Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On the air with the Boba Air Baby Carrier #review

When I had my daughter I promised myself that I wouldn’t stop traveling. She was only 4 months old when she first traveled on a plane. To keep her calm and help speed the boarding process I turned to babywearing. I’ve worn my daughter since she was born and brought our trusty carrier along. While I loved having her close, I hated dealing with the bulkiness of the carrier inside the plane and whenever I wasn’t using it. Looking for a better solution for air travel, Nissa suggested the Boba Air Baby Carrier. She uses this carrier with her own children and thought its compact size would be ideal for travel. 

Made from 100% Nylon, the Boba Air is designed to look like its bulkier counterpart the Boba 4G, but without the extra padding. The carrier design allows the child to remain in a seated position as recommended by the International Hip Displasia Institute. Closer inspection reveals an attached hood that came in handy while my baby slept through the security checkpoint at the airport. I tested the Boba Air around the house and quickly familiarized myself with the carrier before embarking on our two week trip out of the country. I loved that all the straps can easily be adjusted without any help, which was essential on this trip as the first leg of the trip I would be flying solo with my daughter. The Boba Air also has convenient elastic bands to roll up the excess strap length so it doesn’t get caught somewhere. 

I was apprehensive of using this carrier at first because I honestly fail at folding maps and wasn’t sure I would be able to store it back into the pouch. To my surprise, I didn’t have to even watch the video as I effortlessly folded down and tucked the carrier into the pouch. I easily managed to do this in all 8 of our flights while wrangling a busy 10-month old. One word that describes the Boba Air Baby Carrier is convenient. This carrier was able to comfortably hold my 10-month old 18 lb. child and fold down small enough to fit in her backpack. The Boba Air can also be clipped to the backpack while not in use, which is how I stored it while on the plane and during part of our 5-hour layover at DFW. 

Because I left our regular bulky carrier at home, I used the Boba Air throughout our trip to Puerto Rico. Because this carrier is light I was able to comfortably wear my daughter in the warm climate up to temperatures in the upper 80s. She did get hot when we were roaming through a crowd in 90 degree weather but that’s to be expected with any carrier considering the circumstances. I fear she would have melted or had a heat stroke had we used a heavier carrier. I must admit, it was an advantage to be able to carry her rather than navigating the crowd with a stroller. 

When to use the Boba Air if you’re traveling: 
  • During check-in: allowed my daughter to interact with the lady at the counter while I checked-in our luggage. 
  • Through security: I kept my daughter with me at all times and did not have to remove the carrier, which made passing through security a breeze. 
  • While boarding: rather than holding my daughter and wrestling bags, I used the Boba Air to carry her to our seats and while I stored away our bag and prepared her car seat inside the plane. 
  • While disembarking: just like boarding, leaving the plane can be hectic if not for the baby carrier. 
  • Through the airport: as we walked to find our gate it was so much easier to have her in the baby carrier rather than a stroller when we were pressed for time. It also simplified the process of grabbing our suitcases as I didn’t have to worry about keeping an eye on a baby in a stroller while watching for luggage on the carousel. 

If you’re planning on traveling by plane or need to alternate with a stroller, I definitely recommend the Boba Air as a convenient and comfortable carrier for your child. The lightweight material allows you to store this carrier virtually anywhere and keep in handy for on-the-go travel. 

Boba sent me the Boba Air in grey for the purpose of this review. Nissa, the Cloth Diaper Guru, is an ambassador for Boba and has previously reviewed the Boba Air. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and the opinions expressed here are based on my experience using the carrier.
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Potty training a 22-month-old

At our house, 2015 rolled in with a big announcement: baby E decided he no longer wanted to act like a baby and he was ready to use the potty!  Instead of celebrating the new year with an epic hangover, my husband and I embraced the fact that we are old and we have kids. Most of Jan 1st was spent camped out in the bathroom with books and stickers while E was propped up on his porcelain perch.  E also developed a new sign language hand signal to indicate when someone should leave the bathroom and return with chocolate for him to consume as a reward.  Although he was pretty excited about his new skill, he obviously will be needing to practice and master the art of using the potty.  However, this didn't stop our family from becoming totally excited about any of E's interest in forgoing diapers.

