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Traveling Teething: Oh Plah! Bracelet {Review}

Welcome to Tuesday Travels, a regular series at Traveling with Baby featuring ideas for local day trips and travel tips for families with kids-in-tow. You’ll also find get-up-and-go related product reviews and giveaways. I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

I mentioned last week that Lucien has started teething, and some of the measures we’ve been taking to make him more comfortable. I’ve been noticing lately how much his motor skills have improved and how he enjoys having a toy to play with in the car. I try to remember to keep toys in his diaper bag or car seat, but I’ll admit it’s not always the first thing on my mind when I’m heading out the door (more like “do I have matching shoes on??). He’s also old enough now that he can remove his binkie, turn it around, suck on it, and (sometimes) get it back in. I thought that given these factors I’d like to try out a product I had heard about.

Roundhouse send me their “Oh Plah!” bracelet in “serenity” and I have to tell you that I love it. It’s stylish so I’ll wear it with my clothing and it makes a great accessory. The bracelet come in a variety of colors and patterns so that you can choose a color that reflects your style and goes with your wardrobe. Mommy approves.

Unlike a pacifier (which easily slips out of his mouth and onto the floor) and toys (which are sometimes left at home and aren’t handy), the Oh Plah! bracelet is at my fingertips in a second and satisfies Lucien’s craving for something to look at, play with, and chew on.

Lucien enjoys the bracelet too! It’s super flexible, so he is almost strong enough to take it off my wrist himself. It’s durable and washable (a must for a new mommy!). It has a smart little hole that he slips his fingers into to hang on. It’s free of BPA and other harmful chemicals.

Here’s a little more information about the bracelet:

  • Constructed of medical grade thermoplastic- non-toxic, bacteria resistant, and free of lead, latex, PVC, BPA and phthalates.
  • Meets or exceeds the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) regulations, in addition to meeting or exceeding safety testing standards for Canada (C.R.C. c.931) and the European Union (EN-71).
  • No small parts means it’s safe for even the tiniest babe.
  • Extremely durable yet flexible, standing up to frequent chewing without looking worn or damaged.
  • Easily cleaned with soap and water, and dries quickly so that it can be worn again right away.
  • Great as a nursing reminder (switch wrists to remember which side comes next).
  • Made in the USA.

Exclusive for Traveling with Baby readers: Readers of Traveling with Baby will receive 15% off their purchases at  Roundhouse using the following code: “Traveling15”

Note: One bracelet was provided for the purpose of this review. Read the full disclosure policy.

wellBEing weekends: Teething Begins

 

Welcome to a semi-weekly series on Traveling with Baby, wellBEing weekends.  Each weekend (Friday – Sunday), wellBEing weekends will feature health-related news, recipes, and fresh tips on wholesome health for your family’s well BE-ing.

This week Lucien started teething. I have to say I’m not surprised we’re here already, even though it is a little on the early side. He has already proven he’s ahead of the curve in the growth department, and why should he be any different when it comes to teeth? He’s drooling, not sleeping as well, and generally a little on the fussy side (where did my little cherubic three month old go?)

So what have we been doing to sooth the little one? We’re nursing more frequently, for one thing. I’m not about to say no to such a sad little guy. I also learned a trick for a friend of mine who is going through teething with her fourth child – she presses down on her daughters gums (lightly, of course) and while it’s uncomfortable for a few seconds, it does provide some relief. I’m glad I learned this trick as it’s been useful when Lucien has been too uncomfortable to nurse well. He’ll detach and complain, I’ll press down across his gums, he’ll go back to nursing, and the cycle goes ‘round again.

Another thing we’ve tried (with great success) are homeopathic remedies. Within minutes he’s gone from fussy to happy and I can’t remember seeing such a quick turnaround.

I’m looking forward to trying our new teething bracelet (sent by Roundhouse) this coming week as well. We’ll be out and about quite a bit, and it’s the perfect time to try their “Oh Plah!” bracelet. I’ll be posting about it soon.

Your turn: What have you done to sooth teething babes?

Three Little Women and a Baby

We returned home from Pennsylvania later than we’d expected Wednesday night.  In fact, we got home just in time for Calvin’s bedtime.  After being strapped to a car seat for almost 8 hours, we needed to give the little guy time to run around wreaking havoc on his toys (a.k.a. claiming his territory).  Calvin traveled like a trooper, but he definitely needed some cuddle time and stretch breaks along the way.

My favorite stop, other than the naked Homewrecker at Moe’s was the Virginia Welcome Center.  Not only does it have a statue of Thomas Jefferson and a flatscreen TV with the live weather forecast, but it actually had child/toddler friendly toilets in the women’s room!  Parents in the throws of potty training with your little ones, take note.  Whenever possible, stop at one of VA’s state welcome centers.  You’ll be glad you did!  Calvin happily did his thing, and I happily gave him hugs, kisses, and a fresh diaper.

