Dock-A-Tot Discount

Get 10% off your Dock-A-Tot and any accessories you want to purchase, by clicking on this link.  It’ll take you directly to the Dock-A-Tot website and the 10% coupon code will be displayed.  Hope you enjoy your Dock-A-Tot as much as we do!

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The Honest Company

 
First, click this link to get to The Honest Company Website, and then use the following codes below at checkout. 

Save on bundles at the Honest Company with the following codes: 

Free tote bag with any bundle purchase: TREAT

$10 off any purchase $25 or more (of your first purchase): AMBASSADOR 10


First Time Parents – Things you need, and things you could live without


I figured I would start a post on baby products that you really need as a first time parent, and things that are more gimmick-ey and not real necessities. However, that being said, every baby is different, and every parent is different, and what works for one parent may not work for another. So, I advise you to just take this stuff into consideration, but do (or purchase) what you think is right.

Things we consider a must-have:

  1. Bassinet:  I thought I’d be smart with this one, and use a Pack n’ Play (players) as our bassinet. My logic behind this was that I didn’t wanna spend money on a bassinet that we would use for 6 months and basically be stuck with this piece of furniture once our son is in crib in his own room. I thought the pack n play would be great since you can pack it up and store it easily, whereas you’ll have to disassemble a bassinet. That backfired. We ended up getting the Halo Bassinest which was great, helped baby sleep, which helped mom and dad sleep. I think the smaller space (versus the pack n play) was comforting to our son. Halo Bassinest Official Website
  2. Dock-A-Tot (or some other fully breathable lounging station or mattress): this is huge. And you can’t fully appreciate the peace of mind you get when you have something fully breathable so you aren’t constantly worrying your baby might suffocate while you are asleep. Although expensive, the security you get from knowing your baby is safe is priceless. Dock-A-Tot shop, with 10% off from WTF Parent
  3. Compact Stroller: We purchased the Mountain Buggy Nano, and we f***ing love the thing. It fits everywhere. In the smallest restaurants, stores, literally everywhere. It fits our Peg Pérego Primo Viaggio 4-35 car seat perfectly. Mountain Buggy Official Website Crocodile Baby (Nano available at Canadian Retailler)                  Westcoast Kids (another Canadian retailer for the Nano)
  4. Wipe Warmer: this will for sure draw some criticism. We’ve heard people say to us “babies are so spoiled these days, they need their wipes to be warmed. When our kids were babies, they had cold wipes” #FirstWorldPains . I get it. But… When you’re up in the middle of the night and you can change your baby without him screaming his head off from the cold wipe on his ass, I’ll take it. I don’t care if you wanna think my kid is spoiled. It’s also a great baby shower gift cuz if you get one on sale, they can be between CAD$19-39. Babies R Us Canada
  5. A good swing: key word there is “good”. And I would highly recommend the Nuna Leaf swing. It’s a little pricey but it will last years. And I mean years.  It holds up to 130lbs, which means your kid could probably use it till they’re 10 years old. It has a soothing rocking motion that is not mechanical, and for some reason, just puts the baby to sleep or calms baby down. Westcoast Kids (Canadian Retailer)
  6. Good Bottles: if you’re going to be breastfeeding, the Munchkin Latch is the best set of bottles that we have come across. Regardless of the brand, if you plan on breastfeeding as well, make sure you get wide nipple bottles to minimize or prevent nipple confusion. We used the Dr Browns wide nipple bottles, the Comotomo bottles and the Munchkin Latch. The Latch seemed to make our son work the hardest for his meal, taking him more or less the same amount of time as if he were breastfeeding. Also, by the time he was done, he was tired (if not already passed out) from having to work (latch and suck) to get his meal.
  7. Nursing Bras. That’s plural. Make sure you have at least 2. Because babies spit up. And when you’re nursing, your boobs leak and if you don’t have a nursing bra on, while one is in the wash (from the aforementioned spit up), you’ll be leaking onto your clothes. Personally, I liked the Medela ultra stretch nursing bras, they’re super comfortable and serves their purpose.
  8. A good Nursing Pillow: get something good, because you’ll be using it a lot. I recently got the Ergobaby natural curve nursing pillow and love it. If you’re interested in purchasing the Ergobaby natural curve nursing pillow, and you’re located in the US, click this link to get 10% off your entire Ergobaby purchase.  I also hear that My Brest Friend is a really good nursing pillow to go with but I haven’t actually tried it.  Crocodile Baby (Canadian Retailer) or at Westcoast Kids (Richmond, BC)

