How to Make Feeding Your Baby Less Messy, and a Few Tips on Stains

Messy BabyJust when your baby moves from milk or formula only to enjoying some solid foods in the diet, the diaper duty seems to change for the better. Don’t get too excited though. You’ll just find yourself scrubbing something else off of all those little tiny clothes. Baby food gets everywhere, so you may need to get creative with removing stains—or preventing them. Here are a few tips to make feeding the baby less messy when you move to solid foods, resulting in fewer pieces of clothing to scrub each time you do the laundry.

Try these helpful tips to keep the baby food in your child’s mouth and not all over his clothing!

Choose a bib with more coverage. Bibs that fasten with Velcro sometimes have more coverage for the shoulders, minimizing the food mess when baby turns her head.

Choose bibs that wash easily and dry quickly, like waterproof bibs. You don’t want to spend your time scrubbing cloth bibs instead of clothes!

Look for bibs with pockets to help protect your baby’s lap from dropped food or liquid.

Push or roll up your baby’s sleeves to protect the cuffs from inevitably going into baby’s mouth.

Feed smaller bites. Less food on the spoon is more forgiving if your accuracy is a bit off due to a turning head or other sudden movement.

Baby Gear brand and Cutie Pie brand both make baby bibs that have good coverage, a generous pocket, and waterproof material that washes up amazingly well and also dries quickly. I highly recommend these girls’ and boys’ waterproof bibs for babies of all ages but especially for those now enjoying solids. The bibs I purchased have pink puppies and cookies patterns on them, and I love them so much. Amazon shows the Dex Baby Dura Bib Big Mouth as very highly rated for baby feedings as well.

If you do continue to find stains on your little one’s clothes, you can try Dreft stain spray or a gentle mix of dish soap and water to remove most stains. And, if your little one isn’t on solid baby foods yet, you might still be battling with messy diaper explosions. Stains from baby’s number 2 diapers are easily cleaned with Dreft baby stain spray and allowing the stained clothing to sit in the sunlight for a few hours. Try it—you might be surprised!

Put these few tips in practice and you should notice fewer items to scrub when tossing baby clothes in the laundry. If you have additional tips, please share them in our comments below. Good luck!

 

 

Links:

Boy bibs: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002GCEMCM/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002GCEMCM&linkCode=as2&tag=llb-baby-20

Girl bibs: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002GIUUIQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002GIUUIQ&linkCode=as2&tag=llb-baby-20

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009PPBU2S/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009PPBU2S&linkCode=as2&tag=llb-baby-20

Dex:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005M4SKI8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005M4SKI8&linkCode=as2&tag=llb-baby-20

 

 

 

Valentine’s Gifts to Daddy from his Little Girl

No bond comes close to the special relationship between a little girl and her daddy. Even from her earliest months before her first birthday, you can see the sparkle in her eyes as she looks at him or when he makes her laugh. Celebrate this special love by helping your daughter choose a Valentine’s gift for her daddy that he will cherish for years to come. Consider these Valentine’s gifts for dad from his daughter to make sure your entire family has a special time this February 14.

No matter what your budget, you can find or create lovely Valentine’s Day gifts for daddy, even at the last minute.

Valentine’s Gifts from Infant Daughter to Daddy
A little baby may not know how to gift her dad a gift this Valentine’s Day, aside from a sweet smile or a loving look, but you as mom can give her the help she needs to give dad a very special gift. Consider these Valentine’s Day gifts to dad from a baby daughter:

* Handmade Valentine – Get out the construction paper, lace, glue, paint, and glitter, and have fun. You can put your little daughter’s handprint or footprint on a paper heart and decorate it for your husband to mark your baby’s first Valentine’s Day. Don’t forget to put the date and sign her name!

* Salt Dough Handprint or Footprint in a heart – Use a basic salt dough recipe and a large heart cookie cutter (or carve a heart with a dull knife). Gently press your baby’s handprint or footprint into the dough and use a toothpick or other small implement to add her name and the date. Bake as directed. Once cooled, paint however you like and seal with Modge Podge. Consider inserting a paper clip before baking if you would like to allow your heart to hang, or leave it as is for a paperweight style heart.

