Being pregnant in the winter is tough. Not only do you have to figure out how to get your boots on and off, but your winter coat just won't fit around your belly! You could buy a maternity coat, OR you can go another route by getting a coat extension by Kokoala that'll last you throughout your pregnancy AND while babywearing!!
Kokoala has 7 different types of coat extensions, from waterproof heavy nylon fleece (available in regular 22"-30" zipper for $86-$99 and long 31"-39" zipper for $108-$119) and good for the harshest winters, to a simple lightweight fleece extender ($40) for spring and fall. They even have a mini extension ($30) for the beginning or middle of pregnancy when you're not huge yet but still struggling to get your jacket closed.
For my first child (a Christmas baby), I bought a super cheap maternity coat. It looked nice, and it lasted til the end of my pregnancy and for babywearing as well, but it wasn't warm enough for winter in NYC, so I had to bundle up with 2 hoodies under it to stay relatively warm (still not warm enough!), and baby had to be bundled up as well. So annoying!! The second time around, our twins were born in early October so thankfully I didn't need a winter maternity coat. I didn't do a lot of baby wearing but did on occasion, so this time I wore my regular winter coat (super warm puffy monster) and pulled it tight using a scarf as a belt over the coat and baby. This kept me warm and kept the wind and cold from entering from the open coat, but it didn't keep baby warm since she didn't have any coat around her, so I still had to bundle her up. Suffice it to say, it wasn't a great system and I was very very intrigued by the coat extensions Kokoala had to offer and really excited to try it out!!
Here's how it works. You go on their website and choose the style you want. I went with the original. You then select the color and the type of zipper - the latter is the part I struggled with the most! Some coats are easy to figure out (my husband's for example was very obviously YKK metal), mine on the other hand I didn't really know. I e-mailed them a picture and they helped me make the best choice.
When the product arrives, it comes in 1 or 2 sets. If you have a very standard zipper, you'll get the extension panel with zippers already on it. If you have a less common zipper, you'll get the panel with velcro and a separate zipper set - this is what we got. In this case, you unzip it and zip each half onto your coat. Each half has a velcro strip to which the coat extension will attach to. The diagrams that come with it make it easy to figure out how to wear it - wide side down during pregnancy and wide side up for babywearing!
We got 2 sets of zippers so we could wear the panel on 2 different coats - my husband's and mine. My husband's coat set up perfectly without a hitch. Super easy! Mine on the other hand, no dice. I think in the end the zipper was not a close enough match and I just couldn't get it to work (though it did fit on my spring coat). But have no fear, Kokoala lists a 30-day return period (shipping not included, and return must be pre-approved by Kokoala), just be sure not to remove any tags or labels until you've confirmed your set works perfectly on your coat!
One cool feature is that the zippers and panel are good for a variety of lengths and include a little removable velcro tab so you can fold them over to make it the perfect length for your coat.
Here's the coat set up for pregnancy on the left and babywearing on the right. It also features a 2-point adjustable width so you can get it fitting just right!
So, now that the coat is set up, time to test it out! We didn't realize the panel should have been shortened to be safer for baby, instead we simply folded it back (below right) which seemed to work just fine, but please take note the safety advisory from Kokoala below!
SAFETY NOTE FROM KOKOALA: We do not recommend to cover baby's head with our coat extension (as shown in photo above left - this is NOT safe), instead use the baby hood for that purpose. The coat extension should be adjusted (as shown below) so that the elastic is behind baby's neck (shown below right).
We haven't had a chance to test it out in the extreme cold yet (it's 70 degrees today, ummm... where is Fall???), but it seems like it'll do a great job and it's really easy to set up and use! Did I mention it's waterproof and washable? YES!
Now, some may wonder why one would buy this panel when you could find a maternity coat for pretty much the same price. Well, good question. For my friends down in the South, it's probably not worth the investment. But my sister lives up in Montreal, and I can tell you, they spend a LOT on their winter coats that last them for years and years and keep them warm in the FRIGID weather up there. So, as Kokoala is a Canadian company, I'm thinking this panel is geared more toward those in colder climates who can't afford a maternity coat of the caliber needed, so they can buy this extension and continue wearing their super duper warm coat they love throughout pregnancy and babywearing. It's also great for city-dwellers who simply don't have the closet or storage space for more than one winter jacket - think about all the space a warm maternity coat would take up when stored in between babies! That is valuable space!!
Kokoala also carries a few great babywearing accessories: scarf ($24), baby hood ($19), baby fleece booties ($20), & zipper adapters ($18).
What's more?? The grand prize winner of my $480 value Winter is Coming Giveaway (ending tomorrow night!!!) will receive a $50 credit to use on Kokoala's website!!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive these products free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
The days are getting shorter and cooler. You've completed the tedious task of swapping out everyone's wardrobes. Maybe now you're briefly enjoying sipping a Pumpkin Spice Latte while shopping for coordinating family pajamas for your annual holiday card. But, there's a nagging voice in the back of your head telling you something is near. Something dreaded. Something dreary. WINTER IS COMING!!!
