I was once a queen of the stroller review scene. We've owned and reviewed a dozen or so strollers over the years of my twins plus one being little. From tiny travel sized strollers to a triple stroller and everything in between. It's been a few years so I was really excited for this collaboration with Mompush, who sent me their Ultimate 2 Stroller to review and share with you all!! Check out my full unboxing, demo, and review video (embedded right below) and keep reading for more details and my affiliate link (this bad boy comes with SO MUCH GREAT STUFF and sells for under $500 - I can't even believe it!!)
What comes with the Mompush Ultimate 2 Stroller??
It lays quite flat for easy storage and is quick to pop up and lock into bassinet mode. There is a thick foam insert so it'll be comfy for newborns, though I highly advise buying an infant head support pillow like this one (just don't use it in a car seat!). It comes with a nice thick cover you can zipper on to keep baby warmer, that is easy to zip open or remove completely in warmer months.
The canopy is a good size with a quiet (no velcro) peekaboo mesh window, and there's a canopy extension panel you can zip on to make it go past the vertical point, which is great for nap time!! The leatherette belly bar can be used as a handle on the bassinet, giving it a beautiful look and making it easy to transport the bassinet, just don't pick it up with baby inside.
Maximum weight for the bassinet is 9kg (about 20 pounds) and you'll want to make sure you stop using it before baby can sit up or pull up as there is no seat belt or strap in it.
The bassinet is designed to lay at a slight angle so that baby's head will never be downward, which is great! It jiggles ever so slightly when walking, completely safe and normal movement that may actually help lull your little one to sleep!!
The Toddler Seat
Stick with the bassinet or car seat until baby is at least 6 months old and can sit up unaided, then you're ready for the toddler seat! With a maximum weight capacity of 50 pounds, this toddler seat has a nice 5 point harness and reclines from nice and vertical to fully flat position with an easy one-handed recline lever! It has an adjustable foot rest making for a super comfy ride!
It's really quick and easy to reverse the seat from forward facing to parent facing, which I've always found a great feature in strollers. I like to have baby facing me for walks, but if we're going out and needing them to take a nap, I face them forward and don't fight sleep as hard.
The canopy is amazing, going past vertical, with a special zippered section that is fully mesh and great for strolling in warmer months. It also has a silent (no velcro) peekaboo mesh window.
Why I love it:
The Mompush Ultimate 2 Stroller comes in 3 great colors!!
Click my affiliate link to buy one on Amazon today or check it out on mompush.com!
My first pregnancy (singleton) and second pregnancy (twins) were like night and day. From weight gain and how my belly looked to the delivery style and postpartum, it was all quite different. I thought it'd be fun and interesting to take a look back at the differences by comparing my singleton and twin pregnancy! You can watch it in a quick YouTube video or keep scrolling for the pix and details!
*disclaimer: this post includes some affiliate links - we'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking*
Note: in all photos below, singleton pregnancy is on left and twins on right :)
Early Weeks & Nausea
Early on, you wouldn't have known by looking at me. But for my twin pregnancy, my "morning sickness" aka all day sickness started much earlier and lasted longer too.
For my first baby, I wanted as natural as possible. I chose a group of midwives who only used the fetal doplar to hear the heart beat at each checkup. I had a sonogram at my initial visit (7 weeks), the standard anatomy ultra sound at 20 weeks, and another scan around 32 weeks because they wanted to confirm baby was breech (he later flipped, thank goodness). Then I used the birthing center to deliver which again was all natural. For my second pregnancy, again I went to a midwife, however as soon as she saw twins I was told I'd continue my regular checkups with them (rotating between the midwives and doctors at the practice, since I would have to have a doctor at the delivery) but also had to see an MFM (maternal fetal medicine) high risk specialist regularly. At those visits, they did a special ultrasound at EVERY visit, which I actually loved. There's such risk of one twin absorbing the other and all kinds of scary things, so it was reassuring to see them in there doing well! They always checked the blood flow in each umbilical cord, the size of babies, and also inserted a lovely probe to measure my cervix. This stopped later, maybe around 30 weeks? I can't remember, but it was a relief to not check that anymore! My MFM wanted me to delivery at 38 weeks but my OB wanted to let me go as far as 40 weeks, to make them both happy we made sure to schedule my MFM scans twice a week for the last few weeks. This meant walking 3 miles roundtrip pushing my son in his stroller. Ouchies! But kept us fit!!
Popped & Gender Reveal
I feel like from about 16 weeks is when my twin belly started to grow a bit bigger and faster than my singleton belly, though it would be many more weeks it REALLY popped. I found out the twins' sexes at around 18 weeks (girls! YAY!!) but for my first pregnancy, we didn't find out the sex! I wanted it to be my husband's big job at delivery to find out and announce it!
