Very 1st Dentist Appointment 

A very clean and healthy smile is what we were told Gio has! 🙂 

Thursday was Gio’s very first dentist visit! If you’re from the Montgomery County area in Maryland, I HIGHLY recommend MVP Smiles! It’s a pediatrics dentist and orthodontics office. From the moment I walked in everyone from their staff was incredibly polite, friendly, patient, and professional. I am so happy my pediatrician referred us over ’cause I definitely do not plan on taking Gio anywhere else. 

So, Gio did a whole better than I thought he would do. We got to the office early, so we sat in the kids area and he was very patient today. He sat in front of me and had me read this one baby book over and over until his name was called. 

When we started to head back, I was very impressed with how nice and clean the facility was. Anyway, they took us to our area and I was given some information about what to do and not to. For example: avoid lots of sugar, brush twice a day (for a minute for 1 year olds), avoid the bottle, and avoid falling asleep with a milk sippy. That last one is tough for us because Gio’s main thing at night to sleep is his sippy with milk- I’m going to work on it, though! As for sugar, Gio doesn’t drink any juice at all and we do our best to avoid sweets unless we’re at a birthday or after a haircut, lol. Also, Gio loves brushing his teeth so there’s no issue with that one! I always take him to brush his teeth when we’re both ready to get up from bed and ready to sleep. 

After we were done going over the little booklet, the assistant had us sit face-to-face while she had a pillow on her nap where Gio’s head can lay- from there she brushed through his teeth, counted them, saw some almost ready to pop out, and gave me instructions on how to brush his tiny teeth. There was some crying, of course, but no meltdown which is a plus! Since he is so little, he got nervous and scared that someone unfamiliar was in his face checking his mouth. 

Once the dentist came to check him out, he read through the assistants notes first and then we sat down the same way and he checked Gio’s teeth and gums. His gums are a perfect color and his teeth are very nice in clean, we’ve been doing a good job 🙂 The only thing was that the space between his bottom teeth is tight, so we actually need to start flossing his teeth (with the little tooth floss picks for kids!). 

As per usual, I explained to Gio where we were going and what to expect- yes, I know he doesn’t understand me BUT I just find it important to get myself into the habit of always letting him know where we’re going, what to expect, what will be expected of him, and that everything will be ok! 

Anyway, I was so happy and pleased with our experience at MVP Smiles, and scheduled our follow up for January! 🙂 

Kids Suncreen + Summer Tips!

We’ve had plenty of hot days already this year, but the hottest days are yet to come! That means a really strong sun and keeping our babies protected! Besides keeping them cool, protecting their skin is extremely important.

Lately I’ve come across some really scary articles about sunscreen brands that instead of protecting a child’s skin caused 2nd degree burns!

Gio does have semi sensitive skin, but regardless I am still VERY picky with what I put on his skin. I wouldn’t put something on him that I wouldn’t put on myself.

The SPF for babies, toddlers, kids should be AT LEAST 30 SPF and I personally don’t go over 50 SPF. For a baby under 6 months it’s ok to use sunscreen but a minimal amount. I apply it on Gio 15 – 20 minutes before we head out to the pool, beach or long park days so his skin absorbs it, and I reapply every two hours if we’re still out and if necessary. Long outdoor day trips require sunscreen too.

If you’re just going to the store or a short walk, there isn’t a need to put sunscreen on them, a hat is a good alternative. Just always be cautious and always carry sunscreen in their bag in case you’re going to be out longer than anticipated.

