Baby Days: Nighttime Changing Routine

The baby days continue to consume me, both personally and work-wise. After an informative afternoon with famed pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp. I was inspired to share our nighttime changing routine, one of my favorite times of the day…for more reasons than the obvious! Find out how we incorporate Stokke, Under the Nile, Badger, CJ’s BUTTer and Fisher Price into our nighttime changing routine.

Earlier this week, I enjoyed a lovely lunch with the amazing Dr. Harvey Karp of Happiest Baby on the Block. I learned so much during the candid conversation over lunch at the book publisher’s NYC office discussing his latest book on sleep. (post to come) And now, with our baby right at 4 months, naturally, there are so many changes going on. He’s turned the corner on sleep, his eating habits are more predictable and his behavior is all around fun.

As a second time mom and mom of a preschooler and infant, I’ve found that the one of the hardest aspects of motherhood is finding balance. Yesterday, for example, finding time to balance the four year old, four month old AND write in between was complicated, to put it nicely. The four year old, like most preschoolers, demanded my attention. The baby sat so quietly for most of the day, but it was the big kid who tested my patience as I tried to make deadlines. Ultimately, something gives, and every time it’s the writing…but, such is life.

And since the baby didn’t get nearly as much attention, I’m SO grateful for our nighttime routine. It’s that one time of day when it’s just baby and me, and we’re both awake, happy and usually relaxed. So, while big bro hangs with daddy, it’s just us for 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted quality time–if we’re lucky.

There’s so many elements that contribute to how fun this can be, but here’s what we’re doing right now:

1. Badger Nighty Night Balm
I can’t get enough of Badger Balm. Truly. I was first introduced to these products via Healthy Child Healthy World. The Bug Balm was the first product we used and now, swear by. And so, when my husband brought home several sample of other balms, I immediately fell in love with even more Badger Balms that I didn’t even know existed! The organic Nighty Nighty Balm is, should I say it, the bomb. In lieu of lotion at night, I use this balm, which has a soft, but wax-like consistency, to give the baby a little post-bath massage. What a life, right? I use this time to help him exercise and stretch those chubberific legs, soothe his arms and then softly massage his chest and back. His coos and smiley face is enough to keep this in my routine. The balm moisturizes well and smells unbelievable. You think the baby smell is awesome? Just add this to the mix. There’s no synthetic fragrances, just chamomile, a little lavender and more. So sweet.

2. Changing Table: Stokke Care
This solid wood changing table from Stokke was our Christmas and Birthday present from my inlaws. While this beautiful piece of furniture deserves its own post, I’ll highlight what makes this such an integral part of our routine.
The first time around, we were city parents who were starved for space. We shrugged off the need for a dedicated changing table and opted for just a changing pad that we threw anywhere to do the job. After over two years of changing anywhere and everywhere our backs ached and that changing pad was practically crumbling for so much usage and handling.

So, this time around, when we were asked what we needed, we said nothing…EXCEPT a changing table. So, why the Care? Aside from the fact that it matches our Stokke Sleepi System, it’s multifunctional and grows with the baby like several of Stokke’s other products. After the diaper-changing days, the Care can be turned into a desk. (I know, right?)  The Care changing table boasts a lot of storage space and is compatible to various heights–perfect for taller parents. (Our backs are thanking us this time around!) The side compartments are just as convenient as the storage baskets that sit atop two shelves. As a cloth diaperer, the storage area is ample for my stash, as well as our bountiful inventory of baby toiletries and acoutrements. This is my most used baby staple, and one that I’m thrilled will truly grow with us!

3. CJ’s BUTTer
Heh. I said butt. Ok, got that out… So, both of my children much like other members of my immediate family, have extremely sensitive skin. Finding a diaper rash cream or ointment that REALLY works and doesn’t use toxins or harmful chemicals can be next to impossible. Burt’s Bees is my usual go-to diaper cream; in fact, the big kid was fond of eating it when my back was turned. Unfortunately, Burt’s Bees isn’t cloth diaper friendly. Thankfully, with cloth diapering, we don’t see too much diaper rash or irritation, but it’s when we switch over to disposables when we’re on the go or on laundry days, the irritation sometimes arises. CJ’s BUTTer which I’ve always seen on cloth diapering sites as a great option for diaper ointment, was sent to me as a sample in a Bluum Box. It was love after first swipe. The ingredients are all natural, it’s made with love by a small company, it works well and can be used beyond diaper rash (for black/mixed hair to separate locks? who knew!) It moisturizes and seals the irritated areas and I love that it contains essential oils. CJ’s BUTTer is my new go-to for diaper ointment.

5. Hooded Bath Towel: Under the Nile
This thick, luscious hooded baby towel is made from organic Eygptian cotton and you can totally tell. It’s both soft and durable and surpasses the quality and texture of the thin baby towels we received from the big kid’s baby shower. We have tons of baby towels, but honestly? This Under the Nile towel is the one I grab every time.  And bonus, my photographer friend, Maegan Dougherty, who has photographed our family many times pre-baby #2, shot some pics for Under the Nile’s clothing line, which can be seen on the front page.  Nice, right?

