Saturday, April 21, 2012

Baby Wearing Bliss

Baby wearing has been around for centuries.  Before there were strollers, moms wore their babies all the time!  The benefits of baby wearing are countless and include keeping baby calm and happy, keeping arms free to care for other children or take care of household chores, may even help moms who may be depressed.  Scientific studies have been done and show that wearing your baby is great for their emotional and physical development.  I'm all for that!!  There are so many reasons to wear your baby and I encourage every mom to wear their baby if possible.  Find more reasons to wear your baby here!

Ever since my #3 child was born, I've been into baby wearing.  I had to.  My two older children were 2 and 1 when he was born.  I was one busy momma and my sling saved my life!  It was so convenient to just pop the baby in the sling so I could have extra hands to hug the little ones or fold laundry or prepare meals.  I honestly couldn't have done it without my sling.  With him, I chose a pouch type sling, you know the over-one-shoulder kind.  When I had #4, I purchased another one shoulder type and used it some, it really started hurting my neck so I started searching for another, more comfortable type of carrier. 

That's when I learned all about the ergo.  I got one on ebay for a great price and used it all the time.  I could put any of the kids in it when they were cranky and they would calm down.  The older ones had a blast getting piggy back rides while I cleaned the floors or did dishes.  I was even able to carry 2 sleeping babies if I had to, one in the ergo on my back, and another in my arms.
In February #5 was born.   I currently have 2 carriers, a Sleepy Wrap that I won on a blog giveaway and a baby k'tan that I received at my baby shower.  I really LOVE the Sleepy Wrap!  Baby sleeps almost instantly when I put her in there.  It feels so nice to have that warm, chubby baby so close to me.  Wish I could wear her forever!  The baby k'tan is easy to put on and works well, but I am so in love with my wrap that I almost never use it.

I am already planning for the future and looking for another carrier, one that's easier and quicker to snap on and throw baby into.  I have been scouring the Internet for giveaways for various carriers.  I recently found a giveaway for a Beco Gemini carrier and a Red Charlotte stuff sack at Life With My Littles blog.  I want this Beco so badly!!  And the Red Charlotte GC, such a bonus!  I am praying (literally) that I win this prize!!  You should head on over and enter for it yourself!!  Let the Mama of the Littles know that I sent you!!

Are you a baby wearing momma?  What is your favorite carrier?    

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Adventures in Cloth Diapers

I've been a cloth diapering momma for almost 2 months now.  The other night my husband asked me, "So, how's the cloth thing going?"  By the looks of that question, I bet you can guess that he hasn't changed a diaper yet.  But I'm okay with that!  I love snapping those cute little things on my chubby baby's bum.  And it brings me great joy to know that I'm not contributing to over filled landfills. 

I am also happy to be able to keep dangerous chemicals away from baby's delicate skin.  Did you know that your skin absorbs faster than your stomach?  Everything we put on our skin and scalp gets sucked into our bloodstream very quickly.  And there are some pretty nasty chemicals in disposable diapers.  Some which the World Health Organization and the Environmental Protection Agency say are carcinogenic!  That means they cause cancer among other things.

The amount of money that can be saved is absolutely jaw dropping!  Being a one income family of 7, it seemed a wise choice to go the cloth route.  I really don't think we would have been able to afford disposables this time around!  Check out this site which breaks down the money saving potential!  Seeing those numbers is shocking!        

Armed with all this info, I set out to find the best deals on cloth diaper and wipes I could find.  Luckily I have a blogging friend who has been cloth diapering and writing about it for a while.  She was blessed to have companies sending her different diapers to try out and review.  She also had a few great connections with online cloth diaper retailers and helped me to get a super great deal on some diapers.  I ended up spending just over $10 a diaper thanks to a buy 3 get one free deal that FuzziBunz was running, and earthy crunchy mama offering a free gift with purchase and a military discount! 

