8 Things To Do With Lots of Links

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things To Do With Lots Of Links Linky Ring Toys

8 Things To Do With Lots Of Links

Lots of Links or “link rings” or “linkies”…whatever you call them…are useful as all get out!  If you’re anything like me, I was thrilled to receive package after package of them when my little one was on the way.

I wanted to get Lots of Links, Stacking Cups, Stacking Rings, and Blocks…all of the essentials I had as a kid.  All the great toys that you can use your imagination with as opposed to the electronic junk that is dominating the toy market now.

I’ve noticed that a lot of parents let them disappear into toy boxes once they’re not using them on play gyms anymore, but they can be played with in a million new ways and they are incredibly useful!

  • Attach toys

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links attach and hang toys in the car or crib

When baby is little, this really comes in handy.  Before baby is running around, picking up toys, you can hang toys from play gyms, pack and plays, and cribs for baby to swat at and reach for.

When baby is older, this comes in handy in the car!  You can make a chain of links from the head rest and attach toys, or attach them directly to the car seat.

My little girl is practically a toddler and I use them to attach toys in the car still because if she throws them, I can easily pick them up!

  • Make pull game

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link Rings

Attach all the links into one long chain and place them in a bin of some kind.  Give baby one end and let them pull it out like one of those never ending scarf chains that magicians used to have.

Their faces light up as they grab and pull and their muscles and coordination get a good work out.

  • Make an instrument

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link Chain Ring

Grab a big Tupperware container from your kitchen, throw a handful of links in, and seal up.

Let baby shake to their heart’s content!

  • Make a stacking game on a paper towel holder

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link chain ring

If you have a freestanding paper towel holder in your kitchen, pull the paper towels off and show baby how to stack the links onto the rung.

If baby doesn’t quite have the coordination to stack yet, put the links on for them and let them pull them off.  Makes them just as happy!

  • Set in Jello for a dig

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link Chains Jello Dig

Magical Mama Blog 8 things to do with lots of links linkies link chains jello dig

Prepare for a mess.  Make a batch of Jello in a big dish and throw some links in and around so some are poking out and some are floating inside.  Put in the fridge to set.

(I used a bit of washi tape in order to have some of the links stick out.  They will float flat on the top if you don’t, which is fine, I just wanted to give her a challenge to dig in there!)

Either set out a dollar store plastic table cloth or put them in the tub and have bath time right after.

Let baby tear through the jello to get to the links.  There will be a mess, but they will be immensely proud of themselves and you don’t have to worry about them eating their sensory play!

  • Make link drop bucket

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links Linkies Link Chain

This is one of my daughter’s favorite toys.  She pulls it out at least 3 or 4 times a day.

I simply took a coffee canister once it was empty,

gave it a soak and a wash,

traced a big rectangle into the lid,

cut it out with an Xacto knife,

sanded it to make sure it was safe for little fingers

and we’ve played with it multiple times per day since then!

We call it the “putting away” game…I’m trying to pass on my love of cleaning to her at an early age!

She carries it around by the slot on top like it’s a purse!

  • Baby Proofing

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things to do with Lots of Links baby proofing linkies link rings

If you have handles on your cabinets, you can throw a link or two onto them and BAM!  They’re baby proofed!

  • Do a color sort

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things To Do With Lots of Links Linkies Link Chains Color Sort

When baby starts recognizing the different colors, you can place a colored piece of paper on the floor or get out some Tupperware out.  Show baby some samples of color matching and let them give it a try.

Once they’re good at it, it can be a busy activity to keep them amused while you do something else!

 

If baby gets sick, you’ll want to sanitize these links, check out my post on Toy Disinfectant Spray and Wash.

 

Magical Mama Blog 8 Things To Do With Lots Of Links Linky Ring Toys

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How To: Make Baby Hairspray

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

How To: Make Baby Hair Spray

It is inevitable.  Your baby’s hair will suddenly spring up like weeds and overnight, they will go from a balding Benjamin Franklin…

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

…to a troll doll….

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

You want to tame the static, fly aways, and emo hair chunk in their eyes…but alas, your straightener and your hair products aren’t exactly designed for pure little baby hair.

Then you sit there after bath time brushing those teeny tiny tresses trying to decide if you want to…

go through the dreaded first hair cut,

chase them around and wrap their precious hair into microscopic plastic rubber bands,

attempt headbands, bows or barrettes that will definitely end up coming off of their heads in two seconds,

or you can let them go around looking like a little ragamuffin.

 

Fear not!  There is a way to tame their wild hair without any harsh chemicals or products!

I present to you:  BABY HAIRSPRAY!

 

This magical concoction will keep baby’s hair mostly in place throughout the day and easily washes out in the bath with no residue, skin irritants, or hair damage!

And you probably have tons of the two ingredients in your kitchen right now!

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup water

1 tsp granulated sugar

Spray bottle

 

…You read that right…sugar water…

Believe it or not, this is not a new fad.  Sugar water to tame baby’s hair has been around for generations!   Go ask grandma if she did it or knows someone who did!

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray Hairspray Toddler Tame Control Products

Make that baby spray!

Boil the 1/2 cup of water.

(or put 1/2 cup of water into a glass measuring cup and microwave until you see it bubbling…I used this method because I’d much rather wash a measuring cup than a pan)

Add in your 1 tsp of sugar and stir until it dissolves into the water.

If it is freshly boiling, the sugar puts on a small fizzley show for you and disappears almost instantaneously.

Pour your sugar water into your spray bottle.

(I grabbed this little spray bottle that fits the whole recipe perfectly in the Target travel/mini section within the beauty department)

Spray away.

Does it work?

This stuff is fabulously gentle and keeps hair out of baby’s eyes and pretty in place.

Before:

Magical mama blog how to make baby hairspray messy hair sugar water spray bottle

After:

Magical Mama Blog How to Make Baby Hair Spray Hairspray Baby Toddler Tame

Obviously, if your child has their hands in it all day, it won’t hold well.  But out of sight, out of mind.  If their hair isn’t tickling their forehead and ears and is out of their eyes, they may be able to focus on other things.

As your little one gets older, you can add more sugar for a stronger hold.

I have had no experience with the spray going “bad” from age.

The great thing about this spray is that it is so gentle, it won’t irritate their little heads or damage their hair.

Enjoy exploring all the new hair styles you can create!

Magical Mama Blog How To Make Baby Hair Spray

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24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need To Know

magical mama blog 24 diaper changing hacks all parents need to know tricks tips life saving life changing diaper changes


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need to Know

By the time your child reaches a year old, you’ll be an expert.  You will have changed approximately 2,500 to 3,000 diapers (according to experts and many experienced mamas out there).

There will be horror movie scenes that you will live through.  You will get poop on you.  You will get peed on.  There’s really no escaping any of it… but if I can give a few helpful tips to keep in the back of your mind along the journey, that can’t hurt!

