Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanks all for entering. After looking through the comments and checking to find links on blogs, I put the numbers in the number generator via The first and second numbers both requested the boy's shoes, so I had to look at who wanted the girl's shoes and redo it. Seems like we have a lot of moms of boys reading :) After the 5th try of generating numbers, I finally got a winner for the girl's shoes too.

Boy Shoes: Lila
Girl Shoes: Christine
Lila & Christine, will you please e-mail your addresses to Thanks!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Diaper Dilemma

Diapers, diapers, diapers! Many of us find our favorites through trial and error. Every child is different and everyone may have a different opinion about the diapers that they do and don't like. I was one of those moms who went through every diaper with my first son, trying to decide what we liked the best. Since that was a few years ago, I decided to try another experiment. I have my favorite diapers which I use faithfully but decided to give the other brands another shot since it's been a few years. We have 2 boys in diapers, ages 10 months and 3. Over the next month, I will review different diapers that we've tried again and why we did or didn't like them. I will also include reader's comments in the posts if I received feedback about that diaper.  As far as cloth diapers go, I have no experience, and I don't intend to.  Kudos to moms who cloth diaper though!  I have a few readers that will be featured in guest posts that have used cloth diapers.

One big thing I've learned about diapers is that if you find a brand is constantly leaking, go up a size. The weight guidelines for diapers are just a suggestion and while the weight for a size 4 diaper is typically 22-37 lbs, my 10 month old has been wearing them since 8 months and 18 lbs. So if you decide to try different diapers for yourself and hate a diaper because it is leaking, go up a size and give it another shot. Also, make sure the guard on the inside of the diaper that goes around their legs is flared out. If it is tucked in against their legs, that's asking for a blowout!  I've learned that too many times the hard way.

I also found this awesome article on about how a disposable diaper is made.  Really interesting and a good read.

Since I have your attention, I'm sure you are all SO excited to get reading about diapers. What mom doesn't LOVE changing diapers? *wink* Hopefully the reviews to come will help you make an informed decision and guard against those infamous blowouts and leaking diapers.

Diaper reviews will start on Monday - Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Aveeno has great line of bath and body products.  They also carry baby products - their diaper rash cream being one of them.

Pros:  I was so excited when I decided to try this product and realized it didn't have that potent smell that most diaper rash creams have.   It has zinc oxide which helps protect and create a barrier for baby's skin.  This is really important in treating and preventing diaper rash.  It  is a very creamy formula that goes on smoothly and wipes off nicely too, without leaving a residue.  It is fragrance free and hypoallergenic making it optimal for sensitive skin.  It also includes natural oat and willowherb essence which helps soothe on contact.  I have been pleasantly surprised everytime I have used this product on how effective it is in getting rid of diaper rash.  

Cons:  Sometimes this will not get rid of diaper rash completely, but I have only noticed this when Rowan has a yeast type diaper rash.  Yeast diaper rashes need to be treated a bit different anyway.  Any other time, it works wonderful.  It also tends to be a little more expensive than some brands, but a tube lasts a LONG time.

The Bottom Line:  Great diaper rash cream, definitely recommended, the one we use.

Price:  Around $5 for 3.7 ounces  

Where to Buy:  Target, Walmart

Rating:  Excellent

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Turkey Winners

Brook and Krysta!  

E-mail me your info ladies and I will get them off ASAP.  (I'd like your kids to be able to wear them before or on Thanksgiving.)  

Check back next week for winners of the Children's Place Shoes!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Two Day Turkey Giveaway!

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching us and what better way to celebrate than with some festive shirts for your little turkey? :)  I have 2 Thanksgiving shirts from Old Navy available - a bodysuit in 6-12 months and a 3T shirt. 

This giveaway is sponsored by Sara - an Independent Scentsy consultant.   What is Scentsy?

Scentsy is a line of wickless candles. You purchase a warmer, a few scents, and you are on your way.

"Scentsy is safe for young children. That is one of its major selling points! There is no open flame, so no potential problem for burns and fire. Also, it is not emitting lead and soot into the air like traditional candles do. The wax is heated to just above body temperature so if children do get into the wax, they won't get burned. If you are afraid your child will pull the warmer over, you can always try a plug-in warmer that is made to go in upper plug-ins that are found in kitchens and bathrooms. " (Taken from Sara's blog.)

I love Scentsy. Covers up that poopy diaper smell and is safe for my kids. Two thumbs up from this mama!
Let's show Sara some love - head over to her Scentsy website and browse around, place an order if you'd like (shipping is 10% of your order.)

