5 Kids In a Minivan Yay or Nay? #SiennaDiaries

toyota sienna

Once you reach big family status car shopping becomes a whole different experience, it is no longer what car do I want it is what car can we fit in and not feel like sardines! Right before my 5th daughter was born we sold our minivan (an older Ford Windstar) and bought a Yukon XL with 2 benches. I agonized over the decision we have 5 kids under 8 which means everyone is either in a car seat or booster seat. This also means I am still in stroller stage and diaper bags so I need lots of trunk space. After driving my 5 in the Yukon XL for a few months I got the Toyota Sienna for 3 months to test drive and it was perfect for me to compare which worked better for me.

 

toyota sienna full car

 

So here are the reasons I like having a minivan with 5 kids and by minivan I mean Toyota Sienna. I have owned or rented or tested out several different models and with 5 kids the Toyota Sienna is thus far the only one I would consider with 5 kids.

1. It is still a “normal” size car and fits easily in parking spots, parking garages, parallel parking spots and house garages.

2. The automatic sliding doors are a big deal, it means mom can open the door and tell little ones to get in from far away. It means no banging into other cars or poles thus denting and scratching the doors and it means the chance of pinched fingers is greatly reduced.

3. Everyone does fit and the Toyota Sienna has a wider back bench so three across car seats is a realistic possibility with the right combination.

4. As the kids grow out of car seats they will still fit comfortably with great leg room and the captains chairs are nice for teens.

5. The drop down trunk means a stroller plus other stuff does fit.

6. It is not a gas guzzler like the next size up cars.

 

Here are the reasons I do not like having a minivan with 5 kids and prefer my double bench Yukon XL.

1. The minivans deep trunk means I stack my groceries on top on the stroller and each other as opposed to the long trunk that means I have lots of surface to set groceries flat without stacking while still having a stroller inside.

2. With 5 in car seats the configuration works better with the two benches, no one is climbing over a kid in a car seat who is in the captains chair. For the minivan my 2 youngest take the captains chairs and that means my big girls climb over them at school pick up and drop off as well as at dance drop off and pick up which results in tears almost every time.

3. I don’t have room for a friend in the minivan.

4. A minivan is not as good for towing a trailer which we need when we go camping as a family of 7.

So as you can see there are pros and cons of each vehicle for me the Yukon XL with double bench is best at this time in my life but it is a beast and a gas guzzler which is rough. Ideally my husband would have a Toyota Sienna as his car meaning we always have enough room for the whole family, that was a real big bonus for us when we had the Sienna.

So if you are a big family shopping for a new vehicle hopefully this helps!

Beatle’s Themed Bridal Shower: All You Need Is Love…

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beatles bridal shower food

 

My Sister-in-law is getting married and I am so excited for her, her fiance is a great guy. Both of them love The Beatles and are incorporating it into their wedding so when it came time to throw her a wedding shower we of course had to incorporate The Beatles. Her colors are sage and plum and we found a fabulous selection of green chevron paper products at CelebrateExpress.com.

 

beatles themed bridal shower

 

strawberry fields forever mimosa bar

 

strawberry fields forever printable

 

We decided to do a mimosa bar and since it was Beatle’s themed we of course did a Strawberry Fields Forever Mimosa Bar, complete with plastic champagne flutes and an adorable printable.

 

bridal shower cupcake dress cake

 

For the cake I instead made a wedding dress out of cupcakes, it turned out really cute and was very simple to make. Then we added music note confetti to keep with our musical theme.

 

beatles bridal shower game

 

Our shower game was love themed too as we created a fun printable telling guests to leave a date night idea. This was really fun and added an activity that guests could do when they wanted. The Beatles themed bridal shower game was  a hit and our bride-to-be walked away with some great date night ideas.

 

chinese lanterns

 

The final touch were these great green chevron chinese lanterns hanging all around, they added a touch of fun and whimsy and looked really great.

The Beatles themed bridal shower turned out great and was a lot of fun, because All You Need is Love….

Road Trip with the Toyota Sienna #SiennaDiaries

I was provided a Toyota Sienna to document my life driving it, all opinions are my own.
toyota sienna road trip

My sister-in-law is getting married and her fiancee is from a small town about 2 1/2 hours away so what happens when her future in-laws throw her a bridal shower out of town… road trip! This road trip was extra special as we had 2 nursing babies to bring with us so of course I offered to drive in the spacious 2014 Toyota Sienna!

