Mother May I...Baby Shoes

When it comes to baby shoes I really have to put limits on my spending.  There is just something about those chubby little toes.

For this post I've separated the shoes into crib shoes (aka non walking to toddling) and to toddler shoes. All of my children have worn each of these types of shoes-obviously my little guy has had to have his own handsome shoes. We love them and I recommend them to anyone who asks. All of the shoes mentioned below come in boy and girl options-I just picked girl shoes to show this time.

First up crib shoes:

Crib shoes are the shoes with a slim soul. Some experts say you want your children to learn to walk barefoot--but for those of us who live in a cold climate we need to cover their toes.

Pedipeds Originals:
  • Some of my favorites. They are so cute. They come wide-but you don't have to order in wide. The maryjane strap is positioned well so it doesn't cut into the babies leg.
  • They have boy and girl styles
  • The quality is amazing
  • Style: they have some fun shoes and also classics
  • The price isn't too bad for these $35
Freshly Picked Moccasins:
  • Cute! These are a lot like robeez..just cuter and a classic.
  • Warm. These keep toes and feet warm
  • Hard for baby to pull off. When they are the right size a baby has a hard time pulling these off.
  • Leather! These just get softer with use.
  • Price. These are on the high end for price at $60 a pair-but you can find knock offs for around $15. Just remember you pay for what you get.
  • Unisex: if you get a brown or bronze it would work for a boy or girl-making these great to pass down to siblings.
Once your baby starts to walk then run you should move up to something with more of a soul-unless you are going to clothe them in moccasins for the rest of their life. Your child will need to get used to a thicker soul-and as their foot develops they will need more arch support. I call these baby shoes-the souls are super thick but they give good support.

Squeaky Shoes-Sophie's Chiq Boutique
  • Squeak! As your toddler runs away from you give them a little freedom with a squeaky shoe. On the normal shoes the squeakers are removable.
  • Leather-most of the shoes on this site are leather
  • Price.  Most of the shoes are $15
  • The toe box is wide-great for those wiggly toes
  • Cute! Check out the site and see the cute options
  • Boy shoes too! I bought several pairs for my boy-he was a runner. He got a lot of compliments because his shoes were very cute.
Stride Rite Booties-
  • Classic-I've pictures of myself in shoes like these when I was a baby. Stride Rite has a lot of different options for the white bootie.
  • Leather-Once again, leather shoes are great. They last forever, can be polished, mold better to the shape of a foot
  • Wide-these come in wide widths. Three of my four kids have wide feet-one has thick feet. Stride Rite has a good selection of wide shoes.
  • Price: $44. Not too bad. Just check in on black friday for the best deal of the year.


Mother, May I...Strollers

After a recent trip to my mothers house I realized how much I like my particular double stroller. We have a double sit-n-stand stroller. We didn't take our stroller on the trip, but borrowed a different double stroller from my mom's neighbor. We were grateful to have a double stroller, but frustrated at how wide it was-we couldn't get through a few doors, and I hit my toddlers finger into a door jam trying to get through a door.

For those of you in the stroller market my advice: if you only have one child but are planning on having more sooner rather than later by a cheap one seater and save the big bucks for a double stroller. My first two are 2 1/2 years apart- my last two are only 22 months apart. We had a nice single stroller-loved it-as soon as we had two children we never used the single stroller again.
I don't have the BOB stroller-if anyone wants to give me one I would love it :D We do have a Sit N Stand-and have used it for 6 years now. Here's what I like about these two strollers:

