Product Review: Bouncy Seat

Lounging

Lounging

Even 9 months in, Frances spends the first 15 minutes after eating in a reclined position. Although she spits up less than she used to, it’s still a threat after each meal. As a result, nothing has gotten quite as much use in our household as Franci’s bouncy seat. She has spent hours sitting in it, on the back porch in the shade, in front of the fireplace, next to me while I type up blog posts.

There are a lot of choices out there for bouncy seats and, to be honest, we hardly ever turned on the music or vibration. Bouncy seats are pretty easy to come by used or borrowed. Still, we’ve loved our Fisher-Price Little SnugaMonkey. It’s soft, easy to wash, gender neutral and the colors don’t make the living room look like a daycare. From the beginning, Frances has loved staring at the dangling monkeys overhead and, more recently, grabbing for them.
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Caring for Baby Teeth

Check out my pearly whites!

Check out my pearly whites!

So far I’ve heard varying advice on when to take your baby for his first dental check up, ranging from when the first tooth appears to when he turns two.  Frances has five teeth now, and it just occurred to me that we might need to start thinking about her dental health.

Taking her to the dentist now seems drastic, but it’s probably time to think about brushing. A quick Amazon search for Infant Toothbrush returns so many different types of teeth-cleaning devices, I don’t know where to begin. Do we start with a finger toothbrush? Or a silicone toothbrush? Or should we start right away with a toothbrush with bristles, since that’s what she’ll use eventually?
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Product Review: Footed Pants

Footed pants keep ankles warm in the Jump-up!

Footed pants keep ankles warm in the Jump-up!

Now that the weather is colder, Frances can no longer go around barefooted all the time.  I have a hate-hate relationship with baby socks, which either fall off or are too tight, so I’ve been on a quest to find footed pants for Frances. I mean, sometimes it’s just time to get out of pajamas and put on some real clothes.

After finding a pair at Goodwill, on my first try, I thought they’d be a lot easier to come by.  As long as your baby isn’t too tall, what’s not to like?  Well, it turns out they are not as prolific as I would have imagined.  I haven’t been able to find footed pants anywhere locally.  The thing about buying footed pants online is that they are expensive.   I finally broke down and bought a set of fleece pants with a sweatshirt, but that was a month ago.  Now the same set sells for 40% more!
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Product Review: Difrax Pacifiers

classis 0-6 monthsDifrax has two categories of pacifiers, Classic and Orthodontic. Each type comes in different sizes depending on the age of your baby.

Frances tried both kinds of Difrax pacifiers, with mixed results. She had never tried an orthodontic pacifier before, and wasn’t about to start now. After sterilizing the set, I took them to my breastfeeding group to see what the other babies thought. It turned out that there weren’t any infants there that had ever taken an orthodontic pacifier, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that they didn’t take the Difrax one either.

Next up were the Classic shape. To be honest, Frances is more of a thumb sucker, and really isn’t taking any pacifiers. But she did suck on the Classic for a moment longer than she would the Ortho. Once again I sterilized the set and took it to my group to get some other opinions.
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Product Review: Mesh Feeder

Now that Frances is in full-on teething mode, she’s been using her Munchkin Fresh Food Feeders every day. I slip in a combination of frozen banana, mango and peach and she obsessively sucks at it until her face is cold and red and her fingers are frozen themselves. If it’s close to nap time, I add a cube of frozen chamomile tea to the mix to encourage sleep.

I’m very grateful that mesh feeders exist, but I have a few complaints about the Munchkin variety. For one, they can be hard to open. I had to use pliers once to get the darn thing open. My biggest grievance is that they are incredibly difficult to clean. Banana in particular doesn’t even come out with scrubbing. Even a toothbrush isn’t that great a cleaning tool, and sometimes I have to scrape it inside out with my fingernail. Where the mesh meets the plastic is an especially tricky spot. And you better clean it immediately after use or you’ll be tempted to just throw it in the trash!
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Soothing a Teething Baby

We’ve finally entered The Teething Zone. I’ve heard plenty of stories about this stage in infant development, but I guess it’s not something you can fully grasp until you’ve witnessed it first hand.

For months Frances has been drooling and rubbing her index finger obsessively over her lower gums. When someone pointed it out I’d shrug and say, “I guess she’s teething”. Ha! In the past week she’s gone from a quiet, happy baby who contentedly plays by herself for hours, to one who can’t be left alone for more than five minutes.

One thing I didn’t anticipate was the scream that accompanies the fussing. Movie scripts would write this as, “blood curdling”. It’s the kind of scream that sends you running towards her, only to find Frances grinning widely at the look of concern on your face.
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Amber teething necklace winner

And the winner is…Chris DeHart!

Thanks to everyone for participating in our latest giveaway! And a big thanks to Amberbeata for providing the amber teething necklace. Please make sure to check out all the different amber teething necklaces on their website. If you’re shopping for a unique gift or something for yourself, check out all the beautiful jewelry on the site as well.

Book Review: Jungle Rumble

jungle

Truly Indestructible!

At this stage, Frances considers books to be chew toys. The board books handle this fairly well, but not as well as Indestructibles: Jungle, Rumble!! Not only is it rip proof, but it’s washable. That’s a winner in my book!

As you can see from the cover, Indestructibles: Jungle, Rumble! is very colorful and captures Franci’s short attention. And since there aren’t words, the story is only as repetitive as my imagination.  This might not be as enjoyable for her as she begins to understand words.

I haven’t picked up any of the other Indestructibles titles, but I’m sure they’re all just as good.  I haven’t come across any other books quite as sturdy, but I’m open to suggestions!
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Amber Teething Necklace Giveaway

Win this necklace!

Win this necklace!

Everywhere I go I see toddlers and younger wearing amber teething necklaces.  Since Frances is entering the “teething zone”, I became fascinated by this new trend.  Well, new to me anyway.  Not only have people in Europe been using these forever, but Rebecca posted about it back in 2010!

(For those of you who haven’t heard of amber teething necklaces, the theory is this: amber contains succinic acid, a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory that’s supposedly absorbed into your skin. The child is not supposed to chew on the necklace, a common misconception.)

After asking everyone I knew about their experiences, I decided I must try one for myself.  I didn’t come across a single mom who didn’t rave about the reduced drool and, although it’s pretty hard to communicate with a baby, these moms were convinced the baby’s discomfort was lessened as well.  That’s good enough for me!
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Baby Monitors: necessity or luxury?

monitor

Our monitor

We got by without a baby monitor for months, so what made us finally buy one?  Well, after Frances moved into her own room it became harder to hear her cry.  My mommy instinct is pretty good at picking out the soft sound of an infant crying, but once we put a movie in the DVD player, it was almost impossible to hear her.  Especially if we were watching an action movie!

What finally tipped the scales was all the traveling we had scheduled for the summer.  We weren’t sure what the situations would be for napping and sleeping, and I didn’t want to have to miss out on the fun because I had to stay inside and listen for my baby.  Having a monitor handy meant we could spend warm summer evenings on the deck with friends and family, or put Franci downstairs to nap and have a noisy meal in the kitchen upstairs.
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