5 Must-Have items for your Diaper Bag

I am surrounded by pregnant and new mamas in my world right now and because I work in the baby gear, trend, news space… i have been busy writing a ton of articles about baby stuff. This article was originally published at TTPMbaby and I wanted to share it with my mama friends. Head over to TTPMbaby for all your baby gear reviews and tips… from me!

A diaper bag is an absolute must when you have a baby in tow. You could always just toss your baby essentials into a large tote, but a diaper bag will give you the proper compartments, cleaning options and accessories you absolutely need for baby.But don’t’ go overboard! While you might think you need to pack everything, including the kitchen sink, into your bag, this isn’t the case. I have the absolute musts to prepare you for a full day out with your babe. Whether it’s a diaper blow out, feeding time or just playtime, these essentials will have you covered. Kitchen sink on the other hand… that’s optional.

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Check out the top 5 essential items  you need for your diaper bag by heading over to TTPMbaby. 

 

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Disney Frozen “Let It Go” performed by the 2 year old Moto

Thomas wakes up at 6 AM every morning. The sun’s not up, it’s freezing outside and he is on full energy mode. My strong cup of coffee can’t keep up with him.

Earlier this week, he planted himself at the piano and started the day off singing. Woke up the rest of the house. What a great wake up call!

He’s 2 and he does this all on his own. Pretty awesome!

 

 

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Strolling in Style with the Britax Affinity Stroller – Review + {Giveaway}

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So as you know narrowing down a stroller for your babe is a pretty daunting task. Don’t fret! I can help! I review strollers and baby gear for a living.. totally my world!

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Today we are discussing the Britax Affinity stroller… I have to say that of all the strollers we have in the garage right now.. and that’s about 8 brands… the Britax Affinity is Matt’s favorite. It’s portable, it’s easy to move around, it’s easy to travel with and it’s a smooth ride. Daddy approved you guys!

I was invited to the launch of the Britax Affinity stroller months ago and knew that this was a new fashionable direction for Britax. The Affinity is a higher price point than Britax’s other strollers, putting this in the luxury stroller market, this is noticeable from the first glance. The sleek, clean frame can be customized with 3 different frame colors and 6 color packs to choose. We choose the black frame with the deep blue color pack. I love this look.

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We’ve had this stroller all summer and it’s been our go to. We even took it on an airplane to florida. While it is heavier than an umbrella stroller, this was the perfect ride for Thomas. Our long days in florida out and about with our family… roaming the numerous outdoor malls was a bit exhausting for Little Man Thomas! This stroller and its soft padding and generous canopy and suspension wheels all made for a very cozy snooze. Also I have totally folded this stroller up while standing on the steps of the subway, put Thomas on my hip, diaper bag across my body and stroller on my other arm and walked up and down those steps. Totally fine. It’s not lightweight but it’s not heavy by any means.

So let’s get started with this stroller, There is so much to share, I’ll try to make it easy for you!

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  • The entire seat is rear or forward facing. Having a rear facing seat option when baby is in those first months is so essential to bonding. Thomas used to just look at me and laugh and smile the entire time I was strolling him around. Even these days, I put his rear facing when I’m trying to get him to nap.IMG_1091
  • Click n Go built-in adapter system works with BRITAX CHAPERONE and B-SAFE infant car seats and bassinet.But a travel system which is sold separately  can be used with most infant car seats.

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  • The back tires are air-filled pneumatic tires and the front have an adjustable suspension. So basically a pretty smooth ride.
  • A nice generous storage basket allows for storing whatever you need for the day.
  • The brakes are one of my favorite features. No more scuffing your shoes with this system. Just a tap of the foot either to stop or release the stroller works!
  • The adjustable footrest has been really great to give Thomas a comfy seat with no more dangling legs.

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  • The leather-like trim that goes across the handle bar and the bar which goes across the seat is a nice luxury touch which definitely stands out.

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  • There is a viewing flap on the canopy. Now I found this to be very small compared to other strollers with canopy flaps. Also the glare off the material is too much most times so you can’t really see your babe.
  • But a mesh zippered opening allows for lots of ventilation and has proven essential to us during our long days at the Bronx Zoo.

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  • Did I mention that the canopy is very generous, The babe is totally covered under there.
  • The fancy leather trim like handle bars move up and down and the handle articulates front to back to fit all heights. even shorties like me.
  • A 5 point seat harness, seat recline and roomy seat interior all make it a comfy cozy cocoon for the babe!
  • Also washing the insert is easy peasy!photo (53)

Alright so there ya have it. I like the Britax Affinity. I think it’s a ton of bang for your buck . It has fashion, function, comfort and longevity.

THERE’S MORE… If you are interested in purchasing this stroller I have the BEST deal for you!

