5 Baby Raising Essentials That All New Moms Need

The nice thing about raising children is that we all get experience throughout our lives. Perhaps you’ve got a neighbour that recently had a child and you go over there to help out occasionally, or maybe you’re sick of hearing one of your friends ranting about how difficult it is to look after a baby. We pick up tips and tricks here and there from the most unlikely of sources, but when it comes to raising your own newborn, it’s easy to forget all the sound advice we’ve been given.

As a result, raising your child can be stressful, difficult and you might even feel lost. To help you out, we’ve put together five baby raising essentials that every mom needs in their life. Whether you’re expecting soon or want to make raising your child easier, you’ll find some excellent advice here.

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A Good Crib

Cribs are expensive–let’s not ignore that fact. You’re going to be paying a lot for a sturdy crib that adheres to safety standards and is known for being safe and secure. Don’t rely on cheap cribs here, get yourself a high-quality hand-me-down if necessary. The last thing you want is for the materials to weaken or to put your baby at risk. When choosing the bedding, make sure it fits tightly into the crib and is snug.

A Baby Bouncer

Baby bouncers are quickly becoming one of the staples in baby development. This is because they’re portable, small, ergonomic and can be a great tool to help your baby fall asleep more effectively. Baby bouncers also come with music box features or might even have soft plush toys. Take a look at articles such as this one comparing Baby Bjorn Bliss vs Balance Soft to help you find the right baby bouncer. Babies do prefer to spend more time in their bouncer than their crib, so try to limit the amount of time they spend on it.

A Comfortable Chair

For you, not the baby! When it comes to feeding time, it’s essential that you’re relaxed and comfortable. A traditional rocking chair is fantastic for this, but there are plenty of space-saving alternatives such as using a comfortable sofa instead of buying a new chair. However, you may want to keep the chair in the nursery so that you don’t have to carry your baby too far to get them into their crib.

A Night Light

You’ll always be checking on your baby at night, so the last thing you want is to have a bright bulb distracting them or keeping them awake. Not only is it horrible for power efficiency, it’s also going to make it harder for your baby to fall asleep. Instead, invest in a small night light to check on your baby throughout the night.

A Baby Bathtub

These aren’t very expensive and will help keep your child safe when they’re in the bath. If you want to save space and money, then you may want to consider a bathtub liner instead. These will help keep your child from accidentally hurting themselves in the bath when you’re not watching over them.

Make a Gazillion Memories This Summer!

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With BBQ season finally here, I've found the MUST have products to keep children entertained: the Gazillion Bubbles Collection! Their bubble machines and wands will keep children of all ages busy and playing outside, instead of in front of the TV. Make a Gazillion memories this summer with Gazillion Bubbles! Their top secret bubble solution makes the brightest and most colourful bubbles that are eco-friendly, safe, non-toxic and won't stain clothing or furniture!

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The Gazillion Bubbles Tornado is a must have for any backyard or patio. You turn on this machine and there are literally hundreds of bubbles within seconds! It's light weight and affordable so I'm even going to bring mine to the park this summer! Be prepared to be the favourite parent in the neighbourhood with this machine!

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Their bubble wands are just as fun! Zane had a blast chasing the bubbles and this is definitely something I'm going to keep in our stroller all summer. Gazillion Bubbles also has Crazy Wands (scroll down for a few pics) which are for kids a bit older than Zane but I think they would also make such awesome loot bag ideas if you're planning a birthday party this summer!

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Gazillion Bubbles products are available for purchase in Canada at Walmart & TRU Canada

Perch Hanging High Chair Review!

I got my hands on the highly raved about Perch Hanging High Chair from Guzzie and Guss and am so excited that I did. I've seen hanging high chairs EVERYWHERE and Guzzie and Guss is a brand that I've followed for a while, so the Perch chair was high up on my list of must try baby items. You can also scroll to the bottom of the post to watch a quick unboxing of the chair and my first impressions. Here's what we thought:

For starters, I LOVE that the Perch Hanging High Chair easily folds up and comes in a travel bag. It makes it super convenient to bring to restaurants, out for dinner when you're going somewhere where there are no highchairs and even when brining it to the mall and park. 

