Category Archives: Milestones

Great Apps for Baby Development

Mummy Confession: When I was a new mum especially, I was always curious to keep up with what skills my baby was developing. I often felt the need to see their progress and keep track of their milestones.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by any of the following companies or apps and is purely my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

Now, hear me out, not every baby develops the same skills at the same time. Just like every child isn’t the same height, weight, or build, development varies from baby to baby. But, I like the reassurance of seeing how my child was coming along with milestones, as any mum would. I also like seeing what sort of activities help in their age group as well.

There are three great Apps that help mum to keep up with skills and developmental milestones that coincide with the age of their baby, toddler, and child. Below, I have outlined a few that have come in handy for me as a mother.

Many baby websites offer newsletters as well to help keep track of baby’s development and various things to expect as they grow. Some of these are  listed here with my Pregnancy and Parenting Communities  post.

The Wonder Weeks

The Wonder Weeks app has some great information on development and fussy periods

Each baby has times where they seem to be more sleepless, fussy, and all around grouchy, and I have found a lot of the time, it is because they are going through developmental leaps. The Wonder Weeks app is based on a book written about this. It allows you to enter your baby’s due date and it predicts when these “leaps” occur. So much is happening in their little world that you can’t see, and this helps me to be aware of what my baby could possibly be working on, or trying to figure out. As stated in the app, though, every baby isn’t doing everything listed by those time frames, but it is a great guide as you look out for things they are achieving!

You can also set up an alert to let you know when baby is entering a fussy stage, so maybe you will be that one step ahead, being prepared.

Download Wonder Weeks here:
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Kidfolio

So many places to keep track of various baby things!

Do you like writing down what your bubs is up to?  Keep track of medications, immunisations, feedings, diaper changes, sleep, teeth, and more. Digitally store tons of developmental and growth information as well as photos and videos. Keep track of one child or more, and a daily bit of information on their age group.

If you want to have is information saved for a hard copy scrapbook later, get this app. It is so helpful when you feel like there is no time to write anything down. Plus, there are great communities online to ask your parenting and baby questions (and Baby Bump, their sister app, has one as well).

Download Kidfolio here:

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Kinedu

Kinedu is a great resource for developmental activities!

I just got this one, but I’m already impressed! This one offers an evaluation of baby’s skills and development and helps with some activities to develop their skills.

It has videos that show how to do certain activities with your baby to aid development, and has in-app purchases for further things. It also offers articles on baby’s development. You can opt in for various categories to receive information and activities for children through the age of two. There is so much I haven’t seen yet, so I will need to check it out more before I can write about it, but I was impressed already in the short time I’ve had it!

Download Kinedu here:
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United States
United Kingdom

I hope these come in handy like they have with me!

What apps have you found to be useful as a parent, or helpful for baby’s first years or after?

What a Week! Life Update.

Mummy Confession: This week has been phenomenal, and it’s not even half over yet!

This week has been super busy, even though it’s the first week of school holidays! We haven’t left the house yet, but my goodness has a lot been happening anyway! All of my kids have huge accomplishments for the past few days, and I’m so excited for them! As for me personally, I am pretty happy with my accomplishments this week as well. I have to write it all out because it is just so much all at once! What a joy!

Little Bub has just started crawling the conventional, all-fours style (not that he wasn’t getting around before) and is well into everything! Apparently under the trampoline or train table are the spots to be for a four-wheel driver! In addition to that, he has been attempting to wave, and has actually started to eat some solid foods. We were struggling to get him to open his mouth before this. He’s a big fan of chicken.

Potty training, toilet training

One child is doing exceptionally with toilet training- next to no accidents! I am probably more excited about the last part, as it means less laundry for mama! I could really do with less laundry, as I have to catch up on a room full! I admit this not happening sooner has been all my fault, as I was a little daunted by the prospect of toilet training while managing an infant who is very needy and clingy! And, well, all of the lovely stories as we attempted in the past.

