Bottle Feeding Babyfood

So it can be super hard to spoon feed a baby and it can also be difficult to get them to take their daily supplements. I can’t blame them, would you like a mouthful of slimy vitamin D oil? I think I’d spit it out,too.  I’ve used pouches but the consistency has to be just right and the child has to have a little dexterity. I find they work best for older kids. For little ones 4 months to a year it’s easier to feed from a bottle but they need more nutrition than just milk. My solution? Food bottles with a feeding cap and a thinner consistency of food.img_20170104_131922.jpg

It is critical that babies be exposed to a variety of fruits and vegetables from 4-9 months. This is not just for their nutritional needs but to help develop their taste buds and their tendencies towards desiring healthy foods as they grow up. It is also important to protect their immune systems and keep them as healthy as possible, while breast milk is amazing, making your own babyfood also allows you to add some immune system boosters as well.

Because different fruits and vegetables are different consistencies it is hard to give a precise recipe since all measurements are approximate. You will quickly learn what consistency comes through the feeding nipple at the rate that is suitable for your baby.

Approximate Recipe

  • 2 cups  – a mix of 2-3 fruits or veggies or salmon
  • 1/2-1 cup full fat, plain yogurt
  • 100-150 ml pumped breast milk

Boosts

  • 1ml -Vitamin D
  • 3 drops OnGuard essential oil
  • 1 capsule each of JuicePlus+ Red, Green & Purple (Fruits,Veggies and Berries)

Additional Resources

For info regarding what foods are safe to introduce at what times: Wholesome Baby Food

Two trusted doctors that I use for research and questions regarding best foods for baby or general health:  Dr. Sears (America’s Pediatrician) Dr. Axe (Doctor of Natural Medicine)

For more information regarding the supplements I use: JuicePlus+ and Doterra Essential Oils

 

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.
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All Natural Diaper Rash Cream

What do you do when your baby’s diaper rash cream contains ingredients like:
Dimethicone, sorbitan sesquioleate, PEG-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, glycerin, tropolone, tocopheryl acetate, 1,2-hexanediol, caprylyl glycol, magnesium sulfate, potassium nydroxide, and phenoxyethanol?
What do you do when every product you put on the skin of your baby causes a red rash?
You make an all-natural diaper rash cream that contains only three ingredients.
You need ¼ cup virgin coconut oil.

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Lavender oil and melaleuca oil and a container to hold the lotion. I reused a metal container that previously held a beeswax candle but you can also use a lotion tube like these ones at amazon

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Melt the coconut oil and add 15 drops each of lavender and melaleuca oil. Allow the cream to cool and harden before using.

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Recipe for Diaper Rash Cream

Melt the coconut oil and add it to your container. Add the essential oils and mix. Allow to cool completely before using.

Helping Babies Sleep

I LOVE essential oils, because they work! When nothing else works, the oils work. Simple as that. And my kids love oils, because they know they work. They know that oils make boo-boos feel better, upset tummies stop hurting and get them over colds faster. Usually I apply oils topically but today I decided to try a little aromatherapy as a solution to a new issue we’ve been having. For several nights now Daniel has been waking up with nightmares that monsters and shadows are chasing him in his room. Today he even had the same nightmare during nap time. So I decided to chase away those monsters with a combination of aromatherapy and mom psychology. We made Monster Spray! and while we were at it we made a sachet for baby sister to sleep with too!

It’s easy, Here’s how we did it.

First you need a couple things.

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For both projects:

For Monster Spray:

For the Sachet:

  • Small organza draw string bags (I got 8 at the dollar store for $1)
  • cotton balls
  • Optional: Stuffed animal -This one was given to me with a little zipper pocket in it’s back or you can open a hole in the back of your kids favorite stuffed animal and sew it back up after putting the sachet in.

Monster Spray

Add water to your spray bottle:

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Add a few drops of lavender oil to the bottle:

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Put cap on and decorate with monster stickers. Or in this case dinosaur stickers since we didn’t have monster stickers:

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And most importantly. Spray on the pillow before bed and (if your child is old enough) place the bottle somewhere they can use it incase of monster nightmares, like with a favorite stuffed animal:

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Lavender sachet

For the sachet for little sister we attempted a video of our little guys creating it.

