ourgranny

National Geographic KIDS – Review

We started the kids on a National Geographic KIDS subscription about 8 months ago. We were looking for a smart way to educate them through reading and naturally, learning about animals seemed like a nice option.

Is this for me?

Our three kids are still young, ages 2 to 6, and we got them started on the National Geographic Little Kids subscription. We have found them super fun and easy to read. The kids get to learn about several different animal species in each issue and participate in interactive fun games, such as Find the Differences, etc.

This subscription is geared towards pre-schoolers and do a great job at engaging the children in discussions. We have found that our kids learn from reading the articles and like to “teach” us about what they learned. National Geographic also does a really good job at including questions that spark discussions between parents and children.

While coming to the higher end of the age group, our Kindergartner has started enjoying the Little Kids edition on her own. With easy to read articles, she is able to practice her reading and understand most articles on her own!! Very fun way to learn how to read and build confidence in young readers!

 

Once your kids get a little older, sign them up for a National Geographic KIDS subscription. Geared towards children ages 6+, the topics discussed are closer to the ones presented in the adult version of the magazine. Older children will enjoy learning about animals, science, archaeology, geography, but also technology and pop culture.

The topics will bring your children’s natural curiosity out and allow them to explore new areas in a safe and child-friendly environment.

 

What does this cost?

Both subscriptions currently run for $15 a year. Your child will receive a magazine every second month. This is such a nice alternative to a toy for birthdays and Christmas. Consider it as birthday gift for little friends as well. We definitely find that our kids get more out of receiving experiences and subscriptions than traditional toys, which get forgotten soon after being received

What we like most?

  • National Geographic KIDS are ad-free. Children do not get distracted nor influenced by visually distractive ads
  • At $15 / year, or $2.50 / issue, the price point is attractive and fair for the quality of the articles and pictures included
  • The topics gravitate around animals, nature, plants, cultures, science and are relevant to the age groups targeted
  • With 35 years of experience, National Geographic does a great job bringing information to children in a fun and accessible way and we have used the magazines as inspiration for several school projects!
  • Our kids’ reaction when they pull a new magazine out of the mailbox!!

 

Share with us which other magazines your children have enjoyed reading and learning from!

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Portable Car Seat – Review

mifold booster

Ever rented a car after a plane ride with kids in tow? Or hopped in a cab with littles ones too young to legally sit on their own? While most airlines allow you to check in car seats free of charge, the whole traveling through airports with kids + car seats + luggages + hand luggages + strollers, can make your experience less than enjoyable… and if you don’t travel with your own equipment, the price to rent car seats is outrageously expensive… We have found the perfect solution to the problem: the portable car seat!

MiFold – Grab-and-Go Booster

For just under $40, MiFold offers a super cute and convenient portable car seat called “grab-and-go booster.” About the size of a stack of wipes, 10 times smaller than a regular car seat and just as safe, it is our favorite travel companion. We have loved being able to carry it in a backpack or the stroller and the investment is well worth it considering the savings in car seat rentals or trouble in finding taxis to accommodate our party in certain locations.

Products from Amazon.com

The MiFold will work for children 4 years or older and be safe for kids 40 to 100 pounds, or 40 to 57 inches tall. It has travelled with us across the United States and overseas and we never regretted not transporting the bulky seats with us on those short trips. It is an excellent solution when you know you won’t be driving for hours, or you’ll be in and out of several taxis while visiting a new area.

Have you experienced other good travel solutions? If so, please share!! We’d love to hear how you make traveling with kiddos safe, easier and simpler!

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What will a Granny Au Pair bring me?

One common question of Families wondering whether the Granny Au Pair program is for them is: what will a Granny Au Pair bring me and my family?

Having doubts?

It can be intimidating to think of hosting a Granny for the first time. For some of us, having dinner with a total stranger means stepping way out of our comfort zone. And I was right there with you. I am not the most welcoming host and I enjoy my privacy. But then life happened – juggling full time careers and caring for young children had me reconsider the Granny Au Pair program.

