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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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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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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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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The Curse Of Busy Families

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Thanks to long working hours and kids’ schedules, spending time together as a family is a heck of a lot more difficult today than it ever was in the past. Moms and dads have to fit everything in – including work dinners and afterschool clubs – and sometimes it can be difficult.

Excuses for not spending quality time together are easy to make, which is why so many parents aren’t spending enough time with their kids. But for kids to grow up feeling supported by their parents, family time is essential. Here is some stuff to do together as a family.

 

Get Outdoors

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Now that spring is finally upon us, the time has come to leave the iPads and the games consoles behind and get out in the real world, exploring what it has to offer. You and your family could go hiking in the forests, or you could go biking around the lakes in your local, national park. You could also take a trip to the beach, build sandcastles and chow down on coastal food.

Bring Out The Board Games

Board games like Monopoly and Kerplunk have been bringing families together for decades. But board games are also a great opportunity for you to teach your kids something new and challenge their intellect. Games like chess and Go are particularly effective when it comes to building their logic and planning skills and are fun to master.

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You can also engage in more active games, like creating a play or having a sing-along. Getting your children to practice storytelling helps them to have fun while developing their verbals skills.

Learn Something New

Learning something new is a great way for you and your families to expand your horizons together. There are all sorts of fun family activities where you can try something out for the first time. For instance, why not take the whole family to their first trampolining lesson and experience the thrills of bouncing ten feet in the air? An instructor will take you through the basics and make sure that you and your kids jump safely.

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There are other clubs you and your family could join en masse. Swimming clubs, tennis clubs, and even golf clubs all welcome families.

If you’re a musical family, you could all get together and practice in classes or in an orchestra.

Get Sucked Into A TV Series

When the TV series Lost first came to our screens back in 2005, it created waves. It was one of the most gripping dramas of its era and went on for nearly a dozen seasons. Since then, many other dramas have been created on a similar model, captivating audiences all over the world. Find an age-appropriate drama for the whole family to enjoy and get everyone to sit down and watch the show. Try to find something that is mentally stimulating that will generate conversation and back and forth between different family members.

You could also take the educational route, buying documentary series like Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth, or David Starkey’s Monarchy.

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What is it to be a Parent?

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Any two people can procreate; it takes something extra special to be a parent. Sometimes we find ourselves in the position where we’re going to be a parent, but we haven’t quite figured out what exactly that job means. Each and every parent bluffs it on occasion, because nobody has the answers. Yet there are some golden rules to being a parent that we should all follow. If we do, then our child is given the best possible start in life, and can go on to do great things. And in the end, isn’t that all that we want?

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Navigating Life

Do you ever walk down the street, meet a fellow adult, and think ‘now how did they end up so rude?’ It’s your job in life to make sure that nobody says that about your child. There are basic rules you’ll teach them about how to look after themselves and all the other obvious rules, but you’ll want to go further and teach them, in essence, how to be. It’s hard to say exactly how you’ll do this, but if you’re a pretty well-respected, well liked person, then you’ve probably got all the answers locked right inside of you!

Support for the Future

You’re there to give your children all they need to be a success in life, regardless of what happens. If the whole country should for some reason collapse, then no bother: you’re too well prepared and it won’t affect their future. Their lives aren’t in the hands of strangers; they’re in your hands. Take a look at select quote life insurance and they’ll be well taken care of even if the unthinkable happens. You’ll also be there to make sure they’re on top of everything that has to be taken care of, from helping them navigate the murky world of college applications to helping them prepare for interviews. And all without asking what’s in it for you. You’re the best.

 

Pushing to be the Best

Aside from the tools and rules to be all they can be, you’re also there to push them to be the absolute best version of themselves. You should inspire them. It sounds corny, but it’s true that we often hold ourselves back. We don’t dream big enough, and that’s one reason why people from certain backgrounds don’t become more. You should teach your child to really believe that if they want to be the first person to go to Mars, then that they should go ahead and do it.

