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    Ulubulu Blog

    What's in my Diaper Bag

     

    Throughout my almost five years as a mom, I have had my fair share of diaper bagging mishaps. It took me years to stop forgetting diapers (although this may or may not have just happened a few weeks ago), I’ve wasted all kinds of money on products that I didn’t end up liking, I’ve overpacked, I’ve under packed, you name it-I’ve done it. That being said, I finally have a diaper bag full of contents that seems to thoroughly work for me and my little fam. Through research + trial and error, my bag these days is officially full of products that I truly stand behind and in hopes of maybe making it a little easier on my fellow mamas out there, I’m sharing my diaper bag and all of the good stuff in it.

    The bag: For my diaper bag itself, I use a Fawn. After trying multiple other bags that I was unhappy with, I finally decided to splurge on the Fawn during one of their rare sales and it has seriously been worth every penny. It can be worn as a backpack or as a shoulder bag, which is an especially convenient if you do a lot of baby wearing. It’s got all sorts of pockets both inside and outside and is one of the most durable bags I’ve owned.

    1. Diaper Changing supplies.

    We have been using the new Pampers Pure line of diapers/wipes and have been really happy with them. My daughter’s blow outs and diaper sensitivity have majorly decreased since we switched over, plus it doesn't hurt that the diapers have cute llamas on them. I typically keep 2-3 diapers in my bag + 1 set of wipes in the car and 1 set  for my bag... I have been in countless situations that have taught me that there is no such thing as too many wipes. Additionally, we use the Gathre changing mat, which I am a huge fan of. It’s a soft leather mat that comes in a variety of adorable colors/design options. It’s easy to clean and easy to fold up into my bag for convenient changes on the go.

    2. Feeding supplies.

    While I do have an official “nursing cover”, I’ve actually opted for a muslin blanket as the weather warms up. Not only does the muslin breathe easier, but I also like that I can use it as a light blanket to cover my baby in case we end up in a colder establishment. I also like to keep a silicone bib in my bag. I’ve found that the silicone is easiest because I can simply wipe it down with a wet wipe and put it back in my bag, rather than carrying around a dirty cloth bib for the rest of the outing.

    3. Hygiene supplies.

    As the mom of a very pale baby, I like to always keep a travel size bottle of baby sun screen in my bag. We like to use the babyganics mineral based sunscreen because it doesn’t contain a lot of the less desirable chemicals that many sunscreens do. I also like to keep the travel size Honest hand sanitizer in my bag. Not only does it smell amazing, but it also comes in the form of a spray rather than the typical goopy hand sanitizer liquid, which I think is easier when dealing with little hands. Lastly, I never leave the house during allergy or cold season without my Boogie Buster. My kids seem to be particularly snotty nosed (although I think every mom says that) so having a way to help them breathe easier on the go is always helpful.

    4. Snacks.

    As a nursing mom, I am hungry all the time and get hangry very easily. I like to keep granola bars in my bag at all times for those inevitable situations where I’m rushing somewhere with no food in my belly. I also make sure to have a small snack bag for my growing son who seems to be hungry every second of every day.

    5. Toy.

    As my infant daughter grows older, she requires a bit more in the entertainment department. I like to keep a small baby book in my bag for her to play with and will swap it out with a different one from home every other week so that she doesn’t get bored with the same toy.

    6. Baby Carrier.

    I never ever leave my house without either my ring sling or baby wrap. I’ve found that I can make an outing last twice the amount of time if I’m wearing my baby rather than putting her in a stroller or shopping cart.

    7. Back ups.

    I always always always keep a backup change of clothes and a backup pacifier/clip in my bag. My daughter is the blowout queen, so there is about a 50% chance that she will need a change of clothes on every outing. Tossing a onesie in my bag takes up such a minimal amount of space and it’s always nice to know that it’s there in case my lovely little blow out queen strikes again. I also like to make sure I have a spare paci/pacifier clip because there is nothing worse than when the one you brought mysteriously goes missing and there is no backup. My daughter’s pacifier is often the only thing that will calm her while we are in the middle of a store and without it  we would most certainly end up leaving the story in a screaming frenzy.