Potty training is cool when we’re at home and we’re in a routine.  It totally goes awry when we’re out and about on errands.  Cal and I spent over 2 hours today runnin’ around from store to store in the truck.  Before we headed home, I changed his diaper on the tailgate of the pick-up in the parking lot.  No potty there, so I just put on a clean diaper.

As soon as we got in the truck and stuck in 5 o’clock traffic on Highway 29 South, Calvin started screaming his head off.  He’d pretty much been crying all day long, and I knew he wasn’t feeling well, but we were in a truck–in traffic–and aside from giving him various toys to play with (which he immediately threw with full force) there wasn’t anything else I could do to help him.  So, I did what any good mother would do, I turned up the volume on the radio and tuned out the top-of-his-lungs cries.  I had no idea what was wrong aside from the fact that he didn’t want to be in his seat and he wanted me to hold him, but neither of those were options until we got home.  As soon as we exited the bypass for home, he stopped crying.  Complete silence.  Then, he started giggling.  I was baffled, but glad he was suddenly in a great mood.

As soon as we got home, I realized what had happened: his diaper was completely full.  He had wanted to go potty, but wasn’t given the opportunity.  He had been crying in desperation to sit on the potty, and when he finally got it out of his system, he was good to go.  This is the child that will wake up from a nap and start crying because he wants me to put him on the potty.  Lesson learned: the next time I’m about to get entrenched in rush hour traffic, first, find a potty SOMEWHERE, and give Calvin the chance to go.

It was hard to read what my son wanted/needed today because if he wasn’t napping or nursing, he was crying.  He desperately wanted to be held at all times during the day.  If I put him on the floor for even an instant, he got fire-alarm-red-mad.  Such a strange response from a boy who is usually content to play by himself for 30 or 45 minutes at a time for several times during a typical day.  Was he unusually clingy because he’s still teething? [runny nose, red cheeks, and enough drool to fill a gallon jug]  Or was he having separation anxiety because he was suffering from attention withdrawel?

Over the past week, Calvin had been getting more attention from people than most Hollywood stars.  Wherever we went, he was at the center of the spotlight receiving smiles, laughs, hugs, and kisses from EVERYONE.  He had friends and relatives tending to his every need.  Want to walk around the store/house/funeral parlor/cemetary?  Ten-year-old Maddie was there in a heartbeat carrying him around and entertaining him with such love and tenderness.  Not far behind Maddie, two-and-a-half Livia was there patting Calvin on the head, feeding him snacks or offering him his toys.  I even left him in the church nursery with his Aunt Vicky and Cousin Emily during church.  Em said she kept him entertained by keeping his gaze.

Calvin ate up the attention and adored his lovely cousins.  Whenever they were with him, the looked like little mommies-in-training.  My favorite moment over the week was at the lunch after the funeral.  Calvin sat in his high chair enjoying turkey and green beans.  Soon enough, he was surrounded by Emily, Maddie, and Livia who handed him food, laughed with him, and totally provided his dining entertainment.  After all that adoration, of course it’s so anti-climatic to return home and spend all day with just me.

Forget lunchtime laughs and giggles–I was just happy to get him his meals on time.  Between wiping his ever-running nose and changing my shirts (a.k.a. my son’s giant tissue), I tried to comfort my son and unpack and do basic chores that had been neglected all week.  Well, doing dishes and laundry were NOT okay with my son.  He wanted me all to himself every minute of the day.  By the time his naptimes rolled around, I kept chugging away at the chores, but I was spent.  I took those moments to sit down and relax.

I miss those three little women.  They’re love and attention for Calvin was a glorious blessing last week, and I wish they could hang out with him every day!

Drool, Teeth, and Sleepless Nights

Calvin’s teething again.  The signs are all there.  He constantly chews on one or two fingers, and he drools like a faucet.  In 5 minutes time, he’ll have saliva covering the front of a newly changed onesie.  And, he has that discernible diaper rash on his bum that he only gets when he’s got teeth coming in.  For his sake, I hope he gets several teeth at once.  Just get ’em out of the way!

One of the unfortunate drawbacks with teething is the decreased immune system function.  I don’t know if it’s due to the decreased calcium and magnesium in a baby’s body while teeth are erupting or if it’s something else entirely.  But, the last time he was teething like this at 8 months, he got a cold wiht a croupy cough.  Sure enough, he fell victim to a cold this time and woke with a croupy cough early Monday morning.

I’ve been giving him homeopathic herbs suitable for his age, and I check his spine for subluxations.  But, I think the biggest impact is the fact that we live in a super humid home…which really helps reduce the dry throat and loud barking cough.  I only hear a croupy cough once of the numerous times he wakes at night…as opposed to all night long.

