Demand Feeding Vs. Scheduled Feeding

This post is sponsored by Mirum. All opinions are my own.

When you find out you’re going to be a mom your world is rocked!  Not just in the “Outta my way, I’m going to puke” sense or the way you get lightheaded with all of the nursery decor themes in the big box stores.  I’m talking about the 101 decisions you have to make about how you will parent before your child is even born.  Not only do you have to have all of these decisions made but you also have to have five bullet points for each one, at least one unbiased clinical trial to support your choice, and a handful of witty comebacks for those who dare challenge your decision.  Ahh, motherhood.  It’s the most wonderful thing in the world and definitely the hardest for a myriad of reasons.

Let’s lay aside cloth diapers vs. plastic, home birth vs. hospital, epidural vs. natural, sleep training vs. attachment parenting, spanking vs. gentle parenting, to vaccinate or not, to cosleep or not, homemade baby food vs. store bought, baby-wearing vs. a stroller, aaaaand today we’ll talk about on demand feeding verses scheduled feeding.

Most everyone recommends on demand feeding for newborns and that’s what I did as well.  I had the goal of slowly working that into a schedule and that’s just what I did.  Not a strict schedule, but a routine.  As someone who exclusively bottle fed, having a loose schedule helped me tremendously.  I wouldn’t call it strict schedule feeding though, I definitely paid attention to my baby’s cues for the most part and not the clock.  Maybe I should call it semi-schedule feeding.

From the first day my oldest came home from the hospital I used a baby schedule, a blank one!  It was where I wrote what my daughter ate, how much, when, how many wet diapers she had, if she had any tummy drops…everything was written there.  I had a whole binder of them that set next to my daughter’s changing table so my husband and I could document how she was doing.  We could see that she was consuming enough and having enough wet diapers at a glance.  The pediatrician loved us when we brought in the notebook.  I started the notebook because I knew I wouldn’t be able to remember anything and my daughter’s health was too important to risk messing up.  I have narcolepsy and add in new-mama sleep deprivation and well, I just needed the schedule to keep me sane.  I used the free printable one from Get Buttoned Up.  I always swore I would make my own one day for my blog and changed what I didn’t love about this one but that never happened.  I still highly recommend theirs and I used it for my son as well.

After I had a few weeks worth of records, a list of how much my daughter should be drinking at each feeding and for the day’s total, my husband and I worked out a rough schedule.  If my daughter was hungry before the next “scheduled” meal we fed her and adjusted the schedule accordingly.  She never went hungry, in fact, I think having a schedule kept her from being hungry and having to cry for food.

Here’s why semi-scheduling worked for us:

  • – We worked to be able to recognize my daughter’s hunger cues.  She had different cries for different things.  Hunger, tiredness, and gas were all different and recognizable…after a while.
  • – Once we started a repetitive routine of feeding, play time, and then sleep, I was able to better know what my baby needed.  If I knew she just ate at 10:00 and it was 10:30 I know that she has a full tummy so I would check her diaper.  If she was closer to her sleep time and was cranky maybe she wanted an extra cuddle or was ready for her nap.
  • – I didn’t find a cute printable schedule on Pinterest but worked with my daughter to find a schedule that suited her.  Just when we got into a rhythm she changed it on me and had a growth spurt.  It’s important to always be flexible!
  • – Because I bottle fed a trip to the mall was a BIG deal! A trip anywhere was really.  I would envy the moms breastfeeding in public and all they had to bring along with them was a cover, if that.  I had to bring pre-measured and dry formula, room temperature water, very hot water to heat the room temperature water, hand sanitizer so I could prepare the bottle, the bottle, and the mixing lid.  That was just for one feeding out.  If I had to guess when she was hungry (if we didn’t stick to a loose schedule) and try and try again, it wouldn’t be pretty.  She was picky about the temperature and if I guessed wrong and she wasn’t hungry the formula might go bad or the bottle would be too cold before she cried again.  Knowing around the time that she would be hungry saved me so much headache…formula feeding out and about is hard enough, knowing she was ready for the bottle was nice.

While semi-scheduling might not work for your family I wanted to share what worked for mine in case it helped someone else.  Please if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Whatever you do, don’t get so set on a schedule that you don’t learn your baby’s cries.  All babies are a little different when it comes to feeding frequency and how much.  You don’t want to lean on a schedule so much that you neglect your maternal instincts.