We raced out to Target and bought the most exciting looking undies we could find.  E returned home and could not wait to try them--within 10 minutes he had peed directly in the middle of my expensive living room rug.  This was fine since my daughter had peed on the other expensive rug in the living room when she was potty training; it was only appropriate that both rugs be equally tortured in the process.  OK, lesson learned AGAIN.  The rugs were rolled up and we had a good afternoon of getting E to try the potty.
The training  pants we are using

The undies were working out, but we did supplement with cloth training pants (aff id) and cloth diapers while E was at home and on outings.  Since he's still young, I don't want to push potty training on him too quickly and, instead, I want to keep it fun and make it seem like it's his idea.  For a while I was setting a timer on our microwave to remind him (and encourage him) to visit the bathroom every 45 minutes.  However, this resulted in him yelling "Pie-ya!!" (Potty) and running to the bathroom every time someone used the microwave and it beeped.  Instead, I started verbally reminding him when we should go "earn a sticker."  I suspected that E needed to visit the potty about every 45 minutes, but we did make it through several longer outings with no accidents!  

I'm incredibly thrilled that E is trying the potty and I'm hoping that gentle encouragement will help him become more independent.  The earlier you start potty training, the longer it can take.  However, starting early also allows your child to  understand that using the potty is normal and that the potty can be trusted... after all, you just need to sit on it  and  maybe someone will show up with chocolate.

As indicated above, Kelly's closet link is an affiliate link.
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Monday, January 12, 2015

When did #clothdiaper laundry become such a controversy?

I have to admit, I'm a bit disgruntled.  So much so, that blogging has felt more like a chore over the past few weeks than a fun pastime. Why would a blogger with so much history feel a bit down?  It's because some of my very wonderful blogger friends have recently been ridiculed by those with differing opinions over laundry.  Yes.  Laundry.  It seems like cloth diaper laundry has been the latest craze of mommy wars--if you are doing a different laundry routine, then you are to be belittled and scolded.  Shame on you! As a fairly mellow and non-confrontational person, I haven't had anyone personally attack my laundry choices.  However, when I see friends become sad and upset over something as silly as laundry, I feel the need to say something.  It's just not OK.

We have seen internet bullying over laundering increasing over the past year.  It isn't really one particular group (however, there have been some groups which are more laundry-centric among the cloth diapering community), it's more of a community-wide phenomena.  It's easy to assume that because you've been doing something for a long time, you're an expert.  I have a PhD in science and have been working in a scientific field for over a decade--but that doesn't mean I claim to know what detergent is best for your child.  I do know what's best for my child and today I'll share the story about why we switched to an eco-friendly detergent.

My family started cloth diapering in 2010 after our first child was born.  During that time, we were using microfiber pocket diapers and an all-natural cloth diaper detergent with coconut oil.  The detergent ended up being a nightmare with our hard water and we quickly switched to Rockin' Green and Tide.  This worked well for the course of cloth diapering in hard water and after our move to a location with soft water.  Then baby 2 was born.  Baby 2 turned out to be an entirely new adventure in cloth diapering and parenting.  By 3-months-old, he was diagnosed with severe eczema.  Cloth diapering him seemed to be almost impossible, but he reacted baldly to disposable diapers too. His eczema was covering the majority of his body when we were finally able to convince our doctor to refer us to a pediatric allergist and get him a blood test.  He was diagnosed with dairy and peanut allergies--along with an allergy to dogs.  I was nursing at the time, so I dropped all high-allergen foods from my diet and we gave up our family pet.  Although I hoped for immediate improvement, things were still slow-going.   I was about ready to give up on cloth diapers because he seemed to be reacting so badly to any detergent I tried (I had already tried several mainstream and natural detergents).  Through chance, we ended up getting a sample of Molly's Suds detergent and decided to try it for our clothing and cloth diapers.  This was a night-and-day change.  Baby's rash on his bottom improved significantly!  His skin was also much less itchy and a large patch of weepy eczema on his arm healed and he finally stopped itching at it.  Although things weren't 100% better (we still needed to use a steroid cream, regular bathing, and moisturizing), I was happy anything was working.  Before these changes, we were to the point of discussing diluted "bleach baths" with our physician (something I'd read is sometimes used in severe cases of eczema), so obviously we were willing to really try anything that could be beneficial and reduce the infections that open, raw skin can result in.

