Minivan Mama

I officially gained my “soccer mom” status this summer when we traded in my little blue SUV for a MINIVAN. And let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!! It’s true love. I knew I 17194_600always wanted a minivan someday, because I grew up with my parents always having one, and it always just seemed like the most practical with kiddos. What I didn’t know is how much I would not miss my old car and absolutely love this van!

My husband I had been talking about them for a while and finally buckled down and started researching them after we had our second child. We were tired of not having a lot of room in the car especially if we needed to take any extra people anywhere. Two car seats take up a lot of space. We looked at several minivans on the market, but narrowed it down to the Toyota and Honda. We did have a rental Chrysler that we were happy with as well. After test driving, we were actually surprised at how easy the decision was with the Honda Odyssey. The vans were priced roughly the same, but the Honda just felt like it was made better. We didn’t dislike the Toyota (my hubby drives a Toyota Tundra), but the Honda was just better.

 

 

We waited several weeks for the specific model and color to come in that we wanted, but once it arrived, it was love at first sight. I was so anxious and excited that Saturday morning we were able to go and pick it up with the kids. Our 3 year old was excited for the “new van!” too. It was bittersweet leaving our old SUV, but there are new reasons every day why I am so thankful to be a minivan mama now . . .

Here’s a few of them . . .

1.       The automatic sliding side doors… need I say more?! I don’t have to worry about my kids or I banging any cars parked next to us with our doors. You know how loading and unloading our kiddos goes, these door make it a dream come true!! Because of the sliding doors, the opening is so much bigger than an average car door – WONDERFUL! The doors also open and close by the simple push of a button from either the key fob, by the driver’s seat, or on the inside of the sliding doors themselves.

 

2.       Not only is there more room in the doorways, there’s more room EVERYWHERE in this car. I can honestly say I’ve been a passenger in every seat and never once did I feel like I had no space to move. And if you need more room . . . You can MAKE more room . . .

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3.       . . . You can make that extra space because of the movable seats. I know this is typical with most minivans and vehicles with a third row of seats, but the way the Honda was set up was another big selling point for me. Our Odyssey has the option to have an eighth seat. All of the seats are removable (except the front), but with the Odyssey you can have an eighth seat in the middle of the second row. You can easily remove that middle seat of the second row to have 2 captains chairs and an aisle way to the back row, or you can leave it in place to complete the row and have an extra seat. The seat also folds down as an arm rest if it’s left in place. The third row of seats EASILY folds down into the trunk of the van. When we drove to the beach this summer, we opted to fold the third row down so we had TONS of room for luggage and could still see out the back window.

 

4.       Handles on the high way – We drove the minivan on the West Virginia turnpike on our way to Myrtle Beach this past summer, and it handled so much better than my husband’s truck the year before. We could set the cruise control and not have to waver and hit the brake on those winding highway turns.

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5.       Good on gas – I know the gas tank in the minivan is bigger than my tank was in my SUV, but I swear still that the van gets better gas mileage. According to Honda, the Odyssey gets 19 mpg on city streets and 27 mpg highway. Either way, its way better on gas than a huge SUV would be!

 

6.        Does NOT ride like a bus – I traded in a small SUV for my minivan. I had driven it for 5 years. I will say that I was the most anxious that the minivan was going to feel like I was driving a bus after driving my little SUV. I was so wrong. The van does not feel any bigger to me. I would say it sits up off the road the same height as my old car. Even though the van is significantly longer, I really haven’t noticed other than making sure I pull in the garage far enough. The back-up camera has made this easier as well!

 

7.       Bang for the Buck – I’m telling you, you cannot beat a minivan. Even if you have a small family like we do, it is worth considering. For some reason, they get a bad rap, but I can’t think of one negative thing to say about mine. Maybe I don’t look the “coolest” driving the minivan around, but that is the last thing I’m worried about. Most companies offer all the bells and whistles you can find in luxury cars and SUVs, so don’t think those options aren’t available in a van. It’s convenient, affordable, and I know my kids are safe – that’s what matters to me.

If you’re thinking about getting a new vehicle for your new family, growing family, or just want more seats/space, take a look at a minivan. Check out all the options. Take them for a test drive. I think you’ll love it! And if you take the plunge like we did and buy one, you won’t regret it!

-Megan

 

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Getting My Toddler To Sleep. {OK to Wake! Clock Review}

sleep6My almost- 3 year old has never been a great sleeper. As an infant she had colic, cluster fed all night long, and refused to nap unless held. To this day I am really not sure how she survived on so little sleep, or how we did for that matter. From around 1- 2 years old she had mild bouts of waking in the middle of the night, but for the most part she slept through the night. When 2 years hit a switch flipped. She FOUGHT FIGHTS going to bed, she wakes all the time, we started using a sound machine/projector just to distract her from not wanting to sleep long enough to pass out, and worst of all she started waking at FIVE AM or earlier. Every single day. We tried every tactic in the book, but absolutely nothing worked. Finally 6 months later we have her sleeping till at least 5:30-5:45am and staying in her room if she wakes before her clock is green. I will come back to that in a bit.51cbf905d67908ae96a60368d3914de5

WHAT DID We DO?….not all at one time

  • Extremely strict bedtime routine. –  Warm bath, lavender oil lotion, 2 books, turn on twinkle twinkle(After her 18 mo sleep regressions we got rid of the projector feature of her sound machine and just let the music play), snuggle up with baby doll, kisses, and good night.
  • New bedtime- only books.
  • Warm milk and a small snack if she wanted before bedtime routine.
  • Quiet time and winding down 30 min prior to bathtime.
  • Returning to her room only once for bedtime fussing and requests. (Hugs, cup, different stuffed animal etc. )
  • Cutting any type of sugar out, especially in the afternoon. – No juice, fruit, cereals etc
  • Allowing her to have a few fun books and quiet toys to play with when she wakes, instead of waking the entire house at the crack of dawn. – At this point we just gave in to the fact that some kids just aren’t sleepers. Our pediatrician said she was getting ENOUGH sleep, just not our desired amount.sleepchart
  • Pushing bed time a little, thinking maybe she would sleep in a little later. – We made bedtime at 8:30pm consistently for a little over a week and 4:30- 5 am was her wake up time. Every day. So, that obviously didn’t work.
  • Fresh air every day,  and focusing on a good amount of physical activity after dinner time. – Just to make sure she got all of her wiggles out and she was good and tired.  
  • Lavender Essential oils. – I will link here for some information about how this works for ALOT of children for sleep problems!images4vh1sx1d
  • Parenting to sleep/stay asleep. – I wasn’t fond of this, but some Dr’s do recommend it, other do not. I personally am a very gentle parent and I believe that bedtime as any other situation with a child  should be a teaching and learning experience rather than discipline. I didn’t want any type of punishments related to nighttime, mostly out of fear that it would make it worse, but laying down the law a little bit did help some. Things like this helped a little :”We don’t scream and yell, and if that’s what you choose to do then you will go down and sit in time out until you can use your words”, “If you go wake your brother instead of coming to mommy then you’re going straight to time out”, “If we don’t get our sleep at bedtime/naptime then we don’t get to go ….” I don’t think it helped the amount of sleep that either of us were getting, but the attitude definitely shifted.
  • Last but NOT LEAST. We tried the OK! To Wake alarm clock and I am beyond happy with the daily results.mnv-002_2z

If you are struggling with all of the above solutions not working, then hopefully this will help you and your little ones like it has helped us!

I found it while googling in the middle of the night. It was definitely a last resort, but WELL WORTH THE MONEY. I have seen it retailed at $22-$29. The link above is for Amazon with the cheapest  price that I have found at $22. IMG_3478-001.jpg

It is a  clock with a night light that  glows green when it’s OK for your child to get out of bed.  It has a constant night light if you choose to use it, but turns off with a  button.

For toddlers who can’t tell time it is there is a cute little robotic face option instead of the time. When your toddler is older and needs a clock it is a regular alarm clock with a snooze, and a nap timer.

The main feature of this clock is obviously the light up at wake time feature. The back of the clock has a great little concealed program pad in the back. untitled2 It was extremely easy to set up, and the directions were very clear and descriptive. You set a time like you would for an alarm, but instead of a noise going off the back light lights up green.  The light is pretty dim, so if your child is still sleeping then it wont wake them.   It is easy for parents to program; grows with families by helping them get more sleep, and then teaching children growing  independence with the alarm clock!

When BK#1 wakes up at the crack of dawn she knows to wait in her room till her clock  turns green, and sometimes she even falls back asleep while waiting. It took her a week or so to really understand what was going on and after a few weeks we have slowly changed the time that it turns green to a desired time for us!  {We started with a time close to when she had been waking and pushed it up by 5 minutes every few days.}  She gets the feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing a job well done. And, Ok to Wake! is something that can be completed successfully every day!x2_50f52d3b3d2bd00c5799353ee4429a5e

It comes with a USB cord and has battery backup, and a second interchangeable face plate.

The only thing that I don’t  like is that the wall adapter is not included. You can use any  USB wall adapter you already own for phones, tablets, etc. though. It wasn’t a huge deal, but just something I wish I would have  paid more attention to. I recommend having it plugged in because if not then it is free standing and your toddler might just build a book tower to

I 100% give this awesome clock a 5 out of 5 stars and it is most definitely something that every family needs!

I would love for my daughter to be a sleeper, but I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon. Ok to Wake!  has definitely given me some more sleep!  I hope everything we tried can help you too!

~Amanda

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

BottomZz Up Potty Training Kit {Review}

When we got the opportunity to review this product, I was super happy! C is what I like to call half potty trained. He will use the potty all day long if he is running around the house naked and if we’re out to dinner at a restaurant, he will ask to go potty. But our problem arises while at home, at the park, or anywhere else where is he preoccupied and focused on playing and having fun while wearing anything, a diaper, pull up, or underwear.

We’ve tried candy.
We’ve tried stickers.
We’ve tried ice cream.
We’ve tried what seems like everything.

He’s just not catching on. Part of it is lack of consistency on my part I am sure. Part of it is the week on/week off custody and his dad allowing him to still use diapers because it’s more convenient than having to do laundry in his eyes.

That’s where BottomZz Up come in.

download.pngThis system is amazing. Now don’t get me wrong, I had my issues with it and I will explain them in a second, but overall, fantastic! Is C 100% potty trained after a week with the system? No. Was there progress made? Yes.

Essentially what you’re looking at is the cloth diaper of the potty training world. The system offers cloth, washable, reusable training pants with an absorbent liner. The starter kit comes with a potty chart, stickers, a certificate, and a travel bag.

The Opening for the Liner. There is almost no wiggle room. I found that I was unable to get the liner in so it laid flat as I was unable to get my hand in to grab the other side and pull it through.

Sizing. C is an average sized toddler and I felt these were extremely small in the leg openings. This was part of the reason I couldn’t be consistent with him wearing them 24/7. They were far too tight on his thighs and he told me they were hurting him. When I took them off, he had pretty significant red lines where they were. There is no option (that I have found) with larger sizes when it comes to ordering.

