Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hey Target, What's the deal??

In case you have not heard, a mother was recently harassed in a Target store while she tried to breastfeed her 4 month old baby under the cover of a baby blanket. Initially an employee of the Texas Target informed her that she should nurse in one of the changing rooms. When she declined another employee told her that she could be cited for indecent exposure. Within minutes word must have spread throughout their staff and several other workers walked by to get a peek and shake their head in disapproval. Disapproval of a woman feeding her baby. Apparently these employees were concerned that her public act of breastfeeding would bother her fellow shoppers. How many customers complained? Not one. After this story had garnered national attention (at least among those concerned with breastfeeding and women's right), Target issued a statement saying that “guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable".

Unfortunately, I did not find this story very shocking. As a mother that breastfed two babies for a total of 35 months between them I had experienced a fair amount of ignorance and ill treatment. A museum employee once approached me while I nursed my son under a nursing cover and told me that I would be more comfortable in the "mom's lounge" in the bathroom? When I walked into the stale air of the restroom I was greeted by a folding chair. I turned right around and assumed my former position and fed my son. I have several stories like this and they all end in me standing my ground and feeding my baby. Many times I was able to nurse my babies while wearing them and no one was the wiser. Who was I hurting??

What disturbed me most about this incident was reading the comments on articles about the story. Grown men and women referring to breastfeeding as "icky" and "inappropriate". That this woman must have wanted to cause a scene because she refused to be relegated to a stall to feed her baby. Others questioned her fitness as a mother for not pumping bottles in anticipation of his hunger. Still more made rude comments about her body (HELLO, she just had a baby four months before!. I was aghast. Do these same people clutch their pearls when they pass a Victoria's Secret? when they watch cable? Can't they understand that this woman was just trying to provide milk to her baby??

Listen, I know that not everyone can or wants to breastfeed. I feel very strongly that "breast is best" but I know that every mother just wants to raise a healthy baby and has to make her own choices. What I do not understand is why all the moms of the world are not enraged at what happened in Target. Why it is okay for corporate America to use images of breasts to sell clothes, beer, cars and so much more but not okay for me to feed my baby? Nursing moms are not trying to expose themselves, to shock people or to cause a commotion- they just want to feed their babies. They do not want to feed them in a dank public restroom or in the broom closet. Why aren't we more concerned with nurturing these moms so that they can feel more comfortable in their role as a mother? Why are breastfeeding moms being harassed in 21st century America??

My sons are 5 and 2. I have no problem with them witnessing a mother nurse their child. I want them to grow up knowing that breasts serve a biological purpose and are not just there to be ogled. If I am ever blessed with a daughter I want her to know the power of her body and all that it is capable of. I want her to breastfeed confidently without feeling as though she is going to be harassed. I want her to feel as though her rights as a woman are upheld.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review: Nosefrida the Snotsucker

One of the first things you learn to do as a mother is use a bulb syringe to clear out your baby’s nose. Everyone knows about the battle of the bulb syringe! It’s a rite of passage! Fortunately, one of my friends eventually turned me on to the Nosefrida, a Swedish invention that has been used in Europe by pediatricians, nurses, midwives and parents for over 10 years.

The Nosefrida is a simple tapered plastic tube connected to a hose with a mouthpiece. You bite the mouthpiece, insert the tube into a nostril (it is designed so it doesn’t actually enter the nose, but plugs baby’s nostril to get a good suction) and slowly suck in, providing sustained and gentle suction. To keep the suction tube clean and your mind settled, the Nosefrida incorporates a disposable foam filter that keeps the snot and bacteria in the tube and out of your mouth.

I love and trust all things Swedish, so of course I ordered one! Right on cue, my 1-year-old daughter got another cold, so I was able to give the Nosefrida a good workout right away.

And it was excellent! I was able to begin sucking into the tube before approaching my daughter’s nostrils, so I got a good 3-4 seconds of strong, sustained suck before she swatted it away. The clear tube allowed me to see my prize….a gallon of mucus, at least! I had to get the other nostril, so, I started sucking, aimed, and…she let me stick it in her nose without complaint! She welcomed it, in fact, grinning the whole time. Of course it’s funny! Look at what you are doing! Another gallon of mucus retrieved. It was a very pleasant interaction, and I could tell that my daughter felt much better. She has gotten two or three colds since then, and snotsucking has now become a funny game for us.

