Safe & Sound Cricket Crate

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I’ve been documenting Travis’s subscription to Koala Crate for 2 and 1/2 years now, and it’s time for Veronika to have her very own subscription journey! I purchased the company’s three-month newborn pack Cricket Crate before she was even born, so excited was I to begin the journey.

That said, it looks like Cricket may have been discontinued, and replaced by Tadpole Crate for newborns to two-year-olds… so stay tuned! But in the meantime, I cracked open Veronika’s first of the three Crickets in honor of her one month birthday, and was delighted by the items inside.

First, I’ll cover what the kit contained. Item one was a stuffed cricket (of course!) with different materials in the limbs, body, and wings, for maximum tactile sensation.

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There was also an adorable board book, Night Night Cricket, with simple good night text and find-it items for your child as he or she gets bigger (right now I just pointed these out to Veronika).

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Next up was the swaddle – which turned out to be way more than a swaddle. I’ve only had this blanket in my hands for a few days, and already my thought is: how did I make it through the first month of her life without it?

The Wonder magazine includes a helpful page with a step-by-step to swaddling correctly (hint: start by folding the cloth into a triangle, not a rectangle shape). The cloth can be used this way until the baby is old enough to have objects in the crib or stroller more as a lovey.

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Next, use it as a storytime blanket. Because it depicts images of our little Cricket friend, it’s perfect for tummy time.

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Veronika lay down as I talked about the images, and all the activities Cricket was getting up to. We did this with her propped against my lap, too.

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Travis helped narrate the story… Perfect for big sibs who can’t read yet!

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On a practical level, we also tested the blanket as a stroller cover…

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…and a carrier cover on a windy day, keeping the wind and sun out of her face.

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Finally, it’s perfect for those times when you want to place baby on the ground, but the surface needs covering. It’s now my go-to for the baby massage I try to give her a few times a week.

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A day at the spa!

Wonder magazine included other ways to make your baby feel safe and taken care of. Most interesting was “flying.” This was a new one for me, not a move I ever tried with Travis. Supporting Veronika under the tummy, I lifted her over the blanket for a little airplane ride, alternating gentle up and down movements with side to side. She stayed remarkably calm and seemed to like it! Photo credit to big brother since I needed two hands for this one.

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We also danced, a great way to get baby used to rhythm. You can change baby’s position (up on the shoulder versus in the crook of your arms), and freeze for a few beats now and then.

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I also used the blanket as a prompt for singing. The image of Cricket on the bus had us singing along to Wheels on the Bus, and acting out the versus with her arms and legs.

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The obvious difference between this and a Koala Crate is that Wonder magazine is very much aimed at the parent, not the child. It’s quite text-heavy, and included tips on building a relationship with your newborn, advice on sleep, and tips from a pediatrician for when your baby cries.

An online link from the crate led to additional parental resources, including adorable printables for “milestone stickers”. Just in time for Veronika’s one month!

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Finally, the website included suggestions for further reading. We added to our library:

Goodnight Gorilla

Good Dog, Carl

Pat the Bunny

and The Going to Bed Book

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Excited to unpack the second box of the newborn set soon!

Origami Boat

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Travis and I have been finding neat materials from which to make boats, now that we’re on a bit of a pirate kick. I found the instructions for this origami boat online, and thought it looked fun. It turned out to be quite tricky, but Travis and I had a ball, laughing at our gaffes, and cheering when we got it right!

Ideally use origami paper, but construction paper works in a pinch. Either way, begin by trimming into a rectangle. Fold the paper in half horizontally, and open back up. Fold in half down vertically and leave folded.

I was so proud Travis wanted to do his own folding!

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Next fold the upper two corners into the center crease, forming two triangles.

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Fold up the bottom of the paper on both the back and front – now it looks like a pirate hat!

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But don’t stop there. Now you’re going to push the bottom two corners toward each other, a process that really only makes sense once you feel it intuitively. It will make the paper into a square that folds flat (hint: tuck in the excess flap on the front and back).

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Now fold up the bottom of this diamond on both front and back, pressing flat.

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Take the edges of this triangle toward the center – another tricky step! You’ll form another square. We had a good giggle over this one as we figured it out!

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Finally, pull the top corners out, and press flat – now you have a boat!

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It should hold pretty well, but for a little added security, I stuck masking tape on the edges.

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Travis was SO proud, an loved his boats so much that he requested a fleet. I soon became pretty adept at making them, so he had lots of boats to fly around the apartment.

Happy folding!