Monday, November 12, 2012

Cloth Diaper Essentials

Cloth Diaper Essentials

I put together a list of what I consider to be the most essential items needed to cloth diaper. This is what has worked for us for the last 6 months:

1. Diapers – I personally love Rumparooz pocket diapers and BumGenius Elementals AIO (All in One). These have been our go to diapers the last 6 months and I don’t have a single compliant. They aren’t cheap, but they have held up really nicely, even buying them used.

2. Covers –If I had to choose just one diaper system I would pick covers and prefolds. I have only used Thirsties and I love them! They have a double gusset that helps contain any messes.  They have worked awesome for us from day one. Often I can just reuse the cover and just change the prefold out.

3. Prefolds – These are what absorb the pee and poop. They are the most basic cloth diapering method and what my mom used on me back in the 1980’s. You need to pair them with a waterproof cover to keep them from leaking. We have 20 of them, but could probably get by with just a dozen.

4. Snappi – These are what replaced safety pins. They are pretty nifty. They have “claws” that grip the fabric and hold the diaper together until you put the cover on.

5. Cloth Safe Diaper Cream – It is very important that you don’t use regular diaper cream with cloth diapers, unless you use some kind of fleece liner. It will be an absolute pain to wash out of your diapers. Since I don’t want to deal with that kind of a mess, I found this great cloth safe diaper rash, Grandma El’s. I only put it on when I see a little bit of readness, which is very rare. I think this tube is gong to last us a very long time.

6. Detergent – There are many cloth friendly detergents on the market. I used a few different ones before I found Shaklee. I now use Get Clean Fresh Laundry Concentrate on ALL our laundry and it lasts forever and cleans great! I don’t have to worry about chemicals or artificial fragrances touching the most sensitive parts of Liam’s body.

7. RLR Treatment – if and when we ever get any “stink” issues I will be stripping my diapers using this product. It has been recommended to me by many mothers. I have a few packets tucked away for when the day comes…

8. Wetbag – Since Liam goes to daycare, we use a wet bag every day. I pack away the clean diapers in the dry pocket and at the end of the day the wet pocket is filled with the dirty diapers. I also use this when we are traveling and can fit a surprising number of dirty diapers in this bag!!

9. Pail Liner – We keep a simple garbag can next to the changing table with this liner in it. Every couple of days I take it downstairs and dump the dirty diapers in the wash. If the liner gets dirty, I just toss it in along with the diapers.

What are YOUR cloth diapering essentials?? Am I missing something that you couldn’t live without??

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Oatmeal Bread

I love oatmeal and I love bread, so when  a friend gave me this recipe to try,  I was thrilled.

They say that eating oatmeal daily can help with your milk supply. At 6 months old, I am still breastfeeding Liam (and plan to for as long as he wants) so anything I can do to help maintain my supply is great.

This bread was easy to make and turned out great. It only lasted a few days in our house.

Oatmeal Bread


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 Tbs shortening
  • 5-5 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 packs of yeast
  • 1/2 cups of warm water

Baking instructions:

  1. Bring milk to a boil then add oatmeal and let stand for 2 hours
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water
  3. Mix yeast with other ingredients, starting with 5 cups of flour and adding more until dough is smooth
  4. Form into loaves, either fill tow greased loaf pans or place as balls on parchment lined cookie sheet
  5. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size (around an hour)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minuets

Enjoy with some homemade jam…


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sleep Training a 6 Month Old

We were lucky parents. Liam started sleeping through the night very early (as in 6 weeks old), without much effort. I remember the first night he slept 7 hours straight, I woke up on my own and was so scared that something was wrong since I hadn’t been woken by a fussy baby. But he was fine, sound asleep in the Pack ‘n Play in our room. He also went to sleep easily. At nap and bed time, we would lay him down  for sleep and he would be so content and would fall asleep without much effort. It was so easy. 


Shortly after Liam turned 4 months old, we decided it was time for him to start sleeping in his own room, in his crib. I can’t even tell you why we made that decision then…it just kind of happened. I wanted to “see” if he could sleep the night in his room. When he did, without any complaints the first night we tried, we put the Pack’n Play away and never looked back…(actually I was very sad about this and cried). My baby was growing up. 


For about 2 weeks Liam slept in his room with no issues. It was great! All three of us were getting better sleep and life was perfect. Oh were we in for a rude awakening. 

In early September, Liam started showing signs of teething. LOTS of drool, gnawing on EVERYTHING…he especially loves fabric, increased crying/fussiness, but worst of all waking up MANY times during the night. He would wake up screaming and there seemed to be nothing we could do to calm him down. Nursing didn’t even seem to sedate him. I can’t even count how many sleepless nights we have had this past month, but it has really been wearing on us. Not only was he waking in the night, he also wasn’t falling asleep. He HAD to be held and rocked at all times and would take literally hours to fall asleep. We were exhausted and frustrated. I could not do anything for myself in the evenings, I was a slave to Liam. I finally was understanding what many parents go through when they talk about having a colicky baby. 


tried just letting him cry, hoping he would fall back asleep. I would last maybe 5 min or less before I ran into his room to comfort him. It got to a point where we didn’t even try to put him to sleep in his room. He just came into our bed at night and when he would start fussing I would try to calm him with nursing. This worked sometimes. But other times he would just scream and then we were all up at 2 am. Then I tried sleeping in the nursery with him. He would fall asleep nursing. Fearful I would wake him trying to move him into his crib, I would fall asleep in the rocker. When he woke up, he would just go right back to nursing. This left me with killer back pain and NO milk to pump for that day. 

