Gumptions

Friday Favorite: Thriving Family Magazine

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A little less than a year ago, my sister Ashley gave Drew and I a subscription to Thriving Family Magazine. It was such a sweet gesture for us newbies, and it has since become my favorite magazine to receive and read. It is published by Focus On The Family, which some of you might be familiar with. It covers a wide range of topics including marriage tips, age specific parenting advice, seasonal family activities, book and movie reviews, healthy lifestyle tips and recipes and so much more. All content is faith based, encouraging and uplifting. The articles are short and sweet but rich and relevant in substance. Subscribe today or get their new iPad version, you won’t regret it!

 

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Little Man

Our Cloth Diaper Routine

The most challenging thing about cloth diapering is getting started! Narrowing down the brand of diaper, cream and soap took me a few tries, but I think I have found the perfect combination. Once you have a routine down, cloth diapering is super simple and gratifying. Drew and I were talking the other day about how we can’t even imagine NOT using cloth with our next babies. I hope this post saves those of you who are thinking about using cloth some time and energy, so that you can start the process with peace of mind!

NOTE:

We own 25 Rumparooz pocket diapers, and 30 Thirsties wipes.

Step 1: Always use the right products on your diapers to make cleaning easy.

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Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm is THE BEST cloth friendly cream I have found. It smells good, works wonders, and will not create build up.

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Bac-Out helps eliminate odor when sprayed on dirty diapers before tossing them in the pail. We keep both products at our changing station.

Step 2: Empty diaper pail and replace pail liner.

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We use a trash can, and always keep an extra liner on hand.

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Step 3: Dump the diapers and wipes in the wash, and then the pail liner. 

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Good news! You don’t need to pull out the inserts for pocket diapers, they wiggle out on their own.

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Step 4: Rinse cycle with cold water. 

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Don’t scrimp on the water, I always set it to large.

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Step 5: Heavy wash cycle with hot water and detergent.

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Large water load is important.

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I use 3 scoops of Rockin’ Green Classic Rock.

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Step 6: Large rinse cycle with cold water.

To remove detergent residue.

Step 7: Small rinse cycle with cold water.

For good measure.

Step 8: Transfer the inserts and wipes to the dryer.

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I add 4 to 6 Woolzies to the dryer as well to cut down drying time and make everything soft. NEVER use dryer sheets.

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Step 9: Hang diaper covers on drying rack.

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Air drying the diaper covers ensures your diapers will have a long life, and that the elastic will stay tight. The covers take a couple of hours to dry, I usually let them hang overnight. We use a simple folding rack.

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Step 10: Organize into piles.

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Sperate and fold the wipes, stack the inserts for easy stuffing.

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Step 11: Stuff the diapers.

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Put each insert into a cover. We have 4 sets of bamboo inserts that we put into black diapers for “overnight”. These go in their own basket (see below) for easy access at bedtime.

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Step 12: Put ’em away!

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Storing diapers is a personal preference. We use 3 baskets on a shelf that hold the diapers perfectly.

 

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Little Man

Friday Favorite: Robeez Soft Soles

Eli was in socks for the first few months of his life, then barefoot once the weather started warming up. Now that he is crawling and pulling up on things, I think it’s appropriate for him to wear some shoes (plus he looks seriously cute in them). Since he isn’t technically walking on the soles of his feet, he doesn’t need heavy duty support. These shoes serve the perfect purpose of covering his tootsies in a more “big boy” way, but with do so with soft, bendable soles that allow him to move about how he wishes. I LOVE THEM.

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They have a variety of styles for boys and girls and I love how they organize them by season. You can purchase them on Amazon, their website, and in some retail stores.

 

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DIY Projects, Little Man

DIY Roller Derby!

As a stay at home mom, I am always trying to find ways to entertain Eli. Lately he has been getting a kick out of pushing things down the hall, so I thought this little project would be a perfect toy for him. I had a lot of fun picking out the items, and it was super cheap and easy to make. Here is how you can make your very own roller derby!

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Materials:

(2) 2 Liter bottles of soda

Goo Gone (optional)

Exacto knife & sharp scissors

Duck tape

Odds & ends for filling

Directions:

1. Empty and rinse the soda bottles. Peel away the label and remove extra residue with Goo Gone. Thoroughly wash the bottles with soap and water.

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2. Cut each bottle in half by piercing with an exacto knife, then completing the cut with scissors. Keep the two ends.

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3. Fill one bottle with anything you can find! I decided to make mine “dinosaur” themed, so I put an assortment of green things: shiny pieces of ribbon, beads, buttons, pom poms, and bells.

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4. Line up the two openings of the bottles and secure with duck tape. I did this twice to make it extra durable. You can find a variety of colorful and patterned duck tape rolls at craft stores.

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5. Give it to your little one and watch them race and roll!

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Little Man

Traveling Tips with Baby

Hello Lovelies,

I am sorry for the lack of posting these past weeks, Eli and I have been traveling! I wanted to share a few things I learned along the way, for all of you who are nervous at the idea of taking your first excursion with your little one (much like I was).

