Saturday, March 30, 2013

4th weekly Saturday Linky

Welcome! to Blogs from a Single Mom's 4th weekly Saturday Linky.
  If you love to enter giveaways, have at it!  You can subscribe to Blogs from a Single Mom by email or RSS so you don't miss any new Saturday Linkys.  Please share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter to help us get out there!
 If your blog is hosting a giveaway, please enter it below.  FAMILY FRIENDLY giveaways only, please.  Enter the title you would like displayed in the 'Name' field, not your actual name.  Most people use the format Blog name - Giveaway prize- US or US/CAN or WW - End date or something similar.  Please ignore the prompt; you don't need to leave a comment unless you want to.  Link directly to your giveaway, or your linky will be deleted.
Blogs from a Single Mom is hosting a giveaway for a 3 month subscription to Conscious Box!  Click here to enter.   This giveaway ends on 4/02
Blogs from a Single Mom is hosting a giveaway and review for a pair of custom wool longies from Knittie Bittie!  Click here to enter.  This giveaway ends on 4/20. 
This linky has ended

Review/GIVEAWAY: Knitte Bittie Wool Longies (GIVEAWAY ENDED)

 Disclaimer:  I received this item free of charge for review purposes.  I was not compensated for this review in any other way.  This is an honest review full of my own opinions.  I apologize in advance for the pictures taken on my floor.  We are moving and most of our surfaces are full of moving-type things.

If you have never used wool before and/or would like to learn a little about it, you can check out my informative wool post by clicking here.


If you're looking for a pair of wool longies(or other wool item) that are customized for you and your baby, look for a WAHM.  You'll frequently find that work-at-home moms, women who run their own businesses and make their diapers themselves, will be happy to make you a custom item.  This is exactly what Michelle, the WAHM behind Knittie Bittie, did for me.



This pair of wool longies was hand-made for my daughter by Michelle.  She knit them herself, washed and lanolized them and sent them to me, ready to wear.  Because they are a custom item, I measured my baby's inseam, waist, and rise and sent the measurements off to Michelle.  She then made these longies using those measurements, though she mentioned she adds an inch or two so babies have room to grow.  An item made for your baby, even if the child is of the same age, may not be exactly the same size.  Though the measurements of your pair might be different to allow for a better fit for your baby, there are a few consistent features we can take a look at.


 This is the crotch of the longies.  I'm not exactly sure what you would call it, but it's a little extra piece knit into the crotch.  This is where the legs join the body.  I'm a big fan of this is little piece.  Instead of a sharp V-shaped crotch, it's a little flatter so there's more contact with the diaper underneath to keep wetness in. 


 This lime-green stripe here is the trim at the bottom of the leg, done with a seed-stitch.  I believe it's there just because it's cute.  My grandma loved it, she said they made Midge look like she was in little bell-bottom pants.



 The waist is a little smaller than the body of the pants, and also features a draw string for a perfect fit.  Because I had the pants made a little big for my daughter, the drawstring is extremely useful.  There are also a few short rows in the tush to allow for bulky cloth diapers, so the drawstring really helps the fit.

I like them a little long, to keep her toes warm.

I love the look of these pants.  I adore them.  They might be some of the cutest pants I have ever put on my baby and I'll be incredibly sad when she outgrows them.  But, no matter how cute they are, wool longies are useless (for their intended purpose, anyway) if they do not function correctly as a diaper cover.  I'm happy to say I did not encounter this probably with my Knitte Bittie longies.  My daughter has worn them several times, both during the day and overnight, and we haven't had any problems with leaking.  I'm pretty confident that as long as an adequately absorbing diaper is worn underneath and these are washed/lanolized correctly, there won't be any leaks around here.  At a price point between 48-58$, I won't pretend these are cheap.  For the quality, and keeping in mind that these are a hand-made item, they're worth the price.  Not to mention they can be used multiple times without washing and you may only need 3-4 in your child's current size if you plan to use them exclusively.

