Finn & Emma: Totally Worth It

I’ve not been shy voicing my opinion on baby clothes (especially baby boy clothes). The dinosaurs, trains, planes, cars, and sports patches? Give me a break! What’s worse is the verbage like, “mommy’s little sailor” or “daddy’s MVP”. Baby clothes do not have to be so cheesy! Well, after 400 failed trips to EVERY single baby clothing store in the mall I finally gave up and decided I will only shop online boutiques and retailers. I was familiar with Finn & Emma from the baby expos I frequent so I reached out to them to see what the fuss was about…

Totally worth it!

As soon as my order came in the mail I could tell a huge difference right away in the quality. There was no funky “new” factory smell, no toxic film-y feeling on the fabric, and they felt sturdy- like they’d actually withstand the multiple machine washes needed when you have littles. Gasp!

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Don’t panic, it’s organic.

I’m all about EVERYthing organic for babies. Yes, even clothing should be organic when possible. Clothing (especially children’s clothing) has been found laden with hormone disrupting pthalates, formaldehyde dyes, and perfluorochemicals linked to tumor growths and reproductive problems. Cotton clothing that’s not organic will still have residues from pesticides and fertilizers used in the growth of cotton. That “new” smell is actually hazardous chemicals you are breathing in and your skin is your largest organ, meaning your baby is absorbing these chemicals and residues into their skin. Always go for hand me downs, wash clothing several times in an organic detergent, or shop organic such as Finn&Emma.

They’re GOTS certified (99% organic), no PVCs, nickle free metals, and use nontoxic inks, dyes, and processing chemicals. Finn&Emma is also a fair trade company (a company with heart!)

Style for Days

Finn&Emma clothing is stylish without being uber trendy. They opt for classic modern designs  with nature inspired prints, bright colors, and chic details. No decals, cartoons, or sports patches will be found on Finn&Emma clothing. They know there’s no need to compromise class when dressing babies and toddlers.

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Quality over Quantity

My sisters both had boys before me and passed on piles of baby boy clothes to me so I have plenty of options; however, I’d much rather dress my boys in a few high quality outfits from Finn&Emma over and over again than hundreds of outfits from those “other stores” that are fading, losing fit, and pulling. I’ve washed my Finn&Emma outfit several times already and it looks brand new every time. The patterns stay sharp, the buttons don’t wear out, and the shape holds. With babies growing out of things so quickly, why not splurge on a few timeless, high quality items they can wear over and over again until they’re outgrown and then pass them on to friends knowing they’ll still be in prime condition?

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I’m totally spoiled now! After viewing the collection on finnandemma.com, I’ve decided my boys are too good for anything else. I’m literally repulsed by the toxic smell of Gymboree and Children’s Place and apalled by the “styles” offered. I’m a modern day mama with classic taste and I refuse to dress my little gentlemen in an ill fitted romper with a choo-choo train on the butt!

Stay classy,

That Girl

Binxy Baby: My Newest Obsession

Anyone who says newborn twins are tough has never dealt with four month old twins. In my opinion, newborn twins are a cakewalk. Six month and up twins are a cakewalk, but this 3-6 month area is funky town! They’re too alert to sleep through car rides and outings anymore, but not quite alert enough to stay chill for an extended period of time. They’re too big to be held or worn simultaneously, but too small to sit up on their own. This makes “quick trips” to the store or shopping damn near impossible. In fact, after one trip to HEB where they both melted down half way through the store I considered sitting in a center aisle and rocking back and forth until someone came to my aid. 

Luckily, I discovered the Binxy Baby! Life is good again!

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The Binxy Baby is a shopping cart hammock that clips onto the shopping cart and allows baby to lay in it peacefully kicking and cooing while you shop. At first I didn’t think I needed this product because my stroller had such a great storage space underneath; however, let me walk you through a trip to the grocery store using a stroller instead of the Binxy Baby.

First, you start with both babies in the stroller happily browsing fruits. Baby A begins to fuss, but no need to fret because you packed your ACK Wrap so you decide to wear Baby A and utilize his seat for more groceries. Problem solved right? Nope. Then Baby B decides to scream. You try a pacifier and every other trick in the book but it doesn’t work. baby B now wants to be held but you can’t hold him because you’re wearing Baby A. So, set Baby A down to grab B? Nope. There’s no where to set A because his seat is filled with food now. Let the rocking back and forth in the center aisle commence.

Another issue with using the stroller is the bending down to place groceries, bending down to put them on the…the…thingamajig I can’t think of the name for because I’m sleep deprived to pay for them, and then where do you put the bags to make it out to your car?

