Here's something I've always wondered about sunscreen: if you're using it to protect your skin, why would you use a sunscreen on your skin that's filled with chemicals? After all, your skin absorbs every ingredient you put on it.

'This is my reasoning for using sunscreens on both myself and my toddler that contain non-chemicals such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or a combination of both. I also look for a sunscreen that is free from preservatives such as pthalates, sulfates, paraben or PABA, an acid that can lead to skin irritation. Finally, my ideal sunscreen has to be fragrance free (because who wants to attract yet more insects during summer months??) and easy to spread on my always in motion toddler.

If you're looking for all the same things in your sunscreen as me, a winning formula is Babyganics Pure Mineral Sunscreen. Now, you may have noticed that I write often about Babyganics. To start, the brand has such a vast array of products for all your family's needs that it's great to help readers keep up to date on all the latest; and second, the brand aligns with what I value for my family: natural, non-toxic, and family-friendly. They have useful products for all seasons (and all reasons!) and right now, I'm all about a great sunscreen.

Babyganics contains half titainum dioxide and half zinc oxide, so your kids get full spectrum coverage the natural way. It's SPF 30 and water resistant for 40 minutes (so be sure to reapply after a dip in the pool!).

And very importantly, it did not cause skin problems on my son's very sensitive skin. I'm a fan!

Tell me, what are your thoughts on natural sunscreens vs. chemical-based ones? I'd love to know!
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Luke loves his time in the sand, so I always keep Pure Mineral Sunscreen on hand!
 
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Being the first-time mom of a toddler boy, I've learned a couple things; one) never wear a white shirt  when you have to be anywhere important with your toddler; and two) never put your little boy in a white shirt unless you have plans to use it for an arts and crafts project.

Still, messes will happen no matter what you're wearing, and since you can't put your toddler in a burka, you're going to need to carry wipes...and plenty of 'em.  I'm a big fan of the Babyganics brand because they have such a great assortment of head-to-toe kid (and parent) personal care and household must-haves. I was definitely psyched to try out their Fine and Handy wipes, since I could see them becoming a must-have in the diaper bag, car, kitchen drawer, under the pillow...you get the drift.

So let's see what 18-month-old Luke thought about them, since he would be the main subject of the wiping:

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"I don't know...will these really clean off the food that's still caked on my face from two meals ago?"

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"Hey, pretty cool- the package says there's no chlorine, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or stinky fragrances!"

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"Good thing too, because not only am I going to clean my mouth with this wipe, I'm also going to eat it for dessert!"












Success!!!
If I can get Luke to wipe his own face, then we're onto something good here.  Mommy is pleased; the only thing that seems to be missing is a directive on the package telling Luke to wipe his own butt. Oh well, you can't have everything...

 
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They say the key to a peacefully sleeping baby is a good bedtime routine. 
That's why Mommy's Bliss, maker of the much-loved Gripe Water for colic, gas, and tummy issues, has come up with a new line designed to become part of your baby's wind-down process. The Sweet Slumber products are perfect for every step of  baby's bedtime. I decided to give them a try on my very non-peaceful teething  toddler.
 
I started with Sweet Slumber Baby Wash, a 3-in-1 bubble bath, shampoo and 
body wash, in the tub. FYI, I love that it's free of alcohol, sulfates,  phthalates and parabens, so you can feel safe about your little one sitting in
a  bathtub full of it. The scent of Lavender, Chamomile and Ylang Ylang is
subtle  enough that it didn't smell fake or overpowering.  My toddler's very
sensitive skin had no reaction.
 
Next, it was PJ time. I rubbed a little bit of Sweet Slumber Massage Cream 
onto his arms and legs. Since I started the massage thing late in the game,
he's not so into it- he thinks we're trying to bother him with medicine, not relax him. Still, I  enjoyed how soft my hands felt after. Might have to get Daddy to use this  massage cream on Mommy !
 
Finally, I spritzed Sweet Slumber Mist into the middle of his bedroom. It's 
 supposed to create a calm and familiar bedroom enviornment through smell.
Loved the gentle, non-chemical smell. I felt like I was
breathing in natural lavendar. In fact, I liked this spray so much, I've started  to spray my own sheets with it every night.
 
  The verdict: While I didn't necessarily see any change in habits from dear
  teething toddler, this mommy certainly enjoyed the subtle, relaxing fragrances
  and has started using the products on herself. If you like the idea of baby skincare that can double as mom-time
  products, you can feel good about how natural this line is. Give it a shot on your little one!

See how a real mom uses the Sweet Slumber Bedtime Routine!
 
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No one wants to see their little one in pain. When they can't tell you what's wrong, but you know it's something going on with their tummy, grab Mommy's Bliss Gripe Water. This all natural remedy for colic, gas, and other tummy discomforts is safe, effective, and trusted by enough moms to make it the number #1 selling gripe water. I've found it effective for the upset tummy my guy gets from teething. It also makes me feel good to know I'm not giving him nasty, artificial ingredients. My reco? Add this to your arsenal of baby must-haves in the medicine cabinet.

 
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I have a one year old, and my eyes tell the story of the last year. Crinkles, wrinkles and bags aren't just toys for my little boy- they're under my eyes!
For months, I've been looking for a solution to make me look closer to I did in the days when 8 hours sleep was an average, not a daydream. I've tried numerous top-selling eye creams, but was sadly disappointed each time. I know only sleep can make you look like you've slept, but there's gotta be something that can at least help a mom out a little, right? Enter Dermagist Eye Revolution Gel. This cosmeceutical level product uses a secret combiantion of peptides to depuff, lighten up, and smooth out lines around the eyes.