Things that were kind of a waste of money:

  1. TeePee Tents if you’re having a boy. They flat out do not work. They seem like such a practical item, but they’re not.  I didn’t know (the extent of) this before, but babies fuss. And move. Especially when you’re changing them. They kick their legs and don’t stay still. Instead, buy some puppy training pads and lay them on your change table for easy pee clean ups so yore no constantly having to wipe down the change table as your baby is lying on it.
  2. Shitty swings: if they’re cheap and look cheap, and rock, sway or swing like they’re cheap, chances are, your baby isn’t gonna like it. Even though it’s on sale, avoid the temptation and splurge on something good instead. You’ll be thankful you did when your baby is peacefully sleeping because of the better quality rocking motion of the swing.
  3. Big Stroller: we bought a larger jogging style stroller, and never used it. It was supposed to fit a newborn in it (without a car seat), but the straps were too long even at its shortest setting so we couldn’t put our newborn in it right away. So, for the first little bit, we went without a stroller. Then your baby gets heavier which makes the car seat heavier and more difficult to carry around. So we bought a smaller stroller that we could literally take everywhere. There’s no way we could’ve brought the bigger stroller in some of the smaller (more crowded) restaurants and shops that we went to.

Before I end this post, I’ll leave you with two tips or two things to think about. They are both obviously money permitting, but for:

  1. If you can afford 2 car seats, buy 2 of the same. Basically, if you have 2 vehicles, you’ll most likely be buying one car seat (which should come with a base) and an extra base for the other car. The reason for this is, you will have diaper explosions occasionally. If these happen while baby is in the car seat, you will need to wash the car seat liner – which means you can’t go out with the baby until the liner is washed and dried. By the time you contact the company of the car seat, and buy the extra liners or inserts, you might as well get a whole other car seat with a base (and don’t buy the extra base). Hopefully this makes sense… Crocodile Baby (Canadian Retailer) or at  TJ’s Kids or Westcoast Kids (Canadian Retailer)
  2. If you and your husband have 2 cars, unless you have a successful system going on, you’re bound to leave the house one day with the stroller in the other vehicle.  A second stroller would be super beneficial if you end up getting a cheaper one.  I know, I know, it’s like I’m on commission with Mountain Buggy (but I’m not), but their Nano stroller retails at CAD$299 and if you get an Uppa Baby or Stokke brand stroller, those will set you back a minimum of $800+ so realistically, getting 2 of the cheaper Nano’s are a great idea and super convenient. I can’t tell you how many times I had to struggle carrying our son in his car seat around a grocery store buying diapers in Walmart while our stroller sat in my husband’s car while he was at work.

Anyways, hopefully this blog helps and gives you some food for thought. If you have any questions or other suggestions or experience of items that are necessary or useless, please feel free to comment on this blog post!

Product Review: Dock-A-Tot

The Dock-A-Tot can be opened at the bottom, allowing your baby to easily transition into a larger crib or bed

The Dock-A-Tot is every parent’s best friend.  It’s a totally breathable lounging station for your baby. It has multiple purposes: it can be used as a place for your baby to sleep/rest, lounge around, play, and to do tummy time.

There are 2 sizes available for the Dock-A-Tot, the Deluxe size which is for babies 0-8 months, and the Grand size, for infants/toddlers 9months to 3 years of age.

The Dock-A-Tot is supposed to also help transition your baby from co-sleeping with parents in their bed, or from a bassinet into their own bed when they grow older. It is also supposed to make your baby feel snugly secure, thus preventing unnecessary wake ups from their natural startle reflexes when they are sleeping. Because of its 100% breathable material from Sweden, it is supposedly completely safe if you have a tummy or side sleeper on your hands. Our son definitely prefers to sleep on his side (rather than his back), so the Dock-A-Tot has been a peace of mind for me, being the paranoid first-time mom that I am.  When the Dock-A-Tot first arrived, my husband put it right up to his face, and smushed his face into it, and took a deep breath.  To both of our amazement, it was indeed fully breathable, and didn’t restrict breathing at all.  After that test, we felt 100% confident that our son would be safe in it.

Because the Dock-A-Tot is supposed to be snug around your baby, preventing them from waking themselves up with their startle reflex, it’s supposed to help your baby sleep longer periods and through the night. I can’t honestly say whether it does or not, because we have been über fortunate that our son has been an awesome sleeper since birth. He sleeps pretty much through the night, with the exception of waking up for feeds every 4 hours or so. Because we haven’t had problems yet with him not sleeping long periods, I can’t say for certain whether the Dock-A-Tot is actually success in helping the little ones sleep longer through the night.

