I was introduced to baby wearing by a friend when I was still pregnant with my oldest son. I thought I would give it a try so I asked for a couple styles of slings at my baby shower. I ended up getting four different styles, a native, a mei tai, a bjorn and infantino sling.
After my son was born I tried them all out. I used the infantino sling once and decided I hated it, it was too warm and I felt like he could not breathe. I thought the bjorn was uncomfortable but, I really liked the other two. I used my mei tai more than anything.
I soon fell in love with baby wearing, I loved holding my son and putting him a stroller when he was so little just did not feel right to me. I wore him every chance I got. Even my husband loved baby wearing.
It was nice to be out in public and be able to nurse him in the sling and no one even knew he was eating. It stopped strangers from touching him when we were out and about and best of all he went to sleep every time he was in the sling.
I liked being able to have my hands free to do other things and when he was teething it kept him calm while I was working on other things. I was able to clean, hang laundry and do so much more while he was happily in the sling.
My second child came into the world a short fifteen months after my son. She was a very challenging baby who did not like to be held by any one other than mama. She also cried a lot. Baby wearing kept her happy and kept me sane!
I have tried several other slings now but I have two all-time favorites. I really like my moby wrap and my mei tai.
My third child is now nine months old, I have been wearing her from birth and I tried using a stroller with her the other day and she did not like it at all. I popped her into the sling and she was a happy camper.
Posted 07-22-2010 at 05:47 PM by Faiths13
Co-sleeping has different meanings for different families. For some it means having your baby sleeping in the same room either in a crib or bassinet. For other families it means having their baby in the same bed with them or “the family bed.” For some parents there is no question as to where their baby will sleep once they arrive into the home. It’s simple and natural to have them snuggled securely next to them all night. Understandably though, there are still many parents who fear to share their bed with an infant.
When I brought my first one home for the first time, I was exhausted and wanted my bed. There was no second thought however when I brought my tiny infant son into bed with me and breastfed him until we both dozed to sleep. It was the most natural and logical thing for me to do. Since then, I have co-slept with all three of my sons and have enjoyed the bond and better nights of sleep it has brought me.
The Benefits of Co-Sleeping
There are many advantages to sharing a bed with your baby, and the most beneficial is sleep. Young babies often pass from deep sleep into light sleep during the night. During these periods of light sleep, when your baby is awakened he may feel alone and fearful if he is in another room. Infants do not have the understanding that mommy is in the next room, and cannot understand where you are. This can cause him to awaken fully and have a hard time relaxing and falling back into a deep sleep.
On the other hand, if your infant is nestled into your bed with you, he may never be awakened during those periods of light sleep. Feeling the warmth of your body near his, he will be comforted and secure. With a little warm breastmilk or a soothing touch, your baby will be falling back into deep sleep in no time, often without the mother or father having to fully awaken themselves.
Co-sleeping can also make it easier for breastfeeding. During the early months when your infant needs many night feedings, you will be right there to offer the breast to her. And, by having on-demand feedings at night, you can help to maintain your milk supply. Even if you are only room-sharing and not bed-sharing, having that close proximity to your child will allow you to meet her needs quickly and without too much stress on her. You will easily be able to hear her stirring into wakefulness and breastfeed her back to sleep.
Co-sleeping is not only good for mothers, but also good for dads. Fathers are often gone at work all day and don’t get as much of that precious bonding time with their baby. Sharing a family bed can allow father and child to have that closeness to each other. A father can just as easily reach out with a gentle touch to help soothe a resteless infant as a mother can.
Co-Sleeping and SIDS
Contrary to popular belief, co-sleeping can actually REDUCE the risk of SIDS. While SIDS is most certainly a real fear many parents have, it is not caused by co-sleeping. SIDS research has been mainly focused on the level of babies sleep and how it affects their breathing. It is thought that some infants are unable to arouse themselves from sleep if something threatens their well-being, such as difficulty breathing. Infants who co-sleep have increased arousability from sleep and their mothers are more alert to any potential dangers to their child.
When a mother and baby sleep side by side, they become in what is likened to a sleep-harmony. They can share the same sleep patterns and breathing patterns, becoming aware of each other’s presence. During the first six months of an infants life, they are at the highest rate for SIDS. This is the time when babies learn to have a deeper sleep, which may be more difficult to wake from. Gaps in breathing are normal in these early months; if an infant is in a deep sleep that they do not awaken from and have a breathing issue, it can be serious. The movements and sensitivity to having their mother next to them, helps them to move in and out of deep sleep more frequently during the night.
One of the biggest precautions for SIDS is to never have your baby sleep on their stomach – something that will most likely never happen while co-sleeping. A baby who co-sleeps usually sleeps on his or her side facing their mother, or on their back, so to be easily accessible for breastfeeding. The close proximity of their faces and the warmth of the mothers body can remind babies to breathe.
