Author: Floret Cadet

Thursday
February 28, 2013

Secure Beginnings Heaven Sent Sleep Surface

secure beginnings breathable sleep surface

I had so much fun researching baby products while I was pregnant, and am having even more fun these days trying them all out with Daniela.   I picked a crib mattress (actually not a mattress, but a ‘sleep surface’) that I was really excited about, but it wasn’t until this past week, when she got evicted from her Rock ‘N Play sleeper and her swing, that it got much use.

So now I can finally fully review the Secure Beginnings sleep surface, and I absolutely love it! First of all, I love any product that replaces several, and this replaces a mattress, mattress pad, sheet set, and bumper.  It’s also the safest sleep surface option out there, backed by tons of research.  It is completely breathable, made of a trampoline like mesh that suspends baby over a bed of air.  This reduces the potential for babies to breathe in carbon dioxide, and regulates body temperature because air is constantly circulating around them (both are risk factors for SIDS and each of the companies founders were personally affected by SIDS).  Even if they wind up on their stomach, babies can breathe freely through the surface – I tested it myself and could still breathe no matter how firmly I pushed my face against the surface. (The bolster in these pics doesn’t stay in there with her, of course – it was just there for the photo ; )

The sleep surface also addresses a lot of other shortcomings of other crib mattresses.  It’s extremely hygenic as the whole thing is easily machine washable, and if a diaper leaks or the baby spits up, the liquid doesn’t soak into the surface but is simply collected in the base below, which is easy to wipe up.

The fabric is not made with toxic chemicals either.  There is tons of info about the non-toxic materials and all of the eco friendly practices the company has employed here and here.

Another plus is that because the fabric gives under their bodies and conforms to them, babies are at far less risk of developing flat spots on their heads.

The surfaces come in fabulous colors, and you pair them with a hardwood maple base.  They make some very cool, modern looking combinations.  We have the sleep surface in Fuschia, and the circle base in white. 

Last but not least, they are made in America, which is a nice bonus as far as I’m concerned.

 

 

 

 

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Thursday
January 17, 2013

Cheers to my discerning baby

I love a good euphemism, especially when it covers for someone I love.  Our two year old terrier mutt will bring you a toy to throw him, placing it on your lap or directly in your hand, endlessly (we tested his limit as an experiment one day when lots of people were over and could alternate throwing to him – he went for eight hours straight with no break).  Or he will purposefully push his toy under the coffee table and then whine until someone retrieves it for him – at which point he will push it right back under.  Over and over again.  For hours.  Technically, he might be considered obsessive compulsive or hyper-active.   But I prefer to think of him as “high spirited” and “persevering.”

So when I read an article about bottle refusal that included the line “if your baby is particularly discerning” I knew I’d hit on a winner.   This is the perfect way for me to think about Daniela – a baby who will only nap for more than a few minutes if she’s strapped to my chest or in my arms.  A baby who will not even consider sucking on silicone pacifiers or nipples.  A baby who will happily look at dangling toys for several minutes, and then on a dime, start shrieking like they’re attacking her.  A baby who used to only be soothed by the up down motion (of course not side to side or front to back motion, like a swing can provide ; ) of her parents climbing the stairs of doing deep knee bends.  Who would fall into a deep sleep during said stair stepping or squatting, but wake up the second the motion slowed or stopped (forget about trying to put her down!)

When she’s fussy, she’s not difficult, or even high needs.  She’s just discerning! I love this- it gives her some agency, and it’s a commendable trait.  I really do try to think of her now as just having excellent taste and wanting only the best.  Why shouldn’t she?! I hope she keeps this up well into adulthood.  If she’s half as discerning about who she dates, or what jobs she takes, she will be golden.