We use our Dock-A-Tot in the Halo Bassinest, and it’s a perfect fit, if any parents with the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper are wondering. The Dock-A-Tot can also be used in your own bed if you want to co-sleep but are worried about your baby rolling, or you or your significant other rolling onto the baby.

Overall, it is expensive, I’ll grant you that, but no one said babies were supposed to be cheap. It’s a good product and I would recommend it to anyone having sleep problems with their little ones. Plus, it comes in a sweet-ass grey chevron design with this really nice green zipper trim on it. It would make a great baby shower gift for a close friend or family member if you’re feeling generous.  I would also highly recommend purchasing an extra cover for it, as babies tend to like to spit up when it’s least convenient.  We had a few accidents in the middle of the night where our son spit up into the Dockatot and we had to wash the cover.  We ended up buying an extra cover so we could still use the Dockatot when this happened, but in hindsight I wish we bought it all together to save on the shipping.

*As an update, our son is now 6 months old, 15lbs 6oz and is 26″ long.  He still fits wonderfully in the Deluxe size.

For a discount, click this link Here, and you’ll be given a 10% off code on your purchase! Hope you enjoy your Dock-A-Tot as much as we do! Here is the full link if you want to copy and paste it in your browser: http://dockatot.refr.cc/BBGJHL9

Our son, Linden, enjoying his Dock-A-Tot

Linden chilling in his Dock-A-Tot

The Dock-A-Tot pictured in our Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper

Product Review: Ergobaby Nursing Pillow


I bought the Ergobaby natural curve nursing pillow after I read rave reviews about the product.  And after using it, I couldn’t agree more. I had some cheap nursing pillow from Babies R Us, and from the beginning, I always had problems with it. Firstly, it didn’t fit very well around my postpartum belly. Second, because of the flat shape of it, my son’s head always had to be propped up either by me holding it or if I could fit a pillow under it. Which meant I was either surrounded by pillows or I only had one free hand while nursing. Lastly, and probably the most inconvenient, was the fact that my son kept falling between me and the pillow because there wasn’t a strap holding it in place.

All these problems were addressed with the Ergobaby nursing pillow. My son’s head is properly supported by the natural shape of the pillow. The pillow is ultra firm – firmer than any other pillow I’ve seen on the market, yet the fabric on top layer is so soft and smooth for my son to lay on. The other added feature to this pillow, which I didn’t even know of until I started using it, is that because of its unique shape, your baby is forced into the proper, and natural breastfeeding position.

The one thing that I wish it did have though, is a strap to hold it in place. However, because of its shape and design, your baby fits on it properly and I haven’t notice my son slipping between myself and the pillow as I had problems with, with my previous nursing pillow. From the reviews I read, other moms complained that there is no handle on the nursing pillow, making it difficult to pick up with one hand. I would agree with this observation/complaint, but I haven’t found it to be an inconvenience. Lastly, I wish this pillow had a cup holder for me to rest a cup of coffee. But that’s something I don’t think any nursing pillow has….

At CAD$95, it’s an expensive nursing pillow, but well worth it. I wish I had it from the beginning and being able to have 2 hands free while nursing has been a huge benefit to this pillow. Also, if I had spent the money in the beginning, I wouldn’t have wasted the $30 on the crappy one I had before.

Click the pic below (or this link here) for a 10% discount on everything Ergobaby, to purchase one for you, or for a lucky friend/family member’s baby shower!

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Product Review: Nuna Leaf


After reading up on the Nuna Leaf swing, I decided to get one – according to multiple reviews, it helps baby sleep, which in turn makes it worth every penny.

I was debating on whether to get the Nuna Leaf, or the Baby Bjorn Babysitter Bouncer Soft. I decided to go with the Nuna Leaf, and I’m insanely happy with it.  Our son absolutely loves this swing. It is not motorized, so you have to physically swing it (but once you push it, it continues to swing for about 2 minutes).

I think it’s something to do with the motion and the angle that the seat is at that makes it so comfortable for our son.  We have a Graco swing which doubles as a bouncer which we got on sale for 50% off at Babie R Us, but for some reason our son isn’t a huge fan of it and can only sit in it for a couple of minutes before he starts to fuss.