Parent's Choice Formula

If you’re wanting to try formula, check out Parent’s Choice® formula that’s available exclusively at Walmart.  Their Sensitivity formula is at least $600 a year cheaper than an alternative formula.  It’s nutritionally comparable to more expensive national brand infant formulas and meets the highest-quality FDA nutritional standards, just like Enfamil, Similac and Gerber.

Parents Choice

Whichever parenting methods and feeding methods you choose I hope you’ll feel confident that you’re making the best choice for your family.  No one knows your family like you do, so rest in that.

The Parent’s Choice Formula Feeding Time Summer 2017 Sweepstakes

Amazon Prime Day – $0.09 Diapers and $0.01 Wipes Deal!

This post contains affiliate links.Pampers Baby Dry

Amazon is offering Prime members exclusive deals today only for Amazon Prime Day.

Prime members will get an extra 35% off select Pampers Diapers (applied in cart). Plus they are eligible for the Amazon Family 20% Subscribe & Save discount.

When you combine the 35% off instant savings and the 20% discount, you can get some amazing deals on diapers.

For example, get the Pampers Baby Dry Diapers, Size 1, 252 count for just $23.91 shipped after coupon code and Amazon Family.

That’s just $0.09 per diaper!  

After your order ships you can cancel your Subscribe & Save subscription if you want.

Huggies Wipes $0.01 Shipped

Amazon has Huggies Wipes, 648 count for just $10.64 shipped when you check out through Subscribe & Save and clip the $1 eCoupon at checkout.

That’s only $0.01 per wipe!

Again, once your order ships, you can go into your Amazon account and cancel your subscription if you don’t want to have recurring orders but for things like wipes, a recurring order is sometimes nice to have!

Sign up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get this deal, plus free 2-day shipping!

Go here for my favorite list of Amazon Prime Baby Deals!

Change the Conversation with WaterWipes

I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for WaterWipes.  I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Christmas outfit

My Mary

Mary and Joseph Kids

Reading

My Kids

We’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas songs in our house these past few weeks.  There’s a lot of piano and guitar and homemade maracas shaking.  There have been Christmas play rehearsals during dinner and endless amounts of dancing.  Dancing, dancing, everywhere!  We’ve transitioned to Pandora so we can listen to it alllllll day without growing tired of the same songs over and over.

Christmas is a wonderful yet hectic time of year.  Our family is six months into our renovation and move.  …we live in chaos.  But it will end soon!!  That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.  Despite the packing boxes in our living room, the fact that I packed our gingerbread cookie cutters and the blender for our egg nog milkshakes, and that we had to go to the new house and get our Christmas tree tonight. sigh…there are plenty of beautiful things and people right here.  In the middle of this mess.  Just look at that video above.  Pure, unadulterated joy.  That’s what I’m choosing to focus on today.

Do you recognize that face up there?  Yep, that’s me.  I’ve been fortunate to be a WaterWipes ambassador this year and from fall fun days to messy moments at home WaterWipes has been there and had my back.  These chemical free baby wipes are amazing!  Their gentleness makes them the perfect baby wipe, face and hand wipe.  If you haven’t tried them yet, what are you waiting for?  Go here to see which locations in your area sell them.

For more information on WaterWipes visit WaterWipes.com.  You can also follow WaterWipes on FacebookTwitter (#WaterWipes), Pinterest, & Instagram.

If I could change the conversation I would encourage moms to focus on the beautiful moments that are in life.  Sure there are a lot of messy moments but there’s a lot of joy to be found when you can appreciate the beauty while standing in the middle of a mess.  Trust me, I should know.  I mean, did you see my living room? 😉

Gymboree SALE – Everything $14.99 and Under!!

This post contains my affiliate links. 

Gymboree 14.99 sale

I have another deal for you.  I promise I’ll quit after this one, or I’ll try to, but this is a GREAT SALE!

Gymboree is selling EVERYTHING in the entire store for $14.99 and under, plus free shipping with no minimum!!

Fancy dresses, shoes, heavy winter coats, everything is $14.99 or less.  Woo!

Happy shopping!

Last Day for Standard Shipping: 12/16/2015 (Noon EST)

Last Day for Rush Shipping: 12/18/2015

Last Day for Express Shipping: 12/23/2015

Hurry, the sale ends tomorrow, 12/15/15.  Go here to see what goodies you can find!

Tips for Traveling With Kids

Tips for Traveling with Kids

The holidays are upon us.  Ladies, lock and load ‘cause we’re hittin’ the road. We are traveling with kids.

