Bath Time Essentials For A New Baby

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With a second baby on the way, I am being a lot more particular about the products that I MUST have. I saw super quickly with Zane which products were useful, a waste of money, and which didn’t stand the test of time with a baby. Bath time can be a total bonding experience with your baby or it can be super stressful as a new parent so being fully equipped is SO important!!

I’m rounding up my MUST HAVE bath time products for new and experienced parents alike who are expecting a new baby! These items will also make amazing baby shower gifts!

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  • A light, portable and adjustable bath tub is a MUST. You don’t want one that’s only for newborns because you’ll be replacing it shortly after your baby arrives and one that isn’t specifically for newborns will drive you insane. You will either be constantly holding up your baby so that they are propped up, or you’ll have your baby constantly sliding down the slippery inclined plastic.. I recommend the Moby Smart Sling 3-Stage Tub. This tub is awesome because it grows with baby through three stages: Stage 1: Newborn (0-3 months; up to 15 lbs); Stage 2: Infant (3-6 months; up to 20 lbs); Stage 3: Sitters (6+ months; up to 25 lbs). There are 2 positions that you can place the tub in and then you can completely remove the interior mesh once your baby can comfortably sit. The mesh also provides a type of “grip” that a simple plastic tub won’t provide which is great for newborns. Click here to learn more.

  • An easy to grip, light, ergonomic bath rinser. I love the Moby Waterfall Bath Rinser by Skip Hop. We actually have this one in blue and have used it since Zane was born! It’s designed to keep water out of your baby’s eyes and ears, it’s light, and the one we currently have has lasted us over 2 years already! We actually ordered a second one because Zane loves to help rinse himself off in the bath so now I can get him rinsed off and he can help too! Click here to learn more.

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  • A large and soft bath towel. Don’t make the mistake of getting a small newborn one… it will last about as long as your clean shirt with a new born. I totally recommend getting a larger one that is soft, has a large hood (Zane had a big head that never full fit in the new born towels) and one that is good quality so that it can withstand daily and sometimes 2 times a day baths! For Zane and our new baby, we have always used the Skip Hop Zoo Hooded Towel. It’s soft, bright and vibrant, and great quality! Click here to learn more.

  • A SINK BATH! Before having Zane, I had never heard of these, and I won’t make the mistake of having another baby without using one! The Skip Hop Moby SoftSpot Sink Bather™ is the perfect size for newborns and infants. It allows you to give them a bath in the kitchen or bathroom sink. It’s GREAT for when you’re on the go, visiting your parents or friends houses and accidents happen. It’s also super practical when you’re alone and your baby has an accident. It’s hard sometimes to contain the mess, undress your baby all while trying to fill up a bathtub. With the Sink Bather, you can put your baby right in the sink and use the sprayer or tap to keep them warm and start bathing them immediately! It has a velcro strap so that it can be easily hung to dry, it has neck and head support for babies and a mesh centre so that your baby is cradled. I am SO excited to give it try when our mini arrives in a few short weeks! Click here to learn more.

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  • Toys Toys and more Toys. They will keep your mini’s hands occupied and out of their soapy hair and will give you the time you need to properly wash them. I always recommend toys that move, toys that can easily be disinfected and toys that don’t have a ton of grooves and holes so that you don’t have any moldy surprises. Our 3 fave right now are: Count & Play Bath Puzzle, Zoo Paddle & Go Owl and the Mix & Match Foam Pals Bath Toys (these actually stick to the sides of your tub and will keep your baby entertained and as grow with them as they learn that they can move them around and make different animal combinations!).

If you think I’m missing anything, please let me know in the comments below! You may have noticed that all our products are from SkipHop. We did a massive haul at SkipHop and keep returning to them for our baby products because we love the quality, price and design of all their products. They’re a brand we trusted with Zane and they haven’t let us down! Click here to see their full product line!

The Next Generation of Wireless Headphones: the AfterShokz Trekz Air

This blog is sponsored by AfterShokz and PTPA Media. As always, all opinions and views that I have expressed are my own.

