Monday, May 11, 2009
DIY sling patterns and other news!
I've been going through Baby Savvy's newborn things, trying to determine what we need to replace, upgrade, or supplement with, and the good news is there is very little that we will need to buy. Using cloth diapers for the first baby will definitely pay off now because we need to purchase almost no diapers for the new baby, and most of the clothes and baby gear will be reusable because we will have another winter baby.... although if our new baby is a girl we might have to buy a few things (nothing wrong with girls in boyish or gender-neutral clothing, but we might want a few cute girly things).
One thing that I really wish I had had for Baby Savvy was a ring sling. I had a Hotsling, but found it a little uncomfortable and difficult to get the baby in an out, or keep baby secure, depending on what I was wearing. I really want to make a ring sling, and I found some great resources for those of you that would like to too.
Sling Rings are rings made especially for ring slings, sold by a family-owned business.
Free patterns offered by Sling Rings
Free illustrated pattern for making a lined ring sling from On Pins and Needles
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Flip Ultra for $79.99
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Homemade baby toys
Other toys he likes are playing with the plastic spice containers in the kitchen, Mason jars of beans (these require closer supervision), and plastic measuring cups.
I came across this website awhile back that has ideas for free, safe baby toys. Great ideas for your baby (especially when the weather keeps you camped out at home), when you are traveling and forgot a toy, or if you have visiting kids and no idea what to do with them.
Babies also love looking at pictures of them, their family, or other kids and babies. Make a collage with pictures from a magazine, or a scrap book of family pictures. It will keep babies, kids, and even some adults entertained.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
We have both the Rock and Bounce Pony and the Scoot About and they both get used almost daily. The Rock and Bounce Pony is great for smaller kids, we started Baby Savvy in his at about 8 1/2 months. The Scoot About is also great for young kids as it doesn't have pedals.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I'm definitely bookmarking that site for the next time around.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I'm not a crafty/creative type, so I've been searching online for ideas that I can make or put together myself. I've decided that a garden gnome would be really cute. We have all the necessary components, including some little toy yard tools, and I can knit Baby Savvy a little red wool gnome had that he can use all winter as well.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Saturday, May 03, 2008
At his six month pediatrician appointment, we discovered Baby Savvy was too long for his infant seat. So we installed the Marathon. We've loved it from the minute it was installed. It is so easy to use and well designed. Baby Savvy is comfortable, we know he is safe, and I don't feel like I'm battling his car seat every time I put him in or take him out. We are debating buying its smaller cousin, the Roundabout Convertible Car Seat, for use in our Civic. We are trying to get into a car seat rental program through the county we live in... if they have a seat that fits in the Civic we will try that first. (Note to new or expecting parents - check with your local hospitals to see if they have a car seat rental program. We found out ours does and it is an amazingly cheap $5 for six months - yes, less than $1 per month! Their seat selection is small, and stocked with very utilitarian models, but if they have one that fits our little coupe we will definitely go that route.)
I really like that both the Marathon and Roundabout will work until Baby S is ready for a booster, to me that helps justify the extra cost of these seats. Though May 31, Amazon is offering 20% off on the purchase of two Britax products (this includes accessories like covers and bases), plus their usual free Super Saver Shipping. That is an incredible deal, you will rarely find these seats on sale. I waited for three months to get 10% off at Target.com, and I believe I still paid shipping. The coupon code is BRITAX20.
An extra added bonus of the Britax seats is that additional covers in many colors and prints are available... buy a new car with different color interior? Buy a new cover to match. Permanent grape juice stain combined with ground-in goldfish? Buy a new cover. Having another baby and just want your old seat to look fresh and new? Buy a new cover. Passing your seat on to a friend or relative? Add a new cover and make it an extra nice gift!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Special deal for readers
Abby's Lane stocks everything from a wide variety of cloth diapers (fitteds, pockets, covers, wool, swim diapers), to soft soled shoes, Babylegs, Ergo baby carriers, diaper sprayers, training pants, gifts for moms and moms-to-be, and more.
If you've been thinking about trying cloth diapers, or maybe just adding a few more to your stash, now is the time to do it.
I'm considering buying an Ergo baby carrier. Baby Savvy is getting big enough that the extra back support would be nice.
edit: *Ergo's are now excluded from the 5% off offer. Sorry.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
One-size diaper offer
Try one of their one-size fitted diapers, a snap-in liner, and a breathable Air Flow cover (size of your choice) for just $18.95. No shipping charges either. This normally runs $27.70 + shipping. I ordered a set yesterday.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The Story Behind Woolen Diaper Covers
We've been having great success with Baby Savvy's cloth diapering. We use prefolds (and a few fitted diapers that were too cute to pass up) with wool covers almost exclusively. I'm selling the pocket diapers I purchased because we don't ever use them; although it was nice to have the option available when we brought him home since we weren't sure what was going to work best for us. We have never once had to change either our bedding or his for a diaper leak, and he makes it through the entire night without a diaper change.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Safe baby bottles?
