An Intro to Homemade Baby Purées

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My husband and I wanted to make sure that our 8 month old son gets the healthiest choices when it comes to what he puts in his mouth, so we figured that homemade would be our best choice.  Sure, we occasionally give him stuff out of a store bought packet, but we try not to if we don’t have to.  Since I’m still on maternity leave, we have this option, so I intend to take advantage of it while I can.  And I’m so thankful to be in Canada, where our maternity leave is 1 year.  But thats enough about that.

My husband and I invested in  a Babycook Beaba, and although it was expensive (even on sale), I feel it was worth every penny.  If you’re in Canada, TJ’s Kids sometimes has select colours on sale for $169 (for the double) or $149 for the single.  I would recommend the double if you can get it, since we normally do a bunch of his foods at one shot.

Below are a couple of our “staple” recipes, and storage instructions.


Pear Purée (Prep Time:  5-10 min   |    Cook Time:  15-20min)

3 Bartlett Pears, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
Fill the Beaba to the number 3 mark, place cut pears into the steaming basket and let it steam.  (about 15-20 min)
Pour water into a cup and save it
Pour pears from the basket into the plastic blender piece.
Blend until smooth and no lumps are visible.  If you need to add liquid, use the saved (excess water) from when it was steaming.
* Tip:  You can use breastmilk or formula to add nutrition, but I usually only add this when I’m ready to serve the food for our infant, so it keeps longer in the fridge.

Apple Purée  (Prep Time:  5-10 min   |    Cook Time:  15-20min)

3 Apples (I use Pink Lady or Ambrosia) peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
Fill the Beaba to the number 3 mark, place cut apples into the steaming basket and let it steam.  (about 15-20 min)
Pour water into a cup and save it
Pour apples from the basket into the plastic blender piece.
Blend until smooth and no lumps are visible.  If you need to add liquid, use the saved (excess water) from when it was steaming.
* Tip:  You can use breastmilk or formula to add nutrition, but I usually only add this when I’m ready to serve the food for our infant, so it keeps longer in the fridge.

Sweet Potato Purée (Prep Time:  10min     |   Cook Time:  15-20 min)

1 Jumbo Sweet Potato (if you scratch the skin off with your fingernail, they should be orange underneath, not white).  In Canada, the grocery stores mix them up and call them yams, but they’re not actually yams.  Peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.  If you’re using a regular sweet potato, then you’ll probably need 2.
Fill the Beaba to the number 3 mark, place cut sweet potatoes into the steaming basket and let it steam.  (about 15-20 min)
Pour water into a cup and save it
Pour sweet potatoes from the basket into the plastic blender piece.
Blend until smooth and no lumps are visible.  You will most likely need to add liquid to this recipe since sweet potatoes don’t have as much water content as fruits.  Use the liquid that was saved from steaming, since it will retain all the nutrients from the sweet potato.
* Tip:  You can use breastmilk or formula to add nutrition, but I usually only add this when I’m ready to serve the food for our infant, so it keeps longer in the fridge.


These 3 are my staple purées for our 8 month old son, but he has been eating these since he was 5 months old.  Pears are good on their digestive system, and apparently are supposed to help them poop if they’re a little “clogged” (if you know what I mean).

We normally feed fruits to our son in the mornings and afternoons (breakfast and lunch), since they have a higher sugar content, and try to avoid giving him too many fruits at night (or for dinner), since we don’t want him wired at bedtime!  So, for evening or dinner feeds, we try to give him more of the vegetable purées, and maybe one fruit option.

So a typical breakfast or lunch for our 8 month old will consist of 4 different things, oatmeal cereal (mixed with expressed breastmilk), and 2 fruit purées, and a vegetable purée.  And a typical dinner for him will usually consist of oatmeal cereal, sweet potatoes, and 2 veggie purées.

For anyone wondering about the oatmeal cereal that we use, we typically buy the Heinz brand since it offers a higher fibre content, so we don’t have to worry too much about him being constipated since we know he’s getting a lot of fibre.

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Heinz brand oatmeal cereal.  Make sure you buy the appropriate stage of oatmeal cereal for your baby

And as a side note, see the photo below for recommendations on how long puréed foods should last in the fridge.  You can also freeze some of the purées if you don’t think you’ll use them up before they will go bad.  Frozen purées make for good (but messy) teethers for your little one.

