How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.

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My son’s first Christmas was the worse Christmas I ever had. He was less than eight weeks old, nursing every hour and a half and I was far away from my family. I also was a novice breastfeeder and he had a terrible latch; the two of us together was nothing short of a disaster. I remember that first Christmas sitting in my bedroom, nursing my baby and sobbing because the holidays had hardly felt like the holidays. There was no Christmas cheer in my life and I was raising this baby who I hardly knew how to take care of. My family switches between Christmas and Thanksgiving as far as shared holidays go and in 2008 we were going to be at my parents’ house, six hours away, for New Years. If you are traveling this holiday season like I was with a newborn or infant, I have a few tips you may want to heed.

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.
Photography by LovB Photography

Be flexible; don’t get too wrapped up in expectations.

Babies can tell when we’re stressed; they aren’t completely oblivious to everything like we may think they are. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in nine years of parenting and having had three kids it’s that nothing goes as planned. Ever. The best thing you can do is throw any expectations you have for how things are going to be out the window. Sure, make a plan, but be willing and able to abandon that plan when needed.

When should we leave?

If you’re driving to your destination and you’ve got a ways to go I suggest trying to plan your leave time during either a nap or the evening when baby’s asleep. The only downside to this is that when you arrive at your final destination baby may want to be more awake than asleep but hopefully you’ve had a quiet drive. The last thing you want it to spend several hours trapped in a car with an unhappy newborn. That’s the worst; I’ve been there and done that.

Be okay with stopping if you’re road tripping.

When you’re traveling, especially if it’s the dead of winter and you live in a place like Minnesota (I’m talking about myself here) the last thing you want to do is stop to feed baby. Just take the pressure off by residing to the fact that you will be stopping to feed the baby. You should be stopping to feed and change baby, you really can’t shove a bottle in your baby’s face and keep driving. Try to look at the route and plan for stopping about every three hours at the most. If your drive is only three hours long then plan on one stop and if it’s six hours (like the drive is to my parents’ house) then plan for two stops. Most public places are pretty good about having a comfortable spot for moms to feed their baby but if you find yourself in a position where you have to nurse in public, be confident. It is your right as a mother to feed your child, cover up or don’t, do what’s comfortable for you.

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.
Photo by Chris Peeters from Pexels 

Packing the right gear.

Part of traveling with a baby is being able to anticipate what your newborn is going to need. If you haven’t done this before it can be really challenging. Here are the things that you’ll need to travel with a newborn:

  • Pack-n-Play – Most hotels have something that you can borrow in the form of a crib but I always felt better bringing what I had from home that could travel.
  • Baby Monitor – If you’re going to be visiting family and staying in their home you’ll want a baby monitor
  • Baby Carrier (We’ll get that in just a little bit.)
  • Pacifiers if your newborn uses one.
  • Inflatable Baby Bathtub
  • Clothes – lots of changes of clothes, especially if you won’t have easy access to laundry.
  • Diapers – If you’re using disposable diapers, I suggest bringing a box. If you’re using cloth diapers, check out our post on how to pack with cloth diapers.

Wear that Baby!

If you aren’t into babywearing or you haven’t tried now is the time to embrace it. We’ve written a lot about babywearing on First Time Mom because it’s a great way to not only bond with your baby but also helps your baby feel safe and secure. I personally loved babywearing whenever we were traveling because it just made things easier. Baby felt comfortable and secure and because of that I was relaxed. If you don’t have a ton of room in your luggage then I suggest trying a ring sling. Ring slings are best used with newborns anyway so you might as well just go this route if you’re traveling. This is a great blog post about ring slings from Tula Baby.

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season.
Photo courtesy of Mat York

Anytime you travel with you child, whether they’re a newbie little squish or an experienced teenager, you have to be willing to be flexible above all else. Once you can relax a little we think you’ll find that the experience will be better than you expected. Happy and safe travels!

How to road trip with a newborn this holiday season. Helpful tips to help you keep your cool so you can enjoy your holidays with your new bundle of joy!

bumGenius Littles 2.0 Review – An Already Good Diaper Redesigned to Create Something GREAT.

