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Showing posts with label Baby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baby. Show all posts

Monday, September 3, 2018

DockATot Deluxe vs. DockATot Grand

DockATot Deluxe vs. DockATot Grand


This post was created in partnership with DockATot but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

If you don’t know my love for DockATot yet, where have you been? Haha, since we discovered it and started using the DockATot Grand with Sophia at 9 months we saw a night and day difference in her sleeping habits (read more here). We were determined to start our next baby with the DockATot right after birth and were so impressed with the multiple uses we were able to use our DockATot Deluxe for besides co-sleeping (read more here).
Obviously we are now DockATot pros and we are constantly getting questions from those considering if they should invest in one (yes you should and you’ll thank me later).

The question I wanted to dedicate a blog post to is:

Can I just buy the Grand from the start?

I mean you can do whatever you want to do at the end of the day BUT I would not recommend it. When babies come out into the world, they came from this snugly secure environment (your womb) to this big opened world. The sensory overload is typically why it’s a hard adjustment for the baby the first few days or weeks. The DockATot Deluxe is created smaller to recreate a womb like environment by being cozy and snugly.

Side note: the things we had to do to get Sophia to sleep those first few months was insane. No one was getting any sleep. Using the DockATot Deluxe with Baby Anthony as soon as we got home from the hospital was amazing. We actually slept. All of us. Yes there were middle of the night feedings because that comes with the territory of having a newborn but we didn’t have to do anything extravagant to get him to sleep at night. He just did and that is because of the DockATot Deluxe.
The design of the DockATot Deluxe is for babies from 0-8 months old. Before you ask, yes that includes big babies as well. Baby Anthony was born at 10 pounds 8 ounces and has consistently been at the top of the charts measuring ahead and the DockATot Deluxe still worked perfectly for him. At 9.5 months, we finally decided to upgrade to the DockATot Grand. We have had our DockATot Grand for about two weeks now and the transition from the DockATot Deluxe to the DockATot Grand has been a very smooth transition, in fact I think baby Anthony has enjoyed the extra room to wiggle. We always start any sleep transitions with nap times first for a month before implementing those changes to bedtime as well. This has been a fool-proof method for our family and has made all transitions easier (this is also how we transitioned Sophia off the bottle).

Side note: see my other sleep tips here.
Therefore, I highly recommend starting with the DockATot Deluxe from the beginning as it was created to mimic the womb’s coziness. Your little one will feel snug and secure and sleep better and in turn you will sleep better.

Do you already use the DockATot? Have you been considering the DockATot for your family?

If you found this post helpful or know someone who would, please share it! I have made this pinnable image below to make it easier to pin and share!!

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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in One (AIO)

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in One (AIO)


Last month, I started a new mini series on the blog Cloth Diapering 101 sharing the All in Two diaper system. After taking a poll on Instastory, I went with the majority vote and am back to share all about All in One diapers. We currently only own one All in One in our entire stash and I do love the convenience and trimness of it.
An All in One diaper comes in, you guessed it, one piece and is most similar to a disposable diaper so you do not have to stuff or fold anything. We have a bumGenius All in One diaper  that we received from a friend and from what I can tell it is the bumGenius Elemental 2.0 as ours has two organic cotton inserts that are sewn together at the top and the bottom but separated in the middle and has no interior lining besides PUL (bumGenius Elemental 3.0 has one organic cotton insert and organic cotton lining sewn into the interior shell).

In theory, the inserts could be folded over to adjust absorbency where it is needed most but baby Anthony is a very curvy chunk butt baby so instead I tuck a hemp insert under the sewn in inserts for a custom absorbency whenever I feel it might be needed.

AIO Pros

  • Very easy to use, similar to a disposable as there is no stuffing or folding.
  • Great option for someone who may not be comfortable with the ins and outs of cloth diapering or for daycare providers.
  • Depending on the brand, it can be trimmer compared to other diapering systems which also makes it a great traveling out and about running errands diaper. 
  • Depending on the style, you may be able to customize absorbency (read above to see how we customize our bumGenius Elemental 2.0).

AIO Cons

  • Depending on style, some take longer to dry (I normally air dry our diaper shells and use the dryer for inserts, flats and prefolds however I will put the AIO in the dryer). 
  • Not the best overnight option especially for a heavy wetter (baby Anthony has a sumo nighttime diaper so I won't even try to test how an AIO would hold up).
  • Some styles are hard to customize absorbency (again, we only have one AIO and the style we have allows me to customize absorbency).
  • This can be an expensive diapering system (but you can honestly make anything as cheap or as expensive as you want in the cloth diapering world).
Do you cloth diaper your children? Have you tried an All in One system? Which cloth diapering system is your favorite?