 

A Responsible Adult

Being a parent isn’t just about how you interact with your child. It’s about how you interact with the wider world. You should be conscious of your impact on the planet, because it’s the world you’ll be leaving to your children and their children and so on. In the future, you want your children to be able to say that you did all you could to make the world a better place – and that’s something you’ll pass on to them too!

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Cloth Diaper Accessories: The Must-Have List

There are many cloth diaper accessories on the market. Some are more helpful than others while some are, in my opinion, a must-have. You can cloth diaper on the cheap without many of these amazing products but I personally love these 6 must have cloth diaper accessories because they make my life just a tad bit easier.

 

  • Diaper Sprayers
  • Spray Pal.
  • Smart Bottoms Wet Bags.
  • Fleece Liners.
  • Fresh Wave packs
  • Snappis

 

Diaper Sprayer

Cloth diapers are fun and all…. until the baby has peanut butter poop. Poop that just won’t plop off and is no longer exclusivly breastmilk poop needs a little something extra. For this- I love my diaper sprayer. There are many diaper sprayers on the market to choose from but we decided to go the DIY route and made a sprayer from the materials found at our local hardware store. It was pretty easy and it cost us about the half the price. (I would, however, purchase one next time.)

Spray Pal

I have done quite a few Spray Pal reviews in the past three years- because really, I have no idea if I’d still be cloth diapering without it. Spraying off the poop is a cloth diaper reality. Afterall, the first question people usually ask is, “What do you do with the poop?” For some people, this means dunk & swish. For others, this means having a designated poop scraper. For many, it’s the sprayer attached to the toilet. The sprayer can be a little messy so the Spray Pal saves my bathroom time after time.

 

Smart Bottoms Wet Bags

Smart Bottoms wet bags are truly my favorite of all the wet bags I’ve owned. They’re heavy duty and trap in the stinkiest of stinky diapers while we’re out and about. They’re the perfect size to use for a few hours out of the house or all day. I even use them for swim suits in the summer time!

 

Fleece Liners

Where have these been all my life?! I loathe stained diapers. It’s weird- I know. But I just am not a fan. But I’m also kind of lazy and don’t want to put in all the work of sunning my diapers either. Fleece liners are basically my best friends. I put these in all my natural fiber diapers (since those stain easier) and the poop is *mostly* contained on them. No poop on the diapers themselves means no stains on them! Score! Plus- They make it super easy to spray off of diapers that have flaps that don’t stay in place. Double score!!! 😉

 

Fresh Wave

Diapers stink. It doesn’t matter if you use disposable diapers or cloth diapers. They just stink. Fresh Wave odor eliminators remove the stink naturally. Instead of just covering the odor up, they get rid of it! It makes the room smell fresh. I use them in the bathroom and in the baby’s room. I also use the little packs between the cloth diaper pail and the liner and in the trash can between the can and the bag.

 

Snappi

I don’t use prefolds and covers very often- but when I do, I love my Snappis! They’re so much more convenient than trying to use diaper pins. But let me warn you- these suckers do hurt if you step on them…. Worse than a Lego. Prefolds with a Snappi and cover was my favorite option when Jackson was a newborn- as you can see tiny newborn chicken legs above. 😉

 

 

What are some of your “must have” cloth diaper accessories? Tell me in the comments below!

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Upspring Baby Products Review

As a MommyCon Parent Squad member, I received the opportunity to try some of the Upspring Baby products made for breastfeeding moms. Jackson is 15 months old and still nurses pretty regularly throughout the day and sometimes during the night. Throughout our breastfeeding journey, we’ve (luckily) had very little bumps along the way. At one point, I had doubts about my milk supply. At another point, I learned (rather quickly) that my breasts don’t respond well to pumping. Recently, I started to doubt my milk supply again- so these products arrived just in time!