The chair is SUPER adaptable so it will fit most tables (make sure to read the instructions on proper installation to ensure that the table is sturdy enough and safe to hang it on). I tried hanging it on my mom's dining room table, a picnic bench and my kitchen counter and it was easily installed on each. I am obsessed with this chair. I love that when I'm in the kitsch now, my son can sit at the counter colouring or snacking and be part of the action and conversation. I often feel like when he's in his highchair, it's bulky and in the way.

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It has a 5 point harness so it can be used on babies 4months +. I would recommend it for babies that are able to sit upright on their own. It doesn't recline so your baby definitely needs to be able to support their head. The cover comes off so easily to wash (a definite plus) and it's super padded so your baby will be comfortable and happy while in it! It comes in SO many colours too which I love. Click here to see them all. 

We also tested out the Perch Silicone Placemat which is a MUST HAVE accessory in my opinion. It's a silicone placemat that specially fitted to go under the support rails of the Perch chair so that your baby can't pick it up and throw it around, but it's also safety tested to use with the chair. You wouldn't want to use a regular placemat because then the Perch chair wouldn't be safe on your counter. The placemats are dishwasher safe, have raised edges to contain messes and easily fold up! We LOVE our Guzzie and Guss Perch Chair and recommend it to anyone looking for a portable chair or a hanging high chair that will nicely fit in with any decor :)

Review of the Mountain Buggy Nano

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Certain things you only learn to appreciate once you have a 25 pound child - and one of those is a great quality light weight stroller. I was SO excited to get my hands on the Mountain Buggy Nano. Not only is it less than half the weight of the stroller I used to use, but it also fits a diaper bag underneath, folds up in to a storage bag for travelling AND reclines so that your mini can sleep while you take over the world! Most light weight strollers force you to compromise on functionality - but not this one!

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I never knew until trying out the Nano that you could have all the perks of a larger stroller, but in a compact version (and for a fraction of the price!). Some of my fave features include: 

1. Reclinable seat: most light weight strollers don't have adjustable and reclinable seats so it makes it difficult for your minis to nap. The Mountain Buggy Nano Fully reclines and you can see that Zane thoroughly enjoyed his mid day siesta :).

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2. UV protective canopy: The Nano has a retractible out sun hood with UV protection, making it the perfect accessory for summer time strolls.

3. Compact and Lightweight: it folds up with the push of 2 buttons and fits into a sleek carrying case (that is included - no extra purchase necessary #win), making it the perfect flying, travel and road-trip companion. I love that it doesn't take up my entire trunk when folded up and it still has a compartment on the bottom for a baby bag. When it's in the case, there is also an accessible handle, making it a breeze to carry through airports.

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Have you tried the Mountain Buggy Nano? Did you know they just released a Double version? So all you mamas with 2 kids - you can now benefit from the same awesome features too! Click here to see more pics and learn more about this light weight and super practical stroller!

Discovering Boppy

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Walking into baby stores is so overwhelming at times and with so much available online it's so hard to decide which baby products to try and trust! That's why I LOVE being able to test out new products and brands and give you guys the low down on what I think! This month I'm putting Boppy to the test. First known for their pillows, Boppy was created by a fellow mama (so we know these products were designed for parents) and they now have an extensive line of baby items that range from nursing pillows, to carriers, to teething scarves and even pregnancy pillows! This month I'm reviewing their new ComfyFit Baby Carrier and their Teething Scarves

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First up was the ComfyFit Baby Carrier. I'm going to be honest and say that I have never been a fan of baby carriers. I've always found them to be uncomfortable for my back, Zane hates them, and 99.9% of the time I can't figure out how to put it on properly, so I was a bit skeptical about trying out another one (I already own 3 that are all nicely packed away in a storage bin). I AM THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE that not only did I figure out how to put it on in under 10 seconds, but Zane was smiling AND it is the most comfortable carrier I've ever put on.

I am so disappointed that I didn't know about this carrier sooner. It comes with a super practical storage bag, is made from a super soft and stretchy material and it can accommodate your mini forward facing or rear facing. Putting it on is SO easy. There's a snap around your waist, you slide in your arms through 2 holes (that are labeled "right shoulder" and "left shoulder" = SO EASY) and you tie the hanging pieces around your waist. That. Is. It. I LOVE the colour, am obsessed with the fact that my husband can wear it too (and figure out how to put it on alone) and am so happy that Zane is now as comfortable as I am when using a carrier! I totally recommend the ComfyFit Baby Carrier.

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 I borrowed one of Zane's delicious girlfriends for this photo shoot!

