eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: July 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Project Naptime: Week 1

Jaxon has never taken regular naps. For most of his life, it has been nearly impossible to lay him down in a bed after he'd fall asleep nursing. He prefers to nap in my arms. We've made do with this, and he often took several shorter naps throughout the day. Some days he might be a little fussy from lack of sleep, but it was manageable.

Once he turned a year old, though, a lack of naptime started to become more of a problem. Fussiness turned into tantrums. We felt like we were hitting the "terrible twos" way early. But on the days when he did take a good nap in the early afternoon, we noticed that he was easier to get to sleep that night. 

So last week, I decided that it was time to get serious about his nap schedule (I know, I know, finally, right?). The first thing I did was tell him he could not nurse during the day unless he was going to sleep. Amazingly, he caught onto this really quickly. On day 1, by 12 noon, he was begging to nurse and nodding his head "yes" when I asked if he was going to sleep. He nursed for 15 minutes, then fell asleep and slept for 2 hours. Success!

On day 2, we had similar results, though he didn't start his nap until around 1. Day 3, I was feeling a little lazy. I gave in and let him nurse during the mid-morning. He didn't take a nap until later that afternoon (3ish, I think). On Day 4, I went back to making him wait to nurse. I also pulled him off before he fell asleep and instead of letting him nurse himself to sleep, I patted his back until he fell asleep.

On Day 5, he nursed but pulled off before he was asleep and then fell asleep on his own! I had to stay with him, but I thought it was awesome that he was able to fall asleep on his own.

On Day 6, he nursed to sleep. Some days, it seems he is okay with being pulled off before falling asleep and some days it seems he is completely against it. 

Day 7 was church. We also combined some family visiting with our Sunday and turned it into a very long day. Surprisingly, Jaxon still managed to take 2 shorter naps. He also didn't nurse all day until we got home around 5:30. That's the longest he's ever gone without nursing.

It has been really great having him nap each day. It really helps his mood and makes our afternoons easier. A regular naptime has also brought the unexpected benefit of a regular bedtime. As the week went on, Jaxon started asking to nurse to sleep at 8. He's typically been a night owl, preferring to stay up at least an hour after the other kids go to bed at 8. Sometimes it's 11:00 and he's still awake. For him, 8:00 is early. We're also noticing that he's waking fewer times during the night. 

I really hope we continue to get good results with his naptime and I also hope that his nighttime sleep habits continue to improve. I still can't say he's slept through the night, but at least I am starting to feel like it's an attainable goal at some point in the future!

How old was your little one when they first slept through the night? Do you have any sleep tips for me?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Charlie Banana One Size Diaper Review

Charlie Banana OS cloth diaper in Robot Boy
Charlie Banana is a 2 in 1 cloth diapering system that can be used with disposable or reusable inserts. Charlie Banana diapers come in sizes (X-Small, Small, Medium, and Large) or one sized diapers. They have a front pocket opening that I love! The diapers come with 2 washable inserts. One is a small/newborn insert and the other is a medium/large insert. Both inserts can be used together for maximum absorbency. 
Charlie Banana inserts
The inserts are conveniently labeled 
The inserts are slim, which eliminates bulk between the legs. This is definitely a trim fitting diaper!
Front pocket flap
This diaper can also be used with disposable inserts that are held in place by placing them under the front pocket flap. I haven't used the hybrid option of this diaper yet, so I can't speak to its effectiveness. 
Aqua Charlie Banana
The inside is made of a super soft fleece. When asked to pick a diaper to wear, Jaxon almost always reaches for this one, so I know he loves it!
Inside of Charlie Banana OS diaper
I have to admit - I was initially scared of diapers that had leg adjustment systems. They seemed complicated to me and it seemed like they would be more difficult to get a good fit than with a rise adjustment system you can see. When we received this diaper, Jaxon was 4 months old. The elastic was set to a medium setting and I did not have to adjust the elastic until Jaxon was almost 1. I haven't adjusted it again since. While it is definitely more involved than rise snaps, if you are worried about constantly adjusting the leg elastic, don't be. You will only have to do it a few times to get the fit right the first time and then maybe once every few months as your baby grows.  

The old style Charlie Bananas adjusts using a elastic and button system, as seen in the picture above.  

The new style of Charlie Bananas use a slider system (like a bra strap) to adjust. They are also marked with sizes. I definitely prefer the new system (shown in the picture below).