I was skeptical at first: the gel felt too light and refreshing to seem like it would do much. I've been trained by the beauty industry to believe the thicker, heavier creams are the ones with the most "power". I've been using it for a week, and I have to say, it's possible that I might look like maybe I have slept a bit more ! ( I haven't.) My eyes are less puffy, and the dark circles slightly less prominent. I'm excited to check back after a months' use!

You can try Dermagist Eye Revolution Get too- for free! Simply leave a comment here about why you want to try Dermagist, and like Dermagist on Facebook.

Learn more at dermagist.com.


 
As a first time mom, I'm admittedly a little bit obsessed with cleanliness. If I could strap a bottle of hand sanitizer to my baby with a sign that says "please use before touching", I probably would. (Hmm, note to self: business idea.) I've tried numerous types of saniziter lately, and unfortunately, my constant use  has caused some extra dried out hands (and an  eye-rolling husband). I was excited to try BabyGanics the Germinator because many hand sanitizers have chemicals that make  you wonder if germs are better for your baby than the stuff you're putting on your hands to prevent them!

BabyGanics was created by  two dads who wanted a "green option" for their growing families. All BabyGanics products are all-natural, and safe to use around babies. The Germinator kills germs naturally, and without drying alcohol. What I immediately liked about the Germinator  was that my hands didn't feel like dried out corn husks after using it. I loved that there wasn't any chemcial smelling fragrance to the product. The foamy consistency was a nice change from liquids and gels, plus I could use less product and get the same amount of effectiveness. BabyGanics is definitely a brand I'll continue to use; I plan to keep a bottle of this stuff in the diaper bag, car, and by the changing table. I'm glad I can continue to indulge in my new mom germ obsession by keeping around a sanitizer that people will actually enjoy using!
 
As a new mom with an infant that's up all hours, showering has become a luxury rather than a given right! That's why I'm loving dry shampoo these days. You can use it multiple times between washings and still have great looking hair. In the past dry shampoos that I tried either left behind a white powder, or the color matching formulas left brown powder all over my bathroom and clothes.  But  Salon Grafix new Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo leaves hair feeling clean and refreshed without the residue. Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo goes on clean and clear, with no visible powder left behind. Simply spray in and brush out. What mom doesn't have time for that?

Win a free sample of Salon Grafix new Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo! Experience it for yourself! Simply leave a comment below and follow Nine Months of Style on Google friend connect for the chance to win the gift of great hair. Contest closes this Saturday at 12am EST.
 
I've made my first foray into compiling nursing attire...sexy, right? From what I've heard from friends, nursing tanks are a must-have for sleeping, out and about, and at home. I've already tried on a bunch of different brands, and here's what I've discovered:

Target:
Affordable (under 20 bucks) and versatile, with a cute selection of styles for day or sleep. The only problem? The fit is off for girls like myself who are busty but have a smaller torso (even with a baby in said stomach). The small fit my 9 month bump, but not my 9 month boobs. The tanks are better for girls who need less support- perhaps up to a c or d cup.

Walmart:
Even cheaper than Target, with decent basic styles. However, there's little support in their basic styles. They are a great option for plus-size moms though because they have the largest selection of 1x - 3x and XL sizes of any place I went.

Old Navy:
You can get nursing tanks online for about 8 bucks, but the current crop have no support- not even a shelf bra. Which is a problem if you need to put  nursing pads somewhere. Best for small busts, I think, or busts that want to be free, so to speak.

Motherhood Maternity:
Again, each tank is around the 20 dollar mark, but I'm not crazy about the shelf shelf style bra in most of them. I did like the one below, with it's belly-hiding style and two layer top. It's not supportive enough to go out in, but great for sleep time and I may get more.

Pea in the Pod:
My all around favorite so far. They have a nice long length that will go with leggings, have a lot of support so they function as a bra on their own (with most of the others, you have to wear a  bra underneath) and they are padded, so additional pads won't show through. They also give a  flattering shape. The small fit me and my larger size chest well. The downside? Each tank is $40, an expensive investment. I got 3, but  I'll keep on my mission until I can find something flattering, fitting, and inexepensive!



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Target
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Motherhood Maternity
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Pea in the Pod
 
Check out my guest post on I Heart Maternity, a fun blog filled with all sort of mom favorites, musings, and more! Here's a snippet of it: As a blogger and soon- to-be mom who normally writes about maternity fashion, I’ve tried to make an effort during my first pregnancy to keep my sense of self and style during this time of major change with my body and life. It’s been fun dressing for a bun in the oven! For months, I’ve carefully spent time contemplating ruffled tops, accessorizing with draped scarves, and studying where to get discounted skinny maternity jeans (Gilt Group!). I’ve found great organic skincare (loving Physician’s Formula OrganicWear) and makeup choices, picked a few fab going out dresses from Destination Maternity, and generally been enjoying the transformation to hot mama!

But now, in the last few days of my pregnancy, fashion is the last thing I can think about! I wear the same 2 shirts over and over because they are the only ones that fit over my bump, and the same 2 pairs of pants, and I’m okay with that. (I’m not really going too many places these last days anyway- it’s pretty hard to get around when you waddle instead of walk!) I guess that means I’m truly becoming a mom already, because all I can think about is him! When is he coming out? Does he have enough room in there? What did that twinge mean, am I about to go into labor? And most importantly, who is this person inside me going to be and how can I be there for him?

I love that as the weather changes from summer to fall, my life also changes: Welcoming a new life for the new season. It feels fitting that my new path in life begins as we usher in the time of year of beginnings: new school year, holidays, and well, even new television premieres (I’ll be needing those shows to get me through late night feedings!)

As I look out the window, and watch the leaves start to fall, I realize I’m shedding the old me too—to gear up for my own special new season.

 
Check it out here:
Star Maternity Style Secrets
http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20185823_20285286_20634459,00.html