Bath time is a fun time at our house, as I’m sure it is in yours. D loves to play in the water, especially since we transitioned him from his tub to a bath seat – there’s a much larger area to explore! The transition was needed because D was growing too big for his tub, but something else had been growing too…his hair.
Our small baby tub came with a small plastic crab scoop that functioned as both a toy and as our rinsing cup. Not only had D outgrown his tub, his head of hair had outgrown the dinky crab cup for rinsing.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to try Nuby’s Tear Free Rinse Pail, as were were in need of a larger water receptacle for rinsing (and we don’t keep plastic cups in our house). Nuby’s Tear Free Rinse Pail is made of colorful BPA free plastic, with a soft rubber-like inner edge to create a tear-free seal against the forehead.
At 8 1/2 months, D’s head is a little small for the Rinse Pail’s seal to work completely efficiently (that and his head is in constant motion), but it did the job rinsing in with one motion (rather than 4 or 5 refills with a smaller cup). This pail is the perfect size for a toddler and up, and is a great addition to our bathtime routine. Not only is it functional, but D loves to play with it as well!
You can find the Nuby Tear Free Rinse Pail here on Amazon: Nuby Shampoo Rinse Cup, as well as:
* I was not paid for this review, however, I was given the product by Nuby for review purposes. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
Up until 3 weeks ago I was one tired mama. Cranky. Absentminded. Delirious. Overwhelmed. Prone to tears. I had a baby that was up multiple times a night and only catnapped for 15-30 minutes three times a day. After 8 1/2 months of no sleep, I was waving the white flag…something needed to be done.
I had no idea that it was even possible for D to take long naps and sleep straight through the night, as I had read, and been told, that some babies just weren’t ‘great nappers’ and that catnapping sometimes happened. I didn’t think that anything could be done about D’s catnaps, and I thought that I just needed to night wean to take care of the broken nights (with no idea how to even go about it, mind you). After having no downtime in my daily routine, mixed with never hitting a good REM sleep at night, I was ready to try anything. Enter Jennifer from Gift of Sleep Consulting, whom I’ll now refer to as the Sleep Goddess (SG).
We chatted briefly over the phone and I got an idea how this sleep consulting thing would work. I spoke with my husband a little later, and he had no trouble coming on board for a possible sleep solution – anything to try to alleviate that stress. I contacted SG and we made an appointment for an in-home consultation. In preparation for our appointment, SG asked that I complete a questionnaire about D’s sleep habits and routines.
When we met for our consult, Jennifer spoke at length about the importance of sleep, healthy sleep patterns and the effects of unhealthy sleep patterns. She presented us with a sleep plan & schedule for D, based upon our questionnaire responses, and presented three possible options for attending to D while going through sleep training. Not huge fans of CIO, we opted for a modified Ferber method, going into the room every 10 minutes to calmly pat D and reassure him that we were there.
We waited until the weekend to put the plan in action, anxious to know if the training would work. My husband took over night duty, and we were off. D was definitely ready for sleep training, as he went down without a problem and was able to self-soothe himself throughout the night. Being so used to waking throughout the night, my sleep was broken, but much better. The second night I got my first 8 hour night of sleep (in over a year).
I don’t want to go into the minutiae of sleep training, but I will tell you that I was the main cause of D’s sleep problems. A huge part of our sleep plan with D was removing the association of breastfeeding with sleep. Again, I thought that this would pose a ton of problems during the night, but, three weeks later, we’ve still not had any issues of D refusing to fall asleep on his own throughout the night. I say that I was the biggest problem because I was on autopilot, automatically waking and going in to D’s room throughout the night when he made the slightest peep. I wasn’t giving him the time to work out the transition between sleep cycles on his own. Had I given him a few minutes, he would have done this on his own. He still wakes throughout the night, but he self-soothes himself back to sleep in under 10 minutes.