I borrowed one of Zane's delicious girlfriends for this photo shoot!

Next on my list from Bobby was their Teething Scarves. I was intrigued when I saw this product online because Zane loves chewing on my face, my jewellery, my arms, shoulders, shirt (you get the point), so the idea of having a scarf that was meant for him to chew on seemed like a genius idea! They come in 4 colours (to match every outfit) and not only does Zane love to chew on them, but the fact that it's around my neck means he can't toss this teether on the floor which is a total mom win. We've all been out at a restaurant with a teething angry baby and then they decide to catapult their teether on the dirty floor... this happens to me daily. With this teether, it's around my neck, is super cute and helps soothe Zane's gums! Click here to visit the Boppy website to check out their Teething Scarfs. 

 Little baby Ruby couldn't get enough :)

Little baby Ruby couldn't get enough :)

If you've never heard of Boppy, I totally recommend heading over to their website to discover their entire product line. I love supporting fellow moms and this brand won't let you down with their innovations and quality! 

Best Wooden Toys Under $20!

If you follow my blog then you know I love children's wooden toys and the ones we have are among Zane's favourite.  I've rounded up the best on Amazon for under $20! Let me know if you have any other amazing finds that should be added to my list! Click the image or product links below for more info :)

Promotes hand-eye coordination and concepts of colour and size.

Colourful skill-building toy for toddlers and preschoolers. Promotes hand-eye coordination

Promotes hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills

Promotes colour and shape recognition and problem-solving skills.

Promotes hand-eye coordination, counting, sorting, colour recognition, and problem-solving skills.

Promotes colour recognition and hand-eye coordination.

Improves fine motor skills and colour and shape recognition

Great for hand-eye coordination and imaginative play

Features numbers, letters and pictures to identify for vocabulary-building

Brightly colored, smooth-sanded pieces help build early shape, color, and size differentiation skills

Promotes counting, colour recognition, fine motor skills, and early math skills.

Learn the theory of balance through balancing the scale and train your baby's hands-on ability

Encourages counting, sorting, pretend play, and an interest in food and nutrition.

Diaper Caddy Essentials!

Having everything at your fingertips is SO essential when you're changing your mini and have an unexpected blow out. I've been asked by so many new moms what my essential diaper caddy  items are so here is my list!

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1. Often overlooked, a functional, easy to access and organize, sturdy and portable Diaper Caddy. I love the one from F&K Solutions. It has large compartments so everything is easily accessible, it wipes clean and has practical side pockets. An often overlooked feature, but one that I LOVE about this caddy (and don't often see) is handles. This caddy has super long and practical handles on each side, making it easy to put over your arm and bring around to different rooms of your home. I hate running upstairs every time Zane needs to be changed but also find it so unpractical to have 2 of everything (1 upstairs and 1 downstairs) in my home. I love that I can just bring his essentials with me everywhere I go. Click here to see more pictures and more features of this awesome diaper caddy

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2. Hydrasense Nasal Aspirator Starter Kit: Oh the joys of motherhood - no one warns you that you'll need to suck out stuff from your babies nose lol... but I am. So you're welcome. This is a product that you won't be able to live without when your mini is sick. It allows you to clear their nose with saline and suction (because they can't blow their nose) and all the gunk gets trapped thanks to a filter. I recommend stalking up on the refills of the filters and the saline. I prefer the hydrasense individual dose saline vials because I don't have to worry about the contamination that happens from the bigger reusable bottles of saline. 

3. Penaten: This is my go to for every rash, bump or skin blemish. It's basic but a must have. I've tried the fancier ones, with the pretty colored packaging and good marketing slogans on the box but always end up back at this one. It is an ESSENTIAL.

4. Supplies to take your baby's temperature: We all hope it won't happen but it will - they will get sick. A good thermometer is so important because a tiny difference in temp means the difference between a mild fever and a necessary hospital visit. The most accurate way to take a baby's temp is in their bum, so you'll need vaseline so that they are not uncomfortable and alcohol swabs to properly sterilize the thermometer before AND after each use. Click the images below to see my faves:

5. Baby Grooming Kit: a good kit will have all the essentials: Nail file, nail clippers, brush, comb and other items. Some even include a thermometer so check before buying one separately! I've included a few that I love below!