Viability & Weight Gain
24 weeks was a pretty big milestone for my twin pregnancy. It marked the point at which the babies could potentially survive if born early. Most doctors and twin pregnancy books also recommend the goal of gaining 24 pounds by wee 24 - this magic number has the best outcomes for twins! In the earlier weeks I didn't think it'd be possible, as I was just so nauseas most of the time. But at week 24, I was EXACTLY 24 pounds up - it was a miracle LOL! Of course, it feels absolutely rotten seeing the numbers go up so quickly on the scale, I had only gained 7 pounds at this point in my singleton pregnancy! But... you have to think about the babies' health - gaining too little or too much can put you all at risk!
Did you know you need at least 100 grams of protein a day when pregnant with twins? 175 is a better goal, that I always struggled to get even close to, despite throwing down protein bars and protein shakes every chance I could get! The cool thing is that your babies get first dibs at the nutrients you take in, and if they don't get what they need, they'll take it out of you like the cute little succubi they are ha! While I'll never know if it was a result of my not getting enough protein or other vitamins, I suspect that my losing my eyebrows (seen below right) was due to this. Thankfully eyebrow pencil worked wonders and they grew back in full shortly after giving birth!!
From about 30 weeks, my twin belly seriously looked full term, and it was from here on out that strangers would think they were so cute with their comments like "Whoa you're about to pop!!" to which I'd answer, "Nah, about 2 more months" hahahaha by 35 weeks I was obscenely large and in charge and they would joke "What are you having twins or something" thinking they're being funny or passively aggressively trying to make fun of me perhaps? But I loved answering blankly, "Yes." So fun! What was not fun were the aches and pains. The varicose veins down under and my round ligament pains in my hips made walking downright painful, yet I still made a point of walking at least a mile a day, and even pushing my son in his stroller 3-4 miles 1-2 times a week when I had my checkups at the maternal and fetal health specialist! It wasn't comfortable, but I think keeping fit really helped me stay fit and keep those babies cooking!!
I carried both pregnancies full term. My son was actually overdue at 40 weeks and 2 days (I gained 26 pounds and he was 8 pounds 1 ounce). I was so nervous because I was planning to deliver naturally at the birthing center, and you aren't allowed to deliver there if you go past 40 weeks 6 days! I made it just in time! Twins are considered full term earlier at 38 weeks which is when most doctors want to deliver them by (risks go up quickly after that). My team was confident to let me go as far as 40 weeks as long as I was getting twice a week ultrasounds and everything was going perfectly! So at 39 weeks and 6 days they finally induced me. I had gained 43 pounds and my girls were 6 pounds 11 ounces and 5 pounds 9 ounces. So I gained 17 pounds extra for the twins!
For my son, I labored at home for 43 hours (ohhhh the pain) and then spent the final 10 hours of labor at The Birthing Center at Roosevelt Hospital. It's a special unit of just a few beds separate from the regular OB floor. No drugs, just a midwife and a nurse! I thought this was perfect for me, not wanting meds pushed on me, but was just 1 floor away from doctors and surgeons should something scary happen. Thankfully it went perfectly - had him on Christmas Day 2012 and spent just 1 night in the same room where we labored and delivered him, in a regular queen bed (not an adjustable one). (See his full birth story here).
For my twins, we scheduled an induction at 39 weeks 6 days. They started an IV and put me on pitocin, broke my water, and let me labor a few hours (so painful, pitocin is NOT fun). When I got to 9cm I finally broke and got the epidural they had been pushing me to get - my doctor wanted me to have one in place just in case I needed an emergency c-section for the 2nd baby, that way they wouldn't have to knock me out. I got the epidural AND the drugs and it was so wonderful. Pushed them both out painlessly a couple of hours later in the OR - yes, all twins and multiples must be delivered in the operating room, even if vaginal! I believe it's related to the number of people who must attend the delivery, at least 6 (mom, partner, OB, anesthesiologist, a pediatrician or neonatologist for each baby, at least 1 nurse, likely a handful of med students, and more doctors and nursees depending on how many babies ). I was really nervous about what a horrible situation it would be, on a cold flat operating table with bright lights. But honestly, in the moment, I couldn't have cared less! (read the twins' full birth story here).
My son stayed in the room with us the entire time in the hospital - he got cleaned up and got his shots and everything right by my side. My girls were whisked away several times to be cleaned and once because they wouldn't stop crying and poor mama just wanted to sleep! It's funny how different I felt the first time and the second time. The first time, I probably would have fought any soul trying to take my baby away! The next time around, I was like, whatever, please take them for a bit, I need to sleeeeeep!!!
