The Top 5 Reasons Why I Love My Tula

The Top 5 Reasons Why I Love My TulaWith my daughter, Johanna, I fell in love with baby wearing. I wore her constantly in my Boba soft structured carrier until I became pregnant with my son. The second time around, I wanted a carrier that was similar to my Boba, but one I could easily use from birth.

I found the Tula, soft structured standard baby carrier. Here are the top five reasons why I love my Tula.

#5 The Infant Insert

I ordered the infant insert for my Tula online and used that constantly with my son. He was almost 8 lbs. at birth and we needed it until he reached 15 lbs. and gained head control. The insert is soft and easy to use. It isn’t intimidating or awkward. It comes in a couple different colors. I opted for the black one. The standard carrier is recommended for 15-45 lbs. That’s awesome!

#4 So Comfortable

I have never been uncomfortable in my Tula carrier. For the first few months of my son Levi’s life, he lived in it. It was the only place he would sleep. At home, I would clean, do daily tasks, etc., with him snoozing away. I could easily bend, stretch, or do whatever I needed. The shoulder straps are wide and soft. We even ended up moving when Levi was 3 months old. The only way I got any packing done was with Levi in the Tula. It also comes with a pocket in the front for my keys or cell phone while we’re out and about.

#3 Easy, Easy, Easy

This carrier is so easy. It’s not some complicated puzzle to figure out. After reading the instructions a few times and watching a few youtube videos, just to make sure I got it, it has been a breeze. Like most carriers, once you get it, you got it. I am now comfortable popping Levi in and out of the carrier when we need to go into the store. It’s the only way I can put my 2 year old in the cart and tote my baby around. Baby sits easily in the M-position and you can rest assured the positioning is supportive of baby’s development.

#2 Fun Prints

The Tula carrier comes in so many fun, creative prints. Mom’s Milk Boutique even has their own exclusive Tula, “Splash!” I debated for several weeks on which print to get. I ended up getting the light blue chevron print. I get compliments on it often. It wipes clean easily when we get it dirty wearing it or Levi spits up. The Tula is machine washable, too. It’s so tempting to get another one when I see a new print.

#1 It makes baby wearing a breeze

I love baby wearing for so many reasons, but mainly because of the bond with my baby. It’s so comforting to him to be so close to mommy and my heart. It’s reassuring for my anxious soul to know that he won’t have a crying fit in the store, because he’s already in my arms. My husband has even worn Levi in the Tula.

I would recommend this carrier to any new or experienced mom. My next adventure is learning how to successfully nurse in the Tula. There are also Tula toddler carriers available. Check out the Tula!

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Indiana. After baby 2, there is no way she could survive without baby wearing. 

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Nutrition while Nursing

Nutrition while NursingWe hear talk of nutrition while pregnant, and again when baby begins to move towards solids, but we often overlook talking about nutrition while nursing.

We all know that eating healthy is important and know that there are areas in our diets that are less than ideal. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Overall, the best diet is a well-rounded one.

A few key things to remember:

  • Eat natural. Fresh, whole foods, with little or no additives or contaminants
  • Eat variety. Consuming a variety of each of the food groups from day to day and meal to meal can help ensure you are getting a good balance of nutrients and minerals, and keep mealtime exciting.
  • Eat and drink water to satiation. If you are feeling hungry or thirsty, your body may need more than it has been getting. We are all different, so what is enough for you may be too much or not enough for someone else. Listen to your body.
  • Eat good fats. Don’t forget to get some healthy fats in your diet. These are the brain’s building blocks and pave the way for your baby’s brain development.

Resources like Kellymom.com and books like Natural Health After Birth can further enhance your knowledge and expand your variety of recipes and other healthful additions to your diet.

Even with allergies, eating a good variety of food and changing it up each meal can help ensure you are as balanced as you can be. Eating a good variety may help to prevent over-sensitization to one particular food, and sets your baby’s palate for the future. Share the wonder and variety in the world with your baby right at home, through your food, and you are both sure to benefit!

TaiLeah Madill is mama to three and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about volunteering with her local babywearing group and helping other families enjoy the benefits of wearing their little ones. 

 

 

 

Thursday, March 26, 2015
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Shutting Down Busybodies

Shutting Down BusybodiesWhen I was pregnant with my first child, a friend of mine broke her leg. Within a week, she was complaining about how, just because her injury was visible, people asked her all sorts of invasive questions about what happened, how long she had to have a cast, and other personal questions. I couldn’t help myself. “That’s exactly what it’s like being pregnant!” I wailed.