What happens next?

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when our first Granny joined us. After interviewing many different candidates, we felt confident that she would be perfect for our family. I remember seeing her for the first time when my husband and her returned from the airport. She was that wonderful 71-year old lady, all smiles, totally excited to have arrived, and ready to meet our family the next morning. That very first feeling was one of warmth and confidence. Granny “Wika”, as our 2-year old would call her, joined us to lend a helping hand during the busy summer months. She has been so wonderful that we continued hosting Grannies. And while each has been slightly different, all of our Granny Au Pairs have brought us calm and peace of mind!

What will my Granny Au Pair bring to my family?

Granny Au Pair Benefits

Most Grannies are mothers or grand-mothers and many have worked as teachers or in daycares. They love children and want to make a difference in the lives of their host grand-kids. They come with a lifetime of experience, a love for lullabies and fairytales, and armed with patience and love. With all their attention on your children, you can rest assured that they will be well cared for by a Granny Au Pair who genuinely wants to pour her love on them. We came home, finding them all cuddling around books, investigating bugs, building forts of bedsheets, learning to write their names…

Often times, having a Granny Au Pair will also allow your children to be looked after in the comfort of your own home. Leaving your toddler in daycare never gets easier and you might be able to cut down on those hours if your Granny Au Pair is able to pick up the little ones from school. Children love coming home early to spend time in their environment. Our Grannies have looked forward to that pick-up time and so have our kids. As a parent, the pressure of rushing to school after work is lifted and you don’t feel guilty coming home late once in a while. You know your kids are well cared for by the Granny they love. You find some peace of mind, juggling your busy schedule with theirs.

Many Grannies have the desire to remain active. They travel as Au Pairs to feel helpful and integrated. While we never asked, we came home countless times to a vacuumed house. The laundry would be folded, or the terrace swept. Often, we’d come down from putting the kids in bed and found the dinner table cleared and cleaned. Those are the little things that made our lives so much easier and us so appreciative of our Grannies!

What will my Granny Au Pair bring me?

As mentioned earlier, peace of mind and reduced guilt are just some of the emotions I feel around our Granny Au Pair. Life becomes less stressful, more posed and calm. Everyone finds his own rhythm, parents included. Countless times, having our Granny allowed us to accompany a child to a game, while the others could stay home and enjoy time off. Our Grannies have encouraged us to tackle weekend projects while they took the kids to the playground for an hour.

Grannies will also share their recipes and tips and tricks. From stitching buttons to removing berry stains, I learned so much from them. They lended me their shoulder when I needed someone experience and with a fresh perspective to talk to. In many ways, they became my Granny as well and I just hope I was able to guide them as much as they guided me during their stays.

Give it a try!

I know you might feel vulnerable as you start this journey, but it will be wonderful and gratifying. The human side of it will outweigh your doubts and fears. There is so much that a Granny Au Pair will bring YOU!

 

Posted by ourgranny.com in Granny Au Pair Program, 0 comments

Why is breastfeeding so magical?

I would like to discuss one aspect of breastfeeding, which I find so magical, it is almost surreal.

Benefits to baby

You will often hear that breastfed babies are less likely to get sick. They experience lower rates of asthma, allergies, ear infections, respiratory illnesses… and the list goes on. What I found while breastfeeding my babies, is that they would not really get sick at all – no runny noses, no coughing. All that while their older siblings coughed right above their little heads and I would experience colds myself. But they seemed safe up until they’d stop breastfeeding. At that point, all 3 almost instantly started several months of colds…

One of the most claimed benefits of breastfeeding is the ability for the Mom to pass on antibodies to her baby, which will help her baby fight the viruses and bacterias around him. But how does that work? I wondered how Moms miraculously knew which antibodies to produce to cure their babies…

What truly happens when baby breastfeeds

This is how the miracle happens.

