Little Family on the Big Lake

Nursing for over 2 years

I have been nursing for over 2 years.

Right now I am expecting reactions somewhere between “eww!”, “why?”, and “how did you do that?”

I thought I would share my journey with breastfeeding because it’s been a long, and I feel informative, one. There seems to be such a stigma about breastfeeding. In truth it is both very natural and a difficult body function. We need to speak out and try to make long term breastfeeding normal (because it is!).

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Recommendations

Let me start off by saying the World Health Organization recommends that children be breastfed for 2 years and beyond.

“From the age of 6 months, children should begin eating safe and adequate complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years and beyond.”

https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding#tab=tab_2

For some reason here in the US, nursing for an extend period of time is characterized as weird. In other parts of the world, nursing past 3 years is normal. I found this great article about these trends that is worth a read: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/parenting/baby/how-long-should-you-breastfeed.html

Starting Out

I started out nursing shortly after Little One was born. He arrived in a bit of a dramatic fashion and you can read all about that here. When we started to nurse it was a bit delayed. After a couple times trying with it not going great, a nurse realized that Little One was tongue tied. A pediatrician came in the next day and did a procedure to fix the tongue tie. In the meantime I pumped and fed him using a syringe. It was definitely not how I pictured my first nursing experience to go. After another day, Little One was latching much better, but still not as well as he could be.

Enter the nipple shield. If you don’t know what this is, it’s a thin piece of plastic that goes over the nipple that helps a baby latch. The message I kept receiving in the hospital was try to get the baby to stop using the shield as soon as possible to avoid nipple confusion. I was so stressed out about this and kept trying without the shield. Ten days after Little One was born we had his first well baby appointment and I spoke to my doctor about this. She told me not to worry and use the shield as long as Little One needed it and that eventually, he will stop. You know what? She was right! In his 3rd month Little One stopped using it and hasn’t used it ever since.

Now every baby is different and every situation is different, but this is what worked for us.

The first couple months

I was recently talking to a friend whose sister-in-law just had a baby. She was telling my friend how the baby was so good and on a feeding schedule. My friend was considerate but not feeling great about herself because she had a rather difficult birth and nursing experience and it brought up some old feelings.

I honesty gave a bit of a laugh. The baby is two weeks old – just wait until the baby starts cluster feeding. That nice little schedule is going to go out the window. Now every baby is different and so is every family. Not every baby goes through a cluster feeding phase, but a lot do!

Cluster feeding is when the baby wants to nurse repeatedly for a couple hours stretch. He will take a nap and want to cluster feed again. This process normally lasts for a couple of days, then goes back to normal. A couple of days after that the cluster feeding starts up again. This normally starts in the the 3-4 weeks of life and can last a couple of weeks if not longer. The reason this happens is because nursing the baby triggers mom’s body to produce more milk.

There is so much growing that a baby does during the first couple of months. Cluster feeding is how the baby gets the mom to make as much milk that he or she needs.

Little One and Cluster Feeding

Little One started cluster feeding in his 3rd or 4th week of life, but I can’t quite remember. I felt like the only thing I was doing was nursing because I was doing it for days on end. This might be too much information, but during this time I developed a sharp pain when Little One nursed on the left side. I spoke with my doctor about it and she said it was one of those things that needed time to adjust and to keep using nipple cream. (This one is good for soothing and this one is great for tougher situations).

Eventually the pain subsided, but it took about a month. I could have very easily bowed out at that time and made the switch to formula. Knowing how good breast milk was for my Little One, I decided to stick with it. I am also quite thrifty so I didn’t want to pay for formula!

The cluster feeding lasted for about 3-4 weeks before we developed more of a balance. In the off days of cluster feeding, your body will continue to produce more milk. I used this time to pump and freeze the mild for later use.

Going back to Work and Pumping

After my short maternity leave I had to go back to work, which meant pumping there (this is the one I used). I was constantly struggling to produce enough for the day and trying to build a reserve. I would often do extra pumping sessions to help build my frozen stash.

