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June 29, 2015

A Summer of Fluff – BabyKicks Swim Diaper Review + Giveaway

I was given this diaper in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Time to kick of the Summer of Fluff!  (And if you want to know what I mean by that, check out this post)

Cloth Swim Diapers thebestofbaby.com

 

First up is this adorable little swim diaper by Babykicks. Since 2000, Babykicks has been making comfortable, high quality, and affordable diapers out of natural and organic materials.  Their swim diapers come in a cute unisex print called “Anchors Away” and look adorbs on pinchable little baby legs!

   Babykicks swim diaper thebestofbaby.com

Now, I’m new to swim diapers, so it took me a little while to get used to how different they are from regular cloth diapers.  Regular cloth diapers are all about absorbency, whereas a cloth swim diaper’s primary purpose is to keep the poop out of the pool! When I first got my Babykicks diaper, my initial thought was that they’d forgotten to send me the insert! Until I remembered that I wasn’t dealing with regular fluff…

When buying cloth swim diapers, fit is extremely important since it needs to be able to keep “everything” in (nobody wants to be THAT mom of THAT kid that made every other kid have to take a “break” from water time).

The  Babykicks swim diaper sizing is as follows:

Small:     11-18lbs
Medium: 16-21lbs
Large:    21-35lbs
XLarge:  35-48lbs

My daughter was 17 lbs when we got the diaper, so we ended up going with a small because of how important a secure fit is. The diaper fit great around my daughter’s chubby legs, so I had no worries about anything escaping from that end.  The top, however, had me kind of concerned.  It fit securely, but was a little short and caused a bit of a “plumber’s crack” if I didn’t pull it up really intentionally (which I did in the pic below).  I think we should have gone with a Medium, because I think it’s safe to say that girlfriend is a hefty 17 lbs. 

Babykicks swim diaper thebestofbaby.com

All in all though, we loved the diaper. 

  • It kept poop out of the water.
  • It was super easy to put on.
  • It had a good fit around the legs and tummy (and probably wouldn’t have had a plumbers crack in a medium)
  • It wasn’t too bulky under her swimsuit. 
  • It’s only $13.95…one of the most affordable I’ve seen! You can purchase one here.

Babykicks is generously offering Best of Baby readers the chance to win one swim diaper…enter below!

Babykicks swim diaper thebestofbaby.com

 Open to legal residents of the US only.  Must be 18 years or older to enter. 

BabyKicks Swim Diaper Giveaway (US only)

June 18, 2015

Kiss Your Babies to Keep Them Healthy

Congratulations Elizabeth W.!  You were randomly selected through the Gleam giveaway app as the winner.  I have emailed you and you have 48 hours to respond before I select a new winner.

I was at the library the other day when the sweet librarian says to my baby “Ooooh, you’re so cute! I just want to eat you up. Mmm.  And sop you up with a biscuit!”

Weird, no?  But I kind of get it.  My baby?  She’s adorable and I have this instinctive urge to, well, not to eat her…but kiss her a billion times a day.  And I’m not kidding when I say it’s an urge…I literally can’t hold her without kissing her every few seconds.

Kiss your babies and eat local thebestofbaby.com

Can any of your other mothers out there relate?  Of course you can!  But have you ever noticed that it’s more of a mom thing than a dad thing?  Sure, my husband kisses our little bubs aplenty, but he doesn’t seem to have quite the drive to smother them with smooches as I do. 

Turns out, that’s perfectly normal! 

I wrote about this before in this article, but it’s worth reiterating.  Breastmilk acts as custom-ordered immune guard for your baby.  When a mom interacts with her environment, her body will automatically create antibodies for any germs she encounters.  These antibodies are then passed on to the baby through breastmilk, thereby offering the little one a great measure of protection against sickness. 