The Charlie Banana diapers do run small for a one-size diaper. This makes it a great choice for smaller babies and for use straight from birth. It is also a good choice for babies with skinny legs. Look how tiny it gets on the smallest settings. 
Smallest setting of Charlie Banana,
as compared to the smallest setting of a BumGenius 4.0
Look how tiny the leg holes get! 
Largest setting of the Charlie Banana,
as compared to the largest setting of a BumGenius 4.0

The best thing about diapers with leg elastic adjustments is how pleasing they are to look at. Instead of rows and rows of snaps, you just have a clean diaper front. It gives the great look of a sized diaper, with the value of a one size diaper. 

In addition to purchasing from cloth diaper retailers, you can also buy them at Target! I find it very exciting to see some form of cloth diapers in a mainstream store like Target, where more consumers can be exposed to them. A one-size Charlie Banana retails for $20.99 and a 6 pack retails for $109.99.   

Connect with Charlie Banana on Twitter & Facebook!

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I won a Charlie Banana diaper but was under no obligation to review it. All opinions are my own!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BumGenius Freetime AIO One-Size Cloth Diaper Review

BumGenius Freetime in Albert
The Freetime is an all-in-one (AIO), one-size cloth diaper from BumGenius. This diaper, designed to fit babies 8-35 pounds, makes cloth diapering about as easy as it's ever going to be. It's all one piece, and there are no pockets to stuff or unstuff and no cover or extra inserts needed.   

The soakers are attached at each end, which allows this diaper to dry extremely quickly for an AIO. Inside, mine will dry overnight. On a warm day outside, it will dry in about 3-4 hours. I find that these do dry a little quicker than the BumGenius Elemental, because of the way the diaper is able to lay completely open when drying. 
The flaps are made of two layers of microfiber topped with suedecloth, so there is a stay dry layer next to baby's skin. For added absorbency, there is an extra layer of microfiber inside the shell of the diaper, which is also topped with suedecloth. When both flaps are folded over, you're left with five layers of absorbency. 
With both flaps folded inward
The soakers fold over into the diaper -there is no wrong way to do this, so it's easy for Grandma or the babysitter to figure out. Just lay them in and it's ready to be put on the baby. I had some concerns at first that Jaxon would knock the flaps around while I was trying to change him (diaper changing time often turns into a mommy/baby wrestling match). However, the flaps stay in place and aren't easily moved. 
You can also fold the flaps like this to add extra absorbency in front for little boys!

Like it's other BumGenius counterparts, this diaper features two rows of snaps for a great fit, and the standard BumGenius snap down sizing options. I do find the fit to be slightly trimmer between the legs than a BumGenius 4.0. 
BumGenius Freetime in Albert
As you can see in the picture below, the Freetime is just a tad narrower than my 4.0, but is a little thicker. For us, that means a better fit between the legs and a slightly fluffier butt than we would have if we used our Elemental or 4.0.
This diaper fits perfectly and we have had no leaks. 

BumGenius FreeTime on top, BumGenius 4.0 on bottom
Perfect fit on the stomach, eliminating front leaks! 
This is definitely my favorite BumGenius diaper for daytime use. I love how easy it is to use. I love not having to stuff it. I still like the Elemental for its organic material, but even after sunning, mine has several stains. I was pleased to see that stains on the Freetime sun out easily. I know that's not a big deal to some people, but I really like for my diapers to smell and look clean.

The BumGenius Freetime retails for $19.95 and can be purchased at Kelly's Closet.

Have you tried the Freetime? What did you think?


My sweet husband bought this diaper for me, but he didn't require me to review it (lol) and I didn't receive any other compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. My affiliate links are present in this review.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bloggers Wanted: Dyson DC24 Giveaway Event

The Dyson DC24 Cleaner Home Giveaway Event hosted by Mom Powered Media: Iowa-MomPowered by Mom and Real Mom Reviews is now open to bloggers!

The event is open worldwide and runs August 3-24. Sign ups are free! To sign up or for more details, click here.

If you're a reader, be watching for this exciting giveaway! You can also check out my Dyson DC-25 review if you're not familiar with the awesomeness that is Dyson. 

July 17 = 17months

Photo credit: Brooke Sims
My baby boy is growing so quickly. He now has 11 teeth! 

