Holiday Gift Guide For Minimalist Moms featured on Zero to Two

holiday-guide-for-minimalist-moms-featured-on-zero-to-two

Still have some holiday shopping to do?  Over on Zero to Two I guest posted this super cute gift guide for minimalist moms AND if you use SIMPLEBABYBLOG15, you’ll receive 15% off your first orderSHOP HERE.  Happy Holidays!

Stripe Swaddle Blanket:  This lightweight swaddle blanket is the perfect large size from Modern Burlap.

Black + White Board Book:  Modern and fresh black and white illustrations keep newborns stimulated.

Double Pom Pom Hat:  This unisex hat is the sweetest accessory from Zero to Two and available in five colors.

Fox Blanket:  This screen printed beauty gets softer with every wash from Roxy Marj.  Choose a favorite from lion, raccoon, fox, tiger or bear!

Penguin Pillow:  An adorable throw pillow from Wee Gallery is the sweetest addition to a chic nursery!

Soft Plaid Sneakers:  There is nothing cuter than a pair of soft sneakers for little ones.  The best feature?  Elastic laces! Thanks, Zero to Two

Fringe Tied Moccasins:  No new mom can say no to sweet moccasins. Available in 11 amazing colors at Zero to Two, there is surely something for everyone.

Happy Romper:  Every baby needs that special outfit that makes mom + dad smile a bit brighter.

Keekaroo Changing Pad:  Sleek design and easy to wipe surface make parents happy to change diapers.  Well, maybe a little happier.

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Baby Booties That Won’t Fall Off

baby booties that won't fall off - the best booties for newborn babiesSince I had a baby, one of the mysteries of life has become: how to keep things on his tiny feet.  I tried countless brands of socks and booties, and every one of them seemed to find it’s way to the floor.  The baby booties that did manage to stay on, were often too tight on his tiny ankles, leaving a mark. I searched and searched until one day I finally found, booties that would not fall off.

Enter:  Zutano.  Not only are their products soft, but they do not leave any marks around the ankles.  My favorite Zutanos are the skid proof version with grippers, perfect for my now 8 month old who is pulling up on everything.

Long story short, Zutano booties are the only booties that have ever managed to stay on tiny feet!  Snag yours here and buy them for an expecting friend to become the “mom-in-the-know”.

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How To Clean Baby Bottles

How to clean baby bottles

I had bottles sterilized and ready to go when my son was born but I never gave much thought on how I would clean baby bottles day to day. Milk can spoil quickly and after C had a bought with oral thrush early on, I realized I needed to pay close attention.

Here is what I learned about baby bottle cleaning.

What to Clean With

First, invest in a bottle brush that also has a rubberized nipple brush. I had a nipple brush that was made of metal and it began to rust; which wasn’t quite sanitary for cleaning baby bottles.  Be sure to keep an eye on bottle brushes with sponge tips; these need air to dry out and will probably need ton extra replaced every few months according to wear.

The Best Soap

Next, purchase organic pure Castile liquid soap. I was vaguely familiar with it and the nurses at the hospital sang its praises. It has since become a staple in our home, as it can be used for cleaning countless things, naturally and is my go to when cleaning baby bottles.

Boil It Up

Lastly, be sure you have a large stainless steel pot in hand. Bottles take up space and a small sauce pan just won’t cut it. Invest in a good pot for cleaning lots of bottles!

How To Do It

As for cleaning, it’s fairly simple. Use warm to hot water with Castile soap and lather up the bottles, nipples and any various parts. Scrub well with the bottle and nipple brushes and rinse to a squeaky clean. Let air dry completely before use. I also highly recommend boiling bottles once a week for 2-5 minutes (check with the bottle manufacturer for exact instructions) to help keep things sanitary.

Most importantly don’t get lazy! Remember formula and milk spoils fast and a simple rinse will not do.

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3 Surprising First Solid Foods for Baby

first solid foods for baby ideas

As we navigated cereals around 5 months, I started to do some research on some organic solids for C.  As much as I’d like to make my own, I know my limitations.  Luckily, with organic brands like Happy Baby, Earth’s Best and Plum Organics; there are some really good options to choose from.

While C tried and liked the usual suspects; bananas, pears, apples, sweet potatoes and carrots I was pleasantly surprised at his reaction to a few items I bought on a whim!  Note:always follow your pediatrician’s guidelines and advice for starting your baby on solids. 

Mango

I had no idea mangoes were a first food and was thrilled when C slammed his hand on the high chair with excitement.  The Happy Baby Mango tends to be his favorite.  And yes, you’ll want to have an extra pack on hand to eat yourself.

Quinoa

Definitely a favorite of mine, I was so excited to see C gobble it up!  While we’ve tried a few blends, the Hello Morning Quinoa and Pear from Plum remains his favorite!

Kale

While there isn’t a plain kale option, C’s two favorite blends are packed with Kale.  Spinach, Apples and Kale and Pears, Kale and Spinach from Happy Baby are regulars on his menu.

