Safe Sleep From the Start – Safe Sleep Practices With HALO

I did not receive compensation for this post. Any opinions expressed are my own.

 

Through HALO’s Safer Way To Seep  In-Hospital program  hospitals and NICUs across the country replaced nursing blankets with SleepSack Swaddles increasing parent education on safe infant sleep practices from day one.  HALO SleepSack Swaddles are now used in over 1400 hospitals across the country.

HALO had also introduced the Bassinest Swivel Sleeper making it safer to have baby close to you at night without bed sharing.  I remember as a new parent, with ALL 4 of my kids. I was always so nervous the first few nights they actually slept for a couple hours without waking.  I’d get up and check on them just to make sure they were ok.  I remember all the safety rules for safe infant sleeping and was a bit obsessive about it. I wanted to do everything I could to make my baby safe.

HALO safe sleep

Here the safe sleep practices from HALO:

ALWAYS

  • Place baby to sleep on his or her back at naptime and at night time.
  • Use a crib that meets current safety standards with a firm mattress that fits snugly and is covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
  • Remove all soft bedding and toys from your baby’s sleep area (this includes loose blankets, bumpers, pillows and positioners). The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using a wearable blanket instead of loose blankets to keep your baby warm.
  • Offer a pacifier when putting baby to sleep. If breastfeeding, introduce pacifier after one month or after breastfeeding has been established.
  • Breastfeed, if possible, but when finished, put your baby back to sleep in his or her separate safe sleep area alongside your bed.
  • Room share, but don’t bed share. Bed sharing can put a child at risk of suffocation.

 

NEVER

  • Never put your baby to sleep on any soft surface (adult beds, sofas, chairs, water beds, quilts, sheep skins etc.)
  • Never dress your baby too warmly for sleep; keep room temperature 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Never allow anyone to smoke around your baby or take your baby into a room or car where someone has recently smoked.

From July 20-July 26 HALO is promoting their “Safe Sleep from the Start” campaign on Facebook where they are giving away a HALO Bassinest and a SleepSack Swaddle to one lucky winner.  Upload a picture of your baby in a SleepSack Swaddle or SleepSack and use hashtag #Halofromthestart  for full rules visit the HALO facebook page.

GIVEAWAY

1 Luv Saving Money reader will win 

a HALO SleepSack Swaddle (newborn or small) OR 

HALO SleepSack (small, medium, or large)

Open to US and Canada

HALO Safe Sleep from the Start

5 Baby Items I Wasted My Money On

I remember having a nice sized baby shower for my first child.  I was so excited.  As I read every parenting magazine I could get my hands on, talked to other moms, saw neat gadgets other people had I formulated my list of baby needs and wants in my head.  When it came time to create a baby shower registry, I went crazy.  Some things off the bat I realized were a waste of money. Other things I thought were great for a couple months then realized I’d never use it again.    With each child new things came out and I tried them.  By baby number 4 I pretty much knew what worked for my kids and my house and what didn’t.

5 baby items I wasted money on

 

These are, of course, my opinion. I have friends and family that when I’d say I really didn’t like something they talked about how it was great and vice versa.  Keep in mind some things may work better for you depending on your home size, baby, etc.

1.  The wipe warmer – In my opinion the biggest waste of baby registry space I had on my list.  As a new mom, of course I wanted my baby to be comfortable. I mean, would I want to be wiped with a cold wipe unexpectedly?  I got one for my baby shower.  I put the wipes in and added a little water like it said to.  Plugged it in.  Nice and warm.  Then you have to remember to put a little water in it each day.  You know what happens when you forget?  Your overwhelmed, new mommy, sleep deprived brain will forget.  Your wipes will dry out and won’t be good for anything. I threw out more wipes then I care to admit. Know what happens if you put too much water in it?  You end up with slopping wet wipes that didn’t seem to work as well.

2.  The plastic bag dispenser for dirty diapers–  Ok there’s this cool looking little clip that clips right onto your diaper back. It’s a plastic bag dispenser so that when you change baby’s diaper on the go you can put the dirty diaper in a bag and dispose of it.  I thought it was great at first. Then I’d run out of bags and forget to refill it. You had to pay like $3-$4 for the refills and I thought to myself “I’m paying for plastic bags” So instead I’d just tuck a few plastic grocery bags into my diaper bag and use those.  FREE, reuses, and it became a habit to stick a couple in the diaper bag when I was packing extra diapers.

plastic diaper bag dispenser

3.  The pacifier medicine dispenser – I saw them with kids #2 but never bought one.  With kids #3 I decided eh, I don’t have to buy much this time, I’ll give it a try.  Most of my kids loved their pacifiers. I thought this would be great to get medicine in them when it really counted.  Um no.  I think I tried it 2 times and gave up.  The first time, my son rejected it. He was more interested in checking out the liquid in the pacifier.  The next time he sucked on it for a minute then pulled it out and threw it.  Much easy just to drop the medicine in with the dosing dropper in my opinion.