With a bulb syringe, you have to squeeze, aim, insert deep into the nose, and then get a ½ second of measly suck action if you managed to get it in the right place…and then you have to somehow clean it!

Cleaning the Nosefrida is simple. You just take the hose and filter off and then flush the tube with soap and water. Good as new, with visual confirmation that there are no boogies left. I’m cheap, so I just rinse the filter and use again, but you are supposed to use a fresh filter for each snotsucking session. I do change mine at the end of each illness.

This, along with the Ergo Baby Carrier, BabyLegs and Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets, is one of my top items for new moms and old moms alike.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

How UnderCover Mama Saved My Baby from Chickenpox!

A few weeks ago I noticed 2 itchy spots on my belly and back. I thought it was mosquito bites but had no idea how they got to my belly! Someone suggested it was poison ivy but again, almost impossible. A couple days later it turned into a blistery rash. As we were going out of town the next day, I decided to go to Patient First being that it was quite uncomfortable and I wanted to make sure it wasn't contagious.

The Doctor at Patient First took one look at it and announced, "That is definitely Shingles."  Shingles?! I thought that's for old people! She said that she's seen a few young people with it lately. So am I contagious? Only if someone comes into direct contact with the lesions. But I am nursing a baby! She said my baby was likely already exposed so there's nothing I can do about it anyway. Someone can contract chickenpox from shingles, but they wouldn't contract shingles. But my 8 mo old nursling has not had the chickenpox or the vaccine, and he's the only one who has been in direct contact with my belly!

Her only advice was to keep it covered, wash my hands, and take an antiviral. I was taken off work for a week as I'm a midwife and don't want to expose my patients - just in case. I called my pediatrician who wasn't concerned. It's not dangerous for a baby at 8 months to get chicken pox.

So we went on our trip as planned. And my baby never got the chicken pox!

I attribute it to my Undercover Mama! I LOVE the Undercover Mama and wear one all the time! It is great because it just hooks to your regular nursing bra and is much cheaper than a nursing tank. I like that it keeps my belly covered while I'm nursing as I wear a lot of T-shirts. I also wear it to sleep because nursing in bed makes for a cold tummy! I think because my Undercover Mama kept my belly covered all the time, my baby was never exposed to the shingles lesion.

Another great benefit of the Undercover Mama!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lollidoo Overnight EcoPocket to the Rescue!

All moms suffer from lack of sleep and look forward to a time when their little one will sleep through the night without waking. We dream about it, well actually moms who don't get good sleep don't actually get to dream, but we daydream about

The heartbreak happens when the time comes, baby sleeps through the whole night, the problem? Well the problem is that your cloth diapers can't make it through the whole night without wicking or leaking and there's nothing like a soaked cloth diaper, sheets and onesie to wake a sleeping babe! I know, it's a sad thing, all you want to do is sleep and finally baby wants to sleep, but you need to find an overnight cloth diapering system that works!

That's where the Lollidoo Overnight Ecopocket comes in! Fleece is a really awesome cloth diapering solution for heavy wetter and overnight and that's why Lollidoo has created a pocket diaper for overnight using it! Fleece repels moisture which keeps the wetness inside the diaper, in the inserts where it belongs.

About Lollidoo:
Made in the USA with recycled and organic fibers, LolliDoo cloth diapers are available in a whole host of styles, beginning with our versatile eco-pocket pocket-style cloth diaper with recycled fleece outer and your choice of certified organic cotton skin liner or recycled StayDry skin liner. eco-pocket diapers are available in Classic or Overnight styles in an array of vibrant colors.

The Overnight Ecopocket comes with THREE absorbent innies/inserts.
Visit Soft and Cozy Baby today and check out the Ecopocket by Lollidoo! We promise, you won't regret it!

Guest Author: Julie, the "Cloth Diaper Geek"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You use what kind of diapers??!!

