DIY · Parenting

Craft Time: Butterfly Footprint

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I have always loved those crafts using baby footprints and baby handprints. But I knew how hard it was to get them done. They’re not easy. Babies wiggle too much, and are curious creatures. You add paint to their hands and they want to take time to explore that new texture. I get it. It’s interesting. But for the grownup trying to get the print on paper? Not that much fun, I have to say. That and the fact that at 6 months of age all that touches their hands goes straight to their mouths makes for a very challenging experience. But I wanted to try anyway.

So how to make the experience less frustrating and more productive?

My best advice to you is this: gather all you need beforehand and, if possible, have a second person there to help you out. They won’t need to do more than be there to hold the baby’s hand, but it is oh, so helpful! If you don’t have anyone to help you, grab a few bath toys to hand to the baby to keep him or her occupied (they’re great because you can just wash them off later).

Here are the items you’ll need:

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The wooden heart is turned backwards here. The other side was clean.
  • construction paper or whatever medium you’ll want the print on (I used some wooden and cardboard hearts I got from Hobby Lobby)
  • washable paint (make sure the color you choose will show up on your paper/medium. Avoid using white on white or things like that. You can always test the colors out first.)
  • paintbrushes/foam brushes (one per color to facilitate the process)
  • Bumbo seat (or other place to keep baby in the position you want)
  • baby wipes

Items not picture:

  • paper plate (to pour some of the paint out so you’re not trying to make the brush fit inside the tiny paint containers)
  • helper (if available)
  • scissors (if needed)
  • adorable baby (super important)

Before you start:

  1. Assemble all your items in the place you’ll use them. I did this in a room of my house with tiles because I thought it would be easier for cleanup. I did have to sit on the floor, though.
  2. Anything you can do to make things easier will help. Think beforehand which color you want to use first and what paper/medium. Align them in the order you’ll use them. Also, if you’re dealing with different colors, use the lighter ones first, just in case you can’t wipe them off completely between stamping them and some gets left behind.
  3. Have extra paper/medium and get multiple prints. If one doesn’t turn out that great, there’s always another one.
  4. Undress baby from waist down (or completely, if you don’t have a helper). You can also dress baby is something you don’t mind if it gets ruined. Even washable paint can cause problems sometimes.
  5. Wear something you don’t mind if it gets ruined. You will get paint on yourself.

Ready to start?

  1. Place baby in Bumbo seat and have your helper sit behind the baby and hold baby’s hands. I enlisted the help of my husband for this part. We also gave her a pacifier and talked to her during the whole process. It was enough to keep her occupied. If you don’t have a helper, give baby a bath toy to hold (you can even get a set of 3 from the dollar store).
  2. Pick the color you want to start with (from lighter to darker color). Start by painting your baby’s foot slowly. Let them feel the brush and paint. They’ll wiggle their toes. Talk to them about that. For this part I used foam brushes. They do soak up a lot of paint, but I think they have a better texture for baby’s feet (softer, less ticklish than other paintbrushes).
  3. Start by just touching their feet to random pieces of paper before trying important pieces. I only had two wooden hearts and they were meant for the grandmothers so I knew whatever I got on them I’d have to use, even if they were not the best prints. A little advice: do not attempt to do a large piece of paper. You’ll have one hand around their ankle and will be juggling that paper against them. Learn from my mistakes and cut your paper into smaller, more manageable pieces.
  4. If making butterflies, place the left print on the right, leave a sliver of space for the body, and place the right print on the left. You can pre-design the body, but that requires you to measure the size you’ll need beforehand and then you’ll be trying to place baby’s foot at the right place. That’s easier when you have older, more cooperative kids. I prefer just getting the prints and then working with what I got.
  5. After you finish getting the prints from one foot, wipe it with baby wipes to avoid getting paint on everything and then do the other foot. After you’re done with the first color move onto the next one.
  6. If you have a helper, have them help with dressing the baby up while you place the prints where they can dry and get everything cleaned up.

After you’re all done, congratulate yourself on a job well done. You’ve survived! If you’re lucky, you only got a small smudge here and there to clean. Hurray for washable paint and baby wipes!

Here’s how mine looked like after I was done with making the prints:

I made way more than I needed, but I figured I could pick the best ones later. I also plan on cutting a few of them out and placing them in her baby book, so it’s good to have extras.

And here’s the final product:

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I added a little poem I found on the internet but I did modify it a little. Here’s the one I had found. The blobs are covering her name. I also dated the print so we always remember how old she was then. And since this one was given to dad for Valentine’s, I also kept one with just her name and date to frame and put in her nursery. I’ll add a picture of it when it’s done. I haven’t taken the time to frame it yet, but it looks just like this one minus the poem.