1. The Baby Trend Sit N Stand Double Stroller:
  • Flexible: Both the front and back seats and be modified to hold infant carseats. The back seat has a harness strap-great when you have a toddler and a baby. When your older child is big enough remove the canopy and seat cushion for a bench seat. The then will be rear facing and have a foot rest-they can get on and off but have a parent right there pushing the stroller to make sure they are under a watchful eye.  Think of going to the zoo. Your little baby can't run up to the exhibit, but your three year old can and will want to. Instead of climbing in and out of a stroller they can simply jump off the back. There is a strap across the back to keep them safe and somewhat contained when needed.
  • Canopy: The canopies are sturdy and can come off both the front and back.
  • Trays: both trays can come completely off-great when you need to clean. I had to take the front tray off when I wanted to fit the stroller in the trunk of my corolla.
  • Weight: It's not too heavy, but it's not light weight.
  • Folding: It does fold down-but its a double stroller and it's not tiny. There are other double strollers that fold down more compactly. 
  • Weight limit: it can hold two children up to 50 lbs each-you will have awesome core muscles if you are pushing around 100 lbs of children.
  • Wheels: the wheels are 8 inches in diameter and don't need to be inflated.
  • Narrow: as mentioned above this is a huge selling point for me. This stroller is long and narrow-I have never had a problem going through a door-other than holding it open trying to get a long stroller through. After experiencing a stroller that was too wide-I would go for a front and back double over a side-to-side
  • Price: $214..I paid just under $200 for this stroller 6 years ago.
2. The BOB Revolution Double Stroller:
  • Smooth: This stroller is so smooth. With the big wheels and suspension system-makes it sound like car. If you are into really long walks or jogging this might be your best bet.
  • Accessories: Good and Bad. It has a lot of accessories that you can purchase. A cup holder, a carseat adapter, rain cover, snack tray, handlebar console. The fact that you have to purchase these in addition to bothers me a bit. I can see the carseat adapter and the rain cover-but a cup holder? If you're going jogging you probably need somewhere to put your water bottle.
  • Easy Fold: Some comments say it's easy to fold, others say it's too hard. I generally keep my kids in the car while I get my stroller out, and put the kids in the car while I'm folding it and putting it away. 
  • It's wide-yes it will fit through most doorways-but you have to go slowly to make sure you don't hit the doorjam and wake a sleeping baby.
  • Price: $536...people love their BOB strollers    
I would love a BOB stroller just for jogging-but probably would buy another Sit N Stand if I ever buy another double stroller.


Mother, May I...Highchair

Last time I wrote about my picks for a great diaper bag. This time I wanted to discuss another big ticket item: the Highchair.

A highchair not only costs a lot, but it takes up a huge amount of space. I do have a highchair that straps to a chair-it's great and works well for my almost 3 year old. But for my babies I have loved having a highchair-especially one with wheels.  I'm going to feature two-one that I have actually used everyday for the last nine years, and another one that is pricier and not so bright.

1. The Fisher-Price Rainforest High Chair. It's not the most neutral of high chairs, but I love it-here's why:
  • Pad:Yes the pad is very bright-but it's soft, and very easy to clean. And all of my children have liked the bright colors. 
  • Tray: the tray is easy to clean and easy for an adult to take off. As my kids get older they have figured out how to take the tray off themselves-at this point we usually push the chair up to the table.
  • Wheels: when I'm trying to make dinner and my baby wants to be near me I put her in the chair and pull the chair close to me in the kitchen. The wheels lock easily-which is good and bad. Good when you don't want other children pushing the chair around the house. Bad when you try to push the chair and realize all the wheels have been locked.
  • Attachable toy. The big spinning toy actually attaches to the tray. Your baby won't be able to throw it to the ground. We have enjoyed this a lot. 
  • Chair: the chair can actually recline. This is great when you have a 3 month hold who can only hold their head up. I don't start using a high chair until my infant can hold their head up. The reclining chair is great too when your one year old falls asleep mid bite and you want to finish your lunch before taking them up to the crib.
  • 5-point seat belt: why would you need a 5-point seat belt on a high chair? So you can keep your child in the high chair when they don't want to be in the high chair. You can take the straps off and wash them when they get dirty.
  • Foldable: You can collapse the legs-it doesn't make it super small, but small enough to fit in a trunk.
  • Height: the chair height is adjustable. We've used it in all different heights. Great when you need it more as a booster seat for a toddler, or when your baby is throwing a fit to be by the other kids at the little kids table. 
  • Price: $120. I got this high chair for a lot less many years ago. I know it was on clearance at Target when I got it because they were changing the tray handles and clearing out that model year.
2. The Keekaroo High Chair
  • Neutral: So many parents want the baby things to be neutral in color so it can look good and blend in with the house. Stained rubberwood is about as neutral as you can get.
  • Design: This is a well designed high chair. It is meant to grow and adjust with your child. It can support up to 250 lbs! 
  • Accessories: the tray, padded seat, or booster and all accessories. You can buy the chair with or without them.
  • Lightweight: in the reviews of this chair people commented on how light this was for a wood chair. Which is great when you need to move it and hold a child at the same time.
  • Price: $203-$239 depending on what accessories you want with it.
When you are looking for highchairs go to a store and play around with them. Make sure you can get the tray off easily-when your child is choking and you can't get the tray off it is very frustrating.
Once again, hope this helps.
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