Below are my favorite 2 sunscreen brands, one lower priced and another higher priced, and their website links where you can purchase (and where I got the images from, lol):

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Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50

  • contains 100% naturally sourced zinc oxide
  • good for sensitive skin
  • has a nourishing formula
  • water resistant for 80 minutes
  • fragrance-free
  • paraben-free
  • 3oz
  • I also have the stick form for the face
  • price $9.99 (may vary depending where it’s purchased)
  • link to site: http://www.aveeno.com/product/aveeno-+baby+continuous+protection-+sensitive+skin+zinc+oxide+sunscreen+spf+50.do

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 4.54.58 PM

Coola Baby SPF 50 Unscented Moisturizer 

  • good for sensitive skin
  • organic
  • has avocado and coconut oil (does say fragrance free be has a slight scent because of the coconut, but I don’t mind it and neither does Gio and his skin!)
  • water resistant for 80 minutes
  • paraben and preservatieve free
  • 3oz
  • I use stick for the face
  • price $36 (may vary depending where purchased)
  • link to site: http://shop.coolasuncare.com/mineral-baby-natural-sunscreen-spf-50-unscented

 

I love both of these for Gio, but my favorite has been Aveeno. I use Aveeno’s body lotion, body wash, and conditioning shampoo. Aveeno helped improve his skin from dry and irritated to super soft and healthy.

The reason I put Coola is because it’s my favorite brand for myself! When I worked at a salon that was the sunscreen we sold so I tried it out and never switched back. We sold the baby line too, but at that moment there was no Gio. I tried it out a couple times last year and loved it!

Now here are some tips on keeping your kids safe and cool during the hot times! 

  • Water! Water! Water! – it is so important to always be very well hydrated wherever you are and/or go. I make sure to always carry cold water for Gio, especially if we go to the park, beach, and/ or do any outdoor activity!
  • Hats – perfect to keep their little faces and heads from getting burnt, besides using sunscreen
  • If it’s too humid and too hot try to avoid outdoor activity. If they have to be out for an activity, start hydrating an hour beforehand and constantly give water and/or sport drink (depending on age, of course).
  • Try to find indoor activities or a cooling activity to do!
  • Be careful at parks. Most parks are usually right under the sun meaning the swings, slides, chains, etc., are directly under the sun and get extremely hot. Contact can cause up to 3rd degree burns (correct me if wrong on that!)
  • Dress them in looser, lighter-weight, lighter-colored clothing
  • Use an effective insect repellent and check for ticks
  • Cooler showers and baths- sometimes I give Gio two baths a day. If we go to the park or pool (or do any type of outdoor activity) I will give him a bath right after and a nighttime bath so his body can relax, and so he can rest better
  • Cool your car before driving off! If this isn’t really an option have a cold cup of water for your child so it can help them stay cool the first few minutes the car is hot. Also, be careful with the hot buckles! I always leave those hidden or covered so they don’t get hot.

 

Here is a link to explain to you guys why I don’t use a SPF higher than 50: http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/whats-wrong-with-high-spf/

 

11 Free/Inexpensive things to do with your kids

So lately I’ve been trying to not spend too much money. With us having to move soon, paying for school stuff, and just stuff, I’ve been cautious with our money. I love doing things with Gio. In the past I would take him to a gym class 3 times a week, but had to cancel that, so now I look for other stuff to do that is free or quite inexpensive. Below are some ideas for everyone!

1. Parks 

Obviously parks are free. I know that with small kids they can be a little tough at times, but they’re worth the struggle. Gio loves the swings, slides, and tunnels! Plus, he’s exhausted in the end so he falls asleep right after- meaning I get to do stuff around the house, homework, shower, etc.! Also, it’s the best to have them outside enjoying fresh air and socializing with other kids

2. Libraries 

I tend to take Gio to the library after a nap or when he’s in a really good mood. Simply because the library is a very quiet place and when he’s fussy it’s not the best place for him. Otherwise, he likes the libary. He usually behaves very well. They have large windows so he likes it when we sit and read by there. For Gio, I pick out simple books about numbers, colors, shapes, or cartoons he likes. He only lets me read about 3 or so books, and usually giggles the entire time. He knows when I’m about to read to him and snuggles into my arms. After we’re done reading he likes to wander around, which I let him do in the kids area. He likes watching what the other kids are doing or just listens to them.

Also the library offers plenty of free programs! We’ve gone to baby story time, toddler story time, family story time, pj story time, movie showings! It’s great because not only does Gio get to socialize, but he’s learning from others and grasping onto new things. Plus, it looks like he’s going to love books!

