Sunday, October 21, 2012

Breastfeeding Wardrobe on a Budget (Fall 2012 Edition)

I've been wanting to make this post for awhile. Some of you may remember my previous entry on breastfeeding clothing.
Well I did something silly. When I got Pregnant with Sweetness I decided to go through my fall/winter clothing and get rid of every thing. Well ALMOST everything. lol I had a few things I loved too much to get rid of.
This month has been cold! I went to get my nursing clothing and even just fall/winter stuff out and lo and behold I had only a few pieces. Not nearly enough to get through a week let alone a whole winter.
So I did some bargain hunting. And I'm sharing my secrets again with YOU!

Some things hold true that did before. Cross over necklines are still great for easy access. LOW deep V necks are great or easy access, And you can ALWAYS wear a basic long sleeved shirt or sweater that's a bit loose over a nursing tank when you ant to feel "normal".
That said I found some cute stuff and wanted to share and give some ideas!

Hold on to your computers this is an image heavy post!
Many of the tops I have that only require a few "extras" aka the nursing bra and faux cami. (more on that in an upcoming post) Or a nursing cami underneath. 

I've purposefully picked my most obvious bra to show how well this combo works with various tops.
First category Thrifted tops!

Old Navy top purchased for 4.00 at my local thrift store. Right picture shows nursing access. 
2.00 at my local thrift store. "batwing" style top. This I usually wear with a nursing cami as the deep V neckline is a bit low for the faux cami.

4.00 at the thrift store. No pilling or wear to be seen. A nice thin top but long sleeved. I'm not sure the neckline is best for the faux cami but I've only just washed it so will have to try it around the house first. I can always add a few stitches or a snap to the bottom of the neckline to tighten it up a bit. 
I purchased this while preggers and it worked great right after birth for the prenatal belly hiding period. Now it will also work for nursing. 3/4 length sleeve. I usually only button 3 of the 6 buttons as they are tight and a pain to unbotton. less than 5.00.
Cowl neck top Brand ann taylor loft. Lots of room to hide a post pardum tummy. Wore while preggers and the super stretchy cowl neckline made breastfeeding so easy. 

My sister picked this out for me. I honestly am not a plaid person. And I thought I would hate it. But I was desperate after sweetness was born and couldn't go out myself due to staying inside with her for 6 weeks.
So I accepted it graciously. Turns out it is my favorite! It has SNAPS! So easy for nursing.
Not sure how much t cost but I think it was 1/2price. so probably a few dollars. 
This I purposefully purchased a size larger than I needed. It was also 4.00 and has a built in cami. But due to being larger I can simply pull it to the side and nurse through the "armpit" area. 

I think this was an areopostle brand shirt but I apparently removed the tags after giving birth as they itched me. This is one of the few I held on to during my clothing purge. I just love how thin but warm it is. I have worn it so much the middle button is trying to fall off. Need to fix that.  

This may be my favorite. It has this super pretty criss cross action going on and is so lovely! Also 4.00.

Next Category is E-bay purchases. These are shirts specifically made for breastfeeding and feature easy access openings. I have a saved search that emails me any time new breastfeeding shirts are listed. But here's my secret. I scoop up Buy it now's that are less than 10.00 with shipping, or will bid on the last day if the shipping cost plus list price is close to 12.00. So none of these cost very much either. 

Expressiva brand. 10.00 with lift away openings for nursing access. 
I think this is motherwear brand. Also 10.00. Has a double layer so the top striped layer lifts and there are openings in the grey under layer. This is VERY thick so will be great when it gets really cold! 

I have a third and fourth top but I think they are dirty so I can't photograph them. :(
Last are New but discounted or sale items. Some clearance. You really just have to keep your eyes open in a store. Hold the top up and stretch the necklines, pull them back, see if it's easy to nurse in that way. If it won't stretch or move to the side put it back. Unless you plan to wear over a nursing cami. Which is totally fine I just fin it a pain lately. 

Prchased at Ross, 12.00. Super stretchy charcoal grey cowl neck sweater. 
Both from walmart. End of summer clearance. elbow length sleeves, and heavier knit material. 3.00 each. I usually wear a nursing cami with these as the necklines don't like to stay put. 

