Monday, March 28, 2011

A Blogtastic Extravaganza 2.0!

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So Far I have 3 confirmed sponsors! The WINNER will get a $10.00 Gift Card to BumsNbeyond, their choice in color of Oh Katy Pocket Diaper, & a $25.00 Gift card to AppleCheeks !! Wow!

BumsNbeyond is the Eco-friendly, Chic Mom & Baby Boutique! They carry lots of Cloth Diapers, Wet Bags, Baby Carriers, and more! They are run by a Military family  & offer a 10% military discount everyday!  Like them on Facebook here: BumsNbeyond Facebook Page. 

                                
~Oh Katy is a one size pocket diaper that comes in 9 cheerful colors. Get a head-start and be sure to "Like" Oh Katy Facebook, and tell her thanks from Maternal Instincts !!

~AppleCheeks is a 2 size pocket cloth diaper system, and is a breakthrough in reusable diapering. Be sure to "like" AppleCheeks on Facebook: AppleCheeks Page, and tell them Maternal Instincts sent you!!
~Stay tuned for my review of these cloth diapers in my Part 2 of Cloth Diapering post!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Green Diaper Quest! (Part 1)

** Cloth Diapers are such a HUGE subject that I am going to break this post into 3 parts, so stay tuned! **


Okay so I have prided myself on becoming more eco-friendly in the last few years. I have bought re-use able grocery bags, made my own baby food (even re-used Glass jars from the store bought kind!), and I make sure I turn lights off when I leave a room. The biggest eco-friendly thing that has been looming above my head is something I have NOT wanted to think about: Cloth Diapers.

The thought of cloth diapering can be so overwhelming! There are so many choices, it can be hard to figure out where to start. Don't get me started on all the 'Pro' cloth diapering mommas out there who already have it down with their lingo (WAHM=work at home mom, who knew?) and make the rest of us look like armature's. Cloth diapering (CD) can be very intimidating, but all I know is Disposable diapers are nasty, cause rashes and are extremely bad for our earth. So I had to give it an honest try!

 There are AIO diapers (artificial intelligence?), AI2 diapers (the 2.0 version?), Pocket Diapers (they fit in your pocket?!), Pre-folds, WAHM made diapers, and the list goes on and on. Then when you finally have the different types of cloth diapers figured out, you have to decide on a brand to start with! There is Best Bottom, OhKaty, Kushies, FuzziBuns, Gdiapers, EcoBum, TruVia, BumGenius, and this list also goes on for miles and miles.

Now I understand why so many people are afraid to take the plunge, it can be so confusing!

Here are my top reason why I have decided to CD:
1. Baby's comfort. Would you want to wear plastic 24 hours a day??
2. The environment. Don't get me started about landfills. Disposables take about 500 years to decompose, and fill way to much space.
3. Cloth diapers are so much cuter! Enough said.
4. Cloth diapers really are so much cheaper. On average a person will spend over 2,000.00 to diaper a single child, and times that by how many kids you are going to have.. adds up quick! While cloth diapers range from about 150.00 to 500.00 for a full set. As a bonus you can pass CD's from one child to the next.
5. Diaper rash.
6. Convience. You will never have to make another 3 am run to the drug store for diapers again!
7. Potty training is easier and happens sooner. On average babies who wear CD's potty train sooner. Why? Well with CD's baby can feel the sensation, and therefor realises what is happening.

Here is the breakdown of what I have learned so far:
-AIO diapers- All in one diapers. These are the easiest to use, and are the most like cloth diapers. They are very trim, and can be used alone or with inserts/doubler's for additional wet-ness protection. These take the longest to dry.
-AI2/Hybrid diapers- All in two diapers. These are diaper shells or "covers" that are water proof, and have inserts that you place into the shell. Liners can be cloth re-useable or Bio-degradable/flushable.
-Pocket diapers- These are similar to AIOs but have a "pocket" that you can stuff liners into. These are convenient because you remove the liners to wash, and they dry a lot faster than the AIOs. Stuffing the diapers can be a bit tricky at first.
-Fitted diapers-  These are very similar to a disposable diaper in shape, but are not waterproof and require a separate diaper cover. They are very absorbent, but tend to be a bit bulky. These also dry very quickly.
-Pre-fold/Flat diapers-  These are what most people think of when they think about CD's. Pre-folds/Flat CD's are large rectangles that you need to fold into a diaper and pin in place. Pre-folds are considered a step up from Flats and come in different sizes. A cover is usually required for these. They are the lest expensive of all the CD's, but are bulky and you have to take time to fold them.

