This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NewDadMustHaves #CollectiveBias
Every new Father is important and we as mothers know what we need. But what do dads of preemies need? This post will highlight all the important items you need for your home for your premature baby.Our son Malakai was born at 24.5 weeks gestation and it was a scary time for all of us, especially his dad. I’ve had 3/4 premature babies and I’ve never seen my husband so attentive to our babies in the NICU except Malakai. Of course he was concerned with all of them but none of them had the complications Malakai had. I’ve wanted to make a round-up of all the items that a dads of preemies need to put his mind at ease.
VTech VM981 Expandable HD Video Baby Monitor with 1 Wi-Fi Camera, 5” Touch Screenis the perfect video monitor to see your new baby at all times. It hooks up to your smart phone and a 5″ touch screen so you’re able to go from room to room with the comfort of knowing if your baby is ok. The VTech VM981 Expandable Video Monitor can zoom in 10X to your desired view and the picture is always crystal clear. Grab it on Amazon here.
White Noise Machines are important because they help clear out the silence. Preemies have been surrounded by alarms, talking, pokes and prods all while they were in the hospital, it’s important to have something that clears it all out.
Cool-Mist Humidifier, I say cool-mist because the warm-mist humidifier can be a burn hazard for children. The air is the same temperature when it hits your child’s lungs but the cool mist seems to be more effective for preemies.
Large Water Dispensers can be found at your local hardware store or in Utah they have a company that you can rent from. Some can deliver the large bottles to your home or you can fill it up at a local grocery store too. I like the large water dispensers because they have a hot and cold function. This is great for making bottles, just do half and half, or even warming bottles. Bottle warmers are handy but can cause hot spots just like a microwave.
Smart Thermometers can hook right into your headphone jack on your phone and you can get a reading for their temperature right there. It also saves the history of the fevers so that you can give our doctor an accurate report.
Technology is not necessary for everything but the items above are, in my opinion, an absolute must. These help your kids transition from hospital to home very easily. Dads of preemies everywhere are going to want these great items for their kids.For more information on the VTech VM981, visit VTech here and on Facebook. Now tell me, what’s your favorite tech items for babies?
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias
Learning how your child reacts to the sun is always a fun experiment! Even though they share the same genetics, siblings often times react differently to the sun. My older three brown right up and then you have my baby who burns just like his mama. I’m going to give you some of my best sun care tips for toddlers so buckle up!We were in Tonga over the winter (their summer) and we had to leave early because Malakai couldn’t handle the heat. It was so hot, like Arizona heat but with 85% humidity hot. No fun. I’ve never experienced heat like that and hopefully I never will have to again. Malakai was extremely sensitive to the heat there too. I’m not sure if it had to do with his prematurity or if he had somehow contracted a mosquito-borne illness. He’d toss-and-turn all night long, never napped and he was pretty much the grumpiest he’s ever been. I needed to learn quickly how to take care of him in the sun.The only thing he ended up loving was being dipped in the ocean and then laying down in the shade. Obviously that wasn’t always an option so we had to get creative with how we dealt with him overheating. Some of my favorite ideas are:
Sunscreen and a higher SPF than you think you’ll need. Toddlers skin is still so fragile and thin that they need extra sun protection. Don’t be afraid to try the Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen out for yourself. How you take care of your skin when you’re young will determine how it looks when you’re older.
Rompers and lots of them. The fabric in these rompers are fantastic. They’re extremely breathable and come in different sleeve and pant lengths. These were a huge lifesaver in the heat and I ended up buying more of them once we came home.
Hats and large ones too. The wider the rim of the hat, the more area it’ll cover. I do like those hats that look like a towel is hanging down, but fashion over function for me and so I like to stick with bucket hats. Be sure that there is a strap to secure it on your baby’s head. But also make sure that the secure tab can easily come off, like a velcro one.
SPF proof swimwear in addition to your sunscreen. There is never too much sun protection and get all the coverage you can find. I love that swimwear now is available with additional SPF because you can’t always swim in long sleeves and pants.
Water, water, and more water. Toddlers need hydration as much as adults and they’ll feel miserable too if they don’t stay hydrated. There is always that rule of drink before you’re thirsty. Stay on top of it and be sure they’re getting the amount they need.
Washcloths. Dip these in the cool water and place it around your child’s neck. This has an immediate effect on how your body feels and it can help them get the energy they need so that you can get them out of the heat.
