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    Ulubulu Blog — Motherhood

    Valentines Gift baskets for Kids

    Valentines Day is just a couple weeks away. Not only do I love Valentines day because of all the sweet treats, but I also love it because it’s the only time of year that I can put anything pink in the living room without a word of protest from my husband! I’ve always found it to be a fun holiday and while I prefer to pass on the $50 roses that on any normal day would be $10, I do think it’s a cute holiday to celebrate with my family.

    My husband and I aren’t fans of the Valentines day crowds so we like to opt out of the fancy dinner and instead put the kids to bed a little early, light some candles, order some food in, and watch a movie together. Parent life, am I right?

    Growing up, my parents always made Valentines day about us kids just as much as it was about them. Every year my siblings and I would come downstairs to little Valentines gift baskets full of goodies along with a special breakfast. I always loved this tradition and wanted to carry it over into my kid’s lives as well. I typically make heart shaped pancakes and  fill a basket full of a toy, a book, and a couple small treats. If you’re interested in putting together a basket for your kids as well and need some ideas, here is what I’m putting in my kids Valentines baskets this year. I've linked everything so all you have to do is click the link to shop the items yourself!

    1. Small Toy/Stuffed Animal.

    My son is getting a small lego set that he’s had his eye on for a while and my daughter is getting a stuffed animal that she keeps gravitating to at Target. I know neither of them is expecting a random gift in February so I’m really excited to see their faces when they see them.

    2. Books.

    For my son I bought the book “A Crankenstein Valentine”, which was one of the better ones I could find for a school aged boy. For my 16 month old daughter I got “Huggy Kissy” because she loves all of the books by this author, plus there is a dog on the cover and she is currently obsessed with “dagas”.

    3. Treats

    My son is five so he is getting a few of his favorite candies. Target currently has a great selection of valentines themed candy, so I got him some special Valentines colored gummy bears and Skittles. My daughter is still too young for candy so she is getting a pouch of her favorite Happy Baby food.

    4. Play dough.

    My kids are obsessed with play dough so this was an easy one. One container will last them each hours upon hours of entertainment. I bought them the “sweet colors” pack because the colors coordinate well with Valentines day.

    5. Something they need.

    For my son I got a fun new night light for his room because the last one went mysteriously missing. The new one projects a batman symbol up onto the ceiling and will hopefully be our magical solution to keeping him out of our bed at night (one can dream-right?). For my daughter I got a pack of Ulubulu pacifiers that are cute and match the Valentines theme perfectly.

    Hope these ideas help you with putting together your own special little basket! Wishing you all a very happy day full of love this Valentines day.

    3 Tips to Help you Keep Your New Years Resolutions

    Anybody else find that New Years resolutions are about 2000 times harder to follow through with when you become a parent?

    This year I’m going to eat healthier.

    This year I’m going to save more.

    This year I’m going to read more books.

    You create all these amazing goals for yourself and get all hyped… only to get so swept away in parenting and managing a household that your new years resolution is over before it even began.

    Trust me, I’ve been there.

    The last couple years however I feel like I’ve finally figured out some key things to do in order to actually follow through with the goals that I make for myself.

    1. Start the year organized.

    You know that stretch of time between Christmas and New Years where you forget what day it is and who you are? As fun as it is to sit back and Netflix binge with the family, instead use some of that time to get organized and gear up for the new year! Since that time has already passed this year, instead set aside the next weekend to get yourself together. The holidays leave us with more stuff than we started with, so now is a great time to de-clutter and get rid of everything you don’t use. The more organized your life is, the easier it will be to focus on your goals and resolutions. For me personally this year, I decided to de-clutter my pantry and laundry room. I got rid of a ton of random items that got pushed to the back of the shelves throughout the year and bought big baskets +  shelf organizers while Target had organizational items on sale. I can’t even express how much calmer I am knowing that everything has a place—and more importantly that I know where that place is! Knowing that everything is put away and organized means that I can focus my energy on my family and doing what I need to do to achieve my goals.

    2. Write down your goals.

    Whether you want to write them in your journal, in your planner, put them on a cork board, or even create a fun vision board, there have actually been studies done showing that this will raise the chances of your goals being achieved. I never used to do this however a few years ago my husband and I made a tradition of writing out our goals on New Years eve and ever since we’ve both had an easier time keeping sight of those goals as the year progresses. Not only does it keep you more accountable, but it’s fun looking back and reading your goals at the end of each year.

    3. Communicate your goals with those around you.

    I’ve always believed strongly that it truly takes a village. Not only does this apply to raising a child but it also applies to being successful. The more support and love that you can fill your life with, the more likely you are to follow through. I’ve found that by expressing my goals to my husband, family, and friends, not only am I keeping myself accountable but I also create a support system full of people who build me up and make it easier to achieve my goals. Make a pact with your loved ones to discuss the progress of your goals regularly and to see if there's anything you can do to help one another be successful in your resolutions!

