Baby Registry Discount Guide

Here's a short guide to the different baby registry discounts offered by the most popular baby stores in the US and Canada. Most of these stores offer something called a "Completion Discount". This is a discount that allows you to purchase some or all of the items left in your registry after your event day. The event day is usually the baby's due date or expected arrival date.

The default rules governing completions discounts are
  1. The discount coupon can only be used in one transaction (exception to this is Pottery Barn Kids)
  2. Items cannot be added after the event date (exception to this is JC Penney)
  3. Coupon stacking is not allowed (there are a few exceptions to this as well)
Without further ado, here's a cheatsheet I put together for baby registry discounts and rules. Enjoy!

Start your baby registry today on The 1 year return policy is unbeatable.

Baby Foods for Constipation Awards

I have had my fair share of experience with baby foods that help with bowel movements. Some of those moments were planned because the girls were constipated and needed help. Some the moments were unplanned and strictly a result of mommy-brain.

In my experience these are the top foods that deliver results when it comes to helping a constipated baby.

3rd Price - Earth's Best First Prunes
Delivers gentle relief a few hours later when eaten in moderation

2nd Price - Plum Organics Pear and Mango
Mangoes alone will make a man (or woman go). Pears will make a baby go. Combine them together and they make a very powerful baby laxative

1st Price - Earth's Best Pumpkin Cranberry Apple
I've never thought of pumpkins as foods that make you go until I fed the babies this pouch. It's a blowout diaper guaranteed in less than 3 hours. I'm talking covered to the neck business here so eat with caution.

Advanced Diaper Changing

I just completed 2 modules in the Advanced Diaper Changing Course for twin parents. They are

Diaper Changing 201: The stand-up routine
For the last couple of weeks, Spice has ABSOLUTELY refused to lie down and have her diaper changed. At first I thought she had a rash or was in some sort of pain from lying down but no, it wasn't either of those. Just as I was beginning to dread diaper changes, I remembered one of the policies from their first Montessori daycare. Once the kids are able to walk, they are changed standing up. I decided to try that and it worked. Apparently, fighting the lying-down-to-change-diaper routine is how some toddlers assert their individuality. Equally apparent is the fact that I am parenting one of such toddlers and have since learnt how to change a standing toddler

Diaper Changing 202: The sit-down routine
It was a typical Monday morning in my Twintopia. Got up, showered, dressed, woke the babies, changed the babies, dressed the babies, fed the babies, carried the babies to the car.... and then it hit me! The unmistakable smell of breakfast that had come out of the other end. Just as I was getting ready to open the garage door, happy that I was only running 5 minutes late. I had 3 options:
1 - Pretend no such smell existed and drive on to daycare. Repercussion: Serious bad mommy guilt
2 - Get both babies back in the house, up the stairs and change diaper. Repercussion: Will be at least 20 minutes late for work
3 - Practice the skill my sister tried to teach me a few months back - the change baby's diaper in stroller or car seat routine. Repercussion: Will be only 5 minutes late for work.

I had my backup diaper bag in the car so I went with option 3. A few twists, turns and swipes later, we were done on our way to daycare/work. I was  an exhilarated combination of proud and grossed out. I wear this motherhood laurel proudly. My next challenge? Change baby while swinging from a tight-rope hung off the empire state building or some equally amazing act of mommy-dexterity, not including the one being demonstrated in the picture below.

Disclaimer: Or rather, a word of caution: Ability to execute either of the above diaper routines is a direct function of the (how do I put this delicately) flowiness, weight and volume of the diaper contents. In plain english, don't try this with a blowout diaper.

Favorite Book at 17 Months

It seems like only a few weeks ago that I was wondering about my twins disinterest in books. Well, a few weeks is a long time in toddler-world. Now they can't get enough of their books. They love those little mini board books with different themes like shapes, colors, costumes, numbers and alphabets. I keep those in their room for distraction.

Their favorite book? Overwhelming majority vote goes to Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle. I can see why they love this book because the illustrations are simple but beautiful. The girls love this book so much they fight over it. I've seen one baby go up to the other with a "here sister, you read the hungry caterpillar and let me have the brown bear book". "No?" "I'm taking it anyway!" Followed by hair pulling, shoving and crying. I was tempted to buy another copy but I thought that would be setting a bad precedence. Instead, I got the other books in the series:

Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear and Panda Bear Panda Bear What Do You See It wasn't the same. They are like poor consolation prices for the girls and I don't blame them. Even I don't find them as interesting to read as the original Brown Bear book. We're stuck! I may have to buy a new one eventually when our current copy falls apart from all the pulling and tugging.