3. Mall play area

It’s a great excuse for you to make a trip to the mall so maybe it’s not so free or inexpensive, lol. But before we even go to the play area we always go for a walk around the mall, maybe have a snack. Then, I let Gio go play. Mall play areas are usually really simple, but it does the job! Gio likes exploring the little area and usually finds a friend or is usually fine on his own too.

4. Chuck E. Cheese 

If your kid is older this can be a pricier trip, but with Gio (who’s 1) it’s a $5-$10 trip and lasts 1-2 hours. Now that he’s bigger, Gio likes it here. He likes the racing games for the steering wheel, he loves attempting the soccer game, loves the clock ride, and all the other little games. We usually go after lunch time, so around 12 or 1? Also, we go during the week when kids are in school and there isn’t usually much people there so that way the little ones can cruise around with much more ease

5. Home Activities  

Throughout the day I try to keep Gio busy so I can get stuff done, but I always have times where I dedicate all my attention to him. Usually during those times we play together or attempt to practice a new skill like coloring. He’s always so happy when he notices that your full on attention is on him- so no other people, no electronics, no distractions. (I will make a blog post dedicated to home activities :))

6. Go for walks 

There’s this cute town center called Rio close to where I live and Gio enjoys going there for walks during the spring/summer time. There’s always people walking around, people with their dogs, ducks walking around, a big lake right in the center, on the weekends there’s a live band and lights- it’s a fun spot that entertains us both. There’s restaurants, a movie theater, ice cream shops, shops, but we usually go for a walk! He’s still in a stroller but I’m sure once he walks he’ll enjoy it more. It’s a good time for him to observe and for us to bond, too.

7. Pet stores and shelters 

Only if your kids aren’t allergic, of course! I have yet to take Gio to an animal shelter but we have taken a few trips to the pet store. He’s very intrigued by animals and always follows them around or wants to touch them. So, since we don’t have a pet of our own, I take him to see animals that he’ll be able to touch, maybe even follow around. I’m so happy he’s not scared of animals, and I hope he doesn’t get scared either.

8. Have a dance party

Anywhere!  Gio loves it when we dance to we grab him and make him dance with us. It makes him happy and at times throws in his own little moves. It’s cute

Here are some ideas that I still Have yet to try just because I was waiting for him to get older! 🙂

9. Museums

We live in Maryland so museums in D.C. and Baltimore would be great to visit but I’d be a whole day thing so now that Gio is older I’m sure I can definitely try this out!

10. Aquariums 

Baltimore has a great one, but can be pricy! BUT there are occasions when prices are lowered or even better, FREE. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for that.

11. Movies 

At home you can set up a little fort, throw pillows on the floor, grab some a snacks and play a movie! You get cuddles out of it which is always the best. Or go to the movies! Movie dates can get pricy but movie theaters usually have specials on weekdays early in the day that can always workout!

Foods I’ve given and give Gio

Trying to see what to give your baby food at such young ages can be hard. I can ask the doctor, but for the most part I just ask my mom, other moms, or just give Gio what I feel like he can handle. Lately we’ve been experimenting more and it’s been going smoothly, not counting the mess he makes. Here are some of the foods I’ve given him: 

-Eggs (scrambled): alone or mixed with spinach, tomatoes, and ham

-Avacado: mashed up, small pieces and/or with hints of pepper and lime 

-Ground beef or Turkey: mixed with veggies like peas, corn, carrots 

-Chicken: alone or with rice 

– Shrimps: in small pieces, and I’ll give it to him with pasta and/or veggies 

– Veggies: green beans, peas, corn, carrots, celery, tomatoes 

-Pancakes: I mix the batter with banana

-Fruit: banana, green apples (sometimes with peanut butter), strawberries

-Pupusas lol 

-Chicken fingers 

-Oatmeal mixed with a purée 

-Crackers, puffs, veggie sticks 

I am working on learning new things to make him. I want him to be open to a wide variety of food. 

He’s also on whole milk now, and did so well in the transition! He didn’t act up or anything. He took it easily and it’s now on a sippy cup that helps transition from the bottle. No more bottles! He also always drinks his water from his other sippy cups, the 360’s or any other sippy cup we may have