Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper Review & Giveaway

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

3in1a

The Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper is a versatile piece of baby gear which converts easily from a seat to a napper and grows with your baby. I received a Rocker Napper in the brown and red design to review, and it came just in time for newborn Ingrid!

Here are the specs:

  • Three options: napper, tilted seat and inclined seat (pictured below) – a red lever on the back is used to adjust positions, and bars on the front and back of the legs allow you to switch from stationary to rocking.
  • Gentle vibrations (requires C battery)
  • Nine different tunes and lights (requires three AAA batteries)
  • Curved legs that allow you (or an older infant) to manually rock the seat
  • Two hanging toys
  • Washable bassinet and sleeping pad
  • Recommended from birth to 40 pounds
  • Measurements: the sleeping area is about 27 inches long and 13 inches at its widest; when in the completely flat (napper) position it’s about 10 inches off the floor
  • 3in1b

It took about 30 minutes to assemble and was pretty straightforward with the exception of two small white plastic clips (“Part L”) that were pictured in the manual but no instructions were given as to their function. A call to Tiny Love revealed that they are anchors which go under the bottom of the seat to keep it from sliding. Tiny Love’s service department was very prompt and helpful and also sent me a set of complete instructions via email which explained exactly how to install and use the clips.

Ingrid sleeps very soundly in the Rocker Napper, and judging by its size I would say she’ll fit comfortably in it for a few more months.

3in1b

What I like:

  • If your baby falls asleep while in the seated position, you can gently and quietly adjust it down to the napper position without disturbance using the red lever on the back.
  • The seat and pad are very soft and cozy.
  • The music is appealing, not annoying at all, and the volume can be adjusted.
  • Even at the young age of just 3 weeks, Ingrid is already very captivated by the hanging toys, music and lights. I often find her gazing quietly up at them.
  • You can adjust the height of the toys by means of a velcro strip.
  • The arm which holds the toys swivels so you can move it out of the way.
  • The Rocker Napper is easy to pick up and move around the house.
  • Ingrid loves taking naps in it, and that’s just what I was hoping for!

What I would improve:

  • Young infants might need added support to sit comfortably; Ingrid is almost a month old but starts to slump to one side unless I anchor her with rolled blankets.
  • It’s low to the ground so it didn’t work bedside as I had planned because of having to reach way down. Young children will need to be closely watched when the baby is napping, since the Rocker Napper is well within their reach.
  • Hopefully, the next edition of the manual will have complete instructions and usage guidelines (not just pictures).
  • The rocking feature works better on hardwood floors than it does on carpet.
  • The size range for the rocker seat (up to 40 pounds) might be too broad; Erik is 18 months old and 24 pounds and has maxed it out (see photo below). But if you invest in the Rocker Napper right after birth, you’ll still get a lot of use out of it.

3in1c

Tiny Love is giving away a Rocker Napper, just like I reviewed, to one lucky reader in the US! Enter the giveaway below, and good luck!

annesignature

 

 

 

 

 

ENTRY FORM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

New Swaddles from Summer Infant, plus a Giveaway!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

swaddles3

It’s so wonderful to see more babies being swaddled these days, because it’s such a simple and time-tested way to help them feel cozy and safe. Summer Infant recently added two more products to their swaddling line-up, and sent an assortment of wraps for us to try on newborn Ingrid: the SwaddlePod, the SwaddleMe, the SwaddleMe WrapSack and the Wearable Blanket:

swaddles2

With the new product additions, Summer Infant now offers 4 stages of swaddling options since a baby’s needs change over time. Here are the specs on each, plus my thoughts:

Stage 1: SwaddlePod [5-10 lbs] Mimics the womb and helps keep your baby safely on his or her back.

Made of soft cotton with a touch of spandex, this wrap fits very closely to my tiny little girl and makes her feel very secure. I like the zipper protector near the neck and the fact that the zipper goes both ways to make changes easier. I use SwaddlePod only when it’s time for a good long stretch of sleep because it works amazingly well; like many newborns, Ingrid needs regular waking for nursing, so I don’t want her sleeping too long!

