Thursday, January 19, 2017

Diapers oh diapers & more diapers

Disclosure: The author of this blog has no direct nor indirect business, financial, personal affiliation, nor has any relationship that could be interpreted or perceived as a relationship for financial gain with the companies or product manufacturers mentioned within this article:

My children (I have four) went through many of the major brands of diapers, we had to switch constantly as some diapers caused agitation on their bum, and some caused chafing from rubbing against their skin, and a few simply didn’t fit well. So I cannot emphasize more on how important it is to try several brands before you commit, as almost all of them are made differently.

A baby uses a diaper around 6 times a day, now lets do the math:

A box 192 Diapers (Econ. Plus Pack) is $42.97 (on sale)

42.97 / 192 = 22.38 = 22.40¢  each

6 x 0.23 a day = 1.38$ for poop and pee per day for 32 days (192/6 = 32 days)

Do yourself a favor pick-up the phone and/or email the customer service departments of the diaper companies and request samples directly, they should be happy to send you some FREE samples as you will be buying boxes a month at a price between 25-45$ for three years, -Its in their best interest to connect. Also, most of the major brands offer online coupons in exchange for your personal information. I made an email account just for diaper coupons and other savings, consider doing the same.

We found our children’s brand at a wholesale store; the store was using one of the top three manufacturers and labeling the diapers with their own generic store brand.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

OMS North America Strollers of the Year! (maybe of the decade)

Disclosure: The author of this blog has no direct nor indirect business, financial, personal affiliation, nor has any relationship that could be interpreted or perceived as a relationship for financial gain with the companies or product manufacturers mentioned within this article:

So when my wife did not accept my solution of using a shopping cart for hauling the kids around, I dived into the world of assessing and comparing strollers. And wow –there are a lot on the market, it is like buying a car, and costs almost as much as a used car ranging in prices from 120$ – 3,000$ and in Canada and South Asian it is significantly more.

I considered several factors for my evaluations; durability was the first  -nothing is worse than taking the kids out, and something happens to the stroller. Consider what you do in your off-season, if you go to the beach, it should push through the packed sand easily, and be high enough, so your little one will not be soaked when a wave comes in a while pushing the stroller on the beach.

If you enjoy the trails  (this was a huge factor as we live in a region with national parks and long trails) so the stroller had to be able to cruise over the rough ground like a mini jeep, -only a few do.

Exercising, if you run or jog be confident that the stroller spins smoothly, correctly and locks into a straight direction, (this is also important when pushing through the sand.)

The Sherpa factor, you should be able to be store everything you need in or on your stroller. I know of some mums that love carrying their diaper bag and pushing their classic, hipster, nostalgic stroller – yet don’t forget mums, that you may have a male pushing that nostalgic stroller, consider how happy he will be carrying a diaper bag and be pushing the stroller, make it is easy for him, and he will enjoy pushing the stroller.

Occupancy, and maneuverability –If your planning on having more than one child, then try and consider how they will sit in the stroller together, and factor in what you do daily. It is daunting to maneuver in small areas like grocery aisles, checkouts and even propping a side-by-side double occupancy stroller onto escalating stairs at the mall. I had almost no problems with the top-and-bottom occupancy stroller as the width was standard.

Price – surprised I did not put this first, well if you look at the cost from a replacement value, you want to be certain that if you buy that 350$ stroller, it lasts. Otherwise, you will be buying another one, and another one. So ideally you should spend what you can afford and get the best value for your dollar.

Ask yourself this simple question: “will my child be safe, comfortable and will it break my back to push it through the sand…” Remember that our expert in residence wrote an article on the importance of having a proper car seat and stroller.

It is no surprise that this year’s top TWO of the highest ranking strollers are:

For durability, cost, and easiness: The BOB –

This stroller is built like an off-road vehicle, the large tires, with air (not plastic wheels), allows this stroller to cruise through trails, sand, snow and rain with ease. With the ability to lock the front wheel and ease of the spin, it was also ideal for jogging.

The BoB has good storage capacity, and you can add generic accessories to hold your coffee, bottle,  phone, diaper bag and other things. Traveling with the BoB was easy, it collapses easy and quickly and the wheels come off, I carried a bungee cord to wrap around the stroller to keep it snug for flights and on top of the van.

Bonus – the BoB is very masculine, and as a father, I loved pushing it, ladies, there are a variety of colours to select from.

For double occupancy, storage and maneuverability = The City Select

When you have more than one child and if they are both too young to walk for long periods, then you must invest in a stroller that can carry both of them.

The BoB double occupancy stroller was difficult to maneuver in tight places, and some places I could not even enter, collapsing the stroller felt like doing bicep curls at the gym.

The City Select is a tad more on the pricier side starting at around 400$, plus you have to buy the accessions and the second seat had to be purchased separately. We purchased our in Utah where large families are the norm, and they sold out as soon as they were put on the shelves for sale. I enjoy the ability that you can switch the seating arrangements constantly and if you have three children and one is older, that child can stand on the glider.  As a parent, your child’s stroller should be as easy to use, and as convenient as your mobile phone, and the City Select was.

The First Two Years Of Parenthood

When you enter the world of parenthood, the most overwhelming and life altering time is the first two years of your child’s life. It changes you as a person. Not only your day to day priorities or your house being filled with more children’s items than “Toys ‘r’ us” and not to mention your self-grooming limited to a three-minute shower (if you’re lucky). But this time also changes your relationship dynamic with your partner and what’s important in life.

No one see’s this change coming, it’s like a gust of wind when you’re wearing a flowy skirt (unexpected and hard to deal with). And it’s definitely not spoken about enough during pregnancy. Everyone talks about how lovely having a newborn is and all the nice elements, but in reality we should be educating parents on the challenging aspects that lay ahead so they can be aware and know that it’s not just them going through it, we all are or have been there.

There is nothing worse than looking at your partner in the midst of a crying baby and no sleep, feeling like you are both failing because society has created this white picket fence idea of how life is after becoming parents. It’s going to be challenging and you will have to work extra hard at having time to yourself and giving attention to your relationship (because believe me this is vital to maintaining sanity and romance).

For a woman the first two years are overtaken by “mummy mode” both mentally and physically, so much so that we often lose ourselves and who we are because our minds are consumed twenty-four hours a day with our child and what they need. I am a mother to twin girls aged two and a half years(trust me the half counts) and it’s only recently that I have rediscovered myself and who I am.

I’ve realised that’s I’m not just a mother, that Mimi still exists and that I need her to feel whole. And that’s ok. It’s important to have time to yourself, for your career or to socialise, because after all taking care of your well being ultimately makes you a better parent. You come out of this whirlwind of babyhood and enter into a new chapter of your child’s life, they are able to do more for themselves, to communicate and are probably enrolled in a nursery. It’s an exciting time for them, and for you as parents also.

So if you’re reading this and you’re experiencing the first few years with your little wonder, or are about to embark into parenthood. Know that whatever happens in those first years, you will make it through. You will be wiser, more fulfilled and happy – just keep realistic expectations.