Kiss your babies and eat local thebestofbaby.com

(Y’all, can I just press pause on the breastfeeding stuff and comment on my hair?  I love me some natural beauty products, but not all of them are well…umm, good.  Like the shampoo I used the morning of this photo session.  Ugh…I felt like I was slathering lotion in my hair. Lotion that wouldn’t wash out…but I didn’t realize it until after we’d taken all the pictures.  If you want proof that my hair doesn’t always look this sorry, check out this post.)

Anyway, if you’re a mom, and you find yourself with an insatiable desire to kiss your baby all day long, smooch away! That desire is actually a biologically driven instinct with a very important purpose.  By kissing your baby, you’re sampling the pathogens on her skin and in her environment and signaling your breast milk to produce the necessary antibodies to protect your baby.  (source)

You read that right, you’re kissing your babies to keep them healthy!

Isn’t it amazing how awesome God created breastfeeding?

Kiss your babies and eat local thebestofbaby.com 

To celebrate my love for breastfeeding, I’m partnering with Melissa from My Doula Made It for this sweet little giveaway.  One Best of Baby winner will get an “Eat Local” onesie and t-shirt from Melissa’s Etsy shop. (Available in different colors and sizes, though some colors/sizes may be limited). 

Kiss your babies and eat local thebestofbaby.com

You can read more about Melissa on her doula website, but here is a little snippet:

Melissa is a Certified Birth Doula in Orillia with DONA International, and a mother of two. She has been a Doula for over 5 years and attended 25+ births.  With plans to go on to become a Lactation Consultant, she is a breast feeding advocate.  Through her Etsy store My Doula Made It, she expresses her creativity and shares her, and other Doula’s, hand made wares.

So mamas, keep on kissing your babies and then celebrate the awesomeness of breastfeeding with these shirts. If you don’t want to take your chances on winning, Melissa is also offering a 15% off any purchase over $20 CAD (about $17 USD) using code BESTOFBABYLOVE.

Kiss your babies and eat local thebestofbaby.com

Happy clicking!

 

 

Breast Feeding “Eat Local” Mommy and Me Shirts

June 11, 2015

Toddler Shoes for Healthy Foot Development

This post contains affiliate links.  I received a pair of shoes from Softstar in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own. See my disclosure for more information.

Toddler Shoes for Healthy Foot Development

I was at the playground with my son a while back.  My sweet boy was glued to my side the first few minutes as he always tends to be…checking out the other kids, slowly warming up to the environment.  Just like his mama.  Anyway, those few minutes of pause before I helped him maneuver the play area gave me the opportunity to watch the other children playing.  You had your usuals…the girl dangling upside on the monkey bars (surely giving her mama heart palpitations), the boy trying to activate his inner Spider Man as he tried to scale the sides of the swirly slide…from the outside.  But there was one child in particular that really caught my attention — the little boy tromping around in shoes with soles that were 3 inches think and as inflexible as a brick.  I call him Clydesdale boy, because his feet just seemed so. heavy.

I cringed.

I hate to think what those awful shoes were doing to his feet.  Sure, Clydesdale boy seemed happy enough…but he didn’t know better.  He didn’t know that his feet were still developing, and would continue to do so for most of his childhood.  He didn’t know that the shoes he wears as a kid can impact the development of not only his feet, but his whole body.

Do you know these things? 

I didn’t either when my son first started walking.  I thought shoes were just supposed to be cute and comfortable…but the more research I did, the more I learned about the importance of a good shoe.  Here’s a very useful guide on foot-healthy toddler shoes, but it basically comes down to this: You want the most “un-shoe” shoe that you can get.

Like these Soft Star beauties.

Toddler Shoes for Healthy Foot Development thebestofbaby.com

The bones in our feet don’t fully harden until somewhere between the ages of 12-18.  That means that they’re still very moldable, especially at a young age when feet still grow so quickly.  Honestly, BAREFOOT is best for proper foot development, but that’s obviously not always practical, so the next best thing is to have as minimal of a shoe as possible. For toddler shoes that promote healthy foot development, you want wide roomy shoes with thin flexible soles.