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AfterShokz Trekz Air wireless bone conduction headphones are the MUST have accessory for every parent and fitness enthusiast! They’re light, wireless… but here’s the part that will blow you away: they use bone conduction technology so you can listen to your music while still being able to hear exactly what is happening around you. It means you can go to the park with your kids and listen to your fave podcast or song without jeopardizing their safety - you can bike ride down the street while still being able to hear the cars that are around you, and my personal favourite, you can do a quick nap time work out routine while blasting your favourite beats but still be able to hear your baby cry when they wake up!

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AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones not only make sure that you can hear your favourite songs and podcasts, but they also boast dual noise canceling microphones which exclude surrounding noise - so you can pick up that quick business call and have your colleagues hear you perfectly even when you're in the middle of a playground! They basically allow you to be handsfree to play with your kids and stay on top of “mom duties” at the park, while being able to answer calls and listen to music!

I tested out the AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones this weekend and can't say enough good things about them! For starters, I'm a total sucker for beautiful products, and these headphones are STUNNING. Mine are in a deep matte red called Canyon Red, they feel so lightweight on my ears and it's almost unbelievable that I can put them on and hear everything that is happening in the world around me! They come equipped with a charger and super sleek and gorgeous carrying case too so that they can stay protected when you aren't using them.

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I put them to the test while Zane was napping. Normally, I try to be as quiet as possible while he sleeps because a tired and cranky toddler is no fun at all! So I usually end up doing my stretches and yoga in complete silence... which for some may be great, but I looooove listening to my music. I don't like traditional headphones for a few reasons: 1. I get caught in the cord while moving from pose to pose and 2. I can't hear when Zane wakes up if I have my headphones in! With the AfterShokz Trekz Air, I was able to blast my music, really feel relaxed and "in the zone" while doing my quick workout and the moment Zane woke up, I heard him crying as clear as day. It's really incredible how I managed to survive motherhood this long without having a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Air headphones! My only issue now is going to be convincing my husband that they are mine and he needs to get his own!

I am so excited for this summer when we take our walks to the park with my son and soon to be arriving new baby. It will be such a change to be able to relax and listen to a podcast outside while Zane plays, but still be able to hear him call me if he needs help or wants my attention.

If you want more information on these must-have wireless bone conduction headphones, CLICK HERE. They make a great gift for anyone in your life and an even better gift for yourself :).

#ShokzSquadCAN

The Importance of A Great Planner from Lake and Loft

Every year I go on the hunt for a new planner. Not because it’s a task I particularly enjoy… but more so because I haven’t found one that has it all. Durable enough to last an entire year, equipped with enough tools but not overwhelming, a great layout, and gorgeous. This year I stumbled upon Lake and Loft, and they will now have a customer in me for the rest of my planner days!

USE CODE MNMM35 for 35% OFF at Lake and Loft

Finding the right planner for me, is the difference between feeling overwhelmed with my life and feeling like I’m in control. It’s the difference between missing deadlines and being on top of all that I have to do. I’m going share my fave features of my new planner from Lake and Loft! For a limited time, you can use code MNMM35 to save 35% off yours! Click here to see it and the other colors available.

First off, the details. The gold corner accents and gold binding rings tug at my heart. This planner is such a piece, that it can sit on a desk as decor and doesn’t need to be tucked away when I’m cleaning up.

It comes equipped with pockets at the front and back so store loose papers and the fun stickers that come included!

The first section is Dream - pages filled with “Big Ideas” and “Minor Details” so that you can map out how to conquer the year and every idea, thought and inspiration that comes to mind. Whether it’s inspirational quotes, the next great business venture, or just some room decor inspiration, this section is where I would put everything that wanted to keep track of, but didn’t need to access on the daily.

The second section is Plan - self explanatory! It has gorgeous tabs that separate the months. Each month begins with the most important thing: DREAM, GOALS and PLAN OF ACTION. I love writing down my goals for the month. It helps keep me focused, on track, and when I feel discouraged, I can quickly look back and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.

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Each month also has a budget section where you can write down bills to pay and keep track of your money coming in and out. There’s even a section to write down what you’re saving up for!

A necessity for me is a monthly calendar view - I like to be able to see what’s coming up at a glance.

Finally, each monthly section is broken down by weeks, making it super easy to write down daily tasks, write weekly to-do lists and there’s even a little section for Weekly Wins. Not every week will be huge… nor super successful, but this weekly win section will help you focus on the positive and keep your drive going for the weeks to come.