My doctor recommended to just worry about producing enough milk for the next day. However, I wanted to have extra in the freezer because I was just not crazy about pumping.

I want to take a moment to recognize that I was only successful because I had a work environment that accommodated me. As a society and a work force we need to change to make pumping at work available to everyone! I read so many stories of women who stop pumping because they aren’t able to at work. Nursing is so important for the heath of a baby. Give moms the tools to keep it up. Pumping is hard enough without the extra challenges of an unaccommodating work place.

It is important to know your rights when it comes to pumping in the work place. Check out this website from the Department of Labor which indicates what the law states about pumping in the work place. While it is the law, it takes mothers (and fathers!) advocating and speaking up for their rights to effect change.

I spoke with my employer before I got back and set up a plan for pumping. The nature of my job has me moving around a bit. I do have a private office that I used to pump in. However, when I was on the road I often used my car adapter to pump in the car or reserve a meeting room in my other office location for privacy.

Speak up! Know your rights! Hold your employer accountable!

1 year

I made it to one year. That was my goal – at least one year of nursing. At this time I decided to stop pumping at work. It was a huge relief. Through my pumping experience I built quite a stash. I was able to send milk with Little One to day care until he was 18 months old!

We developed a schedule at this time. Little One would nurse when he woke up, right after we got home from day care, and again before bed. Also, on the weekends we would nurse before he went down for his nap.

18 months

Around 18 months Little One stopped wanting to nurse when he got home from day care. He wanted a snack instead. The first time it happened I cried. My little boy was growing up and that special connection we had was coming to an end. While we have kept up the morning and night nursing sessions, it was sad to lose this one.

2 years

We have reached two years! Little One is still nursing before going to bed at night. Sometimes he decides he wants to nurse in the morning, but it’s not an everyday thing. If he isn’t feeling well, sometimes he will want to nurse randomly during the day.

We have a good balance. Little One eats solid food during the day and for each meal. He will nurse right before going to bed. This is an important step in our night time routine. You can read more about that here. I have decided we will keep going as long as he wants to.

To all those out there who view nursing for over 2 years old to be weird, I have to say it really isn’t. In most parts of the world it is normal. I have nursed my son since he was born and we have grown together. It’s not like I have suddenly started nursing a two year old. It’s a natural connection only a mother and baby can have.

Final Thoughts

So that’s the story of how I been nursing for over 2 years. My big takeaway is that nursing is hard, but it is worth it for your baby. Because of this, I do believe fed is best and you need to do what is right for you and your family, whether that means breastfeeding, using formula, or a mixture of both. I have also learned that moms have to stand up for themselves! Advocate for the right to feed your baby in whatever way that means! Hopefully with more moms and dads speaking out we can bring about the change for a more accepting society and work place.

I would love to hear your nursing stories. Have any of you tried nursing over 2 years? Let me know in the comments below!

Family Photo Album

Little One’s 2nd birthday was last week! Due to the COVID-19 situation we were not able to have a family birthday party like we normally would have…this virus has kept us from seeing those we love. While my husband and I are able to talk on the phone, it’s harder for Little One to make that connection. So for his 2nd Birthday, because his family couldn’t come to him, I decided to make a family photo album for him.

Like many homes, we have pictures of our family members around the house. Little One looks at these but has a hard time with the big group pictures telling each person apart. They are also attached to the wall out of his reach and out of his line of sight. We wanted to make a photo album with a picture of each family member so Little One could really get to know their faces and names.

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Creating the Photo Book

Knowing me, I wanted to try to reuse as much as I could. I found a photo book like this one from Amazon. The one I used was one I picked it up at Walmart many years ago and now being repurposed. I have found that Little One is hard on the thin plastic pages and we have needed to tape a couple. A book like this might work a little better, but that is just a guess.

If able, getting a photo book printed might be the most durable. But again that is just a guess. I have gotten books printed before and have always been really happy with the results.