Magical Mama Blog - 24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need to Know

  • Have the next size up on lay away

Your baby can literally change sizes over night.  Even if your baby is a few pounds away from stepping up to the next size, have at least a small package around…you’re going to need them eventually anyway.

You will reach a time when you will have constant blow outs…either up the back or out the legs.

Unfortunately, if you’re experiencing blowouts up the back, you can go up a size, and it will come out of their legs…the only option you have at this point is to try switching brands for a different shape or waiting it out and having lots of extra outfits ready.

(This applies mostly to Preemie, Newborn, Size 1 and Size 2… once you get into size 3, you’re usually good for about a 10 pound window of their life)

  • Size up at night

If you’re getting up every morning and…

  • your little one’s pajamas or bed are wet
  • the diaper’s wet indicator has reached some kind of magical color you haven’t seen before
  • your baby’s diaper is huge and weighs a ton

…it is time to size UP at night.

If your little one is sleeping for longer periods of time (or even through the night…woohoo!), they’ll be missing out on several diaper changes.  They’ll need more storage to get the moisture off of their skin so they don’t get diaper rash.

Magical Mama Blog - 24 Diaper Changing hacks All Parents Need to Know

  • Know the secret of the envelope sleeves!

Most onesies come with magical double folded fabric on each shoulder that can be opened up and rolled down.

If your baby has a blow out up their entire back, you don’t want to try to maneuver all of that mess over baby’s head.

Fold the top piece of fabric back, the bottom piece of fabric forward, pull their arms out, and pull down.

Cheers to all the Dads I just saved from the first blowout mess!

  • Use the onesie to your advantage

If you have a particularly handsy baby, unsnap the buttons at the bottom and roll the onesie up and encase their arms into a little onesie straight jacket.  Voila!

  • Newborns won’t cry when they’re wet

Newborns have been hanging out in liquid for a few months.  A wet diaper doesn’t bother them too much.  Newborns are known to have about 10 wet diapers per day.

Checking them every hour or two is a good habit to get into as it can keep their sensitive little bums from diaper rash.

  • Babies need naked time

Nothing is better for preventing and treating diaper rash than a little naked time.  All of that moisture constantly trapped in there with friction is just asking for a rash!

Check out my blog on 7 causes of diaper rash and 11 cures!

  • Diaper under diaper

Especially in the first few months, little ones will feel a cool breeze and things can spew out of both ends with serious projectile force.

Your safest bet is to:

  • Open up a new diaper & place it under baby’s current diaper
  • Carefully open up the diaper that is on them
  • Clean up and prepare to use it as a shield just in case
  • Remove the dirty diaper
  • Place baby’s bum safely on the new clean diaper waiting beneath

This will save you countless changes of clothing and changing pad covers.

  • Ruffles out

Those extra little ruffles of fabric that surround baby’s legs?  They tend to naturally fold in because that is how they are packaged to be compact.

PULL THEM OUT!  They are meant to be on the outside so that the elastic can be as close to the baby’s legs as possible to prevent blow outs!

  • Extra wipes for boys

Boys tend to put on water work shows during changes.  Instead of investing money in a useless “pee pee tee pee”, throw a wipe over his business and you’re safe.

Some people put clean diapers on top…and that’ll just waste a ton of diapers in no time. Unhook his dirty diaper, throw a wipe on top, give him a few seconds, then continue on changing.

  • Keep bags in your bag

Diaper bag necessity: a handful of sandwich bags.  It’s always when you’re at your baby-less friend’s fancy house when your baby decides to make the nastiest mess in their britches.  You’ll want to be able to seal that up as to not frighten those around you with stench.

It’s also handy if your little one has a blow out when you’re on the go.  You can get them into their fresh change of clothes and contain the mess until you can get home and soak those clothes.

  • Have a car stash

Make a stash with a few of baby’s current size diapers and a few of the next size up, an outfit in the next size up, wipes, and cream. I suggest having things up a size so you don’t go to use your kit in an emergency and have everything be unusable.

I suggest getting a sealed box if possible (a plastic tub with locking lid).  Cars over heat and freeze and you don’t want your wipes and cream to dry out on you!

  • Have a mobile stash

Props to you if you’re willing to take baby to the changing station in their room 10 times per day…but for most of us, it’s just not realistic.. especially for those with multi-level homes!

Have a basket or bin in a few different rooms with at least diapers and wipes. It will save your sanity and your energy.

  • No need to waste a diaper

You’ll find out that you have some kind of hidden Superman strength after a few hundred diapers have been changed.  You’ll rip off an entire tab and render a diaper “useless”…fear not!  It doesn’t have to be this way!

Place a second diaper underneath baby.  Wrap it around the ripped diaper and secure.  When it comes time for the next change, simply clean baby and remove the inner diaper and you have a clean diaper with tabs still intact already in place!

  • Don’t waste money on a warmer

Diaper warmers…while it sounds so nice to not have anything to shock baby’s sweet bum, it’s unrealistic.

If you’re on the go, there will be no warmer, and baby will have to go through it just like everyone else has.

You can easily hold a wipe in your hand for 10 or 15 seconds and get the chill out of it.

Magical Mama Blog - 24 Diaper Changing Hacks All Parents Need to Know

  • Get set up before you start

This may sound like common sense, but go ahead and double check your stash before you get started.  When you’re nesting, I’m sure there were hundreds of diapers and wipes at the ready…but move down the line a year later, you won’t be so on top of it 100% of the time.

Make sure you have enough supplies and that it is within easy reach…at one of these diaper changes, baby will roll over, crawl away, stand up, and eventually run away…you’ll want to have at least one hand to keep them there.

  • Check your changing area

Babies are curious by nature.  Check that wires, heavy objects, boxes, bins, displays, etc. are all far out of arm’s reach.

Those arms grow quickly and they’ll be able to squirm into trouble before you know it.

  • Prepare to wrestle

Once your baby is rolling over, they’re going to be in explore mode.  The stationary diaper changes are mostly of the past.  There is no great way to stop them.  Just prepare for it.

  • Let your toddler help

Your baby will start doing a lot of monkey-see monkey-do.  My child adores getting her hands all up in the diaper changing business trying to figure out what I’m doing down there.

If baby is wanting to see and do…give them a wipe (after you’re done actually wiping) and let them get some practice in…go ahead and see if this helps the potty training stage!

  • Get a changing station buddy

Get a toy or two that are specifically for diaper changes.  Something preferably plastic that can be wiped and sanitized if it gets messy…which it likely will.

We give our little one an old remote with no batteries in it.  She is fascinated with the remotes in the living room and she is not allowed to play with those.

This becomes a treat and then she is distracted for a few moments while we get the changing done.

  • Get the sticky off without wasting wipes

When you are in the hospital after baby is born, the nurses may advise you to add some warm water to the wipes to help scrape the mess from that sweet little bum.  Though it works, I am hardly ever changing the baby and able to run over to the sink and wait for warm water.