    Mom hack: 3 Uses for Pacifier Clips

    Pacifier clips just might be one of the most under-rated baby products out there in my opinion. With my first baby, it took me almost an entire year to try them out but once I did, there was no going back. Thanks to pacifier clips, my days of constantly losing pacifies were over and I felt like I’d just discovered the best mom hack of all time.

    That is... until I discovered that there were even MORE ways that my life could get easier thanks to this magical little invention.

    Maybe I was sleep deprived, maybe I was just lacking creativity, but it took me all the way until my second child to realize how many ways pacifier clips could actually be used. Looking out for my fellow sleep deprived mamas, I’m sharing some of my favorite uses.

    Use 1: Pacifiers.

    While this may be the most obvious use, what might not be so obvious is all of the things you can attach the paci + clip to. For example, I’m a huge fan of baby wearing...I absolutely never leave the house without my wrap or ring sling. That being said, the struggle is real when it comes to trying to dig out the pacifier clip that gets buried and/or tangled up between you and your baby in the wearing process. This can easily be avoided if you simply attach the clip to the sling/wrap rather than the baby’s shirt. Another issue I’ve always had with pacifier clips is that some outfits simply do not clip well. Whether it be because your baby is wearing too thick of a sweater or they’re wearing a fabric that is so light that the weight of the clip pulls it down in an unflattering way (a major pet peeve of mine), this can be avoided by attaching the clip to your baby’s high chair strap, rock n play strap, stroller strap, etc. rather than the actual outfit.

      

    Use 2: Teethers.

    If you’ve been doing this whole momming thing for at least 5-6 months now, you’ve probably noticed that your baby has a little too much fun throwing toys off of their highchair and out of their stroller. I cannot tell you how many times I have been cooking dinner and I have had to repeatedly go back to my daughter’s highchair to return all of her dropped toys to her. Solution? Attach a teether to the pacifier clip, attach the clip to the high chair strap, and just like that, your baby has a toy that cannot be dropped. This is especially helpful when you find yourself in public places where you don’t want the teether falling on the ground. We permanently keep a clip/teether attached to my daughter’s stroller so that every time we are out and about, my daughter has something to play with that won’t fall on the ground and get all germy.

      

    Use 3: Keys.

    We have all been there. You’ve just left the store, your kid is having a world war 3 meltdown, your hands are full, strangers are gawking at you as if they’ve never seen a crying baby before, and you cannot find your car keys. Surprise surprise, they managed to fall down to the very bottom of your bag and you are now in the middle of the parking lot emptying your entire diaper bag of its contents to retrieve the keys. Mom hack: attach your keys to a pacifier clip and attach the clip to a pocket of your diaper bag/purse. They will always be right there, so easy to find.

      

    5 Tips for Starting Solids

     

    Six months old is one of my most favorite stages that every baby goes through. As adorable as newborns are, there is also a ton of fear and anxiety that comes with taking care of a little human who is so itty bitty. By six months old, most babies are on fairly regular sleep routines (which of course means better sleep for mama), their personalities are really starting to show, their motor skills are improving, and they are ready to start experimenting with solids! The age gap between my babies is 4 years, so by the time my youngest was ready for solids, I felt like I had to completely re-teach myself the basics. I was a little lost on where to start, but thanks to a handful of Pinterest articles, chats with our pediatrician, and mostly trial and error, I think I’ve figured it out all over again. Chances are, many of you are in the same boat that I was in when we started food a month ago, so to hopefully lend a helping hand, I’ve put together a list of the top 5 tips that I think will be most helpful to you when introducing food to your baby.