Making Co-Sleeping Safe
While SIDS may not be a factor in co-sleeping, there are some precautions you should take to ensure your childs safety in the family bed.
* Do not sleep with your baby if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can lessen your ability to wake and dimish your sensitivity to the presence of your baby.
* Do not sleep with your baby if you have other children in the bed as well. Other children may not be aware of the baby’s presence and could unintentionally hurt them.
* Do not sleep on a couch with your infant. They could fall and get trapped between the soft cushions.
* Do not sleep with your baby on a waterbed or any other soft mattress they could sink into.
* Avoid fluffy bedding, stuffed animals, or extra pillows in bed.
* Never leave a baby asleep alone and unattended on an adult bed. They could become covered by a blanket or pillow or unexpectedly roll off of the bed.
* Do not let another care taker sleep with your baby. They may not be as aware of your child’s presence while sleeping.
* Do not overheat your infant. A baby sleeping with a parent does not need as much warmth and clothing as a baby sleeping alone.
* Have your baby sleep next to the mother with a rail or in a co-sleeper, not in the middle of the bed.
Is Co-Sleeping Right For You?
Only you and your family can decide if co-sleeping is right for you. Whether you choose to share a family bed or simply have your baby sleep in the same room as you, the benefits can be bountiful. Just the joy of waking up to see your precious angel smiling every morning can make it right for you. I have co-slept with all three of my sons, and while it can have it’s trying moments, I don’t regret it at all.
After a lot of hard work the time has come, time to harvest your garden. I was taught how to can produce when I was still in grade school. I have a lot of memories involving helping my mom make jelly.
Here are a few tips of the best way to store you fruits and veggies to make them last.
1. If you are canning make sure you are doing it right. The dangers of canning improperly are very real. Canning improperly can lead to bacteria in your food which can lead to sickness and botulism. I highly recommend getting the book “Ball’s 100th Anniv. Blue Book Canning Book.”
- If you plan on using a pressure cooker please be very careful. When I was eleven years old my mother and I were making peach jelly, she was using the pressure cooker to heat the jars when the lid sealed without her knowing, she went to take the cover off and ended up with second and third degree burns.
2. Freezing your fruits and veggies are another way to store them for later use. Last year we froze a lot of tomatoes. It was a really simple process, we simply cut the tomatoes in half, put them into the bag and froze them. I like making fresh spaghetti sauce so being able to grab a bag of garden fresh tomatoes from the freezer was great.
- this website has a great step by step guide for freezing: http://www.ehow.com/how_2302765_freeze-fresh-vegetables.html
3. Potatoes will last three to six months if stored properly. When storing your potatoes make sure you clean them first. Then place then in a slotted bin or a loosely woven basket, keep them in a room with good air circulation, that is dark and stays around 40 degrees.
4. Onions and garlic will also last for a long time when properly stored.
- here is a step by step guide for onions : http://www.ehow.com/how_4546386_braid-onions.html
- here is a step by step guide for garlic : http://www.bloomingfieldsfarm.com/garbrdhow.html
5. Another great option for storing your fresh veggies and fruits is to dehydrate them. Before a storm killed my apple tree I made apple chips with the dehydrator and my kids loved them. Dehydrated fruit and veggies last a really long time and it makes a really healthy snack.
- this website has great tips for dehydrating veggies and fruits: http://farmgal.tripod.com/Dehydrate.html
Posted 07-15-2010 at 06:52 PM by Faiths13
If you are anything like me, then you feel that natural childbirth is the best choice for you and your baby. But the one question that keeps coming into your mind is how you will handle the pain of labor and delivery? The truth is, it’s OK to be afraid of the pain. When you are new to childbirth, it is like an unknown journey that lies ahead of you. But pain is a natural and necessary part of childbirth, and it is something that you can prepare for so that your journey is not so scary.
As you begin to get closer to your due date, you will want to form a strategy to help you deal with the pain of your natural childbirth. Here we will go over some options that can help you through your labor and have a positive experience.
The most important thing to remember is to trust yourself. You are a woman and your body was made to give birth. Know that you have the ability to birth naturally, to come through the pain and be strong.
Stay Positive & Stay Focused
There is nothing like letting fear overcome you to ruin what can be a wonderful experience. With trust in yourself and your body’s ability to birth naturally comes the positive attitude of that innate knowledge. Stay focused on what you are doing – bringing your precious baby into this world in the safest and most gently way possible.
Have A Partner You Trust
When you are in labor it is important to have a partner or support person who you trust by your side. Labor is exhausting and takes all of your energy and strength, so to have someone there to help you when you need it is imperative. A support person can bring you food and drinks, rub your back, hold your hand, help remind you to breathe, and just help make you comfortable overall. Best of all, a partner can help you to stay positive and focused on your goal of a natural birth.