Then come back here, and leave a comment letting me know what scent you think would smell yummy and which Thanksgiving shirt you would like to win.

Since Thanksgiving is so close, this giveaway will end on Saturday - 5:00 pm MST and winners announced that evening!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Carter's has been around since 1865.  That's a long time!  How does their onesie compare?  (Carter's refers to them as bodysuits.)

Pros:  These onesies are made of an extremely soft cotton.  They are very thick which keeps baby warmer and helps the onesie keep it's shape.  They have nice stretch and give to them as well.  These are wonderful for babies with long torsos.  The way they are shaped, (narrow and long)  helps give baby a cute snug fit.  They have the wide neck for easy dressing, and the traditional 3 snap closure on the bottom as well as a tagless back.  I got a set of these onesies from my mom when Chandler was born.  They washed up wonderfully with hardly any piling, stains came out easily, they held up so well, and they didn't shrink!  (Wahoo!)  I put them away and when I pulled them out to use again with Rowan, they were still as wonderful as I remembered.  They also come in tons of great colors and patterns.  There are short and long sleeved onesies available, and they start in a preemie size and go up to 24 months.

Cons:  The only thing I don't like about Carter's  - their sizing is a little weird.  Instead of the traditional 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, you get newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months.  After using Carter's products for a while, it's not a big deal, but if you haven't bought from them before, here's how I think the sizing runs.  "Newborn" is equivalent to a 0-3, "3 months" = 3-6, and so on.  Not too much of a con once you have their sizing figured out.

The Bottom Line:  By far the BEST onesies I've ever used.  Quality made, great fit, cute styles

Price:  These retail at $22 for a 5 pack, but watch for them on sale and you can usually get them $15 or less for a 5 pack.  (I usually get them at Kohls instore or online.)

Where to Buy:  JcPenney, Kohls, Macy's

Rating:  Excellent

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gerber Onesies

Onesies are a staple in every baby's wardrobe.  They are great for keeping baby warm, provide easy diaper changes and act great as an undershirt or a shirt by itself.

Pros:  Gerber Onesies come a wide array of sizes.  Starting at a preemie size and going up to a 4T, they have a wide variety of sizes.  (The bigger toddler sizes are harder to find and you usually have to buy them online)  They also come in a lot of cute colors and patterns and it seems like new ones come out at least once a year.  The way the neck is designed makes it easy to get the onesie over baby's head and makes for easy dressing.  A few years ago, they also started making these tagless which is nice.   When we bought our first pack of onesies when Chan was a baby, the tags would make him itch.  That problem is gone now with the tagless solution.  They are made of 100% cotton  and are fairly inexpensive, usually $8-10 for a 5 pack.

Cons:  After you wash these a few times, they start to pile.  I've also noticed that because they aren't a very thick stretchy cotton, they shrink and seem to get wider.  Because they shrink, you can't use them as long.  My boys both have long torsos and it seems with the Gerber onesies I am always stretching them to get them to snap at the bottom.  I know you can buy onesie extenders to prolong the life, but you shouldn't have to do this with a good onesie, right?  I didn't save any of Chandler's Gerber onesies for Rowan as the quality wasn't great.

The Bottom Line:  Ok product that does it's job, but thin material and shrinks easily.

Price: $8-10 for a 5 pack

Where to Buy:  Walmart, Target, Amazon

Rating:  OK

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Children's Place has soft soled shoes for babies, in 4 sizes starting in a newborn and going up to 18 months.  

Pros:  These are  great quality, and very soft.  They really move with baby's foot and come in a variety of sizes and colors.   The bottoms of course are soft soled, but many of the styles also have resin rubber flexes that provide traction for baby if they are pulling up or learning to walk.  As many of the competitor's soft soled shoes are slip ons, The Children's Place has slip ons, and some with velcro straps.  I like the idea of the velcro straps as they are easier to get on since you have more room when the velcro is undone.  They also seem a bit wider than other soft soled shoes which is great news for little babes with wide feet.  And last but certainly not least, they usually have some super cute styles that will compliment any wardrobe.  Watch for these on sale and you can get some great deals.

Cons:  Because they are a bit wider, if you don't fasten the velcro on these shoes, your baby will be able to easily get them off.  The first time I put a pair on Rowan, I didn't fasten the velcro straps very tightly.  He rubbed his feet together and had them off in about 30 seconds.  I put them on again and fastened them much tighter and didn't have this problem again.  They also seem a bit wide on his foot as well.