As babies latch on and start nursing from their Mother’s breast, they create a suction so hard, it is nearly impossible to pull them off. With this vacuum effect in place, the process of pulling milk involves sucking, followed by the swallowing phase. As the baby swallows milk, her saliva gets pulled back into the nursing Mom’s breast – this process is called backwash. As the saliva travels back to the mammary gland, the breast milk instantly adjusts its immunological composition. The Mom is now producing the antibodies necessary to fight the pathogens detected in baby’s saliva and administering it to her baby through her milk.

Does it get any more magical?

Another amazing function of breast milk is its ability to adjust to baby’s needs. As babies start nursing, they are generally hungry. The start of the feeding will be rich milk with its main purpose of feeding the child – think liquid meal. As the baby gets fuller, the milk will become more fluid as its new function is to hydrate the baby – think drinking. During any given breastfeeding session, the milk will transform itself to adjust to baby’s needs at that precise moment.

The more I learn about breastfeeding, the more impressed I get. For those of us who decided to breastfeed our children and were fortunate enough to be able to, breastfeeding truly is a magical process, not just for the bond created with the child, but for all those amazing functionalities in place, which allow our children to survive and strive on breast milk. It can be a struggle, many of us will cry over it, but every drop of milk will be worth it for both Baby and Mom. If you are experiencing difficulties and pain with breastfeeding, head over here to read my tips to Breastfeeding Breast Care!

Posted by ourgranny.com in Tips & Tricks, 1 comment

WubbaNub Pacifier – Review

This is the product review of our all-time favorite pacifier: the WubbaNub Pacifier!

 I was one of those young women – I knew exactly what my child would be like, what she would and not do, how she’d behave, etc. There was one certainty: my child would not be sucking on a pacifier. I would find ways to put her to sleep and soothe her when she cried. That is until… my child was born. With her, came colics and endless cries. Nothing but my walking her around the house would make her feel b

etter. I remember her first 8 weeks – we’d go for walks 3 times a day, I’d bathe her twice, and the rest of the time, I would walk her in circles inside our home. I had a colicy baby who, day and night, would not stop crying. The poor child was in pain and uncomfortable, and there is nothing her Dad and I could do to make her better. We read all about it: learned massage techniques, put her on her back and had her bicycle with her little legs up, gave her belly time, gripe water, I removed cow milk from my diet, drank special teas for stomach comfort… We tried everything. Until one day… she had been crying for hours and I gave in. My child who would never be sucking on a pacifier, was given her first pacifier. We had gotten one from our hospital stay. I put it in her little mouth and within seconds, she stopped crying. That might have only lasted a few minutes but it gave me hope.

 

Which pacifier would be our pacifier?

Now that my child would be a pacifier baby, I needed to research which one would work best. Who would have known that so many different shapes existed? Clearly, I had some catch up to do. I found that the green Avent one from the hospital was

working well. She liked sucking on it, but it fell off her little mouth. The first night she slept with it, she would wake us up because she could not find it. Certainty #2: if my child was going to sleep with a pacifier, I would find one that would stay in her mouth. I was up 4 times a night to breastfeed her. The little bit of sleep in between feed was sacred!

After a good amount of searching, and remembering a friend’s daughter using them, I came across the WubbaNub Pacifier. Seeing that one-year old sucking on it, I had always thought that it looked big and heavy for her little jaws. I ordered a pack of 3 to give them a try. When we purchased ours, in early 2012, they did not have all the design choices they have today. We ordered the dog / giraffe / monkey set. They were the cutest thing I had ever seen.

WubbaNub Pacifier

 

More cute models under this link: WubbaNub Pacifier

Here is the greatest (and most genius) thing about the WubbaNub pacifier: the nipple is sewed into a little plush the size of an adult hand (about 6 inches long). The hands and feet of the plush are weighed with little pearls, preventing the pacifier from falling out of the baby’s mouth. All you have to do, after laying your child on his back, is to place the plush on his chest. We noticed that some of the new models do not have weighed feet and we recommend getting the one with weights. They are a lifesaver in those early weeks / months. The pacifier will usually stay in place and keep the nipple in their mouth.