When giving birth at a hospital or birth center, it will be helpful to stay at home as long as you can. When you are at home, you are in a safe environment where you are most comfortable. You are able to eat and move about as you please. This extended time at home will help keep your pain more managable while you spend time relaxing.
It is recommended to go to the hospital when your contractions are 2 – 3 minutes apart and lasting at least 60 seconds with your first baby and 4 minutes apart and 60 seconds long for subsequent births. Enjoy the time leading up to it in your favorite chair listening to soothing music, or sitting in your baby’s nursery as you envision him or her in your arms.
Movement is a wonderful tool in labor. Walking, dancing, swaying from side to side or gently rolling on a birth ball. Some woman may even rock back and forth on their hands and knees. Movement can help your labor progess and can also help you through the pain of each contraction.
One of the worst positions to labor in is stuck laying flat on your back. I can be more painful and it can also slow down your labor and decrease the flow of blood to your baby. If you are unable to get out of bed and move around, try to labor laying on your side or in a supported squat position.
Don’t be afraid to make noise. Just remember that when you are in labor, the best noise is a low moan that leaves your mouth open. You do not want to make high-pitched screaming sounds, as this will cause your body to tense and make the pain harder to bear. Keeping your mouth open helps to remind you to keep loose and to keep yourself open. It also helps you to breathe, where as screaming takes up more breath and energy. Remember, a relaxed mouth means a relaxed bottom.
As you labor, keep your breathing slow and deep. This will help you stay relaxed and stay focused. When a contraction comes on strong, remember to keep breathing. Focus on the sound of your breath and envision your body opening and getting ready to allow your baby to come through. Take each contraction, one breath at a time.
With your slow breathing comes relaxation. Even thoughyour uterus is working very hard, you can still help the rest of your body rest. This will help you keep endurance through a long labor. Relax your mind and all of the muscles in your body. Have your birth partner or support person give you a calming massage or rub your feet. It will be much easier to remember these techniques if you have already begun practicing during pregnancy. If you take a childbirth preparation class, you will go over many useful breathing and relaxation techniques that you can practice.
We live in a disposable world. Walk into the grocery store and you’ll see tons of one time use items. Not only do these things fill up landfills but they cost money and lots of it. It’s time to get away from the disposable mind set and start using material that can be reused multiple times. Cloth is a great way to do this-its inexpensive and has a long life. Here’s some easy ways you can switch from disposable to cloth:
Bags - each year between 500 billion-1 trillion plastic bags are used! Reusable bags are a great way to reduce waste and many grocery stores offer them for under a dollar a piece, or you can get them at various online stores for little cost. Also more and more grocery stores are offering incentives to bring in your own bag to use-like .10 per bag credit.
Diapers - if you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re already use cloth diapers. By using cloth instead of disposable diapers you’re helping to reduce the estimated 27.4 billion disposable diapers being used in the U.S each year. And cloth diapers can be much cheaper than disposables, especially if you use flats or pre-folds.
Sandwich Bags - instead of using disposable bags switch to cloth baggies. There are several online companies that sell reusable sandwich bags and more wahm’s are making them now too.
Menstrual Products – billions of dollars are spent annually on menstrual products-which are then thrown into landfills. By switching to cloth pads and tampon alternatives like the Diva Cup, you can save a lot of money and also cut back on waste.
Paper Towel - one of the biggest disposable wasters is paper towel. Every year 7,300 tons of paper towels is made. Besides the enormous waste, paper towel is also expensive. You can stop using it and just use cloth towels-either buy cheap dish cloths or buy un-paper towel online from various wahm’s.
Tissue - you can stop blowing money away by switching from disposable tissue and use cloth instead. Just cut up an old sheet or bath towel and store in a small container for when you need it.
Toilet Paper – now if you’re adventurous then family cloth is a great money saving option for you! Like tissue it can be any piece of cloth (t-shirt material does not fray in the wash), cut down to resemble the size of a piece of disposable toilet paper. Store it in a basket under your bathroom cabinet and then wash it with your cloth diapers or do a separate load of laundry once you’ve got enough for a separate load of laundry. In between washes just throw it in your cloth diaper pail or in a wetbag.
Baby Wipes - disposable baby wipes are a big expense and can cause irritation on your baby’s bum. You can just buy cheap wash cloths at the store or get nicer ones from various wahm’s. Use them with plain water or homemade solution.
By switching to cloth items as much as possible you’ll not only save a lot of money, but you’ll also be helping the environment!
There are many wahm’s on Diaper Swappers who make cloth alternatives to the things listed above. If you’re ready to make the switch take a peek at the DS WAHM Wares section!
With the rising price of groceries and the concerns of giving fruits and veggies that are laced with pesticides to our kids, it seems like more and more people are turning to gardening. Growing your own food is very rewarding and does not have to be a scary task if you know what you are doing.