Read all about the bumGenius newborn diaper, Littles 2.0 in this review. Featured

Did you know that bumGenius, the cloth diaper that really put modern cloth diapering on the forefront of parents’ minds starting in 2005, has redesigned their popular newborn diaper? Seeing that there’s always ways to improve a product the bumGenius team took it upon themselves to look at their Littles diaper and see what they could to do make an already good diaper work better. When I heard that they had redesigned their newborn diaper I jumped at the chance to review it and since my friend, Rhiana, has recently had a sweet little boy, what better time than the present?!

Read all about the bumGenius newborn diaper, Littles 2.0 in this review.
We’ve partnered with bumGenius to bring this review to you. We haven’t received any monetary compensation for this review and all opinions are our own.

bumGenius Littles 2.0 – An Already Good Infant Cloth Diaper Redesigned 

What changed? They redesigned the waistband so that it fits below the naval so baby’s healing umbilical cord isn’t irritated. They’ve also added organic cotton lining so that the diaper provides perfect absorbency and they’ve included an extra doubler with and organic cotton side and a stay-dry side to provide even more absorbency if needed. Let’s see what Rhiana thought about the Littles 2.0.

bumGenius Littles 2.0 Review

 

bum Genius Littles 2.0 – Rhiana’s Infant Cloth Diaper Review

Hi! Rhiana here. I’m what you might call a semi-experienced cloth diapering mama. I started cloth diapering with my third child when he was around 6 weeks old. I was initially overwhelmed with all of the options out there, and started with All-In-Ones (no extra parts or pieces, essentially the cloth version of a disposable, also referred to in the cloth diaper world as AIOs). They were simple: just choose snaps or hook and loop (aka Velcro), a brand, color, etc.

With my new little man here, I knew I wanted to start using infant cloth diapers from the beginning. I had a few wise mamas encourage me to try pre-folds with a cover, which work well, but let’s face it- as the mama of a newborn, with 3 other kids – that’s a decent amount of folding, covering, snapping, etc. I MISSED my AIOs. Desperately. But the one size diapers I had saved were simply too big and too bulky for my 7 pounder.

bumGenius Littles 2.0 Review Newborn Diapers

 

How trim are the bum Genius Littles 2.0 infant cloth diapers?

These are the trimmest, softest diapers I’ve ever laid my hands on. And they are simple to use! My older kids love to help and these are straightforward, with nice, tight snap closures. Even my hubby can change these sweet little diapers – which is a bonus since he was a little hesitant about cloth diapering!

Littles 2.0 bumGenius Review

 

A few things that I really loved: 

  • Low rise hits below the belly button/umbilical cord stump
  • No snap down rise (less confusion for diaper change helpers)
  • Soft, but snug elastic. My newbie has tiny little legs, and these seem to fit snugly without irritation.
  • Bonus doubler included-organic cotton/stay dry material.
  • ADORABLE prints and colors- so vibrant and cute, who needs pants?

bumGenius Littles 2.0 Review Newborn Diapers

 

Is the bumGenius Littles 2.0 a good overnight cloth diaper?

This is probably not an overnight diaper (Not that many newborns are sleeping ALL that long anyway) I’d say two hours or less for a heavy wetter is the max absorbency on these cuties. But with so many sweet prints and colors, I’m always ready to grab another one to put on the bum!

bumGenius Littles 2.0 Newborn Cloth Diaper

 

If you’re interested in purchasing the newest best newborn diaper, Littles 2.0, you can buy them directly from Cotton Babies, the makers of bumGenius, along with other fine baby products. Just click the image below and shop to your heart’s content. The price point for the Littles 2.0 is really reasonable, $11.99, which in comparison to other organic newborn diapers is a steal.

The Cloth Diaper Collectors Club

 

 Read all about the bumGenius newborn diaper, Littles 2.0 in this review. What's new with the redesign. What did we love about the diaper and what could we live without?

What to use for Diaper Rash: Natural Remedies that work with Cloth Diapers

 What to Use for Diaper Rash

Just so you know, there are affiliate links in this blog post; it won’t cost you anything extra, however, should you make a purchase from one of the links I’ll receive a small commission. Thank you!

Diaper rash happens; especially when your child starts eating solids. (Breastfed babies are typically less apt to get a diaper rash especially when they are exclusively breastfed.) Many times it’s overwhelming figuring out what to use on a diaper rash that isn’t going to harm the functionality of your cloth diapers. Thankfully many store bought products have come a long way but I think you’ll be surprised to find that you have a lot of these safe to use rash remedies in your own home. Even if you don’t use cloth diapers I think you’ll love some of these natural remedies for diaper rashes. 