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This yearly planner is filled with such cute extras, such as Thank You and Happy Birthday Post Cards at the end, making it super easy to send a beautiful note to someone special while you’re on the go and busy running the world! Click here to check out my planner along with all the other styles!

USE CODE MNMM35 for 35% OFF at Lake and Loft

Lake and Loft has so much else to offer besides planners! I also got my hands on the big ta-do™ weekly checklist! These tear off sheets have beautiful gold edges, tear apart by day so that you can bring one list at a time with you and are on thick cardboard, making it oh so luxurious to write. Writing to-do lists has never been so fun!!!

Lake and Loft also has note pads, greeting cards, coasters, recipe cards and so much more! Click here to visit their site and don’t forget to use MNMM35 to get 35% off your order!





#EscapeYourCommute with Essential Oil Blends!

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Armor All and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Between daycare pick up and drop offs, my daily commute to work and all the errands we run on the weekends, my car often feels like my second home. A second home that doesn’t get cleaned daily (unfortunately). No one warned me how chaotic driving around a 2 year old would be… and throw my snack stealing Boston Terrier into the back seat mix, and I have a guaranteed headache. I wouldn’t say that driving with both of them is relaxing and our daily commutes never used to be something I looked forward to... until now!

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Thanks to Armor All’s new Essential Blends air fresheners, I can escape my commute and imagine that I’m in a spa, doing yoga, or just sitting in silence at home (yeah right, I’m a mom… I don’t get silence at home :) ).

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Made with essential oil blends, their air fresheners can help you leave the traffic behind, with blends such as: Energize, Awaken, Focus, Calm and Refresh. The fragrances come as either a hanging diffuser style or as a vent clip! I used both :). The first one I tried is REFRESH which has a gentle but awakening Eucalyptus Mint scent. The vent clips make it easy to put the air fresheners in the back seat (which in my case is necessary!) and the incredible and unique scents will help you escape your commute! The scents include: Citrus Pomegranate, Pink Grapefruit, Eucalyptus Mint, Lemon Bergamot and Vanilla Lavender!

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Armor All is encouraging Canadians to take time off from the stress of daily traffic and try their Essential Blends air fresheners! They’re even making it a bit easier to get a head start by offering an Escape Your Commute Contest! Prizes include 25 Grand Prizes of WaySpa Gift Cards (valued at $150 each), 10 Instant Prizes of Armor All Product (valued at $100 each) and Frequency Essential Blends air freshener prizing. Enter the contest by visiting the essentialblends.ca website!

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Top Recommended Books for Toddlers - by YOU!

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I put up a poll on my Instagram a few weeks ago asking you for your top recommended books for toddlers! Who better to recommend books than fellow mamas? Take advantage of the awesome shipping promo they have going on right now: every book ships for free all summer long for plum membersfrom Indigo.ca and stock up on the adorable books below! Missed my poll? No problem! Add a comment below with any books that I missed so we can check them out!

1. THE LITTLE BLUE BOX OF BRIGHT AND EARLY BOARD BOOKS BY DR. SEUSS

Inside this adorable blue box (with a handle that your mini will love), include the 4 books:  Hop on Pop; Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!; Ten Apples Up On Top!; and The Shape of Me and Other Stuff. They survived 2 weeks with my son undamaged so these books will withstand any child lol. Click here to visit Indigo to learn more.

2. SING A SONG OF MOTHER GOOSE

 

All of your fave childhood nursery rhymes are in this adorable hard covered book including: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; Humpty Dumpty; Little Miss Muffet; Rockabye Baby; Sing a Song of Sixpence; Ladybird; Pussycat, Pussycat; Jack and Jill; Baa Baa Black Sheep; Hey Diddle Diddle; Rain, Rain, Go Away; Mary Had a Little Lamb; Pat A Cake and Hickory Dickory Dock. Click here to visit Indigo to learn more!

3. DR. SEUSS'S 100 FIRST WORDS

I was curious how many other words Zane could learn before saying Mama LOL. This board book has bright and bold colours that your mini will LOVE. Click here to learn more.

4. ADVENTURES WITH BAREFOOT CRITTERS

Learning the alphabet is fun with these little critters and this adorably illustrated board book. Click here to learn more!

5. DINOSAUR DANCE!

From the best selling author Sandra Boynton, this colourful and fun board book is all about.... dancing dinosaurs! What else!? Click here to learn more!