My longies appear to be well made overall.  I don't see any loose threads or sloppy knitting.  The 100% wool yarn used feels soft, and there's a good amount of stretch in the knitting.  For being a handmade item, everything seems to be fairly even and uniform.  I'm really pleased with my pair.  If you want to buy your own pair, you can visit Knittie Bittie's hyena cart store here or facebook page here.  She sometimes has in-stock items, or you can request your own custom item.  She makes some cute things, some of which she has taken pictures of and allowed me to list here for your viewing pleasure.


Look at that lovely mustache!  Who doesn't love mustaches?
 
 
 Those look like wool dryer balls, don't they?



Michelle has also been kind enough to offer up a free pair of CUSTOM longies(retail value between 48-58$) to one lucky Blogs from a Single Mom reader! 

Just enter here, in the Rafflecopter.  This giveaway is open to the US and Canada, ages 18+.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogs from a Single Mom is not responsible for the fulfillment of prizes.  Winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be drawn.  Giveaway sponsored by Knittie Bittie.  I received a free product for review and was not compensated for this post in any other way.   I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own honest opinions.  Michelle of Knittie Bittie is an Evie Pants licensed knitter. 


Friday, March 29, 2013

How to Make Your Child Cry

An easy, two-step system guaranteed to make your child cry.  Works every time! 

Step one: Pick up a telephone.

Step two: Make an important phone call.

Blogs from a Single Mom is not responsible for any crying caused by using this system.  Make important phone calls at your own risk.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wool Soakers: What You Need to Know

If you don't know anything about using wool for cloth diapering, this is for you.  I'll be answering some general questions, such as: How do wool soakers work?  How often does wool need to be washed?  What are the benefits of wool? Why use wool? and How do I wash and lanolize my wool?

There are many cloth diapering moms, both new and experienced, who do not know much about wool.  Yes, wool!  The kind that comes off sheep.  Did you know wool can be used as a diaper cover?  It's actually a great choice.  It's breathable, anti-bacterial, and comes in some pretty cute styles.

A wool cover, or 'soaker', works similarly to a PUL cover, in the way that it is placed over an absorbent diaper to keep the urine in.  The wool is the 'waterproof' barrier.  It keeps the pee-pee locked up tight to keep your baby's cute little pants dry.  A wool cover cannot be used on it's own, it is just a cover.  

The wool works by repelling liquid back into the diaper as well as absorbing it.  Wool can absorb up 30% of its weight in liquid before it starts to feel wet on the outside!  A soaker can be used multiple times between washings, as long as it hasn't been 'soiled' (pooped on) because it is naturally anti-bacterial.  The natural animal fibres and lanolin will turn urine into salt and water, making it clean and sanitary to go up to a few weeks without washing.  Exactly how long can you go between washings?  That depends.  If your soaker isn't working as well as it used to, it is time to wash.  Another way to tell is by sniffing the wet zone when the garment is dry.  If it smells like urine, it's time to wash.

Wool covers must be hand washed, but there's no need to go out and buy a washboard!  Washing a wool garment is easy.  Just fill your sink (or a bowl, whatever) with tepid water.  Add a 'wool wash' or a squirt of baby wash, turn your woolie inside out, and toss it in.
  If the water repels slightly, then gently rub the wool together and swish it around in the water.  I like to leave my soaker to sit in the water for around half an hour.  I use that time to sit on the couch and forget that I'm washing wool.  If your soaker was soiled, you might need to focus on the icky spots to make sure they come out.  Remember not to scrub too hard, and not to use hot water.  After your woolie is clean, drain the water.  Gently squeeze out as much water as you can.  I like to roll my cover up in a towel, then kneel or stand on it to soak out the water.  Lay your wool flat to dry.  This usually takes about a day for me, but can take longer.  Drying in a well ventilated area will speed up your drying time.
  If the water soaks into your wool immediately, it is also time to lanolize your wool.  What am I talking about?  Lanolin is a natural sheep oil found in wool.  If you are/were a breastfeeding mother, you probably rubbed it all over your nipples and personally thanked every sheep you met for the relief it brought you.  Yeah, that stuff.  To remain wonderful and soft and a good soaker/cover, your woolie will need to be lanolized every few washes.  It's easy to do.  First, wash your woolie as normal, with the exception of squeezing and drying.  There's no need for that. Then, get yourself some lanolin.  You can probably get some at your local health store, on the internet, or walk yourself down to Walmart and get some of the nipple-heaven-in-a-tube that you used while nursing.  It's a purple tube.  Get yourself some of that, and a tiny container.  I use an old baby food jar, but you can use any small container.  Fill that container up with hot water, a squirt of wool wash or baby wash, and a pea-sized drop of  lanolin.  Shake up your container until the lanolin has disolved, then dump it in clean tepid water and add the woolie.  Swish it around, let it soak, swish some more.  Then drain, squeeze, lay flat to dry as instructed before.

