Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Top 5 Nursing Essentials

1. Nursing pads: Avoid leaking in public or ruining a bra or shirt by wearing nursing pads. You can go cloth or disposable. If you choose disposable, I highly recommend Lansinoh. Their pads are large and very absorbent while remaining thin. They hold in place with two adhesive strips, whereas others only have one or none and thus don't stay very well. They are also reasonably priced. The best deal is to get them at Motherhood Maternity in the 36-count boxes.

2. Nursing cover: I think blankets are too risky to use for breastfeeding in public. Nursing covers are better because they work like an apron, having a strap around the neck and covering you and Baby. They come in cute patterns and some even have pockets. Go here for a coupon code for a nursing cover from Udder Covers.

Udder Covers

3. Nursing pillow: Nursing pillows are great if you want support while breastfeeding. They help hold up Baby to your breast, giving your arms a break and Baby something to lie on. Nursing pillows come in all shapes and sizes. Ask friends who have nursing pillows if you can sample theirs before buying one. Some popular ones are My Brest Friend and the Boppy.

Balboa Baby

4. Lanolin: Protect your nipples from--or treat them for--soreness, dryness, bleeding, and cracking by putting Lanolin on them. Lanolin is similar to petroleum jelly and is safe for Baby to ingest. Again, I recommend Lansinoh.

5. Night-time nursing bra: Many women nurse in a regular bra during the day, but night is a different story. You need something supportive but comfortable. A regular bra is uncomfortable and no bra makes sore nipples worse. Motherhood Maternity sleeping nursing bras are the perfect combination of support and comfort. They are soft and lightweight and make night-time nursing simple--just pull the bra back, nurse, and cover up again. I wear mine all day when I'm at home.

Happy breastfeeding!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Udder Covers Nursing Cover Giveaway [CLOSED]

It took me almost two months to feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. Once I did, I didn't want to just use a blanket to cover up because I was afraid of it accidentally falling. So I use an Udder Cover instead, a fashionable nursing cover that stays in place from a strap around the neck held by a d-ring.

*It is made from beautiful fabric patterns and lightweight, breatheable material.
*It is machine washable and retains its shape after washes.
*It is easy to pack and take with you in your purse or diaper bag.
*It is wide enough for complete coverage and not too long.

*This is just a personal pet peeve: I hate d-rings because I can never get them to stay! But I solved the problem by just tying the strap to the d-ring. It makes it faster to put on too: just stick it over your head and you're done instead of having to do and undo the d-ring each time.

Udder Covers will be giving away one nursing cover in the pattern of your choice. If you would like to buy one, use the coupon code "Family2010" for a $32 discount, which is the price of one cover. This means all you have to pay is shipping! Furthermore, this promotion gives you the discount off your total order no matter what you put in your cart, so you can buy something else instead if you want.

Mandatory 1st Entry: Visit the Udder Covers Web site and tell me which pattern you would choose if you won.

5 entries: Blog about this giveaway, linking to this post and to Udder Covers. Leave the link to your blog post.

2 entries: Put my button (top right) on your blog and leave the link to your blog.

1 entry: Become a follower of this blog via Google Friend Connect (see sidebar).

1 entry: Share this giveaway on Facebook.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be posted by 11:59 p.m. MST on Thursday, December 9. The winner will be announced Friday, December 10. Please leave your email address in one of your entries so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!


The winner (chosen by random.org) is comment #19 "Last one I swear! Clearly I really want to win!" by Kyle & Morgan. Congratulations! I will be contacting you shortly.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Make Your Own Blog Button

I always wanted a blog button, but I'm not html savvy. I looked it up on eHow and found this amazing article: How to Add a Blog Button with Text Box Underneath for Code. The directions are very clear and easy to follow. Just one comment on step 2: you can upload your photo to Google's Picasa Web Albums. Once uploaded, click on the photo and on the right click on "Link to this photo." Select the thumbnail size and check the box next to "Image Only (no link)." Then copy the html code under "Embed Image" (not under "Link"). I love my new button!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm a Homemaker, Not a Housewife

photo by Billy Alexander (sxc.hu)
I hate the term housewife. I am not married to a house, nor am I only a wife while in a house. My life is not defined only by what I do in a house, such as cook and clean. Sure, my interpretations may seem silly; blame the linguist in me. And housewife carries so many negative connotations thanks to ultra feminists. Besides, when I hear it, I can't help but think of those sleazy, shallow women on the "Real Housewives" TV shows.

