Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Buddha Fresh

Hey everyone,
It's been a while!! Did you know we moved across the E N T I R E country?! We did. So to say things have been a little crazy around here is a slight understatement. But, I'm super happy to bring you all a product review from Buddha Fresh!

Buddha Fresh is an all-natural air freshner/deodorizer and we are big fans. I'm really picky about what deodorizer I'll use in my house, and for the most part Febreeze makes me gag. More on that later. And after reading an article that Johnson & Johnson puts cancer-causing chemicals in their products (willingly) I'm over most retail available baby products. Buddha Fresh's products use bamboo to absorb smells and they are packaged in all-natural packaging that is recyclable! On our trip from Utah to Virginia I has one on my dash, because let's be real three kids in a car for four days is not the best experience smell-wise. It helped keep our fast food odors minimal, that's for sure! I love that they can be reused over and over again by reactivation them in the sunlight-- say what?! Yes. Stick them in the sun for an hour and they are like new!
Right now they are kicking off their Kickstarter campaign, go check it out and grab some of these great new products. Your nose will thank you.

Friday, February 6, 2015

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Getting ready to have a baby can be scary. You have prepped your home, but have you prepped yourself for the upcoming event? Take it from me, there were things I wish I would have had when I had my first in the hospital, including things I was completely oblivious to. Here is my list of things to take to the hospital with you and at the bottom are things the hospital will provide.

  • Items for the baby--they will provide you with hospital onesies, which you don't keep, but on the day you go home you'll need an outfit of your own to take home your little one. And swaddling blankets for the ride home. You can see in the pic above that on the day we left we had our own items (the pink blanket is peaking out under the hospital's blanket).
  • Clothes for yourself-- you may not want to bring your favorite pieces, things are still messy after birth (imagine having the worst period of your life), but having your own clothes can definitely help you feel more comfortable. I definitely suggest lounge wear like yoga pants, maternity clothes, and anything loose fitting. And bring some granny panties you won't mind saying goodbye to if anything messy should happen. If you're a sock/slipper/robe person, don't forget those as well.
  • Chapstick--this was the weirdest thing I wished I had while giving birth to my first. I was so distracted by my need for chapstick that I was miserable. 
  • Toiletries-- the hospital basically only has soap, so bring all your own toiletries.
  • Pillows-- your own pillow will feel divine when hanging out in your room. If you don't want to pack it ahead, put a sticky note on the door to remind you on your way out. You may also want to bring a nursing pillow, like a boppy, if you're in to that.
  • Nursing pads-- I was totally oblivious to this when I had my first. Luckily my mom brought me a box when I delivered my daughter. Even if you do not plan on nursing you will still leak...these will keep you dry! Here is my list of recommended nursing pads.
  • Lanolin-- if you plan on nursing, you will want this! Sometimes the hospital has little mini tubes you can sample, but having your own will be worth the investment.
  • Entertainment-- you will get bored in the hospital. Most rooms have tvs, but bring along your own dvds and other sources of entertainment. Bring some books or a tablet for the times when you can't sleep and baby isn't in the room with you.
  • Camera-- seriously, we ended up using our cell phones for my first two kids and I regret it. It was mostly from lack of knowing I'd be in the hospital that day, but having it ready (and charged) ahead of time will be a lifesaver.
  • Chargers-- whatever electronic you're bringing, have chargers ready to go. If you're like me and only have one for each item, add it to your sticky note on the door so you don't forget it. 
  • Your ID/wallet-- if you didn't get the chance to pre-register, you will need your ID and insurance cards when you get there. Plus if you want anything special to eat from the cafeteria or vending machine, you'll need your own dough for that. You do get meals delivered, but let's be real about hospital food...
  • Snacks-- hospital food can be a bummer sometimes. Bring snacks that you enjoy, especially if you have dietary restrictions.
  • Essential oils--if you are an essential oil user, there are oils you can use during labor and postpartum to help with the entire process.
The hospital typically provides the following during your stay: hospital gowns, towels, tucks, pads, mesh underwear, diapers, wipes, a nasal aspirator, a binky, bottles/nipples, lanolin, swaddling blankets, formula, onesies, a water bottle, and food/drinks. The only things you do not keep are cloth items like the gowns, towels, blankets, etc. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Second Trimester

Blocks c/o spanggangdesigns.etsy.com

This pic was too cute not to share!

