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Showing posts from March, 2011

Saving money on brand name diapers for twins

The same retailers that have good deals on formula also offer good deals on diapers. I'm talking about the warehouse clubs,Target, Walmart, pharmacies, grocery stores and of course amazon.com.

What is a good price for diapers? I believe it's 15c per diaper. The closer I can get to this price with a combination of sales and coupons, the better. Ah talking about coupons. The best source for coupons for the brand name diapers are the manufacturers themselves. You can write them and ask to be enrolled in their multiples program and they will respond with a supply of coupons in the mail. I recently did this and here is what I got in response:

Huggies
I sent a letter along with copies of their birth certificates to "Kimberly Clark , PO Box 2020, Dept. Q-M-B, Neenah, WI 54957. Less than 3 weeks later, I got the following coupons in the mail
2 coupons for $3 off any huggies product
3 coupons for $1 off any huggies product
Total retail value of first mailing = $9

Pampers
I sent a letter …

Size 2 Disposable Diaper Review

I enjoyed my newborn diaper review so much so that I looked forward with relish to reviewing other sizes. I skipped the size 1 because I was pretty much stocked up on just two brands and there would have been no variety. However, we are now in size two diapers and I'm having a ball testing the different brands. All the brands I have here are the only ones I would consider using for various reasons which are too long-winded for this post. 
I have ranked the diapers "Excellent, Good, Okay and Poor" in several categories. Here are the results in no particular order:

Pampers swaddlers sensitive  
Cost & availability: Okay. Size 2 Swaddlers Sensitive has been really hard to find at the usual brick-and-mortar retailers. I snapped up the last one in Target and used a coupon.
Blowout performance: Good
Night time performance: Okay. Didn't leak so much as wick. PJs always felt damp in the morning
Fit: Good
Verdict: The softest of all the diapers and also the only one with the p…

Baby Memory Book Giveaway

I'm trying to think of a justification for this giveaway, and the best thing I can come up with is "our positive pregnancy test anniversary month" Quite a mouthful I know, so without further ado, here's what stands to be won and what needs to be done to win it.

God Created Me! (Little Blessings) Baby Memory Book.

This is the box set and as described by Amazon, "Most baby books begin when a baby is born, but this one begins when the world was born--from creation, to mom and dad, to baby. There is space to record how mom and dad met, and what they were like as kids. There's even a family tree. With helpful charts and plenty of space for photos, this baby book will be treasured forever. The acid-free pages are safe for photos and beautifully designed with Little Blessings artwork throughout.."

I have two copies to give away to two winners. To drop your name in the hat, just add a comment with your name and email address. That's it. Easy money. Winners w…

How to Feed Twins at Night

This is my nightstand set up for feeding my twins when they wake up to eat at night. The items on the nightstand are 4 Playtex bottles ready for use with liners already in place A 12.5oz can of enfamil - part of the free case I received from Mead-Johnson; thank you very much sirs! 61oz thermos container with warmed water for mixing formula. I fill this up once a day and it takes me through all the bottles for that the day. Bottle of hand sanitizer Pack of pacifier wipes Box of tissues for the nights when I forget to have a bib on hand Receiving blanket to protect the inevitable spills that occur while a drowsy mama is going through the oh-so-complicated steps of preparing a 4oz bottle at 2am Not pictured is my cellphone which I use as a night light so I don't have to turn on the lamp Also in the corner, you can see the top of one of the boppy pillows I use for keeping them elevated after the morning feeding.

Click here to buy a 61 oz thermos from Amazon.com with free shipping

Twin Stats - 4 Months

A third of our first year has gone! Who took my little babies and replaced them with little women? The girls are so grown up and personality filled, I'm more in love than I ever thought was possible


Here's our 4 month report card.