As an aside, I just realized while writing this post that if the girls are still crazy over the book in a few months time, they can have a birthday party built around that theme. There's a lot of ideas on Pinterest and there's even a Carle Museum with an online store as well as the Eric Carle website.

Growth Charts for Twins

Most doctors (and websites) in the US use the CDC growth charts but the new recommendation from the CDC is that the World Health Organization charts be used for babies under 2 years as it is more representative of the actual growth profile of babies around the world. This is more useful for twins who usually start off being smaller and hence lower than their singleton counterparts on growth charts.
Eric Carle Growth Chart
(Click to buy)
If I had used the CDC chart for my twins, one would have been 15th percentile and the second would have been in the 5th percentile range (causing me sleepless nights and making me smother their food with butter and avocado). Using the WHO growth charts however, I can see that they are actually 40th and 25th percentile respectively.

I'm glad to see that the WHO chart is more representative as it considers the growth profile of children from a range of different countries and backgrounds (Brazil, Ghana, India, Norway, Oman, and the U.S) while the CDC charts are limited to studies of formula-fed, American babies.

Emotionally HealthyTwins - Toddler Action Plan

Reading the book Emotionally Healthy Twins by Dr Joan Friedman has led me to be more intentional with my actions and decisions as a twin parent. Some of the things to be implemented for this toddler stage based on advice I garnered from the book are:
  • Separate classes in daycare. I was initially planning to separate the girls once they started kindergarten. The new plan is to separate them into 2 different classes once they're moved up to their toddler class in a couple of months. Their difference in play style and personality is very obvious now and being in 2 separate classes will help them in a couple of ways. One, they'll learn other ways of socializing and relating with their peers outside of the way they relate to each other. Two, their teachers / caregivers will be more likely to treat them as individuals and not as "the twins"
  • Less matchy-matchy with the clothes. The plan was always to dress the girls differently, but with time I've found myself buying 2 of the same outfits and dressing them alike. Going forward, I'll be a little less matchy with their outfits.
  • Alone time with each parent. In the Emotionally Healthy Twins book, Dr Friedman emphasises the importance of each twin developing a unique relationship with his/her parent. It's very easy to enjoy seeing twins emotionally supporting each other and even thinking it's a sign of maturity. In actual fact, no child needs to carry the burden of being the emotional baseboard for their siblings. That's the job of the adults. One on one time between each twin and parent is important in developing the right relationship dynamics.
  • Individual space and bedroom furniture choice. I do want the girls to share a room until they're in their teens but I now also realise that they need to have their own space and things. One way of ensuring that they have their own turf in a shared room is to get furniture that is dividable. Specifically, I'm looking for one of those old-school dressing tables that have a set of drawers on either side. That way they each have their "side". I haven't found one yet but I'm actively looking.
Those are the little changes that we need to make for now. I can't emphasize enough how relevant I found the advice in this book. A year ago, I would have poopooed some of the suggestions as excessive but not today. Today,  Spice alone and Spice with Sugar in the room is two distinct babies and this holds true for Sugar as well. It doesn't take an expert to see that my girls need an atmosphere that allows them to develop their uniqueness without their twin-ness being a clutch.

Book Review - Emotionally Healthy Twins

Emotionally Healthy Twins by Dr Joan Friedman is a book that has been on my list of top 5 books for twin parents so when Shelby of DoubleUp Books offered me an opportunity to review a complimentary copy, I jumped on it. I was not disappointed.
To give a background on this book, the author is an identical twin, mother to twins AND a psychotherapist to families with twins. That gives her a very unique court side view on the issues of raising twins. The main gist of the book is that twins need to be allowed to developed as individuals and not as one half of a whole. That's the best way to ensure that they grow into balanced adults. My full review is available here and as a plus, DoubleUp books currently has a 10% off cover price promotion going on.

This book gave me some food for thought and made me develop a more serious action plan for certain things I'll be doing with the twins.I'll share those in tomorrow's post.


