Monday, June 14, 2010

10 Things Cool Mom Can't Live Without

These infant toys, baby supplies and websites make it easier for this mom to tackle her busy schedule while keeping baby happy and healthy.

1) Charlie's Soap is an all natural laundry soap made right here in the USA! One tablespoon is all you need for even a large load. It leaves clothes clean and smelling great without harsh chemicals, dyes, or perfumes. This soap rinses residue free to eliminate skin irritation and eliminates the need for fabric softener. This is the best soap for cloth diapers that I have found. For extra cleaning power, I usually use 2 tbsp on diapers.

2) Baby's Only Organic Formula by Nature's One is the only formula on the market that doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup. They use brown rice syrup instead. As a hypoglycemic mom, I have concerns about keeping my baby's blood sugar stable, but I don't need to worry with this formula.

3) Safety 1st Baby Monitor - A great value for under $20. The sound quality is good for the price. It has a long range so I can go outside or do chores on the other side of the house while he sleeps and know that I'll be able to hear him if he needs me. It works with either a 9v battery or the included adapter for use in variety of situations.

4) Winnie the Pooh Umbrella Stroller - I use mine for quick trips to the grocery store when I don't need to pack the kitchen sink. Sometimes taking a few laps around the house is the only way to make my son stop crying. He even falls asleep in it most of the time. If you do some comparison shopping, you can find them brand new for under $15.

5) Vtech Move & Crawl Ball - This brightly colored, motorized ball lights up, talks, and sings. It teaches numbers, shapes, animals, and animal sounds while keeping my son distracted so that I can wash the dishes or take much needed bathroom breaks.

6) - So far, this is the best place I've found for my recurring diaper and formula needs. The prices are hard to beat, and they constantly offer coupons and referral discounts. My purchases always arrive within 2-3 days of ordering, and they offer free shipping. They have a huge selection of baby and toddler products so it's easy to find those useful and necessary add-ons to meet the minimum purchase amount for free shipping.

7) Dr. Brown's Formula Mixing Pitcher - Mix up to 32 oz. of formula at once. The unique design dissolves formula quickly and breaks up clumps while introducing a minimal amount of air into the formula. When mixing formula for individual servings, I usually have to shake the bottle to make the powder dissolve faster which creates a huge amount of air bubbles and gives my baby more gas. With this pitcher, that problem is solved and I can make a whole pitcher in less time than it took me to make one bottle.

8) Avent Powder Formula Dispenser and Snack Cup - Pre-measure up to 3 servings of milk for easier travel. No scooping and measuring in the car, just twist and pour for perfectly measured servings! The dividers are removable so the dispenser doubles as a lidded snack cup for long term functionality. Having 2 or 3 of these will make road trips more convenient from infancy on.

9) - Save big on new and used baby and toddler items! They grow so fast that most baby supplies are like new when they stop using them. I've saved literally hundreds of dollars by buying high quality used items. When your child outgrows his or her clothes, toys, and other baby gear, you can turn around and resell them for extra cash and room and more closet space.

10) Munchkin Bottle Warmer - Takes the guess work out of warming bottles. I've used it so much that I don't even need to time it.

Cool Mom's Guide to Looking Your Best for Summer 2009

Losing weight after baby and regaining your pre-pregnancy figure can be a daunting task. Cool Mom knows this from experience as she is in the throes of post partum transitions, and she wants to share her holistic approach of nutrition, physical activity, and conscientious clothing choices to help you look better and feel better this summer. By following these simple steps, Cool Mom has already lost 10 pounds in the past 6 weeks with minimal exercise and has learned to artfully disguise what's left of the deflated balloon stomach for a chic and slim summer look.

  • Drink more water! Staying hydrated keeps the body from storing excess water reserves (AKA bloating) and has the added benefit of making your skin look fresher and more youthful. You can lose as much as 10 lbs. and keep it off by upping your water intake.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are low calorie, nutrient packed dietary powerhouses. They promote healthy digestion with fiber. The sugars in fruit keep blood sugar levels more stable than sweet snacks like cookies, candy, and other foods made with refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup. Eating one vegetarian meal a day is what kick started Cool Mom's weight loss even more so than exercise!

  • Wear tops with long lines and side rouching. Remember how your maternity tops had side rouching to make your pregnant tummy look cute instead of fat and plunging necklines to draw the eye away from your burgeoning midsection? That trick still works after you have the baby. Rouching gives your clothing a more tailored fit while accentuating the curve of your waistline and creating folds in the fabric to hide the tummy pooch. Cool Mom made a dress based on this concept that does a great job at disguising the post-baby tummy sag.

  • Bottoms with wide waistbands that sit lower on the waist are most flattering to the post baby figure. They flatten the tummy and take attention off the flab without creating unsightly muffin tops. When paired with a flattering top, it's a winning combination for a sexy postpartum look. Think gauchos and gauzy wrap skirts for a fun, summer wardrobe that beats the heat.

  • Incorporate playing with baby into your exercise and activity plan. Entertaining our little ones is something we mothers already do every day. If you can turn play into a way to also get your body moving, you'll be amazed at how much more exercise you can fit into your day without even thinking about it. Here are some ideas to get your started.

  1. Turn crunches and sit ups into a game. My son loves it when I sit him on my chest during crunches and make silly sounds or attack his toes every time I come up.
  2. No one likes to run during the hot months of summer. If you baby is anything like mine, he doesn't always nap long enough to allow significant outdoor activity. No matter how hot it get, however, most babies still enjoy taking a trip in the stroller. Beat the heat by making a track in your home. With an umbrella stroller, maneuvering around sharp turns and household obstacles is a breeze. To burn more calories, make it a power walk. For Cool Mom, an added benefit is that a 10 minute power walk around the house usually puts her baby to sleep.
  3. Use your baby as a makeshift weight. When your infant is able to comfortable hold his or her own head up without assistance, he or she will probably love to do the superman. For a great arm workout, do several reps lifting and lowering your little one above your head.

  • Make every second count. As mothers, we have more opportunities than we realize to get our bodies moving. In addition to using the far away parking spot or opting for the stairs instead of the elevator, there are many daily chores that can be turned into multi-tasking moments for exercise. Do squats while waiting for the water to boil. Stand up and down on your tip toes or do hip and glute presses while you wash the dishes. Do bicep curls with the laundry basket on the way to the washer. Be creative and consistent, and adding activity to your day will soon become a life long healthy habit. Before you know it, you'll be popping in the exercise videos during your little one's naps!