We normally just store all the purées in tupperware and label with the date and description so we know how long its been in the fridge.  We also occasionally store some of the food in those food snack bags – we purchased the Infantino Squeeze Station off Amazon for $16 and it was seriously one of the greatest investments we made.  I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to have homemade purées readily available for feeding on the go, or if you just want a different storing option.

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Baby’s Eating and Sleeping Schedule

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Food purées for our 8 month old

Linden is now just over 8 months, and I thought I would write a post on his eating and sleeping schedule, since it seems to be a popular topic on my Instagram account.  At Linden’s 5 month check up with our family doctor, we were told that he was showing signs (whatever those were) that he was interested in eating.  So, we started him off with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal, and a couple of purées.  We were advised to introduce solids to him individually (in case he had any reactions to certain foods), and to make sure that he drinks lots of water throughout the day, so as to prevent the possibility of him getting constipated.

The first foods we introduced were pears, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal cereal.  We fed him once a day (in the later evenings), and he was still being breastfed throughout the day and night.  We just thought that if he had a full meal just before bedtime, he would be full throughout the night.  And we were mistaken.  Also, we noticed that with the once-a-day feedings, Linden was only pooping (on average) once a week, but he wasn’t constipated by any means.  We still thought this was odd though, since its not natural to only poop once a week, and also, he was being mostly breastfed, and when he was exclusively on breastmilk, he pooped everyday.  We didn’t realize until his 7 month check up, that all our concerns over were basically caused by us!   (Although, the whole pooping once a week thing was nice because it saved us a ton on baby wipes!!)  The pooping once a week thing is normal I guess if you’re only feeding one solid meal a day – I didn’t ask why, but our doctor said it was normal.

At the 7 month check up, since Linden was a little on the lower side of the weight scale, our doctor advised us to start him on 3 solid meals a day, which would have 2 effects: 1) he would sleep longer through the night; and 2) he would poop more often.  And both turned out to be true.  We were told that one big meal a day wouldn’t sustain a baby’s hunger, and that having 3 consistent meals throughout the day would fill him up, and therefore, he wouldn’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night.  This didn’t only make sense, it was true.  And now he also poops about once to twice a day.  Lastly, at this checkup, I asked our doctor when Linden would be able to start eating actual solid foods (not purées), and she said basically when he has teeth.  She went on to explain that she has resuscitated too many babies in the ER and its not a pretty site, so she advised against it until they have teeth and can properly break down food.  Made sense to me.  She said we can try giving him some of those baby crackers (and she made sure we knew to give him BABY crackers, not crackers for adults since their little organs can’t properly digest adult crackers), but when I bought a pack, they didn’t seem to dissolve all that quickly in my mouth so I was cautious about giving him any so I have held off on those for now.

So, if you’re wondering what our typical day looks like, here it is.  And keep in mind that we don’t actually have a “set” bedtime or nap time, because lets face it, life happens, but this is more or less how it is:

IMG_85607:30am – 8am  Linden usually wakes up for the day
8:30am               Linden eats breakfast (oatmeal cereal and 2-3 different fruit purées)
9:00am – 10am  Linden plays
10:15am-noon  Linden naps
12:30pm              Linden eats lunch (oatmeal cereal, fruit purée, veggie purée and sweet potatoes)
1-6pm                 Life happens, and he usually will have a (1 hour) nap
6:30pm               Linden eats dinner (oatmeal cereal, sweet potatoes, veggie purées)
7:30pm               My husband and I have dinner
8:45pm – 9:15pm  Linden plays
9:15pm                Linden has a bath (which is part of his bedtime routine)
9:30pm               Linden is breastfed and then goes to sleep for the night
9:45pm               Linden is usually passed out by now
6:00am               Sometimes, Linden wakes up for a feed, and then goes back to sleep until about 7:30 or 8am when he wakes up for the day.

