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Bath Time Essentials

Bath Time Essentials

Bath time is one of my favorite times of the day, it’s the start of our wind down routine and my children just love taking a nice calming bath before bedtime.  I usually bathe my two older children in the tub together and have the baby in an infant tub close by so they can all entertain one another.  Here are some of my favorite bath products that help make this time easy!  

Infant Tub  

As I mentioned above I bathe Baby J in an infant tub, my tub of choice here is the Stokke Flexi Bath, its convenient foldable design allows for easy storage and it’s just the right size that it works for ages 0 to 4 years old.  It’s also easy to clean and a must for those living in tight spaces!

Bath Soap & Lotion

Last week I discussed in a post why California Baby is my go-to brand for skin care, not only is it a top rated product line according to the Environmental Working Group but California Baby offers such a wide variety of products from lotions to creams to massage oils, there is something for everyone.  From calming soaps to help with eczema to soothing calendula for sensitive skin you will be sure to find the right product for your child’s skin care needs.  During colder months I like to add a drop of lavender essential oil to my children’s bath along with a scoop of coconut oil, it really helps to hold moisture in during the dry winter season.

Bath Toys

My children have a few favorite bath time toys, they love using their imaginations and creating underwater sea villages with Boon’s Bath Tub Appliques as well as Skip*Hops Starfish Stacker and they go crazy for simple Green Toy Stacking Cups, they have a blast just measuring and pouring water all over themselves and each other.   All toys are of course BPA-Free and Phthalate-Free.

Hooded Towels/Wash Cloths

My favorite towels to use, especially for the babies, are Under the Nile organic hooded towels and washcloths.  They are fast drying, super soft and absorbent made of the finest 100% organic Egyptian cotton.

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What are some of your favorite bath time rituals – we would love to hear!

Product of the week: Skip*Hop Zoo Pop-Up Hamper

The best way to encourage clean up time is with fun colorful zoo shaped storage containers like Skip*Hop’s Zoo Pop-Up Hampers.   This week the Skip*Hop Zoo Pop-Up Hamper is our product of the week.

Reason #1.

Variety! Skip*Hop’s Zoo Pop-Up Hampers come in a variety of zoo figures and colors, from adorable monkeys to sweet ladybugs you will be sure to find the right one for your little angels storage needs.

Reason #2.

Light weight and Collapsable!  Made with a light weight yet durable nylon fabric, these easily collapsable hampers make storage a snap.

Reason #3.

Multi Functional!  You can use the Zoo Pop-Up for any of your storage needs from dirty clothes to toys, Skip*Hop Hampers will make clean up time convenient and easy. 

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Find your favorite Zoo Pop-Up Hamper here.  As always, you will find BabyEarth products like Skip*Hop Hampers for up to 10% lower than list pricing.

Comfort Items

When it comes to comfort or transitional items I have been a fan of lovies/blankies and pacifiers for sometime now.  For those babies who have a need to suck for comfort pacifiers can be a wonderful aide and of course transitional items are excellent at comforting a child who needs a little extra support.  A majority of the literature out there supports the use of these items, you can read more about their benefits here.

As mentioned above some babies are born with a need to suck, of my three children my oldest was a voracious eater and always needed something to suck or chew on, my second wouldn’t touch a pacifier no matter my persistence and my third fell somewhere in between his older siblings.  Every baby is different so if you have a baby who seems to have this need to suck or enjoys a pacifier for comfort BabyEarth has a variety of pacifiers and other comfort items from which to choose.  

There is a lot of trial and error when it comes to finding the right pacifiers, my children all enjoyed the WubbaNub Infant Plush Toy pacifier early on, it was great for me as well because the weighted stuffed animal helps keep the pacifier in place (for at least a little longer than average).

 

As my children grew I was more concerned with orthodontics when selecting a pacifier so switched to one that was recommended by the AADA. My children liked the Hevea Natural Orthodontic Pacifier for its ability to calm and soothe and I liked the Heava because its made of 100% natural rubber, a safe and biodegradable material, meaning its free of BPAs, PVCs, and phthalates!

Another excellent comfort item to introduce once your baby is a little older is the lovie or blankie.  One of my favorite blankies to use for my children has been the Under the Nile Organics Bunny Blanket friends.  Made with 100% organic cotton you can rest easy knowing that this washable item is safe for the inevitable chewing and sucking!

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What other comfort items have your children enjoyed?  We would love to hear more about your experiences when soothing your own children!

Product of the week: Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen Cream

Product of the week: Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen Cream 

Spring break season is upon us and summer will be here before you know it and for most Moms this means stocking up on sunscreen.  Here at BabyEarth we try to source sunscreens we know will be safe for your children (and adults too!).  This week Badger Sunscreen SPF 30 cream is our product of the week.

Reason #1.

Safe! With only five ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Beeswax, Sunflower Vitamin E, and Organic Seabuckthorn you can rest assure that you are putting only the safest ingredients out there on your skin.

Reason #2.

