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  • Our Montessori Entryway

    Our Montessori Entryway

    Being intentional with our spaces at home helps us declutter and simplify our lives and the amount of things we have. Our little corner for Bodie has been carefully arranged with his needs in mind. 

    (At 11 months, he is unable to sit still and dress himself, but all that is in his entryway space are things we currently use and are arranged ready for his next developmental stage.)

    Setting up a Montessori styled space is not about perfection nor about spending a lot. It’s about having just enough to encourage your child’s development, preparing for their unique character and growth, as well as the rhythm of your family life as a whole unit. 

    If you haven not seen our Baby Bears corner, make sure to watch my reel over here.

    We spent $37 to set up his entryway (the cube, boot tray and hooks) and found everything else around the house which were hand-me-downs, bought on sale or thrifted.

    Raising a “Montessori Baby”, I have learned it is best to know the principles first, observe your baby, assess your rhythm/routines, know your budget (ours is: spend as little as possible while investing in the more important grow-with-your-child things) and to remember there are a lot more years (& expenses) ahead of you. It is so easy to get swayed with all the pretty Montessori things online. We don’t need it all! 

    I would love to see your Montessori Entryway if you already have one and let me know if you are creating this space for you kiddo too!

    Here are the links to some things you will find in our Montessori Entryway and their alternatives.

    1. Cube

    We bought the Brightroom storage cube in white on sale from Target at $15, its regular price is $22.

    Here’s a cheaper one on Amazon that I think might be good enough since nothing heavy will be on this shelf.

    2. Small Boot Tray Beige – Brightroom

    This boot tray was a splurge and is not that necessary. You can also use cabinet liners especially if you know snowy, wet or muddy shoes will not be on the shelf.

    3. Chair

    Our chair was a hand me down! So that was free! It was a chair from the Ikea Children’s Table Set.

    If we did not have that, I would have bought this one from Sprout Kids, specifically because we have this set already and because it grows with your baby! 

    Coupon Code: HAPAFAM for 10% OFF (from The Hapa Family)

    4. Hooks

    I first encountered these beautiful coated wooden hooks from Amazon at the Montessori school we go to and needed to get them for our home. They are the perfect size and aesthetic for any house!

    5. Mirror

    I got our mirror five years ago on sale at Tj Maxx. Here is something similar on Amazon. Our mirror is 11” in diameter without the frame.

    6. Woven Box holding mittens

    I bought this beautiful Filipon-style box from Goodwill maybe three years ago and found it lying around the house! For reference it is about 10” x 45”. Here is a cute tray with similar dimensions with handles. I can imagine bigger Baby Bear being able to carry this around! If you wanted a plastic one, Amazon has this simple tray that matches any home aesthetic.


    DISCLAIMERS. This blog is solely an expression and documentation of MY journey as a new mom. 

    Cliché as it may be: our baby is different from your baby— all babies are different. My journey as a woman, wife & mother is different from yours— we are all different. My partnership with my baby looks different from your partnership— because surprise surprise, things are just different. I do not claim to be an expert in motherhood or being a wife. These are all my opinions, my own research and my own journey. 

    It is my hope that this blog helps you navigate yours a little bit easier. 

    This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to help support my family too!

  • Our Baby Registry Must Haves

    Here is my extensive list of Minimalist Baby Registry Must Haves. The products here are only ones we found to be useful and worth spending on. You will find a lot of organic and low-toxic products here, as well as toys, equipment and furniture geared to the Montessori approach.

    Every family, their lifestyle and culture is so different so please take what fits your family and leave what does not. One thing I have learned in the past 11 months is despite the advice and wisdom “more experienced” parents have, God has blessed YOU with the insight and intuition needed to raise your baby. Everyone (just like me and this blog) will have their opinion on what works best, but YOU ultimately make the last call on what is best for your family!

    I truly hope this list helps you make a more informed decision on preparing for your newborn!


    #1 DIAPERING, BATH & CARE

    • Circumcision Care: Petroleum jelly & Gauze- get as much as you can from the hospital
    • Diapers– started with a variety of smaller packs of NB diapers to see which fit our baby best. Ecoriginals is our favorite disposable diaper. Use coupon code BAMIKKA for $30 off your first order of 6 packs of diapers. Esembly is our favorite reusable diaper system. Get 15% off your first Esembly purchase.

    #2 SAFETY & EQUIPMENT

    #3 CLOTHING (weather appropriate)

    • Hat/ Winter Hat 3-6 months
    • Onesies– short sleeves and long, nb & 0-3. You do not need a lot of NB.. maybe 3-5 pcs is enough. My favorite brand thus far is Colored Organics, a bit pricer than Gerber or Carters, but the material is superb, stains clean out well and does not pile! (coupon code: MIKKAJACOBSON15)
    • 3 Sleepers with zipper- Burt’s Bees or Colored Organics
    • 2 Tshirts (coupon code: MIKKAJACOBSON15)- belly button healing
    • 1 sweater (coupon code: MIKKAJACOBSON15)- we brought a 3 month sized sweater since Baby was born in the fall and he needed an extra outer layer!
    • Mittens
    • Fleece Booties– so much easier than socks because these actually stay on. Socks only started staying put for us at 11 months!
    • Drool bibs– most useful when baby starts teething and drooling a lot. For us, that started at about 6 months. For reference, Bodie got his first tooth at 10 months. But some babies can get it as early as 3 months!