One of the things I love most about cloth diapering (and working at a cloth diaper store) is getting to share my knowledge and passion with others. I love when a fellow mom expresses interest in learning more and gives cloth diapering a try. I get a thrill when a fellow mom notices my son's adorable diaper in the Nordstrom ladies lounge. What better way to spread the word?

That being said, I often run into those that are super skeptical of the whole cloth diaper concept. I hear questions like "You wash that in your washing machine?", "You have to rinse them out?", "You know disposables are so much easier, right??". I wish I knew the perfect way to respond but I am usually at a loss. I generally revert to smiling and conceding that cloth diapering might not be the best choice for everyone... I wish I could express to them how cloth diapering changed the way I look at consumerism, the environment, my budget, my baby's health and so much more!

Have you encountered many nay-sayers?? How do you respond?

Monday, April 4, 2011

cloth wipes: all the cool people are using them

When I first ventured into the world of cloth diapering I was hesitant about a lot of factors: washing, leakage, practicality etc. I was ultimately won over by the environmental impact of disposables AND their impact on my wallet. Why then was I not as excited to jump on the cloth wipe band wagon? For some reason I held onto that last vestige of disposable diapering. I was happy to ditch the paper diapers but I felt like the wipes practical and inexpensive enough to keep using them. I was so wrong!

After about a month of cloth diapering I realized the disposable wipes were cramping my style. First, I discovered how flimsy they were and just how many I needed to clean up an atomic #2 diaper. Second, I could no longer just wrap them up in the disposable diaper and throw them out (ohhhhhhhhh the landfills........). It actually ended up being MORE work to separate them out without making a mess. I ended up banishing disposable wipes from my house (I do keep them in the car for emergencies!) and making an effort to use the cloth option.

For those that are skeptical (or scared) here is "Cloth Wipes 101".
Lots of cloth diaper makers have gotten in on the cloth wipe action: BumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz, Kissaluvs, the list goes on and on. You can also use washcloths (baby or otherwise- the baby ones tend to be a little softer on the bum), pieces of old textiles- you get the picture. You can use them dry with a spray bottle, wet with plain ol' water, or wet with a diaper wipe solution. There is no wrong way- just what you find that works best for you.

Here is how I "get my wipe on":

I use Thirsties Fab Wipes (and let me tell you, they ARE fab!

For a solution I use Punkin Butt Organic Wipe Concentrate:

I love that one little bottle makes 50 batches!!!

I use a plastic wipes container but any tupperware (or even a wipe warmer) will do. I use an old Huggies tub because I like the opening better for "pop-up-ability". I won't include a picture of that because I bet our readers are super smart and know what one looks like ;)

Now here is where I get kind of fancy. I like my wipes to pop out of the tub like a disposable wipe would. Here is how I make that happen:

Step 1: Lay out the first wipe and put the second wipe halfway over it.

Step 2: Fold one wipe over the other.

Step 3: Lay another wipe over the side you just folded over.

Step 4: Fold the opposite side over the cloth you just laid down.

Continue folding this away until you have used the desired number of wipes and place them in your wipe container. Next, add your wipe solution to one cup of boiled water and pour over the wipes. You're done!! Once you get the hang of folding the wipes this will go a lot faster :) If the folding is not your think you can skip this step. Other mamas prefer to wet wipes as needed or just keep a spray bottle with water or wipe solution on hand to spray dirty bottoms. No matter which way you do it cloth wipes saves you money AND benefits the earth!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Breastfeeding Necessities

My son is now 8 weeks old and I am LOVING breastfeeding my second time around! Breastfeeding should be simple, right. Just you and the baby. No bits and pieces to take along or wash. You're ready to go whenever baby needs with no cleanup required (except for the milk mouth)!

That is true and makes breastfeeding so much nicer than bottle feeding with all its included preparation and clean-up. But I want to share some of the gadgets that I've been using which is turning breastfeeding into almost as much of an obsession as cloth diapering! I just love all these things that I've found to make the experience that much more exciting!