Whatever you decide to use to make your family photo album, just be sure that it will be okay for your kiddo to play with. The whole point of this to have pictures of your family members accessible to them!.

Getting Photos Printed

To create our family photo album, I asked each of our family members to send me a picture of just themselves. We had a lot of pictures of our family members, but not a lot of individual pictures of just them. Of course our family members were happy to snap off a picture and text it to me so I could print it out for the Little One.

I used Target Photos to print out all my pictures. I am working on getting a promo code for all of you…I’ll update this when I do!

Name Cards

One of the features I wanted to include in my photo book was to include name cards for each family member. I did this because I think having the names written out will help Little One with his language skills. I created a card in my edit program. You are in luck I have done the leg work for you. Available for download I have a blue and white version and a black and white version. They are also in two sizes one in 5*7 and 4*6.

Family Photo Book

Little One loves his family photo album. I often find him sitting in the living room flipping though the pages. We will talk about a family member and he will go get the family photo album. He will find the picture of the person we are talking about. He is slowly learning the names, he is better with some than others. Little One always knows who we are talking about.

July Bullet Journal

It’s mid-June and this month has been crazy already! There is a lot going on in both our home and in the world. If you noticed, I didn’t do a spread for June. I tried but it didn’t turn out well…sometimes that happens. I also found that I just didn’t need as much being that things are so up in the air right now. However, I have reorganized myself and created some spreads that I think will work for my July bullet journal.

This month is dedicated to the beautiful delphinium. As always I have taken inspiration from the very talented Shayda Campbell. I don’t think she has her July spread out yet, but when she posts it be sure to check it out!

I had a lot of fun creating this July bullet journal spread. The delphinium is such a delightful flower to draw. The grouping of little flowers and buds are easy and when clustered together creates a really nice effect. I chose to add water colors this month to add some pop. If you just use a pen, they still looked fantastic.

July Cover Page

July bullet journal cover page

This is the cover page for July.

July Calendar

July Bullet Journal monthly calendar

I switched things up for July and changed back to the bigger calendar. Since I am not doing weekly spreads like I was doing, I decided that I need more space in my calendar section for writing things down.

July Monthly Expenses

July bullet journal monthly expenses

My monthly expenses page has not changed much. I use this every month and it helps me track my purchases. This has been a game changer in helping us keep to our monthly budget!

July Spread

I have forgone my normal weekly spread for this month. I found that in June and May I didn’t use my weekly spreads very much. The parts that I really used were my blog engagement tracker and my meal planning. I also included a section for a to-do list. I will try out this method and see if it works well for me. Setting everything up on one page is going to make things a bit easier for me; now I don’t have to flip back and forth. I think just having a long to-do list is going to be helpful, too. As long as I get everything done, the particular day doesn’t matter as much. Summer Rules!

July Bullet Journal todo list

What do you think of the new July bullet journal layout? Have you been changing up your bullet journals to adjust to your new schedule? I would love to see your spreads! Let me know in the comments below or tag me on facebook.

DIY Sandbox

Now that summer weather has hit the North Shore and we have been spending so much time outside, Little One has been enjoying playing in the sandbox at daycare. I decided that it was time to make one at home, too. There are lots of designs to choose from. However, I decided to work with what I have and try making a DIY sandbox without purchasing anything.

Step One- Determining Location

My first step in creating a DIY sandbox was determining the location for it. We have this garden bed in our back yard. We have already let Little One have a bit of free reign on this garden bed. It is in need of a weeding and being under a tree, it is pretty much shaded most of the day. The soil is full of tree roots so it’s hard to grow flowers. My ultimate goal is to include the sandbox and make the other section a great interactive garden for Little One to plant in.

I love taking what I already have and creating something more useful. Using the garden bed, there are already three sides to hold in the sand. I will only have to create a separator in the garden. While the rocks are not ideal, I will try to rearrange them to make the sandbox more accessible.

