baby-products

The Great Wipe Debate

Pampers? Huggies? Up?.. the list goes on and on. Being a first time parent can be extremely overwhelming with lists and lists of items your new bundle of joy needs. To make matters more complicated there are tons of brands for each item, how do you choose? Well, I am here to help you!

The other day I was changing my gorgeous baby girl and found myself in the middle of a tug of war with the package of wipes. Every time I tried to pull out a wipe a shred would come instead. Are you kidding me?!?!? After about 4 attempts my patience was running extremely thin and I now had a screaming child, with poop covering her booty.

Skipping to the end of my story I finally ripped the whole package open, grabbed the remaining wipes and used the whole wad to clean her off.

Well, moral to my story find a brand of wipes you trust and stick with it because you don’t want to find yourself in a “shitty” situation. I myself love love LOVE Costco’s Kirkland brand wipes. They are inexpensive, come in individual packages and have just the right amount of thickness to moisture ratio.

    

A Few Things We Like

I wanted to post a few baby-related things that I really love and have used almost daily for the past few months. As Isobel gets older, I feel like we need less “stuff,” but strangely, we’re bursting at the seams with it. Maybe it’s because I don’t have 5 swaddle blankets laying in various corners around the house or a swing in the middle of the living room. Like I said, I feel like we need less now, both at home and when we leave the house, but the reality is that we’ve just replaced the baby items with new, toddler-ish things. Toys. Lots of toys. Instead of a swing, there is a learn-to-walk toy and a ride-on bike that converts to a learn-to-walk toy. And a push lawnmower. And a push device that makes a sound like popcorn. And blocks.

These are her favorite blocks because they also rattle. 

Before Isobel was born and we were pouring over our baby registry and our “to buy” list, I was neurotic about making sure that we had everything we needed. The funny thing is that you really don’t need much at first. A swing, a carseat, a bassinet, diapers, pajamas, onesies. Some baby shampoo and lotion. Wipes. Swaddle blankets. Pacifiers. A few bottles. (I guess that may seem like a lot of stuff, but in retrospect, it doesn’t feel like very much.) The sheer quantity of options available in any given category can be overwhelming though. (There are 107 infant car seats available on Diapers.com.) Now that we’re in a new phase–the weird limbo between infancy and toddlerhood–she needs some “baby” items but needs “big kid” things too. We still need onesies and pacifiers and diapers, but we also need feeding supplies. We need toys–and not just the little ones that dangle from a car seat handle. Real toys. (Luckily we have the toy situation fairly covered because of Christmas and her birthday and dozens of generous family members.) 

↑ Some Ikea toy storage we bought for Isobel’s closet. 

Anyway, all this is to really say that it’s been a trial and error process for a lot of the baby gear that we’ve used, but I’ve been really, really happy with every OXO Tot item we’ve tried. Isobel obviously doesn’t care about most of it, but there are a few things (like her sippy cup) that she definitely enjoyed using more than other brands we tried. 

↑ I don’t have a photo of Isobel using her OXO Tot sippy, but we also gave a Tommee Tippee sippy cup a try and she now throws it to the ground angrily after attempting a sip with startling regularity. 

Here are a few of our favorites:

The OXO Tot Bottle Brush ($6.99) is the best one we tried. It can get bottles meticulously clean and dries quickly after use. 

We tried several different brands of spoons and I now use these ($6.99) to the exclusion of all the others littering our utensil drawer. Back when she was hard-core teething, she used to clamp down on the spoon with a surprising amount of force and it always freaked me out. The metal spoons have soft rubber around the spoon portion, but I was always worried she’d hurt herself. (She did, once.) These silicone-tipped spoons were much softer and scooped food much better than the other flatter spoons. There is always less mess when we use these. 

These divided plates ($7.99) are wonderful. I love that I can scrape the spoon against the angled side and that it’s heavy enough to more or less stay in place if bumped–by me, not by Isobel. She could launch this thing like a frisbee if the urge came upon her. It’s also a helpful about dividing portions properly–each section is the recommended portion of vegetables/fruits, grains and proteins. 

Isobel had the most success with these sippy cups ($2.99). I noticed that she would get distracted by the soft spouts of other brands and just gnaw on them. She consistently drinks properly out of this one and she can grip it easily with both hands. (Just watch that the air valve inside the spout doesn’t come free or it will leak everywhere.) 

I’ve heard good things about the high chair and the wipes dispenser, but I haven’t used them personally. 

Any other brands or OXO products you like that I should try? 

Why so sensitive?

My son has been getting a bit of diaper rash recently, likely due to the increased output caused by his teethng and it got me thinking, why are sensitive baby products even an option? We have had to buy sensitive wipes for him because when he has a rash And I can tell the regular wipes sting. Why are all baby products not automatically as sensitive as possible? I mean these are babies we are talking about. Why would manufacturers even consider making their products less sensitive? Is it another marketing ploy? Are their parents out there that choose to avoid sensitive products because their baby is too ‘hardcore’? “My son don’t need no sensitive shit! He’s a man.” It just seems strange to me that of all the things we do to keep our kids comfortable we still have to buy specialized products to make sure our baby is comfortable when changing a diaper. Rant over.

One Month Check-In!

I’ve been the mother to a beautiful baby girl for one full month – a month of feedings, pumping, diapers, crying, Netflix, hulu+ and very little else. Maybe it’s premature, but I thought I would put together some thoughts on what products I’m loving and what myths I’m busting as we dive headfirst into month number two. I know when I was pregnant I enjoyed reading other peoples’ opinions on these matters, so why not give the internet my two cents as well?