 

Listed below are the foods that he basically eats, and the foods that we have tried feeding him:IMG_4016

Fruits

  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Mangoes
  • Kiwi
  • Prunes
  • Bananas*
  • Watermelon*

Vegetables

  • Zucchini
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Avocados*
  • Spinach*

Meats

  • Chicken*

Other

  • Rice Cereal (Stage 1)
  • Oatmeal Cereal (Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3)
  • Oatmeal Cereal (flavoured, banana, apple and raisin)

~All rice cereal is prepared with expressed breast milk~

*Starred items are foods that we made or gave to him and he doesn’t like them.

And when we make his purées, we normally just steam them, and if we need to liquify or soften it up, we use the water that the foods were cooked in.  If we need to soften the food before we feed him, then we will add either water or expressed breastmilk at that point so that the food lasts longer in the fridge.

So there you have it, our 8 month old’s eating schedule and sleep schedule.  I will post blogs with recipes of the purées that we make him in case anyone is interested in those as well.

Baby Sign Language

 

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I was bored one night at home, watching over Linden do his tummy time, so I decided to Google “things to do with babies”.  After scrolling through a bunch of useless things to do with babies, I came across Tiny Talking Hands, a sign language program for babies.  Ever since I was little, I had a fascination with sign language because I always thought of it like a secret language or code that most people wouldn’t understand.  Naturally, when I came across a baby sign language program, I was intrigued. I clicked on it to find out more, and it was seriously a life changer.  I contacted Amanda at Tiny Talking Hands via email to ask more about her program, how old babies had to be for us to attend classes, cost, and availability.  She responded later that night, and because all her classes were full at the time, she informed me of the possibility of opening a second Level 1 (or beginner class).  Thankfully, she had enough people to do a second level 1 class, so we jumped at the opportunity and we are so glad we did.  Its honestly, the best class we have our son enrolled in.

Linden was 6 months old when we started the classes, and to be honest, we were a little skeptical as to how a class full of babies would be able to pay attention and learn or watch signs.  To our amazement, it was a success!  The moment Amanda introduced Bebo (the sign language bear) and got the music going, all the babies stopped what they were doing and just stared.  7 babies ranging in age from 4 to 18 months were 100% focussed on this signing bear.  They were intrigued by this giant bear singing and signing to them.  The one-hour class involves music, singing and signing, then Amanda reads a book to the babies, we go through flash cards, there’s some parachute time with music that the babies loved to bop to, and finally a wind down, complete with a goodbye song to end the class.  The classes are just long enough to keep their attention, and usually by the end of the class, most babies were ready for their nap.  In every class, we were not only shown signs, but given tools for how to teach our babies to sign, which was such an asset in signing with our kids.  Parents were taught what to look for, and what cues that your baby may be giving you to signal that they’re getting ready to potentially start signing.

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Linden crawling around, chilling with Bebo, happy as can be

The Baby Signs program is catered specifically towards babies, and differs slightly from regular American Sign Language (ASL).  (For example, some of the baby signs incorporate sounds to appeal to the babies, and after one of the classes, Nate turns to me innocently and says “why do we make a sound for the dog sign or the frog sign, a person who is hard of hearing can’t hear us making that sound” and I had to explain to him that the sign language classes we were taking had been altered to be more “baby friendly”, so adding sounds would get the baby’s attention).  Amanda is great at teaching us the baby sign, and then informing us of what the ASL sign is, for any signs where there is a difference.  Amanda’s philosophy is simple – we are here to facilitate communication with our babies (who are usually too young to be verbal), so even if we had been doing a different sign with our child, the bottom line is that its really whatever works for each parent and child.  She’s there to give us the tools to help us communicate with our babies.

Although the program is for the babies, the parent(s) are taught the signs, and its up to us to use those signs at home.  After the 6 week course, we walked away with a wealth of knowledge.  The program is surprisingly easy, and remembering all the signs is actually easier than you might anticipate.  I for one, suck at remembering stuff, so I thought this would be a huge challenge.  But because of the way the program is set up, there is a different theme every week, so it actually makes memorizing the signs insanely easy.  Every week, we are taught 10 new words pertaining to the theme of the week, as well as an emotion, which is repeated throughout an entire song (usually 7 times), so there’s a lot of repetition throughout the class so you don’t forget the signs.  Both my husband and I walked out of the course knowing well over 80 signs (excluding the 20+ signs we learned from the extra Easter class that we took).

