I can hardly believe that you have been in this world for 2 whole months, Darah! There are no words to describe the joy you have brought to my life. Even as I sat down to write this post, you called to me from your bassinet, letting me know that once again, you were NOT interested in your nap. I thought about being frustrated, and then you smiled at me, and it was a smile of pure love. My heart is totally yours, peanut.
New parents are well aware of the fact that babies don’t come with instruction manuals. But most new parents have gone to to libraries and bookstores to make up for that fact and borrowed or purchased a ridiculous number of books that teach us how to swaddle, soothe, feed and change a diaper. I was definitely one of those moms-to-be who read at least 20 books on such subjects. I am very thankful for those books, because they gave me helpful information to ensure my baby’s basic survival. But pretty much all of these books came up short in one department: stimulating activities for baby! But I found a book that highlights the development of an infant through play and that taught me how to play with my baby.
Enter Baby Play. I found this book on Amazon and purchased it used (thrifty is SO HOT, people!). I flipped through it before the baby was born and found it to be loaded with the best activities for babies. The book has games for you and your baby organized by age (0 months and up, 3 months and up, 6 months and up, etc.).
When we brought Darah home, we really enjoyed staring at her and holding her. These are both terrific things to do with your newborn, by the way. But then we realized that we had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how to play with babies. I went to the bookshelf and opened to the 0 month section, and found many different things that we could do to stimulate and entertain our baby when she is in the mood to play. Most of the activities include baby play toys that you likely already have on hand (a blanket, a ball, etc.).
I highly recommend this for any new parent who does not have extensive experience playing with babies. Who knows? If we hadn’t purchased this book, we might still just be staring at our baby!
This post contains my Amazon affiliate link. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
I am definitely a bargain hunter. I started stockpiling diapers and wipes when I could get a great deal, oh, about 5 minutes after I found out I was pregnant. Kacie over at Sense to Save is a kindred spirit in that regard. She made a fierce diaper and wipe spreadsheet to keep track of her deals. I was inspired by her quest to get her baby wipes cheap and I did the same.
Where to Buy Baby Wipes Cheap
One thing I quickly noticed is that she found these Sesame Street Baby wipes at the Dollar Tree. One package of 80 wipes was, you guessed it, $1.00! Any new parent can tell you that boxes of wipes typically retail for between $3-4.00/package, and many of the packages have fewer than 80 wipes in them. One dollar for 80 wipes seemed almost too good to be true. I went out and bought 3 packages of these cheap baby wipes, and then decided to hold off, just in case they somehow didn’t work (but how could a wipe not work?). After Kacie’s baby was born, I wrote to her and asked her how she liked the wipes. She told me that they definitely weren’t her favorites, and that she would use what she bought, but not purchase any more. I was sad to hear this, but took it as a sign to also not buy anymore, at least not until I could try them out for myself.
So about a week ago I decided to try them out. And people, they were terrible. Simply terrible. The wipes have a strange sort of spongy/scratchy feel to them, and they are the driest wipes I’ve ever used. Yes, it is true that I bought them several months ago, but I kept them in a temperature controlled space, so I think that they simply are this dry. As is, you would need to use far more wipes, especially for any sort of blowout situation. Having to use more wipes than you normally would, of course, makes these not such a great deal.
In addition to being a bargain hunter, I’m also terribly cheap. Tim wanted me to throw out the wipes, but I couldn’t bear to do that. So here’s how I salvaged them for use: I went to the beautiful world wide web and looked up a recipe for DIY wipes. I found a recipe here. Basically I combined 1 cup of boiling water with 1 Tbsp Baby Oil, 1 Tbsp baby lotion, and 1 Tbsp Baby Shampoo. I mixed them all together until dissolved with a whisk, and then I poured the liquid over the wipes so that they would once again be moist. Tim agreed that the wipes were once again usable. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about the scratchiness of the wipes, which is really the main reason I won’t be purchasing them again. That’s right, folks, I’m so cheap that if the cloth had been softer, I would have purchased more and just enhanced them myself with this little recipe, because even with the added work and ingredients, they would still be an awesome deal.
I hope you can take two things away from this post. First, is that if you want baby wipes for cheap, you have to factor in more than the sticker price. Avoid the Sesame Street wipes, if for no other reason than the fact that they are scratchy. Second, if you find yourself with any brand of wipes that has lost its moisture, there is a solution so that you don’t have to pitch them, and making that solution took all of 5 minutes.
And if you want good cheap baby wipes, then you’ll need to do some combination of bulk purchasing and couponing. My opinion is that the best newborn baby wipes are from Huggies and if you watch sales and also carefully watch for coupons, you can get them at a good price (always check Amazon, too…sometimes they charge too much, and sometimes their prices are totally fair). And if you don’t have time to deal with sales and coupons, I think the Kirkland brand wipes at Costco are solidly good and a very decent buy.