So that means 3 adult women and 2 babies in car seats packed into the Toyota Sienna, good thing it is roomy!

 

toyota sienna interior

 

While we packed some DVD’s ( Monk and Psych of course) for our adult in car entertainment we just talked most of the time. The Toyota Sienna was ideal for this road trip for many reasons. My sister-in-law sat on the back bench with her little boy and was able to entertain him the whole way. He is 9 months old and was getting tired of the car seat so when we stopped at Wendy’s for lunch she got him out. We opted to eat in the car and the center aisle was spacious enough for him to get down on the ground and stretch out, really he just stood holding the seat as he loves to stand now, but it was perfect. I was able to nurse my baby comfortably and we even did some diaper changes on the seats, the elevated footrest comes in handy for that, instant changing table!

 

toyota sienna cup holder

 

The extendable center cup holder meant that my other sister-in-law (the bride to be) could recline her captains chair and relax and still have her coffee within arms reach, a definite plus. The ride both ways was comfortable and easy on the wallet with this eco-friendly car and the deep trunk space meant all of the shower gifts easily fit in. Once again the Toyota Sienna was the perfect ride for our family adventure!

Why I Tell My Daughter She Is Beautiful Every Day

beautiful girls

This article has been swimming around in my head for several days now as I contemplated how to convey just how important it is to tell you daughter she is beautiful EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I know this idea has many self-proclaimed feminists seeing red already, but really I have no idea why it would offend you. As a society we have become so invested in making sure women are appreciated for all of their talents that we have made it a crime to call someone beautiful. Do not mistake my words though I also tell my daughters they are smart, kind, compassionate, creative and a host of other things daily but I include beautiful and let me tell you why.

My parents told me I was beautiful and I believed it.

When kids were mean, and let’s face it kids are mean how many super models report being told they were ugly as a kid, I knew they were wrong. Did it hurt to get called ugly by a snarling little boy or “popular” girl, of course, but after the sting wore off I knew deep down they were just being mean.

When I was bombarded by advertisements telling me what pretty looks like and that only a very specific type of person is beautiful I knew deep down they were wrong.

And when my friends failed to see the beauty in the mirror I helped them because I knew they were beautiful and I told them so.

Everyone applauds Dove for the great campaign about loving all types of beauty and I am right there with them, this campaign is awesome, but are we living it out? Are we telling our beautiful, beautiful little girls just how beautiful they are? Are we saying it enough, every single day not just on special occasions?

I love fashion and makeup and jewelry but I always stress to my girls that those things are fun accessories but they are not what make me or anyone beautiful. It’s the person you are, the way you treat people, the way you treat yourself that makes you beautiful. It’s the story of you, your dad’s eyes, your mom’s smile, that make you beautiful.

 

kissing my beautiful girl

 

So I tell my girls each and every day that they are beautiful and smart and kind and loving and caring. I commend them on their character and praise their good choices. But I also tell them they are beautiful inside and out so when that freckle faced little boy or that gum chewing popular girl tells them otherwise it will sting but not pierce, and they will always remember my voice and their father’s voice telling them they are truly beautiful.

Our Community Service Project with Toyota Sienna #SiennaDiaries

 

decorating tissue boxes

 

As part of my adventures with the Toyota Sienna I was given the task of completing a community service project that utilized my 2014 Toyota Sienna. As a leader of the Little Flowers group at my daughter’s school I knew this was the perfect opportunity to get them involved in some community service. One of our field trips for the year was to go visit a nursing home but we really were stuck on what else to do as part of this trip, then one of the other leaders had a great idea. She suggested we have the girl’s decorate tissue boxes to then distribute to the residents. This idea served two purposes, one it gave the residents something bright and cheery to decorate their room and two it was practical during this long winter.

 

toyota sienna full trunk

 

With the help of Toyota I purchased 40 boxes of tissues as well as all the supplies to decorate them. The girls each decorated 2 boxes and had a wonderful time really making the boxes special. This past Saturday I loaded up the Toyota Sienna trunk with the boxes and my stroller (the trunk is that big), filled the car with kids and headed to a nearby nursing home.

