Baby Sling & Baby Carrier Blog

Mother's Day Giveaway! (comment on this post to enter)

In honor of Mothers Day, it's GIVEAWAY time! Hugamonkey is giving away our 24x24" Square Resin Table. Worth over $96, it's perfect for your little ones (or grandkids) to create and have their own space! Simply "like" Hugamonkey on Facebook HERE, then leave a comment on this post with your email address (so we can contact you if you're the winner). That's it! Giveaway ends Saturday May 12th at midnight MST. Winner will be notified through email.

What do you use most?

Spring is in the air, and with that seems to come babies being born! I'm going to my cousin's baby shower next week, and have been thinking about essentials for kids. What type of gifts do you give? I tend to generally give clothes or diapers in larger sizes, but here are a few other ideas:


1-Go in with others on a gift card for a newborn photo session. Who doesn't want gorgeous pictures to remember their newborn? I treasure the professional photos I got, and wish I'd done that with all three of mine.


2-Baby bibs like these Wupzey Waterproof Coveralls. They are lightweight and catch all those messes before they get onto their entire outfit.


3-Frames to go with their nursery colors/theme if you know what it is. Pictures are always so fun to put up when you've got frames to hang them in!


4-Hooded towels like this Funkoos Rubber Ducky Organic towel.


5-My kids love pacifiers and blankets. This stuffed animal blanket/pacifier-in-one seems so intriguing and easy for babies to hold and grab. Have you tried these before?

Let me know any tips for useful yet fun gifts for moms-to-be!

Baby Food Pouches

The product for this week are baby food pouches! These are relatively new, at least, they weren't available when my first child was born six years ago. They have saved me. They are convenient, portable, recyclable, and have a 17:1 product-to-package advantage over glass containers (less is more!). You can start using them as early as 4 months. The sucking motion is easy for babies to figure out. Then, as they get older, they enjoy holding it on their own. I was worried it would be messy but my girl sucks them dry so quickly! The applesauce options are a hit too. It's like a smoothie for them-- healthy, easy, and quick. Happy Baby has a lot of veggie-based ones, and there are plenty of fruit ones out there too. I love knowing my baby is getting her fruits and veggies every day and enjoying it too!

Baby Essentials

Are you pregnant or a new parent? Have a friend who's about to give birth? In the next few weeks, we'll be posting some essential baby items. There are so many things out there, and this will give you an idea of what items I feel are useful after having three children myself! First up: the Hugamonkey sling! I didn't use one for my first child--instead, I'd haul around that huge carseat everywhere. I did get strong biceps, but man, my back sure started to hurt. Once baby #2 came along, I found it awfully difficult to go shopping with a carseat and a toddler in tow, but I still didn't try a sling. I learned my lesson with baby #3. The sling became a need--I simply didn't have enough hands! With the sling, I could go shopping without the bulky carseat, and still keep the other children in tow. I could nurse in public easily with no one noticing. I could have my hands free while cooking, cleaning, and shopping! It made such a difference. I'd been scared to learn how to put it on, but it really wasn't difficult. There are many types of slings out there, and the Hugamonkey was wonderful for me because it was breathable (I always seem to sweat more when carrying kids around!) and sturdy. It didn't get overstretched and is cute too! (not to mention it covers up your leftover weight around the middle, ahem.) Do you have any questions about baby slings? There are so many types out there--what's worked for you?

Being a mom.

While I love my children, so much, some moments are really hard. I think I am always frustrated when I am trying to shower and do my hair and when I am trying to get out the door. I try and try... but I'm always half-ready and 5-34 minutes late. WHY? I can't figure it out. 

I stumbled upon this awesome link. Read it. All the way to the end. Eye rolling is allowed. 

 

 

Keep reading the article. ALL THE WAY to the end. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bahahahahaha! Isn't it awesome? I mean, really, the idea life of motherhood is something that is totally a dream. Is it possible to excel in areas? Yes, of course. But to DO IT ALL? I don't think so. At least not today. 

I asked y'all what the most frustrating part of motherhood is and there were responses that we are all familiar with. We are all trying our hardest! Chin up, HugaMoms!

Bath time!

My little girl loves (LOOOOOVES) bath time. She has loved it since her first bath. She used to scream and scream when it was time to get out. She must want to turn into a raisin. 

We have the perfect accessory for bath time: an embroidered rubber ducky hooded towel. This super-soft towel is perfect for your little one (and perfectly cute too!) The extra bonus is that it is 100% certified organic cotton, so you know your little one's skin is going to love it just as much as you. 