Effective! Broad spectrum protection from UVA & UVB rays using mineral Zinc Oxide.  Its always important to have protection from both rays as UVA penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB. UVA also generates free radicals in living skin, which contribute to skin damage, wrinkling, and skin cancer.

Reason #3.

Variety! Badger Sunscreens come in a variety of types from sport screens with increased water and sweat resistance to scents with soothing lavender and uplifting tangerine & vanilla. 

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Start stocking up on your sunscreen now!  As always, you will find BabyEarth products such as Badger SPF 30 Unscented Cream for purchase up to 15% lower than list pricing.

New Baby Gift Guide

There are registry gifts and there are special new born baby gifts that Mothers just love to receive.  It’s always nice to bring a new Mom a home cooked meal and a few thoughtful items for their bundle of joy.  Some of our most special items at BabyEarth, and those that I personally have loved receiving, are super soft sleepers, stroller blankets and board books with simple pictures.

I’ve been a huge fan of aden+anais since my first child was born, their soft materials can not be beat, they have a wonderfully thick Muslin Dream Blanket great for snuggling in a stroller as well as their beyond soft Bamboo Swaddling Blankets that will perfectly wrap around your baby ensuring a great night sleep.  Two items any new Mom would love!

Other favorites are the BabySoy Soy Soft Kimono One Pieces and Bundlers.  These products are made of soybean protein fiber (Azlon) which is a soft, light fabric known to be smoother than cashmere with the same moisture absorption as cotton. It is hydroscopic, air pervious, soft, smooth, dry and has superior warmth retention that’s comparable to wool. This super fabric will ensure your baby’s comfort while wearing at all times.

Board books are always a great addition to any new baby present package, “Babies First 100 Words” has always been a hit in our house, by the time my third came around I needed to get a new one the pages were so worn!  Babies LOVE touch and feel books as well and over time they start to anticipate each page and know exactly where to “touch and feel”.

Hope these suggestions help in your quest for the perfect new baby gift and please let us know what some of your favorite gifts have been to give and receive!

Product of the Week: The Boppy Original Nursing Pillow

Product of the week: Boppy Original Nursing Pillow

When it comes to breastfeeding getting your baby into a comfortable latching position can be a struggle for both new and experienced Moms, thats where the Boppy Nursing Pillow comes in to save the day!  Boppy Pillows put an end to the common back and neck strain a nursing Mom typically feels and assists in getting your baby into that “just right” position for feeding.  For these reasons and those below the Boppy Original Nursing Pillow is featured as our product of the week. 

Reason #1.

Positioning!  The Boppy Pillow’s crescent shape and soft padding aid in ensuring your baby remains in the right ergonomically correct position during feeding which in turn reduces tiring and often painful muscle tension in the arms, shoulders and neck caused by leaning over your baby.

Reason #2.

Multifunctional! The Boppy is not only great for nursing but can also be a useful tool for tummy time and assisting in propping your baby into an upright position which are both great core strengthening exercises.   Of course never leave your baby unattended while using the Boppy Pillow:)

Reason #3.

Great slip cover options! Boppy covers come in a large variety of machine washable fabrics and colors, from organic cotton to cozy plush you will be sure to find the right cover for your Boppy.  

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Now through 3/31 when you buy a Boppy Original Nursing Pillow with slipcover you will receive a free $10 gift card.

Sippy Cup Basics

Sippy cups are usually a big new Mom topic when transitioning from bottle to cup.  Which brand sippy cups are the best?   What materials should I look for, glass or stainless steel?  Which brands leak?  I’ve been through a lot of sippy cups and finding the right one meant enduring some trial and error.  

When first making the transition from bottles I was looking for a sippy cup that was easy for little hands to handle, leak proof, free of BPAs and other harmful chemicals and one that would keep liquids cool if necessary.  When I first tried the Foogo Phases Leak-Proof Straw Cups I was an instant fan, it addressed all of my sippy cup needs and then some.  I now have two of my children using the straw cups and my 12 month old using the more traditional Foogo Leak-Proof Sippy Cup - lots of happy customers in my house.  

Another go-to are the ever popular Lifefactory Glass Bottles with Straw Cap protection and silicone sleeve.  They are easy to use and great for a lot of little ones who are familiar with the companies glass bottle line.  I love our Lifefactory cups so much I bought my own in the larger 22oz size to store my own water!

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My older children enjoy a morning smoothie and their straw cups do a great job at keeping any liquid from spilling in addition to making sure their drinks stay cool.

Here is our favorite simple morning smoothie recipe:

8-10 oz almond milk (or your choice in milk)

handful of spinach

1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries 

one banana

1/2 avocado

1 Tbs of coconut manna

handful of ice

blend!

It will be a hit in your house too I’m sure!  Please share some of your own favorite smoothie recipes!