Price. I think the pricing is a little steep. A box of 10 refill liners is almost $18 and a package of 3 underwear is nearly $50. If you want the whole starter kit, you would be looking at almost $100, but you only get 6 inserts. So automatically plan for another $18 purchase for more liners.

Reusable. I have a whole cloth diaper stash that I had for C and will use again for the next baby, whenever that may be. Not having to run to the store when you “run out” of diapers, pull up, etc., is super convenient.

Chemical free. 100% cotton undies and chemical free liners make it as safe and eco-friendly as it getsdownload-1Now, C peed in them the first time and realized that it was wet as it held the moisture in the underwear. We started bribing him with the stickers and he began going potty on the toilet. He kept them on during nap time and woke up soaking wet as they had leaked on the inner thighs. He had another accident in which they leaked in the inner thigh area too. We made due while at home, but I didn’t want to risk out in public with him in them if they were leaking. They do have a caveat on their site stating they may leak when sitting down, however, neither of the leaks were due to him sitting. But again, accidents happen. I think it has to do with the small gap between the fabric and the liner.

I think an All-In-One system would be a great change for BottomZz Up. Instead of having a removable liner, especially since you have to wash the underwear anyways, sandwiching the liner permanently between the fabric would possibly help stop the leaks and there would be no more struggle in trying to get the liner in.

Overall, I have to say 3 out of 5 stars for BottomZz Up. Innovative, semi-successful for potty training, but high in price and could use some tweaking when it comes to the liner. I would love to see some other sizing options!

– Kirstyn

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

mommy’s BLISS {Review}

mommysbliss-logoWhen you are a new mom, there are a lot of facts and products being shoved in your face. You really don’t even know where to begin, what advice is legit, and what products you actually need v. the products that people just loved but would be useless to you. When my doctor prescribed vitamin D drops and suggested probiotic drops (I was EBF my daughter), I followed her advice. But I quickly learned that there are so many options, not only that, but there are so many opinions on your options.

Who knew life could be so complicated?

Mommy’s BLISS made my life a little easier two years ago when I had a colicy baby and they continue to make awesome products today! Their line takes the guessing out of choices. You don’t have to worry about additives or additional problems on top of the ones you are trying to treat with the medication.

All of mommy’s BLISS products have: no additives, chemicals or parabens, no artificial flavors or colors, no dairy, no gluten, and no soy. They are also 100% vegan and vegetarian.

Mommy’s BLISS actually contacted me and sent me their new products a few weeks ago and I have been waiting to write this post so I could be sure that I used them to their full potential! I have to say, I am very impressed with their new products and so excited to  share some secrets with you!

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Let’s start with why breastfed babies need vitamin D drops.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all babies receive routine vitamin D supplementation (400 IU per day) due to decreased sunlight exposure and an increase in rickets-Vitamin D deficiency”

The babies who do need these supplements need them due to a lack of sufficient sunlight, which is the best way to get your vitamin D. For example, with my Ohio babies, it’s far too cold to go outside and play in the sun half of the year, so vitamin D drops are necessary. Also, if you are darker skinned, it takes more sun exposure to absorb vitamin D.

A formula fed baby most likely would not need any vitamin supplements because their formula is fortified with vitamin D. A breastfeeding mom is most likely deficient in vitamin D (unless you take a supplement yourself, you have a pretty good chance of being deficient), so doctors advise you to give your newborn a supplement every day.

Vitamin D helps with healthy growth and bone development. It is not something to take lightly. But neither are all the chemicals and additives that are in some drops. The products are made for newborns. You would think that it would be a requirement to be the best possible product. But it’s not, so parents are left staring at boxes and weighing the risks of the additives and chemicals for their tiny humans.

These vitamin D drops are USDA certified organic and free of any type of chemical or additive! You are giving your child only what they need. Even though I don’t have a newborn, I still give my 2 year old vitamin D drops (under her pediatrician’s guidance). BK#1 is extremely picky, going through the phase that most toddlers go through, and refuses to eat and drink most of the time. I worry about her getting proper nutrients and growing properly. So far so good, but as a parent, you worry. You can’t help it.

My favorite thing about these drops is the amount needed daily. Just one drop. You don’t have to struggle getting a full syringe into your newborn or toddler for that matter. I sneak a drop on the top of her sippy before she takes a drink and voila, no tantrum because I had to hold her down and give her meds. There is no scent or taste either!

Mommy’s Bliss Vitamin D Organic Drops, 0.11 Fluid Ounce

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When BK#1 was an infant, this would have been a Godsend! My tiny little angel had colic like nobody’s business. I can’t even begin to explain how tired we were. I suppose I should write about that experience, but colic is not fun for anyone. It leaves you feeling like a zombie with literally zero brain cells because every parental instinct you have to comfort them just doesn’t work. She cried all the time and absolutely nothing we did helped. The evenings were the worst with no break at all. Finally, after trying every possible solution, we tried probiotics and we finally found some relief! She slept. She stopped crying. She was happy.

New parents, talk to your doctor! Save yourself and your baby and try probiotics.

If you want to learn more about how they work, read this amazing article.

“Probiotics are living microorganisms that scientific research has shown to benefit human health. Most commonly these are bacteria, but they may also be yeasts. In some cases they are similar to, or the same as, the microbes already found in a healthy digestive tract. Many probiotics were originally isolated from common fermented foods such as yogurt. Mommy’s Bliss Baby Probiotic Drops contain the live culture Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, the most widely studied probiotic in the world with over 800 scientific publications attesting to the safety and healthfulness of these beneficial bacteria. Like all dietary supplements you should discuss the use of probiotics with your baby’s doctor.” source Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic Drops Plus Vitamin D, 0.34 Fluid Ounce

Mommy’s BLISS created an amazing probiotic and vitamin D blend to help parents skip a step! No need to keep track of two medications. Not only is it two medications in one, but it’s the same price of any other probiotic on the market! You are definitely getting the better deal with mommy’s BLISS.81h9L3vRlIL._SX522_.jpg

If you don’t have a baby that has colic, you still might want to consider probiotic drops if your child gets sick, to help balance their immune and digestive system. The Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic Drops 15 Day Boost, 0.2 Fluid Ouncewas created to help replenish beneficial bacteria and may help with occasional diarrhea. Antibiotic use may cause occasional diarrhea* and digestive upset.*

Parents, it actually works! My littles were passing a tummy bug back and forth and this had them back to their normal selves and solid bowels much faster than anything ever has. It’s definitely something that I will be keeping in my medicine cabinet from now on.

Mommy’s BLISS is a great company! Learn more about them and why I think they are so great on there site here and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get awesome tips and parenting advice.

– Amanda

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review

 

When you stop bending your life…

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I just saw Bad Moms this week, and I relate on so many levels it’s almost scary…

All of the BurritoBuzz moms know how busy I am. I know that everyone is busy, and that “busy” is just a state of being when you’re in your mid to late twenties. Life doesn’t stop. And if you let it stop, you’re either 1. Dead. 2. Homeless or 3. Eating Doritos on your couch binge watching Stranger Things (no judgement). If you read this blog, you know that I take busy to a whole new level. I work, own a business, write for BB, hike, am a gym rat when time allows and raise the most beautiful, amazing 18 month old (in addition to somehow keeping a clean home). And sometimes, when things come up, I inconvenience my entire daily routine to appease others. I like doing things. If you’ve heard people being termed “do-ers,” that’s me. I can’t sit still. And while I like doing things, because it makes me feel fulfilled, sometimes doing things means bringing unneeded chaos into my life, out of the fear of offending someone by not doing said things.

But here’s the thing: outside of the things I have to do, I shouldn’t be bending my life unless I want to. Things that used to take precedence in my life have been moved to the back burner.

Need a card for a birthday party but it’s nap time? Too bad, we’re going to color a card instead of going to the store. (Aren’t handmade cards better anyway?)

Impromptu friend get together at my toddler’s bedtime? #WholeLottaNope Changing that tiny human’s sleep schedule makes everyone miserable. Want me to go out past 10pm? Also, a big fat no. With a toddler that gets up at 5am-6am, this mama requires sleep.

Want to have a huge family gathering, but it’s hot as shit and there’s nothing he’s going to want to do outside of ripping your breakables from your shelves? Hard pass.

My once feelings of guilt for not always saying “yes” have subsided. Because let’s face it, the sanity of my family is infinitely more important. And while I firmly believe that life shouldn’t stop when you have a baby and that you should integrate them into your typical life happenings, some things are just more hassle than what they’re worth. When life is a constantly revolving door of work, unpaid Uber driving for my toddler and trying to make sure that I at least have enough food in the fridge to feed him, the last thing I should be worrying about is the impression I’m leaving on others when I do or do not participate in events.Moms-funny21.jpg

So, my guilt? Gone.Thankfully, most of my friends and family remember the days of having small children and understand fully that we do what we can, when we can. We try to see everyone and participate in life, but they understand that life happens and that tiny humans are unpredictable. But to the occasional person that forgets these things, or just doesn’t realize how truly exhausting and long the days are, please forgive us. Our lives are ruled by tiny dictators and sometimes a nap for a grumpy toddler trumps the party that we missed.

– Katie

Weleda Skin Care For Moms & Babies {GIVEAWAY!}

We all want the best for our little ones. Many children have sensitive skin and/or allergies. The worst thing about it is, as a parent, it is so hard to figure out what causes your child’s sensitive skin. My little girl has always had sensitive skin. She breaks out all the time and most of the time, we have no idea what caused it. I am really hoping that she grows out of it, but in the meantime, I seek out organic and extremely gentle products for my babies.

The Weleda Baby Calendula line is absolutely fantastic for allergy prone skin.

First of all, calendula is a flower that is used in multiple ways for health and wellness, but it is mainly used for skin care and as an anti-inflammatory. It is a great moisturizer, helps reduce pain and  helps soothe irritated skin. Weleda’s flowers are organically grown in their own gardens in Germany. Weleda has an extensive line of creams, oils, and soaps for all your baby care needs.

ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTS ARE:

  • Certified natural and dermatologist tested safe for babies.
  • Free of parabens and other chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrance and petroleum ingredients.
  • Not tested on animals
  • Free of GMOs

Diaper Rash Cream

This cream is one of the best I have used in a long time! BK#2 has horrible diaper rash on a regular basis. Any time he cuts a tooth or a dirty diaper doesn’t get changed immediately, he breaks out in a rash and even gets blisters. It’s absolutely heart breaking and I wish I could just let him stay in the nude all the time to help prevent it. This cream got rid of a bumpy and horrifying red rash in one diaper change.

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It’s thick, but creamy and easily wipes from your finger without leaving a horrible smell.

Key ingredients include: calendula flower extract, sweet almond oil, clary sage oil, beeswax and 12% zinc oxide.

