Using these tips saved me money as a new mom

Using these tips saved me money as a new mom

So I just want to put a disclaimer that everything in this article is my own opinion and that I’m not getting paid to do this. These are purely tips that have helped my family save money as a new family of three. If you are a new mom, a new dad, a single mom or a new family of three you are probably freaking out about the expenses of having a child. Well, these are the best tips that I have when it comes to saving money on baby and toddler items.

1. Don’t buy newborn sizes. Don’t do it because they will grow out of them in a week or two. Only buy them if you have a premie. Buy the 0-3 to start off with. The 0-3 size will last longer on your child than the newborn. In the end you will end up with a bunch of newborn clothes that he/she cannot wear and you could be spending money on those unused clothes towards diapers.

2. Buy clothes that are a size bigger than what the tag says they should be wearing at their age. I’m saying this because if let’s say you are buying fall clothes now those clothes will need to last them till March and these little guys grow like weeds. This tip helps if you are already on a tight budget. For example my son just turned 16 months and I just bought him 24 month clothing because I do not want to keep on buying clothes throughout the winter for him. Especially with prices of every item going up.

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3. Join baby products communities and rewards programs. Most baby products like enfamil, huggies or pampers send out coupons and have rewards when you sign up on their website. Enfamil will literally send you coupons to use. We all know that formula can get expensive. Huggies and pampers also have rewards programs too. Also, apps like Fetch is also great to use for baby products. You get points back to use on gift cards every time you upload a receipt or order anything from Amazon. Just as a side note Amazon is great to use to buy baby items on too especially during the newborn stage . You can use my promo code PDNQ27 to get 2,000 points right now when you sign up.

4. Buying baby and toddler clothes at consignment stores or using Amazon prime wardrobe. The best decision that I made was buying my son’s clothes as a newborn at a kids consignment store. I literally got many of his clothes brand new with tags at half the price that they would have been at the store. Now when they grow out of their clothes you can always sell them back to consignment stores and get some money back for them. You can also sell gently used baby toys, bouncers, pack in plays and swingers back to the consignment stores. I also use Amazon prime wardrobe to try and buy my son’s clothes. I like using it because I’m not getting charged until the 7th day and I know myself if I forget to return it then it will sit in my closet. That way if it doesn’t fit him then it’s gets sent back straight away. I also really don’t want to bring my child out at times. It feels like I’m going on a field trip with him. Also, Amazon prime wardrobe is also good to use if you are pregnant for maternity clothes. If you don’t feel comfortable going to the store then use prime wardrobe. For one it’s cheaper than many maternity stores and you won’t risk yourself going out to the stores.

5. If you are buying clothes or any items from a big name brand store then check out their clearance items first because you might be able to buy 0-3 months baby clothes for really cheap. For instance, I really liked Macy’s backstage when they first started because I could get a pack of 2-3 rompers for like $3.00. Also, TJ max also has a lot of cute baby items for 3 to 4 dollars. You can buy clothes, bath toys and toys from TJ max.

Please share this list with every new mom or soon to be new mom you know! Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter for more parenting tips!

Why I’ve decided to put my toddler in school during a pandemic.

Why I’ve decided to put my toddler in school during a pandemic.

So before the pandemic, actually, long before the pandemic I used to be a certified lead Montessori guide. I had to stop teaching due to some health issues and make a career shift. However, that’s a story for another day though. Anyways my husband and I always talked about putting our son in school from a young age way before he was born and this pandemic hit. I’ve always wanted him to go to school at a young age because of the benefits of social interactions at a young age.

You might say that he is too young or that you should have someone watch him. Or that you don’t think that he should be in school because of the pandemic. Well, right now we do have someone watching him but because he hasn’t been around many kids we still decided to put him in school. For us we had to weigh out the pros and cons.

For a lot of mommas like me this isn’t a easy decision. For some it maybe because they have no childcare while they work. For others it might be the one time of day where they can have time to themselves. You might also say that you shouldn’t put him in school cause of the new variants. Well, news flash you can’t predict where a virus will be and you certainly can’t shelter kids for the rest of their lives. I know that he will thrive in school because of this pandemic he has had to live a chunk of his life a tad bit sheltered. This pandemic has taken away from him meeting many family members and interacting with friends his age. I know that him being in school will have a huge impact on his learning. He will learn many new things and I know that he will make many new friends. As a past Montessori guide I know that a huge benefit to having him in school this young is that it will make him more socially mature.

