Outdoor Activities To Do With A Young Baby This Spring

This post contains affiliate links.

Emma was born at the end of December so she hasn’t spent a whole lot of time outside in the short three and a half months she’s been alive. Now that the weather is getting nicer I’m trying to get outside with her on a daily basis. Most of the ideas I’ve found online are for older babies so I wanted to put together a list of activities that can be done with younger babies (like 3-9 months old). In honor of Earth Day today, here are ideas to get baby outside to start their love of nature early:

Bring baby toys outside- The first day we could get outside I grabbed Emma’s activity table and brought it into the backyard. I then sat with Emma on the ground, letting her put her feet in the grass and we played for about 20 minutes before she was ready to go in. Any toys baby enjoys would be perfect for outside play as long as you can easily bring them outside.

Go for a walk- Wear baby in a baby carrier or put baby in a stroller and take a walk around your neighborhood. Talk with your baby about what you see as you walk.

Practice tummy time- Emma is not a fan of tummy time so going outside into a new environment helps keep her attention and encourages her to look up for longer periods of time. (Here are ideas for outdoor tummy time including what you can talk about with baby while they are on their tummy.)

Play in a shallow container of water- Playing in water is a fun activity for all ages! Babies will love splashing their hands in a small amount of water put in a shallow container. Another alternative is putting their feet in the water instead of their hands.

Enroll in a Tinkergarten class- Tinkergarten brings families together for classes where kids learn through well-designed, outdoor play-based activities. While most of the classes are for older children, they just introduced baby classes for ages 6 months and up. Amanda, a Tinkergarten leader in Mokena, IL that I know, says “I started leading because I truly believe in outdoor child led learning. I love the babies classes because it gets families in the habit of scheduling outdoor time, babies start learning in an outdoor classroom, families gain a community of like minded friends, and babies get a rich sensory experience.” Want to try Tinkergarten with your little one? Check out the Tinkergarten website to find a class near you.

Enjoy some music- Whether you listen to music from your smartphone or go to a live music festival (standing away from the speakers), babies love music! You can dance around with them in your arms, gently swaying them back and forth, and sing quietly along with the tunes. Another fun idea would be to use some little musical instruments and make music together with baby.

Read outside- Bring a few board books outside and sit with baby on a blanket while you read books to them.

Let baby take a nap- This winter I learned that, in some places, it’s normal for babies to sleep outside even when it’s cold out. While I don’t see myself ever letting Emma nap outside when it’s snowing, I think that a nap outside on a beautiful spring day could be a great idea. Let baby nap in the shade (love this Fisher-Price On-The-Go baby dome!) while you read a book next to her and you both get to enjoy the benefits of the fresh air!

What do you like to do with your baby when the weather is nice during the spring months? Chat with me on social! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

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Other recent baby posts I’ve written include:

Favorite baby items for the newborn stage

Baby lullabies that parents will enjoy too

Baby hair bow storage idea

Our Favorite Baby Items For Baby’s First Three Months

This post contains affiliate links.

Emma turned three months old yesterday! I feel like that time flew by (while at the same time thinking about how long each day sometimes seems to be…) Now that she is officially out of the newborn phase I wanted to share about some of our favorite things that got a lot of use over baby’s first few months.

Little Remedies Gripe Water

This isn’t a magical potion or anything but, I swear, every time Emma had gas and I gave this to her she’d immediately stop fussing the second it touched her tongue! I know that there’s no way the herbal supplement worked that fast to remove her tummy pain but it seemed to disappear immediately each time. Obviously talk with your doctor before giving your baby anything but this is a must-have in my book! We liked this day & night value pack.

Cheap Amazon bows

I’m currently obsessed with hairbows now that I’m finally a girl mom but my favorites at the moment are cheap ones I bought in bulk on Amazon. I got 20 colorful big bows for less than $10 (which I’ve discovered is a steal now that I’m checking out boutique bows). They are well made, fit her head nicely, and the set has a color to match most of her outfits. Find the exact bows I bought here.

Lots of blankets

Having a winter baby means stocking up on lots of blankets! My favorites are the large muslin swaddle blankets for swaddling at bedtime. We found that swaddling her top half tighter and letting her lower half loosely swaddled works best for us. Emma’s favorite blankets seem to be her small fleece blankets that she likes cuddling up with (one we got as a gift and the others were cheap thin ones we found on clearance at Meijer). Remember….do not put any loose blankets in the crib with baby. We only let Emma have her fleece blankets when we are watching her, especially since she likes to bury her face in them.

Boppy Newborn Lounger Pillow

One of the items that got the most use here in our home during the newborn stage was the Boppy Lounger. When my boys were little we used the regular Boppy often but, to be honest, we haven’t even used that once yet since Emma really seemed to love their new lounger. We normally keep a burp cloth were we lay Emma’s head in case she spits up but investing in a washable cover would be a smart choice in my opinion. Emma’s lounger was right next to me on the couch so I could chat with her while I attempted to work and it was a good place for her to lay when the boys fed her. She also loved laying and listening to music (these are our favorite baby lullabies).