So cheers to my extremely discerning baby (no, seriously – cheers – as in, it’s 2 PM and I need a drink badly ; )

But all kidding aside, I do believe that language is really important and how you label things can make a huge difference in how you experience them.  I was first exposed to this idea through Dr. Sears’ books – he doesn’t label babies colicky, but instead, underscores that they’re hurting.  Apart from the fussy times when she’s just being discerning, there are also good stretches when Daniela is inconsolable and hysterical for no apparent reason.  During those times, when absolutely no soothing techniques work, I often feel like yelling “what the !@#$ do you want from me?!”  But I stop myself, and even if it’s not aloud, I repeat things like “I’m so sorry you’re hurting.  I wish I knew what was wrong.”  Instead of thinking “I love you even when you’re crying for hours,” I try to think “I love you especially when you’re crying for hours, because that’s when you need it most.”

So in more seriousness, cheers to my discerning baby, and may she stop hurting very soon.   It’s so hard for both of us when she is.

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Thursday
January 10, 2013

Why I love this crazy swaddle sack

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This is Daniela modeling her Love To Dream Swaddle Up.  It’s the single thing she’s worn the most in the 10 weeks since she was born – she pretty much lives in it.  Sometimes I have mild anxiety attacks if I think we’ve misplaced it, and I just ordered the next size up, because I didn’t want to risk even a day long gap without one.  Here are some of the many things I love about this thing:

1) She can’t bust out of it.  ever – no way, no how.

2) Anyone can put it on, no learning curve whatsoever.

3) It’s made of nice jersey knit fabric that hasn’t pilled after literally dozens of washings.  My Summer Infant ones all got pretty ratty after a bit.  Also no velcro to stick to other velcro in the wash.

4) It allows her hands to move, but not freely enough to startle herself.  This is nice because she’s old enough now that I wouldn’t have her tight swaddled during the day any longer.  When she is getting fussy but not ready to go down yet, this still allows her to gesticulate, but if she does fall asleep in my arms or elsewhere, I don’t have to wake her up to swaddle her (she stays down for naps about 4 times as long if she’s swaddled).  Also, she is starting to learn to suck on her hands to self soothe, and I LOVE that this sack doesn’t interfere with that! She can and does suck right through the fabric.

5) It has a two way zipper, meaning that you can simply unzip it for night time diaper changes, rather than having to un and re swaddle her.  This alone is enough of a selling feature to win my loyalty.   She had mild hip dysplasia at birth and is in a brace part time, and this is also wonderful on that front – it’s loose enough around her legs that it was OK’d by her doctor to wear as is, and when she’s in the brace, which holds her hips open too wide to accommodate this sack, we unzip it halfway from the bottom and her legs are completely free.

6) A cute pocket on the back conceals an opening that a seatbelt or other 5 point harness can fit through.  To use this way, you unzip the bottom half.

The Australian company that makes these doesn’t ship to the States, but I found one US based website who sells them- Eco Mom.

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Friday
January 4, 2013

Two great baby gifts

I love this pic of my little baby first of all because it’s adorable.  But secondly, because it features not just one but two of my favorite gifts that she received! I wanted to recommend them both for anyone creating a registry or looking to give a gift.

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First is the Finn & Emma play gym – I couldn’t love this thing more! It’s totally portable, made from all organic materials (one less tacky plastic baby thing we have to display in our house!), and comes in light and dark wood, with girls or boys toys (the boys version is cute in orange and blue).  She loves it too – she will stare at and accidentally bat those toys more than anything else right now.  You could theoretically replace the little toys with ones of your own if they got bored of them – the wood arch has slits and a lot of stroller toys would probably work well too!
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And then our personalized birth announcement throw pillow! These are at Uncommon Goods, and come in more fun colors besides pink and blue.   This looks great in the nursery and is such a fun reminder of all of the details of her birth!
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Thursday
December 20, 2012

Merry Christmas from Floret Cadet!

I just have random tidbits today.  First of all…

Merry Christmas from 7 week old baby Daniela.  (5 weeks as shown here ; )

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You know what else The Original Reindeer Auto Outfit looks cute on? A stroller!