 

Here are the basic instructions:

  1. Stuff the organza bags with cotton balls (These could also be made with rice, or dried lavender flowers but I wanted something that was going to be safe if the bag accidentally got opened)
  2. Add a few drops of lavender oil.
  3. Close the bag up and insert in the back of a stuffed animal if using.

Miss Abigail approves (And her whole room smells great!)

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These little sachets are great for placing in drawers or closets to make them smell great, too. And if you want to make a pretty gift for a friend use dried lavender flowers in the bag instead of the cotton balls.

 

 

 

Lactation Cookies/The Best Oatmeal Cookies EVER!

I recently had my third child, a girl! Isn’t she cute? Her brothers love cuddling her.  image

Since I’ve had so much trouble with breastfeeding and had to supplement more than half of the feedings with the last baby I do anything I can to increase my production and if it tastes good so much the better, right? When one of my friends brought me lactation cookies I was intrigued. I’d never heard of such a thing. Did it really work or was it just an excuse to eat cookies? Well, since I’d been craving chocolate chip cookies I didn’t really care. I just ate them. 🙂 But then when they ran out I noticed my little one was more fussy and demanding to eat more frequently. Could they actually be making a difference? I decided to try making a batch and see if that helped. Well, finding a recipe that didn’t taste like cardboard was harder than expected so I asked my friend for her recipe. She shared the link to the ones she made. Then I couldn’t find time to make them. So my sweet husband offered to make them for me. And then because he can’t help it he made adjustments to the recipe and doubled it.

The result is a freezer stocked with several weeks worth of lactation cookies that taste AMAZING! image.jpgAnd theses are good for the whole family. They will be the best oatmeal cookies you ever ate. In case you are curious they really do make a difference in milk production. I’m in the midst of struggling with thrush and have to pump in order to keep feeding her breastmilk. I can pump 1/4 to 1/3 more milk on the days when I have two of these cookies than on the days when I don’t.

Because he loves me and our daughter my husband sets aside time once a month to make up a huge batch of these. Today I took photos of the process and got him to share his adjustments to the recipe so I could share it here.

Start by assembling all the ingredients (This is a double batch, you can cut it in half if you like but we stock our freezer so I have enough for a month.)image (15)

  • 6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1.5 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups white whole wheat
  • 2/3 cups brewers yeast
  • 1/3 cups ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups organic unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unrefined organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1.5 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1.5 cups special dark brown sugar
  • 2 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks (I like Ghirardelli) – OR use jumbo raisins instead
  • 1.5 cups nuts

Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl. image (8)

Cream the liquid ingredients.

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Then add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients.

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Then add the nuts and chocolate or raisins and use an ice cream scoop to scoop batter.I scoop it directly onto a shelf in my freezer covered in wax paper. Then after about an hour I can put them into a freezer bag. When I want to make them I take two-four cookies out of the oven, place them on a baking sheet and when they soften up (after about 10 minutes) I flatten them and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Nice warm cookies….
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Milk anyone?

 

 

 

DIY Hooded Towels

When Daniel was a baby he had a little ducky hooded towel that someone had given us as part of a bah time gift set. It was adorable, and he loved it, until he out grew it at 3 months old. Yeah, it was a pretty small towel & he was a really LONG baby.  So I looked around to try to find another hooded towel for him. Unfortunately I found a great quantity of expensive products of cheap fabric and craftsmanship. I wanted something soft, cuddly, absorbent and cute that would be large enough for him to use now and continue to grow into. Apparently I could not have all of those things, at least not for less than $20 and even then it was questionable. So I started searching around for how to make one myself.

I found the coolest website with lots of ideas and good instructions for how to make hooded towels called Crazy Little Projects. And since she was making them for little ones under a year up to 7 years I was pretty sure the size would be fine for him to grow into.  I made him this cute little lamb hooded towel when I found a sale on towels for $1-$3 each (depending on size).

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For the life of me I can’t get him to sit still for pictures so my posing him so you could see the whole lamb head/face was pointless. I took another picture of it without the model so you can see it better.

