Tray Haven

*articles may contain affiliate links* When you have babies and dogs, who eats more of lunch – your kids or your dogs? In our house, it’s totally the dogs. That’s why I was excited to test out Tray Haven, a mesh barrier between your child’s highchair tray and your dining room floor.

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Here’s what I was told about Tray Haven before we gave it a try:

Meal time with children can often result in Cheerios or strands of pasta all over the floor. Prevent these meal time “uh oh’s” with Tray Haven, the wing-like barrier that keep food off the floor and onto the tray of a highchair.

Tray Haven is easy to set up, take down, and store thanks to its clever collapsibility and go-anywhere portability. Its breathable mesh and sturdy wire construction make Tray Haven easy to clean in any sink. Tray Haven’s design also makes a great fit for most chairs with an attached tray including booster seats.

Tray Haven is also great while running errands, preventing children from grabbing unwanted items off shelves or racks.

If this sounds like something you’ve got to have, check out more details here

We didn’t take it to the store (frankly, having twins like ours we already get enough stares), but did test it on the highchair. It was really interesting for me to test this out with one twin at a time, seeing the differences on the floor after the meal.

Did it do what it claimed? Yes – it was easy to set up and kept the o’s off the floor. I tried to pull it off the highchair and had no issue. It was easy to get the girls in and out when installed. The only thing I didn’t like was when giving the girls things like spaghetti and pasta all I could think was it was going to get sauce all over it. I wasn’t ready to give this a try, so full disclosure I’m not 100% certain on the ease of cleaning bit.

Take a look at this video of the girls testing out Tray Haven then come back here and tell me what you think of this new product!

Tray Haven comes in two different colors and is available for purchase for $24.99 at www.trayhaven.com

Just Between Friends: Greater Pittsburgh Sale

This spring, I am partnering with Just Between Friends to bring you information on their seasonal children’s and maternity consignment sale events. All opinions are my own. (*articles may contain affiliate links*)

Jed & Kelly Robie, parents of four and owners of Just Between Friends Pittsburgh, know what it’s like to raise a family of four kids (like us). It can be expensive, but they say it doesn’t have to be. Their seasonal consignment sales across the area bring ways for families to shop with confidence, at a good price, and even make money by consigning outgrown kid gear and clothing.

This spring, the team will be bringing two events to our area. The first is the Greater Pittsburgh sale from March 31 to April 2, 2017 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (in downtown Pittsburgh). All the details are available online, but here’s a quick summary of things you need to know before you shop (from me, a shop veteran and mom of four!).

Just Between Friends
Photo: @JBFPitt Facebook

Shopping the Just Between Friends Sale

Schedule your time to shop. There are a few options:

  • Are you a first-time parent or the one who always has to see things first? You might want to opt for the PRIME TIME PreSale on Thursday, March 30 from 12-9 PM. It will cost $10 paid in advance through their Eventbrite listing. You can’t show up with a ten and get in the door, sorry! I have shopped this shop when looking for a jogging stroller and I have to say it is worth it. While JBF makes sure all items are up to their standards, shopping early gets you the best of the best. You’ll pay a little more than you would later in the sale, but if you have to have it,  I say buy your tickets now or enter my giveaway! 
  • Browsing and have a list but you don’t want to spend the extra to be first in the door? There are going to be plenty of amazing deals the whole weekend, but you can shop for FREE starting Friday, March 31 from 9am-7pm and Saturday, April 1 from 9am-4pm. Consignors will be dropping off even more inventory on Friday night, so you just might find something Saturday that wasn’t there the day before. Maybe bring Grandma or Auntie with you and nudge them to get something baby must have? *wink* I’ve double shopped before! See something at the pre-sale but not quite sure you need it…then you go home and you really did want it. Bonus, shopping free is more money for you to spend on new-to-you items! 
  • Love a deal? Sunday, April 2 from 9am-1pm is your day. Admission is free and any items without a star are 50% off. This is how we scored on our double stroller with carseats and four bases the year we found out about the twins.

Bring a bag and extra hands. 

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Source: Greater Pittsburgh JBF

I recommend, if possible, leaving baby at home. Bring a stroller, wagon, or your biggest Thirty-One bag (hint, hint) and be ready to fill up on great deals. Bring a friend or your spouse and tag-team the areas. Keep your eyes open – you never know what you might find (and this goes for all weekend). This year, I’ll be on the hunt for coordinating 2T outfits for the twins.

Think ahead. 

If you have storage space, think ahead to outfits you’ll need the rest of the season. There will be other sales in the fall, but you won’t want shopper’s remorse for leaving a summer outfit on the rack. I promise spring and summer are just around the Allegheny river bend.