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And one more quick thing, more along Floret Cadet lines…I didn’t get around to much impressive Christmas decorating this year, but am liking my impromptu tree topper – although yes, I could have adorned it a little bit more nicely than with curling ribbon ; )  It’s a tillandsia, aka an air plant.  I got mine from a local grower, but they are widely available online, and they live out of soil, only needing watering via spray or soaking very occasionally- the perfect houseplant for an occasionally preoccupied new mom!

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Next year, I plan to do more of a botanically decorated tree, with long lasting stuff like water picked orchids, succulents and airplants everywhere!

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Thursday
December 13, 2012

Newborn Cloth Diaper Roundup

We have been cloth diapering Daniela since she was a day old, and it’s been going swimmingly! She has a whole stash of one size diapers that she has yet to grow into, but we also had a smaller stash of tiny newborn sized diapers to get us through the first several weeks.  I did lots of research beforehand into cloth diapes that will fit brand new babies, and wanted to share my experiences with some of them here!  First, some diapers that Daniela has been photographed wearing ; )

#1- Size 0 Newborn Kissaluvs

These were our go to diapers for the first few days.  They’re not waterproof, but they’re organic unbleached cotton, and snap down to avoid hitting the umbilical cord stump.  While I was just making colostrum, these were sufficient without a cover – she wasn’t peeing enough to soak through them.  Once she needed a diaper cover over these, I stopped liking them, as much as I wanted to- putting on two separate garments felt like too much work, and the velcro on the outside of the newborn sized covers we were using would scratch me when I was breastfeeding skin to skin (which was every time in those days).  They also got quite bulky with the covers on top.  I still loved these for those first days, but wouldn’t have stocked up as much as I did had I known how little I’d use them after that.

Daniela is about 10 days old, and about 7.5 lbs in all of these three upcoming photos, by the way!

#2 – Lil Joeys by Kangaroos

I LOVE these all in one diapers! They are sized diapers and quite small, but at 6 and a half weeks, she still hasn’t quite outgrown them and I’m using them all I can before she does!  They snap down to accomodate the umbilical cord stump, and they fit her wonderfully from day 1.  She weighed 7 lbs 4 oz, and had pretty skinny legs at birth.  They have never leaked thanks to the built in gussets, and don’t take too long to dry (a common complaint about the all in one diapers).  They’re also trim and cute, and I must say that the ease of all in one diapers is wonderful.

#3 – Small sized G Diapers

(more…)

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Thursday
December 6, 2012

My favorite non baby products for baby

Mr. Floret Cadet and I have discovered lots of great baby products since having Daniela (more blog posts on some of those to follow) – but some products that aren’t intended for babies have also turned out to be lifesavers for us.  Here are a few of them!

#1 – Homedics Soundspa Alarm Clock with Projector – This is a cheesy alarm clock that I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond years ago on a whim and it hadn’t seen the light of day in our house, until Daniela was born.  What makes it so great now is first the variety of white noise settings- from ocean to rain to crickets. She’s sleeping in our room, and these sounds are far more pleasing to me than the Sleep Sheep or other white noise makers geared specifically towards babies (*what* is up with that terrifying, evil sounding “heartbeat” setting on the Sleep Sheep?!)  They can also stay on all night vs being on a timer.  I also love the projector feature.  New parents wake up every time the baby grunts or stirs, and it’s so nice not to have to roll over or strain to see what time it is.  I can open my eyes for just a second any time, and the time is projected onto the ceiling- I stay almost fully asleep and still have some grasp over what time it is and how long until the next feeding.  Also, the projection casts just enough light into the room that I can feed her without turning on any additional light.  It’s not a distraction for sleeping and is a pleasant blue color.

