Monday, November 24, 2008

Tot Lok

We had a babyproofing (or lack of babyproofing) incident this week when Charlie decided to suck on a dishwasher gel tablet and I found him with blue soap oozing out of his mouth. I haven't quite gotten around to babyproofing (actually toddler proofing) the new kitchen cabinets so I need to get on that. My favorite cabinet lock is the Tot Lok made by Safety 1st. I discovered this when we moved into our house last year and the previous owner had one on the bathroom cabinet. It uses a magnet to open up the door. My favorite part though is when you don't need it you can just flip a switch and turn it off.

Disclaimers -
1) Grandparents don't seem to understand how it works.
2) It scratched the paint a bit on our really old, yucky white cabinet, along with everything else that touches it.
3) If you lose the magnet you can be in a bit of a predicament.

You can purchase a four lock set at BabyCenter.

If you talk to me this week, remind me to babyproof!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby Bjorn Soft Bib

I'm going to let the description on the BABYBJORN website speak for itself. We just love our new Baby Bjorn bib we found at a new consignment shop this week. It is the only bib we use now. The little pocket catches most of Charlie's messes and then he just digs them back out with his fork and puts them in his mouth. This is the only plastic bib that we have ever used that is worth speaking of! If you have a messy little eater you need two!

The BABYBJÖRN Soft bib is ergonomically designed to fit your child’s body perfectly and has a deep pocket to catch food spills. The neck is designed like a bead necklace with continuous fastening, so it can be individually adjusted to fit your child.The BABYBJÖRN Soft Bib is easy to clean and is dishwasher-safe, but be careful not to put it close to the dishwasher’s heater coil.

Are you wondering why it is shown in pink? I am in pink (and purple) mode as we found out last week we are having a baby girl in March!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Boon Toddler Cup

Charlie has had a hard time transitioning from a bottle to a sippy cup. He didn't even really have a bottle regularly until he was 13 months old but he got attached quickly! This week I found the Boon toddler cup and thought he might think it was fun. And he did! He loves drinking his milk out of it. I am a major fan of this sippy cup. One disclaimer - they call it "no-spill" but I don't agree and neither does my floor. It just takes a few shakes to get it to spill, so be warned. The top is super easy to put on and you can't screw it on wrong so it leaks, which I love. Charlie gets his chubby little hands around it so easily, he just gulps his milk or water down. I got it at Land of Nod for $5.99 and it was worth every penny.

On the topic of Boon products, has anybody tried the Squirt baby food dispensing spoon? I love the idea but I'm not sure if it works or is worth it. Charlie is past purees so I probably won't get the chance to try it until Baby #2 comes this spring. Let me know if you try it!! I have been really happy with all the Boon products I've seen in action.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trumpette Baby Socks

My favorite socks in the world for baby are Trumpette. First of all,they are adorable and since baby shoes are pointless (with the exception of Robeez) they actually keep babies toesies warm and fashionable. The best part about Trumpette socks, however, is that they actually stay on babies feet. I really haven't found any other brands that do until those little fat feet fill out.

I would love to hear whatever socks and shoes you love for baby! And which ones stay on!

You can purchase Trumpette socks and Robeez at BabyCenter Store.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Travel Products for Baby

We just returned from a wonderful and relaxing trip to Kauai this week. This was our first full vacation with a toddler and without grandparents. Managing Charlie made for a very different kind of vacation than we have had in the past, but we were still glad he joined us. Lesson to new parents - it is much easier to travel with newborns than toddlers! Here are some products we brought along that made our trip much easier and enjoyable.

The Neat Sheet - we picked this up at Toys R' Us for $8.99 (minus a $5 coupon, of course!) and it was worth every penny. It has weighted corners, is machine-washable and we used it for the beach, picnics, the pool, and keeping the sun off of Charlie in the pack. It is so easy to pack up and folds into a small little roll. See the details on it here.

Our Sherpani Superlight Rumba - we love this pack! After trying out every Kelty Kids, Dutalier and this one, we went with the Sherpani. We loved how this pack fit both of us, the features you get for the mid-range price and the comfort for the kiddo. It also has great storage and the look is very clean and simple. Without this pack, we would have missed some gorgeous sights. We bought ours at REI with a 20% off coupon during one of the members sales. It is $159 original price. One time I did see it at Steep and Cheap for $85 - amazing. Do you know about Steep and Cheap?