My pregnancy is almost over, and while I have been the worst about keeping the blog updated, I wanted to make sure that I still shared my second trimester. If you read about my first trimester you will know that I was a sick, nauseous blog that never wanted to do anything. My second trimester was so much better and probably the best of the three kids. To keep my nausea at bay I did continue to use my sleeping pill/b6 regimen and other than that I was a happy camper. The nice thing about the second trimester is first, you feel more human; second, you start to show (the bottom pic was around 4 months) and look pregnant; and third, you get to find out the gender of the baby! We went in on my husband's birthday to find out, which was a fun way to celebrate. I was just 15 weeks and they were able to find out on the first scan that we were expecting another little girl! My daughter is thrilled about having a little sister on the way. That same week I also started to feel the butterfly kicks from my baby. A lot of first time moms may confuse it with digestion/gas, but I knew what it was when I felt it! It still took another couple of weeks for my husband to be able to feel the little flutters. I was lucky to spend most of the fall in my second trimester and I was able to fully participate in family activities like going to the pumpkin patch, "dressing up" for Halloween, and spending lots of time outside with the kiddos. I definitely can say that my second trimester was my favorite of the three and I look forward to seeing our unnamed baby girl any day!

Side note: if you have other children, the second trimester is a good time to get them ready for baby. You will have more energy and physical capability to show and teach them things like how to pick up, how to grab their own snacks, what indoor voices sound like, and how to have quiet time. Right now as I'm in the very end of my pregnancy they are nearly getting away with murder because I don't have the energy to stop them or chase them down anymore. But, a lot of the things we practiced earlier in my pregnancy are holding strong.

Second Trimester Favorites:
Kit Kats
Cooking again...well, really, eating again
Zero Water filter, go buy one now!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Guide to Buying Used Baby Gear

Having a baby can get expensive, so buying used baby gear can be a good choice if you're looking to save some bucks. But, buyer beware! Buying sight unseen (perhaps from an online site) or at a garage sale can cost you more money in the end if you get baby gear that is damaged, recalled, or expired. I, as well as others I know, have learned this lesson the hard way. Here is my guide to buying used baby gear, I hope it will help you save money and help you get excellent gear!

Pack 'N Plays
Inspect it first! Have the owner open it, show you that it fully opens and that no parts are broken. A full pack 'n play set will have a cover/carrying case, a frame, and a cushion-type pad. There should be no rips or tears in any of the fabric frame, the pad should fit properly into the bottom of the frame and all the bars should lock into place. If there are stains, it is possible to clean them, but that is up to your discretion. Don't be fooled into thinking you can jimmy rig a pack 'n play to "make it work" or that you will be able to fix it. 

Car Seats
Did you know car seats have an expiration date? They do. If you show up to the hospital to take your baby home and your car seat is expired they will NOT let you take the baby home. The date depends on the model of car seat, but it is typically 6-10 years from the manufacture date. It is stamped on the car seat (the underside) and if it is missing it is illegal to sell them (as a retailer or private seller). A lot of people may have good intentions to give you a used car seat, or you may not realize (most people don't) that it is expired, but it could cost you lots of extra unnecessary money if you accidentally buy an expired car seat. Also, when buying a used car seat, make sure that all the straps are in good tact, there are no tears in the cover, and that there is no damage to the seat or base. WASHING TIP: if you are wanting to wash the car seat cover before using it, take a picture of where all the straps insert, connect, and where the cover attaches to the seat. That way when you go to put it back on it will be easier reassemble than playing the good ol' guessing game.