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I will never buy a traditional onesie again

favorite newborn clothing ideas

Before you actually have a baby in hand, you’re overwhelmed by cute mittens, onesie outfits and generally dreaming of dressing the baby as if he’ll be in line with the paparazzi 24-7.  For me, I envisioned white and all neutral colors for C.  I drove everyone nuts and wouldn’t allow any blue in his budding wardrobe.

Once C arrived, focus shifted to the buttons, snaps, zippers and generally the length of time it took to get him in and out of clothing.  If you factor in messy bottles, diaper accidents, baths and pajamas, you are changing the baby A LOT.  Now that C is 6 months old, it’s no better.  Solids are a messy undertaking (more on that later).

As soon as he outgrew his first round of clothing, I was on the hunt for every side snap / kimono style onesie I could get my hands on.  Full length zippers became my jam and I knew only one thing.

I would NEVER buy a traditional onesie again.

No more pushing squirmy arms through holes and no more speed dressing in hopes of making it through without a cry.  I only buy side snap / kimono style onesies or rompers that completely button or zip from top to bottom.

It’s honestly been a game changer.  C is getting even more restless as he can now sit up and my ‘changing time’ is limited.

Where I find my favorite side snap onesies and full zip pieces 

H&M, Old Navy, UNIQLO and Carters.  I promise it’s worth the extra online searching to find what works for you and never buy a traditional onesie again!

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Five Favorite Teethers 4-6 Months


C started “teething” at three months and is still going strong, albeit toothless, at six months.  Therefore, I’ve gone through my fair share of teethers. Here are our five favorite teethers that got us through months four through six.

The Munch Mitt is a cute glove that crinkles while babies chew their mitt covered hand.  Although he will not let me put it on his hand anymore (too squirmy) it’s still a favorite for it’s bumpy textured tip and crinkly noise.

The Zoli rabbit has been going strong for months. This is a consistent favorite and for some reason he even likes to chew the handle. I should note that on the younger side he would gag himself from time to time – but he didn’t mind one bit!

The Nuby Silicone Teether is a flexible favorite.  As one of our first attempts at a teething toy; it was an instant hit.  He loved to chew in the area with small bristles.  I imagine it’s like giving soar gums a much needed massage.

Oh, the infamous Banana Baby toothbrush teether. Just like all the reviews promise, C loves it. It’s so easy for him to hold and I’d like to think that one day he won’t be afraid of a toothbrush because of it.

Last but not least, the Bright Starts Twist and Teeth was a gift. I don’t think I would’ve thought to purchase it but with it’s colorful textured surface it was an immediate hit at four months. He likes to move the little beads around and because of its shape it’s very easy to hold. I do find him chewing on the face a lot which I don’t think is the most comfortable but he tends to like it!

Special note:  one of our most recent purchases, the Mombella octopus is so special it deserved its own blog post, read about it here.

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Sensory Balls

(C) simple baby blog

As a new mom, I do plenty of reading. Somewhere in the middle of the night, I read that sensory balls were great for children, so I bought the Infantino Textured Multi Ball Set.

At this point C is only interested in putting them in his mouth. But it does offer five minutes of fun as I let him explore (a.k.a. throw them on the floor and I pick them up) while sitting in his walker.

I did read they are good for gross motor skill development so I will keep trying!  At this point they are good for 5 minutes of fun.

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Best Natural Pacifier 

When C was first born I made my way through the usual pacifiers but once I found Natursutten, I never looked back. Luckily, it was his favorite as well.

My main deciding factors; it’s made from natural rubber (the tree) and it’s soft. After all, if he’s sleeping with it in his mouth most of the night I don’t want it to be plastic.  I also love the fact that when he rolls over on it- it will not leave a mark on his face.  Try that with any other pacifier!

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Alternative to Sophie the Giraffe

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Calling all Sophie haters! Meet Zeta the Zebra by New Little Wonders.

I wasn’t a big fan of Sophie and couldn’t understand why everyone in the neighborhood was chewing on her. So, in my baby registry research, I was happy to find Zeta.

As a black and white toy, Zeta went from being visually interesting when C was only a few months old to a soft and squeaky teether.  Zeta is definitely a great gift for any mommy-to-be who wants to be a little different!

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Simple Baby Bottle Storage


It seems with every new purchase for the baby, the same problem arises:  where should I store it?

I find bottles to be particularly annoying and for the last 6 months have lived unhappily with bottle parts strewn across the kitchen counter. A few weeks ago, I had enough. I took to pinterest and although there were useful suggestions, many of them involved buying yet another container to take up even more space in my shrinking apartment. I decided I couldn’t live with another new purchase and I would use what I had.

What did I come up with? I reorganized the kitchen cabinet that housed our drinking glasses and with a bit of shifting (and donating) I cleared the bottom shelf of the most convenient upper cabinet. I then re-purposed an old silverware rack (the type that hangs on a drying rack) for nipples and things.

Now, once the bottles and parts are washed they live UNSEEN and this makes me a happy Mom!

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