pacifier medicine dispenser

 

4.  Special baby food storage containers – I didn’t try making my own baby food until child #3.  I just had to have these specific baby food containers because they had to be the best for baby food right?  Yea there’s nothing wrong with them but do you know what else works just as well?  Those small condiment tupperware containers.  You can even get glass ones if you don’t want to use plastic. Then you can reuse them in the future for food storage or packing lunches.  Sure the special baby food ones are cute with giraffes and smiley faces on them but try sending one of those with your teenager in his lunch for his veggie dip.

5.  Plastic adhesive stove guard – Once my babies were mobile, they explored as babies do.  My one son in particular was very interested in what i was doing on the stove.  One of my fears would be that I’d turn  my back for a second and he’d have a hold of a handle of a hot pot on the stove and pull it down.  So I got this stove guard that seemed like it would be a good idea.  Baby proofing things is always a good idea.  The stove especially. This particular guard however didn’t work worth a spit after about a month or so.  It adhered to the stove with double sided adhesive tape.  The base to adhere it was only about an inch or so wide and stuck right to the stove surface.  The larger plastic portion angle forward.  As I said, it worked for about a month then I realized each time I used the front burners it would warm the adhesive and it would come loose.  I’d stick it back down when I was done cooking and it would be ok until the next time I used the stove. Also if oil or grease splattered and got under the guard it also loosedned the adhesive.  Eventually it lost it’s stickiness all together and wasn’t good for anything.  Sure I could have bought more adhesive but what’s the point.  There are other ones that seem like the would be better.

plastic stove guard

 

Nighttime Is The Right Time to Downsize Your Bag

Nighttime Is the Right Time to Downsize Your Bag

Most women headed out for a night on the town wouldn’t dream of hauling around the giant hobo bag they use during the day. After all,
you don’t need a handbag that can fit an extra bottle of water when you are out for the evening.
The basic rule of thumb is that you just need a few key ingredients
when packing the perfect evening bag. Here are some tips on how to ditch your behemoth day bag.

evening bag for sponsored post

Choosing the Best Bag

The appeal of a big handbag for daily use can’t be denied. We all need a place to stow our “necessities,” plus some extras.
But lugging around a giant purse not only can be a drag on your evening, it can also totally ruin the ensemble you spent days trying to perfect.
A small, structured purse with short handles is probably the largest you’d want to go.
The smallest might be a clutch. Another popular option is a crossbody, which is a small purse with long strap that you wear across your chest.
These may be suitable for a night of clubbing, but they are too casual for an evening at the opera.

 

Just the Essentials, Ma’am

Now that you have your evening bag, it’s time to make some selections for what you will be bringing with you. It may be just a tiny fraction of what
you are used to carrying, but don’t worry, you’ll be able to go back to the huge bag in the morning. Of course, the essential things to pack are your
identification, a credit or debit card, and maybe some personal business cards, if you are going to an event where networking will take place.
Cash is essential, and a mini phone charger is a great addition. In order to maintain the integrity of your makeup, you might include
blotting papers and a lip color. Don’t forget a small atomizer of perfume and some breath mints.

 

All in the Placement

You may wonder what to do with your purse when you are out. If your evening includes dining out, you can leave your clutch in your lap under your
napkin on in your chair behind you. It shouldn’t go on the table. For petit purses with short straps,
hanging it on your chair underneath your coat is acceptable.

 

Swapping out your day bag for a smaller evening bag is a simple process if you keep in mind a few essential guidelines.
With a perfectly packed purse, you are free to enjoy whatever the night brings your way.

7 Tips to Simplify a Coupon Shopping Trip

I’ve been couponing for a few years now.  I’ve had a few people ask me to teach them how to coupon. When they go to make that first trip themselves I’ve often heard that they feel nervous, maybe the forgot some coupons at home, forgot to grab one of the deals they went for, or had an issue at the register and just gave up. Here’s some ways to simplify your coupon trips to make them go smooth and get the most enjoyment out of saving money.