Valentine’s Gifts from Toddler or Young Daughter to Daddy

Toddlers and little ones get into everything! Take advantage of that and make her daddy’s Valentine’s Day a special one with some irreplaceable memories. Here are some gift ideas from a toddler girl to her daddy on Valentine’s Day:

* Handmade Valentine – Let your daughter make her own Valentine with any craft supplies you both so desire. Help her to cut and glue, but let her design everything the way she wants it. Help her to sign her name and take a picture of her holding it up, for a special bonus to the gift.

* Make a Video – Have your daughter do something cute or funny and make a video of it on your phone or Flip Video camera. You and her daddy both will love having this special footage years from now.

* Finger Paint Picture – Let your little daughter make her daddy a picture of her choosing using a fun craft supply like finger paint. Be sure to help her sign her name.

* Cookies – What dad doesn’t love cookies? Make some homemade chocolate chip cookies or other favorites with your daughter and help her wrap them up for Dad. You may have to do most of the work, but let her add the sprinkles or sugar sparkles on top so he can see right away that she helped.


Top 10 Mommy Meals to Make in 10 Minutes or Less

Mommy meals in 10 minutes or lessAs a relatively new mom, I’ve come to realize that even the best intentions don’t get things done around my house all the time. Sometimes the laundry suffers, sometimes the dishes, sometimes everything around me looks like a tornado tore through my home. I’m sure I’m not alone on this. I can’t tell you how many times it gets to be 2, 3, or even 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I haven’t eaten lunch yet. I think those days occurred more frequently when my daughter was younger, but now that she’s crawling and sitting unsupported, I find it a little easier to make up a snappy lunchtime meal in 10 minutes or less.

In thinking about it, I realized other new moms, and moms of more than one child, might be able to benefit from some Quick Chef ideas. So, my friends, here you have it – my favorite 10 mommy meals to make in 10 minutes or less. Enjoy!

Leftovers – It probably goes without saying, but if you have a feeling you won’t have time to make yourself a decent lunch, just cook a little more for dinner a few times per week. You can have leftovers with just about anything you make, but my favorite leftover dishes are any kind of pasta bake like lasagna, baked ziti, macaroni and cheese, and other things like Stromboli, stir fry, or whatever your favorite meals are. My other favorite leftovers tip is when you are having meat, especially chicken, ham, or some kind of steak, get ready to use those leftovers in a nice mommy meal as outlined in my other favorites below…

Gourmet Salad – If you don’t mind the bagged variety, you can eat healthy and instantly. Save some leftover chicken, steak, ham, or even salmon or shrimp from the previous night’s dinner and top your salad off with a few strips of that yummy protein, sliced hard-boiled egg, shredded cheese, and some bacon bits (we keep a jar of real bacon bits in our fridge). I occasionally also top my salads with walnuts or pecans and dried cranberries or Craisins. Yum! Top with your favorite dressing. You can alternate between house salad, Caesar salad, and some variety of a chopped or wedge salad if you like. Plus, a few meals of salad each week should help you get back to your preferred weight, if you haven’t already.

Oatmeal – Oatmeal is one of the quickest meals you can make, especially if you pop it in the microwave. Add Craisins or other dried fruit, a little sugar or brown sugar, and I even throw in some mini chocolate chips from time to time. This fast mommy meal makes a great breakfast or brunch item, but I just had it for lunch a few days ago.

Omelet – I am not big on scrambled eggs, but I do like a nice turkey, bacon, and cheese omelet done MY way. I like to use those little egg and pancake molds that you can find in just about any cool kitchen store, or online at places like Amazon. (Added bonus—your kids will love pancakes shaped like hearts and flowers!) I simply add some leftover turkey or deli turkey / lunchmeat, some of the aforementioned bacon bits, and top with a slice of provolone cheese. You can make your omelet YOUR way as a great breakfast, brunch, or even lunch idea in just a few minutes.

Tuna Melt – Simple and yummy – top an English muffin or half of a plain bagel with your choice of tuna and a slice of your favorite cheese. (You can add shredded cheese instead if you prefer.) Pop it into the oven at about 350 for 7 or 8 minutes or so, or until desired doneness. As a special tip, you can do this if you have other foods on hand as well, like a chicken melt, turkey melt, ham and cheese melt, etc. Enjoy!

