Tag Archives: Baby Gear

Cricut Crafts - Parenting - Sewing

DIY Monthly Milestone Baby Blanket using Iron On Vinyl

January 10, 2018

Milestone baby blankets are everywhere. Learn how to use your Cricut and the Cricut EasyPress to create your very own monthly milestone baby blanket to have as a keepsake for your little one.monthly milestone blanket for baby

This post does contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support. 

I’m so excited to be joining the Inspire My Creativity Link Party each month until June this year. It’ll bring some new challenges which I always love. Link up your post below! This month is DIY anything your heart desires.

This DIY milestone baby blanket was so easy to create using my Cricut Maker and using my Cricut EasyPress to secure the iron-on. Begin by installing the Autumn in November font to your computer, the link is below.

If you’re creating doing this on your tablet or phone, you’ll have to choose a Cricut font that works. Each number is 6″ tall and about 6″ apart. Lay it out beforehand to help reduce the stress of making the milestone blanket.

Supplies needed to make your own baby milestone blanket –

how to make a monthly milestone baby blanket

How to make a monthly milestone baby blanket

Next, cut out each number and I’ve also included the words month and months if you want to add that at the bottom.

When using Cricut Iron-On, it’s important to remember to mirror the image.

You’ll want to place it shiny side down on the mat and cut using the iron-on setting. Do not use the HTV setting with your Maker. For some reason, it is cutting completely through. You just want it to cut the vinyl and keep the carrier sheet intact. how to make a milestone blanket with cricutyou’ll remove all the negative space and then cut each month number separately so that you can lay it out before you press. I did not follow any milestone blanket template. I laid them out and used my eye to make them even. There is a big difference between 1 and 12 so you want to make sure they’re spaced how you want them beforehand.

The nice thing about HTV or Iron-On Vinyl is that when you removed the excess from the carrier sheet, it leaves you with a sticky carrier sheet that can adhere easily to your milestone blanket.

When using the Cricut EasyPress, you need a hard surface and then a folded towel on that hard surface. They have now released some Cricut EasyPress Mats that take all the guesswork out. You do not want to use your EasyPress on an ironing board. You want a tiny bit of cushion under your project. Do not press directly on your hard surface. You know you’ve got a great adhesion when you can see the texture of the cotton weave come through the Iron-On Vinyl.
how to adhere iron on vinyl

How to make a milestone blanket with Cricut

Preheat your Cricut EasyPress to 305ºF and lay your cotton on your mat or towel. Warm up your material for 5-10 seconds to take all the moisture out of the fabric. Lay your Iron-On Vinyl where you want it adhered and press for 25-30 seconds. Peel off the carrier sheet and finishing pressing the rest of your milestone numbers.make your own baby milestone blanket Once you’ve adhered all your numbers are words, turn the blanket over and press on the back of all the numbers and words for an additional 15 seconds. Wait 24 hours to wash your blankets or go ahead and prewash it and then adhere the words.

Now you’re done. So super easy but it takes a little bit of time to get your numbers evenly spaced and to finish the edges of your material. You’ll never need to spend $40+ on a monthly Milestone baby blanket again.cricut milestone blanket

These DIY baby milestone blankets are the best baby shower gifts you can give. They’re even better knowing you put your hard work into something so special.

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Cricut Crafts - Sewing

Make a Half Hexi Baby Blanket using a Cricut Maker

December 30, 2017

Have you ever wanted to make a baby blanket using a Cricut Maker? I’m here to show you how easy it is to create the Half Hexi Quilt and you have free access to make it when you buy your very own Cricut Maker.Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut MakerThis post contains affiliate links. This post is also sponsored by Cricut and all opinions are my own.

The Half Hexi Quilt pattern available in Design Space is seriously so easy. My least favorite thing to do when quilting is cutting fabric. Using the rotary blade on the Cricut Maker has changed everything I do. You will still need your cutting mat and hand-held rotary blade so don’t toss those out the window. Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut Maker

Supplies

The fabric I used is a mix of a few designers but it is mainly Cotton+Steel. Here are the links below to some of the fabrics I’ve used:

First things first, read all the instructions from the spec sheet before you cut your fabric.

Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut MakerSo I began by cutting my fabric into 12″ strips. I have learned since just to have the ladies at the cut counter do it for me, makes it a little easier. Load your fabric onto the pink cutting mat and begin cutting each piece. Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut MakerBecause my colors are different that the ones the project has labeled, just figure out which one you want and mark it on the spec sheet. This reference will make it easier to follow along. Be sure to watch the direction of your pattern on the quilt so that each pattern will be identical.Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut MakerOnce all your pieces are cut, it’s time to start assembling them. Lay out your cut pieces on the floor and arrange them how you want them to look. Basically each pattern will cascade diagonally down the quilt.Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut MakerOnce you have them laid out, gather them into rows. I sewed my pieces in a vertical pattern and then I was able to attach them all to each other. Start with each vertical pattern one by one. The thing I love about the Cricut Maker cutting the blanket for me was that each seam matched. The never happens when I’m cutting by hand.Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut MakerAfter I had the front of my baby blanket done, I payed down the backing of the blanket wrong side up. Then you’ll lay the batting down and lay the top on that. I used safety pins to hold it together and then quilted it on my Baby Lock Elizabeth machine. Just follow the seams and do a 1/4″ line along them. Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut MakerNow it’s time for the binding. Cut yourself some strips that are 2.5″ wide. Sew them all together to make one long strip. Sew the strip right sides together using 1/4″ seam along the edges of your baby blanket. Get out your iron and press the strip so that it is now hanging over the other edge. Press the other end into the middle of your strip and secure it with binding clips.Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut MakerThe bottom triangles are the hardest. Just finagle the fabric so that it’ll turn into a pointy edge. Or you can choose to cut the additional pieces and have the whole entire baby blanket have flat edges. Once your other end is secured with binding clips, you’ll hand sew the binding using this method.Make a Half Hexi Baby quilt using your Cricut MakerYou’re finished. This baby blanket took me a few hours and the assembly was really easy. Again, the hardest part I found was the points on the triangles at the bottom of the quilt. Tell me, will you make this baby blanket using your Cricut?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Mother's and Father's Day - Premature Babies

The perfect Fathers Day gifts for Dads of Preemies

June 12, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #NewDadMustHaves #CollectiveBias

Every new Father is important and we as mothers know what we need. But what do dads of preemies need? This post will highlight all the important items you need for your home for your premature baby.Any Dads of Preemies out there? Here are the best tech items for your baby.

Our son Malakai was born at 24.5 weeks gestation and it was a scary time for all of us, especially his dad. I’ve had 3/4 premature babies and I’ve never seen my husband so attentive to our babies in the NICU except Malakai. Of course he was concerned with all of them but none of them had the complications Malakai had. I’ve wanted to make a round-up of all the items that a dads of preemies need to put his mind at ease.Any Dads of Preemies out there? Here are the best tech items for your baby.

  • VTech VM981 Expandable HD Video Baby Monitor with 1 Wi-Fi Camera, 5” Touch Screen is the perfect video monitor to see your new baby at all times. It hooks up to your smart phone and a 5″ touch screen so you’re able to go from room to room with the comfort of knowing if your baby is ok. The VTech VM981 Expandable Video Monitor can zoom in 10X to your desired view and the picture is always crystal clear. Grab it on Amazon here.
  • White Noise Machines are important because they help clear out the silence. Preemies have been surrounded by alarms, talking, pokes and prods all while they were in the hospital, it’s important to have something that clears it all out.
  • Cool-Mist Humidifier, I say cool-mist because the warm-mist humidifier can be a burn hazard for children. The air is the same temperature when it hits your child’s lungs but the cool mist seems to be more effective for preemies.
  • Large Water Dispensers can be found at your local hardware store or in Utah they have a company that you can rent from. Some can deliver the large bottles to your home or you can fill it up at a local grocery store too. I like the large water dispensers because they have a hot and cold function. This is great for making bottles, just do half and half, or even warming bottles. Bottle warmers are handy but can cause hot spots just like a microwave.
  • Smart Thermometers can hook right into your headphone jack on your phone and you can get a reading for their temperature right there. It also saves the history of the fevers so that you can give our doctor an accurate report.