A 2.8oz tube is priced at $14. I found this to be the only downside because it is pretty expensive for such a small tube. Right now it is pretty well discounted on amazon at $8.45, so I will probably be placing an order here soon.
Weleda Calendula Baby Diaper Rash Cream 2.8-Ounce

Body Cream

9652This is a pretty typical cream. I felt it was more of a lotion than a cream. It is pretty thin and absorbs fairly quickly. As all of the calendula products do, this smells amazing! It’s the perfect amount moisture to keep your little one’s skin nourished daily, but is rich enough that it soothes dry and irritated skin. I have really sensitive, dry, and eczema prone skin, so I was slathering it on and I really like it!

This body cream doubles as a diaper cream as a preventative barrier when your baby doesn’t have a rash.

Key ingredients: calendula, sesame oil, lanolin and almond oil.

A 2.5oz bottle is $12.50 but it’s on sale right now on Amazon! Weleda Baby Calendula Baby Cream 2.5 oz

Face Cream

9661.jpgThe face cream was just a little thicker than the body cream and it smelled exactly the same. My littles don’t really get dry skin on their face, but they had awful baby acne and flakey faces as infants so I am sure this would have a God send when they were tiny. There aren’t many lotions specifically for a baby’s face.

Infants get the most random rashes on their faces and most of the time the doctors can’t or won’t do anything because they are so little. A baby face cream gives you the ability to soothe your baby without having to resort to any type of prescriptions.

Key ingredients: sweet almond oil, calendula, lanolin, and beeswax

IIt’s a little more pricey, but again, it’s cheaper on Amazon at $8.16! Seeing a pattern yet? BurritoBuzz moms love Amazon! Weleda Baby Calendula Face Cream, 1.7-Ounce

Shampoo and Body Wash

I really liked this wash. It wasn’t heavily scented, didn’t bubble up too much and get in their eyes, and it cleaned up any sticky mess my babies were covered in at the end of the day. The wash also has just enough moisture in it to not need a conditioner for babies that have a lot of hair. It left my babies with silky soft curly locks!

It’s tear free and naturally fragranced with essential oils, so there is no worry about the suds getting in tiny and delicate little eyes.

Ingredients: calendula, coco-glucoside, disodium cocoyl glutamate,

I will most definitely be purchasing this again because it worked really well and it is priced right at $13 for 6.8oz. Weleda Calendula Baby Shampoo and Body Wash, 6.8-Ounce

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Baby Oil

I know not everyone uses baby oil on their babies and kids, but I love it. I have super dry easily-irritated skin, so I try to keep up with theirs as much as I can. Baby oil gives them just a little bit more than a lotion would to lock in all the moisture. I generally only put it on them after a bath and before bed. That way it has all night to soak in. This has such a mild scent and I didn’t feel like I was overwhelming them with scent like some that I have used. It absorbs extremely fast and doesn’t leave a residue if you get it on clothes. The only down side is the hole in the spout is pretty large. I have had much more than I wanted come out multiple times!

Key Ingredients: calendula, chamomile and sesame oil

Priced at $17.50 for 6.85 oz but I feel like this will probably last me a very long time. Well worth the price! Weleda Calendula Baby Oil, 6.8 Ounce

Stretch Mark Massage Oilweleda_stretch_mark_massage_oil.jpg

My littles left me looking like a tiger. Not just on my belly but everywhere! I am talking my stomach, thighs, calves and chest. I blew up like a balloon. I always try any stretch mark oil that I can get my hands on!

This oil was great. It wasn’t sticky or thick and didn’t leave much of a residue.

I didn’t have much of a result with the oil, but man it was nice. I did notice that my stretch marks were slightly lighter and not as rough around the edges. So that’s a big plus! I’m sure with more time it will do more!

A 3.4 oz bottle is $25.50 but on Amazon, it’s only $15! Weleda: Pregnancy Body Oil for Stretch Marks, 3.4 oz

Nursing Tea

Weleda Nursing Tea is a blend of 100% organic herbs that supports lactation and soothes digestion. Organic fenugreek seed, used traditionally to increase milk supply, is mixed with organic anise seed, organic fennel seed and other organic herbs to help ease digestion, for both mother and baby.

You get 20 bags in a box for $12.50. Nursing Tea Weleda 20 Bag

We obviously love Weleda! It’s such an awesome company with great products! They also sent us several products to do a giveaway!

How to enter:

  1. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook.
  2. Like Weleda
  3. Comment and tag friends!
  4. Winner will be drawn at random on September 4, 2016!

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Good Luck!

– Amanda

**BurritoBuzz received these products at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

 

The Amber Monkey

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Let me preface this article: I am generally not someone who utilizes holistic approaches to medicine. In addition, this article is in no way written by a medical expert. Please consult your pediatrician prior to utilizing Baltic Amber.

My son started teething pretty early. Now, at 18 months old, he’s still teething. At around 7 months old, his discomfort from teething was pretty unbearable. He was fussy, drooling, and not sleeping well. While we did give him teething toys often, most other remedies were utilized infrequently (Tylenol, tablets, etc.)

I heard the hype of authentic Baltic Amber, and initially dismissed it. After seeing the buzz time and time again, I decided “why the hell not?” We purchased our first Baltic Amber necklace. It was the right size for my son’s neck, had a release clasp, and was knotted between beads. He wore it all day, except for in the bath, and at night we wrapped it around his ankle under a sock. And while I can’t say indefinitely that it was the amber, I can say that within a week there was a considerable difference in his demeanor and even less drool. He wore his necklace for months until he outgrew it, and then we ended up getting one from The Amber Monkey.

Their necklaces are authentic Baltic Amber. They have various sizes and styles, and sell both adult and children’s necklaces. They actually sent us an adult sized necklace, too, that I’ve been wearing!

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But truly, the Amber Monkey sells quality items. I inspected each necklace and was impressed by the styling and attention to detail.

Here is some additional information on Baltic Amber:

For centuries amber has been treasured not only for its beauty but also for its health benefits. The Amber Monkey’s 100% certified Baltic amber jewelry comes directly from the amber mines in the Baltic region of the world. For hundreds of years, people have worn the Baltic amber fossil, which releases trace amounts succinic acid, a natural analgesic and healing agent.

Amber is the fossilized resin from ancient forests which has gone through multiple changes over the centuries. This metamorphosis resulted in an exceptional gem with extraordinary properties. Various types of plant life as well as insects may be encapsulated in the amber resin, adding a peculiar uniqueness. These trees fell and were carried by rivers to coastal regions. There the trees along with their resins became covered with sediment which hardened into amber over hundreds of years. Geological events have repositioned a great deal of the amber, however many amber deposits remain in the ocean residue and can be found on the shores of the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.

Due to its ornamental uses, amber is often considered to be a gem stone in the same class as semi-precious stones such as jade and turquoise. However semi-precious stones are mineralized whereas amber is a wholly organic material derived from the resin of an extinct species of trees. When amber is touched with fire, it gives off the scent of burning pine.

For hundreds of years the properties of Baltic amber have proven to be very beneficial. Many people boast of wearing Baltic amber for relief of migraines, head, neck and throat congestion, teething and toothaches. Amber can be beneficial for controlling rheumatism and arthritis pain, for aching muscles and joints, for carpal tunnel syndrome and sports injuries. For the best results it is recommended to wear the Baltic amber as close as possible to the painful area. From infant on thru the sunset years, wearing Baltic amber can be invaluable in providing natural healing. Baltic amber is the only fossil resin that contains 3/8 percent succinic acid, which is a powerful therapeutic substance. For the greatest effectiveness, it is recommended to wear the amber as close to the painful site as possible. The warmth of the body releases the healing properties of the amber.

Amber is sometimes used as a body oil as well as an ingredient in perfumes. Many spas and wellness facilities use amber oil for message. As the amber warms to the touch, it exudes a pleasant, relaxing fragrance while messaging away aches and pains.

The Amber Monkey offers a complete line of classic style amber necklaces and bracelets. Because of the wide color range of amber, The Amber Monkey jewelry can include a stunning arrangement of tones and hues. The Amber Monkey also offers Baltic amber in combination with semi-precious gemstones to give an added splash of color to the jewelry.

Baltic amber comes in a variety of colors and shapes. Colors range from golden tones and opaque cream colors to olive green, deep cherry and several shades of brown. Color has no significance on the effectiveness of amber, it is purely a personal preference. Bead sizes range from small to large in a variety of shapes, including slender chips, baroque (rounded beads), square beads, and flat olive shaped beads to name a few. Some beads are left in the raw, unpolished state and others have been polished to give a vibrant luster to the bead. This again is a personal preference of the appearance and does not affect the amber properties.

Those who prefer an elegant one of a kind piece of jewelry will certainly not be disappointed in The Amber Monkey’s selection. Our designers regularly add new creations to our collection. For the fun-loving customer, The Amber Monkey has many flirty styles that are sure to please.

Baltic amber necklaces have been a traditional baby teething remedy for centuries. Baltic amber’s natural analgesic, anti-inflammatory, pain relieving properties naturally soothe and calm a teething baby. The amber may also help reduce teething related symptoms such as swollen gums, runny nose, diaper rash, fever, and redness in the cheeks. Baltic amber is great for parents wanting to care for their baby naturally.

Proper fitting of children’s necklaces is critical.

With proper care Baltic amber jewelry will last for many years. Simply wipe the beads with a clean damp cloth. Never expose the jewelry to chlorine, oils or lotions as it will damage the beads. Disclaimer: Baltic amber is for external use only. The amber jewelry is designed to be worn only under adult supervision. Take caution to avoid contact with the mouth. The jewelry contains small parts and is not intended for children. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

I’m a firm believer that Baltic Amber has some healing properties. A web search provides mixed feelings and minimal scientific evidence, so I can only speak for our own experience utilizing amber for teething pains.

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Want to try one? Check out this map to find out where to buy yours.

– Katie

**BurritoBuzz received these products at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Family Vacation. What is “vacation”?!?!

1471628573867Merriam Webster defines vacation as “a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel.”

Okay, so we have the first part down. Definitely away from home and business, but definitely not the last few words,”relax”? Not sure I have even figured out what that is yet! You see, as a parent your “work” never goes away. You are always a mommy and a daddy. No matter how much help (in the form of other competent adults to watch your tiny humans) you bring with you, your children ultimately want you and need you!

We have been at the beach down south for 5 days now and my expectation for what our first vacation as a family of four would be has changed drastically!

TODDLERS DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. 

My tiny humans are so confused and out of their element. We are in a huge house with a large portion of our family. They don’t know which way is up, or how to get anywhere. It’s a long walk to get to their snacks and up to their toys in their room. How frustrated would you be if you had no idea where anything was? We are trying as hard as we can to make it feel like home, but that’s pretty impossible in a house double the size of ours.

