Filed under: Checklists
Raising Multiples: Tips From a Mother of Quads

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My husband and I welcomed four babies into the world last August. We already had a one-year-old son who was the love of our lives and is now a big brother to four more little loves. Although there’s a lot more on our to-do lists and life is hectic our world has changed in the best way! With the support of our friends, family, and each other, my husband and I are raising five little ones together.

Honest asked me to share what surprised me most about having multiples, and I guess it’s not really a surprise, or shouldn’t be, but I’m surprised that I barely have any time to sit down, or finish a cup of coffee, or eat lunch. I’m going practically nonstop from the time I wake up. Even on the days I have help! There’s just always something that needs to be done. Actually, there’s always lots of somethings to be done! I’m so glad we prepared ahead of time! Of course, you can never fully prepare for everything four babies require but planning was our best friend before the babies arrived.

I wrote a blog post in December about our experiencing having quads. In the more than five months since I had them, we’ve learned a lot. Below are some tips for parents expecting multiples, or anyone expecting.

For any soon-to-be parent of multiples, here is what I’ve learned:

  • Get as much organized as possible before they arrive. Most multiples arrive early, and many women end up on bed rest, or in the hospital as I did. We were in the process of moving when I landed in the hospital, so it was up to my husband and my mother-in-law to wash, fold, and organize all the baby clothes, towels etc. And don’t bank on a long NICU stay to give you time to get ready. Ours were home a lot faster than we thought. (Not that it’s a bad thing!!)
  • I created a binder to log sleep, feedings, diaper changes, medications, milestones, and notes because mommy brain is terrible. I bring it to the pediatrician so she can see how they are doing and I don’t have to remember.
  • I also made a schedule for the babies. I read some child-rearing books and I scoured the internet for other quad moms and moms of multiples to see what they did. Basically, everyone said getting them on a schedule is the most important thing. The NICU kept them on a schedule so when they came home it was easy to continue what they had started.
  • Accept help! Everyone told me this, and I just blew them off because I don’t like accepting help or asking for it. But I accepted help from my mom and a family friend who wanted to each come one day per week to help, and those are my favorite days of the week! Also, accept offers to babysit. I wrote down whoever had offered to help and when they were available. But nothing was scheduled until the babies got home because we had no idea what to expect, or how much help we would need. But you need to get out, even if it’s just to walk around Target, or to go on a date with your husband. Or if you have another child, it’s great if someone watches the quads so you can spend time with your older child.
  • Make sure you have a game plan with your husband as to what each of your duties are, and what kind of schedule you are going to keep. For us, we are both up at night when the quads are up, but you may want to take turns to give someone some continuous sleep. In our family, we agreed beforehand that he would continue to play ice hockey, and I would continue to play soccer as soon as I was able. It’s so important for us to be able to get out and relieve some stress with sports! I have also enjoyed time out with my girlfriends, thanks to my wonderful husband, and that is priceless to me. It’s easy to be consumed with your mommy duties, and forget about your fun away from all that!
  • As far as buying baby supplies ahead of time, we already had a lot of stuff from when our son was a baby but we knew we needed just more of everything. I got bottles off Freecycle, and my sister loaned us all of her baby stuff like Boppy, Exersaucer, bouncy chair, etc. We were given tons of clothes, and also received bedding, blankets, cribs and seats from friends who wanted to help. Due to the generosity of so many around us, we really didn’t have to buy much.  Just bottle nipples really. The most important things to have around are bottles, burp cloths, diapers, wipes, and clothes.
  • Most importantly, try to go into this experience with an open mind, and lots of flexibility! As much as you try to plan, things don’t always work out the way you thought, and things change along the way. Be open to switching things up. That being said, you will get a lot of advice, and people will say a lot of things to you that may have you second guessing yourself or making you feel as though you have to defend your parenting choices. Try to stick to what you believe in, and don’t let others make you change what you feel is right. This to me is the hardest part.

You can read more about Kerry’s life with quads on her blog, Quads Make It Seven

Here’s How Honest Can Help You With Your 2014 Resolutions

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It’s day 3 of the New Year – how are you faring so far on your resolutions? Although sometimes difficult, change can actually be a lot of fun! Setting a goal, like using safer products in your home, taking better care of your health, or starting a new hobby are enjoyable challenges to tackle. When you set reasonable goals, it’s rewarding to see those to-dos on your list get checked-off. And since this is the time of year many people embark on these new goals and strive for a fresh start, we thought it would be fun to give you some additional ideas to add to help you accomplish your 2014 resolutions.