Babies and ourselves need a lot of sun coverage for our skin. In the last few years I’ve had moles removed which were on the cusp of being cancerous. I’ve been more diligent to cover myself and my children more because of this. Tonga was by far my worst sunburn and so while we were there I made sure to cover them in Blue Lizard® sunscreen before they even started for the day. I knew they’d run off to the beach and sunscreen would be impossible for them to remember.I love the Blue Lizard® Baby Sunscreen especially for Malakai’s sensitive skin and you can easily find it at your local Walmart. But the most important feature I love is that the Patented Smart Bottle™ technology – bottle changes color when exposed to harmful UV sunlight. This can be used as a great teaching tool for your kids on when to re-apply sunscreen (only the bottle will change colors). Just remember to consult your pediatrician before applying sunscreen to children younger than 6 months.Tell me, what are your favorite sun care tips for toddlers? Also don’t forget to download the Ibotta app where you can get a $4 rebate just for purchasing Blue Lizard® Baby Sunscreen.
This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.I love dressing Malakai in dapper clothing – I mean, nothing is cuter than a little boy in suspenders. Am I right?Some of the best fashion I have found for toddlers comes in the form of comfort. Yes people, babies like yoga pants as much as their mamas! But when they make adorable little clothes that average sized people would look ridiculous in – we just have to buy it. These suspenders were by far my favorite find from OshKosh B’gosh and they are now Malakai’s Sunday pants. I love that I can pair it with a nice shirt or just a standard polo and it’s giving him a new look. Did I mention he loves peanut butter sandwiches? 😉Another style I love are jogger pants. Whether their in Jean form or sweat form, they just look adorable and I can’t get enough. Malakai seems to be drawn to them too because he never tries to take them off like other stuff he wears. We paired this pair with a nice henley one-piece and these crib shoes. Malakai is almost walking and is getting more confident by the day to take off on his own. He loves these crib shoes because he can naturally curve his foot when he’s trying to take steps. I love all the designs that OshKosh B’gosh offers. I wish too that I could have gotten him these sandals but that’ll just have to wait for now. OshKosh B’gosh is a great brand for kids because they sell practical clothing and stylish clothing. You can find everything you need from affordable comfort to great Sunday clothing and especially holiday clothing. Now you can save 25% using this Oshkosh Coupon and get your Spring shopping on! Shop onlineor find your local OshKosh B’gosh store here.
*This post does contain affiliate links, thanks for your support.Malakai had so much fun at his Harry Potter birthday party. What a better way to celebrate “The Boy Who Lived” than incorporating Harry Potter. We had lots of good ideas thanks to other Harry Potter birthday parties that have been thrown by others but it was fun to put a little spin on it.
I just cut the top off of some greenery I grabbed from Ikea and glues it to the top of the babies heads. I used red velvet cake but you can get any kind you want. I especially love these Butterbeer Cupcakes from Sugar & Soul. I spread it with cream cheese frosting and dipped it in some brown sprinkles. You could also ground up some Oreos and dip them in to have it look like dirt.
I got these Honeydukes chocolate bar labels from Etsy here. They’re printable and a no brainer. They fit perfectly on Hershey bars. We had our local bakery make a replica of Hagrid’s cake and had them personalize it. I also especially love the Gryffindor smash cake. They just used a printable paper and I attached the little snitch on top. I also bought some paper stars that just added a pop to the Harry Potter table. They’re actual pages out of the book folded into tiny stars and they’re adorable. Grab them here. Get Away Today was a huge help in bringing all the decorations together. They had some Harry Potter candy from the original Honeydukes for us. They also lent us their Sorting Hat and scarves for our photo booth. I used some printable snitch wings and attached them onto some Ferrero Rocher candies and yum…
Grab the balloons here and grab the confetti here. I just stuffed the confetti into the clear balloons and then took them to my local party store to fill up.
I used the large cauldron for drinks, the medium for the Harry Potter photo booth props and the small one to hold the extra candy along with the prop Harry Potter glasses. You can see Malakai’s Harry Potter Snitch invitation here.
I grabbed a lot of candies and props for the Diagon Alley area of the party from Oriental Trading. here, here, here The skull statue and the beakers are all from Michaels and I grabbed dowels, hot glue and brown spray paint while I was there and made some fun homemade wands. I got all the table linens from Oriental Trading as well.
So Malakai’s first birthday is coming up on the 30th so I found the perfect Snitch invitations to go along with theme of his birthday which is “The Boy Who Lived”. He was Harry Potter for his first Halloween so I thought it was only fitting to find him a Harry Potter birthday party invitation. I don’t have time to make them so I ordered some for pictures and props and everyone else just gets an e-vite. 😉I found the Harry Potter birthday party invitation on Etsy and you can buy them HERE because they’re awesome!You just slam them down to crack and they reveal the invite of the Harry Potter Birthday Party Invitation for Malakai’s first birthday party. So excited.And if you’re headed to Universal Studios any time soon, book with Get Away Today.
