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Baby Registry Picks and Skips – Part 1: Travel

For first time parents the idea of creating a baby registry can seem over whelming with all of the choices out there.  Until you are a parent it is hard to know what you will actually use and what is a waste of money.  When I was pregnant with our son I remember walking into the big box baby store feeling huge, dizzy and exhausted.  I kept scanning the room for a place to curl up into fetal position.  Luckily my husband who hates shopping lives for registering and researching products so I let him take the lead and I gave up a lot of control in order to survive the experience.  In the end he was pretty dead on and we have loved almost every choice we made as first time parents. Now that I have been through the reality that is having an actual living, breathing human test everything out I have learned what I love and what to skip.

In this series I will be breaking a baby registry down into the items to splurge on and pass up.  In each blog post I will be highlighting my favorite items and local shops.  Feel free to email me with any questions you might have regarding creating your own personalized registry at info@nestingstory.ca.  Nesting Story also specializes in registry management.  Please visit our list of services for more information.  In the Travel blog post I sourced almost all of the items from Snuggle Bugz, a wonderful shop with everything baby, located in Milton and Burlington, Ontario.  You can also shop on their website www.snugglebugz.ca.

 

Nesting Story’s Baby Registry Picks and Skips – Part 1: Travel

Stroller(s)

My biggest mistake that I made while creating my baby registry was getting caught up in all of the bells and whistles of the fancy single stroller we bought without really thinking about the future.  We thought our kids would be spaced far enough a part that we would not need a double stroller, I didn’t know then that we would be welcoming our daughter we nick named Bad Math Baby, 20 months after our son was born.  We also didn’t think past the image of our son being an infant to him being in the 99th percentile for weight which made our fancy stroller catch on every crack on the side walk.  For these reasons I highly recommend the Baby Jogger “City Select“.

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Baby Jogger “City Select” at Snuggle Bugz

The “City Select” comes in a variety of colours as well as attachments.  You can start out with just clicking the infant car seat into the stroller and then eventually purchase one or two seats.  Even if you are only using this stroller for one child initially it is still a great option.  The base is large enough that it won’t become top heavy and it is so light and easy to fold up.  The number of seating combinations in the “City Select” is incredible!

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Some stroller accessory picks you may want to pick up would be the stroller tray and parent console… a skip: the cup holder.

An additional inexpensive umbrella stroller is also great to have!!!  Lend out to a Grandparent or leave as a “just in case we need it” in you car, you never know!  I love the Combi “Flare” umbrella stroller, incredibly light yet sturdy and folds in half vertically!

Combi Flare

Carseats

There is a reason why almost everyone loves and has the Peg Perego “Primo Viaggio” carseat, it is well made,  adaptable to pretty much every stroller, is incredibly safe and has a sleek design… need I say more?

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Peg Perego “Primo Viaggio” at Snuggle Bugz

When looking for a carseat once your child has grown out of the infant one, I have found that some of the biggest name brand options have left me disappointed, especially with the buckling systems.  I am very excited about the    “Foonf” carseat by Clek.  Born out of an automotive supplier company and based out of Toronto, they have pretty much thought of everything!  Safety features including an anti-rebound bar for rear facing mode, convenient integrated magnets to hold the harness out of the way while taking your child in and out of the car and Crypton fabric to protect against spills and stains, (previously working in the food and beverage Interior Design field I am a big fan of Crypton fabric and it’s capabilities) just to name a few!

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The Clek “Foonf” at Snuggle Bugz

Some car seat accessory picks: if you have a winter baby, a car seat cover like the one by Easy Cover Newborn and for an older child JJ Cole’s “Bundle Me” (be careful to make sure your child’s buckles are pulled tight with this one).  Skip: a puffy infant snow suit, instead use one of these covers and a hat with blankets tucked around your little one… it is much safer because you can tighten the harness more.  The “Carseat Canopy” is also great to protect your little one from the sun.

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Carseat Covers at Snuggle Bugz

Baby Carriers & Wraps

Although I loved my Baby Bjorn carrier for my little ones I did find it was limited with the weight capacity.  Some more comfortable and flexible options for baby carriers are the Cuddly Wrap by Peapod Creations which is easy to use, comfortable and goes to a high weight and the Ergo Baby Carrier that is extremely comfortable and flexible and also goes up to a high weight.