All throughout this pandemic I’ve worried what will this do to his learning and mental health of staying sheltered. I’m worried what kind of toll this pandemic will take on him in the future. I’ve listed out the pros and cons of having him start school so young. Both my husband and I know that starting him this early as a toddler in school is the best for him. We didn’t make this decision lightly but at the same time we have seen how he interacts with people and we don’t want him to have social anxiety because of this pandemic. I feel that it is important that every parent should make the best decision for their child and not be shamed for it.

I know that this post seems like it’s all over the place with my thoughts about putting my child in school. I just wanted to get my thoughts out their and say that it’s ok to put your child in school or do virtual. You have to do what is best for your child and your family. Like many others I’m so tired of this pandemic and I’m ready to go back to some sense of normalcy.

NEW BLOG POST ALERT!

NEW BLOG POST ALERT!

Is lovevery subscription service worth it?

Is lovevery subscription service worth it?

So your a new mom or maybe this is your second or third child and you keep on seeing ads for a subscription service called lovevery everywhere. You see it on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You may have heard about it from a friend, family member or neighbor. As mom to mom or parent to parent I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t think that this was and is a great product. You probably have heard of the Montessori Philosophy by now and that lovevery is started by Montessori parents and lead guides. Well, I am a certified Montessori infant and toddler guide and a parent to a 1 year old and this subscription service is awesome!

I know you probably are thinking that this thing is really expensive or that Montessori lessons are really expensive. While yes this will set you back $40 a month, however, it is well worth it. For one thing it is not as expensive as buying Montessori materials on your own. Which is way more expensive then buying this subscription service. For another thing is that these materials that loverevery uses are really durable. They have literally survived a dog accidentally chewing on them. The Montessori guide in me also loves that it has a book that teaches parents how to use the materials with their child and what activities they can do to help shape their child’s mind and body.

My son loved going after the wobble ball!

Another reason that I love this subscription service is that it breaks up your child’s monthly milestone ages. This is partly so that parents don’t get overwhelmed with each of the products and that they can learn where their child is at developmentally. This really benefits first time parents. They will send you a new box with the next level of materials every 2 months for your child’s first year of life. You may think that the first box isn’t worth it but it really is. My son loved looking at the back and white cards and the back and white ring and ball set. The black and white cards in the first box helps the child with their focus the first few weeks of life as their eyes are adjusting to their environment. It may not seem like a big deal to first time parents but it is a lot of work to learn to focus to a small infant.

My son is focusing on a black and white spiral image.

The one thing that I really love is that it feels like I can bring a part of my classroom materials home. I have used many of these items in my own classroom. So if you can’t afford to have your child in a Montessori class then this is the next best thing. Seriously as a Montessori guide this is a awesome product. Their are specific lessons that give your child the sensory experience of feeling different textures and doing different tasks that use their hand/ eye and hand to hand coordination. One lesson that I love that they have and that I’ve always loved having in my own classroom is the object permanence box. It not only teaches them cause and effect but that an object will continue to exist even when it can no longer be seen. Another lesson that my son really loved when we got our first suscription box was the crinkle paper book. He absolutely loved looking at all the colored fabrics and feeling and hearing the crinkle paper.

The last reason that I love this subscription service is that many parents including myself don’t always really like loud plastic toys. My son is more so engaged with the lessons that lovevery provides than with the electronic toys that he received at his first birthday party. In fact he has a bunny that sings songs when you press its hands or feet that he absolutely hates. Montessori and the lovevery lessons provide opportunities where the child can play and learn independently.

I really do think that this is a great company! This is my honest review of this company. I and many other of my fellow Montessori teacher friends love this product. Montessori should be available to everyone. In fact the children that Maria Montessori first taught were children that came from the poorest parts of Italy. Also, if you still find that this subscription service is expensive for you then you can always put this on your baby registry.

Using this is what helped my son as a newborn

Using this is what helped my son as a newborn

Disclaimer: Their are affiliate links that I may or may not receive commission on at no cost to you.

So when my son was born I thought I knew it all when he was a baby. I had ten years of experience of teaching infants and toddlers. I thought I was so ready and prepared. Little did I know that his first two months were also the hardest.

When you become pregnant as a new mom you get all sorts of different advise from everyone and you read tons of books and blogs and you might watch a ton of YouTube videos. I thought that I had it all planned out because of my background in education. Well, none of it prepared me for the first few months. Yes even if you are a teacher yourself nothing will prepare you for your own child.