We have a Graco Car Seat Bag that isn't the greatest bag but it does work. And honestly, if we didn't have it, I don't know how we would have made it through the airport with Charlie in the Sherpani, two carry on bags and the car seat. It is really stiff and doesn't fold down that nice, doesn't pull that easily and it already has a couple of holes in it from a handful of uses. Good things about it are the cost (I got it for about $10 at Marshall's), it does have wheels and it fits my Britax Roundabout with room to stuff extra stuff.
Now that I know what is out there I would have purchased one of the following items instead of the bag, however. Before our next flight I hope to find one of these on Craig's List for cheap or to find a friend who has one I can borrow. These would be a great item to split with other families as you need them so rarely:

This is the GoGo Babyz Travelmate, which basically turns your car seat into a stroller. It is so easy to use and fits the Britax as well as many other car seats. Check your stroller and this is all you need to get through the airport. It retails for $79.95 at Target but there is probably a better online deal out there to be found.

Another option is the Pac Back which is cheaper than the Travelmate. It seems super easy to store and I've heard good things about it. I found it on Baby Catalog as of this posting for $29.95.

A couple of items we didn't take but I like to recommend are the Pea Pod, that I reviewed in an earlier post. And also, the Kelty Kids Convertible pack which my friend Jessie took to Europe and loved. It isn't a very comfortable hiking pack but it is great for a road trip or overseas adventure where you would be on the move a lot.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back to blogging...

Well, almost! We are home and recovering from a wonderful trip to Hawaii. I will be posting our favorite baby travel products soon!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Very Own Name Book

For Charlie's 1st Birthday he received this wonderful book from his Grandma Sue. Every page is a different letter of his name associated with a different animal. Our favorite animal is the Newfoundland because he is so cute and Charlie loves dogs. I had a personalized book when I was a little girl and I always loved it and now we love Charlie's too. Make sure your little kiddo has a book written just for him or her also! What a special book!

Personalized Children's Books. Click here!

Monday, September 15, 2008

How We Afford Disposable Diapers

I have a system for buying diapers that I'm not quite sure how to put on paper (or a post, actually) but basically I will never pay more than $.15 for a diaper and usually pay less. This week for example, I was able to purchase the above two family packs of Luvs for a total of $17 or $.12 per diaper, which is pretty good for size 5's. These will last us about one month and we like Luvs. Although we have discussed moving to cloth for economical and environmental reasons, we have been able to keep the cost of disposable low enough to feel it is worth it for the convenience. If you are interested in cloth diapering, please buzz over to Kim's blog for her Cloth Diapering Series.

This is how I was able to get today's deal:
-Luvs were on sale for $15 per box at Target
-Target was offering a $5 Target gift card with the purchase of two boxes
-I printed 2/$2 off Target coupons from Full Cup Target Coupon Generator
-I had saved a $1/1 and $2/1 coupon from the Sunday ads (you can pair a manufacturer and store coupon in most stores but can not usually pair two manufacturer coupons, depending on the state and the store)
- So, spend $30, use the $7 in coupons and get a $5 Target card. For a grand total of $17.

Here are some strategies I have used to keep costs down that may help you:
-I use store brands and less expensive brands when possible. The exception is with a brand new newborn. Those little newborn bums are so little I really think the Pampers Swaddlers are the way to go and worth the money.
- I buy ahead (at the beginning of the month when we start a new budget or on a great deal) so I never have to run out and buy full price because we are almost out.
- I monitor prices in ads, online and on blogs such as Baby Cheapskate
- I am registered at Huggies, Pampers and Luvs online so I get as many coupons as possible. I also get coupons from the Sunday paper.
- I use Freepeats to get free diapers and diaper coupons.
- I buy diapers in consignment shops when I can find them- Occasionally I find some diapers on Craig's List in my neighborhood
- I only buy when the diapers are on sale and I can pair with a coupon. Some common scenarios for this are:
  • Babies R' Us will have a sale on Especially for Baby and then offer an additional $5 off a box on certain days.
    Safeway occasionally runs a deep discount on name brand diapers that can be paired with manufacturers coupons

  • The Entertainment book has a coupon for B1G1 on anything that is there store brand. This includes diapers and means I can get two jumbo packs for $7.99, I get extra coupons from anybody who isn't using the one from their book.

  • Target will run special deals that allow you to get Target cards if you buy two packs. I pair these with manufacturers coupons.

  • Costco occasionally runs a coupon on Kirkland Signature or Huggies diapers. I buy them here if those are available, depending on the deal.

