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Current Giveaways And Promo Codes

CONGRATULATIONS to:

GREAT offers:

  • Nicole Maternity is offering our readers a 10% off code. Use SPILTMILK1 at checkout.
  • Mudpuppy is offering SMM readers 15% off all orders using the code “ZZZ2″.

 

Onesies For Toddlers

I don’t know about you, but it seems strange to me that all of a sudden, onesies become unavailable after 18 months (24 months if you’re lucky).  It’s not as if suddenly shirts don’t bunch up when you pick up your toddler, or it’s suddenly uncool to have snaps at their crotch, or toddlers are suddenly toilet-trained at 18 months (kudos to those of you who are able to accomplish this!).  And how practical are they when paired with adorable overalls?  I am a big fan of onesies and was disappointed when they became hard to find in larger sizes – until I came across Essential Whites (aka TodBods)!

 

These onesies start at size 2T and run all the way up until 6T.  They are, as the company name implies, purely white – basic, yet easy to match with any outfit.  There is a great amount of detail on the quality of the construction, cotton, dying process and strength of the snaps.  I can attest that through several washings, the onesies still look and feel like new.  I did follow the instructions and have never put them in the dryer out of fear of shrinkage; you can always go for a larger size if you plan on putting them in the dryer.

 

Essential Whites offers a selection of long-sleeve, short-sleeve or sleeveless bodysuits.  Each kind can come with either a lap (my preference – less fuss as you pull it over baby’s head) or round collar.  Pricing is very competitive given the quality of these garments – each starts at $8USD (sleeveless or short-sleeve) or $9USD (long-sleeve), and increases in price with size.  Essential Whites also offers buy-3-get-1-free which is what I opted for.  I did contact customer service to check on my order, because it took almost three weeks to arrive from the USA.  Their response was quick and friendly – impressive!

 

These onesies are great for those who like the concept.   An added bonus: now that my toddler has started to figure out how to undo his diaper (which doesn’t happen too often, because I had enough foresight to buy most of my cloth diapers with snaps), wearing a onesie makes this impossible (well, for now, until he gets really smart).  So kudos to Essential Whites for filling a need in the baby garment industry!

 

Carry Your Infant Car Seat with Your Angel Arm

One of the drawbacks of buying the safest, fanciest infant car seat thatyou can find for your brand new bundle of joy is that it likely isn’t going to be the lightest one you can find. Personally, I was willing to sacrifice the ease and convenience of toting around a light infant car seat for the peace of mind of protecting the health and safety of my newborn son withy a fancier, heavier one. Thankfully, this time around, I have some relief coming my way in the form of the Angel Arm by Baby Henry Co.

When I got the infant car seat out of storage, the impending birth of my second child looming, hoisting it out of the closet reminded me of how awkward and heavy it was to carry around. And with a growing baby in it, it only got heaver and heavier as time went on. Because we were lucky enough to have a stroller travel system where the infant car seat could be installed directly onto the stroller frame, this meant that everywhere we went, we would detach the infant car seat from the car, and attach it to the stroller, and off we’d go!

Of course, we didn’t always have the stroller frame with us, which meant that we had to carry the infant car seat around. And by carry, I mean lug. And by we, I mean my husband. That sucker just got to heavy for me to carry comfortably as my son got older.

This time, as I browsed vendors at a Baby and Toddler tradeshow last fall, it was like the angels were singing to me, church bells ringing, and a light from the sky lit up on the Baby Henry Co. Makers of the Angel Arm, a fantastic and simple device designed to help mom’s like me whose upper body strength (apparently) leaves much to be desired.

The shoulder strap construction of the Angel Arm is designed to take the weight of your infant car seat and redistribute it across your body, making it easier to carry and removing the stress and strain from the baby-toting process. I can recall all the bruising I endured on my forearms from carrying my son in his infant car seat on the crook of my arm, but no more. With the Angel Arm I just place the padded strap over my shoulder and across my body, looping the rest of the strap through the handle of the infant car seat and voila! The heavy infant car seat becomes instantly easier to carry around. This summer, carrying my new baby around in the infant car seat will be a pleasure. No more tortured arms for me!

The Angel Arm can be purchased online for $29.99 CDN and makes a great gift for new parents.

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Baby Henry Co. is offering a discount on the Angel Arm for our Spilt Milk Moms readers.

