I am 20 months into being a full time, stay-at-home mom with no immediate family nearby. And I’ll be the first to say… I sometimes need a break! So I’ve made a point to find ways to give my toddler and myself a break from “just us” once in awhile. Here are 10 ways I’ve found to take a well-deserved mom day, meet other moms, and help your child make new friends. My best tips for socializing your stay-at-home toddler…
After Your Baby Is Born
From your baby's 'birth' day to their 'first birthday'... here's what you need to know! Moms who've been in your shoes are sharing their own honest reviews of baby products, fun things you can do with a baby during their first year, important things to know about postpartum care for mom -- even tips for losing weight after pregnancy. You'll also find tips for introducing pets, baby sleep issues, feeding baby, breastfeeding dilemmas, babyproofing, choosing car seats, potty training, must-have diaper bag items, babywearing tips, flying on a plane with a baby... and more!
I try to keep a handle on the flow of the toys coming in and out of our home and ways to organize them in order to keep them interesting and useful for my son. See how we prevent too many toys from entering our home AND how to organize toys in such a way to avoid toy clutter.
An activity table is a great way to get up off the floor while playing. I wanted an activity table that would last a long time, grow with my son, have multi-functional use, and be durable (not made of pressboard, laminate, or plastic). I was really happy to discover the Nilo table! The Nilo activity table is a really thoughtful and well-made multi-activity play table. Here is my review…
My toddler likes to be nearby (and sometimes participate) when I’m working in the kitchen. But I didn’t feel comfortable using just a chair for him to stand on to reach the countertop. Then I discovered the Little Partners learning tower! It’s like a ladder for toddlers to get higher & closer to the action — while standing safely on a non-skid, solid wood, sturdy surface.
‘How much longer do you plan to breastfeed? This is a question I get quite often. (My baby is 17 months old.) While breastfeeding has always felt so natural to my baby and I, when it came to a mother’s choice of allowing her toddler (no longer a baby) to breastfeed, it just seemed weird… until I became a mother myself! Here’s my experience breastfeeding beyond 1 year, plus a list of the benefits of extended breastfeeding.
I started my baby’s oral care regime as soon as he got his first tooth. But I should have started even before his baby teeth erupted through the gums. My toddler and I are going to show you how to brush a baby’s gums using a wet washcloth, gauze, or a finger toothbrush. Plus how to brush baby teeth by following a daily routine where you brush your teeth together. Also… what I’ve learned about when to start brushing baby’s teeth & gums, issues regarding fluoride toothpaste, and what to do when your baby doesn’t like teeth brushing.
Our baby is learning to walk at 16 months. His Grammy thought he needed a baby push walker to help him learn to walk — so she bought him the VTech Sit To Stand Learning Walker. Now he repeatedly attempts to walk completely on his own. I definitely believe the VTech baby walker helped get him start walking!
I’ve used Pampers Swaddlers since the day we brought our baby home — because they are soft and absorb well. Plus, Swaddlers have a moisture indicator strip, which helped with my observations of baby’s potty signals. However… after using disposable diapers for 16 months and trying cloth diapers for the first time, I’m honestly wishing I made the switch to cloth diapers sooner! I found a good deal on used cloth diapers that were in excellent condition. See why I’m now a huge fan of Alva cloth diapers with snaps that grow with your baby, how to clean cloth diapers, my tips for stripping cloth diapers of bacteria, and my thoughts on cloth diapers vs disposable diapers today.
See the most important things I’ve learned after flying solo with an infant for the first time. Tips to help you with checking in, getting through security, passing time in airports during layovers, boarding the plane, flying with a toddler in a car seat (after scoring an extra seat), and flying with a toddler on your lap (if they’re under age 2 and the flight is full). Here are 16 things I would do differently if I could do it all over again…
Here’s my review of the Step 2 Whisper ride on push car with pros & cons. I use it as a stroller a lot — because it keeps my toddler contained and entertained whenever we have to wait in line somewhere. I also use it in our yard a lot — it’s a great way to get him outside when I don’t want him getting down and dirty (like when I’m doing yard work).
We used a Bumbo multi seat as a high chair for about 8 months, but at 14 months of age, I think it’s time for a more sturdy high chair. I decided to try the Keekaroo Height Right high chair after doing a good deal of research on the Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair. The Keekaroo is a great substitute for the Stokke high chair because — much like the Stokke — your baby simply cannot outgrow a Keekaroo high chair… and it’s much more affordable! We especially like the look and the sturdiness of the Keekaroo. See all the other reasons we love our Keekaroo Height Right high chair…
I’m in the process of preparing for my baby’s first plane ride. See everything that we’re packing, how I plan to handle the layovers and connecting flights with a baby, some handy gadgets and travel necessities that I’ve discovered and will be using on this trip, and tips for other moms who are planning their very first flight with a baby.