Having never traveled with a baby, I started the week feeling a little anxious. But after doing a little research, making a list and praying over the situation, I felt much more composed- even excited! My biggest mental hurdle was getting over the “unknown” of how the 2.5 hour plane rides were going to play out. I came to the realization that all I could do was cover Eli’s comfort needs and bring entertainment. After that, I had to let go. Everybody understands babies are unpredictable…right?

God came through in a huge way. Our first plane ride, he left 5 seats open in the back of the plane and provided friendly flight attendants who allowed us to take up all of them ourselves. On the way home, My sister and I were able to get seats together in the back, and were surrounded by 2 other babies, and 3 kids! I have to say, Eli did much better than I expected, and the trip turned out to be a really wonderful bonding experience with him.

Here are a few tips that I learned along the way…

1. Book the right flight and the right seat.

Book your plane ticket for times when your baby is sleepy, such as nap or bedtime. They may crash for the majority of the flight. Choose a seat that is as far back on the plane as possible, you will be less disturbing and have more privacy. Choose a window seat. Window seats are ideal for moms because the corner provides support and privacy while breastfeeding, you are able to control the amount of light let through the window, and the view can serve as entertainment for baby.

2. Make a detailed list.

Packing can be a daunting task for just one person, but when you add a baby in the mix, it gets even more overwhelming. The strategy I found works best is to have an ongoing list that I can add to throughout my day. I start with the list early in the morning, and as we use things, I jot them down. This way, I catch all of those little things we use everyday but I otherwise might forget about.

Example: Bath time (bath soap, wash cloths, a few toys, bath hoodie)

After you have a general list, divide it into sections: Mom, Baby, Airport. The Mom and Baby list should include things going in your check on bag, the airport list should include items you need for traveling (diaper bag, stroller, carrier of choice, carseat, and suitcase). The diaper bag, because full of important contents, can be made into an additional list. Am I sounding crazy OCD yet?!

Cheat Sheet: Traveling with Baby

3. Brush up on the ins and outs of the airport.

I have only flown a few times in my life, and always feel intimidated by airport procedures. Doing a little research calmed my nerves in this department. Here are a few tips I came across.

It’s best to check your bag and carseat at the counter- the carseat flies free of charge, and will be returned with your luggage at baggage claim.  Check your stroller at the gate right before boarding the plane. This is a free service as well, and is super convenient. Your stroller will be waiting for you right outside the plane when you land. Organize liquid items in a baggie and place it at the top of your diaper bag for easy removal during security checks.

4. Tackle travel gear.

First, purchase things that you may not already have. We needed a compact umbrella stroller because all we had was our large one. We also bought a portable high chair that we could use on any table. I decided to also bring along my Ergo carrier, which was great to have on hand the times I didn’t want to use the stroller. If you have a younger baby, the Moby is a great option as well.

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For larger items such as cribs, look into rental services near your destination or arrival airport. Babies Travel Too was the company I planned on using, but my sweet Nana bought a crib instead. You can often rent carseats, strollers, high chairs, cribs, and even large toys for pretty reasonable prices.

If you’re like me and have your man handle things like carseat bases, make sure to practice putting it in and taking it out of the car YOURSELF. Being familiar with the installation will save you time and headache!

5. Decide what you will buy when you get there.

Don’t feel the need to pack everything you can think of. Most likely, you will have a store close by and can purchase things like diapers, wipes, and food for baby once you get to where you are going!

6. Stock up on a few snacks and new toys.

I thought it might be nice to bring a few new toys that Eli has never seen. This was my attempt to keep his interest. Snacks are always a good backup when nothing else is working-at least with my son. Target sells our favorites.

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7. Wear easy travel clothes.

Slip on shoes, criss cross shirts/dresses (for nursing), and sweaters are great choices. Layering is always a good idea for you and baby because you won’t have too much control over the temperature on the plane. Dress in comfortable, loose cotton clothes and let baby do the same. You will both be happier flyers. Packing an extra shirt for you, and outfit for baby couldn’t hurt.

8. Pacifi or breastfeed during takeoff and landing.

Your ears hurt, and so do babies when rapidly changing altitudes. Ease their pain by giving them a pacifier, or breastfeeding. The sucking will encourage their ears to pop.

9. Make baby feel at home. 

Bring familiar items on the plane, and for when you get to your destination. Blankets, comfort items, favorite toys, even crib sheets and noise makers may help your little one feel more at ease.

10. Relax. Make memories. Sing, sing, sing.

Most importantly, cut yourself some slack. Relax. There may be some bumps along the way, but there is no doubt you will learn from your experience, and even make some memories.

Last but not least…when in doubt, sing. This is the easiest way to sooth and quiet baby. Who cares if the people in front of you do the infamous head turn. I’m sure they would rather hear a cheerful song than a screaming baby!

Best Ever Travel Products Roundup:

Hook ‘n’ Stroll Stroller Accessory, Mudpuppy Flash CardsChew BeadsJJ Cole Pacifier Clip, Rumparooz Diaper Cover (extra security over disposables!), Munchkin Disposable Diaper Bags, Wet Ones, Oxo Tot Snack DiskSecure-A-Toy

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I hope some of these tips give you some gumption to travel too! Please feel free to share any travel tips/tricks you have learned along the way!

 

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