Old navy clearance. 10.00 VERY sheer. Great for our wacky weather when the day starts out cold and turns into 70's with sunshine. Please forgive the wrinkles. It went right form the drier to the clothing basket. *shame on me*

Drapey cardigan. 15.00 at walmart tight now. I bought a large as I wanted it long! 

Dots brand 22.00. Sweater dress with nursing access. YES! I'm going to remove the little buckle decorations as they will snag in the wash. But I LOVE it! 

Blue top from dots, 19.00 but I got a discount of some sort since they where having a sale.
Skirt is a sari silk "magic" wrap skirt from enwrapture vintage that I got through a co-op. Over a nursing tank. 

Lastly Homemade tops. I wish I had more time to make these. I have so many ideas for other styles but with a toddler it's just hard to find time to make anything detailed. So here's the last one I made: 
I used two "hanes" basic t's from walmart. I think they where around 6.00 each.

As you can see Breastfeeding doesn't have to mean 80.00 shirts and dresses. You can do it with style, modesty, and affordability  I did not buy all this at once and would not recommend doing so when building any wardrobe. Stay in budget or put a few bucks up each week instead of going out to eat. It's really easy to save money.
Besides you want to spend that money on nice nursing bras that will last and give good support! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why is Discipline a Dirty Word?

In all parenting circles it seems discipline has become a dirty word. It is associated with spanking, time outs, and even beatings. This to me is sad.

Discipline according to the Merriam-Webster dictonary:
"Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin disciplina teaching, learning, from discipulus pupil"

Teaching, Learning. Not beating. Not spanking. Not time out.

If you look at the definitions in merriam webster's dictonary, and only one refers to punishment. Out of 6! Yet most people only know the one.
— n or conditions imposed for the improvement of physicalpowers, self-control, etc
2.systematic training in obedience to regulations and authority
3.the state of improved behaviour, etc, resulting from suchtraining or conditions
4.punishment or chastisement
5.a system of rules for behaviour, methods of practice, etc
6.a branch of learning or instruction
7.the laws governing members of a Church
8.a scourge of knotted cords

So if the point is to teach, or for a student to learn where has that gone? A punishment without instruction does NOT teach what a child did wrong. It simply says you made me angry now I will punish you.
And Discipline can be positive as well. Positive re-enforcement is still a form of discipline so long as you are teaching rather than just praising.

I ask you as parents and particularly my christian parent readers to remember. Discipline is not a dirty word and is SO important in our raising of our little ones. We NEED to be teaching, so they can learn.
Punishment without explanation and reminders of love is wrong and not teaching, but harmful. 


Friday, October 12, 2012

Babywearing Tips and Tricks

I'm copying this from my facebook notes since I felt the info is too good to only share with my "friends" and family. :)
I am a crunchier mama and love to wear my little one. I have back issues and felt wearing her would be easier on my spine than carrying around the bucket style carseat. I also see so many mama's having trouble lugging their baby 6 months plus in age and the extra 15lbs of carseat on their own. I felt babies in these seats don't get as much attention either as they are talked about rather than talked to.  There are so many benefits to baby wearing too. 

The upright position is good for babies with reflux. It can help them feel safe and close to mama which is great when external stimuli scares or startles them. And it's just so sweet to feel your little one snuggle up against you and sigh right before they fall asleep. 
It's also so good for their hip and spine development If they are in a carrier that spreads from knee to knee rather than "dangles" from the crotch. (ie Baby Bjorn and snuggly=bad) 

Anywho I have found so many cool resources for babywearing and wanted to put them somewhere where they don't get lost. So the babywearing Tips, Tricks, and Videos Note is written.
“Research supports that people who hug more are happier. When a couple hugs for six seconds or more, mood-boosting/bonding chemicals called oxytocin and serotonin are released at an optimum level.”

“Babies who are hugged more even evidence better physical development and more brain power. “Children who get sustained form of touching, such as a long hug everyday are smarter.” Quote from Jay Gordon, M.D., co-author of “Brighter Baby”.”

Mai tie: 

taking baby out without untying the mai tie:

Putting baby back in without untying mai tie:

My favorite way to put baby in a back carry:


baby wearing in a Mai Tie with a newborn
mai tie using a back carry. Sweetness was about 6-8 months old in this photo. 