 

bingo at nursing home

 

bingo at nursing home 1

 

The residents played BINGO with the kids and were thrilled to see some young and lively faces. After playing BINGO for an hour the girls handed out the decorated tissue boxes, one to each resident. The look of sheer joy at receiving such a simple gift was heartwarming and it really touched the kids. I was so proud of each of the girls who came as the elderly can sometimes be a bit intimidating for kids, but these girls were full of compassion and kindness. I know I walked away with a full heart grateful for a day spent with some lovely people and I love thinking of all those boxes decorated with such tenderness now bringing joy to others!

 

tissue boxes

 

Thank you Toyota for funding this wonderful community service experience for these girls.

Nine Steps to a Good Night’s Sleep from Zarbee’s #MC #SleepWeek

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received product samples and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. Zarbee's_Bedtime_Foods

Daylight Savings is just a day away and like most parents everywhere I am dreading it. While the spring time change is not as bad as the fall any time kid’s sleep habits are messed with it’s a big headache. Zarbee’s Naturals Dr. Zak has some great tips on what he calls sleep hygiene to help your kids get a good nights sleep. Dr. Zak will also be hosting a special Daylight Savings recovery chat on Twitter, Sunday March 9th at 7 PM ET to answer any real time sleep questions from their @zarbees handle. Zarbee's_Sleep_Hours_Chart_FINAL

The 9 Steps to a Good Night’s Sleep according to Dr. Zak are:

1. Consistency is key, keep a consistent bed time and routine regardless of day.

2. Create a sleep friendly bedroom. Bedrooms should be dark, quiet and slightly cool.

3. Stick to a routine. Dedicate 20-30 mintues to a bedtime routine each night to help your kids wind down.

4. Go ‘E-free” in the evening. The light from electronics can interfere with sleep patterns.

5. Teach how to sleep. Help teach your child to fall asleep naturally.

6. Going to Sleep is Not a Game. Make sure to keep your child from making bedtime and avoiding sleep a game.

7. Know the numbers. Know how much sleep a child needs. See chart.

8. Brighten the day and stay active. Sunlight and activity can help set up alertness in the day and sleepiness at night.

9. No caffeine for bedtime snack. Caffeine should be avoided in children all together.

 

At my house we have family prayers each night it’s the perfect way to help everyone wind down before bed and it is our routine that they kids can look forward to each night.  Bedtime is one thing my husband and I are really good at keeping consistent and our kids go to bed at 8pm every night, every day of the week.

Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep, for children 3 years +, helps reset the occasional hiccups in bedtime routines, like Daylight Savings Time, traveling and even sleepovers and right now you can save $1.50 off Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep (and free shipping on all orders over $10). It’s available online at www.zarbees.com using zarbeessleep at checkout.

 

It’s a Ballerina Birthday!

abbey 6th birthday party

 

Well my second oldest turned 6 in January and I still can not believe it, she is growing up too fast. Just like her big sister she is obsessed with dance so of course once again we had a ballerina birthday party at K Studio. With a new baby I was not going to stress myself out and end up with no sleep for a week planning the perfect birthday party, instead this year I was smart.

 

ballerinas

 

First the party was not at my house, so no staying up late to clean YAY!

 

ballerina crowns and ribbon wands

 

Second I ordered the wands for dancing instead of slaving over them myself. I got these fabulous ribbon wands on Etsy and they were perfect even coming with a custom wand for the birthday girl! I then picked up some crowns at Target and party favors were done, no crafting necessary!

 

ballerina cupcakes

 

Third I went super simple and made cupcakes with chocolate ballerina shoes on top and ordered pizza. Add a fruit tray, chips and Capri Suns and we are all set.

 

elegant pricness party supplies

 

Fourth I ordered the cutest party supplies from BirthdayExpress.com and as always was very happy with them. I went with the Elegant Princess Damask set and it was perfect. I had everything I needed from tablecloths  and paper products to center pieces so all the decor was taken care of.

 

birthdayexpress centerpiece

 

I could have done a lot more by the way of decor, but this was perfect and I was not stressed at all which is a huge win for me. But best of all my daughter loved every minute of it!