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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Baby-Led Weaning + 6 Month Update

Baby-Led Weaning + 6 Month Update


This post has been a very long time coming for both topics, haha. I have been promising a Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) update since we started the method with Sophia two years ago and baby Anthony is about to be eight months. EIGHT. I figure I need to start this with a disclaimer as all parenting decisions seem to be controversial. This is our personal experience doing BLW with our children and we love it and plan to do it with all our children however this is in no way of judgment for parents who decide to go the puree route or use a combination of both. Take my experience and knowledge along with your own personal research to find what method is best for YOU and YOUR family, this method just happens to be best for OURS.

Every time we mention how we skipped over purees with Sophia and now baby Anthony, people seem to be in awe and have so many questions but two of the most frequently asked questions are what is BLW and won't they choke? I'll address the second question first and then go into more detail about BLW with the first question next.

Won't they choke?
As long as you follow certain measures, your baby isn't anymore likely to choke then when being spoon fed purees therefore always ensure your child is sitting upright in a highchair and never put food in your child's mouth for them when following the BLW method and avoid foods that are an obvious choking hazard.
What is Baby Led Weaning?
For the first year of their life, babies get ALL their nutrition from either breastmilk or formula therefore food before one is just for fun (remember this cute saying no matter what route you take). There is no pressure to make sure the baby eats food in a certain order and a certain amount of times per a day. BLW is allowing your baby to explore food on their terms and decide how to manipulate it.

When following BLW, our children are offered whatever we are eating therefore there is no additional prep which was a major incentive for me. The only difference is the food is properly cut up for them to handle safely (typically this is the width and length of your pinky finger). Having it cut into finger foods allows our children to be able to have a "handle" to hold on to and still plenty of the food item sticking out to gnaw on. In the beginning, it isn't likely they will actually eat anything as they are just learning how to hold it and bring it to their mouth (hand-eye coordination) and working on the chewing motion (helps develop facial muscles that will be needed as they learn to talk). Eventually the baby learns the ability to swallow and then they even begin to realize, food helps them feel full. However breastmilk or formula is still where babies get all their nutrition from for the first year of their life so always be sure your baby has had a full milk feeding before each "mealtime" with the family. 

One of the biggest reasons we loved doing BLW was because momma got to eat while the food was still warm (although there is some sitting on the edge of your seat in the beginning of the BLW as parents are learning the difference between gagging and choking which gagging is okay, it is teaching your child how to chew food into smaller pieces to allow for easier swallowing and again as long as your child is sitting upright in a highchair and they alone are in control of the food going into their mouth, choking isn't anymore likely to happen then when they are being fed purees).

There are numerous benefits and I won't get into every one but I will highlight the ones that were important for us:

  • everyone is able to enjoy family mealtimes together, sitting together at the table for dinner is an important part of our family that we started when we first got married so being able to all sit together and eat at the same time with babies at the table is just beautiful.
  • no mealtime battles, our babies eat or refuse whatever is offered to them. We still offer the same food they may have refused at one mealtime at another mealtime in the future as refusing is not always an indicator that they don't like something. We typically find our children just aren't in the mood for it at that time therefore we do not force them to eat it once refused at that sitting as this develops a trust for food.
  • a positive attitude toward food, as mentioned above we allow our children to accept or reject food and because they are in control, food phobias and food refusals are less likely (Sophia will at least take a bite of something majority of the time we ask her to before refusing and that is all we ask for her is to at least try something before saying no).
  • appetite control, since babies are in control of the food that enters their mouth they develop the ability to stop eating when they are satisfied and are less likely to overeat.

Overall, I highly recommend BLW to all families and suggest you read the Baby-Led Weaning book before starting your journey to ensure this method is right for you and your family.


Six Month Update

Shortly after turning five months, our big guy finally decided to test the waters and army crawl. He even started to roll over and scooch out of his DockATot in the middle of naptime, so we started naptime in his pack n play so we didn't have to worry about him falling off the bed. Disclaimer: it is recommended to NOT put the DockATot in an enclosed environment such as a crib, bassinet, pack n play, etc. He also kept rolling onto his belly during naps and that made this momma panic so I was hovering like crazy the first week or so but luckily the DockATot is created out of breathable material (read more about our DockATot experiences here, here and here). Baby Anthony also discovered his toes and sat in a grocery cart for the first time (but we decided to wait a little longer before trying again because homeboy was just gangster leaning the whole time). And if he didn't learn enough this month, he also started to lunge forward by lifting up and trying to get on his knees and would throw himself. He even decided to treat himself to a curly fry that was left in a bag on the floor so I guess he was too impatient to wait three more days to get this BLW thing going right on his six month mark (Sophia's first solid was also a fry if I remember correctly). Baby Anthony is growing way to fast and constantly has me on my toes but I wouldn't change it.

Six Month Stats
Weight: 21 pounds
Height: 27.5 inches long
Head Circumference: 44.5 inches diameter

Firsts
army crawl
cloth diaper
found his toes
nap in pack n play

Loves
army crawling
following sister

Hates
being on his back
being left out

What I Want to Remember
his huge grin from ear to ear
the way he throws himself forward when he is overly excited to get to something
his sweet giggles

Have you done (or considering) Baby-Led Weaning for any of your children? Or do you prefer starting with purees?