It’s light out way past their bedtime. Falling asleep has been extremely hard, and they aren’t sleeping through the night because of various unpredictable noises.sleep8.jpg

Thankfully, I am a morning person and I don’t mind getting up at five, but I’m sure the entire house doesn’t want to get up at the arse crack of  dawn to go for a walk. The up side is I have seen more beach sun rises than ever before!

TODDLERS AND HEAT AREN’T FRIENDS. 

“I got my toes in the water, butt in the sand, not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today.”

Life is definitely good, but your typical vacation habits are just a dream. Babies get hot quickly and then the tantrums start much more easily than they otherwise would. We only spent an hour or two outside at a time for the first few days of vacation.  It is a completely different heat than they are used to in Ohio.

TODDLERS ARE A LOT OF WORK. 6cc5077b7cce3efb033f0b79e148bdc4.jpg

Oh my word. I am a stay at home mom, so I am used to my children around me 24/7, but add in a different location and they were attached to me like white on rice. Go into vacation with the mindset that you will only relax when the munchkins are sleeping. We never stopped worrying or running around with them. We loved every minute of it, but it was work, work, work, work, work, work…

TODDLERS STILL MAKE MESSES.

Okay, so this is obvious, but I still want to mention it. They still get into everything that you don’t want them to get into. There are still toys strewn across the house. And, unless you pack for every single day, then you will be doing laundry. A lot. All the chores you had at home are still there, just more annoying because all you want is to be laying on the beach. Just to lay on the beach for five minutes…

TODDLERS SENSE RELAXATION LIKE ANIMALS SENSE FEAR.

We worked in shifts, attempting to be able to just sit and soak up the sun. It never failed that once one of us settled down in our chair that both children would start screeching like they were dying.1122d00fe61511c76ef0d455707a4abb.jpg

Sand in eyes.

“He touched me.”

Grandparent moved out of sight.

Wrong parent is holding the baby.

Daddy covered his foot with sand. He is dying because said foot is now gone.

Catching birds is hard.

The best one of all, both toddlers get up and go. In different directions.

So, you run to the rescue of whoever was attempting to watch two toddlers alone.

NO ONE ELSE SPEAKS YOUR TODDLER’S LANGUAGE.

Like I said before, we have a ton of family with us that give us breaks from time to time.

All parents know the “toddler language” but unless someone is around your toddler a lot, then you run into conversations like this…

Adult: I know you were trying to relax, but I have no clue what she is asking for and now she wont stop crying!

Me: Okay, bring her out here.

BK#1: mommmaaa  oooseie in yewwooo tup!!!

Me: Good grief kiddo, take a deep breath and tell that to her without fussing.

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Two year olds are funny fickle little things! Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what they are saying 80% of the time. There are days I just stare at her like she is an alien because the things she is saying definitely doesn’t follow  a language on earth.

We are having a blast on vacation and you should definitely make it happen for your family if you can! Thankfully, all my children will remember are the hours floating in the ocean and lots of alone time with mom and dad, but man oh man, next year I will definitely be going with much lower standards of what family vacation is with young children!

Keep a lookout for more on our family vacation. Tips, tricks, lists, products and how we turned chaos into fun!

❤  Amanda

 

Stop trying to one-up the struggle…

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The comparison of struggle. Sometimes, it seems like parents are wanting to complain in a way that makes it seem like one person has it worse than the other. Like, “oh, your baby doesn’t sleep? Well, my baby is teething horribly which is so much worse.”

But I’ve said it before, where’s the empathy?

*Disclaimer: I’m addicted to ecards, which I’ll be using in abundance in this post.*

Why can’t one person’s struggle be acknowledged instead of mulled over and one-upped by another person’s struggle? babbleoneupper.png

And here’s the truth: we all have some kind of struggle going on. Whether we talk about it openly or not.

Even then, sometime I’ll just be in conversation and talking about a difficult phase we’ve been going through. Right now we’re dealing with some major toddler tantrums. Instead of saying “oh, I remember those days!” or “this too shall pass” or “it gets easier” or something uplifting, I often hear things like “he’ll be worse when he’s two!” “wait until he talks more…” blah blah blah.

When our son didn’t sleep, like at all, for 9 months, I got so much advice on things we should be doing. Like hello, I don’t enjoy being sleep deprived. If you think I hadn’t already tried those things, you are very wrong.

images.pngSo here’s what I’m getting at: it’s okay to identify and acknowledge someone else’s struggle without being upset that they aren’t facing your exact struggle. Sometimes we all just need to talk about what’s going on to get through the day.

A comparison I’ve heard recently: If you break your leg, you might scream that you’re in pain. In response, someone says to you “every bone in my body is broken!” But here’s the thing, the person with the broken leg is still in pain, whether or not it’s the same pain that you have or to the extent that you have it. It doesn’t make their issue any less of an issue.

This idea goes far beyond just parenting, but I’ve never before experienced such negativity and lack of compassion and empathy as I have since becoming a parent. 1338588890104_3927523.png

When someone takes the time to tell me their struggle these days, I try diligently to get on their level, to show that I care about their difficulties. And it’s impossible to always say the right thing, but I think that if we all try just a little harder to empathize we’ll be in much better shape. Our relationships will be stronger indefinitely.

– Katie

My Tiny Little Monarch: Tantrums 101

crown-image-5.pngWe love my daughter’s name, but I am starting to question if it was a good choice. It means “Queen” and good Lord, she definitely plays the part! I have accepted that tantrums are just part of our day for the next year or two from what I hear from other parents. She is almost two and a half and the power struggle seems never ending.

Today’s meltdown causes are as follows: milk at breakfast was not delivered in a timely fashion, baby brother was touching empty milk cup, it was time for breakfast and she wanted to play with the puppy, breakfast was yogurt and not cereal, I got out blocks instead of puzzles, her requested water was in fact water, lunch (she just didn’t eat lunch today), and last but not least, daddy left for work. Okay, she can flip out about that one, because I don’t like him leaving either!

It really does feel like the tantrums are never ending, with no way to fix the problem. Let’s face it, half of the time we really don’t know what the problem is.

I have been dealing with tantrums for quite some time now. My daughter obviously has them and I have been responsible for many tiny little ones, who always seem to be on the brink of an emotional breakdown. In my experience, the tantrum stage doesn’t really go away until they are around four. Even then it’s pretty likely that a preschooler will have some pretty regular freak outs.

How do we stop them?43dcc329ba214a879635dcca9e2adda8

How do we make it better?

How do we prevent them?

First off, let me start with this: tantrums are normal. They are actually expected! If you don’t have a two or three year old that loses it from time to time, then you are very, very lucky, my friend!

Not every tip I am going to list will help. There is no perfect fix or one right way to deal with your toddler’s big emotions! Do what you feel is best for you and your family.

Understand why tantrums happenThe logical part (frontal cortex) of our brain doesn’t fully develop until we are 25 years old. A toddler physically can’t reason and react appropriately without being taught (over and over). Furthermore, there is a great deal of research that shows it is completely normal for a toddler or any person to have an angry reaction to what they perceive as distress. frontal-lobe-3-728.jpg  “Neuroscience has shown there are circuits that are activated for anger and aggression in response to different triggers,” says R. Douglas Fields, Ph.D, author of Why We Snap. “It’s part of the brain’s threat detection mechanism. The key concept is this anger and aggression exists to fight, and exists for violence because we need it.” Until that cortex is fully developed, it’s our job as parents to teach our little ones how to have feelings and what is appropriate. So if you didn’t know what caused the tantrum, you do now.

Where do we go from here? My kid is still on the ground screaming.Stay Calm dont panic .png

a00cc3dcb200abc3ea84425e03d04e5bIt is so easy to take the angry road. Believe me, been there, done that. And I don’t always keep my cool! Count to 5. Take deep breathes. Do whatever you have to do to stay calm before you dissipate a tantrum.  If it is the 314th tantrum today and you just can’t deal, then be sure your child is safe from harm and walk away for a few minutes. If you are at this point in a public place, find a restroom, dressing room, quiet corner and set your child down, turn around and clear your head for a minute. If you are angry, chances are you aren’t going to discipline your child the way you should. Not only that, but your child needs you “to be the calm in their storm.” If you are just thunder and lightning to their little rain storm, you are just going to make it 100 times worse. Angry actions are easier than calm ones.

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Everyone has a bad day sometimes. What do your friends and loved ones do for you when you have a bad day? If they are kind and gracious they ask how they can help, they level with you,and let you know it’s okay to be upset or they tell you that you are in the wrong and help you get through it.  Either way, the logical answer for any type of emotion is never “stop it”, so why would be expect that from a two year old?

Bend down, sit down on the floor or kneel – You need to be eye to eye with your tiny human. Towering over them is scary and intimidating. When you get on their level, you are more likely to have a better outcome.on-their-level.jpg

Touch them – Hug it out, tickles and laughing, or simply put a hand on their arm. Your child longs for your touch. Not all toddlers love being held or snuggled all day (mine would let me some days), but your touch has a powerful part in soothing the situation.

Validate the situation“I understand…” are your two magic words. Name and validate your child’s feelings. For example: “I understand you want to play. You are sad that we have to go, aren’t you? It’s okay to be sad, I am sad when I have to leave sometimes too.”

  • Don’t try and use logic.
  • Focus on the feeling and emotion that is happening. Find your child’s niche to get through their emotions.
  • Be a role model. Your little one needs to know that it is okay to have feelings. As a parent, you are there to help them through their emotions. A child will never properly learn what actions should go with their feelings if you, 1. Don’t let them have them, and 2. Don’t help them through the emotion.
  • “Use your words, I want to help but I don’t understand screaming” – This phrase right here works so well in my home! Your child still might not get what they wanted in the end, but they will feel like you care and that you are listening.
    • If your child is on the younger side and just starting tantrums, be sure to still say “use your words”, but help them along a little more. Generally, if they are on the young side, they at least can say some words and phrases like “yes”, “no”, “more”, “gstop” etc.

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Talk about an upcoming daily event. “It’s almost dinner time, how about you help me get the plates out?” Asking a child to help, whether they’re really helping or not, makes them feel important and generally changes their mood. If they aren’t old enough to help or there isn’t anything to help with, distract them with a new activity.

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Let’s imagine that it is time for lunch, you turn off their favorite cartoon and they start the usual tantrum. Chances are, your child isn’t old enough yet to understand the difference between “off for now” and “gone for eternity”.  rs_1024x748-160421181738-1024.Jessica-Capshaw-Sara-Ramirez-Greys-Anatomy.ms.042116.jpg

If the producers of Grey’s Anatomy ended my show at this point in time, I would probably turn red and have my own little hysterical meltdown. Not only does your child not quite understand why, but they physically are agitated and don’t know how to communicate that.