Thank you to BirthdayExpress for saving a moms sanity by providing party supplies, all opinions are my own. And yes I bought the wands, the food and the crowns.

Decorate Your House in Pantone’s Color of the Year Radiant Orchid

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Charisma Duvet Cover

 

I am so excited about the Pantone Color of the year because I love purple so radiant orchid, yes please! Not only will I be wearing a lot of radiant orchid this year but I also am adding touches of it into my home, I do have 5 girls after all. The Company Store is a great place to find some purple to brighten up your home, they even have a whole Pinterest board full of purple options for you to browse.

 

Jute Rug

 

I really love the Charisma duvet color, pictured above, for a hint of purple and the jute rug in purple would be a really nice accent of color in any room. My girls have a pink and purple room so adding purple sheets was a perfect idea for them. The solid purple brings out the purple aspects in the rug they have and looks great in the room.

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lacrosse down blanket

 

Currently my girls each have a quilt and are using fleece blankets for extra warmth, but now they have a purple LaCrosee down blanket to add warmth and color. My girls are thrilled with all the new purple and I am thrilled with the quality of the sheets and blankets from The Company Store. Now I just need to convince my husband we need a new duvet cover so I can get the Charisma Duvet for my room!

 

the company store sheets in radiant orchid

Finally A Safe Way to Treat Coughs in Little Ones #MC #ZarbeesCough

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received product samples and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
zarbees naturals products

 

When little one’s have a cough it can break a mother’s heart especially when we are left without options to help them. When my oldest daughter was little I remember her having a cold and giving her cold medicine, then by the time my second daughter arrived all medicines had been pulled from the market and I felt so helpless watching her suffer. Dr. Zak, pediatrician and founder of Zarbee’s, felt the same way when his little boys got sick so he did something about it, he created Zarbee’s All Natural Cough Syrup. Zarbee’s All Natural Cough Syrup is made with dark honey and is drug free making it safe for little one’s. Zarbee’s Naturals products are drug-free, dye-free and gluten-free and safe for babies from 2 months and up.

Zarbees_Tips_ABC's

 

When the horrible RSV virus with it’s nasty cough ripped through my house the week of Christmas I discovered Zarbee’s for the first time. My kid’s were coughing horribly and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Zarbee’s helped soothe the cough in my little one’s and for that I am so grateful. I wish I had seen Dr. Zak’s Kid Cough ABC’s before today, while I did the saline and the Zarbee’s my kids did not have fever so I didn’t think to do ibuprofen.

 

zarbees naturals

 

When my kids come down with a cold I become the hand washing crazy lady to try and keep it from spreading. I also use  humidifiers in the kids rooms, saline in the nose and we use lots of boogey wipes so noses don’t get irritated. Coughs and colds are inevitable but they don’t have to be miserable thanks to Zarbee’s Naturals. Sometimes it can be hard to tell how serious your child’s cough is, Dr.Zak has come up with an excellent guide to help you decide if your child should be kept home or not, I know I will be referring to this often!

 

Zarbees_Tips_Sick_or_School

 

Zarbee’s can be found at most drug stores or online and here is a coupon to be used at zarbees.com for $1.50 off plus free shipping!

 

Zarbee'sNaturals Coupon

 

Toyota Sienna Reads My Mom Brain #SiennaDiaries

toyota usb

 

In case you have missed all of my Instagram posts I am currently driving a Toyota Sienna as part of the #SiennaDiaries program. Over the next 3 months I will have the chance to really get to know it and share with you my thoughts on this minivan and how it works for moms and me in particular.

 

toyota sienna

 

There are many reasons to love the Toyota Sienna from amazing safety features to luxuries that no one needs but everyone wants. But the things that just keeps hitting me every single time I drive the Toyota Sienna is that it reads my mom brain.

I have 5 kids that means my hands are always full and my mind is always preoccupied, it is truly a miracle that I don’t lock my keys in the car daily. Thanks to the mind reading ability of the Toyota Sienna I do not have to worry about that happening. Why you ask? Well the Toyota Sienna is a keyless car, you push the button to start and only need to have the keys in your pocket for it to work. That means I have no excuse for leaving my keys in the car I can zip them in my pocket and never take them out the whole time BRILLIANT!

