Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Meeting Other Mommies

When I first became a Mommy, I found it pretty easy to talk to other moms.  Perhaps the lack of sleep allowed me to lose my inhibitions.  Perhaps, after giving birth, I felt like I had nothing to hide.  Perhaps I just longed to hear adult voices instead of cries and coos.  Somewhere along the way, I became self conscious again.

It was hard for me not to compare myself to other moms.  There are so many amazing ladies out there who balance work, home, and raising beautiful children in an appearance of seamless grace.  I wanted to know how they did it, but also felt too shy to ask.  (There were many days where I felt like I was lucky to have gotten my laundry done so that I had a clean shirt to wear.)

On Wednesdays, Soft and Cozy Baby offers a Mom's Support G
roup at 2:30pm.  Here, I was able to come out of my shell a little bit at a time.  The first time I went, I was warmly welcomed and introduced by one of the store associates, but I didn't talk much.  However, just by listening, I realized that all moms have their own struggles.

The next time, I engaged a little more.  There were several moms with children a few months older than my son and it was great to hear about the next stages of his development from moms who had been there.  I found myself forming friendships and sharing information about everything from which restaurants in the area were particularly kid friendly to how to find a trustworthy babysitter.

It was so beneficial to know that other moms had faced some of the same struggles that I had and made it through successfully.  It helped me to gain confidence in my own mothering abilities and to trust myself.

Besides the Mom's Support Group, Soft and Cozy Baby also offers a Breastfeeding Mom's Circle on Thursdays at noon.  Both groups are drop-in, so feel free to come later after nap if that suits your needs better.  We hope to see you there!

Happy Mothering!
The Soft and Cozy Momma

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spotlight on Svan Signet High Chair

When the Svan Signet high chair first arrived at Soft and Cozy Baby, I had many folks asking about it.  Because it was new to the store, I didn't know much about it myself.  So, I decided to do some research.  What I found was that the Svan Signet high chair is a welcome addition to your family's home!  This chair is fully adjustable, easy to clean, and works well in any dining room.

From the time baby can sit up and is starting to experiment with solid foods, the Signet high chair converts to provide the perfect place to eat.  It has an ergonomic seat that will grow with them from baby to toddler and beyond.  You can adjust both the seat height and depth.  The foot rest moves with the child and provides support for lengthening legs so that your child is never left dangling.  In addition, your child can use this chair up to 150 lbs.  You may even find yourself using it!

My son is a very messy eater!  I HAVE to have something that's easy to clean.  This high chair comes with a plastic tray that pops off and can be put into the dishwasher.  The chair itself is made of a birch that easily wipes clean.  You can also purchase covers (in a variety of colors) that are fully machine washable.  These are nice because they not only cushion your child as he or she sits, but make cleaning up a snap.

Finally, this stylish chair is perfect for your dining room!  With its bentwood quality construction, it looks like it belongs with the grown-ups.  It comes in five different shades of wood and you can add additional color with a choice of six cushions.  The chair also has a small footprint and a handle on the back makes it easy to move around the house.  Its compact style is great for row houses and city living.

We hope you come in and check out the Svan Signet high chair for yourself!  Feel free to comment here or ask any additional questions in the store.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Traveling with your Toddler

My husband travels for work on occasion and because we want to spend as much time as possible as a family, I pack up our things, including our 19 month old and we go.  Most of the time, this has been a positive experience.  I like having a change in environment and our son loves exploring new places.  However, in the last few months, our little man has become less agreeable about our travels.  He would normally talk to us until he fell asleep and then stay sleeping for most of our time on the road or plane.

Now, he is awake the entire time!  He is so interested in what is going on that he fights sleep and then becomes unhappy due to the lack of a nap.  What's a mom to do?

I'm finding that for us, it's all about preparedness.  Our diaper bag is full to the brim when it comes time to travel.  Here are a few things that make our drive or flight much more successful:

1) Changing diaper on time- It's easy to let a few hours slip away on a long car trip or when the fasten seatbelt sign just won't go off on your flight, but I try to keep my son changed just like I would at home, at least every two hours.  In case I do go a little longer, I keep some extra inserts in the bag.  Best Bottoms makes a snap-in hemp and organic cotton insert that is incredibly absorbent without being bulky.

2)  Snacks, lots of snacks- Packing a variety of food, such as apple slices, bagels, cheese, hummus and carrots, helps to keep him happy.  Although sometimes this results in a mess in our car, we found it's well worth it.  Plus, if we use the Itzy Ritzy snack bags, he takes his time fishing each item out and eating it.  Another less messy snack that we like are smoothies in the Sili pouch.  This is also a time consuming process which means more happy time for him in the backseat and mom and dad in the front.

3) Little presents-  Yes, this is a little silly, but I love to wrap small presents up for him and then dole them out along the trip at the most essential moments.  He immediately becomes excited at the sight of them and he works his fine motor skills unwrapping the presents.  Many times, they are actually things that we already have around the house, such as our Indestructibles books or his Pebble Snake Rattle.  We also play a game where he tries to figure out what it is before he unwraps it, so we listen, feel, and look at the package before he opens it up.

4) Never be in a hurry!- Sometimes just knowing that you might be late and planning for that can help to relieve the stress of traveling.  Give yourself extra time to get around the airport or try to leave at times where you will avoid rush hour if you're driving.  Also, its nice to find out where play areas are along your route.  Most airports, including BWI, have a kids' area that will allow your little one to burn off some extra energy before sitting down.  Things to Do at BWI

5) Talk about it-  Whether you're going to visit Grandma or you're traveling for work, it helps to let your child know where he or she is going and that you will be returning home.  I also like to let my son know what we will be doing on our trip, especially if it is something exciting for him to look forward to doing.  These explanations should be appropriate to your child's age as most toddlers have no concept of time.

