Baby Hawk Oh Snap Carrier

This week we will discuss the BabyHawk Oh Snap carrier. This is a soft structured carrier, made for front or back carry. I saw these a few years ago at a trade show in Vegas, and fell in love with the design. It is a “wider” carrier than Beco, Ergo and Boba. If you have a larger toddler, this is the carrier you will love. On the flip side, if you are a tiny build with a tiny baby, you may feel lost in it. Honestly, I am very comfortable wearing my 16 month old in it, and I am 22 weeks pregnant, it is that wide of a fit around my big belly. The designs are very cute and chic, and the adjustability of the snaps is very nice, you can slide the chest strap (or back strap if you have it as a front carry) all the way up or down the carrier, so you can put it high or low if you prefer.

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May 28, 2011. Baby Wearing. 1 comment.

Drive to 500 Blog Shopping Spree!

We are excited to get to 500 active Blog subscribers πŸ™‚ Here is how this works, as of today we sit at 274 subscribers, when we hit 500 who love our blog, we will be giving away a shopping spree of:
-4 one size pockets of your choice
OR
-4 fitteds and 2 covers of your choice
PLUS
-one diaper sprayer, white Sigma brand
-one medium wet bag, you choose brand and print
-2 pail liners, you choose brand and color

We will watch the tallies, promote and join today! When we hit 500, we will pick one random name from our subscription list πŸ™‚

May 26, 2011. Uncategorized. 64 comments.

BabyHawk Mei Tei carrier.

For Diaper Chatter this week, we are still going through our Baby Carriers. Our next featured carrier is the BabyHawk Mei Tei, which I love from about 3 months on πŸ™‚ Once they have a little head control, you can assist this by rolling a receiving blanket and wrapping it around the back of their neck (nowhere near their mouth or front of their face), to keep their little head more stable in the Mei Tei. The Babyhawk is nice in that it has a high head rest that can be folded down for older babies/toddlers, or left up to provide support for little babies or sleeping older babies. Wrapping is very easy, less steps involved than Moby or Girasol wraps, and the BabyHawk Mei Tei has padded straps to provide the comfort of front soft structured carriers. You can do a back carry in the Mei Tei as well, full instructions can be seen here:

May 21, 2011. Baby Wearing. 3 comments.

Planet Wise Giveaway/Post Here :)

Enter below for a Planet Wise Wet Bag, winner picked Tuesday May 17:
Tell me your nighttime solution for your baby, with age and weight πŸ™‚

May 16, 2011. Uncategorized. 183 comments.

wearing your baby

We are continuing with our babywearing chatter. This week we are going over Girasol wraps. Now, very soon we will have a Girasol rental/trial period program. We will have a designated “rental” Girasol, you pay full price, but if you don’t love it, return it within 30 days for a full refund, you just pay to ship it back to us. Woven wraps are an investment and many can be unsure, this let’s you test drive one to see how it fits/works for you, before making your final decision.
Girasols are woven wraps, unlike Moby wraps that have a good deal of stretch, woven wraps will have a very slight stretch, and are loved for their support and strength for babies and toddlers. I love my Moby for newborns, but around the 3-4 month mark my shoulders and neck start to really feel the burn. Wovens don’t have that effect, without the stretch they provide back and neck support, and literally hundreds of ways to wear your baby securely on your hip, front and back.
Many babywearing groups have local chapters that can work with you on wearing your Girasol, and we are working on a photo array to demonstrate how you can wear some basic holds. We recently had a babywearing class at our store, and I learned a great deal about these, including the fact you can safely wear over 100 pounds in one, so this holiday season when you are tired of walking the mall, ask your partner to back wear you to give it a try πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend, everyone! We picked our two blog winners for our most recent $50.00 voucher giveaways, if you haven’t joined us on facebook now is a great time, we will give away two more at the 1500 fan mark.

May 14, 2011. Baby Wearing. Leave a comment.

prepping & stripping diapers

I am going to do a little PSA about stripping/prepping. I thought the “dishwasher” method had died out, but I see it coming back now in forums and our customer emails. Never, ever, ever, ever (repeat 40 times) put your diapers in the dishwasher to prep or strip. Also, there is really no need to ever boil anything anymore.