Food, recipe, meal, mealplan,
Pasta Bolognese with Roasted Capsicum

Lastly, and nearly five years in the making, my eldest and resident picky child has started to actually eat new foods as we started Meal Plan Monday. No word of a lie, I was shocked that she finished her portion of peas the first night, and a portion of meat the following night! We still do her meal a little differently, but I am amazed! I will let you in on my secret for her success: the desire for big muscles. No, I’m not joking, and it has taken some time, but I guess the way we went about it helped. Her daddy goes to the gym to work out, and the incentive of going with him someday, and having bigger muscles than him has encouraged her to eat her food. (We also may have told her that her muscles got bigger with each bite…) After she ate them, she told me she liked them, so hopefully less of a battle the next time!

For myself, I finally finished up a post on the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Outdoors which I have been working on (and reviewing) for probably around two months now! I have to say I’m fairly happy with how it turned out, although the video could use some work. Hubs helped me take some great photos with it in action, and I have to say it is helping with my clingy child who hates sleep!Mum

I have also started up a weekly series with a meal plan, and so far I am doing pretty well with keeping up! It is probably part of the reason my picky Child is doing well, and I hope it keeps helping us as a family as well as giving others ideas and recipes for the week ahead!

So, wow! This mother has her work cut out for her in the remaining week, but I am so excited about all of these significant milestones for all of the kids and my small accomplishments apart from being their mum. These may all be small things to some, but to see my kids flourishing makes me so happy!

What have your littles been up to this week? What have you accomplished? What are you looking forward to in the week ahead?

Starting Solids: A What You Need Guide

 


Mummy Confession: I have a love/hate relationship with introducing solids.

I love this adventure, because it means my little bitty baby is growing well. I hate a little bit that it spoils bub’s somewhat “easy” fix for sustenance. (Solids don’t replace milk or formula, but are an addition.)

In the beginning, there is no menu to plan, no food to buy or prepare, dishes to wash (besides bottles and the like) and no disgust for the food I cook. When babes are little they get what they get, and they don’t complain.

It’s adorable to watch them immerse themselves in the brand new exploration of tastes and textures, whether you feed purees or do baby led weaning. Personally, my kids do a bit of both. They have always loved spoons for some reason.

I’ve compiled a list of things that I’ve gotten in preparation for our sooner-than-I’m-ready-for-it journey into the land of foods. And I will say, they have come out with some pretty cool stuff since my last babe!

Keep in mind: Introducing solids usually starts around 6 months old, but please consult with your doctor or medical professional beforehand if you want any resources in regards to the process. I’m no expert, and I know there are differing perspectives on the appropriate age to introduce food and how to go about doing it. I will include some resources below for your convenience, but feel free to check out my Pinterest board for some more ideas on milestones and related topics. 

Now, you don’t NEED all of these products, usually any bowl, utensils and cup be fine, but look how stinkin’ cute this all is! And I will say the no-spill cups are more than just a gimmick, as I prefer my carpets to be dry. I delve into the varieties of sippy cups here.

*Disclosure,: Some of the products listed were provided, but this does not influence or change my opinion. I absolutely love everything I have listed and recommended here! This post contains affiliate links.

1. Cup– Obviously you need something to hold the water as you introduce that alongside solid foods. They don’t need too much at first, so just a tiny bit will do nicely. Check out my guide for cups here if you are flustered about the choices. For my bub, I have the Avent Penguin Sippy (he got it for Christmas). It’s a harder spout with a soft feel.


2. Bowl/plate– Rather than the food starting on the floor, it’s probably a good idea to keep it contained as much as possible! I love this plate from *Baby Bjorn! It is a bit deeper than your typical plate-making it perfect from first foods or purees through to when bubs navigates the use of using his own utensils!

3. Utensils– Something for you to feed baby, and have them feed themselves as well! Check out these *Baby Bjorn spoon and fork set! With a chunky easy-grip handle for you or baby, they make great first utensils. The fork is even more similar to a spork, making it easy to scoop as well.

4. Bib– In order to lessen the mess and minimise cleanup, it’s a good idea to purchase a bib for bub! The design of this *Baby Bjorn Bib is amazing! The nifty bit at the bottom helps to catch food if it should fall (and we all know how messy feeding can be)! It’s also made of BPA free plastic, so no wet and soggy mess covering your bub’s shirt! It’s easy to wipe off, rinse off, and is dishwasher safe!

(May I just add that Baby Bjorn has all of the above products available in a handy pack as well- the Bib, plate and utensils-all the tools you need for starting your baby’s journey into solids! Feel free to check out their online store here, or Amazon for those who live Stateside. And for the Aussies, if you review your Baby Bjorn products on their website, you can be entered to win items from their kitchen range here!)