Step Two-Creating the Sandbox

The first step in creating this sandbox was to dig! I first focused on trying to save any of the plants and transplanting them into the garden section. I put the rest of the dirt on a tarp to be taken to the dump later. I did manage to salvage some dirt for the garden. However, there were a lot of roots which didn’t make it useful. I dug down 5-6 inches, which should be more then enough digging room.

I managed to tackle this DIY sandbox during nap time, so it really didn’t take too long. That also included steps three and four…

DIY Sandbox

Step Three-Sandbox Foundation

The next step was creating the sandbox foundation. I wanted to include a good base for the sandbox or weeds and critters would try to make it home. Of course, I wanted to use recycled materials instead of buying new.

Did you know that cardboard works well as a weed barrier? I have seen them used in the bases of garden beds, so I thought it would work well for a sandbox, too. We had a bunch of it saved up because we haven’t been able to get to the recycle center.

I laid a layer of cardboard over the dirt, overlapping as I went. I then laid down a layer of plastic. I found this sheet of plastic in the garage that was used to wrap a package – I have held onto it all these years and it finally came in use! I tucked the plastic under the wood and the rocks. I left a good amount hanging for the bench I am going to make.

DIY sandbox

Step Four-Bench

For the separation between the sandbox and garden, I wanted to make a bench of sorts. I knew I would end up sitting in the sandbox playing with Little One, so I wanted to create something that would be more comfortable to sit on. There were some 2x12s left in my wood stash so I joined two pieces together using 45* angles to create the length I needed. I added a piece of 2×4 over the joint to stabilize it. I also used wood on each side of the 45* cut. Using my Kreg Jig, I drilled 4 holes in my two supporting lengths of 2×4. I attached them to my top piece using 2 1/2 inch screws.

I laid the bench in the sandbox. I used one of the legs to hold down the plastic. For the other one, I dug a trench in the dirt. This bench will not last forever, but I don’t need it to. A coat of polyurethane would help it last longer.

DIY sandbox bench

Step Five-Sand

The final step in creating this DIY sandbox was filling it with sand! I remember back in my home town there was a sand pit that we always got sand from. I asked around my new town if there was an area that people got sand from. One of my mom’s friends happened to live near one and helped us get some sand. It isn’t as smooth as the stuff from a bag, but Little One has fun all the same!

DIY sandbox

Little One is having so much fun playing in his new DIY sandbox. I’ve been using some recyclables as buckets for him, but I know Grandma is getting him sand toys for his birthday. I can’t believe he is going to be 2! Time is going by so fast.

If you make a DIY sandbox, let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear about your results!

Eco Conscious Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Father’s day is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about the special dad in your life! I have compiled a list of ideas for those dads who are more eco conscious and nature oriented. I see so many lists out there full of suggestions of goofy ties, drinking products, and golf. But I wanted to gather some ideas for the nature loving dads out there. So check out these Eco Conscious Fathers day gift ideas.

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Water Bottle

Water bottles are a great way to reduce plastic waste. There are so many excellent water bottles out there. I personally love using bottles made of glass because I think the water tastes so much better in them. Check this one out that also has a shaker in it.

Bird Feeder

Bird feeders are excellent additions to your yard or garden. You can try this one from Amazon, but check out your local garden center or hardware store to find a nice wooden bird feeder.

Plant or Tree

Certain trees and plants are a wonderful addition to a yard or garden Try getting your dad his favorite plant or tree for his garden this year.

Books

Books are always great gifts. Check out your local book shop or try to find a second hand book in good shape. For the tech lovers out there, try Kindle Unlimited. Using this link, you can get your first month free!

Field Guides

I have found that wanting to be more eco friendly increases when I spend time in nature and learn more about it. Field guides are great to bring on hikes and adventures for this exact purpose. Try this tree or bird book to get started!

Straw Hat

It is important to shield one’s self from the sun when spending time outdoors. This straw hat is great for keeping the rays out of the face and it’s an all-natural material, too!