 

1. Resolving to live greener and less toxic? Swap out your cleaning products!

We love household cleaners that really get the job done well. It’s always more fun to cook in a clean kitchen than a dingy one! But it’s important that your products are both effective and safe for your family. Did you know the average household contains anywhere from three to 25 gallons of toxic materials, most of which are in cleaners? At Honest, we’ve researched every ingredient that goes into our cleaning products to ensure these items are safe for your family. If you hold your breath while spraying cleaning products, or wear gloves while scrubbing, the chemicals you’re using are likely too harsh and potentially dangerous to your health. Try swapping harsh cleaners with eco-friendly and non-toxic Honest products! Here are some to start with:

  • Multi-Surface Cleaner: This non-toxic coconut-derived formula uses natural ingredients that work as disinfectants. And it leaves your kitchen smelling like fresh grapefruit — yum!
  • 4-in-1 Laundry Packs: There’s no need for multiple products with these pods! The gentle and non-toxic cleaning agents fight stains, brighten and soften clothing. And perhaps best of all, these pods are hypoallergenic so they’re gentle on all skin types and safe for babies’ clothes.
  • Dish soap: Our dish soap is plant based, non-toxic, and pH neutral — plus, it gets very sudsy! This soap can also be used as hand soap, or to wash your dog or car – talk about pulling its weight!
  • Bathroom Cleaner: Our non-toxic bathroom cleaner fights grime with ethyl alcohol — one of the eco-friendliest, safest, most effective cleaning agents available. It’s free of ammonia, synthetic fragrance, sodium hydroxide, and other nasty ingredients you don’t want to be around.

 

2. Resolving to eat healthier? Follow our blog for quick and easy recipes and try our supplements to fill your nutritional gaps.

Every week on our blog we share things like expert nutrition advice and family-friendly, healthy recipes. Still, as much as we strive to eat healthy and organic, sometimes we can’t get all the nutrients our body needs — especially when we’re working out regularly, which adds an extra nutrition tax on our bodies! Honest’s supplements are ultra-pure, made with whole-foods ingredients, and don’t contain many nasty ingredients like fillers, binders, and artificial flavors. We strive to be transparent and keep you informed with product changes and general health information (Check out this handy post about percent daily values labels). Here are a couple of Honest’s supplements and what they can do for you:

  • DHA/Omega-3 Formula: Particularly great for expectant mothers, this blend of ultra-purified fish oils is critical for fetal development. Even for women who aren’t expecting, these vitamins can help improve your mood and mental acuity, as well as make your nails strong and give your hair gorgeous shine!
  • Prenatal Multi-vitamins: This premium formula contains Vitamin D, high potency folic acid, Iron,probiotics, ginger to ease nausea, and more. And you can rest easy since these vitamins are free of binders, fillers, allergens, gluten, preservatives, artificial flavors, and many other potentially risky ingredients.

 

3.       Resolving to spend more quality time with the kids? Get crafty together.

Kids love ‘em and you’ll love ‘em, too! DIY projects and crafts are a great way to involve the entire family in exercising your creative skills. Not only does crafting time feel like family play time for everyone, but you can make some pretty cool things to give as gifts for birthdays and as hostess presents. We publish a DIY every other Wednesday, so keep your eyes peeled for some fun, new DIYS in 2014! Here are some of our most-viewed DIY blog posts from 2013:

  • Make a gallery wall by framing your kids’ artwork, family photos, or in our case, displaying our adorable diaper patterns.
  • Homemade and kid-safe finger paint lets little ones get messy and creative – so much fun! And you don’t have to worry about them being around any unhealthy chemicals.
  • At Honest, we know one of the best ways to keep outdoor pollution from entering your home is by removing your shoes at the door. This whimsical DIY shoe tray reminds your family and guests to slip off their shoes when they enter your home.
  • Do an at-home spa treatment or make these lip scrubs as gifts for friends. They contain a few simple ingredients, like sugar, coconut oil, and Honest Healing Balm.
  • This festive DIY garland is a great project for the whole family. The one in this DIY post was made for winter time, but really you can use this pattern and whatever colors you want to make it work year-round for whatever holiday you’re celebrating (this would also be a fun decoration for kids’ birthday parties!).

We hope these resolutions inspired you to set some new goals for 2014! Tell us, what are your resolutions for this year? How can Honest help?  