    5 Tips to Make Cold Season a Little Less Terrible.

     

    Back to school season has begun which of course means that your older children are bringing a whole bunch of school germs home and passing them off to your younger children.To make matters worse, temperatures are beginning to drop which not only means that Starbucks is finally selling pumpkin spice lattes again… but it also means cold season is officially upon us.

    In our household we try to approach everything from a homeopathic route before we get doctors involved (assuming its nothing major). Nine times out of ten we are effective and since researching more natural cold remedies, we have actually been able to significantly reduce both how often we get sick and the duration of colds in our house. With a wild five year old boy getting into everything and bringing his germs home to my one year old daughter, it’s important that I stay up on cold prevention and solutions both for my family’s sake and for my own (because we all know moms don't get "days off" for being sick).

    So that being said, my top 5 natural cold remedies are:

    1. Humidifier.

    I’ve found that if I put a humidifier in every bedroom as soon as the first signs of a cold show themselves I can usually cut the duration of the cold in half. Prior to doing this we would all catch a cold and it would linger for weeks, keeping us all up at night miserable and congested. The humidifier keeps everyone sleeping more comfortably and seems to really help the cold come to an end sooner. If it’s a particularly rough cold, buy the Vicks Vapor Pads to insert into your humidifier and thank me later!

    2. Essential oil steam.

    Whether you believe in the power of oils or not, this tried and true method has helped everyone I know find some immediate cold relief. You don’t need the expensive fancy oils to try this, all you need are some cheap store bought oils (amazon, whole foods, and sprouts all have them). My favorites for a cold are Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Peppermint. Put several drops of each on the walls of the shower as well as on a towel. Put the towel somewhere in the shower (I like to hang it from my shower caddy). Close the bathroom doors and windows and let the room fill with the oil scented steam. You can either be in or out of the shower for this but it is most effective when standing in the actual shower (for young children however do this without the child in the shower due to the high heat of the water. Sitting in the steam filled bathroom for 10-15 minutes will be enough). Within a matter of minutes you will be breathing easier. Just make sure to never apply non-diluted oil directly to skin and to always look up safe oil practices before using. 

    3. Replace baby’s pacifiers.

    I actually made a blog post earlier this year about the importance of changing out pacifiers often to reduce sickness. This is even more important when baby has a cold. All pacifiers need to be disposed of and replaced to prevent the cold from returning or lingering. Check out the blog post here for more information on the importance of replacing pacifiers!

    4. Nasal Aspirator.

    You know those green bulb things that you get in the hospital when your baby is born for pulling congestion out of their nose? If you’ve ever tried using one, you’ve probably been about as ineffective with it as I have. The better solution? Nasal Aspirators like this one. Yeah, yeah, I know. The idea of literally sucking snot out of your baby’s nose sounds disgusting. However I assure you that this completely sanitary invention will help clear out baby’s nose while ensuring none of the snot actually touches you. I’m a total germaphobe and even I have no problem using this. The most effective way to do it is to squirt some baby saline up baby's nose, suck those boogies out, and have some tissues nearby just in case you need a little extra backup. Baby might look less than happy at first but will be breathing SO much better as soon as you’re finished! This is especially helpful to do pre-feeding if baby is too congested to eat.

    5. Vapor Rub.

    This is so effective that my son literally begs for it when he’s sick. Vicks makes a kid/baby specific version that can be found just about anywhere and offers so much relief that even I use it every time I’m sick. My favorite “mom hack” is putting it on your little one’s feet and covering with socks. This is always so effective at calming down a bad cough in the middle of the night. The only catch is that you will want to talk to your doctor before doing this on any child under the age of 2!

     

    ***Of course when dealing with colds be sure to seek professional medical attention whenever necessary. Educate yourself on any serious signs to watch for and always always always play it safe, especially when dealing with children under 2. Not sure how serious it is? Just give your doctor a call, that's what they're there for!

    5 Baby Shower Gift Ideas

    Got a fridge covered in baby shower invites +  absolutely no idea what to buy for all these soon to be mamas? Have no fear, I’ve put together a list of my favorite go-to baby shower gifts. I love every one of these items because I feel like they can be used and enjoyed by every mama, no matter what her personal taste or style is. These are all products that I personally use as a mom + truly stand behind and are sure to make for a memorable gift at the next baby shower on your calendar. The titles of all of these items are linked with the website you can find them at to make your shopping experience a little bit easier!

    1. Personalized Pacifiers

    What better way to honor the name that your loved one chose for their newest addition than to put it on some pacifiers? I love giving personalized pacifiers to all of the expecting moms in my life because it’s a unique gift that they are very unlikely to receive from anyone else. Personalized pacifiers are not only adorable for the baby to use, but they are also the perfect keepsake to put in the baby’s ‘baby box’ down the road. 