Pick one up today for only $26.98. Free shipping! See it by clicking here

Date Night!

My husband and I are always looking for something fun to do on the weekends. We are new in town, so we don't really have access to family (aka babysitters) to go to our usual dinner and a movie date. I ran across this great date night idea list and I thought I would share -- it's a bonus that the ideas are budget friendly!

My favorites are:

Dress up, cook dinner, and have "restaurant night" at home (or take out!)
Boardgames & card games & video games--include cheap prizes
Go to different spots in your city and have strangers take your picture. Make a photo album or scrapbook of the day.

Some of the others are kinda cheesy, but hey, they're fun ideas! I also heard about a bookstore date, if you're going out.

What are your date night ideas? We'd all love to hear them! 

"I think I can... I think I can..."

The other day my sister came to visit me and we took our kids all over town. We went shopping, to the beach, out to dinner and more shopping. One time we had loaded up everyone into the strollers (slings in tow too) and my four-year-old was on his Buggie Board. We had to go up the handicap ramp to get in the store -- the distance of a flight of stairs -- and my little boy starts chanting "Mommy! I think I can... I think I can..." I about died laughing because he must think that is the size of the hill that little poor engine that could was trying to conquer!

But I loved the encouragement. Us moms are always with our kids (except for when we're not!) and some days are easier than others. I decided to take his application to life as a funny thing and take the inspiratinon. Don't worry, we made it to the top. 

What funny thing has your child done or said lately? Did they motivate you?

Image source

Creative Consequences

We each have our own way of disciplining our children. And we all know that just because one way of discipline works for one child does not mean it will work for another. I did run across this list of creative consequences that I thought was worth sharing. Here are some of my favorites:

16. If your child likes to stomp off to his room or stomp around in anger, send him outside to the driveway and tell him to stomp his feet for one minute. He'll be ready to quit after about 15 seconds, but make him stomp even harder.

 

18. Another way to handle temper tantrums is to simply say, "That is too disruptive for this house. You may continue your fit in the backyard. When you're finished, you are welcome to come back inside." When there isn't an audience, the thrill of throwing a temper tantrum is gone.

19. If a job is not done diligently, have your child practice doing it. She'll learn to be more thorough if she's made to sweep the floor three or four times because her first effort wasn't good enough.

Taking a Baby on Vacation = Miracle

I think most of what we buy for our baby is because we are going to travel with them. Even the HugaMonkey is just to make it easier to take your baby on the move. Strollers, car seats, blankets, backpacks, slings, carriers, diaper bags and toys. So many things for such little people! 

Then, when you take them on vacation, you have to figure out how to make everything that you didn't buy for travel travel-able. Take apart toys to fit better in the suitcase, find bags your carseats fit in, get a travel swing and be sure and not forget anything. Sigh. How do we do it? How do we get everything we need to take care of our little ones?

Then, when we're extra lucky, the travel plans don't go as planned because of weather or sickness or emergencys. And we have to conform and figure and work at how to make it better. 

What are your best travel tips? Doncha love it when motherhood throws you a challenge and you conquer it? 

Product Spotlight: The Piggyback Rider

Around these parts we pride ourselves in being pretty dang good at helping you carry around your kids. The whole idea of HugaMonkey is to make it so you can do two things at once: hold your kid and use your hands! And since we've successfully helped y'all with that, you may wonder how you are supposed to carry around your kid when they get just a bit bigger. So today we're talking about the Piggyback Rider

Just the other day we had to tell our four-year-old he was too heavy to carry and his little heart was crushed. Now we can hold him (me or his dad) with one of these! 

The product description says:

The Piggyback Rider creates a mutually enjoyable,effortless way to carry a child on your back; replacing bulky backpack carriers and strollers. The trend-setting,streamlined,unisex design functions like a standard backpack,with a shoulder-strap mounted foot bar,integrated grab handles and safety harness for security. The child’s weight distributes at your core,allowing a natural upright walking posture,while children love the height advantage,rest,and quality time. Portable and lightweight,the Piggyback Rider is for every outing and every season. The simplicity and ease of the Piggyback Rider revolutionizes child carriers and engages parents and children in active transport.

Project 52

As a mom, your life can be overwhelming. I mean, with the regular responsibilities of life plus the responsibilites of motherhood it seems like anything else isn't possible! When it comes time for new year resolutions, the possibility of accomplishing a goal may seem impossible. 