    #4 SLEEP & BEDDING

    We do a Montessori approach at home. With that being said, we are not purists. We started with the bassinet and at around 3-4 months when Baby was too big for the bassinet, we moved him to a crib which was second hand and given to us. (However, if we weren’t given a crib, we would not have asked for one.) Then, we used just the crib mattress on the floor and now at 11 months, Baby is on twin sized floor mattress.

    #5 SLEEP

    1. Swaddle from hospital or other blanket swaddles- 3 weeks, it was great since we got to practice swaddling at the hospital then do it at home, kicking possible suffocation hazard- FREE 
    2. Swaddle Me– 7-14 pounds/ 26 inches, but i dunno if ours shrunk because he outgrew it so quickly, $33 for 3 pcs, 3 stages, others 0-6 for $25 material isnt high quality
    3. Halo Sleepsack– $25, 0-6 months, loved it, but arms out 
    4. *Halo Swaddle– $25, comparable to the dreamland without the weight, but we did not try it
    5. Ollie Swaddle– $59, our second fave newborn swaddle, great material Oeko Tex certified, grows with baby, the velcro enclosure reminds me of the inside of the Dreamland Baby, perfect for controlling Moro reflex but I noticed our baby’s legs had started escaping when he got stronger and at night, this would bother him
    6. Dreamland Baby Weighted Sleep Sack & Swaddle $89 + free shipping (coupon code MIKKA15)- our FAVORITE newborn swaddle!! (see video review here)

    See end of blog for more educational resources that helped us form our way of parenting. Don’t get me wrong, we are still learning, from reading, others’ experiences and our own. It is a journey of growth and we are all blessed to have a plethora of resources and professionals to help us figure out what is best for our families!

    #7 (BREAST)FEEDING & PUMPING

    #8 TOYS

    Make sure to read my blog about Baby Bear’s favorite newborn toys over here. Also, you do not need a lot of materials or play things during this period, although it is very exciting to get them all. Remember, you have your baby for the long run, save your money! But if you were to buy, invest in the more educational kind of toys that are appropriate for their developmental stage.

    • Lovevery “The Looker Playkit”– Having educational age-appropriate toys that helped our baby with his development (which is mostly visual in the newborn stage) has been very useful. So subscribing to the lovevery kit has been so convenient for us and until now Bodie has been playing with these toys.  Not to mention the spiral mobile, which has helped a lot during diaper changes.
    • Black and white cards / books
    • Mobiles- MontiKids (Get $75 off using this link) or DIY
    • Board books and picture books- we have a lot and asked for a number too.. maybe I will do a separate blog about this. 😀

    #9 MAMA AND HOME

    • Stain remover: Puracy– so far the best low-toxic one, we use this until now that our Baby is 11 months)
    • Lactation consultant: BB Babies– Breastfeeding life saver! I couldn’t have survived without Beth!)
    • Nursing cover: Cocoon by We are Amma– we also loved using this to cover Baby while wearing him using our BabyBjorn Carrier or Carseat/nursing cover– we still use this now especially when riding shopping carts or sitting in restaurant highchairs.
    • My handmade Nipple Cream- Raw byRoque
    • Lactation snacks- Boobie Superfoods (15% off using code MIKKA15)
    • Water additive- Boobie Hydro Mom (15% off using code MIKKA15)
    • 1 gallon water jug– Keeping hydrated was one of my selfcare goals postpartum!
    • Nursing bra: Spanx– a lil of a splurge but this was like a gift to myself for birthing our baby. Still my favorite until now 11 months postpartum & Kindred Bravely– more affordable luxury alternative but sizing was a pain, I should have just stuck with my Spanx and saved money since none of these fit me now.
    • Nursing pads: KeaBabies– do not get too much!
    • Milk catcher: Purifyou– 2 cups are enough
    • Baskets to house toys – still use these until now in different sizes

    #10 EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

    I think this is all we have for Baby Bear’s newborn stage that we still get to use until now! Let me know if there are any products you think should be on here!


    DISCLAIMERS. This blog is solely an expression and documentation of MY journey as a new mom. 

    Cliché as it may be: our baby is different from your baby— all babies are different. My journey as a woman, wife & mother is different from yours— we are all different. My partnership with my baby looks different from your partnership— because surprise surprise, things are just different. I do not claim to be an expert in motherhood or being a wife. These are all my opinions, my own research and my own journey. 

    It is my hope that this blog helps you navigate yours a little bit easier. 

    This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to help support my family too!

  • Our Baby’s Eczema Journey

    Ever since starting Bodie on solid foods at 6 months he developed eczema ands flare ups would appear around his cheeks, ankles, around his knees, folds in his skin like the back of his knees and elbows.

    Initially, I just thought it was a skin thing and did not think much of it. But it never left and seems to get itchier and more inflamed with time. One at a time, I started trying out A LOT of different creams recommended by numerous non-toxic mom friends. None worked for us. 

    I consulted with two pediatricians and both recommended Aveeno Eczema Therapy Lotion and 1% cortisone cream along with Claritin allergy drops. That worked for the first two weeks until his skin started having these dark red spots that looked like they got burnt. 

    We stopped with that care plan immediately. 

    Through that, I was starting to feel that something wasn’t right, beyond his skin despite our pediatrician telling us he would have to live with it forever and that it had nothing to do with his gut.

    At 9 months, we tested his Gut Microbiome through an at home test from Tiny Health. A month later we got his results. 