5. Wet wipes/washcloth– Any cloth will do, or maybe those baby wipes we all love to use for everything else will come in handy! You can even purchase hand and face wipes which are specifically for these sticky messes, and they come in convenient packs that can go in the nappy bag, a purse, or the bottom of the pram. For my sensitive baby, I just use a clean wash cloth and water.

6. Food– Whether you do Baby Led Weaning or purees, you will need something to feed baby. We do a little bit of both. Sometimes I even cook and purée my own food using my Baby Bullet. Because I don’t have a huge amount of time on my hands, we use a fair few pouches and already prepared things to help mama feed bubs nutritiously.

*Bellamy’s Organic has a beautiful range for those first food moments! Whether you are looking for Rice Ceral or pouches to feed on-the-go or at home, they have you covered! To add to the list, they even have pasta, teething rusks, and more (and these are just the starting foods!) Their food is made with all natural organic ingredients and no articifical additives. You can check out their store online (for my Aussies), or Amazon for my US friends. Several stores in Australia also stock their products, which you can search for here.


7. Snacks– For those moments in between meals, snacks are always good to have on hand, whether you are out or home! (Some snacks vary by age, so please follow the recommendations accordingly.)

My main snacks are by *Little Bellies who have a great selection of organic snack foods for your baby! Starting at 8 months, they carry a variety of puffs and other easily-dissolving, nutritious snacks for bub. They are my personal favourite, as the packaging is simply adorable, and my toddler is a huge fan of the blueberry puffs! You can find these in Woolworths or Coles (in store as well as online). They make a great extra to throw in your bag or nappy bag when you go out (and you can sneak a bite or two) to distract or keep little mouths and hands busy and little bellies happy! My toddler always comes running when she hears a bag crinkle now!

Solids, snack, snacks, little Bellies, snack food

8. Bathing products– Of course your baby is no expert when it comes to foods, and mess is inevitable! Have that bath ready for when your little munchkin finishes immersing themselves in their dinner! We use sensitive bath products for my eczema prone baby. (Tip: Some mums say it make sure it easier to feed baby with no more than a nappy to avoid sulking over stains later, too!)

9.  Camera– Maybe it’s the sap oozing out of me, but I have to get these first moments on camera. Plus, it’s super cute to see a baby covered in food. Have your camera, phone or video ready to record memories!

10. A Place To Sit– For them of course, but possibly for you as well! There are many types of high chairs, baby seats, and boosters when it comes to where they can be most comfortable. Pick something that lends itself to an easy clean. We have a high chair that adjusts in height, so baby can sit at the table level with us, or couch level if we feel exceptionally lazy.

Always be sure they are supervised, seated on something suited to feeding strapped in properly as they can be wiggly little things. 

11. Allergy Awareness– While allergies may not run in your family, it is best to be on the lookout for reactions when introducing new foods. Some mums follow the “4 day wait rule” when doing so, to ensure they pick up on any reactions. Though more geared to preparing your own foods, Momtastic has some excellent resources for recording baby’s reactions, preferences and listing foods to introduce to baby which you can find here.

If you have any suspicion about allergies, or wonder if something is normal while feeding baby, don’t hesitate to call your doctor to ask questions. If you believe a reaction could be life threatening, do not wait to call emergency services in your area.

Solids, taste, solid food, milestones

But wait, there’s more! Since I’ve been given more than enough to try, I am going to share the love with one person (Open to Australian residents only). Enter via the link below and comment on this post in order to be eligible. Terms and Conditions below. Please feel free to share this, and subscribe for blog post updates!

Win These Ten Packs of Little Bellies Snacks!!What is YOUR most essential item when starting off with new foods for baby and why?

 

What is YOUR most essential item when starting off with new foods for baby and why?
Little Bellies Giveaway!

Resources:
Bellamy’s Organic: Their website for their amazing organic food range as well as articles on nutrition, recipes, and videos.
Little Bellies: Their Website which lists the variety of snacks available

Baby Bjorn  Australia and United States: Websites with their amazing products, and “Inspiration” section with article to help parents.