To receive the discount, send an email to info@babyhenryco.com with the  promo code SMM0411 and a note telling Baby Henry Co. why carrying your infant carseat is killing you, include your mailing address and Baby Henry Co. will send you the Angel Arm at $10 off . That’s a little bit of heavenly relief for just $19.99! (Orders will be billed through PayPal so include your PayPal email address in your email.)

Skip*Hop Hare

My 19 month old princess, Charlotte, has what I lovingly refer to as ‘giant baby potato head’, meaning that her lack of hair leaves her looking like an overgrown baby-zilla (in a nice way).  I am dying for the day I can braid her hair, but alas this seems like a ways off.  Even though she lacks flowing locks, though, she has a fuzzy bunch of dark hair that is becoming increasingly unruly.  There seemed little point in owning a baby comb or brush until now, and luckily wonderfully innovative company Skip*Hop agreed to send me their Hare baby comb and brush set to try out.

My love affair with all things Skip*Hop began with my purchase of the company’s clever Splash bottle drying rack a few years ago, and I continue to be impressed with the company’s large range of useful and gorgeous products (including their new crib bedding collections, TreeTop Friends and Flower Burst).  Charlotte immediately fell in love with the Hare, toddling about with a comb and brush in each hand alternately attempting to comb her own hair, the dog’s, mine, or the carpet.  When I showed her the mirror on the base of the rabbit, I swear she started chanting “Mirror mirror in my hand, who’s the prettiest princess in the land?”  Her breath, saliva, and lips all left marks on the mirror, she was holding it that close to her face (I really should get that on video).  I can personally attest to the durability of the Hare, as the day it arrived was also the day it sailed down the stairs and onto the hardwood floor after it ‘slipped’ from the tiny fingers of a girl who loves to see what happens when things get pushed through the baby gate at the top of the landing.  That mirror is, as promised, shatter proof, and I’m happy to report that the Hare had not a scratch on it as a result of its adventure.

We have successfully worked the Hare into our morning and after-bath routine.  I love how easy the brush, comb, and mirror are for Charlotte’s little hands as well as my own to hold thanks to their excellent rubber grip.  The comb has really smooth teeth without pointy edges, while the brush has nice soft bristles.  This Skip*Hop creation is BPA, Phthalate, and PVC free, and was designed for children aged zero and up.  My favourite part, though, is how the brush and comb each form one of the rabbit’s ears – the Hare is just so cute!

The Hare is available in orange or green, and costs $20 USD through the Skip*Hop website.  Put up your hand if you think the Hare would make an excellent Easter gift!

“He shoots, He scores!”

“He shoots, He scores!”  My husband, Yuji, is an avid hockey fan, and those words never fail to excite him.  Not a week goes by that Yuji doesn’t play, attend a game or watch one on T.V.  So when I learned I was pregnant, it was my hope that my child-to-be would share his dad’s passion.

We wasted no time introducing Koji to the ice rink.  When he was a small infant we pushed him around the ice in his stroller.  As he grew, he was no longer content in his stroller and he wanted to hit the ice himself.  My husband and I were uncomfortable putting a toddler who had just learned to walk on single bladed skates,so we did a little research and my husband found Baby Skates on line.  Thank you to Baby Skates for sending us a custom engraved pair for Koji to try out.
What makes Baby Skates different than other children skates on the market is that each skate is constructed with two stainless steel blades.  They are designed with a rear balance stabilizer which helps reduce backward falls and they have been developed so that they never need to be sharpened.  The boots are excellently crafted using high quality leather.  The leather stretches over time, forming to the foot.  The boot of the skate is insulated, has a comfortable insole, and is easy to clean.  These skates are truly a thing of beauty.
Koji’s new Baby Skates arrived with his name and a logo of a hockey stick and puck exquisitely engraved on them.  He was so excited when I removed them from their package.  He couldn’t wait to put them on.  We have now taken him skating several times and each time he is eager to suit up.  With each step on the ice he gains a little more confidence.  At first he was content to be pushed around the ice, but now he is happy to move his legs back and forth.  He is even able to stand on his own and take a few steps.  As proud parents of our little skating boy we feel Baby Skates provide the appropriate first step for the physical devolvement of a young child learning to skate.  They make for an easy transition to single bladed skates.
Baby Skates are available in toddler sizes two to eight.  They come in a variety of styles and colors and the blades can be custom engraved with writing and logos of your choice.  Baby Skates have a full one year warranty.
And, as if that weren’t enough, Baby Skates make wonderful heirlooms.  Their handsome little two bladed skates can stand on their own.  Years from now, there they will be standing on a den shelf, their blades proudly flashing “Kaneko”.
As well as checking out www.babyskates.com, you can find them on Facebook, and can sign up for their monthly newsletter.