Have some baby oil on hand.  You can even put it in a spray bottle mixed with a bit of water.  The stickiest of meconium doesn’t stand a chance against it!

  • Make a dirty football

Master rolling a dirty diaper from the front to the back with one hand.  Re-secure the tabs on your newly formed dirty-diaper-football.

This prevents baby from getting hands and feet in the mess as well as it accidentally slipping onto the carpet or falling out of the diaper genie.  Save yourself.

  • Let toddlers be on the go

If it’s just a wet diaper, try your skills at a standing diaper change.

Some days, you’ll go the extra distance to avoid a screaming, wrestling diaper change.

  • Get a Baby Bum Brush

This gem!  I don’t know how people went so long without inventing this beauty!  You can check it out on my blog about 15 Amazon Products all First Time Parents Need

Diaper cream needs to be spread liberally to work properly and when you’re doing it by hand, it ends up more on your hands than on your baby’s bum.

The bum brush applies even and thick, wipes clean, and keeps your hands as clean as possible!

If you’re not about the bum brush, grab a wipe and wrap it around your finger.  Then apply from there to save your hands.

Even if you have a diaper shower or register for diapers, you’ll wind up with Newborn, Size 1 and maybe a few Size 2.  My child has already used more of Size 3 than the rest combined.

Amazon sends me bulk amounts of diapers to my door. That’s right…to my door!  Diapers are never on my grocery list and there are never any late night runs to the store!

I can change the size, amount, and delivery date as needed.  It is magical!

 

If all else fails, talk to them, sing to them, make funny faces, point out what each body part is called as you put their head and arms and feet though different articles on clothing.  They can sense fear, anxiety and anger.  The more relaxed they are, the easier it will be!

magical mama blog 24 diaper changing hacks all parents need to know tricks tips life saving life changing diaper changes

Happy diapering and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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How To: Make Edible Yogurt Play Doh

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

How To: Make Edible Yogurt Play Doh

You’re trying to get something done and your toddler is running after you, screaming for your attention… Sound familiar?

No worries!  Take 5 minutes to mix together 2 ingredients that are already in your kitchen!

My child is a hungry hungry hippo, so she will put anything within arm’s reach straight into her mouth.  When I want to give her something to amuse her for a few minutes, I need to make sure it’s taste-safe.

Luckily, all you need for this recipe is yogurt and cornstarch!  Both, taste-safe ingredients make for a fun, attention grabbing activity that your child can do in their high chair while you get things done.

I’m not going to write a few hundred words that you’ll simply scroll through in order to get to the recipe!  Here it is!

What you’ll need:

2 containers of baby yogurt (a little less than 1 cup)

1 heaping cup of Corn Starch

magical mama blog how to make edible cornstarch play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

Throw both ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined.

If your dough is crumbly, add yogurt.

If your dough is sticky, add corn starch.

It’s just that simple and it makes a ton!

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

You could easily cut the recipe in half if you want to save ingredients or you have the feeling it will end up on the floor.

It keeps well for a few days in a ziplock bag in the fridge.

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty baby toddler activity

It has a great smooth and rubbery texture that is great for sensory play!

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty baby toddler activity

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh dough silly putty toddler baby activity

Give it a try and see how your kiddos like it!

magical mama blog how to make edible yogurt play doh

 

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How To: Make Baby Food Purees

ihelpmoms.com magical mama blog

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees cooking


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


magical mama blog how to make baby food puree from cooked foods

How To: Make Baby Food Purees

I am not, nor have I ever been, an organic-y person.  However, I have always been a penny pincher!  So after months of nursing for free, it came time to introduce my little one to solid foods.  All I could see behind my eyelids at night was dollar signs!

I went to the internet for answers!  Baby food was anywhere from $0.60 to $1.50 per container!

Once my baby is eating three times a day, that’s 21 of these per week and close to 100 each month! Then about 8 months of this before she can really eat what we’re eating?! On top of diapers and other necessities plus snacks, that adds up QUICK!

There was no way I was going to be adding that to my grocery bill each week!  So off I dove into the pool of Pinterest…and I started drinking the Kool Aid!

I began doing the math and it would cost chump change to buy fruits and vegetables, puree them and freeze them.  We’re talking getting it down to $0.08 or $0.10 per meal!  THESE are numbers I can live with!

“But it’s so much work!!”

It’s actually really not bad.  No worse than making a meal for your family.  On some foods you have to peel and chop.  But then the steam cooks it for you and the processor/blender works for you.

If you are pressed for pennies, IT WILL BE WORTH IT!

I am 6 months into homemade food for my little one and BOY am I happy I did it!  I have worked out the kinks and have 3 different methods to show you!

Fresh, frozen, and cooked.

That’s right, for 2 of these methods, there’s no cooking involved!  Score!

I don’t want this post to be ridiculously long, so head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food

And head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruits

At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the link to get your print out of my favorite combinations & recipes.  Tested and approved by my little helper.  This will help you when you don’t have any creative juices flowing at the end of the day.

A lot of blogs about making baby food will tell you to combine the ingredients before freezing.  I don’t suggest this, at least at first.  Get your baby through their introductions to check for allergies.  See what they their favorites are.  Then begin the fun of combining foods to make them meals.

When you freeze each food separately, you have endless options for combinations.  You can throw cubes for three or four different foods together or keep it simple for one or two.  This also comes in handy when your baby is addicted to the sweet fruits…you can sneak those veggies in there!

(Babies can reject foods up to ten times even though they may end up enjoying it. This is a big leap from milk/formula.  Don’t get discouraged!)

Pro Tip: Take your time. Make one or two purees each night.  You only have so many ice cube trays you can fill.  The process goes slow at first.  You’re supposed to give your baby a new food then have them eat it for 3 days.  This is in case the baby has a bad reaction or food allergy; you know the culprit immediately and can avoid putting your little one through it again anytime soon.

Items you need:

  • Ice cube trays (I grabbed mine at the dollar store – Three 15 cube trays for $1!)
  • Food processor or blender
  • Freezer safe ziplock bags

Stages you need to know about:

Stage 1 – Supported Sitter – Your baby’s first solid food should be runny.  If your purees are thick, you’ll want to thin them with milk, formula, or water.

Stage 2 – Sitter – Your baby’s second solid food should be a thicker consistency.  If your purees are thin, you’ll want to thicken them with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.

Stage 3 – Crawler – Your baby’s last solid food before table foods should be thick and should have chunks in it baby can chew and mash on.

Cooked

Butternut Squash (check out the tutorial on cooking these puppies here)
Sweet Potato
Carrots
Green Beans (fresh, canned or frozen)
Peas (fresh, canned or frozen)
Corn (fresh, canned or frozen)
Pears
Apples
Broccoli
Bell Pepper
Asparagus
Spinach
Cucumber
Squash
Zucchini

  • Peel, core & chop.
  • Place in steam basket in pot of water for 30 minutes (or until you can stick a fork in easily)
  • Throw in processor/blender until pureed evenly.
  • Stop to scrape if you need to.
  • Add a bit of milk, formula, or water if it needs to be thinned to blend.
  • Spoon into ice cube trays & tap to pop any air bubbles.
  • Toss in freezer for a few hours.
  • Pop out cubes and put into freezer safe ziplock bags.
  • Label name and date.  These are usually good for about 4 months.