Today marks my 17th month as a twin parent and I have 2 challenges that just came to my attention
1. My very literal mind. I've always been guilty of being literally minded but it's becoming a communication problem with the girls for me. What do I mean? Baby points at the dining room chandelier.A typical toddler thing to do and my normal response will be to give her the name of whatever she's pointing at. Therein lies the problem. She points and my mind is racing through what to say. Lights? Light bulb? Chandelier? Roof? Ceiling? or Up? Seriously. Try as I might, I can't drop the need to be specific and accurate in naming objects. Same goes for shoes, socks and toes. On their own, they're no big deal but when baby is wearing socks and shoes on her feet, I struggle with what name to call when she points to her toes.
2. Keeping up with the toddlers. It's hard for me to see that my babies are no longer babies. I still default to treating them like babies until I see what they are capable of in the daycare or what other babies their age are capable of. It's like I'm behind the curve and subconsciously limiting the expectations I have of them.

Well, those are my mommy problems and in spite of those, the girls are still doing great at 17 months.
They haven't added too many new words to their vocabulary. Spice now says apple, cheese and (the perennial favorite) cracker. I see a lot more of repeating the words we say and also following simple instructions with both girls.
Spice has 4 premolars in various stages of growth bringing her to a grand total of 12 teeth. She weighs 21.5lbs approximately and seems to be the right height for her age.
Sugar is growing her 7th tooth and it is a major pain in the jaw. She's also a pound lighter and an inch taller than Spice. I see a hunt for clothes for tall, skinny toddlers in my future. She's already too tall for the 12-18month clothes but the pants are still falling off her waist.
Both girls are confidently running and climbing now. They're also learning to conquer staircases.
Feeding update: Every day and every meal is unpredictable.

Next stop, weaning off the bedtime pacifier. I feel a jolt of fear down my spine even as I type that.

Mama Loves: Her Little Dirt Devil

With two independent toddlers, post-meal cleanup is a painful but unavoidable part of my day. With us finally moving into our house last weekend, I set out to buy a nice broom set and came home with a Dirt Devil Quick Power handheld vacuum instead. When I saw it in the store and read all the attributes, I knew this was the one I've been waiting for. Here's what I love about it:

  • It's compact and has found a permanent spot on the kitchen counter.
  • It recharges pretty fast and has made life a little easier. I've been using it to clean the twin's high chair and the floor around after each meal and the suction is still strong. I plan to take it down to the car and give the carseats a quick once over.
  • It's nozzle is big enough to pick up finger foods AND it comes with an alternate smaller nozzle to get to all the little corners like say under the highchair cover
  • It's easy to clean out.
Did I already say I love this vacuum? Let's put it this way, if this vacuum was named Renee and I was called Tom, I would pick it up, look deeply into it's nozzle and tell it "You complete me!"

Well, that's enough cheese for the weekend. I'm linking up with Julia's mama loves and signing out.

PS: This post is not paid or sponsored by the Dirt Devil company in any way. I'm just a woman in love!

Cheery Dancy Toddler Music

Let's get to the point shall we; I need suggestions for music that your toddlers love to dance to. Mine do not seem impressed with my bountiful itunes library. They are left dancing to the music coming from Mister Eelefun.

It's cute but also sad to see 2 little ones tapping their feet, bopping their head and dropping it like it's hot to the tune of ABCDEFG. I want to buy at least one dancy album for them. Even the 3-CD album that sounded good in Walmart last week turned out to be really blah...

Help a sister out???? and have a fun, blessed weekend!

The Cribsie Awards - Another good resource

I missed the big announcement but apparently the Cribsie Award winners for 2012 are in. Check them out on the winners page here.

What is a Cribsie Award? It's an award given by the vote of parents in the general public to baby and kid related products and services

Why do I like the cribsies? It's a good way to find out what's been working for other parents. I look at the list of winners and it's hard for me to disagree with most of them. The brands that win the awards are mostly names that I recognize and trust. And then they also have the newcomer section. Here you can discover some new baby products that just may rock your boat... like say the stroller that charges your phone or the foldable crib that can be assembled without tools or (just in time for summer) the perfect swimsuit coverup for your budding fashionista. 

Take a peak at the cribsie website. It's a good way to spend 10 minutes.

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