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Thanks to BABY SKATES, one lucky Spilt Milk Moms reader is going to receive a pair of Baby Skates of their choice!

To Enter the contest: Leave us a comment HERE (one per day only, please) telling us which pair of Baby Skates you would like to win. Once you’ve entered by leaving this mandatory comment, you can gain additional entries like this:

  • Follow @BabySkates and @SpiltMilkMoms on Twitter and tweet “Baby Skates are great #giveaway from @spiltmilkmoms & @BabySkates! http://tinyurl.com/3u265s8and leave us the link for extra DAILY entries.
  • If you ‘Like’ Baby Skates on Facebook, leave us a comment letting us know for one extra entry. If you visit their page be sure to let them know Spilt Milk Moms set you!
  • If you ‘Like’ Spilt Milk Moms on Facebook, leave us a comment letting us know for one extra entry.
  • Mention this giveaway on your blog and leave us a comment with the link for one extra entry.
  • Subscribe to Spilt Milk Moms by RSS or Email Subscription and leave us a comment letting us know for one extra entry.

This giveaway ends at 12:01am PST on Thursday, April 28th, and the winners will be selected using Random.org.  The winner will have 7 days to respond to our notification email before another winner is selected.  This giveaway is only open to US and Canadian residents.

Also, Baby Skates has kindly offered free engraving from Thursday, April 14th to Thursday, April 21st, 2011 for all readers who order a pair of Baby Skates. All you have to do is order your skates, and then send an email to information@babyskates.com letting them know that the Spilt Milk Moms sent you for free engraving, and what you would like engraved.

Happy Skating!

Sexy Maternity Intimates

 

Ok, I will admit it, I worry about my appearance – especially as I get bigger by the day! I’m a girl with a short waist, and with each pregnancy my cute baby bump, quickly turns into a giant buddha belly. Although I’m just over 1/3 of the way through this pregnancy, when you look at me, you would think that I was further than half way! In a vain attempt to be cuter than I actually am, I crave sexy maternity clothes and undergarments. When I went online to find the sexiest nursing bra and underwear set possible, I came across the Elle Macpherson Intimates maternity line.

Elle Macpherson Intimates were kind enough to send me their Momamia nursing bra in Cradle Print Stripe (pictured above) and matching bikini briefs to try out. The set is so deliciously soft with no irritating wires in the bra, and snaps that allow easy access for nursing. Both the bra and underwear are made from slinky knit (which is why they’re so soft), lined with cotton in all the right places. My favorite part of the bra is that when you undo the nursing straps, the fabric underneath changes from stripes to pink polka dots. I think that I look pretty darn good in the set for an average, everyday pregnant gal, and my husband gave the set two thumbs up as well.

Elle Macpherson Intimates have two prints for the Momamia line, Cradle Print Stripe and Orient Blue Floral, and each has a matching set of  briefs. There are several other cute nursing bra and brief sets that they offer: Fly Butterfly Fly, Spree, and Maternelle. All of them are super cute and would make any momma or momma-to-be feel good about what’s underneath her clothes.

The Momamia bra retails for $58USD and the bikini briefs are $26USD. You can purchase Elle Macpherson Intimates online through BareNecessities.com and Freshpair.com. You can also purchase in store at these locations across Canada: Gateau Lingerie in Vancouver, Tiny Fingers Tiny Toes in Maple Ridge, Beestung Lingerie in Toronto, and Posh Mommy in Calgary.

Little Chipipi Makes Moves Chirpier

 

Late last year we had to sell our lovely house and because we’re not entirely sure what’s next for us, move into a rented condo. I had spent months planning and finalizing all of the decor elements of Little Miss’ room and I was heartbroken to leave the perfect little nursery I created behind. We knew we couldn’t decorate the rented place but I wanted to make Little Miss’ new room a fun, playful space. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to discover that my saving grace came to us from our favourite kids retailer, Raspberry Kids.

Sue from Raspberry Kids kindly gave me a set of Little Chipipi movables in Red Robin to try out. There is so much to love about this line – the sets come with such a variety of sizes (there’s 42 stickers!) and the Red Robin set has plenty of flowers, dragonflies, hearts and (of course) birds to decorate with. As Little Miss is a bit older now I let her pick a few moveables to decorate the front of her dresser with (well the first two drawers of her dresser anyway!) and I continued to decorate the (bare and beige) walls. Instantly the room was transformed from a bleak room to an inviting and cheery space – which I know won’t cost us a fortune in unreturned damage deposit when we finally figure out where we’re going.