Nothing prepared me for the first month when he had tummy and gas pains. Almost every child gets this the first month they are born. It’s like buying a brand new house that has just been built. You hear all sorts of new noises and are praying that you don’t have a blocked pipe or a over flowing one. You want everything to run smoothly.

The first few days he had jaundice and it took his little system a while to start moving. That was a contributing factor but when he started to wake up and cry randomly at night we realized that something was not right.

I went through every possible scenario. At first I thought it was my breast milk. Then I thought it was the supplemental milk, which we changed anyways, and then I thought it was the bottles. I was also even pumping(bicycling) his legs to different songs and rhythms after a while to keep it fun and interesting.

I knew it wasn’t my milk because he was fine during the day when I gave it to him. However, at night he would wake up and scream a few hours after drinking the supplemental milk. So then I changed him from similac to enfamil gentle ease. He seemed better but still was getting bad gas pains. If you are going to supplement or skip breast feeding altogether then get the premise bottles and not the powder. You have to be careful with the powder and adding in water because even though you can put in the right amounts you can still make more or less formula in the bottle. Down below is what I used for the pre-made formula.

So finally I thought it was the bottle. I noticed one night that he was literally putting air into the bottle. So I did my research and the first switch that I made was from advent bottles to the anti colic Philips bottles. I thought that it would be the end of that. Nope! I was wrong again! Those didn’t work either. So I then did more research and found dr browns bottles.

Finding those bottles was like the heavens opened up again! He cried a lot less and was so much calmer! I’m saying this because sometimes it can be so simple such as a bottle switch. I thought that buying philips was the way to go because it was a wide nipple and a better fit. Boy was I wrong!

I sure am glad that I switched. He became a happy little camper and to this day at 13 months old he now opens his mouth up wide for that bottle. Figuring these little guys out is like a jigsaw puzzle and once you find that one piece that fits then it all comes together.

Overall, if your baby has colic it might be that they need to switch formulas or to a different bottle or even both. Just remember momma you got this and this too shall pass!

My 4 top items to have on hand after a C section

My 4 top items to have on hand after a C section

So this post is going to be for those new mommas who just had a elective c section or a emergency c section. I just wanted to get this off my chest and say that baby is going to come the way that it wants to come. Ok rant over. So now you are probably thinking what items do I need or need to get for my c section recovery ?

First, I just want to say that I was an emergency c section baby and my son was sort of an emergency c section. What I mean by sort of is that I literally told the doctor at the beginning of my pregnancy however he wants to come is fine by me. So with that being said I kinda packed for both a vaginal and C section birth and afterbirth. The items that helped me out the most both during and after are below.

1. The first item that I bought is depends underwear. Those are literally the best things that mankind ever gave to women. The amount of blood you will pass after is unreal. It doesn’t matter if you had a c section or not. I bled for weeks and I kid you not that those hospital pads or pharmacy pads will not help you one bit. In fact here is a little secret. I still use them at night because I hate waking up finding out that I bled through. Not only are they comfortable but now they have different colors and designs.

2. The second item that used were hot/cold packs to help with the pain near the incision site and the cramps that happen afterwards. You will have some cramping happen afterwards. These will help with some of the pain you will have from the doctor stitching you up. This is especially helpful to have after the nurses check out your stomach.

3. The third thing to have handy in both a vaginal and c section are compression socks. If you end up having a c section you will be in bed until the day after surgery and until after all the medications have worn off. Not only do they keep you somewhat warm but they are good to have if you have had any serious health clotting issues in the past. I had these on the whole time in the hospital.

This picture is from my own c section.

4. Most of all have a helpful and handy support system. You won’t be able to move the first day or two so having someone to help with diaper changes is helpful. I have to brag on my husband as a new father he was a rock star while I on the other hand was not in any shape or form to get up and move.

Overall, that baby is going to come the way that it wants. It may not be the way that you envisioned or liked but having these things with me helped me a lot. Honestly, I would 100% do a c section again.

My top advise for new moms

My top advise for new moms

So one thing that I really want to talk about and get off my chest is advise for new moms. This is something that I dealt with my whole pregnancy and the first year of my sons life. Everybody is going to give their own two sense about your child. When I mean everyone I mean everyone. While some advise is great, however, some of it is not so great. At first it was irritating but I’ve learned a few things a long the way.