 

Vitamins

Upspring sent me prenatal vitamins that you continue to take while breastfeeding. With these gummy vitamins, there’s also a softgel filled with Omega 3, DHA/EPA, and choline. These vitamins are non GMO, gluten free and have no artificial ingredients. I’m really terrible at remembering to take my vitamins, but these are seriously SO good- that I look forward to eating them. (I don’t know about you, but I’ve tasted some horrible gummy vitamins before!) I was prepared to hate them but the Mango-Peach flavor is just right.

 

Powder Drink Mixes

I also received samples of their Milkflow Fenugreek + Blessed Thistle Powder Drink Mixes. I received the Orange, Berry and Chocolate flavors. Here’s how they affected my milk supply:

On day one, I just received my package and couldn’t wait to try one. I also received a shaker bottle to mix it up quickly and easily. I went for the Berry flavor- because I just don’t think you can go wrong with berry drinks. I honestly really liked it. It smells a little weird- you definitely can smell the fenugreek! But it’s sweetness of the drink masks the flavor of the herbs. Pretty good! I couldn’t see much of a difference yet, but I was sure it took more than one drink to pep up my supply. That first night, I could tell a difference in my milk supply. It really felt like I had more milk. Jackson wasn’t fussing at me as much as usual and wasn’t unlatching like crazy, like he had been.

Throughout the past few weeks, I added the drink mixes into my water. (Or milk- the chocolate mix uses milk instead of water.) I have really noticed the affect on my milk supply. It’s been awhile since I would leak from the opposite side he was nursing on- but it has started happening even in the middle of the day. My opinion? They work! The Berry flavor is totally my favorite of the three choices. (Which, is also the only flavor conveniently sold at my local Target!)

 

Coconut Oil

Also in this Upspring goodie box, was coconut oil. Not just any kind of coconut oil but 100% Pure Virgin Coconut oil. It’s USDA certified organic and is lanolin, petroleum, paraben, gluten, and GMO free! We replaced lotion after bath on Jackson with this stuff- and it’s amazing! He smells good and his skin is so much softer! It’s also helped his eczema! I’ve also used it a few times on my lips since they’ve been extremely dry- darn Ohio weather! There are so many uses for coconut oil and I’m finding new uses for it every day.

 


Upspring also included Breastmilk Alcohol testing strips and Nipple Balm. While I haven’t been able to use them, I still thought I’d give you some information on them as they are great additions to any mama’s breastfeeding supplies!

 

Nipple Balm

Nursing can be so tough on our nipples. I don’t know how I would have continued breastfeeding without nipple balm. I have not had the opportunity to use this specific nipple balm, but I would definitely keep it around if I need it in the future! 😉

This nipple balm is made with beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, shea butter, cocoa seed butter, calendula flower extract, and rosemary seed extract. All these ingredients are natural and 100% organic. No need to wipe off before nursing baby again!

You can also use the nipple balm as a lip balm, dry skin moisturizer, ointment for cuts and scraps, and so much more!

 

Breastmilk Alcohol Test Strips

While studies have shown that some alcohol consumption while breastfeeding is okay, some mothers don’t want to chance the slightest amount of alcohol in their breastmilk. Upspring created these handy test strips that take just a few drops of breastmilk. You can either drip a few drops onto the strip or dip the strip into a small container of breastmilk. Within 2 minutes, you’ll have a result of whether or not there is alcohol detected in your breastmilk. I have found these at my local Target store- and they’re available online.

 

 

All in all, I highly recommend all of these products from Upspring! A huge thank you to MommyCon and Upspring for sending me the package to review! My milk supply, my toddler, and I thank you!!! <3

 

 

 

*Please note: I did receive these goodies in order to conduct the review. No other compensation was made. My opinions are 100% my own.

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MommyCon Q&A

 

How much money should I bring with me?

This greatly varies from person to person. Some people will walk in and not spend a penny. Others, could spend $500+. Make yourself a budget- do you cloth diaper? Will you want to buy a baby carrier? Will you want to buy a new diaper bag? Put a little wiggle room in your budget for new items that maybe you’ve never seen before. A lot of vendors also have MommyCon exclusive items so keep that in mind. You may find something you love that you can ONLY get at MommyCon!

