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A Compact Travel System for Your Growing Family

The more children we have, the more interested I become in things that will save space both in the house and in the car.

There are so many odds and ends that I feel we have to keep in the car, but there is only so much room.  I began the hunt for a compact travel system so that I could make other moms with growing families aware of it.

I specifically wanted to find a compact travel system rather than just a stroller because it is so nice to be able to just click the carseat out of the carseat base and into the stroller rather than having to transfer the baby (especially if he's sleeping!)

 

Here's what I found:

Urbini Touri Review

The Urbini Touri Compact Travel System not only lives up to its name as far as being compact, but it has lots of other fantastic features too!  (Disclosure:  I received the travel system free to facilitate this review; however, as always all opinions are 100% my own.)

 

Pros:

  • Stroller is a comfortable height and has a comfortable handle design
  • Stroller rides very smoothly
  • Stroller folds extremely compact
  • Cup holder included with stroller
  • Stroller recline angle adjusts to wherever you want it (and does so very easily)
  • Stroller has adjustable footrest to make it the most comfortable for baby's size
  • Stroller changes from swivel wheels to locked wheels to make pushing on rough terrain easier
  • Stroller is easy to fold and unfold
  • The sunshade on both the carseat and stroller provides lots of coverage
  • Carseat includes a preemie insert for tiny babies
  • Carseat cover and buckle cushions are easy to remove and wash
  • Carseat harness is easy to adjust
  • Carseat is lightweight

 

Urbini Touri Review

I was really surprised at how much coverage the sunshade offers.

 

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On the left is my umbrella stroller. On the right is the Urbini Touri stroller. They are pretty much the same size!

 

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The stroller was packed very nicely for shipping. There was a lot of extra padding to prevent any part of it from getting damaged.

Cons:

  • The basket under the stroller is small; I guess a larger basket would not allow the stroller to be folded so compactly!
  • Latching the carseat in and out of the base or stroller is not extremely convenient.  Not a terrible deal, but it's not the easiest I've ever used.
  • It doesn't seem like the most durable stroller in the world.
  • The buckles do not buckle and unbuckle terribly smoothly.
Urbini Touri Stroller

The basket is small, and the bars underneath do not allow it to stretch out any larger.

 

Overall, the Urbini Touri is a very nice travel system at a very nice price.  (Walmart.com has it listed at $149.)  It has every feature I could wish for in a stroller, all in a very compact size.  This is a great option for any family with small spaces and a small budget!

 

Urbini Touri Review

Starting Natural from Day One

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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When I think of baby essentials, I naturally think of larger items like a crib, stroller, and car seat. But then I realize that babies need so much more than that. Smaller essentials like baby wipes, baby wash, and diaper cream also need to be collected before a new baby arrives in the home. I prefer to use only products with natural ingredients on my babies (and on myself for that matter.)

 

We have used and loved Burt's Bees diaper rash cream for every single one of our babies because it is the only one we've found that does the job on even the worst diaper rash — and it usually clears it up overnight!

Natural Baby Care #babybee

Burt's Bees sent us a package with some Baby Bee Nourishing Lotion, Shampoo and Wash, Chlorine Free Wipes, Cream-to-Powder, and Multi-purpose Ointment.  We have enjoyed trying out these other products, and I love that there is a whole line of baby care products that is based on natural ingredients.

Now, I'll be completely honest and say that while most of the ingredients in these products are easily recognizable and definitely natural, there are some that I would need to check into a little further.  I also would prefer that they didn't contain soybean and canola oil as those are usually genetically modified, and I like to keep exposure to GMO's to an absolute minimum, even though it is only external exposure.  (Remember, your skin is your largest organ.)

With that said, I'll go back to saying that I'm okay with using the diaper rash cream for the reason that it works so well.

I just want to be completely honest with you.

I like the way Burt's Bees products work, but I do think their ingredients could be cleaned up even more than they are.  Are they better than some of the alternatives?  I think so.  You'll just have to make your own call on this one.