I prefer the term homemaker because it accurately describes my goal: to make a home. And "home is where the heart is," meaning it is more a feeling than a physical place. Homemaker covers all women, not just stay-at-home moms, and all worthy activities, not just cooking and cleaning. It defines any woman striving to create a safe haven for her family.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Case for Cloth

Using cloth diapers is easier than you think and has many advantages. The biggest advantage that won me over is how much money I save! Buying your supply requires a lot of money up front, but then you quickly save. Cloth diapers last a long time (I'm using some my little sister had 13 years ago) and you can buy ones that fit from birth to two years, limiting how often you need to buy more.

With cloth diapers, there are fewer blowouts--or none at all--because cloth diapers cover more area. All the blowouts my baby's had were from the times he was in disposable diapers. Also, baby will have fewer or no diaper rashes because cloth requires more frequent changes, is gentler on the skin, and is chemical free. And of course, cloth is better for the environment. Best of all, babies look so cute with a big diaper bum!

The disadvantages to cloth diapers can easily be solved. The number one concern is cleaning them. You do not have to rinse them, though I rinse the poopy ones because it helps with the odor and with staining. (Once your baby's poop is more solid, you can just shake it into the toilet.) When I laundered them, the washer and dryer would smell like urine (cloth diapers require additive-free detergent, so no fragrant smell). The washer would be fine after another load of laundry, but the dryer would leave my clothes smelly. My mother-in-law told me to use vinegar as fabric softener, and it took care of the smell too! As for increasing my laundry load, I made sure I had enough diapers to only have to wash them every other day. Buy more if you want to do laundry less often. The last disadvantage I can think of is that packing cloth diapers makes the diaper bag heavier than disposables do and it doesn't get lighter since you don't throw the used ones away. But that is minor. Consider it an extra workout.

If you were hesitant or curious about using cloth diapers, I hope this post has calmed your fears. And if you decide to use disposables, try different brands and versions to find the best fit and style for your baby.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bugaboo Jewelry Giveaway [CLOSED]

When my friend lost her four-month-old baby, I searched online for a memorial gift for her. To my disappointment, everything I found was either really ugly or really expensive. Then I thought of Etsy and I found Bugaboo Jewelry, specializing in miscarriage, stillbirth, and pregnancy-infant loss. She made a necklace for my friend and a keychain for her husband, using the actual handprints and footprints of their baby:

*All her jewelry is beautiful and would make a perfect gift for someone who has experienced loss.
*Everything is personalized. The seller is very flexible.
*Excellent customer service: she was quick, exact, friendly, communicative, and understanding.
*Great cause. Until the last couple years, I was unaware of how common miscarriages and other losses are.
*Irrelevant, but I love the name because I call my baby Bugaboo!

*Honestly, none.

Bugaboo Jewelry will be giving away the one-inch, sterling silver "Forever in My Heart" eternity circle with birthstones, a $25 value. The swarovski birthstone crystals could represent conception, birth/loss, due date, or all three, to remind you of your little loved one and keep him or her close to your heart. The pendant is strung on a thin, eighteen-inch, silver-plated ball chain.

Mandatory 1st Entry: Tell me whom the jewelry would be for if you won.

3 entries: Blog about this giveaway linking to this blog and Bugaboo Jewelry. Leave a link to your blog post.

2 entries: Like Bugaboo Jewelry on Facebook

1 entry: Heart Bugaboo Jewelry on Etsy.com

1 entry: Become a follower of this blog via Google Friend Connect (see sidebar)

1 entry: Post this giveaway on Facebook

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be posted by 11:59 p.m. MST on Sunday, November 28. The winner will be announced Monday, November 29. Please leave your email address in one of your entries so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Breastfeeding Tips

Breastfeeding is back in style! But it isn't always easy. The first month was a nightmare for me; now I really enjoy nursing my baby. The key is to stick to it; there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Here are five tips to help you out:
  • Find a comfortable place to nurse: a rocker, the couch, the bed, a recliner, etc.
  • Have a snack and water ready whenever you breastfeed. Baby's feeding time often bumps into mine, not giving me a chance to eat. A small snack is enough to hold me over and help milk production until I can get a full meal. Hydration is always important, but especially when breastfeeding.
  • Some experts say to feed on one side at a time, others to feed from both. I say follow your baby's cue: your baby knows his or her needs better than anyone else. If the baby seems content, stop breastfeeding. If not, offer the other side. Sometimes babies may take a break to burp, make a dirty diaper, or change positions, so try to nurse again after they are done.
  • Do something while breastfeeding to pass the time if your baby is a long nurser or you get bored: read a book, watch TV, listen to calming music or inspirational messages, talk or sing to your baby, take a nap (nurse in the side-lying position, a lifesaver at night). Once I found things to do (especially sleep!), I became less impatient and let baby nurse as long as he wanted.
  • If you think you are not producing enough milk, nurse anyway. It's all about supply and demand. Pump if necessary to increase supply. Make sure you are eating and drinking enough: breastfeeding uses a lot of calories.
Happy feeding!
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