I thought I would share my tips and tricks for traveling successfully with the kiddos.

  • 1.  Prep

I know this goes against the grain of the wild adventurer in every one of us, but seriously, you are cruisin’ for a bruisin’ if you don’t know where you’re going or what your doing on the trip. These are not the days of the road trip when we had the luxury of packing the essentials and hitting the road.

Most likely you are intentional about where you want to go and what you’re going to do, but the amenities of those places you will frequent are worth their weight in goal. Number one priority – a playplace. Have you planned a place to let your smunchkins out to roam, to get out the wiggles. Is there a good rest stop that can provide a run and roam area? How often do you need to stop on the way? Planning stops along the way can be crucial to a happy crew.

  • 2.  Protect

If you still want your vehicle to be in one piece after your return home, I suggest that you use protective covers on your car’s fabric features. There are expensive seat covers to protect the car’s fabric from kids’ spills, but you can also use a fitted crib mattress sheet. This is cheap, probably something you have on hand, and can be easily thrown into the wash.

I also like to put down old towels on the floor areas where my kids might drop something or to catch the snack crumbs. I don’t do this all the time because I don’t like a junky car, but it’s nice when your car is home on a long trip.

  • 3.  Pack

Pack your items in such a way that you can grab the essentials at a moment’s notice. You need to be able to get to your toiletries and an extra set of clothes in case junior decides to get carsick and go projectile on your clothes. Vivid but true…

Also, if room provides, make sure that you think through where you could change baby’s diaper if need be. If you’re tight on space, you can always change baby in one of the front seats when you’re not sitting in it. And pack those extra diapers. I’m constantly tucking Huggies in side pockets, nooks, and crannies like a little squirrel just in case we sometime forget to have diapers. Silly, but I’d rather be prepared.

  • 4.  Pennies

If you have a child at the begging age, you know it’s important to have some money set aside. We collect our pennies and loose change for trips, and then hubby and I decide on what we’d like to use it on. Sometimes it’s what the kids are whining for… within reason ;), sometimes it’s something special we planned. Either way, it’s nice to have cushion change that didn’t come from the budget.
 
What did I leave out? Let me know what your essential traveling habits are!

Free Luvs Momoji Keyboard + $100 Giveaway

This post was made possible by iConnect and Luvs.  I was compensated for my participation in this campaign but all opinions are my own.

I was just thinking the other day how I wanted emojis to have something about babies or diapers. The closet emoji to real life is the “poop” emoji on Facebook. Even with all the animal-themed emojis and popular movie emojis, there really aren’t enough to communicate what goes on in mommy’s day…until now.

Luvs has created the first emoji keyboard for moms and dads – we moderns must be included. It’s good to have images that really send the big “picture” of what’s going on without all the words. After all, I can’t text all day long, so the easy pictures are helpful to save time.

Momoji

I downloaded the app from the Apple AppStore, but it is available on the Google Play as well. When you download it, you’ll notice that it’s a keyboard app which will integrate seamlessly into your texting. If you want to download it too, look for Luvs Momoji keyboard (get it? Mom + emoji = momoji). Clever people.

Free Luvs Coupons

The app is also helpful when searching for deals – the Promoji helps busy moms and dads look for diaper bargains. The more you use the app, the more you use the app’s keyboard, you’ll unlock deals and promotions for diapers. Not only that but you can send diaper coupons to friends right away.  It’s a free app, so there’s nothing but pluses. The momojis work in Hangouts, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Tango, and Gmail.

Want to know more about Luv’s new cook momoji app?  Download it AND join in the #Momoji twitter party with @iConnectIm (& me, @Beauty4Moms!) next Tuesday, December 15, 2015 @ 9pm EST.

Giveaway!

To celebrate the launch of Luvs Momoji Keyboard I have a giveaway for you!  One lucky winner will a Luvs Momoji Prize Pack that will include:

  • – $100 American Express Gift Card
  • – 1 Pack of Luvs Diapers (Size 1-6, winner’s choice)

Open to U.S. residents only.  Enter via the Rafflecopter below.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mimo Smart Baby Monitor

Mimo is a welcomed, untraditional approach to baby monitoring. Unlike baby monitors that rely on sight and sound, this baby monitor relies on the baby’s breathing pattern, body position, skin temperature, and sleep quality. I personally love data to determine what’s really going on, and this high-tech baby monitor does it. It doesn’t just tell me that it sounds or looks like my baby is breathing and sleeping. It gives me specific stats to know he’s okay. It really does provide better sense of security. #BetterSleepForEveryone #AmIRightorAmIRight

Baby’s data is collected from a special device the baby wears. It’s not a smart watch. It’s a little “smart” turtle attached to Mimo’s baby kimonos, which is basically a fancy baby bodysuit with sensors to detect your baby’s data.  Kimonos are also my baby clothing of choice.  Well done, Mimo!

