Posts Tagged ‘babies’

Three Summer Must-Haves for Baby

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Three Summer Must-Haves for BabySummer presents some new baby-equipment dilemmas: swimming, water, sand, changing clothes on the go. If you’re a first-time mom, figuring it out can take some time. Wet babies are so slippery–wet toddlers are slippery and fast! And don’t get me started on changing diapers at the pool–or pool poop. So let’s make the learning curve a little gentler with this summer primer for all things baby.

Cloth Swim Diapers: Disposable swim diapers are awful. For one, they do not hold in solid waste–not even remotely.  Second, if you do happen to catch #2 in time, disposable swim diapers only come off one way—straight down. Let that process for a moment so you can really take in that visual. Third, disposable swim diapers are seriously expensive. They are OK in a pinch, but I hated them for regular use.

You can buy swim diapers specifically for swimming, and the benefit to these diapers is tight legs and a mesh liner. The tight legs keep anything from escaping, and the liner makes it easy to shake out. They work so well, some pools actually require them to help prevent accidents. These diapers also don’t retain water as much, so you don’t get the “hammer pants” effect when baby is out of the water, and they will dry faster. Another option is using a plain cloth diaper like an All In One with the liner removed. You will have to make sure it’s a tight fit, so older diapers with loose elastic won’t cut it.  The benefit here is that you already have them and it’s one less thing to remember. Velcro does not work very well when wet, so make sure you use one with snaps.

Swim Hat: All my kids are blonde, so hats were a must for us. I also like that you can buy them in UV-blocking materials, which means not having to use sunscreen on little faces and shoulders. I quickly learned with my first child that a regular sun hat does not cut it in the pool. UV and swim hats are made with materials that don’t hold water. When they get wet, the brim stays perky so your child can see. Get a regular hat wet and it’s all floppy and you have one sad baby who can’t see.

Wet Bag: Even if you’ve never used a cloth diaper in your life, you need a wet bag for the summer. The thing about a wet bag is that it keeps wetness and smells trapped in the bag, That’s useful for swimming, potty training, diaper changing, you name it. When we go to the pool or lake, I bring a wet bag and a change of clothes for every kid. When it’s time to go, each kid gets changed into dry clothes before they get in the car, which means no wet seats and no corralling kids into the bathroom first thing when we get home.  I always keep a wet bag in my trunk—you just never know when it will come in handy.

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

What’s Normal? 6-9 Month Development

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

By now your little one is laughing, smiling and becoming more aware of the world around him or her. Your baby is nearly halfway to being a toddler, and the level of engagement is increased. You will see much more movement as inching along turns to full-fledged crawling, and if you have one of those vintage farm animal sound games, pull the string and watch as your bundle of joy delights in trying to mimic the sounds heard.

Because we all want to keep track of development, a good yardstick for measuring typical developmental milestones at this age includes the following:

• Mobility: Babies start becoming mobile in the 6 to 9 month period, starting with scooting, then sitting on their own, and eventually crawling.

• Verbal: Gentle coos turn to babbles and imitations.

Six to Nine Month Development

• Social/emotional: Peeking out from behind a blanket or other object may become a favorite pastime somewhere around 6 to 7 months.

• Fine motor skills: Your baby will start grasping, reaching and picking up objects, so keeps those small items out of reach because most end up in the mouth.

For many parents, this is the time most look forward to because bits and pieces of those little personalities start showing. This is also when most babies start moving around and exploring, so be careful to keep harmful objects out of the way and out of reach. And when your peg-leg crawler wears out the knees in their favorite footed pajamas, turn them into a cute romper for the summer!

Don’t worry if scooting doesn’t progress to crawling right away, or if your floor isn’t clean enough to eat off of. Just enjoy the progress, and unless you see significantly delayed activities, sit back and try to relax. Walking, running, and tantrums are just around the corner.

Remember, every baby develops at their own pace and the above are just general guides. It’s a safe bet the over/under on these milestones is a month or two. If you are concerned, tap the endless resources available to you by reaching out to your pediatrician, friends, other moms, and maybe even your own mother.