A new idea made sense to me though. My friend calls it "Project 52" and set one goal per week. I can think of 52 things that need to be done, but that number overwhelms me! But trying to do one per weeks sounds way more reasonable. 

So wether your goal be big or small, 52 of them can be accomplished this year. This week (as I try to get back to the swing of things post-holiday), my goal is to make three crock pot dinners. Two down, one to go!

What is your goal this week? 

Have a Happy New Year!

This year has been a great one for us here at HugaMonkey! As the new year approaches, I have been pondering how I can be a better mother to my darling kids. My four-year-old is quickly preparing for kindergarten and when I ran across this list of what to read in kindergarten, I decided to make it a part of my new year resolutions. Check it out here

A teacher once told me that a child should be read to for 500 hours before they go to school. We are well on our way (maybe we've already got there) because I try really hard to read for at least 20 minutes a day. Out of all the things I have done, I think I have succeeded the most in this area. However, there is always room for improvement and I think this list is a fun way to expand. 

What is your new years resolution for your children? Next week we'll have to talk about what I'm doing for my 8-month-old. 

Remember to have fun and be safe

As you are giving and getting this year, be aware of the things that are safe for your small monkeys. I like to get things at used children's stores and receive many hand-me-downs and didn't think much about recalls of these products. I was reminded to be aware. You can keep up to date with the latest recalls here:

http://www.saferproducts.gov/Search/default.aspx

You can also use that site to report a problem with a product you already own. 

We at HugaMonkey hope you have a wonderful holiday season full of fun, memories and safety. Enjoy! 

Time is up!

Reading this post was inspiring! In this post on Organized Mom, she used inexpensive timers on her table lamps and Christmas tree, but what I think was the most exciting idea of all: using them as a way for your children to tell time. You set them to turn off at a certain time in the morning (say, 7:30 am) and they know it's okay to come and get you. Or you set them to go off at 9:00 pm and they know it is time to stop reading their books and go to bed. 

I mean, I have a timer on my Christmas lights, but their use on everyday objects and managing your children is a great idea. What do you think? How can you utilize a timer in your home? 

How do you wrap presents?

Are you a gift wrapper? Growing up my cute Aunt always had darling paper and every color of ribbon to match. We loved getting her gifts in the mail and she inspired my mom to gather a collection as well. 

So I'm kinda an OCD wrapper. I use gift bags for birthday parties and small gifts, but when it comes to the holidays, we're so into boxes with colored tissue and pretty wrapping and grossgrain ribbon. It is so fun to sit and look at the collection and decide how to make things different for the gift I am wrapping and the recipient. 

Maybe I should have been one of the girls wrapping presents at the kiosk in the mall. Maybe then I wouldn't like it so much. How do you prefer to wrap your presents?

It's GIVEAWAY time!

We love ourselves a giveaway. And for the entire month of December, you can enter to win one free sling of your choice! 

Chocking Hazard Safety Tip

I stumbled across this the other day and thought it was very interesting. I never even thought about these batteries as a chocking hazard and thought other moms should know about it. 

 

A Thanksgiving Tradition

Growing up my mom committed to one of our favorite recipes just once a year: Rainbow Jell-O. It started when there were only a few colors to choose from, but since Jell-O has broadened it's horizons, our Thanksgivings have gotten more exciting!

This recipe is easy, just time consuming. It will surely impress! I don't know how well it fits with the rest of your Thanksgiving feat, but it is something fun for everyone, especially the kids!



Rainbow Jello

Buy 3 oz. boxes of the following flavors of Jello:

Raspberry, Strawberry OR Cherry
Orange
Lemon
Lime
Blueberry
Grape

Dissolve each package in 1 cup boiling water.  Divide mixture in half.  Mix one half with 1/3 c. plain yogurt.  (Use beaters!)  Pour yogurt half in 9x13 pan.  Chill 20 minutes.  Mix remaining plain Jello with 3 TBSP cold water.  Pour on top of set yogurt mixture.  Chill until firm.

Repeat with all flavors, Starting with grape and ending with red flavor.

Video Monitoring

I have already indulged you into my world of paranoia, but this is a product/idea that totally needs mentioning. When my first baby was born, I had no idea that video monitors even existed. When I did hear about them, he was over the age of 2 and I thought they were expensive and unnecessary. I have come to quickly change my mind since I moved into a new house and have two kids to worry about. A video monitor can be deemed as those things, but really, it is convenient, comforting, affordable and... serves more than one purpose. 