The dishwasher is too hot for your diapers, in addition to voiding warranties,frying elastic, melting aplix and melting snaps, and catching things on fire (like your house), it is overkill and not needed. If your diaper falls onto the heating element it will catch on fire, and it will spread beyond your machine. IF you are intent on boiling something, it cannot have snaps, velcro or elastic. ONLY on 100% fabric items. BUT, please reconsider boiling, a small hot wash cycle will prep your items just fine without you having fabric on your stove. You can also prep new natural fibers in your household laundry, it will work!

May 12, 2011. cloth diapers, Wash routines. 2 comments.

Blog Giveaway #2 winners :)

Lucy V and Laura L, check your inboxes! At 1500 fans we give away 2 more πŸ™‚

May 10, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Babywearing

This week we are going to start a little Babywearing series, each week I will take a carrier and do a little blurb on it, starting this week with the Moby Wrap πŸ™‚
There are two carriers I absolutely adore for a newborn, one is the Hotsling pouch (which is now discontinued), the other is the Moby Wrap. Since the big sling recall about two years ago, many pouches are harder to find, so I am going to focus on the Moby Wrap for newborn wearing. The Moby is a stretch wrap, so the fabric will have a great deal of “give” to it. We find many customers are intimidated by how to wrap it, but really if you can do a cloth diaper, I promise you can do a Moby! One of those “do it twice and you have got it” wraps, detailed instructions can be found here.

It is an easy one for newborns because you can tie it on without the baby in it, then slide the baby into place while spreading the wrap around their body. It truly is a hands-free carrier, even with the newest of babies, and nursing can be done very discreetly with the amount of material you have to play with. Very easy for babies to sleep comfortably and safely, you always have full view of their face and chin. For the price point I think it is a terrific carrier for all newborns, and a great gift to give at a shower πŸ™‚ Another feature I loved, the fabric is very lightweight and soft, when using it outside or out of the house, it makes a great blanket to lie the baby down on, or to cover the baby once they are asleep, you always have a handy cotton blanket with you. I like the Moby Wrap until the 3-4 month mark, around 15-17 pounds or so, when I will move onto a different carrier. Next week we will chat the Girasol woven wrap.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend, my wishes for you to sleep in and wake up to lots of sloppy kisses and hugs from chubby little arms. If this is your first Mother’s Day, congratulations! I love this holiday, my kids always think of hilarious things to “thank” me for ( one year my second daughter thanked me for having stretch marks on my belly that let her grow to be a big girl inside my tummy-LOL), and enjoy the sale, lots of goodies for a great price πŸ™‚

May 7, 2011. Baby Wearing. 1 comment.

Cloth Diapering on the cheap

I started cloth in 2003 with my first daughter, Abby (who let me steal her name for our store), and for some time I was diapering on a very tiny budget, the “groceries or diapers” kind. I started with my youngest brother’s 24 year old Gerber prefolds, pins and rubber pants from walmart. My first splurge was a snappi, then another snappi, then proraps and finally some chinese prefolds (indian were just starting to come on the scene back then). We diapered her that way for some time, every few paychecks I would snag a few dollars and get a pocket for nighttime. My second daughter was a mix of prefolds and pockets, bumgenius came out when she was a baby with their first version (the 1.0 white nylon pocket for the veterans here!), and I had the store at that point and could try a few more things. With each baby I have been able to increase my stash, but it doesn’t mean I forgot what I did, what I HAD to do with my first and second to make sure we could pay the bills on time.

Gerber prefolds are cheap, can be bought at the grocery store and certainly can work. She always had to be doubled up, nighttime was 3 and still being changed every few hours to prevent leaks. Same can be said for today’s Indian prefolds that I love and use, they last a long time, and you can diaper with them from birth to potty training for around 200 dollars, including covers and snappis. If your baby is a heavier wetter and you have prefolds, double them up! Fold one like a business letter, lay it in the middle of the second, when you lay the baby in, flip the trifolded middle piece up over their belly, then wrap the second prefold around them. You have just made two prefolds give your baby 30 layers of cotton in the middle. For this style, you will have to upsize the cover, but it will still work!