Stage 2: SwaddleMe [7-20 lbs] Wraps your infant safely and securely for sleep until he or she starts rolling over.

I like this wrap even better than the SwaddlePod because of the adjustable wings. You make it as snug as you need to. The hook and loop attachments are secure without being scratchy at all. For diaper changes you simply unwrap the wings and open the pouch up.

Stage 3: SwaddleMe WrapSack [7-20 lbs] A traditional swaddling sack that allows you to place your baby’s arms in or out of the wrap.

Being able to keep Ingrid’s arms inside or outside the sack makes this the wrap that I reach for most often. Even though she’s just a week old, she already likes to suck her fingers. And when I’m nursing her, I don’t want her to get too warm or cozy or she’ll fall asleep on me. Being able to wrap her with arms out is such a handy thing. This is a very versatile swaddler and definitely is the one I’d buy for a friend if I had to pick just one. Oh, and I LOVE the bumble bee print!!

Stage 4: ComfortMe Wearable Blanket [12-24 lbs] A wearable blanket that will keep your older infant warm and cozy without the need for loose blankets in the sleeping area.

Because of Ingrid’s size/age, I wasn’t able to test the wearable blanket, so I’ve put it aside for later.

You can click the photo for a larger image

swaddles4

Here’s a quick recap of the Summer Infant swaddling system so you can see how they grow with your child. In addition, you can find plenty of helpful swaddling resources, at the Summer Infant website. Swaddles can be purchased on their website or at a variety of Summer Infant retailers – both online (like Amazon) and in stores.

Summer Infant is giving away a 4-pack of swaddles to one lucky reader, just like I reviewed! Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends Monday, August 25th. Good luck!

swaddles5

 

 

annesignature

ENTRY FORM:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Imagine Cloth Diaper Giveaway

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

 

imaginegiveaway

I’m giving away a cute gender-neutral Imagine Baby diaper set as part of the 3rd annual “Accessorize Your Stash in August” Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. All of the giveaways listed below follow this theme, so hop around for chances to win things like wipes, wet bags and more (including diapers). Be sure to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway which includes a QD Diaper Sprayer and a Planet Wise wet bag.

accessorize

My Imagine Baby prize package includes:

  • Waterproof one-size Imagine diaper cover in the “Trumpet” print
  • Matching Imagine “Trumpet” leggings – one size, fits most, cotton/nylon/spandex
  • Imagine washable fleece “stay dry” diaper liners

I like shopping for Imagine Baby over at Nicki’s Diapers because the covers always ship free, and there are SO many choices in this product line – diapers, wipes, leggings, prefolds, flats, AIO’s and even newborn diapers! Prices are super affordable, too.

This giveaway is open to readers in both the US and Canada and there are lots of FREE daily entries you can come back and claim. Good luck!

annesignature

 

 

 

 

 

ENTRY FORM

a Rafflecopter giveaway
  More giveaways!

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Accessorize Your Stash in August participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

How to Check the Hardness of Your Water in 15 Seconds

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

watertest1

Are you curious about what type of water you have?

It helps to know if your water is soft or hard or somewhere in between when it comes to household concerns like laundry and maintenance. What type of detergent should you use? Do you need a water softener? Will your water heater be more prone to break down from mineral build-up? Your local plumber might be able to give you a rough idea of the water type based on a “grains per gallon” measurement. The scale of hardness, as defined by the Water Quality Association, is as follows:

Soft: 0-1 grains per gallon (gpg)
Slightly Hard: 1-3.5 gpg
Moderately Hard: 3.5-7.0 gpg
Hard: 7.0-10.5 gpg
Very Hard: over 10.5 gpg

But there’s also a simple and cheap test you can do at home. It costs just 99 cents and takes about 15 seconds: the Water Test Strip from Diaper Junction (aff):

It consists of a white paper test stick and a color chart which is printed right on the package:

watertest2

The water test strip from Diaper Junction is a cinch to use. Stick it under running water for 1 second. Shake off the excess water and then wait 15 seconds. Read the results by comparing the wet test strip to the color chart on the package.