But rejoice!! I have put together a fabulous giveaway of amazing products that will help your family prepare for and survive the winter!!! YES!! 12 brands have contributed $480 in prizes to our humongous jackpot, and 4 runner-up winners will also get some goodies!! Read on for more details on all of the prizes in the jackpot, and enter for your chance to win them all in the Rafflecopter box at the bottom of the post!
Shaklee - Vitamins & Immunity Support
This winter, wouldn't it be nice to stop the sickness cycle!? Keep your kids and yourself healthy this year with all natural, immunity boosting vitamins for the whole family! Our grand prize winner will receive a wellness pack from Shaklee, valued at $85, including Shaklee Vita-Lea (high potency multivitamin and multimineral), Shaklee Incredivites (children's multivitamin), and Shaklee Vitalized Immunity (everyday immune support). Every botanical ingredient in Shaklee products is screened for over 350 contaminants, pesticides and impurities, and they conduct over 10,000 quality tests a year to ensure their products are safe for you and the planet. Shaklee stands by their products, offering a no-questions-asked 100% money-back guarantee.
Zutano - $75 Gift Card
Designing colorful and whimsical clothing, accessories, and more, Zutano is one of the most beloved and influential brands in children's fashion. Their playful, fun, and functional clothes and accessories for babies through toddlers come in prints, patterns, and textures that are easy to mix and match. If you don't yet have their baby booties for your little one, you are missing out. They are simply a must-have for any tot as they are incredibly comfy, easy to put on, and actually stay on! Our grand prize winner will enjoy shopping online for their kids with a $75 gift card to Zutano.com!!! (Don't miss my review here!)
Kokoala - $50 Gift Card
Babywearing can bring you closer to your child, and can save you from having to lug a stroller up and down stairs and through nasty wintery slush! But how do you keep baby warm? Kokoala has you covered, literally, with their maternity / baby wearing coat extensions!! They zip right onto your regular winter coat, and cover your bump throughout pregnancy and little one while babywearing. Kokoala also sells great babywearing accessories such as babywearer scarf, a baby hood, and baby fleece booties! Our grand prize winner will be able to use their $50 gift card to Kokoala to purchase a couple of accessories, or to greatly discount a coat extension (prices range $30-119)! (Don't miss my review here!)
Bobux - Children's Shoes
With stylish, comfortable, and functional footwear for newborns through 5 years old, Bobux makes great shoes for all stages: soft soles for babies, lightweight and flexible shoes for pre- and early-walkers, and durable grippy shoes for confident walkers! Our grand prize winner will receive one pair of Bobux shoes (winner chooses size and their top 3 style choices - prize shipped is based on availabilty).
Fitted Tot - 1 month Baby or Toddler Clothes Rental Service
Fitted Tot is a clothes rental service for babies and toddlers! You pay a monthly subscription fee and are sent a box of freshly cleaned clothes (in the size, gender, and style you selected) - use them as long as you want, send them back, and get a new box - unlimited boxes per month, and shipping both ways is included! Plus, if you fall in love and just can't part with any of the items, you can purchase them at 50% off retail value! Our grand prize winner will receive a free one month subscription ($44.99 value)! (Don't miss my review here!)
City Stork - 1 set of stroller tire covers
When you bring a stroller in from the elements, those tires are NASTY! Protect your floors with City Stork's fabulous stroller tire covers! These covers feature an inner absorbent layer, a rubberized no-drip outer layer, and mesh ventilation windows to prevent growth of mildew. They slip on and off quickly with an elastic bungy, are machine washable, and sets are available for strollers with 4 tires and with 6 tires. Our grand prize winner will receive a set of their choice, valued at $34.99-$39.99!
Game of Thrones - Complete 1st Season DVD Set
This one isn't for the kids, but couldn't be more appropriate for my "Winter is Coming" giveaway!! Valerie of Mommy R+R is obsessed with this HBO Original Series and just couldn't resist throwing it in the jackpot for us! Our jackpot winner will receive the complete 1st Season DVD set of Game of Thrones, a $30 value!
Baby-Vac - vacuum powered nasal aspirator (FIVE WINNERS!!)
Whether you're cleaning out your newborn's congested nose or sucking out major gunk during your toddler's fight with the flu, BabyVac will get the job done. I can say, from personal experience and without a doubt, this bad boy blows all other nasal aspirators out of the water (and I've tried a lot!!). It is powered by your own vacuum, which sounds scary, but it regulates the power so it's nothing crazy and does an AMAZING job at clearing all the snot from noses (even my husband uses it on himself sometimes!). Our pediatrician even said it helps to prevent secondary sinus infections since it pulls out drainage so well! FIVE lucky winners will receive one BabyVac, valued at $29.99.
Crawling Crew - baby / toddler tights
Crawling Crew tights for babies and toddlers really go the distance, adding to the knees and soles of the feet an anti-slip coating on the outside and terry lining on the inside! What's more? Their yarns and manufacturing process are Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 certified (free of any harmful substances or chemicals) - hooray! Oh yeah, they're also super cute, come in sizes 6-12 mos / 12-18 mos / 18-24 mos, and FYI, these tights are NOT just for girls!! Our grand prize winner will receive one set of tights in the style and size of their choice, a $19 value.