Affinity Free Ride Promotion

Britax will be having its biggest promotion of the year Sept. 20-28 with the Affinity Free Ride Event.

o   An Affinity Base Frame (MSRP $599.99) and Affinity Color Pack (MSRP $99.99)

o   Or, an Affinity Stroller Bundle (stroller plus Color Pack) (MSRP $699.99)

And there’s EVEN MORE!! A Giveaway!!

So guess what! because i think this is a fab stroller… I get to give one away! YOU – the winner will get to pick your choice of frame and insert colors to customize it to fit your whims.

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To enter fill out the form below!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can also get extra entries by regramming the giveaway image VIA instagram Once a day!  Follow me on Instagram to get the deets. TheNewYorkMom

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Captured moments

My friend posted a beautiful poem which hangs prominently in her home. Some of the phrases just haven’t left my mind and often times I find myself reflecting on these words. We’ve had a great few weeks and I just wanted to catch and bottle up these sweet moments. This poem is beautiful and I do hope you take a moment to read it all the way through.

Our roles as parents are most often times overlooked and under-appreciated. This line sort of makes you realize your worth and your importance and the pure responsibility of what it means to be a parent.  – You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

The Prophet – Khalil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

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You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.

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You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

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You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

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You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.

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The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might 
that His arrows may go swift and far.

 

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Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
– Khalil Gibran

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On ice

Lily has been fascinated with Gracie Gold – the US figure skater who just competed in the Sochi Olympics.

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It’s still cold in NY and the ice skating and skiing spots are still very. much .open! (when is spring coming!)

So on a cold stir crazy saturday afternoon we headed over to our local ice skating rink to get some of our stir crazies out. Lily picked the tan ice skates because they looked professional. Her outfit… well that’s just her daily look.

I have to admit… i don’t like the cold and all these cold weather outdoor activities don’t do anything for me. It’s just too cold and too uncomfortable and I spend all my time chasing a baby around who face plants in the snow every 5 steps. Maybe next year I’ll learn how to ice skate so I can see what the fun is all about. Because of dancing, I never skated. I was always afraid I would twist an ankle or a knee or anything that would stand in the way of getting gigs. buuuuut since no dancing is happening these days… iceskating here i come – next year.

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We found this super warm snow suit for Thomas at Nordstrom Rack for a great price. It’s Boden Baby. Ever since working with BODEN last season, i have been sorta obsessed with their clothes and always find a great selection at Nordstrom. ( not an ad)

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Thomas was such a rollie pollie in his snow suit. I don’t know how he ever stayed upright in all that insulation.

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Thomas also liked eating the snow and since his hands were nice and snug in his mittens… there was only one way to eat the ice! as long as it’s not yellow snow! new york mom

I predict we have 2 more weeks of this cold weather and then all will be nice and warm and sun shiny and spring like!! fingers crossed.

 

 

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Armadillo Stroller REVIEW – Mama’s and Papa’s

I’ve been up to my strolling armpits with baby gear reviews over there at TTPM.

We have baby gear reviews busting at the seams and I would like to share some of my fave MUST HAVES with you here on my blog.

You should head over to TTPM ( AKA – Time To PLay Mag) for all and everything realted to play and baby.

I kinda LUUURVE the Mama’s and Papa’s Armadillo stroller. It functions as an all in one stroller and it’s pretty lightweight for lugging up subway stairs when no one helps you WITH a baby on a hip! From newborn to about 4-5 yrs this stroller will stay with you through the long haul.

Please swing by TTPM to fill all your baby gear needing ..needs!

*I work at TTPM and know waaay too much about toys and baby gear. No complaints!* 

 

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Introducing StokkeSteps with Momtrends

My fab friend Nicole who runs the site –  Momtrends, recently hosted an event for Stokke, launching their newest product – stokkesteps

Stokke – is a brand which makes gorgeous simple, design conscious baby must haves – strollers, cribs, carriers, high chairs and more.

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Their most recent launch was the Stokke Steps high chair and bouncer.

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This is a pretty amazing product. The bouncer is for infants which can then be attached to the high chair so you infant baby-child can join the family at dinner from an early age.

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How very clever. The bouncer can be used as a bouncer. the high chair can be used as a high chair for babies and toddler and above AND they also come together to become a high chair/bouncer in one!

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20140226-224633.jpgI was sent a stokkesteps system for review and cannot wait to share that with you! We love it! I also won a big ole prize at the event which I am over the moon about! Keep it here for more STOKKE news!

* This event was hosted by MOMTRENDS. I was not paid for this post*

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We Don’t Take Naps!

Mama’s I need your afternoon napping tips!

Thomas has been sleeping like a champ at night. it’s pretty impressive how he just tucks in right at 8pm every night.. and it only took  22 days of sleep training.

We totally won in the overnight sleep department!

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Afternoon Naps… no so much.