The first thing is that you don’t have to please anyone. What I mean by that is you don’t have to say yeah I will do that. You can say flat out say no or say sorry but that doesn’t work for us parents. For example, when I was pregnant a lot of people told me oh you should get him pacifiers. I flat out said no because for one thing it will mess up his teeth and for another it will be a power struggle to get him off of them. However, when I had him he had to have a pacifier when he had jaundice to keep himself “occupied” so he wouldn’t pull down his mask while under Billie Rubin lights. I only let him have it then and after he came off of the lights I took away the pacifier because it was causing all of us sleep issues. It took him a few days to adjust but he was fine without it and we all slept better without it.

Secondly, you are the parent you know your child best. If you don’t like what someone is doing to your child or the unsolicited advise that they are giving you just say hey I’m the parent I’ll decide what is best for my kid. Better yet I would say that’s something that is between me and their pediatrician.

Lastly and most importantly follow your gut. If you agree to whatever advice is given to you then that’s great but if you don’t then that’s okay too. Just remember at the end of the day that you are the parent.

Overall, that is your child. As mom to mom and parent to parent no one knows how that kid is better than you. Take every piece of advise with a grain of salt.

How to make edible paint

How to make edible paint

So this week I wanted to do something really fun with my son. He is still too little to hold paint brushes or crayons and I didn’t want to spend a ton of money either. So I decided to try out finger painting with him!

The first thing that I did was I bought poster paper from CVS. No it wasn’t a big poster board but it was poster paper that was cut down. I wanted something that was thick. I didn’t want to buy construction paper because I wanted the paint to really pop on the page. Poster paper is thick enough to put on a lot of paint and it not be totally soaked though.

The second thing that I did was make the paint. Buying the paint would have been much more simpler but you don’t always know what manufacturers put in those paints. Plus this paint is a lot easier to clean and it doesn’t stain like most store bought paints do. Below is the recipe that I used to make edible paint.

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of salt (optional)

Food coloring of your choice

Ziplock bags

Containers to store paint

First, you mix the flour and salt until they are well mixed. You don’t have to add the salt but I did because it adds a sensory experience for children. Then you add water and mix until it’s smooth. Then you divide up your batch into ziplock bags with how many colors to want to use. Then you put the food coloring into the bags and you shake them up! Then store it into containers. I slipped off the end of the bags like I was going to pipe a cake and let the paint come out that way into the containers.

Lastly, have fun with it! For my son it was his first time painting and he did get it all over him. I do have to recommend making your child take a bath afterwards! My sons facial expressions were so funny too. He was looking at me like what is this stuff mom? I wish I did take pictures of him painting though!

Over all this is a fun activity to do with the littles! They get to have fun and learn about colors. I would recommend doing this activity when they are young!

To breast feed or not to breastfeed that is the question

To breast feed or not to breastfeed that is the question

To breast feed or not to breast feed that is the question that crosses every womans mind when have their first child. I’m not for or against it but I’ve always had this notion that if it happens then it happens and if it doesnt then so be it. For many women this is a very sensitive topic and some will say yes do it all the way while others will say nah its not for me. Well, I was one of those that was in between. Yeah, sure I wanted to try it but it probably wasnt in my best interest to continue after the first year thanks to post partum.

While I am glad that I did it, however, a part of me knows that it isn’t in my best interest to do it again or at least for as long as I did it. I am fine with my second child, whenever we become pregnant, to have formula. We did supplement with my son until he started eating food. I really do think that pumping or breastfeeding, whatever you want to call it, really did play a huge part in my post partum depression. In fact I know it did because once I stopped I almost became like my old self again except with a kid of course! It was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I felt happier again. Of course I could feel my hormones shift but I felt happier and that I could really enjoy my son. Many women still get post partum without breast feeding but because of the hormone fluctuations I feel like it made mine worse. I strongly do encourage that if you do have post partum to talk to both your doctor and a therapist. I did and it sure did help me get the help that I did.

If covid didn’t happen then I would have stopped a lot earlier than when I planned to. However, since we were and still are in a pandemic, I decided to continue until my son turned a year old. I am all for the health benefits that it gives babies but for me it had a darker side that came in the form of post partum. Am I glad I did it? Yes I am glad because I stuck to my guns you could say when I had people tell me to literally give up. I’m glad I did it because I knew I was giving my son antibodies to fight covid after he got it from me. I’m also glad I did it because I really do believe it helps with protecting him from having allergies down the line. Overall, I’m glad I did do it.

So overall if someone were to ask to breastfeed or not to breastfeed I would say to look deep down inside yourself and ask why. If they still want to go through with it then i would say if in a few weeks you change your mind then you can stop. However, if you dont want to stop then hey more power to you!