazing freebies from sponsors and bags full of items that we purchased. I got to meet some of my new friends, take pictures with people I love talking with everyday, and got a weekend away. It was perfect. <3

 

 

*Want to see more pictures? Check out my instagram! I took so many pictures and don’t want to overwhelm this post with all of them! 😉

Thinking about attending MommyCon? Check out my “MommyCon 101” Page for tons of helpful tips and information- including a coupon code for your general admission ticket! 😉

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Baby Love – The Things You Never Knew You Wanted

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As Moms, we need to treat ourselves once in awhile. We deserve it. We are sustaining human life, and there is no job on earth that can come close to it. The sense of responsibility that we face on a daily basis is humongous, and there are few people that can relate well enough to the experience that you are going enough to appreciate it for what it is. Because they don’t appreciate it – if they’re going through it themselves, they’re having their own tough time.

They’re usually parents too.

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With Mother’s Day popping up around the corner, now is the time to lay down the foundations for things that you know that you really need … probably can’t justify, in some cases … but definitely really need.

 

New Bag

What’s a mom without a bag to carry around her life in? If you still haven’t upgraded from the nappy bag 4 years later, now is the time to indulge. There are so many great totes and generally big bags that are stylish too, you just have to have a look around and find one that suits your style. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you have to skimp on fashion if that’s what you were previously used to. Just incorporate it into your lifestyle!

 

To Perk You Up

Sometimes, we just need a good dose of caffeine to get us through. If you’re not quite Lorelai Gilmore in terms of how much and often you like your coffee but are still partial to the odd cup, there are some cool gadgets like the W&E cold brewer which will be able to give your drink just the kick it needs. Especially if you don’t have the time or the availability to drink coffee when it’s hot, why not drink it cold instead? It makes for a much safer option when you’re out and on the go with your little ones.

 

Give Me Glow

There are some things that no amounts of clean eating and water won’t fix on your face – but that’s where magical makeup steps in. There are some great combination foundations on offer currently that give you a mix of both moisturiser, concealer and the main foundation itself. Who was the genius who thought this up? It shaves quite a chunk off your morning routine (if you have the time for a routine), whilst giving you everything that you need.

 

Handmade Honeys

There are some things that money can’t buy, and that’s homemade treats off your little ones. With the rise of the Pinterest generation, there are so many ideas and tutorials for them to be able to make something that is fun for them and meaningful for you, so nudge your partner over to take a look. It can be anything from crafts to baked goods or even a handwritten poem. It doesn’t have to be over top; something small can mean the world to your little ones when they hand it over to you. The best gifts come from the heart.

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A Year to Remember

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Any birthday for your babies is an important milestone of their development (and yours as a parent), but their first is particularly special. It’s a testament to how you’ve been able to bring them up through arguably the most challenging year of their lives – and possibly yours too! With that in mind, here are some things to do to help take away memories of this special occasion.

 

Take Photographs

Your phone memory is probably full of all sorts of different photos of your baby, but try going old school and printing a few off to have in an album that you can get out and have a flick through whenever the mood strikes. You could look at hiring a photographer for a special shoot of them playing with their favourite toys or even doing an ever-popular cake smash. You can never take enough photos; each one tells a different story and captures a moment that can’t be replicated again. Get snap happy and make sure you get some good ones. If family and friends are visiting on their birthday, ask if you can get photos of them with your baby to look back on in years to come.

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Make a Memory Box

It’s not hard to create a memory box full of lovely things to do with your child in his or her first year of life – you may find that it’s actually overflowing by the end of it. You can find anything to go in – from the identity bands that they were issued in the hospital to the cards and tags from the presents that they have received. Add to it snips of wrapping paper that their presents came in on their first birthday and any special notes on tags that were with them. If you have had a cake, remember that sugar paste lasts for quite a while when dried out, so any cake toppers that may be adorning the centrepiece can be taken off and saved as a memento.

 

Create Finger Art

Not only is this fun to do, but it serves as a memory of how tiny their little fingers used to be when they start to grow up. There are so many different pictures that you can create using different body parts like their hands and feet. You don’t have to use paint if you don’t want to – putting down stickers inside the shape of a birthday-related object like a balloon or a cake can work just as well. Plus, this doesn’t just have to be for the children – if your child is having a birthday party, invite all of the guests to do a fingerprint and print it onto a piece of paper. You could have a tree or strings of balloons already put into place ready to create a montage of who was there at their special day. It’s relatively cheap to do but makes for a great lasting memory as well as a piece of art that can adorn their rooms for years to come.

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