Hopefully, this will be helpful in your travels.  If you have any other suggestions for surviving long trips, I'd love to hear from you!

Happy Mothering!
the Soft and Cozy Momma

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Let's Hear it for the Dads!

Did you know?  According to www.childwelfare.gov, "Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers."  

Daddys often play with their children differently than moms and this is a good thing!  While most moms help children to interact with objects and provide language for baby, dads arouse baby's curiosity through vigorous play.  Both of these kinds of play are important for baby's emotional,  physical, and cognitive development.

At Soft and Cozy Baby, we've been supporting moms and babies for years now.  This has indirectly resulted in helping dads, but we really wanted to do something just for this very important caregiver!

Introducing Daddy Club!  A drop-in support group for dads that offers guy advice from fellow fathers in the thick of it.  Starting this Thursday, come by anytime from 6:30-8:30pm for a beer, a snack, or just to hang out.  Feel free to bring your little one with you if you'd like.  

This informal gathering will meet once a month.  We'll start out at the store and possibly move to different locations as suits the group.

Oh, and moms, we
haven't forgotten you!  We'll still have our weekly Mom's Support Group on Wednesday afternoons and Breastfeeding Mom's Circle on Thursday afternoons.  Plus, check out our online calendar for other classes and special events!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Taming of the Boobs

Immediately after having my son, my chest grew to the point where neither myself nor my husband would have recognized my breasts had they not been attached to me.  Yes, they were large, but also full and firm. (Ready to nourish my newborn, not for you hubby.)  I needed support and I needed it fast.

I sent my Mom-in-law to Target to buy a nursing bra.  She came back with a few nursing camisoles that had scrawny shelf bras.  When I tried them on I was terribly uncomfortable.  It felt like there was too much pressure around the rib band and not enough support.  I ended up not wearing a bra half the time, which limited me to the house.  How did I manage to overlook such an important part of the Mommy experience?!?

Since then, I have learned so much!  According to several studies found in this article:  Brasserie-Wikipedia, 80-85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size.  This is not just limited to pregnant and nursing moms, but it seems that if we can't get it right when our breasts are not undergoing massive changes, then we're probably not correctly sizing ourselves when they are fluctuating with our milk production.

At Soft and Cozy Baby, we offer free bra fittings with a certified Bravado specialist.  Bravado bras are designed to provide support, grow with you for comfort, and last throughout your time of nursing and beyond.  They also come in a variety of designs and we encourage you to try on several so that you can find a great fit AND a style that makes you feel beautiful!

By giving yourself the gift of a great nursing bra, a healthy breastfeeding practice can be established. You will be feeling and looking great, but even more importantly, your baby will be getting the best nourishment that you can offer.  That's something to feel amazing about!

For more information and support on breastfeeding, you can check out the Resource Library on the Bravado website, come to our monthly Breastfeeding Class with the wonderful lactation consultant Katy Linda,  or please join us each Thursday at noon for our Mom's Breastfeeding Circle.  We hope to see you there soon.

Happy Mothering!
the Soft and Cozy Momma

Monday, March 17, 2014

Time for Teething!

After being woken up last night at 3am due to my son's painful teething, I was willing to try almost anything to help my little man.  Normally his amber necklace is enough, but his molars really seemed to be bothering him.  I totally understood why as I looked into his mouth to see swollen gums through which the teeth are trying to erupt.  I would be crying out in pain too!

Fortunately, I remembered that I had brought home a sample of Punkin Butt's Teething Oil.  Grabbing the little vial, I ran upstairs to wash my hands and then put a couple of drops on my pointer finger.  The oil smelled nice, reminding me of warm apple cider.  My son must have smelled it as well because he stretched his neck out and put my finger in his mouth.

I worked slowly, massaging the gums and adding more oil as needed.  It probably took me about two minutes to get the four corners of his mouth where the molars are protruding and the surrounding swollen areas.  The relief was immediate and my 18 month old was soon back to sleep.  I will definitely be purchasing a larger bottle to have on hand throughout this teething period.

The oil helped in reducing my son's pain quickly and that was the most important thing to me at 3am, but looking at the ingredients this morning, I became an even bigger fan.  Punkin Butt uses all natural oils in this blend including chamomile, clove, and peppermint essential oils.  These oils are professionally mixed and diluted to provide right amount of numbing and anti-inflammatory agents for babies.

My little guy slept through the rest of the night waking up at his usual time of 7am.  He played for about an hour before he started sticking his whole hand in his mouth again, drooling everywhere, and showing all the irritable signs of teething pain.  I was pretty impressed that the teething oil lasted for five hours, although I'm not sure if those results are typical.  We shall see as I'm positive that I'll be massaging my son's gums throughout the day. :)

Happy Mothering!
from the Soft and Cozy Momma

Monday, March 10, 2014

Soft and Cozy Baby Blog: Reboot!

Soft and Cozy Baby would like to announce the reboot of our blog!  In addition to providing you with reviews of products, exclusive information about sales, and the upcoming offerings of classes, we would like to address real issues from Baltimore Moms, Dads, and caregivers.  Feel free to post comments and questions as we are happy to share our knowledge.

With this blog, we are able to supply you with a searchable list of topics that matter to your family.  We will try to cover a variety of topics including finding the right nursing bra, what kind of diapers work well for overnight, and how to calm an irritable, teething child.  As always, our excellent customer service is available for you in the store, but this will hopefully be a resource for those times when we're closed or you just can't make it out to see us.

Like most parents, we might not have all the answers, but we promise to help you research if there is something that you'd like to know about (Baby related, of course.  I can't help you sell an old car).  

Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you soon!
Happy Mothering!
from the Soft and Cozy Momma