At the birth center, we had a private room, just part of how things were different from the regular OB ward and it was one of the reasons I chose to deliver there! The next time around, we also lucked out with a private room because moms of twins and multiples get a FREE private room!!! Because they need the space for 2+ bassinets! This meant my husband got to stay with me, although not too comfy on a fold out chair!
I was lucky that, while painful at first, breastfeeding was pretty easy for us. The first time around, I suffered through EXCRUTIATING latch, baby overfeeding (like 45 minute feeds), and usually tons of spit up. But he porked up and we just chugged along! I ended up breastfeeding him til he turned 2 years old!! For my twins, it started out alright but Emi didn't gain any weight over 2 weeks after her initial 10% weight loss (which is totally normal and fine for new borns to lose that much right after birth but they're expected to start gaining quickly). I saw a free lactation consultant at our pediatrician and she saved us!! She confirmed my milk production wasn't the problem, it was just Emi was so weak and not able to nurse efficiently. So basically I bought a scale, weight her before and after feeds, and pumped and bottle fed her at least once a day to make sure she was getting enough milk. At the end of 2 weeks of doing this, she had caught up to her sister's weight and was able to nurse well. From then on the girls were within an ounce of eachother for the next 2 years or so!! Now at 5, Emi is about 1 inch taller and 2 pounds heavier LOL! I breastfed them for 1.5 years - at home using My Brest Friend Twin Deluxe nursing pillow, and even out in public single or tandem under a cover!! Oh the stares we would get, never once got a mean comment, I think mostly people were stunned... or I like to think, impressed!
For my son, I used a Mei Tai Carrier and a Britax single stroller. For my twins, initially anyway, we used the StrollAir MyDuo stroller with the Englacha ride on seat (affiliate link) behind it. My son still did stroller naps so I could throw him into a seat and wear a baby if we needed to. When we had to take the subway into the city, I would usually put Kenzo in the stroller and wear the twins in our WeeGo twin carrier (under 4 months) and later the TwinGo carrier. Later we loved the StrollAir Solo to Tango and Evenflo Pivot stroller with the Buggy Board Maxi+ sit/stand ride on behind it. Reviews linked above and videos below!!
Postpartum Belly & Weightloss
I was lucky that my weight was back to pre-pregnancy within 6 months for both singleton and twins, without any effort of my own. I chalk it up to good DNA and breastfeeding. Did you know breastfeeding twins burns about 1000 extra calories a day!?? The tricky part was weaning them and not gaining a ton because I was used to eating as much as I could through pregnancy and 1.5 years of breastfeeding LOL! They did leave me with the dreaded stretched out wrinkly #twinskin though - come see that here!!
What your belly looks like after twins!!
Consistently voted one of the best places in NYC to raise a family, I couldn't be happier that I made Bay Ridge my home 9 years ago. But it can be hard, moving to a new neighborhood or staying put but transitioning into parenthood. To save you some and energy, I've put together a list of the best resources in the Greater Bay Ridge Area (that includes Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, and a bit into Sunset Park, Industry City, and Bensonhurst) - basically, the places you could easily get to on foot or a quick 5-10 minute bus ride. Some of these resources are my personal go-tos, others are recommended again and again in local parenting groups, and some are sponsored and worth checking out!
OBGYN & CHILDBIRTH:
CHILDREN'S HEALTH & WELLNESS:
CLASSES & ACTIVITIES for BABIES:
BABY CLOTHES, GEAR, & PHOTOGRAPHY:
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Vianetic, but all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased. Additionally, this post includes some affiliate links - we'll receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
Of course The Vianetic aka the BEST DIAPER BAG EVER launched after my families' diapering days were over, but that doesn't mean I can't review it for you guys, and of course keep it for my own personal use, because this thing goes way beyond managing diapers!! We're actually giving away one Vianetic diaper bag in my $560 value jackpot Baby Goodies Giveaway, so don't forget to enter to win by November 26!
For the best introduction to this diaper bag, you'll need to watch my Vianetic demo video. As I walk you through each of the 21+ features of this bag, you'll be able to truly appreciate just how amazing it is!! So watch it here and then keep reading for more detailed photos and info:
Unbelievable Storage & Organization:
The biggest thing that sets Vianetic apart from the crowd is its organizational capabilities. It's not your average backpack that opens from the top into a cavernous mess. Oh no. The front panel pulls completely open (via pull tab magnet, no less) to give you a beautifully organized (with velcro panels or fully inclosed zippered container) view of your contents.
Attached (but removable) to this front panel is your easy to wipe clean diaper changing pad. So you could sit the backpack in your SUV's trunk or a park bench, open it up and change your baby right there without taking anything apart.