Keeping your little ones' hands warm in the winter is a challenge, but SnowStoppers mittens are here to save the day! The extra long cuff (GENIUS!!) goes under the coat and will keep snow out and help keep mittens on! The nylon shell resists ice and snow, 40g of Thinsulate™adds warmth without bulk, and the tough grip palms makes these mittens functional - great for skiing, sledding, snowman making, you name it! Our grand prize winner will receive one pair of mittens in their choice of color and size (from 6 months - 12 years), a value of $16.95. (Don't miss my review of their mittens & boots here!)
Sudsy Dough - Moldable Bath Soap
What's better than soaking in a nice hot bath in the winter? Well, your kids might say "soaking in a nice hot bath with some fun toys", and we've got some to recommend! Sudsy Dough doubles as a cleansing soap and scented moldable dough! They come in a number of colors and scents, are paraben / phthalate / sulfate-free, are infused with Shea butter & coconut oil, and get this - they're handmade by moms in the USA! They're reusable (get wet, lather up, mold them into fun shapes, let them dry in those shapes, then use again!), and each ball even has a little toy hidden inside, your child's reward for getting nice and clean and having fun in the tub! Our grand prize winner will receive one 12oz tub of Sudsy Dough, a $14 value.
Wubba Water - organic alternative to Pedialyte
Did you know electrolyte replacement drinks tend to be full of artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners? Big Bang Beverages wasn't too thrilled with that, so they created an organic and healthier alternative to Pedialyte: Wubba Water, a children's hydration drink free of synthetic dyes, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and GMO's! Colored only with fruit and vegetable extracts and having only 1 gram of organic sugar per serving, Wubba Water is a healthier way for your little one to replenish water and electrolytes when sick (and they'll get a Vitamin C boost to boot)! You can find Wubba Water at Whole Foods (in the TriState area) and on Amazon, and our grand prize winner will receive a 3-pack (one of each flavor - blue raspberry, fruit punch, and orange).
So, there you have it!! 12 prizes in a $480 value jackpot - amazing right? This is gonna be one awesome winter for one very lucky winner!! This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18 and over, and will conclude at 11:59 PM EST on Thursday, November 3, 2016. The winners will be contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen. Good luck to all!!!
I wrote a post a couple of months ago (see it here) after receiving our TwinGo Carrier. Our twins were too little to wear on the back yet, so my husband and I had been wearing it as single carriers and loving it that way. As previously mentioned, as a single baby carrier the TwinGo is very comfortable and my favorite part is the large storage pocket in the front. So, if you're running a quick errand, or if having to park the stroller and wear your baby into the play gym, let's say, you can throw your phone, wallet, and keys in the carrier and be on your way!
Now that our twins are 6 months old and sitting independently, I finally built up the courage to start tandem wearing them occasionally. The first time was for a quick 30 minute walk through the neighborhood with my toddler. Going out without our massive double stroller was exhilarating!! Having my hands free to play with my son or hold his hands was amazing. By the end of the walk, I have to admit my shoulders were aching and I was totally ready to get the girls out. But still, I was so excited to have the ability to throw them both on and go out without a stroller! And they were happy little campers all snuggled up tight with mama!
Wearing two babies definitely requires some building up of strength and endurance, there's no way around that. I try to wear my girls for at least 30 minutes twice a week so that I build my strength, can last longer, and can keep wearing them as they get bigger.
The TwinGo is hands down the best tandem carrier option out there and here's why:
The TwinGo isn't just for twins - it works well with a baby and toddler as well since each carrier is good up to 40 pounds! When tandem wearing, just wear the heavier child in back.
You can purchase a TwinGo on their website or Amazon for about $215, or try to find one secondhand in a local MoMs (Mothers of Multiples) group. Used ones usually go for about $100 but are hard to find because they're in such high demand (which is a good way to justify purchasing one new - you'll get about half of your investment back after you're done using it!)
So, what do you think?? Do you tandem wear your kids? Would you? How do you get around with your littles? Share in a comment below!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product and service free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
To be clear, the safest way for babies and small children to fly is secured in their FAA approved car seat. Unfortunately this almost always requires purchasing a seat for them, which negates the awesomeness of the budget-friendly "infant in arms" option. One child under the age of 2 can fly free when seated in the lap of a paying adult (for international flights you just pay taxes and fees, usually about 10% of the adult fare). Cheap? YES! Safe? Not exactly...
The chances of being in a major plane crash is very very minuscule, and you can argue that baby being in a carseat wouldn't exactly make much of a difference in that case. But, the chance of experiencing unexpected or severe turbulence is pretty substantial. If baby is sitting or sleeping soundly on your lap and you don't have them properly secured when you hit sudden turbulence, they're going to be flying right on up to that overhead compartment with a bang. Terrifying, right?