Now we had to choose wipes and of course a wetbag.   I chose Planet Wise wipes and wetbags.  I loved their wipes pouch and the bright colors of wipes.  They have the most awesome patterns for wetbags too.  I bought a wipe warmer and folded the wipes to fit nicely in there.  A little water to wet the wipes and we're set to clean the sweet bum!  We've only used water so far, but I know there are plenty of wipes solutions you can buy or even make your own.

I take my wetbag, diapers and wipes with me whenever I go out.  No excuses here, I'm gonna use the cloth everywhere I go!  It's fun seeing peoples faces when I change baby in the bathrooms.  And every now and then I run into another cloth diapering momma.   

I also love that my kids are learning to be green through us cloth diapering.  My 7 year old daughter is always happy to change baby's diaper, and she does an amazing job!  I also enjoy the help!     

I've been washing about every other day.  Right now baby is exclusively breastfed so washing is simple.  Just pull out the inserts and wash!  No rinsing prior to filling the washer.  I do run a soak in cold water, and then a rinse before I wash on the sanitary cycle.  It does take about 3 hours in total just to wash, then another 90 min to dry on low.   I spend some evenings after the kids go to bed stuffing pocket diapers and folding wipes while I watch TV. It's kind of relaxing really.

Are you thinking about cloth diapering?  I encourage you to do the research and give it a try!  There are so many choices for cloth diapering out there.  There's bound to be something perfect for you and your family. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bamboobies Winner!

I am happy to announce a winner for the Bamboobies Giveaway! 

Brittany Harrison Vice, check your email and get back to me within 48 hours!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Let's talk about carseats.

The other day I saw a video on Facebook about a toddler that broke his neck in a car accident.  He was properly restrained in a carseat.  They said the reason he was injured so badly was because his carseat was forward facing.  Most convertible carseats state that it is safe to turn your baby to forward facing when the reach 1 year old and are 20lbs.  With my first few kids, I couldn't wait to turn them forward.  It was always a milestone when they turned one and I was able to see their cute little faces in the rear view mirror.  I must admit, I'm pretty sure none of them weighed 20lbs by their first birthday.  I didn't know or understand anything about carseat safety.

I just had our 5th baby in February.  We had to buy a new, bigger minivan to make room for 5 carseats/boosters.  That got me reading about state laws regarding carseats and boosters.  Our law here in Maryland states that a child should be in a booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4' 9" and 65lbs.  Our oldest son is 8.  My husband wanted to keep our smaller van and since we wouldn't be breaking the law, have our oldest son sit without a booster.  At first I thought it would be okay.  We aren't breaking the law right?  Well, the more I read the more concerned I became.  You see, our 3rd row seat in the small van doesn't have a shoulder belt in the middle seat.  This is unsafe.  Even with the shoulder belt our son was unsafe.  The belt definitely crossed his neck and the lap belt ran right across his stomach.  Both of these belt placements would surely cause a severe injury if we were in an accident. 

Believe me, if we could have SAFELY kept our paid off van, I would have been all for it.  But I just couldn't imagine  letting my little boy sit so dangerously in the back seat knowing what I knew about carseat safety.  I was able, after much debating, to convince my husband that buying a bigger van with room for 3 boosters in the 3rd row was the best thing for our family.

Our newest baby will be rear facing for as long as I can have them that way.  After watching the crash test dummies in this video, it's a no brainer for me.  Safer is better. 

I have seen people comment about how ridiculous these new laws are.  I have to agree to a point.  I mean, seriously, my kids will probably be in boosters until they are freshmen in high school!  But honestly, I don't really care.  It's their safety we're talking about here.  Possibly life or death!

Do you know what the laws are in your state?  Here is a link to help you find out.  Is your child like mine and lawfully able to ride without a booster in your car?  Here is a website that will help you decide if your child is as safe as they can be in the car.  Is your child SAFE in your car, even if you are obeying the law?  Share with me your thoughts on this post!  What's your favorite carseat for each age group?