6. Lotion to hydrate your mini's skin! The weather changes, constant drooling and the daily baths (sometimes multiple times a day) means their skin will get dry. We've made cream part of our nightly routine after bath time before bed. I find it so relaxing for Zane and I love the 1-1 time. I LOVE La Roche Posay and find it's great for delicate skin and even helps his eczema. 

Am I missing any products that you find useful? Let me know in the comments below! 

xox Tovah

Affordable First Birthday Gift Ideas

Dance and Move Beat Toy - This is a toy we first saw at a friends house. I don't know why... but Zane is OBSESSED. It makes music that reminds me of being in a club or rave haha but he could play with it for hours. 

Ball Pit - Zane has a similar one and ADORES it. Just make sure which ever one you choose, you buy one that has the balls included!

Pounding Wooden Toy - This toy is not only fun, but will help with hand eye coordination and dexterity!

Wooden Fridge Magnets - these come in SO many different assortments. They have Letters, Shapes, Objects, Farm animals etc. I love that they're wooden and love the quality of Mudpuppy Toys!

Cash Register - Playing pretend was always my fave growing up so I know any child will enjoy this for years to come!

Farmer Says See n' Say - I remember playing for HOURS with this toy when I was growing up. I'm so happy its still available for our minis!

Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Tablet - This tablet will help your mini learn about sounds, animals, objects and colours! We've actually given this as a gift at 2 birthday parties and received one for Zane's birthday! We bring it everywhere with us :)

Big Colorful Building Blocks Woodland Treehouse - This is great gift for a boy or girl. Zane is obsessed with blocks and loves the little characters!

Light up CAT Truck with Sound - One of Zane's fave gifts for his birthday was this truck! My fave feature is that It's big so you don't step on it in the middle of the night (yay!). He loves the sounds and lights!

Classics Retro Record Player - Guaranteed to bring hours of fun and tunes to any little one ;)

Wooden Mini Balls - It's known that I have an obsession with wooden children's toys and Zane LOVES them too! We have a toy similar to this one at home and Zane has been playing with it for months and never gets bored!

Top 10 Bath Toys Under $10

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Bath time is play time and the happiest time in our home. Below are our current bath time faves! You can click the image or the product name for more info :) 

 

Skip Hop Zoo Bathtime Basketball! It's so much fun for your mini, and they'll be practicing coordination and dexterity! 

Bathtime Crayons. Safe on all bathtubs, these crayons will provide HOURS of fun and they wash right off! Let your bathtub become your mini's canvas :)

Bath Tub Tunes Water Flutes - Make bath time music time with these adorable noise makers! 

Octopus Hoopla Bath Time Toss. This is a toy that will grow with your child :) At 12 months they'll love the bright colors and that it floats. As they get older, they'll love trying to toss the rings on the tentacles!

Zoo Mix and Match Foam Pals. Zane is fascinated about how they magically stick and unstick to the side of the tub! He loves putting together the animals and the bright colors :)

Fishin' Bath Toy. This game is great for hand and eye coordination and your mini will love the bright colors! The fish are magnetic which makes it not too difficult of a game! Some of the other one's I've tried actually have a hook and are too difficult for a 12 month old.

Bath time Bubble Book - Bath time fun can be educational too! Take the time to read a quick book :)

Float and Play Bubble Bath Toy - Your mini will LOVE these floating see-through colourful toys :) Zane is always so fascinated by the fact that they're transparent. Be prepared to have one happy baby with these floating around!

Squirting Bath Toys - Guaranteed to get a laugh from your mini when they discover that they can squirt water from their fave toys!

Wind up Swimming Penguin - wind it up and let it go! Watch your mini try to catch it and have a blast while doing it!

Kiko Miami Diaper Bag Review

With winter coming to an end (hopefully soon) I am allll about the backpack diaper bags. I find it so much more practical to have your arms free and with so many options on the market, there is no reason to settle for one that is less than perfect for you! I got my hands on a Kiko Miami Dipaer Bag and here’s what I thought:

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I tested out the Freedom Diaper Backpack. First off, I LOVE that this bag comes equipped with so many extras that you normally have to buy. It comes with 2 built in bottle insulators (to keep things hot or cold) and it also comes with two straps so that you can hang it from your stroller handle bar and not take up room under your stroller. It has 8 pockets in total and has two large handles at the top if you want to carry it in your hands.

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My fave feature is that it stays open on it's own and stays upright without tipping over! So m any of the backpack diaper bags I’ve tried have not had these features which means you need both hands when searching for something – one to keep the bag open and the other to grab what you're looking for.