This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.So Malakai is almost one. I cannot believe it. We’ve come so far from his days in the NICU and it almost seems like it was someone else’s life. I’m so glad he is healthy and strong today but we do have a ways to go. I want to share with you the best Fall baby boy fashion to grab at one of our favorite stores.
When Malakai was in the NICU, the best preemie clothes we were able to find were at Carters. Their original bodysuit is something that I’ve used with all my kids and have found it to last longer and it was more durable than the ones you grab off the shelf at the supermarket. For the preemie clothes it gave my son the sense that he wasn’t a hospital patient. He was dressed so cute like a baby should be and the clothes actually fit his tiny body. Most premature clothes are wide and short. The Carters preemie clothes are close to the skin, give them actual designs on the clothes and were soft enough for them to be comfortable.
When Carters asked me to grab some items from their new Fall line, I was excited because of how much of their items we already own. However, being a baby photographer is not my thing and I think Malakai fell over 5-6 times. We went to our local pond and changed him a bunch of times into the cutest baby boy fashion you’ve ever seen.When choosing a wardrobe for a baby, think comfort. I think some new moms don’t realize how often they’ll be changing a baby and how accessible a baby’s bottom needs to be for diaper changes. I love to get packs of the original bodysuit and always have a layer under my babies regular clothing. I also love the comfy pants that Carters has to offer. I also grab their Sleep & Play jammie’s but I try to stay away from the fleece. Because Malakai was a micro-preemie, he over heats a lot. He cotton is plenty warm for him and it does the trick. It’s also an experience thing when trying to figure out what works for your baby. Go ahead and try new things and see if it works for your family. Carters clothes are so comfortable for babies and it makes a big difference in how they feel staying in certain items all day. Softness and durability are key when looking for baby fashion. There are so many fads going around and while they’re all adorable, you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth it for them to wear for a short amount of time for the money you’re spending. From my experience it’s all about comfort and sustainability which Carters clothing fits into those categories perfectly. When I am looking at baby boy or baby girl clothes, I want something that will last and that will also not break my budget. There are very few things that I find are actually worth spending the big bucks on like soft sole shoes and a good baby carrier.Carters always has great sales and you never have to pay full price for anything, ever. If you’re on their email list, they send you coupons all the time. They also have a reward program and the best thing is is that it’s all traceable in their system so you don’t have to go digging for the previous receipt. We love Carters clothing for our baby boy but I was especially appreciative that they had the best preemie clothes on the market. Use the coupon below for more savings!To find your nearest Carters, click here and to get it all shipped to your home, click here. I’ve loved working with Carters and I know Malakai is as snug as a bug in their new Fall line.
Carters is also having a Pinterest contest called ‘Pin Baby Pin’ and you have the chance to win a $50 gift card by just uploading your favorite Carters baby’s first look to Pinterest and submit your link here. Contest ends 9/26/16 and 75 lucky winners will be selected. Good Luck!
This post is brought to you by our friends at The Baby Cubby.Diaper bags are so hard for me to get right. I’ve had several through the years and I finally made the perfect choice with the Ju-Ju-Be Be Classy and guides like this one from The Baby Cubby helped in that search. I’m going to be answering questions that I’ve often wondered about in how to pick the perfect diaper bag. I’d love to hear some of your feedback as well.How many pockets will you need? You definitely want one or two on the exterior to hold your bottle. I like that the Ju-Ju-Be has insulated pockets so that you don’t have to take a separate insulated bag to keep your water warm. I also like them to be easily accessible for everyone involved. If you have to dig through your bag just to find the bottle, it’s not worth it. On the interior it’s great to have 2-4 more so that diapers, medicine, Copper Pearl bandanna bibs and pacifiers all have their own dedicated space.
How large should it be? I am a big bag lady – not the Erika Badu kind – the larger the purse is, I’ll buy it. I personally think that no bigger than 18″ on the base is really needed when it comes to diaper bags. You want it to be large enough to carry all your essentials and yet easy enough to carry.
Should I get the backpack or purse style? I prefer backpack style so that your arms are free to do the heavier duty things. Backpack style bags are great for traveling and walking around but it’s a little harder to keep on if you don’t have both straps around each arm. Purse style diaper bags are great for convenience. Their zippers are easily reachable and you can grab and go and not worry about other straps dragging on the ground. Look for a purse style that has a strap that can be added to convert it into a tote, I think you’ll love that.