 

How many diapers should I bring?

MommyCon has teamed up with Babyganics to have diapers and wipes available in the changing areas. Diapers are available in various sizes. Many parents bring a handful of their own diapers and then use the Babyganics diapers throughout the day as well. Last year, I mostly used the Babyganics diapers with a Flip cover on top, just in case since we cloth diaper 95% of the time. However, keep in mind that this is supposed to be a secondary option- not all you should use for diapering your baby during the event!

 

Are tickets sold at the door?

No. Most of the time, the event sells out. Don’t plan on being able to purchase a ticket the day of the event. Plan ahead and get your ticket weeks in advance so you don’t miss out! (Use the code FLUFFBUM17 for $5 off your general admission ticket. Combine it with the social share option at checkout for a total of $7 off your ticket purchase!)

 

What should I bring?

Bring your bump, your baby, your toddler, or your child. Don’t forget the things they’ll need throughout the day- but try to keep it light! It gets crowded, especially in the exhibitor hall. And you’ll have enough to carry between the goodie bag and the items you also purchase. Plan ahead and maybe bring a reusable tote to carry your purchases in as well! I also recommend bringing along a phone charger or one of those portable chargers. I use my phone so much during an event between taking pictures, looking up companies’ social media sites, and checking in the MommyCon hashtags to see what everyone else is doing!

I’m done with the baby phase- is MommyCon for me?

Check your event’s schedule to really decide. While there are products there for toddlers and older children, MommyCon focuses more on newborn to age 5. The sessions and exhibitors vary from event to event. Some sessions that are scheduled for MommyCon Chicago that I think any mother would enjoy include everything from Vagina Village, Angel Laketa Moore’s “Fall in Love with You,” “Redefining Motherhood” with Amy Appleton and Ilana Grostern, and the “Loss Mama Sanctuary” with Ambyr Amen-Ra- if that applies to you.

Does my child need a ticket?

Children under 16 years of age do not need a ticket when attending with an adult! Bring along your newborn, infant, toddler, school age kid, teenager or leave them at home and enjoy mom’s day out!

 

What time should I show up?

Come about 15-30 minutes before the event’s start time. There will be a line for registration! Be prepared with a print-out of your ticket or will it pulled up on your smartphone! This will help the line move a little faster. Be aware that the exhibitor hall will not open until the event’s start time so you may have a few minutes of waiting.

Can I bring items to donate?

YES! Cotton Babies’ cloth diaper bank, Share the Love, will have a box for cloth diaper donations and The Carrying On Project will have a place for baby carrier donations! Share the Love provides cloth diapers to families who could not otherwise afford them, and the Carrying On Project provides baby carriers to military families. They both accept new and used items.

 

How do we sign up for sessions?

All the awesome sessions you see in the schedule is included in your general admission ticket! No need to sign up unless it’s a special event that requires RSVP. Just show up to the room at the time of the session and find a seat!

 

 

Have any additional questions? Check out the other posts on the MommyCon 101 page or ask them in the comments below! Enjoy MommyCon!!!!! 🙂

 

 

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4 Simple Reasons We Eat Dinner Together 


You could say we’re “old fashioned” when it comes to dinnertime. A majority of our dinners are homemade and we eat together at the dining room table every night. (Sure, there’s an occasional “eat wherever you want” but it’s few and far between.) Here are 4 reasons we eat dinner together as a family:


Healthier Meals.

I’m sure this isn’t the biggest reason why we eat dinner as a family- but as a family of 5 on a budget, it helps. Homemade meals are much healthier than buying take-out regularly. Sure, there are nights that we buy take-out AND eat together but it’s still few and far between. Plus: Healthier foods equal healthier kids.

 

Communication.