Ergo or Soft Structured Carrier (SSC):
 Putting baby on back easier more secure:



ERgo Orginal, Preformance, and Sport review:


Babywearing at a park 
on the trolley
At the zoo..

On the airplane ( the straps meant when she fell asleep I could also sleep and not worry about dropping her.)

At Target! 

For my back the SSC has really been awesome. It gives me support and puts Sweetness's weight on my hips and has padding and security plus lots of ways to adjust it. I highly recommend this style of carrier. 


Hi! If you followed me over from my previous blog thank you for reading! If you are new to my blog thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Types of Cloth Diapers

(Diaper Cover)

So There are LOTS of types of cloth diapers out there now. They range from almost exactly like disposables where you just put it on the baby and go(but washable) to multi-layers and features for heavy wetters, custom absorbency, and various types of fabric.
Your head may be spinning. You are probably wondering what type is right for you, and how to tell the different abbreviations and types apart.

So here's the breakdown. Cloth diapers are two basic types. Those that require a waterproof cover, and those that do not. Then there are sub types of those two categories. We'll get to those in detail.
New types of cloth diapers come out all the time so this is not meant to be a perfect list. Just n idea of the common types available.

To see what each diaper looks like click the bolded text. I am also including a few places to purchase each type online. However I do not include these links based on personal experience or as a claim they are the best place to purchase, just as some options to help you get an idea.

  1. Re-usable
  2. cost is lessened by each child who uses the diapers
  3. can buy new or used, or from a work at home mom
  4. lots of options and price points
  5. eco friendly
  6. babies in cloth tend to potty train earlier than babies in sposies
  7. less diaper rashes (some babies are sensitive to "stay dry" materials. But there are natural fiber options so this is not a reason to quit cloth diapers if you really want to use them.) 
  8. better for babies skin
  9. no chemicals in the diaper
  10. Less diaper leaks and "blow outs"
  11. Less Trash (big one for my hubby)
  12. Lots of cute prints and bright colors, Cloth can match any outfit, or special occasion! 
  1. Higher up front cost 
  2. You have to wash them
  3. Some prep is needed with some types of diapers
  4. not all types of diapers work for all babies or parents (see #7 above)
  5. Constant attention (meaning you have to deal with the dirties within a few days)
  6. Travel with Cloth requires planning ahead of time
  7. More Finicky than disposables

For me none of the cons outweigh the pros. My DD is also allergic to disposables so I have no other option. Yes I have tried multiple brands of sposies and the "eco friendly" baby friendly options. No dice. Personally I like cloth better though so the pros far out weigh the cons.

Covered Diapers:
(picture shows a flat folded in 1/4's and one "pad" folded)
Flat diapers are basically a LARGE square-ish piece of absorbent fabric. You fold them into various shapes to create the right absorbency, and fit for your baby.   
  1. wash easy
  2. dry fast
  3. cheap
  4. easy to find (target even has a item called "flour sack towels" that you can buy to use as these
  5. organic and other types of materials(hemp, bamboo) available for extra cost
  6. Natural materials
  1. needs a cover
  2. have to be folded to get the right shape and fit
  3. needs to be snappi'd or pinned for most folds
  4. harder to customize absorbency

    Prefolds tend to be mostly rectangular pieces of fabric that are thicker in the center. They are like a "folded" flat diaper hence the name.
    1. less folding than flats
    2. inexpensive
    3. easier to fold than a flat
    4. very absorbent
    5. natural materials
    6. easy washing and drying
    1. Needs a cover
    2. has to be folded to get the right shape and fit
    3. have to buy bigger sizes as baby grows (not one size)
    4. Snappi's or pins required for some folds
    5. harder to customize absorbency

    (outside) (inside)
     These are made out of the same materials as flats and prefolds. They are VERY absorbent and are often recommended as night diapers. They are made with elastic in the legs and back so they don't require folding like the previously mentioned diapers. Some have snaps, some don't.
    1. very absorbent
    2. wash and dry well
    3. no folding!
    4. great for night time
    5. usually made from natural materials(including but not limited to : hemp, bamboo, organic fabrics, unbleached fabrics, etc.) 
    6. can be purchased in cute colors and prints!