5. Fisher Price Giggle Gang
Another stuffed toy and one that laughs? Ha! Yes…but this one is too cute to pass up. It’s just a round, vibrant plush toy that giggles when you press it’s belly and it’s contagious and chewable! I have a video review of these guys coming up, but I couldn’t not include him on here because we keep Fuzzy on our changing table to distract Mr. Squirmy baby. Laughs all around!

6. Badger Baby Oil
For our first kid’s baby shower, I received several containers of baby oil. I honestly had no idea what to use it for, so I never really used it. This time around I find myself using it as often as I can. I use it in diaper wipe solution, for dry skin patches and most often after bath on baby’s scalp to help avoid cradle cap. I use just a tiny drop and it works so well. I’ve read articles that say to AVOID using oils on the baby’s head, but alas, this is something I still do and have no issues whatsoever. With with calendula and chamomile, the Badger Baby Oil smells so lovely, I love using it at night to complement the Nighty Night balm. Bonus: I love to include it in so many of my baby shower gift baskets because it not only lasts forever, but it’s a great alternative to the more questionable products in the baby aisle.

There are so many products out there, and many more that we use, but these few just so happen to be the ones we use in our current routine. All of them are fun, sustainable and worthy of sharing!

Full disclosure: the changing table was a gift from family, but all of the other products were either items in a swag bag, samples from a company for review or samples obtained from my husband’s employer, which has no direct affiliation with NKT. As always, all opinions on NKT are mine.

Play Kitchens Promote Imagination and Creativity for Girls and Boys

I was planning on writing about something completely different today, and then I saw this question posed on Twitter:

I was caught off guard since my boy, like I’m sure many of yours, enjoys play cooking.  As we finish our remodel and completion of rooms, we’ve been on the hunt for a kitchen that’s “just right.”  But the reason I was caught off guard was, since when did imagination and creativity become a gender thing, because isn’t that what role playing, such as kitchen play, promotes?

Maybe it’s because I choose to ignore such conversations, but I never realized that play kitchens were considered “girl toys.” Quite honestly, I wish it didn’t have to be that way.  Ample research has revealed that exposing kids to the kitchen benefits them in the long run.  Whether it’s a play kitchen or a real kitchen, let the kids explore, learn and be creative.

Ever go to a toy store where the demo play kitchen is set up?  It never fails, the play kitchen, just like a real kitchen at family gatherings, has some sort of magnetic energy that lures people and kids.

While we’re at it, let’s talk kitchens.  Here are just a few kitchens that are perfect for cooking up a good (pretend) feast:

The Educo Gourmet Kitchen is made of wood with completely non-toxic, child-friendly paints and finishes.  I love that this kitchen features bright, bold and modern, a contrast from that gender-specific color palette.

The Deluxe Kitchen Play Centre from Melissa and Doug is the kitchen in question that always lures my kid in, whenever we visit our local toy boutique.  It’s made mostly of wood, features a myriad of controls, buttons, shelves and accoutrements.  Basically, like the marketing material implies, this kitchen has everything including the kitchen sink.

Another kitchen that’s made of wood that I love is the kid’s play kitchen from IKEA.  Like their furniture, it boast straight lines, euro design and most importantly, the kids love its “realistic” features.  Best aspect, though, is that its in the $100 range, with plenty of options to add personal touches.

Speaking of personal touches, what about DIY play kitchens?  I can’t think of a more sustainable option that involves interaction from parent and kids than creating a play kitchen from repurposed furniture.  This one, made by a set of grandparents, is probably my idea of the holy grail of DIY play kitchens.

Do you guys have any thoughts on kitchens? Any faves? Opposed or in favor of boys/girls playing in the kitchen?

Wish List: Artek for Kids

In the madness that has been our family moving and transitioning, one fun facet of the whole process has been plotting our the renovation and decor of our home.  As with everything, I’m thinking practical, sustainable, while keeping a classic and modern aesthetic.  And did I mention affordable?

But as most design fans know, sometimes the sleekest pieces aren’t always the most cost-efficient.  But man, are they gorgeous.

On my never-ending hunt for beautiful children’s furniture that would fit our casual, but modern taste, I’m currently in love with Artek’s Children furniture.  A mama can dream.

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Jonathan Adler Introduces Kids Line

With our moving day pretty imminent, I’m decidedly in design mode.  Since we’re not only transitioning from the city to the suburbs, this is will be our first “real” house.  So, let the designing begin!


Jonathan Adler, perhaps, one of my favorite modern design influences, has recently unveiled a kid line, Jonathan Adler Junior.  The line, reminiscent of his signature straight lines and whimsical, yet modern designs, is softened for the kiddie set.  In addition to the playful ceramic animals, the Junior line has some sophisticated items that are making parents swoon, like this fucshia Junior Templeton chair.