This is the method that takes the most work, but this is the place where you’re going to find your solid bases for most meals.

If you feel like this is daunting, check out the tutorials on making purees from fresh food or making purees from frozen food first!

Squash, Pear, or Apple are in almost every single meal I serve my little one.  These are the most popular bases on the market.  They have a good taste that is not overly powerful and they have a great consistency.

If you check out the baby food at the store, you’ll see these ingredients in almost every single label… along with other stuff that you may or may not be able to pronounce.

Special note about Carrots: When in the processor/blender, do not use the remaining water from steaming to thin.

Special note on Peas & Green Beans: These have shells/skins on them that will probably require some extra time in the processor/blender.  You want to make sure that there is no rogue shell in there that can be a choking hazard!

Thawing & Cooking

Pull a few cubes out of your ziplock and toss into a microwave safe dish.

Nuke for 20 seconds, stir, 20 seconds, stir, then microwave for 10 seconds & stir as needed. You want to cook in short bursts and stir.

This is a small amount of food.  It can heat up very quickly and can get hot spots in it so you want to stir to prevent burning baby’s mouth.

You’ll want to get it to room temperature or warm.  Test on your inner wrist if you’re unsure.

Feed away!

…..

Don’t get me wrong.  I also love the convenience of the baby food sold in stores.  I buy a few on occasion.

They are incredibly easy to throw in the diaper bag with a spoon and you don’t have to worry about their temperature or having them going bad.  It’s awesome for trips or being out at a restaurant or somewhere with baby.

However, when I open those containers and smell them, I want to gag a little bit.  When my little one is grumpy about the food, I don’t blame her and I struggle to pretend to take a bite of it.

If she is throwing a fit about what I have made her at home, I happily take a bite or two and it always smells fresh and delicious!

I highly recommend you try this out.  It will save you money and definitely will give you peace of mind that you know exactly what your baby is eating.

Grab your FREE printable baby food recipe ideas here!

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees cooking

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How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees from frozen food


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


magical mama blog how to make baby food puree from frozen foods

How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food

I am not, nor have I ever been, an organic-y person.  However, I have always been a penny pincher!  So after months of nursing for free, it came time to introduce my little one to solid foods.  All I could see behind my eyelids at night was dollar signs!

I went to the internet for answers!  Baby food was anywhere from $0.60 to $1.50 per container!

Once my baby is eating three times a day, that’s 21 of these per week and close to 100 each month! Then about 8 months of this before she can really eat what we’re eating?! On top of diapers and other necessities plus snacks, that adds up QUICK!

There was no way I was going to be adding that to my grocery bill each week!  So off I dove into the pool of Pinterest…and I started drinking the Kool Aid!

I began doing the math and it would cost chump change to buy fruits and vegetables, puree them and freeze them.  We’re talking getting it down to $0.08 or $0.10 per meal!  THESE are numbers I can live with!

“But it’s so much work!!”

It’s actually really not bad.  No worse than making a meal for your family.  On some foods you have to peel and chop.  But then the steam cooks it for you and the processor/blender works for you.

If you are pressed for pennies, IT WILL BE WORTH IT!

I am 6 months into homemade food for my little one and BOY am I happy I did it!  I have worked out the kinks and have 3 different methods to show you!

Frozen, fresh, and cooked purees.

That’s right, for 2 of these methods, there’s no cooking involved!  Score!

I don’t want this post to be ridiculously long, so head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees

And head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruits

At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the link to get your print out of my favorite combinations & recipes.  Tested by my little helper.  This will help you when you don’t have any creative juices flowing at the end of the day.

A lot of blogs about making baby food will tell you to combine the ingredients before freezing.  I don’t suggest this, at least at first.  Get your baby through their introductions to check for allergies.  See what they their favorites are.  Then begin the fun of combining foods to make them meals.

When you freeze each food separately, you have endless options for combinations.  You can throw cubes for three or four different foods together or keep it simple for one or two.  This also comes in handy when your baby is addicted to the sweet fruits…you can sneak those veggies in there!

(Babies can reject foods up to ten times even though they may end up enjoying it. This is a big leap from milk/formula.  Don’t get discouraged!)

Pro Tip: Take your time. Make one or two purees each night.  You only have so many ice cube trays you can fill.  The process goes slow at first.  You’re supposed to give your baby a new food then have them eat it for 3 days.  This is in case the baby has a bad reaction or food allergy; you know the culprit immediately and can avoid putting your little one through it again anytime soon.

Items you need:

Ice cube trays (I grabbed mine at the dollar store – Three 15 cube trays for $1!)
Food processor or blender
Freezer safe ziplock bags

Stages you need to know about:

Stage 1 – Supported Sitter – Your baby’s first solid food should be runny.  If your purees are thick, you’ll want to thin them with milk, formula, or water.

Stage 2 – Sitter – Your baby’s second solid food should be a thicker consistency.  If your purees are thing, you’ll want to thicken them with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.

Stage 3 – Crawler – Your baby’s last solid food before table foods should be thick and should have chunks in it baby can chew and mash on.

Frozen

On your next trip to the grocery store, be sure to write down some frozen fruits and veggies onto your shopping list.

Strawberry
Blueberry
Blackberry
Mango
Peach
Pineapple
Peas
The list goes on and on!

  • Let a bag of frozen food sit out on the counter for 15 minutes to let it thaw enough to be blended.
  • Toss in food processor or blender and pulverize it!  If it’s having trouble getting down to a creamy texture, add in some breast milk, formula, or water.
  • You may need to stop to scrape down the chunks from the sides to make sure you get a nice even consistency.
  • Scoop or pour your puree into your ice cube trays. You can also pour your mixture into a plastic bag, cut the corner, and fill into each cube like you’re icing a cake.
  • Try to get out any bubbles by patting the trays on the counter or push a spoon into each cube to pop bubbles.
  • Throw into the freezer.
  • Once frozen solid, pop out and toss into freezer safe ziplock bag.
  • Label what is in the bag and the date.  These usually last 4-6 months.

The thing I love about the frozen foods is that they require no prep and the re-freeze quick!  I was able to get through several bags of frozen food in one evening because they froze within an hour or two so I was able to wash my trays and start again!

These are larger quantities of fruit than you can get in the produce section and they are already prepared…and are a lot cheaper!  I was not looking forward to coring strawberries, peeling mango, chopping pineapple, etc.!

Thawing & Cooking

When it comes time for baby to eat, pop out a few cubes into a microwave safe dish.