 

toyota sienna door

 

Along that same line the Sienna knows when I am coming and when I am going. As I approach the Toyota Sienna recognizes the keys in my pocket and unlocks. Yes it unlock for me, no more searching for keys in the rain, snow or bitter cold! The same is true as I leave the car will lock when I leave with the keys. Even if the car is running, like on these sub-freezing polar vortex days when it needs to be started ahead of time, I can go back in the house with the keys and not worry about locking the keys in the car.

Me and my Sienna we are in tune like that, she reads my mind and helps make my day smoother and stress free, I think I’m in love!

Adding a Pop Of Color to my Living Room with New FLOR

Lasting Grateness - Clementine/Bone

Lasting Grateness – Clementine/Bone

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My living room is a bit drab. We have yet to paint the walls so they are still boring beige, and while I love my brown leather sofa it does not do anything to brighten up the room. Awhile back I added orange pillows and they have been the lone pop of color that draws in your eyes immediately.

Flor came to my rescue with my favorite movable tiles in a fabulous orange print. The Lasting Grateness print comes in lots of colors, but the clementine really caught my eye. This color is bold and vibrant and fun, all the things I needed in my living room. The crazy hodge-podge of bone colored lines gives it an elegant yet edgy feel and it is just perfect. Plus as a mom I LOVE that if my kids happen to ruin it (who am I kidding they will some day) I can replace 1 tile instead of having to replace a whole rug. The brilliant creator of Flor clearly knew that moms needed this!

living room before

 

living room with Flor

 

As you can see it really gave the space some great character and it even makes my cookbooks look better sitting on the coffee table.

 

coffee table with flor

 

Flor has so many amazing flooring options and the new spring line contains eco-friendly designs that will have you swooning! We are still loving the reoriented print we put in our girl’s bedroom and I really want to line my hallway with Positive Slant in slate like in this picture!

 

positiveslant_sp14_1

 

Vivian, Brynlee and the Gift of Sleep

vivian

I realize I never told you the story of Vivian’s birth, my sweet baby girl who arrived on November 13. The reason is her birth was really rough, she was born with a hole in her lung and it threw everything into instant turmoil. Thankfully my sweet baby girl is fine, the hole healed and we were able to take her home after only 4 days in the NICU. I say only like it was no big deal but it was a huge deal. If you have ever had a NICU baby then you know the emptiness that comes from sitting in a hospital room all alone without your baby. You know the pain of seeing your baby hooked up to tubes and not being able to hold them or even nurse them. I wouldn’t wish a NICU experience on any mother, we have done it twice and thankfully both times were short stays with no recurrences, for many others that is not the case.

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Vivian 24 hours old

 

When Vivian was born we had no idea she had a hole in her heart. The doctors handed her to me and then things got crazy. My beautiful baby girl cried once then curled up very still on my chest and my heart sank because I knew something wasn’t right. The nurse knew too and grabbed her right away, from there things got crazy as lots of people surrounded her trying to figure out was wrong and the decision was made to take her to NICU for a C-PAP. My husband left with her never having even touched his baby girl, it would remain that way for over 24 hours as she had x-rays and tests to figure out why she couldn’t breath right. Thankfully the hole was an easy fix with a  chest tube and she has no lasting issues.

As a blogger I have experienced more loss and devastation through those around me than I normally would. I know and interact with more people so I hear about more instances of loss and hardship, which can be really hard. Every time I hear of something my heart breaks a little and I always want to help, but often there is not much I can do, we are only virtual friends and sometimes only even acquaintances. But twice there have times I have gotten to help like  like today when I get to help Whitney and her beautiful baby girl Brynlee.

brynlee

Whitney and I do not really know each other, we are virtual co-workers, but there are some things that instantly connect us to others and this FB post took my breath away and forever connected me to Brynlee. When Whitney posted this on Facebook on December 7 my heart dropped “Brynlee is here but she is having trouble breathing. Please pray.” It looked eerily like my post on November 13. I went right back to that delivery room and the awful gut wrenching panic when your baby can’t breath and you can’t do anything but watch as medical professionals swarm your baby. It turns out Brynlee has PRS or Pierre Robins Syndrome which they were not aware of before she was born. Pierre Robin Sequence has three main features- a cleft palate, a receding lower jaw, and a posterior tongue, all of these things combined make it difficult for children with PRS to eat and breathe. To help her with these things Brynlee has a tracheostomy and a g-tube.

