How to get free stuff for baby

I had just quit my job to focus on my senior year of college when I found I was pregnant for the first time. My husband had a good job but that didn’t stop me from constantly worrying about money. (I guess you could say it’s one of the side effects of growing up poor. I don’t mean “I didn’t get the Gameboy I wanted for Christmas kind of poor” I mean the kind of poor where you are using the oven to heat the house kind of poor.) The thought of  “how in the world are we going to afford all of the stuff a baby needs?!” kept crossing my mind. Then I started digging around and found some codes that allowed me to get free things for baby. Because I now have another little one on the way, I thought I’d share with ya’ll how to save on stuff for baby and some codes to get free or discounted things for baby!!

Photo Courtesy of EskimoKids.com


THE CODES:

Carseatcanopy.com CARSEAT for $50 off

Uddercovers.com UCOVER for $35 off

Sevenslings.com SEVEN for $40 off

Nursingpillow.com NPILLOW for $40 off

Bellybuttonband.com  ONEONLY for $40 off

Babyleggings.com ONEONLY for $50 off

Breastpads.com ONEONLY for $35 off

Babiesfirstbooks.com BABYBOOKS 5 free books

Rufflebuns.com   ONEONLY for $60 off

Eskimokids.com WILDTHING for $35 off

 

The codes above either covers the cost of the product or greatly discounts it. There is a little catch to these deals though, the shipping on these items can be little high. The most I’ve ever paid was $15 and the least I’ve ever paid was about $7. However that’s way less than what you’d pay for the actual product so it’s still a really awesome deal.

 

Tips On Saving for baby:

1. Buy used:

There are plenty of second hand baby/toddler/kid high end consignment shops now. You can find name brand clothing, cribs, carseats, strollers, bassinets etc. Keep in mind however if you buy a carseat from a consignment shop you need to check the expiration date on it. Most stores do this but it never hurts to take a look for yourself. (I wish there would have been a baby consignment shop open before my son was born, luckily though one opened up right after. Now there are two great consignment shops in my area that I get to shop around before this new little one makes his arrival.)

2. Buy Not Only for Now but Also the Future:

Before Deklin  was born I decided to buy this crib/mattress/dresser/changingtable combo from Walmart.com. It was only $250 for the entire thing which is a fantastic deal considering that it transitions from a crib to a toddler bed into a full size bed. For the first year it  was great and it’s even been okay as a toddler bed. However there is no way in the world I transition it into a full size bed, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable with my son sleeping in it. It just isn’t sturdy enough to hold the weight of a full size mattress and the weight of a growing boy. My husband and I plan on striping it down, repainting it, and reinforcing it turning it back into a crib. (If it’s durable enough) For what we paid for it and everything that came with it, I really shouldn’t complain. The cribs done it’s job over the last 3 years, I just wish that I would’ve thought about all of the stages of the crib and if it was truly going to last. Had I known what I know now I definitely would have bought something a lot sturdier than I did. If we do end up having to buy to a new crib, you can bet your sweet buns that I’ll be buying it from a consignment shop.

One smart thing we did do the first time around was buy one convertible carseat (a carseat that grows with the baby) and an infant carseat. The convertible carseat was placed in my husbands truck and the infant carseat in my car (considering that Deklin would with me for the majority of the day). We went with a cheaper infant carseat because we knew that he wouldn’t be in it for very long. (He was in it maybe 8 or 9 months, if that. Then we bought a convertible carseat for my car.)  The convertible carseats cost a little more up front but we probably won’t have to buy another carseat until he’s 4 or 5 years old.

3. Buy Gender Neutral:

     When we were shopping around for a pack-n-play and a baby swing there were all of these adorable blue and green boyish ones or these adorable little girl ones with the little canopy drops.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to get those. But I knew I had to be smart. We knew we wanted more kids someday and I didn’t want to have to go out and buy these things over again. I probably wouldn’t have done that but I would’ve felt bad. So instead we went with gender neutral on everything big. Then we packed it away for the next baby.

