Saturday, September 25, 2010

Benefits of Babywearing

I love wearing my baby.  Well, she is not a baby anymore so let me restate that.  I love wearing my toddler.  As I type this she is fast asleep on my back in her Ergo Baby Carrier.  I have three children and all three of them have enjoyed baby wearing. 

My oldest son found comfort and security in his Maya Wrap.  He was a child that was easily overwhelmed by busy environments.  In the Maya Wrap he found a place of peace where he could observe the world around him.  The sling also provided a convenient place for him to sleep when he was tired.  It was like a portable bed so even when we were away from home the bed was familiar. 

My second child also enjoyed his Maya Wrap sling.  It was actually the same one my older son had used, but he claimed it for his own.  He loved grocery shopping snug in the Maya Wrap.   When he was older I used the Ergo Baby Carrier and he loved riding on my back as well.   He was big for his age and I found the Ergo Carrier to be great at spreading his weight across my back, hips, and shoulders. 

Babies who are worn cry less.  Because they cry less, they are more in tune with their environment.  Because they are more in tune with their environment, their cognitive skills increase.  Babywearing also benefits language development.  Because your baby shares your line of vision the baby is more apt to attach meaning to words heard. 

My youngest child has also loved being worn.  As an infant she loved her Moby Wrap.  She would cuddle up and sleep for hours while I went about my day.  She loved the comfort of being held.  As a busy mother it wasn’t possible for me to hold her as long as she desired.  The Moby Wrap made that possible.  As she slept and snuggled my hands were free.  Now she is two and the Ergo often makes an appearance.      

I enjoy babywearing.  My babies did too.  I enjoy wearing my toddler too.  The years go by fast.  I’m happy that I can look back and savor the extra snuggles that babywearing provided.  Thanks Mama offers all three of the carriers that are loved in our household:  the Maya Wrap, the Moby Wrap, and the Ergo Baby Carrier.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sweet Smelling Diapers

If you have been cloth diapering awhile you have probably encountered diaper stink.   Diaper stink is the “not so sweet” smell of freshly washed diapers taken out of the dryer.  While some may view that as inevitable, there are steps you can take to keep your diapers smelling sweet.

One of the main culprits of diaper stick is detergent residue.  Many often try to solve the problem of diaper stink by using lots of detergent.  This often causes detergent residue to remain in the diapers.  This can cause the diapers to smell when they are washed.  Others use very little detergent trying to avoid detergent residue.  This can cause diapers to smell because there was not enough detergent in the wash cycle.  The typical recommendation is to use ½ the amount of regular detergent when washing diapers and then add an additional rinse at the end to make sure any detergent is rinsed out. 

Washing often is another way to ensure your baby’s diapers smell sweet.  Cloth diapers should be washed every 2-3 days.  If you let them sit more than 2-3 days it will be harder to keep them smelling sweet.   Make sure you use a dry pail as well.  Using a wet pail with cloth diapers can actually make the smell soak into your diapers. 

Another good method to use is to occasionally hang them to dry in the sun.  The sun is a natural bleaching agent and stink issues can be resolved with a couple days in the sun.  If you want to keep them smelling sweet then line dry your diapers in the sun periodically.

The cloth diaper industry has realized the need and has created some products to help keep diapers smelling fresh.  While you can use some detergents from your local store, detergents designed for cloth diaper use have been tried and tested on cloth diapers.  These cloth diaper detergents are free from additives that can harm your cloth diapers.  Detergents such as GroVia Tiny Bubbles Laundry Detergent and BumGenius Diaper Detergent are excellent choices.  The Thirsties company has designed a pre-wash that will help remove waste and bacteria from your diapers before you wash them.   If you want to reduce odor in the diaper pail BumGenius offers an Odor Remover that helps remove bacteria that causes odor.

Keeping diapers smelling sweet isn’t too difficult.  Make sure you wash every 2-3 days, use the right amount of detergent and occasionally hang them out in the sun.  Using detergents designed to wash cloth diapers can simplify the process.  Visit Thanks Mama to find a wide variety of cloth diapers and detergents designed for cloth diapers

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Educational Toys - Learning through Play

With kids around the nation heading off to catch the school bus every morning it leaves little ones at home still free to engage in a world of play.  Play is an important part of a child’s development.  Play isn’t just what a child does to pass the time.  It is how a child learns, explores, and makes sense of his world.  It is through play that the world of imagination builds the language necessary for future reading skills.  It is through play that the child builds the dexterity to hold a pencil.  It is through play that a child builds cognitive skills necessary to think and process information. 