Electric Lawn Care

We spend so much energy and gas on mowing and caring for our lawns. An eco friendly upgrade from the gas guzzling yard appliances is an electric mower and/or weed whip. For the ambitious types, try a push lawn mower!

Subscription

Subscriptions are also great gifts! Try Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, or satellite radio.

Movie or DVD rental

Having a family movie night is really fun! Try your local move rental or a red box.

State Parks Pass

Getting outside is a great way to spend a day. This year get a parks pass as a gift to encourage outdoor adventures. Every state does things a little different so I found this great website that has information for all 50 states.

Zero Waste Personal Care

Switching to zero waste bathroom items can help cut out so much plastic waste. Try this Ethique sample pack of shampoo and conditioners. I have tried a couple of different shampoo bars and Ethique is hands down my favorite. My husband and I also love using felt soap. While I linked felt soap from Amazon, I purchase mine from a local woman who I met at the farmer’s market. As always, I encourage you to shop local when you can.

Reusable Coffee Filter, and Beans

Last but not least, consider these reusable coffee liners and dad’s favorite beans from a bulk bin.

I hope you found some ideas on this list that the father in your life would love. I tried to find some Eco Conscious Fathers Day gift ideas that were friendly to the environment and fun, too! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

For more eco friendly gifts check out my zero waste gift ideas!

Toddler Sleep though the Night

Like many parents out there I struggled with getting my toddler to sleep through the night. When he was an infant, I just accepted that we were not going to sleep through the night. However, as we passed the 14 month mark and he was still not sleeping through the night, we realized something had to change. At this point, Little One would wake up and I’d bring him into our bed to nurse and he would start pushing me or kicking…not fun. For some reason he only did this to me and not my husband. Needless to say, I couldn’t handle it any more. This is the story of how Little One went from the worst sleeper to the best sleeper, and how I got my toddler to finally sleep through the night.

I read tons of post and articles on how to get a toddler to sleep through the night. There is lots of advice out there! I am going to share what has worked for us but every child is different and every family is different, so find what works for you.

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Step One – Preparing Sleeping Area

The first step for us was moving Little One to his own room. My husband and I were both having a hard time taking this step. We liked having him with us and didn’t want our Little One to grow up.

We already had his crib set up with a tight fitting sheet. Our next step was to add a small fleece blanket and Gray Elephant Security Blanket, named Ellington. Being that Little One was 14-15 months he was able to have a small blanket to sleep with. Follow recommendations from your doctor when adding items to your child’s crib.

We also added a humidifier and a fan to Little One’s room. In my reading I learned that it is important to set up the room for sleeping. The humidifier keeps him from getting too dry, which was important at the time because we were heading into winter. Keeping the air flowing was important, too. We had the fan blowing, as well (away from the crib). Both of these items helped provide white noise.

Step 2- Bed time routine

With the new change to Little One sleeping in his own room, our nighttime routine had to change, too. On bath nights (every other night) we would start with the bath. He loves bubbles and we love this foaming bath wash that can be used as a soap and to create a bubble bath. After his bath we would score an extra snuggle and wrap him in his Hogwarts towel. My husband and I would apply lotion and this chest rub. The chest rub helps prompt sleep and did wonders in calming Little One down for sleep. We then brush his teeth and get his pajamas on. If you are choosing to cloth diaper, check out my night time cloth diapering solutions.

Next, my husband and Little One would cuddle in the chair in his room and read books. This can take a little while (especially with those two bookworms) and when they are done, I take over and nurse Little One. I didn’t use the boppy much when first starting to nurse but now I use it every night. Little One and I would then cuddle in the chair for a while while rocking.

The final step was asking Little One if he was ready for Ellington. It took a couple of days to get into this routine, but eventually he would sit up and point to Ellington. I would walk over to the crib, hand him Ellington, and lay him down in the crib. Then I would tuck him in with the blanket, give one more kiss, and head out.