I also would use old rags, handtowels and washcloths to boost absorbency. I started with enough diapers to almost get me through the day, so I ran tiny loads of laundry every day to keep up until i could afford more prefolds. Using washcloths, handtowels and cutting/sewing the edges on old bath towels got me through the day of laundry. Don’t have a sewing machine? Roll the edges of a cut handtowel and hand-sew the edges with a whip stitch, it holds and is easy and quick to do. If your baby is sensitive to wetness, go to your local fabric store, you can get a half a yard of scrap fleece for about 2-3 dollars. Cut them into 5 x 15 rectangles, no sewing needed, and lay one in with each prefold. Lay it in the middle, lay the baby down, flip up the liner over their belly then wrap the prefold around, otherwise the liner gets wrapped up in the prefold and is useless.

I look at Abby’s baby pictures and giggle, she was a tiny, tiny petite child and her diaper was HUGE! LOL-put a handtowel in a gerber prefold with a snappi on a 13 pound 6 month old and a medium cover over it, watch what happens πŸ˜‰

Bottom line, it works, and I think I spent maybe 75 dollars on her entire first year of diapering. We would have done that in disposables in less than two months. Those prefolds she used I had in use until my third daughter, they finally wore out during her baby-hood. The worst feeling in the world when you are tight on cash, is looking in a disposable diaper pail when your child has “cluster pooped” and you see that you have just gone through 7 disposables in a 2 hour period when you thought they were done and they just kept going, the best feeling is looking in a cloth diaper pail and seeing 7 prefolds that will be washed by morning and ready to use again.

Some cheap accessory ideas:
-Wipes: wipes can be expensive and a pain to wash/dispose of. The best cloth wipes for newborns are going to be small and thin for their little nooks and crannies, especially for baby girls. Big thick wipes won’t do the job, and the best newborn wipes can be baby washcloths. Usually at your baby shower you get 30 packs of washcloths, and end up needing 4-5 during the week to actually bathe your baby. Use the rest for cloth diaper wipes! At wal mart or the dollar store, you can get a 5 pack for around a dollar, so you can build your stash of wipes for 5-6 dollars. For my oldest daughter we used these through her toddler years, you need more per changing then the bigger thicker wipes, but they do the job and will last for years. You don’t need essential oils or wipe recipes, plain old water is the best for any age of cleaning πŸ™‚

-I would say 99% of babies will need fleece liners at some point in their diapering years. Whether for nighttime dryness, or to be able to use diaper creams, fleece liners are needed. You can make your own for 2-3 dollars, go to your local fabric store and buy a yard of scrap fleece, the kind doesn’t matter. Or, sometimes big box stores will sell cheap fleece throws at the 2-3 price point, and you can cut them up. Rectangles of 5 x 15 inches, no sewing needed as it won’t fray.
-Diaper Sprayer: Get your husband or partner to dunk/swish, pretty cheap method, failproof and be used anywhere πŸ˜‰

The biggest challenge to frugal diapering is the toddlers and nighttime heavy wetters, but surely generations before us did it with success, we can, too, right? Absolutely! Much of this will tie back into the first article we did on prefolds/layering. If you have any sewing skills and access to a machine, this will come in handy. Being able to sew flannel layers from old receiving blankets is invaluable, if you can sweet talk your mother or mother in law into doing this for you, even better πŸ˜‰

Flannel is cotton, is very durable and easy to wash. It also provides good absorbency, and is super trim. Making inserts out of lots of layers is easy and cheap to do. If you don’t/can’t sew, you can whip stitch by hand the same thing, it will just take longer and not be as neat, just keep folding the flannel onto itself and finish the edges, you can do this to two stacks and then sew them together. Sandwich these in your prefolds, or behind the prefolds held in place by the cover for extra core absorbency.

For nighttime your homemade fleece liners we discussed earlier will help provide a stay dry feeling for your baby is he is sensitive to wetness. If you go to any thrift shop you can get old wool sweaters for a few dollars. These can be cut and sewn into wool soakers, if you google “recycled wool sweater soakers” you will get a bajillion links on how to sew your own, many with free patterns. Wool is invaluable for heavy wetters and breatheable covers, and easy wool care can be found here.

May 3, 2011. Tags: , . cloth diapers, FAQ, Q & A. Leave a comment.

Blog giveaway #1 winners :)

Amberly and Janette, check your inboxes!

May 1, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.