Gretchen Latham is a mother of one and lives and writes in Oklahoma City.

Tips for Road-Tripping with Babies

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Tips for Road Trips with BabiesWe recently completed a cross-country move with our 5-year-old, 2.5-year-old and 13-month-old daughters, driving from Fort Worth, Texas to Queensbury, New York.

When I sat down to Google Maps and started making our route, I was scared. Three days. Stretches of 8 to 11 hours of driving each day. Two overnight stays. How were we going to do this and all stay sane? We don’t even own a portable DVD player.

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, sometimes flying isn’t an option and you need to road trip. Here are a few things I learned from our experience that can make your trip easier.

  1. Give yourself options. Kids love change, any change, no matter how small. So make sure you can keep things interesting when everyone has had enough. Change seating arrangements, change toys, change seat partners, change coloring books, or change snacks. We bought silly dollar toys at gas stations, had emergency snacks and different toys from home that I could distribute when things were getting ugly. Having a few new shows and games downloaded on the iPad and Leapster before the trip helped, too.
  2. Plan at least two extra hours for each day of driving. When I drive alone, I am a fill-up-the-tank, gulp-down-the-coffee, hook-up-the-catheter kind of road tripper. I live and die by making “good time.” So it was helpful for planning purposes, and for me mentally, to realize that having the kids with us added two hours to our total drive time each day. That way I didn’t stretch us too far.
  3. Get multiple rooms overnight. The tiny room at Motel 6 may seem like a wise choice on paper, but it’s very helpful to have room to spread out in the evenings. I love AirBnB when traveling, because we can rent an entire home for the price of a hotel room. Each night we all had our own rooms, we could put the baby down early without having to sit in darkness, and the kids had space to run and explore.  This can be especially helpful if you cloth diaper, because you can get a place with a washer/dryer if you want.  AirBnB isn’t the only place you can book travel this way—there’s VRBO, and more home-sharing or renting options online. Obviously, you want to be safe when traveling with your family. I have several conversations over email and on the phone with my host to get a general vibe before I stay somewhere, and I always pay through the site.
  4. Pack by the day. A friend who has four kids gave me this tip: Instead of packing each person their own bag, pack clothing for the ENTIRE family per overnight stop. Since we were staying in different locations and would have to pack in/pack out each night anyway, this made so much sense! Toiletries for the whole family went in one bag, and PJS/diapers/clothes for the next day in one bag. When we got to our destination for the day, out come the two bags and the pack n play. DONE.
    Tips for Road Trips with Babies
  5. Lower your expectations. The first night, I realized there was not going to be “bedtime” on this trip. We got to our first stop after 13 hours on the road (11 hours of driving), and the two older girls were running circles around the cabin, yelling. I told them they could run but no yelling, and they complied. The baby wanted me only, and wanted to nurse all the time, so we nursed. The girls crashed hard way after their bedtime, which resulted in napping in the middle of the afternoon in the car—normally something that would inspire fear in me. I knew we’d get back to our routine eventually, and it might be painful, but this was not the time to fight that battle. How strict you want to keep schedules while on the road will depend on your kids’ personalities, how old they are, and how well they adjust to change. Once we got to New York and got settled, we were back to normal bedtime within a few days. In my mind, the relaxed standards were well worth the saved sanity.

I think the key to any trip or vacation, even if it’s out of necessity and not for pleasure, is to enjoy yourself and the people you are with. Make memories when you can. Most of all, enjoy the journey!

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


Milestones: 3 to 6 Months

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Milestones: 3-6 MonthsWhen my daughter first smiled at me–a real, honest-to-goodness smile, not just gas–it melted my heart. Of course, I like to believe she’s far advanced above other children, and take pride that my third grader reads at a high-school level and has the math skills of an average fifth grader. Her cousin was born three months early and had cardiothoracic surgery at just 5 days old, and yet he is now academically on schedule if not ahead of the curve. That said, there are other areas of his development that did not fit within what most literature considers “normal.”