The first couple of nights

When we changed to this routine I could have very easily given up. But I knew for the long run that we had to get through this. The new routine that we laid out above went well but once I laid him down he started to cry. That was the hardest part. It ripped my heart out and all I would want to do was go back in and cuddle him.

However, I stuck to my gut and let him cry and in a couple of minutes he would fall asleep.

After the first week he wasn’t crying at all when I put him down. After that first week he started sleeping consistently 12-13 hours per night. I could not believe it!

Little One went from the worst sleeping to the best sleeping in a matter of a week. It was incredible! I was so happy that I finally got my toddler to sleep though the night, and that I got to sleep though the night too. Believe me it was much needed.

Final Thoughts

Little One is almost 2 now – I can’t believe it! Our nightly routine has remained much the same. He is still sleeping through the night and is waking up a happy boy.

I am not sure if there was one particular step that really made this work. All of the changes working together is what helped us get to this point.

I have found that the chest rub has been incredibly helpful in relaxing Little One and getting him ready for bed. If your toddler is anything like mine, they are constantly running and excited. The chest rub really helped relax him. The eucalyptus and lavender mix smell so good and is soothing. We rub a little on his chest right before pajamas and it just gets him in the right mindset for sleep.

My sister-in-law works with Wink Naturals and sells these awesome products. I’ll drop her link below to her Facebook page and the store. If you are interested in these products but not sure if you’re ready yet, follow her on Facebook. She posts great information and has frequent sales so check it out!

Next, did you see our recent post on 6 baby products you need to try?

Follow wink naturals toddler sleep though the night
Rachel with wink natural toddler sleep though the night

DIY Wall Hooks

I tackled a much needed organizational project this week. With summer starting to make the first glimmer, we have pulled out our summer straw hats. Our major problem is that we are short on space and we have added an additional hat for Little One. We have a small sliver of space between our exterior door and the door to the kitchen. This is a perfect place for hat storage because it offers a lot of vertical storage. I started to search for some wall hooks, and found some great ones. However, I thought I could try to make my own DIY wall hooks.

I saw this article from Grillo-Designs which introduced me to the idea of using cabinet knobs as hooks using hanger bolts. While I was out in my garage I happened upon some extra dowels from my hammock swing DIY. I thought I could make some hooks for our hats in combination with the hanger bolts. This project was pretty easy and took me less than an hour to complete. Check out how to make DIY wall hooks below.

Materials

  • Dowel at least 3/4 inch in diameter. You could use a larger dowel to create larger hooks.
  • Hanger Bolt I used a 1 inch bolt. If you are planning on hanging heavy objects I would suggest a longer hanger bolt, but for our hats the 1 inch worked perfectly.
  • Wall anchors
  • Drill
  • Clamp
  • Stain I used stain that I had left over from another project. These hooks are small so it really didn’t take much to stain them. If you like the look of the natural wood you could leave them unfinished or with a light polyurethane or coconut oil.
  • Level

Process

Making these DIY wall hooks was pretty easy. I first dug around in my garage and found a dowel. I decided that I wanted my hooks to be 2 inches long. This is a great length for supporting these kinds of hats. This can be easily adjusted to meet any need. I marked two inches and cut at the mark on a 45 degree angle. Using my miter saw but this miter box and hand saw would do the trick and is a great budget friendly option. I used this process to cut three hooks and then sanded them with my palm sander and sand paper. You could just do this process by hand, as well.

The next step is to finish the hooks with your chosen finish. I used my left over stain from another project. Let it dry before moving on to the next step.

cut DIY wall hook

Second Step

The next step in this process is to create a drill hole for the hanger bolt to go into. I happen to have a clamp attached to my work bench which worked perfectly. Next I clamped in hooks and used a level to make sure it was, well…level. Using my drill to drill a hole to 1/2 the length of my hanger bolt. I positioned the bit to the thicker part of the hook. I didn’t want to drill though the hook.

