Favorites | Natural Kids Care | Hip Peas

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. These products were purchased by us and we just want to share our favorite items with you.

Hip PeasEdith has crazy hair in the back. Like serious dread head.

We have been trying everything we can think of at home to try and calm down the dreads. Until recently, nothing has worked. We tried coconut oil. It just made her hair super greasy and never really helped in releasing the dreads. We tried conditioner and that did absolutely nothing. We try brushing right after bath in hopes that it will keep tangles at bay. But, as soon as nap or bedtime happens there they are, those dreadful dreads.

We finally decided to try a kids detangler. Neil had asked the owner at a local children’s store and she recommended Hip Peas. We were initially hesitant to pay what seemed like a high price for it. But, we were getting desperate after everything else failed. We decided to give it a try and started using it right away. While it hasn’t cured all our dread issues it has been most helpful when it came comb out time. Before using the detangler, combing out the dreads and tangles was a painful process for Edith and one we both felt horrible putting her through. While she still gets the tangles, combing through them has become much easier.  As an added bonus, it smells great, and I even use it on my own hair!

When Edith’s hair first started to grow out, she started to take interest in combing and brushing her own hair.  So we had bought her a Hip Peas brush that we’ve all come to love. The wooden handle is smooth and comfortable to use as an adult while still being just the right size to fit in Edith’s hand. As an added bonus, the bristles are nice and soft. To be honest, if they made an adult version I’d buy it!

Hip Peas has a ton of other products that we have yet to try but given our success with these two products, I wouldn’t hesitate to trust and recommend them as a brand.

Have you ever tried any of the Hip Peas products?

*Amazon affiliate links included in this post.

Babywearing | líllébaby COMPLETE

Disclaimer: We were provided the líllébaby COMPLETE at no cost from the company. We were not required to write a review and no further compensation was provided for doing so. As always all opinions are our own.

Lillebaby-NaturallyFamily-E&NI’d like to welcome the líllébaby COMPLETE to our babywearing rotation! We have been using this carrier for a few months now and are absolutely in love with it. While I haven’t been doing as much babywearing lately due to my growing bump, Neil has been thrilled with the líllébaby COMPLETE. It currently tops Neil’s top three favorite carriers list.

Lillebaby-NaturallyFamily-DuckiesWhen we first received the líllébaby COMPLETE I was newly pregnant and still wearing Edith in a front carry. Unfortunately, my growing bump and changing body isn’t allowing me to wear Edith as often. I can still do back carries but it’s much more challenging to do so without assistance so I haven’t used this as much but I can’t wait for baby #2 to arrive so I can wear both Edith and B#2.

Since we have only used this carrier with our toddler I’m going to focus on toddler wearing rather than focus on a smaller baby. But, don’t worry, we will do a follow up post this Fall to let you know what we think of it with baby #2.

Lillebaby-NaturallyFamily

Things We Love About the líllébaby COMPLETE:

  • The additional Lumbar support. This has been essential with a growing toddler.
  • The optional Neck Support-  Edith doesn’t need a ton of neck support but the (now rare) times she falls asleep in the carrier it is a great feature and I’m sure it will be even more essential with #2.
  • The weight range – The stated weight range is 7 to 45 pounds. Edith is around 23 lbs and it is working great with her.  The support for the wearer is great.  She can be worn for long periods of time with no additional strain on Neil’s back or shoulders. It is not unconceivable to see wearing her for another 15-20lbs in this carrier
  • The soft fabric and the ergonomic, soft shoulder pads make this carrier super comfortable to wear.
  • I love the hood. Just like the neck support, it is great for naps!
  • The carrier itself is not super heavy weighing in at less than 1.5lbs. This is great when you already have a 20+lb toddler to carry around. We recently brought it on our cross-country flight and it folded up and stowed away well.
  • Edith seems comfortable in it! Neil’s worn her for long periods of time and for long walks without protest from Edith.
  • Also love that it is machine washable because with a toddler there is always some sort of mess.