 

The Honest Company’s Resolutions For 2014

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Happy New Year! Thanks to your support, we had an amazing 2013. We’re so proud of all the safe and family-friendly products we developed and everything we accomplished to make the world a little better. We’re looking forward to doing more in the New Year. And in the spirit of the New Year, we thought it would be fun to share with you our resolutions for 2014:

  • Do more “Honest to Goodness” initiatives with bigger impacts. The Honest staff participates in at least one volunteer project each month to help families in our local community (we write a blog post about these events every third Tuesday of the month!). This year, we’d like to make an even bigger impact, participating in and organizing larger volunteer events — and we’d love for you to get involved, too! We’re also looking at organizing one-for-one type promotions, so when you buy one product, we donate one to someone in need.
  • Do more to make your life easier. Our goal is to be your one-stop shop for non-toxic, eco-friendly, effective, beautifully designed family essentials. We do the research, so you don’t have to. We deliver, so you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. We happily support you because it takes a village to raise a child! In the coming year, you can expect to see more products for moms, dads, and baby (like deodorant and baby powder to keep your whole family feeling fresh!), and more tools to help you on your parenting journey.
  • Do more to do better every single day. Based on your feedback, we have many product improvements in the pipeline (like boosting the bubble levels in our bubble bath and hand soap for extra clean, foamy fun!). Keep emailing and calling us with your comments, questions, and recommendations! We’re always grateful for your insights that help us make our current products and services even better. Your families and stories are our inspiration!

We look forward to a wonderful 2014 with you!

 

What would you like to see The Honest Company do in 2014?

Honest Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

These small gifts are big on fun! The little trinkets that fill stockings can be just as entertaining and enjoyable as the larger presents. Check out our list of various goodies for all ages and interests!

gift guide stocking stuffer

 

1.  The health enthusiast in your life will enjoy Tinke — a gadget for iOS that measures four health parameters. Just plug it into an iOS device, download the app, put your thumb on Tinke, and it can read heart rate, blood oxygen level, respiratory rate, and heart rate variability.

2. National Geographic’s Stellarscope Star Finder is the perfect stocking stuffer for the amateur astronomer or anyone who wants to learn more about the night sky. This scope has a star map that can be aligned with the actual sky as it appears in your location at that moment.

3. Now here’s a product that the spa lover — or anyone with sensitive skin — will appreciate. This bath ball and filter from Gaiam eliminates chlorine from water, which can cause hair to be brittle and color to fade.

4. Kids can create their own mini planetarium with this kit from GreenKidCrafts. Using recycled materials and a flashlight pen, kids can observe constellations as they project them onto a wall.

5. These adorable Woodland Nightlights are made of ceramic and operate with a battery-powered LED light.

6. Let imaginations run wild with this well-designed mask from Moulin Roty. The “Leonard the Fox Mask” measures 5-by-7 inches and is a perfect stocking stuffer.

7. These set of three organic lavender sachets can be placed into drawers to give-off a relaxing scent. Made using  natural linen blend, tied with a sable brown jute twine, and filled with USA-grown organic lavender flowers, these sachets make a great stocking stuffer for every adult on your list.

Have a few more stockings to stuff? Our lip balm, baby teether, bubble bath, and bear hat make honestly sweet choices your family will love.

Honest Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts that Give Back

It couldn’t be easier to share holiday cheer while making a positive difference with these gifts that give back. The presents we found support or fund various social and charitable efforts, so your gift recipient not only gets a cool new item, but you both can feel good knowing your purchase also helped a worthy cause.

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1. This gray chevron table runner from TOMS Marketplace benefits JOYN, an organization that provides medical care, employment, and educational opportunities to artisans in the Himalayas.

2. Beautiful and stylish, this Shiro Meda Collection Scarf is made by Connected in Hope, an organization that creates sustainable job opportunities, work-life balance, and support for female weavers and their families in Ethiopia.

3. This iPad protector and organizer from Stone+Cloth comes in a variety of colors; we’re fond of the one shown here in “Pacific.” The sale of this case will help fund scholarships for students in need.

4. This 6-coaster set made from sustainable mango wood features a flowering vine design. It’s available on Mela Artisans, an online store that helps support small groups of artisans around the world.   

5. The purchase of this crossbody bag with ikat print and leather trim will help support women artisans in Guatemala.

6. Handcrafted by indigenous artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico, the Magnificent Mercado Bag is woven from 50% recycled plastic on a traditional wooden box frame. The sale of this waterproof bag, shown here in aqua and gold, benefits women artisans.

We know you care passionately about helping the community, so any purchases you also make through Honest this season helps us donate time, money, and product to charitable organizations that address critical health and social issues affecting children and families.

Tell us about a gift you’ve received in the past that benefits a charity.