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  1. Remain calm. Show that it is not an acceptable way to show they are upset and try to diffuse the situation.
  2. Take a picture. Make yourself calm down first! Insensitive? Yes, probably a little, but remember that no parent is judging you and that it will pass. You don’t want your child to learn that if they embarrass you enough, that they will get what they want.Toddler-temper-tantrum-10.jpg
  3. Get down on their level, make contact, validate. – Consistency! React in public the same way you would at home. Yes, it might be nerve wracking and hard, but eventually the tantrums will be further and further apart.
  4. Wait it out in a quiet place. Find a dressing room, back corner of Target, wherever and whatever works.
  5. Try your hardest not to leave. Your child needs to learn how to behave in public settings. Not only that, but you have to learn how to discipline in a public setting! Sometimes giving in is the easiest way out and sometimes just plain not dealing with it is also, but the tantrums aren’t going away so it’s best to learn to get through them.

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  • Awareness – Respect your toddler. Talking to your toddler like a human is important. You wouldn’t trap your husband in car, not tell him when dinner time was or not let him have play time.  So, while you’re doing things, talk. “We are going to the store and after the store, we are going home for lunch.” Children thrive on structure and the awareness of that structure!
  • Conquer the power struggle by staying consistent. In our home, we follow simple steps.
    • Speak once
    • Allow child to listen
    • If they don’t listen, repeat what you said
    • If they still don’t listen then the parent moves.

If it is something like “stop throwing the toy,” then I take the toy and remind her that it is not okay to throw toys, because she could hurt herself or someone else. If the throwing continues, then she goes to time out. We always say “when you’re done yelling at me, you can come back and play” and generally timeout is short-lived. And there are no long term consequences.

  • Be sure your child is fed and has had water, is clean & dry and has slept well. My daughter is a nightmare if any of these are off. God forbid we eat 15 minutes later than usual. Poor child gets hangry! So, just be aware of the circumstances to prevent a tantrum. If you are running late and it’s dinnertime when you leave the store, then just simply say “I know you are really hungry, I am too, but don’t be sad. We are going home to get some dinner.” Again, make your child aware.
  • Praise everything! Your child yearns for it and they will work for kind words. Mommy or Daddy being sad can be the worst thing to them and generally they will try to make it better!

Toddler tantrums will happen. Your child is not a “brat” or “bad” and it is not a personal attack on you as a parent and it definitely doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. It is normal, exhausting and discouraging, but you can get through it! Be sure to have plenty of adult time and always remember that each day is a new day. Your toddler barely remembers why they were mad five minutes ago, much less yesterday. Start every day with a smile and stay strong. The tiny crazy monarch will one day leave your home, and you will be left with an awesome kid and a whole new outlook on that mom staring at her two year old on the floor, kicking and screaming ,at the grocery .

❤ Amanda

 

 

Considering Amazon Prime? Read This…

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Anyone that knows me will tell you: I have a severe Amazon Prime addiction.

But let me break it down for you:

I work.

I run a photography business.

I write for this blog.

I have a toddler.

I need sleep.

Basically, after having my son, I was really stressing about constant trips to the store for baby essentials. I already head to the store about once a week and any more than that is just a burden to try to fit into our crazy, hectic lives.mom_landing_benefit_exclusive-deals._CB286282049_

Enter Amazon Prime.

Prime allows me to have mom brain. What do I mean by that? When I forget diapers, wipes, food, etc. I’m able to quickly hop on to my Amazon App on my iPhone and order what I forgot. No extra trips to the store. Free shipping. Two day delivery. Better yet, I’ve put half of my baby essentials on subscription, so I get them delivered mid-month every month. I never go without! I have a perfect supply of what I need.

On that note, you can bet that I’m that person with a stack of Prime packages almost daily. I swear, I’m not ordering stuff for myself. It’s usually just boxes of basics, but it saves me time and sanity. As the mom of a toddler, I can’t ask for much more. Prime has been a total lifesaver for our family. The $99 fee per year is far less than what I’d pay in shipping over the coursescreen-shot-2016-04-26-at-11-48-54-am of a year if I ordered from another store.

And, it gets better. Prime members get deals. 20% off diapers. Exclusive coupons. Baby registry benefits. Streaming of TV shows and movies. Streaming of all kinds of music. It’s a serious deal. Thanks to Amazon Family for saving me a few brain cells.

Want to start your free 30 day trial today? Here you go!
Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial

– Katie

The 18 Month Sleep Regression

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Sleep regressions are a bitch.

My son has never been a great sleeper (or even a good sleeper.) On the other hand, I quite literally can’t function without 8 hours of sleep. If I don’t sleep well, you’ll likely see me throwing dishes in the trash can, putting on tennis shoes with dress clothes and losing things because I put them in the fridge instead of in the cupboard. I go to Target and totally forget what I needed there (and end up leaving without the things I needed and about $100 worth of home goods that I didn’t need.)

So, tiny human… please. Please for your Momma’s sanity, try to snooze. 

Every time that I get into a groove and my son starts sleeping well, he hits a sleep regression. It seems like these regressions happen at fairly regular intervals and usually mean that something is up (new brain development, new mobility, new teeth) or they’re actually tiny dictators that like to show their power when they think things are running a little too smoothly.

A few weeks ago, we hit this new sleep regression and I’m going to tell you how we’ve gotten through it without murdering one another.

My son sleeps on a very regular schedule: Naps at 10:30 and 3, bed at 8, up at 6. Typically he goes down for a nap/bed with minimal fussing. A few weeks ago that all changed. I put him in his crib and he was pissed. Instantly. I mean, hyperventilating at the thought of me leaving him in his crib to fall asleep. He would cry before we even got to his bedroom. He even climbed out of his crib. Bedtime was absolutely the most dreaded event. I’m not someone that can deal with “cry it out” for very long before I feel like crying myself…

So a good two weeks of this went on. I felt my sanity slowly slipping away more and more each day (and my husband certainly did too). It strained our relationship and I was short-tempered with everyone I came in contact with. I was tired. Almost the kind of tired you feel the first few weeks of having a newborn: that absolute sleep-deprivation, exhaustion that comes with keeping a tiny human alive and happy.

I realized that something had to give. And thankfully, we’re doing much better lately thanks to these changes:

  1. I stopped banking on every day being the same. Instead, I took his cues. If he only seemed tired once a day, we went upstairs once for a nap instead of twice. I didn’t try to put him to sleep when he was obviously not tired. This is the age when a good number of toddlers switch from two naps to one. Generally, he’s still napping twice a day, but most often his naps are a bit later.
  2. I calmed myself down and it helped calm him down. Before naps, I really try to get him into a mellow mood. I turn down any sound, disengage from any really crazy play and try to instead do some reading or something that doesn’t require much exertion.
  3. Bedtime has changed quite a bit. About a half hour before bedtime, we turn down the lights, turn down any sound (TV, radio, etc.) and get him into his PJs. We read, snuggle and sometimes watch one of his favorite movies. No drinks or snacks that might boost his sugar levels before bed.
  4. We’ve realized that teething is a nightmare, for us and for him. He’s getting all four of his first set of molars in right now. His gums are bloody quite often and he obviously hasn’t felt well because of them. When it’s bad, we give him some Tylenol and a teether to help ease his pain.
  5. We’ve started playing in his room. Before, his bedroom wasn’t a play place and instead only somewhere he slept. Because he associates his crib with being upset and having to take a nap, we’ve tried to introduce more play into his bedroom so that he makes different associations.
  6. We take our time putting him to bed. We talk, brush his teeth, lay him down, tell him goodnight and give him a few stuffed animals to play with. The stuffed animals really have kept him entertained until he falls asleep.
  7. If he is upset in his crib during naps for more than 15 minutes, we nix the nap and continue playing. If he seems tired, I try to lay him down again after another hour or so has passed.
  8. During the day, we keep him totally engaged. Running, playing, reading, etc. Wearing him out has most certainly helped us get him to sleep, even if it’s taxing on us sometimes!

Sleep regressions are so mentally exhausting on everyone in the household. It’s so important to remember that each regression is a phase that will pass. It’s helped for my husband and I to each have time alone, like working out at the gym, shopping, doing yard work, taking turns napping… just anything to get some quiet “alone” time. But it’s also important to get time as a couple, even if it’s after you toddler goes to bed and you binge watch OITNB.

Stay calm, parents. This too shall pass.

– Katie

Baby in Tow: Spoon Cocoon {Review}

Hey Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and caregivers of all kinds – have you ever been super frustrated out in public when it comes time to feed the little one in your life? I know that I have, on multiple occasions. I either can’t find my feeding utensils in the depths of my big, dark diaper bag, they have fallen on the ground in the process of finding them or I just forgot to bring them altogether. I’m about to introduce you to a product that will make feeding our little one out in public a little less aggravating. It is the Spoon Cocoon from Baby in Tow.

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Spoon Cocoon is an infant feeding spoon that comes with a caterpillar-shaped travel container. It is such a neat little product and it can be used with most all other infant feeding utensils, even your child’s toothbrush! The caterpillar case also do71Rvd7CVnQL._SY679_ubles as an adorable little toy for your little one.

More perks:

  1. BPA Free!
  2. PVC Free!
  3. Environmentally friendly for more than one reason. 1. The Spoon Cocoon is made of recycled plastic. 2. I know I used plastic bags to carry utensils for my kids when we went out, so this product eliminates that waste!
  4. Caterpillar-shaped case twists on and off with ease, but not too easily. It feels tightly closed and secure when it’s twisted on.
  5. The case and bright color makes finding the spoon in the bottom of the diaper bag so much easier.
  6. The green color is gender neutral! Baby in Tow plans to release additional colors in the future.

Our family gives this product 5 out of 5 stars. It is super sweet and simple, but a necessity for on-the-go parents and caregivers. It would be a perfect registry item or shower gift for any mom-to-be. You can purchase it on Amazon here: Spoon Cocoon.

Be sure to check out Baby in Tow’s website to learn more about the Spoon Cocoon.

– Megan

 

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Aden + Anais Bath Products {Review}

I was so excited to learn that BurritoBuzz would be working with Aden + Anais, a company I have been a customer of since I became pregnant with my first child nearly 4 years ago. Back then, I knew A + A for their super soft muslin swaddle blankets. I loved them, my kids loved the81psQHPiQyL._SX522_m and they have held up all this time. I could not wait to try their other products.

Casey, a fellow BurritoBuzz mom, and I chose to try items from their baby skincare line. The Hair + Body Wash, Bubble Bath and Ultra-Gentle Lotion were items we sampled. I also received a set of washcloths and a toddler bath towel. So far, all of the products are fabulous. My kids have been happy with them, my husband has used them and loves them, and I know I will for sure continue to use them.

Here’s the rundown:

The Hair + Body Wash, Bubble Bath and Ultra-Gentle Lotion were all developed by leading New York dermatologist Ellen Gendler, MD and are naturally derived. Each one is tear-free and lightly scented, which I found to be completely accurate. I really loved the light, clean fresh scent of each product and the scent lasts. Baby’s hair smells so good for 41x4X2FrLYLhours after bathtime. These products are free of phthalates, parabens, BPA, gluten and soy. Buy the lotion and body wash together on Amazon here.