Little Chipipi Movables come in several different themes including Animal Alphabet, Outer Space, Fairy Dance and Ships Ahoy (which I am SO buying if I ever have a little boy!) And you’re in luck because right now Raspberry Kids has Outer Space, Flower Power, Red Robin & Drive Time on sale right now for between $37.99 – 55.99 (regular retail price is $52.99 – 79.99). A fantastic price for this fantastic product – but be warned there are limited quantities so act quickly. I can’t recommend these wall decals enough!

Create Your Own Adventure Story

For those of you unfamiliar with hello hanna’s line of hello books, these clever, imagination inspiring sticker-based ‘create your own adventure story‘ books are for creative kids aged four and up.  They are a great way for your child to entertain him or herself on rainy days, during road trips, or anytime!

hello books are available in robot mission (above right, and the one we were sent to try), princess castle, monkey business, and yum yum bakery (new!) themes.  Each pack contains a 5″ x 30″ accordion book that forms the basis of the ‘story’ (made from FSC-certificed recycled paper) that can be folded back down into a 5″ x 5″ book and is perfectly sized for putting into the mail for that special someone.  Five sheets of removable stickers are also included, and it’s the stickers that make these books different from traditional sticker books.  hello books’ stickers are buildable and abstract, so that your child’s version of a robot will be completely unique – every time.  Luckily for Oliver (aged three and a half) and myself, the packaging of our robot mission hello book gave us some examples of what we could do with all the neat shapes, but we quickly moved on from these to come up with our own cool robots, rockets, planets, and unnamed creatures.  While Oliver is a little young yet to get the actual creation of a story line concept of the hello books, I can see how older children will run with building sticker characters and backgrounds to tell a story.  As for our robot mission book, Oliver has his robot saying ‘hi’ on the cover of his – too cute!

You can purchase any of the four hello books through the hello hanna website for $10.95 USD, or from our favourite Canadian on-line retailer, Raspberry Kids, for $10.99 CAD (use discount code spiltmilk15 at checkout for 15% off of your purchase!).

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hello hanna generously provided us with a monkey business hello book to give away to one lucky Spilt Milk Moms reader!  Thanks hello hanna!To Enter: Go to hello hanna’s website and then leave us a comment HERE (one per day only, please) telling us which hello hanna hello book you think your child would like best and why. Once you’ve entered by leaving this mandatory comment, you can gain additional entries like this:

  • Follow @annehellohanna and @SpiltMilkMoms on Twitter and tweet ” Enter to #WIN an @annehellohanna monkey business hello book for your creative child! http://tinyurl.com/3pp9szm @SpiltMilkMoms #giveaway “ and leave us the link for extra DAILY entries.
  • If you ‘Like’ hello hanna on Facebook, leave us a comment letting us know for one extra entry.
  • If you ‘Like’ Spilt Milk Moms on Facebook, leave us a comment letting us know for one extra entry.
  • Mention this giveaway on your blog and leave us a comment with the link for one extra entry.
  • Subscribe to Spilt Milk Moms by RSS or Email Subscription and leave us a comment letting us know for one extra entry.

This giveaway ends at 12:01am PST on Friday, April 22nd, and the winner will be selected using Random.org.  The winner will have 7 days to respond to our notification email before another winner is selected.  This giveaway is open to both US and Canadian residents.  Good luck!

Sum Bodies: Great Fun At Bath Time!

Bath time started to get a little dull around here.  Rubber duckie – check.  Stacking cups – check.  Tantrum when washing hair and no other toy would provide sufficient distraction – check.  This was until I came across a really cool product reviewed at another blog site, Milliwik’s collection of floating playing cards.  I managed to find them at half price on this site and went for the Sum Bodies pack – and they were a hit!

 

The concept is so simple, and appeals to kids and adults alike – playing cards that float in the water and also stick to the bath walls!  Ingenious!  (in fact, the idea came about to the inventors when they decided they wanted to continue their card games in their hot tub with their friends).  In one package you get a nice stack of cards, equally divided among heads, bodies and legs.  My son at 17 months old does not partake in the actual card game but rather simply enjoys handling the cards and sticking them on the wall.  But this can become a real game, for 2-4 players, aged 2-11 years of age (or older, in my opinion).  Each card has a point value so your kids can also hone their math skills while playing the actual game.