5 More Mommy Meals…

© Garuti | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos


Pregnancy Testing for Gestational Diabetes

DoctorI recently welcomed a daughter and while I was pregnant, I worried a little bit about the glucose test for gestational diabetes. I was a little bit nervous about getting tested for diabetes while pregnant. I worried that I might have a false positive, or that the glucose test would make me feel sick, or that the sugary drink would be disgusting. I am glad to share my pregnancy diabetes experience for anyone else who is feeling this way.

Leading up to the test, I ate a half an English muffin with cream cheese, a fried egg, and some breakfast meat, I can’t remember what – maybe ham or Canadian bacon. I am pretty sure I only drank water. I got to the appointment and had the initial blood work done, and it was pretty uneventful. I didn’t look. Then I had to drink this juice bottle that honestly didn’t taste much different than if you added a bunch of extra sugar in a batch of KoolAid.

During the waiting period, I asked if I could step outside for some fresh air. I made a few phone calls and paced around the parking lot. I don’t know if this impacted my results, but it made me feel better. The office was very stuffy and I was dressed too warm for that. They say if you puke, you have to do it all over again, so I didn’t want to chance that!

Honestly, everything went fine for me with my pregnancy, including that test. I got my results back and I passed with flying colors. A (relatively) healthy diet and exercise seemed to do the trick for me. Although, I did eat my fair share of donuts and chocolate chip muffins while pregnant. Yum!

Diabetes isn’t something to mess around with, especially when you are pregnant. This disease often causes a number of symptoms like excessive thirst and frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, changes in vision, increased tiredness, extremely dry skin, to name a few. In pregnancy, you may already be experiencing frequent urination, increased tiredness, and other symptoms, which is why it is a great idea to have this gestational diabetes test done. If you experience these or any other unusual symptoms, you should be sure to make a doctor’s appointment so you can get yourself checked for diabetes and other serious conditions.

Do you have any experiences to share in being tested for gestational diabetes? Did you pass or fail? Did anyone have to go back for the three-hour test? Please share your experiences and memories in our comments below.

 

Six Holiday Traditions to Try with Your Family

Christmas cookiesIt’s hard to believe Christmas is almost here. So many things on our to-do lists remind us daily that we’ve got a lot to do before the holiday arrives, from shopping and wrapping to baking, sending out Christmas cards, replying to holiday party invites, setting up the Christmas tree, decorating, and more. If you’ve already done some or all of this, you are definitely ahead of the game.

Despite all these holiday “chores,” it can be fun to have a few family traditions when it comes to the holidays. You and your loved ones can find a great number of holiday traditions to enjoy, with many that don’t cost much at all to do. Consider these suggestions for six holiday traditions to try with your family or significant other this year.

1. Bake Christmas cookies together.

2. Drive around to look at the holiday lights in your neighborhood.

3. Take a family photo for your holiday card.

4. Make a handmade Christmas ornament. (When you have a young baby, consider making a handprint or footprint ornament!)

5. Get your kids’ or pets’ picture with Santa Claus.

6. Spend Christmas morning at your own home so your kids can enjoy the magic of Christmas.

Christmas tree

Depending on your family’s favorite things and the neat holiday attractions near your home, you might find other holiday traditions to add to this list. You may also wish to set out cookies and milk for Santa with your kids after hanging your stockings by the fireplace with care. You might also want to visit a special holiday attraction if you live near such a thing, or simply enjoy Christmas breakfast as a family every year.

If you plan to split up the holiday with your family and your in-laws, you might want to factor in traditions for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, or the weekend before or the weekend after Christmas. Talk with your spouse or significant other about ideas you might have for a fun holiday tradition to try.

What other ideas do you have for a holiday tradition, or what traditions do you and your family enjoy year after year? Please share them in our comments below.

 

Tips on Surviving a Teething Baby

Baby smileJust when you think you’ve finally got this “being a parent” thing down, your baby throws you a curveball. She’s no longer sleeping through the night. She wakes you up three, four, five times, screaming, crying, just wanting to be held. You can tell something’s wrong but she isn’t able to tell you what. You check for a tooth. Again. Three, four, and five times a day. Still nothing. You see if she’s hungry, check her diaper. Nothing. It’s got to be the teeth. Sound familiar? I am going through it, too.

Our daughter is a very happy baby, at least most of the time. She’s been sleeping through the night since she was two and a half months old, what a blessing. Over the past week, she’s decided to stop sleeping through the night and wakes up crying or screaming as if in pain. As soon as we pick her up, she seems to go back to sleep, but once she feels us set her back down, all bets are off.