Hair + Body Wash – First of all, any bath soap that comes with the pump is already an A+ in my book. It is so easy having that pump when you’re bathing two toddlers rather than having to pick up and pour soap into your washcloth. Aden + Anais put their soap and lotion both bottled with the pump. I’ll be honest, my husband usually bathes our kids, so I had him try out the Hair + Body Wash immediately. We have been trying out other soaps ever since our baby shower supply ran out. We haven’t really found any that we absolutely love, but A + A comes close! My husband said the soap “made a good lather.” It is moisturizing and gentle on my little ones’ skin which is necessary. We do use conditioner on my daughter’s hair quite often, so I can’t honestly say if this shampoo on its own would be moisturizing enough for h71Ad9wUyIdL._SY679_er. I may have to buy the conditioner as well! On Amazon, you can find Hair + Body Wash in a 12 oz bottle for under $15.95.

Bubble Bath – My kids both love bubbles of any kind. Honestly, who doesn’t love a good bubble bath every once in awhile? Very simply pour 1 to 3 capfuls of the Bubble Bath directly under running water. Bath time was fresh and clean with the added bubble and my little ones loved it. It was also moisturizing to their skin. You can buy it here: Aden + Anais Bubble Bath.

Ultra-Gentle Lotion – I’m not embarrassed to say I used the lotion on myself. Don’t judge! Since I’ve gotten some sun lately, my skin has been dry so I thought that’d be a true test of this lotion. I knew I already loved the scent, so why not? It worked like a charm! I loved that it wasn’t greasy like many lotions I’ve used. The scent is refreshing but not overpowering. I will continue to use it daily, especially in the winter months and on my babies. Amazon has Ultra-Gentle Lotion for less than 20 dollars also or you can get it bundled with the Hair + Body Wash.

Toddler Bath Towel – This is the A + A product I was most excited to try. I don’t know about you, but infant/baby towels infuriate me. Most are so small and thin, barely dry my child and leave them shivering. This towel is legit. It’s nearly the size of an adult towel (50” x 30”) and super soft. The towel is made of pre-washed cotton and muslin, making it plush and soft. It washed up well for me and it81VdceQVBjL._SX522_‘s the perfect size for both my 3 year old and 1 year old. It keeps them dry, warm and is gentle to their skin. I don’t have to worry about it being too small like most hooded towels, but it’s not too bulky either. The Toddler Towel can be found on Amazon for $29.95.

Classic Washcloth – I also received a set of three 100% cotton muslin washcloths. The washcloths are pre-washed just like other products by Aden + Anais, so they get softer wash after wash. They washed up with ease and seem to be durable (I have only washed them twice). They even have a convenient loop, so the washcloth can be hung to dry between each use. I will say, the washcloths are quite large for babies/toddlers (12” x 12”), so they take some getting used to but you can’t beat that soft muslin fabric across their delicate skin. The set of three is available on Amazon for $20.00. You can find it by going here: Classic Washcloth.

Although the price point for these Aden + Anais products may seem high, I promise you, the quality is there. The washcloths and towels come in the most adorable prints (I received Fluro BIMG_6948lue), and some of the prints are perfect for gender neutral gifts. I know I
will be on the lookout for sales and clearance so I can continue to buy these products and others from A + A.

Aden + Anais definitely receives a 5 out of 5 stars from my family and I for the bath products and towels. After sampling, I had to get on Aden + Anais’ site and check out the rest of their bath time and skin care line. You can check it out right here!

A big Thank You to Aden + Anais for the opportunity to review their products! Be sure to follow A + A on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

– Megan

**BurritoBuzz received these products at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

pureWash Pro {Review}

Over the course of the last several weeks, my family and I have been sampling the pureWash Pro distributed by GreenTech. I reached out to pureWash via Twitter because I was curious about their product and its benefits to my household. I, along with the other BurritoBuzz Moms, am always interested in new technology, especially products that can improve the efficiency of my home. Since I contacted pureWash, they have been nothing but easy to work with and it is true with their product as well. I was skeptical of it at first, but it has continued to surprise me!

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What is pureWash Pro?

“pureWash is an environmentally friendly appliance designed to work with your residential washing machine, adding enhanced oxygen and Photo Catalytic Oxidizers to the cold water supply. Water treated by pureWash aids in cleaning laundry and killing bacteria without leaving residual detergent in the fabric.”

How is pureWash installed?

My husband installed our pureWash Pro with ease shortly after we received it. It simply hooks up to the cold water supply that normally runs to your washing machine. We have a traditional top loading washing machine, but pureWash can be installed to any model. pureWash needs to be attached to a secure surface at installation to ensure it remains stable and level for its usage. My husband attached ours to the shelving unit next to our washing machine, using the mounting bracket that was included.

Once pureWash is installed, it’s ready to use! Easy, right? Simply operate your washing machine like you normally would. The only difference with using the pureWash is that you can only use the cold water setting to experience the benefits of the pureWash. “If hot water is used, it dilutes and defeats the effectiveness of the oxidizers that the pureWash has introduced into the wash water.”

Some things we noticed immediately after using pureWash:

  1. The first load of laundry we did with the pureWash was towels. We noticed right away that they felt softer and fluffier than normal. We did not use any detergent and the towels were soft, appeared clean and had a fresh scent. I was anxious to keep washing after that!laundry-basket
  1. I mentioned the fresh, clean scent above. This is true for every single load that is washed, not just that first load of towels. This is the “ozone smell”. I love it. The laundry smells so clean once it’s washed. This is not a smell that can be found in any type of detergent or fabric softener.
  1. The purpose of the pureWash is to use little or no detergent. This is where I was skeptical. Really, no detergent at all? How in the world would anything get clean with just water? But it does. Most often, we have not washed with any detergent using the pureWash. Unbelievably, our laundry is clean with only the cold, oxidized water. “Detergent build-up promotes mold growth and does not kill bacteria. Independent, scientific studies have proven pureWash Pro kills 99.9% of both with cold water.” (Sounds clean to me!) I do appreciate that I can add detergent if I want to. When I wash what I would consider a heavily soiled load of clothes (my nursing work scrubs, for example) I can still add detergent to the machine.
  1. Stains on laundry still need to be pre-treated before washing them using the pureWash. Sure it has worked great, but it’s not a miracle worker. When my kids’ clothes are covered in food or dirt, it’s going to take more than cold water to get those stains out. Once they’re treated with the stain remover you would normally use, simply throw your clothes in and wash like normal.
  1. There is a “Household Water Out” option on the bottom of the pureWash that allows you to use the water for other household cleaning needs. It can be used to clean, water plants, wash pets or rinse fruits and vegetables. I liked this option and plan on taking advantage of it.
  1. With babies and toddlers in my home, we often separate the laundry and use different detergent for the them. This is not necessary with pureWash. It’s so much easier washing everyone’s laundry together and not worrying about my kids breaking out in a rash from soap and detergent. pureWash is “ideal for those who suffer from allergies triggered by bacteria and mold found living in our laundry.”

I think it’s important to note that we use city water and a water softener with our pureWash hook-up. According to pureWash, “it will work with all typical household water qualities, but the better the quality of the water, the better results you will have. If you have hard waterptpa-seal, pureWash recommends a water softener and the removal of chlorine will improve the unit’s performance.” pureWash also recommends consulting a water filtration expert if you have any concerns about the quality of your water (high iron content for example) while using the pureWash.”

Overall, my family gives the pureWash 5 out of 5 stars. I have never seen a product quite like this, but it has surprised me with its ease of installation and use. It’s comforting to know I’m not using tons of chemicals and soap in my family’s laundry and it is still clean. And you know what else, I am saving money! I’m saving money by not using as much detergent and also eliminating the energy waste from washing with hot/warm water.

You can read more about the pureWash here or purchase it through Amazon using this link: pureWash PRO by GreenTech. If you are unhappy with your pureWash after 30 days, they offer a money back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied with it. Trust me, it’s definitely worth trying and you won’t want to send it back!

Here’s a short video explaining how the pureWash works:

– Megan

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of product review. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Giving my son a haircut was a nightmare, until I discovered these…

Okay. I apologize for the clickbait, but this is so 100% worth it.

My son was born with a mop of thick, dark hair. It quickly fell out, but within a week he had hair again! By 8 months old, his hair was in his eyes and he legitimately looked like some kind of hippie infant (which, I’m okay with. I briefly considered dreadlocks.) My husband and I took our son a street over to our local barber. I had called in advance to make sure he was comfortable with cutting a small child’s hair, to which he replied “oh yeah, I cut my nephew’s hair all the time.” Looking back, this should have been my first red flag.

The experience was horrible.

My son cried until he was red in the face. He hated the clippers, hated the hair in his face and really hated staying still. The barber was shaking and my blood pressure was through the roof.

Round 2:

My son needed another haircut (FML is the appropriate response here.) My sister-in-law is a pro stylist and she has the patience of a saint (obviously, she married my brother. HA! Love you baby bro!) but Lucas still didn’t tolerate the haircut. I mean, when those clippers turned on, it was more like an exorcism than a haircut.

So that was it. I was done. I was firmly set on growing his hair into little baby dreads. I’d buy him some cool Bob Marley t-shirt, figure out how to clean dreads (does one shampoo dreads? I don’t know.) It just wasn’t worth cutting his hair.

I finally gave in and started cutting his hair on my own. I placed him in a booster seat in my living room, put on his favorite show and gave him some snacks and a drink. I only used scissors. While he stayed happy, not only did it take me a good 30 minutes, but his hair was far from even.

I did this several time before getting in touch with Calming Clippers. Considering my son has had 7 haircuts and is only 17 months old, I needed a solution and was willing to try just about anything for a peaceful haircut.

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Calming Clippers is a system composed of typical salon scissors with an attached plastic comb, similar to what you’d add to the end of clippers. The kit comes with scissors, 7 combs of varying sizes, a cape and an organizer. The clips were incredibly easy to attach and detach, and I had no issues changing the tension in the scissors. They also have gel bands in the finger holes to change the sizing to fit smaller or larger hands.

The scissors are branded for those with “sensory sensitivity“. They are ideal for children, but also those with sensory disabilities, in particular children and adults with Autism (as an aside, having worked as a tutor with children that have Autism, the concept of these scissors is going to be so revolutionary to parents that struggle through haircuts due to sound sensitivity!) While my son doesn’t mind most loud noises, the sound of the clippers simply terrifies him, so eliminating those for hair cuts for the time being is the best solution.

To use the scissors, they recommend first cutting the longer locks and then doing rapid cutting while brushing with the comb. My personal experience with these proved that to be accurate in achieving the best cut. For my son, I did a faded look using the 1.5 comb on the sides and the 2 on the top. I was shocked and so relieved to see how even his hair looked. The entire process took me about 5 minutes. That’s it.