Things We Don’t Love

  • While this not an issue for us, the waist band is on the shorter side so if you are a large individual you will require a waist extender.
  • I, personally and professionally (babywearing educator), don’t support front facing in this carrier and wish that it wasn’t presented as an option. I am planning to discuss the downfalls of front facing carries in a future post.
  • I know I said I wouldn’t be focusing on infant carry but I do wish that there was an infant insert option rather than the suggestion to use a rolled up blanket- just thinking about the upcoming arrival of #2.

Would we suggest this carrier to others? YES! It is honestly a great carrier and great for those with toddlers. Again we’ll cover younger babies this Fall.

FYI this carrier in the organic fabric that we love so much is available for $135 on Amazon. (affiliate link)

UPDATE: I did end up wearing Edith on my front in the líllébaby in the airport on our way to Vermont.  While it wasn’t the most comfortable since my growing baby belly got in the way it was possible!

Babywearing | Three Mistakes I’ve Made

This past summer, I decided that I wanted to become a babywearing educator. I enrolled in an intensive four day course via BabyWearing Institute and let me tell you I learned a lot. I have currently completed and passed my basic exam and am working on finishing my advanced exam (it’s taking me a lot longer than planned with baby #2 on the way and a toddler). While I am an educator right now I am still waiting to become fully certified (a matter of submitting and passing my advanced exam).

Boba

Going into the course I thought that I knew a lot about babywearing benefits and safety. While I did know a lot from my own personal research, there was so much more to learn and so much beyond just benefits and safety but we’ll save that for another day. Today I want to talk about mistakes I made the first time around.

Forward Facing

While the majority of our carriers didn’t “allow” for forward facing I can be found guilty of wearing Edith forward facing in the Moby wrap a handful of times. I was always leery of wearing Edith forward facing because I knew it wasn’t the proper positioning for healthy hip development and we had vowed to never to own a Baby Bjorn or similar style carrier. For some reason, though, I thought I’d give it a try with the Moby. Well the thing is, it really doesn’t matter what brand or style of carrier you have, forward facing is not ideal for a variety of reasons (separate post to come).

Additions to Carrier

Just like with car seat safety, there should never be anything added to a carrier that wasn’t specifically made for that carrier. This means no blankets or anything extra that was not authorized and made by the company. My personal example of this was using a rolled up blanket as an infant insert in our Boba Carrier. I had seen other blog moms do this with their Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) and so I thought “wow that’s a good idea”. The thing is, it is not ideal or safe to do this. There are a number of SSC carriers available now that include their own infant insert (the Ergo with the Heart to Heart insert, for example*) that are a much better option if you are looking to use your SSC with your infant.Babywearing-Moby

Using the Stretchy Wrap after about 12lbs

I know that many of you are reading that and saying “But, my stretchy wrap says it is good up to 35-40lbs”. Yes, for marketing purposes, stretchy wraps are said to have a much longer life than they do in reality. This isn’t to say that you won’t literally be able to wear your child much past 12lbs, but it just isn’t ideal. To be honest, stretchy wraps are not ideal to use anyways as they have too much stretch which doesn’t allow for your baby to have enough support and they also don’t provide enough support for the wearer. So why 12lbs? After about 10-12lbs your baby starts to weigh too much to maintain the proper and ideal positioning in the carrier.  The wrap easily starts to stretch out after 10-15 minutes of active wearing and as the wearer you will start to notice them starting to sag. This also has a negative effect on your back, shoulders and your entire body. It’s a challenge to get the wrap tight enough to really support you and your baby after 12 or so lbs.

 

*Make sure that if you are looking to purchase an infant insert for your ergo that you get the Heart to Heart style and NOT the old version as it does not provide the proper seating position for your infant (I know you can find in tons of the old version in thrift stores so beware).