Stan also slept in the nursery with Liam many times too… 


Then we had a well-baby check-up at 5 ½ months and received some great advice from the Pediatrician. Liam is obviously capable of sleeping through the night. All babies are capable of this by 6 months old. They don’t need to nurse in the middle of the night. We just needed to get him back on a schedule. It might be rough at first, but within a few days he should be back to sleeping through the night. 

Here are some suggestions she provided:

1. Mommy (aka milk supply needs) to stay away at bed time, go in the other room so he can’t see, hear or smell me.
2. Establish a bed time routine (i.e. same song/story every night, diaper change and jammies)
3. Daddy should put baby to bed
4. It is OK to let them cry (within reason) and learn to sooth themselves

This past week we have been working on these things…and I can honestly say they ARE working. Last night we got Liam to sleep around 9:30. He slept until 12:30 am, at which time we let him cry for 5 min before I went in to sooth him. I ended up nursing him for a few min and then put him back in his crib. A few times during the night I heard him fuss on the monitor, but he then fell back asleep. I then woke him at 7 am when it was time to get ready to leave for daycare. 

I am optimistic that we are back on track to getting him to sleep through the night again.  We agreed that the teething probably started the bad sleep habits, but we perpetuated it by not following any routine. As any parent can attest…you are constantly learning and adapting to fit the needs of your child. I hope we figure this out soon so we can all get some sleep. 

What did you find that helped get your baby to sleep?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stay at Home Mom?

The other morning I had a rare treat. I got to stay home with my little guy due to Daycare sickies.  

Liam-Stay @ Home

It was so wonderful to spend the morning with him. Even though we have the weekends, there is just something so different about being home during a work day.

My three months of maternity leave flew by in a flash, but for 4 hours I felt like I was a Stay at Home Mom. 

It’s the simple things in life, right?
Playtime in the morning.
Taking a walk through our neighborhood. 

Posing with Halloween pumpkins. 

Stay @ Home College

I cherish these moments. 

Stay @ Home 2

What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Birthday Challenge

Wow, how is it already November?! These past few months have just been flying by.
Seems like just yesterday it was summer…and Liam was only 3 months old. 

16lbs 8 wks

It just hit me that I am going to be 28 years old in less than two months and I feel like I JUST turned 27. Since my birthday is approaching and another year has just slipped by, I am reflecting on the weight loss goals I want to set for next year. I would LOVE to shed the last few pounds of baby weight and get on track to a healthy weight once and for all!  But why do I need to start next year, why don’t I get a head start and begin NOW. 

I might be setting myself up for failure, but I have decided to try and lose 16 lbs by the time I reach my birthday. Yes, you read that correctly, lose weight DURING the holidays.  It is only 8 weeks away and would require me to lose an average of 2 lbs per week. I think it is totally doable, as long as I stay focused. I know, you are probably think I am CRAZY to even try this, but I would love to start the next year healthy and happy about my body.

How do I plan on accomplishing this 16 lb weight loss?

Well let me introduce you to Shaklee‘s Cinch Products! I will be using their meal replacement shakes. They are full of protein to help control hunger and help you feel full.

My plan is to replace breakfast with these shakes. I am not that great at remembering (or having the time) to either eat breakfast at home or bring breakfast to work each morning, so this will make sure I am getting those important nutrients in each morning. 


They also have this terrific energy tea. You just mix it with water and now you have a healthy kick start to your afternoon (instead of reaching for a can of Coke). 

I also plan on introducing exercise into my everyday routine. During the summer months I was working out with a mom’s group 2-3 times a week after work. I lost about 5 lbs and was feeling great. However, now that the fall is in full force, and it is dark by 6 pm, these workouts have ended. I like the idea of joining a gym, and really thought I would once the temperature dropped, but we really don’t have any room in the budget to afford a membership at this time. Instead, I will use some of the MANY work out DVD’s that we have collected over the years. This should at least get me through the next 8 weeks. At that time, I will reevaluate whether or not I should join a gym.  

I believe I already eat pretty healthy, but there is always room for improvement. I am going to keep focusing on eating whole foods and cut out as much processed foods as possible. I also plan to cut as much sugar and carbohydrates as I can, but know that it might be near impossible to completely eliminate them. I know that my body is really sensitive to carbs and I even had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy. I am going to start reading food labels again and being more aware of my carbohydrate consumption. In the past when I cut out carbs, I was pretty successful at losing pounds and inches. 

Now…I have to go hide all the Halloween candy… 

Do you have any BIG goals you want to accomplish before the new year?
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