Because of my second child's poor reaction to mainstream detergents, I feel that he reacts badly to anything with scents or chemicals that can irritate the skin's barrier.  In people with eczema, the skin barrier is already compromised and it can be irritated easily or let infection in.  Before my second child, I never fully appreciated what eczema was and how terrible it could be.  I took on so much emotional pain on during his first year because I felt personally responsible for his suffering. Although there were many things we tried, it was probably a combination of all of them which really lead to the improvement.  The changes that made the biggest difference were ditching our mainstream detergent, moving our dog to a new home, and avoiding all baby's food allergens.

Some have argued that natural detergents are not getting cloth diapers clean enough.  Although this may be a concern, we have always laundered our natural fiber cloth diapers in water that is about 120 degrees.  The hot water kills yeast and the majority of bacteria.  We also don't let our cloth diapers sit and ferment--laundry is done every 2-3 days.  In hot weather, laundry may be done more often. In the unlikely event that our cloth diapers do not pass my sniff test after washing (yes, I do a sniff test!), I re-wash with a scoop of Oxiclean.  Oxiclean has not irritated my son's skin when used in moderation.  We have been using the same prefold cloth diapers for over 4 years and still have not had any issues with stinky diapers or a feeling that we aren't getting diapers clean enough.

So, the moral of my story is that some people use "natural" detergents for their cloth diapers and some don't.  We have a reason why we now avoid mainstream detergents, but I was a huge Tide user for the first 20-some years of my laundering life.  I think we should always be open minded about trying new things and not assume that just because something is working for the majority of people, it should be working for you too--in my case I had to completely change my wash routine from one child to the next!  And also, it's not fair to belittle people or feel the need to educate them and make them change their ways.  This community should be focusing on building each other up and helping families find their way to cloth diapers--that is something worth educating about!

This post is anecdotal and not intended to diagnose or treat a medical condition.  Consult your doctor for any medical questions.  This post is my personal opinion and the author supports you in whatever parenting choice you chose--including differing laundry routines!  One-sided comments that do not support a community mentality will be deleted.
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Monday, December 22, 2014

My Dentist's Choice tooth tissues #review and #giveaway

The most common cause of dental cavities in kids 2-5 years old is going to sleep with a bottle of drinks that have sugars like milk, formula and juice. Babies who nurse to sleep are also at risk because breast milk has natural sugars. I always thought that oral care started as soon as a baby’s tooth erupted. My daughter sprouted her firth tooth 2 days after she turned 8 months and I diligently set to begin our oral care routine. Have you ever tried brushing a baby’s teeth? It’s almost impossible, especially if their gums are still swollen from teething.

What I didn’t know was that the American Dental Association actually recommends starting oral care early by cleaning a baby’s gums and cheeks with a moist washcloth or wipe even before teeth erupt. Wiping a baby’s gums not only helps remove plaque and excess milk or formula but also helps getting your baby used to oral stimulation. This will help introduce a toothbrush sooner and easier. I wish I had known about Tooth Tissues earlier. Today I’m excited to share our experience with Tooth Tissues as an alternative method to the traditional brush.

My Dentist’s Choice Tooth Tissues are disposable textured dental wipes that help remove plaque and clean a child’s teeth and gums. What’s so great about these tooth tissues? They were invented by parents, who just happened to be dentists, for their own kids! Knowing the dangers of letting milk sit in their daughter’s mouth, these two dentists used their sleeves, shirts and anything within reach to wipe their baby’s mouth. This led them to create a disposable, safe and effective wipe they could use and thus Tooth Tissues were born.

Tooth Tissues are uniquely textured for plaque removal, neutral flavored, fluoride-free, paraben-free and sugar-free, and contain xylitol, which is known sweetener that helps reduce caries. They are also certified natural by the Natural Products Association and are eco-friendly. The resalable packages come with 10 or 30 wipes and are convenient for travel. You can even use them on the go when you don’t have a toothbrush on hand. I usually keep an individually wrapped wipe on my purse just in case.