The first is the Undercover Mama. This awesome invention keeps your belly covered while you nurse. Instead of buying an expensive nursing tank or forfeiting your favorite bra, you can keep your bra and save money with this product. It attaches to your own bra and drops down when you release the clasp on your bra! I am living in it these days! I wear it to bed too because my belly always gets cold when I'm nursing in bed at night!

Next is the Milkies Milk Saver. This thing is ingenious. All you can think about when you take off your soaking breast pads is how much milk was wasted that is now going to be washed out. Especially when you need to pump and every drop counts! It is a little large and I would love one that I could wear all day long, but it's got a great design. You put it in your bra on the other side than you're nursing on. And it catches all the milk with let-down. I once collected 2 oz using this! It even comes with a heavy-duty case that acts as a stand to hold it upright.

My last ingenious invention is Milk Trays. With my first child, I couldn't believe how expensive those bags are to freeze breastmilk in. Were they really necessary? What's wrong with plain old freezer bags? Of course no one had an answer so I used them - protecting my precious breastmilk for my baby. I'd hate for it to get ruined or freezer burned. Then I saw Milk Trays. They are specially designed, made of medical grade plastic, with 1 oz compartments. You pour the milk into the compartments from the bottle that you pump into. Then you freeze it. When they're frozen, you pop out the one-ounce sticks and store them in a regular freezer bag. Date the bag by the week so you use up old milk first. To defrost just put as many sticks as needed into a bottle and defrost in warm water like you normally would. This way you save every drop and don't defrost more than you need and have to throw it away. Then just rinse out the trays and reuse!

Of course, I would be remiss if I failed to mention My Brest Friend as a true nursing necessity. It provides unbelievable support and comfort, even for the new breastfeeding mama with a tiny newborn. At that early stage you truly don't have enough hands and support to keep everything in place. This pillow wraps around your body and is very adjustable both in how high or low you set it and in how snug it fits around your belly. It has a flat surface so the baby doesn't roll in to you and supports your arms and back. The great thing I've found, even with nursing an older (relatively-speaking) baby, is that it comes in very handy when I'm nursing on one side and pumping on the other. I do that to maximize my pumping, which I need to do for work. The pillow completely supports the baby, so I don't need to use 2 hands to hold him, and I can hold the pump and usually still read a book or type on my laptop. For the modern woman!
My Brest Friend comes in super pattern choices, offers a plush deluxe cover option, has slipcovers that can be switched out, and even has a Twin Pillow!

Speaking of the modern breastfeeding mama, check out the Easy Expression by Medela. It comes as a halter or bustier and holds your pump in place so you're hands-free and can get things done! Truly vital if you're pumping at work. I have even heard first-hand of some women who pump in the car on their long commute. Have to be hands-free for that!

Happy Breastfeeding!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cat Wearing

One day I was doing my helpful thing at Soft and Cozy Baby when an older local lady came in, looking bewildered. She was all the stereotypes of “crazy cat lady” that one can think of, so I was ready for an interesting conversation. She was looking for a baby carrier- a cheap one to wear on the chest, she stressed. I showed her our Moby Wrap and she was instantly overwhelmed. So I showed her the Baby K’tan as the easier alternative, and she said “I’m just worried that her claws will snag that fabric.” Claws, you say? It turned out that she had an ailing cat at home that she would like to wear, because kitty didn’t like to be away from her and could not go up and down stairs anymore.

Ah! Considering that I am no stranger to wearing cats, I indulged her request. I told her to go to any thrift store and pick up a Baby Bjorn or Infantino, as it would be perfect for her to wear her invalid cat. I printed out some examples of a “crotch dangler” and sent her on her way. I love Baltimore!

A few weeks later, Cat Lady stopped by again…with the little black cat strapped to her chest facing out in an old blue and plaid Baby Bjorn, cost $5! She was elated, and the cat was either quite comfortable and happy, or half dead. Another satisfied customer!

And that is the only time I will ever recommend a Baby Bjorn! Why? Because there are hundreds of more supportive and more versatile-not to mention more stylish-baby carriers on the market, for about the same price.