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It is still hard to get the full effect but it is super cute. I know I took pictures of each step as I made it but I cannot find them, even though I have searched all three of my photo backup systems! I basically followed all of Amber’s instructions in her Lamb Hooded Towel Tutorial. (And she has a more cooperative model for photos.) And the this towel only cost me about $3-$4 in supplies! Also the towels I uses are supper soft & cuddly and have held up to hundreds of washings. They are really an amazing quality for such a cheap deal. I found towels usually go on sale in January and again in August (back-to-school) so I try to stock up at those times.

This was a fun project but shortly after I completed it life got really busy and I didn’t have a whole lot of time to work on sewing projects so I didn’t make any more for a while. With another baby on the way I knew we would soon be needing some additional towels so I decided to make another one. Once again I checked Amber’s site for some inspiration. She had a tutorial for a monkey hooded towel but when I looked at it I wasn’t sure Daniel would recognize it as a monkey. He is going through a phase where he loves monkeys but they all have a specific look to them that I wanted to copy.

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I started out following Amber’s instructions to cut a hand towel in half and pin the seam edge up 4 inches and sew it down.

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Then I free hand drew eyes similar to the kind that are on his other monkeys.

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Cut them out of scraps of white toweling and black toweling and pinned them to the towel right above the seam I had made.

My hubby helped draw the patterns for the next few pieces and he forgot to take pictures but here is what they looked like after he cut them out.

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The mouth piece, I lightly drew a half smile on it similar to the smile on his monkey. Then I satin stitched along this outline.

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Sewed the cut edge of the mouth, leaving a small opening near the top.

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Turn it right side out through that hole.

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I pinned it under the eyes and sewed it across the top with a satin stitch.

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The ears are dark brown on the back & light brown on the front, again to try to match the monkey he already has and recognizes. Make tiny slits above the eyes and poke the ears through & sew them down. I use 2 rows of zigzag stitching to make sure they hold and will stand up to hundreds of washings.

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Sew the cut edges of the towel together.

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Sew another zigzag seam across the top & cut off the excess fabric. (this keeps you from having a pointy headed monkey)

Once again I forgot to take a photo of this next step but Amber has one here.

Make a small pleat  in the center of your full size bath towel and line it up with the seam on the hood you just made. Sew the two towels together.

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Enjoy with your little monkey!

 

Now that I have successfully completed two hooded towels from Amber’s site, one following her directions exactly and another branching out a bit on my own I am working on a new design all my own for a friend. Hopefully it will turn out good and I’ll be able to share another cute hooded towel with you when I finish it.

 

 

 

 

Making a Crib Sheet

With little boy number two’s arrival just around the corner I am trying as hard as I can to make sure that everything is ready. In one week I reorganized our storage rack, went through all of the filling and paperwork for the first half of the year. Cleaned off the dresser that accumulates all the “clutter” from the rest of the house when someone doesn’t know where to put an item away (or is just too lazy) Reorganized  the master closet, and the nursery closet, Washed and organized all the baby clothes and diapers according to size, emptied the guest shower that had been being used as a storage closet (have to have that available when Grandma comes! 🙂 ) cleaned out & reorganized our utility closet and cleaned up and organized our sewing project area. Wow, just typing that makes me tired!

With the sewing area cleaned up and organized I was able to focus on some of the other projects I’ve been wanting to tackle. One of those projects was to make several crib sheets. I made due with only one crib sheet until Daniel was 3 months old when his grandma gave me a second one. I remember having to take off the sheet after a nap and rush to wash & dry it again before it was time for the next nap and then repeating it all again after the next nap because inevitable he would scoot just a few inches off the sheet saver and throw up on the clean sheet.  Very frustrating few months.   Even with two sheets I still sometimes am washing sheets several times each week. I really don’t want to continue that way and with two babies in cribs I know I can’t make due with only two sheets. So I thought I’d try to make some.