The Bottom Line:  Super cute shoes, well made, good traction

Price:  $9.50-$14.50 (regular prices depending on style of shoe)

Where to Buy:  The Children's Place - In Store or Online

Rating:  Great

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Avent Bottles

Avent bottles were recommended to me by a friend when I first had Chandler.  Although I did breast feed him for  5 months, I wanted to make sure he would take a bottle while I was away.  After trying a few bottles, we decided to stick with the avent.

Pros:  These bottles have been clinically proven to reduce colic.  There is an airflex valve which allows your baby to control the flow of the bottle, thus making the transition from breast to bottle a breeze.  The skirt on the nipple of the bottle allows air into the bottle without letting your baby swallow air.  This was one of my favorite features.  The nipple stays full and air stays on top of the milk.  I love how the nipple does not collapse.  It is a nice wide, sturdy nipple that is also extremely easy to clean.  The outside of the bottle also has very easy to read ounce measurements which makes measuring breastmilk or formula so easy.  Another thing I love about these bottles - they hold up.  They don't fade, and don't deteriorate.  Chandler used these bottles numerous times throughout the day for over a year and they still looked great and new.  They come in 3 convenient sizes, (4 oz, 9 oz & 11 oz), and have five different flow rate nipples that will grow with your baby.  You can also buy sippy cup tops and training handles for these bottles when your baby gets older.

Cons:  The biggest con about this bottle is if you don't screw the top on straight, or screw it on too tight, it will leak.  Once I mastered putting it on securely but not too tightly, it wasn't a problem.  However, I know some moms that this is frustrating for and don't like the bottle for this reason.  There also used to be a concern with these bottles and BPA.  "BPA is a chemical some companies were using in their plastic.  There is controversy that high levels of BPA in the body can influence hormone levels and increase the risk of health problems." (Taken from Yes, it is controversy and not proven.  However, Avent is now making their bottles without BPA in them.  Look on the outside of the bottle before you buy to see that it is BPA free.  At one point a few months back, Babies R Us was taking Avent bottles back (even used ones) and giving a credit for them since they contained BPA.  Not sure if they are still doing this.

The Bottom Line:  I think Avent bottles are great and would recommend them.

Price:  Around $4.00

Where to Buy:  Target, Amazon, Kmart

Rating: Great

Monday, November 10, 2008

Playtex Ventaire Bottles

Playtex VentAire bottles have a special design to reduce gas and colic in babies.  Playtex has been around for 75 years so did they get the bottle right?

Pros:  There are two different types of VentAire bottles - the standard and wide.  I have only had experience with the standard bottle so I will mostly be focusing on it.  I really like the unique shape of this bottle.  It helps keep the nipple full which is a great step in helping reduce the air that a baby swallows while eating.   Your baby can also eat sitting in more of an upright position with these bottles.   These are also very easy to clean as they unscrew at the top and bottom.  They are priced well and are not too expensive to try.

Cons:  I didn't like how these nipples were smaller and seemed to collapse quite easy.  After reading up about the wide vent aire bottles though, I think the wider nipple may have solved this problem.  Even though these bottles are easy to clean, because the bottom screws off, it is one more part you have to clean and put back together.   The first time using these bottles, the nipple flow seems VERY slow.  It does get better over time, but you want a bottle to perform from the start right? 

The Bottom Line:  Good Design and bottle.  I have talked to moms who love these bottles but I didn't care for them.

Price:  $2-3

Where to Buy:  Walmart, Target, Amazon

Rating:  OK

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fill in the Blankie

It seems like anything personalized is in right now. You see personalized pacifier clips, labels like the orbit labels I reviewed, onesies, bibs and more. Personalized items for baby really add that special touch. Fill in the Blankie is an ultra personalized blankie, taking it one step further.
How do they take it one step further?

According the their website, this is how they do it:
"We personalize ‘em out the wha-zoo”
You provide the copy, we’ll embroider your warmest wishes along all 4 satin edges. Much more than a monogram, or a name & a date, you’ll have up to 200 characters to work with. Each blanket truly tells a story.