Now that the older two kids are in school, sometimes our dinnertime is the only time we can really sit down and talk about our day. I love listening about what’s going on at school and what they’re learning. They always have the best stories to tell us and we usually end up laughing more than eating! 
 

Unplug for 20 minutes.

My husband and I have a rule- no phones at the table. If someone calls us, texts, or emails us… they just have to wait until we’re done. This time is 100% for us as a family. We want zero interruptions in our time together. 
 

Teach manners.

Table manners are important to us too. We started teaching them to the girls pretty early. Some family members think we’re just mean- but I’m pretty proud to be raising little ladies that have good table manners. How can you teach good table manners when your kids aren’t eating at the table? 
Do you make it a point to have a meal with your family at the table regularly? What’s your biggest reason? Comment below and let’s talk about it! 🙂  

 

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Why I Love Target- The #MomLife Addiction

It’s true- I’m addicted to Target. You’ll find me browsing around the store maybe two or three times a week. Why? Well- Because it’s the magical land of the basic stay-at-home-mom. You might think I’m joking. But this is serious. I really do love Target.

10 reasons we’re all a little (or a lot) addicted to Target:

It’s basically the SAHM meeting ground. I meet up with a couple other moms for “Target dates” a few times a week. Other than hanging out with my husband after he comes home from work, this is sometimes my only other form of adult interaction.

Starbucks. I basically function on caffeine at this point. With three kids, I’m not allowed to sleep through the night. One of them is always waking me up. Starbucks in the store makes it much more worth it for me to go to Target. Plus- I earn free Starbucks because of the Starbucks rewards program!

The dollar section. Well, not everything a dollar anymore. All the items in Bullseye’s Playground is between $1 and $5. It’s super rare that I don’t have at least one product from that area. You can find holiday décor, arts and crafts, party supplies, gift wrap, toys for kids, candy. So much to choose from!!!

Baby Nap. Jackson gets some of his best naps during our Target trips. He usually ends up driving me crazy in the cart so he ends up in a baby carrier on my back. Within a few minutes, he falls asleep. Of course, this doesn’t happen every time. But it’s still a perk when it does! 😉

Cartwheel. If you haven’t heard of the Cartwheel app, then you’re seriously missing out. You can find a lot of instant coupons on your phone in this app. I save a good amount of money using it!

The atmosphere. I swear they have to be pumping something into the air in Target. It almost makes me instantly happy walking through those doors. It could be because I’m a shopaholic. Or it could be the air. Ehhhh. Whichever it is, it’s fine for me.

Clearance. Let’s be honest- Target makes it super easy to find clearance items. Again, I usually end up with at least one clearance item in my cart. I’ve found some pretty good deals through the years!

Price matching. Did you know that Target will price match? Yep. I went to purchase a new cup for Jackson and it was $3 cheaper on Amazon prime. I really didn’t want to wait 2 days for the cup so I went to customer service. They price matched it quickly and easily! I got the Amazon Prime price but that day. Oh and I got to use the next reason I love Target…..

RED Card. My RED card makes me so happy. It’s a debit card attached to my bank account. Every time I use it, I automatically get 5% off. I can also use it to get free shipping with that 5% discount on target.com. Sure, 5% doesn’t sound like a whole lot…. but using it with the Cartwheel app, printable coupons on their site, manufacturer coupons, clearance- all that savings really adds up!!!!

Awesome Stuff! You see that amazing sweatshirt and giant coffee mug in the picture above? Yeah. Those are Target purchases. Basically the best coffee mug and sweatshirt I’ve ever purchased. I love Target. <3

 

 

BONUS. I’m raising little Target lovers as well. Baileigh loves Target just as much as I do. I see this as both a good thing…. and a problem. 😉 She asks me to take her to Target multiple times a week. Thank goodness she goes to school through the week so she only goes once. Because she talks me into things like little hats:

 

 

 

*This is not a Sponsored post. At all. I received no compensation for posting how much I love shopping at Target. However, there are some affiliate links throughout the post to help make a tad bit of $$$$ to keep this website going.*

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