    Bodie’s Tiny Health Gut Microbiome test results brought me to tears.. tears of JOY. I knew I was right. 

    I now get to see and understand the science going on inside my baby’s gut. AND they provided me with actionable results not to temporarily heal him with topical creams, but to get to the root cause.

    Mainly his results showed that Bifidobacterium infantis was absent in his gut and was dominated by another bacteria, Bacteroides fragilis which could be the cause of excessive gut lining degradation. 

    He also lacks Acetate, a short-chain fatty acids which helps in efficiently digesting HMOs which makes up 1/3 my breastmilk. Acetate also promotes “a low pH in the gut, which discourages the growth of unfriendly microbes.”

    All contributing to inflammatory conditions, and in Baby Bear’s case it showed up as eczema.

    Not only has Tiny Health confirmed my intuition that Bodie’s eczema was more than a skin thing, but they have provided me with an unbiased plan of action and the tools to help me address the findings. 

    I know there could be worse conditions that Bodie could have, but as his mom it is so sad and heartbreaking to see him suffer from his flare ups.. and every now and then I feel guilt for not being able to take it away. 

    Because of these actionable results, we are now able to pick out the probiotics with the RIGHT bacteria needed to help restore our baby’s gut. Not all probiotics are the same. I had been giving him probiotics with a blend of different bacteria when Baby Bear only needed to add in B. infantis.

    I just bought our new probiotics today, so stay tuned for an update!

    I really hope this helps you find the answers you need for your baby!

    I wish someone had educated me about the importance of understanding our gut microbiome before Baby Bear was born. I wish I knew about the “38 trillion tiny microbes that play an essential role in my immune development and overall health.” If you want to truly understand what is going on in your or your baby’s body, especially if outside symptoms have started to show, then getting your gut tested by Tiny Health is for you. Check out their page over here to get an even better understanding of them and how they differ from other testers.

    Use Coupon Code MIKKA20 for $20 off your first test kit.

    Tiny Health Research Edition:

    • Your purchase of the Tiny Health Gut Test (Research Edition) will contribute to microbiome science and advance research in childhood allergies.
    • This study is only open to people who have purchased Tiny Health baby gut tests. 
    • If you qualify, you will fill out surveys upon sampling and towards the end of the research period, as you’ll be a part of furthering allergy research.
    • Processed in a CLIA-certified lab and using proprietary technology, Tiny Health’s gut test provides strain-level precision and a complete list of all microbes in the gut microbiome including bacteria, fungi, virus, parasites, and archaea. R
    • Results will take 4-5 weeks to arrive.


    DISCLAIMERS. This blog is solely an expression and documentation of MY journey as a new mom. 

    This blog contains an affiliate coupon code, which means that if you use it, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to help support my family too!

  • What’s in my Lily Jade Caroline Diaper Bag?

    What’s in my Lily Jade Caroline Diaper Bag?

    This Caroline diaper bag made of vegan leather from Lily Jade fits a ton of things in it! Plus, you can attach different kinds of handles to carry it multiple ways. Here’s what I pack in my diaper bag on a normal trip out:

    .. and a mom pouch with contact lense solution, lip balm and tint
    .. and a picnic mat, muslin blanket, burp cloths, highchair cover in the car 🤦🏻‍♀️

    I try to be minimal but always feel like I pack a house when I leave. Who else is with me?

    #momlife #mommyproblems

  • BABYBJORN Carrier Free: Is it Worth it?

    BABYBJORN Carrier Free: Is it Worth it?

    If you haven’t seen my video yet, check it over here where I basically tell you what you are about to read about the BABYBJÖRN Carrier Free baby carrier.

    If you do not like watching videos then keep on reading because today, I am sharing with you my updated honest review on the BABYBJÖRN Carrier Free, the carrier we have been using four our baby since he was born until now that he is seven months old. 

    This blog is not sponsored by BABYBJÖRN, I just want to share all I can about my experience with this carrier, how to use it and some Pros & Cons.

    PRICE

    If you are buying your BABYBJÖRN Carrier Free straight from their website or from Amazon, you can get it at $159 + free shipping or Prime One-Day if you have Amazon Prime.

    Their website offers paying through After Pay which allows you to do four easy installments of about $40.

    KEY FEATURES & PROS

    Ergonomic

    This means it is designed to minimize physical discomfort. My husband and I have found this to be true for both parent and child. 

    PARENT: The carrier features back support, a waist belt and padded shoulder straps. However, if you are carrying baby for a long period of time like about two hours and haven’t brought awareness to your own posture, then you will start to feel discomfort in your back… depending on where you are not engaging.

    BABY: This carrier is also ergonomic for baby and provides the correct support for their back, legs and hips. The width of the seat area is adjustable so you are able to make sure baby sits comfortably. I like that this carrier has been classified as “hip-healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, provided you use it according to the instructions.You can also adjust the head and neck support to suit your baby perfectly. 

    User-friendly

    The BABYBJÖRN Carrier Free is simple to put on and take off, and the two-part design makes it easy to lift out your baby even if he or she is sleeping.

    The material they call 3D mesh which is made of 100% polyester, is super soft, flexible and promotes a lot of air flow. One of my favorite things as a dog owner is that it does not attract dog hair at all. It seems to repel dust and lint as well. So, even after multiple uses and placing this carrier basically wherever, it still looks super new and clean and retains its shape even after washing!