  • I always cruise the diaper and/or clearance aisle of the grocery stores and discount stores I frequent to see if anything has been discontinued. You can get some awesome deals here! Ask the store manager next time you see him when they will be doing the next diaper reset and go in that day. Then I combine the discount price with a coupon!

Here are some brands we are content to use:
- Pampers (although we rarely get a good enough deal to purchase these)
- Huggies
- Kirkland Signature (Costco brand)
- Luvs
- Target brand
- Especially for Baby (from Babies R' Us or Toys R' Us)

We haven't had the best luck with very cheap store brands such as Walgreens, Bartells and Safeway. Although, I have been known to use one of these brands during the day when we are just hanging out at home (if the price is amazing) and then use the more expensive brand at night and when we are out of the house for extended periods.

If you aren't willing to put the time and energy into finding the best available price on diapers then Costco is the way to go. They have, on average, a lower price on diapers than the grocery or discount stores. But, you will be paying at least $.20 - $.25 a diaper depending on what size your munchkin is.

Baby Cheapskate has a great resource to help figure out what your cost will b. The How Many Diapers Per Pack chart is great!

How do I buy wipes? Kirkland Signature from Costco is the only way to go. Even with coupons and sales I haven't found a better deal. Costco currently has a $3 off coupon available for these wipes, but just through 9/28/08.

Do you have any tricks to share for getting a great deal on diapers? Do you have any brands you like that aren't on my list? Please share your wisdom!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Those of you that truly know me, know how much I love OxiClean powder. We use the Versatile Free Version becuase I don't like to do our laundry with anything scented. I can very honestly say that I have yet to have a stain that it hasn't taken out. I never needed anything other than Shout before having Charlie but it just wouldn't get out newborn poop or toddler messes.

For regular old stains that likely won't come out with just a regular wash, I just soak the items for about 12 hours in cold water with Oxi and usually the stains are totally gone before I throw it in the regular wash.

For bad stains (red pen, blackberries, chocolate, etc.) I make a paste out of the Oxi powder on the stain and soak it for at least 24 hours. Remember, use cold water!

I have even missed stains and washed them once or twice before using Oxi and it still gets it out! It's somewhat miraculous, actually. It doesn't get out bleach though. That's the only thing I've found it hasn't worked on. Don't waste your time on the OxiClean Spray, I don't think it works as well.

Do you have any other great stain-fighting ideas?

I usually buy our Oxiclean at Target where it seems to be cheaper than the grocery stores (watch for sales!). You can sometimes find a $1 manufacturer's coupon in the paper also. They do carry it at Costco also but they don't carry the Free version there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Top 15 Baby Items You Don't Need

I was inspired by Baby Cheapskate to finish my own list of baby items you don't need. Mine is not the same list as the one they did, but there is definitely some overlap. You can see their list here. I do completely disagree with one of their items, the diaper pail. Where are you supposed to put those stinky things if you don't have a system that controls the smell? I have the Diaper Genie II (which I like) but recommend the Diaper Champ, because you don't have to buy expensive refills. I have heard wipes get stuck in the Champ though.

I have one disclaimer, what seems worthless to me may seem useful to you and vice versa but this is my blog, so I get to share my opinion. And, I only put items on this list that I really figure, nobody needs. I have some opinions on things we don't need that others might but I didn't include those. I would love to hear your comments on why I am right or wrong! And if you are convincing enough, I may change my list!

Here are my Top 15 Worthless Baby Items (in no particular order):

Dishwasher Basket
No Scratch Mittens
Shopping Cart Cover
Wipe Warmer
Baby Robe
Sterilizer (use the dishwasher!)
4 0z. or 11 oz. bottles (just use the 8oz ones)
Sleep Positioner
Pacifier thermometer
Diaper Stacker
Formula Mixer
Expensive baby monitors
Bottle/Food Warmer
Wee Wee Blocker
Dedicated Changing Table (Use a dresser! It's cheaper!)

I am really sorry to those of you that purchased some of these items for me when I registered for them. I really didn't know better. Why didn't anybody tell me? I actually still use most of them, out of guilt and not wanting to be wasteful. And I love them because you purchased them, and I love you. And some of them I never did buy, because even I was smarter than that.

Hope I didn't offend anybody with this post! And, as always, I may just change my mind at sometime with a little convincing from my dear blog readers. Do you have any other items that you would say weren't worth purchasing?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Phil and Teds Sport Double Stroller

Coming to a mailbox near me...a new stroller! After months and months of debate on if this stroller is worth the investment, we are about to be the proud new owners of a Phil and Teds Sport double! Although we really won't need it for a while, it was too good of a deal to pass up. And, I can use it as a single until the new baby arrives.