7 tips to simplify a coupon shopping trip

1. Start a coupon binder

It does not have to be fancy.  A simple plastic three ring binder will suffice. Make sure there is at least one big pocket on the inside (I’ll tell you why soon) Get some coupon sleeves.  You can search for them online or simply buy the clear baseball card sleeves.  Dividers are helpful too so you can divide your coupons into sections that work for you.  I personally have a baby section for things like diapers, baby wash, diaper cream etc. I have a cleaning section for well…cleaning products, a breakfast section for things like cereal, coffee, bacon, etc.  Set it up how ever you want, whatever works for you.  Take it with you wherever you go. You never know when you might find a deal

coupon binder

2.  Get a 3 ring binder zipper pouch and fill it with these things

Fill that zipper pouch with: a small notepad for your shopping list, a pair of kid safe scissors (you don’t want sharp scissors poking a hole in your bag), a pen, a couple paper clips.

couponing zipper pouch

3.  Keep the up to date sales papers in that pocket I mentioned in your binder

You can circle deals your interested in.  It’s also good to have it so if a price doesn’t ring up right you can double check it with the cashier or customer service to make it right or see where you may have gone wrong.

couponing sales papers

4.  Plan your shop before you go

That notebook and pen in your zipper pouch.  Write out a list of everything you want to buy. Write down name brands and quantities if you’re looking for very specific deals. I personally like to write down which coupons to use too.  Once you have your list written out, go through your coupons and match your coupons to your list.  Use a paperclip and clip them to your list so you don’t forget to use them.

coupon list

5.  Start off with small trips

There are a lot of great coupon bloggers that do awesome coupon  matches for all kinds of stores.  You can also do it yourself by looking at your stores’s sale papers and matching it up with your coupons. Pick out a couple really great deals and just go to get those.  Do a couple trips like that until you get the hang of it. When you feel comfortable start doing bigger trips.

6.  If possible, shop alone

I’m a mom of 4 myself, I get it, it doesn’t always happen or maybe once in a blue moon.  If you have the opportunity to go alone your first few times you might find it easier to concentrate on matching the coupons to the deals, finding the correct sizes, and locating the sale products.  Plus I know my kids try to talk me into buying things not on the list and I sometimes give in.

7.  Don’t go on an empty stomach

This could be true for any grocery shopping trip.  I know I tend to throw a few more convenience foods in my cart if If I feel like I haven’t eaten all day!

What do you do to simplify the your life?

 

Trick or Treat Safety Tips

It’s that time of year again where our little ghosts and goblins will be scouring the neighborhood for all types of treats.  As a parent we want to keep out kids as safe as possible for Halloween.  Here are some tips to ensure the safest experience.

1.  Wear light clothing when possible.  I realize it’s not always possible I mean they don’t really make orange batman costumes and some kids just really want the black ninja costume. In that case there are plenty of items to help make your child more visible to traffic and YOU!

2.  Trick or Treat with your children.  You can make sure they cross the streets safely, help them determine which houses are ok to go to, help them up and down steps especially if it’s not well lit or they have a bulky costume, and make sure they don’t eat too much candy.

3.  Take a flashlight.  This can make you more visible to traffic, help you to see steps and bumps along the way, and perhaps even help your child if they’re frightened by some of the costumes.

4.  Check of alternative trick or treat locations.  If you’re not crazy about your kids roaming the town for candy or you want an even safer way to trick or treat check your paper or online for special trick or treats in your area.  Malls, churches, and schools will sometimes do their own trick or treat.  This year our school announced they are doing a trunk or treat in our local recreation park. These are becoming more popular.  A local church does trunk or treat every year in our area too.

5.  Check your child’s candy or look for special candy check places.  Go through your child’s candy and throw out any candy out of wrappers and that looks like it could have been tampered with.  In our area there is a local chiropractor that offers to x-ray candy hauls for free

6. Stay on the Main roads when possible.  Staying on a well lit busy area with your kids is a good idea.

7.  Make sure your child can see out of their costume.  It might seem like a no brainer but some of the costumes may be a little big or small.  Some masks just don’t have the openings that they should.  You can adjust things accordingly

Things to help make your child more visible to traffic and you!

Hi-Lite - Lightweights Reflective Red Tape

Reflective Tape

Reflective tape is an easy way to make any costume visible. Just put some strips around the cuffs, legs back and or front of the costume and your child will be seen easily under headlights.

Quality - 100 8

Glow in the dark bracelets

Glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces are a fun way to make sure your child is seen anywhere.  It could even be incorporated into a costume for those rock stars, aliens, and other characters.

Pod - Amphipod Vizlet Wearable Smiley Face LED Reflector Clip On

LED reflective clip ons

wearable reflectors are another fun way to make sure your child is seen. clip them to the costume and you’re on your way.

DOMAGRON - Light-Up Canvas Halloween Trick or Treat Bag

Light up trick or treat bag

How about a light up trick or treat bag?  They’re gonna need something to carry their treats anyway.

Buyseasons - Batman Brave & Bold Flashlight & Batarang Kit

Kids flashlights

Flash lights.  If your kids are anything like mine they love flashlights.  This great not only for visibility for cars but to help with footing when on steps and going through yards.

AMSCAN - Electric Party Light-Up Earrings

Light up earrings

For the girls..or guys..I’m not judging, you can get super cool light up earrings.