As your child grows older, it will be much easier for him to find his own pacifier in bed in the middle of the night. The plush is not only the perfect size for their little hands, it prevents the nipple from rolling off and getting lost in the bed. The younger ones like to hold on to the legs and manipulate the soft animal. It is also much easier for them to learn to bring it to their mouth than a small binky.

The nipple – Soothie – itself is medical grade and latex-free. We could not tell the difference from the nipple we were given at the hospital. The entire pacifier is machine washable. We put ours in mesh bags and let them air dry.

Today, Mary Meyer designs lots of very cute animals for WubbaNub. You will find one for every taste. All colors and many animal choices are available. They also make the perfect baby shower gift, with many gender-neutral options! Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry

Let us know which one was your baby’s favorite one! We played with them and purchased a bunch of different designs. They were all a hit. I don’t think our babies turned out having a true favorite. They were just fun to use interchangeably!

Posted by ourgranny.com in Product Reviews, 0 comments

Why host a Granny Au Pair?

What makes hosting a Granny Au Pair an excellent childcare solution for you and your family?

Many families today, juggle careers, children, school activities, extra-curricular activities, work trips, etc. Parents are more involved in their children’s lives than any generation before them. Slate states that in 1971, 80% of 3rd graders walked to school alone. Today, less than 9% do. Who is picking up those trips to school? Parents…

Parents today, are expected to take their kids to school, bring them to the park, have them enrolled in a multitude of after-school classes, while putting home-made meals on the table each night, bathing their little, reading them bed night stories so they know 20,000 words by the time they’re first graders, and preparing a healthy lunch for the next day. All of this takes time, and parents often find that time is scarce. Many of us don’t dare reaching out and asking for help. And more and more don’t have family near by to lend a helping hand. The fatigue and stress accumulate. Parents today feel under pressure that can cause mental disorders. Researches call this the “Super Parent” syndrome and sociologists are worried about the lack of support parents get.

Social media does nothing to help. We stare at picture-perfect families and wonder whether our children love us – we never french-braided their hair as artfully as our Facebook friends after all, or put up the eccentric birthday parties that seem to flood Pinterest… Katherine Stone, the founder of Postpartum Progress, states that: “The Pinterest society of looking at all these pictures of people who have perfectly decorated homes and reading on Facebook about children who are always perfectly dressed and way ahead of all developmental milestones — it puts a lot of pressure of mothers, especially those who feel vulnerable and not fully confident in themselves.”

Build your village

Granny Au Pair complicity with child

We have all heard the famous phrase: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Let’s use today’s technology to find that village. Children love being around older people. They are often calmer, gentler, in less of a hurry than their parents. Children feel re-assured by their posed tempers and patience. With platforms such as OurGranny.com, finding your “village” has become extremely convenient.

Hosting a Granny Au Pair is the perfect solution for many parents. We encourage you to give it a try, even if you have reserves around having a stranger live with you. That stranger might become your best ally. Your Granny will be your super-star. She will be the helping hand you have so desperately wished for. She will be thrilled to feel useful to your and your spouse. Kids will soon request that she’s the one reading the bedtime story. You might ask her to take the kids to the park while you vacuum your home. She might be happy to help you prepare the children’s lunch or take your son to his t-ball practice on Friday nights.

Remember, she has gone through what you are going through today. Be vulnerable and ask her for advice. She knows the struggles and the calmer seas lying ahead. She has the perspective you might not have just quiet yet. She will be as much support to you as she will be to the children.

We are convinced that Granny Au Pair’s can be the perfect solution for you and your family. Our first-hand experience taught us that our family received so much more than we had hoped. And we heard the same in return – our Grannies left over-joyed with their experience, feeling empowered with the feeling to have made a difference.