Nuke for 20 seconds, stir, 20 seconds, stir then 10 seconds & stir as needed until desired temperature is reached.

If you cook for longer periods of time, the small amount of food can heat very quickly and develop hot spots that can burn baby’s mouth. Short bursts & stirring is the trick!

You want to get between room temperature & warm.  If you’re unsure, put a dab on your inner wrist to check.

Feed away!

…..

Don’t get me wrong.  I also love the convenience of the baby food sold in stores.  I buy a few on occasion.

They are incredibly easy to throw in the diaper bag with a spoon and you don’t have to worry about their temperature or having them going bad.  It’s awesome for trips or being out at a restaurant or somewhere with baby.

However, when I open those containers and smell them, I want to gag a little bit.  When my little one is grumpy about the food, I don’t blame her and I struggle to pretend to take a bite of it.

If she is throwing a fit about what I have made her at home, I happily take a bite or two and it always smells fresh and delicious!

I highly recommend you try this out.  It will save you money and definitely will give you peace of mind that you know exactly what your baby is eating.

Grab your FREE printable baby food recipe ideas here!

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How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruit

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees from fresh fruit


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


magical mama blog how to make baby food purees from fresh fruit

How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Fresh Fruit

I am not, nor have I ever been, an organic-y person.  However, I have always been a penny pincher!  So after months of nursing for free, it came time to introduce my little one to solid foods.  All I could see behind my eyelids at night was dollar signs!

I went to the internet for answers!  Baby food was anywhere from $0.60 to $1.50 per container!

Once my baby is eating three times a day, that’s 21 of these per week and close to 100 each month! Then about 8 months of this before she can really eat what we’re eating?! On top of diapers and other necessities plus snacks, that adds up QUICK!

There was no way I was going to be adding that to my grocery bill each week!  So off I dove into the pool of Pinterest…and I started drinking the Kool Aid!

I began doing the math and it would cost chump change to buy fruits and vegetables, puree them and freeze them.  We’re talking getting it down to $0.08 or $0.10 per meal!  THESE are numbers I can live with!

“But it’s so much work!!”

It’s actually really not bad.  No worse than making a meal for your family.  On some foods you have to peel and chop.  But then the steam cooks it for you and the processor/blender works for you.

If you are pressed for pennies, IT WILL BE WORTH IT!

I am 6 months into homemade food for my little one and BOY am I happy I did it!  I have worked out the kinks and have 3 different methods to show you!

Frozen, fresh, and cooked purees.

That’s right, for 2 of these methods, there’s no cooking involved!  Score!

I don’t want this post to be ridiculously long, so head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees From Frozen Food

And head over here for your tutorial on How To: Make Baby Food Purees

At the bottom of the post, you’ll see the link to get your print out of my favorite combinations & recipes.  Tested by my little helper.  This will help you when you don’t have any creative juices flowing at the end of the day!

A lot of blogs about making baby food will tell you to combine the ingredients before freezing.  I don’t suggest this, at least at first.  Get your baby through their introductions to check for allergies.  See what they their favorites are.  Then begin the fun of combining foods to make them meals.

When you freeze each food separately, you have endless options for combinations.  You can throw cubes for three or four different foods together or keep it simple for one or two.  This also comes in handy when your baby is addicted to the sweet fruits…you can sneak those veggies in there!

(Babies can reject foods up to ten times even though they may end up enjoying it. This is a big leap from milk/formula.  Don’t get discouraged!)

Pro Tip: Take your time. Make one or two purees each night.  You only have so many ice cube trays you can fill.  The process goes slow at first.  You’re supposed to give your baby a new food then have them eat it for 3 days.  This is in case the baby has a bad reaction or food allergy; you know the culprit immediately and can avoid putting your little one through it again anytime soon.

Items you need:

Ice cube trays (I grabbed mine at the dollar store – Three 15 cube trays for $1!)
Food processor or blender
Freezer safe ziplock bags

Stages you need to know about:

Stage 1 – Supported Sitter – Your baby’s first solid food should be runny.  If your purees are thick, you’ll want to thin them with milk, formula, or water.

Stage 2 – Sitter – Your baby’s second solid food should be a thicker consistency.  If your purees are thing, you’ll want to thicken them with rice cereal or oatmeal cereal.

Stage 3 – Crawler – Your baby’s last solid food before table foods should be thick and should have chunks in it baby can chew and mash on.

Fresh

Bananas
Kiwi
Avocado
Cantaloupe
Honeydew

  • Peel, core and chop your fresh foods.
  • Toss into food processor or blender and let it work!
  • Stop to scrape if you need to.
  • Add a bit of breast milk, formula, or water if it needs it.
  • Serve fresh or scoop into ice cube trays & toss in freezer
  • Pop out cubes and put into freezer safe ziplock bags.
  • Label name and date.  These are usually good for about 4 months.

A lot of people will get these foods prepared right before feeding time and do not freeze them which is just fine!

I had to leave work, pick baby up from day care and at that point she was usually starving.  I was not about to get out my food processor while she sat there and leave myself with the dishes afterward.

You may be looking at your screen quizzically when you see the word Avocado accompanied with freezer.  I know.  I wasn’t a believer either.  Won’t it brown and be disgusting?!

Surprisingly, no!  The color only slightly changed right on the top of the cubes while they froze. They stayed bright green!

When it came time to put those in the microwave for one of her meals, I cringed thinking about it coming out of the microwave…NOPE!  Just like fresh guacamole!

I’m a believer now and would much rather get all the pit removing and prep work done in bulk and not have to worry about it later.

Thawing & Cooking

When it comes to meal time, grab a few cubes out of the freezer and pop into a microwave safe dish.

Nuke for 20 seconds, stir, 20 seconds, stir, then 10 seconds & stir until desired temperature is reached.

This is a small amount of food that heats quickly and can easily develop hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth so it’s important to heat in small bursts and stir!

If you’re questioning the temperature, put a dab on your inner wrist to test it.  You’ll want it between room temperature & warm.

…..

Don’t get me wrong.  I also love the convenience of the baby food sold in stores.  I buy a few on occasion.

They are incredibly easy to throw in the diaper bag with a spoon and you don’t have to worry about their temperature or having them going bad.  It’s awesome for trips or being out at a restaurant or somewhere with baby.

However, when I open those containers and smell them, I want to gag a little bit.  When my little one is grumpy about the food, I don’t blame her and I struggle to pretend to take a bite of it.

If she is throwing a fit about what I have made her at home, I happily take a bite or two and it always smells fresh and delicious!

I highly recommend you try this out.  It will save you money and definitely will give you peace of mind that you know exactly what your baby is eating.

Grab your FREE Baby Food Recipe Ideas here!

magical mama blog how to make baby food purees from fresh fruit

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A Very Harry Potter First Birthday Party

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party how to plan decorations decor tips

A Very Harry Potter First Birthday Party


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


Picking a Theme

Let’s be real for a minute.  First birthday parties are not for the baby.  They have no idea what’s going on and they will not remember it.