So how do you deal with a teething baby? We’ve been to the doctor and back and received a few recommendations on teething remedies. If your baby is teething too, try chilled teethers or water-filled teethers that you can put in the refrigerator to get nice and cool. You can hold them for her to help your baby learn to chew on them for some numbing relief. The pediatric nurse also said freezing a washcloth and letting the little ones chew on that can help to ease the discomfort of their teething gums.

Another mom I met a few months ago preferred natural teething remedies and had purchased a Baltic amber teething necklace for her daughter. She sang its praises, not truly sure why it worked, but sure that it did, in fact, ease her daughter’s teething pain. Some other teething baby remedies may include massaging the infant’s gums with your finger, or a product called the “Molar Muncher” for older babies and toddlers getting their back teeth.

Baby boy napping

Baby teething toys may be helpful in soothing and distracting from the sore gums. One thing to be wary of is anything medicated that you would topically apply to your baby ’s gums. I recently read a story about Baby Oragel where the numbing effect actually caused the infant to stop breathing for a short while, his face blue and all. It’s a terrifying thought, so be sure to check with your child’s doctor to be on the safe side.

If you start to notice the signs of a teething infant, be sure to speak with your pediatrician for advice on your son’s or daughter’s own teething needs. The good news is I’ve heard the first tooth is the worst. We are still waiting on our little girl to cut the first one, so we’ll believe it when we see it. Best of luck to all other moms and dads in getting through this trying phase!

 

Top 10 Christmas Activities to Enjoy with Your Family (Without Snow)

The winter season typically brings cold weather and shorter days with daylight transitioning into nighttime earlier than usual. Still, the wintertime invites us to enjoy a number of fun family activities despite the cold. Some snow activities may be fun if you already have the weather for it, but if you are still waiting for that great snowfall, consider these fun and festive winter activities for families.

Remember, family activities don’t have to cost a lot of money. You can find a number of lower budget plans or even free ideas for your family to enjoy this winter. Here are our top 10 winter activities for families:

1. Skating – Whether you choose an ice rink with public skate or a completely frozen pond to play a little family friendly game of ice hockey, ice skating is a fantastic family activity you can enjoy year after year.

2. Checking out the Christmas Lights – Take a drive or a short stroll through your neighborhood to look at the holiday displays around your town. Have each person pick a favorite house.

3. Holiday shopping – Go out shopping as a family to ensure everyone marks off their Christmas lists. Split up in a store or two if you need to shop for someone in your family without them seeing their presents.

4. Christmas cookie bake-off – No holiday tradition tastes as good as making homemade Christmas cookies as a family.

5. Get a family portrait – It may seem like a hassle, but years from now you will cherish the family holiday portraits you’ve gotten over the years.

6. Attend a holiday festival – Look at the local paper or online resources to find holiday festivals near you or take a little drive to somewhere you used to go as a child. As one example, Hershey Park is an amusement park in Pennsylvania that puts on a great holiday display called “Candy Lane” during the holiday season.

7. Ride the Christmas Train – Some towns have a holiday train ride, or Santa train, where you can bring your children for a fun experience they will remember for a lifetime.

8. Write a letter to Santa – Have your kids write letters to Santa and help them mail them to the North Pole. Do this far enough in advance that they may get a response in time for Christmas! Here are some ideas to get you started.

9. Make your own Christmas ornaments – You can make handprint and footprint ornaments with your little ones, or have older children paint Christmas balls or craft other decorations. These will make lovely gifts for family and friends!

10. Play Christmas music, decorate the tree, drink hot chocolate, and eat cookies – Does it get any better than this? You might also want to consider picking out a Christmas tree if your family opts for a live tree each year. You can have so much fun as a family, setting up the tree, decorating, and enjoying a festive snack.

Our minds are still swirling with other activities to enjoy as a family this holiday season. You can make handmade cards with the kids, or host a holiday party, visit lonely neighbors or elderly folks, or donate food to food pantries or gifts to Toys for Tots or other similar programs. Teaching your children while they are young, that Christmas is also a season of giving, can go a long way toward their future goodhearted efforts this time of year.

What other ideas do you have as far as family activities to enjoy in the winter? Please leave your favorite suggestions in our comments below. Happy Holidays!

