Tutorial: Reversible Children’s Apron

Posted 09-30-2013 at 03:35 PM by Banana Cat

Apron1

 

My 20 month old has been showing a ton of interest in what we do in the kitchen. She likes playing with her own toy pots and pans and felt food, but when we are cooking something she NEEDS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW what Mama and Dada are doing waaaaay up on the counter she can’t reach. As an anniversary present for both of us (and to save our arms from the constant barrage of “Up, up up!” demands) I bought a Guidecraft Kitchen Helper and now little Lainey can stand at counter height and cook along with us.

Diaper Swapers

My Cloth Diaper Failures

Posted 09-30-2013 at 02:17 PM by happysmileylady

Everyone makes mistakes, right?  I have been cloth diapering for about two and a half years now.  In that time, I have had some failures.  There’s the time one of my homemade diapers leaked all over my dad, on a holiday.  There was the time I poked my daughter with a pin, leaving an awful mark.  Well, ok, that happened more than once.  And then there’s the attempt to use a diaper with horrible reviews because they were inexpensive and easily available.  Yes, I have made mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from my mistakes, at least, that’s what they say.

When I started cloth diapering, I tried making my own to save money.  I downloaded a free pattern online and got to work.  The first diapers I made looked really good, but they were flannel all over and still required a cover.  I was too cheap to buy one, so I hunted around and learned that some people use fleece as a cover.  Then, I got the brilliant idea to use fleece as the outer layer of the diaper and I would have an all in one!  I thought I was the smartest person ever.  That is, I thought so until the next family gathering.  It was Thanksgiving Day and my whole family was over.  My baby girl was in one of these homemade diapers and I was showing off how cute she looked.  My dad then picked her up and held her while I finished getting dinner together.  While she was sitting on his lap, she peed and it went straight through her diaper and all over my dad.  He was not happy and ended up going home to change, and didn’t come back.  Lesson learned, we will only use PUL for true waterproofing.

How to Overcome Feeling Waterlogged

Posted 09-30-2013 at 02:12 PM by yoliyoda

water faucetBeyond focusing on the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, some mothers are attempting to down mother’s milk tea or a malted drink to increase milk supply. This combination can leave a woman attempting to drink about 64 ounces, or half a gallon, give or take.

No wonder I’ve felt like a water balloon! Before becoming pregnant I had a hard time drinking this much fluid. To be honest I have yet to get all of it down since I started breastfeeding. The new pressures of motherhood haven’t made it easier. I didn’t remember to shower regularly for the first 6 weeks, much less to have a glass of water.

Realizing how important it is to keep hydrated, I did a little research by looking into how others with a vested interest, like patients with certain medical conditions, drink their needed fluids daily. Figuring this out would help beyond breastfeeding, but benefit my own personal health for years to come. Here are some of the information I found to help me towards meeting this goal.

The International Kidney Stone Institute suggests having a glass during transitional times in the day–basically in harmony with routine activities like getting up, for example. Breastfeeding moms could add drinking a glass to their routine of feeding or pumping.

Another great suggestion was to dilute fruit juice to a 50:50 solution. I especially liked this suggestion because I frankly get bored drinking plain water, but love a glass of grape juice! Adding water to a glass of 100% juice would have little effect on the taste.

Let’s Talk Hybrids

Posted 09-30-2013 at 01:55 PM by whitneywalters

What is a hybrid diaper?
- A hybrid diaper combines several different styles of diapers into one. Each diapering system includes a shell ( waterproof outer ) and an insert which can be reusable or disposable. The disposable diaper can be thrown out, some are flushable.
- The shell part of the hybrid system comes in both sized and one sized options. Closure may be snaps or velcro.
- There are several different brands of hybrid diapers out there. The shells comes in many different prints and colors.

I personally used the best bottom diapering system for awhile with my third child. It worked well, we never had a leak but I ended up selling it to get more pockets because my husband was not thrilled with changing the liners and he preferred the other diapers that we had.

Why Aren’t More Mocha Mamas Breastfeeding?

Posted 09-27-2013 at 11:46 AM by yoliyoda

It's Only Natural National Campaign Recent figures released from the US Department of Human and Health Services indicates that only about 55% of African American women attempt to breastfeed their child. It’s actually a figure that is up for the 35% in the 1970s. The specific areas with the lowest numbers come from the South. Unfortunately the figures don’t surprise me.

I am an African American woman living in the Southeast. To be clear, my family background is actually Caribbean, but I was born in the states. The difference may seem slight, but often when it comes to ideology “Caribbean American” doesn’t always equal “African American”. By my own experience, this is often the case in the view of breastfeeding, usually more accepted and prevalent among my Caribbean female friends.

It’s been hard for me to find breastfeeding role models within my own ethnicity. That really isn’t a priority to me, but I do find it troublesome. With the proven benefits of breastfeeding including lower risk of childhood obesity and diabetes, and lowering risks of cancer for the mother–all things that plague the African American community–I’m left wondering why so few of us are taking advantage of the obvious.

Then again, maybe it’s not so obvious. I consider myself an educated woman, yet I didn’t know about all the benefits until I got pregnant. There was no bases of experience, or voices of encouragement, trumpeting the joys of breastfeeding to me. And I understand part of the reason: before the years of La Leche League many women, some of whom were not only in the healthcare profession, but specifically OB-GYN nurses, found the art of breastfeeding mystifying. When the change in mindset came, and help started to emerge for woman who wanted to breastfeed, it didn’t trickle down to the African American community so easily. Let’s be honest: when many had little or subpar health care for themselves, they’d be hard pressed to find someone, anyone, that could help them demystify breastfeeding. My mother was one of women lost in the shroud. She tried and failed, with no support, to breastfeed. She didn’t even know there was support available.