My baby really likes his Fisher Price Crawl Around Car! It keeps him busy for 15-20 minute intervals at a time. As a full time work at home mom, having your baby distracted for even a few minutes of “baby free time” always feels like a win! This is a Smart Stages Crawl Around Car with 3 different levels of activity that will grow with your baby. See our video review — including our favorite features on the Fisher Price Laugh And Learn Crawl Around Car (and 1 negative).
My baby is 1 year old — which means he can finally ride in a forward facing car seat. We chose the Britax convertible car seat — because of its high safety rating. See what traveling with a toddler in the car is like for our family. My best baby travel tips for your next road trip with a toddler… from entertaining DVD movies in the car to the best snacks & sippy cups for toddler car trips.
As a first time mother, I question everything when it comes to the wellness and safety of my baby. Right away, we were faced with the dilemma of getting newborn vaccines while in the hospital after delivery – the Hepatitis B shot, and the Vitamin K shot. Then, the CDC’s immunization schedule for children says to give 6 vaccinations at 2 months of age. I’ve done my research and decided to follow an alternative vaccine schedule instead of the CDC’s baby vaccination chart. See why, and if this is the right decision for your family — or not.
I had planned to make my own baby food once I started introducing solid foods to my exclusively breastfed baby. But when my baby was 8 months old, I decided to try baby led weaning instead — and now I can’t imagine introducing solid foods any other way! Here are the benefits of BLW, the best baby led weaning foods to start with, and my tips for moms before starting baby led weaning.
See how homemade baby food compares to store-bought baby food, the advantages of making baby food yourself, how you’ll save money making homemade baby food at home, how to puree/store/freeze/thaw baby food, and how to make your own healthy baby food recipes quickly & easily. Plus 10 tips
to ensure that your homemade baby food is safe, healthy… and tasty!
I’ve been practicing Elimination Communication potty training (with a diaper backup) since my baby was 13 weeks of age. In 1 month he will be a year old, and we are still committed to becoming diaper free. I’ve learned a few things about EC since I first started it — so I thought I’d share the following with others who are considering it: How I’m encouraging my baby to go potty at specific times, What my baby’s potty signals are, What my baby’s diaper-free times are like, The benefits of EC and why I’m sticking with it, The challenges of EC and how I’m working through them.
Wondering if you can take a shower with your baby to save time? The answer is yes! Here’s how I shower with my baby, plus my best tips to make the process of bathing your baby even easier.
My baby is now 10 months old and pulling himself to stand while holding onto furniture. The Baby Einstein Discovering Music activity table gives him a way to play while standing. See what makes this baby activity table unique and why he likes it so much. Plus, our video review of this Baby Einstein activity table.
My baby has started crawling and pulling himself up to stand — which means it’s time for us to toddler proof the entire house! I have a few clever tricks for toddler proofing your home, plus a list of my favorite child proof products to protect your curious toddler — including child proof locks for drawers, cabinets, and other doors (like refrigerators, toilets, trash cans, etc).
My 8 month old isn’t interested in baby toys much anymore. So in an effort to keep him engaged and entertained, I decided to give the Zany Zoo Activity Cube a try. Here’s everything I love about this large wooden activity cube, and the 1 thing I don’t. See why I think it’s a great gift for a 1-year-old.
Babywearing wraps are the best! I would rather wear my baby than carry him. Here’s my review of the Moby Wrap Classic — what I love about it (…and a few things I don’t), plus how to wrap the Moby Classic for 4 different babywearing carry positions.
Many parents swear by the Baltic Amber teething necklace. As a first time mom, not knowing what to expect, it appears the Baltic Amber necklace is working because he teethes with very little fussing AND he has never once had a fever! Here’s how a Baltic teething necklace works, plus some things you should know before trying an Amber necklace with your baby.
As a new mom, I look for baby items to serve multiple uses. That’s why I love the Bumbo Multi Seat. Not only can it be used as a floor seat and a high chair, but it can also be used on other flat surfaces — like the dining room table while I’m working there! The Bumbo baby seat easily converts from a floor seat to a booster seat — maximizing its use for as long as baby will fit in it! Here’s my detailed review, plus a video so you can ‘see’ what I’m talking about.