The average crib sheet I’ve found costs between $10-$15. Through Freecycle I was able to obtain a large collection of fabric for free and several patterns were great for baby boys.  I found some basic instructions online at The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking. The only thing I needed was fold-over elastic. I found on online supplier that was selling it at $0.20 per yard and ordered a bolt of 25 yards. However, when it arrived it wasn’t fold-over elastic but a standard one inch elastic. After multiple communication with the supplier, trying to get them to take back the wrong item and send me the correct one, they finally point blank told me that I wasn’t going to get the correct item from them so just go away. I decided to come up with a way to make the elastic I had work.

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I started out following Kelly’s basic instructions to lay the fabric out place my crib mattress on it and use that as my guide for measurements. After the first sheet, however, I came up with a better solution.

 

A crib mattress is (at least mine is) 27 inches wide and 51 inches long. The sheet needs an additional 9 inches on all sides. So you need fabric cut to 45-inches wide by 69-inches long. My fabric was already 45-inches wide so I only needed to cut the length. Then measure 9-inches in from each side and the bottom to create a 9-inch square in each corner of the fabric. This was much simpler and more accurate than trying to use the mattress as a physical guide.

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Match up the two lines you just drew for the squares in the corner and sew along that line.

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Cut off the extra bit of fabric after you’ve sewn that corner and zigzag the cut edge to prevent fraying. Repeat on all four corners.

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Next stretch out your elastic and match it up to the edge of the fabric and pin it. My hubby came up with this ingenious idea to use two clamps. He clamped one edge of the elastic and the fabric to the edge of my work table and then stretched it out the length of the table and clamped the other edge, them we were able to easily pin the stretched out elastic to the fabric. Continue pinning in sections until you have gone all the way around the sheet.

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Pull the elastic and fabric straight and tight as you sew all the way around the edge.

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To finish fold your elastic over so it is hidden in the fabric. Pin the edges again and sew a “hem” around the edge of the sheet.

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Voila! A easy, super cheap crib sheet, all ready for baby!

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Daniel declared these sheets “Pree” (pretty) “Nice”, and “Goo” (Good). I love when Mom scores a rave review.

 

Taking Care of Mommy

living-the-dreamIt’s 11 am. This morning I have:

  1. Gotten up & dressed
  2. Meet V. & her dad when she arrived for the morning
  3. Got her settled in with a toy and some music to listen to.
  4. Made a bottle up
  5. Got up the baby
  6. Changed Baby’s diaper & dressed him
  7. Took him in to see Daddy for a few minutes
  8. Feed him his bottle
  9. Settled him in with a toy and some music
  10. Packed my husbands breakfast and lunch for the day
  11. Pulled the baby off the door he was trying to break down to get to Daddy & got him settled with a toy again
  12. Unloaded the dishwasher
  13. Found hubby’s missing keys and sunglasses
  14. Helped Hubby load the car for the day
  15. Carried the baby out to say “Bye-Bye” to Daddy
  16. Brought him back in and settled him with his toy & music again
  17. Made baby’s breakfast and set it aside to cool
  18. Removed the baby from the bathroom where he was examining the diaper pail
  19. Rinsed out his night time diaper and started a load of diapers in the wash
  20. Feed the baby breakfast
  21. Loaded the dishwasher
  22. Wrangled the kids back to the play area and got them settled in again
  23. Started a batch of granola baking
  24. Cleaned up the mess kids made from pulling everything off the bookshelf
  25. Picked up the laundry that had been pulled out of the hamper and spread down the hallway by little “helpers” who wanted to do laundry. There is still a load in we can’t start another one yet.
  26. Separated fighting kids
  27. Started cleaning up the breakfast items from kids breakfast
  28. Picked up the laundry again
  29. Planned a menu for Bible Study night
  30. Wangled kids againstay-at-home-mom-ecard
  31. Planned a menu for tomorrow’s picnic/play-date
  32. Made a shopping list
  33. Checked to make sure my scheduled blog had posted
  34. Put up the finished granola
  35. Cleaned the kitchen again
  36. Read a story to a little one who brought me his blankie & book and begged “read”
  37. Read the story again
  38. And Again
  39. Flipped through the book & talked about the pictures and made noises for all the animals
  40. Put kids down for a nap

And I still haven’t gotten my own breakfast! Actually, I’m eating a bowl of the granola as I’m writing this post. I know I’m supposed to be taking care of myself, especially while I’m pregnant and especial since I don’t want to be hospitalized again. And I do a fairly good job for a week or two but then I go right back to the way it has always been. I do a great job of taking care of my family and my friends but I do a horrible job of taking care of myself because I’m really the last person on my mind. Until my body kicks in and makes me take care of myself, or worse yet, lands me in the hospital for others to take care of me.  And then who is taking care of my family?