The hearts I just added her name and the date and put some magnets on the back. We gave the wooden ones (with the cutout hearts all around) to the grandparents. The grandmas loved it!

What do you think? Have you ever attempted to get your baby’s footprint? If you have any tips on how to make this easier, please share in the comments below. I will for sure do more crafts with footprints. And one day I’ll even attempt to get her handprint on something.

Diapering · Product Review

Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer

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In order to research what I wanted for my baby’s nursery I started watching videos on YouTube to see what other parents had done. One thing that caught my attention right away was the changing pad I saw on EverythingErica‘s Aqua & Orange Nursery Tour video.

The Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changer is a foam changing pad that is easy to clean and water-resistant. The idea is that you can just wipe it clean. There’s no need for a changing pad cover, which is awesome; one less thing to wash. In the six months I’ve been using it I had to clean it a few times already, due to some blowout diapers and her peeing while I’m changing her. It was great to just grab a baby wipe and wipe the peanut clean so I could continue with the diaper changing process. I also keep a washcloth handy in case she pees, since the changer is water resistant and the pee pools at the bottom. But I still think it’s way better than to have to keep changing covers. Then, I put baby girl in her crib to watch the mobile for a few seconds and disinfect the area. So easy!

Some info from the box:

  • Slip resistant: stays on the table and keeps little one in place during changing.
  • Water resistant: fluids cannot penetrate into the pad, stopping mild and deterioration.
  • Soft to the touch: soft, comfortable surface makes for easier diaper changes.
  • Crack/puncture resistant: designed for hospitals, durable outer shell withstands everyday demands.
  • Protective layer: surface allows for immediate cleaning, no additional cover needed.
  • Easy to clean: solid surface wipes down easily and limits bacteria growth.

The one con, in my opinion, is the price. It’s a little pricey when compared to other changing pads, but oh so worth it! It was $98.99 at buybuyBaby at the time, but I used one of their 20% off coupons, so I paid $79.19 (plus taxes). I remember thinking that for a regular changing pad I’d spend $20 on the pad, at least, plus about $10 per cover. I’d like to have 3 covers, just so if there were accidents I would have extras. That means I would spend at least $50. If I had a second child I could spend even more, on new covers or even a new pad. The peanut changer I know I’ll be able to use it again and again as much as I want. You can’t really change the color of it, so I picked gray, which is a good color any future nursery in our house (we’re slowly painting all rooms gray anyway). Gray is hard to find, though, and I only found it at buybuyBaby.

Another plus? My baby girl used to hate tummy time, but she always loved being on her tummy on the peanut. Why? I don’t know. The material was probably soft enough but also hard enough for it. Or maybe it was because of the slight incline it has. I don’t know, I just know she loved tummy time on it. I still turn her around to talk to her owl while on her tummy.

Anyway, even though it seems like such a simple item, I do love our peanut changer.

Disclaimer: The makers of the peanut changer have no idea I’m writing this, so no, I didn’t get anything in exchange for this review (I wish), and won’t get anything if you click on any link here. I’m simply just sharing my experience with it in the hopes of helping someone out there looking for a diaper changer. Or maybe you’re like me and doesn’t even know you’re looking for one.

Feeding · Product Review

Formula Dispensers to Make Bottle Prep Easier

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When I first started giving my daughter formula she was drinking such a small amount that I would premix a batch (about 8 oz) and divide it into several bottles of about 2 oz each. Sure, I could have measured one scoop and mixed them as needed, but it was much easier to make them ahead of time. For outings I opted for the 2 oz ready-to-feed bottles, and all was good.

As she grew, her appetite also grew. Not only that, but we started going out more. I could still use the ready-to-feed bottles, but it became a little more complicated. I still have them in my diaper bag, just in case, but I have to give her 2 or 3 at a time, since now she drinks between 4 and 6 oz at a time. The problem is that I have to change the nipples on them every time, or carry a bigger bottle to combine them in. It works, but it’s no longer as easy as it was in the beginning. That’s where formula dispensers come in handy.

The first one I used was the Munchkin formula dispenser. It has three compartments and each can hold formula for a 9 oz serving. How can that be when formula is measured in increments of two? I have no idea. My guess is that it would hold up to four scoops (good for 8 oz) with a little breathing room. I don’t know. I’ve only used for one scoop. My experience: it worked great! I did not have any problems with formula transferring from one compartment to the next and was able to shake the formula into the bottle easily. The bad part for me was that it was such a large container. I usually only need one serving, and found myself carrying that big thing for just one scoop. I’d prefer a dispenser for just one feeding instead of three. I’ll save that dispenser for snacks, when time comes.