What will I put in it? Your life! It’s so important to have the little things available when you need them and you’re not always going to be home. I like to stock up my bags with at least 10 diapers and a pack of wipes. I always have an extra change of clothes on hand because they’re babies we’re taking care of. I also keep some medicine and always a spare pacifier because I lose those all the time. I’ve already lost 4 pacifier clips and I’m surprised I haven’t lost my baby…yet. What material is best? I go for a material that I know will not get holes easily (that’s obvious) but there are so many options when it comes to material it just is really about preference. I’ve had a real leather bag that to-be-honest wasn’t worth spending all that money on. I have a faux leather backpack style one and I do appreciate that one because the pleather is on the inside and out. I personally prefer the Teflon protection that the Ju-Ju-Be bag offers. It’s easily cleaned and it has my favorite ‘crumb drains’. You have no idea how much you’ll use that feature. Get one that can be wiped down or washed easily, that’ll make life so much easier than having to walk around with a giant stained bag.
Should I buy a gender-neutral bag or go all in on patterns? When you invest in an item, you want it to be timeless. The same thing is true when buying diaper bags. Get one that suites your style and can be carried by both you and your partner. Get one that most people can’t tell it’s a diaper bag. You’re already tired from having a baby, you might as well feel like your style is somewhat amped up with a stylish bag.
How much should I pay? I would rather pay once for a good quality bag than have to buy 2-3 bags at $50 a pop. You end up getting the one you want in the end anyways. Be sure to try it before you buy it. Don’t be afraid to see if there is a local boutique that carries the bag and try and bring what you think you’ll carry in it to give you an idea of functionality. If you buy online like I do, be sure to buy from a company that has a good return policy and don’t throw anything away until you’re sure it’s the right one.
Will I use it as much as I think I will? Answer for me was yes. I did opt for the neutral patterned bag and so I use t as my purse and my diaper bag at the same time. Look for bags that serve a dual purpose and ones that have places for mom, not just baby. Be sure to get the style that you will like as in the tote style, backpack style or purse style. Get one that you actually want to carry around and your investment will be well used.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. This post is sponsored by Huggies Little Swimmers. All opinions are mine alone. #WaterThemDailyCB #CollectiveBiasBabies and summer are hard. There is so much to remember and you can’t always find a cool place to hang out so what we love to do is head to the pool. I’m going to show you what to pack in your summer swim bag and also how to make a personalized saying so you don’t get it mixed up with your neighbors..or lose your pool key (that may have happened today)I used some Iron-On Vinyl and my Cricut Explore to make the saying ‘Life’s a Beach’. They have a Heidi Swapp font now available that is to die for and so of course I had to use it. I used some teal glitter Iron-On and placed my iron on medium settings so that it won’t burn. To see the entire ironing process, head here. It’s pretty easy, just be sure to apply pressure and when you’re going to wash the bag, be sure to turn it inside out. Now that we go to our community pool weekly, I needed a bag that would house everything and nothing that I’d have to transfer, I needed a dedicated swim bag for my baby. Older kids, smolder kids – they are important but you just need less stuff when you go out so lucky me, I’ve got this bag now. Here are my 8 essentials that you’ll need in your summer swim bag.
Camera – You want to catch those sweet moments at the pool. Just remember that a camera is replaceable – your child is not.
A thin blanket – You want one that’s breathable so that the breeze can cool your baby down once you’ve decided to remove them from the pool. Muslin or cotton is a great choice.
A useful toy – You don’t want a toy that your teething baby can’t grasp or put in their mouth. There is such a better selection of toys nowadays and I’m sure they’ll just get even better.
Food – Whether they eat formula or they’ve moved onto finger foods, having some food is good for everybody involved.
Sunscreen – Be sure to put sunscreen on you and your babes. This is so important and more important to me now. I’ve recently had some moles removed which were one step away from being malignant. Just because my kids are bi-racial, it doesn’t make them immune to skin cancer. Start them early!
Change of clothes – You don’t want your baby to be freezing if the older siblings are still in the pool but they’re ready to get out. Be sure to have some extra clothes and diapers in your bag to get them all warm and snugly.
Your phone – Malakai’s therapist always used the light on the screen to help him with his head and eye movement so it’s got some purpose other than entertainment. You also want to have your phone available for emergencies in case any arise.
For worry-free water fun in the sun, look for Huggies Little Swimmers with new Disney•Pixar Finding Dory characters at a retailer near you, and follow this link to download a coupon for $1.50 off your first pack of Huggies Little Swimmers – for a limited time – and find other Huggies offers.