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Stormie Ramirez
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Monday, May 7, 2018

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in Twos (AI2)

Cloth Diapering 101 | All in Twos (AI2)


This post was created in partnership with Lil Helper but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

We have been cloth diapering for a full month now and I have learned so much so I decided to start a new mini series on my blog, Cloth Diapering 101 (see my New Moms Survival series here and my Nursing Bras series here). Every few weeks or so, I will go into detail about the different types of cloth diapering systems that there are available because cloth diapers have come a long way from flats, safety pins and covers (although that is still an option!).
As I have mentioned on my Instastories (if you are not following me on Instagram yet, you should as I always update there first) we were fortunate to get a cloth diaper loan from a foundation while we build up our own personal stash of cloth diapers. I was researching different brands and came across Lil Helper and the first thing that stood out to me was their Trial Diaper Deal and the more I looked around their website I found their Baby Do Good program. For every three diapers they sell, Lil Helper donates a NEW cloth diaper to a family in need. Being on the receiving end of having diapers donated to me during this unemployed (and now underemployed) season has been an incredible blessing for our family so naturally this sealed the deal for me. 
In case you are curious like I was, I asked how does Lil Helper determine eligibility for families in need and was told they work with disaster relief organizations as well as local programs to donate their diapers to families. The organizations then vet the families for eligibility. A friend even told me that Lil Helper donated a ton of diapers for victims of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston and surrounding area which touched my heart even more that this company has helped many people in my city and beyond (they also provided cloth diapers to Hurricane Katrina victims). Another program that touched my heart and had me in tears was their God Forbid Guarantee. If something unexpected happens during your pregnancy or birth, Lil Helper will refund your entire purchase. I have never personally experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss but people that are near and dear to me have and knowing the love and understanding that a company puts into their policies is beyond amazing. There really are no words to describe how much care Lil Helper has for their customers.
Now that you know about this amazing company,  I will finally get into the details about the type of cloth diapering system they sell. Lil Helper offers All in Two diapering system options. An All in Two diaper comes in two pieces, the cover and the insert(s). Lil Helper's All in Two systems snap in but other brands could either snap in, lay in or have disposable inserts. The covers can be reused throughout the day while the inserts you change out as they are soiled on (if poop overflows off the inserts and onto the cover then you will need to change the cover as well). Lil Helper offers two inserts with every cover, a large insert and a small insert. You can buy additional inserts as Lil Helper sells Charcoal inserts (these are the ones we have), Bamboo inserts and Overnight inserts.
Lil Helper also offers a range of accessories such as bibs, wet bags, burp cloths, liners, changing mats and cloth wipes. We were able to test out their cloth wipes and I got to say they are extremely soft! We use them as wash cloths but I can imagine how great they would be on your baby's bum. I have researched a bit about cloth wipes and it seems terry cloth is used a lot of the time but terry cloth can be a bit rough in my opinion so I would highly recommend these cloth wipes from Lil Helper to be used as either cloth wipes, bath wash cloths or even baby doll cloth diapers. 

AI2 Pros

  • If the inserts are snapped in ahead of time, they are as easy to use as All in Ones (AIOs).
  • Covers come in many cute prints and colors (we have Lil Helper's Aurora and Lil Helper's Retro Bikes).
  • Often pretty quick to dry.
  • Since the covers can be reused, they can be a cheaper system (but you can honestly make anything as cheap or as expensive as you want in the cloth diapering world).

AI2 Cons

  • Snap-in systems make it difficult to customize absorbency (especially if you have a heavy wetter however we have only had one leak using Lil Helper Diapers and it was a user error as I lost track of time and didn't change baby Anthony soon enough).
  • The inserts may not be good at containing infant poop (although toddler poop it is and we actually designated our Lil Helper diaper as Sophia's poop diaper since she poops at the same time everyday, easiest cleanup for her type of poop).
Edited to add:  Concerning infant poop, I didn't mean the possibility of having poop explosions outside of the diaper, I meant that the inserts wouldn't be enough to contain infant poop on the inserts alone like it can sometimes do with toddler poop meaning you will still need to change the insert as well as the cover if poop gets on both and you honestly have to do that with every diaper system anyways. Also note baby Anthony is pass the constant poop stage so this is merely my speculation however I have been informed that there has been no complaints of Lil Helper diapers not being able to keep infant poop inside the diaper unless there is a fit issue which they will gladly work one on one with you to solve a fit issue (and they did assist me with a fit issue and it worked!).

Do you cloth diaper your children? Have you tried an All in Two system? Which cloth diapering system is your favorite?

If you found this post helpful or know someone who would, please share it! I have made this pinnable image below to make it easier to share and pin!!

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Stormie Ramirez
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