#2 –  Boppy Pregnancy Wedge- This is a pregnancy product, intended to prop up pregnant bellies while side sleeping at night, but I’ve used it more since having her than I did when I was pregnant I think! I use it to prop up my elbow when I breastfeed her in the cradle position, and since I have overactive letdown issues with feeding, I also use it to prop her up and angle her body on top of the My Breast Friend pillow, so she can better control the flow.  It’s also the perfect size, shape and firmness to use under her for Tummy Time, and makes a cute photo prop when she’s holding her head up off of it.

#3- I have always loved these little liquid dispenser bottles at Sephora, and was excited to find them online.  I ordered one for each diaper station.  When you first come home from the hospital, you are supposed to just use gauze wipes with water for the first few weeks.  We are also cloth diapering and using cloth wipes, so I am continuing to use these indefinitely to wet my wipes, either with solution or just water.  But even just for the first few weeks, I would much prefer to use one of these to dispense water than to keep an open dish of water that could get kicked over at the changing station.

#4 – Clip on reading light – We have one of these clipped onto our bedroom changing station, so that whoever changes her doesn’t have to turn on a full bedside lamp and wake her or the other adult up during midnight changings.  It’s working out well- the light stays very localized.

#5 – This is the furthest removed from a baby product, but it’s still saving my life.  Why? It’s a soft indoor version of the famous Chuck It dog toys, and I can use it to entertain our extremely high spirited dog while nursing or holding the baby – the handle is long enough for me to reach the toy on the ground and not have to bend over to pick it up, and I never touch the toy, so I don’t have to constantly sanitize my hands in between dog time and baby time.

Oh and also – it’s not a product but a service, so not listed here, but Amazon Prime has been the biggest life saver of all! In the first 2 weeks of her life I think we placed at least one and usually two orders per day.  It was so nice to get things so quickly, not have to rack our brains for $25 worth of stuff to order so we could get free shipping, and to not have to try to get one of us out to the (germ infested) baby store during those early weeks!

Until next time…

Categories: Baby Gear
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Friday
November 30, 2012

A few of my favorite things…

I survived my first month of motherhood! Mr. Floret Cadet and I rang in Daniela’s one month milestone yesterday – I can’t believe how quickly she’s growing. We got really excited the other day that she was able to focus her eyes on toys hanging from her play gym – and then laughed at ourselves that this seems like such a major achievement.  “Our baby is a genius! Did you see that?! She *looked* at something!”

So in celebration, I wanted to post three products that have come in so handy and made our first month as parents just a little bit easier.  Before she was born, I was wondering if all of them weren’t a little bit gimmicky – but I quickly learned how welcome any product is that can save you a few minutes of time, buy you a few minutes of sleep, or spare you a few minutes of stress!

#1 – Magnificent Baby clothing fastens with magnets.  They also come in really cute prints, like this Moroccan print and this pink Elephant print, both of which Daniela has added to her collection.  They make daytime changes more pleasant, and I’m convinced they buy us some extra sleep during the nights – they are so easy to get on that you don’t really have to turn on lights, and they disturb her a lot less, so sometimes we can do a change without completely waking her.

#2 – Zoli’s Buzz B nail trimmer is sort of like that crazy Pedi Paws thing for dogs, but for babies’ tiny nails.  It’s a little buffer that is completely gentle, but with strong enough buffing action to smooth down her jagged little nails.  Daniela has never protested when I use it on her, in fact, it almost seems to relax her.  And I don’t have to stress about possibly clipping her skin.  Win!

#3 – Babyletto’s Snuggle Wrap – OK disclaimer – this one came as a free gift with our crib which is made by Babyletto, and I had no idea it cost almost $60, which seems steep to me.  But now that I’ve used it, I might even venture to say it could be worth the price tag.  We’ve used it every day, it’s so handy and cozy.  It’s super soft quilted fabric, sort of a combo mat, wrap, blankie, and stroller / car seat bunting.  I wrap it around her lower half when she’s chilling out in one of her various seats at home, stretch the curved lower part over her car seat, wrap her up in it if I’m  holding her and it is chilly, and take it in the diaper bag for an on the go changing or tummy time mat.

Until next time!

 

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