Over the course of the classes, Nate and I talked about which 5 signs we considered the most useful, and the most likely for our 6 month old to learn.  Those signs were “more”, “milk”, “eat”, “play” and “tired/sleep”.  And the other 2 signs that we use on a daily basis, are “mommy” and “daddy”.  We try to remember to do the signs as often as possible, but we’re still trying to get the hang of it.  So far, we think Linden does the sign for “more”, but he kind of has his own version of it, I think because he doesn’t quite have the dexterity in his hands and fingers yet.  We are working on correcting his signs, but for now, they’ll do since we know what he’s trying to tell us.  We also think he might be doing the sign for “milk”, but he hasn’t signed it consistent enough for us to believe that its more than just a coincidence.

We’ve noticed in the last couple of days, that Linden is very attentive in watching our hands when we sign with him, and we are hoping and excited that this could be the beginning of his signing with us!

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Nate and I were reflecting over the classes today (since it was our last level 1 class), and he asked me, if we had other kids in the future whether I would take them to these sign language classes since we already know all the signs.  My response was an obvious and quick ‘Yes’, because, although we learned so much in the classes, we both agree that Linden had so much fun there – interacting with the other kids, playing with the toys, getting “into the themes” (like splashing in the bath that Amanda brought out for the bath time theme, wearing his pyjamas during the bed time theme, etc), listening to music, watching Bebo and all his signs – that we would love to be able to give that opportunity to our future kids (if we are fortunate enough to have more).  Lastly, upon completion of the 6 week course, you and your baby are given a certificate for participating and completing the program, which just solidified the professionalism and authenticity of the program.

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If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Baby Signs Program, visit www.tinytalkinghands.ca or check them out on Facebook here.  You won’t regret it.  And, if you’re interested but not sure about the investment, contact Amanda (amanda@tinytalkinghands.ca), she hosts her classes in Langley, BC, and runs one-time classes for Easter, Christmas, Halloween and other special dates/events for $10, and you can see if you like it before you commit to a full 6 week course.  But you have the WTF Parent warning that if you attend one of those classes, you’ll be wanting more!

7 Month Update

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March 14, 2016.

Linden had his 7 month check up, although it was more like his 7.5 month check up.  Here is what we learned from his visit to the doctor…

  • It is normal that Linden only poops once a week since he’s been on solids once a day and breastfed the other times.
  • He needs to be eating more solids – 3 times a day, and breastfed 4 times a day.  This will help with longer stretches of sleep at night.
  • Introducing new foods at night is probably not a good idea in case they give him gas.
  • Babies this age need more food during the day, rather than one big meal at night.
  • Stranger anxiety is a good thing
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Linden trying to show his independence, eating on his own

At 7 months, Linden is now:

  • Pulling himself up on furniture, toys and whatever else he can find to help him stand.
  • He can hold your finger and walk, although very wobbly.
  • He is full on crawling, and you better keep an eye on him!
  • He sits on his own, (although often stretches his arms out like he’s surfing) to balance himself
  • He is taking an interest in sign language, and although he doesn’t have full control of his hands/fingers, he tries to do the sign for “more”.  But its more like slapping his knees, rather than putting his hands/fingers together.  He is very interested in our hands when we sign with him.
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Linden’s first time bowling

So far, we have fed him cooked pears, sweet potatoes, oatmeal cereal, raw bananas, raw apples and raw pears.  He likes nothing raw.

At 7 months, his measurements are:

  • 16lbs 6oz
  • 26.5″ long
  • 44cm head circumference

He has finally outgrown his phase of a possible sleep regression, I have no idea what it was.  But he went through about 3 weeks of not wanting to be put down to sleep and would only sleep while on me, or on the nursing pillow.  It was very strange, but I’m so glad he is “over it” now.

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People always mention that time flies with a baby/child, and no truer words have been spoken.  Thats one reason why I love blogging – I get a chance every month to write about the milestones that our son has hit, the new things he’s learned, the things we got to experience with him (like swimming and sign language, etc), and I get to reflect on the time I’ve had, and appreciate how fortunate we are to be blessed with such an amazing and healthy baby.  Our lives have changed, no doubt, our patience has been tested, but its all been for the better, and our lives are so much richer since our son was born.