What to use for Diaper Rash: Natural Remedies that work with Cloth Diapers

First things first you need a cream that will not leave any kind of oily residue behind on your diapers.  If this happens a build up will occur and it will lessen the absorbency of the diapers.  You also need to choose a diaper rash cream that is not staining.  There are specific diaper rash creams that have been made for cloth diapers, however, depending on the kind of rash you were dealing with (specifically yeast) you’ll still want to strip your diapers.

Rash Creams That Are Safe To Use Without A Liner on Cloth Diapers

What to Use for Diaper Rash
Photo courtesy of LOvB Photography

What about Yeast?

If you are dealing with yeast you need to use a treatment like Lotrimin. Whenever my kids had yeast infections I immediately switched to disposables because yeast is a bear to get rid of and there’s no way I want to risk the chance of getting them on my cloth diapers. It’s time to wash your diapers and disinfect them with bleach.

As much as we all hate bleach, if you have a yeast diaper rash the only way to disinfect your diapers is to use bleach. Wash the diapers first, you want to make sure they’re clean so the bleach can do its job of disinfecting and not cleaning. Then add bleach to the clean diapers; no need to add detergent to the load because you’ve already done that. Once you’ve done a full wash with bleach do a few extra rinses. I always say at least two, you can do more if you want to. Then dry the diapers the way you normally would.

Household items you can use for diaper rashes

  • Coconut oil or olive oil – The oil creates a good wetness barrier that helps protect the baby’s skin while also moisturizing. You won’t need to use a liner coconut oil, however, you may want to be careful with olive oil as I have seen instances where it’s stained. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Corn Starch – Now, this trick is only to be used if your baby is sensitive to being wet. It’s tricky to tell the difference between a wetness sensitivity verses a yeast infection. I always keep some Lotrimin around to use in case of yeast. If the rash starts to clear up after using the Lotrimin then you know you’re dealing with yeast. If Lotrimin does nothing for the rash then try using corn starch. How do you prepare the corn starch?
    • Place some corn starch in a frying pan and fry it up. You’re not cooking it to eat it; you’re frying it so that it’s easier to put on your baby.
    • Once the corn starch has been fried up effectively, place it in a resealable jar. I always used old baby food jars.
    • Wait until the corn starch has cooled completely before you put it on your baby.
If the cream is not made to be used with cloth diapers or if the cream has zinc in it, you should create your own fleece liner or buy a diaper liner that will serve as a protective barrier for the diaper. I made my own by using old fleece blankets. I took a newborn insert, laid it on the blanket and then cut around the blanket. Once I had my liners cut out I washed them in natural and unscented detergent so they would be good against my baby’s skin.
When you use your liners it is imperative that you not wash them with your diapers.  Again, it’s back to that oily residue issue.  Also you really shouldn’t wash the cloth wipes that have been used when you’re using diaper rash creams in the same load as your diapers.

My Favorite Diaper Rash Treatment – BALM! Baby’s Mad Rash

Hands down, my absolute favorite diaper rash treatment is BALM! Baby’s Mad Rash. You should use a liner or use a disposable with Mad Rash because it has zinc in it and it will impair the absorbency of your diapers but don’t let that hinder you from using it. The stuff works and it works quickly.

What to use on a diaper rash that's natural and can also be used with cloth diapers

What’s your favorite diaper rash cream? Do you use cloth diapers or disposables?

10 Baby Products You Can Purchase Used to Help Save Money

10 Baby Products You Can Purchase Used to Help Save Money

When you have your first baby it’s amazing how many products you actually need for that little bundle of joy. There were things that I needed that I didn’t even think about before I got pregnant with my first. I didn’t anticipate that I’d probably want a microwaveable sterilizer but I had to supplement after my son nursed and then I had to pump. That sterilizer that I didn’t think I would need suddenly became one of the most important baby gadgets during my son’s few months of life. This post isn’t about what you need or don’t need, this post is about what can you buy secondhand and what should be purchased new. I asked the moms that are members of our The Mom Hub on Facebook (you should totally join if you haven’t already, it’s a great group of gals) what they felt were products that could be bought secondhand.