Things I love about the Phil and Teds Strollers:
1) It is setup for one or two kids, depending on if you use the attachment or not.
2) Both seats recline in the Sport model
3) The resale is great.
4) Everybody I know who has one, loves it.
5) It fits two newborns, two toddlers, a newborn and a toddler, however you want to do it and fits kids up to 55 pounds!!
6) You can latch an infant car seat into it with an adaptor.
7) It is the size of a smaller size single jogger, yet fits two children!
8) It fits nicely in the back of my Volvo wagon.
9) The swivel front wheel is the only way to go on a jogger.
And those are just the ones that popped in to my mind. There are lots more!

Reasons I felt it was worth purchasing:
1) I got an awesome deal. Honestly, I could resell it used in a year for about the same price I purchased it at. The good news is I won't have to sell it in a year because it should last for several years and as many kids as we have!
2) I can sell my old strollers to cover about 1/3 of the cost.
3) We use the stroller almost every day so we will definitely need a double with two kiddos 22 months apart. I could have gotten a cheaper one but it wouldn't have been as functional and really, not that much cheaper.
4) I am probably going to be babysitting another kiddo Charlie's age until the end of February. This way the three of us can leave the house without me losing my sanity and those sweet little boys running into traffic.
5) I hadn't spent my birthday money yet.

So mommies and daddies, learn your lesson from me! Before you buy three strollers trying to find just the right one, just shell out the dough for the Phil and Teds single with your first child and buy the double kit when #2 comes along. You will save money, hassle and garage space in the long run.

I found the best price at Pish Posh Baby - $459 with no shipping or taxes. I have been watching the prices for several months. Normally this stroller is $509 for the double set up and this was the best deal I have seen around. However, I think I got the last one! But if you do choose to shop from Pish Posh Baby, you can use the coupon code Save5 to get 5% off also.

Just a few of the online retailers that carry Phil & Teds strollers are:
Baby Center
Right Start
Baby Ant
Albee Baby

Check everywhere (Google and Yahoo shopping, and major search engines) before you purchase and don't forget to search for coupon codes for the retailers you are looking in to purchasing from. And, as always, never pay shipping or tax! Let me know if you need help finding a deal!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I need your help...

I really love the idea of sharing my baby product experiences with others but I haven't quite figured what direction I want to go on this blog. Rather than only tell you about products I love, I would like to share with you how I make the decisions, what my experiences have been as well as opinions of others I trust on this subject. Because everybody has different baby gear needs, my picks won't necessarily help everybody! So, what are some things you would like to see posted? Here are some of my ideas that I am working on:

- The Wish List - what I think I need (or want) for Baby #2
- The 50 items to register for
- The stroller debate - how to pick the best stroller for your needs
- How I find the best price on all this stuff
- Baby gear you don't need

Any other ideas or things you would like to see on Love it Baby? I'd love a little input on this one! Or, which topic would you like to see blogged about first??

Thanks for your help!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


When I asked for suggestions on a favorite baby product, several people recommended the swaddler. And I totally agree! When the nurses swaddle your newborn at the hospital, you think it looks easy! And that little burrito isn't going anywhere - at least until you get home and swaddle them yourself! The solution - a swaddle wrap!

I was happy with just the plain old Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe (pictured above) that is available pretty much everywhere - Target, Babies R Us, BabyCenter. It comes in several colors and fabrics and is inexpensive (about $10). You probably want at least two for a newborn (small size).

A friend used the Miracle Blanket for her son who had a really hard time sleeping and swears by it. It holds their arms down much tighter than the SwaddleMe does and claims to "stop colic". That part I can't be convinced of, but it is a nice product. Just a bit more expensive and harder to find. It is $29.95 on the Miracle Blanket website.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Convertible Car Seat

I had somebody ask for my advice on a convertible car seat tonight. I love this question because it has probably been my most debated baby gear decision thus far in the game. I ended up buying a Britax Roundabout (actually my insurance company bought it but that is another story). This is after I asked all my friends who had kids bigger than me, did a church wide post on the church website, purchased and returned a Britax Marathon and picked up every car seat I could get my hands on. And still, if I could do it over again I would have chose something different. Not because I don't love my Roundabout, I do. There is nothing I don't love about it, except for the crumbs Charlie leaves all over it.