There are many different toys and household items that are perfect for pretend play.  The imaginative world of pretend play expands your child’s language and cognitive skills giving them an opportunity to play different roles and engage in complex play sequences.  The Plan Toys Tea Set helps bring tea parties to life with cups, sauces, tea bags, and even sugar.  Rail play is another favorite activity of little ones.  The Road and Rail Deluxe by Plan Toys provides a way for the miniature pretend world of cars and trains to interact.
                                          
Fine motor skills are small muscle skills your child needs to be able to write.  These skills develop through play as your child handles smaller items, scribbles, tears, or cuts with scissors.  Lacing Beads give your child a fun way to practice using the small muscles of the hand while putting beads on a string.  From the first scribbles to neatly coloring in the lines the Jumbo Triangular Crayons by Melissa and Doug will aid your child in learning to hold a pencil correctly. 

Puzzles are an excellent way to help promote your child’s cognitive skills.  They allow your child to think and solve problems.  Puzzles can range from the simple 3 piece puzzles to a huge 3D puzzles designed for adults.  Big knobs on puzzles like the Melissa and Doug Barnyard Animals Jumbo Puzzle are useful for little hands and are perfect first puzzles.  When the child is a little older knob puzzles like the Vehicle Sound Puzzle will give more complexity.

Toys provide an opportunity for a child to develop skills and have fun in the process.  One day that little one will run off to catch the school bus.  Until then your child can explore his world through play.  Thanks Mama offers a wide variety of toys to enhance your child’s development. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Using Wool

Many years ago before my oldest child was born I looked into all the different types of diapers available.  Among the jumble of cloth diaper options, wool diaper covers caught my eye.  I put a wool diaper cover on my list and the day it arrived in the mail I was pleasantly surprised.  While I didn’t expect it to be scratchy, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was soft and comfortable for my baby.  I thought it would be a bit difficult to wash and keep it waterproof, but found the process rather simple. 

Most wool diaper covers should be hand washed.  You should wash your wool covers when soiled or every 2 weeks if not soiled.  To do this just fill a sink with warm water and use a little wool wash.  Put your wool covers in the sink and push them down into the water.  Let them soak in the water with the wool wash for about 20 minutes before letting the water go down the sink.  Once the water is drained gently press out additional water in the wool covers.  Take the wool cover and place it in a dry towel.  Roll up the towel and press out any liquid into the towel.  Lay the cover flat to finish drying.  Use wool cure about once a month to keep the wool waterproof.
                                                                                                                            
Wool is naturally breathable and keeps your baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Wool also has the ability to hold about 1/3 of its weight in liquid so it is a popular choice for heavy wetters and nighttime use.  There are different types of wool covers.  You can find wool diaper covers that are a pull-on style and ones that are more of a wrap style. 
 
The Imse Vimse Wool Cover is a wrap style cover that can be used with prefolds or fitted diapers.  It features gussets to help contain messes as well as easy to use hook and loop closures.  It comes in 6 different sizes designed to fit from approximately 6.5 to 28+ lbs.  Snaps are available in the larger sizes to keep the diaper cover more secure when babies crawl and walk.  These work well for daytime and nightime use.

The Sugar Peas Single Layer Organic Knit Wool Diaper Covers are made from soft and stretchy organic wool.  It is a side snapping diaper cover that can be used over fitted diapers.  The diaper cover was designed to be used as a wool in one with snap in diapers.  When the diaper cover is wet, the cover should be hung to dry.  Once it is dry you can snap in a new diaper or insert.  This diaper cover works well for daytime use and will work well at night for most babies.  This cover is offered in 3 sizes designed to fit from 8-24+ lbs.

The Kissaluvs Wool Lover Diaper Cover is a pull-on soft wool cover.  This cover features gentle elastic around the legs to help contain any messes.  This wool diaper cover can be used as “shorts” during the day and a comfortable cover at night.  It can be used with fitted diapers as well as contour and prefold diapers that are pinned or snappied.  Some parents even use it over an all in one or pocket diaper at night to solve persistent leak problems.  It comes in three different sizes designed to fit from approximately 8 lbs – 35 lbs.   

Wool diaper covers are not like the scratchy and uncomfortable sweaters at our grandmother’s house.  They are soft and comfortable for your baby.  Thanks Mama offers several different brands of wool covers as well as wool wash and wool cure products to keep your covers clean and waterproof.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thanks Mama Giveaway!
Bundle of baby products over $100 value

Thank you for participating! The winner is Ashley_SHS
The winner needs to contact us at customerservice@thanksmama.com to claim the prize.

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