    Size Range

    You can use this carrier for babies 7 lbs up to 26 lbs or 21 to 33inches long… which means you can use it for your newborn till your child is about 15 months! Which is what I was looking for because I do not want to be buying multiple carriers for when baby is no longer a newborn. No extra infant insert is needed. It also has leg straps to reduce the size of the leg opening which are perfect for newborns. They suggest to use this for babies between 7 and 9 lbs.

    Carrying Face Out

    I love this feature as well. I think it is super fun to be able to do house chores and have our Baby Bear be able to join me! But please remember that your child has to be at least 5 to 6 months old and is able to hold his head up independently.

    MORE PROS

    1. I personally love BABYBJÖRN’s minimalistic, no fuss Swedish design and the quality of the material is so superior. They feel soft and gentle against your baby’s skin.
    2. Speaking of material.. All materials that come in contact with your child’s skin meet the requirements of OEKO-TEX Standard 100, Class 1 which means these materials are super safe for baby to taste and don’t require washing before use.
    3. Made in Sweden.
    4. Have been developed in cooperation with medical specialists. 
    5. Tested and safe according to European and American safety standards
    6. Machine washable and quick-drying..
    7. BABYBJÖRN also sells accessories that go with the carrier free: teething pads for the side which you would use when baby is facing in, a bib for when baby is facing out, and even a windproof cover to keep baby warm. 

    CONS

    1. If you are looking to carry your child on your back, this carrier is not for you. BABYBJÖRN recommends other of their carriers for this such as the Baby Carrier One, Baby Carrier One Air, or Baby Carrier Harmony 
    2. Teething pads do not stay in place well when not in use. When we hang the carrier with the pads they have fallen out. They also have fallen out while trying to wear the carrier with pads on.
    3. I ended up sewing the tags because they would stick out, and it was kind of annoying and I didn’t like the look of it, but not a deal breaker.
    4. Unlike other carriers, this one does not have a pocket for your stuff. Although this Con also did not bother me because I did not want to many bells and whistles with my carrier.

    CONCLUSION

    YES, the BABYBJÖRN Carrier Free is worth it!!!

    We love this carrier so much, that I went and got a second one in the color Anthracite which I gifted to my husband on our anniversary, so we no longer had to readjust the size to our bodies when we both used one carrier. 

    WHO IS THIS PRODUCT FOR

    If you are looking for a high quality, minimalist, easy to use and ergonomic carrier, then the BABYBJÖRN Carrier Free is for you! 

    Among all the carriers BABYBJÖRN has to offer, we picked the model Free because of the design of the back support, as well as its more friendly price. We didn’t mind that the age range was not so wide just because we do not plan on carrying our baby this way when he is 2-3 years old. I feel like that weight is just a lot to carry for me in general. Also, we do not mind that we are not able to carry our baby on our backs with the carrier since we are not hikers or outdoor explorers where this feature could come in handy.

    Let me know your thoughts on the BABYBJÖRN Carrier Free in the comment section below!


    DISCLAIMERS. This blog is solely an expression and documentation of MY journey as a new mom. 

    Cliché as it may be: our baby is different from your baby— all babies are different. My journey as a woman, wife & mother is different from yours— we are all different. My partnership with my baby looks different from your partnership— because surprise surprise, things are just different. I do not claim to be an expert in motherhood or being a wife. These are all my opinions, my own research and my own journey. 

    It is my hope that this blog helps you navigate yours a little bit easier. 

    This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to help support my family too!

  • My Top 3 Eco-friendly Non-Tox Diapers

    My Top 3 Eco-friendly Non-Tox Diapers

    If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that since having Baby Bear, I have slowly been making changes for a cleaner more eco-friendly toxic-free life. Ever since Earth day of 2022, I started with my first positive change: deciding to switch diapers.

    Here are the three diapers we love and use, and plan on doing so for as long as our baby bears need to be in nappies. FYI, we have tried a plethora of diapers, from the conventional popular brands at your local grocery store to a number of eco-friendly options online. These three + a bonus have worked the best for our Baby Bear and are ranked in no particular order.

    1. Ecoriginals

    An Australian diaper brand founded by a mom and dad in 2011. Their diapers are said to be the very first genuine biodegradable and plant-based. According to their site, they are the “world’s first and only plastic neutral diaper (and wipes) company…” One tree is planted for every order.

    Not only are they eco-friendly but they are very clean, containing ZERO plastic and ZERO chemicals. No phthalates. No fragrances. No dioxins. No bleach. No lotions. Only sustainably sourced wood pulp, pure cotton layers, tissue paper, non-GMO corn starch (for softness) come in contact with your baby’s sensitive skin.

    They have the following certifications: FSC, Derma-test, OEKO-TEX Confidence in Textiles.

    These fit our baby perfectly and we have not experienced any rashes, leaks or blow outs with Ecoriginals. Personally, I love that they have a simple design leaving the diaper mostly white. We have also tried their wet wipes, and I must say, that as someone who was very involve with the Water Wipes, the Ecoriginals wipes trumps it in all ways especially because of how eco-friendly they are.

    The diapers do not come with a wetness line indicator like most diapers, mostly because it is impossible for a non-toxic diaper to have that. Although a Con for others, it really isn’t a deal breaker since it is easy to tell when your baby’s diapers are full with these. They are puffier visually and to the touch when filled.

    Get $30 off your FIRST 6 Packs of Diapers here!