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This diaper bag is so compact yet has SO much room, you will never need to bring along a second bag for full day trips. Kiko Miami has a ton of other diaper bag options if you’re looking for something other than a backpack. You can click here to visit their website! 

5 Awesome Loot Bag Ideas for Babies and Toddlers!

Get 15% off of everything below as well as all regular priced items at at Elfe.com using the code ZANE15. It's only valid until March 23, 2018 (certain restrictions apply) so don't wait!

Are you looking for creative, amazing and practical loot bag ideas for your child’s next birthday party? Look no further! I’ve rounded up my top 5 loot bag ideas for babies and toddlers (and chose 3 of them for Zane’s birthday party last month! You can click here to read all about his Jungle Themed Birthday). I went on the hunt for loot bag ideas that kids would be able to enjoy long after the party ended and I hope you love these ideas as much as I do! You can also get 15% off of everything below as well as all regular priced items at at Elfe.com using the code ZANE15. It's only valid until March 23, 2018 (certain restrictions apply).

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1.     Sip N' Snack Cup: This is a cup that’s perfect for self-feeders and kids who can sip from a straw. It’s an adorable and practical loot bag idea that that the kids will want to start using the second they leave the party! It’s a sippy cup and snack container all in one! It has a genius snack container on the top and a sippy cup on the bottom. I decided to sweeten up the bag a bit and add some candy to the loot bags too! We gave these away at Zane’s Birthday Party to the children that were 2 – 5 years old. Click here to find out more!

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2.     3-Step Teether Set: We had a few babies at Zane’s party that where under 9 months and so what better gift than colourful, texture filled teethers that will help soothe their sore teething gums? This 3 pack of tethers is awesome because it covers your mini from start to finish during teething! Click here to find out more!

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3.     Bath Time Toss: What’s more fun than bath time? Nothing once you have this colourful floating octopus! This Bath Time Toss is great for kids 18 months+ and they’ll have a blast playing with it in the bath. Zane is only 1 year so he doesn't quite understand that he's supposed to toss the rings on the tentacles but LOVES it none the less :) Click here to find out more!

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4.     Plush Teething Blanket: This is one of Zane's fave toys at the moment. It’s a teether, a little lovey and has crinkle paper inside so it’s a toy that keeps him entertained as well! I love how colorful it is, the price point is great for loot bags and parents will thank you for sending their kids home with such a memorable and useful toy! Click here to find out more!

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5.     Snack Keeper: This cup is PERFECT for children who are at the finger food and snack age. Zane loves to feed himself but also loves tipping over his bowls (and this mama does not love constantly cleaning my floor). It has a special flexible opening at the top that keeps the snacks in, but lets your minis stick their hands in to grab out the snacks! I decided to add some Puffies into the loot bags so that they could start enjoying their bowls asap! I also added in a plastic spoon as a little bonus so that the parents could use the bowl for other things as well. Click here to find out more!

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Make sure if you pick these up, you get an extra one for your mini because they won’t want to let them go once they see it (the struggle is real when you pick out great loot bags lol!)

Don't forget you can get 15% off of site wide at at Elfe.com using the code ZANE15. It's only valid until March 23, 2018 (certain restrictions apply)!

 

Baby Bundles from The Children's Place!

Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and The Children’s Place and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Leaving the house with a baby is tough... and such a long process. Between picking out an outfit, the diaper changes, the spitting up and then getting myself ready, it's often a full day affair. I'm all about finding ways to speed it up so that we're on time and still smiling by the time we get to the car. The Children's Place came to the rescue by launching their incredible Baby Bundles! They've created a one-stop shop where you can find perfectly coordinated outfits and multi-packs to help speed up the getting ready process so you can enjoy more time with your mini! You no longer need to worry about finding coordinating outfits or about not having enough of a certain item... Baby Bundles from The Children's Place have it all and they include affordable, stylish and PERFECT items for every baby :). 

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Zane is starting to stand and wobble around so we've now added a new closet staple to his wardrobe: socks with grips on the bottom! But let's be honest... baby socks are going to get lost, so you can never have too many! We picked up this great Baby Bundle: Baby Boys Athletic Stripe Midi Sock 12-Pack

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With spring just around the corner, I can't get enough of the bright and beautiful colours at The Children's Place and we ordered a pack of the Baby Zoo Party Pants. With Zoo animals, stripes and elephants, these pants can be paired with a basic plain Tshirt and worn every day!