“Our complete ingredients are: Water, glycerin, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, hydrated silica, xylitol, xanthan gum, sodium levulinate, sodium phytate, and potassium sorbate. Sodium Levulinate is a corn derived preservative that is 100% natural and eco-friendly. Sodium Phytate is a rice bran derivative that is a stabilizer. It is 100% natural and eco-friendly.” -Tooth Tissues

I thought my daughter wouldn’t like the taste or texture but she proved me wrong. Babies love chewing on the tissue and she easily lets me wipe her mouth with these wipes. They’re pretty sturdy and won’t tear when she bites them. She’s now learning how to “play” with these wipes and has gotten used to oral stimulation. She’s still shies away from the toothbrush at times but does allows me to brush her three teeth. My daughter often nurses to sleep and I can easily wipe her gums and cheeks with these gentle wipes before setting her down. 

We love using Tooth Tissues and do not hesitate to recommend them to other parents. These dental wipes are a good and easy way to begin the oral care journey with your children.

Win a bundle package that includes one package of each 10- and 30-count Tooth Tissues, and four individually-wrapped Tooth Tissues that are perfect for travel. Giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age and older. This giveaway closes January 12th! 

Tooth Tissues provided the above Tooth Tissue package samples for the purpose of this review. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and the opinions expressed here are based on my experience using the products.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Boogie Wipes and Boogie Mist #Review and #Giveaway

Winter is here and that means cold and flu season has arrived. There’s nothing worse than having to wipe your nose repeatedly. Constant wiping is always harsh on the skin and it’s one of the main reasons that my daughter struggles whenever we wipe her sensitive nose with dry tissues. Luckily we got to try Boogie Wipes

Boogie Wipes are made with saline, which works to dissolve mucus. These wipes are great for removing those dried, crusty and yucky boogies around the kiddo’s delicate nose. These wipes don’t contain alcohol and won’t dry or irritate the skin. Boogie Wipes were gentle enough that they didn’t cause my daughter’s eczema to flare up around her face. 

The one disadvantage is that the wipes are moist and don’t absorb very well. While you can easily wipe away those boogies, you might still need a dry tissue to help contain those very runny noses. 

The wipes are available in fresh scent, grape, and unscented. I must admit that I absolutely love the smell of the Grape scented Boogie Wipes! For convenience, the wipes are sold in 30-count packs, in a 90-count tub, and packs of individually wrapped wipes for on the go. We have a big tub in our living room as our baby is still battling a nasty cold. I keep 30-count packs in our daycare and diaper bags, as well as individually wrapped wipes in the car. 

I used Boogie Wipes on my 10-month old daughter but toddlers and older kids will also appreciate using these gentle wipes rather than dry tissues to wipe their sensitive noses. Saline drops are usually recommended to help clear stuffy noses. 

Boogie Mist is a non-medicated sterile saline nasal spray that helps relieve nasal congestion caused by colds and allergies. The gentle spray helps flush out and clear stuffy noses and soothes dry noses by moisturizing the nasal passages. Boogie Mist is available in unscented and scented. 

I liked that Boogie Mist was indeed a gentle mist appropriate for use on an infant unlike other adult nasal sprays I’ve seen. My daughter recently battled a horrible cold that left her miserable and severely congested. From the first use Boogie Mist quickly helped loosen the mucus and helped her breathe easier. A Boogie Wipe took care of the resulting mess with no problems. 

As a mom that uses both at home, I can confidently recommend both Boogie Wipes and Boogie Mist as a gentle alternative to dry tissues. They’re a must have when your little ones are suffering from congestion due to the common cold this winter. 

What are you waiting for? Take the pledge to Save Your Sleeve at www.boogiewipes.com.
Little Busy Bodies is also offering a chance for one of our readers to win an awesome package that includes a 3 oz can of Boogie Mist and 2 packs of 10-count wipes (fresh and grape scent). Open to US and Canada residents 18 years of age and older. This giveaway closes January 9th! 

Little Busy Bodies, LLC provided the above Boogie Wipes and Boogie Mist for the purpose of this review. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and the opinions expressed here are based on my experience using the products.
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