It also has a separate compartment on the bottom of the backpack (pictured top right in below image), and another in the back, meant for your laptop (pictured below on bottom right).
Multiple Carrying Options:
While it serves most obviously as a backpack to be carried, well, on your back, it also has a really nifty ability to quickly convert to be carried or stowed in other ways. The straps are detachable so you can use as a standard 2 strap backpack or a cross body bag. The chest clips on each strap actually move up and down the strap, and have magnetic quick release buttons. These allow you to quickly hang or release it from the back of a stroller or the car's headrest, for example! Don't forget, it also has the luggage passthrough section on the back!
Some of these have been mentioned above, but let's just go ahead and list some of the very cool and unique features you'll find on or in your Vianetic:
So what do you think!? Pretty amazing diaper bag, am I right!? But it'll serve you beyond that - use it for a travel bag, a work bag, or just your daily bag for getting around town!!
Don't forget, you can win one in my $560 value Baby Goodies Giveaway running through November 26!
Enter to win here!!
If you don't win, don't fret - they'll be having some great Black Friday deals and other deals as well. Right now I'm seeing a code for $40 off the Mini on their website!
Don't miss our reviews of the must haves for getting around with babies through big kid:
*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased. This post also contains affiliate links - you don't pay more but we receive a small commission from purchases made after clicking.
Who's ready for another amazing giveaway!?!? This one features loads of amazing products for babies and young families! We're talking diaper bag, sleep sack, diaper pail, nasal aspirator, gift boxes of goodies for baby's first year of life, and more - a $560 value jackpot! Enter to win in the Rafllecopter app at the bottom, but first, read all about the great products and brands!!
The Vianetic Diaper Bag
Who says a diaper bag has to look like one?! This sleek and sophisticated diaper bag is about as cool as they come, and is jam packed with over 21 thoughtful and logistical features! First of all, it zips open from the front instead of at the top, so you immediately have access to everything inside, which can be compartmentalized in many different ways (check out the image above right to see what I mean). The detachable diaper pad flips down with the front, making changing baby on the go easier than ever. You can use it as a backpack or shoulder bag, or even attach it to the back of your stroller. It has a luggage passthrough, laptop compartment, USB port, sun glasses holder on one of the straps (possibly my favorite feature), magnetic chest strap, wet/dry compartments... I could go on and on (and I do in my full blog review here)! Because of it's versatility and modern-look, this bag will get your family through the diaper years and last for years to come after (likely graduating to become your new work bag). Our grand prize winner will receive one Vianetic Diaper Bag in their choice of color and size!
Antipodes Merino Baby Sleeping Bag
With roomy width and length and adjustable snaps on the shoulders and under the arms, the Antipodes Merino sleeping bag adjusts to fit your baby from 3 - 24 months! There is a two way zipper that goes across the bottom and one side (see above left image for a visual), so that you can change diapers without removing the sleep sack. Additionally, it has a seat belt slot, which means that you can buckle baby in and out of a swing, stroller, or high chair without removing the sleep sack. Brilliant, am I right!?! They feature a unique double layer of 100% natural merino wool on the chest, and 100% jersey cotton elsewhere meaning they can be worn year round - simply adjust the layers worn underneath based on room temperature. Our grand prize winner will receive one sleeping bag in their choice of color.
Noobie Box - A Year of Wonders
Now, I know we usually recommend sticking to the baby registry when buying an expecting parent a gift. But in the case of a Noobie Box, if it's not on their registry it's probably only because they didn't know about it! They have boxes for different themes, including a free pregnancy gift box (you just pay shipping), a parents box, nursing box, and 4 baby gift boxes based on age over the period of baby's first year, which can be purchased separately or as a set. This set is called "A Year of Wonders" and is included in the jackpot of this very giveaway!! Our grand prize winner will receive the lump sum shipment all at once (retailing for $120), but it can also be purchased as a subscription to send one box at a time. You'll get the Noobie Nest (for 0+ months), Noobie Play (3+ months), Noobie Eat (6+ months), and Noobie One (9+ months)! These aren't sample items either, they include 5 full sized products in each box that you will looooove!!