    2. GroVia Reusable Diapers

    Started in their founder’s laundry room, in 2008 Kim ” created a line of eco-friendly parenting products to solve the daily issues parents face while nurturing their babies, and developed The Natural Baby Company.” A year later, GroVia, an eco-friendly diapering system, was born. Their cloth diapers are fairly and conscientiously made in China.

    Among the four different types of diapers GroVia has to offer, we have tried the All in Ones (AIO) and the O.N.E.

    Our favorite, the AIO cloth diapers are not only Certified Organic by Eco Cert Greenlife, but also so easy to use. There is no separate diaper cover needed, no stuffing, no folding. This AIO diaper is one piece and fits to grow with your baby, which means you will not be needing to buy an extra set for when baby is a certain size range.

    It is able to do that with a number of snaps that adjust not just the width but the height of the diaper as well.

    Among all the cloth diapers and comparison tests done by other mamas, the GroVia AIOs seem to be the slimmest (least bulky) of all. It is by far the most convenient and budget friendly cloth diaper out there while being sustainable as well. With that being said, we however have experienced blow outs and leaks while Baby Bear used these diapers, even with the extra liner snapped on. Although the blow out may have happened because baby hadn’t pooped in days and these AIO have gotten the blow of it, we have experienced multiple leaks, small and big.. whether it be a leak coming from just the leg cuff area or the whole back of the waist.

    Now, Ive always wondered if it was an Us issue.. Did we just not put the GroVia on right? Maybe we used the wrong sizing for our baby.. which actually may have been the case because since expanding the diaper to its loosest height, we haven’t had any problems.

    If you are looking to have less items in your home and just want one kind of diapering system in your home or want to try out an easy way to cloth diaper or are in need of the slimmest cloth diapers (so baby can fit in his clothes right), Grovias may be for you. Personally, we still love ours despite the leaks, and will be keeping them even for future babies!

    Receive FREE SHIPPING on your order (minimum of $25) here!

    3. Esembly Reusable Diapers

    Launched in 2019, this women-owned diaper business is committed to sustainably grown, low-impact, high-quality ingredients and responsible manufacturing.

    Their organic diaper Inners are made from certified organic cotton grown responsibly in South Asia; and are made responsibly in Pakistan. The Outers are Oeko-Tex certified and responsibly made in China. The TPU fabric we use for our diaper covers and bags is made of 100% recycled yarn derived from post consumer plastic bottles.

    Unlike the Grovia, this has two parts to the diaper: an Inner and an Outer. The Inner layer, the one that touches baby’s skin and absorbs pee and poop, is made with absorbent soft, organic cotton that swaddles baby’s butt. The waterproof-yet-breathable Outer layer goes over the Inner to make one blowout-proof diaper. As a bonus, the Outer can also be used as a swim diaper! I love how Esembly has a variety of really fun and chic patterns, with colors that are just so beautiful together.. not tacky at all!

    In my opinion, although having two layers adds an extra step to diapering, it sure does ensure everything that needs to stay in the diaper, stays in the diaper. We have had ZERO rashes, ZERO leaks and ZERO blow-outs with Baby Bear using these reusable diapers.

    You will be needing to purchase two sets of the system if you start cloth diapering from the very beginning. Although, we did not have this problem since we waited for Baby Bear to be able to fit Esembly’s size 2 before we started this journey. Either way, you are still saving so much money versus buying disputable diapers.

    We love our Esembly set and have 14 Inners and 5 Outers, almost enough for a Full Time system.

    Get 15% off your first Esembly purchase here!

    BONUS. Dyper Disposable Diapers

    Bobby with our Baby Bear in his Dyper diaper at 1.5 months old.

    Founded in 2014 by dad Sergio, Dyper has become a game changer being the very first diaper subscription service delivering environmentally friendly chemical-free Bamboo diapers directly to your doorstep. (They do sell their diapers on Amazon now!)

    What caught my eye when we first started getting these after Baby Bear was done with the Newborn size was the material made of responsibly sourced Bamboo fibers and their Redyper service, although we ended up not availing of it since it cost extra ($50 per monthly box). I also love that their diapers are just plain white, so there is no unnecessary use of toxic dye to make it have characters on it. Dyper Diapers are “free of chlorine, latex, alcohol, lotions, TBT or Phthalates. They’re unprinted, unscented, soft to the touch, yet extremely durable and absorbent.”

    They have the following certifications: Standard 100 certified by OEKO TEX, Dermatest, Plastic Neutral, Certified BioBased. Dyper diapers are manufactured in China.

    When we used these, our baby pooped way more than he does now. So, we had experienced some blowouts with this diaper as well. But maybe just twice during the four months that we used this.

    The only reason we chose to stop using this brand was because we found a cheaper yet soft diaper that fit our baby better from Target. Although, that brand was not an exact or better alternative- it said it was luxury but not at all environment friendly or toxin-free. However, after being done with lowering our standards, I opted to start using organic cloth diapers and then found Ecoriginals disposables for when we go out.

    There you have it, our FAVORITE diapers we currently use on Baby Bear. We have tried almost every brand on the market with the help of free welcome boxes from registering in different baby registries, which I have a video about over here.

    Ecoriginals, Esembly and GroVia are the only diapers we use and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Shifting to mainly using cloth diapers has been a positive game changer for us. We are able to save SO MUCH more, use higher quality materials for our baby and be kinder to Mother Earth.