This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
Affiliate links included at no cost to you. All thoughts are my own, as always.
Allow me to introduce you to my guilty pleasure: Starbucks Bottled Frappuccino. I’m also going to show you how I make my little habit more affordable by finding Starbucks frappuccino coupons and stores that offer good prices!
I absolutely love drinking these. They are so convenient, they taste fresh, and of course, they are super yummy (especially if you have a sweet tooth like me). I can’t afford to go to Starbucks every day for a treat, so it is nice to have these waiting for me in my fridge.
Love Doesn’t Come Cheap: Starbucks Frappuccino Prices
I have to be honest with you, though; these aren’t all that cheap, either, and drinking them daily can still really sting at the end of the month. I was able to snag a 12 pack at Costco for $13.99, which comes to roughly $1.16 each. I still find that to be expensive for something that I don’t really NEED, though. Here’s one way I keep my daily treat costs down: what I typically do is only drink these on weekdays, and I’ll drink 1/2 of the frappuccino each day, stretching one drink out for 2 days. A case from Costco will last me most of the month! I typically just leave the drink in the fridge and every time I go to the kitchen (usually hunting some sort of snack) I have a little sip! It gives me a little pick me up, makes me feel special (that’s Starbucks marketing hard at work on me, people), and doesn’t break the bank. Plus, I don’t have to hassle with making coffee each morning. I think of this product as making parenting easier for all of those reasons!
If you aren’t a Costco member, you might also want to try Walmart.com. I’ve been pleased with the Starbucks frappuccino price there (currently $5.44 for a 4-pack). You can pick up at the store or have them delivered to you. Usually if you spend at least $50 delivery is free, so it may be worth buying a bunch at one time and saving yourself a trip. And of course, be sure to use Ebates if you shop on Walmart.com, as the price doesn’t increase for you at all, and you’ll save an additional percentage back on your purchase (it’s low for Walmart, 1 or 2%, but hey…every penny counts!).
You can also find Starbucks bottled frappuccino on Amazon, though I have not yet found them to be the best price there. However, Amazon is known for changing prices frequently, and they do not like to be undersold, so it’s always worth a look before making your final purchasing decision.
And finally, it’s always good to check on coupons.com for any Starbucks frappiccino coupons that might be current. They aren’t a regular occurrence, but you can find them on occasion.
Affiliate links included at no cost to you. All opinions are my own.
One of the things I quickly noticed about having a young infant is that “playing” with them is sort of hard. What sort of activities does one do with an infant that isn’t even crawling, yet? Baby Einstein discovery cards for infants are the way to go, people!
The wild animal flash cards by Baby Einstein feature 30 pictures of live animals (as opposed to drawings of animals). They have animals you would find relatively close to your home, such as dogs, cats, and squirrels, and they have more exotic creatures like reef fish, tigers and elephants. The animal flash cards are sturdy, though not indestructible.
I purchased these discovery cards for my niece, and gave them to her when she was 10 months old. She has thoroughly enjoyed playing with them, and at 1 1/2 years old now, they remain in her toy chest as a favorite!
When I bought the cards for her, I bought a second set and tucked them away for my little bundle. While the package suggests that these flashcards are most appropriate for ages 9 months and up, I have to say that Darah already enjoys looking at these pictures at 7 weeks old. We’ve actually been showing them to her for weeks, and she seems intrigued. Keep in mind that for small infants, “looking” is one of the big things that they do, so having interesting things for them to look at is always a good thing. We rarely go through the entire set of Baby Einstein discovery cards with her at one time, as this can overwhelm her. I’m sure that when she gets older, though, we’ll go through the set several times without her tiring of looking at the animals. The back of the cards also have animal facts that we read to her now (simply to expose her to as many words as possible).
I wanted to highlight these baby Einstein animal flash cards because this is an educational product that I’m sure our baby will use for at least the first 1 1/2 -2 years of her life. Considering how quickly babies “outgrow” their toys, this makes this a terrific find. I’m sure that other picture flashcard sets would be equally exciting to your little one! I find the best selection at Amazon, though you can sometimes find them at Toys R Us, too.
This post contains an affiliate link. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
When I was learning about breastfeeding while pregnant, I mostly read that breastfeeding hurts a little, but you get past it. And I read over and over again that if it hurts, you are doing it wrong. These breastfeeding tips were really counter-productive, I realize in hindsight.
Can I please let you know that this advice is ridiculous? Breastfeeding DOES hurt. And yes, you might be doing it wrong and should explore any and all possibilities for remedies when you are in pain, as breastfeeding is also not as intuitive as many people would have you believe. But please do not beat yourself up if you are in pain. Get some help and fast! Today I want to talk about one product that helped me a great deal.