Cloth on a Disposable Budget

Posted 09-27-2013 at 11:26 AM by TheCoachsWife

I have been on a real minimalist/frugal kick lately, trying to really see what I can do without. I decided to see if I could really cloth diaper on the same budget as I could as if I were using disposables. I only used the numbers for one child so that more could relate. Below is a chart with costs for different kinds of diapers. I used the average – with my super sensitive daughter I needed the more expensive Honest Co. diapers

I thought it was reasonable to budget my first “purchase” as two weeks worth of diapers, and used the average. So, $55.30 for me would be the cost of 2 weeks worth of diapers. Most would probably have less, but my sweet sweet baby is a champion diaper filler and 10 diapers a day is the lower end of normal for us.

With my $55.30 I decided to go with :

Let’s Talk Pockets

Posted 09-27-2013 at 11:00 AM by whitneywalters

What is a pocket diaper?
- A pocket diaper is a diaper cover that has an opening sewn in for stuffing. They are made of a water proof outer layer and a stay dry inner layer. The two pieces are sewn together, leaving the pocket for stuffing.
- There are several different types of inserts out there for stuffing pocket diapers. There are cotton, hemp, micro-fiber and pre-folds just to list a few of the choices.
- You can customize the amount of stuffing needed.
- Come in velcro or snaps for closures.
- Sizes include newborn ( xs), small, medium, large and one sized ( OS ).

Pockets are widely available online, come in many different colors and prints. You can get pocket diaper very cheap from many different online coops.

My New Favorite Diaper, The Blueberry Simplex One Size All In One Diaper

Posted 09-25-2013 at 01:35 PM by happysmileylady

My most recent diaper purchase was a Blueberry Simplex One Size All In One Diaper.  It is without a doubt my new favorite diaper.  I love that it’s one size.  I have two children in diapers, so being able to use the same diaper on either child is important to me.  The best thing about it however is how easy it is to use and maintain.  There are no extra pieces to hunt out of the dryer, no special folds to manage, and no additional fasteners to fumble with.  And then of course, they come in such cute prints.  I love the prints, they are so cute! These advantages make this diaper so easy to use that I just love it.  It is without a doubt my new favorite diaper.

A one size diaper is a diaper with snaps up the front that let you customize the sizing of the diaper.  The Simplex One Size All In One diaper is one of these.  The snaps along the front make it easy for me to customize the diaper size according to the child I am putting it on.  As I mentioned, I have two in diapers – a two year old and a ten month old.  That means I deal with lots of diaper changes.  One of the ways I manage to keep it all from becoming overwhelming is using one size diapers.  That way, I have just one set of diapers that I can use on either child, rather than two separate sets of diapers to manage.  I have used other one sized diapers before, but the one size Simplex All In One fits both of my little ones really well.

Having every piece of the diaper all together is the epitome of simple.  I have used Flips in the past, which have two parts, the insert and the cover.  I have also used diapers that require separate fasteners as well as a separate cover as well.  Every time to make a piece of the diaper separate, you add an extra step to the diapering process.  The Blueberry Simplex One Size All In One diaper has all of these pieces together in one diaper.  The insert, the cover, the fastener, everything, is all in one piece.  There are no extra steps.  This makes the diaper as

Diaper Sale Craze

Posted 09-25-2013 at 01:34 PM by yoliyoda

I’ll admit it– sometimes cute diapers on sale make me lose my mind. I think it’s healthy to admit the problem so that you can get some help… or at least make more room by the changing table for the next inevitable buy. 

And I’m not the only one. When a momma on DiaperSwappers announces that Cotton Babies Seconds Sale is open, or Kanga Care has packages of diapers on discount it’s a virtual mad  dash, sure to slow down any site’s server. 

Sale SignWhile having your baby sport a “cute bum” is one of the benefits of cloth diapering, it can get out of hand. For example, there is a brand of diaper that I fell in love with. Positively adorable! I decided to look up the prices to purchase them new. The listed prices ranged from what I’d consider a bit steep to utterly ridiculous. It’s fine and dandy to buy something extra nice if you can afford it. However, paying triple digits for something my son is literally going to crap in just isn’t for me.

 I often have to remind myself when looking at the asking price for some diapers that everyone’s reasons for cloth diapering is different. For some people it is all about the look. Maybe they need that one diaper for a special occasion and cost is not object. For other people it probably has something to do with nostalgia and the love of collecting things. Other mamas might just look at expensive diapers as an investment, sure to have a high resale value.

Beginning to Begin Your Cloth Diapering Search

Posted 09-25-2013 at 01:30 PM by Banana Cat

“I want to use cloth diapers for our kid,” I said out of the blue one day as my husband and I sat on the couch, spending quality time together after dinner staring vacantly at the TV while mindlessly mashing buttons on the video game controllers we were both holding.

“Okay,” he said.

“It will save us money in the long run and—wait, okay?”

“Yeah, I’m cool with that,” he replied as something onscreen blew up in an amazingly colorful fashion.

And thus our cloth diapering experiences began in the most normal, boring way possible.

Of course the whole thing had started a few months earlier, when one morning before work I peed on a stick and then almost peed myself again when two bright pink lines unexpectedly popped up on the pregnancy test. Sometime between then and the conversation with my husband I started researching cloth diapers for our child-to-be. I suppose it is a testament to how routine and normal cloth diapers are in our household now that I don’t even remember why, or how, or where I began my research. The idea must have always been lurking at the back of my mind, though, because I’d always had sensitivities to disposable menstrual products while growing up. In college I discovered cloth menstrual pads and menstrual cups and for one week a month my life was suddenly much more tolerable, even though my family teased that I was now Officially a Liberal Hippie. When I found out I was pregnant, it wasn’t a stretch at all to wonder if my children would be sensitive