    1. Require a cover under most circumstances (though some people use the cute ones around the house without a cover and change at first sign of wetness.)
    2. some require pins or snappi's
    3. Customizing absorbency for "super soakers" usually requires a lay in doubler/soaker which can be an additional purchase and cost. (though some fitted's have these included or sewn on)
    4. Typically require larger sizes as baby gets bigger (not "one size")

      "Coverless" Diapers:
      (most diapers mentioned here are still a of a "two part" diaper. Which is some sort of shell or cover and an absorbent insert that gets stuffed inside. These diapers are typically sold WITH the insert)

        (inside with pocket opening showing a bit)

      These look like a disposable diaper, they have a "cover" and an insert. The insert comes in many fabric types typically Microfiber, that absorbs the pee and moist part of poop. This insert is "stuffed" inside the cover. The cover is usually 2 layers. The side you see is typically made of Poly Urethane Laminate fabric (AKA PUL) and the inside that goes against baby's skin is made of either a stay dry material usually polyester of some sort) or cotton or some other absorbent material.
      Absorbency can be customized by adding extra inserts, or different types of inserts.
      1. No need for additional purchases of covers Since they come with the inserts and cover. 
      2. No need for snappi's or pins. These close with either snaps or Applix(velcro)
      3. Fast drying since the inserts come out of the cover
      4. Covers can be dried in the dryer or hung to dry
      5. Customized absorbency with multiple inserts, or other types of inserts(hemp or bamboo is more absorbent)
      6. Daddy/Grandma/Babysitter friendly, No folding
      7. Come in MANY cute prints and colors! No need for bloomer style diaper covers. They can match dresses and outfits! 
      8. Typically a "onesize" diaper that adjusts with a snap down rise. Though most will not fit newborns as they work better at 10+lbs. however some DO fit from birth to potty training.
      9. Can support work at home moms or buy from a name brand

      1. More expensive than prefolds, flats, but comparable with fitteds. Cost seems to depend on brand.
      2. Does require stuffing
      3. bulkier than some other types of diapers

      • Multi Part Diapering Systems or Hybrid Diapers- These are usually toughted as perfect for those who want to use cloth and disposable. Typically a cover and insert, but the insert can be organic, microfiber with a stay dry layer, or even disposable and compost able.
        These typically fasten with snaps or Applix.

        Some Diapers labeled as hybrids are actually a fitted diaper with a water resistant layer of polyester fleece to help push moisture back to the insert and other absorbent layers of the diaper.
        Most fasten with snaps or applix, but there are some that are closure-less and can be pinned or used under a cover. 
      1. Lots of options(types of fabric, disposable inserts etc
      2. no snappi's or pins typically needed. 
      3. No extra covers typically needed
      4. lots of cute colors and prints 
      5. can support work at Home moms or buy name brand
      6. wash and dry fast due to less layers in two part systems
      1. Inserts in two part systems can shift which means if your baby poops more than once or twice a day you need more covers
      2. You have to buy extra inserts since the two part systems need more than one per cover
      3. Longer dry time in the instance of the water resistant type
      4. Cost more due to all the options and materials varying

      (inside) (outside)
        These are most like a disposable diaper. They are one piece and have a PUL layer on the outside, and an absorbent inner, usually sewn in place under a stay dry material. Though there are options on the market for natural fiber top layers. They fasten with snaps or applix.
      1. Work easiest of all kinds of diapers. Some even have pockets so you can add absorbency if needed.
      2. snaps or applix for closures
      3. daddy/grandparent/babysitter/daycare friendly
      4. Lots of cute prints and colors
      5. can support Work at home moms or Name brands
      1. very high cost (25+ dollars a diaper)
      2. take the longest to dry due to the way they are made. 
      3. Larger stash size needed since you can't reuse the outsides as you can for fitted/prefolds, and flats. 
      4. Harder to get clean sometimes due to longer dry time