It is all about celebrating the parents keeping their human alive for a whole year!

As our little bug was stacking on the months of life, my husband and I discussed what we wanted the theme of our “anniversary of bringing a human into this world” party to be.

We have to pick the themes WE like before she starts having an opinion!

We narrowed it down between Elf and Harry Potter and decided to go full Hogwarts!  After all, my husband introduced me to the Harry Potter movies and we are both sorted (as well as the entire family) into Hufflepuff.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party tips tricks decorations decor how to plan planning

Not Spending a Fortune

I am not all about spending money on a first birthday party, but I did want to make this a miniature epic… we HAD kept a human alive for a whole year!

Off I dove into Pinterest to find all of the free downloads and printables I could and BOY was I greeted with the mother load!

I could have really gone off the deep end and printed everything I found and had my house decked out… but let’s be real, I have a full time job, a mischievous almost one year old, a blog, a husband, chores, errands, and we are in between Thanksgiving and Christmas…

The most epic party on the planet was not going to happen…but my gosh I was going to try!

I’m so happy with how it turned out, we had an incredible time, made a ton of memories and, of course, took tons of pictures.

Here is a little home tour and links to where I found everything so you don’t even have to get off of your couch in order to throw a party like this!

The only work I put into this party other than ordering and printing, was cutting out the printables and making the food… I’ll call that a win.

Invitations

We went cheap and did a Facebook invite to a few of our friends.

I designed this Facebook cover photo on Canva and wrote the following message in the description:

“Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
invites you to join us in celebrating Audrey’s first birthday.

On the 3rd day of December at 2:00 pm.

Go to Platform 9 3/4
Take the Hogwarts Express
Arrive at the Hufflepuff Common Room
Enjoy snacks and frivolity

Please send RSVP by owl or Facebook to Headmaster Lillestol”

Signs & Banners

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party platform 9 3/4 sign

Upon reaching our front door, you are greeted with this Platform 9 3/4 printable on our glass screen door I got from Curious Specks.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party happy christmas artwork

I found these printable masterpieces at The Cottage Market.

The Happy Christmas printable can be found at Paper Trail Design and the house banners came from The Quiet Grove.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party happy birthday banner

Used The Quiet Grove’s printable alphabet to make the Happy Birthday Banner.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party free invisibility cloaks

I made this “Free Invisibility Cloaks” sign as well as our food labels by using the Harry P font I downloaded from dafont and printing on some parchment cardstock

Smash Cake Set Up

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party cake smash high chair hufflepuff flag

I grabbed a burlap banner and used sharpie to trace out the “ONE” and attached it to her high chair with some small clear 3M hooks.

Snagged this Hufflepuff Banner on Amazon. For $11, I was expecting this to be the size of a piece of paper…it is 30″ by 50″!  It’s practically my size!

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party board picture frame

I got this picture frame at Hobby Lobby and used these wine glass pens to write everything out.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party 12 month pictures

I printed out her monthly pictures and hung them with twine, 3M hooks, and clothespins.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party 12 month picture sticker elephant hufflepuff hogwarts

(I used these monthly stickers and this elephant plush in all of her pictures)

Bathroom Decor

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party donate a sock free house elves baby socks

You can put all of those baby socks who have lost their mate on display!

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party lumos nox

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party ministry of magic sign toilet

I grabbed the Ministry of Magic sign from Curious Specks.

Envelopes

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party hogwarts envelopes

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party envelopes hogwarts

I grabbed these from Little Falling Star and hung them on our dining room chandelier.

Food

There are thousands of fun food and drink label printables out there, but in order for it to match what we were making, all the labels would have been different, so I went ahead and used the Harry P font from dafont.com to make all of our food labels.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party food labels

I printed on parchment cardstock and used a bit of paint to dry brush the edges.

Plates

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party plates hogwarts hufflepuff gryffindor slytherin ravenclaw

These plates are from Oriental Trading, so they’re obviously a bargain!  They also have napkins, cups, tablecloths and more, but I wanted to stick to a more simple party and a tighter budget.

Witch’s hats

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party witch's hats oreos kisses

These were made by placing Hershey Kisses atop Oreos with melting chocolate.

Cup Cakes

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party cup cake toppers

We had gluten free chocolate and regular old funfetti topped with chocolate, cream cheese, and yellow buttercream frosting (Hufflepuff represent!).

The cupcake toppers are from The Quiet Grove.

Golden Snitches

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party golden snitches ferrero rocher

Ferrero Rochers topped with these free printable wings from Party Delights.

Olivander’s Wands

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party ollivander's wands

I grabbed some Pepperidge Farm Fudge Pirouettes for wands.

Giggle Juice

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party giggle juice

Spiked Apple Cider for our adult party animals.

Mini Muggle Munchies

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party mini muggle munchies

I set up some fresh cut fruit, puffs, lil’ crunchies and some squeezable snack packs for the little party guests.

Gringott’s Gold

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party gringotts gold chocolate coins

Golden chocolate coins were a great addition!

Goodie Bags

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party goodie bags party favors

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party goodie bags party favors

For our goodie bags, I used plain brown paper bags decorated with thank you & mischief managed labels I found at The Quiet Grove.

magical mama blog harry potter birthday party wands chopsticks hot glue paint mod podge

Inside, was a personalized wand (chopsticks, hot glue, acrylic paint & modpodge), snacks that were at the party, and bubbles if the party guest had a kid.

Fun & Games

We had this pop up ball pit, tunnel & tent (and balls) set up which, conveniently, has the primary house colors!

The kiddos at the party had a blast in there!

 

Birthday Outfit

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party hogwarts onesie

This perfect little onesie is from Dynamic Design on Etsy.  (It’s perfect because my husband and I met while working at Disneyland!)

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party hufflepuff pants pantaloons ruffle pants bow

I grabbed the Hufflepuff fabric at fabric.com and used a pattern to create her little pantaloons and bow.

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party wands family birthday girl

I hope you have enjoyed your glimpse into our daughter’s epic very Harry Potter first birthday party!

 

magical mama blog harry potter first birthday party tips tricks decorations decor how to plan planning

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How To Keep Baby Healthy in Winter

magical mama blog how to keep baby healthy in winter all winter christmas cold flu season sickness baby toddler kids family products tips tricks hacks

How To Keep Baby Healthy in Winter


This post contains affiliate links.
If you make purchases through these links, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you! Yay!).
I practice what I preach and only promote products that I use, trust, and adore!
If you’d like additional information on anything, visit Privacy & Disclosures.
Please feel free to comment below or head to Contact Me!

“MagicalMamaBlog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


magical mama blog how to keep your baby healthy in winter sickness illness flu cold season christmas new year hat jacket cloves blanket car seat medication

It is cold and flu season…and RSV…and Croup… and a ton of other awful sickness that can attack your little defenseless baby.  As a mom, I want to do everything I can to protect my little one from the terrible viruses, bacteria, and diseases that are looming out in the winter.