Update: Burt's Bees has offered the following information about their products:

“We actively engage with our suppliers regarding their sourcing practices, including the starting materials they use for our ingredients. Both the suppliers of our soybean oil and canola oil have signed a declaration that these are non-GMO ingredients.”

That's nice to know!  That actually makes me love their products so much more!

Baby products that work really well and are natural and non-GMO?  Yay!  I love it!

(Maybe Burt's Bees should add to their packaging that their products are non-GMO for the paranoid mothers like me?)

Some of the other natural ingredients you'll find in Burt's Bees products:

  • Buttermilk for moisturizing.
  • Beeswax to help lock in moisture.
  • Shea butter to soften dry skin.
  • Aloe vera to soothe irritated skin.
  • Coconut oil to help nurture, young sensitive skin.

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Want to know more about Burt's Bees baby products?  Follow them on Facebook:

How will you go natural with your baby?

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Burt’s Bees blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

A Little More Sanity (Plus a Giveaway!)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me in partnership with One2One Network and Huggies. All opinions are 100% my own.

People.

I have 4 kids 6 and under.  Some days I wonder if I have a brain left at all.

Anything I can do to give myself a little more sanity is a big, big plus in my book!
And since diapers are also a very big part of my life right now, it is extremely important for me to find something that works great and doesn't cost a fortune in order to preserve what little sanity I have left.

I was recently sent a package of Huggies Little Movers to use on my “little mover”.

Here is one of my latest Instagram photos:

me

See nothing but a blur?  Me too.  The caption says “Literally 147 tries later and this is still the closest I could come to her looking at the camera.”

She's crazy, y'all.  (She gets it from her mother.)

 

Huggies Little Movers have Double Grip Strips for a comfy fit that lasts, a SnugFit waistband for all around stretchy fit, and the trusted protection Huggies LeakLock™ system.  The also have new colors and graphics (because diaper changing should always be as enjoyable of an experience as possible.)

What's even cooler is that when you buy Huggies Little Movers at Walgreens, you get rewarded.  Yes, ma'am.  I'm all about getting rewards for something I'm going to buy anyway.

Here's how it works:

-Buy Huggies Diapers at Walgreens
-After purchasing Huggies Diapers at Walgreens, go to Huggies.com/alittlemore and enter the Huggies Rewards code and Walgreens receipt number to earn great rewards.
-Play the instant win game (no purchase necessary) and earn great rewards like gift cards, and Huggies Diaper coupons.  (See official rules here.)


All right, moms.  Ready for a little more sanity?  Enter below to win a $25 Walgreens Gift Card to get you started with A Little More!

Win a $25 Gift Card to Walgreens (ends 8/21)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Conquering Naptime Mischief

Conquering Naptime Mischief

 

My kids are required to have a quiet time every day.  I personally need that time to recharge in that middle of the day.

They are usually pretty good about staying in their rooms and being quiet.  But there are other things that go on…

naptime mischief

Yes, somebody likes to color.  She's so quiet that I think she's asleep.  Then when naptime is over — surprise!  Look at my pretty picture, mommy!  I don't think there is a blank wall left in her room.

Am I the only mom who has a kid like this???

Enter my new secret weapon in the war against naptime mischief:

VTech Video MonitorYes, baby monitors aren't just for babies anymore!  (Disclosure: VTech sent me a VTech Safe & Sound Pan and Tilt Monitor to review.  All opinions are my own.)

 

I seriously love this monitor.  (I don't use the word LOVE unless I really mean it.)  It's hard to describe such awesomeness in one short blog post, but I'll try:

1. Instead of just hearing audio, I can see what's going on with this video monitor.  Since my little girl is a pro at stealth tactics, I need the visual element.

This occurred as I was composing this blog post…

VTech Monitor

The video quality is actually quite a bit better than what you see in the pictures too.  I was having a hard time getting a good picture.  It also has full color video, but the color doesn't really show up if it is dark in the room.

2. If she gets out of my line of vision, I can use the monitor to move the camera that is set up in her room and see whatever I need to see.