Cribs is a tricky used buy. Drop rail cribs (where one side moves up and down) are now banned and are illegal to sell or re-sell. You may find people trying to sell them at garage sales or online ads, but buyer beware. Besides being illegal, there are more parts that come with drop rail cribs and if any are missing there is an increased risk of malfunction. Plus, you won't be able to buy replacement parts. I bought a drop rail crib from a garage sale as a toddler bed, meaning I completely did not use the drop rail, we took it off so my toddler could crawl in and out at her own ease. I felt comfortable doing so knowing that we would never use the 4th rail and for $20 (with a mattress) it worked out wonderfully. If you find a stationary crib, have the owner show you all of the screws/parts so that you don't get home and find out that there are missing pieces and can't assemble it. If it has a wire/spring base, check that none are broken or missing. It is not easy to find replacement parts for cribs, so this is crucial. If it is a metal crib check that all the bars are in tact and not damaged, for wooden cribs check that the wood has not been damaged or cracked. Safety first always with cribs. This applies to bassinets as well.

The first tip I have is to research the type of stroller you're looking for before you go buy one. Some are universal and will fit any car seat into it, some are brand specific, and some don't fit car seats in them at all. There are so many kinds with so many functions that you want to buy what will best fit your needs. When looking at used strollers, make sure that it collapses and unfolds properly. There should be no broken or damaged pieces and wheels should be in tact and functioning. Our strollers are brand specific to our car seat model and only our brand will fit in them. Know your brands before buying! Also, make sure that when it is collapsed that it will fit in your trunk--our double stroller is the world's biggest hassle to fit in our small trunk. Check all of the fabric to make sure there are no rips or tears, missing snaps, or broken straps. 

Changing Tables
Make sure there is no damage and that all the parts are there for assembly. Replacement changing table pads can be purchased separately, and rather conveniently, so if it is missing it is not a huge deal.

Swings & Bouncers
Make sure there is no damage to the swing/bouncer. If it is electric or battery operated, have the owner demonstrate how it works and that it does work. Push all the buttons to make sure all the features work. There should be no rips, tears, or other damages or missing parts. If there are safety harnesses, make sure there is no damage to the straps or clips.

Toys & Clothes
Check both for stains! There is a chance that these won't come out and won't be worth the money to buy them. Garage sales are notorious for having stained clothing and it will be up to your best judgement if you can get a stain out. Unfold clothes and open toys (if applicable) so you can get a good perspective on the item. This will also help you discover any hidden faults in the item. With toys, make sure everything is securely in place and won't be a choking hazard.

When it comes to accessories like monitors, white noise machines, bottle warmers, wipe warmers, etc...make sure that they work first! The seller needs to show you that it is in working condition and that there are no damages to the item. Don't be afraid to ask for a demonstration first before buying it! If they just want you to take their word for it...don't!

There are places like Toys R Us and Babies R Us that have trade-in events where you can bring in used baby gear for 25% off new gear. We paid $10 for a crib at a garage sale, found out later it was too faulty to use, then traded it in for a new one. The $10 we originally spent was made up by the $50 we saved on a new crib. Some women have "mommy-first" events where they will sell/trade their old baby gear to friends before trying to sell it online or at a garage sale. Baby consignment shops are another great place to look, just keep in mind the quality and safety of each item before purchasing it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Complete Teething Mitten Guide

All of this information has been swimming around in my head for a while and I decided it was time to present it all in a teething mitten guide to help out all the moms out there who may need our great product. Slowly this post will fade away into the queue, so all of the information will be divided accordingly amongst our pages at the top of our product website. Here we go...

Teething mittens are used in a variety of situations that you or your child may face. The great thing about them is that when babies are little they lack the coordination to hold anything and that's where the mittens come in.

For mom they can protect you while nursing from any scratching or pinching, similar to the function of a nursing necklace. The difference (and upside in my opinion) is that when used after nursing the mittens absorb drool whereas the necklace does not (in most cases, i.e. amber or rubber necklaces).

For baby they are multi-faceted. First, they keep your baby's hands warm and dry as they stick their cute little fingers in their mouth. Second, they provide protection to their face from scratching and fingers from biting. Third, they prevent chapping on your baby's skin. Fourth, they encourage texture exploration and hand discovery--great milestones in your baby's life. Fifth, they absorb drool-- up to two teaspoons per mitten.

Because keeping hands warm isn't always the goal (i.e. you live in warm climates) and because babies drool at different levels, we have created three different types of mittens to fit each baby better. So, which teething mittens are right for your baby?