Information on Starting Solids from Pregnancy, Birth & Baby, and RaisingChildren.net

Baby Led Weaning Resources from Momtastic, Baby Center, and Nestle

Momtastic Wholesome Baby Food Site: A website filled with information, advice, and recipes for pureeing your own baby food. Much of this can be used even in Baby Led Weaning or feeding pre-made foods.

The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: All around informative book about Baby Led Weaning along with some handy recipes. Recipes can often be used without doing Baby Led Weaning.

Annabel Karmel‘s page with recipes and other helpful resources

Foods and Snacks from my Pinterest Board (not all are suitable for babies)

Mummy To Dex has a lovely, ever-growing Baby-led Weaning recipe section on her page!

Toilet Training Essentials

Mummy Confession: I get really frustrated with toilet training. toilet, toilet training, potty training, kids, miilestones, frustration, toilet, potty, toddlerToilet training/Potty training is the most rewarding and frustrating challenge in toddler life, especially when they insist they can do everything on their own. I’ve compiled a list of essentials that may help you as you enter into this battlefield. And watch your step! For signs that your child may be ready to start toilet training, start by reading here.

1. Toilet. Obviously. Whether you just use your normal toilet and help your child manage it, purchase a potty or potty seat to put on the toilet, you will need something for your child to use. We have a potty and a little seat that goes on the toilet to make it easier if we need to bring the potty with us to another room, just in case! We actually have one that is a 3-in-1 and can be put on the big toilet, on its own little seat, or just used as a step.

toilet, potty, training, toilet training, mickey potty
Image Credit: Amazon.com

2. Underwear. Or pull-ups. Or nothing. Some brave souls use the nappy-free method for training. We were not that adventurous, so we opted for thicker training underpants at night with plastic covers over top, and pull ups for overnight. 3. Steps. Your child, unless you are training over the age of 10, will probably be too short to get to the toilet or sink by themselves. You may want them to need you, but this will not always be the case. It is helpful for them to have a step to reach when they may possibly go without you around. (Cool product: steps attached to a potty seat! So you have both in one!)

steps, toilet, toilet training, potty, potty training, big kid, toddler, kids, safety
image Credit: Amazon.com

4. Toilet Paper/Flushable Wipes. NOT baby wipes. Always ensure you go by the recommendation on the packet, but we use flushable wipes for stinky messes only, as it’s a bit difficult to get everything with toilet paper for the child by themselves. We teach an “only one at a time” policy for flushing these, and make sure to mention how much toilet paper is appropriate, so you don’t wind up with 3/4 of  a roll inside.

5. Soap. For hand washing, of course!

6. Endless praise. Your child needs to hear they are doing well, and be endlessly encouraged after doing well especially! This can be given along with bribes.

7.  Rewards. This goes hand in hand with praise. But, I have a treat I give for every successful trip to the toilet. Sticker charts work very well, too! Reward for trips to the toilet, dry underpants, dry days/weeks, or going by themselves, and never stop telling them how great it is they are using the bathroom!

stickers, toilet training, rewards, potty training
Photo Credit: Amazon.com

Be sure to get yourself a reward, too! It’s hard work trying to teach something like this and managing the accidents!

8. Patience. Like any other milestones, this one especially takes some patience. Maybe your child just isn’t ready? Patience. Maybe your child is just taking a while to learn? Patience. Maybe your child is just missing the cues seconds before and keeps having accidents? Patience.

Obviously, consult your doctor if you have concerns about your child in any way, but sometimes it is just time and patience needed. I hope these will help you as you embark on the journey of potty training.

For further resources, please check out these

My Virtual Medical Centre -Article on toilet training readiness, how to approach setbacks, etc.

Women’s and Children’s Health Network– article on toilet training.

Baby Center Resources for Toilet Training

Huggies– Downloadable Guide on Training and also a place to request free sample of Pull-Ups. (Or go here for the direct link to the free sample for US and Aus)

Sippy Cups…the Many Varieties

Mummy Confession: When I was a first time mum, I bought a lot of sippy cups. A lot.
sippy cup, cup, toddler cup, cups, sippy, straw cup, straw, munchkin, take n toss, spill proof, leakproof, water, drink water, baby cups
I know the choice can be overwhelming, and what on earth do you choose for your baby? Is one better than the other? Which is the BEST cup?