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Now, let’s walk through a trip with the Binxy Babies. Pull up to the store and park next to the doohickie where carts are stored. Grab a cart and snap the Binxy Babies onto the sides. Put Baby A in one and walk around to put Baby B in the other. Into the store you go! Now you’re browsing veggies and Baby A freaks out. Pick him up and soothe him or wear him. Baby B starts to panic. No worries, just set Baby A back in the hammock and grab Baby B. Repeat as necessary until shopping is complete.

I can also attest to the fact that my babies are significantly happier shopping in the Binxy Babies. I think they like being out of the hot carseats, but they also like laying face up at an incline so they can observe things around them. Not to mention they get ogled and flirted with by all the old ladies and passersby.

The hammocks take up the whole top of the cart when you need two, but the fabric is stretchy and allows you to easily drop groceries in between the two and into the cart. The bags can go underneath or hang on the sides, but I always ask for assistance getting out anyway so that I can load the groceries and start the car while the attendant loads groceries in the trunk. Never turn down free help when you’ve got twins right?!

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I will cherish these Binxy Babies and will gladly pass them on to another twin mom when my boys sadly, but surely, outgrow them.

Stay Gold, 

That Girl

The Tranquilizing Tranquilo Mat

I won’t lie. I’ve totally been guilty of jiggling a stroller, or bouncy chair, to calm a baby with one hand while quickly trying to jam half a sandwich in my mouth with the other hand. I’m the mom running  around HEB wearing a baby and bouncing while pushing the other in the stroller, refusing to stop as I grab groceries and toss them into my cart. I probably look like I’m auditioning for Supermarket Sweep circa 1993. And, my phone battery is almost always drained since I toss it into the carseat next to my babies with a white noise app on. Whatever works, right? Wrong.

I’m desperate for a Tranquilo Mat!

I first spotted this unicorn at the baby gear expo I attend every year in Vegas and everyone was buzzing about it. In fact, after returning from the expo and contacting the designer, I learned they were so hot they couldn’t keep up with production at that time. But now (FINALLY), they’re available to desperate mamas like you and me who get lady boners for products that calm fussy babies quickly.

Here’s why the Tranquilo Mat is my jam!

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  1. Vibration

Most parents find themselves gently jiggling babies instinctively to keep them calm, but did you ever wonder why that works? When babies are inutero, being toted around day and night, they’re being gently jostled and vibrated when mom walks, climbs stairs, drinks water, eats, breathes, etc. The Tranquilo Mat gently vibrates to mimic the feeling of the womb, which sends baby instantly into a hypnotic state, triggering the calming reflex.

2. White Noise

I’m a bit of a white noise nut! I have THE Cadillac of white noise machines in my bedroom (curtesy of my best friend who knows me well), a white noise machine in the nursery, white noise apps on my phone and I’ll be damned if I’m caught traveling without a machine as well. I’ve always slept better when background noises are drowned out and babies are no different. Ever notice how they can sleep in a noisy restaurant with no problem, but a dog barking or car horn can wake them up instantly? White noise tends to drown out those startling, sudden sounds, but also mimics the womb, which is super comforting for the first three months of life especially.

3. Flexible & Portable

A mat like this is worthless if it can only be used one way because, let’s be honest, babies are unpredictable and moms need multipurpose devices cause our diaper bags be overflowin’ as it is. If it’s goin’ in my bag, it better play many roles. The Tranquilo Mat is super duper thin, folds up easy and can be thrown into a diaper bag or purse without taking up coveted space. It’s flexible too so you could wrap it around your babies lap in a carseat or stroller, or wrap it around baby’s back while they’re in a carrier or sling. Does your baby need tummy time, but fuss constantly throughout? Try sliding the Tranquilo Mat underneath the activity mat or blanket you’re using and watch baby calm with the push of a button.

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4. Machine Washable

The cover on the outside can be tossed into your washer/dryer for convenient cleaning and sanitizing and the inner cover is water resistant and wipeable so your baby’s spit up or accidents won’t leak through!

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Use the Tranquilo Mat for:

  • car rides
  • strollers
  • tummy time
  • bouncers/rockers
  • reading
  • sleep/naps
  • babywearing
  • visits to the doctor
  • colic/gas
  • fussiness for who the hell knows why

Get your Tranquilo Mat here and tell us why you love it.

Stay gold, 

That Girl

Mimijumi Bottles: Best Next to Breast

How many of you have heard of “nipple confusion”? It’s one of those phrases that moms use that either crack dads up or confuse the hell out of them, but it’s a real thing. Especially if you talk to a nurse or lactation consultant…or an anxious mother who knows her maternity leave is almost up and her baby still won’t take a bottle. 