Dékor Diaper Pail
Changing diapers isn't the most glorious part of parenting, but there's no reason your diaper pail has to be stinky, ugly, or a pain to use. None of these are an issue if you have a Dékor Hands-Free Diaper Pail, which allows you to step on the pedal, drop the diaper through the trap door, and be done - no twisting or bending required! Refills are one continuous liner, so you can empty as often as you like. And Dékor Diaper Pails are made with ABS closed-cell plastic that doesn't absorb odor, is safe to clean, and won't rust. Our grand prize winner will receive their pail in color and size of their choice. Options include Mini, Classic, and Plus, the latter has the largest opening and can be used with their disposable liners or their washable cloth diaper liner! Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Baby-Vac Nasal Aspirator
When babies and young children get congested, it can be hard to keep their nasal passages clear. It's necessary not just for their comfort, but to also lower the risk of secondary infections settling in! That is where Baby-Vac Nasal Aspirator comes to the rescue. A small, simple, and affordable option that does a better job of cleaning out baby's nose than any other home device I have tried (and I've tried about 10!!!). It hooks up to any vacuum hose (with a diameter of 0.90 to 1.22 inches & 800-1800 watts), but don't worry, it has a self-regulating valve so it's just enough suction to do the job but not enough to hurt (we've tried it on ourselves, there's no discomfort whatsoever). The secretions do not go into the vacuum, but are trapped in the chamber of the device and you can simply wash it out after each use. It's such a brilliant product, they even sell it at my pediatrician's office! Our grand prize winner will receive one set!
Wubba Water Electrolyte Drinks
Sick babies and young children can get dangerously dehydrated very quickly when sick wtih Flu or a tummy bug. It's a good idea to keep a supply of electrolyte drinks and ice pops at home for when the time comes. But before you stock up on electrolyte replacement drinks for the family, let me ask - 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)! Our winner will receive 2 bottles of each flavor - blue raspberry, fruit punch, and orange, a $15 value.
So there you have it! Amazing jackpot of products for babies, am I right!? Enter to win in the Rafflecopter app below. To enter, you must leave a blog comment and push the button in the app that you did so. No more actions are required, BUT each additional action you take will earn you extra entry points, and some options can be done daily! So come back each day to increase your chances to win! Open to US residents ages 18+.
Disclaimer: We received this stroller free in exchange for our honest review. This post also contains affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission from sales made through the links.
While it is certainly convenient being able to test-drive strollers in store, it also raises the overhead and ultimately, the selling price of that stroller. Seeing how well other brands are doing in the direct-to-consumer niche, Mockingbird has jumped on the bandwagon offering their new luxury modular stroller online only!! Some parents may be wary of a stroller they can't test out in person, so Mockingbird offers a 30-day trial, with free shipping both ways, and a lifetime guarantee! To make it even easier for you, I reached out to them to get my hands on the stroller to do a personal review and demo (with our 3.5 and 6 year olds) for you! Watch my video below and keep reading for all the details!
Because they cut out the middle man, Mockingbird is able to offer this high end stroller for just $350! Crazy right!? It's beautiful, functional, and comes with some great accessories. Here are some of it's fantastic features:
The seat has a 5-point harness, a 50 pound maximum, and is infant-ready with the purchase of 1 of 3 options: $30infant insert, $30 car seat adaptor (car seat not included) or $100 bassinet. Otherwise, the seat is good from about 3-6 months of age.
It has a one-hand lever that easily adjusts it into several recline positions, and the foot rest also has several positions. The mesh peekaboo window has a magnet, meaning it's silent and will stay shut despite wind gusts. The canopy also has a mesh zippered panel that you can pull up to give your child a nice breezy nap in summer! There are 3 color options for the canopy's outer fabric (black, blue, or light blue) and two options for the inner fabric (black and white polka dot or grids - both high contrast to promote early childhood visual development).
As you can see from our demo video, our 3.5 year old twins (38" tall, 35 pounds) fit in there perfectly, but our 49" 6-year old, while within the weight limits, was a bit of a tight squeeze. The manual does say it's not for over 42", so this isn't going to work past the age of 5 or so, except in a pinch like a quick trip to the doctor.
The underbasket is enormous, with an unbelievable 25 pound maximum load! So, throw your diaper bag, older kid's back pack, your purse, you name it! For a carless city parent such as myself, a large and sturdy basket is extremely helpful as we haul goods from our daily grocery run in the stroller! It also has a little velcro pocket on one of the inner sides, a very discreet spot that could be useful! The basket has easy access from the back, and with a quick un-velcro of a panel you can also access it from the front.
The canopy is decent, but when the seat is reclined it is at a 90 degree angle, meaning during certain times of the day you may end up with sun streaming in on your little one. This is why the extra attachable full coverage sunshade that comes with the stroller is so great, and really unique! It has a few internal magnets on the top panel that line up with magnets in the edge of the canopy. It then hooks onto the edge of the foot rest with elastic, and has an elastic that hooks onto each side of the seat to make it incredibly secure. I love the magnets because they're silent - no worries about waking your child when taking this extra shade on or off!