 

pampers gift

 

All of these medical needs for Brynlee were unexpected to say the least and come with a whole new set of needs. Her parents have endured NICU at a hospital not close to home while caring for 2 other children, they have had to endure surgery on their infant baby girl and they had no time to prepare for all of this. When I realized how much extra medical equipment and supplies as well as different baby supplies they would need for Brynlee I turned to my favorite brand for help, Pampers. I knew that if any brand would be able to help ease this new financial strain that Pampers would. The generous people at Pampers sent me a $500 AMEX card to gift Brynlee and her family so that they can just enjoy this beautiful little girl and not worry about all the new things they needed to buy for her! I am s grateful to Pampers for helping and to Whitney for sharing her journey with her beautiful baby girl with me. You can follow Brynlee and her families journey at It’s Gravy Baby. She is home with her siblings and family and is cute as can be!

Thanks so much to Pampers for being a brand that truly cares and for allowing me to give this gift, the gift of peaceful sleep knowing they have what they need to care for Brynlee!

Dear RSV I HATE YOU

rsv vivian

I am well educated on RSV, after all 2 of my babies have had it before.

I have shared my story about early detection and even blogged about it the past two years to educate other moms.

I have been vigilant and watched for the signs of RSV…. yet my baby still ended up in the hospital!

My older 4 girls have had the never ending cold this Christmas break, no fevers just lots of congestion and coughing. I have been vigilant about not letting them touch the baby, ect. Then on Thursday in the middle of the night my 6 week old started making weird coughing noises, almost a cough and sneeze mixed together. On Friday she seemed a bit congested but was not eating any less and no fever. Saturday morning I took her to the doctor as a precaution, we were going into the weekend and I wanted reassurance.

The doctor was concerned at her age with a cold but her breathing was unrestricted and she was still eating well. I left being told to watch her like a hawk. I went about my day feeling relived, then I realized I was in pain due to her not eating enough each time she nursed, that never happens. So I woke her to make her eat and that was when it all went south. I noticed as I changed her diaper she felt a bit warm. I stripped her down and she cooled so I though she was just over dressed. Then when changing her diaper the red flag went up, her skin was pulling in under the ribs as she took each breath, that means she is using extra muscles to breath she shouldn’t.

 

vivian rsv

 

From there it was a whirlwind of a panicked phone call to my mom to come watch the girls so I could go to the hospital. Then another call to my dad and brother (a paramedic and fireman). By the time they arrived my brother said to call 911 her breathing was too labored. During all this my husband was on a stage playing music so I could not reach him.

I want to STRESS if your baby or child is labored in breathing call 911, it never occurred to me. My brother told me they have the breathing treatment equipment on the ambulance so she would get help quicker. I am so grateful for this insight! We rode in the ambulance to Children’s Hospital and she was improving as we rode with the oxygen they had and we bypassed a waiting room full of sick kids, I am so grateful for this!

 

vivian rsv hospital

 

My baby girl was admitted Saturday night and finally released Monday afternoon. Time stops when you are sleeping on a couch in a hospital room worrying about your baby. Thankfully her oxygen saturation never dropped due to our early intervention so even though she ended up in the hospital my vigilance was crucial.

So what did I learn?

  • RSV looks different in different kids depending on the age.
  • Any baby under 6 months you need to be concerned about all colds and under 4 months go straight to the doctor!
  • Almost every cold has RSV in it, adults are just not affected like babies!
  • Trust your instinct!

My baby is home and healthy but she is still coughing and on breathing treatments. Hug your little ones and keep them close as RSV is really bad this year!

And now I am wearing my baby no-stop as I NEED to feel her breath, thank goodness for babywearing.

