The Many Benefits of Breastfeeding: Why Breast Is Best

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breast feeding on the go

Breastfeeding is a magical journey. By feeding baby from the breast, you are providing your baby with the absolute best in nutrition that you have to offer. Although it’s not always easy, it’s always worth it. Breast feeding your baby is one of the best ways to bond with your new baby, and spend quality skin to skin time with them. It’s sterile, economical, and unmatched by any type of formula on the market. In essence, it’s priceless. In today’s post, I discuss some of the benefits of breast feeding and what it can do for you and baby.

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The Ultimate New Mom’s Survival Guide

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Becoming a new mom can be extremely overwhelming. Most women – if not immediately, over the course of the first couple of weeks post partum – will undoubtedly feel unworthy to stand up to the task that is motherhood. There is so much to learn, experience, and do. The lack of sleep and uncertainty about how to handle even the smallest of situations can combine for what can quickly turn into an incredibly stressful period of time. Sometimes, it may be all you can do to keep from crying. Regardless of whether this is your first baby or whether you’ve had other children previously, each experience is unique and different, and you will encounter many different things along the way with each individual baby. Just as every  pregnancy is different, so is every post partum period of motherhood.

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Gerber Cloth Prefold Diapers 6 Ply Birdseye

Cloth Diaper 101: All About Prefolds – From Buying, to Washing & Beyond

Cloth diapering your baby may be a dream come true for you. You may have planned to cloth your baby throughout your entire pregnancy, or perhaps you want to give cloth diapering a try. You’ve looked at all the brands, types, colors, styles, and fits. Eventually, you decide to settle on prefolds. You have your stash pretty well built up and you’re ready to prep them – but what to do? Prepping? What is prepping? And just how to you wash these prefolds? Is there a specific way to do things, or do you just toss them into the laundry with the baby’s laundry?

Gerber Cloth Prefold Diapers 6 Ply Birdseye

Prepped Cloth Prefold Diapers – Gerber brand

Prefold diapers are usually made from birdseye cotton or gauze, and are the oldest form of cloth diaper and are still the most popular form of cloth diaper in use today. Whether you choose to use diaper pins or Snappi’s, or a generic form of the latter, cloth prefolds are a top choice due to their ease of use, fit, ability to grow with your child, and the fact that they are the most economical choice in terms of up front cost.

Prepping prefold diapers does require some time and patience, and a bit of know how. Today, though, I am taking all the guesswork out of it for you and giving you the rundown on how you can prep those prefolds as quickly as possible with as little stress as possible i three simple steps. Sound good? Read on!

Step 1: Unpackage the prefolds
Assuming you have bought brand new prefolds, you will need to remove them from the package. My favorite prefold brand is Gerber 6 ply birdseye prefolds. They work just as well as some of the more expensive brands at a fraction of the cost. Once you’ve gotten everything unpackaged, toss everything into a pile and move on to step 2.

Step 2: Boiling
One of the keys to prepping cloth prefolds is to remove all of the oils from the fabric before washing them. You will need a large stockpot of filled about 3/4 of the way with fresh water. Bring this water to a boil and add your prefolds to the pot, making sure not to stuff the pot. If you need to work in batches, so be it. You will want to boil the prefolds and stir them every few minutes for 10-20 minutes. If you want the maximum effectiveness in removing the oils, use a small squirt of Dawn dish detergent. TIP: Don’t use any antibacterial dish liquids, as they will undoubtedly irritate your throat and lungs when released into the air. Trust me on this.

Step 3: Removing from Pot to Toss into Washer
When the recommended time has elapsed for the boiling of the diapers, carefully remove them to a towel lined laundry basket by using a pair of tongs and wrapping the cloth diapers around the tongs slightly, allowing excess water to drain out into the pot. The towel will prevent any leakage from the kitchen to the washer, and will also help keep you from getting burned when transferring the basket.

Once all of the diapers have been removed to the basket, run a hot wash with no added detergent or soap of any kind because chances are likely they will still have the Dawn dish soap inside. After a full wash has been run, run another hot wash and add 8-10 soap nuts in a burlap or canvas washing bag, or use Rocking Green laundry soap, which is also recommended. Soap nuts are my detergent of choice because they are 100% natural, biodegradable, and allergen free.You can buy them from health food stores or online. If you used soap nuts, you will need a cold rise. If you used the Rocking Green, you can just do a hot rinse. The, transfer these to the dryer and run on high heat for 40 – 60 minutes. NOTE: DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER OR DRYER SHEETS. These will render the prefolds ineffective. When you remove them from the dryer, you will see the prefold has changed dramatically – it will appear thicker and possibly a bit smaller, with wrinkles. This is a good thing. This is what you want.

Now, your prefolds are prepped and ready to use!

There are myriad tutorials and instructions for various folding methods for different circumstances online, and there are also many videos on YouTube with examples shown on real babies. This is a great way to gain understanding on how to actually fasten the cloth diapers, as well as get a look at the many different folds.

Your prefolds, with proper care, should last you for the entire time your baby is in diapers – unless they outgrow them, and then there are bigger sizes available for purchase. You will likely even be able to resell them after you no longer use them as many moms choose to buy used cloth diapers. There are places like eBay, Amazon, Craigslist and mom groups online which make it a snap to sell used cloth prefolds.