He doesn’t seem too bothered by it, but he’s definitely more thirsty at night to soothe his irritated throat.  Poor baby!  I’m hurting on sleep from tending to him for the past two nights.  As I write this, I am STILL in my pajamas.

I pray my little guy recovers soon from the croupy cold and teething blitz . . . we both need some rest, and I really want to bring him to his Mainly Music class this Friday.  But, if he’s still symptomatic, it’s better that we stay home.

Milestones

Calvin turns 7 months next Friday.

On May 22nd, he crawled for the first time. *sniff*  He’s growing up so fast!  I got choked up when he actually pulled himself forward (instead of pushing himself in reverse).  I gave him a hug, then he made a funny sound and started straining.  Then, I just had to laugh and quickly plop him on his potty.  He has a way of drawing me back to reality when I get sappy.  So now, I have to keep him in plain sight if he’s on the floor, or else he’s up to no good before too long!

Speaking of the potty, in the past few days, we’ve noticed that he actually waits for us to put him on it before passing a bowel movement.  I can’t believe it.  He actually prefers his potty.

My sister’s 12-month-old is pretty much potty-trained.  He lets her know if he needs to go to the bathroom.  He’s already wearing underwear, and they only diaper him at night.  I hope Calvin will be on the same track by 1 year, if not sooner.

I think Calvin’s teething again.  He’s drooling like crazy, sleeps a ton more than usual, and he’s got red spots on his cheeks.  Last two times those events happened, he got teeth.  Before I know it, he’ll have graduated from school, married, and have kids of his own.

Chews Wisely

I’m a huge fan of mom-owned and mom-run companies, especially when they have great product ideas for moms and babies. Smart Mom began in 2002 when Amy and Kendra wanted to promote pretty and practical ideas for real moms. Teething Blingwas inspired by babies who like to tug on mom’s jewelry.

Smart Mom’s line of Teething Blingincludes donut-shaped and heart-shaped pendants and bangles. These fun and stylish pieces of jewelry are perfect for the hip-mama who wants to look trendy and yet remain armed with beautiful jewelry that’s safe for little ones to handle and chew.

My bling arrived in a beautifully-wrapped purple organza drawstring bag complete with a lapis lazuli patterned pendant (one of Calvin’s birthstones) and a mother of pearl bangle. I enjoyed perusing the enclosed pamphlet which contained photos of Hollywood mamas and papas wearing Smart Mom jewelry.

Calvin took to the donut-shaped pendant in a heartbeat, and he remained interested in it for quite a while (in terms of baby attention-span). It’s unlike other things that he chews on, because he soon tires of them since they’re not the best shape to comfortably fit in his mouth. There’s something about the smooth, flat, and firm-yet-chewable silicone that Calvin found extremely appealing time and time again. He reaches for it, tugs on it, and instantly chews on it like it’s the most entertaining thing in the world. My husband even remarked that Calvin REALLY LIKES the pendant compared to other chew toys. I was able to keep him content during church, and he plays with it during diaper changes instead of rolling to and fro!

Calvin also munched on the Teething Blingmother of pearl bangle. It wasn’t as entertaining as the pendant, but he still loved it. It’s easy to wear it instead of remembering to pack yet another toy in the diaper bag. Because I know it’s safe for him, I prefer that he uses Smart Mom products for teething as opposed to other companies’ plastic teething products filled with gel or unknown fluid. Teething Blingis made from the same material as many teething toys.

Smart Mom uses only the highest quality, phthalate/BPA/lead-free, federally approved, dishwasher-safe silicone in the Teething Blingline. The silicone is non-toxic, latex-free, and food-safe. The pendants come with a breakaway clasp for added protection in case you didn’t heed the warning about unsupervised handling by children is not recommended. Teething Bling looks great on Moms, Grandmas, and Aunties, but it’s also safe for curious babies who need to soothe their gums. This unique line isn’t offered by any other company.

The pendants come in a wide array of gemstone-inspired colors such as coral and jade and 3 new patterns such as brown snowflake, malachite, and lapis lazuli. Also, 9 yummy color options will be added later this year. There are 7 bangles (8 inch circumference) that you can mix or match with the pendants (2 inch diameter).

The rose quartz heart-shaped pendants are 20% off for the month of May. By ordering one, Smart Mom will also provide a a FREE matching bangle and Mother’s Day card this month, while supplies last.

Who’s talking about it? Pregnancy Magazine claimed the donut-shaped jade pendant as an editor’s pick in the March 2008 issue. Smart Moms Amy and Kendra were featured guests on CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Last month, Smart Mom Jewelry was in Baby Couture. This month, this hot bling is also in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine.