 

The cards have a nice soft texture and the illustrations are very mod and hip.  They come in a mesh net bag which makes drying a cinch.  My only issue was that when the cards arrived they had a distinct chemical odour, but that quickly disappeared after rinsing them and after the first bath.  According to their site, all products undergo safety testing and they post the results of the tests for all to read.

 

All of their games can be purchased directly from Milliwik’s website for $10.95USD, and they have a list of retailers and distributors on this page.  They can be ordered from Amazon US for $9.99-$14.99USD (including the also-cool Splashimals set which I am coveting!).

Sexy Summer With Nicole Maternity Swimsuits (Promo Code!)

I can finally let the cat out of the bag, or should I say, the bump out of my belly – I’m pregnant again! I don’t know about the rest of you, but with this second pregnancy, my belly was already bulging out when I was only two months pregnant. For a girl who likes to swim, this was kind of frustrating because my swimsuits were already starting to get tight, but thanks to Nicole Maternity, I found a sexy solution to my problem!

Nicole Maternity very generously sent me two stunning maternity swimsuits, Shooting Stars and Wild Horses, and their beautiful Long Butterfly sarong to test out; let me assure you, I was not disappointed. Not only are the swimsuits flattering on so many levels, but they are also adaptable and grow with your belly.

Designer Nicole Daulton is a mother of three who really understands a woman’s desire to be stylish yet comfortable while going through some major bodily changes. Nicole Maternity’s philosophy is to create unique, high quality clothing for women of all ages and phases of pregnancy.

The Wild Horses suit is a gorgeous turquoise full coverage top with pink/purple stitching around the edges, and a rhinestone seahorse pin that sits between the bust (the gem of the eye matches the stitching around the edge!). The bandeau top also has soft moulded bra cups for support, and comes with removable straps. It also has bikini style side tie bottoms.

The Shooting Stars suit (seen above) is an all black nylon/lycra blend suit with a bandeau style top and side tie bikini bottoms. The top is ruched at the center, and has two cute sparkly rhinestone star pins that really add to the look. The fitted top has sewn in soft moulded bra cups for support, and has cute skinny straps that tie around the neck for additional support.  This one was my husband’s favorite, because, as he said, “It looks like a sexy little black dress that you can swim in!” Music to a pregnant gal’s ears! Both suits come in sizes small to extra large, and retail for  $139USD on the Nicole Maternity website.

There were so many things that I like about the Nicole Maternity suits: they made me look less pregnant than I am, I felt really attractive wearing them and I got several compliments from other women in the pool, my husband actually said I looked hot in them, and the best part… they were long enough to cover a certain region that I may have forgotten to shave before heading out in a swimsuit;) The only downside to the swimsuits is that the rhinestone pins tended to poke my little guy as he “swam.” Thankfully, they are removable so they can be taken off while we are in the pool, but put back on when I want to look stunning on the side!

Speaking of looking good on the side of the pool, the long Butterfly Sarong was a perfect match with my Shooting Stars swimsuit. The flowing black chiffon with multicolored butterflies really added to my hot momma look! You can wear it around your hips, waist or bust area, and it attaches with a white rhinestone slider. What can I say, Nicole Maternity really gets what it’s like to feel big and gross, and they want you to look, and feel good while pregnant! The sarong is one size fits all, and retails for $59USD on their website.

Nicole Maternity wants our pregnant Spilt Milk readers to look good this summer too, and so they’re offering a 10% off code for their website. Just use the code SPILTMILK1 when making a purchase on their website. Thanks Nicole Maternity!


dring dring into Spring!

There’s nothing that says spring is around the corner like the sound of children playing outside.  With the days getting longer and warmer here on the West Coast, my kids have already started riding their bikes around our street (my three year old son having just gotten a ‘big boy bike’ with training wheels, leaving his first bike, a Wishbone, to his 18 month old sister).  The only thing missing on that new ‘big boy bike’ was a bicycle bell, and I knew just where to look for the perfect one.

Introducing dringdring hand-painted bicycle bellsdringdring designs and creates the most beautiful, bright, artistic, colourful and unique bicycle bells I have ever seen.  I don’t know who was more excited when the company agreed to send us one to try out, me or my son (I think it was me, actually).  Each original metal bicycle bell is hand-painted at the company’s Montreal, Quebec-based studio, and I promise that you will have a hard time choosing just one.  The bells are painted using Eco-friendly paints without solvents or toxic fumes, and they are first painted and then baked, making them resistant to all types of weather.  I love that the company uses a local organization that provides employment to young people from a diversity of backgrounds to apply the bells’ base coats.