The main reason I chose the Nuna Leaf over the Baby Bjorn Bouncer is because the Leaf supports kids up to 130lbs which means that our son will be able to grow into it as well. Because of this, I figured it would be a good investment since we’ll be able to use it for years to come.

Our son will sit in it without fussing for over a half hour. If he’s tired, the motion will help put him to sleep, but if he’s wide awake, about 30 min in this swing is a life saver!  Being able to finish folding laundry, or eat a sandwich or finish your coffee with both hands free was so nice! It was definitely worth the $249 at TJs Kids.

We are so happy with this purchase, and its great to know that its a swing that will grow with our son, since the weight limit on it is 120lbs.  Knowing a product can last until your son is older makes the purchase more of an “investment” and makes it a little easier to spend the money when you know its going to last a long time.  Personally, I feel Nuna is a company that focusses on quality and durability, and as a first time mom, those are the same things that I look for in a product.

Linden testing out the swing in the shop before we bought it

Appreciation For Newborn Life


Where to start? I literally just joined BabyCenter and was posting, commenting, and reading what others had to say or ask. Then I came across a post that had asked us to light a candle in memory of those who have lost their babies – either through a miscarriage or stillbirth.

No mother or father deserves to go through the pain of the loss, and no innocent baby deserves to lose their life.  Sometimes, the world just isn’t fair.

As I lay here writing this post, I can’t help but feel the most overwhelming sense of appreciation and gratitude that laying next to me is my healthy baby.  I can’t even begin to understand the anger, disappointment, dispair, grief, and pain of losing a baby.  I almost feel a sense of guilt that we were so fortunate to be able to leave the hospital with our baby, when others are not. But I can promise you one thing for sure, that I won’t take a single day with my son for granted.

Never again will I complain about the pain or discomfort of breastfeeding or body issues, postpartum pains, or how tired I sometimes am. It definitely puts things in perspective and we are so incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful son to bless our lives.

I hope this post doesn’t offend anyone, (because, who am I to be writing about a topic I know nothing about, and can never truly understand), but I hope it does bring awareness to those who are lucky enough to have a healthy baby.  I hope it makes people feel thankful for what they have, and to be empathetic towards others, like the way I felt after reading that post on still birth.  Infant loss could happen to anyone.  I hope this post makes people think about what could’ve been, and to appreciate every moment they have with their kids.

Tonight, and every night from now on, I will hold my son a little longer, hug him a littler tighter, kiss him and tell him I love him more often.

The world needs a little more kindness


Becoming a parent has been an adventure. And along the way, I’ve noticed a few things. First of all, there’s a million different parenting styles, and what works for one person may not work for another. Having said that, it seems like everyone is eager to give their advice. Which is fine until you force your values upon others.

My husband and I were talking the other day about the debate between breastfeeding and formula feeding. Everyone will have their own opinions, and will choose the option that is right for them. The same goes with co-sleeping. People chose to do what they want and who are we to demand an answer or tell them what they’re doing is wrong. Regardless of what they choose to do, they should be able to do so without feeling judged or like they have to give you a reason as to why they’re doing something that you may not approve of. It’s their life, not yours. It’s their kid, not yours.

People should be able to have a conversation and be proud of their decisions and choices rather than being judged. Everyone has their own reasons for doing what they do. I am going to use the breast feeding versus formula feeding example first as it seems to be a hot topic. Then I’ll go into the co-sleeping topic (another hot topic). For example, recently in the news there was a model who had a baby and went on vacation. They had run out of formula and asked for some to be brought to their room. When the formula arrived, the family was out, and someone happened to snap a photo of the formula waiting outside their room which prompted a huge outcry from the breastfeeding community. Which then put this model (mom) in the position to explain her story – that her intentions were to breastfeed but unfortunately her milk went dry, thus not allowing her to continue breastfeeding when her child was about 6 months old. Regardless of her reasoning behind formula feeding, she has a right to not have to explain her actions to anyone. It’s no ones business but hers.

” [How I raise my child] is not a democracy, everyone doesn’t get a say.”

 Once your kid grows up, no one even cares about whether they were breastfed or formula fed. Seriously, as an adult, do you ask your friends or co-workers if they were breastfed or formula fed? No. And even if you did, and their response is they were formula fed, are you like, “oh, no wonder you’re a giant” (which seems to be the popular opinion or judgement from breastfeeding parents). No. Why? Because no one cares. So why is it such a big deal whether a baby is breast or formula fed? Once they grow up its a moot point.