Level on DIY wall hook

Next, I screwed the hanger bolts into the hooks. Then I found the places on the wall that I wanted the hooks to be. At these locations I drilled into the wall and hammered in the wall anchors. I spun the hooks into the wall anchors. And that’s it! I love how great these DIY wall hooks turned out!

Adding DIY wall hook
DIY wall hook

What do you think of these DIY wall hooks? They were so easy to make and they can be changed up to fit any space!

6 Baby Products You Need to Try

Knowing what products to get for your new baby can be quite challenging. In our efforts to find the most effective products, we have tried them all. I don’t know how many partially used tubs of diaper cream we have sitting in a drawer. We care about only using the best products for our Little One, so when we heard about Wink Naturals it was a perfect match. Not only are all the products natural and cruelty free, they simply work really well! So check out these 6 baby products you need to try today!

We first heard about Wink Naturals from my sister-in-law. She learned about these products and likes them so much that she now works with Wink Naturals. I’ll link her page below where you can get your own Wink products.

6 Baby Products You Need to Try

Bum Balm

The first item for the 6 baby products you need to try is bum balm. This bum balm is fantastic – and not just for the bum! Bum balm makes taking care of diaper rashes a breeze. I use it right away when I see something pop up, and in one or two applications the problems gets resolved. By the way, did you know that using cloth diapers can also reduce the risk of diaper rash? Learn more here.

Bum Balm is great for wherever there is skin irritation. My sister-in-law first started to use bum balm on her little one’s eczema and had dramatic results. But don’t take my word for it, check out her testimonial below.

6 Baby Products You Need to Try View Testimonial
6 Baby Products You Need to Try Bum Balm

Llama Lotion

This lotion is fantastic! It is great for moisturizing and keeping your baby’s skin soft. Llama lotion has no parabens, toxins, harsh chemicals, dyes, sulfates, fragrances, or petroleum. It is great for the rough patches that pop up for people of any age.

I recently had a dry patch pop up by my knee. I tried a couple different kinds of lotion that didn’t work. The patch was red, itching and very irritating. Then I remembered that I had a tub of llama lotion. Three applications of llama lotion and the dry patch is gone. It was amazing how quickly it worked!

I also used it last winter when my Little One had some chapped cheeks. A couple applications of this llama lotion and his skin was baby smooth once again.

6 Baby Products You Need to Try Llama Lotion

Chest Rub

We tried everything to get our Little One to sleep through the night. At 15 months both my husband and I were losing our minds. We decided we needed to change up our whole nightly routine. One of the things we implemented was this chest rub. It has coconut oil, Shea butter, and eucalyptus, and lavender essential oils that help promote a restful sleep.

Our new routine included moving Little One into his own room and put this chest rub on him every night. Suddenly he went from waking up 4 times a night to sleeping for 12 hours straight! I couldn’t believe it the first time, I was in utter shock. While the chest rub doesn’t put him to sleep, it is a part of our nighttime routine that calms Little One down and prepares him for a restful night. We have been using it for the past 6 months and plan on continuing to use it for a while.

For those of you who have older kids, Wink Naturals also has kids sleep drop system.

6 Baby Products You Need to Try Chest Rub

Bath Oil

This bath oil is a wonderful part of a bath tub routine. It is safe, natural, and perfect for babies and people of all ages. The bath oil smells wonderful and is scented with lavender and citrus essential oils. It is very gentle and works great for sensitive skin. A little goes a long way and the foaming bath wash can also be used for making bubble baths!

6 Baby Products You Need to Try Bath Wash

Teething Gel

Teething can be such a hard time for your young ones. They are so unhappy and understandably so. I never wanted to put those harsh teething gels on Little One’s gums. This product is all natural and it has a great flavor that your Little One will like.

I know for for a fact that it works well. Right before we left for our Yoho trip, I had a tooth that developed an abscess and was extremely painful. The dentist prescribed antibiotics but they took a couple days to take full effect. I used Little One’s teething gel to give myself some relief and it provided nice cooling relief.