Oliver was sent the company’s Bike Alarm bicycle bell (pictured above) to try on his new bike, and it is not only very cool but also very shiny with the most pleasant dring dring sound I have heard (neither harsh nor shrill).  My son spent the better part of his first time out with the new bell attached to his bike pushing his bike alarm ‘on’ and ‘off’, pretending to park the bike to go to work.  The bell was really easy to install (Oliver helped), and it is a quality bell that is built to last (both hardware and artwork-wise).

dringdring makes a huge range of beautiful bells with five categories to choose from: flowers (love the Orange Daisy), people, animals, special edition, and all (the LITE-BRITE, Broche, Polka Dots, and ART DECO are all right up my alley, while some fun ones for kids include the Ice Cream, Little Princess, and Soccer Ball versions).  Buy one for each member of your family or as a special gift starting at $24 CAD through the dringdring website, from the following retailers, or if you are in the Montreal area, at the company’s studio (I love the photos on this page).

dringdring’s hand-painted bicycle bells may just inspire you to get on your bike instead of into your car this spring … dring dring into spring!

Worth Singing (and Crawling) in the Rain!

As much as I love spring, these days a little voice in my head keeps singing, “Rain, rain, go away!”  If you live on the west coast, the only thing you can really do is just get outside with your family and do your best to stay dry, so I was thrilled when US company Baby Polar Gear agreed to send us their rain gear for infants to put to the test!  When the Rain Poncho and Pants set arrived, we decided to REALLY see what it could do by sending the Poncho and Pants up to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, for our guest contributor Diana to try out.  For those of you unfamiliar with Canadian geography, Prince Rupert has earned the reputation of Canada’s wettest city, with an average of 3111mm of rain (that’s ten feet!) per year.  What better place to test rain gear for infants/toddlers?  Here’s what Diana had to say!

I was excited when I was asked if I would test the Rain Poncho and Pants from Baby Polar Gear.  The Rain Poncho and Pants are made in the USA from highly technical, extreme weather guard fabric Polartec Power Shield.  The company claims that you will be amazed at the water shedding properties of the fabric, so of course I was intrigued because I live in the wettest city in Canada, not counting the snow and wind (we can get wind gusts up to 100 km per hour ).  With a one year old son (pictured above) and a rambunctious dog, I am always outside, rain or shine (sadly, more rain than shine).  We own a fabulous Bugaboo Frog, and with its great rain cover we are outside for at least two walks a day, but there are times and places when a stroller just won’t do, so we rely on our back or front carrier, leaving my poor little guy to brave the elements.  This is where the Rain Poncho and Pants by Baby Polar Gear comes in extremely handy!

I really like the fact that the Rain Poncho is one piece.  There are no buttons, seams or openings for rain or wind to get in, and I can pull the easy-to-use toggle snug up against his face, protecting his ears while still allowing him full movement of his face and head.  He still has access to his hands, which is a must for a busy toddler.  The Rain Pants fit large, which I like, and as he is not yet walking, I like to pull them over his feet and cinch them shut, keeping the rain out and the warmth in. I also like the fact that the Poncho is long enough to drape over our metal frame backpack, allowing the rain water to run off and not onto my son.  He still fits into a front carrier (despite what my back thinks) and the Poncho allows the rain to run down and off the Poncho when being carried in the front as well, keeping him dry and warm.

This Rain Poncho and Pants is perfect for layering. I tested out the 18 month size, and at a year old my son is 22 pounds and 30 inches long, so there is plenty of room to grow.  What I did not expect was that he would be dry and warm crawling around in it.  At almost a year, my son has zero interest in walking, but he is lightening fast at crawling and often does not want to be held.  He gets very frustrated when we are outside and he doesn’t understand why I can’t put him down on the soggy moss that those of living in a rainforest call a lawn.  So today, with him clad in his Poncho and Pants, I decided to put the suit to the ultimate test.  He happily crawled around our yard in the rain checking everything out, and even sat and watched the birds eat out of the feeder for a few minutes.  When I took him inside and removed the suit, he was dry and warm underneath!  Now that was one happy baby (and Mama)!