Shopping for twins? Here’s a handy list of twin items that includes our must-haves!

Selling at the Spring Sale

Consignors still have time to prepare their items to include in this event!!!

You get 60% of the sale price (less a $10 consignor fee). If you volunteer at the sale, you get 70%. There is an event on March 27 to teach you how to tag (I just might see you there…the twins are growing quickly and our space is dwindling!) or a valet tagging option (they tag for you, you’ll make less but have more time on your hands).

Just Between Friends Cosignor
Photo: @JBFPitt Facebook

Unsure if your baby equipment meets the standards to sell? There are guidelines and when you check-in your items, there is a station that checks everything over to be sure there are no recalls.

Bonus I read about on their Facebook page: If you cosign in this sale + pick up your items at the end of the sale, you can keep them tagged for the next sale, which isn’t that far off! (Don’t want to pick up? You can have any unsold items donated at the end of the sale.)

 

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Join in with thousands of families who save 50-90% off retail prices and shop at this year’s Just Between Friends Greater Pittsburgh consignment sale March 31-April 1. Watch the blog for details on the next show in a few weeks!

Want to win tickets to the March 30 pre-sale and $25 in JBF bucks to spend at the sale? Enter my giveaway which runs through March 27 at 11:59 PM. Please share with all of your friends, too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

[ctt template=”1″ link=”8wKBQ” via=”no” ]Love a deal? @JBFPittsburgh is March 31-April 2.[/ctt]

Snuza

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When I look in the mirror, I still see a new mom, but when I look at my babies (who are now 7 months old!), I realize that my days of using that as my tagline are fast fading. Regardless of how I look, how much the girls grow, or what my reality is, I still feel like a new mom and still suffer from pangs of postpartum anxiety.

Sleep is probably the biggest trigger for my anxiety. I barely sleep because I am worried about the babies. Are they sleeping? Are they breathing? Did they stay on their backs like they’re supposed to? (And now,) are they staying in their own cribs and not trying to plan a great escape? I’ve had plenty of sleepness nights staring into the darkness of their room, listening for breaths or slight movements. I’ve stared at the video monitors, hoping for a sign of life across the night vision screen. And I’ve jumped at every small whimper to see what could be bothering my precious little ones. So much so that it’s come to the point where my husband (and others) have had to take the monitor away and force me to sleep while the babies are sleeping (like every new mom knows they should do but good luck doing it).

While I was at Blogger Bash, I found out about Snuza Baby Monitors, a piece of baby gear I’m going to recommend to any new mom like me. These monitors simply attach to baby’s waistband (diaper or pants – the tighter spot the better for less slipping and accurate monitoring) and sense abdominal movement. If baby’s belly stops moving (signaling decreased breathing), the monitor signals an alert. Sure, it’ doesn’t take away the constant wondering and listening for an alert, but it is a way to tell if something is wrong and not just baby trying to settle into their comfy spot.

Snuza
Source: Snuza.com

We were sent a Snuza Go. It has less bells and whistles than the Snuza Monitor (for instance, it doesn’t hook up to a phone app), but still the same idea. You attach the monitor to the waistband and let it observe baby’s sleep. When there is no abdominal movement, a piercing alert will sound.

I’d like to say I haven’t heard the alert, but I have. Twice.

The first time, I tested it by setting it up to alert, essentially. I didn’t have it secure enough to Ava’s waistband and it couldn’t detect movement. This way I knew what to expect should the unexpected happen.

The second time, I’m honestly not sure what happened. I had put Ava to sleep in her crib on her back and then went downstairs to finish up homework with Arianna at the dining room table (just below the girls’ nursery). After about 10 minutes, I heard the monitor beeping its scream. Never have I run up the stairs so quickly. I put my hands on her in the darkness and she rolled into my hands, opened her eyes, and smiled. As much as I wanted to let her sleep, I was scared enough to just snuggle for a good twenty minutes before I was sure everything was okay.

Snuza Go

While I can’t say if it was loose placement, skipped breathing, or something else, I’m so glad I have the Snuza Go to keep me on my toes but also calm my fears. We haven’t had another instance since then, so that’s a relief.

If you’d like to learn more about the Snuza line of baby monitors, check out Snuza.com.

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The Snuza Go! is a portable and easy-to-use movement monitor which clips onto baby’s diaper to ensure that normal movement is maintained. Go! detects even the slightest abdominal movement and will alert you via an audible alarm after 15, 18 or 20 seconds of no movement. The movement rate indicator will warn you during weak or infrequent movement. MSRP $94.99.