#WhatEdithWore | One

Edith has really started to take an interest in her clothes and style. Most days we can’t pick out her clothes without her throwing a fuss because well she wants to do it herself. I’m all about her asserting her independence and choosing her own clothes however sometimes there are still tears as I try to explain to her that pants cannot be worn as a top and that she’ll have to choose a top and a bottom. Despite all that I really think that this kid already has an eye for fashion.

This is our first installment of #WhatEdithWore and of course you can follow us on Instagram with said hash tag until our next installment.

#WhatEdithWears #WhatEdithWears #WhatEdithWears

Baby No. 2: 24 Weeks

24 Weeks Belly Hugs and Kisses via Naturally FamilyWhat’s that two pregnancy posts in a row?!? (Don’t get used to it- haha).

How far along are you? 24+1 Weeks!

How I’m feeling:  I’m feeling pretty good. Energy is still good although I find that I do well M-W and then by Thursday (today) I start to feel tired until the weekend comes aka I have Neil home to wrangle sweet Edith.

Total weight gain: Errr… no idea? Still haven’t weighed myself.

Maternity clothes: I bought a few more items this past weekend. With our vacation coming up I figured I should probably get a few items that weren’t old t-shirts and yoga pants. I found a few cute non-maternity tops, a few new tanks, a maternity top and another pair of full-panel jeggings (best invention).

Sleep: Same.

What’s been going on this week: This week has been all about getting the house in order before we head off on vacation, packing for vacation and also getting outside! The weather has been beautiful so we have been going for daily/nightly walks. I also have been trying to get out of the house more with Edith.

Movement: Neil finally felt the baby move and I am starting to actually see movement!

Food cravings: This week I have been again all about the vegan quesadillas.

Food aversions: Peanut Butter is still my huge aversion. Also not feeling ginger.

What I Miss: Having a glass of wine or beer. Clothes that fit. (same as last time)

24 Weeks Out Take via Naturally Family

Toddlers In The Kitchen: Strawberry Snack

ToddlerKitchenStrawberryGetting your kids in the kitchen doesn’t have to take a lot of time and effort. It is just about helping them to participate in any way they can. Some days for us that is just simple having Edith prepare her own snack. On this day post-nap snack was a big bowl of strawberries – who else is excited that Strawberry season is starting?

What you’ll need:
Strawberries
A colander
A Bowl
A kids knife
A mini cutting board

I start off my having Edith help me wash the strawberries and then I set her up somewhere either the table, her high chair or at the counter with me. I provide her with a mini cutting board and toddler knife and sit with her as she cuts up her strawberry snack. I try not to intervene except for safety reasons or unless she she requests help.

ToddlerStrawberryConcentrate ToddlerStrawberryHelp ToddlerStrawberryCutting toddlerstrawberryeatWhile it is quick and easy for us as adults to just chop up the strawberries it is a fun learning experience for our littles to do it on their own.

Toddlers In the Kitchen: Supplies

FYI this post is NOT sponsored. We purchased everything on the following list and all opinions are our own.

If you have been following our Instagram feed then you have seen Edith helping me out in the kitchen. For the past few weeks Edith has been helping us in the kitchen 5-6 days per week. Some days she helps me prepare meals and other days I provide her with the food and supplies to make her own snacks. While some meal/snack preps go more smoothly than others overall I love having Edith help and she goes nuts for it. As soon as she sees the blender or food processor she runs to her learning tower and tries to push it into the kitchen to help.

While I know this list will change over time currently these are my favorite kitchen supplies for Edith at 20-21 months.

toddler in the kitchen

 