I am breastfeeding, but I will have to switch to pumping and bottles in January when I go back to work, which means we need to start giving him a bottle now. Naively, I purchased a few bottles at Target, getting different types just in case he didn't like one or two of them.
Then I read about the BPA (bisphenol-A) problems with baby bottles in the latest issue of Mothering Magazine. I knew BPA was found in many plastic products (including Nalgene, many plastic water bottles, cups and plastic food storage, and even as a lining in some cans), and can be very bad for us, but I didn't realize that baby bottle manufactures were STILL producing bottles with plastics containing BPA. I switching from plastic water bottles to a SIGG bottle earlier this year to avoid BPA-containing bottles.
I quickly did some search online and found a website that contains a list of safe and unsafe baby bottles. The good news is that all glass, and a small number of plastic bottles ARE safe. Born Free and Medela are two manufacturers of safe plastic bottles. The bad news is that most widely-available bottles are not safe.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I'll admit, the used pack 'n play was difficult to find. Most of them had seen just a bit too much love for me, or they were missing key components, or they were sold before I could get to them. I eventually found someone on Craigslist who was trying to sell an entire John Lennon nursery collection and convinced them to part with just the pack 'n play. $40 for a pack 'n play that is clean and in nice condition, has a bassinet and changing table option, and (bonus!) all the parts and instructions.
In this case, it took a little more time and energy to find what I was looking for, but in the end I think it paid off.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
DIY wipe solution
We plan to use mostly just water with our cloth wipes, but I do plan to make some wipe solution for those times when something a little stronger is needed. I think I'm going to adapt the recipe for the Castile Solution to something like what's below...
Castile Solution (Savvy Style)
1 tablespoon Burt's Bees apricot oil
1/2 tablespoon Dr Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap (baby unscented)
2 drops lavender oil
1 cup water
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Try a variety of cloth diapers...
Jillian's Drawers has an incredible deal for those that wish to try out a variety of cloth diapers. For a $100 deposit, you will receive
- 1 Kissaluvs
- 2 Chinese Prefolds
- 1 FuzziBunz with insert
- 1 Happy Heiney's with insert
- 1 BumGenius one-size pocket diaper with insert
- 1 snappi
- 1 organic Bumpy cover
- 1 BumGenius All-in-one
- Free FuzziBunz insert
- Free Happy Heiney's insert
Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Co-sleeping on a small bed
This leaves us with a few options...
1. Buy a bigger bed. This might be an okay long-term option, but I like my heirloom bed frame, and our mattress and box springs are in great condition. Also, we have some budgetary constraints right now that make this option undesirable (although still do-able if necessary).
2. Buy a second bed. Many families have two beds in one bedroom, one for mom and child co-sleeping and one for mom and dad sleeping. It is a weird arrangement and I'm not sure I fully understand it yet, but our bedroom is small enough to to rule this one out for us anyway.
3. Buy a cosleeper, which is essentially a bassinet that puts the baby at bed-height, in a safe and secure play-yard type sleeper.
We are going with option 3, and have decided on the Arm's Reach Original Co-Sleeper. Ever a recycler and budget conscious consumer, I would love to find one used. If that doesn't work, I'd like to buy one on sale (they are 15% off at Target.com right now, but add in shipping and it isn't much of a deal), but I'm not having much luck with either of those options.
Any suggestions of where I can look for a co-sleeper used or new for a reasonable amount of money?
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Cloth diapering - why is it so controversial?
To most of these, the answers were easy. For some it was more difficult. I think in many cases, Mr. Savvy and I have decided to go against the norm when we decided what was best for our baby. However, out of all of our decisions, including giving birth out of a hospital with a midwife, not circumcising, delaying vaccinations, breastfeeding, cosleeping, etc, NONE has caused us to get more flack than our decision to cloth diaper.
Why is this? I've had this issue come up over and over and over again, ever since we were going to cloth diaper during our first pregnancy, which unfortunately didn't last long enough for that baby to get to try out the soft luxury that is organic velour diapers. I was discussing this with friends online and one of them shared her theory, which I think might hold a little weight... people who use disposables get defensive because they know they made the easy decision. What I think she means is, rather than do research, weigh the pros and cons, and make a decision based on what's best for their baby, them, and the environment, they went ahead and just did what everyone else is doing.