Size. The reason we make mittens in different sizes is because babies grow. The sizes help the mittens fit and stay on properly as they are being used. If your baby is on the cusp of a size, I recommend going a size up. We can make them in a custom size as well.

To better fit gift-giving needs we recently introduced mittens with a Velcro strap instead of an elastic wristband. The mitten is similar in design as our other three, but it is made in one size (OS) and can be adjusted as your baby grows. Our teething mittens with Velcro straps can be made from any fabric, not just the waterproof fabric shown below. Pictured is our fully waterproof-fabric mittens that were converted to have straps.

To purchase our teething mittens, go to littlecabbagebp.etsy.com or for more FAQ's visit our website www.littlecabbagebabyproducts.com

Naming Your Baby

Naming your baby is not always an easy task. With my first two we knew before we were even pregnant what we were going to name them. We had made a list of names we liked early in our marriage and we were so excited so excited to use those names. The nice thing about that was that we could address our child in the womb as soon as we found out the gender. Now that we are coming up on baby #3 we have NO idea what to name her. We don't like the names on our original list anymore and we are definitely struggling on making a list that we like and narrowing down those names. Here are some tips on naming your baby:

1. Make a list. This will help you from forgetting names that you hear and like and will also help you narrow down the names as you go throughout your pregnancy. We ultimately used two names from our original list and with our new list for baby #3 it has helped us to see them and think through each name. Put the list on the cloud so that you don't lose it. We published our baby names back in 2009 (before we were even pregnant) on our personal blog so that we wouldn't forget (and to claim dibs...). Don't be afraid to change the list over time or even start a new one all together.

2. Decide if you want public opinion. Asking friends and family what they think can be bittersweet. We were dead set on our first two names so there was no reason to ask people what they thought. We still got unsolicited opinions, but they didn't matter since we knew what we were naming our kids. If you're not sure and you want opinions, you can ask others what they think, but be prepared for lots of opinions and thoughts, maybe even some heartache. You also will need to find a way to politely turn down people's ideas. It can be nice to get ideas by others thinking outside of the box for you.

3. See how the name flows with your last name. You may really like a name, but once you say it out loud it may be cumbersome when said with the middle/last name or it may turn out as a sentence (ex Isabelle Bytheway-- Is a bell by the way?).

4. See how it fits in with the rest of the family's names. My husband and I have somewhat common names, and we decided to keep with that and do semi-common names for our kids. However, my sister-in-law chose to name all of her kids with really unique names and she stuck with that theme with all of her kids. Having one name come from left field while the rest are all the same may cause hurt feelings down the road.

5. Pick a theme. This ties in well with #4. Maybe you want all the names to start with a certain letter, or perhaps you want them all to have names from your favorite movie, book, cultural reference, or family names. We chose family names for all of our middle names, and despite our first two starting with J's we are not actually doing a J theme. It was happenstance.

6. Be patient. We really feel like we won't know our baby's name until she is born. Sometimes verbalizing the name too early can cause others to stick on it, even when you're not sure you will use it. My daughter has been calling our baby Abby and has been telling everyone that is her name. We don't know if it is and now various family members are attached to that name. I don't want to break my daughter's heart, but I also don't want to choose a name because my 3 year old said so. Sometimes keeping the names to yourself is the best idea and waiting it out to see your little one will pay off.

7. If you're still stuck, read through baby names online. If you just Google baby name lists you will have thousands to read through and pick as favorites. Then you can narrow down your favorites. You may run across names that you hadn't thought of before.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Holiday Cards & Paying it Forward

For one of my business classes this semester we have to start and run a business of our choosing. The neat thing about it is that all of our profits go to Kiva.org. I decided that since the holidays are usually a time of giving and helping others I would make and sell holiday cards. Here is the man I am giving my profits to, he is seeking help to pay his tuition. Anyway, if you are looking to help out others this holiday season come pay it forward with some holiday cards :)

Here is the link to the card blog I set up-- prices range from $2-$4 each, each card comes with a stamp (can you imaging NOT running to the post office this holiday season?), and I offer discounts on multiples!