Saturday, September 21, 2013

Diaper Apron

I just started feeding my daughter pureed foods, she is a good but very messy eater.  I never cared about this before because my older daughter wore disposables, but now I am worried that my precious diapers will be marred by pureed fruits and veggies. 
Wrapping a towel around her never stayed well enough, so I decided to make a diaper apron.  I did it so quickly that I didn't take very good pictures for a tutorial but making the apron was super easy.


Flour Sack Towel (FST)
Wide Elastic (1.5 inches)
Hook and Loop

I took the FST and lined up a 10 inch piece of elastic with the long edge.  I used my serger to sewe them together, stretching the elastic as I went.  If you do not have a serger, using a long zigzag stitch would also work find.  I then just added hook and loop to the ends so that I could secure it around my baby.  I tried it out the other night and it worked great!

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Making Homemad Baby Food

Yesterday my baby turned 6 months old (where has the time gone?!?!?) so we decided to start introducing foods.  Up until this point she has been exclusively breastfed, but she has been showing interest in us eating and trying to grab our food, so it seemed like good timing.  With my older daughter I made all of her baby food, so of course I will be making all of the baby food this time around as well.  I love being able to make baby food, its easy, cheap and you have more control over the foods you are putting in your baby's body. 
There is a farmers market one a month about a mile down the road from us, so today we ventured down to the market to pick up something for baby's first food. My older daughters first food was sweet potato, so that was what I wanted to make for my second daughter as well.  Sweet potato, in my opinion, is a great first food, its sweet, can be pureed to be very smooth and it has a lot of vitamins in it.  Thankfully I was able to find a vendor selling organic produce and picked up 2 nice sweet potatoes for $2.27.

Making Baby Food

Making baby food sounds like it should be difficult, but it is actually super easy.  For the most part you just want to steam or bake the selected food until soft and then puree it adding breast milk/formula or water to get it to the consistency you want it to be.  For the sweet potatoes I baked them whole in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour.  I let them cool for a bit and then scooped out the insides into my food processor (you do not need any special baby appliance to make baby food, a cheap food processor works just great).  I added about 6 ounces of breast milk to the two sweet potatoes to make it nice and smooth.  Some other good first foods are: apples, pears, peas, and squash.  Just bake or steam them until soft.  For younger babies you will want to remove the peel so that it is smoother but for older babies you can include the peel.  I like to add fresh breast milk to my purees to boost the nutritional value, but wholesome baby foods has a great resource on other ways to thin your puree (they also have a lot of great recipes).

Storing Baby food
Once I make my baby food I like to portion it out and store it that way.  Because we are only offering a puree once a day and I can keep it in the refrigerator for 3 days, I made 3 small portions (about a tablespoon is good to start with) to go in the refrigerator.  I then put any remaining amounts in my silicone baby food tray to be frozen.  Once these are frozen solid I pop them out and put them in a plastic freezer bag and label with the contents and date (can be frozen for 3 months).

I am excited to start introducing new foods to my little one and start combining flavors and textures later on.  I love being able to make her food, as you can see it is VERY easy and extremely cost effective (approximately 17.5 cents per serving). 

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Beach Craft

Today I am blogging over at Tampa Bay Moms Blog about a recent beach trip and related craft.  I am so excited to be a new contributor for TBMB and I hope you enjoy my first official post!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

It's Monday...

It's Monday!! So that means linking up to the Mommy Mondays Blog Hop.  I haven't been 100% consistent in linking up, but I do enjoy seeing what other Mommy's have to say, so check out the others that are linked. 
I am back to work today but I was so glad to get home to my little girls last night.  Lately I have been posting a lot of about pumping and work but I hope to get back to some crafts soon.  I will also have my first official post as a Tampa Bay Moms Blog contributor later this week, so watch for that!

Cant Google Everything

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pumping while Traveling

I have just returned from my first out of town trip since returning to work from maternity leave.  I traveled to Minneapolis for 3 days for work and then met my husband in Boston for the weekend so I was gone a total of 5 days.  I have traveled before when my older daughter was still nursing, so I have a little experience with traveling while pumping, so I wanted to share what has worked well for me here.

One of the most important things is preparation, knowing what to bring, knowing where you can pump, and knowing how you are going to store and transport your milk.


For my trip I brought my Medela Freetime, this pump was perfect for travel because I could easily stick it in my purse or computer bag.  It is very light and does not take up a lot of room.  I also brought along my strapless pumping bra, 25 storage bags (I actually used 24), 6 bottles, one freezer pack and a bottle brush.  I wish I would have put some dish soap in a travel size container, but I had to make do without.  I was able to put all of this in my suitcase for the flight and then I transported my supplied between the hotel and office in my computer bag. 

Location, Location, Location!

About a week prior to my departure I did some planning to make sure I would have access to a pumping location.  I contacted the office that I would be working in to inquire about the lactation room location and how I could get access to it.  I also did some research on if the airports I would be going through had facilities for nursing mothers (check out this listing for airport accommodations).  I was really impressed with the private facilities at the Minneapolis airport but less than excited that a lot of other airports only offer “family bathrooms”.  At the Boston airport, it was suggested to me to use a wheelchair in the bathroom to sit in, which made it slightly less awful.
Storage of Milk

Prior to my trip, I made sure that the hotel either had a refrigerator in the room or was able to provide one.  Most of the time they will provide it for free but some hotels do charge a fee (you could also maybe use the minibar for storage).  Any milk that I pumped in the hotel stayed in my hotel fridge and any milk that I pumped in the office stayed in the office refrigerator.  After pumping each time I transferred all milk into storage bags.  I put less milk in than the bags could accommodate so that I would not have any problems with the pressure change while in flight.

Transporting your Milk

I also requested assistance from an administrative assistant in the local office to procure the supplies necessary to ship my milk home.  I am very fortunate to work for a company that will pay for all reasonable costs to transport my milk back home.  For me this means that I was able to ship in an insulated box with dry ice and send the box overnight.  The assistant contacted UPS who provided both the box as well as the dry ice.  It can get expensive depending on if the delivery is a weekend, etc. so I am grateful to have a company that is very supportive of nursing mothers and will pay for it.  If you are organizing the shipment on your own, using a Styrofoam cooler and buying dry ice from a local grocery store is a good option (I would call around to local grocery stores before leaving to ensure this is a viable option).  If you can’t get dry ice while out of town, using freezer packs is also an option.  For the second leg of my trip I transported my milk back by putting it in a cardboard box with the freezer pack.  I checked the box with my luggage and when I got home (8 hours later) the milk was still cold and the freezer pack was mostly frozen.  
First Shipment of Milk
 Know your rights!

This trip I did not go through TSA with milk but I have in the past.  One of the most important things is to know your rights about traveling with your pump and milk.  The most important things to remember are:

1.      You are not limited in the amount of breast milk you can carry on
2.      Let an agent know that you have breast milk on you
3.      You cannot be required to show them how the pump works
4.      You cannot be required to have you or your baby taste the breast milk
5.      They may perform a test for explosives on your milk

A little preparation will make traveling while pumping easier and ensure that you are able to continue to provide your baby with breast milk.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

If I could Cloth Diaper all over again...

This week over at Padded Tush Stats they are doing a series on If I could Cloth Diaper all over again...
If I could cloth diaper all over again

They have asked moms to share what they would buy if they were starting all over again, knowing what they know now.  I love this idea because you learn so much as you go along.  Be sure to check out their recommendations as well as the links to other mom's recommendations.  I did a series similar to this about a month ago so be sure to check out my suggestions for a $600 budget, $400 budget and a $200 budget.

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