Mimo Turtle

I was concerned the turtle would be bulky or easy to detach accidentally, but it isn’t. It’s about the size of an Oreo cookie. (Now I want some, and I can’t claim eating for two anymore… bummer).

Mimo

Baby Boy in Crib

The kimono can be worn over 3 layers of clothing, under layers of clothes, or alone; it’s a perfectly suitable bodysuit… that’s happens to track baby. I think they’re kind of cute. With the kimono design, they have a touch of chic. They are 100% cotton, machine washable and “dryable.” Of course they come in different sizes so you can use it as your little one becomes not so little anymore (0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 mos.). You can find the kimonos and the monitor at Babies R Us for only $199.

Mimo Kimono

The all-important data travels via bluetooth and internet connection to us parents’ phones (Apple or Android), which I love. I think it’s more reassuring to have it on your phone than have to carry another device around the house that tells how baby is doing. There’s also an audio component that lets me hear baby boy, so the traditional sound of baby breathing does bring comfort to me.

All-in-all, I do really like this monitor. I wish it came with a video function, but you can add that on by buying the Nest. It’s important to note that the lilypad needs to be no more than five feet from the turtle, so look for a spot that your baby can’t reach. 

To stay connected with Mimo follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram

Compensation was provided by Mimo Smart Baby Monitor via MomTrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Mimo Smart Baby Monitor or Momtrends.

Kid-friendly (but actually enjoyable) Alternatives to the Radio: Younger Edition

Sometimes the radio has less than desirable content for even mature adults to be subjected to. While we can’t shelter our kids without living in hole, it is good to have items on hand which are an alternative to the hubbub of the radio. The problem is that a lot of kid-friendly alternatives torture the poor adults. (Can I get an amen?) I’ve come up with a list that we use in our car rides, that we tolerate, and that even we adults enjoy.

Hidden In My Heart: A Lullaby Journey Through Scripture

This is probably my favorite of the “baby” section, but I would recommend this for any age during the quiet time of the day. Scriptures are important to our family, I love that this soft, soundtrack-style music is entrenched with them. I am most thankful to my parents for instilling Scripture in my life in several ways, music being one of them, and I’m all too grateful to pass the tradition onto my children.

hidden in my heart

Sing Over Me: Worship Songs and Lullabies

I listen to this without the kids. The songs are truly worship but soft and calming like we all sometimes need. I have a Pandora channel that brings this up occasionally too without me even adding it or liking it because it is so popular with adults. Be careful that you are awake or have a buddy driver with this CD because it can make you drowsy!

sing over me

Daddy Plays: Acoustic Rock Lullabies

On a different vein, if you’d like to introduce your kid to classics, here they are. One aspect this CD touts is its non-electronic music. It is acoustic rock, just like the title says. There’s a real quality to it that you don’t find in other rock-lullaby CDs.

daddy plays

 

Lullaby Versions of Mumford & Sons

Mumford & Sons is my guilty pleasure. I’m included this CD on this list not for the masses but for me. I truly enjoy them, and enjoy getting my kids hooked on them too. If you have listened to them before, give ‘em a try. It’s a little rock, a little Simon & Garfunkel.

mumford lullabies
For information about buying a car to listen to these pretties in, contact Brown’s Fiat (http://www.fiatusaofpatchogue.com).

Gerber Lil’ Bits – For Babies Learning to Chew

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Gerber. The opinions and text are all mine.

Transitions are beautiful and essential part of life. The first time little squirt walks, the first time they go to school, the first day we have to ourselves…ahhh. 🙂 I digress. Transitions are awesome and they require work as well as joy.

Gerber

I loved transitioning baby to solid foods with Gerber’s Lil’ Bits. The chunks of food in the baby food really made him learn to mash down on the spoon (and I used a soft spoon to ease the transition instead of him having to bit down on cold metal).