Double Bassinet Playpen

Before they outgrow it, I want to show you the double bassinet playpen that Ava and Isla were gifted by my (awesome) co-workers.

This playpen from Graco is portable, has two bassinets (with sun guards!), and can also be used as a regular playpen once your babies outgrow the bassinet feature. My girls are oh so close to that, boo!

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See? They are getting so big, so fast.

double bassinet playpen

I recommend this double bassinet playpen to parents of twins because it’s been a lifesaver in our living room. We haven’t traveled with it, but it does travel around our downstairs (it’s in the dining room for these photos, but usually in the living room).

Parents: What was your go – to for daytime naps? 

Smart Connect™ Cradle ’n Swing

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Is it possible for a 4-month-old to fall in love with something? Because if so, that’s exactly what Miss Isla Joy did with the 4-in-1 Smart Connect™ Cradle ’n Swing from Fisher-Price. It was love at first sight when we met the team at Blogger Bash NYC, and we clearly had to get our hands on one. It was absolute zen from our girl who has a 10-minute limit for holding still.

Smart Connect™ Cradle ’n Swing
Isla at Blogger Bash

She loved it so much that she interrupted an interview with Anne Geddes just because she could see the mobile from the corner of her eye. One can’t make this up.

And ever since the swing arrived? Well, she’s got a careful eye on it and has been known to have some jealousy issues when Ava is in it. But really? Who could blame her? It feels super soft and is roomy (our girls are under/over 10 pounds, but it’s made for babies up to 25 pounds).

 

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And adorable print / color. Don’t you just love the Techno Gray™?

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As for safety, the clips to hold baby in are probably just as safe as the seat belt in their car seat. Because of that extra slip-through feature, I am not worried about pinching my fingers when closing it, either.

 

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The gentle motions of the swing in addition to soft lights and soothing music make for a perfect formula of sensory stimulation.

 

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It also can be a rocker as the base comes off and can be ported around your home when needed. Like when you’re cooking dinner.

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All you have to do is lift it off the base. I fretted about how to do this then realized I just had to put one hand on the top and the other on the bottom and lift. It’s super light. And super portable. In fact, I saw a grandmother on a sidewalk in NYC with her ‘lil baby in the rocker when I was walking back to my hotel after BBNYC. She agreed when I said “BEST SWING EVER!”.

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Oh. And how have I not told you the best part yet? (You wondered how it could be better?) Well…you can control the swing from an app on your phone or tablet (Android and Apple). This lets you adjust speed, lights, music, and even time that the swing runs. (You can’t do this from your office and freak out your SAH-husband, though. You have to be about 6 feet away to pair it, but can actually operate it from another room in the house if it is powered on. This does mean you can freak out the big kids when it starts moving all on its own…)

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Greg adds that he loves how easy it was to put together and unlike some other products we’ve gotten for baby (also in the Fisher-Price family), we didn’t need batteries…because it plugs in.

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For the official information on the 4-in-1 Smart Connect™ Cradle ’n Swing, I’ll defer to the Fisher-Price experts (from the product description):

It’s a swing! And it’s a rocker you can control from your smart device!

 

Experience innovation at its finest. Two swinging motions, side-to-side or traditional head-to-toe. Two soothing, rocking motions. Two-position recline. 16 songs and a variety of nature sounds. Overhead mobile with lights. All controlled from your smart device. Baby, that’s genius.

 

Just open the app and control the swing right from the palm of your hand. It’s the newest and best way to let sleeping babies do what they were born to do (at least in the early weeks!).

 

SmartSwing Technology offers 6 distinct swinging speeds from low to high so you can find the perfect rhythm to help soothe baby, whether swinging side-to-side (like a cradle) or head-to-toe. When baby’s ready to rock, just remove the rocker seat, set it on the floor and baby can enjoy either of two rocking motions.

 

16 songs, 3 nature sounds, and deluxe overhead mobile with light-up birdies (one with a mirrored belly) help keep baby entertained for hours.

Can you tell that we are all in love? The only thing we don’t like about it? Only having one. 🙂

 

A very happy #lilburghers Daddy watching over his happy baby girl. Thank you @fisherprice for making our #twins happy! We love our 4-in-1 Smart Connect Cradle 'n Swing! #sponsored
 

Making a baby-shower registry? Need a good group gift? This is it. I promise. And it’s available right now over on Amazon – so get your’s in that cart!

You can find out more about the Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Smart Connect™ Cradle ’n Swing at Fisher-Price.com. This particular one retails for $200, but there are other versions as well.

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