Share with us your doubts and questions. If you wonder about the cost of the program, read our article here. And if you have hosted a Granny Au Pair, tell us about your experience. We would love to hear from you!

Posted by ourgranny.com in Granny Au Pair Program, 1 comment

HypnoBirthing – Why you should give it a try

I remember, from a very young age, being terrified of giving birth. I grew up hearing my mom and grandma tell me how much they had suffered through childbirth. My mom, doctor by profession, had 5 children and I was her first one. She swore that the pain was so intense that she could have thrown herself out of the window. I heard things such as: “childbirth can be as pain free as possible for some women, and as painful as getting dismembered without anesthesia for others. See… my family was of the “others” category and my little self was certain of one thing – giving birth was going to be the most terrifying and painful experience of my life.

Naturally, when I finally got pregnant (after several months of trying), I was overjoyed! We had been dreaming of that line on the pregnancy test and I could already picture my husband and I holding our first born. Within hours however, I started panicking. Oh no, it wasn’t the first-time-mom type of panic. I was not worried about my life changing. Had no fear of caring for a baby – I was the oldest of 5 children and had pretty much raised my youngest sister the first 3 years of her life. No…. I was terrified of giving birth.

I kept everything inside. While my husband was ecstatic. I was regretting getting pregnant and felt that I could not share that feeling with him. I could not imagine giving birth to that child – the immeasurable pain I was going to live through – but felt stupid for it. I tried rationalizing myself. I started looking at everyone in the street, telling myself that they all had a mom who’d given birth to them. I was going to be fine. Our race wouldn’t have made it otherwise, right? Yet… I could not imagine a positive birthing experience. Fear was invading my mind and body.

Then came another terrifying thought…. My mom had spent over 24 hours in labor twice. While a common occurrence in Europe, they would probably wheel me in for a c-section in the US…

That is when I decided to get up and find a solution to my anxiety. I was going to get my acts together and give myself the best odds for success. I researched options and alternatives, until I came across HypnoBirthing. I knew this was right for me. I was going to learn to control my mind. That was the root of my problem. My mind was anxious, worried, and lacked confidence. My body was strong, healthy, and made to procreate. HypnoBirthing seemed like the perfect choice for me. While the technique preaches natural birthing, I knew that I wanted an epidural. I saw no reason to put myself through more pain than needed. My HypnoBirthing childbirth educator was very understanding and never tried to dissuade me.

I signed up for a class in my 4th month of pregnancy and asked my husband to join me. We were signed up for three 1.5 hour sessions with a doula who had been assisting moms with all aspects of pregnancy and birth. She spent a fair amount of time explaining the mechanics of birth during our first visit. By doing so, she helped me visualize the changes that would happen inside of me, and the journey my baby was going to take. This would be a joint experience where I would be in synch with my unborn child. She then went on to hypnotizing me.

This is where I am losing many of you… you are thinking black magic, trance, etc. My doula explained it best: have you ever driven down the highway and reached an exit sign but don’t remember how you got there? You might remember a moment 1 or 2 minutes prior to that exit. But you don’t remember actively driving your car down the road. If that ever happened to you, you are the perfect subject for HypnoBirthing. Without knowing it, you drove in a hypnotic state, where your mind controlled your body’s actions.

Now that I have you back, let me tell you what makes HypnoBirthing the most wonderful birthing technique in my opinion. The training you will receive, will give you the tools to approach birth with a calming mindset. You will learn to control your mind and let it pour positivity and relaxation into your body. You will be in full control and empower your body to give birth in a calm and gentle manner. The tension will be released through a set of practiced techniques, allowing your body to do the work in a natural manner.

Let’s be honest – that will require work. My doula gave me a set of tracks when I first met her. While she and I only met 3 times, I worked on my self-hypnosis skills every . single . night, from 4 months until the day my first daughter was born. The skills required practice. As I worked on it, I built up trust. I was in control of my emotions and my mind was going to enable my body to have that positive birthing experience. I listened to my 20 to 45-minute tracks in bed each night. While I always fell like I was falling asleep during the session, I somehow woke up at the end of each track to turn off my iPod. Once I had mastered the skill, I could not tell you what the voice had said. I remember the overwhelming well-being pouring down on me. I remember letting go and zoning out. I remember being woken up very gently at the end of the track. This was working!!