Product Review: Nēnu Family (Teethers & Infant Cutlery)

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I was so excited to receive this package from Nēnu. I was especially looking forward to the baby spoon and fork set, and was extremely impressed with all their products.  Below is a full review of their line of baby products.

Nēnu Bud

The Nenu bud teether was amazing for our 6 month old son.  Our son has been teething since he was about 4 months, but hasn’t cut any teeth yet.  He drools so much, and I’m sure as parents, you can all relate with your own babies, that he also loves to put everything in his mouth.  The Nēnu Bud has to be one of his favourites.  I’m sure many of you when faced with a teething baby, will be willing to try pretty much anything to alleviate the discomfort your baby is experiencing.  We’ve tried every teether you can imagine, including homemade frozen breastmilk popsicles.  The Nēnu Bud has raised the bar.  I would even say that it “one ups” the famous Sophie (the giraffe teether).  Our son loves his Nēnu Bud – and will literally chew on it for over a half hour.  The top part of it is round and is perfect for him to hold on to, and wrap his tiny hands around it. He has no problems grasping it.  The leg parts of the teether have ridges on them, and are slightly longer than the arm sections, and our son loved that he could get it to the back of his gums to alleviate some of the teething pressure on his back molars.  I think thats been one challenge we’ve had – to find a teether for his back teeth.  We haven’t been able to find something that heIMG_5385 can really get to the back of his mouth, without him gagging or choking on it.  The  structure of the Nēnu Bud is also great, in that it doesn’t lose its shape, so our son doesn’t end up with a mouthful of teething toys.  It just targets the gums, rather than the whole mouth.  For example, we have a Chewbead necklace, but our son literally tries to put the entire thing in his mouth. He ends up choking on it sometimes and getting drool everywhere.  Because the Nēnu Bud is shaped properly, he’s not jamming the whole thing in his mouth and drooling all over the place.  Its seriously an amazing teether or chew toy for a teething baby.

Lastly, we have a shedding,  70lbs golden doodle at home, and the material on the teether prevents hair/fur from sticking to the teether like other toys.  If there’s a ton of hair/fur, some will stick, but not anywhere close to the amount from other toys.

Nēnu Bug

These are the perfect teethers for a 7 month old.  Our son has been teething since he was about 3 months, but still hasn’t cut any teeth yet.  He’s constantly trying to put things in his mouth, and chewing and sucking on everything in sight.  Enter Nēnu teethers.  They’re awesome.  The size of them is just perfect.  They are 100% made and designed in the USA so you don’t have to worry about any safety issues with them.  They are the perfect size and shape for our 7 month old to hold, grip, and chew on.  The Nēnu Bug has 4 legs on it, and each leg is about the width of his thumb (which he loves to suck, yes we have a thumb sucker), so it has a sense of familiarity to it.  We put it in the fridge so its nice and cold and probably feels good on his gums when he gets it.  They can also be used as a bath toy since they float!

Nēnu Spoon and Fork Set
IMG_5319I was so excited to receive the Nēnu Spoon!  I love the fact that the shape and girth (or width) of the handles emulate that of an adult’s finger, making it very easy for my 7 month old to handle.  (Our son loves to hold our finger when he is unsure of things, and often, holds my husband’s finger to help him fall asleep in the car.  He uses the familiarity of our finger to help sooth him).  Linden was stoked to be able to feed himself (although I think he gets more all over himself than he does in his mouth, but thats beside the point!).  He had no issues holding the spoon, and it fits great in his mouth, and holds a good amount of food (not too much, and not too little).  I also love that the spoon has little “legs” or nubs, on them, which can rest on a table without getting the table dirty.  This is actually a big deal, because when you’re feeding a 7 month old, they’re messy enough and they get food everywhere.  So, if you can prevent something from getting dirty, like a portion of your table, thats one less thing you have to clean.  And as a tired mom, thats something that I appreciate more than you know.  You can place the spoon down (with food on it), and it sits perfectly level, with the scoop part sitting above the table so it doesn’t get it dirty.  See pic below. The “legs” on the spoon and fork also allow you to “hang” or sit them on the edge of a bowl or plate, which is kind of nice.