This is typical for most kids. They fit the curve in some areas, lag behind in others. What seems like a huge difference in abilities at a few months old is forgotten when they are 5. At 3 to 6 months, what is considered typical may depend on your child and the circumstances of their birth.

A good guide for typical developmental milestones for 3 to 6 month olds includes the following:

  • Startle reflex
  • Holding up head
  • Smiling
  • Verbalizing/Cooing
  • Raising head during tummy time
  • Gumming hands
  • Reaching/grabbing
  • Eyes follow people and objects
  • Sitting/Rolling over/Scooting
  • Raising to crawl position

For a child born with a serious health condition, like my nephew, speech may lag. If your baby isn’t cooing or smiling at 3 to 6 months, or is not responsive to loud noises a trip to the ENT may be in order. The development of the inner ear plays a vital role in forming sounds and eventually words. If your baby doesn’t support his head without assistance, or is difficult to soothe you might consider reporting these things to your pediatrician.

Your role as a parent is to identify instances of what might be considered atypical. You know your baby best and are your baby’s best advocate. Keep in mind not every baby develops at the same rate and what is right for one baby is not necessarily right for your baby. Trust your instincts and keep your camera handy. You won’t want to miss it when your little bundle of joy takes those first steps, which are just around the corner.

Gretchen Latham is a mother of one and lives and writes in Oklahoma City.

FuzziBunz Elite One Size Cloth Diaper: 2013 NEW and IMPROVED Sizing!

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

How Does It Measure Up?

First take a look at the old FuzziBunz Elite One Size Cloth Diaper on top compared to the 2013 NEW FuzziBunz Elite One Size Cloth Diaper on the bottom. Both are on the largest setting both with elastic and snaps:

The picture above clearly illustrates the size difference between the two. FuzziBunz makes an awesome diaper and has a great reputation in the cloth diapering community. However one commonly expressed issue was that their one-size diaper ran on the smaller side. In other words the one size diaper sometimes didn’t fit chubbier babies or older toddlers very well. Additionally the narrow crotch made stuffing the diaper difficult for some. FuzziBunz listened to this feedback and responded by improving their Elite One Size Diaper. Let’s take a look:

The overall design of the diaper is basically the same but the new one is about a half inch bigger on each side:

White FB on bottom is the new size; Brown FB on top is the old size

One of the main issues was the narrow crotch.

Old FuzziBunz is 5inches across

New FuzziBunz is 6inches across

While an extra inch doesn’t seem like much, it definitely makes stuffing so much easier! It also allows for a larger variety of different inserts to be used.

Another difference is the snaps. The old FB had 8 snaps across the top while the new FB has 10. Again this provides more generous sizing options:

Old FB on left hand side; New FB on right hand side

The new FuzziBunz comes with two microfiber inserts while the old FuzziBunz came with two minky inserts. The inserts are larger with the new FuzziBunz. See pictures below for comparison. The first picture is a side by side comparison of the smaller insert from each diaper:

Old FuzziBunz on left hand side (4inches wide); new FuzziBunz on left-hand side (5inches wide)

And now a side by side of the larger insert from each diaper.

Old FuzziBunz on left hand side; New FuzziBunz on right hand side

I put each diaper on the very largest setting for both the snaps and the elastic on my two year old. The old FuzziBunz is a perfect fit, while the new FuzziBunz had plenty of room to grow into (however I could have made it into the perfect fit by adjusting the elastic and snaps).

Old FuzziBunz on largest settings

New FuzziBuns on largest setting

Even he could tell the new diaper didn’t fit him properly. He kept pulling the front of it and saying “pocket! pocket!” He thought the extra room was a pocket.

Showing me his "pocket" (ie- the extra room in his new FB)

So what does a toddler want to do with a new found pocket in his diaper? Put a glue stick in it of course, l0l!

Basically take everything you LOVE about FuzziBunz Elite One Size Cloth Diaper (see recent review here) but simply IMPROVE the sizing options so it can fit a wider range of babies and boom, you’ve got the 2013 FuzziBunz Elite One Size Cloth Diaper! I think FuzziBunz fans are going to be quite pleased with these modifications! I know I am. :)