The Rain Poncho and Pants are easy to clean, too. I used a tad of liquid laundry soap on a cold cycle.  Because of the ability of Polartec to repel water, the suit was practically dry when I removed it from the washer and definitely did not need any time in the dryer.  Lightweight and not bulky, the Poncho and Pants fit nicely into my diaper bag or into the basket of the stroller, just in case.  I even put it in my purse the other day.  I would definitely recommend Baby Polar Gear’s Rain Poncho and Pants to other parents, though at $34.95 USD for each piece (comes in black only – it would be nice to see other, brighter and more visible colours available in the future), the set is a tad pricey but well worth it, especially if you live an area that gets a lot of rain or wind.

Aside from the company’s Rain Poncho and Pants set with its impressive water shedding ability, Baby Polar Gear has a wide range of products available for outdoorsy families, from car seat covers, bunting bags, hats, mittens, and blankets to jackets, pants, booties, and towels!  To find out more about this great Portland, Oregon company, check out their Facebook page or follow Baby Polar Gear on Twitter.

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Enter to WIN a Baby Gear Polartech Powersheild Rain Poncho or get 20% off of your rain gear purchase until April 14, 2011.  To win the Rain Poncho, leave a comment on the company’s Facebook Page providing either feedback about any of their products OR telling them why you would like to win the Rain Poncho.  For 20% off of your rain gear purchase, simply enter code RAIN20 at checkout through Baby Polar Gear.  Please share with others by Tweeting, ” #WIN a @BabyPolarGear Rain Poncho for your child or get 20% off at http://tinyurl.com/6fhzvh4 @SpiltMilkMoms #giveaway #contest “, and good luck!

PYJ-AMIS Are Your Child’s Pyjamas Best Friend (Giveaway)

When I was a kid we always had a special pyjama bag to put our pjs in during the day. This meant that (a) they weren’t just lying around and (b) we always knew where they were when it came time for bed. I know it’s been a while since I was a kid, but when I hit up our friend Google to try and find one for Maisie I was at a loss – I came up empty time and time again. I turned to Etsy in hope that someone creative had similar childhood memories, and that’s where I discovered DesignLaboratoire’s PYJ-AMIS.

Sophie, the designer and creator behind PYJ-AMIS (a play on pyjamies & “amis”,  French for friend) was born in Paris, studied fine jewelry for four years in Lausanne, Switzerland, jewelry design in Geneva, and industrial design in Zurich. To say that PYJ-AMIS are well designed is an understatement! DesignLaboratoire were kind enough to send me a little bunny PYJ-AMIS for Maisie to try and it was an absolute HIT. Not only is the bunny design incredibly cute (its little cross-stitch nose is the epitome of cute), but Sophie added Maisie’s name making it personalized cuteness personified. (Maisie’s full name is very unusual and I’m positive we’re never going to find it alongside regular personalized items, so being able to add it to items like PYJ-AMIS makes them even more special.)

PYJ-AMIS come in seven different designsSooree the mouse, Foosh the Frog, Swing the seahorse, Boon the bunny, Pingoo the penguin, Kooky the koala and, the newest member of the PJY-AMIS menagerie, Piggy the pig. Each of the animals are available in six different colours (kiwi, raspberry, ocean, gold, oatmeal, and rich cream) with contrasting features and a hanging ribbon so that the PYJ-AMIS can be hung at the end of the bed or on a hook. They are even cuter in person than I imagined, and as soon as I showed Maisie what it was for she immediately insisted that ALL of her pyjamas go into the bunny. I think this would make an awesome birthday gift and if you are as big of an organization freak as I am, you HAVE to get one.

PYJ-AMIS cost $35 USD – add an additional $5 USD for personalization for that special little one but right now, as an Easter special you can get FREE name printing with any order of a “Boon the Bunny” Pyj-Amis during the whole month of April!

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Sophie from DesignLaboratoire has very kindly provided the opportunity for TWO readers to WIN their choice of personalized PYJ-AMIS (one each).

To Enter: Visit the DesignLaboratoire Etsy store and leave us a comment HERE (one per day only, please) telling us what your favourite item is. Once you’ve entered by leaving this mandatory comment, you can gain additional entries like this:

  • Follow @SpiltMilkMoms on Twitter and tweet ” #WIN 1 of 2 personalized PYJ-AMIS pyjama bags from DesignLaboratoire & @SpiltMilkMoms http://tinyurl.com/4ppu6pl #giveaway #contest and leave us the link for extra DAILY entries.
  • If you ‘Like’ Spilt Milk Moms on Facebook, leave us a comment letting us know for one extra entry.
  • Mention this giveaway on your blog and leave us a comment with the link for one extra entry.
  • Subscribe to Spilt Milk Moms by RSS or Email Subscription and leave us a comment letting us know for one extra entry.