Unfortunately, what the disposable-choosing parents missed is the awesomeness that is modern cloth diapers. The fabrics, the styles, the technology... it's all there. And when you think about it, washing two extra loads of laundry per week (often less, many women wash their diapers with the towels), cloth diapering isn't any more work. Less trips to the store (this is big for me, as our local Target is so over crowded that it easily takes 1 hour to get in and out, more on a weekend), less trash to take out, and less up-the-back poop blowouts that disposables are notorious for (ahh... less clothing laundry with cloth diapers!).
When I started researching diaper options, baby's health was my primary motivator. I had heard from friends and coworkers that disposable diapers contain some nasty chemicals, and I heard from my own mother and mother-in-law (both cloth diaper veterans) that cloth diapered babies almost never get diaper rash. My MIL would know, she was the oldest of nine (they used disposables in those days), cloth diapered four of her own children (including twins), and has done licensed childcare for 30 years. She's seen it all.
I came across some scary info about these chemicals I'd heard about. I was already an avid user of reusable menstrual products, both for comfort and environmental reasons, so I was familiar with some of these chemicals from previous research. Here's some info (backed with sources) from the Real Diaper Association...
This stuff scares the crap out of me. Many of these chemicals are banned in European countries, where, incidentally, cloth diapering (as is breastfeeding, and midwifery) is the norm. Most European countries also have lower incidences of infant mortality; which is not related to cloth diapering, but I tend to think that that is a result of better health policies and better education in general. Also on that same page linked above is a great list of environmental reasons to choose cloth.
Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S..1
Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.2
Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbancy tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome.3
In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis.18
Another essay that really helped me make up my mind is this one, from Mothering Magazine. It's ten years old, but still very relevant. It touches on the convenience factors (the author was a working mother with three kids in cloth at the time of the writing), as well as environmental factors, baby's health and safety (less diaper rash, as well as the absence of chemicals), convenience, cost, and EARLIER POTTY TRAINING!
So after I read a ton of information online, I started asking people, both online and in real life, about their diapering experiences. I didn't find a single person who had been committed to cloth diapering who decided to switch back to disposables. And I asked a LOT of people. I heard about a lot of "friends" and "sisters" who tried it for a short while and stopped because it was too much work, but I didn't get to hear any negative first hand experiences. I did hear from a lot of parents that they used disposables for their first baby and subsequently switched to cloth and wished they had done it from the beginning. I also heard from a lot of professional, working women who cloth diaper (this surprised me at first). Most said that having a routine is key, and many said that they actually enjoy cloth diapering because they now know they are doing what's best for their baby... and isn't that what's most important to all of us?
Below are just a few links about cloth diapering. There are tons of resources on the web, and I encourage anyone who is interested to do their own research.
Different cloth diapering systems from the Diaper Pin.
An essay on Why Cloth? from a cloth diapering mom.
Diaper Dilemma - the Health of Your Baby
The Diaper Dollar
The Diaper Pins Diaper Cost Calculator
The Diaper Dilemma - the Environmental Cost of Diapers
Cloth Diapering -- are you serious?
The first diaper on this page is from Christenson Creations, home of Suzie's One Size (SOS) diapers, a diaper business owned an operated by a work-at-home mother.
The second diaper picture 3 step rise, 1 size diapers from Muttaqin Baby.
The third diaper picture is of Indian cotton prefolds. These will blow away your discount-store prefolds in durability and absorbency. Combine these with a wool, fleece, or PUL cover and you have a time-tested, realiable, cost-efficient, easy-to-use, diapering system.
The forth diaper is a BumGenius one-size diaper from CottonBabies.com, another mother owned diapering business.
The last diaper is a FuzziBunz, probably one of the most popular and widely available cloth diapering options (next to prefolds and covers). There are literally hundreds of online stores that sell them, and they are often available locally at natural baby and parenting stores.
... and we're back!
As some of you may know, I am due in October with our first baby (third pregnancy). Everything is going very well. If the level of fetal activity is any indicator, I'm going to give birth to a kick boxer with the gift of comedic timing.
I have almost the entire nursery ready to go, with just a few more thing on my to-buy (used, hopefully!) list, and most of our big newborn decisions have been made (more on this in future posts).
Monday, February 27, 2006
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Sick pup and a sympathy puker...
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Disposable diapers linked to athsma
Cloth diaper comparison
I purchased 3 used Fuzzi Bunz in aqua, periwinkle, and sage green.