Look for stores that accept gently used products like Once Upon a ChildreCribKid to Kid, and large consignment events like Just Between Friends. Garage sales and Facebook groups that are essentially online garage sales are also great places to find secondhand items. The only issue with a virtual garage sale is needing to see the product in person but that’s a call you can make.

10 Baby Products You Can Purchase Used to Help Save Money
Photo courtesy of LOvB Photography

10 Baby Products You Can Purchase Used to Help Save Money

Clothes & Accessories

This kind of is a no-brainer but definitely think about buying baby clothes and accessories used. The wear and tear on baby clothes is really minimal, especially during the younger months of infancy when your baby isn’t mobile. Most secondhand stores are picky, unless you’re shopping at Good Will or the Salvation Army where they’ll accept pretty much anything.

10 Baby Products You Can Purchase Used to Help Save Money

Strollers

Unless you live in a big city with warm weather chances are you aren’t going to use your stroller on an everyday basis which means the likelihood that another family will be using it and wearing it out is slim to none. Many first time parents receive strollers and 3-in-1 travel systems (stroller with infant car seat -which I would not recommend buying used) as gifts but if you’re in a pinch for money and haven’t received that nice jogging stroller yet try finding it secondhand.

Baby Swings, Bouncer Seats, and Activity Centers

Some babies love swings, others hate them. Some babies love being in a bouncer seat while others just want to be held. There’s really no telling what your baby is going to prefer which is why I think it’s the smartest idea to purchase these kinds of products gently used. We bought a small portable baby swing and bouncer seat at a neighbor’s garage sale when I was pregnant with my first child. My son loved the bouncer seat and swing but my middle daughter hated the swing when it was time for her to use it. We paid $10 or $12 for each item and they lasted through three babies. Definitely money well spent!

10 Baby Products You Can Purchase Used to Help Save Money
Courtesy of Megan Zars

Nursery Decor and Furniture

Wall hangings, mobiles, crib bedding (no comforters or bumpers in the crib though!), rocking chairs, changing tables, changing pads, really, the list could go on and on. Pretty much anything you would use to decorate your nursery is safe to buy gently used. The only piece of furniture I would be careful about is the crib, especially if it’s an older style drop down crib. Now, truth be told, all three of my children slept in one of those drop down cribs and they’re alive and well today, however, drop down cribs are no longer allowed to be manufactured or sold in retail stores in the US.

Cloth Diapers

If you’re ready to dabble in the cloth diapering world a great way to get started is to purchase a few gently used cloth diapers so you can figure out the style and brand you prefer to use. Many cloth diaper brands have Buy/Sell/Trade (B/S/T) groups on Facebook whether they’re an official brand group or fan-generated group. Always ask to see photos and be on the lookout for tears, holes and stretched out elastic when you’re buying used cloth diapers. Stains aren’t going to affect the functionality of the diaper but can be an eye sore. A little lemon water and time spent in the sun will work wonders on a stain. Be sure to wash the diapers yourself when you get them before putting on baby.

10 Baby Products You Can Purchase Used to Help Save Money
Courtesy of Laura Ankrum

Toys – With Some Exceptions

As a general rule, if you can sanitize it, I think it’s okay to purchase it. If you can’t sanitize it, buy it new. I never buy used stuffed animals and I don’t know why. I think that’s something my mom taught me when we would go garage saling when I was a kid. Most toys that have electronic parts are going to be difficult to sanitize but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

High Chairs and Booster Seats

Both of these products are ones you can skate by for a while without owning but when you’re in the market check out consignment sales and virtual garage sale groups on Facebook first before you head to the store. Many of these products can easily be sanitized and that can save you a lot of dollars.

What NOT to buy used

It’s interesting but I shouldn’t be surprised that when I asked the moms in my Facebook group which products they’d purchase used, they said it was easier to share which products they wouldn’t purchase used. Here are a few definite no-nos when it comes to buying secondhand:

  • Car Seats – Unless the seller is a close, personal friend or family member and you know the history of the car seat, it isn’t expired, hasn’t been in any car accidents, just steer clear of this one and buy new. This is a safety issue and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
  • Breast Pumps – I have to admit, I didn’t adhere to this but due to the nature of what a breast pump does and the fact that you cannot sterilize every single part, it’s better to purchase a breast pump new. Insurance has to cover breast pumps now so there’s really no reason to skimp on the cost of purchasing a new one. That wasn’t the case when I was needing to use a pump.
  • Pacifiers – You have to ask yourself, is this really, truly sterilized? Plus, pacifiers are cheap so it’s not worth saving a few bucks to find some that come from a trustworthy seller and can be sterilized properly without making you lose your mind.
10 Baby Products You Can Purchase Used to Help Save Money
Photo courtesy of LOvB Photography