~I started cloth diapering my 6 month old son Blake on: March 17, 2011. I started with 2 Best Bottom AI2 diapers, with 6 inserts and 3 pocket OhKaty diapers.



With that said, I will conclude Part 1 of Cloth Diapers! Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Joining Summer Infant in their "Booking it Forward" Campaign!

Hello all! It is time to do some good in your community! Join me in the "Booking it forward" Campaign with Summer Infant.
 How you ask?
 Its simple!
 Just take new or gently used children's books to your local children in need! You can donate to your church, children's charity, local school, daycares, hospitals or where ever there is a need for children's books..

In return for your generosity I will be doing a surprise giveaway! If you donate one or more books:
 Leave a comment here letting me know where/who you donated to (be sure to leave your email so I can contact you). And you will automatically be entered into this surprise giveaway! (hint: its a L'Occitane product!!)

THANK YOU!

Bonus Entry!!

 "Like" my facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maternal-Instincts/163062257059794 and share this giveaway with your friends. (be sure to link my page so I know that you did this!)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You don't have to be a SUPERmom to make your own baby food!

Who knows what is in most baby food products? A bunch of stuff that you can't even pronounce? Maybe you can pronounce what is in your baby food because it is an all natural & organic product. Organic baby food can be so expensive though! While I have a stash of Plum Organics for quick on-the-go days, I usually like to make my own baby food at home! It is VERY easy, and takes hardly any time! It is very inexpensive option in comparison to the pre-made baby food you can find at stores.

Total time to make: 10-20 minutes depending on what type of food you are making!
This is what you do:

1. Buy either fresh or frozen food that you want your baby to eat. (I like frozen peas, or fresh carrots) A bag of frozen Vegetables will cost you around 1.00 a bag for a 16 ounce size. (or less if you use coupons and buy it on sale!) You can also choose to use organic fruits and vegetables, or mix and match. There is no pressure. Just the reward of knowing you are doing it for your baby.

2. You need to cook the food you buy. If you get a frozen bag of peas, all you need to do is thaw out the bag. If you get carrots you need to cut them up and cook them until they are soft.
3.  Take the food and put it into your food processor, baby food maker, or blender.
4. Blend / puree the food until there are no chunks or big pieces. I also recommend adding water to the mixture to get a smoother substance. I add about 4 ounces of water for every 16 ounces of food. You can also run the food through a strainer to make sure there are no big chunks that your little one could choke on.

5. Next put the food into individual containers and freeze. Make sure you leave some room at the top because food can expand in the freezer. You do not want a huge mess if it explodes because you failed to leave enough room. The 16 ounce bags of vegetables I buy usually make about 8- 2 ounce servings.
I have a set of 16- 2 ounce food containers that I purchased at Toys R Us for about 10.00 bucks. You can also just keep the glass jars that you get from the pre-made baby food and re-use them!


6. Lastly take containers and put them in the fridge the night before you want to use them. They will thaw out and be ready to use the next day! If you want them same-day you can leave them on the counter to thaw. They should be ready to eat in a few hours. You could also just throw a few in your diaper bag for on the go feeding. Just be sure you have a container that wont open in your bag or put it in a zip lock just in case spills occur.


This is not hard to do, it just takes a little dedication. You can make a lot of baby food at once so you only need to make it once a week or once every two weeks. The trick is to do what works best for YOU. If you decide that baby food making isn't for you, that is OK too! Everyone has a different life schedule and not all the same things will work for every mom.

The frozen vegetables will usually last 3-6 months in the freezer depending on the temperature of your freezer and where you store them in the fridge (closer to the back is better).

**MOM TIP: Do not be afraid to try new things! Get creative and mix and match food combinations for your baby to try!  Also remember you should aim to try a new food at least 7 times before giving up on whether or not the baby likes the food. Do not push it, just let them try it. Then try again the next day. Usually kids will learn to like the food by the 7th try! I know there are a lot of things that I had to acquire a taste for, like Indian food! :-)