SpIce aka Twin A Weight             14lbs 4oz (Looks like growth is slowing from the initial 2lbs every month) Dress size        3 - 6 months
Diaper size       Size 2
Sugah aka Twin B
Weight             13lbs 2oz Dress size        3 - 6 months
Diaper size       Size 2

Schedule
We are now officially on a schedule. 4 bottles of 7oz in the daytime and a 4oz bottle at night. Scheduled feedings are at 5am, 11am, 3pm and 6.30pm then sponge bath and bedtime is between 7 and 8pm. They'll have another feeding between 11pm and 3am whenever they start fussing. I don't wake them up to eat at night because I'm hoping that one day they sleep right through the night feeding crosses fingers. Both babies are taking around 28-32 oz daily. Naps are still on demand as …

Saving money on brand name formula for twins - Part 2

Yesterday, I posted some general tips on saving money on brand name formula. Today I'll continue this series with tips on savings from individual manufacturers baby formula.

Enfamil
Visit their website and sign up for mailings and offers. They'll send formula samples and checks that can be used as coupons with brick and mortar retailers. 
Check their e-store which sometimes sells formula at a discount with free shipping. 
Call and request to be enrolled in their multiples program; they'll send you a free carton of whatever formula you're on. You'll also need to fax in copies of the twin's birth certificates. Call number is 1-800-222-9123. Alternatively, you can send a letter requesting to be enrolled in their Multiples Progam. Mailing address for the letter is Mead Johnson Nutritionals, 2400 West Lloyd Expy - B215, Evansville, IN 47721.
I sent my letter last month and just recently received twelve 12.5oz cans of formula in the mail. SWEET!

Similac
Visit their website

Saving money on brand name formula for twins - Part 1

Got twins?! Got no milk?! Welcome to my world. If you're supplementing with formula or fully feeding formula, you know that it's a major part of the costs for the first one year. Formula feeding twins exclusively can easily add an additional $200-$300 to a family's food budget. A good price-point for brand name formula is 13 cents per oz. Stock up whenever you can get it close to that price-point.
Here are some tips on saving money on brand name formula Buy from the warehouse clubs like BJS, Sam's and CostcoBuy from the grocery store when its on sale but first of all, make sure the sale price is a real sale price and the lowest available from all retailers. I've got some good sales from my neighbourhood Kroger and CVS at various times. With CVS, rely on the online ad and not the store sticker. I've noticed with a few CVS stores in my area that they omit putting the sale price on popular baby items sometimes and I would have passed up the deal if I hadn't che…

Nightlight Provided by Google

Well, I've spent the week talking about the apps on my android phone that contribute to my twin parenting 101 journey - the recalls app and the scheduling app. Here's a third and perhaps the app with the most mileage. Its my screenlight app.

I use this app as a nightlight for preparing nighttime bottles and feedings. That's because my babies sleep in their own crib but right by my bedside and I have their bottles, formula and water on the nightstand ready for when they wake to eat. I needed a nightlight that was bright enough for me to use in preparing bottles yet small and dim enough not to wake up the babies. This light on my phone did just that. It comes with different color lights (I use the white light) and has adjustable brightness buttons.

I did try using a plug-in nightlight but the positioning was difficult. For me to be able to see the bottles I was preparing at night, it had to be in a position that was also beaming light straight into the crib. I also tried a b…

Android App for Baby Tracking

I'm a free app kinda of person but this is the one app I actually paid for. It's the baby ESP app for tracking daily routine. Basically, you input the time of a certain activity and the app will display for you the amount of time that has passed since the baby last performed the activity. I initially downloaded the free trial from the android marketplace and it was so good, that I ended up buying the app.The features are what made it worth the $3.99 I paid.
Can track more than one babyBuilt-in buttons for tracking bottle feed, nursing, diaper, medicine, bath and sleep. There is also an "other" button that can be customized for any other activity to be tracked. I actually used it to track "Pooping" which is a big deal for Sugar and play time.Charts and stats for weekly, monthly and annual summaries. This helped me in planning their schedule and getting the big picture of their eating and sleep habits. Multiple users. This was useful for when I had help. With …

One Android App Every Parent Should Have

The one Android app every parent should have, is the official RECALLS.GOV app. It features updates on all the recalls from Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Agriculture.