The lone issue that I had with the fork and spoon set, was that the handles on them are too short.  The handle length is great if your infant is at the age where they can feed themselves.  But at 7 months, ours isn’t quite co-ordinated enough, so we still have to feed him.  The length of the handles were an issue because our son tries to feed himself, but he ends up getting food and drool all over the handle of the spoon, and all over our hands.  Because of the short handle on the spoon, he literally gets food all over it, all the way to the end of it, and it makes it very difficult for us to get a good grip on the handle to feed him.  I don’t know if its just our son, but he had a tendency to grab the spoon below the legs/nubs on the spoon (closer to the handle, further from the food), which was awesome, because it prevented him from grabbing the food before it got to his mouth!  So the legs on the spoon almost act as a buffer to prevent them from putting their hands all over the food.  But again, that may have led us to the problem where the handle seemed too short for both our hand, as well as our son’s hand.

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Overall, Nēnu is an amazing company for baby products.  All their products are designed in Seattle, and made in the USA.  With this, you know exactly what you’re purchasing, and can feel a sense of comfort knowing the materials are all safe, up to standard, tested and approved for babies.  Second, their customer service and communication far exceeded my expectations, and I would highly recommend them.  (These will also make a great baby shower gift package, in case you need ideas!)

Key Features of the Nēnu Products

  • BPA, Phthalate, Vinyl, Latex, Cadmium, and Lead Free
  • 100% made in the USA
  • FDA rated medical grade materials
  • Freezable
  • Floats (so it can be used as a bath toy or a toy in the pool!)

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Designed in Seattle, Made in the USA

If you’ve got a teething baby on your hands, and are in the market for some awesome teethers, Nēnu has generously offered you a 20% discount code at checkout direct from their website.  Their spoons and forks are also a hit with the little ones, so I’d totally recommend placing an order!  Seriously, give these teethers a try, you won’t regret it.  In fact, I’m off to place an order for my best friend who’s baby shower is coming up next month!  Click here or visit www.nenufamily.com and use coupon code WTFParent20 for 20% off and free shipping on your order (valid until March 23, 2016)!

*Disclaimer:  I was offered this product at little or no cost, in exchange for a review.  All reviews are based 100% on our personal experiences and I am in no way obligated to give a positive review.  

Honest Company Discount Code

The Honest CompanyWTF Parent has partnered up with The Honest Company to get our readers and followers $10 off your purchase.  Click the link above to be redirected to their site and start shopping!

Or, click the banner below to sign up for a free trial of Honest diapers.  All you pay is USD$5.95 for shipping.  Please note, if you sign up for the free trial, you’re automatically enrolled in their monthly subscription of diapers.  If you do not wish to continue with the subscription, make sure you contact them to cancel – its actually very easy, and you can even do it via an online chat through their website.
The Honest Company

Discount Code: EZPZ Happy Mats

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EZPZ Happy Mats are an all-in-one placemat and plate/bowl that captures kids’ messes, and suctions to the table to prevent any further spills or accidents.

At WTF Parent Blog, we are extending a 10% discount via our referral code with EZPZ mats valid thru April 23, 2016. Simply click HERE to be redirected to their site, or copy and paste this code in your browser  http://ezpz.refr.cc/NDQKF3P

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EZPZ Happy Mat Bowls

About me

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Family Photo

A quick blog post about me.  I’m new to the blogging world, and new to parenthood.  Kinda.  Well, I’ve been a mom to our 4-legged baby for 6 years, but am new to parenthood of the human type.  I decided to start blogging when I would be up countless times in the middle of the night, breastfeeding our son, and TV sucks at that time.

I was born and raised in Singapore, to a Singaporean mom and Canadian dad.  So I’m half Singaporean, half Canadian.  I moved to Canada when I was 16 and completed high school and attained a degree in Criminology in BC.  I am currently on maternity leave from my main job as a Safe School Liaison with the school district.  My job is kind of in between youth work and security – I am basically responsible for developing relationships with the students to gain their trust, and keep drugs, weapons, fights, bullying out of the schools.  Outside of my main job, I am also an ice hockey referee.  I started my own company in 2013 called REFcore, making and selling apparel and accessories to hockey referees, which is still thriving and doing well.  I served as the Referee-in-Chief for a minor hockey association for 7 years, and went on to be the Officiating Co-ordinator for BC Hockey for the Lower Mainland West.  When I became pregnant, I moved away from those responsibilities to focus on my family.