6. THE LION INSIDE

A beautiful book with a powerful message: We all have a lion and a mouse inside. Click here to learn more.

7. I LIKE MYSELF!

This book about self-esteem encourages children to love themselves! Such a great read and an important message to start teaching your children at any age. Click here to learn more.

8. ORDINARY PEOPLE CHANGE THE WORLD GIFT SET

This New York Times best selling series is all about what makes a Hero. Click here to learn more.

9. GIRAFFES CAN'T DANCE

Gerald the giraffe just wants to dance! With his long legs, it's harder than you think. When he finally receives encouragement from a friend, he realizes he can do it! This book is an inspiration for kids who dream big! Click here to learn more.

10. CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM

This lively alphabet rhyme makes learning the alphabet fun! Click here to learn more.

Don't forget to take advantage of free shipping on every book all summer long for plum members at Indigo.ca!

Ripley's Aquarium - Fun for the Whole Family

If you're in the Toronto area, Ripley's Aquarium is a MUST SEE attraction. I wasn't sure what to expect and went in just hoping that I could keep Zane entertained for a few hours. It turned out, we could have spent the entire day there!

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From the second you walk in the Ripley's Aquarium, you're surrounded by gorgeous colours, illuminated aquariums that span from floor to ceiling and EVERY type of underwater fish you can imagine. It was such a nice experience to see Zane fascinated by the lights and swimming fish. I went with a friend of mine who has 2 older children and they were just as enthralled by the breath taking views.

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The aquarium is divided into exhibits such as the Canadian Waters, Rainbow Reef, Ray Bay and Curious Creatures (to name a few) but besides the exhibits, they have so many other things to offer! They have interactive stops along the way for older kids, they have caves that kids can crawl though, educational games and puzzles, and there was even a teaching session happening where someone from the Ripley's Aquarium was giving a lesson about fish!

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We had 2 favourite parts of the aquarium. The first was the Dangerous Lagoon - which is a long and beautiful aquarium tunnel that allows you to walk under swimming fish, sharks, sea turtles and so much more! There is moving belt so you can relax and be transported on what feels like a magical underwater journey.

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Our second favourite was in the Planet Jellies exhibit. There was this HUGE wall filled with what seemed like hundreds of jelly fish. As the wall changed colours, so did the jelly fish! It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen!

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We had such a blast at the Aquarium and I can't wait to go back with Zane the next time we are in Toronto. It's a place we could visit over and over again and always find something else to love.

A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)

A sleeping baby means a happy mama!!! This is the the right place to tire out your mini :)

My Apologies to My Friends Who Don't Have Children

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Having a baby changes your life and also the relationships that you have with the people around you. It makes you sympathize and bond with your fellow moms over how it's possible to survive on so little sleep and it unfortunately, can also distance you from your friends who don't have children. I can't say that I blame my friends... I once upon a time didn't have a baby and found it really hard to relate to what my mom friends were going through. I would try to have a conversion with my bestie M. and every 10 seconds was interrupted by: L put that down, L stop jumping, L stop running in the house! Fast forward a few years and our conversations now go something like this:
-Hey M! How are y - Zane don't eat the dog food! - what was I saying? 
-I'm good... tired, busy the usua - L put that down! Leave your sister alone! - what was I saying?
-You were telling me I think about your day yesterday? I don't really remem - Zane stop french kissing the dog! Omg M gotta go. Zane is playing in the toilet.

Mom life changes EVERYTHING. I've teamed up, once again, with my mom friends and we've come up with a list of apologies for our friends that don't have children! Feel free to add your own in the comments below: 

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1 - I'm sorry I was an hour late to your birthday party  - to be honest.. my son threw up all over as I was heading out the door and you're lucky that I showed up at all. You should in fact be buying me a gift. Have you ever tried to wake a baby up from a nap and then show up at a party smiling? Why is your party at 9am anyways? Don't you know this is NAP TIME. 

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2 - I'm sorry that every time we go out I'm always wearing black yoga pants - it's really because no other pants fit me and the black really camouflages all the food stains from my child throwing his dinner at me. Tonight we ate cheerios for dinner because i just couldn't deal.