Mustela No-rinse Soothing Cleansing Water for Very Sensitive Skin & Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment

Emma has very sensitive skin that started breaking out when she was about a month old. Between excema like dry patches and baby acne her poor little cheeks looked horrible. After some research online I chose to buy Mustela cleansing water made for very sensitive skin and I discovered it worked very well for her. The acne she had, which was the main skin issue I was trying to find a solution for, disappeared after just a couple uses. I also like the Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment which I put on her dry patches at night and it seems to improve them some (or at least doesn’t make the areas look so painful by reducing the redness).

One-Piece Sleepers

I bought tons of cute outfits for Emma but she ended up spending most of her early days in one-piece sleepers. They were easy to put on, made night-time diaper changes simple, and kept her warm and comfortable on chilly days. My favorites were Carter’s brand sleepers and the “little sister” ones were really cute! To save money on baby clothes check out Facebook Marketplace, thrift shops, and garage sales. Babies go through clothes sizes too fast sometimes that they don’t even get to wear all of the clothes hanging in their closets (especially the newborn sized ones they often outgrow within just a few weeks) so you can find inexpensive new-with-tags clothes.

Milestone Blanket

I loved taking Emma’s picture weekly her first three months of life (well after I got out of the post labor & delivery fog I was in the first two weeks) and I used two milestone blankets to document her growth. I love seeing how big she is getting. You can’t notice a change as the days pass by but look at the difference between her ‘leaving the hospital’ photo and her three month photo!

What are your favorite products for the newborn stage? Chat with me on social! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

By the way, I’m currently looking for stroller suggestions (I do not like my current one) and hearing about what toys your 3-6 month old loves! Stay tuned in a few months for another post to see what our favorite products are for the 3-6 month stage.

Essentials For New Moms

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com.

Having just had my third child over nine years after the birth of my second one, I feel like there are so many new products on the market so I was excited to receive BabbleBoxx’s New Mom, New Year box full of essentials. Read on to learn about my favorite picks for new moms.

Life Insurance from Nationwide

When you think about new mom essentials, life insurance probably doesn’t come to mind- but it should! Making sure our kids are taken care of is one of our main jobs as parents and, unfortunately, the reality is that this includes making plans for them if something should happen to us. Life insurance can give you peace of mind that the people you love will be taken care of if a tragedy strikes.

75% of all households believe they don’t need life insurance because they think their employer policy is adequate. While this provides some protection, it usually only covers 1 to 2 years of your or your spouse’s salary, which may not be enough. My husband and I had a serious discussion about this years ago and he got an additional life insurance plan (in addition to the one his job provides in his benefits package) because we decided we wanted to have enough to fully pay off our home and everything else so if something happened to him, the main breadwinner, the kids and I would not be out on the street and I wouldn’t be having to worry about how to pay all the bills myself while taking care of our three children. As moms we need life insurance as well!

If you are looking at getting life insurance, Nationwide can help. For those who are unfamiliar with life insurance, they will help you understand life insurance. They offer easy to use tools and calculators that help you understand how much coverage will cost and work with you to analyze your needs and select a policy that is right for you and your family. Get a life insurance quote today!

Breastfeeding Essentials from bamboobies

Breastfeeding moms will love the bamboobies brand! I first learned about this brand years ago from another breastfeeding mom and they’ve continued to develop new essentials for moms who breastfeed. I received two of their items, the open nursing shawl and the boob-ease USDA Organic Nipple Balm.

For those who want to be more discreet when breastfeeding, the open nursing shawl is perfect. I know some women don’t cover themselves up at all and that’s cool but I am definetely more shy when it comes to that and a cover was a must-have for nursing and pumping. I liked that this breastfeeding cover is made from a soft bamboo rayon fabric and comes in a stylish kimono shawl design that’s perfect for every body type. Plus, it’s ideal for babywearing because the lightweight material keeps mom comfortable and free to move while providing protection from the sun and other elements for baby with it’s UPF 50+ sun protection. Best of all, it doubles as a car seat cover when it’s not being worn. I’m all about items that serve more than one purpose!

Another must-have when breastfeeding? Nipple balm because a new mom’s body is already going through enough pain and uncomfort and we don’t need to add sore and cracked nipples to that list. I really like the boob-ease Nipple Balm because it’s very soothing and moisturizing. This nipple balm is non-toxic and certified organic so there’s no need to wipe it off before feeding baby. It’s lanolin free and made with five simple (and easy-to-pronounce!) ingredients: olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, calendula flower, and marshmallow root. 

Special offer: There’s a 10% off coupon on Amazon for a 2 pack of Nipple Balm. The offer expires 2/6/19 or while supplies last (1 coupon per customer).

