Amber Housley

Baby Love It and Leave It : Sprout Shell & Swaddle Blankets

Pink-Lotus Love It: Sprout Shell

First, have you signed up for the daily emails from BabySteals.com? If not, do so NOW! You can get things up to 75% off on the deal of the day. That is how I first discovered the Sprout Shell. This handy little stitched fabric fits nice and snug around your carseat and is a replacement for always trying to put a blanket over your carrier when in stores, or going from the car to the store, or restaurants, etc. It's so nifty! Just think, no more blankets flapping in the wind! It also works as a shopping cart seat cover and a nursing cover (though I haven't tried it in these ways). They also come in the cutest Amy Butler fabrics, which are my personal favorite.There's a hole for the handle of your carrier to fit through and it's also big enough to peek inside at your little one when he/she's sleeping. We use this just about every time we're in restaurants to help block out the noise when the little guy is trying to take a nap.

Swaddle Leave It: Swaddle Blankets

I'm sorry, but I just don't get these: Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe.
I received THREE of these at my shower, and even though I tried to like them, I just don't. My little guy (AKA "Houidini") was way too strong, there was no way the little one inch velcro square was going to keep him snug. A good old-fashioned stretchy Carter's receiving blanket did the trick for us during his swaddle days (which were from newborn up to about 3 months). I watched a swaddle technique on YouTube.com (look up keywords "Happiest Baby On the Block" and you can see the swaddle tips for yourself). 

Believe me, a good swaddle technique is A MUST for catching some shut eye!

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Baby Love It or Leave It
is a weekly series appearing on Mondays. As a new Mama, I've found that
the advice of my friends who are also new mom's invaluable when
navigating through my pregnancy, registries, and of course, now
mommyhood. My intention is my experience will be helpful to you as
well. This is only my personal opinion.

Baby Love It or Leave It: SIDS Baby Monitor & Steam Bags

This is the first in a new weekly series appearing on Mondays. Each week I'll feature both a Love It! and Leave It! baby item that I've personally used. To start off this new series I'm going to postpone the debbie-downer item this week and feature TWO of my favorite baby items. 

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Love It!

Graco Angelcare Deluxe Movement Sensor with Sound Monitor

I have told just about every one of my friends who are expecting a baby to RUN and buy this monitor. Or, take back the one you registered for and get this one…or even use this in conjunction with a video monitor if that's what you want. And to be honest, really not many have listened because of the sticker shock and the questioning of its techonology in SIDS detection. Coming in at about $130, this is definitely at the pricier end of the baby monitors, but for us, this monitor has provide invaluable.

The monitor has a sensor pad that is placed underneath the crib mattress to detect movement (i.e. breathing) by the baby. If it does not detect movement for more than 20 seconds, a very loud alarm goes off on both the main unit in the nursery, and all at the receivers you have placed in your house. We have one receiver unit in our bedroom, and one in our kitchen. Many a time we have taken Colin out of his crib and have forgotten to turn the monitor off, so of course, 15-20 seconds later the alarm has sounded. Another great useful gizmo on it is both a temperature reader (tells you the exact temperature in the room which was valuable during the winter months when Colin was a newborn…our master bedroom had to be practically boiling before we could get Colin's room warm enough), and it also has a little pendulum ticker that shows you your baby is breathing. (I.E. you don't need to hold a mirror up under your baby's nose or touch his chest to see if he is breathing). And of course, this is a complete audio monitor just like all the others on the market.

It was this past Saturday morning at around 3a.m., that we had our first true alarm. When it went off, both Brandon and I stirred, not fully realizing what exact alarm was going off. We came to the same conclusion about a half second later and we both jumped up and RAN down the hallway to his room. Brandon immediately touched Colin and found he was in fact breathing, but in his sleep had moved entirely up against the side of crib, his head against the bumper. (Yes, we know bumpers are a huge no-no and we now have removed them from his crib following this incident since he is now mobile). We don't know if he simply had moved so far over that the sensor couldn't pick-up on his movement or if his breathing had become so deep/shallow that it couldn't detect it. Either way, I am so thankful for this piece of technology that alerted us of what was happening.

Read the reviews on Amazon or Babies R Us and you'll read the dozens of
stories where this monitor has or may have saved a child's life. Any new mom would find so much comfort and peace of mind with this gadget.

What do you think of this monitor? Any experiences with it or do you have your own favorite?

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Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags 

We aren't ones that are big about having a lot of things on the kitchen counter, so any kind of counter-top sanitizer gadget was out of the question. My friend Lauren recommended these to me since they are perfect for steam cleaning your breastfeeding pump parts. Just place your items in the bag along with 2oz. of water, and pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes!

They are also great for steam cleaning all your bottle parts, and we use this just about every night in our routine as we clean the bottles to prep for the next day's bottles. The label says you can use these bags up to 20 times (there's even a handy checkbox list to mark every time you use them) but as my friend Lauren recommended, you can stretch these out to about 25 times. 

My husband would like to point out the fact that he doesn't understand why we still do this steam-cleaning process since our four-month old now sticks his hand in his mouth all day long, but I figure every germ buster helps. :)

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Baby Love It or Leave It is a weekly series appearing on Mondays. As a new Mama, I've found that the advice of my friends who are also new mom's invaluable when navigating through my pregnancy, registries, and of course, now mommyhood. My intention is my experience will be helpful to you as well. This is only my personal opinion.