Thursday, May 31, 2012

Projects and Ideas- NO SEW old cotton t-shirt into a cute toddler skirt

This one speaks for itself...
I really needed to figure out a way to use all the t-shirt tops left over from making my upcycled t-shirt scarves ( and came up with this.  PERFECT for 1-3 year olds in men's sizes large to XXL, but obviously the waist size will vary with the neck size of the shirt.  Be sure to pick one without any logos or writing- they don't turn out as well.  You can easily add elastic to the neck/waist if you want, but you probably won't need it if you put them on over onesies (and then you don't have to worry about diaper covers or bloomers!
Have fun with this one and feel free to send me pics of your creations and variations (  I'm excited to see what people will come up with- bleach prints, tie dye, permanent marker designs- anything is possible!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

TILTHW- thaw breast milk in advance

Things I learned the hard way- Consider taking the frozen breast milk for the next day (or 24 hour period) out of the freezer to thaw in te refrigerator overnight. This can cut thawing/warming time by more than half.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

TILTHW- Save time making bottles ahead of time

Things I learned the hard way- For quicker formula preparation, consider getting extra bottles.  Wash them and let them dry, then portion out the proper amount of formula powder into each one, cap them, and put them in the cupboard.  You can also portion out the right amount of filtered water into clean small water bottles or sealed glass bottles or jars and keep them at room temperature for short periods of time.  When it is feeding time, you just add the room temperature water to the bottle, shake, and you’re ready.  This allows for faster preparation when you have a hungry baby on your hands. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

TILTHW- Tiny Diner Placemat

Things I learned the hard way- Consider purchasing a rubber placemat to keep in the diaper bag for travel or restaurants.  I really like the Kiddopotamus Tiny Diner placemat.  It has suction cups on the bottom which work very well on flat smooth tables.  They aren’t as great on tablecloths or wood grain surfaces, but they don’t have to attach to use the placemat.  It also has a small trough to catch dropped food that is soft and flexible enough to seat your child very close to the table.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

TILTHW- Freezing breastmilk

Things I Learned The Hard Way- If you freeze breastmilk in bags, lay them flat while freezing them.  If you don’t have solid racks in your freezer, just place a small piece of cardboard on the rack and lay the bag on top to freeze.  Flat bags are much easier to store, take up less freezer space, and they freeze and thaw much more quickly, saving valuable time when you have a screaming hungry baby in your arms.  Most standard size breastmilk storage bags fit perfectly inside old plastic CD storage bins in the freezer.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

TILTHW- Don't spill the breastmilk when pouring from the bag

Things I Learned The Hard Way- If you store your breastmilk in bags, pouring them into the bottle at feeding time can sometimes be a hassle.  If the milk is frozen, thaw, then turn the sealed bag upside down and cut off a small corner of the plastic bag.  This allows you to safely pour the milk directly into a bottle without spilling any (even while holding a squirming baby).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

TILTHW- Get rid of the boxes please!

Things I Learned The Hard Way- I’m not exactly sure what genius decided to package infant rice (and other grain) cereal in boxes, but it was a HORRIBLE idea!  Buy the cereal, open the box then dump it all into an empty formula can or plastic or glass container with a large opening at the top.  Canisters sold as flour or sugar storage containers work well for this as long as they seal well.  Toss a clean dry formula scoop on top (most are 1 tablespoon, but make sure ahead of time) and you can easily portion out cereal by the tablespoon.

Monday, May 7, 2012

TILTHW- Quick rice cereal feedings

Things I Learned The Hard Way- When your child starts eating rice cereal, consider portioning out the rice cereal powder ahead of time into small sealed containers or clean plastic baby food containers.  When feeding time arrives, just add water, formula or breastmilk and you are ready to feed.  If you portion out many containers of cereal all at once, it saves a TREMENDOUS amount of time and they are easier to throw in the diaper bag before you head out the door.  Plus, you can do all the prep work filling the containers while the baby sleeps.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

TILTHW- Minimize Mealtime Messes

Things I Learned The Hard Way- Consider keeping an extra washcloth or small towel near the highchair to immediately clean up spills before the child smears them around.  A small mess can very quickly become a VERY large mess when a 6 month old smears carrots all over the high chair, the cushion, in their hair and ears, etc.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

TILTHW- Save money on nursing pads

Things I Learned The Hard Way- If you plan to nurse, consider buying re-usable cotton nursing pads.  They are also very easy to make your own with layers of terrycloth, microfiber fabric or absorbent fleece sandwiched between outer layers of plain woven cotton.  The disposable type can trap moisture and give many mothers rashes or sensitize the skin, making nursing very uncomfortable.  Cotton pads allow the skin to breathe.  Safety pin the cotton pads together or put them inside a mesh delicates bag before you wash them so you always have a pair, and wash them with your infant’s clothing in a mild detergent (Dreft, All Baby, etc).  Don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets because they can increase the risk of skin irritation.

Friday, May 4, 2012

TILTHW- Streamline your diaper bag for short trips

Things I Learned The Hard Way- Consider keeping two separate diaper bags; one for short trips (grocery store, etc) and one for longer trips (full afternoon outings, etc).  You won’t have to wrestle with a gigantic bag just to run an errand, or have to repeatedly take out things you don’t need.  It is worth the cost and effort to buy the extra supplies and not have to worry about packing and repacking all the time.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

TILTHW- Quick midnight crib sheet changes

Things I Learned The Hard Way- Layer clean sheets and waterproof pads on the crib mattress for quick sheet changes.  Cover the mattress with a waterproof cover or mattress pad, then put the first clean sheet on.  Cover the first clean sheet with a flat waterproof pad, then another clean sheet.  Follow this with a third waterproof pad and a final top clean sheet.  Zip on the top sheet only if you use quick zip crib sheets or put all the sheets on the mattress like you normally would if you are using regular fitted sheets).  If you baby soils the top clean sheet, you aren’t stuck changing the ENTIRE bed in the middle of the night, just remove the top soiled sheet and waterproof pad, and you've got a clean set underneath.  If you use zip sheets, just zip on the underlying sheet and you’re good to go.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

TILTHW- Stop the stairclimber workout retrieving tossed toys

Things I Learned The Hard Way- If you have open staircase or patio railings, you can purchase plastic or mesh sheets to secure to the railings to prevent your child from sticking arms and legs (or their heads) through, or throwing toys down.  An inexpensive clear shower curtain liner and zip ties work well for this too.  Just thread the sheet through the rails, alternating which rails you go in front or behind, or thread behind every third or fourth rail depending on their distance apart.  Punch holes with a hole punch and slide a zip tie through to secure.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TILTHW- No more missing parts!

Things I Learned The Hard Way- Purchase a plastic or mesh drain cover for the kitchen sink.  It will prevent endless searching for the tiny plastic spoons, bottle parts or breast pump parts that slip down the drain during washing- especially if you have a garbage disposal!