I have been gardening with my parents since I was old enough to walk, even if we did not have a lot of time we always had a garden of one size or another.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. If you are new to gardening, start small. I recommend picking three to five fruit or veggies to begin with. If you decide you can handle a larger garden you can always add more to it.
2. When you are picking the fruits or veggies you are wanting to grow make sure to read up on them. Different plants require different growing zones and different plants require different growing seasons and conditions.
3. If you are gardening to save money, try picking veggies that you can make last. While fresh lettuce is nice to have it is not something that is going to be stored, frozen of canned. Last year my family planted over 100 tomatoe plants. We canned and froze the tomatoes and we still have some left from last years harvest. Potatoes and different kinds of squash have a long shelf life if they are stored in a cool, dark and dry place.
4. Do not over-plant, only plant enough for your family and maybe some to give away. We made the mistake of over-planting zucchini last year, we ate, froze and we gave a ton of it away and still ended up having some go to waste.
5. Growing an organic garden is a lot easier than it seems. We grow our garden organically every year and with hard work and natural remedies we do not have a problem with bugs or weeds.
- this websites has a lot of great tips: http://www.organicgardening.com/
6. Remember that hard work pays off. Keeping up on the weeding and maintenance will give you the best results when it comes time to harvest your fruit and veggies.
7. You can save seeds from your fruits and veggies to plant the next year, we did this with tomatoes this year and it helped to cut down on our initial costs dramatically.
There is a multitude of cloth diapering options available. If you’re interested in using cloth diapers to save money one of the best diapers available is the flat. This is the diaper our grandmas used and its still going strong today. For around a dollar per diaper, this cheap diapering method can make your diaper stash very cost effective!
Flats are basically a large square of cotton. It is the original one size fits all diaper as it can be folded in different ways to fit newborns up to toddlers. They can be pinned or snappied and then covered with any of the many cover options available.
Flats are appealing for several reasons. The first is their cost; you can get a dozen for a little over $12 and two dozen is plenty for one child. Flats are also great for families with multiple children in diapers; just fold to the best fit for each kid. Flats are also incredibly easy to care for; there is almost no prep needed and they wash and dry quickly. They are also easy to use-learn one or two different folds and you’re all set.
I have used flats exclusively for over three years on two children. I love the simpleness of my stash and after three years of heavy use my flats are still going strong. I originally bought 4 dozen Little Lion brand flats and then some used Thirsties covers from the fsot section here on Diaper Swappers. My entire stash for two children cost under $200, including accessories. I also love how well flats work! I’ve never had issues with leaking or messy accidents; flats and Thirsties covers are a leak proof combination!
Flats are also so easy to use! I have only learned how to fold the Kite fold and was able to modify it for when my babies were new to when we hit the toddler stage. Now that my son is older I just add a doubler to give his flats a bit more absorbancy and we’ll be set until he’s potty trained.
If you haven’t tried flats yet I highly recommend these diapers. Not only are they incredibly cheap but their ease of use and wide range of sizing makes them a great cloth diapering option!
Now that our children are getting the age that they want to learn more I take all the chances I can to use for a learning opportunity. Here are some of the activities we do.
1. We take back yard safaris, we hunt for different bugs, watch for small animals and birds. Doing this has taught my children the names of many different animals and bugs, they have a great time doing it and it is a free way to teach them about their local animal population. We also do scavenger hunts, recently we hunted for pine cones and then made pine cone bird feeders. They had a great time doing it and the like watching out the window and identifying the birds thatcome for a snack.
2. When we are in the car we identify colors on passing cars, shapes of different signs and I am teaching my oldest to read from different signs. We also play “I Spy” on long car rides.
3. During the summer we use the local libraries summer reading program as an incentive to read more and this year we are going to start teaching our son to read on his own. The library program starts at age two, they are given a goal number of books to read and at the end the summer if they reach their goal they get a nice prize package.
4. A day at the lake can be a great learning opportunity. My kids love to fish with Grandpa and my oldest who is four years old can identify several different types of fish. After we are done fishing we usually take a nature walk to learn about local plant life.
5. My kids help in the garden. The help plant the flowers and the veggies we grow. I used this to help them learn different colors and names of the flowers and veggies. Growing their own food as also been helpful in getting them to try more vegetables.
6. Each year our town does “Old Home Days.” Many of the workers in local businesses dress up like pioneers, they have old style food, games and more. Our local park has a small historical museum in it that they do tours through, show how they used old tools, the way they cooked and about their daily lives. My son loved going to it, he got to milk a cow, grind flour and churn butter. He had fun while learning the local history of his town.
These are only a few things you can do to help teach your children about the world around them. I encourage you to take every chance you can to teach your children, investing in their education is the best investment you can ever make!