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There's nothing I love more than babies and rompers so I NEEDED to get my hands on this Baby Bundle. It's called the Camo Rockstar Faux-Layer Top Romper And Pants 3-Piece Playwear Set and I am OBSESSED.

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The sizes go from newborn to 24 months so if you have an expecting mama friend, look no further for the perfect baby shower gift! Head over to The Children's Place to see what all the excitement is about :)

Puzzles, Educational Games and More from Mudpuppy!

Zane may have said Dada first but he WILL spell mom first if I can help it LOL. In all seriousness, I grew up loving to read, spell and always excelled in school, so I’m taking a proactive approach on teaching Zane the basics and Mudpuppy is definitely the place to start! Their selection of puzzles, activities and books makes it a one stop shop for everything for kids of all ages (they even have an awesome feature on their website in the product categories where you can filter the results by age… this was SUPER helpful).

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Their Wooden Magnetic Sets were a total hit with Zane. There are a few different ones available on their website – they have letters, numbers, shapes and even farm animals! The one pictured is the My Day Wooden Magnetic Shapes and includes the weather, shapes, clothes and animals! These are meant for kids 3yrs+ so if you buy them for your younger baby, make sure they are supervised because some of the pieces are small.

We also tried 2 of their puzzels. The first puzzle we tried out was great for Zane to start playing with now! We chose the Transportation puzzle from the My First Puzzle Pairs collection. The puzzels are colourful, easy to put together, and each one is made of only 2 pieces! The second puzzle we tried was from their 4 in a Box Puzzle Set Collection and since my little man loves animals, we chose the Animals of the World puzzle! The box includes a 4 piece, 6 piece, 9 piece and 12 piece puzzle. You can win your own 4 in a Box Puzzle Set Collection on my Instagram page! Head over there to enter :)

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Finally, we got their Opposites Board Book – which features bright images, textures and fold out pages! Each page of the book features 2 opposites (such as tall – short and hard-soft) side by side. Zane is at a total touchy-feely stage right now so the textures, colors and simple words are so great.

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Click here to visit Mudpuppy and see what else they have to offer!

The Baby Proofing Must Have Product

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt... and it's every parent's nightmare that their little munchkin will injure themselves while exploring. The littlest thing can become such a danger to curious little hands and the more your minis move... the more they'll explore and the more trouble they'll get in! I recently got to try out the Bily Contoured Top Metal Superyard (available at Babies R Us) and I'm now adding it to my list of Must Have Baby Items. This 3-in-1 Superyard can easily transform from a playard to a gate enclosure and can even be used a barrier between rooms! It has a swinging door that can be opened with one hand, it swings shut on it's own and it has a built-in stay open feature. You can even purchase extensions separately if you need it to be larger.

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We have a really oddly shaped stair case with a flat piece of metal on one side and holes between our steps so baby proofing our stairs seemed like mission impossible, until we tried out the Bily Contoured Top Metal Superyard. I love that it matches with my decor (so many of the gates are white), I love that it's super sturdy and metal, and I LOVE that is was simple to install. If you're looking for a gate for an oddly shaped stair case, a sturdy playard, or a barrier to block off certain rooms in your home that won't be an eye sore, I have to recommend the Bily Contoured Top Metal Superyard! You can't always baby proof every room... and you won't have to with this product! Just install the Superyard and you can literally block off any door way to any room in your home! You can find more information about this product on the Babies R Us website by clicking here.

Zane wasn't too happy that he couldn't play on the steps anymore, but I am thrilled to have peace of mind that he is safe. Now on to baby-proofing the rest of my home!

 Easily opening door with an automatic swing shut system and a built-in stay open mechanism that can be activated.

Easily opening door with an automatic swing shut system and a built-in stay open mechanism that can be activated.

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My 3 Tips for Finding the Right Baby Bottle

The search for the right bottle for a new baby can be a long one. Every baby is so different and even as they grow, their preferences can change overnight. There are so many bottles on the market all promising to do different things, so I'm going to share with you what I looked for and why I'm recommending the Baby Brezza Bottle (they are sold at Buy Buy Baby and at Walmart).