      Cloth Diaper Extras:
      • Diaper liners- These are typically disposable and used to prtect the diapers from creams and pastes for baby's bottom that are not cloth diaper friendly. Reusable options exist too. Easiest to avoid by using coconut oil instead of butt paste and creams.
      • Wipes- You can use cloth (my choice, less chemicals, reusable, cheaper, etc) or disposables. Lots of mom's simply toss the disposable wipes in with the cloth diapers and wash them, then toss them in the garbage after they come out of the drier. It doesn't hurt the diapers at all to do this. 
      • Swim diapersa great re-usable option in place of disposables. Also bigger range of sizes. My Sweetness was too small for the disposable options the entire swim season. But for cloth swim diapers we had no issues! They make them super tiny so even little bitties like my munchkin can swim and enjoy it. And they are re-use-able for the next baby. :) 
      • Diaper pailsYou can use one or not. Some are plastic, some are a hanging bag with a zipper in the bottom. You unzip over the washer and wash with the diapers. They both work great and are not to pricey.  
      • Wet bags- The essential for the cloth diaper mom on the go. Any sort of bag that doesn't leak will do so you can re-use your plastic grocery sacks if you like. But I prefer an option I can wash and don't have to throw away. Many affordable options out there. lots of nice colors and prints. 
      • wool covers- A great option or those who use prefolds, flats, or fitteds and don't want to use PUL covers. They are reusable multiple times and waterproof and antimicrobial when properly lanolised. They do not have to be washed after every diaper change either. Just hang to dry if wet.
        These are typically cheapest if you can get them from a Work at Home Mom (WaHM) and made form recycled wool sweaters.
        Check out:
        Hyena cart And Etsy for handcrafted ones. Or if you knit make one yourself! 
      • Training Pants- Yep you don't even have to go with sposies here either! They come in all different kinds and styles as well as covers! 
      • snappi's- Invented by a dad who didn't want to use pins anymore. Snappi's are way faster, and personally easier to find in diaper bag. lol 
      • pins- Good quality is a must for ease of use. Store with the points down in a bar of soap to keep sharp. :) 
      • Diaper Sprayer-  Worth the money! Way easier way to rinse your diapers that are poopy before washing. Not necessary while baby is exclusively breastfed but once solids are introduced a great alternative to dunking in the toilet. 

      Where to buy:
      Alva baby: A Chinese diaper retailer. But the cheapest option for pocket diapers. They sell both one size and newborn diapers. As well as wet-bags, changing pads, wipes, liners, and bamboo diapers. They have free shipping(just have to pick it instead of the paid shipping) on all orders and free expedited shipping with orders over 100.00 They do come from china though so shipping can take up to a month. Make sure to add insurance. It's worth the extra dollar.

      Green Mountain Diapers: A US based company with great ethics. (I've stalked them on facebook) Great products and prices. Everyone I know who has them LOVES thier GMD prefolds and workhorse diapers.

      Flip diapers: These where not my favorite diapers but I know many moms who love them. They are a hybrid system with many insert options.

      RE-Diaper: Gently used Cloth

      Sustainable Babyish| Slmoob: EXCELLANT quality fitted diapers and wool. But very pricey. Drool worthy though.

      Nikki's Diapers: Sells many different kinds of diapers.

      JustSimplyBaby: They ship anywhere within 48 hours

      Jillians Drawers: Has a cloth diaper trial offer! Really neat option to try lots of different kinds of cloth.

      Sum up:
      My recommendation is to pick a few types of diapers and try them out. If you don't like a type sell it after washing, and sunning(to get the best resale value) and buy more of what you do like. If you aren't afraid of used, try ebay, or spots corner on hyena Cart. Or even There are also many groups on facebook, and various baby forums for trading and selling.

      Don't be afraid to start, and don't be afraid to play with your washer routine. For more info check out my other cloth diaper posts by clicking the "diapers" label below this post! 

      A crafty post

      With a 13.5 month old (who is now walking) I just rarely have time to SIT and craft. lol 
      But I am working on crafty things. So I thought I'd share the few things I've been able to finish lately.

      My current favorite thing to make Sweetness is Legwarmers. If you are a mom you've probably heard of the brands "babylegs" and "mylittlelegs" and such. Those cute legwarmers cost around 12.00 a pair. I did find a co-op and got some for around 3.00 each but I can make them even cheaper.
      Target has knee high socks for about 2.00 a pair. (at least that's how much near me) Cutting and sewing takes maybe 10 minutes total.
      They fit better in my opinion than the more expensive option. I say that as they seem longer so they should fit for a longer time frame. They are also thinnner by just a bit so perfect for fall weather with cute little dresses.