  1. Little Partners Learning Tower: While I know that the price tag on this item is a little shocking it really is a wonderful addition to our home. E used to stand on a chair and it was just terrible because all I did was worry she would fall off. For months now I have been searching and searching via second hand shops and craigslist for a Learning Tower and finally we found a used one last month for $55 so keep your eyes peeled!
  2. Kids Cutlery Set: We have one from Ikea that we really like and this is on my ‘to buy’ list because well I just love OXO Tot. Anyways a great toddler knife is essential to have when it comes to getting your toddler in the kitchen. A toddler knife is dull enough that it really doesn’t cut much and it is the perfect size for their little hands.
  3. Strawberry Slicer: We just added this to our collection recently and I love having it! Edith has been doing a lot of strawberry chopping because I have been on a strawberry kick (pregnancy cravings!) While the knife is working for the most part I thought that since summer is on the way that this inexpensive little chopper would be so much fun to have. So far she has been enjoying it!
  4. Lemon Juicer: I have one of those citrus juicers that you stick the half in and squeeze down and while it works fine for me E’s little hands just can’t manage to squeeze it very well so I bought a mini juicer just her size. We are still working at mastering it but so far it’s great and honestly I’m a fan of it for myself!
  5. Kids Sized Whisk: I do a lot of whisking and since my whisk has a pretty big handle I thought it would be fun to get Edith her own whisk to help when making sauces and dressings. This one is super fun because it has a cow on the handle and while we whisk we practice saying cow and mooing like a cow.
  6. Crinkle Cutter: Let me start by saying that until your toddler gets used to using this knife make sure you don’t take your eye of them. This cutter is a great alternative to the toddler knife because it is a little sharper and is all about the pressing down motion versus the sawing motion. Bonus: it makes really fun crinkle cut fruits and veggies.

I’ll be giving you a closer look at E using each of these items over the next month or two. I am also working on a fun recipe series so please let me know if you have any special requests of questions!

Disclaimer: all links are Amazon affiliate links.

Baby No. 2: 23 Weeks

23weeks

How far along are you? 23 Weeks- seriously this second trimester is flying by!

How I’m feeling: I’m feeling pretty good! I am feeling more and more pregnant. I’ve been trying to be more active so that has helped with energy levels but I have my days where I just want to sleep all day.

Total weight gain: I haven’t weighed myself in 2 weeks so I am not sure. Last midwives appointment I hadn’t gained any additional weight ie. same weight I was at 17 weeks.

Maternity clothes: I finally had to move on up to the full panel pants because all my demi-panel are falling down due to my growing belly. I only have one pair of full panel jeans and a few skirts that works so I will probably have to buy a few more. I also am starting to really need tops as most of mine are getting to snug or short.

Sleep: Sleep is hit or miss. Some nights I sleep well and other nights I am restless. I have to say having a snack before bed and my Bump Nest seriously makes a huge difference. However, lately I go to bed and find Edith using my Bump Nest as a pillow- seriously I should have bought one for each of us.

What’s been going on this week: This week I have been trying to catch up on housework and have really been working on getting our downstairs room in order. Edith and I have been stuck inside for most of the week due to the rain so we have been trying to find dry places to visit such as the library and playdates.

Movement: More and more each week!

Food cravings: This week I have been all about the vegan quesadillas- seriously craving all the time and well I want one right now. Also really good raspberry jam.

Food aversions: Peanut Butter is still my huge aversion.

What I Miss: Having a glass of wine. Clothes that fit. (same as last time)

Breastfeeding | Night Weaning

First thank you for all your comments on last week’s post about The End of Our (breastfeeding) Journey. I am slowly responding to all of you and hope to by the end of the week but for now lets discuss our night weaning process.

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Edith’s night nursing changed from really nursing to just comfort nursing around 14 months. Despite her not ‘needing’ to nurse through the night any longer I still went with it because she wanted to and since we co-sleep it wasn’t a huge deal to me, however, when I became pregnant again that all changed.

sleepI had read pretty early on about nursing while pregnant and how many children wean themselves because of things like taste of milk. For the first few weeks of this current pregnancy I kept going with our normal night time nursing routine because I didn’t want to do anything to interfere with our nursing relationship. However, the problem was that I was super sick the entire first trimester and being sick all day and then not sleeping well at night was making me out to be a bit of a cranky monster. Something had to give.