  • Wash Hands

Make sure your family and any guests are washing their hands before handling baby and on a religious basis.  Adults and kids can be carriers of germs that their own bodies can fight off but can be quite dangerous to your itty bitty one.

  • Cool Mist Humidifier

When you have the heater on to keep your home nice and toasty, it dries out the air in your house causing your little one’s sensitive airways to get angry.  A cool mist humidifier will moisturize the air to keep baby’s nose and throat nice as comfortable and prevent the build up of mucus.

  • Disinfect Toys

Toys can be a breeding ground for growing bacteria.  To keep baby well, or help baby get better if they’re already ill, clean and disinfect toys more than normal in the winter time.  Check out my toy disinfectant and wash here.

  • Dressing Warm

When you’re heading out for a walk or outside for any reason, be sure baby is nice and toasty.  Tiny babies can lose heat through their heads very quickly.  Be sure to have a hat on, some nice thick socks, check for gaps between socks & pants.

As a general  rule, put baby in one more layer than you have on.

Check hands and feet often and add mittens and extra socks as needed.

If you fear baby is over dressed, check their upper back and back of their neck.  If it is sweaty, take a layer off.

  • Sleeping Warm

DO NOT put blankets in a crib with baby if it is chilly.  Turn on the heater, put them in fleece pajamas, add extra socks, or throw them in a fleece sleeper.

  • Staying Warm in the Car

DO NOT put baby in their car seat with large jackets on.  If you live in an area that gets to freezing, Put baby in their car seat inside, cover them with blankets, get the car heated up, then take baby out to the car.

If you are getting into the car from being out in the cold, turn on the car, jump in the backseat with baby, let the car heat up, remove their outerwear, get them into their car seat and snuggle them up safely with blankets.

  • Moisturize Skin

Sensitive baby skin can have a hard time in the winter as it can lose moisture quickly and adding in crisp cold air outside and dry hot air from heaters.

Using a sensitive baby lotion, petroleum jelly, or coconut oil can help baby’s skin soak up some moisture.  An oatmeal bath wash can also soothe chafed and broken skin.

  • Extra Fluids

Let your baby drink away.  Extra fluids help to thin mucus as well as keep baby hydrated.  Breast milk is the best fluid for baby.  If you have an extra frozen, use it!

Formula on the menu? Have extra ready!  Is baby old enough for juice or water? Have the sippy cup full at all times!  Don’t focus on how many ounces they “have to have” and let your baby drink as they need.

Products to help you get through the Winter

  • Cool Steam Humidifier

We have this model and it has worked wonders for our little baby this winter.  Her Croup came and went in a flash thanks to this baby.  When she couldn’t sleep, we turned the star light on and that calmed her down.

The thing that sets this humidifier apart from all others is the fact that is has “invisible steam” so you can’t feel any actual water or see any steam coming out while it moisturizes the air.  With all other humidifiers, after being used every night, the table they were on was practically destroyed and the carpet around them was soaked.

This is also the most quiet humidifier I have ever come across!

(With all humidifiers, be sure to read care and cleaning instructions.  You want it to have the longest running life possible and you also want to be sure it is producing sanitary steam.)

 

  • Little Remedies Saline Drops

This stuff works wonders!  Your baby can wake up with nostril full of crusty boogers and as soon as you throw one or two drops in, the snot is flowing out!

 

  • Nose Frida

This magical device has saved us a lot of sleep.  When baby is clogged with snot and having trouble breathing, there’s not much you can do…if you hold up a tissue and tell them to blow, you’re out of luck.

This nasty, yet brilliant, invention lets you clear out their airways!

  • Baby safe Vapor Rub

ONLY USE AFTER 3 MONTHS OF AGE!!!

I put a small dab on the bottom of each foot, give a little massage, then cover with socks for the night.  My baby’s coughs virtually disappear with this trick.

  • Good Ear Thermometer

After baby came home, we tried to do the regular thermometer in the armpit and the pacifier thermometer.  Both were decent options…other than the fact that they both took FOREVER to render results and were very inaccurate.

While the forehead thermometer promises better results, it’s highly inaccurate as well.

This little baby is what they use at the pediatrician.  It will give you an accurate read in about 1-2 seconds.  Can be used on people of any age.

Amazing investment.

  • Fleece Sleep Sack

A wearable blanket that baby can’t strangle themselves in.  My baby rocked these all of last winter when she was an itty bitty preemie sized pea pod and they were a life saver.  Kept her toasty and safe.

If baby is wearing toasty jammies and just needs a little boost of heat, they also have a sleeveless option.


  • Fleece Zip Up Jammies

My baby rocks these babies every night!  (I would too if it weren’t for the fact that getting up 30 times to pee gets incredibly inconvenient.)


And there you have it!  Keep your baby safe, toasty, and healthy all this winter season!

magical mama blog how to keep baby healthy in winter health pediatrician medication cold christmas toddler kids family

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15 New Year Resolutions for Moms

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15 New Year’s Resolutions for Moms

  • Spend time with your husband

Once the kids move out, it’s just the two of you.  If you don’t put the work into keeping your bond strong while the kids are around, you’ll have an awfully big hole in your marriage once you’re alone.

Get out for date nights.  Have date nights in with the kids.  Tell your kids about how you met, your funny dating stories, how the proposal happened, about your wedding, etc.

Get dressed up every once in a while and treat yourselves to a fancy dinner and drinks.  Parenting is no walk in the park and you’ll get into a deeper and deeper hole the longer you wait to remember you are a couple, not just offspring raising robots.

  • Adopt “me time” into your schedule

Write down a designated time each week on the family calendar.  Just two or three hours.  Make Dad or a relative promise to keep the kids amused during that time.

Lock your self in the bathroom for a little self-spa day.  Bring in a laptop and charger. Bring in a lap top, charger, and your favorite chick flick.  Dye your hair, exfoliate and moisturize your while body, enjoy a bubble bath, shave your legs, pluck your eyebrows, give yourself a salon-status blow out…and most importantly…go to the bathroom by yourself.  No knocks, no fingers under the door… can you picture it?

Go to Target by yourself, throw in your headphones and listen to your favorite music while you browse.

Go to the mall and try on clothes.

Go get a mani-pedi or massage.

Go see a movie by yourself.

Have a wine night with your other mom friends.

Getting rid of your stresses and clearing your head will make you renewed.  I know after a mom afternoon, my patience is at a full refill, I have more energy, I am more positive, and much more relaxed.  It’s really a win for everyone.

  • Say “I Love You” multiple times each day

I don’t think you can say it too much.  Make sure your kids know how loved they are.  Give hugs and snuggles, words of affirmation and endless “I love you”s.

Make it the last thing you say to your kids and your husband each night.

Say it before you part ways.  (To get dark for a moment, if anything were to happen to anyone you love, wouldn’t you want the last thing you said to them to be “I love you!”)