4. Save as Much As you can from your First Baby

My husband called me a hoarder for saving so many clothes and all of the big stuff. I didn’t save every outfit but I did save all of the really adorable ones. (There are outfits that I saved that Deklin never even wore because he grew so fast)  Now that we know we are having another boy, he’s thankful I did. Saving the big stuff also saves us a lot of money because lets face it the price of things aren’t going to decrease, they are just going to continue to get higher and higher.

 

So there you have it my tips on how to get free/discounted stuff for baby. Please leave me a comment letting me know if these tips and promotional codes were helpful.

 

 

 

 

For those of you who don’t know

There’s a really good reason I haven’t been writing that much lately. That reason is morning sickness. Okay so that isn’t the only reason but it was huge contributing factor. We found out that we are expecting and our new little baby will make it’s arrival in November.

I’ve heard women say that every pregnancy is different and I don’t think they were lying. With my first pregnancy I only had a little nausea the first trimester that was it. The first trimester of this pregnancy I was either nauseous or throwing up. I’m 17 weeks right now and  thank goodness the sickness has slacked off a great deal. Another new symptom I’ve had this time is the sensitivity to smell. I had my eyebrows waxed the other day and the beautician had on a really sweet smelling lotion. It instantly made me nauseous and I had to ask her to wash her hands.

Aside from all the symptoms I’m excited but I’m also nervous. Not about the diaper changes or the midnight feedings or even being completely sleep deprived. I’m worried about how much our lives are going to change. Everyone tries to tell you how much your life will change when you have your first baby but of course most of us are know-it-all perfect parents, so we don’t listen. Then we are quickly humbled when the baby arrives. I think there is beauty in that.

This time I’m not a know-it-all unexperienced parent. I definitely know more now then I did before my first. But I also know that this baby could be entirely different from his brother and that’s the thing I’m worried about. I know that sounds silly because there are no two people on this planet that are exactly the same but it’s still a valid fear.

What’s it going to be like having two kids? I don’t know but I’m certain it will be a humbling adventure.

A Crying Toddler isn’t the Worst Thing.

  My son is at that stage where he wants to be more independent, so one of the things that we’ve started letting him do is walk beside the shopping cart instead of riding in it. There are stipulations that come along with Deklin’s new independence. He must stay near the cart and if he gets two warnings for venturing off, he has to ride in the buggy. Last week my husband, myself and our curious two (almost 3) year old were grocery shopping and he kept venturing off. So we put him in the shopping cart and he started crying and begging to get out. (But my husband and I were pretty firm) All of these people were staring, acting as though they’ve never witnessed a child crying before and some of them were even giving us mean looks.  It infuriated me.

People like to talk about how todays children and even my generation doesn’t have any respect and they/we act as though we are automatically entitled to everything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a child (that’s old enough to know better) throw a fit in the store because their parent told them they couldn’t have something and then watch the parent give in because they don’t want people staring or they just don’t want to listen to the crying. Usually at about the same time the person beside me in line will lean over to me and say “If I acted like that when I was that age, I would have gotten my butt busted”. ( I would have gotten my butt tore up too.)

But here’s the catch, today’s society hates to hear children cry. I remember before I had my son being in a restaurant and complaining that there was a crying child. I remember all  the crappy things I said everytime I heard a child cry but parenthood has humbled me. Do I now love the sound of a baby/toddler/child crying? Absolutely not! Do you honestly think that I want to walk around Walmart with my screaming crying toddler?!  NO! I don’t, however, my son has to learn that if he doesn’t act like he’s suppose to or do what he’s told there will be consequences to his actions. Unfortunately sometimes these lessons have to be taught in public. We can’t just parent inside the home, it has to be everywhere. It’s the job we signed up for when we decided to become parents.

