Thursday, July 8, 2010

Breastfeeding H.E.L.P.S.

This is a great "cheat sheet" about what to remember in the early days of nursing. I found this at, but I thought it was so good, I wanted to repost it, and modify the Support section a bit.


H: Hunger Cues

  • Awakening
  • Soft sounds
  • Mouthing (licking lips, sticking out tongue)
  • Rooting (turning head and opening mouth)
  • Hand moving towards mouth
  • Cries that get louder and louder (last sign!)

E: Expectations (Minimum)

  • 8 to 12 feedings/24 hours
  • Day 1: 1 wet diaper; 1 soiled diaper
  • Day 2: 2 wet diapers; 2 soiled diapers
  • Day 3: 3 wet diapers; 2 soiled diapers
  • Day 4: 4 wet diapers; 3 soiled diapers
  • Day 5: 5 wet diapers; 3 soiled diapers
  • Day 6: 6 wet diapers; 4 soiled diapers
  • Day 7 and thereafter: same as Day 6

L: Latch-On

  • Hold breast in shape to match angle of baby's face
  • Tickle baby's lips with nipple
  • WAIT until baby's mouth opens WIDE
  • Move baby to breast, leading with the chin (not the nose)
  • Break suction gently if needed

P: Positioning (Mom & Baby Comfortable!)

  • Mom and baby well-supported
  • Baby's ear, shoulder and hip in straight line
  • Baby's face isn't turned
  • If in cradle or cross-cradle holds, place "tummy to tummy"
  • Bring baby to breast, not breast to baby!

S: Support

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rockin' Green for Cloth Diaper Laundry!

I have been cloth diapering for a year now, and I started out using Planet, but we still had occasional stink issues. Then my niece, another cloth diapering momma, turned me on to Rockin' Green. Ever since I tried it, I switched and never looked back. I recommend it all the time. It's affordable, gets the stink out, and leaves my diapers clean and fresh. (And with an almost 2 year old, I only do diaper laundry twice a week now, and I still never have stink problems!)

Rockin' Green has always come in Classic Rock (for normal water) and Soft Rock (for soft water or very sensitive skin) formulas. Today they are releasing their new Hard Rock formula for people with hard to very hard water, and reviews from testers have been fabulous! So if you're one of those cloth diapering families who constantly battles stink due to hard water issues, give it a try!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I love Abby's Lane!

Just a quick review of one of my favorite stores for cloth diapering items and other natural parenting items...  Abby's Lane. I first ordered from them because they offer FREE shipping for all items in the US. But I LOVE them, because the owner is very nice and every order gets personal attention. I have received all my orders so quickly, and she has extra discounts and special offers if you sign up for their mailing list or join the Facebook Fan page.

They have a great selection, competitive prices, and offer a lot of helpful tips related to cloth diapering. The owner responds to personal emails and actually encourages people to contact her if they are having stink issues or other washing dilemmas. She also carries PediPeds baby shoes (which are amazing), baby carriers, and other items. I bought a lot of our cloth diapering supplies from Abby's Lane, but I wish I'd known about this store from the beginning! It would have been awesome to do a baby registry at Abby's Lane. :-)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Safe cookware and kitchen items

I wanted new cookware for Christmas this year, so I did some research about the dangers of non-stick cookware and other materials commonly used in the kitchen items. I decided to replace all of my non-stick cookware with safer alternatives. All common non-stick cookware, both inexpensive "Teflon" cookware as well as non-stick pots and pans from Calphalon and Anolon contain the chemical PTFE, which is known to kill birds when pans are heated and the gasses are released into the air. Owners of exotic birds have long known about this danger and don't use non-stick cookware as result.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Overview of Cloth Diaper Options

Our stash is made up primarily of prefolds with Blueberry Coveralls one-size covers with snaps for wearing at home, and Swaddlebees/Blueberry pockets for when we go out. But there are a lot of different options and a lot simply depends on your personal preferences, and what works for you and your baby. Here are my thoughts on the basic varieties...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Sour Milk?

If you are breastfeeding, and your pumped milk tastes bad (can range from soapy to rancid) and your nursling will not drink it, even when you've followed good storage procedures, the problem is likely excess lipase in your milk. This is not a problem when baby nurses "from the tap" or with freshly pumped milk, but after a short time at room temperature, or in the fridge or freezer, the lipase starts breaking down the fat in your expressed breast milk (EBM) and it changes the flavor. If your baby will drink it, it's not a problem, but if your baby refuses the milk, you can scald the milk stop this from happening.

More info on excess lipase from Kellymom:

I dealt with excess lipase on the rare occasions that I pumped milk. (The Little Missy would never drink EBM, no matter how fresh or how many times I tried.) Here's what I found about how to scald the milk easily, and it worked well for me when I did it. I pumped into a standard bottle, then put the bottle in a Munchkin bottle warmer and use a little extra water than the instructions said so that it would get extra hot (I used almost 1/4 cup) . I bought a digital meat thermometer that I used to make sure the milk would get up to 180 degrees (or 165 degrees for a full 15 seconds), which wasn't difficult. Then I put the bottle in a cup of ice water to cool it down quickly. Just don't do this with glass bottles or they can break. (I used the BPA free "breastmilk storage bottles" from Evenflo, and I know the Medela ones are BPA free too.)

Here is a very long thread on the LaLeche League forums about various ways of dealing with excess lipase. (This is where I found the tip about using a bottle warmer.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Baby Registry Advice

Last year, a friend of mine who was pregnant sent out an email to several people asking for input on putting together her registry. I have referred back to my responses and passed them along to a few other moms, so I thought I should just go ahead and post them here for future reference. These are her questions, and my responses, plus a summary of the feedback she got from everyone she asked.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Improving Night-time Sleep

Little Missy is 20 months and still nurses at least once overnight, so take this with a grain of salt, but she's never been a great sleeper, so we've had to do a lot to get her sleeping for longer stretches over the past year and a half or so...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Introducing straw cups and sippy cups to breastfed babies

Since I'm a SAHM, we never really had a need to introduce bottles to the Little Missy. We took a few bottles when I went to a wedding when she was 6 weeks old, but then by the next time we tried to offer one, she had decided she only liked her milk from the tap. I tried every bottle out there, but she was too smart for my tricks.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Our Diaper Wash Routine

This isn't meant to be a comprehensive tutorial on cloth diaper washing, but here's my wash routine. It has worked pretty darn well for a over three months. The only time I had problems, I think it was due to some oily rags from the garage that I washed right before doing a load of diapers (probably not too bright of me). I've also included some other tips and things at the end.