Questions to ask:

There are a few questions you should ask or at least know about when you buy secondhand products, now in some instances it’s not going to be easy to ask the seller as many consignment shops don’t have the seller’s information available for you to question them (that would be alarming wouldn’t it, if you could just call up a seller when you’re shopping at Once Upon a Child? No thanks!), if you have direct contact with the seller ask about these living conditions if it isn’t already listed:

  • Was there smoking in the home?
  • Any pets?
  • Problems with the product that would impair it’s functionality?

Have you purchased used baby products before? What would you add to the list or what would you take off?

10 Baby Products You Can Purchase Used to Help Save Money. Plus what you should stay away from buying used!

Why Should You Use a Structured Baby Carrier?

INTERNATIONAL BABYWEARING WEEKSpecial thanks to LILLEbaby for partnering with us for this giveaway. We didn’t receive product or monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are our own. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Happy International Babywearing Week! We’re all familiar with the children’s rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.” I have no doubt a lot of expecting moms can’t wait to pick out an amazing stroller to add to their baby registries but I’m here to tell you forget the stroller, go for a structured baby carrier! Okay okay, maybe you don’t want to take your stroller off of your baby registry but here is why you should also consider a structured baby carrier.

Why Should You Use a Structured Baby Carrier?

Convenience

When it comes to convenience a good structured baby carrier is hard to beat. They are compact, easy to store, easy to use, and quite affordable when compared to high-performing strollers on the market. We have a LÍLLÉbaby Complete that lives in our car and when folded up, it takes up less space than a small diaper bag.

Structure carriers that are well designed like LÍLLÉbaby carriers are more user friendly than other babywearing options. This is why I always recommend folks new to babywearing or even intimidated by babywearing consider a structured carrier first. My husband and I opted to use LÍLLÉbaby carriers because they are so easy to adjust and accommodate a wide range of torso heights… I’m 5’1″ and he’s 6′ 5″ so adjustability is key!

Courtesy of LILLEbaby.

Freedom to Go

Our family loves to be out and about. Whether it’s visiting our local farmer’s market or going on a hike, we love exploring and experiencing new things on the go. Truth be told we have a stroller and it has its own time and place, but when we want to move about easily and freely, especially in a crowd, a carrier is the way to go. I prefer a structured carrier, particularly LÍLLÉbaby because it’s easy in and out for baby and is a comfortable ride and carry for both of us. I especially love LÍLLÉbaby’s cushioned shoulder straps and lumber support. With a structure carrier families with little ones can move about freely while keeping baby close and comfy!

Courtesy of LILLEbaby.

Busy Parent’s Best Friend

While we all love snuggling our little bundles of joy, at times life demands we get things done. Babywearing gives busy parents the best of both worlds! I can’t tell you how many dinner’s my husband or I have cooked while babywearing.

LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn
Little Girl cuddles in a LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn while daddy cooks.

Honestly when my kids where tiny, my LÍLLÉbaby carrier made me feel like Super Womam! Yes I can hold my baby AND chase my two year old around the playground! Yes I can happily grocery shop with multiple kids!  Yes I can make sure my baby naps AND that my home isn’t a mess! Believe me, babywearing is a super power no parent should under estimate!

LÍLLÉbaby Complete Air Flow
Baby Triple A helps butter lefse in the LÍLLÉbaby Complete Air Flow.

Now LILLEbaby wants to help spread the babywearing love by giving away a carrier of choice for one First Time Mom reader! Simply complete the giveaway form below to enter. That’s it! Giveaway is open to US and Canada now until midnight on 10/17. Best of luck and wear all the babies!!

Why Should You Use a Structured baby carrier-
Disclosure: All opinions are 100% mine. This giveaway is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. All opinions and experiences are First Time Mom’s. Open to US residents only , must be 18+. Confirmed Winner(s) will be contacted through email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner will be drawn. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor will be responsible for product fulfillment to winner(s) of the giveaway. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an event you can contact Elizabeth at First Time Mom.