Before our most recent trip I researched our options and came across a great product that helps you fly safer with your lap child - Baby B'Air Infant Flight Vest. While not approved for taxi, takeoff, or landing (the same as baby carriers - they are simply not tested and approved to withstand the force that crashing at great speed would create), it will make the cruising part of your trip safer because it is a harness that straps right onto your seatbelt.
Flight attendants are quick to run up to you and make you take baby out of the carrier during taxi, takeoff, and landing, but to be honest, we had our twins strapped in with these harnesses and they didn't mention taking them out - so we kept them in! So, on top of us holding them as tight as possible in our arms (which is not sufficient in a speedy crash - no one is strong enough, no matter how much you love your little ones), they were also strapped to our seat belts, so I felt much safer!
During the cruising aspect, they came in handy as well. I was much more comfortable than if I had the baby in a carrier (though the latter is a great tool when it comes to fussy baby needing a nap!!). With the Baby B'Air vest baby could sit or lay on my lap in either direction, and when it came time to eat I laid baby in the empty seat next to me, vest strapped in to that seat belt, but I kept one hand on her. So she was safe and I was free to feed myself and my toddler! Hoorah!!
So, in a nutshell... if you have the budget go ahead and buy your little one a seat and bring the FAA approved car seat. But if you're like us and desperate to save money anywhere possible, take baby as an "infant in arms" and bring along the Baby B'Air Flight Vest! They come in 2 sizes: Infant fits heads up to 16.5" - infant to about 8 months; Toddler fits heads 16-19.5" - 8 months to 2 years). You can find them on Amazon and Baby B'Air's website.
And for older children who have their own seat, check out the CARES harness (at least 1 year old, 22-44 pounds, up to 40" tall) - it'll keep them safer and in their seat!
The green-themed Eco-Baby Giveaway, sponsored by Mommy Scene, features everything a baby could need for diapering, feeding, naps, clothing, sensory play, and travel! 16 brands each contributed unique products to the jackpot that help make life a little simpler and more eco-friendly for families with little ones. Check out all the innovative products below and enter to win the entire gift set!
Here's some info about each of the brands and prizes (enter to win in the Rafflecopter box at the bottom):
Coco & Kiwi - $50 Gift Certificate
Coco & Kiwi's mission is to provide smart products with easy cleanup. Your time is important, so spend it on what really matters and let us do the rest. Messy Baby, Happy Mom. Learn more at cocoandkiwi.com.
FunBites Red Heart Food Cutter
As seen on Shark Tank, award winning FunBites creates fun shaped bites that kids can't resist! It's great for picky eaters & creative moms and makes healthy food fun! FunBites is also made in USA, dishwasher safe, and BPA free. Learn more at funbites.com.
Zipadee-Zip Swaddle Transition sleep sack
The Zipadee-Zip wearable blanket is loved by sleep experts, pediatricians and parents everywhere! It provides a womb-like environment but full range of movement to roll over and wiggle around safely and freely. The slight resistance in the arm-span helps soothe the startle reflex and will often work to ensure sounder sleep. Even with the full enclosure the Zipadee-Zip provides, babies can pick up and put in their pacifier or play with a toy while wearing it! It keeps those little hands warm all night and prevents scratching! It's also perfect for keeping germs at bay on airplanes, in doctor's offices and in grocery stores. Learn more at sleepingbaby.com.
Buttons Diapers - One trial pack of cloth diapers: 1 cloth diaper cover + three daytime inserts
Buttons Diapers are an affordable, easy-to-use, all-in-two cloth diaper system. Buttons Diapers AI2 system features soft waterproof diaper covers available in dozens of colors and prints, snap-in absorbent diaper inserts, and diapering accessories as well. Learn more at buttonsdiapers.com.
ChubChub PouchBuddy feeding attachment
PouchBuddy is an innovative pouch feeding tool that promotes mess-free self-feeding. The mom-approved one piece design is easy to clean, convenient, and travel friendly. BPA, Phthalate, & PVC free. ChubChub is committed to creating real solutions for real parents. Our product development team is constantly seeking and testing new ways to make parenting easier and more efficient with safety as a priority. And together, we help families spend less time on the challenges of parenthood and more time enjoying childhood. Learn more at chubchubbaby.com.
Sudsy Dough - 1 tub of Sudsy Dough Moldable Soap - 12 oz.
Sudsy Dough makes bath time fun and encourages sensory play. Kids can rub it on as a cleansing body wash and make soapy bubbles with this scented soap-based play dough. It's moisturizing thanks to Shea butter and beeswax and comes in 4 great fragrances; Merry Mango, Sassy Strawberry, Bubbly Blueberry, and Awesome Apple! Learn more at sudsydough.com
Thinkbaby Starter Set + Complete Feeding Set + Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen, 6 ounces
Thinkbaby and Thinksport's founder, Kevin Brodwick, brought his interest in health and preventative medicine and his background in biotechnology together to form a company whose sole purpose is to create alternative products for babies to athletes alike. With a team of physicians and scientists focused on the latest biological and chemical sciences, Thinkbaby and Thinksport continue to lead in the usage of safe, non-toxic materials for consumer goods. Thinkbaby and Thinksport's efforts are further energized by working with both leading child and health advocacy partners and like-minded individuals. Learn more at gothinkbaby.com.