Any Dads of Preemies out there? Here are the best tech items for your baby.Technology is not necessary for everything but the items above are, in my opinion, an absolute must. These help your kids transition from hospital to home very easily. Dads of preemies everywhere are going to want these great items for their kids.Any Dads of Preemies out there? Here are the best tech items for your baby.For more information on the VTech VM981, visit VTech here and on Facebook. Now tell me, what’s your favorite tech items for babies?Any Dads of Preemies out there? Here are the best tech items for your baby.

Baby Showers - Parenting Tips & Tricks

How to pick the perfect diaper bag

July 11, 2016

This post is brought to you by our friends at The Baby Cubby.Want to know what diaper bag you should choose? See all the questions and answers on how to pick the perfect diaper bag.Diaper bags are so hard for me to get right. I’ve had several through the years and I finally made the perfect choice with the Ju-Ju-Be Be Classy and guides like this one from The Baby Cubby helped in that search. I’m going to be answering questions that I’ve often wondered about in how to pick the perfect diaper bag. I’d love to hear some of your feedback as well.Want to know what diaper bag you should choose? See all the questions and answers on how to pick the perfect diaper bag.How many pockets will you need? You definitely want one or two on the exterior to hold your bottle. I like that the Ju-Ju-Be has insulated pockets so that you don’t have to take a separate insulated bag to keep your water warm. I also like them to be easily accessible for everyone involved. If you have to dig through your bag just to find the bottle, it’s not worth it. On the interior it’s great to have 2-4 more so that diapers, medicine, Copper Pearl bandanna bibs and pacifiers all have their own dedicated space.

How large should it be? I am a big bag lady – not the Erika Badu kind – the larger the purse is, I’ll buy it. I personally think that no bigger than 18″ on the base is really needed when it comes to diaper bags. You want it to be large enough to carry all your essentials and yet easy enough to carry. 

Should I get the backpack or purse style? I prefer backpack style so that your arms are free to do the heavier duty things. Backpack style bags are great for traveling and walking around but it’s a little harder to keep on if you don’t have both straps around each arm. Purse style diaper bags are great for convenience. Their zippers are easily reachable and you can grab and go and not worry about other straps dragging on the ground. Look for a purse style that has a strap that can be added to convert it into a tote, I think you’ll love that.

What will I put in it? Your life! It’s so important to have the little things available when you need them and you’re not always going to be home. I like to stock up my bags with at least 10 diapers and a pack of wipes. I always have an extra change of clothes on hand because they’re babies we’re taking care of. I also keep some medicine and always a spare pacifier because I lose those all the time. I’ve already lost 4 pacifier clips and I’m surprised I haven’t lost my baby…yet. Want to know what diaper bag you should choose? See all the questions and answers on how to pick the perfect diaper bag.What material is best? I go for a material that I know will not get holes easily (that’s obvious) but there are so many options when it comes to material it just is really about preference. I’ve had a real leather bag that to-be-honest wasn’t worth spending all that money on. I have a faux leather backpack style one and I do appreciate that one because the pleather is on the inside and out. I personally prefer the Teflon protection that the Ju-Ju-Be bag offers. It’s easily cleaned and it has my favorite ‘crumb drains’. You have no idea how much you’ll use that feature. Get one that can be wiped down or washed easily, that’ll make life so much easier than having to walk around with a giant stained bag. 

Should I buy a gender-neutral bag or go all in on patterns? When you invest in an item, you want it to be timeless. The same thing is true when buying diaper bags. Get one that suites your style and can be carried by both you and your partner. Get one that most people can’t tell it’s a diaper bag. You’re already tired from having a baby, you might as well feel like your style is somewhat amped up with a stylish bag. 