I still visit my friends and family in Singapore every couple of years, and my husband and I love vacationing there.  We were also fortunate to be able to travel around to Maldives, as well as to various states in the USA to follow our passion for hockey.  We both love hockey and love going to different arena’s in North America to get the sense and culture of the game in different cities.

Although, now that our son is born, I think most of our travelling has “paused” and I use the word paused because we would love to continue travelling, but when our son is older and able to appreciate the various places that we can take him to.  We look forward to going back to Singapore to show our son where his mom grew up, and to enjoy, experience and appreciate the different cultures.

For now, I’m enjoying this new role I have in life (mom-ing), and I’m enjoying being able to blog about it and share my experiences with other moms.  Since I started blogging, I thought I would expand and start my own segment called Parents in cars Getting Coffee, which is a spin off from Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in cars getting coffee, and I would combine talking with parents and getting a cup of coffee.  You can check out the website at http://www.parentsincarsgettingcoffee.com.

And thats pretty much it about me.  I’m pretty simple.  Loving life.  Living the dream.  Can’t complain, can’t ask for anything better.  Hope you enjoy my writing and reading my posts! Thanks for reading!  And if you’re interested in following, I’m on social media at:

Twitter @ WTFParent
Instagram @WTFParent
Facebook:  facebook.com/WTFParenting

How To use the Owlet Baby Care Monitor

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I felt like I should write a post about how to properly use the Owlet baby monitor. I was reading and extracting information from various different blogs to try to figure out how to get the most out of our Owlet baby monitor, and thought I would write a “compilation”, if you will as a tutorial for the Owlet Baby Care Monitor.

Opening the Box and and Quick Start

When you first open the box, there’s a Base Station, 3 socks, the socks electronics (white thing that goes in the sock and is the essence of the Owlet), a power USB block, a USB power cable (for the Base Station), and a short micro USB cable, which charges the sock electronic (or sock) from the Base Station.

Once you’ve received your Owlet, head over to the iTunes App Store, and download the Owlet App.  Follow the instructions in the App to set everything up.  Its very easy, and very straight forward.

Charge and place the sock on your baby’s foot and connect through the app.  Your baby is now being monitored.  Its as simple as that.

Operating the Base Station

The Base unit is the “headquarters” of the owlet monitor and is your primary alert station.  The Base is the part that tells the end user (parent) if/when there is a problem – from the sock falling off, to not being able to get a proper read, to an actual problem with your baby’s vital signs.

The Base has both a light and alarm.  The alarm will sound if/when there is a problem.  The alarm can be turned off completely though the Owlet App, or can be customized to sound when certain things happen.  For example, we have configured it to NOT sound its alarm if the sock falls off, but we have it set up to set off the alarm if our baby’s oxygen levels or heart rate levels are not within the norms.  If you want to turn the alerts off without using the app, you can do so by pressing and releasing the Base Station until it beeps and the light turns off.

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Turning off the alerts without using the App

The Base also has different coloured lights that alert you to different problems when monitoring:
Green – General monitoring, everything looks good
Yellow – The sock fell off your baby’s foot
Blue – Sock is disconnected from the base unit
Red – There’s a problem!

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The light on the Base Station can also be dimmed by pressing and holding down the base station itself.  There is a brighter option for during the day, and a dimmer option for night time use.

If there is ever a problem with your baby’s heart rate or oxygen levels, and the alarm on your Base Station goes off, you can also just press the base station to turn the sound off – rather than unlocking your phone and logging into the app to turn the alert/alarm off.  Pressing it a second time will turn it back on and re-establish the connection.  This prevents you from having to fiddle with your phone and apps when an alarm is going off, potentially waking up your baby (or partner).

Using the sock

The sock is pretty simple to operate.  There’s a white device called “sock electronics” that fits into the sock, and that device is the part that monitors your baby’s vitals.  It is interchangeable from sock to sock as your baby grows.  You need to ensure that the sock fits properly in order to be able to retrieve an accurate reading from your baby.