Fiddle Diddles LullaBelay car seat adjustable strap system
LullaBelay is the first & only adjustable strap system that safely secures an infant carrier to a shopping cart. LullaBelay provides you with a safe, worry-free & hands-free shopping experience. No more placing your infant carrier precariously on top of a toddler seat, or in the basket of the cart taking up all your room. With LullaBelay you can easily shop with a toddler and a baby, all while enjoying full use of your cart basket. Fully safety tested and meets all CPSIA safety requirements for children's products. Learn more at fiddlediddles.com.
Silkberry Baby 1 organic cotton long sleeve romper - choose from silver cloud stripe with owl, blush stripe with bunny, or arctic blue stripe with bear
Silkberry Baby long sleeve rompers are soft and comfy and made from certified organic cotton fabric. The roll up cuff can be flipped over to cover hands to prevent baby scratching and two front snaps open the neck wide for easy dressing. Snaps at the inside of legs make for easy diaper changings. Available in sizes nb-3m, 3-6m and 6-12m. Silkberry Baby offers cute, trendy and comfortable baby gear made of eco-friendly and sustainable fabric for baby and toddler. All our natural theme-inspired clothing and accessories are designed by Vancouver moms in Canada. Learn more at silkberrybaby.com.
Revelae Kids - Cozy Blanket Pouch - style of choice + Yummi Pouch Brights reusable food pouches
Cozy Blanket Pouches are a unique way to keep your little one warm during playtime and slumber. The soft fuzzy material keeps baby cozy from the waist down, secured by an elastic waistband to fully surround baby's legs and keep the blanket in place. Cozy blanket pouches leave room to wiggle and don't restrict leg movement — an ideal extra layer to use when a baby is playing, sitting, or lounging during the day. Available in sizes small & large and four colors. Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches make it easy to take baby food and healthy snacks on the go, save money, and reduce household trash. Learn more at revelae.com.
Bambo Diapers - Case of diapers, winner's choice in size
For over three decades, Bambo Nature has taken every measure to bring you a premium baby diaper that's gentle, soft, and made of a high percentage of sustainable materials. Bambo Nature has earned more credentials, awards, and eco-labels than any other diaper on the market. While other brands are busy making claims, they're busy substantiating their diaper's premium quality with concrete proof. The diapers are guaranteed skin-friendly with no dangerous chemicals and/or allergens, Eco-friendly and made using sustainable resources and less waste, and sleep-friendly with maximum absorbency, ultra-soft and flexible textures. Learn more at bambonatureusa.com.
organicKidz Baby Grows Up Thermal Gift Set
organicKidz Baby Grows Up stainless steel bottle kit grows with your child! Baby Bottle converts to Sippy Cup and then to lunch box ready Water Bottle by simply attaching the accessories included in the kit as your baby grows up. Bottle keeps liquids hot or cold for 6+ hours making it perfect for parents on the go, play dates, travelling, daycare or just about anywhere else. Unlike glass and plastic bottles, organicKidz Stainless Steel is naturally bacteria resistant, unbreakable and light weight. Kit includes 9oz Thermal Baby Bottle, 3 flows of vented silicone nipples, silicone sippy spout, handles, stainless steel lid, and leak proof bottle cap. organicKidz Baby Grows Up kit makes a great gift from newborn to toddler to preschool and beyond! Learn more at organicKidz.ca.
Wee Can Too Veggie Dough and Veggie Crayon set
Wee Can Too was founded with a mission to bring art supplies to babies and toddlers by offering the highest quality products made from fruit and vegetable powders, plus plant-based ingredients. Our products are all natural, and made from the safest ingredients without chemicals, preservatives, color additives, and are made from food based ingredients. Our colors come from nature! Learn more at weecantooart.com.
Two (2) Pure Hazelwood baby necklaces
World leader on the market for more than 18 years, Pure Hazelwood products are inspired by a First Nations tradition, handcrafted with 100 % natural hazel wood and meant for the whole family. Rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules, hazel wood helps relieve several symptoms related to inflammation such as: teething pain, colic, skin problems, digestive disorders, joint pain, and more! Learn more at purehazelwood.com/en/teething-pain.
Poncho Baby Organic Roly Blanket
Award-winning Organic Baby Blanket is perfect for outings, this breathable organic cotton blanket unfolds quickly to create a soft, clean place for babies to play and relax. Made in the USA with 100% organic cotton muslin Imported. When you're done, the blanket rolls back up, closing up to be no bigger than a petite clutch purse. Learn more at ponchobaby.com.