Playtex® Bras

There is nothing worse than an uncomfortable bra (other than maybe engorged breasts in an uncomfortable bra) so I was super happy to get some new nursing bras right when I needed them. Playtex® nursing bras are made to support you through your whole journey, from pregnancy to nursing. The styles are designed with mothers (and mothers-to-be) in mind and keep you comfortable every step of the way. 

The Playtex Nursing bras are constructed of Cool Comfort technology that helps keep you cool and comfortable. During the daytime, the Playtex Nursing Pretty Shaping Foam Wirefree Bra with it’s knit-in Support Zones plus extra side sling in cup provides additional support and security as you move about your day. When it’s time to go to bed new moms know they have to wear a bra (hello leaking boobs) and they’ll want the Playtex Nursing Sleep Bra. It has an easy-to-fit sizing with the Comfort Flex Fit® Wire free wrap pull-over design and features 2-ply cups with hidden pocket for nursing pads. I love that they have hidden pockets for nursing pads because it’s quite embarrasing to find your nursing pad is peaking out of the top of your shirt (not that I’ve ever experienced that embarrasing situation….) ?

Vichy Skin Creams

As a mom with a newborn and two tweens I know that once you have kids it’s easy to put yourself at the bottom of the priority list but we really need to stop doing this. I started this blog with the whole purpose of making time for myself because as parents ‘we can’t pour out of an empty pitcher’. When we don’t take care of ourselves we can’t take care of our kiddos. Since a day at the spa is a rare occurence I’ve found doing little things for myself every day makes a big impact. Things like sitting with a cup of coffee and reading a book or giving ourself a mini-facial are things we can do to make some “me” time for ourselves.

Vichy makes skin creams that make doing something for yourself easy and make your skin feel amazing. I recently tried their Aqualia Thermal Gel Cream and Aqualia Thermal Night Cream. The Aqualia Thermal Gel Cream is a paraben-free daytime moisturizer for normal/combo skin that has 97% natural origin ingredients including Hyaluronic Acid, Vichy’s Mineralizing Thermal Water & Plant Sugar. I really like lightweight water gel moisturizers over regular creams because I feel like they hydrate my skin the best. Not only does it hydrate but it smooths fine lines as well (something I’m starting to think about more at 35 years of age…) The Aqualia Thermal Night Cream is inspired by the Vichy Thermal Spa and this ultra-comfortable, velvety sleep mask infuses the skin with hydration overnight, when skin is most receptive to treatments. Skin is soft, soothed and supple by morning. Don’t we all want to look refreshed….as if we’ve gotten a full night of sleep and weren’t up every couple of hours with the baby!?

Special offer: Use discount code ‘Babble19’ for 15% off + Free Shipping! Offer expires 2/28/19.

Sprout Pouches

And I had to throw in an essential item for baby! Eventually our babies get bigger and require more than milk… that’s when Sprout Pouches will come in handy. Sprout is a maker of wholesome, organic baby food, including ready-to-eat purees and snacks for toddlers, too. They have options for every age and stage of baby’s development and their high-quality recipes are made only with USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO ingredients. They also have no added sugars, no flavors or colors, and never anything artificial. I personally love the convenience of their pouches, especially as a busy, always on-the-go mom who needs things I can easily grab and throw into the diaper bag. 

These Sprout Stage 2 Pouches are plant powered and made with whole, organic fruits and vegetables (each pouch contains 2 grams of vegetable-based protein). Formulated specifically for babies 6 months and up, Sprout Stage 2 purees are just right for developing preferences. They come in fun flavors, like Strawberry Apple Beet Red Bean & Apricot Banana Chickpea Fig, which help expand baby’s palate and introduces babies to both sweet and savory taste profiles. I also love that they are committed to helping babies eat more veggies (I wish these were around when Lucas was little because I think these would have really helped him learn to love vegetables!)

What items do you consider essential for new moms and babies?

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Introducing Emma Noelle

On December 29th we welcomed our daughter, Emma Noelle, into the world. She was due January 9th but, like was par for the course this pregnancy, did things on her own terms.

After being sent to the emergency room four times in a two and a half week period of time for tachycardia (twice) and hypertension (twice), the doctors decided to induce me the evening of December 27th since I’d developed pre-eclampsia. A day and a half of laboring later I developed an infection and was rushed to the OR for an emergency c-section.

After a four day stay in the NICU for Emma and a rough several days in the hospital for me we finally got to go home on New Year’s Day and we’ve been adjusting to life as a family of five since then!

Emma is a pretty content baby and I can’t wait to share more about her with you all in the years to come as she grows. Maybe I’ll eventually post more of her birth story since it was so eventful but for now I just wanted to share a bit and share some pictures we had taken when she was a week old.

I also wanted to say thanks for all the kind words, thoughts, and prayers over the past months. We are so blessed to have a community of people who love us so much <3

You can see more photos of her on my Instagram page here.