We've talked about how wool works and how to care for it, but why should you use wool?  What are the benefits, the 'pros' and 'cons'?

Let's start with the good. 
Wool is breathable.  It is great for babies prone to rashes, because it allows air to circulate around the bum but still keeps moisture in.
Wool is a natural, renewable resource!  It is not synthetic.  It doesn't damage the environment.  The sheep also appreciate being shaved in the summer.  Do it for the sheep!
Wool is a great night-time solution.  Pair it with a super absorbent fitted or wear it over a pocket, and you've got yourself a nearly bulletproof diaper.
Wool can double as clothing!  Woolies come in soakers, which are shaped somewhat like most other diapers.  You can also get longies (wool pants), shorties (wool shorts), and skirties (a wool cover with a wool skirt attatched).  I adore my longies and my daughter looks cute as can be in them.
Wool keeps your baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Wool isn't scratchy like you might think.  I have some longies that are so soft I want to rub my face on them.

There are a few downsides you might want to consider.
Wool is prone to compression leaks.  All diapers are, but I wouldn't put my daughter in a pair of longies and then put her in the carseat for a few hours.
Wool must be handwashed.  Don't even think about putting it in your washing machine.  I don't care how tired you are, you handwash that wool.  If you don't, it'll probably come out of your machine doll-sized.  (Well, some wool might be machine washable.  I've never seen this myself, but I did hear a rumor.  I wouldn't machine wash them anyway.)
Wool can be expensive.  Using a stash completely made up of wool and absorbent diapers will still save you money.  You may only need 3-4 wool covers in total.  Unfortunately, wool is not one-sized and each individual piece can be upwards of 30$.  If you're looking to keep the cost as low as possible, you can make your own woolies out of thrift store wool sweaters.
Wool can be a little bulky or odd looking underneath clothes.  This can be bypassed by using wool as bottoms(longies! skirties!).  There may be some trim wool covers out there, but I haven't tried any myself and so I can't speak for any.



There you have it, folks.  A quick, somewhat short schooling on the basics of wool.  Still have questions?  No problem!  Ask them in the comments or send me an email.

Do you use wool?  If so, tell me how much you love it and what your favorite wool garment is.  If not, why don't you?  Hopefully this post has convinced you to give wool a shot!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Going 'poo-free! Day 14

I'm going shampoo free!  Day 1 of my no-poo journey can be found here. Day 3 can be found here.  Day 7 can be found here.

If you would have asked me 10 days ago if I thought you should go poo-free, I would have told you to spare yourself.  10 days ago, 4 days into my pooless challenge, my hair looked yucky.  It was greasy, dirty, and I think it might have smelled.  If you ask me right now if I think you should stop using shampoo, what would I say?  Of course you should stop using shampoo!

I love my shampoo free hair.  It's clean, shiny, soft, and much easier to brush.  Looking at it, you would have no idea I haven't used shampoo in more than two weeks.  When I first started my adventure, everyone thought I was crazy.  Well, everyone still thinks I'm crazy, but they admit that my hair looks good!  I feel great about my choice to stop using shampoo.  I'm saving money, the environment, and my hair.

Unfortunately, I'm still not noticing much of a difference in my dandruff.  It isn't as bad as it was when I started, but I'm still dealing with a lot of itching and flaking.  :(  I'm trying not to get too down about it.  There has been a small difference, but nothing like I was hoping for.  I'm hoping that my scalp just needs time to heal and then it will magically stop flaking.