Liliputi Stretchy Wrap - color of choice
The Liliputi stretchy wrap is a beautiful, comfy and versatile carrier for newborns and young babies. It holds a baby softly and safely, distributing the baby's weight equally along the back, shoulders, and hips, allowing you to comfortably wear your baby for long periods of time. The Liliputi stretchy wrap is made of Certified OekoTex 100 fabrics and is also suitable for front and hip carry and perfectly fits any body type. Liliputi solutions help parents ensure the safety of their young children, strengthening contact and supporting physical and mental health in all kinds of situations. Liliputi carriers, coats, bags and accessories are designed in-house with the help of talented Hungarian designers. Every Liliputi product supports babycarrying and upbringing based on close human contact, inspiring a healthier and more harmonious world in every aspect. Learn more at liliputibabycarriers.com.
Loopy Gear 2-Pack
Loopys are a baby rattle holder designed to attach baby's favorite toy to their wrist. Great for shopping, on a walk or even around the house because babies inevitably throw and drop the things they play with most. With a number of colors and styles to suit anyone's taste, Loopys are a fun gift idea that new moms will come to love because the five second rule doesn't apply to babies. So versatile, they can be also used on car seats, strollers, baby carriers, highchairs, and shopping carts. Loopys are handmade in USA, machine washable, and meet CPSIA standards. Learn more at loopygear.com.
This giveaway is sponsored by Mommy Scene and is open to US entries. One winner will be chosen and displayed on the giveaway widget after the giveaway ends on March 4th, 2016. Mommy Scene and participating blogs are not responsible for fulfilling brand-sponsored prizes. Prizes will be shipped directly from each brand.
Sometimes a stroller isn't allowed or appropriate. Sometimes you want the freedom (and cuddles) that babywearing provides. Lucky for us there are TONS of babywearing options out there, from wraps to slings to mei tais and soft structured carriers (SSC's). But what about tandem babywearing, i.e. wearing two babies at once? We just got our hands on a carrier that, in my opinion, blows all other tandem wearing options out of the window. I give you, the TwinGo!!
The TwinGo carrier is a 2-in-1 SSC that works together or apart. This means, for example, mom and dad can each wear one baby, or one caregiver can wear one child on the front and one on the back! What makes the TwinGo really stand apart from its competitors is that you can remove one set of shoulder straps when wearing the front and back configuration, cutting out a lot of unneeded bulk!
On our maiden voyage with the TwinGo, my husband and I each wore one of our twins in the front carry position... for 6 hours straight (only breaking for boob and diaper time)!!
At almost 4 months, they're weighing in at about 14 pounds a piece and by the end of the day we were relieved to take them off but in no way, shape, or form would I say it was painful for anyone. The TwinGo shoulder and waist straps are well padded and designed in a way to distribute the weight extremely well, and the carrier holds the baby from knee to knee, which is ergonomic for their hips and spine.
Some features that really stand out to me as exceptionally awesome include:
Here's a quick demo of how the carrier unfolds out of its own pocket. This was my first time and you can see how genuinely impressed I was, haha!!
The TwinGo can accommodate a total of 70 pounds in tandem mode, or up to 45 pounds in single carrier mode. Because you cannot wear a child in the back carry configuration until they are at least 4 months old and have good head neck control (and many babywearers would suggest waiting til they can sit independently), our babies are not quite ready for this mode!! But, I have a feeling I will be rocking that setup a LOT!!
We haven't worn our toddler in over a year, so I don't think wearing him in this carrier will be something we start doing now (it's a different case if you start when they're little and your body strengthens as they grow), but just to test it out I threw him on in the back and one of the babies in the front. It actually wasn't that bad!! As I mentioned above, the TwinGo is well padded and designed to distribute weight across your hips. So in a pickle (like if we were out and my toddler just couldn't possibly walk any more, I could totally make this happen!
Looking at the photo below, I'm horrified to see that I didn't have my baby situated in there correctly - she was a bit askew with one leg not pulled out all the way. BUT, this is a great time to mention there is an extra safety strap that buckles in place for the child in the "attachment" carrier when tandem wearing (the safety strap is built into the shoulder straps for the "base" carrier and also the "attachment" carrier when wearing it solo). So, god forbid I actually went on my merry way without realizing my baby wasn't seated correctly, the safety strap should keep her from slipping out the side... So YAY for safety measures, and a good reminder that practicing at home with a spotter is key, as is always triple checking every time that everyone is in there safely before you take off! TwinGo's instructions include great visuals and flagged safety checks to confirm that you have it on correctly, and don't miss their "how to" demo for the dual carry!
Stay tuned for my review of tandem babywearing our twins in the TwinGo, coming in a month or two! In the meantime, you can check out TwinGo and if you like, buy it on their site or on Amazon (for about $215).
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
We're in Brooklyn without a car, so we have always just done grocery shopping at the nearest shop (a 15 minute walk). When I found out we were having twins, I thought for sure we'd have to switch to online grocery shopping and delivery by the end of the pregnancy, but somehow I endured! Now I've got 3 little ones and am STILL managing to get to the grocery store almost every day. Here's how it goes:
Here's an article I wrote for Mommy Nearest with online grocery shopping options. It just pains me to spend $5-10 extra per order. We might switch eventually, but for now, if you see me in the store, and I mean this in the nicest way - GET OUTTA MY WAAAAAAY!!! hehe
Shoutout to StrollAir MyDuo stroller, the Englacha X-Rider toddler board/seat, and the WeeGo Twin Carrier!! Without them, we'd be screwed!