Pros: I love that they have so much personalization. You can add your baby or child's name, birthdate, a special saying, or anything else you can possibly think of. They also have a special inspirations page to help you if you don't know what to put on it. How cool is it that you can personalize all 4 edges? Great idea. They are available in 3 great sizes with tons of different types of blankies to choose from. They also have lots of fonts and colors for the embroidery.
When I first got my blankie in the mail, I thought the packaging was adorable. Rowan seems to love it too. It's the Martha's Majesty style blankie and is incredibly soft with beautiful detailing. These blankies are great for special occasions but are also great to use as a lovie blanket. They wash up well and are really great quality. I think they'd also be a great baby shower gift and they offer gift wrapping as well as cute plush animals they can add to the blankie.

Cons: I don't have any complaints about these blankies, just wish I had known about them sooner!

The Bottom Line: Great quality cute blanket with a fun personalized touch. Visit Fill In the Blankie to learn more

Price: $39+ depending on the style you order.

Where to Buy:

Rating: Excellent

Thursday, November 6, 2008

GAP Sale

Anyone that knows me knows that I am all about sales and getting good deals.  I decided that if I saw a really good deal on baby or children products I would pass it on to those who are reading.    Gap  is having a sale - an extra 25% off sale  items.  Enter the code EXTRA  at the checkout.  (Will only work for sale items.) For those of you who have a store near you, this is in store too.  I LOVE  baby Gap clothes, they hold up extremely well, are great quality and super cute.  A lot of the baby clothes that I kept from Chandler to use for Rowan were Gap and they still look new.  I refuse to pay their high original prices though and will watch for sales like this one.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags are a way for moms to store breast milk for their babies.

Pros: These bags are thick and have a double zip closure, this helping prevent against freezer burn and possible leaks. They are easy to close and stay closed.  They are BPA free which adds that sense of security while using them.  The ounces are measured on the outside of the bag  and there is also a place for you to write the date and ounces at the  top of the bag.  You can lay these flat to freeze and they don't take up a lot of space.  It is very easy to pour milk into these and they have a great pouring feature when you unthaw milk to pour it into a bottle.  When you buy these in a 25 count pack, they come in another nice ziplock bag.  This bag lets you know how long to store breast milk in a freezer which I thought was helpful as I could never remember on my own.  

Cons:  These might a bit pricey for moms having to use them all of the time.  However, I think the pros of how good this bag is makes the price worth it.  I have also on occasion had these bag leak which usually happens when you thaw it out.  Most times the milk is lost which is frustrating.  I did only have this happen a few times though.

The Bottom Line:  Wonderful breast milk storage bag!

Price:  $6 for 25 bags or $10 for 50 bags

Where to Buy:  Target,

Rating:  Great

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gerber Biter Biscuits

Chances are if you've walked down the baby feeding isle at the store, you've seen a box of Gerber Biter Biscuits.  Designed for an older baby learning to self feed.  Here are some guidelines as given on the box if your baby is ready for biter biscuits:

*Crawls on hands and knees (with tummy up and off the floor)
*Eats thicker, lumpier foods with larger pieces
*Uses jaws to mash food with gums
*holds small food between thumb and first finger

Pros:  These come individually packaged which means they stay fresh.  They are easy to take on the go and nice to keep in your purse or diaper bag.  You get 12 to a pack which is a pretty good value for what you spend on them.  They are a hard, sweet cracker/cookie. I think they taste a little bit like a nilla wafer, so the flavor is actually pretty good. They are also thick which makes it easy for baby to hold onto.  The biscuit is great at keeping your little one occupied for a while and provides great teething relief.  They also have a cute design on the front with the Gerber imprinted on them.  Rowan, my 9 month old really seems to enjoy these.

Cons:  Although this isn't really that big of a con, I want to know who named them "biter biscuits."  It sounds like some sort of dog treat to me....don't you think? .....ok, getting back on track now. :)
Once your baby has gummed on one of these for a while, they start to get really mushy and extremely messy.  Little pieces come off which may pose a choking hazard, but are nothing to worry about if you are properly supervising your child.  They don't have much nutritional value, but I've learned that not a lot of these "baby snacks" have much to them.  45 calories per biscuit with just a few carbs, a little bit of sugar and salt and no real vitamins.  

The Bottom Line:  Good teething snack but messy, poor nutritional value

Price:  $2-3

Where to Buy:  Most major retail chains, grocery stores

Rating:  OK 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This month I am giving away a pair of girl's or boy's soft soled shoes from the children's place. Super cute, huh? I will be reviewing this product this upcoming week. You have until the 29th of November to enter, and winners will be announced on the 30th! Just leave a comment to let me know you are reading! Link this giveaway on your blog and get another entry. Both sets of shoes are size 12-18 months.