My test result was right in the middle – the brown color equates to roughly 7 grains per gallon. According to the above scale, our water is “moderately hard.”

watertest3

If you’d like to get a water test strip for FREE, here are two options:

  • Receive a free test strip with any order over $20 at Diaper Junction; use coupon code 20TEST. That’s how I scored mine!
  • Request one from Water Boss.

Is your water hard or soft, or somewhere in between? Have you ever considered doing a test to get a definite answer?

 

annesignature

 

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Smart Bottoms Newborn AIO Review

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

bornsmart1

Last week, Smart Bottoms released three new colors in their “Born Smart” newborn AIO: Lil Monster (purple and orange), Limelight (green and purple) and Crushin’ It (orange and green). I received a diaper to review on newborn Ingrid!

Here again are the specs:

  • 1 sewn-in organic cotton interior soaker plus a snap-in organic cotton soaker
  • Colorful waterproof PUL outer with an umbilical cord cutout
  • One additional set of snaps on the rise to give your newborn some extra growing room
  • Inner pocket for extra absorbency, if desired
  • Fits babies 6 to 16 pounds
  • Retails for $18

sb4

Since the inner layers are made of organic cotton, I prepped this diaper like I would a prefold – with several hot washes. It took about six to reach full absorbency. To save energy, I prepped/washed it with my other diaper laundry, and then also a few times with my white loads (towels, underwear, socks, etc.).

What I Like:

  • The AIO style is so convenient when you’re busy with a newborn; nothing to fold or stuff.
  • It’s made in the USA.
  • The organic cotton soakers are very soft and smooth.
  • Drying time is normal since the soakers are not both sewn in the diaper.
  • The umbilical cord cutout fit just right under Ingrid’s belly button.
  • The second set of rise snaps allows your newborn to wear it longer.
  • The leg elastics are very gentle while still fitting snugly (note: you have to make sure no cotton material is peeking out the sides or moisture may wick out of the leg openings)
  • The inserts stay put in the wash so you don’t have to re-attach them. To me, this helps the diaper truly live up to being an AIO.

What I Would Change:

  • A hook and loop option for even quicker changes might be nice. Although I love snap diapers, velcro closure works great for squirmy, skinny little newborns.
  • More absorbency was needed for Ingrid if she wore this diaper for over 2-3 hours. Fortunately, the inner pocket opening makes it easy to add a small doubler from your stash. Compared to a flat inside of a newborn cover, the Smart One is less absorbent, but this is usually the case with AIO diapers. They are convenient and easy to use, but you’ll sacrifice a little in terms of absorbency.

bornsmart2

In addition to the 3 new colors, the Born Smart AIO is also available in Flamingo (pink), Bluebird (light blue), Duckling (pale yellow), Emerson (plaid print) and Ella (floral print). You can purchase online at Smart Bottoms or at participating retailers.

annesignature

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Let’s Celebrate the New Baby with a bumGenius Chaplin Giveaway!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

chaplingiveaway

Since we didn’t know our baby’s gender, I bought the Limited Edition “Chaplin” Flip cover when it was released last month.

We were blessed with a sweet baby girl. So I’m giving the Flip cover away!

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends in 6 days and is open to both my US and Canadian readers…good luck!

annesignature

 

 

 

 

 

ENTRY FORM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Ingrid is Coming Home From the NICU!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

ingrid1

Ingrid Elizabeth arrived last Monday, July 28th after a six hour labor. She was “sunny side up” which hampered progress temporarily (and gave me an unrelenting backache). But once she turned it took just two pushes to deliver her. My water didn’t break until the very end and the midwife noticed some staining in the fluid. I remember we suctioned a couple of times from her nose and mouth, but otherwise everything looked good.