Ah, there she is…

VTech baby monitor

I can move it side to side and up and down so that I have a view of the entire room.  I can also zoom in if I need to.

3. If I need to talk to her, I can press the talk button on the monitor and she will hear me from the camera in her room.  It is so sensitive that I can talk in a whisper and she hears me.  I love this because if I go in there her baby sister will sense that I'm there and wake up, but if I whisper through the monitor the baby doesn't wake up.

4. This system can have up to 4 cameras connected to the parent unit (must purchase additional cameras separately).  I would love to get an extra camera for the boys' room.

 

One of the most important things I wanted to know about this monitor was whether or not it was secure.  After reading a scary news story about a family who had someone hack into their baby's video monitor and watch their child and talk to him in the middle of the night, I wanted to be sure there was no danger of that happening to us.

As it turns out, since this monitor is not connected to the internet in any way, it would be very, very, very, very, (did I say very?) difficult for someone to hack it.  I am happy to know that I can watch my kids and talk to them without some strange creep having that ability too.

 

So now I can keep an eye on this little artist of mine during naptime!  I wish I had gotten one of these a long time ago; we would have a lot less painting to do!  (But it's a beautiful mess; remember that mama!)

If you need your own secret weapon, you can check it out right here.

 

 

 

So tell me, moms — What kind of naptime mischief do your little ones get into?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Essentials for the On-the-Go Family

Soccer games.  Piano lessons.  Grocery shopping.

When you have kids, there are always places to go.  And when you're trying to keep up with your big kids' activities while at the same time bringing your baby along, there are several things I can think of that will make your life a little easier.

Baby Essentials for the On-the-Go Family

1. Diaper bag.

Okay, so this one's probably obvious!  But, what are the things that you need to keep packed in your diaper bag at all times so that you can grab and go and never be without the things you need for baby?

  • Diapers and wipes – I cannot tell you how many times I think we are just going to “run to the store really quick”, so I don't bother to make sure the diapers and wipes have been restocked.  Let me just say that every time I don't make sure there are plenty in there, we end up regretting it!
  • Extra clothes – Those times you regret not bringing the diapers and wipes are very likely to be times when you'll wish for an extra pair of clothes too!
  • Plastic bag – See above if you can't figure out what it's for!
  • Pacifier – When your family is on the go, you may end up being out during baby's naptime or feeding time.
  • Blanket – If you're out during naptime, a familiar blanket may help baby fall asleep somewhere besides his bed.
  • Hat – If you're taking baby to ballgames or other outdoor activities, you'll need to make sure his delicate head is protected from the sun
  • Toys – Soccer games may be fun for the rest of the family, but they may not interest your baby nearly as much.  Make sure you bring something fun for him to do too!
  • Snacks – when your baby is starting to eat solids, having a little snack and drink in the diaper bag will do wonders toward keeping him happy while you're out and about.

2. Nursing cover – if you breastfeed and you'll be out when baby is hungry, you may want to bring a nursing cover with you.  (By the way,  you can get a free one here!  Just use the coupon code ENBABY when you check out and you'll get one for the cost of shipping only.)

3. Shopping cart cover – when your baby is old enough to sit up, I recommend using a shopping cart cover.  Shopping cart handles have nasty germs on them and babies like to put everything in their mouths!  Not a good combo!

4. Car seat – I guess this is another obvious one!  You can't take your baby anywhere without a car seat!  I recommend the Combi Shuttle, which can be paired with any of Combi's strollers to create a travel system.  I really like that it is specifically designed to offer protection from front, rear and side impact collisions with its Combi Tru-Safe® Side Impact Protection and anti-rebound bar.    It also offers lots of comfortable padding for baby and has straps that are very easy to adjust.  You can learn more about the carseat here.

Combi Shuttle car seat

 

5. Car seat cover – These are so nice to have!  When baby falls asleep in the car seat, you can keep the cover down to help keep it dark and quiet so he can get a better nap while you're out.  They're also nice for keeping sun and wind off of baby when you're walking between the car and the store, and they're great for keeping random strangers from reaching down and pinching your baby's cheeks!  You can get a free shopping cart cover as well when you use the coupon code ENBABY at checkout.  You'll pay shipping only, which is somewhere around $12.