The Baby Bjorn only allows parents to wear their babies on the front, to a maximum weight of about 20 pounds. Many folks won’t even make it to that weight limit before giving up on babywearing because of the Bjorn’s design, which does not distribute baby’s weight comfortably for parent OR baby.

Let’s compare the Bjorn with one of our most popular (and my favorite) soft structured carriers, the Ergo Baby.

The Ergo has a wide, padded waist strap that effectively spreads almost all of baby’s weight onto the hips, which as all mothers know, are designed to bear lots of weight. The Bjorn “hangs” all of baby’s weight on the adult’s trapezius muscles, which are not designed to bear any weight at all.

Furthermore, the Ergo places baby in a comfortable “seated” position, spreading their legs in an ergonomic position (hence, “Ergo”) that also helps distribute baby’s weight evenly onto your hips. The Bjorn concentrates all of baby’s weight on a small strip of fabric between baby's legs, which hang straight down instead of curling around the wearer's body. This allows baby's weight to press on baby's small, delicate crotch area, which is thought to cause spine and genital issues.

The third feature that makes the Ergo and other similar soft structured carriers a much more practical choice than the Bjorn is the ability to wear your child on your back. This allows you to carry heavier children (up to 45 lbs!) for much longer periods of time, as well as be able to do housework or other tasks that require your arms. I have carried a 40-lb five-year-old on my back for several hours in my Ergo with no difficulty or pain at all!

The only thing that the Ergo cannot do that a Baby Bjorn does is allow baby to face outward, but this is not a design flaw. The “facing out” position does not distribute baby’s weight or position baby’s spine ergonomically, so the “facing out” position is not optimal for long periods of comfortable babywearing. Furthermore, it is thought that babies can get stressed and overstimulated if facing out for long periods of time- they can’t see their caregiver or turn away from the stimulating outside world if they need to. But for those who have babies who do like to see what’s going on, there are carriers like the Beco Gemini, FreeHand, and Pikkolo. These carriers are a great cross between the Bjorn and a standard soft structured carrier like the Ergo- they have a supportive waist strap AND allow baby to be worn facing in, facing out, and on your back!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Newborn Picks

So I am LOVING cloth diapering a newborn. He is now 4 weeks old. I have a lot of my first son's diapers saved but we started with a diaper service so the diapers I had are still too big on my newbie! Plus there are so many fun diapers out there that I needed to try! I consider him a business expense - to try out all my new products!

So Netanel was born Jan 17 weighing in at 7 lb 4 oz - perfect size! But he was also too small for some of the diapers that should fit a newborn. Plus we had the umbilical cord issue - what would fold down and not rub on it. So I'll share my faves!

Lil Joeys are awesome for newborns! They're a bit pricey, I agree. But they really fit perfectly. They're designed for 5-12 lb. We used them from the beginning, as they have a fold down for the umbilical cord. Plus they still fit great a month later, and I except to get at least another month or so use out of them. To top it all off, my 2 year old's favorite diaper is Rumparooz Ladder 6 - so now he has matching diapers with his little brother!

Tini Fits are also designed to fit 5-12 lb. They don't have the umbilical cut out and they were a bit big initially, but we love them now, at 4 weeks. Plus they're stuffable like a pocket!

FuzziBunz Perfect Size in XSmall is another great fit. I love pocket diapers in general as you can stuff them with extra absorbancy, which I've needed to do. Plus if you snap them all the way to the center, at the smallest setting, it pulls down the middle to clear the umbilical cord.

Kissaluvs fitteds in a Size 0 are a well-known favorite for newborns. They fit great, snap down in front and are trim. To go over it I used a Thirsties XSmall cover which fits great. I started with a Bummis Newborn Super Brite but he's basically outgrown that by now - except for very trim diapers. But it doesn't work over prefolds anymore.

Prefolds are also a great newborn option. They're economical, absorbant, and you can customize the fit. They are a bit bulky but fit fine under a onesie or stretchie. Babies look cute with a bubble butt! For overnight diaper changes I like Bummis Whisper Pants - you dont have to deal with pinching and tucking the prefold into a cover. They're not cute, but when you're bleary-eyed in the middle of the night, you just pull it up and you're done!

bumGenius XS All-In-One are also a great, easy newborn diaper option.