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Carrier Options at Snuggle Bugz

Skip: beware of any hammock-like slings, they have been recalled in the past due to suffocation.

Diaper Bags

I absolutely LOVE Petunia Pickle Bottom’s Diaper bags!  Not only do they have gorgeous prints, they are so well made and my favorite style, the Boxy has such versatile straps either going over the shoulder or back pack straps.  The only down side is they are on the pricey side.  If you are looking for something a little more budget friendly, Skip Hop has some great diaper bags, the most popular styles being the “Versa” and the “Studio bag“.

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Diaper Bags at Snuggle Bugz

If you require a larger bag to carry extra supplies for twins or for an older child as well, the Ju Ju Be “Be Prepared” and the Skip Hop “Duo Double” made made larger and can fit everything including the kitchen sink!

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Diaper Bags at Snuggle Bugz

Diaper bag accessory pick: a great change pad like the Skip Hop “Pronto” change pad.  There is a pocket for your wallet and keys and a strap to attach it to your stroller.  The Jonathan Adler prints are fun, stylish and full of vibrant colours.

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Skip Hop Pronto at Snuggle Bugz

Travel skip: a grocery cart cover.  It is a great idea in theory but it can be a hassle putting it in and taking it out while  juggling your little one, especially if you have more than one child.  It is almost easier to give the cart a quick wipe down and be on your way!

Each parent will find that different products work for them, a variety of carriers will fit different body types, and different family plans will require different types of strollers.  Which ever products you choose for your family make sure you ask others what worked for them, they have put those products through the paces and can speak from experience!

Happy registering!

Nurseries We Love!

One of the best sources for nursery design inspiration is Project Nursery.  I am constantly pinning nurseries from this website’s projects and thought I would share some of my favorites!

Jude’s Vintage Nursery

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I am obsessing about this nursery because of the retro and eclectic vibe it has going on. There is such a warmth to it and it could truly work for a boy or girl.  The fact that there are re-purposed pieces in this nursery inspires me to start checking out my local thrift shops.  Plus, I am loving the unexpected colours in this mural.  This nursery is by Ginny Phillips who is a very talented photographer and Etsy shop owner.  Check out Ginny’s work: www.ginnyphillipsphotography.com            http://www.etsy.com/shop/westeightythird

 

 

Ava’s Sweet Gray and Pink Nursery

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This nursery really works for me because it is girly and formal, yet clean and sophisticated.  I always appreciate it when I see a nursery design that isn’t themed and can grow up with a child without having to do much to the room.  The white paneling on the walls give a great relief to the grey and there is just the right amount of pink to soften the room and make it fit for a princess!  This nursery is by megandwade.  Check out their blog http://wadeupdate.blogspot.ca/

 

Eclectic Wood-Paneled Nursery

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I think this is such a fun nursery (despite my phobia of garden gnomes).  Anytime I see reclaimed wood used in design I gravitate to it!  I LOVE the wood-paneled wall.  It adds texture and a natural element to the room that balances out all of the bold colours and large graphic prints.  This room also has a fantastic sense of humor with it’s touches of whimsy including the mustache hardware on the dresser and the… eeek… orange garden gnome.  This nursery is by and J Design Group.  Check out more of their stunning projects on their website: http://www.jandjdesigngroup.com/index.html

 

DIY – Beef Up Your Baseboards On A Budget

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I saw this idea in the February 2013 Canadian House and Home magazine issue and thought it was so clever!  This is a fantastic way to beef up the baseboards in a nursery (or anywhere in your house) for very little cost.  This DIY idea gives the illusion of much higher baseboards.

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Simply build onto your existing baseboards by adding a bevelled base cap 1″ – 2″ above the baseboard. Then paint out the baseboard, wall gap and new trim piece all the same colour to give the appearance of tall baseboards.

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I also loved the idea of painting out your baseboards a rich contrast colour, but instead of using an earthy hue shown in the photo, I would suggest going for a soothing sophisticated pastel for a nursery.  Some of Pantone‘s 2013 Fashion Report’s colours would be perfect!  My favorites are Greyed Jade and Linen.