Then there the issue of co-sleeping. I don’t think it could be said better than this, so I’m just going to quote it from an article:

I don’t need to guess if [my daughter is] sick, can’t sleep, feels anxious or had a nightmare, because I was there.

More importantly, she knows I’m there. Controlled crying just seemed like controlled cruelty, denying my kid the one thing she wants; mummy or daddy.

She’s thus never had to scream alone in a dark room, flooding her little brain with anxiety chemicals and the terrors night-time and solitude have wired us to imagine are out there, watching beyond the firelight. While some would argue this produces a clingy, needy child who depends on constant reassurance, my little one is just the opposite – fierce and independent, kind and empathic.

– Sam de Brito

You have your opinions and other people have theirs. Why can’t we all just respect that instead of imposing our thoughts and beliefs on others.

I welcome open dialog, but only when it’s productive. Sharing experiences and accepting that your experience may not work for someone else is key. It’s not about right or wrong, it’s about tolerance, acceptance, empathy and kindness. We need to start supporting one another instead of trying to bring each other down. Raising children is not a competition, it’s about doing the best we can to be (and to raise) compassionate human beings.

Diaper Cake Review: Diaper Cake Genie

   
 

I absolutely love Dr Seuss, and wanted a Dr Seuss theme for our son’s room. We had a co-ed baby shower before Linden was due, since he’s our first child and we needed stuff for him and his nursery before he was born.  For our baby shower, we were blessed with a Dr Seuss themed diaper cake from Diaper Cake Genie.  It was so amazing! It came with 3 tiers, and was not only loaded with diapers, but had other very practical stuff that included (but not limited to) Cat in the Hat onesies, Dr Seuss receiving blankets, and wash cloths (which, in hindsight, you can never have too many of), and tiny Dr Seuss crib shoes. 

All the products were authentic Dr Seuss items, no knock-offs, so you know they’re good quality for your baby. I hate when you get stuff and you’re almost shy to use it because you don’t know if it’s good or safe for your baby.

Jenelle is the designer at Diaper Cake Genie, and she is so talented – she has an eye for colour combinations and has such a big heart, she loves the little ones and always has their wants in mind.  She added on a stuffed toy that she though our son would love, which just added that extra personality and love into our diaper cake. She also managed to put our son’s name on the diaper cake which made it all that more personal and catered to us and our baby.

It was definitely the hit of the party, and we were so happy with it, and it impressed both us, and our guests! Thanks Jenelle! You are amazing at what you do – both with the desig, and the items that you use to make the diaper cake with! The Diaper a Cake Genie website is online at http://www.diapercakegenie.com

Below are pictures from our actual baby shower

   
 

Bassinet Review: Halo Bassinest

 

 We finally caved and purchased the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. And we’re glad we did. We were previously using a Graco Pack n’ Play, but because of its size, it was at the foot of our bed. Because of the location of the pack n play, we were not particularly close to our newborn which made me a little uncomfortable (since I’m your typical paranoid first time mom).

The Halo Bassinest was able to fit comfortably on the side of the bed where I sleep.  It swivels and basically “hovers” over top of your bed, so your baby is as close to you as you want him/her. We have the Premier model (purchased from Babies R Us), and I really like the white noise, vibration, and the night light that it has built in to it (the other model “Essential” does not have these features). Our son seems to be calmed by the vibration and the white noise. The night light is beneficial in the middle of the night if I need to check on our baby.

The best part about this, is the front part of the bassinet moves, as you can push the bar down, in order for you to pick you baby up and get him out of the bassinet when you need.

I also really like the fact that there’s accessories available for this bassinet, such as a waterproof pad and sheets. The Graco Pack n Play didn’t have this, and because baby is supposed to sleep without anything in their crib/bassinet, if our son spit up, it was very difficult to clean the mattress part of the bassinet/pack n play. Having this for the Halo Bassinest is great!

The other feature it has is a nursing timer but I haven’t seen a need for that feature.

It’s great to use in the afternoon when your baby is having a nap. You can lay in bed, read, watch tv or rest without worrying about holding him or leaving him somewhere.

Overall, it’s an expensive bassinet, but it’s well worth the investment. It acts kinda like a co-sleeper, without your baby being in your bed, but being as close to you and your bed as safely possible.

Our son is 2 months old, 11lbs, and 22″ long and he fits in the bassinet comfortably with lots of room to grow.

Click this link to enter a draw to win one of these bassinets! https://wn.nr/29tEV Contest closes end of October 2015