I bought a book that I thought might help me figure out how to do this better called “Taking Care of the ME in Mommy” Unfortunately it is not available as an audiobook, the only kind I have time to “read”. So far I have managed to read the first chapter which talks about taking care of yourself spiritually. She suggests putting a family memory verse on a chalkboard and reading it each time you go past. Sounded like a great idea. Unfortunately when I did that the chalkboard fell on my husbands head while he was pouring hot water for tea & he burned himself. I think I’m going to have to stick with the index cards idea, less painful if they fall down. And my bible on audiobook.

So how do you take care of Mommy? Obviously it is a skill I am still trying to learn and not doing too great at right now.

Sippy Cup Leash

Ever since we started putting Daniel in his highchair I have had the problem of bottles and sippy cups going overboard. And then crying for them again a few minutes later. I finally got tired of being the sippy cup retriever and decided to make a sippy leash. I hope this will also help with baby #2 and bottles. I have gone from having 12 bottles to only having 4 that aren’t broken from being thrown over the side of the highchair.

So I looked through my odds and ends box of things I’ve salvaged from worn out items to reuse and discovered a blue plastic ring and a strip of self sticking Velcro. Add a roll of grosgrain ribbon I had bought in bulk for another project and I was in business.

 

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I started with a 14 inch strip of ribbon. (Check that this will fit around your largest sippy cup with room to overlap)

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I cut a second strip about 30 inches long.

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Loop your shorter ribbon through the D ring and fold it back on itself with the end of the longer ribbon between the two pieces (Hopefully this picture illustrates better than I can describe!)

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Sew a square around the two pieces doubling over to secure the ends.

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fold the opposite end of your longest ribbon over a few inches to make a loop and sew a double seam to secure.

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Sew a 6 inch strip of self sticking Velcro to the opposite end of the shorter ribbon using a zigzag stitch.

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Your sippy cup leash is ready for use!

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Thread the D ring end through the loop to attach to highchair arm and wrap the shorter end around the sippy cup, through the D ring & fold the Velcro over itself.

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Sippy cup leash in use!

 

I also found these work great in the car. I attach the leash to the headrest of the seat in front of his carseat & then attach his sippy cup. Now when the sippy cup is dropped I don’t have to listen to crying because he can’t get it back until the next stop. It is right in front of him to reach out for. The length I cut these works perfectly for the car, and reaches the floor from his highchair.

 

 

Cloth Diapering Update

Several people have asked me questions regarding the fact that we cloth diaper and a so I though it might be time for an update. We have been cloth diapering for a year now and I must say it has been a great experience. I am looking forward to continuing with baby #2. I estimate that over the past 13+ months we have saved approximately $1869.18 on diapers alone. And I am using one of the more expensive cloth diapers!

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Which Diapers Do We Use?

I did test several different diapers to find out which ones worked best for us and I settled on Mother-Ease All In One Cloth Diapers as the all around best for our family.  I did consider trying to make my own but these worked so well. I could not find a pattern for the same style and I wasn’t sure my sewing skills were advanced enough to get the same fit and leak protection that I got for these so I bit the bullet and bought the first size. Then as I received gift cards or made a little extra from my freelance work I would buy one of the next size at a time so that when he was ready for them I had a few to get started and didn’t have to lay out a huge chunk of cash at once.

 Which Diaper Pail Do We Use?