Having the pre-packaged meals was a huge time-saver too. They are resealable so if baby decides he’s full, I can save it for later… and save my cash for later too, for when he’s ready to tear into some steaks! Anyone else looking forward to feeding teenage boys? Seriously, I really enjoyed the fact knowing I had an in-between option for little man that I could depend on. I knew it was the right type of food and the right amount for him to chew. The different flavors will also prepare him for our healthy menu options at home.

I loved this transition from soft to chewable food because his face was so adorable! His first reaction to a chunk was adorable. He didn’t know what to do with it for a moment, scrunched his face, and then munched! Those little memories are the most precious. I wish I had this when my daughter was younger. It took her a long time to not gag on solid food because she was so used to having mushed food.

I know I’ve mentioned it before but my son has eating problems that stem from his allergies and his acid reflux that went untreated for so long. Gerber’s Lil’ Bits is truly a product I can trust because I know the ingredients are the best, the packaging is convenient, and the pieces aren’t hard but add just the right amount of texture to his food to help him learn to chew. If you have a little one learning to eat, make sure you let them try Gerber’s Lil’ Bits and they might even give you a “thank you” in baby sign language. 🙂 Visit here for more information.

Gerber 3rd Foods Lil Bits Recipes help babies learn to chew and ease the transition to table food.

 

Comment below to enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card or potentially a $1,000 grand prize! 

 

Official Rules

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Gerber. The opinions and text are all mine.

How to Childproof Your Home

When I first found out I was pregnant I was consumed with childproofing our home.  That is, after I was consumed with picking a name and learning what I could and couldn’t eat.  There’s so much for new moms to think about!  To help make life a tiny bit easier for moms I’ve compiled a list of ways to childproof your home.

Childproof Your Home

  1. Cover all electrical outlets.  We love the ones that you install into the wall in place of a regular electrical socket.  You have to have both prongs inserted at the same time before any electricity comes out.
  2. Anchor large furniture.  The damage done to walls is negligible in comparison to the safety of your child.
  3. Move breakable objects.  Keep glass objects out of the reach of little hands.  The same goes for heavy items with cords…like an iron or toaster.  Keep them and their cords out of reach.Smith and Noble Blinds
  4. Use cordless blinds.  I used to think that keeping blind cords out of reach was enough till I watched this disturbing video (watch with caution and without kids around).  It’s amazing how fast accidents like this can happen.  That site says,  “According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission over 40 percent of accidents occur on products that complied with the ANSI national safety standard. These accidents are preventable by going cordless with all window blinds.”  I just ordered cordless blinds for both of my kid’s rooms from Smith and Noble.  I love that they sent me samples to match the colors to my existing decor.  Plus, they sent someone to measure my windows for free!Smith and Noble wants your window treatments to be safe for your families so they are giving a $1000 window treatment makeover to one lucky family!  They will also give away a $50.00 trade in value per corded shades when you enter.  Big savings!  To enter visit their site here.
  5. Stow hazardous supplies.  This includes cleaning supplies, bug killer, vitamins, hand soap, knives, etc.  Lock them up or put them in high shelves where little curious fingers can’t explore.
  6. Be prepared. Keep the number for the national poison control center – (800) 222-1222 in the United States – and your local emergency numbers close to every phone just in case.
  7. Keep the ground clear.  Not only do you want to keep your little one from old crumbs but more importantly away from coins, safety pins, paper clips, those tiny plastic clothes tags, and on and on.  My son went through a stage where he wanted to put anything in his mouth, besides his food.
  8. Toilet locks.  We didn’t do this one but we have a rule in our house that all bathroom doors are to remain closed at all times.  A child can drown in just one inch of water and I heard somewhere that kids are more top heavy than adults allowing them to fall in easily.
  9. Lock windows.  According to the CPSC, every year about eight children under the age of 5 die from falling out of windows in the United States, and more than 3,000 are injured.  A friend of my family found their son, who was under 2 years old at the time, out his window and on the overhang of his window!  Thankfully his mom rescued him and they now have the most secure windows possible.
  10. Avoid sharp corners.  For sharp edges, like those of a fireplace, you can buy protective foam to cover it while the kiddos are small.
  11. Detectors! Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home.  It’s also a good idea to have a game plan laid out a head of time with older children so they know what to do in case an alarm sounds.

This isn’t a comprehensive list at all but they are some important ones that we’ve tried to be cautious of in our home.  Tell me, experienced parents, what did I leave off?