How much should I pay? I would rather pay once for a good quality bag than have to buy 2-3 bags at $50 a pop. You end up getting the one you want in the end anyways. Be sure to try it before you buy it. Don’t be afraid to see if there is a local boutique that carries the bag and try and bring what you think you’ll carry in it to give you an idea of functionality. If you buy online like I do, be sure to buy from a company that has a good return policy and don’t throw anything away until you’re sure it’s the right one. 

Will I use it as much as I think I will? Answer for me was yes. I did opt for the neutral patterned bag and so I use it as my purse and my diaper bag at the same time. Look for bags that serve a dual purpose and ones that have places for mom, not just baby. Be sure to get the style that you will like as in the tote style, backpack style or purse style. Get one that you actually want to carry around and your investment will be well used. Want to know what diaper bag you should choose? See all the questions and answers on how to pick the perfect diaper bag.

Cricut Crafts - Parenting Tips & Tricks

What to pack in your summer swim bag for a baby at the pool.

June 29, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. This post is sponsored by Huggies Little Swimmers. All opinions are mine alone. #WaterThemDailyCB #CollectiveBiasWant to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Babies and summer are hard. There is so much to remember and you can’t always find a cool place to hang out so what we love to do is head to the pool. I’m going to show you what to pack in your summer swim bag and also how to make a personalized saying so you don’t get it mixed up with your neighbors..or lose your pool key (that may have happened today)Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.I used some Iron-On Vinyl and my Cricut Explore to make the saying ‘Life’s a Beach’. They have a Heidi Swapp font now available that is to die for and so of course I had to use it. I used some teal glitter Iron-On and placed my iron on medium settings so that it won’t burn. To see the entire ironing process, head here. It’s pretty easy, just be sure to apply pressure and when you’re going to wash the bag, be sure to turn it inside out.  Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Now that we go to our community pool weekly, I needed a bag that would house everything and nothing that I’d have to transfer, I needed a dedicated swim bag for my baby. Older kids, smolder kids – they are important but you just need less stuff when you go out so lucky me, I’ve got this bag now. Here are my 8 essentials that you’ll need in your summer swim bag.

  • Huggies Little Swimmers – The swim pant has adjustable tabs on the side that are great for quick changes. They come with new characters from Disney•Pixar Finding Dory, possibly the best movie to be released in a while!
  • Camera – You want to catch those sweet moments at the pool. Just remember that a camera is replaceable – your child is not.
  • A thin blanket – You want one that’s breathable so that the breeze can cool your baby down once you’ve decided to remove them from the pool. Muslin or cotton is a great choice.
  • A useful toy – You don’t want a toy that your teething baby can’t grasp or put in their mouth. There is such a better selection of toys nowadays and I’m sure they’ll just get even better.
  • Food – Whether they eat formula or they’ve moved onto finger foods, having some food is good for everybody involved.
  • Sunscreen – Be sure to put sunscreen on you and your babes. This is so important and more important to me now. I’ve recently had some moles removed which were one step away from being malignant. Just because my kids are bi-racial, it doesn’t make them immune to skin cancer. Start them early!
  • Change of clothes – You don’t want your baby to be freezing if the older siblings are still in the pool but they’re ready to get out. Be sure to have some extra clothes and diapers in your bag to get them all warm and snugly.
  • Your phone – Malakai’s therapist always used the light on the screen to help him with his head and eye movement so it’s got some purpose other than entertainment. You also want to have your phone available for emergencies in case any arise.

Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.Want to know what to pack in your swim bag when you've got a baby? Check out all the tips and tricks here.

For worry-free water fun in the sun, look for Huggies Little Swimmers with new Disney•Pixar Finding Dory characters at a retailer near you, and follow this link to download a coupon for $1.50 off your first pack of Huggies Little Swimmers – for a limited time – and find other Huggies offers.