3 Travel-Friendly Finds For New Parents

Thanks to Momtrends for sponsoring this post. This post contains affiliate links.

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Chicago Baby Show at Navy Pier with my family (including the two soon-to-be big brothers you see above). Since my oldest was born over 10 years ago and my youngest over 9 years ago I knew a lot had changed in the baby gear world but I was amazed at all of the new items that had come to market since my boys were babies. I added so many things to my registry list for baby #3 and will be sharing about many of the items over the coming months but today I wanted to share three of my favorite items for busy moms who are on the go with their little ones.

First, is the Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller. This amazing carseat is also a stroller! Unlike typical car seats that attach to stroller bases, this car seat is the only car seat in the world with integrated wheels that fold down to turn the car seat into a stroller in seconds. I’d never seen anything like it before! I’ve always said that one stroller must-have for me is a large basket underneath but I’ll make an exception for this one because I can see so many uses for it! It would be perfect for those quick trips to return something at the store or when I have to run into the boy’s school to drop something off. Basically any time in the past where I didn’t need to unload my bulky stroller and I’d just grab the infant carseat and carry it in the crook of my arm I could have used this instead. The company that sells this carseat/stroller product also has additional accessories available to make it function more like a typical stroller but I’d probably still want a larger stroller for those trips to the zoo or anytime we are out for long periods of time.

Another must-have for parents of littles is this Pop ‘N Play™ Deluxe Ultimate Playard by Summer Infant. This product is perfect for parents who spend a lot of time outdoors during the warmer months whether it’s at the beach, camping, or at youth sports games and competitions. I think my family would get a lot of use out of this on summer weekends when we are at baseball games and practices because it’s a safe space for baby to crawl around while I watch my son play ball. I love that it is portable and easy to setup and also that if features a full canopy for sun protection and a padded floor for added comfort.

When it comes to older babies who need to eat on the go, the line of b.box baby feeding products is perfect. I especially love the travel bib and spoon set that keeps the mess contained because, after baby has finished eating, you just pop the spoon inside, fold the bib into the catcher and zip it closed. Then when you get home, you just wash and dry it and fold it back up until it’s ready for your next adventure. There are other items from the brand that would be helpful for travel, too, like the travel drying rack and the diaper wallet.

As a mom of two older kids I’ll be out and about with baby daily so I’m so happy I found some products that make life easier. What items have you discovered are helpful when you are on-the-go with baby? I’d love to hear about them! Chat with me on social here: twitter, instagram, facebook.

Baby Bath Time Gift Basket

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetJohnsonsBaby #ChooseGentle #CollectiveBias

Now that I’m in my second trimester I have a bit more energy than I’ve had over the past few months and I’m getting everything ready for baby before we are deep into our back-to-school routine and then before we know it the holidays are here and baby #3 arrives. We’ve set up the crib in our little baby nook and I’ve started buying baby things here and there. I’ll admit I have gotten a few I-don’t-really-need-this-but-baby-must-have-it items from the baby aisles of Target but I’m mostly stocking up on essentials.

 

(Interested in shopping for essentials online? Hover over the photo above to click through to shop JOHNSON’S® products at Target.com!)

When it comes to shopping I’m sticking to many brands I know and have relied on for years. One of those brands is JOHNSON’S® and their baby care line. I used the products with my boys, who are 9 and 10 years old, when they were babies and will use them for our new little one, too.

(Sidenote…) I thought it was hilarious when I went back to look for this photo shared above of my oldest and saw this message from my college roommate…

Little did we both know I’d be sharing it with them all these years later!

Anyways….

Like I said, I loved JOHNSON’S® then and I love it now but I feel even more confident using JOHNSON’S® on baby now because they have reformulated their products, inside and out, to set a new standard for gentle. Their products now have 50% fewer ingredients and contain no parabens, no phthalates, and are hypoallergenic.

I made sure to stock up on all my favorite bath time essentials and put together a little bath time kit that would make a super cute, practical gift for a new mom. It also is something you can put together for your own baby, like I did, if you want all of the bath items in one easy-to-carry container that can be moved from one bathroom to the other.

I included a rolled up hooded bath towel, baby washclothes, a rubber ducky bath water thermometer, JOHNSON’S® Safety Swabs, and a variety of other JOHNSON’S® baby products. I included JOHNSON’S® Head-to-Toe Wash & Shampoo and JOHNSON’S® Baby Lotion which are perfect for daytime baths along with my favorite trio for sleepy nighttime baths- JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Bath, JOHNSON’S® Calming Shampoo, and JOHNSON’S® bedtime lotion. The redesigned bottles are awesome with their easy-to-use pumps that are perfect for moms who are often trying to do everything one-handed as they hold their little one.