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I did find that hair sometimes gets stuck while combing it up, in a way that the hair folds down under the clip, making it so that it doesn’t actually get cut. My solution to this was to wet his hair which assisted with keeping his hair all combed in the right direction. The areas around the ears are still difficult, but with some practice, I have no doubt that I’ll be a pro soon enough. I still take a razor to his sideburns to create a straight line (I just used a 5 blade razor and quickly evened out the area while firmly holding his head to ensure that there was no chance of injury.)

This product has saved my sanity. I cannot possibly thank Calming Clippers enough for the anxiety that they’ve saved me. What a simple, yet amazing solution to such an intense problem for us!

Watch a video on the Calming Clippers HERE

You can purchase these for around $35.00 — essentially the cost of two haircuts. In my book, that’s money saved over the course of 10 haircuts a year!
Calming Clipper Haircutting Kit for Sensory Sensitivity, 10 Piece

Here are two recent photos of my son hanging out with his new haircut!

– Katie

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Badger Baby {Review}

As our readers know, the BurritoBuzz moms love finding and trying new baby skin care products and sharing what we find. For me, I prefer to use organic products on my baby and toddler. I wasn’t always like that, but I’m sure my now toddler will grow up just fine. I BADGER_ORG LOGO_HBC_LFhave always heard great things about Badger Balm and recently saw a display of their baby sunscreen at the grocery store and decided to send them e-mail about trying their products. They were gracious enough to send me three of their amazing products to try, their Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen, their Baby Balm and their Night-Night Balm.

Badger is a small, family-owned company located in Gilsum, New Hampshire. Badger blends the finest organic plant extracts, exotic oils, beeswax, and minerals to make the safest, most effective products possible to soothe, heal, protect and otherwise treat your body. Badger’s products are USDA Certified Organic, made with no synthetics, parabens, GMO’s, chemicals or other nasty stuff, ever! Badger is also committed to the bonding of parents and their new babies and allows babies to come to work with their parents up to 6 months of age or until baby begins to crawl! What a fantastic company! This is the type of company I would want to work for and makes me want to be a loyal customer even more.

Badger products are the real deal and I am in love with the ones I’ve tried!

Baby Balm: The Baby Balm is amazing and keeps baby’s skin hydrated and super soft. I love it’s natural scent thanks to the chamomile and calendula (I love calendula in baby products), It is not greasy and a little definitely goes a long way so the small tin lasts. The Baby Balm isn’t just for babies, as I have learned. I used it to rub on dry spots on mIMG_7155y legs and arms (thanks to the summer sun) and I love how soft it makes my skin. It also has worked wonders on my rough feet, thanks to walking barefoot and not having time for a pedicure. That’s the mom life, I guess. Available in two sizes: .75 oz. tin for $5.99 and a 2 oz. tin for $9.99.

Night-Night Balm: Badger’s Night-Night Balm is perfect for a pre-sleep massage for my baby after her bath. It has become our bedtime ritual because it helps calm my daughter down before bed and she sleeps more peacefully. The Night-Night balm is formulated with lavender and chamomile and smells naturally wonderful. I have even massaged it into my sore shoulders (from carrying around my clingy baby) before bed and it’s helped so much and helps my restless legs when massaged into my calves. I even dab a little under both of my girls’ noses and I find it really helps them fall asleep easier and faster. My three year old has even started to ask for it before she goes to sleep and she promptly reminds me when I forget. Available in two sizes: .75 oz. tin for $5.99 and a 2 oz. tin for $9.99.

Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen: Now that Summer is officially here, you can’t be too vigilant when it comes to sun protection. I’m sure the dangerous chemicals most sunscreens are loaded with don’t make you feel comfortable putting them on your baby IMG_7154and children. I am the same way, I want something that won’t damage their skin more than the sun would without putting on sunscreen. Badger baby sunscreen is 100% certified organic with 98% organic ingredients. The main ingredient is Non-Nano Uncoated Zinc Oxide (18.75%) which is what prevents sunburn. To stay protected, apply to all exposed skin 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Be sure to rub in because it is white but I like being able to see and make sure all areas are full covered. Apply every 40 minutes after swimming immediately after towel drying and every two hours while in the sun. I feel comfortable using it on both of my girls (I asked my 3 month old’s pediatrician prior to using and got the okay from her – make sure you do the same if your baby is under 6 months of age) as it is Pediatrician Tested, safe and effective. Available in one size: 2.9 oz. tube for $15.99.

Overall, I give Badger products a 5 out of 5 stars. The company and products exceeded my expectations. I will be a customer for life and I cannot wait to try the rest of theirFullSizeRender (39) enormous product line. They have so many products, the baby line is just the tip of the iceberg!

Check out their website and sure to follow Badger Balm on Instagram, Twitter and on Facebook!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Leaky Diaper? There’s a Solution!

Diapers. They’re so frustrating, but so very necessary.

As new parents, my husband and I found ourselves constantly switching brands and sizes. One would be too big, not absorbent enough, irritated our baby’s skin, etc. When we finally found a diaper combo we liked, it seemed like our son was still sometimes wetting throug81X9FmaiKzL._SL1500_h his nighttime diaper. We use Huggies Snug and Dry during the day and Huggies Overnights at night, one size larger than he wears during the day.

Our son sleeps through the night now, but sometimes we wake up to find him soaking wet. We had tried everything – bigger diapers, different diapers, double diapers. Nothing was working. We were so tired of our guy being uncomfortable, whether he slept through it or not, and even more tired of all of the laundry, especially because we both work and were often scrambling to get sheets off the crib mattress and into the wash. So much laundry. So much pee.

I felt like I tried everything, until recently when I did another search for a solution. I stumbled upon diaper booster pads, and thought why the hell not? I ordered them, and thanks to Amazon Prime, they were at my doorstep 91kddZ5ECiL._SX522_two days later. The booster pads run $10 for a pack of 30. Essentially, they are just an extra layer of cotton that you’re placing in your baby or toddler’s diaper for extra absorption.

The cotton is great for babies with even the most sensitive skin. Amazon reviews on them show consistent 4 and 5 star ratings.

I’m thrilled to say that we haven’t had one single diaper leak since starting to use these at bed time. We change our son’s diaper right before bed, ensure that he hasn’t drank anything for about an hour before and we place the booster pad in his Huggies Overnight diaper. The pad doesn’t move.

We did not have to fold our booster pad in half, but I’ve seen that many parents recommend folding it in half. For us, the single layer of extra padding has worked wonderfully. My only true regret is not finding these sooner, because I seriously loathe laundry.

These are a one-size-fits-all and are highly recommended for any parent dealing with leaky diapers. We aren’t potty training yet, but I’ve seen that many parents use these while potty training, too!

Want to try them out for yourself? Grab yours here:
Sposie Booster Pads Diaper Doublers, 30 Pads

– Katie

 

Babymoov Lovenest {Review}


Before bringing home baby from the hospital, you’re told that putting baby to sleep on their back is the safest sleeping position. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends back sleeping for babies newborn to twelve months old. But spending mostBabymoov_logo1 of their time lying on their backs, it can cause a flat head, also known as Plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome. The weight of baby’s head almost always lays in the same position, awake or asleep, which causes the flat head. If baby’s head is found to be too flat, his or her pediatrician may recommend a helmet to round out baby’s head. I’ve had several friends whose children have needed a helmet and they’ve worked wonderfully! But what can you do to prevent the flat head before the need of a helmet?

With over 20 years, Babymoov a comprehensive range called COSY: unique concepts for comfortable sleep and launched the Lovenest, a heart-shaped headrest that prevents flat head syndrome! Created and patented by Pediatrician Dr. Manuel Maidenberg, the Lovenest is the original ergonomic headrest. It’s tilt and special shape guarantee even distribution of pressure across the baby’s skull, thereby preventing the risk of a flat head. Made from bre8914_2athable cotton spandex, the Lovenest is comfortable and adapts to all rockers, bouncers and swing. It can be used from birth, as baby’s head is supported so that its weight is spread out evenly, preventing it from being flattened.

I have been using the Lovenest ever since Babymoov sent their product for me to review about 3 weeks ago and I’m really happy with it. My little one doesn’t mind it one bit, it’s really soft. I do not put it in her crib while asleep, per guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as nothing is to be in the crib to prevent the risk of SIDS. When she’s awake playing on the floor under her activity mat or in her mamaRoo, I use the Lovenest to prevent her head from getting flat.

I give this product a 4 out of 5 stars, only because it can’t be used in the crib or bassinet and that is where baby is lying on his or her back the most. But it does work and I think using it outside of the crib when baby is lying down will certainly prevent a flat head which is what parents want in the end. If you or your pediatrician notice baby’s head i8706263294568ms getting a little flat, perhaps give the Lovenest a try to round it back out before it possibly gets worse and a helmet is needed. It’s also available in 3 beautiful colors: red, ivory and taupe and also comes with a lifetime warranty

To learn more and purchase a Lovenest, click here.

Follow Babymoov on Instagram, Twitter and like them on Facebook!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Levana Ovia {Review}+UPDATE

mamanloupsden_levana-ovia-2-video-monitor-422x318Several weeks back I did a review of the Levana Lila. The Lila was a mediocre product at best. So, Levana sent me a new monitor system to review, the Ovia. This really ranges in price from $150 to easily over $350 depending on how many cameras you get with your system, as well as where you purchase it from. My system came with two cameras.

The system looks nice, and appears much more modern in design than some of the other Levana systems that I’ve seen. Set up was easy. The cameras quickly sync to the monitor, and mounting them to the wall took a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, like the Lila, the cord for the Ovia still isn’t quite long enough to reach the corner of a standard wall without an extension cord.

While the monitor appears to be touch-screen, it unfortunately isn’t and instead operates on a moderately difficult arrow-and-enter button system. The interface is difficult to use, especially in the middle of the night when I’m waking up from a dead-sleep. The features are fairly straight-forward: there is a microphone to speak to your baby, a pan/tilt option, the home button, arrows, and the enter button (which also serves as a 2x zoom.) The home screen offers a few other features, which I’ll talk about below.ovia_lcd.jpg

  1. The Pan/Tilt Feature: Great. I love being able to change the pan/tilt from the monitor. The only down side is that the camera motors aren’t nearly quiet enough for a nursery. I found them to be fairly loud, and my 9 month old is a light sleeper.
  2. The Zoom Feature: A good option to have. I zoom in to check my son’s breathing, but the zoom is only a 2x zoom, so it’s nothing to dote over since there’s no variable zoom.
  3. Music: Definitely my favorite feature of this monitor. There are three song choices that you can turn on from the monitor, and they will play from the camera base. You can also adjust the volume.
  4. Camera/Video Recording: Cool feature, but the quality of the camera is too poor to really matter (getting to that point shortly…)
  5. Wake Mode: One of the best features of Levana monitors is that you can keep the monitor on constantly, or have the screen and sound turn on only for various noise levels in the nursery.
  6. Camera: Shockingly, disappointingly poor. The camera on this is SO bad that sometimes I can hardly make out the outline of a baby in the crib. The clarity is terrible, which seems to be in part because of the camera’s inability to focus and define exposure. There is a ton of noise/pixelation in the photo. I get that it’s a baby monitor and doesn’t need to have perfect definition, but this is worse clarity than you would find on a cell phone from 2004. Essentially, do not expect your picture on your monitor to look like the advertisements…
  7. Camera Switching: The menu interface gives you the option to see one camera, or all cameras (up to 4.) I would prefer to see an easy option for switching cameras on the main-frame instead of having to use the menu or the up arrow button.
  8. Monitor: Sturdy, decent stand, but the interface still leaves much to be desired. And if you’re looking to purchase one of these, it’s important to know that it comes with a power supply, but not with the docking station. (An SD card is already included with the monitor, though.) Also, I found it difficult to see the monitor sitting on my night stand from my bed. The way that the screen is designed, you need to be looking at it square-on to see the picture (much like many PC monitors.) But really, who wants to sit up in the middle of the night to see what their LO is up to? (It’s not me.)
  9. Battery Life: Much better. So far, I’ve used this monitor for several hours with no problem. At night, I leave it plugged in and during the day I usually carry it around.
  10. Wifi: This monitor so far has not interfered with the WiFi signal in my home like the Lila did. Definitely a plus.