Aside from pendants and bangles, Teething Bling also includes keychains for those who aren’t inclined to wear jewelry. Another great feature about Smart Mom products is that this company donates a percentage of all retail sales to two charitable organizations that inspire them.

WIN IT:

Smart Mom is providing some jazzy Teething Bling for a giveaway. One reader will win a turquoise blue heart-shaped pendant with matching bangle. Another reader will win a jade donut-shaped pendant and matching bangle. These lovely gift sets are wrapped in beautiful purple organza drawstring sachets ready for gifting or savoring for yourself. Approximate retail value is $32 per person.

To enter, visit Smart Mom’s site and check out all the cool colors and styles of Teething Blingand other great items. Then, comment on this post on the color and style of bling that you think is fabulous, and comment on which item you’d like to win. This contest ends at midnight on June 2nd.

The winners will be selected via random.org and announced on this post and on Prizey Winners on June 3rd. I will try to accommodate the winners’ prize selection. In case both winners choose the same style/color, I will give the first randomly selected winner his/her choice, and the second winner will receive the remaining item. I know both winners will be extremely pleased with either design because these are just fantastic products!

In the case that the notified winners don’t respond within 72 hours, another winner will be selected.

**UPDATE**

Congratulations to the WINNERS!

Shilo Beedy

I would have to say Mother of Pearl Donut Shaped Pendant since it would go with almost anything. The jade donut shape is my favorite but the turquoise one is cute to. This would make a perfect baby shower gift for a friend.

Cheryl

Oh….I like the mother of pearl pendants. Such a wonderful idea and done in a such a tasteful manner.  The Moonstone is lovely also….

Jet Setters

Calvin has fun on the potty . . . I think mostly because he gets a LOT of attention from us when he does go in it. As in the photo above, he is full of giggles and smiles (and drools) when he’s on his potty.

Even though we JUST got back from a long road trip to and from sunny Florida, we leave tomorrow morning for the other corner of the United States, Washington. We’ll spend just over a week there so many of my relatives have a chance to meet Calvin. Even though he won’t remember his first trip in a jet and a prop plane, hopefully the photos of him with family members will be cherished by Calvin in the future.

Since we’re not going to have a lot of extra packing weight to deal with, we’re going with disposables instead of cloth for this trip. I hope to be able to do diaper changes at airports, because I can’t imagine having enough space to change my long legged baby boy on an in-flight latrine. Also, I plan to nurse him on take-off and descent to help prevent ear pain from the altitude changes.

I recently read in Domino magazine a few tips for the trendy and savvy traveler on airlines. It was obvious that the author wasn’t a parent of a young child nor super concerned with saving money. As a result, I’m going to post my own traveling with baby tips with a series of a couple of posts (some will be from my lessons learned after a long day of travel with a 5 month-old).

Packing:

It used to be easy to pack a fairly large wheeled suitcase to the max with everything the 2 of us needed for a trip. With reduced luggage weight restrictions (now 50 lbs. instead of 80 lbs. back in 2002), packing with fewer bags is essentially not an option.

One day, we’ll be able to get sturdy, lighter weight luggage that can hold a lot . . . until then, it’s duffle bags, military issue helmet bags, and backpacks.

Diaper bag: I’d recommend a spare t-shirt for mom & dad since turbulence can make baby more motion sickness prone than a car . . . and who wants to smell and look like baby spit-up for a 13 hour sortie? Along those lines, I’d also recommend several bibs and spit up cloths and microfleece towels to boot, along with at least 4 changes of clothes for baby (onesies and pants seem to go further than single pajama outfits).

I’d also recommend minimal toys for the younger baby. One plush, multi purpose toy (built in rattle sounds, pulls and it jiggles, etc.) as well as at least 1 hard plastic toy for those who are teething (plastic rings . . . perfecta!). Need to distract baby during flight? That’s what those in flight mags are for. . . colorful pictures and you can make up your own story to go along with the Skymall photos . . . time for creative storytelling on your part!

Since Calvin’s teething, we’re also bringing along Hyland’s Teething Tablets. Also, when Calvin gets gassy, he gets MAD! To soothe him, us, and those traveling within ear shot (the entire cabin), it won’t hurt to bring a 1 oz. vial of the Bubble-B-Gone gas drops by Nature’s Answer.

For my travel ease, I always travel with a zip up sweatshirt which not only helps with nursing, but it keeps me warm in the snowy cold jet cabins. Also, I ALWAYS take spare undies, hairbrush, toothbrush, and deodorant. With those, I’m prepared for lay-overs, cancellations, luggage loss, and just long days on the road.

As an inexpensive alternative to the pricey captive audience booksellers in airports, I went to the local library to pick up a paperback read that I’ve been wanting to flip through since grad school. My pick, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.

For all of you traveling with a baby in the near future, I wish you happy and safe travels!