Naps have been a little more touch-and-go, but for the most part, D has been taking 1-2 hour naps since the first week of sleep training. We’ve had an illness, a milestone, and 4 teeth coming in, and it seems to have affected D’s nap schedule, rather than his nighttime sleep. As I write this, D is entering his second hour of a nap; I never thought that it was possible for D to take decent naps.
Hiring a sleep consultant was one of the best investments we’ve made as a family. Our ‘sleep anxiety’ is almost non-existent (I still get anxious when we travel and take D from his usual routine), and we’re all feeling happier and more rested. Having someone give us an actual plan meant that my husband and myself were consistent in our methods and on the same page with our approach — very important for D. We had a bedtime routine, it just needed to be tweaked. Three weeks in and D knows the drill.
If your little one has sleep issues, no matter how big or small, I would highly recommend not waiting the 8 1/2 months we did — take care of those issues now, you’ll thank yourself later! To help you get on the right track, Jennifer (Sleep Goddess) at Gift of Sleep Consulting is offering one lucky reader a $100 gift certificate towards her services (awesome, I know)! So, what are you waiting for? Get your sleep on!
* I was not paid for this review, however, I was offered a discounted rate of services in exchange for my opinions.
When the temperature hit 70 yesterday, I was anxious for D to wake from his nap so that we could go for a hike and picnic on the trail. The mild seasons, fall and spring, are my favorites, because you get to see the life cycle happen the most during those times. Leaves begin to die and change color, sun and temperatures warm the earth and green shoots start to sprout; being able to witness these events is one of the main reasons I love hiking. There is such a peacefulness and calm, amidst such drastic change.
D loves hiking too. I finally did get my carrier (an Ergo instead of a Boba) and D’s eyes lit up when I put it on. We set off, walking the block from our house to the trail entrance, and were greeted by the sight of a fawn dashing across once we hit the trail. Almost everything was dead, except some amazing patches of green with yellow flowers — such a contrast to all of the grey! D was taking it all in, kicking his little legs and babbling up a storm. We stopped for some photo-ops, and then settled into a spot for a picnic.
D distractedly ate his lunch, watching the creek bubble and churn over the rocks in front of us. I gave D a quick lesson in hiking safety:
And we headed home for D’s nap. While having a baby means I can’t spend hours hiking miles on the trail, I’m grateful for the short time that we are able to enjoy out on the trail and surrounded by nature.
My husband and me are not big fruit eaters. Sure, we’ll go through brief phases of eating apples or grapes or pears, but it doesn’t last long. I’ve just never been a huge fan of fruit, but give me any veggie, and I’ll be happy. I feed D a well-rounded diet that includes fruits, but I needed a solution for ‘keeping’ fruit – a fruit shortcut, if you will; with the baby portions being served, the fruit would spoil before it was finished. So, these are some of the fruit shortcuts we use to serve to D:
Freeze-dried blueberries. I just discovered these at Trader Joe’s and D loves them! These are much better than those horrible ‘puffs’ they have on the market for babies, and these have a similar texture. These look just like a fresh blueberry, except they crumble when you put them in your mouth. They pack a ton of flavor! Be warned, these will have a purple juice just like a fresh berry:
TJ’s also has versions in pineapple, strawberry and raspberry – I’m thinking of trying pineapple and mixing with puffed rice for a great diaper bag on-the-go snack for D (the blueberries would be a stain waiting to happen).
Raisins are super easy and they keep well. My only concern is that many dried fruits (I was checking out cranberries and blueberries this past weekend) have sugar added to them. Raisins are sweet enough as it is, so these are a special treat.
Frozen fruits are the closest thing to fresh fruits. I love Dole’s selection, and these frozen fruit chunks work really well in a mesh feeder – great for a teething kiddo! D loves the mango, and it’s super easy for me to grab a few pieces and defrost them for D’s meals. Again, no spoiled fruit here.
These are some great fruit shortcuts, especially for the winter months. I’m sure our fruit selection will become more varied once summer is here, plus melons will be in season — that’s a fruit that the whole family enjoys.