6 Baby Products You Need to Try Teething gel

Pajamas

Wink offers these two styles of pajamas, and they are so cute! They are super soft and 100% cotton and a great comfort for a restful night sleep. Little One has both sets and picks them out all the time. So cute!

6 Baby Products You Need to Try pajama

Ordering

If you are wanting to try any Wink Naturals products, you can order them here. However, I suggest if you are not sure what products you are interested in, head over to the Wink with Rachel Facebook page and follow it. She frequently posts sales where you can get these fantastic products for great prices. I personally purchased the teething gel during a sale for only $2!

Wink offers so many amazing products. I am hoping to get more posts out about Wink Naturals, but in the meantime, I hope you found these 6 baby products you need to try helpful and informative. Let me know in the comments below if you have an questions or comments. I would love to hear from you!

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6 Baby Products You Need to Try, order now

May Bullet Journal

Hello everyone, it’s that time of month to get your bullet journal ready for May! These are strange times that we are living in. I know many of you have had your lives turned upside down. During this time time I have found my bullet journal helpful to keep track of all my projects and to do lists. That’s the great thing about bullet journals, they can change with your changing needs.

As always I have taken inspiration from the very talented Shayda Campbell. Lily of the Valley is the theme for this month.

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Month of May Set Up

I had some fun this month again with water colors. It was fun playing with the greens and getting different shades. I kept my similar setup for this month. However, I did add a spring cleaning challenge to the back of this month’s set up.

May Bullet journal
May Bullet journal
May bullet journal
May bullet journal

I hope you are all doing well out there right now and staying safe. If you have some extra time on your hands I would love to see your bullet journal setups for May! Comment below!

Toddler Balance Beam

It’s warming up outside and Little One is loving spending time running and exploring! We do have a little slide climber for him but I wanted something that he could walk on and jump off of. So I thought I would make a toddler balance beam. This was a great project to tackle during the stay at home order because I used supplies I already had, meaning no trips to the hardware store.

For this project I wanted to use up some of the scrap wood I have laying around my garage. I have a bunch of spare wood from my basement renovation, for example, I wanted to make this as easy as possible, and I didn’t want to cut anything. Scraps only!

Process

Like I said above, I didn’t want to cut anything. My saw was lost under a winter of things piled up. Needless to say I didn’t want to get out my saw. I had a 2*4 left over from my basement renovation that was about 6 feet. I grabbed three 2*4 to use as the supports, and these were about 18 inches long.

The first thing I did was take out any stray nails in the boards. Some were tougher than others, but I got them in the end. This board was a wall stud and was not in the best shape. I didn’t want Little One to get any splinters so my next step was giving it a good sanding.

There were lots of little holes and rough patches in the top of the board (I didn’t worry about the bottom). I used wood-filler to fill the holes and let it dry for a couple of hours. After the filler dried I took a finer grit sandpaper and gave it one last sanding.

removing nails for toddler balance beam

Assembly

The next step was assembling the toddler balance beam. I used a drill and made two holes in each of the support pieces, staggered a bit off center. Next, I positioned the two end pieces about 1 inch in from the end of the balance beam. Using a tape measure I found the center of the board and placed the next support piece there. I would recommend placing a support at least every three feet.

At this point you could stop and it would be fine to use. However, we get a lot of precipitation so I wanted to add some protection to the wood. I decided to paint it. I headed to the paint storage in the basement and found this light blue left over from the previous owners. Using my scavenged paint I put two coats on the bottom and the top. And it is done!

toddler balance beam

Balance Beam

Little one has really taken to the balance beam! His favorite activity right now is jumping off of it. It is only 4 inches off the ground so it is the perfect height to practice jumping! This was an easy project and it didn’t take too much time. The only thing was that between the wood filler and paint drying it did take two days. I may have been distracted here and there, as well.

toddler balance beam
Toddler balance beam

Let me know in the comments below if you make a toddler balance beam. I would like to see your results!