She was a lovely 7 pound baby with fair skin and a crown of pale gold hair, so the name Ingrid seemed to suit her perfectly! Ingrid is Scandinavian in origin and means “Hero’s Daughter.” Elizabeth is my maternal grandmother (may she rest in peace) and comes from the Hebrew meaning “the promise of God.”

ingrid3

The next day, I got a routine follow-up call from the midwife, and I mentioned that Ingrid’s respirations were not slowing down to a normal rate of 60 or less. Because of what we knew about the possibility of meconium aspiration, she urged me to visit the doctor right away. Low oxygen levels and a chest x-ray confirmed pneumonia. That day was a scary one for us, since we lost our daughter Margaret to pneumonia. Was it God’s will that we go through that again with this little girl? While sitting outside the radiology room, I distinctly remember telling God “I can’t do this again.” Later, I apologized to Him for saying that. Didn’t He promise He would always be with me? Doesn’t He say that everything works together for good? Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if in one breath I said I was open to God’s will, but with another put limitations on exactly what His will should be?

So I promised to be truly willing to accept whatever may come. And after about 5 days of respiratory support and 7 days of IV antibiotics, God has granted healing and Ingrid is coming home, ready to be loved and nursed and diapered and kissed and dressed up by her big sisters and brothers!

ingrid2

Many of you have been praying for Ingrid and sending well wishes our way; what an undeserved blessing it is to have a circle of family, friends AND readers to bear you up during a trial. I thank God for all of you and look forward to posting this month about Ingrid’s progress, our stash of newborn diapers to review and a big newborn giveaway (hey, I kind of feel like celebrating)!!

annesignature

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Bloggiversary Giveaway: Win 4 Diapers Plus Inserts!

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

 

5000 Likes Bloggiversary Image

I’m helping Lindsay at Maman Loup’s Den celebrate her 1-year “Bloggiversary” and her 5,000 Facebook fans milestone! To celebrate, she is giving away her four favourite diapers (that are readily available in stores, since she really loves Jules, but doesn’t have a spare kidney to score an extra one.)

The giveaway prize will be:

For even more chances to win prizes and take advantage of limited-time coupon codes, make sure you RSVP to the #MamanLoupThanksYou Facebook Event!

That’s all – easy as pie. Good luck to everyone and please stop by Lindsay’s Facebook page to say hello or congratulations!

annesignature

 

 

 

 

 

ENTRY FORM:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to Canada and the US, 18+. See Rafflecopter for full Terms & Conditions.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Diaper Junction One-Size Cover and Unbleached Flats Review & Giveaway

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

What’s colorful, trim-fitting, versatile and only $7.95? The Diaper Junction (aff) one-size cover! I’ve been really impressed with my purchase of a few months ago and wanted to share a review with you, just in case you’re on the fence about this product.

For my Diaper Junction review, I chose the Cobalt color, a nice deep blue that looks pretty sharp on both my guy and my gal. MENTION NEW PRINTS/COLORS

Here are the basic features of the Diaper Junction brand diaper cover:

  • It’s made of waterproof TPU. TPU is slightly softer and more pliable than PUL.
  • The inside of the cover has a flap at the front and back to help secure inserts or diapers. The back flap is elasticized for even better performance.
  • The inside is wipeable, which means you can reuse it a few times if it isn’t soiled with #2.
  • The rise features 3 rows of snaps, which translates to 4 size settings (three snapped up and one completely open).
  • The wings close with 1 snap and then have 2 additional hip snaps for further adjustment.
  • The snaps are covered on the inside with a thin white piece of fabric.

After about four months of regular use, here’s my feedback.

WHAT I LIKE:

  • The TPU fabric is silky smooth and makes for a very trim-fitting cover. It’s a little thinner than some of my other covers, and for that reason I was hesitant at first, but it has performed just as well.
  • The covers has washed and worn extremely well, with absolutely no visible wear or fading of colors.
  • The leg elastics are snug and comfortable and haven’t loosened up at all.
  • It fits well on both my 1 year old and my 2 year old, although I’ve been using almost exclusively on the younger one.
  • The wings are nice and stretchy.
  • It’s a roomy cover that fits well over fitteds, prefolds, flats or whatever else I feel like putting inside. Sizing is very comparable to a Flip diaper cover, with the only noticeable difference being the wing style and roominess in the rear (DJ cover is a bit more generous).
  • It’s performed great overnight.
  • The elastic sewn inside the back flap helps hold inserts in place better (in my opinion) than other covers with regular flaps.
  • You can choose from 12 different colors!
  • It’s only $7.95.