Product of the Week: BabyKicks Basic Cloth Diaper

Product of the week: BabyKicks Basic Pocket Cloth Diaper

 

Cloth diapering has been a tried and true method for as long as time.  Luckily products like the BabyKicks Basic have taken cloth diapering to the next level with their innovative comfort designs and super absorbent wicking materials known to prevent leaks.   A few of the reasons BabyKicks Basic Cloth Diapers are featured as our product of the week are as follows:  

Reason #1.

Reusable!  BabyKicks diapers are available in a one size “intuitive “V” shaped snap-down sizing system” which means these diapers will grow along with your baby and will ensure a comfortable fit no matter your child’s size.  

Even better, BabyKicks can be used as training pants when your toddler is ready to take that next step!

Reason #2.

Affordable!  BabyKicks will save you money as you’ll spend significantly less during your child’s diaper-wearing years versus the average $2,000 you might spend on disposable baby diapers for the same amount of time.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Reason #3.

Environmentally Friendly! 

If you’re worried about the dyes and gels used in traditional disposables, BabyKicks cloth diaper system is the way to go.  BabyKicks uses hemp materials because of its durability, absorbency, and it’s natural anti-microbial properties.  According to BabyKick’s website Hemp is a preferred crop to cotton because “Hemp does not deplete the soil; in fact hemp leaves return nitrogen back to the soil, which improves soil fertility, therefore requiring less fertilizer for subsequent rotated crops.”  

Great to know!

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Now through 3/31 when you buy a BabyKicks Basic Cloth Diaper you will receive a free Honest Wipes Travel Pack.

Understanding Bisphenol A (BPA): Plastic Chemical Now Linked to Obesity

As most informed parents are aware, BPA or Bisphenol A is a chemical to stay far away from. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines BPA as a chemical used “in the manufacture of many hard plastic food containers” and can be found in some metal cans due to the epoxy resins as well.

In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration conducted a study on BPA and discovered that the chemical can leach out of plastic when heated (this is why you should always microwave food items in glass or microwave-safe ceramic containers!). Further tests have even linked BPA to a potential cause of cancer, diabetes, and infertility, though unfortunately, the effects are still too vague to truly deem the chemical as harmful enough to be eliminated from use in manufacturing.

Recently, BPA has been banned from baby bottles, but one frightening statistic makes me think it isn’t enough. According to Healthy Child Healthy World, “A survey conducted through the Centers of Disease Control found BPA in the urine of 93% of Americans. And our children have the highest levels.” Therefore, health conscious moms and dads should choose to opt for BPA free products in its entirety since the effects are still mostly unknown.

More recent studies have even linked BPA to an increased risk of obesity. Obviously poor diet and lack of exercise are the main contributing factors, but the association in itself is concerning. Particularly when it comes to our children, a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that children exposed to high levels of BPA “are five times more likely to be obese than children with low levels.”

Again, the effects of BPA at this point are still not totally understood. But, to be safe, I would highly recommend looking for products (for you and baby) that claim to be BPA-free – that most definitely includes any sort of plastic toys that your little one might enjoy!

For more information on how to approach your infant’s exposure to BPA, visit HHS.gov.

A New Year: Parenting Resolutions Simplified

At the start of each new year I try to come up with very specific resolutions that I convince  myself I’m going to follow through with, however as most of us can attest, more than most of them never get accomplished. For the record, my 2012 resolution of working out three times a week was achieved for a solid three and a half weeks, so that’s pretty awesome. Anyways, I’ve decided that setting specific goals isn’t really my thing.

This year, I am going with a more simplified approach. Instead of setting specific resolutions like “I’m cutting out dessert entirely” or “I’m only allowing myself to mentally break down once a week”, let’s all try to shoot for being all-around better people/parents/friends/etc. I’ve come up with a list of three simplified resolutions to help shape us into happier people, and hopefully they will be easier to stick to!

For me, I want to improve on three things this year and they are as follows: reflection, progression, and positivity.

Reflect. We cannot learn from our experiences if we don’t take a step back every once in awhile and reflect on how we reacted, why we reacted the way that we did, and how we can improve those actions the next time around. For parents, reflection is crucial. Take time to rehash the day. Did you dish out empty threats when a simple no would have sufficed? Did you overreact? Under-react? Take time to reflect, not just on your parenting techniques, but on everything. A moment of time taken out of your day designated solely for you is important in your overall happiness.

Progression. In relation to reflection, progression is the next step. Sure, you can think about things all day, but that’s not going to change anything unless you put those thoughts into action. Let’s all strive to progress, to learn, to move forward, and to be the best we can be.

Positivity. Pretty self-explanatory. My goal here is to simply possess positivity, in all capacities. I want to be positive, I want to think/speak positive, I want others to feel positive when I’m around, and most importantly I want to be positive that I am doing all I can for others. Now, when your two year old is screaming at the top of their tiny little lungs in a quiet store, it may be harder to hold on to that distant strand of positivity, but take a deep breath, and fight through it!  We can’t always be positive, but I would wager to say 9 times out of 10, it’s all about mind over matter.

Watch out 2013, I’m coming for you! ;)