With your first pregnancy, you’re so excited to finally start showing. Shortly after, you realize the downside to having that perfect little baby bump: The questions. Babies bring out the crazy in people. And I don’t mean you as parents. Parents adjust fine. It’s the moms, dads, grandmas, aunts, uncles, coworkers and friends of those parents that seem to lose every social grace they ever learned the moment they encounter a woman with a baby. Here are the questions you get immediately following the birth of your first, second, or later child:

First baby:

  • So when are you going to have another?
  • Are you going to try for a girl/boy next?
  • When are you going to wean him/her?
  • Have you lost the baby weight?

Second baby:

  • Are you getting him fixed? (Oh yeah, they mean your husband.)
  • Are you going to have your tubes tied while they’re “in there”?
  • Are you guys done having kids?
  • Are you going to try for a girl/boy?  (You only get this one if you have two children of the same sex.)

Third baby:

  • How many ARE you planning to have?
  • Are you guys done now?
  • Are you going to get a bigger/car house?
  • Are you going to try for a girl/boy?

People aren’t very creative. I can’t tell you how many times I heard these same questions—both from people I was close to and people I barely knew. The fact is, you don’t ever have to answer these invasive, very personal questions if you don’t want to. Not even if it’s someone who expects to know or thinks they have a right to know. It’s your business and your business alone. That said, it’s easier not to answer them if you have a few responses ready, and that is what I learned to do.

There are basically three ways to shut down a busybody:

1. Give a ridiculous answer. You can make it a joke and avoid having to give personal answers by just being ridiculous.

Q: How many are you guys planning to have?
A: Oh, I don’t know. A litter? A herd? A squeal?

2. Deflect the question.  Turn the question back around to them.  They’ll either react in horror or give you an honest answer because they were really just wanting to talk about themselves anyway.

Q: What kind of birth control are you using?
A: What kind do you use?

3. Politely ask for some privacy. This works better if you are one-on-one, especially with someone older than you. You don’t want to be seen as telling them off in front of other people, but it’s totally appropriate to ask for some space, and it may prevent you from these lines of questions in the future. If you use one of the first two approaches on someone and they keep asking you questions, default to this one the next time.

Q: How many are you guys planning to have?
A: That’s a pretty personal question.

I found that although I was kind of a weenie with setting boundaries before I had kids, I had no qualms about it after. I had a newfound need to protect my family, and that included our private affairs, like family planning, how I felt about having all girls, and how long I planned to nurse my babies.

People generally don’t like when you set a boundary in a relationship because you’re asserting yourself, and that shifts the power distribution. These responses help set boundaries with people who are too invasive, but it won’t work unless you are consistent.

It’s hard, but don’t give up. Having healthy relationships is not only good for your emotional health, but your kids will learn how to solve problems and resolve conflict from you. Knowing how to handle pushy people will help them assert themselves and stand up for what’s right when they need to the most.

Erin Burt is a freelance writer and mother of three girls. She lives and writes in Queensbury, New York.

 

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First Toys for Babies

First Toys for BabiesWhen I had my daughter, I wasn’t really sure what to buy for her as far as toys go. I wasn’t really aware that she would even care about toys at such a young age. During a baby’s first months they can’t sit up or really grasp anything, but there are some toys that your baby can still enjoy.

Play mat: Babies need tummy time and the time you spend on the floor bonding with baby is a huge benefit to them. I suggest investing in a nice playmat. We went with the cheap version both times. This is something I regret. Before baby can grasp a toy, he or she may bat at one or learn to pull down the music string on the play mat. Look for a colorful mat with different interactive, soft toys. In my opinion, the more toys on the play mat, the better.

Musical toys: This Baby Einstein toy has been the best for us. It has colorful lights and plays a few different classical songs to entertain baby. Just be careful. It’s a little heavy for baby to hold. You can always just use your IPhone and download a music app. Music is great for entertaining baby, but it also soothes and calms baby and momma down.

Soft Books: Babies enjoy momma and daddy’s faces. Spend time reading to even the smallest of your children. The interaction is priceless. Soft books like this one from Taggies are what we have used. The mirror on the front is a bonus toy. Babies love to see their reflections.