Premature Babies

Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad Review

May 6, 2016

I want to thank Hatch Baby for providing Malakai one of their Smart Changing Pads. All opinions are my own and the little guys himself. I also don’t recommend items I don’t love myself. What is the best way you can take care of your premature baby once they've come home? The Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad is a great tool for babies who need extra care.When Malakai was born, he weighed 1.65lbs. – that is less than a bag of sugar. I had a feeling that he was going to be early because my symptoms were similar to my third pregnancy, but I didn’t know he’d actually be delivered at 24.5 weeks. These babies are miracles in itself but it also takes a lot to get them on their way.

He spent just over 4 months in the NICU and they were adamant about getting him to grow. The more he can grow, the faster he’ll be better. He had an issue when it came to taking his daily intake for feeds by mouth. He was on 27 calories per ounce and standard formula consists of 20 calories. He’d gain weight so quickly that they’d up his quantity – yet he was barely taking 2 ounces by mouth each feeding. His normal routine was around 1.5 ounces and then they’d have to use his nasal tube (ng tube) to pump the rest of the milk into his belly. This was increasingly frustrating to me because how can they expect him to take more when he can barely eat what he’d already been taking.

Finally, towards the end, they moved him to 24 calories and I felt comfortable enough to be able to deal with his NG tube at home. At this time he was taking about 2 ounces and he had done that for 4 days straight so I thought it was safe to remove the NG tube and do oral feeding from now on. I was not prepared to go where we were headed. From February until April, his intake never increased. He was still eating 8 times a day and are anywhere from .5 ounces to 2 full ounces. Never any more and it was increasingly becoming frustrating. I’d take him on a 30 min drive to our pediatrician for weight checks and he was never losing but he was also not gaining what the doctor wanted him to. What is the best way you can take care of your premature baby once they've come home? The Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad is a great tool for babies who need extra care.When I had heard about Hatch Baby and their awesome app, I knew it was something that Malakai really needed. With him, it is never about cost. He has exceeded where we ever thought he’d be and I needed to continue with that demand of care. I’m glad to say that with Malakai’s consistency growing more steady, we’ve been able to get him eating around 3-4 ounces and we’ve been able to track everything using the Hatch Baby Changing Pad and their app. Also a plus, you don’t need the pad to utilize their app. There are great tracking abilities for their app like diaper changing, feeding length, pumping times, sleeping amounts, length charts, etc. The best part is that it’s free and it really is one of the better baby apps out there.

For the Smart Changing Pad, it is something that I cannot, now, live without. I’m really able to pinpoint how well he is growing right down to the very ounce and I can take my phone with me and show they Doctor what readings I have been getting. I don’t have to go in as often for weight checks because that also puts his health at risk. The more I can keep him indoors, the better.

What I do to get an acurate reading is I undress him and put on a fresh diaper, I zero out the scale and then weigh him to get consistent readings for him. What is the best way you can take care of your premature baby once they've come home? The Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad is a great tool for babies who need extra care.There have been many new gadgets out there that have been released in the last 5 years, a lot of which I wish I had had for Leila but now I am so grateful I have them for Malakai. This Hatch Baby Changing Pad has been a real game changer in how we care for our micro-preemie. It’s definitely on my Top 8 things that every NICU parent should have. There are so many variations between NICU babies these days, not all are severely premature but you need to give them the same standard of care that they received in the hospital and so this is why I love this changing pad.

To purchase your own, head on over to www.HatchBaby.com and see what they’re all about for yourself. I guarantee that you’ll be just as satisfied as I am. It’s great for any baby whether they were born as small as Malakai or as big as a giant. Let’s just hope for your case that they weren’t as big as a giant!

Premature Babies

We Love Our DockATot

March 30, 2016

Oh my gosh, we love this thing. It’s perfect to snuggle Malakai in and it gives him the comfort he needs instead of in a bare crib. Grab one here. The DockATot is a luxury item for most but it honestly has been the best for co-sleeping.
Dock a tots for preemiesDOCKATOT FOR PREEMIESThe DockATot is perfect for preemie babies because they are given the snugglers in the NICU and the DockATot has a similar concept in having a pillow form on the sides.