Look at him - he doesn't think he's a baby. I took the picture above yesterday. I started doing school with the kids this week. We were sitting at the table reading science and going over vocabulary words. Jaxon had to be right in the middle of it with his crayons and paper. He sat there coloring and writing the entire time we were working. 

Between 16 months and 17 months, Jaxon has had an explosion in his vocabulary. He has developed a love of Youtube videos - specifically the Barney I Love You song, the Elmo's World theme song, Dora, and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse "hot dog" song. So he now says Elmo, "lala" for Elmo's theme song, I love you, Dora, Hola, backpack, map, and hot dog. He says please, strawberry, book, and diaper. He is also repeating everything. We've been in the habit of saying to him things like "There's the cat. Say cat" without really expecting him to say anything. Well, over the last couple of weeks, he's started repeating words back to us. 

Besides the surge in his language, the only other "milestone" this month is that he is becoming a little less fearful of new people and places. At my sister's baby shower this past weekend, there were a lot of people that Jaxon didn't know. It was also held at my brother's new home, a place Jaxon had never been. A situation like this would normally have Jaxon clinging to me. He's been known to burst into tears when strangers speak to him. However, he did great! He was friendly and happy and really enjoyed himself!

He's a lot of fun, but he's also a lot of work. He is into everything! 
Look at that face! This kid is a MESS!  
Photo credit: Brooke Sims

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hot Fluff Cool Baby Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event!

Welcome to the Hot Fluff Cool Baby Cloth Diaper Giveaway! This awesome cloth diaper stash starter event is sponsored by Greenie Beanie Bottoms and hosted by Just Add Cloth, along with over 75 wonderful and influential bloggers who all love cloth! Cloth diapering is a great way to reduce waste, help our planet, and save money. Cloth diapers are hot items and cool for your baby! Not only are cloth diapers more breathable in warm weather, but they make adorable accessories in summer! Simply pair a cute shirt with an adorable diaper and you've got an outfit!

Starting your stash can be daunting, so this prize from Greenie Beanie Bottoms is a great way to get a variety of diapers to try out. Greenie Beanie Bottoms is an online retailer of cloth diapers, accessories, amber teething jewelry, and reusable menstrual and nursing pads. They offer totally free shipping for all orders in the U.S. and low flat rate shipping to Canada.

Now on to the prize!

Our Hot Fluff Cool Baby cloth diaper prize comprises everything you need to get started with cloth!


One lucky winner will receive:

5 Fold-to-Fit Bamboo inserts by the Cloth Diaper Company

That's 10 pocket diapers in winner's choice of colors and closures, two wet bags, 12 cloth wipes, two pairs of baby leg warmers, diaper cream, two diaper covers, and five bamboo terry cloth inserts, bringing the grand prize total to over $300!!

With 15 diaper changes and accessories to match, this is a great beginner stash for anyone just starting out in cloth diapering. It's also a great way to add to your existing stash or to try out some new brands of diapers you haven't used before. 

This giveaway runs from 12:01AM July 16 through 11:59PM July 31, EST. It is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Must be 18 or older. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Entering means you agree to the terms and conditions stated in the form. Entering is easy! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

*The participating blogs are not responsible if sponsor fails to provide prize. Bloggers did not receive review items or compensation for this event

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Oz: The Great & Powerful Movie Trailer Debut

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL hits theaters March 8, 2013!

Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved character, the Wizard of Oz. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking, until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well.

Watch the trailer debut below and learn more about the movie at Disney.com/TheWizard

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Zooper Stroller Giveaway: Free Blogger Sign Ups!

Zooper Twist Stroller giveaway hosted by Mom Powered Media! One super lucky reader will win a Zooper Twist!

Cost: $5.00 or free with announcement post. See bloggers wanted post for more details.
Prize: Zooper Twist Stroller in either Mountain Flowers, Ocean Blue, Canyon Red, or Flax Brown fabric! Average retail value is 199.99.
Giveaway Open to: US and Canada.
The event dates: August 6th- August 27th.
Free Link Option: Facebook
Optional Paid Link Option: Twitter for $3.00.
Special thanks to Real Mom ReviewsMom To Bed By 8 and Powered By Mom for coordinating this great giveaway event!
Blogger Notes: Bloggers worldwide are welcome to participate as long as you have a large amount of US and Canadian traffic to your website.

