Squeeze Em’s: Reusable Food Pouches

squeeze em's pouch

All  babies and toddlers seem to love the baby food pouches you can now buy on just about any supermarket shelf, but let’s face it, the little suckers can get expensive, not to mention that I’m not always thrilled with what some brands contain. However, the ease and mess-free feeding that comes along with them, can now also be had with Squeeze Em’s.

I was always a make-my-own baby food kind of mom, and with Squeeze Em’s any homemade mixtures can easily be made into a fun food pouch (or you can also easily get more economical and fill your own pouches with apple sauce, etc, versus paying much more for the pre-packaged). Aria loves the fun of the pouch and I love that more food ends up in her mouth (versus all over her and everything else)!

At first I was skeptical that the Squeeze Em’s would last, but with multiple washes they are still in great shape.  Also, the wide mouth allows you to easily pour your food in, and the locking tops make them super easy to travel with. They are BPA free and environmentally friendly, and you can even throw them in the dishwasher or freezer. I only wish I had discovered them sooner (when I was pureeing like crazy).  Definitely worth checking out.

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Bye Bye Paci… or maybe not… (Difrax pacifiers to the rescue)

PacifiersAria loves her pacifier. Yes, we have been saved by the little suckers, but now it’s a bit of a curse considering she can’t seem to live without them. We were recently told by the dentist she should be giving up the habit, but like all addictions it’s not going to be easy. Fortunately, we have been weening her off of them (only for sleeping now or when mommy wants a quiet car ride), but there is no way this child is giving them up… not without a fight.

That’s why I was thrilled to find out about a pacifier that was designed to help encourage your child to give them up. Can you believe a company actually made that? No repeat customers there! Well, in fact it’s genius because I’ve found out (after lots of mom talk and googling) that I’m not the only mom trying to break up their child’s first serious relationship.

The Difrax 3-Stage Pacifier was introduced to me a while back, and as soon as I heard about it I thought we must have one. I had bought a MAM orthodontic pacifier in Duane Reade prior to getting the Difrax.  MAM also is supposed to be better for jaw and teeth development and claims to be recommended and developed by dentists, but I loved that the Difrax 18 + months has similar benefits and also is supposed to ween your child off (or encourage them to give up) their pacifier.

I was concerned when I first gave Aria the new Difrax pacifier. It’s more solid and stiff than most and she had been a bit of a pacifier snob, but after not getting her beloved Avent back, she seemed to accept the Difrax and now is very happy with them. So happy in fact, that I have to wonder if they are actually encouraging her to give up the habit. She may be the exception because so far she still seems hooked. At least I am comforted by the fact that the orthodontic model is supposed to be better for her jaw development and help with the orthodontics. Baby steps I guess.

Follow Up: I just discovered that Difrax also has a FREE E-BOOK on their website that is a 15 day stop plan to help little ones give up the pacifier.  Downloading now!

 

Road Trip: 7 Essentials For Baby In The Car

car ride essentials toddlerSo, riding in the car with baby/toddler is not always the easiest of experiences. Unlike a lot of NYC dwellers, we actually are in the car quite often.  Our recent road trip to Saratoga (a 3+hour ride) made me realize some things that were downright essential!

1) The Perfect Car Seat:  Ok, so there may not be a perfect seat, but some are better than others. For our infant car seat, I went with the Graco Snug Ride. It is safe, lightweight, versatile (fits in the snap and go travel system which is key for travel) and has an adjustable shade (essential). I didn’t like it’s infant insert, and definitely recommend buying one like this to keep baby snug and comfortable. When it was time, we also bought Aria a convertible (front facing) seat. She actually has a couple different ones but by far her favorite is the Britax she has in Oma’s car. It’s extra cushy and she sits higher which allows her to see out the window better.

2) Window shades: I can’t tell you how essential these are to keep the sun out of the baby’s eyes and off baby’s face. UV rays can still filter through window so these shades protect and keep your baby comfortable. I first bought the White Hot Safety Shade by Munchkin, but they totally don’t stick well or cover as much window area as my second (and much better) purchase by Safety1st. 

3) A Mirror (when still rear facing): A mirror allows you to look into your rear view and see you little one’s face. Some argue it can be a distraction, but I think a quick glance is much better than trying to bend behind the seat to check in on baby.

4) Tunes: Baby’s love music. One mom friend gave me a baby’s CD as a gift and said it’s “like crack”, meaning her baby was totally addicted and instantly gratified.  Aria too chills out when her tunes get on (not to mention now she asks for “Muffin Man” the second she gets in the car). My mom gave me CD of baby songs early on and I was like, “hells no, we’re not listening to that all trip,” but that quickly changed when I realized Hickory, Dickory, Dock is much better than a screaming baby.

5) Entertainment: Small books, stuffed animals and even soft little dangling toys for infants do make a difference. Now that Aria’s a toddler (and obsessed with Barney) I’ve also been guilty of passing back the iPhone when super desperate for a peaceful ride.

6) Snacks:  Again, some people would say this was a big no no (choking hazards), but, if you choose the right snacks (bottles, pureed fruit pouches, puffs that dissolve in their mouth, etc), I can attest that it makes for a much easier time.

7) Pacifier:  Again, a “love em or hate em” for many parents.  For us they’re  a lifesaver quite often (and I’ve cursed myself the times I’ve realized I’ve left the house without one). Aria def prefers Avent.

A Play Day: No Devices Required

What was supposed to be a beach day for us, is starting out as a rainy morning. So, Aria and I are exploring play time. I’m encouraging INDEPENDENT play, which results in Aria seeing how many animals she can pile up on the play Ikea couch or simply sitting on it herself for a laugh (better than pulling all my credit cards out of my wallet- her usual game of choice).play day

I was chatting with a mom the other day who sends her kids to a Waldorf School which does not allow any student to watch TV (ever) in order to foster imagination, creativity and play. Since the first words out of Aria’s mouth each morning are “Barney” (we’re working on “good morning”), I’m not so sure this will work for us.

It is an issue worth exploring though. In the age of youtube, ipads and kindles with endless apps for little ones and the programming that goes far beyond sesame street, are we are actually taking away from our kids by exposing them to so much?

Aria’s dad sent me this article a while back. It’s worth reading.

Clouds are breaking… time for the beach, or at very least River Tots.