Monday, March 18, 2013

The Dirty Details - Cloth Diapering

WARNING - This post contains poop! Scroll down at your own risk. 

I think most people's hesitation with cloth diapers is the mess. You want me to put WHAT in my washing machine?!?

Some people are hard core and use cloth diapers AND cloth wipes.  I prefer to leave the nasty stuff in the trash... I also use flushable liners to get the solids off the diaper easily (and down the toilet where it belongs)! I use bummis brand liners. I get the long rolls and cut the roll in half with a bread knife so it will fit better in the diaper.  Two rolls out of one - a roll lasts months!

So let's get to it... purple poop, blue outline of the liner (hard to see white on white): 

Poop goes in the pot with the liner:

Bigger poop - before and after:

They do offer diaper sprayers you can attach to your toilet to wash off the remaining mess. It would probably be really helpful if we didn't do liners. I don't mind a bit of leftovers... I just don't wash towels after a diaper load.

As far as how I sort the trash/diapers in the nursery - I have a trash can for wipes/small poops and a pail with this liner for diapers. I love that it has a wide top and a zip opening at the bottom so you're not having to dig out dirty diapers to wash them.  I have two bags; the bag goes in the wash with the diapers.

I haven't had an issue with our diapers smelling.  They say the smell comes from the ammonia in the urine mixing with leftover detergent chemicals.  For this reason, I use special Rock'N Green cloth detergent that is meant to rinse clean (they also have yummy scented shakers to 'freshen up' your pail between washes). You can buy it all over the place, and they have special hard/soft water formulas.

Not sure if you can tell the settings on the washer, but I run it hot, extra rinse, soak cycle.  Line dry.

I want to mention a few things -- newborn poop is like tar - literally - they could pave roads with that stuff! I used scent/dye free disposables they gave us at the hospital the first day or two until the meconium (baby tar poop) was gone. Until baby is eating real food (not milk or formula) the poops are a bit more runny - also more water soluble. So you'll have more 'overage' on the liners, but it isn't like actual poop yet.

Do you have a diaper cleaning tip? Have you braved cloth wipes?

In writing this post I'm thinking more about using cloth wipes for liquids... we do go through quite a bit of wipes!!! Still no nasty wipes though... not brave enough.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Amber Teething Beads

Teething bites. haha! I can't even imagine how it must feel to have teeth erupt from your mouth. It's wonderful that babies can't remember this stage, because I imagine it would be traumatic.  What's even more traumatic? The doom-and-gloom fear about teething medicines! Our pediatrician said to avoid gum cream because, "extended use can numb the back of the throat and a baby can choke without noticing." EEK! Not to mention, the FDA doesn't recommend using benzocaine on any children under 2 years old.  What is benzocaine in, you ask? Uhm... EVERYTHING!!!! There's a long list under the FDA link.

So... now what?! We have enough teething toys to sink a small vessel.  Cold ones, rubber ones, noisy ones... guess which ones the babe likes? That's right - he could care less about any of them... 

forgive the iPhone pic
Unfortunately, the little guy was still in pain. Enter amber teething beads:

The theory behind amber teething beads is this:

  • baltic amber has a high concentration of succinic acid 
  • amber is a resin, not a stone, so body heat warms up the beads and releases this acid
  • succinic acid is produced commercially and is FDA approved
  • in ancient Egypt/Rome/Greece there is documented use of amber in medicine for healing/pain relief
  • the beads ARE NOT CHEWED

Sounded good to me! But wait... are you putting a NECKLACE on a BABY!!! Yes. The beads are individually tied off, so if the necklace breaks, you're risking ingesting a single bead. The beads are non-toxic, and the bead will eventually pass. 

I will note that the babe doesn't sleep in his necklace. We take that off at night.  However, he does keep the anklet on 24/7.  It's usually under a sock, so he doesn't even realize it is there. He has yet to tug at the necklace, but if he were to start pulling on it we may stick to the bracelet only.

We get the occasional strange look - like, 'hey the 90s called and boys don't wear necklaces anymore.' I can't speak to how effective they are, but we do have close to 5 teeth in and he hasn't woken up at night in pain.  The way I see it, "Why Not?!" 

Look how cute he looks in his amber and 'tux'!!
again...iPhone pic

What 'alternative' treatments have you used on your kiddos? Have they worked?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Lies on the Internet

The internet is the perfect example of a double-edged sword. You can find a wealth of information on almost any topic, and there are all sorts of forums to commiserate with people in your same situation. 

One of the biggest problems with the internet is it often gives false expectation and a false sense of reality. Does EVERYONE else have babies that smile ALL THE TIME?!?

OF COURSE NOT!!! But who wants to post a picture of their baby crying, distracted, or escaping?

So, in order to pull back the curtain, here's the final product:

- and here's what it took to get there:

All fun, great memories, but this is how I'll remember the babe:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lactation Cookies

If you're a brand new mom, or one that's been nursing for a while, these cookies will help increase your milk production and satisfy your sweet tooth! These cookies are packed with fiber, omega-3s and flavor - so anyone will enjoy them!

The recipe I used:
1cup butter
1/2 cup splenda - 1/2 cup sugar (can use 1 cup sugar)
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 heaping tbs ground flaxseed meal (soaked in 4 tbs water that also goes in)
4 heaping tbs brewer's yeast
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
3 cups oats
1.5 cups goodies - choc chips/craisins (can use raisins, nuts, etc.)

I literally dumped it all into my KitchenAid mixer except the oats/fruit/chocolate.  Those were mixed in at the very end.  I put the batter it in the fridge for about 10 minutes before baking at 350ยบ for 12 minutes. Cold batter doesn't spread as much, so you end up with thick cookies - if batter is at room temp, the batter will run and you'll have wide/short cookies.

The main 'lactation' ingredient is brewer's yeast.  You can find it at most health food stores.  Basically, it's the yeast byproduct of brewing.

Another power ingredient is flaxseed.  Not only is it super high in Omega-3s, but it also has more fiber in 2 tablespoons than in 1.5 cups of oatmeal! 

Yummy.... I think I'm going to go grab a glass of milk and indulge again.