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Products, Companies, and Websites I Love & Reasons Why

April 23, 2012

With the ever expanding Internet and endless information at the tips of our fingers, information overload happens all too often!!  Heck, go down the baby aisle and you’re inundated with a plethora of diapers and endless options!  It’s nuts!!  So I wanted to summarize my top favorite products, companies, and websites I have encountered and found to have helped me during my short stint thus far being a mom.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of these companies and/or products and I am not paid to mention or use any of their products, services, etc.

1.  Breastfeeding

Help and Support:

Dr. Jack Newman – http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/ – Excellent website to get help regarding issues with sore nipples and other breastfeeding issues!

InfantRisk Center – http://www.infantrisk.com/ – Great website to get a plethora of information from breastfeeding to pregnancy and beyond!

Toxnet – http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/ – Look up medications and learn what is all right and not recommended while nursing (and pregnant).

LaLeche League – https://www.llli.org/ – Perfect place to find a local breastfeeding support group to attend, learn more about breastfeeding, meet other moms, and most of all, ensure breastfeeding continues until self-weaned.

KellyMomhttp://kellymom.com/ – The ultimate cover-all website regarding breastfeeding, oversupply issues, weight issues, other feeding issues, etc.  This is my GO-TO place when I ever have any feeding issues!

                    * Side note – There are always breastfeeding support groups throughout the country, so call your local    hospitals, IBLBC and LLL websites for the latest updated information with regards to on-going support groups and help.  I promise you you’re not alone in this venture and support is the best guarantee to long-term success!!

Support the Girls:  

All of these companies listed below are my favorite/preferable brands when it comes to nursing tanks and nursing bras.  Bravado is my preferred and only brand I will purchase for nursing bras.  However, Target has some good nursing tanks and bras that are great!  I have found that it pays to spend a little bit more when it comes to nursing undergarments because of their tailored comfort measures and more.  Just remember, there are endless benefits when you breastfeed your child so if you have to spend a little more for undergarments it’s all right because you’re already saving your family lots of money that would otherwise be spent on expensive formula!!  All of these undergarments and/or nursing tanks are well worth their money in gold in the end!  I LOVE my nursing tanks, especially in the hot summer months.  Their all I ever wear.  Plus, they help your tummy look smaller too!  🙂

Modern Mommy Boutique – A local Chandler, Arizona store that sells wonderful undergarments for the nursing mom, plus more!  Check them out!

Glamourmom     Nummies     Melinda G.     Bravado

2.  Parenting & Learning

Love & Logic –  Simple and practical techniques for parents and teachers to “approach raising kids that provides loving support from parents while at the same time expecting kids to be respectful and responsible.”  An excellent approach that we try and practice as much as we can in our household.  These techniques will definitely be used throughout the childhood stage and beyond!

Montessori Philosophies, Teachings, Education and Beyond – there are endless resources regarding the Montessori method of education.  The link attached above will help guide you towards the right information your seeking.

Attachment Parenting tools, as listed by Dr. Sears here.  There is also a plethora of various websites and/or organizations regarding Attachment Parenting, just check them out by Googling: Attachment Parenting.

Dr. Sears – He is a very well known Pediatrition who has numerous books about countless subjects regarding children and child rearing.  I found “The Vaccine Book” to be one of the most helpful collections of information regarding vaccines and their side effects written to this day!  Check out his library of topics written about in his books – their life saving!!

www.signingsavvy.com – Sign Language – Excellent website for learning sign language.  They also have a great baby section that covers the main words used/understood by babies and toddlers.  We started teaching D sign language around six months and it took him til about eleven months to really grasp what we were doing and signing to him.  However, each child is different and catches on at different rates.  After that he caught on within a few hours or days – it’s amazing to watch his daily communication progressions and beyond!

3.  Buy, Sell, Trade

DiaperSwappers.com – Forum on a multitude of topics, as well as a place to sell items, etc.  Excellent place to find a multitude of items beyond diapers – like carriers, topics about parenting, etc.

Spot’s Corner – Buy and sell your used items.

Baby Half Off.com – Excellent site that offers daily deals with regards to baby/child products.  If local in AZ, they offer free pickup as well to avoid shipping (located in Mesa, AZ).  Follow them on Facebook to learn about their daily deals the quickest (that is if you use Facebook regularly…).

Inspired by Finn – Sells beautiful, authentic amber necklaces and much more!  Great place to find the perfect amber necklace for your child and/or yourself.  Amber is the perfect natural remedy when it comes to teething and soothing pain.  LOTS of mom’s swear by their amber necklaces; I do!  Definitely worth a try if your child is one to struggle a lot with pain when teething.

Bobux, Robeez, Momo’s, etc. – Soft soled shoes sold by MANY companies!  These shoes are excellent for the beginner walker, as they are still able to feel their steps, feet, movements, etc. which is very important for their development.