The second one I used was the Tommee Tippee dispenser. I love it! It’s a single serving dispenser, it’s not expensive, and it’s easy to use and to clean. It comes in a pack of 6 containers and they’re sold everywhere (I got mine from Target). The one negative for me is that it can only hold up to 3 scoops of formula, despite it being advertised as being able to hold enough formula for an 8 oz bottle. Regardless, it’s still one of my favorite ones. I throw it in the side pocket of my diaper bag and never had a problem with it opening up or spilling the contents. I do not use the Tommee Tippee bottles, so I cannot comment on that part of it, but they are great for dispensing formula inside bottles with a small opening, like the Dr. Brown’s ones.

But because I was having issues with bottles leaking while mixing the formula (I’ll have a post dedicated to bottles and all that) I started using my Medela breastfeeding bottles to store the formula in and mix it. Then I’d transfer them from the Medela bottles to the ones I was using to feed my baby. It worked great. Other than the fact that I then had larger containers to wash. Oh well. But I did use the 8 oz bottles to store 3 scoops and the 5 oz bottles to store 2 scoops. I’d measure the water using my feeding bottle, pour in into the Medela bottle, mix it, then pour it back to my feeding bottle. It did reduce the amount of bubbles in the formula, but I’m not sure it made a difference in terms of gas problems.

Then I started looking around my collection of breastfeeding bottles and started using the 2.7 oz Medela containers to store 3 scoops in them. I’d have to pour them into the feeding bottle for mixing, but they work great! I love that I can throw them in my diaper bag and there’s no mess. Now, using these and the Tomme Tippee ones, I can have a lot of servings ready to go. The other plus side of using these is that they can hold up to 4 scoops of formula, so I’ll be able to continue to use them once she starts drinking 8 oz of formula per feeding.

I also started using the Medela Colostrum container to hold 1 or 2 scoops. They are great for middle of the night feeding, since I can tell in the dark that I’m grabbing the right container because it’s much smaller than the others. I wish I had thought of using them sooner.

Another container I use now is the 2 oz Dr. Brown’s bottle. I can store 1 scoop in it and then use it when I need just a little bit for making her some oatmeal or rice cereal in the morning. It’s perfect for that. I use the 2.7 oz Medela container to measure the water and the formula is already pre-measured in the Dr. Brown’s bottle. I don’t use them often, but they’re convenient.

So here’s my review of my formula dispensers. As you can see in the top picture, I use mostly the Medela 2.7 oz, the Medela Colostrum, and the Tommee Tippee ones. I love that I can pre-measure my formula for the following day or two and not have to worry about having to measure it every time I need to feed my baby girl.

How about you? Do you have any formula dispensers you like to use?

P.S.: If you click on any of the links on this post I will get absolutely nothing. Nada. I’m only linking them because I like when I read posts with links so I can easily find the things mentioned. Also, I did not get anything for reviewing any of the products above. Some of the products I bought, some I got from friends, and some were given to me at the hospital where I delivered my child.

Lifestyle · Parenting

Let’s Begin

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My very first blog post.

Oh, the pressure!

No, really, it is a lot of pressure. I have no idea what to start with. Maybe I should talk about myself? Or maybe about what I plan on doing here? Perhaps I should talk about the reason why I’m here? That sounds good.

I’m starting this blog because I’m a first time mom with a lot of questions in my head. That’s why. Explain, you say? Alright.

I’ve always knew I wanted to be a mother. When I was in preschool I apparently told my mom I wanted to have two daughters and a housekeeper when I grew up. I started babysitting when I was 12 and later became a nanny. I read a lot about babies and pregnancy and even got an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. However, I didn’t become a mother until I was in my thirties.

My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. That was tough. And it was that moment that got me in contact with the online world. I found some great support groups online and several YouTube channels that helped me a lot during that time. Later when I became pregnant again, I found even more resources online. It was great. It inspired me to start my own YouTube channel and record my own experience. The idea was to not only share my journey, but also to try to help others the way others had helped me.

When my daughter was born life changed for me. It became harder to find time to record videos. Not only the time I had was mainly when she was asleep, but I didn’t always feel in the mood to get camera-ready.

I also started watching less YouTube videos. I still enjoy them, but it became harder to watch them. During feeding sessions, naps, or in the middle of the night it was much easier to read a blog post than to watch a video. There’s also the problem of trying to find information later. I’ve seen a few videos that had good tips and information I’d like to find again, but I don’t really have the time to try to watch several of them to find where that information was. Descriptions of videos are not always great at disclosing what they are about. With blog posts I can quickly skim them to see if they have what I want.

That’s why I decided to write a blog instead of continuing to make videos. I’m not giving up videos, and I will do them when I feel they’re necessary or the best way to show or talk about something. However, I probably won’t use them very often.

Are you ready? So let’s begin.