    What are your favorite eco-friendly low-top diapers to use on your babe?


    DISCLAIMERS. This blog is solely an expression and documentation of MY journey as a new mom. 

    Cliché as it may be: our baby is different from your baby— all babies are different. My journey as a woman, wife & mother is different from yours— we are all different. My partnership with my baby looks different from your partnership— because surprise surprise, things are just different. I do not claim to be an expert in motherhood or being a wife. These are all my opinions, my own research and my own journey. 

    It is my hope that this blog helps you navigate yours a little bit easier. 

    This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to help support my family too!

  • My Top 10 Baby Summer Must Haves

    My Top 10 Baby Summer Must Haves

    You are here probably because you’ve seen my Baby Summer Must Haves reel on Instagram and want the list and coupon codes of the items I mentioned. Some include affiliate links and some discount codes. This just means that by purchasing through these links at no cost for you, I get credited for it which supports my channel and blog. So, here they are!

    1. sunblock– Badger Baby
    2. sleeveless onesies, shortsColored Organics discount code: MIKKA15
    3. UPF50+ Sunsuit– SwimZip, swim diaper– Will & Fox
    4. UPF50+ hat– SwimZip, bucket hat or baseball cap
    5. unbreakable sunnies -Roshambo discount code: MOM15
    6. forage teether– Moss and Fawn
    7. portable fan
    8. Pop N Go playpen– California Beach Co.
    9. car sun shade– Munchkin Brica
    10. outdoor inflatable pool with shade– Homech from Walmart


    DISCLAIMERS. This blog is solely an expression and documentation of MY journey as a new mom. 

    Cliché as it may be: our baby is different from your baby— all babies are different. My journey as a woman, wife & mother is different from yours— we are all different. My partnership with my baby looks different from your partnership— because surprise surprise, things are just different. I do not claim to be an expert in motherhood or being a wife. These are all my opinions, my own research and my own journey. 

    It is my hope that this blog helps you navigate yours a little bit easier. 

    This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to help support my family too!

  • My Lactation Station

    My Lactation Station

    You are here probably because you’ve already seen my Breastfeeding Pumping Station video on YouTube and want the list of the items I mentioned. So, I will keep this short and simple. I will be listing down all the important items I have mentioned which will include affiliate links and some discount codes. This just means that by purchasing through these links at no cost for you, I get credited for it which supports my channel and blog! Here we go!

    1. Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump
    2. Medela Bottle
    3. Dr. Brown’s Options+ Anti-colic Nipple
    4. Medela Milk Storage Bags
    5. KeaBabies Nipple Pads
    6. Lamp from Tj Maxx
    7. Boobie Bark Snacks (15% off using code MIKKAJ15)
    8. Munchkin Lactation Cookies
    9. Boobie Superfoods Hydromom (15% off using code MIKKAJ15)
    10. Purifyou Milk Catchers/ Nipple Shields
    11. Pillows
    12. Boppy Pillow
    13. Foot Stool
    14. 64oz Water Jug
    15. Lansinoh Therapearl Breast Therapy
    16. Medela Tender Care Hydrogel
    17. Raw by Roque Perineal & Nipple Balm
    18. Dumpling Night Light


    DISCLAIMERS. This blog is solely an expression and documentation of MY journey as a new mom. 

    Cliché as it may be: our baby is different from your baby— all babies are different. My journey as a woman, wife & mother is different from yours— we are all different. My partnership with my baby looks different from your partnership— because surprise surprise, things are just different. I do not claim to be an expert in motherhood or being a wife. These are all my opinions, my own research and my own journey. 

    It is my hope that this blog helps you navigate yours a little bit easier. 

    This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to help support my family too!

  • Our Basic Newborn Must-Haves

    Our Basic Newborn Must-Haves

    Here is my extensive list of Minimalist Newborn Must Haves. If you haven’t seen my video on it, scroll to the bottom and you will find it there! This list may have a bit more information and brands mentioned just in case you wanted to know a bit more of the specifics of our journey with our newborn. Don’t forget to check out my condensed version of this with more details on our diaper journey over here.

    I truly hope this list helps you make a more informed decision on which products will work best for you and your baby!


    #1 WHAT BABY REALLY NEEDS

    • Your Love & Care
    • Milk
    • Clean Diapers (started with a variety of smaller packs of NB diapers to see which fit our baby best)

    #2 SAFETY FOR BABY

    #3 CONVENIENCE FOR EVERYONE

    #4 CLOTHING (weather appropriate)

    #5 SLEEP

    1. Swaddle from hospital or other blanket swaddles- 3 weeks, it was great since we got to practice swaddling at the hospital then do it at home, kicking possible suffocation hazard- FREE 
    2. Swaddle Me– 7-14 pounds/ 26 inches, but i dunno if ours shrunk because he outgrew it so quickly, $33 for 3 pcs, 3 stages, others 0-6 for $25 material isnt high quality
    3. Halo Sleepsack– $25, 0-6 months, loved it, but arms out 
    4. *Halo Swaddle– $25, comparable to the dreamland without the weight, but we did not try it
    5. Ollie Swaddle– Great Material Oeko Tex certified, grows with baby, the velcro enclosure reminds me of the inside of the Dreamland Baby, perfect for controlling Moro reflex but I noticed our baby’s legs had started escaping and at some occasions esp at night this would bother him- $59
    6. Dreamland Baby Weighted Sleep Sack & Swaddle $89 + free shipping- our FAVORITE swaddle
    • Sound machine- Hatch
    • Pacifier- MAM (we started with the one from the hospital, then tried out the free ones from baby registry welcome gifts)
    • Black out curtains

    #6 TOYS

    Make sure to read my blog about Baby Bear’s favorite toys during this stage over here.