Because my hair has adjusted and I have found love in my new hair care routine, this is going to be my last update for the time being.  If anything changes, I will be sure to let you guys know.  If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask them! 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cloth rocks, disposables leak.

I absolutely love my cloth diapers.  I love the cute patterns, the extra fluff, the money in my pocket and lack of disposables in landfills.  My mom, on the other hand, hates cloth diapers.  She claims they leak, are too difficult and cost more than they save.  We're constantly in a sort of 'contest' on which is better.  I am 100% confident that I

My Baby Stole My Best Friend



Before my daughter Midge was born, I had one close friend.  I loved him, he loved me, and we were close enough that I called him my best friend.  He was always there for me when I needed someone.  If I needed a laugh, I could call him.  If I needed to

Saturday, March 23, 2013

3rd weekly Saturday Linky (3/23)

Welcome! to Blogs from a Single Mom's 3rd weekly Saturday Linky.
  If you love to enter giveaways, have at it!  You can subscribe to Blogs from a Single Mom by email or RSS so you don't miss any new Saturday Linkys.  Please share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter to help us get out there!
 If your blog is hosting a giveaway, please enter it below.  FAMILY FRIENDLY giveaways only, please.  Enter the title you would like displayed in the 'Name' field, not your actual name.  Most people use the format Blog name - Giveaway prize- US or US/CAN or WW - End date or something similar.  Please ignore the prompt; you don't need to leave a comment unless you want to.  Link directly to your giveaway, or your linky will be deleted.
Blogs from a Single Mom is hosting a giveaway for a 3 month subscription to Conscious Box!  Click here to enter.

This linky has ended.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful: The Benefits of Babywearing

Why babywear?

Babywearing is easy, hands-free, and fun.  It leaves you available to go about your business without worrying about a stroller, sanitizing a shopping cart, or hanging on to an adventurous toddler.  A proper baby carrier can make a heavy child feel weightless

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Conscious Box Giveaway (GIVEAWAY ENDED)

"How Does Conscious Box work?

Conscious Box is the best way to discover the most ethical and sustainable products on the planet! Focusing on strict tenets of organic, fair trade, and pure and natural products, each month Conscious Box will introduce you to healthy and honest

Monday, March 18, 2013

Going 'poo-free! Day 7

I'm going shampoo free!  Day 1 of my no-poo journey can be found here.  Day 3 can be found here.

Well, today is Day 7, meaning it has been more than a week since I used shampoo!  If you have been keeping up, you probably read that on Day 3 I was pretty unhappy with it.  To be honest, I'm a lot happier than I was then.  My hair is still getting used to it,

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rants from a Single Mom: Leave my baby's sleep habits alone

My nine-month-old baby is not sleeping through the night yet.  Every few hours, she wakes up to nurse, or just snuggle closer to me.  As a single mom, the entire 'night shift' falls on me.  I don't get much sleep, it's rare that I get to sleep in and even rarer that I get to go to bed early.  I can accept this.  Do I wish I could get more sleep?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Giveaway Linky List

Hosting a giveaway and need more places to advertise?  Love winning?  Here's my giveaway linky list. I've been running around the internet trying to find blogs that host a weekly giveaway linky, and here is everything that I have found!  I will continue to update this list frequently, so if you know of a linky I have missed, want 

Friday, March 15, 2013

2nd weekly Saturday Linky

Welcome! to Blogs from a Single Mom's 2nd weekly Saturday Linky.
  If you love to enter giveaways, have at it!  You can subscribe to Blogs from a Single Mom by email or RSS so you don't miss any new Saturday Linkys.  Please share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter to help us get out there!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Going 'poo-free! Day 3

I'm going shampoo free!  If you haven't read Day 1, you can find it HERE.