Wait, WHAT?! Serves more than one purpose? affordable?! There is no such thing when it comes to baby items, right?! Wrong. I saw that people were using in-home security cameras as baby monitors and I was super intrigued. I ended up purchasing this Foscam model and I am SOOOOO happy. I don't have to lug around a separate viewing monitor because it streams to my iPhone and iPad (with a free app) and to my computer. The color image is great (I can totally see if she is breathing) and it can be remote controlled. You can even set it up so you can check on your baby while there is a babysitter or while you are away from home. 

So if you are looking for an alternative to a regular video monitor, this is a great product for under $100!

Fun Halloween Treats!

I was clipping coupons yesterday and stumbled on this darling recipe idea. Just in time for Halloween! Who can argue with pumpkin-shaped-full-of-goodness-rice krispie treats? Here is the recipe from ricekrispies.com:

Ingredients


 

Fun Halloween Stories

My mom is a Kindergarten teacher and gives us cute books for each holiday. I thought I would share the two Halloween books she gave us the past two years because we love them so much we read them year round!

The first, Two Little Witches by Harriet Zifert and Illustrated by Simms Taback (you may recognize him from There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly), is such a fun book to read aloud. The pictures are absolutely stunning and totally darling. My little boy loves the monster at the end (he's cute) and the different characters helped him decide what to be for Halloween. It is a simple, well-paced, cute story.

The second, Big Pumpkin, is also darling to read aloud. My little boy likes to eat roasted pumpkin seeds (the story is about planting a pumpkin seed) and thinks it is hilarious when I change my voice for each of the visiting characters (a mummy, witch, vampire, bat and ghost). You will fall in love with the moral behind the story and enjoy getting to the end.

Do you have any fun Halloween stories you would like to share?

Exercising with monkeys

So what do you moms do to workout? I love doing DVDs at home, but I get sick of Jillian Michael's yelling the same thing at me every morning. I could make myself clean fast enough to reach my target heart rate, but that sounds awful. Haha.

I was thinking of investing in a twin jogging stroller. Do any of you have one? What do you think? I just think they are so... big. It would have to be just for exercise or something.

What other options do you do? The gym with child care? Running without the kiddos early in the morning? Use an exercise program on your Wii/PS3? I'm interested in ideas.

Keep the Kiddos Happy!: the hunt for ideas.

Us moms are, let's face it, always hunting for ideas. We've got ALL DAY to fill with laundry, cleaning, carpooling, cooking and other stereo-typical things, but the hunt for creativity and interest is always going on. Right? The idea of it can be exhausting though, not to mention the actual preparation and follow-through.

But, all of that aside, there is a new fad in town: Pinterest.com. The other day I was wasting quickly looking and found this great idea:

Give a kid some pipecleaners and a strainer for entertainment. That's a great idea. (source)

What about this: 

Take a small waterbottle, fill it half way, put interesting things in, fill it all the way up, glue the lid on. Hooray! (source)

So there are a couple fun things to fill up your idea bank for the day. Easy and fun! Do you have any ideas? Remember, we want the simple ones! :D

Rattles, teethers and links

My baby is almost 5 months (loves her HugaMonkey, BTW) and has started to find a REAL interest in toys. I have a bunch of toys left over from my 4-year-old and she is really not interested in the kind of toys he was interested in. Isn't that so strange? (Insert "not really, lady" comment here.) But my little girl wants hard rattles, circle links and plastic keys. She really doesn't care for squishy or fabric toys, which is what my little boy totally preferred. 

So I'm on the hunt for new toys (a favorite chore of mine). There are some great choices at just the local grocery store. There are these great plastic Gerber phones and plastic dumbell-weight-looking rattles. I have also found great options on Amazon like this and this

What about you? What did your just-starting-to-love-toys baby like to hold, eat and shake?

Halloween costumes!

Who is ready for Halloween?! I know school just started, but man, we're excited for Halloween around these parts. 

What do you do for costumes? I usually make mine, but this year I am contemplating making a big Disney Store splurge purchase: Tinkerbell for the baby and Captain Hook for the 4-year-old. I mean, just LOOK at this costume: 

and this one: 

The best part is that my little boy is excited to be Captain Hook. Lets just hope things don't change in the next few weeks!

What do your little ones want to be for Halloween? 

Mom tip: Diaper Changing Pads

Sometimes I am so proud of myself. I mean, I'm a mom all day every day and that is something to be proud of by itself. But somedays I think of something or do something that makes me go, "Way to go, girl. That one was pretty good." Maybe it was that I didn't lose my temper (A+) or that I actually made something for dinner (A++) or that I found something for a deal when I was going to buy it for regular price (this happens often, so it only gets a B-).