Toys with Tags: Babies love tags. My son, Levi, has a monkey that he adores. My 2-year-old daughter still plays with the tag on her Teddy. These small toys from Dandelion are perfect for baby’s small hands. Soft blankets with tags or soft dolls with tags are great first toys.

Rattles and Shakers: Find one that is colorful and soft for baby like this one from Dandelion. Allow baby to hold the rattle and shake away! I always have a small rattle in my diaper bag. It’s the perfect go-to toy for a fussy baby in the car or if we need something to entertain Levi in a restaurant.

Teethers: Oh teething! It’s not fun for baby or momma. Luckily, there are a variety of teething toys out there to help soothe baby and make playtime fun. Chewbeads makes colorful, fun teethers for baby. They also make necklaces for momma to wear that double as a fashion accessory and teething toy.

So, momma, what have you used as a first toy for your baby? Enjoy the simplicity of baby toys. Soon they will be playing with Legos and Barbies.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Indiana. She loves to play with her kids, but she wishes she had a bigger house for all of their toys.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
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Buying Used Cloth Diapers

Buying Used Cloth DiapersPreviously I introduced you to the basic terminology that you’ll first encounter when you begin looking into cloth diapers. Now, let’s talk about shopping!

For many families, cloth is a fantastic budget option. Even when bought new, cloth diapers still come in significantly under budget when compared to a year’s worth of disposables. For those on an even tighter budget, or for the, err, “frugal” among us (raises hand high), buying used is even better.

As with cloth diapers themselves, buying used comes with a whole new set of terms to learn. Here are the ones you encounter most frequently in the FOST (For Sale or Trade, your first term!) forums.

Sale Terms

B/S/T – Buy/Sell/Trade – Often used in the titles of Facebook groups and other internet forums to describe the purpose of the group.

FS/FSO – For Sale/For Sale Only – The owner is selling only and is not looking for any trades.

FSOT – For Sale or Trade – The owner is open to a sale or trades, and will usually mention what they are looking for in terms of trade.

FTO – The owner is looking for a trade only and is not selling at that time.

ISO – In Search Of – Someone is looking for a specific item/print/etc. and hopes an owner will contact them.

PPD – Postage Paid – This indicates that the price listed includes shipping. Otherwise the listing should state price and that shipping will be extra (if shipping is required).

Condition Terms

NIP – New in Package – Sometimes also listed as NWT or NWOT, New with Tags/New without Tags.

EUC – Excellent Used Condition – Diaper is used but shows little to no wear and tear.

VGUC – Very Good Used Condition – Diaper is used but shows little wear and tear and is in good, usable condition

GUC – Good Used Condition – Diaper is used, shows some wear and tear but is still in good, usable shape.

FUC – Fair Used Condition – Diaper is worn and may need repairs to be fully functional again.

Delaminated/ing – The PUL/TPU is showing wear in the form of the plastic sheet separating from the cloth side. A delaminated diaper is often no longer waterproof, but since additional layers of PUL/TPU can be sewn into some diapers as a rehab measure, some highly sought after diapers may appear for sale even with delamination.

OSOne Size – Refers to a diaper that adjusts to fit as baby grows, as opposed to sized diapers (s/m/l, etc.).

PPU – Pending Pick Up – Commonly used when buying locally, this means the item has been spoken for but has not been picked up and paid for. Sellers use this to let people know that the item is nearly sold, but allows them to reopen the sale should the 1st buyer not show.

When buying used, ask the seller to disclose any and all issues with the condition of the diaper, such as relaxed leg elastics or older hook and loop tabs (both are often easy to fix). Ask for pictures of both the inside and outside so that you can look for wear and tear or excessive staining. I highly recommend asking for pictures of the PUL/TPU on the inside of the diaper, so that you can be sure that it isn’t cracked or delaminating. If you have friends who use cloth, ask them to show you what a fresh vs relaxed elastic and healthy vs worn out PUL looks like, so that you’re prepared when you go shopping. Ideally, inspect the diapers first hand before purchase so that you are completely comfortable with their condition, but if you are purchasing from afar, use PayPal to complete the financial transaction and always pay as “goods” rather than “friend/family”. A goods transaction offers you protection should the diapers arrive in a condition other than exactly as the seller described. Finally, have fun shopping for cute colors and prints, and try to not get bit buy the cloth diaper bug!

Kate Cunha is a huge cloth advocate who loves living in the Pacific NW in an area where cloth diaper use is rather common. She’s made many friends thanks to fluff!

 

 

Monday, March 23, 2015
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