The Wheels, Frame & Fold:
The wheels give a smooth ride, but aren't air so you don't have the added worry of an on-the-go flat! The frame has a very simple one-handed fold, and has a compact self-standing fold! You can adjust the handle bar to several heights, depending on height of care giver. This is also helpful if you plan to pair it with a ride-on-board (Mockingbird doesn't have their own... yet). The leather handle and belly bar are really smooth and luxurious, and you can choose between black and brown.
These don't come with the package, but here are some great accessories you can purchase as extras (in addition to the infant insert, car seat adaptor and bassinet mentioned above):
Now, I haven't been using this stroller heavily or regularly, so I can't attest personally to its durability, but after a quick demo I am really loving it. It pushes smoothly, handles curbs well, has a great recline and sun shade options, and a huge basket for hauling all of our gear! On top of that, I love the color/design option choices, all of the extra accessories you can buy, and hello - the price!! Don't forget, they have a 30-day trial with free shipping and return, so if you're on the fence, just go for it already!! Get more info or purchase your stroller on hellomockingbird.com today! And let me know what you think!!!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Culturelle but all thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional - please do consult one before you or your children take any supplements or medicines.
I was waiting in our pediatrician's office the other day (toddler twins with nasty colds, fun!) and overheard a new mom with an infant speaking to the receptionist. Apparently, the doctor had recommended probiotics for her newborn, and she was to purchase them up front. She asked the receptionist how long her little one should take them, probably thinking it was a quick fix, just a week or two. The receptionist looked at her kind of stunned, and replied "Well, um, forever?" I chuckled to myself because not too long ago, I hadn't really heard of probiotics myself. It wasn't until my first child was faced with his first round of antibiotics that our doctor encouraged us to start them, to help discourage some of the nasty side effects antibiotics can have on the tummy, and to help rebuild his healthy gut bacteria afterwards (these "good bacteria" are essential for a strong immune system and overall wellness). Once you look into the research and talk to doctors, you start to understand their possible benefits on specific ailments, immune system, gut health and overall wellness, and it becomes quite clear that everyone, from infants through adults, can benefit from taking them daily, for life!
Now, there are a TON of brands and types of probiotics out there - some have a single strain, others have a handful. Potencies vary, as well as price points. So, I urge you to do your research and talk to your care provider about what will be the best probiotic for you, and your children. But I'm here today to talk to you about the #1 pediatrician recommended brand†, Culturelle, who I learned first about through my child's pediatrician about 5 years ago, and learned even more about last week at Momtrends' Moms' Night Out influencer event (see my recap of the event here - at their booth, we were encouraged to pick out a diaper bag and pack it full of essentials for our kiddos, including Culturelle Probiotics, of course)!!
Culturelle has several lines and products, including 4 types for digestive health, 4 for overall wellness, 3 for kids (1 with fiber), and 3 for baby, which I'll discuss in detail below.
Culturelle® Baby Calm + Comfort Probiotic + Chamomile Drops, for ages 0-12 months, includes Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®) and helps reduce crying and fussiness due to occasional digestive upset.
Culturelle® Baby Grow + Thrive Probiotics + Vitamin D Drops for ages 0-12 months or 12-24 months, includes Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®) and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis (BB-12™), and promotes the development of a healthy digestive and immune system and helps build strong bones.
Culturelle probiotics use safe and gentle ingredients that work naturally with your baby’s body*, and help build a strong foundation for your baby’s healthy growth and development.
You can shop for Culturelle products on culturelle.com, Amazon (affiliate link), and your local drug stores.
What do you think? Do you or your children take probiotics or other supplements? Leave a comment below!!
† Based on a 2016 survey among pediatricians recommending a kids probiotic brand
* 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
WINTER IS COMING (or already here for some of you)!!! But have no fear, with the right winter gear for babies, toddlers (and care giver), it'll be a breeze!! To make it as easy as possible for you, I've rounded up my tried and true favorite winter products for you right here, as well as a few random hacks at the bottom of the post!
(Affiliate links included - you don't pay more, but I may get a small commission to help fund the blog, it's a win win!)
1. STROLLER BUNTING
You need a good stroller muff or bunting if you'll be pushing baby around outside at all this winter. It's basically a big sleeping bag that the stroller's straps go through and you can quickly zip open when you're indoors shopping or letting your baby nap in your entry way. JJ Cole BundleMe (in infant and toddler size) seems to be the most popular, probably because of the great price point ($35-60 new, and about $15-25 used), and it's what we've been using and loving for almost 6 years! The "Urban" style is wind-proof and water resistant. 7AM Enfant buntings seem to be the better choice if you're going to be in regular extreme cold (let's say, Canada, for example), and are loved by all who use them, but they cost quite a bit more.