If you find your prefolds stained, you may use pure white bleach on them occasionally – but keep in mind you will need to wash them in the bleach, dry them, and then give them another wash in your regular cloth diaper laundry detergent and dry them again.

 

My NICU Story: From Pregnancy to Birth and Beyond

Pregnancy is a wonderful, yet uncertain, thing. When we find out about our pregnancies, some of us are happier than others. Breaking the good news to our significant others and families is, for most of us, a joy. We go through what is supposed to be a full 38-40 week time span of growing, nurturing, and awaiting a precious, beautiful, healthy baby. Sometimes though, life takes unexpected twists and turns and throws us for a loop. In my case, nothing in my pregnancy went according to plan. Not a single thing I had written in my well thought out, well written birth plan went according to plan. It seemed as though God had a much different plan for my baby, my pregnancy, and for me.

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Blogstorm Sunday: My New Weekly ‘Thing’ and What it Means for You

Hello everyone!

I’m just checking in and wishing you all a fabulous weekend. Today, I am going to sit and come up with a few topics to blog about and discuss for the week. This is going to be a my new thing to do every Sunday, so I have some fresh ideas in my arsenal for the week, every week. This will ensure you ladies have some fabulous reads every week to look forward to from me! I really am so excited to be back and to be blogging again. I have so many topic ideas, and just cannot wait to share them with you all!

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Mom Shaming and Unwanted Advice: Why it Needs to Stop, and How to Do it With Love

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Mom shaming. Just the term alone sickens me to my core. The mere thought that a mother could actually point a finger at another mother, and ridicule her for her parenting styles or choices being different than their own, appalls me. After all, are we not all unique? Do we not all have our own ways of doing things? Do we not all have our own minds, capable of making well thought out choices for our children that work best for us and our kids? Are we not all mothers?

When did mom shaming become a thing? It seems as though this has been an ongoing issue for as long as being a mother was born into existence. From the very moment Eve became a mother, it was written in the cards that mothers would be cruel to and ridicule each other for their choices and parenting styles being different from one another.

A better question to ponder upon: When did mom shaming become a cool thing to do?

We’ve all seen and witnessed it in today’s technological age. It seems as if every mom forum, mom app, and mom group in existence – no matter how great – will always have those specific individuals who think they are Queen Bee from the Kingdom of Momdom, and will always point fingers, ridicule, insult, and belittle others because they choose to raise their child differently than they do.

We don’t just see this online, though – we witness this in our daily personal lives as well. Maybe your own mother did things differently than you, and thinks you should do them a certain way – and if you choose not to, and in turn fire back at her, she will ridicule you for your way of doing things, and you may find yourself at odds with your own mother.

Perhaps your mother in law did things differently in her home country when she was raising her children, and when she tries to give you advice and you retort with animosity because – let’s face it, you don’t like her anyway – and choose not to accept her way of doing things, she shames you for your choices, and in turn causes a whirlwind of trouble for you to deal with on a whole new level. Perhaps there’s a better way. A kinder way.

In these types of situations, it may be harder to convince those we love that we are perfectly capable of doing things our way without their advice. Regardless, we can choose to react calmly with love when it happens to be a loved one (or not-so-loved one) trying to offer advice. Dealing with the same from someone we have never met online  who is blatantly being hurtful because of our decisions is exceptionally frustrating as well. It’s easy to fly off the handle at someone we have never met – but why waste the energy getting worked up and upset, and potentially ruining the rest of our day, when we can also choose to extend a kind, “Thank you for your advice, which I really appreciate – but I have my own way of doing things, and it works for me.” We can correct the problem without introducing other issues by showing a firm upper hand, but at the same time, also offering and extending kindness in the process.

Newsflash: Being that we are all unique in our own ways, the fact that we would all parent differently and in our own ways is obviously a given. Being that the Good Lord has given us freedom of thought and the ability to make sound decisions of our own, why should you, I, or anybody else say what is right for another mother, child, or family?

I know there are some who may balk at the thought of a mother choosing to cloth diaper over using disposable diapers (after all, who would want to do all that laundry, anyway?) and frown upon and ridicule those who choose to not vaccinate their children, or perhaps co sleep with their child over putting them in their own bed at night. What about those moms who choose to, God forbid, introduce the pacifier? Or perhaps raise their child in a household consisting of two mothers rather than one?

Who are we to judge??

I will admit right now that I am that cloth diapering mom, who co-sleeps and chooses to vaccinate her children. I do baby led everything, and don’t have set schedules for my baby – I listen and look for his cues to know when its time to do something. Gasp!

See, there’s a big difference between having an opinion – which we all have – and shaming another mother for having a difference of opinion on things in life, such as vaccinations, because their outlook is different from our own. That I won’t do.

I believe its high time we, as mothers, come together and lovingly agree to disagree on the issues that matter the most to us. I believe we can all exist in peace with one another, offering help and suggestions where necessary, but in a loving, caring, non-condemning way. After all – we are all mothers, and our one end goal is to have happy, healthy, thriving children who at the end of the day are our entire world. We love our children. And we should learn to exist peacefully to set a good example for our children.

It’s time to pour on the love, and leave the hurtful, hateful words out of the equation. It’s time to mom up, and be better than this. I know we are all capable. Let’s now put it into practice, and make it happen.