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.)