    • Lovevery “The Looker Playkit”– you really don’t need much toys especially during this stage, but having educational age-appropriate toys that helped our baby with his development which is mostly visual in this newborn stage has been very useful. So subscribing to the lovevery kit has been so convenient for us and up until now Bodie has been playing with these toys.  Not to mention Spirals, which has helped a lot during diaper changes.
    • Black and white cards / books
    • Mobiles- MontiKids (Get $75 off using this link) or DIY

    #7 CIRCUMCISION & BUTT CARE

    • Petroleum jelly*
    • Gauze*

    *get as much as you can from the hospital

    #8 MAMA AND HOME

    #9 MILK- breastfeeding & pumping


    DISCLAIMERS. This blog is solely an expression and documentation of MY journey as a new mom. 

    Cliché as it may be: our baby is different from your baby— all babies are different. My journey as a woman, wife & mother is different from yours— we are all different. My partnership with my baby looks different from your partnership— because surprise surprise, things are just different. I do not claim to be an expert in motherhood or being a wife. These are all my opinions, my own research and my own journey. 

    It is my hope that this blog helps you navigate yours a little bit easier. 

    This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to help support my family too!

  • Top 10 Newborn “Must-Haves”

    Top 10 Newborn “Must-Haves”

    I still remember how it felt to have mentally absorbed that we were pregnant and was ready to learn about all we could possibly need for our baby. There are so many resources from blogs, lists to videos, and as informative as they all are, it can get overwhelming.

    So as I promised in My Newborn Must Haves video on YouTube, here are my Top 10 favorite newborn essentials.

    I cannot stress enough that my essentials may look completely different than what you may actually need. This just worked out for our family and our lifestyle. If you are an expectant mama or brand new mama looking for the bare minimum of what you could possibly need to prepare for your baby, this list is for you. This list is arranged in no specific order of importance.

    1. Diapers
    2. Wipes
    3. Source of Milk (Lactation Consultant)
    4. Safe Sleeping Space: Bassinet
    5. Burp Cloth
    6. Swaddle
    7. Carseat & Stroller
    8. Baby Carrier/ Wrap
    9. Clothes
    10. Electric Nail File

    1. Diapers

    We all know why we would need these, right? I think it is common for many to ask a bunch of these in their baby registries. We did not do that, and we have no regrets.

    Here is list of diapers we have tried:

    Initially we were very banked on using the brand Dyper, which are supposed to be the most sustainable and chemical-free diapers out there. However, we weren’t sure how they would actually work and fit on our baby. Not to mention they were subscription-based when we were having our baby, so it would be tough if we were stuck with hundreds of this brand and it didn’t work well for us.

    I am also glad that we bought a variety of small packs of diaper brands to test out on our baby to see which worked best on him. We started with using all the Huggies diapers we got from the hospital and baby registry welcome gifts, then all the extra Pampers our friend gave us, then Dyper, then Honest. We tested out Coterie as well by getting their sample pack. Lastly, we tried and stuck with Millie Moon diapers from target.

    2. Wipes

    We received a lot of different kinds of samples of wipes from the welcome boxes received from creating registries. If you are interested in seeing what else we got, make sure to check out my video on YouTube. My favorite wipes by far are the Water Wipes which are 99.9% water and contain nothing else but water and grape seed extract.

    3. Source of Milk

    Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, your baby will need some kind of milk! All I can say about this for now, is that if you are a first time mama and will be breastfeeding, I HIGHLY recommend hiring a lactation consultant. I am glad insurance completely covered ours, because I was also hesitant to hire one. Hire one a month or two before your due date, so she can add you to her list and will be ready to be of service a few days after baby is born. Also, my hubby and I made use of the free lactation consultant visits at the hospital during our stay. Our delivery nurse was fantastic and helped me and Baby Bear start our journey of breastfeeding. Without these women, I probably wouldn’t be breastfeeding well or at all now!

    4. Safe Sleeping Space

    Baby Bear has been on an interesting sleep journey where he has slept in a bassinet, a crib and now his crib mattress on the floor. The bassinet was where he started after we came home from the hospital and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We used the Moses bassinet on a rocker stand from Design Dua, and it served us well. There are many kinds out there where you could keep it right beside your bed, but I did not want that. I also didn’t mind getting out of bed, going to the bassinet and sitting on a chair when doing multiple feedings in the night.

    5. Burp Cloth

    This old school style of burp cloth is truly our favorite. If you are a minimal mama like me, I would rather have something with multiple purposes than have multiple things. We use this for wiping baby’s spit up, for our shoulders when burping, for sponge baths and to pat baby dry after. Oh, not to mention a bra protector when breastfeeding and a towel to pat dry my nipple after feeding!

    6. Swaddle

    You will be using aa lot of these at the hospital, and honestly we took some. We took two blanket swaddles which we used for the first two weeks. Although we had the Halo and Ollie Swaddles, this is how we started because this what we learned at the hospital and what Baby Bear was used to.