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Someone Switched My Baby – Extreme Separation Anxiety

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My little guy arrived into the world in a pretty textbook way; my water broke like a water balloon 3 days before my due date and after six hours of labor and twenty minutes of pushing he was in my arms.  He was perfect!  He came out completely pink and ready for kisses.  We were now a proud family of three.

In the weeks that followed my son’s birth we had a parade of family and friends come through our house cuddling and passing around my little man.  My mother would come over often to babysit or just spend time with her first grandchild.  My husband and I were bursting at the seams with our cute and cuddly baby boy.

Then one morning when he was ten weeks old I went into the nursery to go get who I thought was my son.  No, no one actually switched my baby, but they might as well have.  He was miserable and on edge.  After giving him a thorough look over and consulting my mental “is he sick” checklist I came to the conclusion that he was his normal robust self but with an attitude. I decided to get on with my day as usual.  When my mother arrived later that day I was relieved to pass off my little gremlin and get some much needed housework finished.

That was when all hell broke loose!  He howled and howled and did not want anything to do with my mom.  Determined not to give up, my mom told me she was fine, besides, she had survived four babies herself (one who of which was nicknamed Oscar the Grouch for a reason).  I raced out of the house and opted to buy a baby swing which my husband and I up until this point had thought was a load of crap!  After arriving home an hour later and seeing my son was still hysterical, and my mom, the veteran nurse, lactation consultant and mother was exhausted and felt helpless, I couldn’t get the swing put together fast enough.  It helped a bit but until my mom left and closed the door behind her he didn’t quite settle.

That’s when the realization that my baby boy may have a bad case of separation anxiety set in.  Okay, I thought, I could handle this.  Besides, I don’t want to share my little bundle of joy with anyone anyways.  This will pass soon… HA!  I was delusional!

As time passed my son systematically cut person after person out of his life including my husband, which broke his heart.  We were at the point that we couldn’t attend any family functions without feeling like we had been through a war and I had to tell people in the grocery store not to make eye contact with my baby let alone talk to him.  I remember multiple attempts at hosting play dates with my friends and their babies and having to spend 99% of the time hiding upstairs.  My husband and I came up with odd little tricks to keeping him happy while we had visitors like putting him in his high chair with the TV on and a tablespoon of peanut butter… this was not how I pictured motherhood!  I was so isolated and alone.

The breaking point was when my son was 18 months and I was expecting our daughter (a surprise!!!) in a month and I couldn’t conceive how I was going to handle a newborn and a son who couldn’t peel himself off of me.  I started sobbing and panicking to my husband and instructed him to drive me to labour and delivery because I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown.  Once inside, two angelic nurses sat with me and let me sob and told me their horror stories of their own experiences as mothers.  In conclusion they said, you have to get help, you can’t do this alone.

After heading home feeling like a ton of weight had been lifted off my shoulders, I called around and found a fantastic babysitter who we hired to come a couple times a week.  We started slow with me leaving the room for short periods of time.  After a few months of having our babysitter and my determined mother taking turns babysitting we put our son into a home daycare a few days a week.  I was able to stay home and enjoy some quiet time with my little girl.

After time my son realized that there was a whole world out there and he had been missing out on so much.  Now he is mister social.  He still suffers from some anxiety but the best thing for him is getting out of the house in a school type setting.  If I could go back a couple of years and tell myself a piece of advice it would be, don’t try to be a hero, get help, even if he cries the whole time and this won’t last forever!!!

 

Quick and Inexpensive Girl’s Room Decor Ideas

 

When designing my kid’s rooms I am always trying to strike a balance between makings them fun and age appropriate yet being careful to not go overboard on a theme knowing that my kids may eventually want something different.  Here are some quick and inexpensive ways you add a little extra whimsy to a little girl’s room:

 

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Create a more dynamic composition with a small piece of artwork on a larger wall by scattering some unexpected butterflies and flowers.  Don’t be afraid to mix in some pops of colour.  I found these butterflies at the Dollar Store and these paper flowers at a local craft store.

 

 

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I re-purposed one of my son’s old lamps by pulling off the masculine truck decals and replacing them with felt butterflies and flowers from the dollar store.

Happy Crafting!