2. STROLLER GLOVES
If you're going to be pushing a stroller around on the daily in temperatures under 50 degrees, stroller gloves are a necessity in my book. They make it so easy to seamlessly go between pushing the stroller, handing baby his binky, texting, refilling snacks, wiping snotty noses etc, since you're just slipping your hands in and out of the muffs that are strapped onto the handle bar. No need for actual gloves! 7AM WarmMuffs are the best, hands down (pun in tended LOL), a permanent fixture on my stroller from November through March!
3. Stroller Shield / Rain Cover
A great stroller cover is not just great in the rain and snow, it actually creates a beautifully warm green house type atmosphere for your baby!! My little ones were chronic sock / shoe / hat / glove tossers, so a rain cover on super cold days was essential. Our favorite brand is Manito (see my full review here), because it's made of a nice waterproof nylon with plastic windows that zip open and shut, meaning you can take your kids in and out of the stroller without having to remove the cover, and you can also zip it open to hand them a snack, when you're move indoors, or if the kids are getting too warm (picture that love scene in "Titanic" - it can get quite toasty and actually steam up the windows in that rain cover LOL). They have single (in alpha & plus for strollers where the back reclines such as City Mini & G-Luxe, and beta for strollers where the seat is reversible and rotates via lever, such as UppaBaby Cruz & Vista ) and twin (for side by side strollers).
4. Baby-Proof Gloves
Mittens or gloves that are toddler proof? SNOWSTOPPERS!! They go all the way up to the elbow (under the jacket), so they keep snow out and toddlers can't pull them off, hurrah!!! SnowStoppers also make great super tall snow boots. Check out my full review of both the mittens and boots here.
5. Nasal Aspirator
Whether they just have a runny nose from the cold, their first cold, RSV, the flu, or allergies, you need to invest in a good nasal aspirator! My personal favorite is BabyVac - it hooks up to your vacuum hose - valves control the suction power so it gets out all the buggies but isn't painful or dangerous, and don't worry, the boogers get trapped in the small device and don't go into your vacuum. See my full review here! Others prefer Nose Frida, which is powered by your own mouth. You'll also need saline drops, to make sure it's super moist and easy to suction. Suctioning right after a steamy bath can help, too.
6. Baby Wearing Winter Gear
If baby wearing, you'll want to get a baby wearing coat or baby carrier cover. They'll make life easier. If just wearing here and there you can simply throw a pair of tights and leg warmers under kiddo's pants, or put them in a snow suit, or wrap a long warm blanket around you and the carrier. Jolly Jumper Snuggle Cover is probably the cheapest of the covers, and seems to be quite popular, though I've never tried it myself.
So, those are my favorite winter gear for babies and toddlers! Have you used any? Do you have any others to recommend? Drop a comment below!!!
And I'll leave you with my final tip for surviving winter with littles. This is especially for stroller-pushing city-dwellers. Those corners after a snow storm? They can be a DOOZY!!! First, you need a nice stroller with decent sized wheels (that handy umbrella stroller you have? yeah right, put it away til spring). To get over the snow mounds, the trick is pulling the stroller BACKWARDS. Yep. You'll look a fool but it's the only way. Good luck out there, parents!!!
I spent hours last weekend meandering through the 2018 New York Baby Show, the biggest baby expo in the country!! It was my 6th year in attendance, and as always, I was simply blown away with some of the innovative and amazing new products out there for baby, toddler, and parent! Keep reading for my top picks, and don't miss my highlights video at the bottom featuring exciting demos of some of my favorites! I'd also like to give a big shout out to Momtrends for their ongoing support of us NYC mom & dad bloggers, and their sponsorship and organization of the #NYBSBloggerLounge!
Please note, there are some affiliate links below - if you shop through these links, you won't pay anything extra but we will receive a small commission to help fund this blog - win win!!
Best for Bath: Summer Infant My Bath Seat
Bath time can be fun for baby and parents, but it can also be terrifying and exhausting, not to mention downright dangerous - especially when bathing twins or multiple children!! The Summer Infant My Bath Seat provides a baby or young toddler a safe place to sit and play - the seat secures to both sides of the tub and the back!! Please take care, even if using a safety seat such as this one, please PLEASE never never ever leave your child unattended in the bath (or even in the bathroom when water is running)!!!
Best for Twins: Romp & Roost
Snap in the mesh divider for a play pen built for two, or remove it for an oversized play yard or roomy toddler bed! It also folds up for easy transport (about 32 pounds, same as a double stroller). Where was this when my twins were itty bitties?!?
Best for Sterilizing: Coral UV
From baby bottles to pacifiers, and tooth brushes to make up brushes, the Coral UV will sterilize (without use of heat or water) any non-waterproof products that can fit inside, in just 10 minutes!! It also has a 30-60 minute dry feature which could come in handy to dry freshly washed items, as well as a storage option that sterilizes every 2 hours to keep items super clean and ready to go.