    2. Tubby Todd products

    I am a huge fan of this company and love sharing their 100% natural products with all of my mama friends. I have yet to find an item of theirs that isn’t loved by all. They make a “new mama bundle” that is perfect for a baby shower gift. Their products are so fantastic that they do sell out often so be sure to plan this gift ahead of time! 

    3. Crib moccs

    My favorite quality baby moccasins are Freshly Picked however there are lots of brands that sell ‘crib mocss’. So what are they exactly? It’s all in the name! Crib moccs are newborn size moccasins that are perfect for newborn photos, baby’s ‘coming home from the hospital’ outfit, and also another great keepsake to put in the baby box once baby outgrows them. Buyer beware: These things are so darn cute and tiny that they will most certainly give you a case of baby fever.

    4. Baby Carrier

    If you can splurge a little on one gift, this is the gift to splurge on. Baby carriers are life changing for both new mamas as well as experienced mamas. My favorite are Wild Bird ring slings and Solly Baby wraps. Both options allow mamas to keep their babies close while they get things done around the house (which especially comes in handy if mama will also be chasing an older sibling around). These especially come in handy for baby’s who are experiencing the fourth trimester, as they allow baby to feel as though they are in the womb again. I feel like these forms of baby carrier are especially great for the "fashion forward" mom because they are just as pretty as they are functional. 

    5. Swaddles

    I truly feel that in the first few months, you can NEVER have enough baby swaddles. Between spit up and blow outs and everything in between, I often would go through multiple swaddles a day. Hint: for an especially cute gift, find a matching hat/bow to add in with the swaddle (this will make for lots of adorable photos). Be sure to choose a swaddle fabric that is appropriate for the season that the baby will be born in. Spring/summer babies will be most comfortable in a muslin swaddle while fall/winter babies may be cozier with a slightly thicker fabric such as jersey or cotton. 

    Teething Survival Guide

    It’s the dreaded T word. One day your perfect little babe is as happy as can be, rolling around laughing and playing and sleeping. The next day, that same little babe is screaming and cranky and fighting nap and you think you might just pull all of your hair out. You can thank teething for that. While some babies experience it far worse than others, there is no doubt that teething takes its toll on all babies... and their mamas. My first was able to get through teething fairly easily however my second has struggled with teething like nothing I’ve ever seen. It breaks my heart to see how much pain my sweet little girl is in and in an attempt to bring her some relief I have had to get pretty creative about teething remedies. All of these completely natural remedies have worked at some point or another, although sometimes you’ll have to try a few before you find the one that brings the most relief at that particular point in time. Good luck mamas, hoping these bring some relief to both you and your sweet little ones!

    1. Teethers.

    There are all sorts of teethers out there and some work better than others. I’ve found there to be a few major things you want to look for in a good teether. You want it to be something that your baby can easily grip, you want it to have some sort of texture to it, and you want it to be made of quality material that you can trust. For my daughter, I’ve found that the Ulubulu camera teether is her fav. It’s lightweight/easy for her to hold and the little bumps around the edge are perfect for her to gnaw on. It’s made of medical grade silicone and made in the USA, so I completely trust the safety of the teether.

    2. Frozen soothie pacifiers.

    You know those soothie style pacifiers that they give you in the hospital? Fill the inside with water or milk and freeze it. Your baby will have an easy time keeping it in their mouth to gnaw on , although be sure to put them in a bib first because it does get messy as it melts! 

    3. Amber teething necklace.

    Amber teething necklaces are made of Baltic amber. The baby’s body is supposed to heat the amber and trigger the release of oils that contain succinic acid. The acid then is absorbed into the blood stream and eases baby’s pain. Some mamas swear by these necklaces and others don’t feel like they make any difference. I received mine as a baby shower gift and while I don't feel like it's a total miracle worker, I have felt like it has made a small difference in my daughter’s discomfort levels. Do your research to make sure you purchase from a reliable and safe brand, and always always always make sure your baby only wears the necklace while under your supervision.

    4. Frozen Teethers.

    Never underestimate the power of a frozen teether. One night my daughter was teething at her worst and in a fit of desperation I texted my husband asking him to swing by Target to pick up some frozen teethers on his way home. I popped them in the freezer and a couple hours later my daughter was happily gnawing away on them. These don’t always do the trick but they have certainly come in handy their fair share of times.

    5. Teething Crackers.

    If your little one is a little bit older and has mastered the art of eating, teething crackers can be an amazing. You can find them at any store, but I’ve usually gotten mine from Target. As my son got older these were his favorite teething remedy and it was super easy to just keep a bunch in my diaper bag for when teething pains hit on the go.