I tried several solutions for a diaper pail. When he was really little the smell wasn’t too bad in any of your standard solutions, pails, hampers, diaper bags, any of them worked fine. But as he got older the smell started to get stronger, I designed a PUL cover to line a hamper and stored them in out guest bath. This worked for quit awhile but eventually the smell in our guest bath was unbearable. I tried all kinds of air fresheners, candles and disks that claimed to eliminate diaper smells but nothing worked.  Soon the smell was so bad that you couldn’t walk past the bathroom without wondering what had died. So I started researching cloth diaper pails that were designed to contain the smells.

I only found one pail that was actually designed for cloth diapers. It sounded great with Fifty-three 5 star reviews on Amazon everyone claimed that it completely contained the smell of the cloth diapers even in tight spaces. Just one problem, it was over $70! No matter how bad the smell, I just didn’t have an extra $70 for a diaper pail.

Moving on to another problem that I was pretty sure I could solve much cheaper. Since I am using all white diapers they were starting to get a little dingy. I asked my hubby for a pail to soak them in  and he took a trip to Lowes. There he found not only a bucket for me to soak the diapers but a very interesting contraption as well.  A lid that had an outer ring that you secured to the bucket using a mallet to create a tight seal, then it had an inner ring that screwed on and off. It was a few dollars more than a normal bucket lid ($7 vs $1.25) but we though it might help contain the diapers smell as well, those solving two problems with one $10 bucket & lid.

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We brought it home & I started loading it up with all the smelly diapers. Almost as soon as I had them all in the bucket with the lid secured we noticed an improvement in smell. By the next morning we were walking around the house saying “Do you smell dirty diapers? I don’t smell dirty diapers!” I continued loading it until I had used up everyone of his cloth diapers to see if the small would remain contained over a long period of time and to test the capacity of the bucket.  I was able to fit 13 regular diapers, two PUL diaper bags and a swim diaper in the pail easily.  I think for baby #2 we might have to get a second bucket or I’ll just do laundry a little more frequently. I usually don’t wait as long as I did for this test anyway.  So, by waiting and being a little creative I just saved $60 on a diaper pail!

We have used this pail for a while now & with the lid on you can’t smell a thing. However, when you take the lid off to add diapers or take them out for washing you do get hit by a strong sent. Fortunately, the lid doesn’t need to be off very long & the smell goes away shortly after you put it back on.

 

How Do We Clean The Diapers?

Several people have asked me how I clean the diapers.  This was a little bit of a learning process, what I had to do & what wasn’t necessary & what could actually damage the diapers costing me more money.  First I learned that you should never use a powdered detergent on your diapers. It will eventually wear down the PUL waterproofing and cause leaks. So I switched to Purex, they are are a good company and my local store offers their detergents at a steep discount over some of the other brands. Usually I watch for the BOGOs or the buy two get $5 gift card sales & I buy the Free & Clear or the Oxy Power. Both have worked great.

Also, a wet storage solution (where you have a water/soap solution you put the dirty diapers in until you wash them) doesn’t seem to make any difference. I did not notice any improvement in smell or cleanliness and it just seemed less sanitary and more work to me so I gave it up early on.

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I use a spray nozzle attached to the back of my toilet to spray off any solids into the toilet them store the diapers in my pail until time for washing. This was a great investment, I’m really not sure how we would manage without it.

Here’s what I was doing for the last few months:

When it is time to wash the diapers I just ran a Sanitary cycle on my washer and then dried them. If your machine doesn’t have a sanitary cycle (I’ve only had one that does for about a month) just run a normal load with the hottest water possible. I used Purex liquid detergent, liquid bleach (since these are white diapers I use regular, if you have colored diapers use color safe) and recently I noticed that the inside linings weren’t quit as soft as when I first got them so I started adding fabric softener and they are right back to soft for baby’s bottom.

Here’s what I’m doing now:

A few weeks ago I started noticing that my diapers were losing absorbency and we were having a lot more leaks.  I started researching to find out why this could be an learned a couple things.

1. Detergent & fabric softener can build up in the fibers of the diaper and make it impossible for it to absorb anything else.

2. There are mixed feelings about drying diapers. Some people say it helps keep the PUL sealed, others seem to think that it could break down the PUL. Also the “don’t dry camp” says that the diapers are more absorbent if left to air dry and claim that it extends the life of the diapers. I check the manufacture’s instructions for these diapers and they say either air drying or drying in the dryer is fine.