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Nipple confusion is when a baby who has been exclusively breast fed has trouble taking a bottle or pacifier because the anatomy is different than mom’s. Let’s be honest, where our babies are concerned, nothing is as good as mom. But, what about when mom is exhausted and someone else needs to feed the baby? What about when it’s time to go back to work? What about getting a babysitter? What do you do when there’s a growth spurt and baby wants to eat round the clock? You get online and you order the Mimijumi!

It’s specially designed to look and feel like the breast. This bottle is THE perfect substitute for when there’s no breast around.

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I have twins and I’ve breastfed both of them since birth. I may have two breasts, but it’s not an easy feat to latch on two 8-10lb babies! When we’re at home I can nurse them both simultaneously with the help of about 400 pillows and my headboard to support my back, but in public? Nah, that’s not something anyone wants to see. It resembles a dairy cow with her calves far too much to be appetizing during a luncheon with friends. So, I pack my “not so hungry” Mimijumi bottles and a few bags of pumped milk. If I’m on my own I’ll feed one before they start crying and am usually done just in time to catch the other as he starts wailing. If I’m with my husband or friends, then I’ll let them give a bottle while I eat or enjoy some hands free time!

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But, my baby gets gas with a bottle? It won’t with the Mimijumi! If they do get gas it may be from using formula, but it wont be from the bottle. The Mimjumi’s design reduces signs of gas and colic. My babies slurp things down like ravenous wolves and never even need to burp!

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My favorite feature of this bottle though is the assembly because there is none. It’s literally just screwing the nipple onto the bottle. It’s SO easy! There’s no washing a million pieces, no assembly a babysitter can’t figure out, no searching for missing parts in the dark of night, and no leaking because it wasn’t put together correctly.

Let’s keep it simple, y’all!

That Girl

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Rumparooz Rock My World

If I had a penny for everytime someone smirked, rolled their eyes, or laughed at me followed by, “Yeah, sure, just wait”, when they found out I planned to cloth diaper my twins, I’d be a rich woman. But, six weeks in and I’m convinced it has been my best decision thus far! I use Rumparooz and Lil Joeys by Kangacare and they rock!

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These are not your grandma’s cloth diapers. They’re not the ones your mom wore either. These are legit, modern day, we’ve thought of everything cloth diapers. What sets them apart from other brands is:

  • They fit ALL sizes from 8lbs up to potty training
  • They INCLUDE 2 super soaker liners
  • They have a patented double gusset lining
  • Their prints are super whimsical
  • They can be machine washed and tumble dried
  • The inner lining is major absorbent
  • No diaper rashes!

The OS fits all thing was definitely a winning feature. This meant I just needed to buy one set of diapers and I’d be set for the entire time my boys used them. No running out in the middle of the night, no trying to figure out what size each kid was in every time they grew, no wasted diapers when they no longer fit. About a month in I had a night where the boys peed up their backs all night long (I still don’t know how the hose reaches the back, but that’s a whole other issue) Instead of freaking out and having to go buy new diapers I just sized my diapers up. They covered more space on the back and absorbed the sprays!

My boys were born pretty big for twins (8lbs each), but in preparation for them to be tiny I bought a bunch of LilJoeys, the newborn diapers. They fit NB-12lbs so they’re great to use the first few months. I loved the snap in the middle to keep the diaper off the healing umbilical cord site. In fact, I attribute the health of their belly buttons to keeping them clean and dry in cloth diapers while they healed. The Lil Joeys are also THE best to keep in the diaper bag because they don’t take up much space.

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The Kangacare diapers also have a patented double gusset lining which I think is one of their best features. It traps wetness and poops inside the diaper like a steel door. Just yesterday I went to change Cannon’s diaper and knew it was gonna be a doozy by the look on his face as he filled it up and everything was caught behind the gusset lining! Winning!

My baby, Cash, was in the NICU for a week after birth. They used Pampers on him (blech!) so when we got home he has a horrendous diaper rash. It was bleeding, scabby, etc. Cannon had been in ‘sposies at the hospital too and their little butts were heartbreaking and they got yeast infections along the waist line from diapers. We kept putting coconut oil, vaseline, butt pastes, etc on these areas, but they wren’t healing. I was using disposable diapers for the week I stayed with my mom and finally I gave up and said, “No more creams. We’re going back to cloth diapers only.” Then, BAM! magic healing and no more rashes or yeast since then.

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Washing is super easy too. I have the Kangacare pail liner in my Ubbi Diaper Pail. The liner whisks away wetness and traps odors. I toss all diapers and the liner into the wash on a cold rinse (no detergent). Then, I add detergent and do a hot/cold cycle. Then they tumble dry on a medium setting and they’re good to go. The liners agitate themselves out in the wash. If the boys are napping I may take 5 minutes to stuff the liners in the diapers before I put them up, but usually I just toss everything in to a basket on my changing table and stuff as I’m changing. It takes 2 seconds.