      The colors change out a few times a year so I can get different socks for different outfits.
      Here's a few I've made so far:

       As a new born with regular socks made into legwarmers. 

      The top two are target knee highs and the bottom pair came from the dollar store also as knee highs. They seem to be a bit smaller though and I think this is due to the cheaper materials and overhead of dollar store items.

      In case you want to make some here't the tutorial I used to make them:

      I just got her winter clothing wardrobe made up and I bought a few more pairs to make into more leg warmers. I can't wait to do it! I also have two really cute argyle ones read to be sewn. :) 

      Now on to the practical reasons to put legwarmers on your baby. Well they make diaper changes way easier! no need to pull pants down or up. They protect those little sweet knees from carpet burn when crawling. And they can go with most any outfit and are super cute! 

      Getting Started with Cloth Diaper's

      If you've read my blog you know I cloth diaper 100% of the time.
      You might be wondering about cloth diapers, how I made the descision, weather or not they are right for you, worth the effort, and where on earth do you start?
      All good questions!

      • Why did you choose cloth?

       I am a thrifty person. I hate spending money on disposable items. I buy clothing, shoes and many other things used or on clearance. Before sweetness was born I even couponed while also shopping sales to get the best deals on groceries.
      I do not have an income so I like to save money any way I can.
      Secondary to that I did lots of reading on disposable diapers and what I found both scared and shocked me. The chemicals in them are now thought to contribute to the increase in asthma, diaper rashes, uti's, and some studies are showing links to sterility in boys that have been diapered in disposables.

      There are lots of Eco friendly diaper options even if you go the disposable route. I've tried a few. Sadly I wasn't impressed. They feel like cheap paper towels, don'tabsorb well enough for our super soaker (less chemicals means less absorbency in sposies it seems) and worst of all, they had so many manufacturing defects I felt the extra cost said not make up for the better for the baby/environment. I had many with missing tabs so they wouldn't close, they ran small too.

      So there's my reasons shirt and sweet, better for the pocketbook, better for baby, better for the environment. In order of importance to me.

      • Are cloth diapers right for me?

      Well that depends. You might be wondering how hard they are to use, or how to wash them, or what to do in case of a rash. All these things are totally simple. They may require a bit of playing but if you are a stubborn or determined person then it's totally do-able. lol
      If you balk at spit up, poop, or general as my hubs puts it "unknown biological substances" that come with having a child, well then no probably not for you. However I find that cloth does help me keep tabs on my munchkins poop, and while that may seem icky, it's the fastest way to know how much they've eaten, if they are eating enough, if they are healthy, teething, sick, etc.
      The best way to find out is try! If the kind you have doesn't work for you, sell them, and try something else. :)

      • Are they worth the effort?
      YES! 100%! Here's several links with a cost breakdown of cloth diapers VS Disposables:

      To break it down, cost of water, and electricity is very minimal, Detergent varies with your washer, water, and routine. Here's an excellent chart for info on which detergents are best for cloth:

      I've used Cloth diaper detergents, and used some not for cloth. I switched when the cloth diaper detergent didn't clean well enough. When my free and clear detergent runs out I plan to make my own to save even more money.

      Contrary to popular beleive suds and removal of "stains", does not indicate clean. Clean is free of odor, residue, and added whiteners. Suds are created due to an additive called "surfacants". They are there to make you THINK the items you are washing are cleaner. Tricky huh?
      So far I have NEVER met a poop stain I can't get out with sunshine. Pure, free, sunshine. Even on a cloudy day the light will clean the diapers! It just takes a bit longer. On a rainy day, setting them in a window with natural light will even work!
      The sun is a natural bleach and supposedly the safest and most effective way to kill even YEAST! (next to boiling which is not safe for all diapers)

      • Where do I start? 
      Stay tuned for Cloth diapering 102 aka types of cloth diapers. In the meantime here are a few MORE links. lol I know but I found them helpful so perhaps they will help you too!