As we headed to the hospital that night, the first thing I did when I got there was to plug myself in. I had the lights dimmed down, requested minimal intrusion from nurses, and went on to relax and breathe. I did receive an epidural, which greatly helped the labor for my first daughter. I went on to delivering 2 more babies totally naturally after that. Simply using the power of my mind on the pain. No, giving birth was not pain free. I wasn’t even uncomfortable. I did feel pain and I did live in the moment. I don’t clearly remember the entire journey, but I very vividly remember delivering my children. I could not have asked for better experiences and attribute my success to HypnoBirthing. I only wish this was a more recognized option for women, as early as possible in their pregnancies.

Your first step will be to find a HypnoBirthing childbirth educator. Head over here to find one near you!

Today, I use my HypnoBirthing tracks before going to bed when I feel stressed, or am going through a rough time. The skills I developed will forever be with me. I know that I have the power to bring calm and quiet to my mind and body!

Please, let me know of your HypnoBirthing experience, or any other technique that carried you through a positive birthing experience! If you have any questions, please ask them here or use the Contact button to remain anonymous. I am passionate about birthing and would love to help answer any questions or concerns you may have!!

Happy birthing!

 

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Breastfeeding Moms – Breast Care Tips

Newborn breastfeeding

To all the breastfeeding Mommies out there, you are doing a fabulous job! Whether you breastfed a minute, a week, a month, or a year – give yourself a pad in the back! This post is not about the benefits of breastfeeding. It is not trying to convince anyone to breastfeed, and definitely does not bring any judgment of Moms bottle-feeding their babies. Being a Mom is difficult enough and we are all doing the best job we can for our babies!

Having breastfed three babies for a total of two and a half years, my breasts have bled, blistered, ripped, hurt, engorged, and made me cry numerous times. Breastfeeding is not easy. Both Mommy and baby need to adapt and learn. After baby #1, once you are confident to have mastered the skill, do not feel disappointed when baby #2 gives you just as much struggle. That baby needs to learn, just as your first one did. Your breasts need to get used to the suction again. Each one of my babies was very different. They ate differently, approached the breast and feeding in their very own little ways, and my experience has been totally different from one child to the next. And while you will struggle at first, if you are able to hang in there and don’t hit major roadblocks, you will both adjust in your due time and enjoy the close relationship (did I mention convenience?) between you and your baby.

We all know that the first few days and weeks will bring challenges and pain. As babies learn how to properly latch and suck, your breast will likely tear and bleed. Since there is no rest from hungry babies, you will need to find a way to heal your nipples between feeds. I would like to share with you my 4 tips on caring for your breast while breastfeeding:

Lanolin


It all started the day after our first daughter was born. The pain started and I sent my husband to the hospital’s shop to get something – anything – to apply to my nipples. He came back up with Lanolin breastfeeding salve. After feeding your baby, apply to the nipple. A protective layer will protect your breast and repair the skin between feeds. Free of harmful chemicals, it does not need to be removed before your baby’s next feed. My babies never seemed to feel a difference, while I truly did. It brought me much relief and I used as acute treatment in my worst days. When you are done breastfeeding, you can finish off your tube as moisturizer for your lips, heels, elbows, and cuticles!

Yogurt

My third child gave me the hardest time. I breastfed her for over a year and I would get random pains throughout the year. While the other 2 gave me trouble in the first few weeks, I just seemed to have more problems with her. One night as we lived in Germany and I was in so much pain that I could not bare the touch of a bra or shirt, I called a good friend of mine. The Germans always have natural remedies in mind and sure enough, she told me to open my fridge and get plain yogurt out. Put a teaspoon of it on a tissue and apply to your breast, she said. The immediate relief was incredible! The pain literally vanished as soon as I applied the cold yogurt to my breast. I strongly encourage all of you to give this a try. It is the easiest way to treat for acute pain! I never used this method on open sores and would recommend Lanolin on skin tears. Yogurt will bring you most comfort with shooting pain and overall discomfort and hyper-sensibility!