Everything went in to a durable container that I decorated with a little sweet, colorful garland. New moms will love getting the essentials their baby needs for a happy bath time routine and they will also appreciate how easy it is to carry baby’s bath essentials wherever they need them in their homes!

Target (my favorite store ever!) has all the items you need for this baby bathtime basket and there’s nothing better than strolling the aisles, coffee in hand, while you do your shopping. Plus, Target currently has a great offer going on for JOHNSON’S® baby products- buy 3, get a $5 gift card – which lasts through September 1st, 2018. And, if you are currently pregnant, don’t forget about Target’s baby registry because once you register you can get their amazing welcome kit (a $100 value) for free! It’s a great way to sample products from great brands like JOHNSON’S®.

Speaking of sampling products, be on the lookout for a Target in-store sampling on 8/26 where you can test out the Cotton Touch and the Bedtime lotions and also get a special coupon for the products.

What essentials do you stock up on for baby gifts or for your own baby? I’d love to hear so let me know on social by tweeting me (@aliciamarie112), PMing me on Instagram (aliciamarie112cb), or sharing on Facebook (/MakingTimeForMommy).

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The Best Universal Gift Registry For Those Engaged Or Expecting

Thanks to MyRegistry for sponsoring this post.

Out of all the things there are to do when you are engaged or expecting, one of the more exciting tasks on the to-do list is setting up a registry. Whether you are having a bridal or baby shower, or just have family and friends wanting to buy gifts for you, having a registry is one of the easiest ways to ensure you get things that you (and/or baby) can enjoy for years to come.

There are a variety of stores that offer registries and, often times, couples set up numerous registries to give their friends and loved ones an option when it comes to gift shopping. As a newly pregnant mama with 6 months to go still, and this being my third child, I mostly wanted to create a registry so I could easily keep track of what I wanted to purchase before the baby comes (because many registries give discounts on items when you get closer to the due date) and to have ideas if family asks for them. I had just planned on setting up one registry to have everything in one place and figured an Amazon registry would be great so I could get their free welcome box filled with baby goodies. Then I saw a few adorable things at Target and, before I knew it, I had started one at Target as well. I was recently introduced to MyRegistry.com and am so excited to now be able to combine all of my registries in one place!

 

Setting up an account is really easy and the best part is you can import all of the registries that you already have set up.

 

 

You can also add new registries or items from any website at any time, including the partner sites shown above. MyRegistry makes it easy with a “add to MyRegistry” desktop internet bookmark button, a smartphone app that lets you scan barcodes of items you find in stores, and inspiration boards on their site you can look at to find unique items you want to add to your list. You can also choose to include gift cards and cash funds (like a diaper fund or honeymoon fund) to your registry if you don’t need a lot of “things”. I was surprised that it was so easy to make a registry on MyRegistry.com and how easy it is to add items.

 

Since I just started my registry I only have some essentials and a few adorable outfits I want to get as soon as we find out if we are having a boy or girl. I still want to make an Ikea registry since we are purchasing some nursery furniture from there and they also have a “completion discount” so we can save some money making the purchase through our registry.

When you first set up your registry make sure to check out the offers page, too. They have a great giveaway going on right now through August 31st. Every weekday, MyRegistry will randomly select one winner from its list of new baby registry signups (who have activated their account, confirmed they wish to be entered on their Offers page, and added at least one gift to their baby registry). Winners will receive a Noobie pregnancy gift box containing the newest and best baby products!

The current Noobie Box includes:

  • LansinohⓇ Breastfeeding Set
  • Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
  • MAM Anti-Colic Bottle
  • MAM Newborn Pacifier
  • WaterWipes
  • PurellⓇ Multi Surface Disinfectant
  • Dr Kids Natural Nasal Drops
  • And a Surprise Sample!

Such a great giveaway for those who create a baby registry! Head on over to MyRegistry.com to create your wedding registry or baby registry! Not engaged or expecting? You can make a wish list for your (or your child’s) birthday or Christmas!

Target Revamps Their Baby Department In Select Stores {Giveaway}

I love Target. They have everything I need under one roof and the best part is they have a great selection, great clearance prices and unique designs. When I was asked to check out the revamped baby department at a local store and given a gift card to do some shopping I was so excited. I get a majority of my kid’s clothes there and have since they were infants.

Building off its “Expect More. Pay Less.” brand promise, Target has launched an enhanced baby experience program in 10 existing Chicago-area stores. The test program aims to create a more compelling shopping experience – with an emphasis on in-store service – through a redesigned layout, knowledgeable Baby Advisors and interactive digital content and expert advice in partnership with leading parenting resource BabyCenter.

I love Target’s new baby section. The past section tended to be crowded but I found everything was displayed nicely and easy to find in the new, larger layout. I also noticed that certain areas of the department were expanded to offer better choices to parents.

When it comes to clothes their selection is just as cute as it’s always been. Guests can find exclusive brands such as Circo and Just One You by Carter’s and all their national brand favorites.