4.  Babywearing 

Baby Wearing International – This is the main group site that offers support and promotes the premise regarding baby wearing and all the endless benefits it offers.  There are branches within the main group for various cities, so check out their site and/or Facebook page for the most updated information regarding local groups in your area!  In Phoenix they even have a Facebook Group page so search around and you will most definitely find a support group regarding Babywearing!

Brands:

Taylormade Slingshttp://www.taylormadeslings.com – Local Arizona company which meets your many specialized needs when it comes to slings.

Maya wraphttp://www.mayawrap.com  – I have a Maya sling and I LOVE it!!  Best purchase ever!  It even has a pocket to store my personal belongings when on the go.

Beco Butterflyhttp://www.becobabycarrier.com – I wholeheartedly believe in this company, love their philosophy, and their amazing products!  Excellent customer service and superb products!  I LOVE my Beco and hope we will still use it for a few more years!  Try their products on at a local store that sells them and other baby carrier brands – it’s the best way to decide/know which one works best for you and baby.

Ergo Carriers http://www.ergobaby.com – Another wonderful company that sells a variety of soft-sided carriers.  One of the top companies when it comes to carriers.

* I could go on with this list but these are the brands that I know of, have used, and recommend first and foremost.

Websites that carry discounted used carriers:

Globalenfant.com

Granolababies.com

*Do watch out for fake carriers for sale, as this is a growing trend unfortunately!  A lot of the times it’s little things like the zipper containing the logo or the warning tag sewed on the carrier is different.  So be aware of such practices going on and make sure to do your research before purchasing.

5.  Baby/Toddler Food & Recipes

WholesomeBabyFood – She has an AMAZING site that talks about making baby food, various food stages for babies, recipes, and much more.  The perfect companion to have when venturing through the baby food making process.  She also recently had a book released, so check it out!

blog.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com – I somehow stumbled upon this website/blog recently and fell in love!  I found myself exploring their website and learning lots for HOURS on end!  It has a plethora of information regarding foods, informational facts, their properties, recipes, and much more!  A definite “must” to have bookmarked next to Wholesome Baby Food website for all your baby food making needs.

Super Baby Foods by Ruth Yaron – A book published for anyone who is interested in learning how to make baby foods.  It breaks down everything into a step by step process understandable by all.  It’s also filled with other craft ideas, recipes, nutritional information and much more!  This book helped me feel confident when I was first making baby food and I credit it to my great success!  🙂

6.  Blogs

Family Dinner – This is an excellent blog sharing various ideas surrounding the “family dinner” and beyond.

Whole Parenting Family – This site turned into blog  recently is the perfect plethora of information regarding parenting, children, gardening and everything in between.

Two Bobbins Later – Are you in need of personalized, beautiful, postpartum necessities?  She can make you whatever your heart desires to feel beautiful and confident as a mom!  Check out her amazing handiwork and artistry!

Farmgirlfare.com – My friend over at Whole Parenting Family introduced me to this site and I LOVE it for all the delicious recipes and ideas she has!  Check it out!

* Here’s a list of various blogs I’ve found that have a plethora of fun activities to do with your baby, toddler, and beyond!

theimaginationtree.com

icanteachmychild.com

childhood101.com/playopedia

kidsactivitiesblog.com

playathomemom3.blogspot.com

montessorihouse.blogspot.com

discoverydaysandmontessorimoments.blogspot.com

jen-peacefulparenting.blogspot.com

7.  Sun Protection

Environmental Working Group – Sunscreen Ratings – www.ewg.org – Great way to see which sunscreens are rated better, with regards to chemicals, etc.  Great website for this information plus LOTS, lots more!!  Come check it out!

iPlay  – GREAT product and company which supplies sun hats which are UVA/UVB protectant AND adjustable!  The hat we purchased by this brand was perfect for what we were in search of – protects and adjusts!

Flap Happy – Another great company that makes UVA/UVB protectant hats which ALSO  covers over the neck and sides  from the sun!

Alba Botanica Natural Sun Protection – This is our favorite sunscreen thus far this season.  I’ve heard great reviews from fellow Moms so I went ahead and purchased it and was very happy that I purchased this particular sunscreen.  I have already found it to be a very strong protectant while also smelling good too!  🙂

8.  Crafts

Pinterest – The top sharing site for crafts, photography, expressions, recipes – it’s endless!  You will need an invite to join, so comment below if you need one and I will be glad to send you an invite.  🙂  (Watch out, this site sucks you in and hours can quickly pass before you realize it’s 4am!)

Tip Junkie – A DIY crafts site with oodles of ideas for various craft projects and beyond.

* Endless blogs sharing craft ideas and beyond.  Just Google what you’re looking for 🙂

9.  All Natural Cleaning Products 

Shaklee products – An EXCELLENT company that has been around for many years selling chemical-free cleaning products, health supplements, beauty products, and more.  We switched to their cleaning products about six months ago and will never go back to the chemical filled commercial products.  We bought a general cleaning solution in which you make your own diluted solution from the original solution (Basic-H).  This bottle will last us for at least three years, if not more!  Plus, it’s chemical free, thus keeping all those harsh, cancer-ridden chemicals at bay in our household.  We also bought their germicide product for sanitizing the kitchen and bathroom (Basic-G).