    1. Get a good highchair.

    I feel like the highchair you choose can make all the difference when diving into solids. You’ll be using it for quite some time, so do some research and figure out what works best for you. With my first baby, I chose a high chair completely based on its looks. While it was cute, it ended up just not being quite as functional as we needed. My best suggestion is to go for simplicity. Ditch the high chairs that have big fancy cushioning, because food ends up getting in all sorts of crevices. I despised having to take the cushion off to give it a thorough cleaning, so my second time around I decided to get a much simpler high chair. I went with the $20 Ikea highchair and couldn’t be happier. Not only is $20 a major steal in the world of high chairs, but it also feels like a real sturdy piece! It’s modern looking and so easy to just hose off or give a quick wipe down. It’s also lightweight and easy to store away in the pantry when we want to open up some space in the kitchen. Totally recommend it, or finding something similar.

    2.Get yourself some bibs.

    Feeding a baby will ALWAYS be a messy job. No matter how carefully you spoon feed them, food will always end up everywhere. Make sure to get some good bibs to make the cleanup process a tad bit easier. We personally love using silicone bibs because the clean up process is as simple as washing them down in the sink. It takes maybe 30 seconds and bam, just like that, you have a clean bib. There are so many adorable cloth  bibs on the market, and while we certainly have a few that we love, they are just one more thing to add to the never ending laundry pile (and usually end up stained regardless). I recommend purchasing one silicone bib and one cloth bib. Decide which works better for you and go from there!

    3. Introduce one food at a time.

    Since your baby has never had solids, there is obviously no way to know what they are allergic to. By only introducing one food at a time, it makes it easier to pinpoint allergies. Our pediatrician recommended trying one food at a time, then waiting a couple days and trying that same food a second time. If no signs of allergies emerge after both tries, you can add that food to your list of approved baby foods for your little one and move on to trying another food.

    4. Choose your timing wisely.

    Eating solids is an entirely knew activity for your baby and can quickly become an overwhelming experience if you aren’t thoughtful about when you feed them. An overly hungry baby is a cranky baby, and and overly tired baby is a cranky baby. The best time to feed them is 30 minutes after a breast milk/formula feeding. By doing it this way, you are ensuring that they are hungry but not starving, which will make them more open to trying something new. Also choose to feed them fairly soon after waking up from a nap so that they are in a good mood, again making them more open to trying something new. Additionally, one of the most important reasons to feed them long before nap time is so that they are awake for a while after eating and you can observe any potential negative/allergic reactions they have.

    5. Be patient.

    Learning to eat solids is a process that does not come easily to most babies. It will be messy, they may get cranky no matter how perfectly you time the feeding, and it can be easy to become frustrated. Much like learning to nurse, it takes time for baby to get a hang of things. Just take it one step at a time and go at the pace that baby is most comfortable with. If baby seems to really be struggling, they may just not be ready yet! When we first tried with our daughter, she was rejecting every bite and became very easily worked up. We decided to give it a couple weeks and when we revisited solids, she was way more eager for every bite and had an easier time swallowing. Taking baby’s cues are the most important part of the solid food journey!

    TRAVELING WITH LITTLE ONES: 5 Tips for making traveling with children easier

     

    What once was as simple as throwing some of your favorite go-to items in a bag and heading out the door for a little weekend away has now become so intimidating that you avoid it all together. The thought of making sure to pack the bottles, and entertainment, and stroller, and favorite blankies, and diapers has you so overwhelmed that you’re not feeling like your upcoming vacation is really a vacation at all.

    I get it, I’ve been there.

    I remember my first trip with our son was a total disaster. I forgot multiple items at home that I had to buy replacements of at the nearest Target. Then, upon packing up the hotel room to go home, we forgot his favorite blankie (also known as Kiki), which held special emotional value to all of us. Luckily the hotel was able to find it and shipped it back to us, but after the chaos of that trip I was so dreadful of traveling with him that I wanted to just avoid it for a while. And don’t even get me started on our first family camping trip to Zion… which ended two days early because we forgot his entire duffle bag of clothing. Definitely one of my most major mom fails. We’ve had forgetful moments, we’ve had stressful moments (in which I have sworn off traveling), but thanks to a husband who has to travel often for work and enjoys bringing the family along with him, I think I have slowly but surely somewhat mastered the art of traveling with a little one(s).  Hopefully some of my tips will help you feel slightly less intimidated of your next family adventure.