Best for Toddlers: STAYnEAT, The Helping Plate
This plate pretty much addresses every issue I've had with my toddlers' self-feeding messes and mishaps! It is non-slip but you can also press in the center to activate the toddler-proof suction stay power (simply lift the corner to unseal). It has an outer lip to prevent spillage, and the inner plate has an incline to keep juices from mixing in and messing up flavors and textures of other food on the plate. It's double sided with one side being divided and the other side being a simple plate. And oh yeah, It's also dishwasher safe.
Best Infant Bed: Mumbelli
With a removable inclined wedge (great for babies with reflux) and an adjustable foot support for a comfortable womb-like fit, Mumbelli makes a wonderful co-sleeper, crib-insert, or travel bed for baby's first few months of life (until they're ready to start rolling over).
Best for Car Travel: Travel Tray
So simple yet so brilliant - this little tray fits into any cup holder, making it the perfect accessory for a car seat (or stroller, movie theater seat, you name it)! It'll still hold your child's cup or bottle, but also snacks and small toys.
Best Stroller: Evenflo Pivot Xpand
There are a few strollers out there boasting the ability to transition from 1 to 2 kids, but the Evenflo Pivot Xpand is the only one I've seen that does so without the need for any tools or extra parts (you just need to buy the 2nd seat and/or stroller board, but no add-on converters - they're already built in!!). It can hold up to 150 pounds of cargo and kids (up to 3 kids: 2 in seats and 1 on ride on board), has an expandable basket up to 2 feet long, and it's also gorgeous! Be sure to check out the demo in my video at the bottom of this post to see it go from infant seat to toddler seat to 2 toddler seats (both are infant compatible making it a great option for twins) and adding the ride-on board (which just snaps on!!). Up to 22 configurations!!
Best for Dribble: Bibby
Babies drool and spit-up, some more than others, and even the best bibs often allow that dribble to hide deep in those adorable neck folds. Until now. Say hello to Bibby, featuring a thick tall turtleneck type top and a velcro closure! BRILLIANT!
Best for Monitoring: Nanit Smart Baby Monitor
Baby monitors are getting smarter and smarter, and parents have to decide exactly how much they really want to keep track of. The Nanit is a cool new monitor that not only offers a birds eye view of your sleeping angel (on multiple users' phones) and keeps track of room temperature and humidity, but also helps track, monitor, and improve your baby's sleep! It'll send key notifications to you such as when baby wakes and falls asleep, and track on an app sleep cycles, when and how often a parent tends to baby, and give suggestions about how to help baby sleep longer and better based on current trends. Do note, the higher level tracking and tips require a $10/month subscription.
Best for Boobies: Ta-Ta Towel
Now, I haven't tried this personally, so I can't attest to how good the support is, or how well it lays under a shirt, but you can't argue that this isn't a truly unique nursing bra!! If I could rewind 2.5 years I would totally lounge around the house in this day and night! To top it off, the Ta-Ta Towel bras are handmade by women for women, in an eco-friendly factory in Los Angeles!
Best for Screen Free Digital Stories: Lunii
If it's for sale at MoMa, you know it's gotta be cool! This screen-free interactive digital device allows children to select their main characters, setting, and central object, which provides them one of 48 pre-loaded stories!! What's more? It's available in 8 languages! I see this as a great road trip item - since it's screen free, it shouldn't contribute to motion sickness (once all the characters are selected they just sit back and listen to the story)!
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BABY SHOW:
Looking for other great innovative products for babies and families? Check out my top picks from past years' New York Baby Shows!!
If you are a new or expecting parent in the Tri-State area, this post is for you!! We're giving away TEN TICKETS to the 2018 New York Baby Show, to be held on May 19 & 20 at Pier 94 in NYC!!
The New York Baby Show, now in its 8th year, is the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country. No other event provides a better experience for thousands of expectant and new families from New York and neighboring counties, seeking a family-friendly jamboree of top brands, great speakers and seminars, big giveaways, and lots of learning, support, bonding, and fun as you make your way into parenthood.
To get a better feel for what the New York Baby Show is like, check out my roundups from the previous years I've attended:
Normal ticket price is $30 per family (for 2 adults and up to 4 children), and $20 per individual, but you can enter in the Rafflecopter box below to win one of the 10 tickets we have to give away! Each of our 10 winners can choose a single or family ticket. The giveaway will end Monday, March 26 at 11:59PM EST and winners will be e-mailed with a special link to claim their tickets. Even if you don't win the giveaway, you still win because you can click here to get your tickets for 50% off!!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)