And coming soon are GroVia's newborn organic All-In-Ones! Can't wait to try it!

What's your favorite newborn diaper??
Check out our Newborn Diaper page!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow makes me love cloth even more...

Everyone that knows me knows of my love for cloth diapers. As much as I love CDing I sometimes forget the everyday benefits.

For example, this is what I woke up to this morning:

The Baltimore area received around 10 inches of snow between yesterday afternoon and this morning. My car is covered, my sidewalk is covered and the snowplows did only a mediocre job on my street.

The good news is that I have plenty of food and DIAPERS! I never have to worry about being snowed in and running out of diapers or wipes! If I were to run out (which is highly doubtful!) I could just throw them in the wash and be set! I forgot how AWESOME that is! I was scrolling through Facebook this morning and noticed that a number of fellow moms were worried about how they would get to the store to buy more disposable diapers and wipes. Not me! I have a nice fresh stack of fluff waiting for us.

What do you love most about cloth diapering? Is it convenience? cuteness? money savings? environmental friendliness?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New Baby! New Reviews!

We just had our second baby Monday morning! No name yet! He weighed 7 lb 4 oz and was born in the water, assisted by my midwife partner (I'm also a midwife). Beginning this new journey with new knowledge of fun baby and mama products is super exciting! I hope to share some of my experiences with you. Postings are going to be sporatic with a new baby but I think I'll actually have more time during my babymoon than I normally do! He sleeps a lot right now, and I know, I should be too!

The first thing you need after giving birth is Mama Pads! I've been using Glad Rags for years now, but after taking off 10 months for a pregnancy and using the paper ones in the hospital, I'm glad to be back to cloth pads!

When your bottom is sore and needs extra TLC, I can't imagine using the paper, itchy, sticky pads. Cloth pads are much gentler and softer. And prettier! Think of it as pampering yourself too! You've got these adorable diapers for your baby's bottom; why not have fun stuff for yourself!

Glad Rags come in fun patterns and prints. Plus they're stuffable so you can add extra absorbancy or decrease how thick they are, depending on your flow. They come in Pantiliners, Day Pads, and Night Pads. The Night Pads are extra long and wide and allow for more absorbancy - perfect for postpartum! The pads also come in 1 packs or 3 packs.

We also carry FuzziBunz Comfort Pads. They have a PUL daisy-print backing and a soft fleece liner.

And then, think of all the money you'll save! These aren't newborn diapers that you'll grow out of and never need again! You will likely use these (and love them!) for years to come! Never send someone to the store in the middle of the night to buy you more pads or tampons!

How to wash: Well now, I just throw them in with my diapers! Pre-husband and child, I used them too and would wash them separately. They recommend soaking them to prevent staining. But since I got married, I didnt think my husband wanted to walk into the bathroom and see a bowl of soaking pads! So I stopped soaking them. They might be a little stained, but they're dark and it doesn't bother me anyway! You can either wash them separately or with your dark laundry. Never had anything get ruined because of it.

Post here if you use cloth pads and what you like about them!

Upcoming posts - newborn cloth diapers, breastfeeding, newborn support group!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thirsties NEW Duo Fab Fitted

We've been waiting a LONG time for these diapers to make their debut and now they're here!

Thirsties has developed the Duo - 2 size system which I love! Most one-size diapers truly don't fit a newborn or a potty-trainer. So Thirsties developed a 2 size system; Size One starts at 6 pounds - truly a newborn, unlike One-Size diapers which start around 8 pounds. Size Two is 18-40 lbs. Most children are potty-trained by then!

So, introducing the Duo Fab Fitted! A 2 size fitted that works superbly with the 2 size Duo Wrap, or Thirsties original cover. Plus the colors coordinate with the Duo Wraps and are adorable! Don't even want to cover those up!

Super Absorbancy! These fitteds hold up to 18 oz of fluid! That's 7 times their weight! Great for even a heavy wetter.

The Duo Fitted has a sleeve design for extra stuffing if necessary and faster drying.

And it's available in 6 adorable colors and Velcro or Snaps!

Check here for more info!