What are some of your fruit shortcuts?
**this post contains affiliate links
My cloth diaper stash is eclectic; a hodgepodge, mish-mash collection that makes absolutely no sense. My stash resembles the insane hormone fluctuations one endures throughout pregnancy, and for good reason — I pieced together the majority of our stash throughout those ten months.
I began with some newborn prefolds, then added Econobums through a sale, some bumGenius 3.0s through eBay, then more prefolds, a Wahmies pocket and a Kissaluvs fitted from a local woman liquidating her cloth diaper business, and a couple of Thirsties covers from my shower. The coup de grace? Purchasing a HUGE lot on ebay when D was weeks old, and I was overwhelmed with doing daily laundry. The eBay lot was a woman’s entire stash, being liquidated due to potty training.
|5 Days of diaper laundry – this is all our 10 gallon pail will hold|
Because I purchased so much before I was actually diapering, I ended-up with A LOT of pockets that go unused. I had no way of knowing that I would prefer prefolds (and now recently, fitteds). I have sold some of the pockets, but am still left with a lot left over. I keep telling myself that we may use pockets when D is older, but I’m not so sure that it will ever happen.
The great thing about cloth diapers is that they hold their value. If I do end up using prefolds through to potty training, I know that I’ll be able to recoup some of the money spent on pockets (and maybe apply it to some more fitteds or trainers). All in all, I love the fact that we are able to diaper our son, and any future children, for under $400. If I can only continue to practice the self control I’ve had until now (it’s going to be tough with my newfound penchant for fitteds)…
My Cloth Diaper Stats:
12 Newborn Prefolds
37 Medium Prefolds
24 Large Prefolds
2 Size 1 Covers
2 Size 2 Covers
10 OS Covers
2 Fitteds (w/ 1 on the way)
2 Wool Soakers (w/ plans to knit a few more for summer)
In the cloth diapering world, I’m somewhat of a semi-purist with my preference for prefolds. (I consider people who use flats to be purists) Whenever you purchase cloth prefolds, they must be seasoned before use to have effective absorbency. This is especially true if you use unbleached, natural fibers, as there are still oils left in the cloth that need to be removed in order for the diaper to absorb liquids properly. Most manufacturers will recommend an intense washing & drying regimen of usually about 5 or 6 complete wash and dry cycles. That seems a bit excessive; I’m impatient, hate to waste water (even w/ an HE washing machine), and want to use the most economical approach.
I boil my diapers for at least 30 minutes. While pregnant and building my stash, I had quite a few diaper-cooking sessions (I have over 75 prefolds in newborn to toddler sizes). All of my prefolds, excepting a dozen that were thrown in with a bulk pocket diaper lot I purchased, are natural fibers, so they needed to be stripped of their natural oils. What I do is throw a max of 6 diapers in a lobster pot, squirt a dash of Dawn dish detergent (Original formula), bring to a boil, and let boil for at least 30 minutes. At the end of the boiling time, I use tongs to remove my diapers (CAUTION: they are extremely hot and will stay hot for a while – I’ve burned myself several times) and set in a colander in the sink to drain and cool off.
Don’t be alarmed by the sight or smell of the water left in your pot; the water will be a greenish-yellow and might have a pungent odor. The discolored water and stinky smell is a good sign, it means that you’ve successfully stripped oils from the fiber.
Once my diapers have cooled, I wring them out and transfer to the washer for a full wash cycle on hot, with diaper detergent, and dry in the dryer as usual. That, my friends, will get you off to a great start; your diapers will continue to season and become more absorbent as you wash and dry them after use. Oh! And don’t be alarmed when your prefolds come out of the dryer at a third of the size there were when they went in, they’re meant to shrink up after washing and drying.
Always keep a bottle of Dawn Original handy in your laundry area, as this will be your go to product for stripping diapers, if you should ever need to. Because I use prefolds, I’ve not had a need to strip them in their 8 1/2 months of use, but you can never be too prepared…
*This post contains affiliate links.