    1. Entertainment is key.  Whether you are road tripping or flying, it’s a lot to ask of any little one to sit in one place for hours on end. Being the mom of an exceptionally energetic  and active dude, I know all about the struggle. We have found bringing multiple sources of entertainment to be essential. We always pack the tablet-and before doing so we load it up with new apps and shows, which extends the amount of time that our son finds entertainment in it. Additionally, one of our best found tricks is loading up on new toys and books. I am not at all trying to say that the key to successfully traveling with kids is to spoil them with half the toy aisle, but a few little things from the dollar section are a great way to keep them busy. We will usually grab a book, a coloring/activity book, and some sort of other small item and add them to the mix of pre-existing toys that we pack up into our son’s backpack. These small new additions are just enough to keep things new and fun for him. Plus, since we keep everything put away in his travel backpack, he goes so long without playing with them that he gets extra entertainment out of everything.
    2. Snacks. A hungry baby is a grumpy baby… and this goes for the older kids too. The more snacks that you have easily accessible and ready to hand out, the less likely you are to hear crying/complaints. When we are road tripping I pack a small cooler and put it directly behind my seat. I include my son’s favorite go-to snacks, some drinks, and typically I’ll add in a lollipop or two in case spirits need a little bit of extra lifting. If we are traveling by plane, pre-packing snacks can obviously be a bit trickier, so I just make sure to grab some things at one of the little airport kiosks before we load the plane. Tip: Bring along an empty snack container w/ toddler friendly lid to poor your purchased snacks into once you’ve cleared security, that way the snacks are more contained and less likely to get dumped all over the floor of the plane.
    3. Check list. There have been so many times that I have thought to myself “I don’t need a to-do list, we aren’t going to be gone that long”. And then I forget 3 random items. I like to keep a check list in the notes section of my phone, that way it’s always with me whenever I think of something to add. Often, I find myself rolling over in the middle of the night before we leave and adding quick items to it here and there. Before locking up our house, the last thing I do is run down my list and double check that everything has been grabbed.
    4. You can never have too many extra outfits when it comes to kids. Between potty training accidents, a messy mishap with the mac n cheese at lunch, or little trips on the sidewalk cracks, clothes get messy fast and the worst situation to be in when traveling is a situation where your child runs out of clothes. There have been numerous times in which I have put a couple pairs of pants back in the drawer because I thought I was packing too many. Several days into the trip and multiple wardrobe mishaps later, I regretted not trusting my gut. Typically what works for me is that for every 1 day of travel, I pack 2 outfits… Then I add in an additional pair of bottoms and one additional top at the end. Yeah, sometimes I end up with an abundance of clothes, but most of the time I only end up with a couple unused items and am left feeling so thankful for my decision to “over-pack”. Same goes for packing extra bottles/pacifiers/favorite toys or teethers. Since those items tend to be items that your child is pickier about and may not be as easily purchased on the go, be sure to pack more than what you think you might need.
    5. Be ready to go with the flow. Traveling with kids will never go as planned. Someone will probably throw a fit at the worst time, something will probably get forgotten, and you probably will not hit the road when you’d hoped to. The sooner you can accept all of that, the sooner you’ll be able to actually enjoy the trip that you put so much effort into planning.

    When to Replace Pacifiers

     

    Becoming a new mom comes with a whole world of questions. You’ve got questions for the answers to your questions, you’ve got questions for your own parents, questions for your pediatrician, questions for your mom friends, questions for doctor google. It’s as though overnight the world becomes a giant question mark as you attempt to navigate through this thing called motherhood. How often do I feed my baby? How many dirty diapers should my baby have per day? How much spitting up is considered normal? How often should I bathe my baby? Will I ever sleep again?!?

