Inspiration and new baby gear: My experience at Baby Bloggy Boot Camp!

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This post is written by Alanna Peters on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

February 28th was an unusually wet and windy day here in San Diego county but I woke up extremely excited, in spite of the fact that I had to get up and out of the house several hours than usual (with both kids in tow!) to brave the commuter traffic through the rain. (Let me tell you, people can NOT drive in Southern California during a rain storm!) I was on my way to the Baby Bloggy Boot Camp event at the Bahia Hotel in San Diego, CA, which was part of the Women Get Social blogging conference.

I had registered for the Baby Bloggy Boot Camp a couple months earlier as an expecting mom and wasn’t quite sure if I’d even make it to the conference, seeing as how my baby was due February 20th. Since she ended up arriving over a week early (yay!), I was able to attend, and I happily crossed out the “Expecting a Baby” status on my name tag and filled it in with “Mom to a Baby”. There were lots of other new and expecting moms there and it was so fun to show off my new baby and peek at some other little cuties!

 

INSPIRATION FROM THE ROOKIE MOMS

It was a very inspiring morning as we listened to several speakers and got lots of insight into blogging. I really enjoyed getting lots of tips from Heather Flet and Whitney Moss over at RookieMoms.com. They are full of advice on how to create awesome blog content and advice for working with brands. If you aren’t familiar with their blog, I highly recommend checking it out!

Now that we have a new baby in the house we’ve had to make some big changes in our budget and our lives. I’m about to become a full-time SAHM and, to be completely honest, I’m kind of terrified!  (This means no more “free” days while my older daughter is at preschool. Yikes!) One thing I discovered about the Rookie Moms blog that has me really excited is a feature called “52 Challenges for Rookie Moms“. It is a series of weekly adventures to share with your little ones. I know I definitely need some inspiration for keeping my preschooler (and me!) entertained, as well as ways to include a baby in the fun! I’m really looking forward to getting started on some of the challenges.

 

ADVICE FROM THE SITS GIRLS

We also got some great advice on Rocking Sponsored Content from the SITS girls, Tiffany Romero and Francesca Banducci. They are a wealth of knowledge on what sponsors are looking for and how to attract them to your blog. They also had a lot of advice to share on implementing SEO techniques, which is extremely important for any blogger! I think I gained the most from this session. I have a long list of SEO tips to start implementing on the blog!

 

GETTING REAL WITH AMALAH

After a quick break (with some awesomely yummy snacks provided by the Bahia Hotel!) we listened in on a discussion between Amy Storch and Danielle Wiley regarding the benefits and drawbacks of being a “mommy blogger”. I really enjoyed hearing Amy’s point of view since her blog Amalah.com was one of the very first blogs I read when I was first discovering the world of mommy blogs.

 

After the Boot Camp part of the morning was concluded, we got to meet the day’s big sponsor. Drumroll, please….

 

ERGOBABY!

 

Oh my gosh, you guys…I was SOOO excited when I realized Ergobaby was the event’s big sponsor. I used an Ergo carrier with my first daughter several years ago and we used that thing ALL the time. I was looking forward to using it again with my new baby until I realized that during storage between babies, the belt buckle on the carrier had broken and it wasn’t really safe to use. Imagine my delight when I found out that I would be receiving the brand-new, not-yet-released Ergobaby Four Position 360 Carrier!!! Talk about perfect timing. :)

The lovely ladies from Ergobaby gave a demonstration showing us 3 great new products and how to use them. We got to see the Ergobaby Wrap which is great for keeping your newborn close and snuggly, the Ergobaby Swaddler (not a carrier) which keeps your baby’s hips ergonomically positioned while being swaddled, and finally the Ergobaby Four Position 360 Carrier, which is the newest carrier in the Ergobaby family.

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After the demonstration I got to chat with the Ergobaby rep for a bit and talk with her about using the infant insert in the Ergo carriers. I still had the old-style infant insert which doesn’t really provide the necessary support for a newborn so, rather than purchase a new-style infant insert, she recommended that I just use the Ergobaby Wrap until my baby gets to 12lbs or more. It had been about 3 years since I last carried a baby in a wrap-style carrier so I was a little nervous about how to use it with my teeny-tiny newborn. The Ergobaby rep showed me how to use it properly and I felt much more confident. I could hardly wait to get home and give it a try!

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I seriously LOVE the Ergobaby Wrap. It is such a lifesaver! If I couldn’t wear my baby I would get absolutely nothing done during the day. My baby likes to be held, or at least touching me, all day long. Now, I put the wrap on in the morning and wear it pretty much all day, popping baby in and out as needed. I love being able to keep her close and still have my hands free to do things around the house! I even wore her out to happy hour with the girls last night and she just snuggled and slept the entire time. Easy peasy! The wrap is very similar to my old Moby carrier, although the recommended Newborn Hug carry is a little different than the carry I used to use. I think the biggest difference with this wrap is the fabric. I love the Ergobaby fabric! It’s soft and stretchy but feels much stronger and sturdier than other knit wraps.

I haven’t used the Four Position Carrier much yet since my little peanut is still under 12 pounds but I did give it a try with my old infant insert. It worked well but I’m really looking forward to using it without the insert. (We’ve only got about a pound to go at this point!) We ended up using a Baby Bjorn quite often when my first daughter got older since she loved to face out rather than in. The ideal position for babywearing is facing in towards the parent, but sometimes babies just want to look out and see the world that you are experiencing. Now they can do it in the Ergobaby carrier as well, while still having their bottoms supported. (No crotch-dangling!) I did notice that while the velcro around the waist seems more secure than the buckle on my old carrier, I’m not able to adjust it while I’m wearing the carrier. I always feel like I need to tighten it up after I’ve been wearing it for a while so I do miss that feature. One new feature I do love is that the sun shade zips into the front pocket. It’s just a cleaner, cuter design than the old carrier, and I love it! I’m really excited to try out the forward-facing option and the hip-carry option once my baby gets a little older.

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LIZ LANGE NEW YORK

Along with all the Ergobaby gear in our swag bags, all the attendees got to pick out a Liz Lange New York maternity dress. I was a little bummed that none of them were nursing-compatible, but they are all designed to be figure-flattering and transitional to accommodate growing or shrinking bellies. And the fabric is so soft on all the dresses we had to choose from! I ended up picking a shorter style dress that I thought would be cute for the spring/summer. I love that Liz Lange maternity clothes feel luxurious but they are totally affordable. (Target has a great selection!) I just don’t understand spending hundreds of dollars on maternity clothes that you only wear for such a short time!

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SUMMING IT UP

We also got some yummy candies from the girls at Sugar Wish, and fun samples from the Honest Co., which I’m sure most of you are familiar with if you’ve been reading Tiffany’s Honest Assessment posts. Such good stuff! (I adore their diapers, by the way. So far they are my favorite of all the brands we’ve tried!) Just FYI, my other favorites are the Conditioning Mist, the Bathroom Cleaner, and the Hand Sanitizer.

All in all, the Baby Bloggy Boot Camp was an absolute success. I’m so thrilled that I was fortunate enough to be a part of it all!

This post is written by me on behalf of Liz Lange and Ergobaby.  Product was provided.

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