Natural Wool 


There goes another German remedy. As I took my newborn to one of her first doctor visits and pointed out to her sore butt, he wrote the following words on a piece of paper as he sent me off to the closest pharmacy: Heilwolle. That translates into Healing Wool. I was surprised that all pharmacies in Germany seem to carry pure  and natural sheep wool. I opened the box and the air filled with the smell of sheep. That stuff was real! I applied a thin layer on my baby’s butt and it worked like magic! No cream had been able to heal her and wool took only a couple of days to full recovery! Until a friend advised that I apply it to my breast when in pain! The basics of wool is to keep the area dry by absorbing the excess moisture. I was sold after the first try. I put a thin layer of wool and applied it directly to the tip of my nipple. It acted as a protector against the rubbing and started the healing process. I actually started keeping some wool inside my bra for days at a time when going through painful weeks. The relief was nearly instantaneous! You can change the wool every second feed and enjoy the benefits throughout the whole day.

Wool and Bamboo Breast Pads


Once I discovered the benefits of wool and because I am not a big fan of disposable items, I looked into wool nursing pads. I found several options on the market and purchased two different sets. I also got bamboo nursing pads to try. Having 3 sets was more than enough to never have to use the disposable kind again, which I thought were irritating anyways… I started with the wool pads and found them to be very comfortable and to bring some of the soothing benefits of the wool. On tough days, I would double up with actual wool. The rest of the time, the pads were enough on their own and very protecting. The Bamboo nursing pads felt even more comfortable to me, and I am sure this is a personal preference but I preferred the kinds that were a bit thicker as they seemed to offer more protection. While you will find them more expensive that the disposable pads, they are totally reusable. I have used mine for all three kids and they sustained the heavy use without decreasing in quality!

We would love to hear from you – please share your tips and advice on how to care of your breast when breastfeeding!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information

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ZAQ Essential Oil Diffusers – Review

One of my friends got me hooked up on essential oil diffusers about half a year ago. Every time I’d visit her, not only would her home smell like a spa, I’d always feel at ease and peace. She pointed out her diffuser and shared some of her favorite oils with me. The view of the mist coming out and the very slight white noise it emits, seemed to have a calming effect on me. I love being able to chose different scents based on my mental or physical state and feeling – my all time favorites include either mint smells (mint, eucalyptus) or citrus smells (lemon, lemongrass, orange).

I purchased this one during Black Friday and chose some blended essential oils:

Today, I automatically turn it on when I enter my bedroom at night, set it to diffuse for 1 hour while reading or watching TV, and it turns itself off after an hour. I love mine for its large water capacity (200mL) and I can run it over a week at 1 hour each night, before having to refill it. It can be set on 1-hour, 3-hour, 6-hour, and steady modes. Another nice function, that I do not use (but my kids love playing with), is the 7 color mood lighting. It creates a nice ambiance and you can chose a specific color or let it run through all colors.

 

 

 

KID OIL DIFFUSER

We have been struggling with putting our 2.5 year-old to bed at night. She went from being a pretty good sleeper to taking forever to go sleep. She’ll stay up, play with her Duplos, go bother her sister… anything to not have to sleep. We’ve pretty much tried everything unsuccessfully and I told my husband that I would get her a nightlight and her own essential oil diffuser, and try to have our Echo Dot play peaceful nature sounds as she falls asleep. As I started researching, I stumbled upon the best surprise, and honestly, a genius product: ZAQ Sky Aroma Essential Oil Kids Diffuser LiteMist Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Humidifier – Starry Sky Projection (White)

 

It comes in 5 colors: white, pink, yellow, blue, and black. This diffuser is an essential oil diffuser and nightlight in one product. Once plugged, it will project colorful stars on the ceiling and can be set on a going-to-sleep mode. Over a 30-minute period of time, the projection brightness decreases until turning off, naturally motivating the child to fall asleep. All of that while diffusing your favorite calming oils. If the timer is not for you, the diffuser can stay on for up to 12 hours.