    Just when I felt like I had answered one batch of questions, a situation would occur that would bring forth a whole new round of questions. The most recent question to pop into my head in the wee hours of the night?

    ...How often should I replace my pacifier?

    My daughter loves her pacifier. We typically have it attached to her via a pacifier clip and whether she’s using it to practice her hand eye coordination or using it to actually pacify, it’s rare that you will see my daughter without one nearby. Due to how much use that thing gets, sanitizing our pacifiers has become a new household chore since little miss entered our lives. One night after a round of cleaning, I was laying there thinking about the little silicone paci that goes in my daughters mouth every day and wondered... if we replace our tooth brushes regularly, why would we not replace pacifiers regularly? How often should I actually be replacing this thing?

    The answer to this is surprisingly hard to find. However, motherhood has turned me into a professional researcher so I decided to take one for the team and pour what little energy I have left into finding all of the information I could on this subject.

    Turns out, we should be replacing our pacifiers far more often than I would have ever thought---and apparently we are all on the same page according to a recent Ulubulu instagram poll in which 86% of moms reported that they didn’t know how often pacifiers should be replaced.

    Just last year, Romper.com, a well known motherhood website, had a discussion with Jonas Sickler, marketing director at Consumer Safety about this subject. He told them that one of the most important indicators that it's time to toss the paci is damage. "Even a baby with no teeth can eventually break down a pacifier, especially if the soother takes countless trips to the dishwasher”. He also explained that pacifiers are required to have ventilation holes, which can become weak spots. He said, "If you see any rips that could result in pieces breaking off, replace it immediately”.

    Sickler also brought up another piece of information that I think we as new moms often overlook... making sure your baby is using the correct size of pacifier. As he told Romper.com, "New parents may not be aware that pacifiers have age limits due to the size of your baby's mouth. If you aren't sure what age yours is rated for, they are cheap enough to buy a new set”. Typically, pacifiers come in 2 sizes: 0-6M and 6-18M. This means, just like replacing your baby’s bottle size when they reach certain age markers, we should be replacing their pacifier size as well.

    Ok, cool, so I only need to be replacing my pacifiers 1. when any signs of damage are noticeable, and 2. when my baby moves from size 0-6M to 6-18m? Right??

    Wrong.

    Webmd reported than in a small 2012 study that tested 10 used pacifiers, five of the used pacifiers were slightly contaminated, and the other five were heavily contaminated.  Microbiology expert at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Thomas Glass, DDS, PhD told webmd that all used pacifiers be should be thrown out after two weeks and that all pacifiers should be replaced if your baby has recently been sick.

    While replacing your pacifiers every two weeks may sound a little impractical, you may be relieved to hear that this opinion does differ... but not by much! According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, you should “always replace the pacifier every two months, before damage occurs”.

    All of the large baby product companies seem to agree with this.

    According to MAM’s website, they “recommend the soother be replaced every two months for hygienic purposes”. Similarly, Ulubulu says that “all pacifiers should be replaced every 4-8 weeks” and Nuk says  “For hygiene and safety, replace pacifiers after 2 months of use”.

    The general consensus? Replace all pacifiers at minimum every two months, when your baby is sick, and when your baby changes sizes.

    Simple enough. Case closed. This question has finally been answered.

    ...Now to investigate the other 20 mom questions that I’ve thought up all before 10am today while simultaneously adding a new batch of pacifiers to my cart.

     

    Works Cited:

    Hosseini, Sarah. “Here's When Should Replace Baby's Pacifier.” Romper, Romper, 02 Mar. 2017, www.romper.com/p/when-should-you-replace-babys-pacifier-more-often-than-you-think-41102.

    Mann, Denise. “Pacifiers Crawling With Germs.” WebMD, WebMD, 2 Nov. 2012, www.webmd.com/children/news/20121102/pacifiers-crawling-germs.