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1. Find a bottle that is EASY to clean with as few parts as possible - Many of the bottles out there, specifically the one's designed for anti-colic, have 3, 4 even 5 different parts. No one wants to be taking apart a 5 piece bottle to clean multiple times a day. The Baby Brezza Bottle, for example, is an anti-colic bottle with only 2 parts and a TruFlo Vent System to minimize colic and discomfort from gas so there is no need to give up function for simplicity. You can have it all in a bottle with Baby Brezza!

2. Find a bottle that mimics the shape of the breast and nipple for an easy transition in feeding - Whether you are breast feeding, formula feeding or both, any bottle that closely resembles the natural breast will make your feeding journey easier. It means your mini will inhale less air while drinking and will have an easier time switching back and forth from bottle to breast. The Baby Brezza Bottle has an ultra wide mouth and a breast-like nipple which will help avoid nipple confusion!

3. Make sure the bottle you ultimately choose is easy to hold, both for you and your mini - the shape and weight of a bottle is so important. You will be using bottles for the first year, if not longer of your baby's life, and the ultimate goal will be to teach your baby to feed themselves. A bottle that is too heavy, too thin, too wide or an awkward shape will not only be a nuisance for you, but will make it difficult for your baby to learn to be self-dependent! The Baby Brezza Bottle has an ergonomic design that is easy to hold and it is super light weight making it great for every stage of feeding!

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We loved that the Baby Brezza Bottle was easy clean with only 2 parts, was light weight and easy to hold, and that the shape mimicked the natural breast so Zane hasn't had to deal with extra gas from air intake. The cute sayings on the bottom were just a bonus!! 

These bottles are sold at Buy Buy Baby and Walmart.

This 2-in-1 Travel and Play Tent Will Save Your Summer!

So you're on a beach or in a park and your mini wants to take a nap, play with toys, or just roll around. What do you do? I often felt like the bucket seat or stroller was often too hot - and if I covered it with a blanket to shield my mini from the sun, it literally became a sauna. I recently had the chance to try out a product that I WISH I would have known about in the summer when Zane was younger, but I'm thankful that I got to discover before we have another baby!

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The bblüv 2 in 1 Travel and Play Tent is a portable tent that folds up into a small carrying bag and can be brought ANYWHERE. It fits in the bottom of your stroller, can be carried over your shoulder and even fits in a suitcase! It opens up to full size on it's own and is large enough for your baby to comfortably play and relax in. 

Some of my fave features: 

1 - It's SUPER light weight and easily folds up to be carried anywhere
2 - It has an anti-UV coating (SPF 50+) to protect your mini's skin from UVA and UVB rays from the sun
3 - It has a mosquito net that can fold down to keep out the bugs!
4 - The canopy helps to not only protects baby’s skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, but also from wind and sand
5 - It easily wipes clean so you never need to worry about putting down at the park, beach or anywhere outside

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You can visit the bblüv website to read more about this must have travel item!

Wash. It. Later. - The Diaper Bag Must Have

I was approached a few months ago by a fellow mom asking me if I wanted to try out a product that she (along with her husband and sister-in-law) were launching in the next few months... when she explained what the product was, my first question was: HOW SOON CAN YOU SEND IT? You all know that the only thing I love more than a great product is supporting a fellow mama... so how fitting that this genius product was created by a mama? Who knows more about what we need than one of our own? 

Wash. It. Later. is a Patent Pending design that will SAVE your children's clothes. It's a leak proof bag with a detergent in it that allows you to soak your children's clothes as soon as the mess happens. You simply add water to the bag, pop in the dirty clothes, seal it up and toss it in your diaper bag until you're home and ready to do a load of laundry. GENIUS. 

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I can't tell you how many bibs I threw away, or onesies that I refused to let Zane wear in public because they are stained yellow and orange (why do all the healthy foods stain!?). Or what about the clothes that I just had to throw away because of a poop explosion when I was out of the house (no mom should have to carry around a poop covered onesie without a Wash It Later bag). Those stains could have totally been prevented had I been able to wash his clothes sooner! Zane was also a reflux baby which meant LOTS ad LOTS of spit up... and all my reflux mamas know that spit up stains everything yellow. Had I had this miracle soaking bag, I could have saved money, trips to the store and lots of frustration trying to search through his drawers for something that wasn't stained.

So save your kid's clothes (and your own) and head over to Wash. It. Later. to see what the hype is about (and by signing up to their newsletter, you can get 15% off your first order)!