6. Stroller – When you've got older kids, a stroller is invaluable.  You need about 8 arms to keep track of everything and everybody, and trying to hold a baby at the same time just adds to the chaos.  All of the Combi strollers can be used along with the Combi Shuttle car seat to create a travel system.  Instead of having to unstrap your baby and buckle him into a stroller, you can just clip the car seat right into the stroller with the baby still in it.  (This is especially a lifesaver if your baby is asleep!)

Combi Cabria stroller review

Combi sent us the Cabria stroller, which is perfect for the on-the-go family because it folds up so small.  I have never seen a travel system so compact, but I'm glad it is because there is so much else that needs to go in the back of the van!  It's got a smooth ride, and that nice big shade keeps the sun off the baby.  It's also very easy to fold up. (Remember that part about needing 8 arms?  A stroller that's easy to fold is a big plus.)  The only downside is that the storage basket underneath is very small.  I'm assuming it wouldn't be able to fold up so small if it were bigger.  Oh well, I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.  You can see more about the Cabria stroller here.

 

(Please note: Combi sent us the Shuttle car seat and Cabria stroller free of charge to faciliate this review.  However, I sought them out and requested it because I thought this would be a great stroller for a family with lots of kids -and it is! )

You can order the Shuttle car seat and/or a stroller on the Combi website, where you'll receive free shipping on orders $50+.  I also recommend following them on Facebook and Twitter so you can keep up with giveaways and specials!

 

What did I forget?  What else do you need as an on-the-go family?

 

 

4 Baby Registry Must-Haves

Is it really possible that this little peanut:

is now this big?

It seems like just yesterday we were preparing for her birth. I was asked to share my 4 Baby-Registry Must-Haves as part of a sponsored campaign with Levana. There are so many things that you think you will need, and when it comes down to it — you just don't. All the fancy gadgets are nice and all, but sometimes you look back and realize that you didn't use those things nearly as much as you thought you would.

So here are four must-haves for your baby registry:

 

Baby Registry Must Haves

1. A car seat. If you have a baby, and you want to go anywhere, you need one of these! Bonus if they can get you a matching stroller, unless you're the babywearing type. Then you should ask for your choice of wrap or carrier. People need to know details so they can get you what you really want and need.

2. Diapers and wipes. Every baby has to have them. You will be grateful for every single diaper someone gives you. Most people know that diapers and wipes are good baby gifts, but they won't always know which brand you prefer. If you want to get the kind you like, you'd better put it on your registry.

3. Clothes – People love picking out cute little baby clothes, but..ahem…everyone has their own interpretation of the word “cute”. If you want to get what you think is cute, then register for specifics.

4. A baby monitor. I like to put my babies in their own room as soon as possible so that I can sleep without hearing every little baby noise. Baby noises are cute and all, but they keep me awake. Tired mama = grouchy mama. Not good. If baby is going to be in their own room, it's nice to have a little peace of mind that a monitor can help give.

The kind folks at Levana sent me an Oma+ monitor. It is the most unique baby monitor I have ever seen.

It is cordless (battery-powered) and it actually senses baby's breathing. You clip it onto baby's diaper right at the belly button and it senses his or her movements. The sensor will gently vibrate to help encourage the return of regular movement after 15 seconds of complete stillness and will beep loudly to alert you if no movement is detected for more than 20 seconds.

Levana is dedicated to the safety of precious babies, keeping abreast of what's important to parents by asking real moms their needs and developing solutions to meet those needs. They exclusively manufacture baby monitors so they can focus on perfecting their products, and all monitors are digital and wireless to eliminate the risk of cord strangulation. The Oma+ is exclusively available at buybuy Baby in the US.

Watch the video below for more information on choosing a baby movement monitor. (Can't see the video? Watch on YouTube.)

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

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