This app is very easy to use. You can scroll down the "Recent Recalls" tab for chronological update on all recalls. There is a search tab for finding the specific product, a barcode tab that allows you to scan the barcode of any product and verify its recall status and lastly, a Tips tab with safety tips. The RECALLS.GOV app also has a "Report Incident" button.

How awesome is this? Well, remember the oball with links that I wrote about glowingly 3 days ago? While writing the post, I was quite disappointed that I couldn't get a picture of the toy off of amazon.com and now I know why. A recall for it was issued on Thursday the 3rd of March. There goes our favorite toy!

If you don't take anything el…

Favorite Toy at Three and Half Months

This post should really be titled "Babies are simpler than you think." You know my type-A-ness has been buzzing and trying to look for toys for my girls. I've read books and browsed aisles full of multicolored animals and such. In the end, the babies are just a couple of weeks over 3 months and as the experts said, mommy is their favorite toy. Next to mommy, they love their hands and spend hours looking, chewing and shadow boxing. Next on that list for my babies is the oball.

I had bought a gigantic one that looked interesting to my adult eyes but was ignored by them. I then bought a much smaller one with links and a rattle in babies r us for less than $5. I don't get it but dem kids love it. It's perfect for this age because they are working on the milestone of grabbing and swiping at objects and this is the right shape and weight for their little hands. I hang it off the mobile of their swing (in stationary mode) and they have a ball with it - pardon the pun. :…

Book Review - The Secret of Play

The Secret of Play by Ann Pleshette Murphy

This is another book I got to help in my search for the best toys. The subtitle says "How to raise smart, healthy, caring kids from birth to age 12" and it was written in collaboration with FAO Schwarz.

This is a well-written and easy to read book. It's sectioned by age from birth to twelve years. Each section then explores the play milestones for that age. For instance, the milestones for the first one year include
Reach for a mobilePlay peek-a-booFeel different texturesBond with youKick in a bouncy seatFocus on self in a mirrorGrasp a rattleEach milestone is then explained in terms of what to expect, why it's happening and how to interact/help your kid.

I loved this bbok. If I could only have one book about play and toys on my bookshelf, it would be this. It's a buy and keep.

Clothes Shopping for Baby - Buying by Brand

The only thing more exciting than dressing myself is dressing my babies. Today's post is about the brands I've gravitated to so far and my reasons for doing so. I know there are nicer brands out there, but most have been eliminated by my golden rule. (Nothing above $10) Gerber. Available in Walmart, Target, BabiesRUs, Amazon. This brand has a reputation for being cut small and shrinking after wash according to my SILs. I've bought 3-pack newborn-size sleepers in this brand. Why? Well asides from the fact that twins are generally born smaller, the average baby will stay in a newborn size for 4 to 6 weeks so these clothes have a cheapness requirement and not a durability requirement for me. Gerber is cheap. I got the mittens and hats pack for sizes 0-3 months for same reason - won't be used for long Carters. Available in most baby apparel retailers plus Carters outlets. Said to run true to size and quality is good enough not to shrink with frequent washings. To be honest, …

Clothes Shopping for twin girls - The Golden Rule

I admit it, after my ultrasound revealed sugar and spice and everything nice, I knew a moment of fear. Fear that I wouldn't be able to resist the aisles and aisles of cute pink clothes and could end up baby-shopping myself into bankruptcy. I mean, who can resist turning their little girl into a princess/diva/mini-me. Probably not me.
So before I made that first onesie purchase, I came up with the golden rule for buying clothes for my children - I WILL NOT BUY ANY OUTFIT FOR MORE THAN $10. No exceptions. That's the only rule I need. How did I come up with $10? Fairly arbitrary number that I hope will keep me out of the poorhouse. How has that worked out for me so far? Well, I've escaped several emotional purchases I've been very creative with coupons and discounts. Most of my pieces have been below the $5 price point It's hard to find pretty dresses for special occcasions at this price point.  Are rules meant to be broken? I'm hoping to maintain this price rule til…

CURRENTLY ON MY BOOKSHELF