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The sock should have a snug fit and the sock electronic (white monitoring thing) should be below the toe line

The socks come in 4 sizes – newborn (size 1), 2 standard sizes (size 2 & 3), and an extra large (size 4).  Sizes 1-3 come complete with the monitor, and you can purchase extra socks individually for USD$8, or USD$20 for sizes 1-3 (basically a replacement set), or for sizes 2-4, or for USD$25 you can get the whole set of socks from size 1-4.

The sock takes just over an hour to fully charge.  You will most likely need to charge the sock every day.  7 hours of usage (and monitoring) uses roughly 30% of the sock’s battery.  If the sock is not in use, you can turn the sock off by placing the bottom flat surface of the Sock Electronic (white monitoring thing) against the centre of the Base Station until the red light in the sock electronic turns off.  (See pic below).  To turn it back on, plug the sock electronic back into the base station.

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Turning the sock off when not in use

Hopefully this helps clear things up in regards to how to use the Owlet to its full potential. If you have anything to add, please feel free to add them to the comments below.  I’m assuming that if you’re reading this tutorial, you already have the Owlet monitor, but if not, you can click here to be re-directed to purchase one now.  All Owlet monitors purchased now will be compatible with both iTunes and Android Apps, and if you have neither, the Owlet will still work for you through the Base Station alone.

How to use the Yoomi bottle warmer

I thought I’d write this post because, when I first received our Yoomi feeding set, I was intimidated by all the stuff I had to do with it to get it working.  Then after  a couple of days of everything sitting on the counter, I decided to get started with it, and I regret not doing it sooner.

The instructions took me a while, so I thought I would attempt to simplify the instructions here.

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When the warmer is brand new (i.e. never been used or heated up before), place it in the warming pod, and stick it in the microwave for 60 seconds.  take the warming pod out, and shake it. If it rattles, continue shaking it for 30 seconds.  Then put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Then take it out and shake it for 10 seconds.  Then its done.  Leave it alone for 75 minutes.  Or come back the next day and its ready to use.  DO NOT PRESS THE BUTTON ON THE WARMER – this will damage it, and its f***ed.  If you press the button while its hot, you will need to buy a new one.

I’ve added a 10 second video of me shaking the warming pod so you can hear the sound of the rattle that its supposed to make when you take it out of the microwave after 60 seconds.  (The video is meant for you to hear what the rattling sound is, just so you don’t have super high expectations of an amazing video review).  You will also see in the video, that the button on the warmer is a beige-ish colour.  (See pic below).

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This image shows the button in the beige colour – meaning it is NOT ready (or not charged) yet

When its ready to use, it will be orange/red in colour.  (See pic below)

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The button turns orange/red when its charged and ready to be used

Ok, your warmer is considered “charged” now, and when you’re ready to use it, place it in the top of the bottle (collar/nipple/teat part of the bottle), pour the cold breastmilk or formula in the bottle part, put it together and its ready.  Just press the orange/red button (through the silicone top part of the bottle), wait 60 seconds and its ready to use.  Its seriously, that simple.

When you are ready to use the bottle, and press the button, I find myself always questioning whether it is working, but rest assured it is.  Wait the 60 seconds, and then test it on your wrist, and you seriously won’t even feel the drop of milk/formula, the temperature is that perfect.

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This is the 8oz feeding system.  Complete with an 8oz bottle, the warmer (with the orange button on it), and the warming pod (microwave safe)

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The nipple/teat on the Yoomi bottle.  Shown without the warmer in it

IMG_4029Hope this helps.  I’ve also added a picture of the instruction sheet that comes with the Yoomi bottles in case you threw it out or lost it – something I do frequently.  If you want any other pics/videos/instructions, please post them in the comments below and I’ll be happy to try to answer them as best I can.

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The instruction sheet for the Yoomi 8oz feeding system

Lastly, if you’re interested in purchasing a set of these, I highly recommend it.  Plus, you can get 15% off by using this code BEINGAMUMMY at the Yoomi checkout.  Also, if you can’t decide which set or what to buy, I would highly recommend getting a set that has 2 warmers in it, since it takes a while for the warmers to cool down before you can actually use them.  This way, you’ll always have one ready to go, even if the other one is charging/cooling down.  In my honest opinion though, one or two bottles is more than enough, depending on how frequently you bottle-feed.  We usually bring it when we go out, so usually one feed is all we need, so one bottle is enough.