 

How to Ensure Your Pet Dog Feels Loved Despite a New Baby in the House

Tips for showing your dog love when you bring home a new babyMy husband and I partially think of our pet dog as our first child. She came to us as a baby puppy and we trained her to behave, to learn commands, and even to know a fairly extensive vocabulary. She is our companion at home and even on some of our vacations. We love her and think of her as 100% part of our family. Of course, now that our daughter is here, our pup takes a back seat sometimes. Sometimes her wants and needs are satisfied a few minutes later than they did previously. Sometimes she doesn’t get the same amount of attention as she used to get. Regardless, we do everything we can to ensure our dog knows just how much she is loved.

When you bring a new baby home, your life can turn upside-down in more ways than one. Sleep schedules are off, eating may consist of lots of takeout and anything else you can find in the cupboards and freezer…. Your dog may immediately sense that something is different. He or she may make an additional effort to spend more time with you, practically on top of you, even, showering you with more love and affection than ever before.

Training a dog with a new baby in the houseOur dog is a border collie and obviously loves to play, so she always has a toy of some kind in her mouth or nearby. It gets a bit dangerous when get gets underfoot with her ball, especially when I am carrying the baby. It makes me nervous, but I am careful not to scold her, as I know she just wants the attention and wants to be loved as much as she was before the baby came. We are very careful with keeping the ball out of reach when we are not actively playing with it, for our own safety and our daughter’s.

Here are some things you can do to help your dog remain a very important part of the family despite you and your spouse having your attention pulled in new directions:

· Maintain a special routine of playtime with the dog, either in the morning or in the afternoon or early evening after work.

· Give your dog treats and practice his or her tricks on a daily basis. Even for just a moment or two, this kind of attention can go a long way.

· Make the time to sit on the floor and pet your dog or hold him or her in your lap. Our dog is medium sized, about 40 pounds, but she still loves to pretend she is a lap dog.

· Do things together with the dog and the baby. Go for walks around the neighborhood or over to the park.

Tips for showing your dog love when you bring home a new baby· Teach your infant to love the dog, too. Practice gently petting the dog’s head or back. (Be sure your dog is friendly and would never bite your child. Avoid leaving the baby alone with the dog just to be safe.)

· Play fetch with the dog and encourage your child to watch as the dog retrieves the toys and comes running back to you. You’re sure to see your little one break into huge smiles in no time!

Remember, your pet may feel a little out of place or a bit replaced, so it is important to make that extra effort to show your pet you still care very much. Rather than shooing the dog away when he or she wants to play but you feel too busy, take a moment to toss the ball or scratch him behind the ears. Your pup may be feeling a little bit left out right now, but just wait until your son or daughter is big enough to run around and play. You can definitely look forward to those days and how cute they will be, playing together. Of course, your dog probably wouldn’t understand even if you tried to explain it, but the shared joy will be well worth the wait.

Photos © Gruja_digital_rebel / © Paha_l, respectively. | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

 

Baby Teething Accessories – Molar Muncher and Lansinoh MOmma Teether

Basket Baby by Beatricekillam on http://www.stockfreeimages.com/Teething can start almost any time after about three months with most infants. Some babies start teething as early as age three months while others may not get their first teeth until even after their first birthday. Many times babies will start teething around four months or upward of seven months. Regardless of when your child starts teething, it is a great idea to have teething toys and accessories on hand to help soothe your little one’s sore mouth and gums.

No matter what baby store you check, you will find dozens of different baby teethers to help relieve your infant’s discomfort related to the new baby teeth coming in. One of the most important considerations is probably to ensure any teethers you buy or receive as a gift are free from BPA or other chemicals. If you are still in need of a teether for your baby, you can look into those that are meant to be refrigerated and those that aren’t, depending on your preferences.

mOmma Teether (Gino)The mOmma Teether (Gino) is a colorful yellow ducky that is shaped like a ring with a head and two wings. The ducky is filled with water, making it perfect for chilling or freezing to help soothe your little one’s gums. The duck’s head is a somewhat hard plastic, but the body, which makes up the bulk of this teether, is soft and rubbery with a fair amount of give, making this a nice teething aid for your child. The mOmma Teether (Gino) also has some different nubbies, which add to the texture of the teething toy and help to massage sore gums.