I've also partnered with them to give 3 lucky winners the chance to win a 3 pack of Wash. It. Later. bags! Head over to my Instagram to see how to enter! Open to US and Canadian Residents only! Contest closes Jan 20, 2018 at midnight. 

From Dragons to Princesses to Farms... You Will Find It All at PLAYMOBIL!

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PLAYMOBIL® is known for their iconic figurines and imaginative play. They have everything from Ghostbusters™ to NHL® to Christmas themed play sets for children of all ages! So in time for the holidays, we got a chance to try out 2 of their toys from the 1.2.3 Collection, which is meant for younger children. We tried out the 1.2.3 My Take Along Noah's Ark and the Ladder Unit Fire Truck

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We loved the Take Along Noah's Ark! For starters, the deck opens up so that all the animals and accessories can be stored inside, which means no lost figurines and no clutter! #momwin. Zane loves the animals and the bright colours, and soon enough he'll be using his imagination to create new adventures for all the animals :). This toy is recommended for 1.5 years+ because some of the pieces are a little small, so I stored the smaller pieces in the arc, and let him play with the ones that were appropriate! The Take Along Noah's Ark even has a handle on it so when your minis need to go with you to grandma's house or over to someone's for dinner, it's a super easy toy to pack up and bring along. 

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The Ladder Unit Fire Truck is also great! It has a ladder that swivels around and it even comes with a little fire man figurine so your children will be able to save the day and put out any imaginary fires that they may find! I may get the Fire Rescue Helicopter next for Zane that so that his Fireman has a friend :). The firetruck has room in the basket or the driver's seat for any of the 1.2.3 figurines, so if you have another one of their sets, you can turn any character into a fire fighting hero! I really recommend checking out the PLAYMOBIL website - they have Take Along Farms, Ships and a ton of other figurines and sets that your littles will love! Click here to visit their website to find the perfect gift in time for the holidays!

Support a Company That Gives Back to Children This Holiday Season!

There's no better time than the holiday season (and all year round to be honest) to give back to those in need... so while you're picking out gifts for your littles, why not support a company that gives a portion of their proceeds back to help others? My B Toys gives a portion of every sale to freethechildren.com... how awesome is that? Zany Zoo is already one of Zane's fave toys EVER (click here to read my full review) so we decided to try out 2 more of their toys: Snug Bugs and the Under The Sea Jamboree, and they did not disappoint!

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The Snug Bugs come 9 in a package and are chewable, squeezable and fun toys for children from 10 months-3 years!  They can be easily popped together into a long string or taken apart to share with friends! Who am I kidding... Zane doesn't share lol... and especially not toys he loves.. but if you have a child who does share, then they'll love sharing these fun Snug Bugs! :) These little bugs, with their bright colors and funny faces have become a fave during the day and during bath time!

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The second toy we tried was the Under The Sea Jamboree, which is an octopus that plays musical sounds when you squeeze it's tentacles! You can play 1 instrument at a time, or squeeze 2 at the same time to really get a melody going. It's soft and super cuddly and easily keeps Zane's attention with it's bright colors and fun sounds. I love that this toy doesn't play your typical children's melodies and that you can instead choose instruments to play! They have the sounds from instruments like the saxophone, piano, drums and guitar!

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Click here to see the entire My B Toys collection and support a company that gives back!

Recreate the Whimsical World of Luna Petunia in Your Own Home With to Funrise Toys

Luna Petunia, the Netflix exclusive show that is inspired by Cirque du Soleil, is a fave in our house since we discovered it last month! The show is all about the adventures of a little girl named Luna who learns that she can do anything with the help of her friends. The animated series is bright, whimsical, fun, exciting and Luna's friends are sure to become characters that your little ones look forward to watching! We were so happy to be able to welcome our Netflix friends into our home thanks to Funrise Toys :).

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Funrise Toys has released a preschool Luna Petunia line in time for the holidays! It includes a large talking Luna Petunia doll with hair that you can style, a large soft and plush doll that you can hug all day long, figurines to create your own adventures with and these adorable plush beanies! We got all of Zane's faves: Luna, Bibi Bubbles, Sammy Stretch and Karoo!

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The figurines and beanies make perfect stocking stuffers and your little one's eyes are sure to light up when they can play with and hold their favourite TV characters :). Click here to see the entire Luna Petunia toy collection from Funrise Toys.