Could I do it again, I would have bought the Sunshine Kids Radian for the following reasons that I think it would suit our need better than a Britax:
- It folds up. Talk about convenience when traveling!
- You can fit three in the backseat of an average size vehicle without a problem
- The weight limit is higher than the Roundabout yet it is still a manageable size (which, I didn't feel the Marathon was). You can choose a 65 or 80 lb limit.
-The price is a bit less than the Britax

That being said, everybody's needs are different. I will likely (hopefully!) need to fit three car seats in the back of my wagon someday and I have a big boy who may need a bigger car seat before a sibling is ready for the Roundabout.

When I purchased the Britax the best deal I found was on Best Buy Baby. It is good to check from day to day however depending on who has a good coupon or free shipping. I rarely pay shipping and never pay tax on these types of online purchases. Let me know if you need help finding the lowest price on a Radian.

Also, let me know if you have any other questions on car seats. I spent a lot of time and energy researching this so I may be able to direct you towards a good article, link or product!
**I received a comment questioning the safety of the Radian. As a disclaimer, I must say you need to research this decsion on your own and decide what is safest for you family. We use the Latch system and I feel confident from my research that this is a very safe car seat for that setup. is a good site with a ton of information.
Other sites I found helpful:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Baby Briefcase

Is your baby paperwork laying in a pile on your desk looking for a home? I have a large pile of Charlie's paperwork I can't throw away but have no idea how to organize! My dear friend Jentry, mother of adorable twin girls, introduced me to the Baby Briefcase. It is pretty much $29.95 anywhere you find it. You can get it with no tax or shipping on the Organized From the Start website. Maybe someday I'll get around to getting Charlie's name spelled right on his birth certificate and Social Security card also. Poor kiddo got an extra space in his last name.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Kidco PeaPod Travel Bed

My friend Jessie who is actually more baby product savvy than I found this baby gear must have. I must admit, I don't actually have it. But, I have borrowed it and I love the idea of it. There is nothing more ridiculous than a pack n' play because of its weight. Yes, I have one that I do use on a regular basis. But I only use it because I can't justify buying the Peapod when I already have a functioning portable crib. I just didn't know there was anything else out there when I started this baby gear adventure almost two years ago. The Peapod is a better option because it is (obviously) lighter. easier to travel with and really just more fun (don't you think?). If you have the Peapod you could be as happy at the people in this picture (which I find funny on several different levels). I've never really needed a tent for my baby in the park, but I have needed one to take on an airplane for a vacation. As of this post, the best price I found was on Albee Baby for $48.99 with no tax in most states. If you spend $100 you also get free shipping.

The only thing out there that might be better is the Phil and Teds traveller which collapses to six pounds and isn't quite as restrictive to a larger child. However, it is more expensive. And, I've never actually used it. But someday perhaps I will and can review it here if I do. Like I've said, I love pretty much anything Phil & Teds makes.

What is your favorite baby product?

Tell me and I just may add it to the blog! Thanks for helping me get started!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Boon Frog Pod

I registered for the Boon Frog Pod because it was cute. I had no idea how functional it would be! If you are going to have bath toys, you must have this! It is the easiest, cutest way to store your bath toys and it hangs very easily! Buy it anywhere they have baby gear. I got mine off my Target registry when I was pregnant with Charlie.


After going through about a million disposable breast pads I found Lilypadz and never went back. They are economical, easy to wash and so much more comfortable and fashionable then icky disposable pads. They conform to you so you can't tell you are wearing a pad. You can even wear them to bed with no bra! I do have a friend who made so much milk she couldn't wear them but everybody else I know who uses them, loves them! If you are breastfeeding your babe, get a set or two today! I got mine on Ebay but you can get them at Target also.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Phil and Teds Metoo Highchair

After begging my husband for this highchair for about two months he finally saw a need for it when we went out to dinner and just like Houdini, Charlie escaped out of the standard issue wood highchair and made a beeline for the door. So, it is now the newest addition to our family of baby gear. This will be my third highchair. It's too bad I didn't have this blog to read or I could have just started with it in the first place. Love it! It folds down to a two pound little sqaure and can just be thrown in your diaper bag or stroller!!

The best price I found on the Phil & Teds Metoo was at Babycenter - I used a free shipping code and for $49.99 it was better than picking it up locally and paying tax or buying it from a cheaper retailer who charged shipping. You must know that I always get the best price, even if it takes a couple hours of research. Your only better option is if you have a great coupon at Land of Nod perhaps or you buy it on Ebay. I was feeling impatient and irritated with Ebay this week so avoided that route.

Phil & Teds is one of my very favorite baby brands at the moment so you will be sure to see more from them here soon.