My child isn’t going to grow up to be a menace, he will have respect for others, and he will learn that entitlement is earned not given. So for now you’re just going to have to listen to my child cry. I’m not apologizing for it.

SIDE NOTE: I would like to thank all of the strangers that have passed me as I’ve placed Deklin in time-out (in public) and then come over and told me I’m raising him right. As crazy as it may seem you’ve given me encouragement and reassurance that I’m not a total screw up  at this whole parenting thing. 

Bird Nests

One of my earliest school memories is of being at an end of the year class party and eating a Haystack for the very first time. It was amazing. Years have passed and I’ve often thought of that delicious piece of candy. However I haven’t had another one since. So the other day that memory popped in my head and I instantly knew what I had to do. I had to make some Haystacks but since it’s almost Easter I decided to be a little festive and make Bird Nest Haystack. Needless to say they turned out absolutely mouth watering. Today I’m going to show you how to make Bird Nests/Haystacks.

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Here’s what you’ll need

1 Bag of Butterscotch Morsels

1 Cup of Peanut Butter

1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla

4 Cups of Chow Mein Noodles

1 Bag of Egg Shaped Candy ( I used Whoppers Robbin Eggs)

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Start by placing the 4 cups of chow mein noodles in a large bowl. Set aside. Then in a separate microwavable bowl pour the butterscotch morsels and add the peanut butter. Melting the mixture in 30 second increments. Be sure to stir after each 30 seconds.

Once the mixture is complete melted stir in the vanilla. Then pour it over chow mien noodles. Stir until the noodles are covered.  Using cooking spray, spray your muffin tin.

Next spoon the mixture in to the pan. Using your spoon dig little ditch into the center of each nest. (This is so your eggs will sit down inside of the nest, instead of on top of it.) Then place your eggs in the nest (This allows the eggs to stick in to the nest) Chill the Birds nest for about an hour.

Then using a butter knife remove the nest from the muffin pan and enjoy!!!

 

DIY Bunny Mask

It’s almost Easter and with the weather being crazy here my toddler is getting restless and so am I.  Honestly, there is only so many episodes of  P J Masks I can watch before I start twitching. (But at least my child’s not into Caillou! I can’t stand that show with that whinny little kid. I’ve literally dive for the remote, whenever I hear that dreaded intro song.) Today I wanted to mix things up a little bit with my little guy. Go a little old school by making Bunny Mask  and using our imaginations instead of turning on the tv. I’m going to show you how to make your very own Bunny Mask.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Sheet of White Construction Paper

1 Sheet of Pink Construction Paper

Hot Glue Gun or Elmer’s Glue

3 Black Pipe Cleaners

1 Cotton Ball

Scotch Tape

Pencil

Hole Puncher

Scissors

String/Ribbion

Bowl

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Grab the pipe cleaners and cut them in half. Set aside. Then trace the bowl.  (You’ll want to pick a bowl that’s about the size of your child face.)

 

Next you’re going to slide the bowl up to the top of the circle you’ve already made. You are going to trace the one side of the bowl. Then move it over to meet the line you’ve perviously created. (This will be the rabbit ears)

Then you are going to cut the rabbit out and trace only the ears on the pink piece of construction paper. Once you’ve traced the ears, you’re going to draw the inner ear. (I just free handed it. It doesn’t have to be perfect just fun.)  When you’ve drawn the inner ear cut it out and glue it on the bunny.

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Using something small and round trace the eye holes. ( I used my reusable K-Cup thingy) Cut out the eye holes. ( I personally hate cutting the eye holes. They are they worst but I didn’t want my kid running into things.)

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Next you are going to glue on the nose and whiskers. Draw the mouth of the rabbit.

