Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wrap It Up and Get Moving!

**Updated 3/14/13 with image and notes (italics)**

Make your own baby wrap!! It's so simple and so cheap. We've all heard of the Moby Wrap ($40) or GypsyMomma ($79) but they are so pricey. Here's how to make 2 for just $10.00, and the best part is no sewing!

-5 yards of bathing suit material type fabric. I went to Wally World (Walmart) any big brand store that sells fabric should be cheap. If you prefer classy fabric it will cost a bit more. The average size of a ream is 60" wide which is perfect.  Keep in mind: 5 yards seems like an excessive amount of fabric but you will need all of it for tying.
-Good fabric cutting scissors.
-A baby.

Take your fabric, fold it in half length wise and lay it out on the floor like a runway. Cut down the seam and separate your two pieces. You did it! You now have two baby wraps that are 5 yards by 30 inches.

They are cute and stylish and even though they are the oldest baby carrying method (besides your arms) on the planet they are so modern and chic! You can buy this fabric in plain colors, bright colors, patterns, anything! Because it's bathing suit material it wont fray so no need to hem. If you hem it might rip where you stitched unless you do it right.

You say you don't know how to wear a wrap?!? Well Moby wrap so kindly puts their directions ONLINE there are also instructions on YouTube that you can watch. I've only mastered the basic which is very simple, I haven't figured out how to breastfeed with it yet.

Now that you've got a wrap you are super mom, you can do anything you set your mind to. After-all you've got 2 free hands (I have to admit it kind of makes you feel pregnant again with your baby strapped to your belly) We went in the pool. I put him in there and waded in the shallow end and he just slept in there and enjoyed the warm water on his toes. You can also shower with your little one on hot days just stick him in and voila! shower time.

Don't you feel so nifty?


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tips for Top Notch Tits!

"Ouch, my nipples!" a phrase I hope to never hear myself say again (that is until teething comes along, that will be a whole other issue to deal with) I am proud to say that I have only had cracked nipples for less than a 24hr period and only 2 very mild cases of mastitis since my babe was born!

My trick? Knowing my body.

Having dry, cracked or sore nipples sucks! So here are a few things to do daily to prevent it and help it when it does happen.
-THE best thing for your nipples is actually your own breast milk. To prevent dryness after feeding baby just squeeze a little out (unless baby so kindly covered your boobs with it anyway) and with your finger rub it into your nipple before putting on breast pads.
-If you already have cracked nipples DO invest in lanolin cream. Madella makes a good one. Apply graciously after feedings and/or when you change breast pads.
-don't wear a bra. I know this sounds unpleasing because I'm sure we all leak but air really helps with nipple health. When you get home from work or have a few hours when nobody but you and the babe will be around put on a large, loose t-shirt (preferably one you dont mind getting stained) and lounge around the house for a few hours. Come on ladies, let the girls breathe a little!

Oh, mastitis, clogged duct or painful spot! I thankfully caught the mastitis before it got really bad, I knew my body and how it should feel normally and thats how I figured it out. And I killed it off with no antibiotics. To tell if it's mastitis or just a clogged duct take your temp, if it's higher than normal but below 103 then you might be able to get rid of it yourself. I had a temp of 103 and felt like total crap! My boobs hurt, my head hurt and I didn't feel like eating anything, here's what to do:
-Take Tylenol to reduce your fever-if it's over 103 just call your doctor!!!
-Apply heat and pressure (hot compress) TIP: boil a pot of water, once its boiling take it off the heat and open one of babies diapers (a CLEAN one thats is NOT on your baby! duh) pour water on it until it swells up all big and gets steamy. Now drape it over your boob. It's the right shape and stays hot longer than a warm towel.
-Nurse, nurse, nurse. I know it hurts but the baby does a way better job of unclogging ducts and getting milk flowing than a pump can. It's also better for your nipples.
-drink lots of water, keeps the milk thin and flowing plus you should be drinking a ton of water anyways.

If the area is pink or red and you have a massive lump call the doctor, it's too late to try and figure it out on your own and you're risking getting real sick. They'll give you antibiotics to take but keep doing these things as well, it really helps the process.

If you have a spot on your nipple that's clogged it's VERY painful the best thing is to pop it, get some milk out of it, smother it in lanolin and don't wear a bra for a few hours.

I hope this helps your boobies!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

7 Uses for a Gerber Cloth Diaper

I love Gerber cloth diapers! They have so many uses and I have thought of 7 good ones!

1-Of course the cloth diaper, easy to fold and all you need is pins!
2-Burp cloths
3-Use them as washcloths for baby in the tub. Wet it and drape it over him so he doesn't get cold while you wash and soap him up.
4-Once they are stained and icky use them as cleaning rags.
5-If you buy gdiapers (thats a whole other blog) they make excellent inserts instead of buying the g-inserts.
6-This one might be a stretch but fold in a triangle and roll it up, then tie around your head like a handkerchief. Sounds stupid but I did this while cleaning in the awful humidity the other day and it was quite cute! (plus it goes with anything)
7-My favorite blanky when I was little =] the greatest thing about this is if you loose it your little one wont cry because you'll always have another on hand!

A good tip-wash with bleach every time and iron after you dry them. They are SO much easier to use after they've been ironed. It is time consuming but worth it I promise.