The design of this system was good in theory, but really not executed to the extent that it should have been for such a pricey monitor. With a few of the camera issues worked out, moving to a touch screen, and fixing some of the other small issues, I think this would be a much better sell.

UPDATE

After around half a year of owning the Levana Ovia, I’ve had even more difficulties. The exposure has continued to decline. The audio sometimes makes noises. My second camera only displays upside down, and my monitor sometimes shows the picture with the icons on top of it. It constantly cuts out. I contacted Levana, and the customer service isn’t great. They want a deposit to return, as well as the owner of the system to pay shipping costs upfront. After a technician decides whether or not your system is good or not (when it’s blatantly not,) you get your deposit back. Also, they expect you to send your system in before receiving a new one, which makes baby monitoring…well…impossible, unless you own another system. Only after I asked did they offer to send in a new system while I send back the old (with the deposit, of course.) Overall, I’m incredibly shocked at the poor product as well as the poor service. I love a few of my Levana products, but their monitors have consistently disappointed.

-Katie

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences with a product and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Keen Shoes!

Okay, my hope here is that someone else has a toddler with giant feet.

My son is 16 months old and wearing a size 7/8 shoe. (WHAT.) Also, he has a huge instep, which makes it insanely hard to find shoes that I can wiggle his chubby feet into.

And we’ll get something else out into the open here: Toddler shoes, though a fraction of the size of adult shoes, cost the same amount. Sometimes more, infrequently less. It’s shocking.

I am guessing I’ll end up spending a few hundred dollars on shoes before Lucas is even a few years old. Thankfully, they usually have minimal wear and I can pass the shoes on to his cousin.

download.pngSo my dilemma: I bought MANY shoes, and couldn’t find any that were easy enough to get on and also comfortable/stylish. Thankfully, I was introduced to Keen and found some amazing, quality shoes for my guy. I ordered from Moosejaw, because their customer service is phenomenal and their selection is pretty vast.

Meet the Encanto Sneaker Shoe! Made with elastic ties, Velcro, and breathable mesh. Really good, quality shoes that I’m sure can withstand a ton of play time. The Encanto shoe comes in a few colors, but I loved this scarlet and gray combo (O-H!)

My son loves them. Runs in them, plays in them, and they don’t hurt his feet.

Need a pair? Head over and grab them!

 

Thanks to Keen for solving my troubles. These shoes will run you $50 or so, unlIMG_2844.JPGess you can find them on sale. But they are totally worth it, and I bought them in a size up so that Lucas has some room to grow. Great purchase, and I’ll be heading back to Keen for our next pair.

 

-Katie

 

Boingo Fasteners for Cloth Diapers {Guest Review}

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Boingo Fasteners for Cloth Diapers Review
Mallory Menegay
Boingo Baby

We have been successfully cloth diapering since our little guy was one month old. Now, 14 months in, my time in researching this topic seems to be a close second to our switch to organic and clean eating. I did some digging into the best closure tools for cloth diapers that use a cover (basically anything other than the pocket 319479363and all-in-one style diapers). We mostly use pre-folds and flour sack towels with covers and pocket diapers. I settled on the Snappi, but the Boingo was a close second.

I was given the opportunity to use the Boingo fasteners from Katie here at BurritoBuzz and was excited to try them! In all honesty, the first few times using them, I hated it. I was used to the convenience of the little tabs on the Snappi, and really fought with the Boingo to get it off of the diaper. I do not like to touch a pee soaked diaper if I don’t have to, and the Boingo fasteners definitely make me do that. Yuck. There may be some trick to getting them off, but if there is, I haven’t found it.

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I kept using them to see if I could find a good technique that worked for us, and they began to grow on me.

The fasteners come in a wide range of colors and are very stable and sturdy. Being so thick, they are harder to maneuver, and I prefer the Snappi over them for this reason. They are one size and come in a pack of two, so you can use one fastener for smaller babies and two for bigger areas. This is nice, because comparing this to my use of the Snappi, the convenience factor is greater (Snappi’s come in sizes, so you have to buy more as baby grows). The prongs on the Boingo seem to grip better than the Snappi, and hold on great. The non-toxic, medical grade silicone covers the BPA-free hard plastic parts well, so there hasn’t been any rubbing or poking on baby’s skin for us.

Overall, I’ll continue to use them, and I do like them more now than when I first gave them a try, but would recommend them hands down if they were adjusted a little to make them easier to get off of the cloth!

Boingo Baby Cloth Diaper Fastener – Solid Gold

-Mallory

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

The Poo Poo Fairy {Review}

As the mother of a stubborn toddler, I can assure you that there is absolutely nothing more frustrating than potty training a child. Last May, we started training my then almost three year old. She was doing great until she started to refuse going poop andFullSizeRender (11) became very constipated. For a week she would just lay down on the couch or her bed and wouldn’t move (I don’t blame her, ouch!). After that we decided to take a break, however we were desperate to get her trained because she was to start preschool that fall and had to be potty trained. So that August we started trying again but didn’t push the pooping part. She did so good with peeing and was completely potty trained day and night by November. But when it came to pooping, she said she was scared that it would hurt. We assured her many, many times that it wouldn’t hurt but she still would only poop in a Pull Up. At that point, I was fine with that because I didn’t want to go through her being constipated again. Well, come December we had to take a trip to the ER for an enema because her bowels were so compacted.

Fast forward to a year later, she’s still pooping in a Pull Up! I’m sure this is normal and I shouldn’t worry (I’m not worried, I just don’t want to change her poopy Pull Ups anymore, I swear it’s like changing a grown adult’s pants), but I just want to be done with the Pull Ups. I was looking for advice on Google when I came across a new product that I had to try. I was willing to try anything at this point (nothing, not even bribing her with anything she wanted worked). It’s book and doll set called The Poo Poo Fairy. It works along the same lines as the Tooth Fairy. The Poo Poo Fairy, Pfaityaulina, leaves a gift for the potty training child ones he or she goes potty. The doll works as a sort potty buddy, helping your little one go potty, as she does in the book, hence the title “The Poo Poo Fairy”.

The book is adorable! My daughter seemed to really enjoy it and wouldn’t put down her new Paulina doll. Once we read the story together, I further explained that Paulina would help her go poop on the potty and she would then bring a gift for her once she went. She got very excited and seemed genuinely ready to go poop on the potty! Finally! So we took a trip to the bathroom where she sat for 15 minutes (she did go pee) but no poop.  I was totally fine with it because before she would throw crazy tantrums if I so much as asked her to go poop on the potty. That’s progress, people!

It’s been a week and she has yet to actually go poop on the potty but she will sit on the toilet when she says she has to go (she then says she’s scared to go). I do believe thatFullSizeRender (12) Paulina and her book are the reasons she even attempts to go on the potty which is a huge, welcomed change! I have faith that she will soon use the potty to go number one and number two thanks to Paulina. I also think her intense stubbornness has something to do with her not wanting to go but we’re slowly breaking down that wall. It may be better for younger children who are just beginning to potty train. It would be a great way to introduce the potty! I give this product 4.5 out of 5 stars, only because she has yet go number two, but I know she will very soon! I have very high hopes that she won’t be graduating high school, still pooping in a Pull Up!

Purchase The Poo Poo Fairy box set (book + Paulina doll) here!

Follow Paulina on Instagram @Paulina.thepoopoofairy, on Twitter at @poopoofairy and on Facebook at The Poo Poo Fairy!

– Casey

**Burrito Buzz received this product at low or no cost for the purpose of review or testing. No compensation for a positive review was provided. All product reviews are based 100% off of our personal experiences and we never guarantee a positive review.**

Zulily – Unique Products

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I don’t know about the rest of the moms out there, but ever since I became a mommy, I cannot shop like I used to. Before my kiddos, I could enjoy several hours shopping for nothing in particular. There isn’t time for that now. It is the furthest thing from enjoyable to take my kidd out for a few hours of shopping. It also makes me incredibly anxious just thinking about getting them in and out of the car, in and out of the store, and through the parking lot. It is DEFINITELY not my idea of a good time anymore. With that said, I am so thankful for the website Zulily. Because of Zulily, I don’t even miss being able to “get out of the house” to go shopping.

I was a new mom when I first downloaded my Zulily app. I wasn’t shopping for anything specific, I just wanted to browse. I knew that Zulily targeted moms and specialized in unique brands and products. I was curious then, and I have been hooked ever since.

I love Zulily because of the wide variety of products and brand names. Items on their site include anything from shoes, toys, clothing, décor, and household items. Here is a listing of some of their most popular under-armour_416x416photobrands. You’ll see brands like Vera Bradley, Carters, Coach, Graco, Nike, Crocs, Burt’s Bees, and Aden and Anais are amongst the lengthy list. These brands and others open new “shops” of products that start up every morning, so there is always something new to see, which I LOVE. The catch is that these “shops” do not stay open for long. Most often, it’s only 48-72 hours, and then those items are gone; those “shops” are closed.

To me, Zulily is tough to beat. I know they have competitors out there, but they have kept me loyal and coming back. I have bought a variety of items over the last few years including baby items, shoes, kids’ clothes, purses, bathing suits, kitchen gadgets, bed sheets, toys, and magazine subscriptions. They even have personalization with some shops. You really can’t beat their prices either. They advertise their prices to be up to 70% off every day and offer a $15 credit for every new customer you refer. Most often their shipping times are lengthy (10-14 days), but I have gotten used to that. You also aren’t able to return items if you are unhappy with them.

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Overall, Zulily is a great site, especially if you are a busy Mommy like me and crave the shopping you can’t find the time to squeeze in anymore. The app is user friendly and there are always new shops and products to browse. Check it out ASAP – there is something for everyone!

-Megan