Fuzzi Bunz Pros:
- Available in many, many colors
- Available used ($10 per dipe - a bargain in the pocket diaper market)
- Very soft (possibly because they are used and have been washed numerous times)
- The quality of the used diapers is very high, these obviously haven't been abused and are stain-free.
- The snaps have three different size settings for around the baby's belly.
- Don't seem as durable as the bumGenius! dipes (may be because they have been used)
- Come in sizes (xs, small, med, large, xl), which means that I may have to buy 5x the diapers as the baby grows. Also don't know which size to buy pre-birth because the baby could be an extra-small or small (heaven help any woman who gives birth to a medium!).
- Has snaps, rather than velcro, which seems a bit more difficult, especially with a squirming baby.
- Inserts need to be purchased seperately (used diapers on CottonBabies don't come with inserts).
- Love the velcro, seems very easy to use.
- One size, adjustable for different baby sizes. This can make these cheaper in the long-run because the same diapers will work throughout the diapering phase.
- Seem very durable and well-made. There appears, to my novice eyes, to be a lot of thought into the design of the diaper, like a flap in the back designed to keep the insert in place.
- Dipes came with a microfiber insert (all new diapers come with an insert from CottonBabies).
- No colors yet, although there are rumors of three colors coming out in the next few weeks.
- Used dipes aren't available yet because these are so new.
- Expensive at $16.95 for white diapers, possibly as much as $20 for a color.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Can I blame hormones?
I've come to the conclusion that marketers realize pregnant women are a weak target and prey on us with soft and snuggly fabrics and an overabundance of cuteness. We also seem highly susceptible to gadget purchases, a fact which has not escaped the baby product manufacturers.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Big money weekend
Link to the furniture- We bought the convertible crib and the combo and hutch in Honey.
I also ordered a handful of all-in-one cloth diapers from CottonBabies.com, as well as a few inserts and wipes. I plan to wash them a few times and attempt to evaluate them to make sure we are making the best choice... total cost $123. Since we plan to spend about $1000 on cloth diapers, I figure this will help us make sure we are making a good decision... and these are all items we can still use, even if we decide to go primarily with other brands.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Wowzers... cost of first prenatal exam!
Friday, February 03, 2006
link to reviews
Thursday, February 02, 2006
First baby item!
There were a few parts of the fabric bedding that were slightly yellowed from storage, but I was able to easily get them fresh and white with a solution of boiling water and borax powder in the sink, with a tablespoon of dishsoap. A 1-hour soak and it was all good as new!
Friday, January 20, 2006
I have a due date!
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Today I will find out my due date!
About four weeks ago, I started feeling weird. Not myself. I kept having this voice in the back of my head telling me I was pregnant. After a week of this, I decided to banish the voice by taking a pregnancy test, one that i was sure would be negative. I went to the Dollar Store (ever the cheapskate), bought a $4 test and took it at home. I saw the positive results and thought for sure I'd messed up the test. I even remember thinking I should call the customer service number and get my $4 back.
I went back to the Dollar Store, bought another $4 test, and the clerk let me take it in the rest room. The men's rest room. The women's loo was out of commission. It too was positive. I bought one more test for the following morning. I'm sure the clerk thought I was insane.
I took my third test the next morning before work and even TOOK A PICTURE OF THE RESULTS. I still couldn't believe my eyes. It too was positive.
I called my doc, and they scheduled a blood test for two weeks out. TWO WEEKS! I said no way, and just drove over to the clinic after work. I waited about an hour for someone in the lab to have a few free minutes to draw my blood, and then went home and waited for my results. The next day I received a call that said the blood test was positive, and I was likely four-five weeks pregnant.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Reading my first pregnancy books...
The second book is Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs. A fun and entertaining pregnancy book, and a very light read. This one I will probably be content with giving back to the library once I'm through.
Disposable vs. Cloth
I've been strongly considering reusable diapers, specifically some all-in-ones that look both convenient and comfy. The start-up costs are high, anywhere from $250 to $1,000, but NaturalFamilyOnline lists the costs of disposables as $2,694.54 for the diapering-life of a baby. I think that number is pretty accurate, as I've seen other figures that were quite a few years old that were close to that amount. The benefit of reusables is that I would have them to use for a second or third child as well, which would save us even more money. See the article for a break-down of the costs of disposables.
I am currently researching the different types of reusable diapers to see if there are one or two types that fit our needs and budgets. I plan to write about what I learn in the coming months.
Monday, January 09, 2006
My mom called tonight and said she bought two brand-new, gender-neutral, all cotton sleepers at the thrift store. Exactly what and I want and cheap to boot!