Today is Day 3 of going 'pooless, and my second time washing.  So far, I'm thinking this may have been the worse thing I ever did.  Well, not the worst thing.  But I'm not digging it so far!  My hair was not awful this morning, even after not washing at all

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Going 'poo-free! Day 1

When I say 'poo, I don't mean poop.  I'm talking about shampoo!  That's right, I am going to STOP washing my hair with shampoo.  If you're still reading, it isn't as gross as it sounds.  I'm still going to clean my hair, but without the harsh chemicals found in shampoo.

Like many people, I'm trying to cut out as many unnecessary chemicals as possible,

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sorry about the mess!

Starting today, I'll be doing a lot of work trying to move things around and make the blog look a little nicer.  Unfortunately, that means that in the mean time, things might look a little funny or not work.  I'm sorry about that!

If you're looking to keep yourself busy while I adjust things, you can click HERE to vote for us on Picket Fence, and HERE to see this week's Saturday Linky.  You can enter in the other giveaways there and link up your own!  If you need to reach me for any reason, please send an email to blogsfromasinglemom@gmail.com

Thank you for understanding.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My baby's first tooth

It finally hit me the other day that my baby is growing up.  Two days ago, my nearly 9-month-old got her first tooth.  It's right in the front, on the bottom, where I can't ignore it.  I was hoping she would be toothless for at least a few more months, preferably forever.  It looks like it didn't work out that way.

Friday, March 8, 2013

1st weekly Saturday Linky

Welcome! to Blogs from a Single Mom's 1st weekly Saturday Linky.

  If you love to enter giveaways, have at it!  You can subscribe to Blogs from a Single Mom by email or RSS so you don't miss any new Saturday Linkys.  Please share this post on Facebook and/or Twitter to help us get out there! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Let's talk about flats!

I'm planning to do a short mini-series on flat diapers in the near future.  One part of this will be a post on frequently (or not so frequently) asked questions on flats.  What are some questions YOU have about flats?  Basic questions, uncommon questions, specific questions, it doesn't matter. Now's the time to ask!  You can comment on this post, ask on our wall on Facebook, tweet us on Twitter, or even send me an email (blogsfromasinglemom@gmail.com).  It doesn't matter how you ask, just get those questions to me!  There are no stupid questions ;)  Then check back later this week (you can subscribe to our RSS feed or by email to make sure you don't miss anything) and see your questions answered.  Let's get interactive!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Prefolds and plastic pants

“My baby is ____ months/years old, is it too late to switch to cloth?”

 I see this question asked all the time. It is never too late to switch to cloth! Unless you don’t have a child in diapers and never plan to have another one. That might be an exception. Many people seem to think it isn’t worth it to switch to cloth if their child is already born or they already have one or more children. This isn’t the case! Your child will benefit from using cloth diapers even if they only spend a few months together, and so will the environment.

 As much as I love my cloth diapers now, I haven’t always used them. I was not cloth diapered as a child, so when my daughter was born, I followed my mother’s advice and used Pampers. After a few months, I began to doubt my choice to use disposable diapers. I had read about ‘new’ cloth diapers on the internet, and a few friends of mine began telling me how easy they were. When Midge was 3 and a half months old, I made up my mind and decided to make the switch. Cloth diapers looked just as easy as disposable ones, would save me money, and were better for my baby’s butt. I couldn’t see a reason to stick with sposies. My grandma greeted the idea with great enthusiasm and was more than happy to help get me started, so we set out to buy Midge’s first cloth diapers.

 Unfortunately, cloth diapers aren’t easy to come by in my city. We don’t have any stores focusing on them, and had to settle for what we could find. My daughter’s first cloth diaper was a Babies R Us prefold, covered with plastic pants! And, yes, I pinned it. It wasn’t pretty, but no one got hurt. We used them for about two weeks, while we waited for my Flip covers to arrive in the mail. It was an adjustment, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

 We have come a long way since plastic pants and pinning, but we are still passionate about it and will continue to use cloth until we no longer have a need for diapers at all. 

 

What was YOUR baby’s first cloth diaper?

Friday, March 1, 2013

We're on the fence!

That's right, Blogs From a Single Mom has now joined Picket Fence Blogs.  I'm hoping this will help get us out there a little more, so please vote! Let's spread the word.