Finally, in late December when I was about nine weeks pregnant and Edith nearly 18 months I decided that we needed to stop nursing at night all together. I just couldn’t do it anymore and Edith was simply nursing out of routine and to but herself back to sleep. It took about a week to fully night wean and for about a month she would ask to nurse in the middle of the night about once per week but otherwise she was fully night weaned in just one week.

Our Approach:

  • New bedtime routine: dinner, bath (3-4 nights per week), quite play if not a bath night, brush teeth, new diaper, PJs, books, nurse (to sleep), lights out.
  • During book reading time we tried to read Nursies When The Sun Shines* most nights aka when Edith would let us.
  • Midnight wake ups–> Edith would wake up whining/crying and crawl over just like she usually did but instead of nursing I would gently tell her that we were not going to have nursies right now and that we could have them in the morning while placing her back in her bed (her crib is side-car to ours). Edith would continue to whine and cry while I patted/rubbed her back and shh’d her. The first few nights she whine/cried for 3-5 minutes but after the third night she was down to 1-2 minutes and by the seventh night she was down to 30 seconds max.
  • For morning nursies I started with no nursies until at least 5am and eventually pushed this out to 6am.
  • While the week of transition was a bit challenging after that week things were great and night time sleeping has improved for all of us since.

Helpful Resource:

  • A friend of ours suggested the book Nursies When The Sun Shines* . This book is geared towards parents of toddlers who are looking to night wean. The book includes beautiful illustrations and simply tells the story of how at night we sleep and that when it is dark out we sleep and nursies sleep and that when we wake in the morning that is when we can nurse again. I loved this book because the family co-sleeps as well so it was completely relevant to our situation and Edith loved reading the book. The best part of the book is that the last two pages are for you, the adult, and includes tips on how to approach night weaning. I recently passed on our copy to a friend but I plan on getting another copy if/once we reach a point of night weaning with #2.

nursieswhenthesunshinesWhat was/is your approach to night weaning?

*Amazon affiliate link

Breastfeeding | The End Of Our Journey

I have been debating writing this for a few months now but honestly it’s still a challenging topic for me. It seems that shortly after I wrote our last update that our nursing relationship took a sudden turn.

RhodeIslandNewportbreastfeeding

Edith and I have had quite the nursing relationship over the past 20+ months. We started with non-stop nursing which left me stressed and in tears, to hourly nursing, to bi-hourly and then for many months we nursed 6-8x during the day and then 1-2x at night. For the most part we have followed baby led weaning with the exception of night weaning. In December I decided that we just didn’t need to nurse at night any longer, my new pregnancy and midnight wake ups to comfort nurse were just too much for me. Since Edith had been dry nursing aka not eating nursing but rather just soothing herself back to sleep for about a month at that point I decided that it was time. I talked to Edith about it and started slowly with the process and after about a week she was fully night weaned. We nursed around 7pm and then not again until at least 5am.

lindsayingalls-nursinginergo-vineyard

Shortly after this Edith started to drop nursing sessions during the day as well and despite my asking her if she wanted to nurse (what seemed like) constantly  she would usually say now and started only nursing when she woke up in the morning, before nap, sometimes mid-afternoon and before bed. By mid-January we had dropped down to morning and night and by the end of January just mornings and then just like that it was over. In February Edith asked to nurse maybe five times and all of those times she nursed for 60 seconds max.

EcolaPark-Nursing

While this makes things a little easier on pregnancy number two and I am glad she made the decision to stop nursing on her own it is still a challenge for me. I had these grand plans of nursing her until at least two and possibly even tandem nursing. I never thought that she would self-wean so early. Even now it makes me sad that we don’t have that time any longer. Now we read books together all day long and this is our new nursing time. I can’t help but wonder if my decision to night wean prompted her to self-wean or if maybe my new pregnancy pushed her to self-wean as I have heard to toddlers self-weaning around 18 months when mama is pregnant. Either way she has and it’s over.

LindsayIngalls-babywearing-nursing

How long did you nurse? Did you choose to wean or did your baby/toddler wean on their own? How did you handle weaning (literally, emotionally, physically)?