3. Overuse of bleach can damage the elastic fibers in diapers. However, no bleach at all causes smells to build up in the diapers resulting in the necessity to “strip” them each week.

Starting with the detergent & fabric softener problem I ran my diapers through the washer twice with no soap at all and then let them air dry. They were kind of rough at this point but they were back to being super absorbent! Then I research the correct amount of detergent to use. I had been following the marks on the cap which seemed like a lot of soap. Finally, after lots of research and consulting with people who had actually spoken to the detergent companies, I found out that the most I should use in a load was 1 ounce of regular strength detergent. The detergents I have are 2X concentrate and 4X concentrate so it would be 1/2 and 1/4 that amount. This resulted in only 2 teaspoons of the 2X concentrate and 1 teaspoon of the 4X concentrate. I also switched to Seventh Generation detergent because I was able to get an AMAZON coupon & my AMAZON MOM discount & the resulting savings came out to less than $0.02 per load.

So when I am ready to wash my diapers now I run a Sanitary wash with a stain cycle & extra rinse only with 2 teaspoons detergent. Every other time I wash them I add a Tablespoon of bleach. When the cycle finishes I run an additional rinse with a Tablespoon of vinegar. This replaces the fabric softener and makes them nice & soft again.  If I have the time I will air dry the diapers, otherwise I throw them in the drier since the manufacture says either is fine.

 

Do We Have to Strip The Diapers?

About once every 2-3 months I have started giving the diapers a soak just to maintain their whiteness. This isn’t really “stripping”, since I use bleach I haven’t needed to do an extra “strip” this just keeps them looking bright and clean. I boil water on the stove, about 3 gallons for my 5 gallon pail, then pour it into my plastic pail. I stir in OxiClean White Restore and make sure it is fully dissolved before I add the diapers.  Don’t add the White Restore to your metal pot! It will cause a black oxidation in your pot (I learned this the hard way).  Also, white Restore is color safe so you can use it on any color diapers, not just white. Add diapers that have been freshly washed (they don’t have to be dried) and make sure they are fully covered by the water. You may have to weight them down a little because of the PUL.  Then I let them sit for 4-24 hours depending on the level of dinginess, take them out & run them through the washer again without any additional soap & you should have almost good as new diapers.

Then

Then

Now

Now

Finally, the very best endorsement I can give for cloth diapering? My baby loves it!

 

 

 

Baby Bandannas , i.e Drool Catchers

My little guy is constantly drooling from teething. I hate constantly changing his clothes because they are wet with drool and he has figured out how to remove normal bibs so I needed a new solution. Well, grandpa came up with one the last time he babysat. He tied one of his bandannas around his neck, perfect drool catcher.

Instead of buying a bunch of bandannas I decided to use some of the free fabric I received from Freecycle. (If you want to save $ this is a great site to checkout. Offer a good item that you no longer need and ask for items no one else is using, kind of like recycling your items get reused by someone who needs them.) Since the fabric was free I paid nothing for theses bandannas. Here’s how I made them.

 

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Start with a sheet of tissue paper, Fold one corner of the paper until it meets the opposite edge, forming a triangle. Make sure they are even. Trim off the excess. When you open it up you have a perfect square the same size as a bandanna.

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Pin it down to your fabric and cut it out.

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Fold into a triangle with the right sides of fabric together.

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Pin those together and double pin an X at one corner to remind you not to sew all the way through that corner. That is where you will turn the fabric right side out again.

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Sew around the two open sides of the triangle. (The color thread you use doesn’t matter here because you won’t see these stitches. I used the pink that was already threaded in my machine so you could see the contrast.)

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Remember not to sew all the way to the last corner.

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Begin turning the fabric right side out, pulling it through the opening you left.  Until it is completely right side out.

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Press it nice an smooth.

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Now topstitch  all the way around the three edges. You can do a plain straight stitch or if your machine has the capability you can use a decorative stitch as I did here.

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Finally tie it onto you little cowboy (or girl) for a super cute drool catcher!

(Aren’t I luck to have such an adorable model?!)