This ducky teether helps to soothe pain from teething for babies aged six months and up. It is easy to hold and stays cool long enough to hold your baby’s interests and help your baby ease the pain of teething. This teether retails for about $5.99. The mOmma Teether is BPA free and available as a duck, penguin, or walrus. Distributed by Lansinoh Laboratories and hailing from Italy, mOmma products are designed as a developmental line of items for baby, boasting different colors, shapes, styles, and more. For more information, visit www.mommatechnology.com.

Molar Muncher

The Molar Muncher is an inventive way to help your baby relieve pain caused by teething. While this is not a water-filled teether, the clever design – much like a pacifier, binky, or dummy, whatever your preferred term – makes this teether enticing as well as familiar to most infants. This item is BPA-free and recommended by pediatricians and pediatric dentists. One of the most impressive qualities of the Molar Muncher is that it is designed to soothe the entire gum line simultaneously. This teether is seamless with a single piece construction. It has no cracks for germs to hide, and it is totally dishwasher safe.

The Molar Muncher is made of medical grade nontoxic silicone. It is designed to prevent tooth displacement and it is suitable for all stages of teething. This teether is hands-free and lightweight so your little one can use it while they play, and it won’t cause nipple confusion since it is a totally different shape. Although there is no water inside this teether, you can still chill it in the fridge to give your baby even more relief. The Molar Muncher retails for $12.99. For additional information or to buy this product, check out www.molarmuncher.com.

I received one of each of these baby teething products for the purpose of this review. They both have traits that seem especially valuable in placating a teething infant. If you have other tips on soothing a baby that is teething, please share them in our comments below.

 

Gorgeous and Timeless Baby Fashions for Little Girls and Little Boys – Miniclasix and Pediped Review

PedipedBaby clothes can sometimes be so cute you can’t help yourself when it comes to picking out a new outfit, or five. Whether you have a little girl, a little boy, or more than one kid in tow, the fashions for babies and toddlers are getting cuter by the minute. Gorgeous and timeless, classic baby clothes are a great way to show off your own sense of style through your adorable princess or your handsome little man.

Spend even just five minutes online and you are sure to be overwhelmed with the vast array of cute baby clothes, shoes, and accessories. You can easily spend just as much, if not more, on your baby’s wardrobe than your own. You might even spend more time picking out fashions for your little one. The latest clothes and shoes for baby are just too cute to pass up!

In a recent quest to find some of the most beautiful and handsome fashions of the season for little girls and guys, I was introduced to the brand Miniclasix. I received a generous selection of baby and toddler clothes from Miniclasix, an extraordinary brand of baby and kid clothing that is sold in better department stores and specialty shops across the U.S. First off, Miniclasix designs absolutely stunning dresses and outfits for little girls. Take a look through their collections and you may find yourself dreaming up all the special places you can go and things you can do with your little girl all dolled up in their beautiful clothes. I received two dresses from Miniclasix and I am absolutely in love with both.

Ivory Crochet DressThe Ivory Crochet Dress with Tulle Skirting and matching Crochet Cardigan, both from the Tea Party collection, are really too precious for words. Honestly, if it came in my size, I think I would want to wear it too. This frilly dress is too gorgeous with its delicately crocheted neckline, sleeves, and bodice, and the sweet tulle skirt completes the look. The crochet work is beautiful beyond words on both the dress and the cardigan. It has a delicate beauty all its own, drawing the eye to the pattern of the threads as they come together and move apart.

Our daughter Natalie actually wore this dress the day of her Baptism – it was the dress we changed her into for the reception, since it was about 97 degrees in the church with no air conditioning on such a hot summer day. Everyone adored the dress and asked us where we had ever found it. I was proud to tell them all about Miniclasix. In fact, I would even recommend this lovely ivory crochet dress as a Baptism gown for your little girl if you are in need of one. The set also comes with a panty / diaper cover, and the cardigan comes with a little baby hat. This gown comes in sizes ranging from 3 to 24 months, and the matching cardigan comes in 0 to 24 months.

Netting Tutu Dress & Panty SetI also received a beautiful pink frilly dress, the Netting Tutu Dress & Panty Set from the Calypso collection. This is a bright salmon pink tank dress with a tutu skirt. The cotton bodice is very smooth, soft, and even a bit stretchy. This pretty in pink dress comes with its own bloomers or panty. The skirt of the dress is very well designed – it has a bottom tier of the cotton fabric and two upper tiers of ruffled tulle, giving it so much volume and dimension. Every stitch in the whole dress seems to be precisely in its place. I believe the quality of the Miniclasix products reaches far beyond many other baby clothes you would find in similar styles.