  • Put down your electronics

Turn your devices off for a few hours…not to silent, not plugged in… just off.  Put them in another room, a drawer, a box, somewhere that no one will be constantly tempted.

Talk to each other, look at each other, hear each other, pay attention.  If you can’t imagine it, pretend it’s the 1950’s and none of these things existed.  What did people do back then?  Figure it out!

Challenge one another to do this for an amount of time every day.  Or pick an evening and turn it into an old school family gathering.

You don’t want your kids to grow up and only have memories with their phones, tablets, computers, and gaming systems.

  • Make experiences and memories

Get out of the house and stop buying junk.

It doesn’t have to cost you several paychecks to have a family outing.  Go to a local park or beach and have a picnic and play with frisbees, hoola hoops, a soccer ball, etc.

Head out for an evening walk as a family, get to know your neighbors as you walk by, enjoy the fresh air and exercise.

Go to your town’s holiday festivities.  Check the paper or your city’s website to see what is happening.  Check out the farmers market or a local concert in the park.

Check the Parks and Rec out in your community.  Maybe everyone can sign up for a class and learn something new.

If you’re going to spend money on something, make it an adventure instead of toys.  Take the kids to a water park instead of buying the latest toy.  They’re much more likely to remember a day with family than a toy.

  • Start family traditions

Start doing something special on each holiday, every few weeks, or once a week.

Pick an evening in December each year everyone has to keep open to go out as a family and look at Christmas lights.

Every other Saturday, have family game night.  At Christmas or borthdays, give each family member a new game.

Have a Valentines Day date night as a family.  Everyone dresses up and you go out together to a fancy restaurant.

Every Thursday, have the kids choose and make dinner.

Whatever works for your family, enforce traditions that can live on.

  • Take more pictures

It’s easier than ever to take pictures with smart phones all over.  But don’t force your kids to pose every day to capture them growing.  Take candid pictures.

Capture the kids playing together, when you pick them up in the mini van, when the family is playing a board game, the kids creating a fort.

When they look at these pictures later in life, let them remember what life was like, not the fancy, staged photos that happened in between the memories.

  • Implement family reading time

It has been shown that around 4th grade, kids have a drastic drop in reading ability and interest.  That likely correlates with parents stopping reading to their kids as soon as they can read on their own.

Buy books.  Go to a book store (while they still exist), let your kids discover authors they like and purchase whole collections.

Start a book club within your family.  Everyone can read a chapter of the same book over the week and can have a little cafe sit down talk about it.  Help them discover the lessons within reading.

Have your kids read the bed time story book to you.  Use it as a wind down before bed time.  Have one kid read a book aloud while the others (or the parents) act it out.

Make reading fun and keep them interested.

  • Slow down your hello’s and good bye’s

Instead of your kid running past you in the kitchen yelling “bye” over their shoulder, stop  what you’re doing for (literally) 10 seconds to get a bear hug, kiss on the forehead, and an “I love you”.

When your kids walk in the door after school, get up and give them a hug, ask about their day, see what their needs and wants are.  The more we slow down and take in one another, the more we’ll be on the same page and ready to handle anything.

If you’re running late, 10 seconds isn’t going to hurt. Give a hug and a proper goodbye.  Let your loved ones know that they are your first priority.

  • Eat healthier

Jump on board with meal planning at least a few nights a week.  If you already have every ingredient and it has an expiration date, you’re much more likely to make a meal than go out and spend money on food that may not be fresh.

Get the sweets out of sight and go for healthy snacks to have around.

Drink water.  Every time you go to the store, you should be grabbing a case of water if you’re grabbing a 12 pack of soda.  Make sure your kids are hydrated and not drinking unnecessary calories and syrups.

When you’re eating well, you’re feeling well.  Get your whole family off to a good start and start these habits young!

  • Work on your patience

Talk to your partner, or even your kids, about patience.  Come up with a phrase to say to one another when you start to lose it.

“Let’s take 5 minutes, then start over.”

“Breathe in for 10 seconds, hold for 10 seconds, exhale for 10 seconds.”

“Let’s keep talking, but let’s use monster voices.”

Patience is a hard thing to keep up when you live in a crazy house and a crazy world.  We can’t control everything and sometimes we lose control in ourselves.

It helps to have people that love you let you know that you need to take a look around and that this will pass.

I would much rather have my husband tell me to breathe when I’m getting crazy than to blow up and regret it later.

We can all use help every once in a while.

  • Write down the special little moments

There are 525,600 minutes per year…in 18 years, that’s 9,460,800 minutes.

There’s no way you’re going to remember all of those minutes with each child.

Grab yourself a few journals or set up an e-mail address.

Write down the funny thing your 3 year old said today.

Write down what your kids fought about today.

Take a tally of how many times your 10 year old asked “are we there yet?” on the cross-country road trip.

These are the things you can look back at when they’re graduating high school or getting married that will make you smile.  (I’m sure you could also help yourself with some embarrassing material to use when your teenager is giving you the run around)

  • Use the dining room table

We’re all guilty of getting cozy on the couch and watching TV while we eat a meal.

Set the table, put the electronics away, turn the TV off, and sit down as a family.

Have each person talk about their day, relax, discuss the events you have coming up, make plans for a fun adventure.

It is so important to put each family members’ little world on hold and to reunite as a family.  Use the expensive table you bought and decorate for fancy occasions.

If it’s a matter of not wanting to do dishes and clean up, throw a dollar store plastic tablecloth down and use paper plates and red solo cups.

Get into the habit of having meals as a family and stick to it!

  • Remove what you don’t need

Go through your closets, offices, garage, etc. Get the clutter out of your home.  Everything can have a place, everyone can know where everything belongs and won’t have an excuse for not putting things away.

Get rid of toys.  Kids don’t need much to amuse them…at least they didn’t in the days of yore.  So your kids’ friends have the latest toy…yours will survive without it.  It is always a trend and it will always pass.  This is not life altering… do you still have your treasured Pogs? Pokemon Cards? Pet Rock?… didn’t think so.

Go through your social media accounts and delete the negativity.  Unfollow people who start political debates, people who share news stories that bring you down, people who post constant negativity.

Live a simple and happy life this year.  (Check out my 7 Day Declutter Challenge to clean out your home and your mind)

  • Be positive

When you’re going through a rough time, and don’t we all at some point each year, grin and bear it.

Try to find the silver lining in every situation.  Look forward to something better.  Take some deep breaths, figure out how to get out of your rut, figure out what you need, get help if you need it, and move up and move out!

If you have a group of people in quick sand, the positive person will hope for a solution, and make that come to fruition.  If your kids are struggling, let them know that you understand and that there is a way out of every sticky situation.

 

Let’s all implement at least one of these resolutions into your New Year.

I hope you strive to be the best mom for your kids and the best wife for your husband.

My wish for you is that you can the driving force for your family to be the best they can be this year.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

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