Breastfeeding Nipple Cream I Use
The breastfeeding nipple cream put out by Motherlove was recommended to me by two moms: my best friend and my sister-in-law. They both said that they found this cream to be superior to the lanolin creams that are found in the majority of stores. I received a jar of Mother Love Nipple Cream at my baby shower, and I took it with me to the hospital so that I could start using it as soon as breastfeeding commenced. While this good nipple cream is designed for sore, cracked nipples, I began using it even before the soreness began. While I can’t scientifically prove it, I believe that using this product from the start kept my nipples from getting as sore and cracked as they could have been (though they definitely got sore, and I experienced one crack, I believe). I had a sample of Lansinoh’s lanolin that I also tried out, and I found it to be much stickier than Motherlove’s product.
I also thought Motherlove’s cream smelled much nicer! From Motherlove’s website, you can read about two other great benefits to this product. It reads, “Does not contain lanolin which contains several pesticides; or Vitamin E which should not be ingested by infants. According to the Skin Deep toxicology database, Vitamin E is considered a health concern by the American Hospital Formulary Service because it can cause liver dysfunction and is “potentially fatal” to low birth weight babies.”
I highly recommend this product by Motherlove. It’s a really good nipple cream that helped me get through the toughest part of breastfeeding for me (the beginning!) and it was 100% safe for my baby.
This post contains an affiliate link. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
Ok, I’ll admit it. I never had an original glow worm when I was a child (early ’80s) and I ALWAYS wanted one. When I realized that glow worms toys were still being made in some form, I immediately added one to Darah’s baby registry. When she received it, I was absolutely thrilled. So I suppose the answer to the question of who the gloworm belongs to is just a little bit debatable.
Given my overall excitement about having a glow worm in my house, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that it is a big hit around here, and not just with me, but also with the baby, it’s intended playmate. Darah started to really enjoy listening to and watching her Playskool Lullaby Gloworm at about 3 weeks of age, and she seems to enjoy it more and more each day. At 7 weeks, she now smiles when I turn it on, and she eagerly follows the face and the sound as I move it around her. She has even attempted to reach for it!
As a warning, I will say that the music it plays when you squeeze its tummy only lasts for 15-20 seconds. Therefore, if you are trying to use the glow worm to put your baby to sleep, I don’t think you’ll have much luck (go for a white noise machine for this purpose). But I think it is a terrific toy for teaching your baby to track movement and sound. Overall, it is a terrific toy for playtime, especially when your baby is alert, but quiet. These retail for around $15 and come in blue or pink.
Are you searching for the best newborn baby wipes out there? I think I have found them! Tim and I have used several different types of wipes over the past 7 weeks, and on the whole, we’ve found that a wipe is a wipe is a wipe. That is, until we opened up the box of Huggies Naturally Refreshing Baby Wipes we had tucked away (we stockpiled wipes before Darah, our daughter, was born). These were by far the thickest wipes we’ve seen, and the smell was just fantastic (they are cucumber and green tea scented!). These are definitely the best baby wipes on the market, and a fantastic baby wipes for newborn option, too.
We also really loved the box it came in, and while we’ve run out of these wipes, we are putting the other wipes we are using in this box. The top of the lid has a little catch on it to help the wipes separate from one another, which is really useful when you are trying to grab a wipe with just one hand. It also has a cool little button you can push to open the wipes lid, and the lid is easy to close! Sometimes these are tricky to find in stores, but Amazon definitely has them (watch out…some options include free shipping and other don’t!). I can’t say that they are becoming the only wipe we’ll use, but we’ll definitely be picking them up every time we find them on sale.
What are your favorite newborn baby wipes?
Is anyone else out there totally confused about the best way to clean ears, and more specifically, how to clean baby’s ears? I have to admit, I was skeptical about purchasing cotton Q-tips that were designed for babies. That just smacked of “Let’s see if we can make you pay more for the same item by stating that it is for babies.” In fact, though, these really are quite different from your standard Q-tip in some important ways.
If you look closely at the picture, you will see that it has a smaller tip, and then a larger bulb section. This larger section provides an actual barrier so that you can’t accidentally insert the swab too far into your baby’s ear. Any new parent can tell you that it can be terrifying to perform certain maintenance tasks on your baby (cleaning baby ears, nose, and trimming nails) for fear of accidentally injuring the child. I have found that these swabs really do a great job of building my confidence, because I know that I’m not going to hurt my baby. I also use these to wipe out my daughter’s nose, too!
These run about $5.25 for a package of 55, and they are totally and completely worth it, because they do their job of cleaning baby’s ears safely, and they provide peace of mind.