Lastly you are going to apply a piece of scotch tape on each side of the mask. Then punch a hole in the tape. (This insures that when you tie the ribbon or string to it, it won’t tear the paper.) Tie a piece of ribbon to either side of the mask. Then place the mask on your little one (or yourself) and let imagination and giggles take over. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Easy Play Dough Recipe

The weather has been terrible for the last week and my child has been going berserk. He’s an outdoorsy kid, so being cooped up isn’t good for him or my sanity. So I decided to make him some Play Dough to keep him busy for a while.(And since it’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, I had to add a little holiday flare) Today I’m going to share with you this very simple Play Dough recipe.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Cup of Shaving Cream

1 Cup of Cornstarch

Gold Glitter

Green Food Coloring

You are going to want to lay something over your table to protect it. (I use a shower curtain. When I’m finished I just throw it in the washing machine with a few old towels and then dry it. Here‘s a great video on how to wash your plastic shower curtain.) Then you are going to want to pour the cornstarch right on the table cloth. Next you are going to add the shaving cream and glitter. (Don’t worry about exact measurements. I honestly just guesstimated.)

Then you are going to knead the mixture for about 5 minutes. At first it will seem like you aren’t making any progress but trust me it will become dough. (I should also let you know that this is a super messy project and your kids will love it.) If the dough is too sticky add more cornstarch and if it’s too dry add more shaving cream.

Once the dough is formed, add the food coloring. When the food coloring is completely combined, enjoy!!! Let your kids have blast!!!

 

 

My Top 4 Apps for Toddlers

I remember being pregnant and judging the parents I saw that allowed their toddlers to play on their cell phones, while they grocery shopped. I thought to myself “I’ll never do that. My children will just have to use their imaginations to entertain themselves.” That was one of the many fairytales I told myself. At the time I didn’t realize how quickly toddlers get bored and let’s face it, the errands parents have to do are usually boring. The other day my husband and I went to have our taxes done. All the people that we actually trust to watch Deklin, work or live out of state. So what did we do?  We brought our very energetic 2 year old with us. We spent over two hours in that place getting our taxes done and  he behaved really well. I know it was mainly because of the PBSKids app. (Also there may have been a bribe of a donut if he behaved and threat of a timeout if he didn’t.)  Today I’m going to share with you my top favorite 4 apps for toddlers.


4)Disney Movies Anywhere App (free) -This app is  great because you can purchase a Disney movie with a digital download and download them to your tablet. (You’ve probably already purchased some Disney movies with the free digital download and didn’t even realize it) Once you have them downloaded you take it anywhere, even if you don’t have Wi-Fi or 3G access. The only flaw I’ve found with app is that sometimes it takes a while to download a movie.

3) YouTube Kids (Free)- One of my “Mom” friends actually told me about this app. It has all sorts of kids videos that can be adjusted for age range. The app also has parental controls built into the app which is very convenient.

2) PBS Kids App (Free)- I grew up in the 90’s, so naturally I was a PBS kid. When I came across the PBS Kids app, I did the happy dance in my kitchen.  It’s just as wonderful and educational as the television station. Also the more important thing is that my son loves it and I don’t have to worry about there being inappropriate popping up.

1)ABCmouse.com App (The app itself is free to download but you have to pay $59.95 a year/5 dollars a month for a membership.) – The fact you have to pay for this app almost discouraged me from buying it. However because they were running a free trial, I decided to give it a try. My son loved it and was actually learning things. So I had to buy it. The wonderful thing about this app is that it truly grows with them and for 5 dollars a month you can’t beat the price. (Occasionally throughout the year they have really awesome deals on the price of the app. We got ours for 30 something dollars last year)

I think technology can be a wonderful thing and is great for entertaining toddlers in desperate situations or on long trips. However, I also believe that moderation is key. On Apple devices you can set up Guided Access ,which allows you to control the amount of time your child plays on the table/phone. Also it allows you to make them stay on one app, so you don’t have to worry about any of your important apps getting deleted. Something that my husband and I try to have at least once a week is an “Unplugged Day”. That’s just a day (Or sometimes just an afternoon)  where all technology/social media is turned off and we read, go to the park, or play games. Enjoy!!