This was my third time attending the huuuuuuge New York Baby Show, but my first time attending as a preggo, so it was quite a different experience and we had a blast! While I couldn't spend much time at the MomTrends Blogger Lounge, it was an absolutely fabulous addition to this year's show and I hope to have fun with the makeovers, networking, and more in there next year!!
Down in the expo hall, from face painting and play rooms to a rotation of children's musicians, they had lots going to entertain the little ones. Even Canon had a little enclosed play area set up with a bunch of cameras for parents to practice snapping shots of their kids in action! But my main mission was to find the newest and coolest products on the market for pregnancy, babies, and beyond - ones I hadn't seen at the expos before and that totally blew my mind. And so... here you go!!
My shorter "Best from the Baby Show" list was originally posted on Mommy Nearest.
Stroller & Carrier Related Goodies:
GB Qbit Stroller
This soon to hit the market stroller is certainly one of a kind. Weighing less than 15 pounds, the Qbit folds down to a self-standing 13” by 21” cube, fitting into most planes’ overhead compartments and the back seat of any car. It also features a full-size reclining seat for a child up to 50 pounds, large expandable canopy, storage basket, transport bag with shoulder strap, and adapters compatible with several car seats! Available from July at Babies R Us.
Hatch Things’ SureShop
You know when you load the back of your stroller with one too many items and it flips over backward? The struggle is real, and Hatch Things has the solution! Their SureShop bag clips onto the side of your stroller (or onto shopping carts, walkers, bike handles, etc). It comes in 6 funky colors and folds into a compact self-storing pouch when you’re not using it! Available on Hatch Thing’s website and Amazon.
Lilly Gold has two really cool options for getting your car seats around. The 2 in 1 Zoomer (pictured left) is a cart for your car seat that has latches compatible with your car seat's latches, so it fits securely onto the cart, and has a wheel base and handle that allows you to push it just like a stroller! They also have a car seat, the 5-in-1 Sit 'n' Stroll that actually turns into a stroller. Both of these seem ideal for families that use taxis or car share (ZipCar, etc), and for vacations where you'll be traveling by air, bus, train, taxi, etc. No more lugging those strollers around - push them easily, with your kids riding safely in them!! Available on Lilly Gold's website and Amazon.
Does your stroller flip over backward when you try to hang anything from the handles? Or every time your child hops out of the seat? Buggy Balance has created little weights (3 pounds each) that will keep your stroller from flipping over! These seem great for daily use on tipsy umbrella strollers (frankly, many non-umbrella strollers could use them, too!), and if you have a day of lugging the stroller up and down the subway stairs, simply leave the weights at home! Available on Amazon.
i-Angel Hipseat Carrier
I was kinda blown away by how versitle and practical this carrier is. You can see all the different ways to use it in the image to the left - wear your baby on the front, back, or hip; rest your baby on the hipseat or strap them into the full carrier! It's amazing! It also promises to disperse the weight through your hips rather than your back and shoulders, which sounds mighty comfy! Available on i-Angel's website and Amazon.
Babyhome's Side Light
Not only is this a great looking and functional toddler bed rail, but what makes it really stand out is its built in LED night light!! The light automaticaly shuts off after 30 minutes (when child is fast asleep), and the rail includes see through mesh and removable/washable fabric. Available on Albee Baby and Amazon.
Love To Dream
This swaddle really caught my eye as it swaddles baby in a really unique position, actually baby's most natural position - arms up! The Stage 1 Swaddle Up (0-4 months, pictured far left) has baby fully inclosed but still able to self-sooth, while Stage 2 Swaddle (4-8 months, pictured near left) includes removable sleeves. Made of 93% cotton and 7% elastane, they also include a travel slot (for use in stroller or car seat). Also, a genius twin zipper allows for diaper changes while arms remain swaddled! Available on Regal + Lager's website and Amazon.
Newton Crib Mattress
Looking for a safe, light, and easy to clean crib mattress? Newton has just come out with one unlike any other. Are you ready? The entire 11-pound mattress is washable! Unzip and throw the 100% polyester cover in the washer, and then wash the mattress completely through in your bathtub! Made of a patented material (10% food-grade polymer, 90% air) that does not off-gas or leach toxins, the Newton provides support while allowing the mattress to have unprecedented breathability (which waterproof mattresses, even the organic ones, lack). With no foam, glue, latex, or springs, Newton is 100% recyclable, however because it’s 100% washable we expect you’ll prefer to hand it down through several children or families instead! Available on Newton’s website and Amazon.