Clothes are displayed at eye-level and coordinating pieces are presented together which makes creating outfits extremely easy (which is extra nice when you are sleep-deprived).

Having an expert to help new parents is also great. I remember when I was pregnant and shopping for “necessities”. I put everything on my list because I didn’t know what I needed, what I didn’t need (or at least didn’t need right away) and what items were best. I love that Target has partnered with Baby Center because it’s a website I trust.

The full list of Chicagoland stores that offer enhanced baby experience includes Bolingbrook, Lombard, Rosemont, Oswego, Homewood, Romeoville, Willowbrook, Chicago-Peterson Ave, Chicago McKinley Park and Highland in Indiana.

GIVEAWAY:

One reader will win a $25 Target gift card

{You don’t need to live in the Chicago area to win!}

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Which part about Target’s new baby department is your favorite?

2) Share this giveaway on a social network

3) Follow Target on Twitter

4) Follow me on Twitter

5) Subscribe to this blog via email

Giveaway ends November 4, 2013 at 11:59pm Central time. Winner must be a US resident, 18 or older.

(Disclosure: As stated above I received a gift card for my time. All thoughts are my own.)

Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Giveaway

Welcome to the Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Giveaway!

Bright Starts and Mom to Bed by 8, the Iowa-Mom have teamed to offer an amazing Bright Starts Sunnyside Safari Collection giveaway to one lucky reader!

This includes the Sunnyside Safari™ Chair Top High Chair, Playard, Plug in Sway & Swing, Portable Swing and Saucer making this truly the Ultimate Baby Shower Gift.

Special thank you to the wonderful bloggers who made this possible including our co-hosts: To Sew with Love, The Lucky Ladybug and Mom Blog Society.

When I was pregnant I would have loved a matching set like this for our home so I am very excited that I can participate in this amazing giveaway!

Big smiles and bright adventures go hand in hand in this exciting, fun-filled collection!

Take a walk on the sunny side-where baby gear goes together in delightful new ways. It’s a win for infants and parents alike, with irresistable jungle characters adorning an array of fun coordinated products you’ll use every day. Each piece of the collection does its job charmingly, with non-stop fun at an unbeatable value.

The Bright Starts Sunnyside Collection is available at Wal-Mart!

Sunnyside Safari™ Chair Top High Chair

A good high chair is a must for moms, and Bright Starts™ Sunnyside Safari™ Chair Top High Chair is as good as they come! It does what a full-sized model does and more, adjusting to four different heights (and nearly any table), reclining to three positions, and converting to a booster seat for smooth transition to the toddler years.
The reversible seat pad is made of stain-resistant fabric you can wipe clean or machine-wash. The removable Stay Level Tray™ remains flat even when the seat is reclining. All this, plus the friendly characters of the Sunnyside Safari™ Collection. Make mealtime and snack time more enjoyable for baby and you. Start the fun with Bright Starts!™

Product Features:

  • Convenient 2 piece reversible seat pad is made of stain resistant fabric that is wipeable and machine washable
  • 4 height positions to fit most table sizes
  • 3 position recline
  • Removable Stay Level Tray™ remains level even when seat is reclined
  • 3 locking positions to grow with baby
  • Built-in holders are convenient for drinks or snacks
  • Converts to booster for easy toddler transition
  • 5 point convertible safety harness

Sunnyside Safari™ Playard

A bright, sunny place for baby to rest, play, get a quick diaper change and spend a few moments with some friendly jungle pals! That’s the Bright Starts™ Sunnyside Safari™ Playard. This playard includes a removable bassinet with our time-saving One Less Step™ feature for easy fold-and-go mobility.
There’s a convenient changing table, a handy side storage pocket, easy-roll wheels, a travel bag, plus a colorful toy bar to delight baby. And like all Bright Starts™ products, this playard is an unbeatable value. Part of our coordinated Sunnyside Safari™ Collection. Start the fun with Bright Starts!™

Product Features:

  • Removable bassinet with One Less Step™ to quickly fold and go
  • Convenient changing table
  • Toy bar with 2 fun toys
  • Side storage pocket
  • Wheels for easy portability
  • Includes travel bag

Sunnyside Safari™ Plug in Sway & Swing™

Some swings go back and forth. Some go side to side. This one does both—and does it with music, toys, and delightful jungle style. With a seat designed for 180° rotation, allowing three swing directions, the Bright Starts™ Sunnyside Safari™ Plug in Sway & Swing™ uses our unique TrueSpeed™ technology to sense baby’s weight and adjust for consistent speed—so it grows along with baby.
The swing also boasts a volume-adjustable 20 minutes of melodies and nature sounds, an overhead mobile—even an AC adaptor to save on battery expense. And it features the fun and engaging characters of the Sunnyside Safari™ Collection. Start the fun with Bright Starts!™

Product Features:

  • Seat rotates 180° for 3 swing directions
  • TrueSpeed™ technology maintains 6 speeds as baby grows
  • Mobiles with 2 playtime toys easily pivots out of the way
  • 20 minutes of melodies and nature sounds with volume control and auto shut-off
  • AC adaptor saves money on batteries
  • Swing time with 3 settings: 30, 45 and 60 minutes
  • Whisper Quiet™ operation
  • 5 point harness
  • Machine washable seat pad
  • Non-slip feet

Sunnyside Safari™ Portable Swing

Find baby’s favorite speed with this innovative portable swing. The Bright Starts™ Sunnyside Safari™ Portable Swing is a win for parents and babies—from its machine-washable padded seat right down to its bright yellow, non-slip feet. With six distinct speeds to choose from, you’ll find it easy to suit your little one’s mood—and our patented TrueSpeed™ technology keeps those speeds consistent even as baby grows.
The Comfort Recline™ seat gives you a choice of two positions, and WhisperQuiet™ operation makes this swing silent in use. Wrap it all up in the super-fun animal decor and you’ve got a perfect travel companion. Part of Bright Starts™’ Sunnyside Safari™ Collection. Start the fun with Bright Starts!™

Features:

  • TrueSpeed™ Technology maintains 6 speeds as baby grows
  • Comfort Recline™ seat with 2 positions
  • Whisper Quiet™ operation
  • Easily folds for storage or travel
  • 5 point harness
  • Machine washable seat pad
  • Non-slip feet

Sunnyside Safari™ Saucer

This is where babies go for serious fun. A Walmart exclusive, the 7-activity Bright Starts™ Sunnyside Safari™ Saucer offers entertainment options galore—and a lighthearted jungle theme with fun characters you’ll adore.
The seat rotates a full 360° for endless interaction with the activity stations. Twin overhead toy arms provide even more entertainment options. And the three different height positions make this one saucer your baby won’t soon outgrow. Four link loops mean still more toys can be attached. Part of the Sunnyside Safari™ Collection, this saucer will quickly become a family favorite. Start the fun with Bright Starts!™

Product Features:

  • 3 adjustable height positions allows entertainer to grow with baby
  • Seat rotates 360° for nonstop interaction with 7 activity stations
  • 2 overhead toy bar arms with mirror, hanging toy and fabric crinkle leaves
  • Hanging elephant toy
  • Bendy giraffe teething stalk
  • Bead chaser with easy to grip textured beads
  • Lion popper with spiraling beads
  • Rotating ladybug barrels with fun textures and beads
  • Rocking toucan on leaf stalk
  • 4 link loops for attaching more toys
  • Lays flat for storage
  • Built-in toy tray is easy to clean

Giveaway starts on May 7 at 12:01AM and ends May 28 at 11:59PM. Open to the US residents only; must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Enter to win the Bright Starts Ultimate Baby Shower Giveaway including the Sunnyside Safari Collection on the rafflecopter form over at Mom to Bed by 8.

***CLICK HERE TO BE TAKEN TO THE ENTRY FORM***

{Bloggers} Sign Up For The Baby Giveaway Hop

Ohh, Baby, Baby Giveaway Hop sponsored by The Shopping Duck is taking signups now. This blog hop event will take place from April 1, 2012 to April 15, 2012. Come join the fun!

All bloggers in the giveaway will be giving away baby and maternity prizes of at least $25. This hop is free to join if you write a post on your blog about the hop :)

SuperBaby Book Review and Giveaway

I recently had the chance to review SuperBaby: 12 Ways to Give Your Child a Head Start in the First 3 Years, a book that came out last week. SuperBaby shows parents how to take advantage of the critical first three years of their baby’s life. As a mom of a one and two year old I found a lot of useful information in this book and I haven’t even finished reading it yet!

At first I didn’t know what to expect because I wondered if the term “SuperBaby” fit what I really wanted my children to be. The press release for this book explained though that “Raising a superbaby is not about creating an überbaby: a perfect, genius who will get into all the right preschools and colleges. Instead, it is about raising a child who is empathetic, resilient, and is emotionally intelligent. It is about nurturing a baby to help her reach her full potential.” That IS what I wanted for my children so I dove into the book.

In each chapter of SuperBaby, Dr. Jenn focuses on one of twelve areas that greatly impact a baby’s development. These include respectful communication, responding to cues, creating security and predictability, the importance of touch, promoting language development, sign language, foreign language, the importance of play, reading, screen (tv) time, reducing exposure to toxic chemicals, and eating & nutrition.

I was especially interested in the chapter on language development. Dr. Jenn says that “it has been shown that the sheer number of words spoken to a child is directly proportionate to the size of her vocabulary. However, this applies only to direct conversations you have with your child. The words she overhears from television, videos, radio, or other conversations do not count.” I was happy to learn this because I talk all the time to my toddler and was told by someone that I talked “too much”.