    However, our ultimate swaddle winner is Dreamland Baby’s weighted swaddle & sleep sack mainly because of its superb quality and beads quilted into them. We have found our baby to have his best sleeps when in this! (Use my coupon code MIKKA15 for 15% off your purchase!)

    7. Carseat & Stroller

    In this day and age, I think these are non-negotiable. By law, you need a carseat to take baby around in your car. And for me, a stroller is one of the most ingenious inventions that make our lives as parents so much easier! We chose to use the Agio Z4 by Peg Perego mainly because of its superb and incomparable quality and it’s 5-year warranty. We though these wold be very important since we knew we want more than one kiddo.

    8. Baby Carrier

    Another lifesaver for parents, well mainly for mom. I am all for carrying babies, especially during the fourth trimester when baby is still getting used to his new life outside mama’s womb. Wearing our Baby Bear helped me go about my new life hands-free while still satisfying the cuddles he needed. This also helped him with his daytime naps.

    If I remember correctly, I wore him during 3 day time naps and had him in his bassinet the rest of the naps (and bedtime of course). We love the Baby Bjorn Carrier Free so much that I got my husband his own for our anniversary! Although quite pricey, I found it to be worth it and love the airy material that doesn’t catch lint or dog hair! Watch out for second hand websites, like Mercari or Poshmark since they have good deals on carriers like this.

    I also tried using a Solly Wrap the first two months with baby, but truly found a carrier with form to be the most convenient for me.

    9. Clothes

    It goes without saying.. we all need clothes. Just the right amount. Zippers are our friends, multiple buttons are our enemies. Do not buy too many Newborn sized clothes. Onesies are the best.

    10. Electric Nail File

    This one may sound like such a random item but it is not. Cutting baby’s nails is one of the scariest and ickiest tasks that no parent wants to do. But with the help of this electric nail file, getting rid of long nails is a breeze and almost fun. We had no idea about this, and I started out filing baby’s nails with an adult nail file (because the baby ones suck!) Not until this company reached out and offered to have us try it out, I realized how this was definitely a necessity.

    Because we live in such a modern world, there’s really so much cool stuff out there that make parenthood so much better. So, here are five more BONUS must haves I just couldn’t leave out.

    1. Sound Machine
    2. Breast Pump
    3. Milk Storage Bags
    4. Nipple Butter
    5. Stain Remover

    11. Sound Machine

    This Hatch sound machine helped us tremendously in putting our baby to sleep. Essentially the white noise is supposed to mimic the sound babies hear when they were in mama’s womb. Hence, they are conditioned to feel comfort by the sound of this muffled noise.

    12. Breast Pump

    If you plan on breast feeding, the breast pump can be a friend in many ways. My Medela Pump in Style came very handy in helping create a demand for my breast milk. Simply put, the supply of breast milk will depend on the demand. The more demand, the more supply. For me, pumping helped mainly in two ways, to relieve my really full boob from some milk and to be able to store some in the freezer because trust me the frozen supply came in handy during unforeseen times that Mama Bear needed to be out without baby during feedings. It also gave my husband the chance to feed my milk using a bottle.

    13. Milk Storage Bags

    If you are storing breast milk.. for whatever reason you have, these milk storage bags will come in handy. There are a lot of videos about which bag is best, but honestly I took the leap of faith and used the Medela milk storage bags since we were using Medela bottles and the pump already. After almost five months of using these, I still have no complaints. I usually store 3.5oz in each bag max (even though it can hold up to 6oz, just because this is the average my baby drinks out of a bottle, if we need more and I am home, in addition I just feed him from the breast. If I am not home, then we get from another bag. I also have some bags with just and ounce or two in them because that’s what I was able to pump at that time.

    14. Nipple Butter

    Because I am all for organic, clean and high quality ingredients, I decided to make a nipple butter myself. If you didn’t know, I have a small business, Raw byRoque, where I sell certified vegan and cruelty-free soaps and other body products. Ac couple of my favorite things about this butter is that all the ingredients are safe for baby and for ingestion (not that I recommend eating this butter!) What this means to Mama is that this saves your nipples from cracking and you do not need to wipe it off before feeding baby (also, it is easily absorbed by your skin anyway!) Also, this can double as a Baby Booty Butter as well!

    15. Stain Remover

    We did not have this Puracy Stain Remover till we had our first blow out a week after Baby Bear was born. Our super duper awesome neighbor helped us clean out the stain and gifted us with this natural stain remover. We have ordered a bunch ourselves since then. It does exactly what it needs to do with the bonus of being made with plant enzymes.

    That is all folks. I tried my hardest to keep this as short as possible while giving you my honest and unprofessional insight as a first time mama who likes to live a bit simple, use things useful and keep things classy. Let me know your thoughts on my essentials and please do share what you have found super important in your newborn journey in the comment section below!

    If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so you get notified when new posts come in and I promise you will not be spammed because Mama does not have time for marketing emails. Check out my YouTube channel where I share some tips, product reviews and vlogs to hopefully be of help to you and your new mamahood journey!


    DISCLAIMERS. This blog is solely an expression and documentation of MY journey as a new mom. 

    Cliché as it may be: our baby is different from your baby— all babies are different. My journey as a woman, wife & mother is different from yours— we are all different. My partnership with my baby looks different from your partnership— because surprise surprise, things are just different. I do not claim to be an expert in motherhood or being a wife. These are all my opinions, my own research and my own journey. 

    It is my hope that this blog helps you navigate yours a little bit easier. 

    This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to help support my family too!