(This was supposed to be 10...but...10 is too much for a mothers brain to comprehend so we'll stick with 7)


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Boob Cube!

Breast milk storage is probably the most complicated thing about breast/bottle feeding. You never expect it'll be all that hard to come up with a system that A) fits in your freezer and B) stays organized. I don't know about anyone else but I LOVE the dollar store...everything just one dollar (wootwoot)
I am using the Playtex Drop in bottles, I found that their new 'drop in' system isn't all that great the older bags are better. If you tighten the lid using the drop-ins and do it too tight the seal breaks and when you look at your baby and go "wow! you're eating fast today" only to move the bottle and find half on the breasmilk dripping down his front (true story)
So the best method for freezing breasmilk is icecube trays. I got mine at the Dollar Tree for 2/$1.00 I have green ones for breastmilk and blue ones for real ice cubes. You want to have a few trays so you can freeze all the milk from one day at once. You'll also need ziplock freezer bags (the ones with the window to write on are best) and any brand will do.
Heres how!

Pump all your milk into a large bottle or thermos, I keep it in the fridge and just add to it. Before going to bed shake it well and pour into the trays and freeze (they stack so they dont take much room. In the morning you have a tray or two of what I like to call "Boob Cubes" each cube is a little less than an ounce but close enough. Label the baggy three months from the date. This is the reccomended amount of time you keep milk in the freezer (I was told use the power of three-three hours at room temp, three days in the fridge and three months in the freezer) Now write the number of cubes as well, close and put in the freezer door.

Just make sure you wash trays well. They do sell storage systems at babys r us that are just like ice cube trays but for baby food. It's the same just a little pricier. If you are afraid your breastmilk will taste like freezer than wrap in saran wrap before putting in the freezer. This system also works when if comes time for solids.

To thaw!
Just put hoever many cubes you will need in a bottle the night before and put in the fridge by morning it should be slush and you can warm it up with hot water before giving to baby.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Snore followed by Fart followed by Wahhhh

I had this problem and sometimes still do. Bear will eat, burp, settle and fall asleep. I start to do my daily chores and then hear **pffft!** and then screams of pain coming from my little mans crib. Before you run to the store and buy a wedge to keep your baby elevated, sleep positioners so he doesn't roll off the wedge and a bottle of asprin to keep your head from exploding try this out. Under your baby's mattress put a 3" 3-hole binder...voila! you've created a wedge for about $3.00 as opposed to $20-70 (yes...$70!) This keeps baby elevated just enough so the bubbles rise to the top instead of cramping up his poor little belly. If your baby likes to slide down the wedge or does better sleeping on his side, take a regular sized bath towel fold in half length wise and roll either end toward the middle. Stop once there is a 6" gap between the two rolls. Place baby in the middle so the rolls are from his armpits down (this way he doesn't sleep with his face in the towel-not safe) if you're near a Wallmart or Target a bath towel is about $5-7.00 no need to be fancy, any towel will do. The thing I don't like about store bought sleep positioners is when your little one (god forbit) pukes or poops on it, it's almost impossible to get it out. A towel you just un-roll it and stick it in the wash with the rest of the dirties!
Now for just about $10 you've helped your baby get a good nights rest...well...a good two hours at least!


If anyone has thoughts suggestions or questions feel free to comment or e-mail me at

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Diaper Bag Madness!!!

Packing a diaper bag is something I struggle with daily. It seems like every time I get it down he ends up running out of something or needing something new. I think I've finally got it!
Choosing the right bag: The bag I like most has 5 pockets, one in front with smaller pockets inside (for small items like vitamin d and bibs) A large inside pocket for all your linens and bigger items and another outside pocket for a changing pad and two on either end that I keep a room temp bottle and the other is for my cell phone or wallet.
I put a check-list in the side pocket with things I need to bring for an 8 hour day trip.
2 4oz bottles cold or partially frozen
1 4oz bottle room temp
2 bibs
2 burp cloths (I use gerber cloth diapers)
Vitamin D
10 disposable diapers (if you use cloth bring 10 inserts and 2 covers)
whole pack of wipes (I put them in a zip-lock so I don't have a giant box taking up space)
Waterproof changing pad
Small tube of rash cream
Rattle or noisy toy (he likes the telephone shaped rattle)
Small quilt or blanket to use as a play mat
2 short sleeve onesies if summer (longsleeve if winter)
2 sleepers with feet
1 socks
1 hat
2 swaddle blankets

I am probably forgetting something now that I'm writing this out (and watching 'I didn't know I was pregnant') but the point is OVER PACK! The unexpected always happens!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spend spend spend!

There are so many places to buy things for your new bundle of joy but the truth is all she needs is YOU! (and maybe a few more things) but I can guarantee your newborn wont care the colors, brands or whether it's new or used! My goal is to help the thrifty mom decide what she really needs to get for her little one and what to use around the house instead. (Alot of these are also very 'green' if you're into that sort of thing)

None of these ideas are new, I am simply learning and collecting information from the various sources and sharing it all in one place! I will tackle things like gassy babies, feeding and breast health, entertainment, sleeping, decorating, traveling and any other issues I run into being a first time mom.

This is my spot to share experience and help out anyone willing to read.