Soft Star’s website explains it very well:

Orthopedic specialists have long known babies learn to walk best barefoot. Growing scientific evidence shows that children’s shoes should be designed on this model.  Research on children walking barefoot or in minimal shoes shows:

  • Improved foot muscle strength / flexibility
  • Improved ankle function and strength
  • Improved balance
  • Improved strength recovery and muscle tone (particularly in the children who had previously worn rigid soled shoes)

Soft Star offers a variety of different well crafted, beautiful handmade shoes…sandals, moccasins, boots, everything your toddler could need.  (And they even offer adorable adult shoes!)

Safe Toddler Shoes thebestofbaby.com

Personally, I chose the Rugged Rambler shoes for my son, since we enjoy trail hiking and I wanted a bit of extra protection for his shoes.

Toddler Shoes for Healthy Foot Development thebestofbaby.com

Toddler Shoes For Health Foot Development thebestofbaby.com

They are GAWGEOUS! Super soft natural leather (though they have vegan options too!), a flexible, but sturdy sole, and lots of room for his wide little feet to spread out and grow healthily.  Toddler shoes for healthy foot development?  Check!

Toddler Shoes For Health Foot Development thebestofbaby.com

Bonus?  Because of their minimalist design (no artificial arches, heels, etc.), a spacious shoe is no big deal…it just means there’s room to grow and more time before he needs a new pair!

He loves them and had a grande old time playing around in these.

Toddler Shoes For Health Foot Development thebestofbaby.com

And this mama had a grande old time knowing my son had some good, foot healthy shoes on him.

Check out all of their adorable boys, girls, and even ADULT shoes here…I’m so so tempted to buy these.

What about you?  Have you thought about the shoes your putting on your child’s feet?

June 4, 2015

A Summer of Fluff

Cloth Swim Diapers thebestofbaby.com

Summer is here!  Well actually, it’s been here for a while because it’s the South, and it’s HOT y’all.  But summer officially started a few weeks ago…when our pool community opened!  Hurrah! At least hurrah for the kids and my husband (who, let’s be honest, is basically a big kid at heart).  They would swim and splash all day long.  Me?  I’m not exactly a water bug.  I dislike being in the hot sun and am not a fan of cold water (I have a theory that I have extra-sensitive nerve endings…others have a theory that I’m just a wimp).  But I digress,  I do love seeing my favorite people happy, and water makes them oh so happy, which makes me happy too. 

This is the first summer we’ve had a pool membership.  In the past when we’ve gone to the beach or pool, I would just purchase disposable swim diapers.  This year though, since we plan on being at the pool several times a week, I decided there was NO way I was going to spend money all summer long on sposie swim diapers…those things cost MONEY!!  And since I don’t think people would appreciate a diaper-less baby in the community pool…cloth swim diapers here we come!

Cloth Swim Diapers thebestofbaby.com

(A brief side note to comment on how fat knees, while not cute on adults, are scrumptious on babies.  And also on how baby swimsuits, while adorable, are wholly impractical.  Why don’t they put snaps on these things like onesies?  You mean I have to take the whole thing off to change her diaper?)

We’ve been cloth diapering for over 3 years now, but I’ve never had the opportunity to foray into the world of cloth swim diapers…until now! I have several reviews and giveaways for some pretty awesome swim diapers lined up.  I’ve already gotten to try one out and I’m officially converted…no more disposable swim diapers for us!

And to be honest, I’m kind of kicking myself for waiting so long…one cloth swim diaper is just a bit over the cost of a pack of disposable swim diapers, except I don’t have to throw it away.  Even for an occasional pool/beach goer, it just makes sense to go with cloth from a financial perspective.

If you’re a fan of fluff (geek speak for cloth diapers) or just a fan of saving money, join me this summer for a summer of fluff!

Do you use cloth swim diapers?