Summer Fun with Crayola (Review & Giveaway)

My kids love to draw, create, and craft, so we are huge fans of Crayola products. We were sent a fun box full of great Crayola products perfect for providing summer fun for kids, both at home and on the go. 
I really like the Color Wonder line of products from Crayola. We've used these products for several years and my kids have tried to use Color Wonder markers on walls, the couch, the seats of the van, chairs and pews at church, and themselves. Yet no matter how hard my kids try, these markers only mark on the special Color Wonder paper. This makes these products perfect for the car! For several years when we had beige carpet, these were the only markers my kids were allowed to use! 
We received several Color Wonder products: a Hot Wheels themed coloring pad with markers, Color Wonder Barbie mini coloring pad and markers, Princess and the Frog Mess Free Color Wonder Activity Set, and the Color Wonder On the Go Tiny Tube.
Color Wonder On the Go Tiny Tube
The Color Wonder On the Go Tiny Tube is cleverly designed! It fits in the cup holder of your vehicle. The inside of the Tiny Tube holds mini Color Wonder markers, while the outside contains a roll of activity pages, perforated for easy tearing and backed with adhesive so they will stay in place while kids draw. It has a convenient carry handle that makes it easy to bring from the car into a restaurant or Grandma's house. 

The Princess and the Frog Mess Free Activity Set has all kinds of Color Wonder fun. It includes a coloring pad, drawing pad, gel paints, paintbrush, and markers. 

We also received some Crayola Dry Erase products. The Dry Erase Travel Pack has a dry erase surface, and comes with special dry erase crayons, an eraser, and a crayon sharpener. The pack contains templates that slide beneath the dry erase surface. This is a very fun product that the kids love. However, I would not recommend this for travel when it's insanely hot outside like it has been lately. Our package was delivered on a day when it was 100 degrees outside, and our crayons had melted. They were still useable. However, if the kids had left these in the van on a hot day, they could have melted on the seat or carpet.   

The kids favorite product was definitely the Crayola Dry Erase Zany Play. It comes with 4 dry erase markers for drawing and coloring. It also contains boards with mazes and games like tic tac toe. We had a couple of arguments over who would get to use this one first! This is a very versatile toy, offering lots of ways to play, which makes it perfect for travel. Just take note that unlike the Color Wonder markers, the dry erase markers will write on other things as well, so make sure to supervise their use. 

One very lucky reader is going to win a Crayola box full of products, just like the one we received! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Easy, Healthy Frozen Yogurt Pops

I picked up a popsicle mold at Ikea last week for $1.99! When we got home, I was excited to use it, but started looking around and wasn't sure what to put in it. We didn't have any juice, but we did have a whole case of strawberry yogurt that we got free from Publix*, so I decided to use some yogurt as the base. We also had a whole bunch of peaches from the farmer's market. I thought that strawberry-peach yogurt pops would taste great!

Strawberry Peach Yogurt Pops  
popsicle mold (makes 4)
1 large peach
1 8 oz package Yoplait strawberry yogurt

First, I peeled the peach. I cut it into chunks to make it easier to mash. 

I then used my potato masher to make the pieces smaller. You could also use a fork, a blender, or even a baby food maker, depending on how small and mashed up you want the fruit to be. 

Then I poured in the strawberry yogurt and mixed it all up. Mashing the peach gave it some peachy liquid, which made the mixture more pourable than if I had just used the yogurt by itself. 

Pour into popsicle molds and freeze 6-8 hours or overnight.

My kids were thrilled with these yogurt pops. Emily said they were the best popsicles ever and the other kids agreed. Jaxon ate all of his, so I think he liked it, too! As soon as I they were done, I made another batch and stuck it in the freezer. They are super easy to make! 

The great thing about this is you know exactly what is going into the pops (no added sugar!), and you can tailor them to what your kids like. Britain doesn't even normally like fresh peaches, though, and he still ate his popsicle and declared it yummy, so this can also be a way to sneak some new foods by your kids and control the sugar content of their frozen treats.

Here's a few more suggestions for flavors:

Strawberry yogurt with kiwi
Blueberry yogurt with strawberries
Vanilla yogurt with peaches

Do you make homemade popsicles? I'd love to hear some more ideas on ways to make easy homemade popsicles.  

*This deal lasts through 7/11. Purchase a box of Cheerios and receive a Yoplait Yogurt 8 count Fridgepack for free. Visit bestmealsathome.com to get the coupon or look for the in-store display.