Keep reading

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I feel pretty blessed. When people meet Little E they call almost always call him beautiful. Then they often look embarrassed, like there’s something wrong with calling a boy beautiful. It’s pretty weird, like, boys aren’t allowed to be pretty, that they have to be manly, even as babies. But the truth is, he is beautiful. He has the longest, most gorgeous eyelashes and huge blue eyes, and a killer smile. And while I’d like to think it is genetics alone, there’s a bit of Amazon in there.

These are my two favorite baby products so far. Little E had pretty bad baby acne, so I decided to treat it the way you should adult acne; by moisturizing it (I paid my way through college working for fancy shmancy cosmetics firms). And it has worked. His skin is lust inducing. And who doesn’t love a manicure? These Piyo Piyo scissors are the best. Seriously, the BEST. Buy them now. Give them to every pregnant lady you know. Hell, at $7 a pop buy them for everyone you know who already has a baby. They are idiot proof, even with shaky, sleep-deprived, caffeine-loaded mom hands. Seriously.

Baby is almost here and I thought I’d take a moment to share a few of the items that I’ve been most impressed with in my hours and days of research on baby products. The sheer size of the baby industry is overwhelming and picking quality for an affordable price can be stressful during a time when we’re being told to keep stress at bay. You should first know that I’m not scared to spend a little more to get a better deal. I don’t like cheap shizz but I also think that there’s a middle-of-the-road price for everything out there.

1. Swaddle Blankets.
I added Aden & Anais bamboo muslin blankets to my registry in hopes that someone would get these for me. My luck, someone did. I wish I had added more. They do NOT disappoint after their first washing. The extreme softness, lightweight material, and extra large size make these blankets worth their $40 for 3 price tag. I bought another brand of musin swaddles at TJ Maxx for $15 and they just didn’t turn out as soft as the Aden & Anais set after the first wash.

2. Infant Car Seat
The Chicco Keyfit 30 (in Limonata) was extremely easy to install in our Mazda 3 hatchback with the Latch System. What I thought would take the better part of an afternoon, took less than 10 minutes.

3. Stroller Frame
I went for the Chicco Caddy Stroller frame vs. the Snap ‘N Go because I heard Chicco doesn’t “click” into the Snap 'N Go. I know it was $50 more (approximately) and I frankly could have done more research on this first, but overall, I’m happy with the Chicco stroller frame. Besides the somewhat cheaply made plastic pieces everywhere, there are two cup holders and a very large storage basket, plus maneuverability and foldability (stands on its own when folded) are excellent.

4. Baby Seat
I went with the Baby Snug by Mamas and Papas instead of the Bumbo. My baby won’t be sitting in this for a few more months, but I thought the few extra dollars was worth it because the Bumbo only lasts as long as the chubby little legs fit in the openings. With the Baby Snug, there’s an insert to keep your three month old steady, then the insert comes out to make room for healthy thighs and will last until your child is around 12 months. Also, there’s a removable snack tray. So the Baby Snug seems to have more bells and whistles for the $. I will weigh in again in a few months.

Other essentials that I spent some time researching include bottles, diaper pails, long-term strollers, cribs, and baby bath tubs. I feel I need to use these before I can say if they were good purchases or not. Stay tuned for more reviews.

Baby On the Way! Product Picks if You're Pregnant

We’re not being biased when we say that our Birchbox moms have some preeeetty adorable kids. Like really super duper adorable. And now we have another one on the way: our Production Manager, Alicia, is pregnant! Whoo! Since she found out, she’s been researching the best products for pregnant moms — here are some of her favorites.

I love products that do double duty and since I found out that I am pregnant, I am even more excited about multi-use items. I’ve found some great products that are great for both you and your baby.

Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder: As far as I’m concerned, this is the original dry shampoo. Divide your hair in sections and sprinkle some on the roots — but be careful not to use to much as you may start to look like grandma! 

Lavanila The Healthy Baby Lotion: This chemical-free lotion contains 30 essential vitamins and minerals, making it perfect for baby or adults with sensitive skin. Plus the sunflower and vanilla oils nourish skin and add a light fresh scent. 

California Baby Holiday Cheer Aromatherapy Bubble Bath: Blended with calming orange, lavender and vanilla scents, this bubble bath is key for relaxing after a long day of holiday shopping. 

Aquaphor Healing Ointment: Free of fragrances, dyes, and preservatives, this healing wonder cream is perfect for fixing winter skin or protecting baby from diaper rash.

—Alicia

Pick up more healthy skincare products in the Birchbox Shop.

Rashes, Sunsets & Ramblings

Despite having one hell of a rash all over her entire body, this little ray of sunshine still managed to have a good time after her bath tonight.  

Afterword, I lathered up her body with Boudreaux’s Rash Protector.  Yeah yeah, so it says it’s for diaper rash, but I thought the aloe in it would help the babe in case she was itchy.  She seemed to thoroughly enjoy it so hopefully it’ll clear up by morning. 

We are still using disposable diapers although we are trying to transition into cloth… it’s just so hot here.  But Lola only had diaper rash her first day home from the hospital thanks to the Butt Paste we use on her.  We have some great friends that brought us down the entire line of Boudreaux’s products.  They are all-natural, they smell great and they have never irritated Lola’s skin (the rash culprit was most likely from a piece of clothing). 

We use the Butt Bath every other night. 

And the Baby Kisses are great for her chapped lips. 

The sunset tonight was awesome…

And Rob and I only have two more days of work until we get a three week vacation.  :)