This giveaway ends at 12:01am PST on Wednesday, April 6th, and the winners will be selected using Random.org.  Winners will have 7 days to respond to our notification email before other winners are selected.  This giveaway is open to both US and Canadian residents.

Welcome Spring!

We’re spending this week celebrating spring, and what better way to share all the great things about this season of renewal with your baby or toddler than with the sweet Little Scholasticbook by Jill Ackerman called Welcome Spring?

Welcome Spring is a board book for babies to toddlers aged two (my three year old still loves it, too).  What’s really captivating about this book is its bright and cleanly illustrated pages, each of which contains textures that will help your child experience spring through seeing, touching, and hearing.  The page below, for example, allows your child to feel the red rubber boots!

Little Scholastic’s Welcome series also includes Welcome Winter, Welcome Summer, and Welcome Fall, each with the same bold, beautiful illustrations, fun tactiles, and all follow the same pattern of ending with the child safe in one of his/her parent’s arms.  Purchase your copy from your local Chapters or through Amazon.com from $5.99 USD.  Happy spring!

Postpartum Depression is More Common Than You Think

I haven’t mentioned it here before, but for over a year now I’ve been suffering from Postpartum Depression (PPD) and more recently, Postpartum Psychosis.

I know it sounds cliche, but I never thought it would happen to me. When Little Miss was born I was on cloud nine – I’d had an easy pregnancy, an empowering labour, and, despite the sleeplessness, I reveled in motherhood. For the first few months I felt like being a mother was exactly what I was put on this earth to do.

Then, somewhere between five and seven months in, things started to change. Everything became harder, I felt less capable, I second-guessed my decisions, I felt anxious about everything from naps to food, I thought I was a bad mother, that everyone else was better than me, and that people were conspiring against me. I couldn’t cope. I was sure it was because my hormones were out of whack with my period returning and the breastfeeding, or that the sleep deprivation was kicking in. Slowly, slowly things grew worse and worse until I would rock Little Miss to sleep at every nap, every bedtime, with tears streaming down my face. I abandoned half-full shopping carts in the middle of the grocery store because I just didn’t have the strength to continue shopping. I didn’t go out much, hell, I didn’t shower much. It took all of my energy to pay attention to Little Miss and just to get through the day.

One day, after a particularly difficult nap time, I walked out of Little Miss’ nursery, down the stairs, and when I saw my car keys in the bowl by the front door I was overwhelmed by the thought that Little Miss would be better off without me. I thought about taking the keys and just going far, far, away and never coming back. Luckily, I had enough strength of mind to call my husband instead. He came home right away, and after a few more rough days I went to my doctor and told him that I thought that something was wrong with me. Like thousands of other women, I was diagnosed with Postpartum Mood Disorder.

I thought that PPD (or PPMD or PND) only happened in the first couple of months of motherhood. I wonder all the time how different things would have been if I’d simply known something, anything, about PPD. As soon as I had a diagnosis, I went online. Not only did I learn a lot more about PPD, but I also discovered an incredible support group, one so amazing that when I had a massive setback six weeks later, the women I’d connected with called and emailed me patiently answering all my questions about in-patient care, recovery and their experiences. (I narrowly escaped being admitted to the hospital, and was saved only by an outpatient program and some heavy drugs).

Although I have auditory hallucinations (I hear a baby crying when there isn’t one) and intrusive suicidal thoughts, it doesn’t have to be that bad for it to classified as Postpartum Mood Disorder. Please, please, PLEASE take a moment to read the list of symptoms on the incredibly resourceful website, Postpartum Progress, as it could save someone’s life. I went for five very long months without a diagnosis, without a reason for how I was feeling, and there’s no reason in today’s day and age why more people don’t know about this disease. Motherhood IS hard, but with a little education and understanding we can make sure that it doesn’t become harder than necessary for thousands of women.

If you, or someone you know, has a Postpartum Mood Disorder, you can find help and support at Postpartum Support International, and loads of info and encouragement at Postpartum Progress. If you’re on Twitter, check out #PPDchat on Mondays to chat with other mamas who understand what you’re going through.

I’m certainly not “healed” but I’m fighting everyday to get better and beat this disease and I know I’m not alone in that.

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