*Please note that unless directed otherwise by your doctor or peadeatrician, it is not recommended to give a baby water until at least six months old. Giving too much water to your baby, or giving it too early can cause water intoxication. Please consult your doctor for any other information.*

This post contains affiliate links, but has not been sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise compensated for any opinion or suggestions stated. Everything written is of my own accord. See my disclosure policy for further details.

I’ve found in my days of motherhood, that every baby is different and has different preferences for everything, including cups. Not every brand is the same, and not every cup is spill proof or easy to clean. In my opinion, the best cup is the one your child uses easier, comes apart for cleaning easily, and doesn’t spill for the early days of learning. To help you figure out which cup may be best for you, I have compiled a list of the four main types of sippies made for babies and toddlers.

In general, there are four different kinds of cups specifically made for babies and toddlers. This isn’t including the normal open cups, but rather ones with tops that in some way lessen or prevent the spilling of the contents inside. Before you get any of these, be sure to scrub them regularly by taking them apart as shown in their respective instructions. It helps to buy a brush kit to get all of the tiniest crevices. If it helps to know, some bottle companies also have their bottles which fit their sippy tops, but you would have to check those out individually. I recommend checking out Amazon for reviews of any cup before purchasing, just to see how it rates on all factors.

Image Credit: Amazon.com

1. Soft Spout Cups- These cups resemble a bottle and the flexible material used for those. But, rather than a nipple-like top, have a spout. These are easy for some babies as I’m sure the similarity to a bottle would make the transition easier. This one by Nuby was loved by my babies as they transitioned, though they preferred the bottle-like top. (These ones seem to rage at 6 months or so and up)

cup, sippy, sippy cup, baby cup, drink, water
Image Credit: Amazon.com

2. Harder Spout Cups – My kids preferred these for some reason, and just couldn’t get on with the softer spouts. Tommee Tippee has a few harder spout types for babies and onward, and many other companies make harder spout ones for toddlers. This particular bub has his very own Penguin sippy from the Avent line. The harder spouts usually have a little silicone or other material that probably feels nicer on bubs gums when they chew it. (These ones seem to rate around 6 months and up)

3. Straw Cups– the variety of these are endless it seems. From the Take-n-Toss straw cups to Camelbak water bottles with straws, you will not be lacking in choice! My preference is always one that is easy to clean in all the crevices, and is as spill proof as possible. We owned one straw water bottle that leant itself to easy pouring, and I often found myself cleaning up puddles and emptying tea cups of water. Straw Cups tend to be recommended for slightly older babies, as getting the hang of sucking until the water comes up can take a little time. I recommend starting with one that has a shorter straw for this reason. (These generally state around 8-9 months and up)

Image Credit: Amazon.com

4. Trainer Cups– now these particular cups are super innovative! There are a few options for these Cups, but they all lend themselves to teaching children how to drink out of a real cup (supposedly) without the spills. I say supposedly, because my smart toddler figured out that one particular cup was just easily pushed with her finger, tipped, and the water came freely. This cup is now only given in monitored circumstances. Munchkin has one of these types in both handle and non-handle versions, which are two different sizes. (These generally rate at around 12 months and up)

A Mix of several types
Some companies go above and beyond when it comes to supplying options for sippy cups. A few of the options include interchangeable tops or spouts. The Pura Kiki has straw, bottle or spout tops. Avent and Tommee Tippee have some of their range which is interchangeable with their respective bottles.

Some honourable mentions that don’t quite classify as “cups” but are great innovations in the helpful nature of the sippy cup are:

Spout Water Bottle Adaptor this smart little invention makes any water bottle a sippy! Just put the top on, and have a less-messy drink for your toddler while out!

Boon Snug Lid this top makes any cup transition to a spout cup or straw cup! How handy! They even have tops for snack bowls!

Honestly, you don’t NEED any of these Cups, but I’m grateful for the people who have created them, because they are a necessity in my household. The cleanup is much easier, transporting them in my bag or in the car makes for a much more pleasant ride, and my kids love the designs and the independence they have from being able to drink and carry them all by themselves. If you are skipping the sippies and straws, opt for a less breakable material such as plastic, melamine, or otherwise. But, if you decide to get a cup for your baby or toddler- Happy Sipping!

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