By the way, the perfect complement to such pretty dresses would be adorable little shoes. I would suggest pediped as a fabulous creator of top quality, beautiful shoes for kids. The pediped Originals Abigail Shoe in pink is a perfect example of a girl’s shoe that would suit either of the dresses above. These too-cute pink shoes are made from real, genuine leather and feature impressive stitching around the soles (hand-stitched!) as well as gorgeous flower designs on the uppers. I received a pair of these pink Abigail shoes from pediped for the purpose of review. They are a size x-small, 0-6 months, but my daughter has small feet and it is killing me waiting for her to fit into them!

Regardless, I want to go on about the quality of these cute pink baby shoes. These pink Mary Janes are so sweet with their two-tone pink flowers, one whole and one half shown on the shoe. The little ankle strap has plenty of Velcro so you can adjust the shoes as needed. The pediped Originals line is recommended by podiatrists and pediatricians because these shoes have soft soles that mimic barefoot walking. The shoes also feature a little ankle cushion. The interior of the shoe is very soft and the entire shoe – upper, lining, and sole – is made of leather. The Abigail shoe is available in pink, fuchsia, purple, or white/silver and retails for $35.

Pediped has shoes for boys and girls from birth on up to about age 7 or 8. For more information, check out www.pediped.com.

Top & Pant SetWhen it comes to boys’ fashions, Miniclasix has got the little guys covered, too. I received two cute outfits for boys, one on the casual side and another that is a little dressier. The first outfit is the Top & Pant Set from the Athletic Dept. collection, which is a T-shirt with trompe l’oeil sneaker detailing and khaki pants. The shirt features a cute design where the sneakers look as if they are tied together and dangling across your little one’s shoulders, loosely around the neck. The shirt is made from soft white cotton and the attention to detail is impeccable. The sneaker laces are actually sewn with grey thread in different places for added texture and dimension. The khaki pants are soft and feature a nice hemline with expert stitching. The front has a mock fly and the waistband is elastic. Each side of the pants has a white fatigued-looking stripe down the length of the legs. This would be a fun outfit for your little boy to wear for playtime with friends or anytime you need a look that is cute and casual.

Shirt & Short SetIn the Little Guy collection, I also received the Shirt & Short Set, which includes a soft denim button-up with cuffed sleeves and true linen khaki shorts. This outfit is very cute for a little boy and would make the perfect getup to wear to a summer party or other occasion. The denim button-up shirt has a collar that you can pop up, as well as buttons that seem to be made of brass or a similar looking material. This shirt has two mock pockets and a loop and button on each cuffed sleeve. The khaki pants are a whitish color and are made from 100% linen. They also have a mock fly and a single cargo pocket, which actually does open. The elastic waistband makes it easy to dress and undress on the fly, as we all know how messy some little boys can tend to be. The linen fabric is soft and the look is stylish.

Both of these looks make for a handsome wardrobe you and your spouse can truly appreciate, even if your little guy is too busy jumping in puddles to notice. The Miniclasix girls’ looks are honestly too cute for words. I am thrilled to have the chance to get to know this exquisite brand and I look forward to following their future collections as one season welcomes the next.

 

Summer Infant’s Dr. Mom Health & Grooming Kit Review

Dr. Mom Health & Grooming KitBabies require so much more than just their basic survival needs. Once you’ve got the feeding, changing, bathing, and cuddling down, you’ll find so many other things that your baby needs and enjoys. When it comes to healthcare and grooming, some things are obvious and others may catch you by surprise. That’s why it truly helps to have a baby healthcare and grooming kit on hand, like the Summer Infant’s Dr. Mom Health & Grooming Kit.

The Summer Infant Dr. Mom Health & Grooming Kit contains an array of items essential to your baby’s wellbeing, cleanliness, and safety. The kit contains a nasal aspirator, nail clippers, medicine spoon, comb and brush, medicine syringe, emery boards, alcohol swabs, digital thermometer, and an emergency information card. It is likely you will need each of these items at one time or another in caring for your infant. Keeping these items in a case all together helps you to always know where they are when the time comes that you need them.