Also, Thomas likes to snuggle with Jonah and just roll around or talk to him and poor Jonah Bear… just wants to sleep. What’s a dog to do! Our afternoon naps have been hit or miss. Unless I chase Thomas around the house all morning… he’s not going to take a nap and then in the evening.. it’s a fight to keep him up until 8pm so he doesn’t sleep early and wake up at 4am!

He does wake up at 5am which Jonah does not approve of. Thomas wants to play on the bed or roll on top of Jonah and Jonah just wants to catch some zzz’s but doesn’t want to miss the action so he stays with us and endures the no sleep nonsense!

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Do yo have any tips you can share? How did you get your babe to take their afternoon nap? Because I neeed this MOTO to sleep in the afternoon so I can have just a couple hours to clean, laundry, dishes, eat… you know! 20140221-000942.jpg

*Thomas is wearing –> 1. H&M kids, 2.Childrens Place top + Carters Kids Bottoms 3. Gap baby Pants  + PACT onesie.* Jonah goes nude 😉 *

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the highs and the lows

Parenting highs are really high and parenting lows are really low.

// be warned… this is another weepy sappy rant//

It’s been a tough few weeks over here. We started sleep training right when we got back from our holidays. Every night has hosted a symphony of cries coming from the nursery. It’s emotionally taxing. Somehow amidst all this hullabaloo of coming back from vaca, lily going back to school, Matt busy with work… I got lost.
Remember my grandiose, lofty goals, dreaming big speech I gave myself at the beginning of the year? Well folks. Nada. Nothing. Not a thing has moved on that list. Not that I haven’t tried… ok actually I haven’t tried. I just plain have not had a moment to even TRY to start!

Sleep deprivation is not fun. I stay up with Thomas at night since I’m home most days. Then the following day I’m exhausted and cranky and irritated and am still in bed with a sleeping babe until 10am! <sometimes later>

Last night Thomas cried until 2:30am! I finally gave in and brought him to bed so I could sleep. And today my day ended up being a wash and lily came home from school and was such a dragon that the last-minute date that Matt and I had scheduled had to be cancelled because Lily was just too much and I was too much … it’s too much.

It gets you down you know. Days like these have the tendency to cover you up from the rest of the world, it casts this cloak of doldrums on your senses and whole spirit and prevents you from seeing the light. It’s a pretty crappy feeling.

My friend told me today…and it’s the best advice I’ve received in a long time.

After I went through my whole – nobody likes me, nobody loves me, i’m going out to eat worms bit… she said.

“get up, get dressed and show up. Show Up to Your Life” – no matter what you are feeling, get dressed in the morning and leave the house even if for a little bit.

So that’s what I’m going to do. No more staying in the house with the babe on cold grey New York winter days, everyday I’m going to make it a point to get out of this house and show up to my life! Even if it’s to Target for daily meditation.

We are on Day 6 of sleep training and it’s getting much better. There is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel… a small light… i see it!

…oh and also, I’m not giving up on my lofty, grandiose, big dreams and goals for this year.  My step one is coming.

…and also I’m writing this as my sweet babe cries in the nursery down the hallway. we had the sweetest evening kissing and laughing and Lily read us stories… and then I left him in the nursery to sleep/cry/wail/sleep/scream/he needs him mommmy/sleep.

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Sleep Training Woes: day 2

Day two of sleep training with Thomas.

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Last night he slept from 10:30pm – 7am! win!!!

Then took a nap from 9am – 10:30am.

He napped again from 2:30 – 4pm . I need to push this nap up earlier I think. Just that our Mommy and Me Yoga goes from 11:30-12:30 and messes with our schedule.

Tonight… his cries were SCREAMs! Like shrill screams!

We gave him a bath, soothing music, rocked him.. all of it. and I put him in his crib and he started crying which then turned to screams. holding his breath kinda screams.

I gave in at about 5 mins and picked him up to soothe him and let him fall asleep in my arms . Again… scream cries… let this go one for about 5 minutes again. When I picked him up this time he was shaking… like trauma shaking! As a mom.. this is the worst thing. Your child is shaking and crying because he’s traumatized and you – can- but won’t soothe him. It’s the worst!

I sent Matt upstairs to put him back to sleep while I drank wine and ate chips!

Thomas fell asleep in  his ‘baby crack swing’ AKA – fisher price snuggle bunny swing. ( yes he’s getting big for it. yes his feet are almost dragging on the floor. but it works)

So there ya have it. We didn’t give in all the way… part of the way.

Hopefully tomorrow will be much better. I hope.

I am taking all your tips and advice and support and using this to find a happy medium for our sleep training. The person who has it the worst is Lily. She can’t understand this at all. her sweet 8 year old heart can’t understand why her Mom is not comforting the baby!

Ugh!

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