3 - I'm sorry that my child bit you/hit you/threw something at you - I really am trying to teach him. Listen - if you think you can do better, take him for a day and try. Actually maybe a week. I could use some sleep. Please?

4 - I'm sorry I forgot your birthday/anniversary/first day of work etc. - I run on 4 hours of sleep a day and I can't even remember my own name most of the time, so just be thankful I remember who you are. You really are important to me and I promise one day I will get my shit together and start checking my reminders on my phone... if I can only find it... my son was playing with it somewhere. Speaking of which... were is my son? 

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5 - I'm sorry I had to cancel our plans last minute because the baby was sick - I promise this isn't an excuse. They put everything in their mouth and are sick every week. I would much rather be sitting and having a glass of wine instead of sucking out boogers from my baby's nose (for those who don't have kids - yes this is a thing... and yes you will have to do it. Have kids they said... it'll be great they said.)

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6 - I'm sorry I left your party early - I know I said it was because the baby was going to have a melt down, but I was the one who was ready to snap and felt it would be frowned upon if I started crying in the middle of a crowd of strangers. 

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7 - I'm sorry I can never make it to dinner with my kid unless we eat at 5pm - Kids are assholes sometimes. Especially tired ones. If you want to have dinner at 7pm and want me to bring my son, that's fine. But know that there WILL be a melt down. And my son's screaming is comparable in volume and pitch to a beluga whale so EVERYONE will stare. We might even end up on YouTube when he starts catapulting the food across the restaurant. I'm down if you are... I've been through it all and have no shame anymore. 

All in all, my life has changed... but I promise I'll find that balance again... or a really good babysitter that's always available. I love you and miss you and still treasure our friendship so please wait for me to find my way. :)

 

DockATot aka My Life Line and Reason for Sleep

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Before Zane arrived I had heard the hype around a sort of baby bed called the DockATot. It's main use was first as a tool for co-sleeping (which I wasn't sure I wanted to do) and I thought it was pretty expensive (between $165-$185 USD), but I discovered how essential it was to my sanity within 5 minutes of using it.

Zane was a super colicky baby (which we would later learn was due to an allergy to milk protein). He had horrible reflux from the day he was born, would cry for endless hours at a time, and seemed to be hungry every hour on the hour (mostly because of his constant throwing up). By the end of week 1 at home, we had exhausted the possibility of Zane sleeping in his crib (this meant I literally had to sleep on the chair in his room in order to tend to him when he cried or spit up) and we had also tried a bassinet in our bedroom which he hated - I'm not sure why, but the bassinet caused more crying than the reflux. My husband unfortunately couldn't take more than 2 weeks off work, so we needed to find a solution that allowed us (A) To get some sleep between the crying (B) Would offer Zane some relief from whatever he was going through. Co-sleeping seemed like a temporary solution and so off my husband went to buy this magical item called a DockATot which seemed like our last resort. 

I remember taking a screaming baby, swaddling him in a blanket and putting him down in the DockATot on the bed beside me. What I heard next was enough to make me cry. Silence. For the first time in a week, baby Zane seemed at peace and was fast asleep. DockATot should be called the Miracle Bed. 

Fast asleep in the DockATot at 1 week old

Fast asleep in the DockATot at 1 week old

Baby Zane is now almost 3 months old, is no longer colicky and sleeps about 5 hours a night but we still use the DockATot daily. We bring it to my parents house, my in-laws house - anywhere where there is no crib for him to sleep in. It's super light and can be brought anywhere where baby needs to sleep. I have it beside me when I'm watching TV, I bring it to the park, and in a few weeks I'm taking a road trip to Toronto and it will be coming with me so Zane has somewhere safe to sleep!

The cover is removable and washable (which is a MUST for a baby with reflux) and it comes in a variety of colours to match whatever decor and design you have in your home or baby room. It also comes in 2 different sizes (the Deluxe and the Grand) so that it can accompany your baby as he/she grows! Zane is currently in the Deluxe and it seems as though it will fit him for another few months. We will, without a doubt, be purchasing the DockATot Grand when he needs it. Since getting ours, I have recommended it to every new mom I find, and I have yet to encounter 1 who is not as thrilled as I am.

I encourage you to check out their website to see what all the hype is about. If you do decide to purchase one, I am sure you will love it as much as I do!

www.dockatot.com

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