                   * A random fact – did you know that you’re technically supposed to dispose of your toilet cleaning bottles at          hazardous waste dumping sites instead of tossing them in the recycling bin?  Due to their harsh chemical residues, they are not to be recycled because of the toxic chemicals they emit and contaminate the water run-off and beyond!

Saferchemicals.org – A Global movement to decrease the amount of chemicals in our cleaning products, children’s products and more.  Sign up to get their latest petitions and sign them!!

* I will be doing a post soon about how to make your own, safe, cleaning products – everything from laundry detergent, hand soap, body wash soap, sugar scrub, and more!  

10. Baby Products

Everyday Shea – I recently discovered this line of soaps and lotions (made with Shea Butter) when I was at Whole Foods searching for a good lotion for D that was sold in a decent size with a reasonable price!  Before we were using California Baby, which worked great, but it was just SO expensive for such a small quantity.  I’m so happy that I found this company, we have since fallen in LOVE with their products and what the company stands for.  I’m positive that we will be using their products for a long time to come!

                   * I later discovered that Everyday Shea returns its profits back to Africa where they are able to create     community enhancement projects that help reduce poverty and gender inequality.  Their an extension of Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care, whose mantra is “Advancing gender equality and alleviating poverty through the fair trade of Handcrafted Shea Butter.”  Check out either website to read further about their efforts and to see their products.  We currently use their bubble bath, lotion and soap and LOVE it!!  The bottles should last us quite some time (and for the price, I cannot complain)!

Weleda – My mom bought this soap for D awhile back and I really grew fond of it for it’s gentle, simple qualities.  We have the Calendula Shampoo & Body wash and love it!  I would recommend this to anyone but especially to the sensitive skin type.  They have an excellent line of baby care products as well as numerous other products for the skin, hair, and oral care.

Coconut oil – I live and breath by the endless benefits of coconut oil!!  I discovered it’s numerous health benefits when I was researching about cloth diapering and kept reading how people swore by coconut oil to heal any skin irritations.  So when we started cloth diapering I bought a jar of coconut oil (off of Ebay actually) and have never had to use anything else for any skin irritations (which he’s rarely had thankfully).  But a lot of the times we will put it on his bottom areas just as a preventative and soothing measure.  I have also started using coconut oil after I shower every other time, I love it!  We also use it when cooking a lot since it’s such healthy oil!  Who knew that this one item can be used for SO many things and have such amazing helpful, healthy qualities.  Check out this website for a great introduction to Virgin Coconut oil.

Calendula cream and lotion – This is a staple must have in the house at all times!  This plant is used for numerous reasons like reducing pain, swelling, dry, irritated skin, treating poorly healing wounds, and much more.  California Baby sells a great Calendula cream and other various Calendula products, as well as Weleda.  I was given this thick Calendula salve, made by Puremedy  that is wonderful for many skin issues, including cradle cap and eczema.  D recently had his first (and hopefully last) bout with cradle cap and we put this on his scalp and even though it was really thick and greasy in his hair, it helped his scalp and by the next day it was a million times better!

All in all, when it comes to your skin, it’s best to use food grade, organic ingredients as much as  you can.  Remember that your skin is an organ too, which needs oxygen, food, and hydration to function properly.  So please be careful when choosing products that will be used on your babies skin, as well as yours.  Modern consumerism culture is SO suffocating that people have taken so many steps back with regards to beneficial health options (and many other things).  We just unknowingly buy all these unnecessary products and fast foods because they have popular reviews and advertisements.  However we don’t do our own research about what we’re putting on our skin and in our bodies and the long term effects it has on us as a whole.  I’m not meaning to say that “us” as a group doesn’t do their research but in general, lots of people could benefit ten fold by doing their own research and educating themselves about what is good and bad for your skin and body to ensure a long fulfilling life!

I was SO surprised and intrigued when I first started learning about the good, bad, and ugly regarding foods and nutrition.  I have always known, in general, what is best for my body and mind but I chose for the most part not to follow such “rigid” standards in my twenties and am now paying for it.  (Heck we all think we invincible at this age so it’s not surprising at all!)  Metabolism is first and foremost on the list of culprits of my own personal weight gain but also not eating properly balanced, spaced out, small meals has caused an offset of issues within my body.  I have learned so much and love learning new information about nutrition and foods to better myself as a whole.  Breastfeeding has also helped me realize how much our body is interrelated and is very powerful beyond our means!

But I digress majorly and I shall end this post by saying – do your research and know what you’re putting in and on your body.  We only get one chance at life so make it worth it and do your best to make healthy decisions for yourself and your family.  We are our children’s role models in helping them assimilate the many wonderful new ideas in the future so be sure to provide them with the proper tools to succeed, starting with nutrition!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2012 3:27 AM

    What an excellent and comprehensive list. I’m so honored to be on here! Thank you, Natural Momma, for giving me a ton of new resources to investigate!!

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