To see what other products I recommend when you have a preemie coming home from the hospital, visit here.

Premature Babies

Bringing a Preemie Home from the NICU? 8 Must Haves for Premature Baby Care

March 24, 2016

Are you bringing home a preemie baby from the NICU anytime soon? Here are some of the essential items I’ve needed to care for
a premature baby that is finally coming home.
Bringing home a baby from the NICU? Here are 8 things you'll need to make life easier. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

So I have had my share of premature babies and I’ve given some advice here, and quite frankly – it’s too many that one person can handle. Premature baby care can be tough if you haven’t been there before.

I have also found that being prepared is most helpful for when you finally get to bring them home from the NICU. I’ve compiled a list of things that are so helpful to make that transition from hospital to home so much easier.

1. Diaper Genie

The design has changed recently and it’s much more user-friendly. You don’t need to twist any bags any more or even touch the thing! We share a room with our micro-preemie so having some sort of bin was essential, this just happens to be a luxury bin and it keeps me by the baby rather than running diapers to the trash outside. I grabbed mine from Target because what can’t we find at Target? It also helps because he is on oxygen and I can’t be running everywhere hooking him up to a new tank just to run a diaper out.Bringing home a baby from the NICU? Here are 8 things you'll need to make life easier.

2. A smart pulse oximeter monitor – 

So our son has had the most complications as far as lung issues and so having a monitor that we could rely on was very important to me. They can be a bit pricey but they include 3 sizes of socks so the monitor grows with them. It has been a game changer in how we react to my son’s needs.

I’ve been able to look at his oxygen rate and determine if a breathing treatment has been successful or if a trip to the ER is necessary. *I’m not a medical professional. For me, it’s always been better to overreact than having to worry.

3. Leather Moccasins – 

or any soft-soled shoe that will make walking and crawling a breeze. They stay on their little feet while they are on the go and having some natural movement in the feet while learning to walk is something that will make them learn that much faster.Bringing home a baby from the NICU? Here are 8 things you'll need to make life easier.

4. Good Bottles – 

Your child may have been prescribed a certain bottle or nipple requirement in the NICU but coming home and having them grow, they need to adapt. I have found that with the Playtex Nursers, they make a tired mom grateful for Drop-In Liners. I still wash the bottles obviously, but if I find that infamous one that’s been under the bed for months, I can just throw away the liner and I’ve got a whole new bottle.

For us, Malakai ate much better with the Dr. Brown bottles in the beginning. They have a preemie flow nipple and it allowed him to eat at a slower pace so he didn’t use up all his energy. Once he was older and able to figure things out, I preferred the Playtex because of the easy cleanup.

5. A Snuggle/Travel Bed – 

In the NICU they have snugglers for the babies and it can be intimidating for them to come home to a wide open crib. These give the children the same type of comfort while in their own new bed and you can even travel with it. Bringing home a baby from the NICU? Here are 8 things you'll need to make life easier.

6. Black and White Mobile – 

My son had ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity) surgery on Christmas day. That was a rough day but thankfully I can still help strengthen his eyesight by giving him stimulating things to look at. He has restricted peripheral vision that he can never get back but this at least helps him to focus more and strengthen his retinas.Bringing home a baby from the NICU? Here are 8 things you'll need to make life easier.

7. A Smart Changing Pad

This is where life gets fancy. A new company has these changing pads that can record your weight, tell you how much they ate, weigh the diapers, etc. It’s all kept track in their app and to use the app you don’t even need to have the changing pad, it’s just an added bonus of not having to constantly go into the doc, especially during RSV season, and do weight checks. Those can now happen over the phone.

8. Love and Attention –

Most of all, this is what these babies need. They’ve been in the hospital and all they want is their family. The nurses, no doubt, try to make up for this but it’s really about being present and learning about your child’s needs. No one knows them better than you and it’s important to be there every time you can.Bringing home a baby from the NICU? Here are 8 things you'll need to make life easier. So have you had a preemie? Let me know what your go-to product was and check out the features of the new Diaper Genie here.