Oh no, one of my babies has to be in another brand…

Oh no, one of my babies has to be in another brand…

I have enough diapers that I only need to do laundry every other day. Sometimes while the laundry is going I have to use a few of the other brands I have on hand. It’s just not the same! If my husband helps with bath time/bedtime and puts another brand of diaper on the boys I secretly take it off and swap for a Rumparooz. In my opinion, there’s nothing as good as these on the market!

Make cloth mainstream!

That Girl

A Breastfeeding Mama Needs…

Sure, breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, or instinctive to know what you need to be successful (especially in American culture). Unlike other cultures, American women aren’t always surrounded by their mothers, mother-in-law, mom friends, or the “village” of helpers. We’re often visited by an LC in the hospital and then sent on our merry way with a breastfeeding pamphlet and a list of recommended reading. So…what does a breastfeeding mama need to be successful?

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  1. Friends/family who’ve been successful at breastfeeding

A woman who wants to breastfeed her baby and has goals for how long she plans to nurse does not need to be surrounded by naysayers or women who will discourage her from her goals. Every mother is different. Breastfeeding may not have worked for you and your family, but that doesn’t mean you should share your trials and tribulations with this new mother, nor should you tell her how great formula was…HER goal is nursing and she needs encouragement. Invite friends over to encourage, praise, and assist.

2. Calories! Fat! Protein! Vitamins!

Every woman wants to reclaim her body after pregnancy, but the weight will fall off very quivkly for a nursing mother WITHOUT dieting. This is not the time to cut calories. A nursing mother needs 300-500 extra calories per day (1000 more if she’s nursing twins), and she should stick to a healthy fat and high protein diet. Healthy fats would include nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, or fatty fish. And don’t forget to keep taking your prenatal vitamins!

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3. A gallon of water a day

I drank a gallon of water a day during my pregnancy and found that the more I drank, the more I wanted and the better I felt. A nursing mom is producing milk (a fluid) therefore she needs fluids. Duh!

4. Her placenta

Okay, stop gagging and get over yourself. It’s actually becoming a mainstream, modern practice to have your placenta encapsulated after birth. It’s in capsule form just like vitamins and comes with dosage instructions. Your placenta has a heap of health benefits postpartum, but also increases your milk supply. You can book my encapsulator here. Get ‘er done!

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5. Gear

Invest in a nursing pillow such as the MyBrest Friend Nursing Pillow, Boppy, or Twin Z if you’re having multiples. These help you get a much better position for nursing while supporting back and arm muscles. Get you a good nursing cover too so you can nurse in public no matter where you are or who you’re with. A nursing stool or ottoman to prop your feet up on can be nice, too, and you’ll want underwire free nursing bras or tanks.

6. Nipple Balms or Coconut Oil

Nursing can sometimes lead to sore, dry, or cracked nipples. Get into a habit of using an organic nipple balm like Earth Mama Angel Baby or even organic coconut oil to soothe.

7. Legit Nursing Pump

All insurance companies cover breastpumps now, but not all of them are high quality. Make sure you can get an electrical, hospital grade pump. My insurance didn’t cover the hospital grade pumps so I bought one off a resell site that was unopened, in the box for $40. Pumping can help you build stock for outings, babysitters, or bottle feeding when your spouse wants in on the feeding time. Plus, breastfeeding is all about supply and demand so pumping can help you drain your breasts after feedings to keep your supply high.

8. Station(s)

It makes life easier for a nursing mom to have everything she needs within reach. Stock a basket(s) with nipple balm, burp cloth, nursing pads, nipple shield (if needed), snacks, and water bottles. I have one in my bedroom AND in the nursery- the two places I know I’m likely to nurse my babies.

9. A supportive spouse

Nursing can start out as a full time job. It takes hard work, dedication, and patience to build supply, find comfortable positions, and get baby to latch right. Moms can often feel overwhelmed, helpless exhausted, and discouraged. They need a spouse that will rub their shoulders or feet, keep them company while they nurse, bring them funny things to read or watch while they’re in their nursing spot, and one who praises their efforts and encourages them to keep going.

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10. Realistic goals

Colostrum is the first little bit of breastmilk baby will get. It’s loaded with health beenefits, antibodies, wgite blood cells, healthy fats, etc etc etc. Every mother should have a goal of at least feeding her baby that. Then, set a goal to nurse for 1 full month. See if you can make it 3 months. Then aim for 6 and hopefully you’ll make it a year or more. Many moms say if you can get past the first few months it’s a cakewalk after that.

If you find yourself struggling, hire a trained Lactation Consultant. They can be real lifesavers and the best money you’ve ever spent for your baby’s health! Also, lager beer, fenugreek, brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, and oats have all been said to increase supply. Give it a fair shot!

Happy milking, 

That Girl