But I thought I would share with you my latest idea: a cheap solution for a diaper changing pad. Now, when I'm at home, I use a reusable cloth changing pad for all of those yucky messes. But when I'm out and about, I like the dispose-of-other-kid's-germs-so-they're-not-in-my-diaper-bag version. For my last kid, I bought packs of these beauties: Pee-Wees Disposable Multi-Use Pads. Ringing in at a whoppin' $.16/each, these pads were certainly a luxury in the diaper changing world. Then one day between my diaper-changing days, I went to the dentist and they clipped on one of those lovely bibs. I thought to myself, "Hey, that is worth $0.16. Interesting." But then I went home and Googled "Dentist Bib" to find out that dentists are really only paying $0.03 per bib. And my idea was born. You can use a dentist bib for a diaper changing pad and surely not feel guilty when using 1, 2, or 5 at each change! You do have to buy in packs of 500, but us moms can use that many in just a few months. This is where I get mine: PureLife Dental. They even come in cute colors instead of that ugly bear print!

Nursing Pads = an inevitable decision.

This nursing mom was, well, inexperienced when my litle boy was born four years ago. I bought a robe for the hospital and my sister recommended some reuseable nuring pads. I had unexpectedly got a pump for my baby shower, been to a nursing prenatal class and I thought I was set. OH DEAR, I was wrong. 

I attribute my struggle with nursing on several things, but most of all my lack of knowledge and preparation. My boy was born on a weekend, so there weren't any lactation consultants available. I felt like I got "in trouble" from the nurses because he wasn't eating well. I also got quite the hickey because he wasn't latching on correctly. 

All in all, I was just about ready to give up when he was two weeks old. i had gone over to my MIL's house and leaked through my shirt (AGAIN) and felt like a tired beached whale. But I had stuck some of my hospital bag samples in my purse and used a Lansinoh disposable nursing pad out of desperation. I swear, if it hadn't have been for those pads, I would have given up in a heart beat. They were heaven sent. It was impossible for me to leak through my shirt (or all over the baby) while wearing these (because of the plastic liner) and for some reason, that made all the difference. I got some help and support on positioning from the local lactation consultants too. I ended up nursing him for 13 months and really appreciated it in the end. I honestly attribute my confidence to the absorbency of these pads!

Traveling with Children = a Challenge

Any of you that have traveled with kiddos knows that it is really just... challenging. You can be as prepared as a 72-hour kit, but your chances of complete obedience and no crying are slim to none. I mean, really, how can you prepare for the melt down about how they don't want to take off their shoes in airport security? or that the flight attendent will be out of milk? or perhaps that their Lego piece will fall through the crack at the bottom of your rental van? If I knew, I would tell you, because these were things that I surely was not prepared for during our recent vacation. If I knew they were going to be a problem, I would have! Trust me!

I did, however, prepare in other ways. Here is a small list of things I recommend taking with you while traveling:

1. Ear drops. These are available at any regular store (Target, ShopKo, Wal-Mart) over in the general area by the pharmacy. It is different in every store, so ask an assoicate to help you. I promise, it will be the best $5 you ever spent when traveling by car or by air; the elevation changes can bother the kids even if it is gradual. 

2. A thermometer. You never know when your little ones will catch a bug while on the road. Having a thermometer that you are familiar with and is easily accessible is priceless when they are heating up. Packing it up takes a small amount of space and it can be very handy. 

3. Your HugaMonkey. You have to take your little ones out of their strollers and car seats so the items can go through security at the airport. Holding a child with one hand while you manage stuff is anything but easy. Taking along your sling with make the process much easier. 

What about you? What do you recommend packing when traveling with kids?

When to seek professional medical help

I have been a mom for several years now and at the beginning I felt like I was calling my doctor's office about everything. Which is TOTALLY FINE. They are there to be your resource and simply be available to you. But when do you need real medical help? I thought this article explained this well and was very informative.

Mommy Medicine: When not to go to the ER

When my niece was very young she fell off the couch and was inconsolable. It was late(r) at night, so my sister opted to take a visit to the Emergency Room. She DID THE RIGHT THING, because who knows what could have happened or been wrong. But she just didn't think of calling the after-hours nurse as a resource before doing so and maybe she could have been able to utilize her resources and not had to pay the large emergency room bills. 

What do you think? What has been your experience?

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