I also read something about sharing that made perfect sense to me but that I don’t really practice that often. Dr. Jenn suggested that parents share with their children (which I already do) but that when we do so we narrate what we are doing. Saying things like “I will share my drink with you.” “Can I have a sip of your drink…we are sharing a drink!” “It’s my turn, and then it will be your turn… we are taking turns… we are sharing!” A simple idea but putting words to our actions helps a lot!

Overall, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read in this book and look forward to reading more of it over these next few weeks (and probably years as I refer back to it). I also hope to share guest posts from the author with more tips on how we can give our young children a head start in life.

Giveaway:

One person will win a copy of the book, SuperBaby: 12 Ways To Give Your Child A Head Start In The First 3 Years

How To Enter (leave a comment below for each one):

1. Tell me why you want to win this book

2. Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy

3. “Like” Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4. Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

5. Tweet the following: “Enter to win the book SuperBaby from @aliciamarie112 at www.makingtimeformommy.com “

6. Enter another giveaway and let me know which one you entered

Giveaway ends October 15, 2010 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of SuperBaby from Sterling Publishing for review. All opinions are my own.)

Top Ten Items I Love From Mimi’s Babies Etsy Shop (& Giveaway)

I love to share things that I love with everyone I know so this week I am spotlighting an adorable Etsy shop called “Mimi’s Babies“. I originally found this shop through Twitter and quickly became Twitter friends with one of the women, Charissa, who co-owns the shop and she made my day by agreeing to let me do a giveaway!

Here are ten of my favorite items in her shop:

1- Trendy Newborn Baby Photography Prop - Egg Pod Cocoon

2-Cupcake Purse

3-Green Spring Crochet Beanie with Oversize Hot Pink Crochet Flower

4-It's My Birthday Celebration Shirt Infant/Toddler Girls

5-Crochet Baby Kimono Pink Booties

6-Chocolate Brown Striped Crochet Beanie Hat

7-Swirls and Twirls Business Card Holder/Wallet

8-Crochet Loafer Booties

9-Six Petal 4 layer Crochet Flower with Crochet Headband

10-Crochet Flower Hair Clip

Now do you see why I’m absolutely in love with this shop? We are giving away one pair of baby booties (boy or girl) to one lucky reader. There are multiple ways you can enter this giveaway. Please leave a comment for each entry.

MANDATORY ENTRY:

1) Go to Mimi’s Babies website and leave a comment here telling me your favorite item in their shop

EXTRA ENTRIES (1 EACH)

1) Subscribe to Mimi’s Babies blog

2) Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy blog

3) Become a fan of Mimi’s Babies on Facebook

4) Become a fan of Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

5) Follow @mimisbabiesetsy on Twitter

6) Follow @aliciamarie112 on Twitter

This giveaway will end 3/9/2010 at 11:59pm. The winner will be notified by email so be sure to leave your email :)

(Disclosure: I have not received any form of compensation for doing this post. The booties that are being given as a prize through this giveaway are being made and sent to the winner by Mimi’s Babies Etsy shop.)

I am linking this post up to Oh Amanda’s meme Top Ten Tuesday.

A new year… new goals

Ok so I haven’t posted anything in months… since March to be exact. Wow a lot has happened since then… Just some short updates- I had my second child, lost my (step)mom, my family moved in with my father and little sister, and I went back to work full time.

My second child is a little boy, Lucas, and he turned six months old on Christmas day. Amazing how fast the time flies! He is absolutely adorable and Jacob is a great big brother. Jacob is 18 months now and growing smarter everyday. I am in awe of these boys.

My mom passed away in June overnight. It was extremely hard for me. One day I was over at her house spending the day with her and then early the next morning I find out she had passed away the night before (probably due to a seizure- she had epilepsy). The worst part was that Jake was in the room when she passed and I just pray he doesn’t remember any of it. The best part- I know my mom is in Heaven and during the wake and funeral we found out just how many lives she had touched.

In August, the boys, Sinisa, and I moved in with my dad and sister. It’s been such a blessing to us and I believe to my father and sister as well. It’s hard after living by myself for so long but it is best for our family right now.

In November, I returned back to work full time. This had never been my intention as I had always planned to be a stay at home mom. To my surprise I love working and I love my job. I promote my dad’s company through social media mainly and it is an awesome job. Seriously, I spend most of my day on twitter, facebook, linked in, blogs, etc. The best part is that I get to come home and have lunch with my boys everyday and if I need time off it’s no problem.

Ok, so enough excuses of where I have been these past months… I am back and more excited than ever to start blogging again :) Starting in the New Year expect to see new posts 3-5 times a week. I will include updates on my goals, insights into my life, and am looking forward to doing a lot of linkups with daily themes. This is going to be awesome and I hope you will join me as I journey through motherhood and not only strive to be a great mother, but a great woman as well :)