As added benefit, this ZAQ diffuser is also an ionizer, purifying your child’s room air, leaving it free of odors, germs, and dust.

We love this one! I love that it turns itself off so I don’t need to enter her room before going to bed. She points out to the star projection as we put her to sleep and she has been going to sleep much faster than she used to.

Click here for a list of more children essential oil diffuser!

Write a comment below to let us know your tricks and tips to putting your toddlers in bed! We would also love to hear which oils you recommend for your little ones!

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Baby Wipes – Review

We have had up to 2 kids in diapers at the same time and diapered non-stop for nearly 6 years. And while this Mommy is doing a happy dance for being done with diapers!!!, we continue to purchase and use baby wipes for face wiping, sticky / muddy / gooey hand wiping, butt wiping, dashboard wiping… the list goes on! My glove compartment and purse, are two of the places where you will always find baby wipes.

As with anything baby-related, parents are overloaded with options. We have tried several brands – some gave raw rashes, some felt dry, others too perfumed, but a couple stood out for us. We like non-fragrant wipes, which get the job done, do not irritate baby’s fragile skin, preferably do not leave a mess on our hands, and absorb well enough that you only need 1, max 2, wipes to get the job done.

Aldi Wipes

 

We are fierce Aldi shoppers, having lived in Germany and grown up with Aldi in our backyards. For those unfamiliar with Aldi, they are a private German grocery store. Their business model is based on savings passed on to their customers and you will mostly find private labels in their stores. A few years ago, they launched their own baby product collection, ranging from baby food, to baby diapers, wipes, soap, and formula. They are very competitively priced and we have loved their wipes from the first day. Their wipes are hypoallergenic, quilted for softness and durability and feature three layers to prevent tears. That pretty hit everything on our list! For this of you living abroad, we found the quality of their diapers and wipes to be equally good, not matter which country you live in! Click here for a link of Aldi’s baby products. Their brochure has everything you need to know about their products. If you have not been to an Aldi before, we highly recommend finding one near you and giving it a try!

 

Amazon Wipes

We once left our weekly grocery trip without wipes. Being an Amazon Prime member, and usually preferring to shop online anyways, I wanted to give Amazon’s own baby wipes a try. We went for the unscented type and ordered a box of 6. We have loved them ever since!! They just seemed to be perfect in every way – we found them to be larger than most wipes, strong, moist, very soft and gentle on babies’ butts. They have 3 choices: Sensitive, Unscented, and Fresh Scent. They come in flip-top packs, making them easy to use, close, and carry with you pretty much everywhere. I also loved the fact that some of the ingredients are sourced in the US. The aloe leaf juice, which soothes and moisturizes the skin, is sourced right around the corner from where we live, in Melbourne, FL! After ordering our first box of 6, we were hooked and sign up for Subscribe and Save. We set our delivery schedule at 2 months and never had to think about buying wipes again. With our growing munchkins finally coming out of their diapers, we adjusted to receive a box every 6 months, which works great for us!


 

 

 

 

For those of you who aren’t Amazon Prime members yet, please sign up for a free trial. Parenthood is busy enough and this one is definitely worth paying for. For $99/year, Amazon will not only ship millions of items free of charge to you, you will have access to unlimited streaming on Prime Videos, unlimited photo cloud storage on Amazon Photos, free Kindle books, special deals, etc.! We don’t like to spend money when we don’t have to, but we have never thought twice about renewing this membership. Give it a free 30-day trial and see whether this is for you:
Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Share your favorite wipes with our readers in the Comments box below!

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