First, I absolutely love the lime green and white color combination. The kit comes in a plastic case with a handle and the items are nicely organized. Once you remove each item from the plastic packaging inside the case, you will have room for even more baby health and grooming supplies if you wish to add them to this kit. The case itself is clear plastic and it has lime green slider locks that allow you to open and close the case.

I received one Dr. Mom Health & Grooming Kit from Summer Infant for the purpose of this review.

The Summer Infant Dr. Mom Health & Grooming Kit is available for purchase at your favorite baby stores, at Diapers.com, and at Amazon.com. It retails for about $14.99. For more information, check out www.summerinfant.com.

 

Baby Bottle and Accessory Drying Racks Review

Boon Grass drying rackWhen our daughter was first born, I didn’t know what kind of drying rack to get for her bottles, pacifiers, breast pump parts, and other washable baby accessories. I did feel strongly that her items should have their own separate place to dry, and resting them on a paper towel just didn’t seem to cut it for me all the time. I invested in the Boon Grass countertop drying rack and the Sprout Drying Rack by Munchkin. I like both for different reasons and have since narrowed down my use to just one of these racks.

The Grass countertop drying rack by Boon is as simple as it gets. The design is cool and clean with a basic green and white color scheme. The individual grass blades stick up, keeping all kinds of baby items elevated with sufficient air flow at all angles. This baby items drying rack is, of course, BPA-free, and also free from phthalates and PVC. I feel like the design of this rack is so simple and neutral that it will look great in any kitchen. It is a classy design that doesn’t add clutter or overwhelm your existing kitchen counter setup.

The flat surface and geometric shape make it easy to dry items of all sizes, including bottles, nipples, all the washable breast pump parts, and even baby toys and pacifiers, often at the same time. The drying rack is a 9.5” square with a 2.5” height. The water that drips off of the baby items conveniently collects in the white tray that is under the grass blades. Simply drain this tray after all of your items have dried. Both pieces come apart easily for washing, as the grass drying rack rests neatly inside the white tray.

Munchkin Sprout Drying RackThe Munchkin Sprout Drying Rack has a unique design with an expandable rack that collapses in size and a spinner tray to allow you to rotate the drying rack a full 360 degrees to easily access all the items you are drying. This baby item drying rack has a fun design that can hold a lot of pieces with a small footprint on your countertop space. The Sprout Drying Rack by Munchkin can hold up to 12 bottles of varying sizes, plus baby spoons or silverware, breast pump parts, pacifiers, toys, and more.

The Sprout Drying Rack is also green and white in color and has a fun nature-inspired design. The white spinner tray has cute leaf shapes that also help to keep the bottles and baby accessories elevated just enough to get a decent airflow to speed drying. The tray has slots so rings and disks can rest upright for quicker drying time. This drying rack also has numerous “sprout” appendages that allow you to place both plastic and glass baby bottles and other items higher up for maximum air flow. You can place the rings on the sprout posts first and then place the bottles to maximize space when drying. This rack also has a cup to place things like baby spoons, forks, and other small items. Like the Grass rack, the Munchkin alternative also has a built-in reservoir to catch dripping water for easy drainage.

The one thing I did not love about the Munchkin drying rack is simply that it doesn’t store as easily as the Grass rack when not in use. Once put together, the cup and sprout posts do not come apart. You can twist them to make a flatter shape, but I still found it easier to store my Grass drying rack in a cabinet when not using it. Also, I tend to leave my Boon Grass drying rack out on the counter when not in use, too, simply because it is very attractive without having a ‘cluttery’ look.

I bought both of these on Amazon when I was also getting a microwave steam sterilizer to clean and sterilize all of our daughter’s bottles and things. I found having both drying racks back then was very helpful and reduced the amount of time I had to spend on that chore. Now that we have cleaned everything, we only use bottles once in a while since I am still nursing. I feel I would be fine with just one drying rack. Of the two, I would keep the Grass drying rack due to its attractive design, its simplicity, and its easy storage when not in use.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I actually came to prefer the Grass drying rack over time. It had fewer pieces to fuss with, accommodated any number of different items, and easily stashed away in the cabinet between washings and whenever guests were coming to the house. I would definitely see ourselves repurposing the Grass drying rack for other things as well, like small pieces of kitchen gadgets, cookie cutters, icing gun or cookie gun pieces, shot glasses, and more. This is a drying rack that anyone could enjoy, with or without kids and babies in the picture.