Whether snoozing in a bassinet next to your bed or in another room, it’s natural to be paranoid and constantly worrying if your baby is breathing. But Snuza Hero offers you piece of mind. It clips onto your baby’s diaper and monitors their subtlest movements and breaths. If the movements are weak or less than 8 per minute, or if no movement is detected for 15 seconds, Hero will vibrate gently to stimulate your baby. If this occurs three times, a Rouse Warning will alert you, and if there is still no movement detected for 5 seconds, an alarm will go off. No more wondering and worrying, Snuza will keep you in the know! Available at a number of retailers and Amazon.
Other Cool Goodies:
BabySmile Portable Nasal Aspirator
I've tried a few nasal aspirators and they all have their pros and cons, but this is the first one I've tried that 1) gets the job done easily and quickly, 2) is not powered by your mouth, 3) is quiet, 4) is portable, 5) is reasonably priced. So, yeah, it's pretty great! (My full review is coming soon - stay tuned!!). Available on Amazon.
We’re all very familiar with maternity pants, but now Apres Bebe has brought postpartum pants into the picture! Touted as shape wear for the new mom, Apres Bebe is a legging that combines a comfortable pant leg with a slimming tummy control panel. They come in navy or black, are tagless for comfort, and are available on the Apres Bebe website.
Looking for a cute and functional teether that baby won’t drop or gag on? Say hello to the Yummy Mitt, a teething mitten that straps onto your child’s hand with velcro! Made of 100% medical grade silicone and 100% cotton, Yummy Mitt is free of BPA, PVC, lead, latex, and phthalates, and includes multiple sensory textures, patterns, and colors. Available on Darling & Co’s website.
As silly as this one looks, it couldn’t be more practical! The Beebo frees up your bottle holding hand for more important things like playing with your baby, reading a story, or tending to a sibling. Got twins? Throw a Beebo across each shoulder and all of a sudden you can hold your babies while bottle feeding! The bottle holder flexes for a secure hold and rotates 360 degrees, staying at the perfect angle, and the entire Beebo is free of BPA, lead, and phthalates. Available on Beebo’s website and Amazon.
Looking for an organic laundry detergent? You can't get more green than Eco Nuts! When agitated in water, these berries produce a naturally occuring surfactant called saponin, which gently cleanses laundry! Place 4-5 of the Soap Berries in a bag and reuse them up to 10 times. They also have a liquid version (better for HE machines) and a variety of other products. Available on Eco Nuts' website and Amazon.
So, what do you think. Amazing right? What products are you most impressed with?? Share in a comment below!!
Lots of my mom friends are terrified of wearing their babies. When they're infants, they are just so fragile and it's actually pretty darn scary! How to position their legs, how to make sure their head is supported and they can breathe freely, it's all so confusing!!
Then, once they're older and you have to switch them to the back carry, you have to learn it all over again. And this time they're in the back where you can't really see what's going on, so it can be quite a challenge figuring that out!
So, I just wanted to shoot a quick how-to video to show you how simple it can be!! Here's me and my son demonstrating how to get into the back carry position using our Mei Tai wrap, which is similar to the Ergo. Please take note that you should probably have a spotter help you the first few times, and might want to do it on a bed or on the floor so you feel more comfortable. You should always have at least one hand on your child to keep them safe, and you can play around with the positioning of your wraps straps on your shoulders and hips to find what is most comfy to you and your child.
Good luck and happy baby wearing!!
Now, I'm not a fashionista or one to try to style everything up all matchy matchy and fabulous looking. Partly because I'm bad at it, partly because I'm lazy, and partly because I'm cheap. But that said, my son's stroller is BORING!!! Snoooooooooze! It's all black, and being a New Yorker I should be cool with that. And I was. Until I came across Tivoli Couture's amazing and luxurious lineup of accouterments for all things baby travel!!
From baby carrier covers to fleece-lined car seat jackets to blankets, Tivoli Couture will have you and your little one traveling in style!!
I recently got my hands on one of their memory foam stroller liners and was SO EXCITED to snazz up our stroller. With 22 patterns to choose from, it was really really hard to decide but I eventually went with this rockin' guitars design. Cute right!??
But not just cute - apparently these liners are chiropractor approved for helping to absorb stroller shock, offering better support and neck and spinal alignment, and helping to relieve pressure from the child sitting for extended periods of time. Wow! Annnnnnd super comfy!! You can see how thick it is, and it has a soft minky back (it's reversible actually). Maybe Kenzo will stop throwing a fit when it's time to get in the stroller now? Maybe...
Unfortunately it's too late in the game for Kenzo, but Tivoli Couture just came out with a great lineup of canopy covers for your carrier, stroller, car seat, or even as a nursing cover! From ruffles to roses, how gorgeous are these!! They even have ties so they won't blow away. They also make fabulous photo backdrops...
One Tivoli Couture canopy cover is part of my $1500 value "Mother Of All Giveaways" running through May 26. ENTER TO WIN HERE TODAY!!
*Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, I was not compensated in any other way to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC mom blogger, Influencer, YouTuber, & Entrepreneur living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1)! My blog is chock full of humor, honesty, family travel, product reviews & giveaways, galore!