Safe Babywearing Practices and My Babywearing Journey

safe babywearing collage

If you know me in real life you know I love babywearing, it is my saving grace as a mom of many littles and honestly I have no idea how I would take care of all of them if I didn’t babywear. Since I have a passion for babywearing I am a Boba ambassador and am sharing my babywearing story to help educate you on safe babywearing and the benefits of babywearing. When I had my first daughter we registered for a baby carrier and it got a lot of use. I found that wearing my daughter was so much easier than constantly holding her and it made things like the grocery store much more pleasant. My husband even wore our daughter, in fact it was the only way he felt confident that he could keep her happy for long periods of time if I had to do something. As anew mom I was completely unaware of all the babywearing options and used a carrier that faced out. While it did provide great bonding it not only killed my back and my husbands as she grew but it was not the best option for her either.

babywearing

 

When I had my second daughter I bought my first sling and enjoyed that with her, then I discovered babywearing with baby facing in. I fell in love with the baby facing inward carriers, the bonding was so much better and the snuggling can not be beat. I wore my second daughter much more often and until I became too pregnant with my third daughter she was worn all the time. It was with my third daughter that I discovered the Boba Wrap and it was a lifesaver. My daughter had severe acid reflux and we could not lay her flat without her screaming. I was able to wear her in the Boba Wrap from the time she was 3 days old in a vertical position that kept her pain free and happy. The Boba Wrap kept her safely in place with head support so I could be an active mom with my 4 and 2 year old, I would have been lost without it. When my 3rd daughter was 6 months old I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and had to abruptly quit nursing due to my much needed medicine. It was a very stressful time since my baby had never had formula or used a bottle before and the transition was very rough. As I mourned the loss of our bonding over nursing I began wearing her even more to keep us bonded. My daughter was worn so much that she was completely sleep trained in the baby carrier. This was a huge blessing because when she was 10 months old I had a total thyroidectomy and was not allowed to pick her up for a month. Not being able to give my daughter the closeness to mommy that she needed was really hard but my amazing husband wore her all the time and made sure she still felt close to her parents. After my surgery I jumped back into babywearing and wore her daily until she was 2.

boba wrap babywearing

 

My 4th daughter followed the trend of babywearing from birth first with the Boba Wrap and them with multiple soft carriers like the Boba 3G. Now baby number 5 is being worn daily and she not only uses the Boba Wrap but the new Boba 4G with infant insert. I do not believe in letting my kids cry it out and honestly we have never had major crying issues. I firmly believe that the bond of babywearing has helped my children to have a strong and healthy attachment to both mom and dad. When I have a fussy baby all it takes is for my husband or I to wear them and they are content. Whether I am at home, the grocery store, church or the soccer field you can find me wearing my baby. Not only does it make my life more manageable it keeps my babies close and happy!

 

boba baby

 

9 Reasons not to carry your baby facing out

If you are unfamiliar with babywearing or why it is safer to wear your baby facing inward Boba is a great resource. As a maker of only inward facing baby carriers Boba is committed to safe babywearing.

 

 

Raising Awareness About RSV #RSVAwareness #MC

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

RSV-Infographic

If you are a mother to young children then you should know about RSV, if you are not sure what I am talking about then now is the time to learn as we enter the worst time of year for RSV (November-March). Unfortunately I have had two infants with RSV but lucky for me both times it was caught early and my fabulous pediatrician was aggressive and proactive and we avoided a hospital stay, not everyone is that lucky.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common seasonal virus, contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, and typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy, full-term babies. In premature babies with underdeveloped lungs and low counts of virus-fighting antibodies a virus that would otherwise be a common cold requires hospitalization.

Symptoms to watch out for in your baby include:

• Persistent coughing or wheezing

• Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails

• Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths

• Fever [especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age]

In both of my babies who had RSV they started showing cold like symptoms after their siblings had colds. As a rule of thumb if my baby is not improving at all after 3 days with a cold I take them to the doctor just to make sure it has not moved to the lungs. This is not medical advice this is my hyper-vigilant opinion and for me it has paid off as both girls cases of RSV was caught early. We ended up doing breathing treatments that worked and hospitalization was avoided for both girls.

Every time we have had a case of RSV in our house it has shocked me how many moms of tiny babies, even preemies, had never heard of RSV and had no idea to be on the look out for it. RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year. This number should be way less and by being informed and taking steps to prevent RSV it can be less. For more information about RSV please visit www.RSVprotection.com