WHAT I WOULD CHANGE

    • Looking at the photo above, you can see how the snaps on the waistband are angled somewhat, and not straight up and down. This is the only thing I would change about the cover – to have the snaps straight up and down. Every once in a while, I feel like I can’t quite get the exact fit I want with the waist snaps.

This is the Diaper Junction cover on Erik; in this picture he is about 14 months old and 21 pounds.

These would make an ideal cover choice if you’re working on building a budget stash. My recommendation? Pair these Diaper Junction covers with Diaper Rite flats (also a DJ product). Diaper Rite birdseye cotton flats are sold in packs of twelve; you can choose from sizes small (27×27) and large (32×32) – measurements are prior to washing and drying. I bought unbleached Diaper Rite flats, since they are softer than the standard white. Flats are just one big square layer of fabric, so they wash and rinse out fantastically and dry super quick. I have a dozen of the smalls, and typical of cotton, they do not shrink up perfectly after the initial prepping. That is, they aren’t perfect squares, but they’re close. After you fold them up it doesn’t really make a difference anyway.

Small flats are $21.95 for a dozen, so that comes to $1.83 per diaper; one dozen larges are $26.95, bringing the cost per diaper to $2.25. Super economical!

There are two very easy ways to use Diaper Rite flats with the Diaper Junction covers. Pad-fold the flat (click here for quickie tutorial) and insert into the flaps of the cover:

Or try this simple fold with a Boingo or Snappi fastener if containment of messy poo is a going concern. This flat fold is one of the easiest you’ll find (sorry, I don’t do Origami, Kite, Mini Kite or Adapted Kite – LOL). It doesn’t even have a name that I know of. I call my creation the Custom Fold because you pick the width and length that you want.

There are only 4 steps. Easy, easy, easy!

Something else I really love about my soft unbleached flats: in a pinch I can grab them for other uses – burp cloth, clean up cloth or even an emergency changing mat for our bed (folded in half). Fitted diapers, AIO’s and pocket diapers just aren’t that versatile.

If you are thinking of grabbing a few of these bargain covers for your little one, here are the vibrant colors you get to pick from!

djcover4

 

A closer look at the two new colors (Rainforest and Antigua) plus my favorite of the new prints – Scottie!

djcovernew

Here’s your chance to try the Diaper Junction one-size cover for your baby….for FREE! Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below, and you’ll have a shot at TWO one-size covers (choice of in stock colors) – thanks to our friends over at Diaper Junction! Open to US and Canadian residents. Allow 2-4 weeks for prize fulfillment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENTRY FORM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Smart Bottoms Newborn AIO Giveaway

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

sb3

The Smart Bottoms newborn diaper will be available in three new color combos this fall! Starting July 25, 2014 you’ll be able to buy their tiny “Born Smart” AIO’s in Lil’ Monster (purple and orange), Limelight (green and purple) and Crushin’ It (orange and green).

Here are the specs:

  • Organic cotton interior soaker plus a snap-in organic cotton doubler
  • Colorful waterproof PUL outer with an umbilical cord cutout
  • One additional set of snaps on the rise to give your newborn some extra growing room
  • Inner pocket for extra absorbency, if desired
  • Fits babies 6 to 16 pounds
  • Retails for $18

sb4

New colors are big news and Smart Bottoms wants to celebrate by giving one of my readers a newborn diaper in her choice of the 3 new colors!

THERE’S MORE TO BE EXCITED ABOUT: I received a Born Smart in the new Limelight color to review on my newborn, so be sure to look for that in your inbox very soon. Just waiting on baby to come!!

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents and ends on August 4th at midnight. Good luck!

annesignature

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENTRY FORM
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on StumbleUponEmail this to someone